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Paul Rodgers Reflects on Jimmy Page’s Generosity During Their Time with The Firm

During his time in the supergroup The Firm, Jimmy Page displayed generosity by allowing vocalist Paul Rodgers to take on his lead guitar parts. In an interview with Professor of Rock on YouTube, Rodgers reminisced about the experience, sharing how Page granted him permission to play the lead normally handled by the iconic guitarist:

“Jimmy said go ahead. You know, it was very hard to do because the tempo by the time we played it was a lot faster than I was used to doing the exercise, so I had to work frantically at it. But, no, Jimmy was absolutely brilliant about it now that I think as well. You know, there’s Jimmy P like: ‘Are you gonna play the solo instead of me?’ He didn’t say that though.”

The Birth of the Supergroup ‘The Firm’

Established in 1984, The Firm emerged as a rock supergroup featuring Paul Rodgers from Bad Company, Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin, drummer Chris Slade from Earth Band, and bass player Tony Franklin.

At a time when Page, having lost his Led Zeppelin bandmate John Bonham, sought a musical resurgence, The Firm provided the platform. According to Rodgers, this band played a crucial role in keeping Jimmy Page engaged in the music scene. In a 2020 interview with Classic Rock, Rodgers explained:

“It was a vehicle, as much as anything, to help Jimmy get back on his feet, musically. By the end, I felt that Jimmy was up and running and in great shape – he was in fantastic form. And I sort of thought, ‘Well, job done,’ really.” Page later confessed that he was hesitant to fall into the routine of an ‘album-tour-album situation.’

Chris Slade’s Expectations for the Band’s Longevity

Chris Slade was in the dark about Page and Rodgers’ intentions for The Firm. In a 2010 interview, Rodgers revealed that he and Page initially viewed The Firm as a short-term venture. However, drummer Slade was unaware of this perspective and held high hopes for the band’s future. Speaking to Ultimate Classic Rock in 2022, Slade shared his experience with The Firm, stating:

“As far as I knew, we had no illusions about where it was going, and we didn’t think it was a one-off or short-term thing at all. I can definitely say that if that was the case, I had no idea. I can’t speak for Tony [Franklin, bassist], and maybe he did know that it was a short-term thing for them.”

Expressing disappointment over the band’s breakup, Slade believed The Firm had untapped potential. He continued: “A big reason that we broke up was that Led Zeppelin came back into the equation for Jimmy. There were reunion talks, and they didn’t know if they were going to try and tour or not, you know.

It just happened one day. I was really upset with the decision, as I knew that band had potential. If Paul and Jimmy decided that was the end, then that was it. What could we do?” Despite the dissolution of The Firm, there was no Led Zeppelin reunion afterward. Nonetheless, Paul Rodgers noted that, thanks to The Firm, Page was ‘musically in great shape.

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