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What Did Robert Plant and Jimmy Page Think About the Beatles?

Singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page of the rock band "Led Zeppelin" hold court at press conference before their show at the Forum on September 4, 1970 in Los Angeles, California.
Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant (left) and guitarist Jimmy Page speaking at an L.A. press conference in 1970. (Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

When it comes to shaking up the guitar world, in many ways Led Zeppelin were to the ‘70s what the Beatles were to the ‘60s.

Around a fortnight after Led Zeppelin released their eponymous debut album (opens in new tab) in January 1969, the Beatles performed together for the final time on the rooftop of their Apple Corps headquarters in London.

And as the decade that gave us Flower Power crossfaded into the era of hard rock, the airwaves grew heavier with the sound of electric guitar riffs.

Leading the way for myriad bands the world over, Zeppelin’s far-reaching appeal has inspired generations.

From the British folk acoustic guitar brilliance of Bert Jansch to the Chicago blues genius of Willie Dixon, Led Zeppelin directly referenced guitar culture on both sides of the Atlantic, weaving the roots of rock together tighter than ever.

Led Zeppelin's debut album

Released in 1969, Led Zeppelin's self-titled debut album (opens in new tab) was recorded between September and October 1968 at London's Olympic Studios and was produced by guitarist Jimmy Page. (Image credit: Atlantic)

With the historic Beatles split coinciding with Led Zeppelin's meteoric rise, the music world was in a state of flux and some journalists were keen to dig deeper.

How much influence did the Beatles exert on ‘70s rock music?

What’s the difference between Led Zeppelin and the Beatles?

How does Jimmy Page feel about the Beatles?

All of these questions and more are answered by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page in this intriguing compilation of early interview recordings.

Interestingly, when asked about whether they hope to be awarded MBEs (as per the Beatles (opens in new tab)) Page replies, “I think they’ve given up on people like us for that.”

However, in 2005, the guitarist one-upped the Beatles while receiving an OBE (opens in new tab) from the Queen at Buckingham Palace for his humanitarian work in Brazil.

Similarly, Page’s award was trumped by Plant in 2009 when the singer received a CBE (opens in new tab) for his services to music.

Browse the Led Zeppelin catalog here (opens in new tab).

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as GuitaristTotal Guitar, Guitar World (opens in new tab)Guitar Player (opens in new tab) and MusicRadar (opens in new tab) in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.