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Meeting Led Zeppelin

By Caz Kay

The first time I heard Led Zeppelin it was like a bolt from the blue! I had always been into music but never really found my 'niche. Listening to that first album was like coming home. All I wanted to do from then on was to see the band play live.

That opportunity came in 1970 when I hitched down to the legendary Bath Festival and got in through a hole in the fence for 50p. The next gig was 1971 at Preston's Public Hall, camping out on the street overnight outside the local music shop to get my ticket - price £ 1.00! I was totally and utterly hooked on Led Zeppelin and their music.

When it was announced that Zeppelin would return to Preston in 1973 I was determined to try and meet the band and racked my brains to think of something that would attract their attention. I decided to write a letter using all the song titles from the first four albums, and just to make sure they didn't miss it, I wrote it on a 31ft long piece of paper.

Sending it off to Preston's Guildhall, where they were due to appear, I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. A few days later I got a phone call from our local newspaper asking if I could go down to the Guild Hall to have my photo taken with my 'fan letter'. The venue manager was also there and promised that he would try and get me an introduction to the band. The newspaper printed the photos with an article headed 'Caz - The fan who stops at nothing'.

I thought the day of the gig would never come, but it did and Led Zeppelin was amazing. I had been told that when they had finished their set I was to go to the side of the stage and make myself known to the security guys. I nervously made my way down. As I reached the barriers the band came back for an encore, Robert ran across the front of the stage unfurling my letter as he went. I was helped over the barriers by a member of Zep's crew and led up the steps onto the edge of the stage. Standing with my ear 2 inches from Jimmy's amplifier I watched the greatest band in the world play, just feet way from me. It was like a dream, I couldn't believe it was happening.

I made my way back and there he was - the golden god himself! We chatted for about 15 minutes. Although most of it was a blur I do recall that we discussed our mutual hatred of the dentist. Very Rock and Roll!! All too soon it was over but it was a night I will never forget.

I went on to see Led Zeppelin at Earls Court, Knebworth and the reunion at O2. Their music has been the soundtrack of my life and will continue to be until the day I die! That's what Led Zeppelin mean to me!

Caz Kay - Utterly devoted and life long Zep Fan - Preston, Lancashire

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