MYLES KENNEDY Recalls His 'CHRIS FARLEY Moment' During LED ZEPPELIN Jam
September 13, 2022
In a new interview with Matt Pinfield of 95.5 KLOS's "New & Approved", ALTER BRIDGE frontman Myles Kennedy once again reflected on his 2008 studio jam with LED ZEPPELIN guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist John Paul Jones and drummer Jason Bonham. The sessions were held after ZEPPELIN's successful December 2007 comeback show at the O2 Arena in London as a way to possibly keep the band going without frontman Robert Plant, who refused to commit to additional shows.
Regarding how the jam came about, Myles said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Interestingly enough, I met Jason during [the making of] 'Rock Star' [the 2001 American musical comedy-drama film], 'cause he was in the STEEL DRAGON band in that movie; he was the drummer. And I remember at one point sitting down with him in between — I don't know if we were rehearsing or something — and I mentioned to him. We got to talking about his father's legacy and how much I appreciated it. And he was genuinely… I was really impressed with him and just how proud he was of his dad and everything that he achieved. And that was really beautiful to see. So, fast forward about — I don't know; was it six, seven years, whenever it was, I get this text from Jason, and he's, like, 'Can you call me?' And I was touring at the time, and I was in Germany; we just played a festival over in Germany. And I thought, 'Oh, maybe he has a friend over here who wants to come to a show, get tickets or something.' So I buzzed him. It was at night. And [Jason] was just basically, 'Look, I'm here in London. Would you be interested in coming over this weekend? I'm jamming with some friends.' And I'm, like, 'I'm on tour. Just out of curiosity, who are your friends?' So when he lays out who his friends are, I'm just, like, 'Okay. Yeah, I think we can make that work.' [Laughs] So, yeah, it was crazy. I flew to London a few days later. And they let me know what songs to kind of have prepared. And we jammed — we jammed for a day — and it's something I will never, ever forget. And so it went well. And then they reached out and asked if I'd be interested in coming back a few months later, and we jammed some more — I think four more days or something. It was the stuff dreams are made of. If someone would have told me when I was a kid listening to 'In Through The Out Door' or [laughs] any of those records, like, 'You're gonna be in a room jamming these songs with those guys someday' … It was just such a trip."
Regarding his initial meeting with Jones and Page, Kennedy said: "So I walk in the studio. It was just a little rehearsal studio. But I heard piano playing, and it was great piano. I was, like, 'Man, is somebody listening to Bill Evans or something?' It was really good stuff — legit. And then I walk in the room, and it's John Paul Jones playing piano. He's just so talented. And he was so sweet; he was just so nice and welcoming. Obviously, I'm very nervous. And then in comes Jimmy. And he has such a presence. He just comes walking in the room, and it was as if a deity had come from the heavens. [Laughs] It was pretty amazing.
"But there was one moment where I had a bit of a Chris Farley moment," Myles admitted. "You know when [comedian] Chris Farley, when he's interviewing Paul McCartney [on 'Saturday Night Live' in 1993] and there's that moment when he kind of smacks himself on the head, like, 'How could I have been so stupid and said that?' I had one of those moments. I'd been in the room for a few hours and we were taking a little break. And I just had to say it, 'cause I'm such a fan. I just looked at them both and thanked them and I was, like, 'You guys basically wrote the blueprint for everything that guys like us…' I just had to get it out. And they just kind of looked at me. They were very sweet about it. But it was one of those things where I was, like, 'I probably shouldn't have said that.' But it was great."
When asked which LED ZEPPELIN songs he played with Page, Jones and Bonham, Kennedy said: "'No Quarter' — that was amazing, getting to play that with them. 'Carouselambra', which is kind of an off-the-beaten-path kind of song you don't hear a lot about. But I love that song. And that was great. There were some fun moments, 'cause it's just a very long sonic journey. I enjoyed that. What else did we play? We did play 'Kashmir'. That was something else."
Two and a half years ago, Myles was asked by Greece's "TV War" what he learned from playing with a legendary guitar player such as Page. He responded: "What I learned during that period was that…I think what I already knew, it just reaffirmed, the guy's a genius. That's the thing about ZEPPELIN for me, they all were. Singing with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, it was like watching the way John would do things, I felt like he's just as important in the mix, especially hearing that in the same room and being privy to their interaction. That was amazing. And Jason Bonham, he was brilliant in that context. It was a great experience."
Back in 2017, Kennedy revealed that no video was shot of the sessions but he said that he "has heard different accounts" about whether an audio recording of the rehearsals exists. He clarified, however, that the site of the jam "was not, like, a legit recording studio."
Surprisingly, Kennedy said that he would prefer it if his collaboration with the ZEPPELIN trio remained unheard by the general public. "I actually hope [it] didn't [get recorded], because I was actually pretty sick," he told radio personality Eddie Trunk. "I had come off a tour in Australia, and I remember I got there and I had bronchitis or something, and I remember it took a few days for my voice to come back. So I hope there is nothing that exists. [Laughs]"
Kennedy previously told VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show" that he would "remember to [his] dying day" the rehearsals he had with Page, Jones and Bonham. "We played 'The Rain Song', which is probably my favorite LED ZEPPELIN song, 'No Quarter', 'Kashmir'. It was a lot of fun," he said.
Although there were rumors of staggering sums being offered to LED ZEPPELIN for a full tour after the O2 Arena concert, Plant elected to continue with his solo career instead.
Page and Jones also tried out AEROSMITH's Steven Tyler and SOUNDGARDEN's Chris Cornell, with Page telling Rolling Stone in 2012: "Various people thought we should go on tour. I thought we needed a good, credible album, not do something that sounded like we were trying to milk the [reunion]."
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