Jimmy Page’s Dream Lineup For Led Zeppelin
The process of forming a band could be challenging. The original lineups might change over time since bandmates often experience personal differences or creative disputes. The quest is not to find a fully pledged soldier, after all. All musical acts need creative minds with a good amount of dedication and talent.
Scott Weiland, for instance, shaped Stone Temple Pilots the way he wanted to. The band’s guitarist was one of Weiland’s good friends before the frontman met Dean DeLeo. When the singer encountered DeLeo and witnessed his talent, he decided to fire his friend and recruit Dean. The rocker didn’t hesitate to change the lineup of his band when he thought it was necessary.
Jimmy Page‘s original lineup for Led Zeppelin didn’t include any of the now-iconic members. Page initially wanted to recruit other well-known musicians to his newly formed band. However, the guitarist’s plans didn’t work out. He later disclosed the names he wanted for his original lineup, and one might wonder how the course of music history would change if Page’s plans had worked out.
Which Musicians Did Jimmy Page Want For His Desired Lineup?
After the dissolution of the Yardbirds, Page was determined to form a new band. He had multiple candidates in his mind, and he would list those names, the desired lineup of Led Zeppelin, during an interview in 1977. At the time, Page was recalling his collaboration with Jeff Beck and discussing his solo instrumental recording ‘Beck’s Bolero.’
Page explained that the recording’s name was inspired by composer Maurice Ravel’s ‘Bolero.’ The guitarist then claimed that he had written the guitar solos for Beck’s work even though Jeff had argued that he had. Even with all the drama surrounding the project, Jimmy Page said that ‘Beck’s Bolero’ had a good lineup, including the Who’s Keith Moon playing the drums.
The guitarist was then asked if that lineup was what he had in mind for Led Zeppelin. Page stated that even though the band’s name came afterward, that was the lineup he wanted. He also said that they later thought that Led Zeppelin would also suit the lineup Jimmy Page had in mind initially.
Jimmy disclosed that the lineup idea was formed when Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle wished to depart the Who, and all they needed was a vocalist. The guitarist remarked that they wanted Traffic’s Steve Winwood or Small Faces’ Steve Marriott. Eventually, they decided that Marriott would be the better choice, but when they invited him, Steve’s manager replied with a threat. The frontman couldn’t join because of his commitment to Small Faces.
The band’s dream lineup was ultimately dismissed since Marriott wasn’t recruited. Page emphasized that the band would be one of the first acts to gather famed rockers, just like Cream did. However, the project was dropped, and ‘Beck’s Bolero’ was the closest the lineup came to playing together.
Jimmy Page’s answer if the lineup of ‘Beck’s Bolero’ was going to be the original lineup of Led Zeppelin:
“It was, yeah. Not Led Zeppelin as a name; the name came afterwards. But it was said afterwards that that’s what it could have been called. Because Moony wanted to get out of The Who, and so did John Entwistle.
But when it came down to getting a hold of a singer, it was either going to be Steve Winwood or Steve Marriott. Finally, it came down to Marriott. He was contacted, and the reply came back from his manager’s office, ‘How would you like to have a group with no fingers, boys?’ Or words to that effect. So, the group was dropped because of Marriott’s commitment to Small Faces.
But I think it would have been the first of all those bands, sort of like the Cream and everything. Instead, it didn’t happen, apart from the ‘Bolero.’ That’s the closest it got.”
The Led Zeppelin icon’s dream lineup consisted of the Who’s Keith Moon and John Entwistle, Small Faces’ Steve Marriott, and Jeff Beck. The band seemed very promising as it would feature already-established rockers, but against all odds, Led Zeppelin became a household name without any of these names. Plant, Jones, and Bonham’s talent and dynamic, perhaps, proved to Page that their lineup was as good as his dream one.