Page on set in the recent film 'It Might Get Loud'
|Birth name||James Patrick Page|
|Born||9 January 1944
Heston, Middlesex, England
|Genres||Hard rock, heavy metal, blues-rock, rock and roll, folk rock|
|Occupations||Musician, songwriter, producer|
|Instruments||Guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, theremin, bass, banjo, harmonica, sitar, synthesiser, tambourine, hurdy gurdy, pedal steel guitar, keyboards, vocals|
|Years active||1962 onward|
|Labels||Swan Song, Atlantic, Geffen, Fontana, Mercury|
|Associated acts||The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, The Honeydrippers, The Firm, Coverdale and Page, Page and Plant, XYZ|
|Gibson Les Paul
James Patrick "Jimmy" Page OBE (born 9 January 1944) is an English guitarist, songwriter and record producer. He began his career as a studio session guitarist in London and was subsequently a member of The Yardbirds from 1966 to 1968, after which he founded the English rock band Led Zeppelin.
Page is described by Allmusic as "unquestionably one of the all-time most influential, important, and versatile guitarists and songwriters in rock history". In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Page number nine in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, once as a member of The Yardbirds (1992) and once as a member of Led Zeppelin (1995).
Page was born to parents James and Patricia Page in the West London suburb of Heston, which today forms part of the London Borough of Hounslow. His father was an industrial personnel manager and his mother was a doctor's secretary. In 1952 they moved to Feltham, and later again to Miles Road, Epsom which is where Page came across his first guitar. "I don't know whether [the guitar] was left behind by the people [in the house] before [us], or whether it was a friend of the family's - nobody seemed to know why it was there." First playing the instrument at the age of twelve years, he took a few lessons in nearby Kingston, but he was largely self-taught. Among his early influences were rockabilly guitarists Scotty Moore and James Burton, who both played on recordings made by Elvis Presley. Hearing the Elvis Presley song "Baby Let's Play House" is cited by Page as being his inspiration to take up playing the guitar. His first guitar was a second hand 1959 Futurama Grazioso, which was later replaced by a Telecaster.
Page's musical tastes included skiffle (a popular English music genre of the time) and acoustic folk playing, particularly that of Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, and the blues sounds of Elmore James, B.B. King, Willie Dixon, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Freddie King and Hubert Sumlin. "Basically, that was the start: a mixture between rock and blues." At the age of 13, Page appeared on Huw Wheldon's All Your Own talent quest programme in a skiffle quartet, one performance of which aired on BBC TV in 1957. The group played "Mama Don't Want To Skiffle Anymore" and another very American-flavoured song, "In Them Ol' Cottonfields Back Home". Televised Contest. When asked by Wheldon what he wanted to do after schooling, Page said, "I want to do biological research" to find a cure for "cancer, if it isn't discovered by then".
In an interview with Guitar Player magazine, Page stated that "there was a lot of busking in the early days, but as they say, I had to come to grips with it, and it was a good schooling." Page would take a guitar to school each day and have it confiscated and handed back to him at 4:00 P.M. Although he had an interview for a job as a laboratory assistant, he ultimately chose to leave Danetree Secondary School, West Ewell, to pursue music instead.
Initially, Page had difficulty finding other musicians with whom he could play on a regular basis. "It wasn't as though there was an abundance. I used to play in many groups... anyone who could get a gig together, really." Following stints backing recitals by Beat poet Royston Ellis at the Mermaid Theatre between 1960-61, and singer Red E. Lewis, he was asked by singer Neil Christian to join his band, The Crusaders, after Christian had seen a fifteen-year-old Page playing in a local hall. Page toured with Christian for approximately two years and later played on several of his records, including the November 1962 single, "The Road to Love".
