Chris Salewicz recently published the Led Zeppelin book Jimmy Page: The Definitive Biography. Houston Press published an interesting story about The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger ‘sniffing dismissively’ when Led Zeppelin first came out in the late 1960’s. Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones are two of the most iconic British bands of all time.
Page’s life began as a child guitar prodigy before he became a go-to session player while still attending high school. After flirting with – then joining – the Yardbirds, he watched that band disintegrate, but it laid the groundwork for the creation of the band he had always planned for: Led Zeppelin.
And he, bassist John Paul Jones, singer Robert Plant, and drummer John Bonham (the last two he basically stumbled upon in concocting the lineup) would become the biggest band of the decade. One that to this day sells decades-old records with sales figures would be the envy of any contemporary rock band.
As Salewicz writes, English Rock Gods Mick Jagger and George Harrison may have sniffed dismissively after hearing the band’s mixture of thundering hard rock and blues debut album, but record buyers and concertgoers worldwide heartily disagreed. And when they later demanded an unprecedented 90 percent of gross ticket sales at their shows – leaving only 10 percent for the local promoter – they got it.