The following is an excerpt from the January 2012 issue of Guitar World, which is now available on newsstands and in our online store.
Weren’t there plans to form another band with a different singer and go on tour?
No. You see, what we did—doing all of the rehearsals—was not to play any new stuff, not to get sidetracked. After it was done, Jason, myself and John Paul Jones felt it was the right thing to do to go in and start playing new material and see how we were getting on. I thought that, really, we should play on our strengths and start working on quite a lot of music. We had a few things together, but Robert had his Alison Krauss project [Raising Sand] to promote. There was talk about bringing in some other singers, but that would have changed the character of what we were doing, and done it rather suddenly. There was a lot of…I won’t say pressure but a lot of hinting about “this singer and that singer.” And for me, it was more about, “Let’s see what we can really do.” But I don’t think we really got a chance to do that.
So it would have been too early at that point?
To do what? Bring in a singer on it? Yes. I think we needed to work on the material first and all the various sorts of textures and moods that we could create. But that wasn’t to be either.
Everybody thought you would replace Robert with another singer and go on a Led Zeppelin reunion tour. That is obviously a misunderstanding then.
Well, look: even If we had eventually settled on a singer, I think it would have been premature to go on tour. Of course, we would have played Led Zeppelin material, but I would also want to be playing some really, really good new material as well, to knock people’s socks off.
For the rest of this story, check out the brand-new January 2013 issue of Guitar World magazine. The issue also features a roundup of the 50 Greatest Led Zeppelin Songs, a full interview with Page, Plant and Jones, and a complete "Black Mountain Side" acoustic guitar lesson.
Over the past 20 years, Brad Tolinski, editorial director of Guitar World, Revolver and Guitar Aficionado magazines, has interviewed Jimmy Page more than any other journalist in the world. Those interviews have led to a new book, Light & Shade: Conversations With Jimmy Page, which was published October 23. Get your copy here!