Mick Jagger has known the members of Led Zeppelin since their early days on the session circuit, and Jimmy Page even played on a song by The Rolling Stones, a number that only saw the light of day last year despite being recorded half a century prior.
Jagger has always held nothing but love for the four cornerstones of rock. However, the same can’t be said for his bandmate, Keith Richards. The guitarist isn’t one to hold back on his opinion, and although he respects Page, the same can’t be said about Robert Plant. “The guy’s voice started to get on my nerves. I don’t know why; maybe he’s a little too acrobatic,” he commented in 1969 after Zep broke through.
Furthermore, in 2015, his dislike was still burning inside of him, and he reiterated his point. Keith scathingly said, “I love Jimmy Page, but as a band, no, with John Bonham thundering down the highway in an uncontrolled 18-wheeler. He had cornered the market there. Jimmy is a brilliant player. But I always felt there was something a little hollow about it, you know?”.
The Glimmer Twins couldn’t be further apart on their stance on the Zep, and they always occupied the heart of Mick Jagger. He was there at Madison Square Garden in 1988 when they reunited, and when they came together for one final time in 2007 in London, there was no way in hell that the larger than life frontman was missing out on the occasion. Before the performance, Led Zeppelin’s name was the only band on anybody’s lips. In an online Q+A with fans, Jagger spoke about his excitement to see them back on stage and explained why he wouldn’t join them during their performance.
“It’s been a long time in the making,” Jagger said. “I heard this awful rumour they’re only going to play half an hour. If I remember, the drum solos used to be half an hour, and I’m not exaggerating. But I’m sure they’re going to play two hours.”
He added, “If I’m here in London I’ll definitely go. Will I go on stage? Nah. They haven’t done anything on stage for 20 years together, I’m not going to interlope into their big night out.”
Last year, Jagger discussed his relationship with Jimmy Page after the release of their long-lost collaboration and fondly recollected those nights he spent in the crowd watching Zeppelin tear the roof down that night in London.
“I remember watching their concerts live in New York and everything,” he told BBC Radio 2. “And it was great, thunderous wonderful racket. Brilliant. I saw their last concert as well, and they were absolutely incredible. I was so disappointed that they didn’t actually go out and tour and do it but then that’s their business, not mine.”
Although seeing Jagger share the stage would have been a sight to marvel at, in truth, it wasn’t the time or place for him. After all, it was Led Zeppelin’s night, and anybody else would have been an unnecessary distraction. That evening at the O2 ended up being the perfect send-off for Led Zep, as they went out on a euphoric high.