Jimmy Page wanted to stop playing after Led Zeppelin broke up in 1980 following the death of drummer John Bonham.
“I didn’t want to play the guitar,” Page tells Rolling Stone’s David Fricke in a new interview. “It was going to bring up too much.”
But when he wraps up Led Zeppelin’s reissue project at the end of this month, Page plans to invest his energies fully in his instrument—and possibly to the exclusion of having a singer.
“I’ll put my music together,” he says, “then think about whether I need to embellish it with a singer.”
The guitarist said last February that he was getting in shape to perform live again, sometime closer to the end of this year. Last week, Page announced that he had new material written and would be looking for musicians to work with on it. This new interview is the first time he has suggested he would be working instrumentally.
Page has spent much of the past eight years involved in Led Zeppelin–related activities, beginning with the band’s December 2007 reunion concert, with Bonham’s son, Jason, on drums. That show, a tribute to the late Ahmet Ertegun, who signed Zeppelin to Atlantic Records in 1968, was packaged for the 2012 album and DVD release Celebration Day.
The reissuing of Zeppelin’s entire catalog, including session outtakes, was many years in the making and finally saw light of day in June 2014. With the release of the final three albums—Presence, In Through the Out Door and the odds-and-ends collection Coda—on July 31, Page is ready to move on to new projects.
Though Page has said publicly that he would like to get Led Zeppelin back together, singer Robert Plant has rejected the idea, much to Page’s disappointment. “He’s just playing games, and I’m fed up with it, to be honest with you,” Page told NME in 2014. “I don’t sing, so I can’t do much about it.”
Apparently now he doesn’t have to.