Page and Plant, Rolling Stone
January 1975

The following conversations with Page and took place over a period of two weeks. We began over tea in Plant's suite at Chicago's Ambassador Hotel. The talk continued 3 days later in Page's darkened room. "It's still morning" he shivered, sitting, underneath a blanket on his sofa. "We may have to talk for three hours before I make any sense." The resulting interview, from which most of this material is taken, stretched into late afternoon. Page, a soft spoken man, apparently preferred candles to electric light. A visit to Plant several days later provided more material and one final visit with Page on the plane flight to New York supplied the remaining details.

It wasn't until Led Zeppelin's last American tour in '73 that the media fully acknowledged the band's popularity.

PLANT: We decided to hire our first publicity firm after we toured here in the summer of '72. That was the same summer that the Stones toured and we knew full well that we were doing more business than them. We were getting better gates in comparison to a lot of people who were constantly glorified in the press. So without getting too egocentric, we thought it was time that people heard something about us other than that we were eating women and throwing the bones out the window. That whole lunacy thing was all people knew about us and it was all word-of-mouth. All those times of lunacy were ok, but we aren't and never were monsters, just good-time boys, loved by their fans and hated by their critics.

Do you feel, any competition with the Stones ?

PAGE: Naw. I don't think of it that way. I don't feel any competition at all. The Stones are great and always have been. Jaggers lyrics are just amazing. Right on the ball every time. I mean, I know all about how we're supposed to be the biggest group in the world and all, but I don't ever think about it. I don't feel that competition enters into it. It's who makes good music and who doesn't... And who's managed to sustain themselves.

What motivates you at this point?

PAGE: I love playing. If it was down to just that, it would just be utopia. But it's not. It's airplanes, hotel rooms, limousines and armed guards standing outside rooms. I don't get off on that part of it at all. But its the price I'm willing to pay to get out and play. I was very restless over the last 18 months where we were laid off and worked on the album.

PLANT: There's a constant conflict, really, within me. As much as I really enjoy what I do at home . . . I play on my own little soccer team and I've been taking part in the community and living the life of any ordinary guy, I always find myself wistful and enveloped in a feeling I can't really get out of my system. I miss this band when we aren't playing. I have to call Jimmy up or something to appease that restlessness. The other night when we played for the first time again I found the biggest smile on my mouth.

What's this rumor, Jimmy about a solo album?

PAGE: Chalk that off to Keith Richard's sense of humor. I did what could possibly be the next Stones B side. It was Rick Grech, Keith and me doing a number called "Scarlet." I can't remember the drummer. It sounded very similar in style and mood to those Blonde on Blonde tracks.. It was great, really good. We stayed up all night and went down to Island Studios where Keith put some reggae guitars over one section. I just put some solos on it, but it was eight in the morning or the next day before I did that. He took the tapes to Switzerland and someone found out about them. Keith told people that it was track from my album. I don't need to do a solo album and neither does anybody else in the band. The chemistry is such that there's nobody in the background who's so frustrated that he has to bring out his own LPs. I don't really like doing that Townshend number of telling everybody exactly what to play. I don't like that too much. A group's a group after all, isn't it? I've managed to continue undaunted in the midst of such criticism, especially in the early days of Zeppelin.

How much do you believe in yourself?

PAGE: I may not believe in myself but I believe in what I'm doing. I know where I'm going musically. I can see my pattern and I'm going much slower than I thought I'd be going . I can tell how far I ought to be going, I know how to get there, all I've got to do is keep playing. That might sound a bit weird because of all the John McLaughlins who sound like they're in outer space or something. Maybe it's the tortoise and the hare. I'm not a guitarist as far as a techcian goes, I just pick it up and play it. Technique doesn't come into it. I deal in emotions. It's the harmonic side that's important. That's the side I expected to be further along on than I am now. That just means to say that I've got to keep at it.. There's such a wealth of arts and styles within the instrument . . flamenco, jazz, rock, blues... you name it it's there. In the early days my dream was to fuse all those styles. Now composing has become just as important. Hand- hand with that, I think it's time to travel, start gathering some real right-in-there experiences with street musicians around the world. Moroccan musicians, Indian musicians - - - it could be a good time to travel around now. This year. I don't know how everyone else is gonna take that, but that's the direction I'm heading in right now. This week, I'm a gypsy. Maybe next week it'll be glitter rock.

What would you gain from your travels?

