Today (1/9) is guitar god Jimmy Page’s birthday. My head explodes just thinking about some of the classic Zeppelin licks he’s come up with over the years. It seemed like every song on which he’s played has that unique twist on the guitar work. Chords going in crazy directions, three guitars playing different parts at once, those are trademarks of Page’s work.
He was obsessive over the band’s guitar parts. During overdub sessions for “Presence,” he worked upwards of 18 hours a day in Musicland Studios in Germany, getting the parts just right. Of course, he WAS on a deadline at the time, having to vacate the studio for The Stones (who’d booked it right after Zeppelin). That seemed to inspire him even more.
Inspiration also came in the form of the English and Welsh properties where Page and band recorded and lived. For Led Zeppelin III, he and the group stayed at Bron-Yr-Aur, an 18th century cottage in Wales. It was there Page composed some of his most beautiful acoustic-tinged tracks which ended up on future albums. At Headley Grange, the haunted English manor house, much of their next three albums were recorded there. Songs like “Stairway To Heaven” and “Kashmir” were born at Headley Grange.
While Jimmy Page’s work with The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin and the Firm is very well known, loved and respected, he has played on many recordings by other artists. Before he joined The Yardbirds, Page was a very much in-demand session player. In fact, it was the money he made from his session work that helped him finance the recording of Led Zeppelin I.
Jimmy Page shines whenever he picks up and plays a guitar. Even though we equate him and his work with those three superstar bands in which he’s played, he’s done mush more. In fact, here are 10 moments of Jimmy Page guitar brilliance that aren’t Led Zeppelin: