Jimmy Page doesn't think Led Zeppelin would exist today because of the immediacy of the online world
The 77-year-old musician found working in the 1970s was a "fun time as a creative musician" because the group were able to experiment with their sound and introduce new material at gigs without worrying it would leak any further than the venue
18 October 2021
Explaining why Led Zeppelin couldn't exist now, he said: “We used to throw songs into the live set that we hadn’t recorded yet, just for fun.
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"We did that with 'Immigrant Song' at Bath Festival in 1970, and nobody had heard anything like it. You don’t have that freedom now because it would be posted online immediately. It was a fun time as a creative musician, a fun time to be in a band.”
The 'Stairway to Heaven' rockers were famously more interested in making complete albums than releasing singles because they didn't want to have their "spirit broken".
Jimmy told The Times newspaper: “The singles the Yardbirds were forced to make broke their spirit. I didn’t want to get caught up in it.
"You’d do 'Whole Lotta Love' and then the record company would say of the next album: where’s the 'Whole Lotta Love'? It was a trap.
"By the fourth album I had to say, 'Don’t put 'Stairway to Heaven' out as a single.' They did put it out in Australia, where you’re never going to find it, are you?"
The band ended in 1980 when drummer John Bonham passed away but they reunited for Live Aid in 1985, with Phil Collins taking over the sticks, and Jimmy admitted the Genesis star's inclusion added to the performance being a disaster.
He said: "We had two hours’ rehearsal, not even that, and the drummer just could not get the beginning of Rock and Roll.
"We were in real trouble so that was not very clever.”
And so the guitarist was determined their one-off reunion gig in London in 2007 - in which John's son Jason Bonham played drums - would be different, and he admitted it was the most nerve-wracking show he'd ever played.
He said: “I was more nervous doing that concert than any of the sessions I did when I was a kid.
“A lot could have gone wrong and I didn’t want to be the one making the mistakes, but you prepare for these things and by the time you’re on stage, you go into a trance state. My hairs were standing on end throughout, so I think it was a superb concert. Unfortunately it was only the one show . . . but there you go.”