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How Coverdale “got packaged” with Page

An industry insider Mitch Weissman recently shared on Lefsetz Letter this tidbit of history on how the Coverdale/Page collaboration was put together:

I almost had [Jimmy Page] and Billy Squier unite for a record in the 80’s. Jimmy and I were chatting in NY’s China Club under the Beacon Theater in ’89. We had become friendly of late. While discussing his next move, I commented on how “Wasting My Time” from Outrider reminded me of “Everybody Wants You,” to which Jimmy said “That’s what I based it on. I love that song!”

So, I said “Let me call Billy.” We both lived in the area. We were very good friends and sometime collaborators. So I called him and said “Jimmy wants to talk to you.” So over he comes, they sit and talk, and I leave them alone. When I returned to the table an album project had been decided upon. And we all enjoyed the rest of the evening together.

So what happens? John Kalodner (Geffen) gets wind of the idea and promptly packages the 2 label mates together, resulting in a record that made Robert Plant bristle. Coverdale/Page, a really great “Led Zeppelin” album.

Can only wonder what the Squier/Page that might have been.

Thanks to Mitch Weissman for the permission to reproduce the story.

8 Comments to “How Coverdale “got packaged” with Page”:

  1. 1
    Jason Hillenburg says:

    Tin Pan Alley indeed.

  2. 2
    Jason Hillenburg says:

    And great Led Zeppelin album? He’s clearly high.

  3. 3
    Larry Toering says:

    He gets high a lot, and I get a contact sometimes. 😀

  4. 4
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    I can definitely see the Squier/Page combo. As for the “C/P being a Great Zep Album…… he’s right about that. It had all the swagger of LZ, plus some amazing Coverversion vocals in his Prime. Though I am an avid Purple Collector and catalogued the album in with the Whitesnake/Coverdale section, it truly belongs with the LZ related section.


  5. 5
    ltia says:

    It’s far more a Whitesnake sounding album than Zep, and this explains it really – sounds like Jimmy liked Whitesnake and wanted to do have as go at it.

  6. 6
    purplepriest1965 says:

    In a way logical Itia because Page was rumoured to join Whitesnake as far back as the early 80’s.

  7. 7
    Mitch Weissman says:

    To each his own. I may have been a little off on the Zep album reference, but that’s probably because I missed them as a band. Nice to be on the inside sometimes, though…!
    In speaking with John Paul Jones a couple of years ago, he had some other stuff to remark about that project. And Bonzo was always fun to talk with!

  8. 8
    Os says:

    I had forgotten the rumors in the early 80s of Page joining WS….seemed far-fetched at the time and was never backed up with any evidence, and then we get CP. Cov-Page-Squier? Interesting, old Billy’s career sort of fell off after his naff dancing video but he could write a catchy tune. Old Dave seems to blame Kalodner a lot nowadays but he was more than happy to give himself and the old WS away to him when chasing the US market.

    I think the CP album is overblown…DC seemed to be singing a little out of his comfort range, and some of the songs are just throwaway. Production is also too much like the radio-metal of the era than classic rock, all dense, compressed and multitrack to within an inch of its life. A production style that let everything breathe a little would have been welcome. Unless they do a complete remastering and offer are some extra tracks that are really more DC/JP relaxing and writing together, I’d skip it.

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