Jimmy Page – Guitar God Profile

By on 09/15/2014
Jimmy Page

#1: Jimmy Page

  • Born: January 9, 1944
  • We all know him as the driving force behind the four-headed musical deity Led Zeppelin, but what you might not have known about the legendary axeman was that he was mostly self-taught. It’s hard to imagine now, but closest Page had to formal training weren’t more than a handful of lessons to learn basic chords.
  • After that, he was pretty much on his own, listening to, of all things, Rockabilly. It was Elvis Presley’s “Baby Let’s Play House” that ignited Page’s lifelong desire to make a career out of shredding guitar. And the rest is history – after a playing for the Yardbirds (with fellow Guitar God Eric Clapton as a previous member) for about a couple of years, the band evolved to become the mighty Led Zeppelin as we know now.
  • You can’t be in an iconic band such as Led Zeppelin without inspiring future generations of rock music. That’s why musicians such as Andy Shernoff (of The Dictators) and Johnny Ramone (from The Ramones) cite Page as their go-to guy while learning his trademark downstroke riff which he made famous in their classic track “Communication Breakdown”:
  • Hard rock hero Eddie Van Halen (of Van Halen) also developed his well-known tapping abilities largely in thanks to Page’s fast fingerwork on the song “Heartbreaker”, which you can see for yourself here (check out the 2:23 mark):
  • Proving he was way ahead of his time, Page also had an unlikely weapon in his arsenal, namely a violin bow which he used to play the guitar (his Fender Telecaster and Gibson Les Paul) during the band’s live performances of songs such as “Dazed and Confused” and “How Many More Times”. Here’s what it looks like in action:
  • Then of course, there’s the epic rock anthem “Stairway to Heaven” as featured in their album Led Zeppelin IV which elevated the band’s status to stratospheric levels. Although singer Robert Plant has said numerous times that he’s tired of the song (legend has it he even paid a radio station a five-digit sum just to stop playing it), the rest of the world still can’t get enough of it, pulling in new listeners who are decades younger than this classic.
  • That’s mainly because of Page’s solo that kicks in at about the five-and-half-minute-mark which many critics hail as the “greatest of all time” – and we couldn’t agree more. Although it sounds effortless, a lot pain went into the solo, having three different versions recorded in the studio.
  • The version that we’re now banging our heads to was played with a 1959 Fender Telecaster (going back to Page’s Yardbird days) which was from none other than former band member Jeff Beck. Check out this noteworthy live recording from their 1980 performance in Berlin (which also happened to be their last tour):





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