Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler had once played with the idea of being on shows with Led Zeppelin. The Aerosmith lead singer had even practiced with Zeppelin guitar legend Jimmy Page for the potential gigs where he’d apparently supplant Robert Plant, Zeppelin’s iconic vocalist. However, that never materialized and fans never got a chance to witness the same.
Steven Tyler outlines the reason for not recording or touring with Led Zeppelin
When Page was thinking of bringing the show on the road at that time, Plant seemingly wasn’t as willing, according to a recent retelling. Thereby, the idea of other singers came up.
Here is what Tyler explained to Classic Rock, “I went over and played with Jimmy and the rest of them. It wasn’t an audition to be in Zeppelin; it was an audition to play with Zeppelin. We were going to do a couple of stadiums.”
He continued, “While I was there, Jimmy spoke to me about maybe doing an album. I went home and thought about it for a couple [of] days. And I got back to him and said, ‘Look, Jimmy, you’re in an iconic band, and so am I. I can’t in good faith leave my band and be in your band.”
Though Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry has recalled the situation differently — he once said Tyler’s audition for Led Zeppelin was “shambolic” and left Page feeling “awkward,” per The Guardian — Tyler said he did a week of rehearsals with Zeppelin.
“We played all day for a week,” the Aerosmith singer said. “It started with, ‘Jimmy, you have no idea how grateful I am to have the chance to come over and jam with you guys, And he goes, ‘Well, maybe we can play some shows together.’ And I said, ‘Stop right there — I’m playing in a band with [Led Zeppelin bassist] John Paul Jones?’”
Tyler remembered they “let me sing every song I wanted — ‘Black Dog,’ ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ But it was just a week. And yeah, Jimmy asked me to do some stuff with him. But I didn’t want to be Coverdale–Page. Plus, I figured in the time it would take to do that, I could rally [Aerosmith] together.”
He added, however, “So, was I going to be in Jimmy’s band? No. But what an honor.”
Aerosmith is currently planning to resume touring next month.