Jimmy Page has recalled the moment a fortune teller predicted the massive success of Led Zeppelin – just before their formation.
He visited a palm-reader in Los Angeles while touring with the Yardbirds in 1968, and tour manager Richard Cole, who went on to work with Zep, accompanied him.
Page tells Rolling Stone: “It was on Sunset Boulevard, not far from the hotel. Richard was with me so I’ve got a witness. The key phrase was, ‘Your’e going to make a decision in a very short period of time that’s going to change your life.’
“Within 48 hours the other Yardbirds said they didn’t want to continue. I was disappointed – what we had going I was willing to do with them, whatever it was. I can understand how disillusioned they were, but I could see the trajectory. FM radio was happening. I knew what that meant to underground bands. I wanted an underground band, but one that would come through and make a difference.”
Zeppelin’s globetrotting career came to an end with the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980 – and Page maintains there was no other decision to make. He says: “Led Zeppelin wasn’t a corporate entity. 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. 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 guitarist appears to have come to terms with singer Robert Plant’s refusal to play any more reunion shows following the triumph of their 2007 appearance. Page says of their to-and-fro press comments of recent months: “I can’t be bothered any more. I don’t think it’s fun so I’ll say nothing.” Asked what he thinks of Plant’s solo work he replies: “It’s his journey, isn’t it?”
He recently told Classic Rock of his plans for a solo album, and insisted it wouldn’t exist in the shadow of Led Zep. The band are midway through the release of their remaster series and just launched an alternative version of classic track Rock And Roll. They’re currently embroiled in a lawsuit over Stairway To Heaven.