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The Pagemeister

Jimmy Page II "Stormtrooper" Limited Edition Sculpture

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I think that this is getting a little blown out of proportion. I truely believe that when Jimmy wore this outfit it was for the true shock value and not with any political referance.To be quite honest i think judging by alot of the response here that even 30yrs down the road it maintains to do that.This outfit was worn during a time where the punk movement was wearing similiar items, it was the "in" thing to do. That said i believe that because of this reaction then and now that this was the motivation behind recreating it. Basically to show the impact it had in its time. Now please dont get me wrong i do not agree with anything attached to the third reich and have seen the effects of genocide first hand in Bosnia and Afghanistan and do not agree with his choice. Based on the shock value alone though i think its a very interesting piece. We have to understand that he is only human and is capable of mistakes but we have to take the good with the bad.In the case of Jimmy i believe that the good far outways the bad.

True Regards

Cav

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I agree he wasn't making any political statement, and sure, the good outweighs the bad, but there are a lot of people who will always be uncomfortable about someone wearing parts of a Nazi or Luftwaffe uniform just because it's leather and (to them) it looks cool, even though--as you rightly state--a lot of punks were doing the same thing, for shock value. The bottom line is simply, it's not and never was cool, and you can't divorce those clothes from their meaning. Which to many people may be no meaning at all, but other people, as I said, feel (at the very least) uncomfortable about it, or find it to be in very bad taste. If it were for satirical purposes, even, that would be different--but it isn't. That's just my take on it, FWIW.

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I was at that show, (Easter Sunday, 4/10/77) and the outfit was a huge hit with the crowd when the lights went on. We were also at the Saturday night "sick" show that was cut short due to Jimmy's illness, and everyone was anxious to see what he'd look like when the show started. I was sitting second row that night, and as the band came on stage in the dark, you could see he was wearing something out of the ordinary.... When the lights blasted on to TSRTS, there he was, and the crowd just went nuts. But I never took it as any kind of statement other than maybe it represented a "Zeppelin Commander" or something. I was only 19 years old at the time, and I never made the Nazi connection.

I guess in retrospect it wasn't the most tasteful outfit he'd ever worn, but I don't think there was any intent on his part, either then or now, to be hurtful, or to in any way attempt to dredge up an extremely painful and dark time.

I'd love to have one if for no other reason than having been at that somewhat historic show, but I can certainly understand any controversy that may surround the sculpture today....

Oh yeah, and funny thing, he did lose the hat! I've got lots of pics of the show, and by the time they did "No Quarter", he'd replaced the hat with a white fedora the he may have gotten from someone in the crowd, but I don't recall. If you go into the photo section of the site, you can see him wearing it in one of those pics.

Edited by zep73

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I agree with Big Dan that it was kind of an extension of the second album cover (and the first cover where the zeppelin is blowing up, etc.)... totally satirical in my opinion, and I've got pictures of Robert wearing that hat too... I'm sure I don't know nearly as much about the boys as some of you people do, but from all that I have seen and heard of them, they all get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to getting a message across using a bit (or more) of sarcasm.

I suppose it's possible that the hat, the outfit, the album covers, whatever, were just an accident or done to look cool, and yes we're all human and sometimes are insenstive to things, but I think it's more likely they were puposely taking the remnants of one of the biggest crimes against humanity and inverting it into an opposite and positive contrasting statement. But what do I know? :mellow::)

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Jimmy has a big iterest in this sort of stuff. As I've said before, when you're as wealthy as he is, you get to indulge your interests. Its a pity that it so offends people though - and I totally understand why.

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Real quickly...

First the more inconsequential point: This is not a doll or action figure, it's a figurine/sculpture - porcelain and similar to Hummels or Precious Moments...but of rock stars. It's a piece of artwork, not a toy.

More substantially, as Knebby said, Jimmy took an interest in this stuff. But kab, you also have to remember that the Germans also bombed the hell out of London during WWII and also affected many of these rock stars' parents as well. A similar sort of fascination can be seen in The Wall - Roger Waters' imagery with Pink, the uses of blacks and reds, the interlocked hammer logo, the gestapo-like scenes of brutality at the rally/concert. Townshend, as well, often wrote of what it was like to be a child of these WWII survivors.

