The Time Jimmy Page and P. Diddy Performs Together In Saturday Night Live
via UFC Music / Youtube
Jimmy Page, the guitarist of Led Zeppelin, has had a remarkable and diverse career collaborating with different artists beyond his renowned hard-rock band. During his early days as a session musician in 1960s London, he had the opportunity to work with notable musicians such as Donovan and The Who.
He also contributed his talents to the psychedelic pioneers, The Yardbirds. Throughout his journey, Page has accumulated an impressive collection of classic songs that have solidified his musical legacy.
The Unforgettable Blend
One of the most peculiar moments in Page’s professional journey occurred in 1998 when he collaborated with renowned rapper P. Diddy to blend Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” with “Come with Me” for the Godzilla movie soundtrack. Despite the initial success of the song upon its release, it is now widely criticized, similar to the film it was associated with.
Page became actively involved in the song’s production and contributed extra guitar sections during the recording. He reminisced about the experience, mentioning that Diddy expressed his desire to include an orchestra after the initial recording. It was later revealed that Diddy added two separate orchestral tracks through overdubbing, resulting in a remarkable stereo effect.
A Complete Perspective Shift
Page’s perspective on rap underwent a significant transformation due to a profoundly enlightening encounter. Previously, he held a negative view, describing rappers as individuals who appropriated musical ideas and aggressively confronted others.
However, following this particular incident, he underwent a complete personal metamorphosis, embracing a new outlook. In subsequent discussions, he openly expressed his admiration for contemporary artists like The White Stripes and Korn, illustrating his newfound appreciation for a wider range of musical genres.
Additionally, Page confessed later on that he was motivated to accept the position due to his son James, who was an adolescent with a strong passion for hip-hop. Speaking to the Independent in 2004, the guitarist described his experience working with Diddy as a genuine privilege, emphasizing Diddy’s remarkable vitality and vivid imagination.
Chart Success and Lingering Criticism
The unforeseen collaboration surpassed expectations, enjoying commercial triumph by securing impressive positions on the charts in the UK and the US, and even claiming the number one spot in Iceland. However, the collaboration has been consistently criticized for its commercial motives, and these criticisms persist to this very day.
During an interview with Rolling Stone in 2012, Chuck D of Public Enemy said :
“I have an appreciation for Jimmy Page and P. Diddy, but their treatment of ‘Kashmir’ was a complete disaster. They are influential figures in their respective fields, and you can quote me on that, but their rendition was a terrible and shocking event.
“When I engage with a timeless piece, I either bring it to new heights or refrain from meddling with it altogether.”
In spite of Chuck D’s fervent opinion, he was powerless to impede the unstoppable momentum generated by Page and Diddy. Their collaboration carried such weight that they showcased a grandiose rendition of ‘Come with Me’ on the renowned comedy show, Saturday Night Live, on May 9th, 1998. This remarkable performance marked the finale of the 23rd season, with actor David Duchovny from The X-Files as the host.
Key highlights of the evening included a special cameo by Nicholas Lea, Duchovny’s co-star from the X-Files. The ‘Cheerleading Camp’ sketch featured a lively appearance by Paula Abdul, while John Goodman, Matt Lauer, and Al Roker added to the fun in the ‘Mango’ sketch. Notably, this episode marked Jim Breuer’s final performance as a cast member.
Predictably, Page and Diddy were the highlights of the evening, captivating the audience with a truly memorable musical performance that will go down in SNL history. They elevated the event to a new level of elegance by performing a revamped rendition of “Come with Me” accompanied by a grand orchestra consisting of 40 talented musicians.
Unforgettable SNL Show
Page remarked on the SNL performance, stating that the musician constantly modified the arrangement during soundcheck and rehearsals. Initially skeptical, Page doubted the artist’s ability to remember all the changes and perform flawlessly.
Yet, similar to his altered perspective on rap, the member of Led Zeppelin eventually reconsidered and acknowledged the musician’s accuracy, admitting that he consistently delivered the desired outcome. Therefore, Page recognized the musician’s skill and credited him accordingly.
Watch the performance in the video below.