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Happy birthday Jimmy Page ! trick "Jimmy" Page, Jr., OBE (born 9 January 1944)[1] is an English musician, songwriter, and record producer who achieved international success as the guitarist and founder of the rock band Led Zeppelin.
Page began his career as a studio session musician in London and, by the mid-1960s, had become the most sought-after session guitarist in England. He was a member of the Yardbirds from 1966 to 1968. In late 1968, he founded Led Zeppelin.
Page is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential guitarists of all time.[2][3][4] Rolling Stone magazine has described Page as "the pontiff of power riffing" and ranked him number 3 in their list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". In 2010, he was ranked number two in Gibson's list of "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time" and, in 2007, number four on Classic Rock's "100 Wildest Guitar Heroes". He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice; once as a member of the Yardbirds (1992) and once as a member of Led Zeppelin (1995). Page has been described by Uncut as "rock's greatest and most mysterious guitar hero." Los Angeles Times magazine voted Jimmy Page the 2nd greatest guitarist of all time.
Early life
James Patrick Page, Jr. was born to James Patrick Page Sr. and Patricia Elizabeth Page (née Gaffikin)[5] in the west London suburb of Heston on 9 January 1944, which today forms part of the London Borough of Hounslow. His father was an industrial personnel manager and his English mother, who was of Irish descent,[6] was a doctor's secretary.[7] In 1952, they moved to Feltham and then to Miles Road, Epsom in Surrey, which is where Page came across his first guitar. "I don't know whether [the guitar] was left behind by the people [in the house] before [us], or whether it was a friend of the family's—nobody seemed to know why it was there."[8] First playing the instrument at age twelve,[9] he took a few lessons in nearby Kingston, but was largely self-taught:
When I grew up there weren't many other guitarists ... There was one other guitarist in my school who actually showed me the first chords that I learned and I went on from there. I was bored so I taught myself the guitar from listening to records. So obviously it was a very personal thing.[10]
Among Page's early influences were rockabilly guitarists Scotty Moore and James Burton, who both played on recordings made by Elvis Presley.[11] Presley's song "Baby Let's Play House" is cited by Page as being his inspiration to take up the guitar.[12] Although he appeared on BBC1 in 1957 with a Hofner President, Page states that his first guitar was a second-hand 1959 Futurama Grazioso, later replaced by a Fender Telecaster.[13]
Page's musical tastes included skiffle (a popular English music genre of the time) and acoustic folk playing, and the blues sounds of Elmore James, B.B. King, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Freddie King and Hubert Sumlin.[14] "Basically, that was the start: a mixture between rock and blues."[12]
At 13, Page appeared on Huw Wheldon's All Your Own talent quest programme in a skiffle quartet, one performance of which aired on BBC1 in 1957.[15] The group played "Mama Don't Want to Skiffle Anymore" and another American-flavoured song, "In Them Ol' Cottonfields Back Home."[16] When asked by Wheldon what he wanted to do after schooling, Page said, "I want to do biological research" to find a cure for "cancer, if it isn't discovered by then."[15]
In an interview with Guitar Player magazine, Page stated that "there was a lot of busking in the early days, but as they say, I had to come to grips with it and it was a good schooling."[12] Page took a guitar to school each day only to have it confiscated and returned to him after class.[17] Although interviewed for a job as a laboratory assistant, he ultimately chose to leave Danetree Secondary School, West Ewell, to pursue music.[17]
Page had difficulty finding other musicians with whom he could play on a regular basis. "It wasn't as though there was an abundance. I used to play in many groups ... anyone who could get a gig together, really."[13] Following stints backing recitals by Beat poet Royston Ellis at the Mermaid Theatre between 1960–61,[18] and singer Red E. Lewis, he was asked by singer Neil Christian to join his band, The Crusaders, after Christian had seen a fifteen-year-old Page playing in a local hall.[13] Page toured with Christian for approximately two years and later played on several of his records, including the 1962 single, "The Road to Love."[19]
During his stint with Christian, Page fell seriously ill with glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis) and could not continue touring.[13] While recovering, he decided to put his musical career on hold and concentrate on his other love, painting, and enrolled at Sutton Art College in Surrey.[4] As he explained in 1975:
[I was] travelling around all the time in a bus. I did that for two years after I left school, to the point where I was starting to get really good bread. But I was getting ill. So I went back to art college. And that was a total change in direction. That's why I say it's possible to do. As dedicated as I was to playing the guitar, I knew doing it that way was doing me in forever. Every two months I had glandular fever. So for the next 18 months I was living on ten dollars a week and getting my strength up. But I was still playing.[9]
Early 1960s: session musician[edit]
While still a student, Page often performed on stage at The Marquee with bands such as Cyril Davies' All Stars, Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated and fellow guitarists Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. He was spotted one night by John Gibb of Brian Howard & the Silhouettes, who asked him to help record some singles for Columbia Graphophone Company, including "The Worrying Kind". Mike Leander of Decca Records first offered Page regular studio work. His first session for the label was the recording "Diamonds" by Jet Harris and Tony Meehan, which went to Number 1 on the singles chart in early 1963.[13]
After brief stints with Carter-Lewis and the Southerners, Mike Hurst and the Method and Mickey Finn and the Blue Men, Page committed himself to full-time session work. As a session guitarist, he was known as 'Lil' Jim Pea' to prevent confusion with the other noted English session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan. Page was mainly called into sessions as "insurance" in instances when a replacement or second guitarist was required by the recording artist. "It was usually myself and a drummer", he explained, "though they never mention the drummer these days, just me ... Anyone needing a guitarist either went to Big Jim [Sullivan] or myself."[13] He stated that "In the initial stages they just said, play what you want, cos at that time I couldn't read music or anything."
