‘The hardest job of anybody’: Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page talks about the big shoes Jason Bonham filled

Jimmy Page, in a Tuesday talk on the BBC’s “Later with Jools Holland,” still marvels over the billowing power that surrounded his last time on stage with Led Zeppelin.

“It was the only gig we did,” Page told Holland in the overnight broadcast. “We didn’t do any warm up gigs. So there was no way we could gauge what we were doing in front of the audience. To be honest with you, it was very powerful on stage. You had some serious moments.”

That concert, held at the O2 Arena in London on December 10, 2007, was presented as a tribute to Ahmet Ertegun — the late founder of their label, Atlantic Records. It is now the subject of a lavish new film project called Celebration Day, due this Tuesday. Another round of Zeppelin reissues is reportedly to follow.

[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: We returned recently to 'Houses of the Holy,' Led Zeppelin's follow up to 'IV,' but could reach no consensus: Underrated gem or overreaching mess?]

Original Zeppelin members Page, vocalist Robert Plant and bassist John Paul Jones were joined that night by drummer Jason Bonham, son of the late John Bonham.

“By my estimation,” Page tells Holland, “he had the hardest job of anybody there. We put a lot of rehearsal into it, put a lot of work into it — so we were really, really tight fitting. Then we could go off on one tangent, and then another. The whole energy that Jason had all the way through was just phenomenal.”

As for talk of another Led Zeppelin reunion, Page was blunt: He’d love to see it happen, but he’s growing ever less optimistic.

“Well, look, we’re almost two years after the 02 concert,” Page says, “and I must say that I thought there might be some other kind of get together, for some reason or another, but as the years tick by — one year, two years, three years, four years, now almost five years — it doesn’t look very likely does it?”

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