Jimmy Page Says Led Zeppelin’s Ninth LP Was to Be a ‘Keyboard Album’
Jimmy Page said Led Zeppelin’s ninth album would have been a keyboard-driven work if John Bonham’s death didn't bring the band to an end.
They confirmed their split in 1980, soon after the drummer died. In recent years, Page has revealed that conversations about a follow-up to 1979’s In Through the Out Door took place. In a new interview with Classic Rock, he offered a little more insight into the band's thinking, explaining that John Paul Jones’ new synthesizer would have played a leading part.
“John Bonham and I discussed what sort of shape the next album should be, because each album was different to the last,” Page said. “It just so happened that [1976’s] Presence was basically a guitar album, so, as John Paul Jones had his dream machine, it was only right to do a keyboard album. So we had been discussing what we’d do for the next one, and there were definite ideas of what we could do.”
In 2015, he said that he and Bonham had also talked about following the direction of “Bonzo's Montreux,” – an enhanced drum solo from 1976 and released on 1982’s Coda – for the new project. “He loved the riffs that I'd come up along with the way, he loved playing them, and he loved the whole sort of groove and swing to it, and he was keen to have a return to there on the next album, and so was I,” the guitarist recalled. “That's a good illustration of when he was given a chance to make a drum orchestra, you can hear the attitude of it. But it would have had everybody's personality combined in it.”
In the new interview, Page noted that recent coronavirus restrictions came with a silver lining. “One of the things I was complaining about before we all had to lockdown was that I wasn’t having enough time to play guitar,” he said. “I was able to actually say, ‘Well, this is it. You can do it every day now.’ So, it’s given me an opportunity to reconnect properly with the guitar.”
Asked about future projects, he replied: “I’m never not doing something, and I’m never not doing something that’s going to surprise people.”