“There was a duality to Led Zeppelin. One was live concerts. The other was the recording studio,” Jimmy Page told NME earlier this week. “This is closure, if you want to use that word, on the recording world, the studio world of Led Zeppelin.” After two years of exhaustive and pain-staking work by the guitarist, the group’s final three albums, ‘Presence,’ ‘In Through the Out Door’ and ‘Coda’, are to be released later this month, remastered with bonus disc treasure troves of rare material and unheard tidbits. But for many Zep fans, these last reissues are a cause for trepidation as well as excitement. With work on these “definitive, authoritative” versions of their canon now complete and the band apparently no closer to one much-mooted last live reunion, some fear this it it. A good high to go out on. The end of Led Zeppelin.
On the subject of the future the 71-year-old guitar master offers only cryptic replies. “The one thing I haven’t been seen to be doing recently is playing guitar. So now I’ve got the opportunity to put all my drive into playing the guitar and working out what way to present myself next.” A new project altogether, rather than a return to the stage with Led Zeppelin for one last round of gigs then? “I think it’s safe to assume that will be a new project,” he admits. “I don’t know who with yet because I haven’t had a chance to work on it, but I’ve got material that’s written I want to revisit and well, it’s an exciting time.”
One last hurrah isn’t totally out of the question, however. “While I’ve been involved in doing all of this stuff, Robert’s been doing all his solo work. John Paul Jones has been out touring. The only person who hasn’t been out touring is me,” he grins. “So maybe we’ll address that soon…” The future of Led Zep – for now at least – is still unwritten. Here’s what he had to say about the reissues and how their sound has held up in the decades since it was first unleashed on the world – watch below and let us know what you think.