Page was the favoured session guitarist of record producer Shel Talmy. As a result, he secured session work on songs for The Who and the Kinks.[22] Page is credited with playing acoustic twelve string guitar on two tracks on the Kinks' debut album, "I'm a Lover Not a Fighter" and "I've Been Driving on Bald Mountain",[23] and possibly on the b-side "I Gotta Move".[24] He played rhythm guitar on the sessions for The Who's first single "I Can't Explain"[20] (although Pete Townshend was reluctant to allow Page's contribution on the final recording, Page also played lead guitar on the B-side "Bald Headed Woman").[25] Page's studio gigs in 1964 included Marianne Faithfull's "As Tears Go By", The Nashville Teens' "Tobacco Road", The Rolling Stones' "Heart of Stone", Van Morrison & Them's "Baby Please Don't Go", "Mystic Eyes," and "Here Comes the Night", Dave Berry's "The Crying Game" and "My Baby Left Me", Brenda Lee's "Is It True," and Petula Clark's "Downtown".
In a 2010 interview, Page remembered contributing guitar to the incidental music of The Beatles' 1964 film A Hard Day’s Night, which was being recorded at Abbey Road Studios.[26]
In 1965, Page was hired by Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham to act as house producer and A&R man for the newly formed Immediate Records label, which allowed him to play on and/or produce tracks by John Mayall, Nico, Chris Farlowe, Twice as Much and Clapton. Also in 1965, Page produced one of Dana Gillespie's early singles, "Thank You Boy".[27] Page also formed a brief songwriting partnership with then romantic interest Jackie DeShannon. He composed and recorded songs for the John Williams (not to be confused with the classical guitarist John Williams) album The Maureeny Wishful Album with Big Jim Sullivan. Page worked as session musician on Donovan Leitch's Sunshine Superman and the Johnny Hallyday albums Jeune Homme and Je Suis Né Dans La Rue, the Al Stewart album Love Chronicles and played guitar on five tracks of Joe Cocker's debut album, With a Little Help from My Friends. Over the years since 1970, Page played lead guitar on 10 Roy Harper tracks, comprising 81 minutes of music.
When questioned about which songs he played on, especially ones where there exists some controversy as to what his exact role was, Page often points out that it is hard to remember exactly what he did given the enormous number of sessions he was playing at the time.[20][22] In a radio interview he explained that "I was doing three sessions a day, fifteen sessions a week. Sometimes I would be playing with a group, sometimes I could be doing film music, it could be a folk session ... I was able to fit all these different roles."[10]
Although Page recorded with many notable musicians, a lot of these early tracks are only available as bootleg recordings, several of which were released by the Led Zeppelin fan club in the late 1970s. One of the rarest of these is the early jam session featuring Jimmy Page and Stones guitarist Keith Richards covering Robert Johnson's "Little Queen of Spades". Several early tracks with Page were compiled on the twin album release, Jimmy Page: Session Man. Page also recorded with Richards on guitar and vocals in Olympic Sound Studios on 15 October 1974. Along with Ric Grech on bass and Bruce Rowland on drums, a track called "Scarlet" was cut. Page reflected later in an interview with Rolling Stone's Cameron Crowe: "I did what could possibly be the next Stones B side. It was Ric Grech, Keith and me doing a number called "Scarlet." I can't remember the drummer. It sounded very similar in style and mood to those Blonde on Blonde tracks. It was great, really good. We stayed up all night and went down to Island Studios where Keith put some reggae guitars over one section. I just put some solos on it, but it was eight in the morning of the next day before I did that. He took the tapes to Switzerland and someone found out about them. Keith told people that it was a track from my album".
