December 27, 1968

Jimmy Page - First U.S. Interview

date: 
December 27, 1968
description: 
Jimmy Page - First U.S. Interview

Jimmy Page's first U.S. interview is published in the weekly Go magazine.

 

Go Magazine,  Published Dec. 27, 1968
Jimmy Page is Just Wild About Led Zeppelin

JIMMY PAGE walked into the office, smiled, and sat down. His slim build was covered with clothes, cornucopia of color, topped off with a silver velour jacket. The impression that his clothes made on others didn't even seem to faze Jimmy, as he talked about his new group, Led Zeppelin.

Jimmy Page is a well-known musician all over Britain. He is probably one of the best studio musicians ever to come out of the English recording studios, being in the back-up bands for Engelbert Humperdinck and big groups.

From this background he joined the Yardbirds and stayed with them for two years as lead guitarist. After two moderately successful years with the Yardbirds Jimmy split, since he found too much friction- working with them.

"They were too much into their own bag. They were great at experimenting, allowing me to move in and out of the expression every good musician needs – but then they started to get erratic.
 
"Sometimes we would play at concerts and the audience would want to hear some of our older songs - the ones that were hits - but the guys didn't want to do them. They just wanted to do their own stuff, solos and the like."

When Jimmy left the Yardbirds, the group just broke up. After that he tried reorganizing. The New Yardbirds took a little while to find, because Jimmy wanted to get the best.

AFTER THREE WEEKS OF CONSTANT SEARCHING HE STILL HAD NOTHING, BUT ONE WEEK LATER THE WHOLE GROUP WAS FORMED.

The New Yardbirds consisted of vocalist Robert Plant, John Paul Jones on bass, John Bonham on drums and percussion, Jimmy Page on guitar and just about any other stringed instrument, except maybe the piano.

The New Yardbirds were already into recording an album when they started wondering about their name. "We originally thought that by calling ourselves The New Yardbirds we would be able to keep a sort of continuity from the early days of the old group, but midway through the album recording we figured it would be better to find a new name.

"A friend of mine had a name but no group, so we took his name, with his blessings, of course. Actually we kind of liked the .sound; the Led Zeppelin sounds sort of groovy, doesn't it?"

The Led Zeppelin had its first concert in Scandinavia. "They don't cheer too madly there, you know? We were really scared, because we only had about fifteen hours to practice together. It was sort of an experimental concert to see if we were any good. I guess.

"We did the concert, and at the end we got a tremendous ovation. IT WAS MORE THAN WE EVER EXPECTED, AND IT’S REALLY GIVEN US A GREAT LIFT."

The Led Zeppelin will have their first album released during the third week of the New Year. This release, on Atlantic Records, will fall in the middle of a six-week tour which they begin December 26, in Denver, Colorado.

"The tour is scheduled for six weeks, but if we're having a good time, and the people like us, then we'll probably extend it."

Talking about the type of music the Zeppelin will do. Jimmy was animated as he said: "All of us are good musicians. We do what is pleasing to us and an audience.

"We can do all kinds and styles of music, so we're not restricted to any one thing. We want to get an act that will allow free movement. I mean, we play something and, say one of us just feels like playing one type of piece likely as not we will all join in after a few minutes, so we can all do it together.

"THESE THINGS AREN'T PLANNED. IT'S A FEELING YOU GET WHEN YOU WORK TOGETHER. Basically, we like to play blues with innovations, but we're not restricted. The old Yardbirds were restricted like that, by themselves. When they found something they liked they didn't do anything else for long stretches of time."
 

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