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"We'd drink JD together…" John Miles on Jimmy Page

“I’d never met Jimmy before we started working together in ’87 on Outrider. His manager called to ask if I’d be interested in doing some writing. So I went down to his studio and we wrote Wasting My Time, Wanna Make Love and a few other things. We’d both jam and come up with riffs. It took a while to get to know him, but we hit it off. And I discovered he had a wicked sense of humour. Then he decided he was going to take the album on the road and he said to me one day: ‘Can you do it?’

“Most of the shows were in America. And I felt a lot of pressure having to sing Robert Plant’s songs – I think Jimmy felt pressured too. I remember Robert turned up at a gig in Boston. Jimmy didn’t want him anywhere near the building, so Robert turned up in a baseball cap and disguise.

“There wasn’t really much time off, but when there was, Jimmy and I used to drink Jack Daniel’s together. I remember flying to a gig in New Orleans on a private plane. As I was sitting with Jimmy, talking, I looked out of the window and there were fucking flames coming out of the engine. So we just had a couple more drinks! It was surreal.

“There were ideas left over from Outrider, but we never got round to doing anything with them. There was talk of making another album, but I felt the whole Zeppelin thing was pulling Jimmy back into that. The demand for a reunion was just ridiculous. So any plans we had just went by the wayside.

“My favourite memory of Jimmy? Just being on stage with him. He’d be standing there with sweat and snot everywhere – and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. It was just incredible to turn around and see him playing with all his might.”

Rob Hughes
Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.