Now, I am not defending JP's outfit choice or equating what happened at Auschwitz to this at all - the level of atrocities are far greater and more culturally impacting with the Holocaust. But, at the same time, surviving Hitler and the Nazis also played a vital role in shaping post-WWII Britain and America for 25 years, and that did manifest itself in the artwork of the children of this generation in the mid- to late-60s. Only JP can answer exactly what went into the decision to wear that.

Edited by solar

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Hoo boy. Not exactly a display of sensitivity in marketing. And just in time for the Tom Cruise film "Valkyrie"!

They made Jimmy look too healthy though - if they were going for realism, where is the heroin pallor and the stick-thin arms?

I do not recall the boots ever having that glossy, ever being that shiny.....

BTY, the stromtrooper thing is tongue in cheek.....

I guess Hogan's Heros will offend someone.

I certainly don't approve of what the Nazi's did..... but I can take a joke.

I was not offended by the Stormtrooper costume.

Bruce Fucking Springsteen singing for Karl Marx/Kill The Babies in the Womb Holocaust- Barack Obama --- There.... I am offended !!!!!!!!!!

Edited by The Rover

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Real quickly...

First the more inconsequential point: This is not a doll or action figure, it's a figurine/sculpture - porcelain and similar to Hummels or Precious Moments...but of rock stars. It's a piece of artwork, not a toy.

More substantially, as Knebby said, Jimmy took an interest in this stuff. But kab, you also have to remember that the Germans also bombed the hell out of London during WWII and also affected many of these rock stars' parents as well. A similar sort of fascination can be seen in The Wall - Roger Waters' imagery with Pink, the uses of blacks and reds, the interlocked hammer logo, the gestapo-like scenes of brutality at the rally/concert. Townshend, as well, often wrote of what it was like to be a child of these WWII survivors.

Now, I am not defending JP's outfit choice or equating what happened at Auschwitz to this at all - the level of atrocities are far greater and more culturally impacting with the Holocaust. But, at the same time, surviving Hitler and the Nazis also played a vital role in shaping post-WWII Britain and America for 25 years, and that did manifest itself in the artwork of the children of this generation in the mid- to late-60s. Only JP can answer exactly what went into the decision to wear that.

I think it's true that rich people should be able to do SOME things others cannot. But if it is meant to hurt someone emotionally or physically that's just purely mean IMO. It doesn't bother me about the NAZI like style. Just the fact that their definition of 'Limited Edition' is never very 'Limited!'

Not just uncomfortable, but triggers.

And I could handle it on some people. I even turned a photo of Hitler into a painting once as an

attempt to undo some damage. He did want to be an artist, you know...

It's just on Jimmy and the EDS1275 or any other guitar it's harder to take

It causes triggers in my collected (not collective) memory.

And a collectable is just that, something you collect to keep,

something that the value of it should increase with time,

which makes it even more disgusting.

I feel badly for you. Why don't we buy one and blow it up to put on You Tube eh? I have things which make me cry at times and they are usually triggered by something which happens quite out of the blue. This is a normal human reaction to life and it will help you cope with whatever is bothering you. IMO it is a toy though, because they came right after those little plastic cheaper ones.

I do not recall the boots ever having that glossy, ever being that shiny.....

BTY, the stromtrooper thing is tongue in cheek.....

I guess Hogan's Heros will offend someone.

I certainly don't approve of what the Nazi's did..... but I can take a joke.

I was not offended by the Stormtrooper costume.

Bruce Fucking Springsteen singing for Karl Marx/Kill The Babies in the Womb Holocaust- Barac Obama --- There.... I am offended !!!!!!!!!!

I'm not offended by the NAZI part of it. Kabbalahone is. I would rather invest in a painting myself or something which is actually 'Limited' in at least a vague sense of the definition <_< To me Hogans Hero's wasn't funny. It didn't offend me.

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I wonder how many English people he must have pissed off by wearing a Dragon Suit, i mean you know how the English hate the Welsh? :lol:

Huh? Those were japenese dragons, weren't they?