PAGE: Are you kidding? God. you know what you can gain when you sit down with the Moroccans. As a person and as a musician. That's how you grow. Not by living like this ordering up room service in hotels. It's got to be the opposite end of the scale. The balance has got to swing exactly the opposite. To the point where maybe I'll have an instrument and nothing else. I used to travel like that a long while ago. There's no reason I can't do it again. There's always this time thing. You can't buy time. Everything, for me, seems to be a race against time. Especially musically. I know what I want to get down and I haven't got much time to do it in. I had another idea of getting a traveling medicine wagon with a dropdown side and traveling around England. That might sound crazy to you, but over there it's so rural you can do it. Just drop down the side and play through big battery amps and mixers and it can be as temporary or as permanent as I want it to be. I like change and I like contrast. I don't like being stuck in one situation, day to day. Domesticity and all that isn't really for me. Sitting in this hotel for a week is no picnic. That's when the road fever starts and that's when the breakage's start, but I haven't gotten to that stage yet. I've been pretty mellow so far. Mind you, were only into the tour a week.

How well do you remember your first American tour?

PLANT: Nineteen years and never been kissed, I remember it well. It's been a long time. Nowadays we're more into staying in our rooms and reading Nietzsche. There was good fun to be had, you know, it's just that in those days there were more people to have good fun with than there are now. The States were much more fun.. L.A. was L.A. It's not L.A. now. L.A infested with jaded 12-year-olds is not the L.A. that I really dug. It was the first place I ever landed in America: the first time I ever saw a cop with a gun, the first time I ever saw a 20-foot-long car. There were a lot of fun-loving people to crash into. People were genuinely welcoming us to the country and we started out on a path of positive enjoyment. Throwing eggs from floor to floor and really silly water battles and all the good fun that a 19-year-old boy should have. It was just the first steps of learning how to be crazy. We met a lot of people who we still know and a lot of people who have faded away. Some Died. Some of them just grew up. I don't see the point in growing up.

You seem sincerely depressed over the matter.

PLANT: Well, I am. I haven't lost my innocence particularly.I'm always ready to pretend I haven't. Yeah, it is a shame in a way.And it's a shame to see these young chicks bungle their lives away in a flurry and rush to compete with what was in the old daysthe goodtime relationships we had with the GTOs and people like that.When it came to looning, they could give us as much of a looningas we could give them. It's a shame, really. If you listento "Sick Again," a track from Physical Graffiti, the words showI feel a bit sorry for them. "Clutchin pages from your teenage dreamin the lobby of the Hotel Paradise/Through the circus of the L.A.queen how fast you learn the downhill slide." One minute she's 12and the next minute she's 13 and over the top. Such a shame.They haven't got the style that they had in the old days... wayback in '68. The last time I was in L.A. I got very bored.Boredom is a horrible thing. Boredom is the beginning of alldestruction and everything that is negative. Every place isdetermined by the characters who are there . It's just thatthe character rating at the moment has zeroed right out.Of course, I enjoy it all, but as a total giggle. It's funny.I miss it all the clamor. The whole lot. It's all a big rush.>From the shit houses to the classiest hotels, it's all been fun.>From the Shadowbox Motel. where the walls crumbled during the nightseven years ago, to the Plaza, where the attorney general stayingone floor above complained about me playing Little Feat recordstoo loud last night.

Do you feel you have to top yourselves with each album?

PAGE: NO. Otherwise I would have been totally destroyedby the reviews of our last album, wouldn't I? You see,this is the point. I just don't care. I don't care whatcritics and other people think. So far I've been very,very fortunate because it appears that people like tohear the music I like to play. What more fortunate positioncan a musician be in? But I will still carry on changingall the time. You can't expect to be the same person youwere three years ago. Some people expect you to be and can'tcome to terms with the fact that if a year has elapsed betweenLPs, that means one year's worth of changes. The materialconsequently is affected by that, the lyrics are affected by that.. the music too. I don't feel I have to top myself at all.It took a long time for this album mainly because when weoriginally went in to record it, John Paul Jones wasn't welland we had to cancel the time . . . everything got messed up.It took three months to sort the situation out.

How does it feel to be your own record company executives?

PAGE: I guess we are our own executives now, aren't we? Listen,give us time with Swan Song. You'll be surprised. We've gotsome good things lined up. I think the Pretty Things LPis brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. We're executives and allthat crap, but I'll tell you one thing the label was neverright from the top Led Zeppelin records. It's designed to bringin other groups and promote acts that have had raw deals in the past.It's a vehicle for them and not for us to just make a fewextra pennies over the top. That's the cynical way of lookingat a record company. People have been asking me whetherI'll be doing any producing for the label. I don't know.I'm just too involved with Zeppelin. I was offered a chance,a long-standing one too-to produce Freddie King. Which I'd loveto do. But I need time to work on it.

