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5 Things We Learned From Jimmy Page’s “Rolling Stone” Interview

Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stone magazine have always had an uneasy relationship: although the band dominated the '70s, they were only on the cover once during that decade. And Rolling Stone didn't always give Zeppelin's records favorable reviews. So, it was a surprise that the band's leader Jimmy Page gave the magazine an eight-hour plus interview in the new issue, which features a vintage Page shot on the cover.

The interviewer, David Fricke, asked Page if he was "hurt" by early negative criticism towards the band; Page replies, "I was hoping you would ask that, writing for Rolling Stone." But whatever his feelings about the magazine, he gave a very revealing interview. Here are five things we learned from it:

Jason Bonham resigned from Foreigner in 2007, in hopes that the Led Zeppelin reunion would extend past one reunion show:
Bonham had played drums for Foreigner since 2004. Page says, "Some of us thought we would be continuing, that there were going to be more concerts in the not-too-distant future... I know that Jason, who was playing with Foreigner, resigned from that band." One reason the reunion was a one-off: Robert Plant had scheduled a tour with bluegrass singer Alison Krauss to promote their multiple Grammy winning collaboration, Raising Sand. Of course, you can experience the 2007 reunion via the Celebration Day CD/DVD.

Page wants to release the tapes from his early '80s sessions with members of Yes:
After Zeppelin broke up, Page was working with bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White, both former members of Yes (who had broken up at around the same time). The band was to be called "XYZ" (as Page explains, "it was ex-Yes and ex-Zeppelin"). Plant was approached to be the singer, but Page notes, "Of course, he wasn't interested at all." Squire and White soon reunited with Yes, and XYZ was history. But fans have long wanted to hear what this band would have sounded like (although allegedly some of those sessions were used as starting points for songs by Page's next project, The Firm, with Paul Rodgers). Page hopes to get the XYZ sessions out there: "I'll tell you, the material was good. I have the multi-tracks. I hope they see the light of day."

He also may release the ultra-rare Live Yardbirds! LP, recorded in 1968:
The album was released in 1971 and Page forced the label to withdraw it. "I've been going through my personal archives over the last few years. And I found the tapes... it would be good to put it out again." He notes that it would need to be remixed.

In his early days as a session musician, Page played on The Who‘s I Can't Explain, but doesn't know why he was invited to the session:
"I don't know, really, why I was brought in. I'm playing the riff, in the background - behind Pete Townshend. I didn't need to be there. You can barely hear me. But it was magical to be in the control room."

John Paul Jones came up with some of Zeppelin's mightiest riffs:
When asked about Black Dog, Page says that that was Jones' riff. "It was not easy to play." Later in the interview, he mentions that Jones was behind the monster riff for Good Times Bad Times as well.

If the interview isn't enough Jimmy Page for you, you're in luck. A new book, Light And Shade: Conversations With Jimmy Page, compiles interviews that Page has done over the years with Guitar World editor Brad Tolinski.

Page, Plant and Jones will appear together Sunday night (December 2) at the Kennedy Center Honors event in Washington, DC. The show will air on CBS December 26, but CBS Local will have full coverage, and will live-tweet the event from the Radio.com account. The following night, the ex-Zeppelin bandmates appear on Late Show With David Letterman.

From: CBS
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

September 07, 1968 - The band fulfills some old Yardbirds dates in Scandanavia
September xx, 1969 - Jimmy Page is reported saying the second album will be harder than the first
September 19, 1970 - Led Zeppelin gross over $100,000 for two performances at Madison Square Gardens on the same day
September xx, 1971 - Jimmy Page is furious over a live Yardbirds release. It was forced off the shelves
September xx, 1971 - The band vacations in Hawaii
September xx, 1972 - Discussions to play various countries ends with a decision to play Japan again
September xx, 1973 - Jimmy Page considers a live release of material before releasing a new album
September 14, 1974 - Led Zeppelin and CSN&Y jam at an after party
September xx, 1975 - Jimmy meets up with Robert in Malibu, where he is staying on a tax exile
September 12, 1976 - Page and Bonham return to Switzerland and record a drum piece title Bonzo’s Montreux
September 08, 1977 - Page takes to the stage with other well knowns at a WEA records sales conference
September 15, 1978 - Zep road manager Richard Cole and Bad Company’s Simon Kirke get married in a double ceremony
September 17, 1979 - Promoter Fred Bannister forced into liquidation over Knebworth Sales with Led Zeppelin
September 18, 1980 - Jimmy reviews a new stage set up and technical details for the Eighties Part One tour at Swan Song offices
September 25, 1980 - John Bonham is found dead in Jimmy Page’s Windsor mansion by sound technician Benji Le Fevre
September 12, 2007 - It was announced at a press conference by Harvey Goldsmith that the remaining members of Led Zeppelin would reunite with Jason Bonham on drums.
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