Music manager Peter Mensch recalled how Led Zeppelin agreed to their 2007 reunion just two hours after he’d been hired by guitarist Jimmy Page.

The Q Prime co-owner shared the anecdote during last week’s International live Music Conference in London, where he reminded the audience that he’d actually worked with Page twice.

“He fired me. I fired him,” Mensch said in the in-depth discussion session (via Billboard). “[First time] was around 2006. I had lunch with him, and we met for lunch every other month. He's a nice man. In 2007, he said, 'Okay, you can manage me, but you've got to come to Led Zeppelin meetings. We have these quarterly Led Zeppelin meetings.' There was an agenda, like a proper business meeting, and the fifth item on there brought up by Bill Curbishley, who was managing Robert Plant at the time, was that [Atlantic Records boss] Ahmet Ertegun had died. Bill Curbishley said we should play a memorial concert for him. I'm on the job for two hours, and all of a sudden Bill Curbishley wants [Led Zeppelin] to play a concert. And by the end of the meeting we had agreed to play a tribute concert.”

In 2016, Mensch – who co-owns Q Prime with Cliff Burnstein – revealed he’d been brought in to smooth the path for the release of Celebration Day, the concert movie shot during the Zeppelin reunion. “It wasn’t coming out because they were fighting internally,” he said. “Jimmy called me up and asked me to come back to solve the problems. It had been five years since I was last on the case. Celebration Day was all us, and those [later] box sets were mostly Cliff’s and my idea. They’re structured the way I wanted them structured.”

During the recent discussion, Mensch called modern record companies “totally fucking useless,” noting that Q Prime was bankrolling client Declan McKenna’s current U.S. tour, and that no one from the label had called to thank them or accepted invitations to attend a show. “It’s pretty disgusting, if you ask me,” he added.

Mensch also talked about managing Metallica (whose ticket prices he tripled without any fan backlash), the Rolling Stones and Def Leppard, and pointed out that his experiences with the Smashing Pumpkins had led to Q Prime establishing a “no arseholes” policy. Asked about the worst moments of his career, he referred to the deaths of AC/DC’s Bon Scott, Metallica’s Cliff Burton and Def Leppard’s Steve Clark, and the accident in which Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen lost his arm. “It doesn’t get more ‘Oh, fuck’ than that,” he said.

 

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