September 17, 2019:


After 47 years, Long Island musician Jeff Curtis was able to return this guitar case to Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin:


Jeff Curtis and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin


The case is an original Liften guitar case, that famously came with 1958-1960 Gibson Les Paul guitars. While only about 1,500 Sunburst Les Paul guitars were made during this time period, they are regarded as the most prized and demanded guitars by rock musicians. They are known for their incredible tone.

Such notables who played and recorded with 1958-1960 Les Pauls include Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Slash, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, and many other guitar Gods.

Jimmy owns two of them, but his favorite is his 1959 Les Paul sold to him by Joe Walsh around 1969. Jimmy recorded pretty much all of his iconic Led Zeppelin songs with that guitar, starting with Led Zep’s second album (Page used a telecaster on the first album, before he acquired his 59′ Les Paul).

This week Jeff posted on facebook how he wound up with the original case and the details how he was able to return it recently to Jimmy.

In June, 1972 Jeff went to see Led Zeppelin perform at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. Mick Hinton, John Bonham’s drum tech, who Jeff had met the year before, invited Jeff to the stage after the show. Jeff was in the stands (behind the stage) and shouted to Mick “How do I get down there?”

Mick picks up and tosses a guitar case to Jeff, who then walked down, past two security checkpoints with the case in hand, up onto the stage, and handed it back to Mick.

Here’s an excerpt of his post (a link to the original post, plus some of Jeff’s musical links are included below).

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!

So began my decades-long possession of a genuine rock n’ roll artifact. But I also realized from that point onward that it was something I couldn’t talk about. While there have been a small handful of friends over the years who were aware that I had it, I had kept this a deep secret over the past 47 years in fear that someone might either burglarize my house or worse, threaten me in order to steal it. 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 principals. I decided that I would find a way to personally return it to Jimmy Page. But how to accomplish this? How would I get in touch with the right people to set up a meeting?

Back in July, I went to see the “Play It Loud” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Jimmy Page’s number one Les Paul guitar was one of the instruments on display. I got the idea that maybe I could be put in touch with his people via the exhibit’s curator. A few days later, I called the museum and spoke with the curator’s assistant who asked me to send an e-mail with photos, which I did. About two weeks later, I got a call from a gentleman, Perry, who works with Jimmy. He asked to set up a meeting to personally examine the case and take several more detailed photos. About a month later, I received word that Jimmy wanted to meet me and have the case returned.

So, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in a hotel lounge in New York City, my two daughters, a close friend and I had the pleasure of a 1-hour sit-down and conversation with Jimmy, with him finally getting the guitar case back. When I opened it up, the look on his face was priceless: “What memories this brings back!” “Thank you so much!” 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 gave him copies of both my CDs, which he said he would listen to. He also had brought me a special limited box set edition of “Led Zeppelin 2” and signed its book as well as another book I had brought with me. 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. Nevertheless, the experience of having had the opportunity to sit down with the very person whose music not only greatly influences my own but also inspired to me to initially pick up and learn to play the guitar almost 50 years ago is something that I will never forget!

Thanks so much Jimmy and thank you Perry! Mission accomplished.




Here’s a link to Jeff’s original post (with a great photo of Jeff and Jimmy together): https://www.facebook.com/jeff.curtis.1829/posts/10157013344186234

A link to one of Jeff’s performances: https://www.facebook.com/jeff.curtis.1829/videos/10156051086811234/

A link to another performance: https://www.facebook.com/jeff.curtis.1829/videos/10155313280896234/



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