Where did you buy your records when you were growing up?
Paul Lloyd, Crystal Palace
In Epsom. Rumbelows, It was by the Clock Tower. Rumbelows had a little section at the back where they sold records. It’s just like you see this old footage where they’ve got people going in booths and all of that. So what I’d go there from school on the day where they had their deliveries in, so they’d get their deliveries in the weekdays for the weekend and you go in there and then you can check certain artists to see what their new record was. Yeah that’s it, I was really on that. I didn’t wait till Saturday, in case something had already sold out in the morning. I’d be going in there and checking what they had. I could only afford the equivalent of my pocket money, it was like the equivalent of one single. But I also had to pay for guitars so there was a lot of bobbing and weaving when it came down to being a record collector or a guitar player.
Is there a definitive list of all your session work?
No, but I’ll tell you something interesting. On the BBC, there’s a little musical clip that comes on, I think the song’s called “I’ve Got Everything You Need Babe”. There’s a new version of it right now, but beforehand when it was originally there, I heard this solo and I said, “My goodness, that’s me!” So I tracked it down that it was Bern Elliot & The Fenmen. So I must have done this session, because it’s definitely me without a shadow of a doubt. I wouldn’t have remembered I did a solo let alone a song or was on the session, but they were coming really fast and furious. You didn’t know who you were going in with that’s the most important thing so I didn’t have a whole list myself. I can estimate how many. It’s a hell of a lot, it’s gotta be. I was doing it for the equivalent of three years or something like that. Three sessions a day.
Are there any surviving live multi-track tapes from the Japan 1971 tour?
Ian Coe, Toronto
Maybe. But not for now. There’s been a lot of Led Zeppelin material that’s come out, including live material. but more importantly with visual. But also there’s the 02 which shows the three remaining members with Jason, a more recent incarnation. I’m so keen for the Led Zeppelin material from the studio to go out to give more information on what went on and I thought that really tipped the scales. Now there’s other things to do. And I stockpile material. So, yeah, there’s always someone wanting to know what’s considered to be the Holy Grail ‘cause it’s been, it’s yet to be discovered. But there’s no point in even thinking about that at the moment. I’ve put quite a lot of time into the Led Zeppelin material, really.
What do you consider to be your finest non Led Zeppelin achievement?
It’s hard to say. There’s so many different areas isn’t there, it’s difficult. I’d surprise everybody but I’d be very sincere if I said that doing the Olympics with Leona Lewis was phenomenal. She’s really plucky, she’s superb, and she sang “Whole Lotta Love” brilliantly. In actually fact we managed to do the full length of “Whole Lotta Love” – it wasn’t edited or anything like that – and she sang is beautifully. It was so cool the way she approached it. For that audience, and the fact we didn’t fuck it up… we’re really going to do this and we’re going to do it proud. That was important. It was a Led Zeppelin number but it took on another persona… I was really proud to be able to play that riff for the handover.