Do you feel that the music business is sagging in any way?

PAGE: People always say that amidst their search for The NextBig Thing. The only real woomph was when the Stones and Beatlescame over. But it's always said, " The business is dying!" Idon't think so. There's too many good musicians around forthe music business to be sagging. There's so many different stylesand facets of the 360-degree music sphere to listen to.>From tribal to classical music, it's all there. If the bottomwas to sag out of that, for God's sake, help us all.If there was never another record made, I think there's enoughmusic recorded and in the vaults everywhere for me tobe happy forever. Then again, I can listen to all differentsorts of music. I don't really care about The Next BigThing. It's interesting when something new comes along,a band of dwarfs playing electronic harps or something,but I'm not searching. Look at Bad Company and the Average WhiteBand. Those guys have all been around in one form or anotherfor a very long time. How many of the new ones comingthrough have really got a lot of substance? In Britain, I'mafraid there's not much at all. We've got to deal with SuziQuatro and Mud. It's absurd. Top Ten shouldn't be crap, but it is.

How difficult was the first Led Zeppelin album to put together?

PAGE: It came together really quick. It was cut very shortlyafter the band was formed. Our only rehearsal was a two-weektour of Scandinavia that we did as the New Yardbirds.For material, we obviously went right down to our bluesroots. I still had plenty of Yardbirds riffs left over.By the time Jeff [Beck] did go, it was up to me to come up witha lot of new stuff. It was this thing where Clapton set a heavyprecedent in the Yardbirds which Beck had to follow and thenit was even harder for me, in away, because the second leadguitarist had suddenly become the first. And I was under pressureto come up with my own riffs. On the first LP I was stillheavily influenced by the earlier days. I think it tells a bit, too.The album was made in three weeks. It was obvious that somebody hadto take the lead, otherwise we'd have all sat around jammingfor six months. But after that, on the second LP, you can reallyhear the group identity coming together.

PLANT: That first album was the first time that headphonesmeant anything to me. What I heard coming back to me over the canswhile I was singing was better than the finest chick in allthe land. It had so much weight, so much power, it was, devastating.I had a long ways to go with my voice then, but at the same timethe enthusiasm and spark of working with Jimmy's guitar showsthrough quite well. It was all very raunchy then. Everything wasfitting together into a tradernark for us. We were learningwhat got us off most and what got people off most, and whatwe knew got more people back to the hotel after the gig.We made no money on the first tour. Nothing at all.Jimmy put in every penny that he'd gotten from the Yardbirdsand that wasn't much. Until Peter Grant took them over,they didn't make the money they should have made. So we madethe album and took off on a tour with a road crew of one.

Jimmy, you once told me that you thought life was a gamble. What did you mean?

PAGE: So many people are frightened to take a chance in lifeand there's so many chances you have to take. You can't justfind yourself doing something and not happy doing it.If you're working at the factory and you're cursing every daythat you get up, at all costs get out of it. You'll just makeyourself ill. That's why I say I'm very fortunate because Ilove what I'm doing. Seeing people's faces, really getting offon them, makes me incredibly happy. Genuinely.

What gambles have you taken?

PAGE: I'll give you a gamble. I was in a band, I won't givethe name because it's not worth knowing about, but itwas the sort of band where we were travelling around all thetime in a bus. I did that for two years after I left school,to the point where I was starting to get really good bread.But I was getting ill. So I went back to art college.And that was a total change in direction. That's why I sayit's possible to do. As dedicated as I was to playingthe guitar, I knew doing it that way was doing me in forever.Every two months I had glandular fever. So for the next18 months I was living on ten dollars a week and getting mystrength up. But I was still playing.

PLANT: Let me tell you a little story behind the song '"Ten YearsGone" on our new album. I was working my ass off before joiningZeppelin. A lady I really dearly loved said, "Right. It'sme or your fans." Not that I had fans, but I said, "I can't stop,I've got to keep going." She's quite content these days, I imagine.She's got a washing machine that works by itself and a little sports-car. We wouldn't have anything to say anymore. I could probablyrelate to her, but she couldn't relate to me. I'd be smiling too much.Ten years gone, I'm afraid. Anyway, there's a gamble for you.