Page left studio work when the increasing influence of Stax Records on popular music led to the greater incorporation of brass and orchestral arrangements into recordings at the expense of guitars.[12] He stated that his time as a session player served as extremely good schooling:
My session work was invaluable. At one point I was playing at least three sessions a day, six days a week! And I rarely ever knew in advance what I was going to be playing. But I learned things even on my worst sessions – and believe me, I played on some horrendous things. I finally called it quits after I started getting calls to do Muzak. I decided I couldn't live that life any more; it was getting too silly. I guess it was destiny that a week after I quit doing sessions Paul Samwell-Smith left the Yardbirds and I was able to take his place. But being a session musician was good fun in the beginning – the studio discipline was great. They'd just count the song off and you couldn't make any mistakes.[14]
Late 1960s: The Yardbirds[edit]
Main article: The Yardbirds
In late 1964, Page was approached about the possibility of replacing Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds, but he declined out of loyalty to his friend.[13] In February 1965, Clapton quit the Yardbirds and Page was formally offered his spot, but unwilling to give up his lucrative career as a session musician and worried about his health under touring conditions, he suggested his friend Jeff Beck.[28] On 16 May 1966, drummer Keith Moon, bass player John Paul Jones, keyboardist Nicky Hopkins, Beck and Page recorded "Beck's Bolero" in London's IBC Studios. The experience gave Page an idea to form a new supergroup featuring Beck, along with The Who's John Entwistle on bass and Moon on drums.[13] However, the lack of a quality vocalist and contractual problems prevented the project from getting off the ground. During this time, Moon suggested the name "Lead Zeppelin" for the first time, after Entwistle commented that the proceedings would take to the air like a lead balloon.
Within weeks, Page attended a Yardbirds concert at Oxford. After the show, he went backstage where Paul Samwell-Smith announced that he was leaving the group.[12] Page offered to replace Samwell-Smith, and this was accepted by the group. He initially played electric bass with the Yardbirds before finally switching to twin lead guitar with Beck when Chris Dreja moved to bass. The musical potential of the line-up was scuttled, however, by interpersonal conflicts caused by constant touring and a lack of commercial success, although they released one single, "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago". While Page and Beck played together in the Yardbirds, the trio of Page, Beck and Clapton never played in the original group at the same time. The three guitarists did appear on stage together at the ARMS charity concerts in 1983.
After Beck's departure, the Yardbirds remained a quartet. They recorded one album with Page on lead guitar, Little Games. The album received indifferent reviews and was not a commercial success, peaking at number 80 on the Billboard 200. Though their studio sound was fairly commercial at the time, the band's live performances were just the opposite, becoming heavier and more experimental. These concerts featured musical aspects that Page would later perfect with Led Zeppelin, most notably performances of "Dazed and Confused".
After the departure of Keith Relf and Jim McCarty in 1968, Page reconfigured the group with a new line-up to fulfil unfinished tour dates in Scandinavia.
To this end, Page recruited vocalist Robert Plant and drummer John Bonham, and he was also contacted by John Paul Jones, who asked to join.[29] During the Scandinavian tour, the new group appeared as the New Yardbirds, but soon recalled the old joke by Keith Moon and John Entwistle. Page stuck with that name to use for his new band. Peter Grant changed it to "Led Zeppelin", to avoid a mispronunciation of "Lead Zeppelin."[30]
1968–80: Led Zeppelin[edit]
Jimmy Page onstage in 1973
Main article: Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin is one of the best-selling music groups in the history of audio recording. Various sources estimate the group's worldwide sales at more than 200 or even 300 million albums. With 111.5 million RIAA-certified units, they are the second-best-selling band in the United States. Each of their nine studio albums reached the top 10 of the US Billboard album chart, and six reached the number-one spot.
Led Zeppelin were the progenitors of heavy metal and hard rock, and their sound was largely the product of Page's input as a producer and musician. The band's individualistic style drew from a wide variety of influences. They performed on multiple record-breaking concert tours, which also earned them a reputation for excess. Although they remained commercially and critically successful, in the later 1970s, the band's output and touring schedule were limited by the personal difficulties of the members.
Page explained that he had a very specific idea in mind as to what he wanted Led Zeppelin to be, from the very beginning:
I had a lot of ideas from my days with the Yardbirds. The Yardbirds allowed me to improvise a lot in live performance and I started building a textbook of ideas that I eventually used in Zeppelin. In addition to those ideas, I wanted to add acoustic textures. Ultimately, I wanted Zeppelin to be a marriage of blues, hard rock and acoustic music topped with heavy choruses – a combination that had never been done before. Lots of light and shade in the music.[14]
Post-Led Zeppelin career[edit]
Led Zeppelin broke up in 1980 following the death of Bonham at Page's home. Page initially refused to touch a guitar, grieving for his friend.[20][31] For the rest of the 1980s, his work consisted of a series of short-term collaborations in the bands the Firm, the Honeydrippers, reunions and individual work, including film soundtracks. He also became active in philanthropic work.
