Jimmy Page

Led Zeppelin onstage

The King of Rock in the 1970s. Guitar master extraordinaire. Composer, arranger, producer and all-round dude-man-guy of decadent awesomeness. I still love Led Zeppelin and in my opinion their music has stood the test of time better than a lot of other stuff from that period. Love them or hate them, you still have to give it up to Page for his compositions, his playing, his production and his awesome studio tricks. Not only that but he wore dress shoes onstage with outfits like the one he is wearing in this picture. How the heck did he pull that off?

I grew up in the 70s so I can’t not like Page; he and Led Zeppelin were just so ubiquitous and overwhelming. While some of the music doesn’t have quite the power and effect it did back then, much of the Led Zeppelin catalog still stands as great music. Post-Zeppelin, much of Page’s work has not been very impressive, but when you’re hot you’re hot, and he was really hot for almost 10 years. It’s hard to sustain that forever. Also, the chemistry he had with his Zep-mates would be impossible to recreate since drum monster John Henry Bonham left this world in 1980.

But you can get the whole Zep story  here or here or here.

I just wanna talk about Page’s guitar thing. He fused a whole lot of influences including the blues of  Otis Rush, Bukka White, Willie Dixon, and Hubert Sumlin, with the softer folk sensibilites of Bert Jansch and Joni Mitchell, and the rock and roll of Elvis Presley, James Burton, and Buddy Holly to create a heavy/soft blend of rock that preceded Nirvana by more than 20 years (haha). During the traveling days of Zep, trips to various parts of the world influenced Page and the band to come up with sounds and songs that were the beginnings of World Music:Four Sticks, The Song Remains the Same, and Friends (this version recorded in Bombay) although personally I think he had already had many of these ideas and exposure to them from living in England and traveling through Europe as a young lad.

All of these influences resulted in a ferocious blend that tore the heads off many an young person…and still does today. As time goes on I will be adding many more posts on Page and what I like about and learned from listening to him. In the meantime…enjoy.

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