I first heard of Zacron when I was about 8 years old. My favourite album, Led Zeppelin III, had his name and image on it. Later, I found out that Zacron was a friend of Jimmy’s, and I thought, ‘Wow, Jimmy Page is so awesome he has a friend called ‘Zacron!’ Jimmy, of course, is amazingly awesome; and when I got older, I found out Zacron was pretty awesome too.
I got in touch with Zacron in 2008 to ask if he would take part in an exhibit of Led Zeppelin fan memorabilia at Knebworth House. A few days later I picked up the phone and it was Zacron. He offered not only to write an article for the programme, but to loan memorabilia and to give a talk at the reception.
I went to meet him in Cambridge a few weeks later. We had lunch and chatted for a long time. He was larger than life – he got out of his mini van wearing a coat of many colours and a big white hat, with matching big white shades. He gave me a bear hug that lifted me off the ground, and as we talked over lunch he regaled me with tales of his adventures and of how much he admired Jimmy Page. At one point he even gave me his best Hitler impersonation when he found I could speak German – much to the surprise of all the reserved businessmen in the room! You never knew what was coming next with Zacron!
He loaded his memorabilia in my car and I told him I would make a receipt for him, but he said no need, that he knew when he could trust someone. I drove off bewildered with my boot full of really expensive (and in some cases priceless) memorabilia.
Over the next few years, Zacron helped me a lot with creating Memories In Music. He gave me business advice, and refined the MIM logo to be what it is. He also helped me through the ups and downs of dealing with the music industry and the myriads of people who wait in the wings to be mean to you or try and take advantage of you as you try and put together music-related projects. His advice was really helpful, and not only did he give advice, but he was a shoulder to lean on and doled out heaping helpings of love when I found myself in a panic over something or other. He was very generous. We laughed at the antics of certain people and despaired over the blatant meanness and cheek of some, but he called us ‘The Invincibles’ and taught me never to despair but to keep on following my dream no matter what.
We did disagree at times, and once had a falling out; which was mostly down to me over-reacting, but nothing like that lasted with Zacron. He was the forgive and forget type and I am glad he was.
I’ve saved all his letters, all his cards and emails and I know they will continue to be a good guide through the coming years and new projects with which I am involved. I’m very fortunate I got to know the man whose album cover gave me visuals to dream of when I listened to Jimmy play on LZ III. I was only a child then, and never dreamed I would meet him. Being a friend was even more special.
Apart from all the lovely stories he told me about my hero Jimmy, one very special thing will always make me smile to remember. As a thank you, I often bake things for people I meet who help me on projects. I baked an apple pie for Zacron and it became a special thing that I would send them in the mail to him. He liked them a lot and would hint around when he wanted another one. He often signed his emails and letters “From Annie’s Pie Fan.” He even created artwork around a photograph of one of my pies! Only Zacron… : )
Sadly, he passed long before any of us found out. I wish I had been able to say farewell. Maybe it was for the best, saying goodbye is so final; and nothing about my time with Zacron will ever be final. Here’s just one of the many great things he wrote to me:
I formed a phrase in the 1960s – ”You have to be where you are!” This means, in all its simplicity, that where ever you find yourself, you are a complete human spirit. You feel from deep within, take deep breaths and exhale slowly, take stock of the simple but great things around you, including water, the sky, needy faces, music, meditation, history, art ……. Use where you are to bounce off ideas, philosophy, strategies. You are your holiday. Every new day is a great gift and it is what we do with it that matters.
Much Love From Annie’s Pie Fan
Much love to you too Zacron. See you on your star!