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The Time Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Reunited – For One Song

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Long before their ’90s-era reunions, to say nothing of Led Zeppelin‘s celebrated one-off concert in the following decade, intersections between Robert Plant and Jimmy Page were much harder to come by.

They’d rarely happen, and they didn’t last nearly as long, in the immediate aftermath of Zeppelin’s 1980 breakup. One of the more memorable occasions was Dec. 13, 1983, during the encore of Plant’s concert at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. It was just the second time Plant and Page performed together after calling it quits, and again they reached back into their pre-Led Zeppelin past – but only for a single song.

“I’ve got an old friend here who’s unused, as he is, to public speaking – Jimmy Page,” Plant said to an ovation that interrupted him in mid-sentence. They then launched into an R&B hit that inspired them in their formative years, “Treat Her Right” by Roy Head. Their initial reunion, on May 12, 1982, found the duo sitting in with Foreigner for a cover of Little Richard‘s “Lucille” at the Olympiastadion in Munich.

“It was very emotional for Page and Plant because it was the first time they had been together since the death of fellow Led Zeppelin bandmate and drummer John ‘The Beast’ Bonham two years earlier,” Lou Gramm wrote in his autobiography, Juke Box Hero. “It was cool for me to share the stage with Plant, because I had always admired his reckless singing style – and some critics had compared my three-octave vocal range and stage presence to Plant’s, which I took as a high compliment.”

“Treat Her Right” reached No. 2 on both the R&B and Hot 100 charts in 1965, having been kept out of the top spot by the Beatles‘ “Yesterday.” It continues to be an inspiration to Plant. He also sang the song when he sat in with Los Lobos at the Taste of Chicago in 2010, throwing in a few lyrics from “D’Yer Mak’er” during the breakdown.

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