Jimmy Page says Led Zeppelin's Live Aid reunion was "not very clever"

Publish Date
Tuesday, 19 October 2021, 9:24AM

Jimmy Page reflected on Led Zeppelin's performance at the Live Aid concert in 1985, deeming the set "not very clever."

While speaking with U.K.'s The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, the musician, 77, recalled a bit about his mention of the set in his 2020 book, Jimmy Page: The Anthology. As the story goes, the three-song reunion performance didn’t go as planned when Tony Thompson and Phil Collins were recruited on the drums but struggled over a lack of rehearsal time. “We had two hours’ rehearsal, not even that, and the drummer just could not get the beginning of ‘Rock and Roll,” he told critic Will Hodgkinson in reference to Collins' learning the opening song. “We were in real trouble so that was not very clever."

Back in 2007, Page carefully reflected on the Led Zeppelin's Celebration Day Reunion, which took place at JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, saying, "A lot could have gone wrong and I didn’t want to be the one making the mistakes, but you prepare for these things and by the time you’re on stage, you go into a trance state. My hairs were standing on end throughout, so I think it was a superb concert. Unfortunately it was only the one show... but there you go."

Collins has shared his take on the performance in the past, where he called Page “belligerent” upon arrival. “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,” he recalled. “Jimmy says, ‘We need to rehearse.’ And I said: ‘Can’t we just go on stage and have a play?’”

He went on to admit that he told Page that he had saw the band’s first gig in London and “knew 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,’” he continued.

This article was first published on iheart.com and is republished here with permission