Some post-Led Zeppelin history:
Today (Aug 8) in 1998 the single “Come with Me,” which Jimmy Page recorded with Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs as part of the soundtrack to the 1998 version of the film Godzilla, was released. The tune and video heavily sampled Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” and featured footage of Jimmy Page playing guitar. Page and Combs also performed the song on Saturday Night Live on May 9, 1998.
Jimmy Page: “I recorded my guitar at CTS Studio in Wembley, London via an ISDN line to Sean Combs at the Record Plant in LA and a video link between the two venues. After the guitar recording, a director was on hand to film my part of what was to become the promo video for the song. I was working to a blue screen on this and I thought they did a clever job the way they included the performance in the final cut.”
“I wore a Raf Simons jacket and a snakeskin print shirt that ‘Mr. Daddy’ had made positive remarks about during the link up! This was a fun project to be involved with. When the recordings were completed at CTS, Daddy said he was off to overdub the orchestra on it. He had clearly applied a lot of imagination to this and he’d done a really good job.”
Fans and music critics disagreed, as the song was quickly panned. In 2007 is was named as one of the worst covers of all time on pop culture website Retrocrush.
An acquaintance of mine, Fred Maher, was the drummer for Lou Reed in his younger days. During those days Fred met legendary recording engineer and producer Glyn Johns, who worked with Led Zeppelin (among many others). Fred has told me that Glyn Johns reportedly freaked out and called Jimmy Page to rip him a new one after this single came out.
Guitarist Jimmy Page reforming Led Zeppelin sans Robert Plant would have been a better decision than collaborating with P. Diddy (then known as Puff Daddy) on this monstrosity of a song. Recorded for the soundtrack to 1998’s similarly awful Godzilla remake, Page’s contribution doesn’t go beyond permitting the song’s sample of Led classic “Kashmir” and adding some shaky “Stairway to Heaven”-aping licks. And Diddy’s lyrics simply flunk: “Break the faith / Fall from grace / Tell me lies / Time flies / Close your eyes.” Ouchhhhhhhh…
Puffy’s track, titled “Come With Me,” mirrored Godzilla in the worst way: Both the single and its film were seen as crass, lumbering, bloated miscalculations that tried to trade on former glories for commercial gain. It all added up to a lot of fast-forgotten noise. As Public Enemy leader Chuck D put it in a 2012 interview: “I like Jimmy Page and P. Diddy, but what they did to ‘Kashmir’ was a debacle. They are giants in their own way – and you can print this – but that was a fucking travesty.”
VH1: The collaboration was ranked #27 on VH1’s top 40 “Least Metal Moments”.