The successful rock legend, Phil Collins, spoke in a recent interview with Classic Rock Magazine and talked about his problems with Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin.
During the interview, Phil Collins has revealed the story of how he involved Led Zeppelin’s 1985 Aid live show.
And also mentioned the rehearsal sessions with Led Zeppelin and explained the details of his fight with Led Zeppelin mastermind Jimmy Page.
Here’s the statement of Phil Collins:
“I’d played on Robert Plant’s solo records and he said: ‘Are you doing this Live Aid thing?’ And I said: ‘Yeah.’ And he said: ‘Can you get me on it? [US promoter] Bill Graham doesn’t like me and he doesn’t like Zeppelin. Maybe you, me and Jimmy can do something?’
And I said: ‘Great, yeah.’ And then Sting called me and said: ‘Can we do something together?’ [UK promoter] Harvey Goldsmith said: ‘You can get Concorde and play both.’ I said: ‘Well, okay, if it can be done.’ I didn’t think I’d be showing off.
By the time I got there, me and Robert and Jimmy playing together had become The Second Coming of Led Zeppelin – John Paul Jones was there too. Jimmy says: ‘We need to rehearse.’ And I said: ‘Can’t we just go on stage and have a play?’
So I didn’t rehearse when I got there, but I listened to ‘Stairway to Heaven’ on Concorde. I arrived and went to the caravans, and Robert said: ‘Jimmy Page is belligerent.’ Page says: ‘We’ve been rehearsing!’ And I said: ‘I saw your first gig in London, I know the stuff!’ He says: ‘Alright, how does it go, then?’
So I sort of… [mimes the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ drum part], and Page says: ‘No, it doesn’t! It doesn’t go like that!’ So I had a word with [co-drummer] Tony Thompson – ’cause I’ve played as two drummers a lot and it can be a train wreck – and I say: ‘Let’s stay out of each other’s way and play simple.’
Thompson, rest his soul, had rehearsed for a week, and I’m about to steal his thunder – the famous drummer’s arrived! – and he kind of did what he wanted to do. Robert wasn’t match-fit. And if I could have walked off, I would have done, ’cause I wasn’t needed and I felt like a spare part.”
The interviewer asked that ‘So you could tell it was going badly?’ and Phil responded:
“Yeah, frankly. But we’d all have been talking for 30 years about why I walked off stage if I’d done it, so I stayed there. Anyway, we came off, and we got interviewed by MTV. And Robert is a diamond, but when those guys get together a black cloud appears.
Then Page says: ‘One drummer was halfway across the Atlantic and didn’t know the stuff.’ And I got pissed off. Maybe I didn’t know it as well as he’d like me to have done, but… I became the flagship, and it looked like I was showing off.”
The interviewer asked another one ‘Why did you let this kind of criticism affect you so much?’ and Phil given a short answer:
“Because you tend to beat yourself up. You start to think you are the things people say you are.”
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