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Jimmy Page Bio- old skool projects (1 Viewer)

Apollo

Senior Member
Rock Legend


Jimmy Patrick Page was born on January 9, 1944 in Heston, Middlesex, England, within a 12 mile radius of the birthplaces of Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. It was Elvis Presley that inspired him to pick up a guitar. That was in 1957, when he was 13. It was the song, “Baby, Lets play house” that sparked the legend. He had some lessons, but Jimmy was mostly self-taught. Jimmy Page heard of Jeff Beck being an astounding guitar player on the other side of town, and they met and became best friends. They traded “jams” like Ricky Nelson’s “My Babe”, and “It’s Late”. Jimmy Page’s first guitar was a ’49 Les Paul, which was what the kind of guitar he mostly used his whole career, Les Paul, with an aged sunburst color. His first amp was a speaker cabinet he constructed that was 15 feet long and 1 foot high.

Jimmy Page didn’t go to college; at least not right away. He joined a band that toured all over England. It was called Neil Christian and the Crusaders. They played a little bit of everything. But it didn’t last very long. They didn’t have any money, so they slept in the club. They had to hitchhike for travel, and were usually late for performances. The Crusaders were forced to use other people’s amps, which sounded bad. They were traveling all this time and were in poor conditions.

Jimmy Page kept getting Glandular fever because of that. He was forced to quit. Jimmy enlisted in an art college in Surrey. He liked to paint. Yet he continued to play guitar, just not as frequently.

Around playing Sunday night jams at his parent’s house with Beck and others and joining musicians on stage at the Marquee Club in London while meeting Eric Clapton, Jimmy had an epiphany: he was still zealous about guitar playing, zealous enough for it to take over his life again. Jimmy wanted to get better at guitar playing first, before he started or joined a band yet. Pretty soon, people approached him to play sessions. He became one of England’s top session guitarists and producers.

He worked with the Who, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, and many others. While playing in a band called the Tridents, the Yardbirds, upon losing Eric Clapton for his loyalty to the blues and Jeff Beck replacing him, Jimmy was called over to be another member of the Yardbirds by his good friend. The Yardbird’s changed to a more rockin’ style. Jimmy Page and his new band were experimenting with psychedelic approaches and some new hard rock. Soon after, Beck left the band. Because of that, the personnel, one by one, one replacement after another, changed into what seemed to be a whole new band.

The Who’s drummer, Keith Moon thought the band, all full of new members except for Jimmy Page, would not do well. He joked that the band would go down like a lead balloon. That is exactly what they became. Led Zeppelin.

The new members of what was previously called the Yardbirds were Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham, a.k.a. “Bonzo”. They were a perfect combination, from Plant’s siren-like wails, to Jones’s low backing; from Page’s highly variable and glorious resonances to the explosion of each of Bonzo’s drum beats. This mix of mysticism and legend reigned over rock for 12 years.

In the studio, Jimmy Page knew what he wanted to do every time. While alone with the band at some hotel or someplace, he always had a knack of discovering that sounded cool. To start with, on the first album, Led Zeppelin I, Jimmy Page used a violin bow on the guitar strings in some songs, but used it the most in “Dazed and Confused”, an amazing song. He used it more noticeably in the incendiary concert performances. That sound alone could lead a whole army.

Most of the tunes made in Led Zeppelin II were made on the road. Because Jimmy was experimenting with some things that seemed impossible, the producer (Glyn Johns) and studio personnel were made queasy, but by the second album, star-struck, and convinced that Jim new what he was doing, they shut up and let him do his thing.

The third album, Led Zeppelin III had a little more acoustic sound in it. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant had written a lot of the album in a remote area in the Welsh mountains. It helped calm things down a bit. The jacket of the album is really interesting. Jimmy Page was giving a design to an artist to copy onto the album cover, only he got “personal about it”.
The artist added his dinky personal effects, including some corn over a white backdrop, among other stuff floating around that white abyss with nothing else but the band name. Yet, it did nothing to hurt sales.

Jimmy Page heard about this old house in the English countryside some hours outside of London. It was called Headley Grange, a three story mansion built in 1795. It was originally built as a “workhouse” for the poor and the insane. It wasn’t particularly beautiful, and in fact, it spooked Bonzo and Plant. Page actually thought he saw a ghost there. It was a spooky old mansion that was used as a recording booth by Rock’s greatest legends.

A few years earlier, Page came up with a style of distant miking that gave a sound more depth. This was perfect with the haunted mansion. “Plus, the 200 year old building had more than creature comforts, it had presence”-Page.
It seems the troubled spirits and arcane atmosphere of the Grange blended as one, like smoke, and ingrained themselves in the instruments they played, the music that flowed capriciously, and the tape and recorder that ensnared the supernatural concoction of mystic harmony and dark historic ambiance that drifted toward it. These tones made the next album, Zoso, or also called Led Zeppelin IV, rise above all of the others and become the most selling hard rock album ever. “Stairway to Heaven” was the top requested song on the radio for a decade.