Page in 1983
Page made a return to the stage at a Jeff Beck show in March 1981 at the Hammersmith Odeon.[32] Also in 1981, Page joined with Yes bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White to form a supergroup called XYZ (for ex-Yes-Zeppelin). They rehearsed several times, but the project was shelved. Bootlegs of these sessions revealed that some of the material emerged on later projects, notably The Firm's "Fortune Hunter" and Yes songs "Mind Drive" and "Can You Imagine?". Page joined Yes on stage in 1984 at Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany, playing "I'm Down".
In 1982, Page collaborated with director Michael Winner to record the Death Wish II soundtrack. This and several subsequent Page recordings, including the Death Wish III soundtrack, were recorded and produced at his recording studio, The Sol in Cookham, which he had purchased from Gus Dudgeon in the early 1980s.
Page at an A.R.M.S. concert in 1983
In 1983, Page appeared with the A.R.M.S. (Action Research for Multiple sclerosis) charity series of concerts which honoured Small Faces bassist Ronnie Lane, who suffered from the disease. For the first shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Page's set consisted of songs from the Death Wish II soundtrack (with Steve Winwood on vocals) and an instrumental version of "Stairway to Heaven". A four-city tour of the United States followed, with Paul Rodgers of Bad Company replacing Winwood. During the tour, Page and Rodgers performed "Midnight Moonlight", which would later appear on The Firm's first album. All of the shows featured an on stage jam of "Layla" that reunited Page with Beck and Clapton. According to the book Hammer of the Gods, it was reportedly around this time that Page told friends that he had just ended seven years of heroin use. On 13 December 1983, Page joined Plant on stage for one encore at the Hammersmith Odeon in London.
Page next linked up with Roy Harper for the 1984 album Whatever Happened to Jugula? and occasional concerts, performing a predominantly acoustic set at folk festivals under various guises such as the MacGregors and Themselves. Also in 1984, Page recorded with Plant as the Honeydrippers the album The Honeydrippers: Volume 1 and with John Paul Jones on the film soundtrack Scream for Help.
Page subsequently collaborated with Rodgers on two albums under the name The Firm. The first album, released in 1985, was the self-titled The Firm. Popular songs included "Radioactive" and "Satisfaction Guaranteed". The album peaked at number 17 on the Billboard pop albums chart and went gold in the US. It was followed by Mean Business in 1986. The band toured in support of both albums, but soon split up.
Various other projects followed, such as session work for Graham Nash, Stephen Stills and the Rolling Stones (on their 1986 single "One Hit (to the Body)"). In 1986, Page reunited temporarily with his ex-Yardbirds bandmates to play on several tracks of the Box of Frogs album Strange Land.[33] Page released a solo album entitled Outrider in 1988, which featured contributions from Plant, with Page contributing in turn to Plant's solo album Now and Zen, which was released the same year.
Throughout these years, Page also reunited with the other former bandmates of Led Zeppelin to perform live on a few occasions, most notably in 1985 for the Live Aid concert with both Phil Collins and Tony Thompson filling drum duties. However, the band members considered this performance to be sub-standard, with Page having been let down by a poorly tuned Les Paul. Page, Plant and Jones, as well as Bonham's son Jason, performed at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary show on 14 May 1988, closing the 12-hour show.[34]
In 1990, a Knebworth concert to aid the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre and the British School for Performing Arts and Technology saw Plant unexpectedly joined by Page to perform "Misty Mountain Hop", "Wearing and Tearing" and "Rock and Roll". Page also performed with the band's former members at Jason Bonham's wedding.
Page also embarked on a collaboration with David Coverdale in 1993 entitled Coverdale Page.
In 1994, Page reunited with Plant for the penultimate performance in MTV's "Unplugged" series. The 90-minute special, dubbed Unledded, premiered to the highest ratings in MTV's history. In October of the same year, the session was released as the CD No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded and in 2004 as the DVD No Quarter Unledded. Following a highly successful mid-'90s tour to support No Quarter, Page and Plant recorded 1998's Walking into Clarksdale, along with drummer Michael Lee.
