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‘Rockin For Rio’ ABC Benefit Appearance, Epsom College

4 March 2002 3,747 views No Comment

On TBL/Web the story began like this…

Amazing but apparantly true…
“My wife works with the mother of a boy there (expensive independent secondary school). Apparantly on Monday Jimmy Page spent some of the day there, and gave a ‘master class’ to a group of aspiring pupil guitarists, finishing up with a concert in the evening. The event was called “Rocking For Rio” and an auction of signed items raised a tidy sum. During a Q&A session, Pagey mentioned that he’s trawling through the Zep studio archives and is considering some form of release of out-takes. The live set involved playing with a band which included teachers and pupils. No Zep numbers were played – just covers.”
Thanks Mike Lockyer

A few days later, TBL/Web News posted this…
MORE ON PAGE ON STAGE AT EPSOM

This from Simon Cox ZackCox@aol.com
I can confirm reports of the event at Epsom college, I was there at the very kind invitation of Mr Peter Irvine and Father Paul (Head of Geography and Chaplain at the College)
The College was fundraising in support of the Casa Jimmy the Task Brazil Project. (http://www.taskbrasil.org.uk) They are aiming to raise £30,000 to buy some land for a farm in Brasil. The evening looked set to raise between
£7,000 – £10,000.

Mr and Mrs Page were at the College from 2pm until the concert finished late in the evening. Both appeared very relaxed and happy to support the days events – nothing was too much trouble for them.

Jimmy played 4 numbers with the pupil /teacher band – and I think at some point a video may be made which could be available for sale – in support of Casa Jimmy.

And Here’s the Press Release…..

ROCK LEGEND JAMS WITH EPSOM COLLEGE PUPILS
Led Zeppelin’s rock guitar legend, Jimmy Page jammed with Epsom College pupils in a concert for the street children of Brazil raising 6500 for Jimmy’s charity “Task Brasil”.
Brought up in Epsom, Jimmy returned to his roots to spend the afternoon with aspiring young musicians in a guitar workshop before
rehearsing with one of the school bands. The evening kicked off with a question and answer session about his revered career before a
personalised box set of Led Zeppelin’s work was auctioned for 1000.
After a few performances from younger members of Epsom College, Jimmy took to the stage to the delight of the audience.
As trustees of the Task Brasil charity, Mr and Mrs Page have a vision to ensure the health and future of Rio’s homeless youngsters. Three
Epsom College pupils have already been to “Casa Jimmy” in Rio to work with the children and more hope to follow in thesummer. Jimmy’s
enthusiasm has inspired pupils to aim for this year’s target of £30,000 to buy a farm outside Rio to help children rehabilitate from the traumas they’ve suffered on the streets.
Father Paul Thompson, Senior Chaplain at Epsom College said: “Jimmy commented that he was impressed with the level of music and the
professionalism of the young musicians at Epsom College. He very much enjoyed playing alongside the pupils and staff at the school on this unique evening. He is a lovely, generous and kind-hearted man who has a great passion not only for his music but also for his charity Task Brasil. This all came across to the audience who were bowled over by his performance.”

A Day Later TBL/Web news added this..
(YET) MORE ON PAGE AT EPSOM
This from Richard Sheehan (Richard spent most of the day with Page) – Thanks again to Beth Day

ROCKING FOR RIO:
Jimmy Page plays at Epsom College to raise money for the charity Task Brasil.
Monday 4th March 2002

“On Monday 4th March Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page spent most of the day at Epsom College talking to young guitarists, thanking the school’s charity representatives for their work for the Task Brasil, and playing at a concert in the evening to raise awareness and money for the homeless children of Rio.
Epsom College’s official charity for the year was well underway before they were contacted by Jimmy Page who revealed his interest and involvement. Generously, Jimmy offered to help in raising people’s consciousness about the situation for children in Rio. A concert had already been planned for March to raise money, so Jimmy agreed to join in.
The day began with Jimmy Page attending a “guitar workshop” at the Music School where he listened to young musicians and discussed various aspects of learning and playing guitar. Jimmy’s message was consistently positive as he urged them to “Keep playing; form bands with your friends; enjoy the guitar and don’t stop learning.” He described how he found his first guitar in the family home, learning by playing along to records and soon teaming up with the only other guitarist at school. Jimmy explained how he started working as a session musician in the sixties, giving valuable insights into how to cope without sheet music and how to get the best drum sound. Apart from technical information, Jimmy answered questions on the influence of “Lord of the Rings” on Zeppelin lyrics and revealed his favourite composition is “Kashmir”, his favourite guitar players are still Jeff Beck and Bert Jansch, and that throwing televisions out of hotel windows became very expensive.
As Jimmy Page is a local, having grown up in Epsom, there was a sense of returning home or of recognition. Frequently links with the community and local musicians were made. There is also an element of celebration when someone who reaches the top of their profession returns. His three main intentions were to raise awareness about Task Brasil, to connect with the young and ultimately to have fun, which certainly happened that night.

The evening’s concert began with a statement by Mrs Page on the plight of the homeless children of Rio. She explained the need for help and how she and Jimmy became involved in Task Brasil. This was followed by a thirty minute question and answer session, which covered such topics as the existence of unreleased Led Zeppelin material, his favourite guitar, (the sunburst Gibson Les Paul that he used for all Zeppelin recordings and that he played that night), and other often amusing revelations about life in Zeppelin. A boxed set of Led Zeppelin albums was auctioned for £1,000 and Jimmy kindly signed all manner of Led Zeppelin memorabilia during the interval.

The concert began with two of the school’s rock bands and a solo guitarist; performances which Jimmy obviously enjoyed. However, the audience had come hoping to hear the world’s greatest living rock guitarist and from the first note he struck they were gripped. The first number was a heavy pumping version of Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and Jimmy played some effects laden wah wah. After an awesome solo, Jimmy encouraged seventeen year old schoolboy guitarist James Shaw to follow. It must have been a memorable moment for the younger musician. A Robert Cray blues song, “Grinder”, followed and Jimmy looked at ease with the musical form that began his career playing virtuoso blues guitar. The “band” consisted of three teachers and six pupils, the singers sharing duties, who gave a solid backing, creating a well balanced sound. A reggae version of “Wherever I Lay My Hat” reminded the audience that this concert was to find homes for the abandoned children of Rio, while Jimmy’s guitar work reminded us what an extraordinary talent he is. The concert ended with a rock ‘n roll song that brought the audience to their feet and the younger members rushed the stage to join in the celebration.
At the end of the final number, Jimmy Page wiped the sweat from his face and smiled broadly at the crowd. The night had rocked. He had helped raise money and awareness for a charity close to his heart and had a lot of fun. He shook hands with the young musicians thanking them for their involvement, and then went back to signing more memorabilia for fans. We will certainly recall a great night for charity, but we will also remember Jimmy Page and his wife for their kindness, wit and generosity. Thank you both.”

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