Jimmy Page, from Led Zeppelin, is without a doubt an expert in the DNA of rock ‘n’ roll and its purpose in this world. He is one of its founding fathers, after all, and there is a group that, in his opinion, embodies everything the genre is about.
Page made these comments in 1986, when rock ‘n’ roll’s cultural cache had far less surplus value than it did during the heyday of rock ‘n’ roll. Led Zeppelin, and many felt that their glory years were over. Truth be told, the guitarist could be accused of entering nostalgia act territory at that point, but he still felt like there was a band that kept the flame burning.
Led Zeppelin had dissolved six years earlier, after the tragic death of John Bonham, Y Page had decided to join the supergroup craze by forming The Firm. They only lasted a couple of disappointing years before going their separate ways.
It was during the promotion of his last album, ‘Mean Business’, that Page he was full of compliments towards ZZ Top after discussing the topic of music videos in an interview with Guitar World. Specifically, he highlighted his appreciation for the visuals of the single “Rough Boy” and stated why he admired the group.
“I guess that’s what rock ‘n’ roll means.”, He said Page. “They are really amazing. They have great music, they play very well, they are very solid. They also have a sense of humor.”
And continued: “They are damn good. And everyone enjoys it and so do they. As for your videos, they have all been a success, right? But I have to admit I haven’t had much to do with the videos.”
Via Guitar World, 1986.
It must be recognized that ZZ Top was not a new group, much less in 1986, which suggests that Page he was no longer in touch with the popular musical language of the time. He was still anchored to the same mentality as decades ago, and his career suffered a break because of it.
ZZ Top it reminded the guitarist of those great blues bands he surrounded himself with in the ’60s, and while they weren’t fresh, their rock ‘n’ roll credentials are an attribute that cannot be questioned.