Page was heavily involved in remastering the Led Zeppelin catalogue. He participated in various charity concerts and charity work, particularly the Action for Brazil's Children Trust (ABC Trust), founded by his wife Jimena Gomez-Paratcha in 1998. In the same year, Page played guitar for rap singer/producer Puff Daddy's song "Come with Me", which heavily samples Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" and was included in the soundtrack of Godzilla. The two later performed the song on Saturday Night Live.
In October 1999, Page teamed up with The Black Crowes for a two-night performance of material from the Led Zeppelin catalogue and old blues and rock standards. The concert was recorded and released as a double live album, Live at the Greek in 2000. The following summer, Page and the Black Crowes were co-headliners in a North American tour with The Who. In 2001 he made an appearance on stage with Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst and Wes Scantlin of Puddle of Mudd at the MTV Europe Video Music Awards in Frankfurt, where they performed a version of Led Zeppelin's "Thank You".[35]
Jimmy Page performing at the Led Zeppelin reunion concert in 2007
In 2005, Page was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of his Brazilian charity work for Task Brazil and Action For Brazil's Children's Trust,[36] made an honorary citizen of Rio de Janeiro later that year and was awarded a Grammy award.[37]
In November 2006, Led Zeppelin was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame. The television broadcasting of the event consisted of an introduction to the band by various famous admirers (including Roger Taylor, Slash, Joe Perry, Steven Tyler, Jack White and Tony Iommi), a presentation of an award to Jimmy Page and then a short speech by the guitarist. After this, rock group Wolfmother played a tribute to Led Zeppelin, playing the song "Communication Breakdown".[38][39] During an interview for the BBC in connection with the induction, Page expressed plans to record new material in 2007, saying: "It's an album that I really need to get out of my system ...there's a good album in there and it's ready to come out" and "Also there will be some Zeppelin things on the horizon."[40]
On 10 December 2007, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin, as well as John Bonham's son, Jason Bonham played a charity concert at the O2 Arena London.
For the 2008 Olympics, Jimmy Page, David Beckham and Leona Lewis represented Britain during the closing ceremonies on 24 August 2008. Beckham rode a double-decker bus into the stadium and Page and Lewis performed "Whole Lotta Love".[41]
In 2008 Page co-produced a documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim entitled It Might Get Loud. The film examines the history of the electric guitar, focusing on the careers and styles of Page, The Edge and Jack White. The film premiered on 5 September 2008 at the Toronto Film Festival.[42] Page also participated in the three-part BBC documentary London Calling: The making of the Olympic handover ceremony on 4 March 2009.[43] On 4 April 2009, Page inducted Jeff Beck into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[44] Page announced his 2010 solo tour while talking to the Sky News on 16 December 2009.[45][46]
On 7 June 2008, Page and John Paul Jones appeared with the Foo Fighters to close out the band's concert at Wembley Stadium, performing "Rock and Roll" and "Ramble On."
Page (right) with the other surviving members of Led Zeppelin, with U.S. President Barack Obama at the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors
Page holding aloft a microphone at a 2012 press conference to promote Celebration Day
In January 2010, Page announced an autobiography published by Genesis Publications, in a hand-crafted, limited edition of 2,150 copies.[47] Page was honoured with a first-ever Global Peace Award by the United Nations' Pathways to Peace organisation after confirming reports that he would be among the headliners at a planned Show of Peace Concert in Beijing, on 10 October 2010.[48][49]
On 3 June 2011, Page played with Donovan at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The concert was filmed. Page made an unannounced appearance with the Black Crowes at the Shepherd's Bush Empire in London on 13 July 2011. He also played alongside Roy Harper at Harper's 70th-birthday celebratory concert, in London's Royal Festival Hall on 5 November 2011.
