Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler Reveals Why He Rejected Led Zeppelin Gig, Recalls How Jimmy Page Treated Him at Audition

The attempts to get Led Zeppelin going once again all failed. December 10, 2007 was the last time that Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Robert Plant got together, along with John Bonham’s son Jason on the drums. As it seems, this will go down in history as their final ever concert together.

There were, of course, attempts by Jimmy Page to get someone else onboard to sing instead of Robert Plant, who seems to be very disinterested in a reunion. Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge was once a candidate, although the idea was abandoned. And, of course, Jimmy tried out with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith as well. But the singer eventually refused to do it, even though they practiced together.

In a recent interview with Classic Rock, the Aerosmith frontman recalled how the whole idea came to be and why he eventually decided not to work with Led Zeppelin. He explained:

“I went over and played with Jimmy and the rest of them [in summer 2008]. It wasn’t an audition to be in Zeppelin, it was an audition to play with Zeppelin. We were gonna do a couple of stadiums.

“And then 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.'”

Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith perform at the 1995 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

“We played all day for a week. every time we took a break I smoked a cigar and Jimmy smoked a cigarette. We went out back and I spoke with Jimmy about everything on the planet. It started out 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 John Paul Jones?'”

“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 my own band together. So, was I gonna be in Jimmy’s band? No. But what an honor.”

Photo: Gage Skidmore (Steven Tyler (26875988668)), Avda (Jimmy Page at the Echo music award 2013)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.