It is 10 o’clock on a rainy late summer morning when Jimmy Page arrives at The Gore Hotel to meet with Classic Rock. Situated in the London borough of Kensington, Page knows the hotel and the area well. He has a home nearby, and within a few minutes’ walk is the Royal Albert Hall, where Led Zeppelin were filmed in concert on January 9, 1970 – which was also Page’s 26th birthday.
"The fourth album? It's good, isn't It?"
Jimmy Page is finally ready to reveal the secrets of his twin masterpieces – and explain why Zeppelin is finally part of the past.
In the hotel’s Green Room, decorated with antique portraits of English nobility and lit by a vast chandelier, Page offers a warm handshake and settles on one of two facing sofas. Now 70, his shoulder-length hair its natural silver, the guitarist has aged better than most of his contemporaries. He is elegantly dressed in black shirt, trousers and boots, and drinking strong black coffee, with sweetener. “Too many of these and I’ll start speeding,” he says.
There’s a lot to talk about. In a conversation that runs to 80 minutes, Page will discuss everything from his life during those heady days of the early 70s as the leader, guitarist and primary creative force in one of the most successful rock groups of all time to his plans to release new music in 2015, music that he has been crafting for years. And he will also address the one question that will not go away: will Led Zeppelin ever perform together again?
But there’s a more immediate matter at hand, which is the release of the two Led Zeppelin albums that form the second instalment in the high-profile reissue programme of the band’s entire catalogue: Led Zeppelin IV and Houses Of The Holy. Page smiles broadly when he recalls that untouchable period. “It was a wonderful time,” he says. “I can’t remember it all. But let’s see what I can remember...”