The 71-year-old Brit receives in the legendary Olympic Studios, which today are a mixture of cinema, café and private club. And he turns out to be a talkative, but certain interlocutor who pursues only one goal: to polish up the Zeppelin's reputation in the long term. Critical questions do not fit into the concept. But these are quite appropriate for the work of the years 1976 to 1979.
eclipsed: Jimmy, is it hard for you to talk about these albums, which stand for the end of the band or the way there?
Jimmy Page: I like to talk about it, even though a lot of crap happened back then. As much bad luck as we couldn't actually have a band. This started with Robert having this car accident on Rhodes, where he suffered a complicated fracture of his foot.
eclipsed: Who was supposedly so heavy that there was a danger that he would never be able to walk properly again?
Page: I can't remember exactly. Anyway, he had a cast, he was in a wheelchair, he was on painkillers. Because the studio was booked, we went from LA to Munich and recorded the record [Presence] in three weeks and two days.
eclipsed: Why did you expect Robert and you to put up with this stress? Why didn't you just stay in LA?
Page: Because of the tax regulations that were rigorously reviewed at the time. Because rock stars meant money, and if they stayed too long in one country, they had to pay taxes there. So the Stones went to Southern France, Elton John was in LA, and we were somewhere in between. We couldn't go back to England and had to be careful not to stay too long in one place. It was a bit like running away. And that's why everything in Munich should happen very quickly.
eclipsed: Why you been working 20-hour shifts?
Page: I was on a real mission to finish it as quickly as possible and capture a lot of the intensity that was there in the studio. But, of course, the three weeks we had scheduled weren't enough. Unfortunately the Stones were already at the door and wanted to start their next album. Then I took Jagger aside and said, "Can you give me two more days to finish this?" And his generosity saved our ass in Munich. It would have been a giant theater to quickly find another studio and finish mixing the record there.
eclipsed: Why a heavy guitar album at all? Was this a reaction to the difficult genesis of "Presence"?
Page: Yes, it was because of the mood in the band at that time, which was very tense and found its outlet in the music.
eclipsed: So there was no room for ballads and folkloric elements?
Page: That wouldn't have fitted. And the songs show how we felt. It had a bit of a tensile test and the album was the reaction to it. It was a musical challenge.