When he brought Robert Plant and John Bonham on board to complete the formation of Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page had himself as potent a live force as had existed in rock ‘n’ roll by then, and that includes the Beatles.
That he and John Paul Jones joined two cats who would become archetypes of the form (Page as Rock’s Golden God lead singer, Bonham as God of Thunder on drums) was not only “checkmate,” as Nate so aptly put it in this week’s episode of Let It Roll, but game, set, match, championship, and let’s retire the bleeping trophy (and on the redesign, put a little Zeppelin on top and cast it in lead).
In other words, rock ‘n’ roll had a new brand standard, and its name was Led Zeppelin.
No wonder, then, that by 1975 when they both were preparing to take their bands on tour into that Brave New (Rock) World fully dominated by Led Zep (see: “Physical Graffiti”), Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney would allude to Mr. Page in song (and ultimately in concert) — Jagger in a new verse he wrote for “Star Star,” Macca in “Rock Show.”
No wonder, too, that Jeff Beck moved on to jazz-rock fusion, and Rod Stewart, well, I’m not even going there . . . God bless the Faces.
Ed Legge (@freebirdyeller) is a life-long musician, long-time journalist and sometime corporate dweeb who’s writing a book about originating rock ‘n’ roll’s most absurd tradition.