During his stint with Christian, Page fell seriously ill with glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis) and couldn't continue touring. While recovering, he decided to put his musical career on hold and concentrate on his other love, painting. He enrolled at Sutton Art College in Surrey. As he explained in 1975:
[I was] travelling around all the time in a bus. I did that for two years after I left school, to the point where I was starting to get really good bread. But I was getting ill. So I went back to art college. And that was a total change in direction. That's why I say it's possible to do. As dedicated as I was to playing the guitar, I knew doing it that way was doing me in forever. Every two months I had glandular fever. So for the next 18 months I was living on ten dollars a week and getting my strength up. But I was still playing.
While still a student, Page would often jam on stage at The Marquee with bands such as Cyril Davies' All Stars, Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated and with guitarists Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. He was spotted one night by John Gibb of Brian Howard & The Silhouettes, who asked him to help record a number of singles for Columbia Graphophone Company, including "The Worrying Kind". It wasn't until an offer from Mike Leander of Decca Records that Page was to receive regular studio work. His first session for the label was the recording "Diamonds" by Jet Harris and Tony Meehan, which went to Number 1 on the singles chart in early 1963.
After brief stints with Carter-Lewis and the Southerners, Mike Hurst and the Method, and Mickey Finn and the Blue Men, Page committed himself to full-time session work. As a session guitarist he was known as 'Little Jim' so there was no confusion with Big Jim Sullivan. Page was mainly called in to sessions as "insurance" in instances when a replacement or second guitarist was required by the recording artist. "It was usually myself and a drummer", he explained, "though they never mention the drummer these days, just me ... Anyone needing a guitarist either went to Big Jim [Sullivan] or myself"
Page was the favoured session guitarist of producer Shel Talmy, and therefore he ended up doing session work on songs for The Who and The Kinks as a direct result of the Talmy connection. Page's studio output in 1964 included Marianne Faithfull's "As Tears Go By", The Nashville Teens' "Tobacco Road", The Rolling Stones' "Heart of Stone" (released on Metamorphosis), Van Morrison & Them's "Baby Please Don't Go" and "Here Comes the Night", Dave Berry's "The Crying Game" and "My Baby Left Me", and Brenda Lee's "Is It True". Under the auspices of producer Talmy, Page contributed to The Kinks' 1964 debut album and he played six-string rhythm guitar on the sessions for The Who's first single "I Can't Explain" (although Pete Townshend was reluctant to allow Page's contribution on the final recording, Page also played lead guitar on the B-side "Bald Headed Woman").
In 1965 Page was hired by Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham to act as house producer and A&R man for the newly-formed Immediate Records label, which also allowed him to play on and/or produce tracks by John Mayall, Nico, Chris Farlowe, Twice as Much and Eric Clapton. Page also formed a brief songwriting partnership with then romantic interest, Jackie DeShannon. He also composed and recorded songs for the John Williams (not the classical guitarist) album The Maureeny Wishful Album with Big Jim Sullivan. Page worked as session musician on the Al Stewart album Love Chronicles in 1969, and played guitar on five tracks of Joe Cocker's debut album, With a Little Help from My Friends.
When questioned about which songs he played on, especially ones where there exists some controversy as to what his exact role was, Page often points out that it is hard to remember exactly what he did given the huge number of sessions he was playing at the time.
Although Page recorded with many notable musicians, many of these early tracks are only available through bootlegged copies, several of which were released by the Led Zeppelin fan club in the late 1970s. One of the rarest of these is the early jam session featuring Jimmy Page playing with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, featuring a cover of "Little Queen of Spades" by Robert Johnson. Several songs which featured Page's involvement were compiled on the twin album release: James Patrick Page: Session Man Volume One and James Patrick Page: Session Man Volume Two.
Page decided to leave studio work when the increasing influence of Stax Records on popular music led to the greater incorporation of brass and orchestral arrangements into recordings at the expense of guitars. However, he has stated that his time as a session player served as extremely good schooling for his development as a musician:
My session work was invaluable. At one point I was playing at least three sessions a day, six days a week! And I rarely ever knew in advance what I was going to be playing. But I learned things even on my worst sessions -- and believe me, I played on some horrendous things. I finally called it quits after I started getting calls to do Muzak. I decided I couldn't live that life anymore; it was getting too silly. I guess it was destiny that a week after I quit doing sessions Paul Samwell-Smith left The Yardbirds, and I was able to take his place. But being a session musician was good fun in the beginning -- the studio discipline was great. They'd just count the song off, and you couldn't make any mistakes.
