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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

May 31, 1948 - John Henry Bonham was born at Redditch, Worchestershire
May xx, 1969 - The band’s debut album enters the US Top 10
May xx, 1969 - Recording sessions for Led Zeppelin II begin
May xx, 1970 - The band works on new material at Bron-Y-Aur
May 03, 1971 - Richard Cole jams on Whole Lotta Love playing congas
May xx, 1972 - Houses Of The Holy recording sessions on location at Stargroves and Olympic studios
May 27, 1972 - Warm-up gigs kick off in Holland for an upcoming American tour
May 04, 1973 - Led Zeppelin gross nearly $250,000 for their performance in Atlanta, GA
May 05, 1973 - 56,800 attend the second show of the 1973 US tour at Tampa. This sets a record for the largest attendance for a one-act performance, previously held by the Beatlesfor their Shea Stadium show in 1965
May 10, 1974 - Swan Song Records is officially launched
May 11, 1974 - Led Zeppelin attend an Elvis concert and are thrilled when Elvis announces that Led Zeppelin is in the building
May 10, 1975 - Showco ships their PA system and video screens for the Earls Court shows from Dallas to London
May 23, 1976 - Page and Plant join Bad Company onstage at the LA Forum
May 21, 1977 - The Houston Summit claims $500,000 in damages to their venue caused by rowdy fans
May xx, 1978 - The band reunite at Clearwater Castle to rehearse
May 22, 1979 - It is officially announce that Led Zeppelin will headline at the Knebworth Festival in August
May 15, 1980 - After many revisions the European tour dates are finalized and the band is scheduled to open in Germany
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