How Keith Richards Started a Rumor About a Jimmy Page Solo Album in 1974

by Jeremy Spirogis
Keith Richards and Jimmy Page jam

Guitar legends Jimmy Page and Keith Richards return a methods. As Page recollects it, the 2 met lengthy earlier than Led Zeppelin shaped — and even earlier than the Rolling Stones existed. In these days, Page was getting his begin as a session guitar participant in London.

Once the Stones had formally shaped, Page joined Richards and the band at a ’64 session for “Heart of Stone,” an early hit from the Richards-Mick Jagger catalog. But Page and the Stones reduce a demo that day, so it wasn’t pegged for official launch. (Allen Klein put it out anyway within the ’70s.)

After Page shaped Led Zeppelin in ’68, his days of session work had ended. But that didn’t imply he was fully executed taking part in with different bands. So in ’74, when he acquired an invitation to play with Richards and Jagger, Page jumped in and performed on “Scarlet,” a observe lastly launched in July 2020.

When phrase leaked concerning the recording date, it acquired individuals questioning what these heavyweights from completely different bands had been doing taking part in collectively. And a joke by Richards threw everybody off the scent.

Keith Richards’ joke a few Rolling Stones session with Jimmy Page sparked rumors

Keith Richards and Jimmy Page jam
Carlos Santana, Neil Young, Keith Richards, & Jimmy Page carry out in Hendrix tribute at a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. | Robin Platzer/Twin Images/The LIFE Images Collection by way of Getty Images

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In 1975, Led Zeppelin was on high of the rock world and about to embark on a tour in help of Physical Graffiti. Speaking with Cameron Crowe for a Rolling Stone interview round that point, Page spoke admiringly of the Stones (and Jagger specifically).

Page additionally mentioned he didn’t really feel like there was competitors between Zep and the Stones. They had been buddies, in any case, and although Page didn’t point out it at first he’d simply performed a session with Richards and Jagger a couple of months earlier.

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Shortly after, Crowe requested concerning the rumor that he was engaged on a solo album. “Chalk that off to Keith Richards’ sense of humor,” Page replied, earlier than describing the “Scarlet” session. “[Richards] took the tapes to Switzerland and someone found out about them. Keith told people that it was a track from my album.”

Page couldn’t have identified that the observe would sit round within the vaults for an additional 45 years. (At the time, he thought it’d come out as a Stones B-side.) But he additionally addressed what was on the coronary heart of the rumor: that members of Zep could be feeling stressed seven years into the trip.

Page mentioned no member of Zeppelin wanted to do a solo album

Jimmy Page in 1974Jimmy Page in 1974
Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin performs on the Rainbow Theatre on 14 February 1974. | Dick Barnatt/Redferns

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While Page all the time appeared to get pleasure from Richards’ humorousness, he took Crowe’s inquiry as a chance to talk about Zep’s unity. “I don’t need to do a solo album and neither does anybody else in the band,” he mentioned. In Page’s eyes, it got here right down to Zep’s band members every bringing one thing important to the desk.

“The chemistry is such that there’s nobody in the background who’s so frustrated that he has to bring out his own LPs,” he advised Crowe. “I don’t actually like doing that Townshend variety of telling everyone [in The Who] precisely what to play. A bunch’s a gaggle in any case, isn’t it?”

Page was right, after all. Robert Plant didn’t pull a Roger Daltrey (or John Entwistle) and make a solo album within the Zep years. Neither did John Bonham or John Paul Jones. Zep began robust in ’68 and rode it out collectively till the tragic finish arrived in 1980.

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