Jimmy Page and Leona Lewis close Beijing Olympics

Page and Lewis close the Olympics
Page and Lewis close the Olympics

Page and Lewis doesn't have the same ring as Page and Plant, but the pairing of Jimmy Page and Leona Lewis for the closing of the Beijing Olympics at the Birds Nest Stadium was an interesting one.

Amidst pomp and pageantry, fireworks and dancers, acrobats and you-name-it, the Led Zeppelin legend and the soul sensation were stationed high atop a red double-decker bus and tore into a lyrically sanitized (by Chinese censors) and drum solo-free version of Whole Lotta Love.

It wasn't Zep, but the sound of Page's monster riff and his stinging solo worked nonetheless.

Their performance was part of the official handover ceremony that marked the end of the Beijing Games and the run-in to the London event in 2012.

As Page and Lewis neared the end of the song, English soccer star David Beckham came out and kicked a ball into the cheerinig crowd. (Wait - isn't he playing for an American team now?)

We have to say, seeing Jimmy Page and Leona Lewis was an enjoyable (and somewhat surreal) way to close out an Olympic experience. But the sight of Page and Plant back together would be a gold medal event of a different stripe altogether.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.