Jimmy Page is the archetypal rockstar. The swashbuckling guitarist who helped write the rulebook on rock ‘n’ roll cliche and unwelcomed stereotypes. While some of his experiences can be chalked off, the time he greeted Led Zeppelin groupies in nothing but whipped cream is exactly the sort of erratic antics that became synonymous with the guitarist.
Their antics from their hedonistic heyday are somewhat repugnant, and this one is certainly one of Page’s most unsavoury moments that epitomises his decadent decade. Page is undoubtedly one of the most talented guitarists of all time, but his off-stage shenanigans soon became as notorious as his deadly musical ability.
“Would anyone still be interested in the mud shark if the music hadn’t been there?” Page said to Rolling Stone in 2012, taking a moment to reflect on the actions of his younger self before adding: “Everything else was a sideshow. It’s part of the story. But there would be no story without the work we put into the songs, the shows we played. Without that, nobody would care about the other stuff.”
“I was drinking to excess by today’s standards — because now it’s nil. But it was what it was,” he added. “I was enjoying myself. I was determined not to be miserable. I wanted to take it all on board — this lifestyle and the party aspect that went with it.”
Perhaps his most notorious moment came when him on tour in America when he and John Bonham tried to find some way to entertain themselves whilst locked up in their hotel room. Their fame was off the scale at this point when they were playing stadiums in every city, which prevented them from leaving their hotel room without getting mobbed, meaning boredom was rife.
Meeting the groupies from town to town was a way for the band to kill a bit of time, and on one occasion, their method of introducing Page was bizarre, to say the least. After putting their heads together, the dynamic duo decided to make Bonzo dress as a waiter who wheeled in Page, who had stripped naked, covered in whipped cream and perched on a service trolley, into a room full of their excitable groupies.
This type of behaviour was the norm for Page and Bonham while on tour, where being locked up in a hotel all day with nothing but substances to pass the time can lead to some unorthodox shenanigans. Led Zeppelin pretty much created the rock ‘n’ roll cliche of trashing hotel rooms, which now just comes across as forced. But Page’s mischievousness was anything but, and there are undoubtedly hundreds more stories like this that will never see the light of day.