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Jimmy Page, Leona Lewis & David Beckham close out Olympic Games 2008

25 August 2008 3,346 views No Comment

Yes, the worlds worst kept secret was finally unveiled to billions of TV viewers around the world, in spectacular style, at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics Games. Jimmy Page alongside ‘X Factor’ winner, Leona Lewis was the centrepiece of the London 2012 handover segment of the closing ceremony in Beijing. The eight-minute segment started off with a red London double-decker bus circling the stadium with dancers and cyclists, as the bus came to a halt, the top of the bus folded back to reveal Lewis and on a rising stage, a second stage began rising with Page, complete with Les Paul in hand, after the briefest of pauses the unmistakable first riffs of Whole Lotta Love blasted out, and Leona began singing. Jimmy Page, dressed in black coat with a gold shirt looked every bit the star, with his white hair now tired back in a ponytail and smiling throughout the four-minute performance. 

Towards the end of the song, David Beckham – to huge cheers from the crowd – appeared on another rising stage with a violinist and a cellist from the London Symphony Orchestra dressed in Team GB kit. He was handed a football and kicked it into the crowd of athletes. 

Prior to the performance Jimmy gave a series of interviews, in one explaining how the permission to use Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ came about, Page said that “Initially they requested to use ‘Whole Lotta Love’. Then it was ‘you can play guitar on it if you want to’. Then it was said Leona was going to sing on it, and it just got a momentum of it’s own. It’s going to be really great. The Olympics… bring a whole spirit of optimism to London and it’s going to be fantastic.”

In another, when asked if not playing the guitar at the Olympics what event would he would have liked to take part in, he said “that’s easy, it would be the hurdles, I was good at that at school when I was a teenager, but it got in the way of playing the guitar”.

London officials said they chose the Led Zeppelin song, with its instantly catchy guitar lick, because it was perfect for their bid to turn the 2012 Olympics into “one big party”.

Global Lord of the Strings

Incredibly exiting to watch the events in Beijing today. As the bus transformed into a stage and Jimmy emerged still the utter lord of the strings grinding out that oh so familiar riff…it was a spine tingling moment up there with that similar television global moment when the cameras flashed to Live Aid. This time out of course there was no doubting Jimmy’s abilities – he looked so into it and for her part Leona did herself proud.

A message to the world in many ways.

The Olympics 2012 is coming to London – bringing with it a Whole Lotta Love. 

And now the entire planet knows…he rocks.

Another ‘proud to be a Led Zeppelin fan’ moment.

Dave Lewis

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