Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins was recently interviewed on ABC television, and he discussed the 1985 Live Aid show, which featuring Queen’s most iconic performances and Led Zeppelin’s first reunion performance, which featured Phil Collins on drums. Hawkins told ABC that Queen undoubtably topped Led Zeppelin. Alternative Nation transcribed his comments.
“[Queen] kicked everyone’s ass. They kicked Led Zeppelin’s ass, they kicked Phil Collins’ ass. Sorry Phil, I love you.”
Queen played in London at the Wembley Stadium portion of Live Aid, while Led Zeppelin played in Philadelphia at John F. Kennedy Stadium.
In 2014, Phil Collins told Q that he realized “this is a mistake” just as the Led Zeppelin performance started. Collins was filling in, along with Chic drummer Tony Thompson, for the late John Bonham, who died five years earlier.
“It was a disaster, really,” he said. “Robert [Plant] wasn’t match-fit with his voice and Jimmy [Page] was out of it. It wasn’t my fault [that] it was crap. If I could have walked off, I would have. But then we’d all be talking about why Phil Collins walked off Live Aid—so I just stuck it out.”
Classic Rock published an excerpt from Collins’ book ‘Not Dead Yet: The Memoir’ featuring Led Zeppelin reunion discussion.
“I know the wheels are falling off from early on in the set. I can’t hear Robert clearly from where I’m sat, but I can hear enough to know that he’s not on top of his game. Ditto Jimmy. I don’t remember playing ‘Rock and Roll,’ but obviously I did. But I do remember an awful lot of time where I can hear what Robert decries as ‘knitting’: fancy drumming. And if you can find the footage (the Zeppelin camp have done their best to scrub it from the history books), you can see me miming, playing the air, getting out of the way lest there be a train wreck. If I’d known it was to be a two-drummer band, I would have removed myself from proceedings long before I got anywhere near Philadelphia.”
He later said, “Onstage I don’t take my eyes off Tony Thompson. I’m glued to him. I’m having to follow—he’s taking the heavy-handed lead and has opted to ignore all my advice. Putting myself in his shoes, he’s probably thinking, ‘This is the beginning of a new career. John Bonham isn’t around any more. They’re gonna want someone. This could be the start of a Led Zeppelin reunion. And I don’t need this English fuck in my way.'”