‘You can always see the truth’: the wisdom of Jimmy Page

light-and-shade-jimmy-page-coverJimmy Page has been called elusive … averse to media attention … shy … but the architect behind Led Zeppelin is hardly as quiet as a church mouse.

As I’m getting settled in and ready to watch tonight’s airing of The Kennedy Center Honors, which celebrates LZ along with David Letterman and Dustin Hoffman among others, I turn to a new book that gives us a talkative, insightful Page: “Light & Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page” by Brad Tolinski (Crown).

Tolinski’s book covers Page’s entire career — pre-, mid- and post-Led Zep — but what I want to call attention to here is Page’s occult interest, which is often painted by plenty of writers (I’m sure you’ve read some of them, too) in sinister shades of gray and black.

His avoidance of talking too much about his study of magick (yes, with a “K”) is given in practical terms: “There’s no point in saying more about it,” he says at one point in Tolinski’s book, “because the more you discuss it, the more eccentric you appear to be.”

That doesn’t just apply to magick — the same advice should be followed by any 40something fan of “Star Wars.”

In regards to the fantasy scenes from the movie “The Song Remains the Same” featuring the figure of a hermit on a strange journey, here’s Page’s candid explanation:

“My segment [of the move’s fantasy sequence] was supposed to be the aspirant going to the beacon of truth, which is represented by the hermit and his journey towards it. What I was trying to say, through the transformation, was that enlightenment can be achieved at any point in time; it just depends on when you want to access it. In other words, you can always see the truth, but do you recognize it when you see it or do you have to reflect back on it later?”

Page’s message — that we are all capable of making substantial changes in our lives at any time — couldn’t come at a better time as 2012 is slipping behind us and 2013 is just ahead.

So, in the new year, let’s all resolve to seek some enlightenment for ourselves … and keep listening to Page, Plant & Company (of course).

In case you missed the Call of the Siren during Christmas week

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