The Firm (band)

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The Firm
Years active 1984 - 1986
Status Inactive
Origin London, England
Music genre(s) Hard rock, rock
Members Jimmy Page
Paul Rodgers
Tony Franklin
Chris Slade

The Firm were an English rock supergroup comprising former Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers, ex-Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, ex-Roy Harper bass player Tony Franklin, and ex-Uriah Heep drummer Chris Slade.

Overview

The band was borne out of Page and Rodgers liaison during the ARMS benefit concerts in North America during 1983. Initial rehearsals, under the incognito band name the Macgregors, utilised the services of drummer Rat Scabies, and Roy Harper's backing band. Page and Rodgers originally wanted former Yes drummer Bill Bruford and fretless bassist Pino Palladino in the group; however, Bruford was contracted to another label and could not formally join the band in the studio while Palladino had prior tour commitments with singer Paul Young. Phil Carson, Page's personal manager, was appointed as band manager.[1] Page undertook a series of dates as part of the Alexis Korner benefit gigs with colleague Roy Harper, before the Firm debuted in Scandinavia during late 1984 then performing a short burst of sold out British shows. The band's shows at London's Hammersmith Odeon were filmed and broadcast on MTV in America as a taster for dates there. While the band had only average album sales, they did have better selling tours. Their self-titled debut album appeared on Atlantic a year later, cracking the Billboard Top 20 on the strength of the hit single 'Radioactive'.[2]

Both Page and Rodgers declined to play any material from their former bands and instead opted for a selection of songs from both their solo albums and new compositions which were heavily infused with a soulful and more commercially accessible sound, courtesy of Franklin's fretless bass guitar underpinning an understated song structure.[3] Although refusing to play old material, Page would occasionally throw in his violin bowing in live performances,[4] and the last track from The Firm, 'Midnight Moonlight', was originally an unreleased song by Led Zeppelin entitled 'Swan Song'. Initial North American dates had Jason Bonham's Virginia Wolf as support. The Firm played their last show in Seattle, Washington at the close of April 1986. In subsequent press interviews, Rodgers and Page indicated that the project was never meant to last more than two albums. After one more LP, 1986's Mean Business, the band separated and both Page and Rodgers resumed solo careers while Chris Slade joined AC/DC, and Franklin teamed up with guitarist John Sykes in Blue Murder, and then later Whitesnake.

Notes

  1. Welch, Chris (2002). Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin. London: Omnibus Press, 231. ISBN 0-7119-9195-2. 
  2. De Atley, Richard. "Jimmy Page Isn't Seeking Nostalgia", The Free Lance-Star, 11 May 1985, p. 17.
  3. Case, George (2007). Jimmy Page: Magus, Musician, Man - An Unauthorized Biography. New York: Hal Leonard, 170. ISBN 1-4234-0407-1. 
  4. Higgins, Jim. "The Firm Puts Business of Rock Before Pleasure", The Milwaukee Sentinel, 8 March 1985, p. 12.