PAGE: Ill give you another one. I was at art college and started to dosessionwork. Believe me, a lot of guys would consider that to bethe apex- studio work. I left that to join the Yardbirds at a thirdof the bread because I wanted to play again. I didn't feel I wasplaying enough in the studio. I was doing three studio dates a dayand I was becoming one of those sort of people that I hated.

What was the problem with session work?

PAGE: Certain sessions were really a pleasure to do, but the problemwas that you never knew what you weregonna do. You might haveheard that I played on a Burt Bacharach record. It's true.I never knew what I was doing. You just got booked into aparticular studio at the hours of two and five thirty. Sometimesit would be somebody you were happy to see. other times it was,"What am I doing here?". When I started doing sessions, theguitar was in vogue. I was playing solos every day. Then afterwards,when the Stax thing was going on and you got whole brass sectionscoming in, I ended up hardly playing anything, just a littleriff here and there .. . no solos. And I remember one particularoccasion when I hadn't played a solo for, quite literally, a coupleof months. And I was asked to play a solo on a rock & roll thing.I played it and felt that what I'd done was absolute crap. I was sodisgusted with myself that I made my mind up that I had to get outof it. It was messing me right up.

And how do you look back on your days with the Yardbirds?

PAGE: I have really good memories. Apart from one tour thatnearly killed us, it was so intense, apart from thatit was a great group to play in. I've never regretted anythingI've ever done. Any musician would have jumped at the chance toplay in that band. It was particularly good when Jeff and I wereboth doing lead guitar. It really could have been built into somethingexceptional at that point, but unfortunately there's precious littleon wax of that particular point. There's only "Stroll On"from the Blow-Up film-that was quite funny-and "Happenings Ten YearsTime Ago" and "Daisy." We just didn't get into the studio too muchat that time. Obviously, there were ups and downs. Everybody wantsto know about the feuds and personality conflicts . I don't thinkthat it ever got really evil.. It never got that bad. If it waspresented in the right way, maybe a Yardbirds reunion albumwould be a good thing to do someday. Somehow I can't see Jeff doingit, though. He's a funny bloke.

You live in Aleister Crowley's home. Crowley was a poet and magician at the turn of the century and was notorious for his Black Magic rites-Ed.l

PAGE: Yes, it was owned by Aleister Crowley. But there weretwo or three owners before Crowley moved into it. It was alsoa church that was burned to the ground with the congregation init. And that's the site of the house. Strange: things havehappened in that house that had nothing to do with Crowley.The bad vibes were already there. A man was beheaded there andsometimes you can hear his head rolling down. I haven'tactually heard it, but a friend of mine, who is extremelystraight and doesn't know anything about anything like thatat all, heard it. He thought it was the cats bunglingabout. I wasn't there at the time, but he told the help,"Why don't you let the cats out at night? They make aterrible racket, rolling about in the halls." And they said,'The cats are locked in a room every night." Then they toldhim the story of the house. So that sort of thing was therebefore Crowley got there. Of course, after Crowley therehave been suicides, people carted off to mental hospitals...

And you have no contacts with any of the spirits?

PAGE: I didn't say that. I just said I didn't hear the head roll.

What's your attraction to the place?

PAGE: The unknown. I'm attracted by the unknown, but I takeprecautions. I don't go walking into things blind.

Do you feel safe in the house?

PAGE: Yeah. Well, all my houses are isolated. Many is the timeI just stay home alone. I spend a lot of time near water.Crowley's house is in Loch Ness, Scotland. I have another housein Sussex, where I spend most of my time. It's quite near London.It's moated and terraces off into lakes. I mean, I couldtell you things, but it might give people ideas.A few things have happened that would freak some people out,but I was surprised actually at how composed I was. I don't reallywant to go on about my personal beliefs or my involvement in magic.I'm not trying to do a Harrison or a Townshend. I'm not interestedin turning anybody on to anybody that I'm turned on to .. .if people want to find things, they find them themselves. I'm a firmbeliever in that.

What did .you think about your portrayal in "Rock Dreams'? As a guitar Mafioso along with Alvin Lee, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton?

