Jimmy Page May Release ‘XYZ’ Tapes of His Aborted Collaboration With Members of Yes
Page has been talking about getting the tapes out there for years, and as he told Radio.com in a recent interview, he'd been mulling over their release shortly before the death of Yes bassist Chris Squire in June, and had been meaning to reach out to Squire and his other partner in the project, Yes drummer Alan White, after he was finally finished with the current round of Led Zeppelin reissues.
"I haven’t worked on it. It’s something I wanted to do after all the Led Zeppelin stuff was out," noted Page, who says he "absolutely" wants to arrange for the recordings to be released. "I wanted to contact Chris and Alan. The music was really good – it’s the first thing I did after we lost John Bonham."
As Page noted, his brief collaboration with Squire and White — dubbed XYZ, for "ex-Yes and Zeppelin" — came together after the death of Zeppelin drummer Bonham in September 1980. Still reeling the following spring, Page recalled, "I had a studio at the time and they wanted to get together. I thought it was like laying down the gauntlet: ‘I’m not curling up under a rock and hiding.’"
Unfortunately, although the budding band recorded a handful of songs, and even managed to briefly involve ex-Zeppelin singer Robert Plant at one point, the project fell apart because, as Squire later put it, "It was really a bit too soon after John Bonham departed this world." Looking back now, Plant said, "These guys are really, really good, so I had to be really good too. It was really an interesting blend – really good music."
Getting them out there in the wake of Squire's death could serve as a tribute of sorts for Page, who added, "That was really sad. He was a phenomenal bass player. It’s really sad that we’ve lost him."
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