In November 2011, Conservative MP Louise Mensch launched a campaign to have Page knighted for his contributions to the music industry.[50]
In December 2012, Page, along with Plant and Jones, received the annual Kennedy Center Honors from President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony. The honour is the U.S.'s highest award for those who have influenced American culture through the arts.[51]
In February 2013, Plant hinted that he was open to a Led Zeppelin reunion in 2014, stating that he is not the reason for Led Zeppelin's dormancy, saying "Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones are quite contained in their own worlds and leave it to [him]," adding that he is "not the bad guy" and that he has "got nothing to do in 2014."[52]
On 10 May 2014, Page was presented an Honorary Doctorate Degree at the Berklee College Of Music commencement ceremony in Boston, Massachusetts.[53]
In a spring 2014 interview with the BBC about the then forthcoming reissue of Led Zeppelin's first three albums, Page said he was confident fans would be keen on another reunion show, but Plant later replied that "the chances of it happening [were] zero." Page then told The New York Times that he was "fed up" with Plant's refusal to play, stating "I was told last year that Robert Plant said he is doing nothing in 2014, and what do the other two guys think? Well, he knows what the other guys think. Everyone would love to play more concerts for the band. He's just playing games, and I'm fed up with it, to be honest with you. I don't sing, so I can't do much about it," adding, "I definitely want to play live. Because, you know, I've still got a twinkle in my eye. I can still play. So, yeah, I'll just get myself into musical shape, just concentrating on the guitar."[54]
On 30 July 2014, an NME article revealed that Plant was "slightly disappointed and baffled" by Page in ongoing Led Zeppelin dispute during which Page declared he was "fed up" with Plant delaying Led Zeppelin reunion plans. Instead, Plant offered Led Zeppelin's guitarist to write acoustically with him as he is interested in working with Page again but only in an unplugged way.[55]
On 30 September 2014, Page – who hasn't toured as a solo act since 1988 – announced that he will start a new band and perform material spanning his entire career. He spoke about his prospects for hitting the road, saying: «I haven't put [musicians] together yet but I'm going to do that next year [i.e. 2015]. If I went out to play, I would play material that spanned everything from my recording career right back to my very, very early days with The Yardbirds. There would certainly be some new material in there as well...».[56]
On 30 December 2015 Page was featured in the two-hour long BBC Radio 2 programme Johnny Walker Meets, in conversation with disc jockey Johnny Walker.[57]
Legacy and influence[edit]
"Along with a highly original and well-rounded guitar style, influenced by blues, country and international folk music, Jimmy Page has the grand distinction of being one of the most respected and influential songwriters and producers in the history of rock music."
—Chapkin, Stang in 2003[58]
Page's experiences both in the studio and with the Yardbirds were very influential in contributing to the success of Led Zeppelin in the 1970s. As a record producer, songwriter, and guitarist he helped make Led Zeppelin a prototype for countless future rock bands and was one of the major driving forces behind the rock sound of that era, influencing a host of other guitarists.[59] Allmusic states that "just about every rock guitarist from the late '60s/early '70s to the present day has been influenced by Page's work with Led Zeppelin".[4] For example, Dictators bassist Andy Shernoff states that Jimmy Page's sped up, downstroke guitar riff in "Communication Breakdown", an influential song that contained elements of proto-punk,[60][61] was an inspiration for Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone's downstroke guitar style.[62] Ramone, who has described Page as "probably the greatest guitarist who ever lived",[63] stated in the documentary Ramones: The True Story that he improved at his down-stroke picking style by playing the song over and over again for the bulk of his early career.[64] Brian May of Queen, who was also influenced by Page,[65] has said: "I don't think anyone has epitomised riff writing better than Jimmy Page – he's one of the great brains of rock music."[66] Tom Scholz of Boston was heavily influenced by Jimmy Page and credits the dual guitar harmonies in Led Zeppelin's "How Many More Times" as the inspiration for Boston's distinctive sound.[67] Page's guitar solo from the song "Heartbreaker" has been credited by Eddie Van Halen as being the inspiration for his two-hand tapping technique after he had seen Led Zeppelin perform in 1971.[68] Van Halen said "Page influenced me and everybody that I know. The guy is a legend."[69] Kirk Hammett said, "Led Zeppelin was the first band that I ever listened and played to as a kid.I couldn't say enough about Zeppelin. Jimmy Page was the man. He is one of my heroes for years. He was the man. He was all encompassing. He was such an influence in my life."[70][71] Dave Mustaine said that Jimmy page was the first guitarist who made him want to be a great guitarist.[72] Scott Ian said Jimmy Page is the wizard and a master songwriter.[73] Jerry Cantrell said, "Jimmy Page is another guitar player that means a lot to me."[74] Zakk Wylde has stated that Page is his guy and that he worships him.