Jimmy Page Shares Their Supposed Masterplan For Led Zep’s Debut
Jimmy Page Radio Interview in 1977 - archives / YouTube
Formed in 1968 as the New Yardbirds by one of London’s most in-demand guitarists, Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin went on to become influential in the development of metal and hard rock that we know today. Led Zeppelin gave Page a way to realize his earlier goals of expanding the scope of guitar music that is yet to be unlocked.
Page realized that in order to avoid the same fate as The Yardbirds, he would have to put together a strong lineup if he ever wanted to see his ambitions come true. Page’s initially chosen lead vocalist, Terry Reid, turned him down and sent him in the direction of Robert Plant. In addition to accepting the position, Plant recommended longtime friend John Bonham for the drumming duties, and Bonham joined later. John Paul Jones, a gifted multi-instrumentalist and, like Page, one of London’s most respected session musicians, was the missing piece of the puzzle; when Jones approached Page about the open bassist position after being prompted to do so by his wife, and Page immediately accepted him. By 1969, they released their eponymous debut album, and their immediate success is of no shocker.
Speaking with The Guardian in 2014, the iconic guitarist wanted the band’s first album to have the intention of blowing somebody’s mind with every song’s guitar arrangement, without overlapping the other instruments as well. “You’ve got all these layers and depths, but you still need to capture people’s attention within the first few seconds, really. So when you’ve got something like ‘Good Times Bad Times’ and you’ve got the sort of accents and the bass drum coming in and people going ‘What the hell is that?’ that’s what you want,” Page explained. This bode well for him and the group, who became well-known for Page’s elaborate riffs that established his legacy of today.
Watch the interview below.