Here’re a few excerpts of a recent interview with guitarist Jimmy Page, conducted by Dylan Jones of GQ.
Led Zeppelin’s vision, Jimmy said:
”I think one of the things that was really key was that I’d had a lot of experience, both on my own and with bands, especially with The Yardbirds. Robert Plant and John Bonham were slightly younger than us. But because we had the time to rehearse, we quickly developed how the band should sound. We also did a little tour, which was something The Yardbirds would have done if they hadn’t broken up. So we could go out and showcase what we wanted to record. It gave us a lot of confidence to go in on that first set of recording sessions, because it was already tried and tested. That’s why the album was done really quickly
But I did have a whole sort of audible vision of what I was trying to achieve with it, because having played with The Yardbirds in America, I could really feel what the scene was over there. And with the advancement of FM radio, which was starting to play album tracks, I could see where it was all going. They weren’t yet playing the whole sides of albums, but I thought, ‘They will! They will!’ I was aiming at the album market and I figured if you have something that is so interesting that one track leads into the next and it’s not just the same sort of vibe on every sort of song, if you are giving variety, and with all the different styles of guitar I played… That’s what I wanted to showcase on the first album. I wanted everybody to feel that they’re going to be able to reinvent themselves and play the best they’d ever played, which is of course what happened. It was the start.”
On John Bonham‘s death and the end of Led Zeppelin, he said:
“It was like staggering away from the vacuum caused by a great explosion, with your eardrums ringing. I found myself standing on a street corner, clutching 12 years of my life, with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye, and not knowing which way to go. It was a most peculiar experience, because I knew that the dream was over and everything was gone. It was just a memory.”