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I thought so, but this brings up the interesting question of, Do dragons have a nationality? And if so, do they have passports and can they vote? :D

Look, I have just always found Jimmy's decision to wear that outfit tasteless--I don't read any more into it, either positive or negative. I just wish he hadn't done it.

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Well, I could be wrong but I always thought the stormtrooper thing was kind of a cool dig/counter and contrast to Nazi idealogy... same with some of Zep's album imagery, and even the band name to some extent. Like turning it (the Nazi history/stronghold) around on its ass, in fact... sort of ridiculing it but not making light of it. With Jimmy commandeering the music, taking the listening audience by storm, the power and strategies of his sonic attack, using the guitar as a 'weapon,' life-affirming instead of destroying.

I'm sorry to read that this image made anyone sad, though.

I've kinda been of this thinking all these years as well. More like thumbing his nose at th nazis by more or less displaying the uniform as a simple prop. Almost like capturing the Nazi flag. I guess Mel Brooks' Springtime For Hitler in The Producers was in bad taste too?

I doubt Jimmy was demonstrating any sympathy towards Nazi Germany given that London was bombed by them as well.

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I thought so, but this brings up the interesting question of, Do dragons have a nationality? And if so, do they have passports and can they vote? :D

Well, the Oriental Dragons look much different from the European(Western) Ones, that's easy to tell.

In China, the 5-clawed golden dragon was a symbol of the Chinese emperors, but watch it carefully you'll see the dragons on Jimmy's suit are only 3-clawed as the japanese kings were not allowed to use the same dragon in the ancient time. Later it developed into the tradition that the far east countries differ their dragons depending on the claws.

(If Jimmy had known about those details I think he'd take the chinese one :D )

chinese-dragon-red.jpg

Edited by glicine

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I don't think anyone's suggesting Jimmy was a Nazi sympathizer. I'm certainly not.

I never implied anyone was either.

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I've never liked that outfit, and am surprised that Jimmy approved of this statue.

The thing is, with Jimmy in the days of Led Zeppelin every thing would have a meaning. However you construed it, and whether you liked it or not, there would be meaning in the details. It was all very deliberate - astrological signs, poppies, etc. Which is why it's hard not to see this outfit - even if it was only worn on stage once, in Chicago, April 10, 1977 - as a statement; and if that's what it is, the problem is that it's unclear, which is just not appropriate.

Yep, there have been other incidents, it's not just Jimmy. Siouxsie wore a swastika back in the punk era. I am a fan, but it was stupid.

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...and if memory serves me right, I remember a black and white picture of Robert wearing Jimmy's hat (it's on the Led Zeppelin complete concert files book)...

R B)

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The thing is, with Jimmy in the days of Led Zeppelin every thing would have a meaning. However you construed it, and whether you liked it or not, there would be meaning in the details.

Well, that's true. So perhaps the fact that he never wore the outfit again suggests he thought twice about the meaning, or recognized its ambiguity.

(Yes, Robert also wore the hat backstage.)

Edited by Aquamarine

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You asked if anyone knew if he sanctioned it, or was it just an assumption. I was saying nobody was even assuming that, to my knowledge. I suppose it depends on what the meaning of "it" is. (Where have I heard this before? :huh: ) I thought you meant "Nazism." If you meant did he sanction the doll, sorry, action figure, the first post says that it was "personally approved by Jimmy Page." Whether that's true or not, obviously I don't know.

Oh, and the earlier point about Springtime for Hitler is the same as the point I was trying to make earlier--that was clearly satire, using humor to make a negative point about Nazism.

None of which is nearly as interesting as glicine's info about dragons' toes, I never knew all that!! :oB)

Yes, the doll / action figure.

Not having seen any dragons around here for a while I hadn't noticed how many "toes" they actually have.

You learn something new everyday!

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The fact that people can get bent out of shape over this 30 years after the original event is a sign of how politically correct and uptight we've become. Rock is about pissing off the neighbors, people. Some things never change. Lemmy said it best recently:

"I'll tell you something about history. From the beginning of time, the bad guys always had the best uniforms. Napoleon, the Confederates, the Nazis. They all had killer uniforms. I mean, the SS uniform is fucking brilliant! They were the rock stars of that time. What you're gonna do? They just look good. Don't tell me, I'm a Nazi 'cause I have uniforms. In 1967 I had my first black girlfriend and a lot of more ever since then. I just don't understand racism, I never thought it was an option."

