When Jimmy Page Was Almost Assassinated
As it turned out, the legendary guitarist ended up escaping a brush with something far more frightening: Page and Plant's stop in Auburn Hills, Mich., was marred by an assassination attempt planned on March 31, 1995, by a former Zeppelin fan who'd come to the conclusion that the band's music was Satanic. He decided to try to take out Page with a pocket knife.
Fortunately, the attacker, 23-year-old Lance Alworth Cunningham, didn't get far in his attempt. Cunningham couldn't get past members of venue security and crew who — reportedly aided by a group of fans — subdued him, the Detroit News reported. The attacker sustained what police described as "minor cuts" as he swung the knife.
Cunningham's intentions were clear, according to Police Chief John Dalton. He told reporters the assailant "said he was going to 'off Jimmy Page.'" His plans thwarted, Cunningham was arrested and jailed for three counts of felonious assault and one count of aggravated assault.
It all must have been fairly scary for the people involved in the skirmish, but it was over quickly, and — in a final insult for Cunningham — ended without Page even being aware that anything was wrong. Noting that Cunningham was stopped 50 feet from the stage, the Detroit News wrote, "Page, oblivious to the action around him, played 'Kashmir' onstage, undaunted."
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