Jimmy Page accuses Phil Collins of Led Zeppelin’s fatal Live Aid set

Jimmy Page set Phil Collins up for a disastrous Live Aid concert as he revealed that the band had only two hours to rehearse before performing.

Page, the founder of Led Zeppelin, admitted “it was not very clever” to reunite the 1985 fundraiser in Philadelphia Collins behind the drum kit.

Speaking of Cheltenham Literature Festival, Page tells the band’s struggles to get a grip on the opening song in the band’s set.

“The drummer couldn’t get the beginning of rock and roll, so we really had problems with that, that was really not very clever,” he told the audience.

He added that they only had “two hours” of rehearsal time before their set, which also includes Whole Lotta Love and Stairway to Heaven.

Phil Collins, in an interview with Classic Rock Magazine last year, said he even thought about leaving the stage during the performance because he felt like a “spare part”.

His rehearsal time was limited to listening to the band songs on the flight to Philadelphia from London.

The band disbanded in 1980, following the alcohol-related death of their 32-year-old drummer Jon Bonham, but reunited five years later for live assistance at the now-defunct John F Kennedy Stadium.

Collins was paired with Tony Thompson, a drummer of the Anglo-American pop supergroup The Power Station, to fill Bonham.

Collins in his Autobiography, Not dead yet, said he had even “mimicked” to play rock and roll to avoid “a train wreck” with Thompson.

He wrote: “I know the wheels are falling off early in the set. I do not hear Robert clearly from where I was sitting, but I hear enough to know that he is not at the top of his game. First name Jimmy.

“I do not remember playing Rock And Roll, but of course I did. But I do remember a lot of times when I hear what Robert declares to be ‘knitting’: nice drums.

And if you find the pictures (the Zeppelin camp did their best to scrub it out of the history books), you can see me miming, playing the air, getting out of the way that there is no train wreck.

“If I had known it was a two-drum band, I would have removed myself from the proceedings before I got anywhere in Philadelphia.”


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