Born in Greater London, England, in 1944, and primarily known for being the guitarist of Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page has influenced a generation of Rock guitarists with his powerful pentatonic riff based hard rock sound. Formed in 1968 Led Zeppelin are considered alongside Black Sabbeth to be one of the main precursors to heavy metal.
Jimmy was a childhood friend of Jeff Beck, and started his career as a session musician. He rapidly became one of the two main session guitarists in London, alongside ‘Big Jim Sullivan’, playing on, amongst many others:
The Kinks – ‘I’m a Lover, Not a Fighter’
The Who – ‘I Can’t Explain’
Michel Polnareff – ‘La Poupée Qui Fait Non’
His work on the self titled ‘Led Zeppelin’ Album is outstanding. Fluid and Rocky, the music varies from psychedelic jams to english acoustic folk numbers, but always with a common thread flowing through.
Led Zeppelin have an ethos whereby they aren’t searching for perfection, they know that the blues is gritty music and are more focused on the groove and overall sound. They therefore leave in many ‘errors’ on their final recordings, such as false notes sung, the band missing hits, or even going to the wrong chord, concentrating more on the feeling of the performance as a whole.
The most famous album that Zeppelin released was Led Zeppelin IV, including the iconic ‘Stairway to Heaven‘, And other gems such as ‘When The Levée Breaks’:
Other classic Zeppelin numbers include,
and the slightly lesser known soulful powerhouse blues: Since I’ve Been Loving You
He’s known for playing a range of guitars, but mainly a ’59 Gibson Les Paul.
Ranked at #3 on the Rolling Stones list of ‘100 greatest guitarists of all time‘ Jimmy’s influence as one of the greats continues to live on to this day.