Last night, Jimmy Page was a featured guest on NBC's Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
With a few of the new Led Zeppelin reissues stacked on his desk, Fallon displayed the Led Zeppelin box for everyone in the audience before turning to Page and asking him about the process of cleaning up the band’s classic tracks one more time.
“When these things were originally done, they were done for vinyl. And then they were remastered about 20 years ago for the CD market,” Page said. “But now there’s a re-emerging vinyl market, CD, digital online — so the whole lot of these original albums has been remastered for all of those different media, if you like.
“I thought, ‘Other people have done this — other people have remastered their catalog, so let’s see what we can do to make it, like, really special’.”
When Fallon asked him to divulge the location of the secret Zeppelin vault housing all the previously unreleased material that ended up on the new boxes, Page said, “I was the producer of the band, so I was actually in the studio more times than the rest of the guys, and I used to take back reference mixes. It started to build up, and I took good care of all this stuff. I just thought it would work well to have a companion disc that reflected what was going on with the discs that everybody knows. It gives you like a little window, a doorway, so you get an extra dimension of what was going on at those times.”
The plethora of widely bootlegged Zeppelin sessions meant Page had to take unusual measures to ascertain whether or not the material he wanted to include was actually unreleased. Page had to reach out to some hardcore Zeppelin fans online and match his tapes against what was already out there. Fortunately, Page says his searches came back clean — everything that’s supposed to be unreleased in the box set actually is, in fact, unreleased.
Page discusses the new reissues—and the many treasures in Led Zeppelin's vaults—in the all-new July 2014 issue of Guitar World. The new issue is available now on newsstands and at the Guitar World Online Store.