2652733739_2547ba38bf.jpg

http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermo...wsitemID=100567

Edited by mos6507

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I agree he wasn't making any political statement, and sure, the good outweighs the bad, but there are a lot of people who will always be uncomfortable about someone wearing parts of a Nazi or Luftwaffe uniform just because it's leather and (to them) it looks cool, even though--as you rightly state--a lot of punks were doing the same thing, for shock value. The bottom line is simply, it's not and never was cool, and you can't divorce those clothes from their meaning. Which to many people may be no meaning at all, but other people, as I said, feel (at the very least) uncomfortable about it, or find it to be in very bad taste. If it were for satirical purposes, even, that would be different--but it isn't. That's just my take on it, FWIW.

I don't agree with the part about meaning, and I'll get to why below.

Real quickly...

...

More substantially, as Knebby said, Jimmy took an interest in this stuff. But kab, you also have to remember that the Germans also bombed the hell out of London during WWII and also affected many of these rock stars' parents as well. A similar sort of fascination can be seen in The Wall - Roger Waters' imagery with Pink, the uses of blacks and reds, the interlocked hammer logo, the gestapo-like scenes of brutality at the rally/concert. Townshend, as well, often wrote of what it was like to be a child of these WWII survivors.

Now, I am not defending JP's outfit choice or equating what happened at Auschwitz to this at all - the level of atrocities are far greater and more culturally impacting with the Holocaust. But, at the same time, surviving Hitler and the Nazis also played a vital role in shaping post-WWII Britain and America for 25 years, and that did manifest itself in the artwork of the children of this generation in the mid- to late-60s. Only JP can answer exactly what went into the decision to wear that.

Solar, you are definitely on to something.

Combine this post and a certain theory in Anthropology called Cultural Relativity, and I think you guys have a good idea

Covering the angles:

1. Do we know for sure if Jimmy is/isn't supportive of the Nazi movement or is/isn't an anti-Semite?

--if he is, then this shouldn't surprise anyone

--if he isn't, or if it is unknown, then we have to consider some other things.

2. Today, it matters not that he wore the outfit back then, because that was in the past where the appeal to wear such "shock" items outweighed the offense. Today, the offense outweighs the shock value, so we have to be more critical of his decision to allow the statue to be made, than his decision to wear the outfit "way back then".

The main points should be:

  • Why would Jimmy approve such a thing in this day and age?
  • Did Jimmy consider that this might offend a large* group of people?

*it matters that the group is large because no matter what you do, you can always find at least one person who is offended by something because of the history and meaning attributed to such an act.

If Jimmy didn't consider if it would offend anyone, then this could be a positive, because it means that this was an innocent action on his part. Well, it's only innocent if the answer to point #1 is "no, he's not an anti-Semite". It's worse if the answer to #1 is "yes, he is an anti-Semite". If that's true, then there's no point reading further.

If he did consider that this might offend someone, then he'd better have a good reason.

"I'm an anti-semite" is not a good reason, but would unfortunately make sense.

I can't think of a good reason for "if he did consider it might offend", so I think it's best to hope that he didn't consider it, unless he aligns himself with solar's viewpoint.

3. Should he have considered it?

I don't know...who are we to judge what he should think? The human brain can't think of everything.

Did Jimmy have the cultural understanding of the horrors of Nazi Germany? We can't assume that he does/did. Was/is he in a position to understand what he was wearing and how do we know that he was/is.

4. Cultural Relativity

As solar mentioned, Germany did do A LOT of damage in GB. I don't know how many people died, but I know it was surely a much smaller loss than what the Jews suffered. The point is that BOTH peoples/cultures suffered and died, and it is not up to any culture to judge which culture's pains trumps the other one (derived from the theory cultural relativity).

There are some cultural relativists that will go as far to say that Germany did the right thing, killing millions of people, because in their culture, that was right.

To these people, I usually politely say something like, "GO FUCK YOURSELF" (Yeah that was polite when it comes to this topic). Cultural relativism usually only works when basic human rights are still being upheld. This isn't always the case though. There are many cases where Anthropologists do not stop actions they might consider wrong if they were being down in their own culture.