PAGE: There's nothing about Zeppelin in there at all.The artist spends his whole time masturbating over theStones in that book, doesn't he? The Stones in drag andthings like that. When I first saw that book, I thought,aw, this is really great. But when I really started to lookat it, there were things that I just didn't like. People canlaugh at this, but I didn't like to see a picture of Ray Charlesdriving around in the car with his arm around a chick.It's tasteless. But the guy's French, so what can we say?Ray Charles is blind. What kind of humor is that? They maybe his rock dreams, but they. sure aren't mine.Out of all the guitarists to come out of the Sixties, thoughBeck. Clapton, Lee, Townshend and I are still having ago. That says something. Beck, Clapton and me were sort ofthe Richmond/Croydon type clan, and Alvin Lee, I don't knowwhere he came from. Lester or something like that. So he was neverin with it a lot. And Townshend, Townshend was from Middlesexand he used to go down to the clubs and watch the other guitarists.I didn't meet him, though, until "I Can't Explain." I was doingthe session guitar work on that. I haven't seen Townshend in years.But I suppose we've all kept going and tried to do better andbetter and better. I heard some stuff from Beck's solo LPrecently that was fucking brilliant. Really good. But I don't know,it's all instrumental and it's a guitarist's guitar LP, I think.He's very mellow and Beck at his best can be very tasty.

Have you seen Eric Clapton with his new band?

PAGE: Oh. Eric. Fucking hell, Eric. Yes, I saw him with hisnew band and also at his Rainbow concert. At least at the Rainbowhe had some people with some balls with him. He had Townshend andRonnie Wood and Jimmy Karstein and [Jim Capaldi. "Pearly Queen"was incredible.. And I would have thought that after that, he wouldhave said, "Right, I'm gonna get English musicians." Ever sincehe's been with American musicians, he's laid back further and further.I went over to see him after he'd done his Rainbow concert and itwasn't hard to sense his total disappointment that Derek and theDominoes were never really accepted. It must have been a bigthing for him that they didn't get all the acclaim that the Cream did.But the thing is, when ,a band has a certain chemistry, like the Creamhad .. . wow, the chances of recreating that again are how manybillion to one. It's very, very difficult. The key to Zeppelin'slongevity has been change. We put out our first LP; then a secondone that was nothing like the first, then a third LP totallydifferent from them, and on it went. I know why we got a lot ofbad press on our albums. People couldn't understand, a lot of reviewerscouldn't understand why we put out an LP like Zeppelin ll,then followed it up with lll with "That's the Way" and acoustic numberslike that on it. They just couldn't understand it.The fact was that Robert and I had gone away-to Bron-Y-Aur cottagein Wales and started writing songs. Christ. that was thematerial we had. so we used it. It was nothing like, "We gotto do some heavy rock &roll because that's what our image demands..."Album-wise, it usually takes a year for people to catch up withwhat we're doing.

Why did you go to Bron-Y-aur cottage for the third album?

PLANT: It was time to step back, take stock and not get lostin it all. Zeppelin was starting to get very big and wewanted the rest of our journey to take a pretty level course.Hence, the trip into the mountains and the beginningof the ethereal Page and Plant. I thought we'd be able toget a little peace and quiet and get your actual Californian,Marin County blues. which we managed to do in Wales rather thanSan Francisco. It was a great place. "The Golden Breast"is what the name means. The place is in a little valley andthe sun always moves across it. There's even a track on thenew album, a little acoustic thing, that Jimmy got togetherup there. It typifies the days when we used to chug aroundthe countryside in jeeps. It was a good idea to go there. Wehad written quite a bit of the second album on the road.It was a real road album, too. No matter what the criticssaid, the proof in the pudding was that it got a lot of peopleoff. The reviewer for ROLLING STONE, for instance,just a frustrated musician. Maybe I'm just flying my own littleego ship, but sometimes people resent talent. I don't evenremember what the criticism was, but as far as I'm concerned,it was a good, maybe even great, road album.The third album was the album of albums. If anybody had uslabeled as a heavy metal group, that destroyed them.

But there were acoustic numbers on the very first album.

PAGE: That's it! There you go. When the third LP came outand got its reviews, Crosby, Stills and Nash had just formed.That LP had just come out and because acoustic guitarhad come to the forefront, all of a sudden: LED ZEPPELIN GOACOUSTIC! I thought, Christ, where are their heads and ears?There were three acoustic songs on the first album and twoon the second.

You talk of this "race against time," Jimmy. Where do you think you'll be at 40?

PAGE: I don't know whether I'll reach 40. I don't knowwhether I'll reach 35. I can't be sure about that. I'm bloodyserious. I am very serious I didn't think I'd make 30.

Why not ?

