Jimmy Page: Good evening to the worldwide audience and the global village of the Internet.
Question: Jimmy, have you ever seen any of the Led Zeppelin tribute bands, and how do you feel about them?
Jimmy Page: No, I actually haven't. I haven't managed to see any of them. I did a while back in the '70s. I've heard about the tribute bands, but no, I haven't seen one. There's one called Cinnamon in Japan and Fred Zeppelin and all sorts of plays on words. If I walked into the audience, they would probably tear me to bits.
Question: Why do you feel the music of Led Zeppelin is so enduring?
Jimmy Page: Because I think at the time it was recorded, we didn't have the corporate pressure laid on us as we recorded each album. So because of that, we recorded the music that was coming out at that point and time relative to where we were at that point in time. After the first album, the second album was recorded on the road and had that live feel about it.
Then we had a break in time. With the first and second albums, we were working like crazy to establish what we had and the language in the confines of the USA. Then we had a rather short break, and I remember Robert and I went to a cottage in Wales and we were communicating every day, musically as well. We came out with acoustic numbers. Most people couldn't understand the mellower songs. These actually came into fruition, into being the third album. We made statements musically at that point and time. It was [a] far more open situation musically for bands, not just us, but for other bands too.
Question: When did you first realize that band's disparate influences had gelled into a distinctive, original sound?
Jimmy Page: From the very first album, because I had a concept of what I thought we should be doing, but as time went on and I got to learn the musicians more, it was easier to relate to everyone's personality within the music. To be honest with you, it was from the first album. For two or three weeks we were just doing dates on our own.
Question: Who are you currently working with?
Jimmy Page: I was working with Michael Lee at an earlier point, about summertime this year, just working some ideas for feature material, and that was to include Robert's input and his ideas. And after that, I was working with the Black Crows, and that was after the Net Aid event.
Question: Jimmy, what do you think of Beck's new release, "Midnight Vultures"? Would you consider working with him? Love, Theolyn.
Jimmy Page: Yeah, I would consider working with anybody who's got something serious to say within their music. Yeah, sure, I'd love to play with the American Beck and the English Beck too, which is different. I must say the American Beck is doing some very interesting work. His first album was amazing. He hasn't stopped titillating the imagination ever since.
Question: Who do you feel best captures the Zeppelin essence in today's rock music scene?
Jimmy Page: You see, we have to go back to when those albums were recorded. The fact that even on the market there was no record company pressure. Nobody took any notice and you could do what you were doing. We just went flying onwards and actually because of that, we had pretty bad reviews because people didn't know what we were doing. I'm not being complacent because we had a certain honesty and drive and that manifested itself at the end of the day.
Now as to whether the current bands... I think that probably... I must say that when I re-marketed what became the four-CD set for Led Zeppelin, I could see what a textbook it had become for bands. We all learned from previous sources, and I was so proud of what we laid down there. We made sure it was unrestricted environment. I like to feel that what we did musically has transpired across generations. I know it has, I have heard it. I am pleased it's been an inspiration for people.
Question: What does the symbol on "Presence" represent?
Jimmy Page: Well, the idea of it was a presence of something that could be viewed maybe from the future. It's like, let's see, maybe in 2050, and people look back and saw the equivalent of Bell Radio within the household, they wouldn't know what it was unless they were briefed on it. Maybe vinyl, the whole library of vinyl records... in the future, somebody looking [at] that would see the object on the table, it would be like tube radios from the '50s. But it was a presence within the household. It was something so important that they liked... the radio would convey current music. The title was not a play upon words, but a play upon images. It was fun.
Question: What prompted the series of low-key gigs you are doing at the moment, and where does the inspiration for the false names you gig under come from? (Ed. Note: This question refers to Robert Plant's current low-key gigs in England, not Page)
Jimmy Page: What false names are you referring to? I haven't used a false name, and I haven't played any low-key gigs.
Question: What is the name of the instrumental piece you performed at Net Aid? "Domino"? Are there other pieces you wrote recently that we haven't heard yet?
Jimmy Page: Yes, the name is "Domino." I've got some material I put together. They could become instrumentals or they could become solos. It depends on which environment that they reach their fruition.
Question: Hello, Mr. Page, I would like to know if you think that Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and yourself might do some sort of project together in the future, all being former Yardbird members.
Jimmy Page: I really don't know. There have been some outlying requests of old friends of the Yardbirds to put something together with the three of us. But I know as far as the spirit of the album goes, myself and Jeff are very firmly into it and very proud of it. For my part of it and for his part of it, he's really into the album, and Jim McCarty and Chris Dreja. However when Jim McCarty was 50 and he had a birthday party in London, at what was an established club, the 100 Club, his invitations said, "Halfway to the 100 Club." Many folk from the era of the '60s were there, Jeff was there, I was there. They played a wonderful set. But Eric wasn't there. Eric wasn't there for the Hall of Fame when the Yardbirds got into that. Jeff was there and I was there. So, I really don't know whether something with Eric and Jeff and myself could come together. But, what I do know is that it could be a real fun event and a real fun night.
Question: What do you feel is the definitive Led Zeppelin track, the track that best captures the sound the band was seeking to capture?
Jimmy Page: I can't actually isolate one track out of all of the others, because for me they all have memories for the way they're recorded. Some were recorded in studios, and some were recorded in houses with mobile recording trucks, but the thing is they all have memories for me; I can't differentiate one from the other. It really is impossible, because it's emotion that goes with each track, and in retrospect, memories.
Question: What do you think will be Led Zeppelin's greatest legacy?
Jimmy Page: A good 30 years after the first album, the legacy is going to be the music for what it is and how it actually affects people, approaches them and maybe even seduces them. And that's the only legacy we really need to know about.
AOLiveMC5: We have all too quickly run out of time. I think the question the audience wants most answered is this... can you tell us anything about Led Zeppelin getting back together?
Jimmy Page: Led Zeppelin getting back together, that's a really interesting question for me as well. Robert Plant and myself worked together and it seemed like we needed a break from last December to this December. Actually, you know, what I'm going to say to you is, I don't quite really know why, we shouldn't have actually had a point when we could have worked together with the remaining members. I know that John Paul Jones is playing very, very well, I know that I'm playing very, very well, and it would be interesting to explore that possibility. But all I can say is, to those dear fans who would love to see what we could do, unfortunately, I don't have any answers. All I know is I love playing music all the time and being seen as a musician. And, I can't really give you an answer.
AOLiveMC5: Thank you, Jimmy Page, for joining us this evening.
Jimmy Page: People can read between the lines. Thank you, everybody, for sending your questions. I hope if you sent in the questions, they got answered. The ones that didn't get run past me, I'm sorry. The ones that did, I hope my answers made sense to you. Thank you for being a really solid fan base; it's given me a lot of inspiration in my life. We're posting an interview on www.ledzep.com. You fans may be interested in reading this.
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