Why? Because to change a culture in any way is to begin to destroy it, and the traditions/heritage of the people who practice it. Even if that involves watching something that they normally wouldn't allow, the people who are practicing it have very good reasons for doing so. When I say they are "good", I mean in their eyes that they are.

Nazi Germany was clearly a case of one culture not just trying to change another one, but to destroy it completely! And that's why you can't use cultural relativism to defend the Nazis. The Nazis were imposing themselves on other cultures and breaking the rule of cultural relativism.

Post-Modernism and Germany's influence on Great Britain

Post-modernism is a reaction to modernism. Modernism, at least as far as Anthropology is concerned, was largely about methodically practiced science bringing forth universal truths that can be discerned from culture.

Post-modernism rejected these universal truths of culture, or that they could be discerned or even exist.

One focus of post-modernism is a to study those within a culture that tend to get overlooked or muted. This includes studying minorities, people that are/were not in power, and people who aren't generally remembered for being characteristic of their time, those who are muted in some historical way.

Since Jews suffered the greatest loss and endured the greatest terror, other cultures that suffered tend to get overshadowed. I know what you're thinking, boo-hoo to them, right? I think not, because unless you are particularity dense, you have to admit that the people of Great Britain have plenty of reasons not to be in favor of what the Nazis did to them.

...

With ALL OF THAT being said, I would support Jimmy's decision both to wear this clothing and his decision to allow a sculpture of this likeness to be made--but only if his reason is somehow tied in with the points that solar made. I'm sure there could be other reasons too though, but I think solar nailed it. It really depends on what Jimmy himself thinks, and not the meaning that is attributed by others (I'm not saying that this meaning is not justifiable, I'm saying that Jimmy may be justified as well). One culture does not get to decide, at least not consciously, what another culture should think, feel, or understand about a particular subject. That doesn't mean I don't understand why some cultures would think this to be tasteless.

But what I do expect offended cultures to consider is what it might mean to him, since he does have free will. I expect them to understand that no culture should be able to "own" certain words, phrases, terminologies, styles, or phenomena and deem such things as offensive or taboo.

Doing so would be an oppression against individuals who decide on their own free choice to do something, with hopefully a good reason behind it. To deny such free will would actually be more of a step in the direction of Hitler's Nazism. An act against human rights and free will, on different levels, of course. The similarity is in the imposing of one culture on another.

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Good old Lemmy.

And lets not forget that sometimes people have a fascination with things BECAUSE they find them abhorrent or hard to understand.

I have a beautiful sari I bought in India covered with Swastika symbols - because it is an ancient symbol appropriated by the Nazis. I don't find it offensive.

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Actually yes. Many relatives of mine were killed there and some weren't given the luxury of getting to a camp for a chance at survival and were slaughtered in the fields and pushed into holes. They were Non-Jewish Poles, and just some of the 2-3 million Non-Jewish Poles killed by the Nazis that have been forgotten due to political correctness so as not to take away from the coveted number of 6 million.

Go on as you may but in the interim, and with all due respect, try and get over yourself.

This is exactly the type of muted minority that I'm talking about and what post-modernism represents--those whose voices have been lost in history.

Although, "get over yourself" doesn't ever seem to help things :(

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Good old Lemmy.

And lets not forget that sometimes people have a fascination with things BECAUSE they find them abhorrent or hard to understand.

I have a beautiful sari I bought in India covered with Swastika symbols - because it is an ancient symbol appropriated by the Nazis. I don't find it offensive.

A very good, and often recited, example on meaning and how the same symbol can be sacred in one culture and disgusting in another.

It helps us put things in perspective and realize that the human animal is very complex.

"cause you know sometimes words have two meanings"

or infinite possible meanings.

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I also think that no matter what we think of it, it was an iconic look for Jimmy - one we all instantly recognise - and I'm not surprised he sanctioned it - the poster I have of him wearing it is one that I have seriously considered framing. I guess I see past the uniform totally now and just see a Jimmy Page look.

I don't know if thats a good or bad thing.

I do know I saw this movie last night and it says a lot more than a uniform ever could.

http://www.thefilmfactory.co.uk/boy/

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