Archive for December, 2010

December 10th Fund – Week one!

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Well, with all the excitement this week of receiving the gorgeous, magical Jimmy Page book, how fortunate that it’s time to make my first contribution to the December 10th Fund! With all this happiness in my life, adding to it by giving feels great!

I said that even emptying your wallet of spare change would make a difference, so that’s what I am doing. Let’s see – at the end of this week, I have the princely sum of £4.51 to go in. It doesn’t sound like a lot, and it’s not a big sacrifice for me to give it, but even this amount can do some real good. A quick Google search reveals I could sponsor a Guide Dogs for the Blind puppy for a month. Did you realise the expenses of a guide dog are £48,500 from birth to retirement?! Wow. I don’t have that much, but I do have £4.33 a month. Médecins Sans Frontières says that 33p a day provides an emergency dressing kit containing sterile equipment, dressings and bandages to help people affected by conflict in a country like Somalia. Just £3 a month will allow people to see again by providing cataract surgery. See how much can be done with so little? It’s fabulous!!

I can’t wait to see who I am able to help in honour of Jimmy! I said we should spread our joy, so I am taking my own advice. What a fun adventure, and I am supporting the Outside Edge with my monthly giving to Fanfare as well. 2011 is going to be amazing!

Annie x

December 10th fund?

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

I received such a nice response to my blog reminiscing about being at the O2 to see Zep play on December 10th 2007. It was great to open emails and even get a few phone calls saying how much people were touched by my joy. It reminded a lot of them of their own happy memories of Zep’s music. I really love hearing stories of how music affected people’s lives, and because I am very vocal as a fan of Jimmy Page and have events to which people can contribute, I often get to hear these lovely memories.

I cherish the memories of other fans. I didn’t get to see Zeppelin play, and because they were no more while I was still a teen, never thought I would. I had a difficult family life, and the memories that music fans shared with me gave me a lot of much-needed happiness. They made me feel like part of a family and that was very special. I think sometimes people don’t realise that sharing their joy makes a big difference in the world. Jimmy’s music turned a lot of my tears into smiles, and so did his fans when they told me about watching him play and showed me their programmes, badges, posters and photographs. It was wonderful. One day I may write about it because even people who knew me back then have no idea how things were. The power of music to change lives is extraordinary, and I am living proof.

My love of music makes me want to go out and spread the joy it brought me because I remember how it felt to struggle and how much it meant to have help. Led Zeppelin and their fans were my single biggest source of help, so, on this anniversary, I wondered if any Zep fans out there would like to start a December 10 Fund? I thought to put a donation button on my website and collect whatever fans want to give for a year through my company (we’re registered to raise funds in the UK). Next December 10, we will donate the money in honour of the band to a good cause.

I also want to record the reason why fans give, and your name and location, so everyone who drops by can be inspired by your generosity and your story. I thought to make a short list of charities and have those who donate vote for the top two and split the money between them. One charity in the UK, the home of Zep; and one in the US – the place in the world where they are probably the most loved. It’s always true that every time I have occasion to go home to Connecticut, I never fail to hear Led Zeppelin playing in public somewhere – restaurants, shops, clubs… it’s awesome how many fans they have in America.

I really hope this will take off. For all Led Zeppelin and their fans gave to me, I want to give something back to people I know will benefit. Drop me a line if you think this is some thing to which you might give even 50 cents a week, or a one off donation, or even drop in once in while during the year and give your spare change from your wallet that week. If we got even a few hundred of Zep’s fans doing that every year, the December 10 Fund would go down in history!

Tell me what you think – good, bad? Email me at info@memoriesinmusic.com, go visit our Facebook page, or leave a comment here. Over to you…

Annie x

Happy memories of December 10th

Friday, December 10th, 2010

This date has become one of the most memorable and special of my life. When I woke up this morning, absolutely nothing was going to spoil the joy I felt. The alarm came soooo early, it was cold outside, people were in a rush and pretty grumpy, but me? I was smiling no matter what came my way because all I thought about all day long was walking into the 02 Arena 3 years ago, watching my hero step up on the back step of the stage, strap on his guitar, walk towards me, and play. Off he went, and off I went. I think part of my soul is still floating around in the 02 squealing with joy.

