Proving once again that he's the master of merging musical universes, Bad Boy Records impresario and rapper Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs takes to the stage this weekend with legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page for a special performance on "Saturday Night Live."
The unlikely duo will be joined by a member of Fuzzbubble, the first rock band signed to Puff Daddy's label, to perform the song "Come With Me," a track from the upcoming soundtrack to the anticipated summer-blockbuster movie "Godzilla."
Mimicking the sound of the recorded version, the performance will feature a 40- piece orchestra, according to Fuzzbubble bass player Brett Rothfeld. "It sounded amazing," said Rothfeld, who called just hours after the first run- through of the song at the "SNL" studio on Thursday afternoon (May 7). Page, who will join the band for a Saturday dry-run, did not attend the Thursday run- through. Describing himself as a "huge Zeppelin fan growing up," Rothfeld said he was excited to actually play with his hero Page on Saturday. The bassist said the last time that he met the guitar god -- during the mixing of the song -- all he really managed to do was slip in a handshake and photo op with Page. Fuzzbubble do not appear on the album version of "Come With Me."
The song, based on the classic Zeppelin tune "Kashmir," had an unusual genesis, according to Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who also plays on the track. "We had, like, a day and a half in a studio in L.A. to do it," Morello said of the sessions, which did not include Page.
Morello explained that he was surprised at how musically adept Puff Daddy was in the studio, where the reigning king of hip-hop oversaw all aspects of the recording session. Puff Daddy even brought in a large string section from the L.A. Philharmonic for the session. "We all played the same part on the recorded version," Morello said of the classic Zeppelin "Kashmir" riff that pervades the tune. "And the song basically has five parts, so Puffy and I arranged it and Jimmy [Page] had to learn our arrangement and then he recorded his part in England."
Although he was overjoyed to work with his hero Page, Morello said he had a hard time learning the lifted riff from the song. "I love the album version, but I'm going to also do a rock remix of it that will be real guitar-heavy," he said. "Both Jimmy and I played a lot more 'guitar hero' parts than are on the album version, which is maybe more hip-hop and hit-song oriented than crushing rock."
Morello said he doesn't know where or how his remix will be released just yet.
The guitarist, best known for his band's bombastic, hard-rock political anthems, also said that despite the unlikelihood of the triple-threat combo on the song, he had no qualms about working with Puff Daddy. "Whenever you go into a club and his stuff comes on," Morello said, "it just goes off."
This isn't the first time that Puff Daddy has hit the stage with a rocker. He performed his tribute to slain rapper Notorious B.I.G., "I'll Be Missing You" -- which samples the Police hit "Every Breath You Take" -- with former Police singer Sting at MTV's Video Music Awards and he brought in Foo Fighter Dave Grohl and former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson to do a rock remix of the song "It's All About the Benjamins."
The all-star soundtrack to "Godzilla," Godzilla: The Album, features a cover of the David Bowie song "Heroes" by the Wallflowers (the first single), as well as new tracks by: Jamiroquai ("Deeper Underground"), Rage Against the Machine ("No Shelter"), Ben Folds Five ("Air"), Foo Fighters ("A 320"), a remix of Green Day's "Brainstew" and the recorded debut of Fuzzbubble with "Out There." The soundtrack also features songs by Days of the New, Silverchair and Michael Penn.