Many others also recorded at the Grange, but it did more for Zeppelin than any before and after it. “I’m pretty sure Headley Grange was haunted”-Page.

There was no shortage of touring action. They filled the air with power and legend and unchained energy. To quote Brad Tolinsky of Guitar Legends issue of Led Zeppelin, who said it best, would be to agree:

“Led Zeppelin created the blueprint for rock & roll bacchanalia. From their first show in 1968 to their last in 1980, no one did it bigger, badder, or wilder than guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John ‘Bonzo’ Bonham. They set the standard for wrecking hotel rooms and ravaging groupies. And they did it with wicked exuberance and style.
“For the most part, their exploits were the stuff of legend- shrouded in dusky rumor and hearsay. Zeppelin’s renowned tour excesses were conducted mostly behind velvet ropes, in a decadent world of exotic women, expensive cocaine, and the occult. Few were allowed in, and the rest were left to press one ear to the door or an eye to the keyhole in the vain hope of discovering the truth behind the tales.”

Page gives some insight on some wild behavior and notorious things that happened in Japan.

“For example, there was a night when one of us got our clothes tossed out the window and that person took advantage of that opportunity to run around on the rooftops of Japan naked. Then there was a public phone that disappeared off the streets and was found outside the doorway with all sorts of money in it. Not to mention another evening when the beautiful hand-painted screens in our rooms were chopped up with a samurai sword. I mean, I’m giving three examples, but all of those things happened in a 48 hour period.”


The next album was called Houses of the Holy. Page didn’t feel pressured to live up to “Stairway”, and for good reason. He’d seen many bands try to duplicate the sound of their best songs, and in the process, burn out earlier, and only go to make 1 or 2 more albums. Zeppelin started on a clean slate, living a second life; they were in an exploring stage.
The album after was Physical Graffiti. Zeppelin departed from their highly polished sound on this one, on every song except “In My Time of Dying”.

Presence, the following album, was Jimmy Page’s favorite, because they had it finished on time in “impossible” circumstances. Robert Plant suffered a near fatal car accident, suffering a fractured elbow and ankle break while his wife suffered a broken hip and fractured skull. They did the whole album in 18 days, and no one had any ideas.
It was up to Page to come up with all the riffs, which is why the album is so heavy in guitar. If the record dragged on, there would’ve been something negative spewing in the band, and Page didn’t want that. He wanted to make the deadline. This album is a great example Page’s grace under pressure.

Their last album, In Through the Out Door, was revolutionary. Jones had just gotten a Synthesizer and was one of the first to get one. The last album was dominated by the Synthesizer. By then, the members were getting older. “In Through the Out Door” marked the end of an era.


In 1980, John Bonham had passed out in Jimmy Page’s home, on the bed, from drinking too much alcohol. He didn’t wake up. Shortly after that, Led Zeppelin broke up.
Jimmy Page tried several times to form new bands with different people. For a short while, Zeppelin got back together, once with Bonzo’s son, Tracy, and another time with Phil Collins as drummer. They all broke up shortly after being formed.

He’s released a solo album in 1988, “Outrider”, united with former Whitesnake vocalist Dave Coverdale and released an album with him (Coverdale/Page), and has teamed up with Plant for several events. In 1994, they performed in MTV Unplugged and had a world tour called No Quarter. They also released another not-so-famous album, Walking into Clarksdalein 1998.

In 1999, Page teamed up with the Black Crows in concert, and released a live album called Jimmy Page and the Black Crows Live at the Greek. In 2003, Jimmy Page gathered all of his Led Zeppelin footage and put them together, one DVD and one CD, each called How the West Was Won. Together, How the West Was Won is favorite audio recordings and concert footage set.

Now, Page is probably sitting in his castle listening to Interviewers and bowing fans worship him. We remember him for the great songs, the incendiary concert performances, and intelligent productions.


How does he want to be remembered?


“Many people think of me as just a riff guitarist, but I think of myself in broader terms. As a musician I think my greatest achievement has been to create unexpected melodies and harmonies within a rock & roll framework. And as a producer I would like to be remembered as someone who was able to sustain a band of unquestionable individual talent and push it to the forefront during its working career. I think I capture the best of our output, growth, change, and maturity on tape- the multifaceted gem that is Led Zeppelin”-Page.


Sources

Guitar Legends (Guitar World) issue #66, pgs. 13-101
Authors: Brad Tolinski (13-27, 36-101), Joe Bosso (28-35), Greg Di Benedetto (28-35),

Google.com > Askmen.com, Top ten most selling Albums

Rollingstone.com- Jimmy Page
Author: Seth Hindin
 
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