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Jimmy Page: 'Led Zeppelin's first rehearsal was a life-changing experience'

Jimmy Page at 'Led Zeppelin By Led Zeppelin' launch © REX/Shutterstock

Jimmy Page says the very first Led Zeppelin rehearsal in London in 1968 was "a life-changing experience" for everybody in the band.

To promote the band’s official picture book ‘Led Zeppelin By Led Zeppelin’, which is released tomorrow (Tuesday 9th October), Jimmy Page spoke to CBS This Morning at the book’s launch at London’s National Portrait Gallery last month.

Asked by interviewer Charlie D'Agata whether there was a moment when Led Zeppelin got together and he thought ‘wow’, Jimmy responded: “Well the very first rehearsal that we did was here in London in a rehearsal room where we had maybe an hour or two hours.

“We counted ‘one, two, three, four’ and we were in and we were all playing and we just kept extending the song and jamming on it and by the end of it I absolutely guarantee that it was a life-changing experience for everybody from that point. Y’know everyone knew that they’d never played with musical equals (before).”

Explaining that it was imperative that Led Zeppelin played some shows before laying down ‘Led Zeppelin I’, Jimmy said: “The first gig was in Scandinavia (at Gladsaxe Teen Club, Denmark on 7th September 1968) because I was very keen to be able to have the group playing in front of an audience before we went in the studio.”

Reflecting on his early vision for the band, Jimmy added: “I knew that the way to do it was to have four musicians that were really locked in tight and everybody could be heard on the record, so that it wasn’t just about one person but the overall.”

Featuring input from Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, ‘Led Zeppelin By Led Zeppelin’ is being released as part of the band’s 50th anniversary celebrations.  

According to publishers Reel Art Press, the book ‘covers the group’s unparalleled musical career and features photographs of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham on and offstage, in candid moments and in the recording studio.’

They add: ‘This definitive 400-page volume includes previously unpublished photos, artwork from the Led Zeppelin archives and contributions from photographers around the world.’

You can watch the book’s trailer right here:

Feature: 50 facts about Led Zeppelin’s iconic album covers

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