Japanese superfan’s obsession with Jimmy Page immortalised in new documentary film, Mr. Jimmy

“I want to be Jimmy Page,” Akio Sakurai says in the trailer, which can be seen below.

Akio Sakurai and Jimmy Page

Image: Mr. Jimmy Trailer / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

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Japanese guitarist superfan Akio Sakurai has spent his life honouring his guitar hero Jimmy Page – here’s the trailer of an upcoming documentary film, Mr. Jimmy, charting his journey.

“In snowbound Tokamachi, Japan, teenaged Akio Sakurai took refuge in his room, escaping to another world with a pair of headphones and a pile of Led Zeppelin records,” the movie’s synopsis reads. “Moving to Tokyo, Akio worked as a kimono salesman by day, but by night became ‘Mr. Jimmy,’ adopting the guitar chops and persona of Jimmy Page.”

Akio, who recreated vintage Led Zeppelin concerts note-for-note in small Tokyo clubs until the real Jimmy Page stopped by one night, would go on to quit his “salary man” job and move to Los Angeles, joining Led Zep tribute act “Led Zepagain.”

It is there that, as the film describes, “Akio’s idyllic vision of America meets with reality”.

“I want to be Jimmy Page,” Akio says in the trailer. “To play this music in a lackluster way, would be inexcusable… I just want to express the magic of Jimmy Page. That’s all.”

Produced, directed, and edited by filmmaker Peter Michael Dowd, the film spent nearly eight years in the making and features 30 Led Zep songs as performed by Mr. Jimmy himself. It will also include versions of the songs White Summer by the Yardbirds and Midnight Moonlight by rock supergroup the Firm.

“I made this film because I love Led Zeppelin and love Mr. Jimmy’s love for Led Zeppelin,” says the film’s director. “It is the purest form of love I’ve encountered. He wants nothing more than to play the music properly.”

“[I made the film] to pay respect to what Mr. Page and Led Zeppelin created, and to share with audiences the singular power, or at least a taste of the singular power, of what it would have felt like to witness the greatest rock and roll band of all time live and on stage.”

Mr. Jimmy will be released on 1 September. Watch the trailer below.

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