Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Steven Tyler talks Led Zeppelin -- past and, uh, future? Howard Stern show recap

Photo by Daigo Oliva
An interview conducted live on the Howard Stern show today sheds some light on what Jimmy Page has been, and may still be, up to.

In the "surprise guest's" interview, Aerosmith singer and "American Idol" judge Steven Tyler said he turned down an offer to do some songwriting with Led Zeppelin's guitarist.

Still, Tyler's interview ended with a comment, maybe made in jest, that he might be performing soon with Led Zeppelin.

The conversation first delved into the subject of Zep when Stern, surprised by his guest's appearance, suddenly asked if Tyler really did audition for Led Zeppelin, as reports stated in October 2008.

A one-off Led Zeppelin concert in December 2007 saw Page reunited with Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, along with Jason Bonham, son of original drummer John Bonham. The following year, while Plant was on tour with Alison Krauss, the others were gathered together with hopes of continuing playing music together.

However, with Plant unavailable, they considered forming, instead, a new band. Statements to the effect that Led Zeppelin would continue with any singer other than Plant were untrue.

The story at one time was that Tyler had auditioned for Led Zeppelin, implying Plant would be replaced. Tyler, through his words in today's interview, may have callously reinforced that notion.

Stern asked if Tyler auditioned for Led Zeppelin, and the singer didn't exactly say no.

Tyler mentioned by name the man who was Jimmy Page's manager, Peter Mensch. Tyler said Mench called him to say that Led Zeppelin had "just played live and that Robert wouldn't play with them again." So he was asked, "Want to come over and jam with the guys?" Tyler said it was natural to jump at the opportunity.

However, when he and Page met face to face and was asked to record an album with him, Tyler turned that down due to his allegiance with Aerosmith.

Previously, a source said it was Page who turned down Tyler after an audition Page deemed "shambolic."

(That is enough to make one wonder how Page would do as an "American Idol" judge. Unafraid to express harsh opinions with words such as "shambolic," Page could be the new Simon Cowell!)

Tyler's overall message on the state of Aerosmith's future was that he would drop "American Idol" if faced with a conflict between being a judge and being a lead singer.

Tyler said he thinks he could have several ongoing projects and they wouldn't jeopardize his position with his bandmates in Aerosmith. For instance, he offered, he could play some Led Zeppelin shows.

Yep, that's right, Tyler said of Led Zeppelin: "I may do some dates with them, just a couple of one-offs." But it wouldn't be a barrier: "That doesn't mean I'm joining Zeppelin."

Anyway, catch Jimmy Page's take on how it really went down in 2008 with Jones and Bonham. And how Jones says it went down.


  1. On Steven Tyler's failed project with Jimmy Page:

    Note how drastically Steven Tyler's account differs from what's been revealed previously. A year ago, Joe Perry told the Guardian he'd heard Tyler's audition with Page was "shambolic," that the singer didn't know Led Zeppelin songs well enough, and it was a "group decision" that Tyler should go home.

    Another source, who is quoted in Mick Wall's Led Zeppelin biography "When Giants Walk the Earth" but not named, says Page sent Tyler packing for suggesting they involve a songwriter responsible for some of Aerosmith's later hits.

    For Tyler now to insist turning down Jimmy Page was solely his decision is unnerving.

    Lest we forget, Page's manager told RollingStone.com that whatever Page was up to at the time was not Led Zeppelin. Steven Tyler jamming in a room with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham does not constitute reuniting Led Zeppelin. Never did, never will.

    So nobody should be under the impression that Jimmy Page sought to replace Robert Plant in Led Zeppelin in 2008. Yet people still think that, which is also unnerving.

  2. Heaven help us...I don't ever want to hear Steven Tyler singing Led Zeppelin songs...that's just my opinion. Plant ain't coming back. He's moved on--and he's put out some terrific albums in recent years. My favorite is Mighty Rearranger.

  3. "Train Kept a Rollin" is the essential link between Aerosmith and Jimmy Page. Jimmy used to play some guest appearances with Aerosmith at their concerts. I'm sure that the meeting was to jam and see what each party had to offer outside of Zeppelin. It's only natural that those present would play an Aerosmith and Zeppelin song or two. You have the lead singer of one of the bands and the string section of the other in one room playing together. It obviously didn't work out for likely musical direction purposes. I would love to hear what they sounded like, but wouldn't want a label of Zeppelin put on the material.
    Robert J. Dudas

  4. Jon Anderson, Roger Daltrey, Alice Cooper, Gene Simmons/Paul Stanley, Mick Jagger, Greg Allman, Ozzy, Eric Clapton (the half that sings), Don Henley/Glenn Frey and the list goes on. None of these singers have forgotten their roots, or the fellow musicians, or the fans who got them where they are today, nope only Robert Plant has. I guess maybe he is tired of living his musical life in the shadows of Jimmy Page. And as far as I'm concerned everything released after Fate of nations all has the same vocal style. Yeah Bobby, rock on !!!


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