Phil Collins Recalls Led Zeppelin Reunion Gig

Genesis drummer says 1985 Live Aid set was “a disaster”

Phil CollinsPhil Collins

Phil Collins

Most of you were not alive in 1985, but I was. I have no recollection of watching Live Aid, but the Philadelphia show boasted a reunion of Led Zeppelin.

With Phil Collins and Chic’s Tony Thompson both filling in for the departed John Bonham.

Video of that performance follows at the end of this post.

Collins tells Q Magazine the gig was “a disaster” and claims he realized it was “a mistake” as soon as the band started playing.

The Genesis drummer played with Zeppelin’s surviving members for 20 minutes, playing “Rock And Roll,” “Whole Lotta Love” and “Stairway To Heaven.”

“I thought it was just going to be low-key and we’d all get together and have a play,” Collins told Q. “But something happened between that conversation and the day — it became a Led Zeppelin reunion. I turned up and I was a square peg in a round hole. Robert [Plant] was happy to see me, but Jimmy [Page] wasn’t.”



Collins added:

“You could sense I wasn’t welcome. If I could have walked off, I would have done. But then we’d all be talking about why Phil Collins walked off Live Aid — so I just stuck it out. It was a disaster, really. Robert wasn’t match-fit with his voice and Jimmy was out of it, dribbling. It wasn’t my fault it was crap.”

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