Watch Jimmy Page Discuss the Led Zeppelin Reissues on ‘The Tonight Show’
Given his gift for spot-on impressions of Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Jim Morrison, ‘Tonight Show’ host Jimmy Fallon is clearly a fan of classic rock, and he proved it once again when he hosted Jimmy Page on the May 21 episode of the show.
With a few of the new Led Zeppelin reissues stacked on his desk, Fallon displayed the ‘Led Zeppelin I‘ box for everyone in the audience before turning to Page and asking him about the long process of cleaning up the band’s classic tracks one more time. “When these things were originally done, they were done for vinyl. And then they were remastered about 20 years ago for the CD market,” explained Page. “But now there’s a re-emerging vinyl market, CD, digital online — so the whole lot of these original albums has been remastered for all of those different media, if you like.”
At the same time, Page continued, “I thought ‘Other people have done this — other people have remastered their catalog, so let’s see what we can do to make it, like, really special.'”
To that end, he turned to the piles of tapes he’d amassed during the band’s amazing run. As he explained when Fallon asked him to divulge the location of the secret Zeppelin vault housing all the previously unreleased material that ended up on the new boxes, “I was the producer of the band, so I was actually in the studio more times than the rest of the guys, and I used to take back reference mixes. It started to build up, and I took good care of all this stuff. I just thought it would work well to have a companion disc that reflected what was going on with the discs that everybody knows. It gives you like a little window, a doorway, so you get an extra dimension of what was going on at those times.”
As Fallon pointed out, the plethora of widely bootlegged Zeppelin sessions meant that Page had to take unusual measures to ascertain whether or not the stuff he wanted to include was actually unreleased; in fact, he had to reach out to assorted hardcore Zep fans online and match his tapes against what was already out there. Happily for everyone ponying up for these boxes, Page says his searches came back clean — according to what he tells Fallon in this clip, everything that’s supposed to be new in here actually will be.