Page and Grant went to Birmingham to watch Plant sing with his band, Hobbstweedle. They were impressed, “It unnerved me just to listen,➀” Page later said. Impressed though they were, Page and Grant also had some concerns. Said Page:
When I auditioned him and heard him sing, I immediately thought there must be something wrong with him personality-wise, or that he had to be impossible to work with, because I just could not understand why, after he told me he’s been singing for a few years already, he hadn’t been a big name yet.➀
To answer Jimmy’s concerns, Page invited Plant down to his boathouse on the Thames at Pangbourne. There, the two spent a few days listening to records, going over music, and connecting. By the time they were done, Page‘s concerns had disappeared , and Plant was off in search of his old buddy John Bonham to convince him he needs to join the band. The rest is history.
Page sold the Pangbourne boathouse in 1975 for £28,500. It is now on the market with a selling price of £1,100,000. It is a luxurious property with a large mooring, heated indoor swimming pool and three stories.
Grab a singer, a stack of records and £1.1M and start your own band at Pangbourne. It worked once…
➀Davis, Stephen. Hammer of the GodsNew York: Penguin Group, 1997. pp 50, 51.