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article imageJimmy Page: Dazed & confused by Plant's apathy to Led Zep reunion

By Earl Dittman     Dec 9, 2014 in Entertainment
Labeled GQ's Rock God of the Year, the guitar legend admits he's surprised by the things Robert Plant, his former Led Zeppelin band mate, has to say about him and the possibility (or lack, thereof) of a full-fledged reformation of the iconic rock band.
Is there still a chance Led Zeppelin will reunite? 70-year-old guitar wizard Jimmy Page would love to record and perform with singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist and drummer Jason Bonham (the son of the late John Bonham) on a new album and a full-fledged reunion tour. But, for intents and purposes, it appears Plant is the one uninterested in reliving Led Zep's glory days.
Weeks after the band was allegedly offered upwards up $800 million dollars by Virgin mogul Richard Branson to reform Led Zeppelin for a proposed 35-date, three-city tour, Page still has no idea if the group he founded in 1968 will ever play "Stairway To Heaven," "Black Dog," "Kashmir" or "Immigrant Song" on a stage together again. In a recent interview with Chuck Clusterman of GQ Magazine (which has declared him 2014's Rock God of the Year), Page confessed he is often shocked by many of Plant's comments concerning the band and any chance of a reunion.
Jimmy Page - GQ s 2014 Rock God of the Year
Jimmy Page - GQ's 2014 Rock God of the Year
Marco Grobb/GQ
"Sometimes I raise my eyebrows at the things he says, but that's all I can say about it," Page, who has been busy promoting his book Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page: The Open Edition, said to GQ about a few of the things Plant has reportedly said to the press. "I don't make a point to read what he says about Zeppelin. But, people will read me things he has said, and I will usually say, 'Are you sure you're quoting him correctly?' It's always a little surprising."
When asked if he has been personally offended by Plant's words or attitude, Page simply replied, "No. It doesn't matter. There is no point in getting down to that level. I'm not going to send him messages through the press."
Page also talked about a number of other subjects, including how John Bonham only played "heavy" while he was with Led Zeppelin, the band's relationship to the drug culture, if he had a heroin addiction, if he misses the '70s and what were some of most eventful times of his life.
On what makes music "heavy":
"I don't want to say it's just the attitude, but attitude has a lot to do with it. One of the things that was employed on the Zeppelin records was the fact that I was very keen on making the most of John Bonham's drum sound, because he was such a technician in terms of tuning his drums for projection. You don't want a microphone right in front of the drum kit. Sonically, distance makes depth. So employing that ambience was very important, because drums are acoustic instruments. The only time John Bonham ever got to be John Bonham was when he was in Led Zeppelin. You know, he plays on some Paul McCartney solo tracks. But you'd never know it was him, because of the way it was recorded. It's all closed down. He was a very subtle musician. And once he was introduced to the world on that first Zeppelin album, on the very first track, when it's just one single bass drum — drumming was never the same after that. It didn't matter if it was jazz or rock or whatever: If drums were involved, he had changed them."
On Led Zeppelin's heavy drug use in the 1970s:
"I couldn't comment on that, just like I wouldn't comment on the relationship between Zeppelin's audience and drugs. But of course you wouldn't ask me that. You wouldn't ask me what the climate was like at the time. The climate in the 1970s was different than it is now. Now it's a drinking culture. It wasn't so much like that then."
Jimmy Page backstage in 1975
Jimmy Page backstage in 1975
Neal Preston
On his supposed heroin problem:
"How do you know I had a heroin problem? You don't know what I had or what I didn't have. All I will say is this: My responsibilities to the music did not change. I didn't drop out or quit working. I was there, just as much as anyone else was."
On missing his life in the '70s:
"I miss how life was for everybody in the '60s and '70s. Music had just exploded. The Beatles had revitalized everything, and the record companies were taken by surprise. There was positive freedom in society in general. That was a really good period for everybody. I don't hanker after it, but I see it for what it was. I was improving as a guitarist."
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant on tour with Led Zeppelin in 1975
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant on tour with Led Zeppelin in 1975
Neal Preston
On the best period of his life:
"That's an interesting question, isn't it? I would have to say the most profound parts of my life involve the birth of my children. But in a professional capacity, it was really two things. The first was getting the first gold disc with Zeppelin. I remember the day that came in, and I knew what that meant, especially in America. The other was playing at the Olympics in Beijing. I knew that was going to beam out over the whole planet, and I loved working with Leona Lewis, who I think is astonishing. And it was a full version of 'Whole Lotta Love.' Not an edited version."
In 1968, John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant formed Led Zeppelin, one of the most influential, innovative and successful groups in modern music, having sold more than 300 million albums worldwide. The band rose from the ashes of The Yardbirds, when Page brought in Plant, Bonham and Jones to tour as The New Yardbirds. In 1969, Led Zeppelin released its self-titled debut. It marked the beginning of a 12-year reign, during which the group was widely considered to be the biggest and most innovative rock band in the world.
Led Zeppelin continues to be honored for its pivotal role in music history. The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, and a year later was awarded with the Polar Music Prize in Stockholm. Founding members Jones, Page and Plant — along with Jason Bonham, the son of John Bonham — took the stage at London's O2 Arena in 2007 to headline a tribute concert for Ahmet Ertegun, a dear friend and Atlantic Records' founder. The band was honored for its lifetime contribution to American culture at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2012. In January of 2014, the band won their first ever Grammy award as Celebration Day, which captured their live performance at the Ertegun tribute concert, was named Best Rock Album.
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