Jimmy Page has revealed why Led Zeppelin didn’t continue after the 1980 death of drummer John Bonham.
“Led Zeppelin wasn't a corporate entity,” Page tells Rolling Stone. “Led Zeppelin was an affair of the heart. Each of the members was important to the sum total of what we were. I like to think that if it had been me that wasn't there, the others would have made the same decision. And what were we going to do? Create a role for somebody, say, ‘You have to do this, this way?’ That wouldn't be honest.”
The group reunited for 1985’s Live Aid charity concert, joined by drummers Phil Collins and Tony Thompson (Chic), and Atlantic Records' 40th Anniversary concert in 1988 with Bonham’s son, Jason, behind the kit.
Neither Page or Robert Plant were pleased with the results of either performance, so they made sure to get it right for the December 10, 2007 concert at London’s O2 Arena tribute concert for friend and Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun.
“There were attempts [at reunion] that didn't work – trying to push it together in a hurry,” explains Page. “That's why the  show had to be done with such intent – rehearsing as much as we could so Jason felt he was part of the band as opposed to a novelty. He was filling big shoes, and we needed all of that.”
At a London press conference and playback last month of the band’s latest reissues – "Led Zeppelin IV" and "Houses Of The Holy" – Page skillfully avoided answering questions about more reunion shows.
“Well, it's painful, isn't it?”, said Page, who clearly wanted the group to move forward with Jason after the 2007 event.
As an ongoing war or words in the press between the guitarist and Plant over the subject has played out in recent years, Page was asked if things had gotten out of hand.
“It's all right for soundbites. But I can't be bothered anymore,” he says. “I'm not interested in all that silliness. I don't think it's fun. So I'll say nothing.”
This past week, Led Zeppelin premiered an animated video for their unreleased version of “Rock And Roll” as a preview to the expanded reissue of 1971’s “Led Zeppelin IV.”
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