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Jimmy Page talks new songs, a new album, possibly touring

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Years of working on Led Zeppelin archival material has got guitar maestro Jimmy Page ready to hit the road, or the studio, or both. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, he talked about putting a few of his unrecorded compositions on a new album. He said he's even toying with the idea of doing live shows, perhaps even indulging in an actual tour.

Rolling Stone reported (via Yahoo Music) on May 9 that Jimmy Page, admitting he's done with all the Led Zeppelin tinkering (he's worked the last few years on material for the Zeppelin catalog re-issues), and is practicing playing his guitar. He says he wants to get back into "playing shape."

I've got lots of material I've written on acoustic guitar," he told Rolling Stone's Andy Greene. "Lots and lots. And right now I need to get myself up to speed, and that won't take too long. But I don't know what musicians I'd play with. I do have material and a passion for it. I need to work towards it, and now I can without all the other side issues going on."

Which is all good news for Page/Zeppelin fans. The legendary guitarist hasn't put out a solo album since 1988's Outrider, his only lone offering. His last studio project was the internationally bestselling Walking into Clarksdale (1998), an effort he worked on with former bandmate and Led Zeppelin frontman, Robert Plant.

He jokes about having only one solo album, but his resume is full of great collaborative works: The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, The Firm, The Honeydrippers, and albums with folk singer/songwriter Roy Harper, Robert Plant, and Whitesnake vocalist David Coverdale.

His former bandmate with The Yardbirds, guitarist Jeff Beck, told Rolling Stone earlier this year that he would be open to the idea of a Beck and Page co-headlining tour. Page, however, wants to keep his options open.

...I intend to start getting to a point where I could play some gigs. But what those gigs are going to be, I don't know yet. I have ideas of what I want to do, but they're pretty complex. I would love to play live again. I love playing live. It's wonderful."

Despite their commercial success, Led Zeppelin did not win their first Grammy Award until this year when they took home the award for "Best Rock Album" for Celebration Day, the live Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at London's O2 Arena. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Page was also inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of the Yardbirds in 1992.

Page is considered one of the world's greatest guitarists. He ranks No. 3 on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time." He's one spot behind fellow Yardbirds alum Eric Clapton, and two spots ahead of Jeff Beck.

Page, now 70, says he's also been thinking of writing a book. He says it won't be published until his death. Why?

That way I can really tell the whole story of what really went on. I wouldn't want people messing around and stopping it with lawyers. No, no, no, no."

In related news, Robert Plant told Rolling Stone this past week that he wasn't interested in a Led Zeppelin reunion tour (too many vested interests) but the phone lines were open, sending mixed signals. Yet, he seems indifferent to the idea, offering an explanation:

Do you know why the Eagles said they’d reunite when 'hell freezes over,' but they did it anyway and keep touring? It’s not because they were paid a fortune. It’s not about the money. It’s because they’re bored. I’m not bored."

One wonders just how many millions of music fans wish that the singer would just get bored, and soon.

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