For 30 years, this Japanese guitarist has dedicated his life to becoming Jimmy Page – watch the first trailer for Mr. Jimmy, a documentary about his incredible story

Jimmy Page (left) and Mr. Jimmy perform onstage
(Image credit: Rob Verhorst/Redferns/Getty Images / Press)

We all have our own favorite electric guitar hero – that one player who first inspired us to pick up a guitar, and whose six-string style greatly informed our individual approach to playing. 

But the sensational tale of Akio Sakurai – a Japanese guitarist who dedicated three decades to quite literally become his hero, Jimmy Page – takes this universally held phenomenon to the absolute extreme.

Sakurai’s story is the subject of an upcoming documentary titled Mr. Jimmy, which charts his journey from aspiring guitar player all the way to adopting the persona of the film’s title character, and beyond.

But Sakurai’s desire to become Jimmy Page extends far beyond the fretboard – instead, Sakurai adopted the chops, persona, and style of Page in an unrivaled display of passion and devotion to his idol. 

Now, the first trailer for the extraordinary story has been unveiled, ahead of the film’s wider release on September 1.

As per the film’s description, Sakurai (a kimono salesman by day) dedicated his life to honoring Jimmy Page’s playing, and to do so suitably assumed the role of Mr. Jimmy – his nightly rockstar alter ego of 30 years who recreated legendary Led Zeppelin concerts song-for-song, note-by-note, for audiences in small Tokyo clubs.

When the real Page caught wind of Mr. Jimmy and took a trip to witness his playing first-hand (which prompted a standing ovation, no less), Sakurai’s life was set on a new wild trajectory that saw him leave his “salary man” job and move to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams of, well, being Jimmy Page.

There – as seen in the film – Mr. Jimmy juggles culture shocks and language barriers as “Akio’s idyllic vision of America meets with reality,” with the guitarist joining tribute act Led Zepagain and later auditioning for Jason Bonham, son of drummer John.

“I want to be Jimmy Page,” Sakurai 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.”

Mr. Jimmy (left) and Jimmy Page on the night Page saw the former play a full Led Zeppelin set

Mr. Jimmy (left) and Jimmy Page on the night Page saw the former play a full Led Zeppelin set (Image credit: Abramorama/YouTube)

Notably, the film took nearly eight years to make, and features 30 Led Zeppelin songs as performed by Mr. Jimmy himself. Additionally, some of Page’s pre- and post-Zeppelin music from the Yardbirds and The Firm also features in the film.

“I made this film because I love Led Zeppelin and love Mr. Jimmy’s love for Led Zeppelin,” says director Peter Michael Dowd. “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.”

It doesn't seem like an exaggeration to say this might be the must-see music documentary of 2023, and quite possibly one of the guitar world’s wildest life stories in general.

Visit the Mr. Jimmy official website to find out more.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.