PAGE: I just had this fear. Not fear of dying, but just...wait a minute, let's get this right. I just felt that. .. Iwouldn't reach 30. That's all there was to it. It was somethingin me, something inbred. I'm over 30 now, but I didn't expectto be here. I wasn't having nightmares about it, but . . .I'm not afraid of death. That is the greatest mystery of all.That'll be it, that one. But it's all a race against time. Younever know what can happen. Like breaking my finger. I couldhave broken my whole hand and been out of action for two years.

You've been criticized for writing "dated flower-child gibberish" Iyrics...

PLANT: How can anybody be a "dated flower child"? Theessence of the whole trip was the desire for peace andtranquillity and an idyllic situation. That's all anybodycould ever want so how could it be "dated flowerchild gibberish"?If it is, then I'll just carry on being a dated flower child.I put a lot of work into my lyrics. Not all my stuff is meantto be scrutinized, though. Things like "Black Dog" are blatantlet's-do-it-in-the bath- type things, but they make theirpoint just the same. People listen. Otherwise, you might as wellsing the menu from the Continental Hyatt House.

How important was "Stairway to Heaven" to you?

PAGE: To me, I thought "Stairway" crystallized the essenceof the band. lt had everything there and showed the band atits best... as a band, as a unit. Not talking about solos oranything, it had everything there. We were careful neverto release it as a single. It was a milestone for us.Every musician wants to do something of lasting quality,something which will hold up for a long time and I guesswe did it with "Stairway". Townshend probably thoughtthat he got it with Tommy. I don't know whether I have theability to come up with more. I have to do a lot of hardwork before I can get anywhere near those stages of consistent,total brilliance. I don't think there are too many peoplewho are capable of it. Maybe one. Joni Mitchell. That'sthe music that I play at home all the time, Joni Mitchell.Court and Spark I love because I'd always hoped that she'dwork with a band. But the main thing with Joni is thatshe's able to look at something that's happened to her,draw back and crystallize the whole situation then writeabout it. She brings tears to my eyes, what more can I say?It's bloody eerie. I can relate so much to what she says."Now old friends are acting strange/They shake their heads/They say l've changed." I'd like to know how many of heroriginal friends she's got. I'd like to know how many ofthe original friends any well-known musician has got.You'd be surprised. They think-particularly that thing ofchange, they all assume that you've changed. For the worse.There are very few people I can call real close friends.They're very. very precious to me.

Now how about you?

PLANT: I live with the people I've always lived with. I'mquite content. It's like the remnants of my old Beatnik days.All my old mates, it lends to a lot of good company. There'sno unusual reaction to my trip at all because I've known themso long. Now and again there will be the occasional jokeabout owing someone two dollars from the days in '63 whenI was a broke blues singer with a washboard, but it'sgood. I'm happy.

Do you have any favorite American guitarists?

PAGE: Well, let's see, we've lost the best guitarist any ofus ever had and that was Hendrix. The other guitarist Istarted to get into died also, Clarence White. He wasabsolutely brilliant. Gosh. On a totally different stylethe control, the guy who played on the Maria Muldaur single,"Midnight at the Oasis." Amos Garrett. He's Les Pauloriented and Les Paul is the one, really. We wouldn't beanywhere if he hadn't invented the electric guitar.Another one is Elliot Randall, the guy who guested on thefirst Steely Dan album. He's great. Bandwise, Little Featis my favorite American group. The only term I won'taccept is "genius." The term "genius" gets used far tooloosely in rock + roll. When you hear the melodic structuresof what classical musicians put together and you compareit to that of a rock + roll record, there's a hell of a longway rock + roll has to go. There's a certain standard inclassical music that allows the application of the term"genius," but you're treading on thin ice if you startapplying it to rock & rollers. The way I see it, rock & rollis folk music. Street music. lt isn't taught in school.It has to be picked up. You don't find geniuses in streetmusicians, but that doesn't mean to say you can't bereally good You get as much out of rock and roll artisticallyas you put into it. There's nobody who can't teach you.You're on your own and that's what I find so fascinating aboutit.

Last question. What did you think about President Ford's children naming Led Zeppelin as their favorite group on national television?

PLANT: I think it's really a mean deal that we haven't been invited around there for tea. Perhaps Jerry thought we'd wreck the joint. Now if we'd had a publicist three tours back he might be on the road with us now. I was pleased to hear that they like our music around the White House. It's good to know they've got taste.

Final comments?

PAGE: Just say that I'm still searching for an angel with a broken wing. It's not very easy to find them these days. Especially when you're staying at the Plaza Hotel.

© 1994-2002 All Rights Reserved.