Memories in Music: 3,2,1 Launch!
Tuesday August 11th marked the official beginning of Memories in Music with an exclusive private party beginning at Knebworth House and finishing off in style in the Lytton Suite of the Hotel Novotel.
Guests began arriving at midday bringing their memorabilia for a display. As the date of the party marked the 30th anniversary of Led Zeppelin's last UK performance, the memorabilia had a big emphasis on Zeppelin. Alan Cousins dazzled us with all his fabulous Knebworth '79 photos, Swan Song jacket, Knebworth sweatshirt, and a piece of Jimmy Page's stationary from when he lived at Plumpton; the official Memories in Music photographer Ian Avey brought us his badges, Knebworth scarf, programmes, and his gorgeous Earl's Court poster; Eddie Lombardi brought his rare magazines and 45's; and I joined in with my Frank Melfi print of Jimmy, an O2 programme, wrist band, ticket, and newspaper stand poster. We also had great memorabilia from other bands that played at Knebworth in '79 – among those items a press kit from the Commander Cody band, and a rare poster of The Fairport Convention.
We were very privileged to have on display items from the artists and businesses that have agreed to help Memories in Music to raise money for charity. Peter Hunt brought along his painting of Jimi Hendrix, Cynthia Blair sent her drawings of the Led Zeppelin band members (my favourites being her recent drawings of Jimmy with his lovely silver hair!), and Bob Kelty sent along an example of his pottery that he is adorning with fan's favourite lyrics. We also had the wonderful guys from St Paul's Gallery displaying a beautiful print of David Bowie and the album art from Led Zep II.
After setting up, we headed off to Knebworth House with fans of Led Zeppelin that had been at the show 30 years ago. We met Henry Lytton-Cobbold in the field where the stage had been and filmed the fans recalling their memories of the day. The weather was beautiful and you could almost hear the music echoing in the trees as the leaves rustled in the breeze around us. It was my job to interview everyone and it was really fun! Mark Foley, Alan Cousins, Danny Groves, Ian Avey and Andrew Cross all regaled me with their takes on that special day, and they each had different details to add to history’s account of the show. The filming was done by Trevor and Jon Wilkins of Scadge Productions and will be available on our website as soon as it is edited and ready. Our memories may also be included in Henry Lytton-Cobbold's documentary on music at Knebworth! It was an amazing experience to be filming there on this anniversary, and Henry generously waived the filming fees.
Then it was back to the hotel to get the party started. My husband Richard, Memories in Music's Secretary and Financial Director, put together a slide show presentation to inform everyone attending of what we are all about and how the company will work, and we gave people an opportunity to learn about the work of the two main charities that will benefit from Memories in Music – Macmillan and Task Brasil. Michelle Pullen, Fundraising Assistant, spoke for Macmillan; and I spoke for Task Brasil and Casa Jimmy, Jimmy Page's safe house for the street children in Rio.
Henry Lytton-Cobbold and his wife Martha donated a ticket from the '79 concert. They are getting very rare now, and we are so pleased to have one for our collection!
After the presentations we got down to the serious business of eating! Meridian Audio and their Sooloos, a gadget that is like a computerized jukebox with a touch screen, provided the music at the party. The guests were able to choose the party music and it sounded great coming through the powerful Meridian speakers!
Another special thing for me and my company is that Jimmy Page has allowed me the amazing privilege of raising money for charity in his honour. Yay! We kicked off the fund-raising with a raffle. The prizes were the Led Zeppelin Live at Knebworth DVD, a book on the history of concerts at Knebworth which was signed to the winner by Henry at the party, and a framed original newspaper advert of the '79 concert. Steve Blewitt scooped both the DVD and the signed book, and Danny Groves is now the proud owner of the Knebworth 1979 advert. The raffle raised £150 for Task Brasil's Casa Jimmy.
Memories in Music was also thrilled to have musician Hossam Ramzy and his wife Serena attending the launch. Hossam took part in our filming talking about his favourite memory of music, and later shared wonderful stories of working with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page on the No Quarter/Unledded project. It's a fascinating experience listening to No Quarter with Hossam on hand to tell you things about the music as you are listening. Hossam is interested in helping Memories in Music and we will be discussing future events with him soon, as he has invited me to be his guest at his up-coming Bristol concert!
We partied past midnight and everyone went home happy. Now the hard work begins! We have a lot of projects in the making – concerts, exhibits, and a very exciting project that may lead to a permanent exhibit! We are very grateful to all those that attended the launch party and all the help they pledged for the future. We hope that many more music fans will join them to make Memories in Music a success for fans, musicians and their charities, and music history.
Knebworth '79 Memories:
- Remembering Knebworth '79
- Fairport Convention's Dave Pegg: His memories of Knebworth '79
- The Commander Cody Band: Rare photos from The Commander's personal collection
- Fan Memories: We were there! Steve Blewitt and Ian Avey
- Fan Photographs: Danny Groves - Led Zeppelin onstage
- Fan Memorabilia of Knebworth: Ian Avey and Caz Kay