Zepp-4-Life Posted September 12, 2008 Share Posted September 12, 2008 Greetings, Thanks for dropping in here and taking your time to read my words. I am about to write something very long , very unbelievable and very true. This story has never seen the light of copy , type or internet form. The reason it surfaces here at a LZ forum is because it is solely based on a direct connection and could not have happened without that presence. Grab a drink, make yourself comfortable and consider the following ......... We will begin by explaining the circumstances which lead up to this incredible event. The year is 1995 , the month of April and Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have just launched their North American concert tour. After witnessing the concert at the Skydome in Toronto , Canada I decided that I was going to need more music from our boys. Having been a LZ fan for all of my life and attending many Jimmy and Robert solo performances throughout the years the lure of my favorite rock duo was too much. A plan was forming. Upon checking the concert program purchased at the Toronto performance I began calculations on a mini tour of my own by plotting which shows I would be able to attend. Realizing my navigational limits and following the budget I was able to conceive a plan to see two more shows scheduled in Auburn Hills, Michigan and two more shows in Boston , Massachusetts. Luckily later on I was also able to attend two more shows in Vancouver and Montreal. The first dates were in Auburn Hills , about a four hour drive from my home town of Toronto. Joining my two good friends Bill and Roger we embarked on our destination one fine morning , the day of the first show in Michigan. Everything was feeling groovy the whole drive there. The anticipation of seeing JP and RP once again was like the feeling of being a child again on Christmas Eve. We had learned that the band was changing the set list each night and the thought of seeing some new material was very exciting. The plan was unfolding like a well rehearsed sketch until........................ The USA custom's and border. The good ole American border. the only place in the world where I get this feeling of complete helplessness. Just too many scary stories about people being caught for innocent crimes has permanently given me a fear of that border crossing. Our plan sure took a twist for the worst when we approached the custom's agent for our crossing. It goes like this --- Citizenship ?? Canadian , Canadian, Canadian How long will you be staying ?? 2 days Destination?? Aaaaah, not sure , it's called Auburn Hills. The border guard took one look at us ( long hair rock n roll dudes ) and commanded our vehicle to pull over for the inspection area. Uh Oh !!! Right then I felt the air leaving our sails , but having been through this before a few times I thought there might be hope. Maybe a few routine questions and we'd be on our way right ?? Wrong . We were asked several questions each including some about our past and the criminal record history. Now let me go on record right now and say that I was no angel as a young man. Anyone that knows me would tell you that I am a respectable man , however , there was a time when me and the law where no strangers. My past does include some brushes with an officer or two or maybe three and four. It was all harmless petty incidents and I'm ok now. I think -- lol. So, suffice it to say when the border guard asked about the past, I may have stretched the truth somewhat. I went on record as well as my compatriots as having no record. Bad move. The reason for the betrayal of truth was because in the past I had pulled this off before and thought , hey what's wrong with a winning formula. Wrong again . Upon checking our names through the computer system I was politely ushered into my very own private interrogation suite and told to wait. Very cozy !! I knew what this could lead to and I began preparing myself for the worst. One of my greatest concerns was that they would search the car and find traces of who knows what. We hadn't dared to consider bringing anything illegal but since it wasn't my car , I feared the possibilities. Enter the big bad border meanies. After having me wait for about two hours the information seminar was about to fire up and I was ready to play my part. In their most intimidating fashion they started asking my about why I had denied my past and what it was that I was trying to hide. I continued to reassure them that there was no secret conspiracy , and was simply going to see a rock concert. Needless to say they didn't take kindly to my portrayal of naivety , and began the process of charging me with illegal immigration. Unreal. So, to make a long story longer , the summation of our border crossing was there was no crossing. Me and my friend Bill were sent back to Canada complete with new chargers for attempting illegal immigration. Someone throw a Mexican joke in here please. Roger went unscathed as he was a clean background. The entire process had taken about eight hours and the concert for that night was a wash. A bitter disappointment to go from sheer elation to rejection . A new plan was forming. I was not to be denied. the idea of missing the second show was purely unfathomable. The wheels were set in motion and we booked ourselves a room in Windsor Ont., and started plotting our next move. I phoned the local RCMP of Canada office and asked some questions pertaining to my charges. I also asked about the consequences of trying another border crossing and being caught again. I was told that the worst outcome would be another set of charges followed by detainment while awaiting extradition back to Canada. A possible time of up to seven days. That was all I needed to hear . I decided to give it another go and try another border crossing in the morning. The following day we had a hearty breakfast and deliberated the plan. Bill had decided it was too risky and said he would wait for me as morale support on the Canadian side. So me and Roger hatched the scheme. Since Roger was clean and could travel in the USA , it was up to me to cross solo via an alternative way. Roger would drive across free of trouble and I was supposed to meet him on the other side as well. The Detroit tunnel bus was the chosen transportation and I boarded it with full hope and a sense of trepidation. The rendezvous was underway. The old butterflies were flapping as I lined up for the immigration department on the way through custom's. The first half of the people on the bus were all American and were waved through in no time. As I approached my turn I realized that I was going to be the first Canadian to exit the bus. Sure enough when I stated my citizenship I was told to step aside and wait for processing. I thought here we go , a week in the local detention unit , all expenses paid . Hope the food is good. When I passed the custom's official my passport ( just like the day before ) I answered the typical questions and was told to sit and wait. Wait for the inevitable is all I could think. The agent consulted his computer, entered my information and for what ever reason ( Zepp God's ) my file came up clear and I was told to have a nice stay while in the country. Unreal . Incredible. I couldn't believe it . The exact opposite of the day before . I was in , and ready to rock n roll. I gathered myself , thanked him and headed for the arranged meeting spot. Roger and I headed to Auburn Hills singing the whole way. The show was fantastic , we had great seats side stage on JP's right , Robert was in amazing form and it was definitely a classic memory for the files. And now we get to the next chapter in the story ...................... Upon my return to Toronto there was a span of about two weeks before the Boston shows. Plenty of time to prepare the next game plan. Unfortunately, or maybe it was destined I was apparently soloing on the next mission. Nobody could join me in the expedition. Destination -- Boston , transportation ??? company --- none. I thought to myself what's the cheapest way to travel to Boston ?? Trains , planes or buses were my choices. After consulting the travel sections of local newspapers and placing several phone calls I began making my decisions. There was a Greyhound bus which left Toronto at 10 PM and arrived in downtown Boston the following afternoon which left the terminal every evening. Now all I needed was a full proof plan to cross that border once again. No small task. This is where the story gets it's start. Enter my room mate and friend at the time ----- Daniel James Williamson. Now remember that name for it will be engraved in my mind eternally for reason's which will be a part of this tale . Entirely 100% true . Dan and I had been living together for about half a year at that point and were sharing a great friendship of trust and honor. Dan was the former vocalist for a band I was involved with and we had decided to rent a two bedroom house for financial savings and jam-a-bility. I never thought that our lives would be forever entwined as it is , after a simple trip to Boston Massachusetts. Continued............ Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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