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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

March 17, 1969 - A four-song performance is filmed for TV Byen in Denmark (aired on May 19, 1969)
March 21, 1969 - Zeppelin’s debut TV appearance on "How It Is"
March 25, 1969 - Filming session for the Supershow
March xx, 1970 - The band turns down many TV offers worth large sums
March 05, 1971 - Led Zeppelin started a 12-date "Thank You" tour for British fans, appearing at the clubs from their early days and charging the same admission prices as in 1968. The first show was at Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland where they played songs from their upcoming fourth album, including the first public performances of Black Dog, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California and Rock And Roll.
March 12, 1972 - Page and Plant rehearse some songs with the Bombay Orchestra
March 25, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finally release Houses of the Holy after production issues with the album cover
March 28, 1973 - Led Zeppelin released Houses Of The Holy in the UK. The album title was a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed "houses of the holy". Houses Of The Holy has now been certified 11 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 11 million copies.
March xx, 1974 - The band decide to release a double album due to the amount of left over studio material
March 29, 1975 - Led Zeppelin saw all six of their albums in the US Top 100 chart in the same week, alongside their latest album Physical Graffiti at No.1. Physical Graffiti has now been certified 16 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 16 million copies.
March 15, 1975 - Tickets for the Earls Court shows sellout within four hours
March xx, 1976 - Jimmy speaks with reporters mentioning the new album due out called Presence
March 31, 1976 - Presence is released
March 28, 1977 - Zeppelin arrive in Dallas, Texas to rehearse before opening the eleventh tour of the US
March xx, 1978 - Robert and John spend some time hanging around the Midlands
March 26, 1979 - Robert takes lead vocal at a Bad Company gig in Birmingham
March 04, 1980 - John Bonham makes a TV appearance on "Alright Now" with Bill Connolly
March 26, 2006 - Readers of Total Guitar magazine voted the guitar solo by Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven as the greatest guitar solo of all time. The 1971 track was voted ahead of tracks by Van Halen, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles. On the 20th anniversary of the original release of the song, it was announced via US radio sources that the song had logged up an estimated 2,874,000 radio plays - back to back, that would run for 44 years solid.
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