Ricky Phillips Remembers Working With Jimmy Page


Ricky Phillips is a name that is synonymous with the legendary rock band, Styx. For two decades, he has held down the low end for the iconic group, but there is much more to his story than just his time with Styx.

With an illustrious career spanning several decades, Ricky Phillips has worked with some of the biggest names in rock music. From David Coverdale to Jimmy Page, from Bad English to Ted Nugent, Phillips has left his mark on the industry with his unique and innovative approach to bass playing.

As reported by Ultimate Guitar, in a recent interview, Philips discussed his incredible journey and the legacy he has built throughout his career. Over the course of the interview, we learned about his early influences, his approach to writing and recording music, and his thoughts on the state of the industry today.

Speaking on working with the legendary Jimmy Page, Ricky said: “Well, Bad English was good for me in a lot of ways because we opened up for Whitesnake and David saw me play. We had the same management company. David called me up and say, ‘I don’t want to be inappropriate, but I heard through the grapevine that you guys are splitting up, would you be interested in working with me and Jimmy Page, because we’re going to put something together?’ I don’t know if they had Denny Carmassi on drums yet, but Denny was a dear friend of mine and I love his playing and I had followed his playing since he was in Montrose.”

Ricky would then go on to talk about having a solid relationship with Page.

He continued: “So, the day that Denny and I got there, Jimmy burst into the room with his arms open and he was just like, ‘Hey lads, thanks for doing this. It’s going to be a lot of fun.’ And it was, we just hunkered down in Tahoe to work on material for a few months – not Los Angeles, or New York, or anything like that – I’m sure there were several reason but they just wanted us to be private and able to feel free to do whatever we needed to do to create a really good record.”

Not being able to hold himself back from it, of course, Philips would have to ask about Led Zeppelin.

He closed: “Well, David and I had become somewhat friendly – that’s kind of what happens when bands tour together – you either get on or you don’t. David was always fun. He invited me into his home at times when he wanted to work on something, and they didn’t have the hotel situation set up. He was just so welcoming and just a great guy. Same with Jimmy – I would drive him crazy. We’d have drinks at night and I’d ask him a million Led Zeppelin questions, which is only natural, but he was very forthcoming and we just had a blast making that record.”