Plant's Zeppelin bandmate Jimmy Page played lead guitar on this track. He also played on the Now And Zen
track "Heaven Knows
In Paul Rees' book Robert Plant: A Life
, producer Tim Palmer recounts the day that Page came into the studio to record his guitar part for the song. According to Palmer, every assistant and techie around found a reason to be in the room in order to see Plant and Page play together again.
Palmer recalls that Page was drinking beer and smoking while playing, "like a cartoon caricature of himself."
Palmer never comes out and says it, but the subtext seems to be that Page wasn't performing at his highest level. Palmer didn't want to correct one of rock's greatest guitarists on how to play, so instead he just took what was given and pieced together what he could for the solo.
Nobody told Page that Plant and company were sampling Zeppelin songs on "Tall Cool One" until after it was already done, at which point guitarist Doug Boyle and Plant played it for him without warning. Both men recalled that Page seemed confused more than anything else. Plant got a laugh out of it.
"It was a bad thing to do, really," Plant says in Rees' book. "Yet at the time it seemed a bit of a hoot. Silly."