Jimmy Page recently came face-to-face with part of his past when one of his guitar cases was returned to him after 47 years.
Jeff Curtis went to see Led Zeppelin perform at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, New York in 1972. After the show, he spotted Mick Hinton, one of the band's roadies, whom he'd met the year before, and asked if he could help pack up some of the band's gear. Hinton said yes and threw Curtis a guitar case so he could look the part and get past security.
Curtis says, “After the few minutes it took to pack up the drums, he says to me, ‘You can have that.’ I was speechless, to say the least! ‘Where will the guitar go?’ He took me over and showed me Jimmy Page’s number-one Les Paul guitar in its brand-new anvil road case. The case I was given was being discarded that night since its back was crushed and no longer afforded protection to the guitar. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!”
Curtis has had it ever since, but was always paranoid it would be stolen. "For this reason, I had decided a couple of years ago that I no longer wanted the guitar case. Despite its certain significant monetary value to a collector, I had also decided that I wouldn’t ever sell it since making money off someone else’s fame is simply against my principles. I decided that I would find a way to personally return it to Jimmy Page."
He reached out to the curator of the Play It Loud exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, who put him in touch with Page's office, and eventually he got to meet the man himself.
Curtis adds, “In person, he is a genuinely warm and very welcoming gentleman. We talked about Led Zeppelin, he asked about my musical influences, asked my daughters what type of music they enjoyed and various other topics… I can honestly say that after the first few minutes, my nervousness completely disappeared and it felt like I was talking with an old friend.”
Page even gave Curtis a few gifts in exchange for the case.