Chris Slade Says Led Zeppelin Reunion Plans Affected Jimmy Page’s Decision To End The Firm

Former AC/DC drummer Chris Slade recently joined Ultimate Guitar for an interview and argued that Jimmy Page decided to put an end to the Firm due to Led Zeppelin reunion rumors.

Led Zeppelin split in 1980 after John Bonham’s passing. After this tragic incident, Page didn’t want to play any music and grieved for his friend. Throughout the rest of the 1980s, he worked on short-term collaborations, including a tenure in the band the Firm.

The supergroup began its musical journey in 1984 and featured Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers, Chris Slade, and Tony Franklin. Releasing two albums in 1985 and 1986 and touring in support, the Firm disbanded soon after and ended up being a short-time project.

Speaking to Ultimate Guitar recently, Chris Slade said he and Tony Franklin thought the Firm wouldn’t be a short-term project. Slade added that this band had no limits, but they disbanded because Jimmy Page was affected by the Led Zeppelin reunion talks.

According to Slade, Page was under the impression that the Zeppelin would probably continue with Jason Bonham, but there was no indication that the Firm would end. He argued that Page and Rodgers decided this would be the end, and this decision upset him since there were no possible replacements for the two.

In the interview, Ultimate Guitar asked Chris Slade the following:

“The two albums that the firm made, the self-titled and ‘Mean Business,’ they’re great. I’ve heard Jimmy Page say that both he and Paul always saw The Firm as a short-term project. Did you and Tony also see it that way?”

Slade responded:

“No, I can’t say that I did. I knew it was a good band, of course. You had Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers, and Tony Franklin, so the sky was the limit for me. As far as I knew, we had no illusions about where it was going, and we didn’t think it was a one-off or short-term thing. I could say that I had no idea if that was the case. I can’t speak for Tony; maybe he knew it was a short-term thing for them.

A big reason that we broke up was that Led Zeppelin came back into the equation for Jimmy. There were reunion talks, and they didn’t know if they would try and tour or not, you know. Jason Bonham had gotten involved, and he certainly was under the impression that Led Zeppelin would probably go on the road again.”

Ultimate Guitar then asked:

“Even with the Zeppelin rumors swirling internally, was there any indication that the band was coming to an end as it did?”

Chris Slade said:

“No, there was no indication. It just happened one day. I think Jim and Paul realized they had come to the end of it. I was really upset with the decision, as I knew that band had potential, but it was something that Tony and I could do nothing about. If Paul and Jimmy decided that was the end, then that was it.

What could we do? How do you replace one of those guys, let alone both? The answer is simple; you don’t. Still, I’ll always look back on those two albums very fondly. People say to me often, ‘Why didn’t you continue? Those records were great. You should have made more.’ I always say, ‘Well, I know. I would have loved to continue with The Firm, but it’s something that was simply out of my hands.'”

So, Chris Slade believes that Jimmy Page decided the Firm would disband because he thought there was a chance that a Led Zeppelin reunion could happen. Moreover, the Firm couldn’t go on without Page and Rodgers because there were no replacements for them.