The Supergroup Jimmy Page Formed To Survive The Led Zeppelin Breakup

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It must have been difficult for every Led Zeppelin member to continue their music careers after the disbandment of such a successful act. The initial reason for their split occurred when drummer John Bonham passed away on September 25, 1980, due to asphyxiation from vomit at 32. It was announced as an accidental death as his excessive alcohol use might have interacted with other substances he took.

Following Bonham’s death, the band canceled their North American tour, and it was unclear whether they would continue without the late drummer or not. There were some rumors that they would replace Bonham with a new drummer and keep going where they left off. However, the remaining band members were devastated by their bandmate’s death, and they thought they couldn’t catch that harmony with someone else. Thus, they decided to disband and go in different directions after the breakup.

What Did Jimmy Page Do After Led Zeppelin’s Disbandment?

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Like the other band members, John Bonham’s death and the subsequent disbandment significantly impacted Jimmy Page. He still didn’t give up on music and continued his career with solo acts and collaborations with many other artists. He made his first return to the stage when he joined Jeff Beck at a show in 1981. Later on, Page formed a supergroup named XYZ with Yes bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White.

Though they started their rehearsals, things didn’t go as planned, which is why the band members parted their ways. Some of the sessions’ material was revealed on bootlegs, which would be included in the band members’ upcoming projects. In 1982, Jimmy Page recorded the ‘Death Wish II‘ soundtrack with the director Michael Winner and the ‘Death Wish III‘ soundtrack.

In 1983, Page also performed with the A.R.S.M. for charity concerts. During these shows, the guitarist shared the same stage with Paul Rodgers, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck. Jimmy Page next teamed up with Roy Harper and contributed to his 1984 album named ‘Whatever Happened to Jugula?’ He also occasionally performed and recorded with his former bandmate, Robert Plant. Later on, Page probably thought it was the right time for him to form a new band, and the first name that came to his mind was Paul Rodgers.

Jimmy Page Formed A Supergroup With Paul Rodgers

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Jimmy Page had already performed with Paul Rodgers during the A.R.S.M. charity series of concerts, and the two had good chemistry on the stage. Regardless of the profound impact Led Zeppelin’s disbandment still had on the guitarist, he kept collaborating with many other artists. However, the musician was unsure about continuing with a new band after Zeppelin. Nevertheless, he wanted to see how it would work with Paul Rodgers and decided to form the Firm.

Here is how Jimmy Page talked about his decision to form the Firm:

“After the split, I just didn’t know what to do. I lived in a total vacuum. I didn’t know what I was doing. In the end, I went to Bali and just thought about things. And I wasn’t sitting on the beach because it was the rainy season! I sat in my room thinking. Then I thought, ‘Dammit, I’m going to do the Firm and see if it works.’ At my time of life, I should just do what I enjoy.”

At the time, Paul Rodgers had already parted ways with Bad Company. He decided to continue his career as a solo artist, so both Jimmy Page and Rodgers didn’t have a band. Their availability encouraged them to put together a new act that later included Tony Franklin and Chris Slade. The band later went into the studio to record new materials. Page and Rodgers didn’t want to use any material from their former bands; therefore, they worked on new songs.

The band released their self-titled debut album in 1985. Although it featured original material, the album was criticized for its funk-based sound since it wasn’t what the fans expected from the musicians, considering their background. Although it didn’t bring massive commercial success, it was still relatively successful in the charts.

The Firm’s second studio album, ‘Mean Business,’ also arrived in 1986. It was less successful compared to the first album. Quickly after the release of the second album, Page and Rodgers announced the band’s breakup. Both stated in their previous interviews that it was already intended to be a short-term project, and they didn’t plan to release more than two albums. Hence, the band ended with their joint decision, although they seemed to have potential.

You can listen to the Firm’s two albums below.