Jimmy Page, the guitarist and founder of the British rock band Led Zeppelin, has reminisced about the period after their eighth and final album, ‘In Through the Out Door,’ and revealed that he had quite interesting plans for the future of the band with the late drummer, John Bonham.
During the latest interview he gave to Rolling Stone, the legendary musician, Jimmy Page, has revealed the fact that Led Zeppelin could show up with a brand new sound and the ninth album if Bonham didn’t pass away at such an early time.
The legend, who has recently released the book, ‘Jimmy Page: The Anthology,’ in which he unveils his musical career through selected material from his rich personal archives, has touched upon one of the little-known facts he wrote in his book.
Within the conversation, Page was asked about his statement that after he did ‘In Through the Out Door,’ he and Bonham wanted to make a heavier Led Zeppelin album. Jimmy Page explained that John Bonham and he were discussing how they wanted to do a sort of more riff-based entity, and harder and trickier, after their eight album.
He said that Bonham liked to play really hard, and Jimmy, himself, likes to do that as well with the guitar parts. So, the two had a bit of an idea of what they might do, but basically, it was not going to be a keyboard album, Page added.
Jimmy admitted that it would be different from anything that had been there before. Yet, they didn’t get a chance to do that due to the tragic death of John Bonham. As you know, Bonham played with Led Zeppelin until his death at the age of 32, in September 1980 following a day of heavy drinking.
The surviving members disbanded Led Zeppelin out of respect for Bonham after his death. He has influenced numerous drummers, including Dave Grohl, Chad Smith, Dave Lombardo, and Mike Portnoy. In 2016, Rolling Stone ranked him first in its list of the ‘100 Greatest Drummers of All Time.’
Here’s what Jimmy Page said about their decision with Bonham about a heavier Led Zeppelin album:
“Well, yeah, we were already doing stuff in 1980. We did a tour of Europe. I think the way to put it is like this: ‘Presence‘ was a guitar album.
After that record, John Paul Jones had acquired a ‘Dream Machine,’ a Yamaha [synthesizer]. Stevie Wonder also had one. So it had given him a lot of inspiration. He suddenly actually wrote whole numbers, which he hadn’t done before, and I thought the way to go with this is to feature John Paul Jones on the keyboard.
He’d written some stuff with Robert Plant. I thought, ‘Well, that’s great.’ Obviously, at that time, I thought I knew how this album [‘In Through the Out Door’] is shaping up, but the next album is going to be a departure from the keyboard album.”
“After the sessions for ‘In Through the Out Door,’ John Bonham and I were discussing how we wanted to do a sort of more riff-based entity, and harder and trickier. And then, of course, I know what sort of drums he liked to play.
He liked to play, like, really hard; he liked to play stuff that people heard it, they’d go, ‘Wow, what’s that?’ I like to do that as well with the guitar parts. We had a bit of an idea of what we might do, but basically, it was not going to be a keyboard album.
There would be keyboards on it maybe, but it was going to go more into another vein. It would be different to anything that had been there before. We didn’t get a chance to do that, obviously, because we lost John.”
You can check out the rest of the interview here.