10 reasons Led Zeppelin will never reunite
Press conference transcript
By Henry Yates
I was wondering if each of you could tell the audience what your lasting memory is of that great night in December 2007.
Jones: “My lasting memory… getting through it all. Yeah, it was pretty good. It worked out really well, but it was a relief at the end of it.”
Plant: “To me, I think, relief… it’s a terrible thing to say, because I do like relief, and you can never condemn it, but in truth, the idea of actually being where I am now in my lifetime, to get back in the middle of that music was a spectacular experience, and I was approaching it from a different angle, so to get through it and come out the other side was something not much short of miraculous, I think. But great fun.”
Page: “Yeah. The lasting memory of it is that I remember walking up the steps onto the stage, and then the moment right at the very end of it. The rest of it had passed very, very quickly, actually, but I knew, and the lasting memory of it was that I knew [we did] what we intended to do, which was to go out there and stand up and be counted and let people who maybe didn’t know Led Zeppelin but had heard a lot about it, to show why we were what we were. And not only that, but we’d had a really good time that night and made a lot of people happy.”
You started the show with Good Times Bad Times: was there any significance in choosing that song to start with, and does that sum up Led Zeppelin’s career?
Jones: “Well, it was [the first song] from the first record, wasn’t it, so it seemed a fitting beginning, although I’d forgotten quite how complicated the first riff was… and later regretted it! But I think we did a good job. It just seemed a good, rousing start to the evening.”
Plant: “It’s a pretty concise piece of music in the Zeppelin world. It’s like a ‘tune’, rather than an extended piece of music for itself. So it was a good place to start: nice and concise and that finale at the end of the track, there was a little bit of a knowing and interesting look [going on] between Jimmy and I, because on the outro, it’s guitar and then a little bit of vocal scat, and then a bit of guitar, and he was very interested in that kind of… to get into a groove early on. And to hear Jason, wailing away behind us… I mean, just singing his heart out.”
Page: “I think, because people wouldn’t have known what we were going to play, and what we going to start with, and there’d probably been a lot of guessing about what it would be… you’d probably imagine that would have been one of the last choices they’d have come up with. It was more the unexpected as well, like, ‘y’know, wow, they’re taking that on as the first number – I wonder what they’re going to do next?’”
Are there any particular memories from your time together in the 70s where you look at each other and give a knowing nod?
Plant: “I think, y’know, the thing is, we don’t see each other too often, but we’ve just spent an hour or so discussing this stuff, and no sooner do we start talking than some little innuendo creeps in. It’s just what happens when you’ve spent a lot of time together… some old memory pops up, and you go, ‘Whoa, that’s one to forget!’ There’s lot of those things drifting around.”
I would like to know, did Jason Bonham do the job, were you happy with his drumming?
Page: “Jason was absolutely monumental in the performances he played, from the very first rehearsal right through to the O2. He was incredible; the whole spirit and enthusiasm, and his knowledge of what made Zeppelin tick musically was just… it was just really wonderful to be able to work with him for that amount of time, to do a proper, full set, and really communicate musically with him. It was really, really good. Nobody else could have done it.”
Plant: “We’ve played with him before, at his wedding. Sadly, he decided to go to bed during the wedding reception, and because I was a kind of a friend of the family from way back, I was the one who had to go up to his room and get him to get out of bed! [to the others] Do you remember that?”
Where do you stand now with regards to Stairway? Page and Plant had different opinions about it…
Plant: “Well, I struggle with some of the lyrics from particular periods of time. The musicality and the construction of it, you know, is peerless. But maybe I didn’t feel quite the same about the lyrics later on in life, as I got further down the road. Maybe I’m still trying to work out what I was talking about… every other fucker is!”
Why wait five years to release this beautiful DVD?
Jones: “Five years is five minutes in Zeppelin time.”