How Jimmy Page Convinced Robert Plant To Form Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin set the blueprint for many rock bands with their legacy and massive influence. When Robert Plant’s charismatic and powerfully dynamic stage presence and unmistakable voice, John Paul Jones’ elaborate and creative bass playing, John Bonham’s explosive and innovative drumming style, and Jimmy Page’s virtuoso guitar playing all came together, the achievement of such a tremendous success was probably inevitable.
Thanks to the collaboration of outstanding musicians with varied influences, the group did astonishingly versatile works, which allowed them to produce pieces in blues, hard rock, progressive, and folk, along with many other genres. The band’s founding story is also fascinating and inspiring. Let’s see how Jimmy Page convinced Robert Plant to take a mutual path by forming one of the most influential bands of all time, Led Zeppelin.
What Did Jimmy Page Say To Robert Plant To Form Led Zeppelin?
After spending the prior two years playing in the Yardbirds, Jimmy Page was without a band around in 1968, which led the guitarist to look for other options to continue his musical journey. While forming a new band seemed appealing, Page needed passionate and talented members like himself. So, he first went to Terry Reid to fill in the lead singer position. Reid rejected the offer but suggested Robert Plant, who was then performing with the Band of Joy and Hobbstweedle.
In an interview with Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman in 1976, Jimmy Page praised Plant’s voice quality by describing it as striking. Then, the interviewer asked the guitarist how he first approached Robert Plant to offer him to be the lead singer of Led Zeppelin. In his initial conversation with Plant, Page first referred to his conversation with Terry Reid, who had suggested the singer.
Then, he told Plant that they could go to his place and spend some time together if the singer was interested in hearing about what he wanted to do. The guitarist wished to see if they shared a similar approach to music. If they did, they could take things further. Later, they realized they got along well, which would become apparent in the following years. Jimmy Page made him listen to some demos he planned to work on in Led Zeppelin. It turned out that Plant was interested in everything he wanted to do, which marked the beginning of the band.
Jimmy Page speaking on how he convinced Robert Plant to form Led Zeppelin:
“Well, I made reference to Terry Reid, and I said, ‘You know, I think we should get together if you are interested, come down and spend some time at my place. We will go through some sounds and records and see if we’ve got the same idea. If we are sympathetic, take it on from there.’ He knew there was this thing of forming a group, and then we seemed to get on pretty well.
He was very bluesy-oriented, and of course, I’ve been through that as well. Then I played him a lot of other things which I planned to sort of attempt like ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’ and things like that, which had a totally different approach to the way that it originally been done by Joan Baez. He seemed to be into all of these things, so it was definitely on.”
It looks like the two had formed a strong bond from the beginning, which helped them immensely in their Led Zeppelin days. Although they disbanded in 1980 following the death of John Bonham, the two names didn’t cut ties and have kept collaborating in various works.