Revisiting that Led Zeppelin / Limp Bizkit / Puddle Of Mudd collaboration you'd probably forgotten all about

Jimmy Page, Fred Durst and Wes Scantlin at the MTV Music Awards show in 2011
Jimmy Page, Fred Durst and Wes Scantlin at the MTV Music Awards show in Frankfurt (Image credit: John Rogers)

When Jimmy Page appeared at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony last month, it was his first live performance since 2011, when he'd guested with Donovan, the Black Crowes and Roy Harper at three shows.

In the decade prior, Page had been a little busier. There was Led Zeppelin's historic Celebration Day show at London's O2 in 2007, of course. And his jubilant turn with John Paul Jones as the pair played with Foo Fighters at Wembley Stadium the following year. But one performance isn't looked back on with such rose-tinted affection.

In 2001, the MTV Europe Music Awards were held in Frankfurt. Limp Bizkit won three awards, beating Destiny's Child, Gorillaz, R.E.M. and U2 in the Best Group category, while Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water picked up the prize for best album, and the band's website won the inaugural (and short-lived) Web Award. Guitarist Wes Borland had left the band previous month, and frontman Fred Durst needed some musical support for his performance at the show, so he called on Puddle Of Mudd frontman Wes Scantlin... and Jimmy Page.

The performance begins with Durst and Scantlin seated onstage. They play Led Zeppelin's Thank You, with Scantlin delivering a rather clunky version of Page's guitar part. Durst sings and it's OK. Scantlin joins in on the chorus and their voices work well together. And then it's time for the special guest.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," says Durst. "Mr Jimmy Page. The one and only."

Page strolls on with a double-neck acoustic guitar, and it falls apart. His loose style is at odds with Scantlin's stiff approach, and the pair drift apart almost immediately, struggling to stay in sync with each other. Sometimes it sounds like they're competing. Occasionally, it feels like one of those viral YouTube videos where someone has replaced the original live audio with a badly-played substitute. You know, for the LOLs. 

Feedback beneath the YouTube clip is not kind. 

"Just watched and listened to the desecration of a great song," writes shark3939, while alexandergenov adds, "When you talk about the poor performance of Led Zeppelin at Live Aid, wait till you hear this one."

"Having Jimmy Page on was a bad move," says stephenprice154. "It just accentuated what terrible musicians they are. Durst can't sing and Scantlin has no sense of rhythm."

"Jimmy Page is my hero but this is not good," adds briano.5746, as djmoisesmancera simply says, "Worst version ever. Shame." 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.