[75] Similarly, Steve Vai has also commented about the song in a September 1998 Guitar World interview: "This one [Heartbreaker] had the biggest impact on me as a youth. It was defiant, bold and edgier than hell. It really is the definitive rock guitar solo."[76] Vai, who is also a Berklee alumna, was quoted saying, "In the physical universe there are objects that include suns, planets, all life and matter in all dimensions. And then there is the space where all these things exist, that space is the vital element. For virtually every kid since 1968 who picked up a guitar to find his voice on the instrument, Jimmy Page has been the space that enables all our notes to be played."[77] Chris Cornell declared Page to be the greatest guitarist in rock history[78] Joe Walsh said, "As a musician, we all want to thank Jimmy Page for showing us how to do it."[79] Alex Lifeson said as a kid Page was his absolute hero and always wanted to think and play like him.[80] Joe Perry said that Page inspired him to play any instrument strings or otherwise and said that Page can be put against any guitarist in the world.[81]
At age 13, Tom Morello joined Nebula, a Led Zeppelin cover band, as lead singer. At this same age, Morello purchased his first guitar at Rigoni Music in Libertyville. He wanted a solid-body Ovation guitar, but he didn't have the money to buy one. Instead, he purchased a Kay guitar. Wanting to learn how to play "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin, he took two guitar lessons, but instead was taught the C-major scale."[82] John Frusciante said, "Jimmy Page's playing in Led Zeppelin was the perfect rock guitar playing and he himself was the perfect rock guitar player. Jimmy Page was the first person that made me want to play guitar. Four years before I started I was taught the beginning of Stairway to Heaven and stopped learning because my teacher could not show me the solo. Of course, I got around to it eventually… and not only Led Zep stuff, but I also studied his wonderful playing in The Yardbirds and all the session’s he did in the 60’s. The way his music developed leading up to Led Zep was beautiful. It seems like he had an endless flood of good ideas and then when he found the right people to play with the flood gates just poured open. I don’t believe that a rock band could carry around more power than they did. When I was 7 years old in 1977 somebody had somehow spray painted on the freeway overpass for all to see, "Led Zep Rules". It was up there for a long while and then taken away, but I believe it will be true forever."[83] Paul Gilbert said, "Led Zeppelin was one of my favourite bands of all time and I tried to learn all their songs. Jimmy Page was great."[84] Steve Morse also cites Page as an influence.[85] Yngwie Malmsteen said he loved Jimmy Page.[86] Joe Satriani considers himself as Jimmy Page's disciple.[87] Ellen DeGeneres called Page the best guitarist in the world.[88] Mick Jagger said that Jimmy Page a great player.[89] Pete Townshend cited Page to be an extraordinary player.[90] John Squire described Jimmy Page as "the world's greatest living guitar player."[91][92][93] Jack White said, "When Jimmy grabs hold of a riff he makes it as powerful as possible. Its so explosive. I just don't trust anybody who does not like Led Zeppelin. Jimmy Page has the special gift of taking an idea and presenting that idea in its most powerful form. Artists often lose their focus or become distracted, but that’s never been the case with Jimmy. For example, as the Yardbirds were ending, he was able to find new people to work with, musicians that he knew could most powerfully present the ideas he had for the blues. What’s even more impressive is that it was at a time when everyone thought that the blues had been taken to its highest, hardest-hitting point. It turned out to not be the case. Page came along with Led Zeppelin and turned it up ten more notches. I also believe that his work as a producer at times exceeds even his importance as a guitar player. Not only did he write incredible riffs, he also knew how to present them."[92] Slash said, "Jimmy is an amazing writer and amazing producer. He is underrated as a producer still till this day."[92] Steven Tyler said, "the way he produced those songs was flawless."[92] Ritchie Blackmore said,"I rate Jimmy as a three-dimensional guitarist.Zeppelin – I liked their hard approach when they came out and did Whole Lotta Love. I immediately tuned in with that type of style because before when we were fiddling around with orchestras, I thought: something’s wrong; I’m not giving all that I can. Thanks to them for the inspiration. They got it from Jeff Beck, who got it from the Small Faces. In Rock was the right formula: agile musicians playing with a tidal wave of force. But not a Led Zeppelin steal; the textures were much more varied, the sound more flexible. Suddenly escalating popularity soon led to “supergroup” status. That must have been a little surprising. “I was surprised because I was happy to be working.Why we thought we had to change singers was because of Robert Plant. We were playing at Mother’s in Birmingham and Robert got up to sing with Terry Reid. We thought: Christ almighty! He was so dynamic. And the next two weeks we were looking for a singer, people who had Robert Plant’s dynamic approach. So it was thanks to him."[94]