Jimmy Page has always brought me a lot of joy, but I never got to see him play until that moment, over 30 years wait from the day I first heard his amazing magical guitar. It was worth the wait, and besides all the joy, watching Jimmy play at last reinforced a saying you hear all the time: Dreams really do come true. The odds against me being in that arena were huge, but I was there. When Jimmy left the stage and I stood there trying to take it all in, one thing was noticeable – I felt very different. I walked out with a new determination to make my life into what I wanted it to be.

When I look back on the last three years, I see a very new me has emerged. I’ve done things that I never thought possible, and I’ve dumped people, places, and situations that make me unhappy and are filled with negative energy. It feels great. There are still many more things to change, and much more I want to do, but I will do them. ‘All this from seeing one concert?’ I hear people asking. Yep. It didn’t really start there, it started in 1972 when I first heard the music that changed my life. It just continues, and as I get older, the changes get bigger and the impact I can have on the world grows.

Thanks (again) Jimmy, and thanks to everyone that has come along on the journey with me. Whenever I feel a little down, all I have to do is remember December 10th 2007. I’ll be smiling about it for the rest of my life. Woo hoo – let’s go make our dreams come true!!!

Annie x

A visit to The Outside Edge

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

EdgepicOn Monday I went to visit Phil Fox, Artistic Director of The Outside Edge Theatre Company. The reason for the visit was the Memories in Music Fanfare Group. With our donations this year, we Jimmy Page fans will be supporting Outside Edge in Jimmy’s honour. As well as the group sessions and the drama productions, they also do one-on-one counselling. They strive to provide all their services free of charge, which, as you can imagine, takes a lot of effort. He was very grateful for our help, and he told me that Memories in Music’s Fanfare is the first group that has ever approached them for regular funding.

I was really looking forward to my chat with Phil, as he started this company from pretty much zero, just his dream. It’s very inspiring to meet someone who has battled with drug addiction, yet come out the other side and is now using his love of dramatic arts to help others. “Drama saved my life,” he told me. He felt that drama could give other addicts exactly what it gave him. You only have to hear of the people he’s helped and the programmes they run to see that is true. His vision has created the only group of this type in the UK.

This all resonates with me. It was music that saved my life, and like Phil, I wanted to find people who felt the same, in my case music fans, and work together with them to help others. It can sometimes feel like the odds are insurmountable when you start something and it’s small and basically unnoticed, misunderstood, and sometimes even scoffed at. Although they have been working for 11 years, Phil says his group is still fairly obscure. “Having Jimmy as a Patron has really helped raise our profile,” he told me. That’s certainly true – it’s why our Fanfare Group is here!

The offices on Munster Road in Fulham were very nice. It’s a beautiful building full of light. They share the space with another programme. Phil showed me the area where they do the group sessions and then the private meeting rooms for the one-on-one counselling. He explained that there is an emphasis on the addicts being clean when they come to the meetings. “When you come to us to participate, you have to be clean that day,” he said.

The area of Fulham where you come to the offices is a very affluent area. It seemed strange walking past all the lovely shops – I suppose because you think of addicts and automatically think of run-down areas. Phil told me that his experience of being located in that area only shows the choice of substance abused is different, the struggles are the same. In the wealthy neighbourhoods the drug of choice is often alcohol, while the poorer neighbourhoods have crack problems. But, they can all come together at the Outside Edge for some very unique and inspirational help.

It was wonderful to be able to surprise Phil with a Christmas gift, £380 from Jimmy’s fans. I wish you could have seen his reaction. It’s just wonderful to be a real blessing to people. Everyone who gives to Fanfare should go smile at themselves in the mirror and say, “I make a difference.” Because I promise you, even if you only give 50p a week, you DO make a difference.

I spent a nice hour and bit chatting to Phil. I am looking forward to learning more about what they do, especially because my own family was ravaged by drug and alcohol abuse. Besides being a help, I am sure I will learn things that will help me too.

We’re going to meet again in January and discuss a fundraising idea I have to benefit them. It would make me very happy to bring more attention and money to their cause. If you want to find out more, check out the website: http://www.outsidedgetheatre.com/index.html

We’d love to have more music fans supporting the Edge. Contact Cathy at fanfare@memoriesinmusic.com and she will fill you in on how you can help.

Annie x