Jimmy Page Accepts He ‘Drifted a Bit’ After Led Zeppelin
The band split as a result of drummer John Bonham’s death in 1980, saying it was impossible to continue without one of the four original members. After attempting various projects with different results, Page returned to action with the Firm, featuring singer Paul Rodgers, in 1984, though the band lasted only two years.
“I don’t have any regrets about doing that at all,” Page told Uncut in a new interview. “Paul Rodgers is one of the best singers this country has ever produced, and any musician would want him on a record. But if you’re asking me if I’d drifted a bit after the end of Led Zeppelin, then I’m not going to argue with that. I don’t want to labor the point, but it was the perfect vehicle for me to express everything I wanted to express and it had gone before its time. You’d be asking a lot to expect lightning to strike twice in the same place like that with a whole different bunch of musicians."
He added that the Firm weren't "trying to emulate what I’d done before. We tried something new in terms of a funk sound and, at the time, people came to see us. You can’t ask for more. It got me going again when I had been through a period of pretty deep introspection.”
Remembering Bonham, Page noted that they "had such a connection. John changed drumming overnight. Track one of the first album, ‘Good Times, Bad Times’, was a revelation. No one could play it. No one. As the band progressed, he and I developed this extraordinary intuition. We were renowned for being able to stretch songs live, and that came from John following my guitar and just improvising and bending with where I was going. ‘Dazed and Confused’ is a classic example. He could read my mind and go anywhere and do anything without it falling apart. ‘Communication Breakdown’, ‘Dazed and Confused’, ‘Good Times, Bad Times’, ‘Ramble On’, ‘Immigrant Song’, ‘Kashmir’… These are moments of genius.”
He added that "we all miss him. There were probably half a dozen drummers who thought they’d wait a while and then give us a call and take his place, but ... he was a one-off."