Jeff Buckley was heavily influenced by Jimmy Page.[95] Buckley's close friend and former Fishbone member Chris Dowd explains that the pair were so in awe of each other that their first meeting was an emotional affair. Speaking to Uncut, Dowd said, "Jeff told me they cried. They actually cried when they met each other. Jimmy heard himself in Jeff, and Jeff was meeting his idol. Jimmy Page was the godfather of Jeff’s music. A lot of people thought Tim was the influence on Jeff, but it was really Zeppelin." Dowd also revealed just how deep Led Zeppelin's influence ran on his close friend's music. "He could play all the parts on all the songs. John Paul Jones' basslines. Page’s guitar parts. The synthesiser intro on 'In The Light' – he could play it on guitar and it would sound just like it. And then he would get on the fucking drums and exactly mimic John Bonham."[96] Lenny Kravitz said on learning to play his guitar, "The first song I learned to play was when I was at summer camp... I think it was John Denver - Take Me Home, Country Roads. I remember how great it felt to be able to switch chords without stopping and having to put your fingers in the next position. After that, I went straight for Zeppelin."[97][97] The Edge said, "When I was in school, I knew how to play "Stairway to Heaven" and I remember my music teacher telling me to teach him how to play it because all the other kids wanted to learn to play "Stairway to Heaven"."[98] James Hetfield said, "When I first got a guitar, I figured out the first couple of fingerings to this, and I ran around the house saying, 'Check it out — I can play this!' My family was like, 'Where's the rest of the song?"[98] Ozzy Osbourne said, "My world stood still the first time I heard "Dazed and Confused"."[99] Mike Karr of Royal Blood said,"Jimmy is "The" guitarist. Led Zeppelin is the greatest band in history. If we had to collaborate with any artist it would be him."[100] In 2002, after playing "Thank You" with Jimmy Page, Fred Durst said, "To play with Jimmy is the highlight of my life so far."[101] After watching the 2007 Led Zeppelin concert Marilyn Manson said, "The turning point for me was when I went to see Led Zeppelin’s reunion show, and I saw Jimmy Page and Robert Plant look at each other for a moment, and they probably said, ‘Holy shit, we wrote ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ I wanted that look again… I want to look at Twiggy and go ‘Holy shit, we wrote ‘The Beautiful People.'”[102] Ace Frehley on Page, "Jimmy Page is one of my heroes. From recording and performing, Led Zeppelin was "it" for a long time."[103] Ted Nugent said, "Certainly Jimmy Page is one of the alltime great guitar masters."
Jimmy Page in at the MOJO Awards in 2008
Many other rock guitarists were also influenced by Jimmy Page, including Ace Frehley,[104] Joe Satriani,[105] John Frusciante,[106] James Hetfield,[107] Kirk Hammett,[108] Zakk Wylde,[109] Yngwie Malmsteen,[110] Joe Perry,[111] Richie Sambora,[112] Angus Young,[113] Slash,[114] Dave Mustaine,[115] Mike McCready,[116] Jerry Cantrell,[117] Stone Gossard,[118] Mick Mars,[119] Paul Stanley,[120] Alex Lifeson,[121] and Dan Hawkins,[122] have all expressed his influence on their playing. Page has been described by Uncut as "rock's greatest and most mysterious guitar hero".[123] According to NBCNews.com, Jimmy Page "played some of the most fundamental and memorable guitar in rock history—from the heaviest crunch to the most delicate acoustic finger picking."[124] Page's solo in the famous epic "Stairway to Heaven" has been voted by readers of Guitar World[125] and Total Guitar as the greatest guitar solo of all time and he was named 'Guitarist of the Year' five times during the 1970s in Creem magazine's annual reader poll. Guitar World wrote: "Truly a guitar god, Jimmy Page is one of the most captivating soloists the rock world has ever known."[126] In 1996, Mojo Magazine ranked him number 7 on their list of "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".[127] In 2002 he was voted the second greatest guitarist of all time in a Total Guitar magazine reader poll.[128] In 2007, Classic Rock Magazine ranked him number four on their list of the "100 Wildest Guitar Heroes".[129] Gigwise.com, an online music magazine, ranked Page number two on their list of the "50 greatest guitarists ever" in 2008.[130] In August 2009, Time magazine ranked him the 6th greatest electric-guitar player of all time.[131] In 2010, Jimmy Page was ranked number two on Gibson's "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time".[132] In 2004, David Fricke, senior editor at Rolling Stone magazine, ranked him the 9th-greatest guitarist of all time and described him as "the pontiff of power riffing".[133][134] In 2011, Page ranked number 3 in an updated version of the same list.[135]
Fricke also described Jimmy Page in 1988 as "probably the most digitally sampled artist in pop today after James Brown."[133] Roger Daltrey of the Who has been a longtime fan of Page[136] and expressed his desire to form a supergroup with Page in 2010 saying: "I'd love to do something, I'd love to do an album with Jimmy Page."[137] Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones has described Jimmy Page as "one of the best guitar players I've ever known."[138] Jimmy Page was the first inductee onto the British Walk of Fame in August 2004.[139] Page was awarded "Living Legend Award" at Classic Rock Magazine Roll of Honour 2007.[140] In June 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Surrey for his services to the music industry.[141][142] Page was inducted into Mojo Hall of Fame at the magazine's award ceremony on 11 June 2010.[143]
In August 2010, Auburn University graduate student Justin Havird named a new species of fish "Lepidocephalichthys zeppelini" after Led Zeppelin, because the fish's pectoral fin reminded him of the double-neck guitar used by Jimmy Page.

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