With the release of a previously unheard track from The Rolling Stones, fans got an extra dose of rock and roll when it was revealed that Jimmy Page, the legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist, was featured on the track too. Now the guitarist has shared the first time he met the band.
‘Scarlet’ has been given a few remixes of late but the song was already imbued with a heavy dose of credentials when it was first recorded thanks to Page’s feature. It’s a song that will feature on The Rolling Stones’ upcoming reissue of Goats Head Soup.
Speaking with The Times, now Page has recalled the first time he met the group. Naturally, it is a tale as old as time, “I first met Mick and Keith at one of those very early blues festivals. We were all in the back of a van going from one place to another,” he said.
The session for ‘Scarlet’ took place in Ronnie Wood’s house in Richmond, explained Page: “[Wood] had a studio in the basement, and he said there was an invite to do a session. It was with Keith, and [Rolling Stones road manager] Ian Stewart was going to be there. So I thought, ‘That’s going to be really great, let’s go along.’”
The song was largely constructed without Ronnie and was left to Page and Keith Richards to lay down the guitar licks. “Ronnie didn’t actually play on it. Keith came in and set up his equipment, and I took my guitar,” the guitarist explained. “Obviously I paid a lot of attention to what he was doing and then came up with a riff that would go with a contraflow. It was great to work with Keith right from the bare bones of something.”
Listening back to the song in 2020, Page was still impressed by what they had put down. “More recently they sent through a file of the mix, and I thought, ‘Wow, that sounds really powerful,’” he added. “All the guitar parts I remember doing, everything was on there. I thought it sounded really solid, and everybody’s really on form.”
Find the new version of ‘Scarlet’, featuring a Paul Mescal in the video, below.