In late 1964, Page was approached about the possibility of replacing Eric Clapton in The Yardbirds, but he declined the offer out of loyalty to his friend. In February 1965 Clapton quit the Yardbirds, and Page was formally offered Clapton's spot, but because he was unwilling to give up his lucrative career as a session musician, and because he was still worried about his health under touring conditions, he suggested his friend, Jeff Beck. On 16 May 1966, drummer Keith Moon, bass player John Paul Jones, keyboardist Nicky Hopkins, Jeff Beck and Page recorded "Beck's Bolero" in London's IBC Studios. The experience gave Page an idea to form a new supergroup featuring Beck, along with The Who's John Entwistle on bass and Keith Moon on drums. However, the lack of a quality vocalist and contractual problems prevented the project from getting off the ground. During this time, Moon suggested the name "Lead Zeppelin" for the first time, after Entwistle commented that the proceedings would take to the air like a lead balloon.
Within weeks, Page attended a Yardbirds concert at Oxford. After the show he went backstage where Paul Samwell-Smith announced that he was leaving the group. Page offered to replace Samwell-Smith and this was accepted by the group. He initially played electric bass with the Yardbirds before finally switching to twin lead guitar with Beck when Chris Dreja moved to bass. The musical potential of the line-up was scuttled, however, by interpersonal conflicts caused by constant touring and a lack of commercial success, although they released one single, "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago". (While Page and Jeff Beck played together in The Yardbirds, the trio of Page, Beck and Clapton never played in the original group at the same time. The three guitarists did appear on stage together at the ARMS charity concerts in 1983.)
After Beck's departure, the Yardbirds remained a quartet. They recorded one album with Page on lead guitar, Little Games. The album received indifferent reviews and was not a commercial success, peaking at only number 80 on the Billboard Music Charts. Though their studio sound was fairly commercial at the time, the band's live performances were just the opposite, becoming heavier and more experimental. These concerts featured musical aspects that Page would later perfect with Led Zeppelin, most notably performances of "Dazed and Confused".
Once [the other Yardbirds] decided not to continue, then I was going to continue. And shift the whole thing up a notch ... The whole thing was putting a group together and actually being able to play together. There were a lot of virtuoso musicians around at the time who didn't gel as a band. That was the key: to find a band that was going to fire on all cylinders.
To this end, Page recruited vocalist Robert Plant and drummer John Bonham, and he was also contacted by John Paul Jones who asked to join. During the Scandinavian tour the new group appeared as "The New Yardbirds", but soon recalled the old joke by Keith Moon and John Entwistle. Page stuck with that name to use for his new band. Peter Grant changed it to "Led Zeppelin", to avoid a mispronunciation of "Leed Zeppelin."
Page has explained that he had a very specific idea in mind as to what he wanted Led Zeppelin to be, from the very beginning:
I had a lot of ideas from my days with The Yardbirds. The Yardbirds allowed me to improvise a lot in live performance and I started building a textbook of ideas that I eventually used in Zeppelin. In addition to those ideas, I wanted to add acoustic textures. Ultimately, I wanted Zeppelin to be a marriage of blues, hard rock and acoustic music topped with heavy choruses -- a combination that had never been done before. Lots of light and shade in the music.
Page's past experiences both in the studio and with the Yardbirds were very influential in contributing to the success of Led Zeppelin in the 1970s. As a producer, composer, and guitarist he helped make Led Zeppelin a prototype for countless future rock bands, and was one of the major driving forces behind the rock sound of that era, influencing a host of other guitarists. Allmusic states that "just about every rock guitarist from the late '60s/early '70s to the present day has been influenced by Page's work with Led Zeppelin". For example, Dictators bassist Andy Shernoff states that Page's sped up, downstroke guitar riff in "Communication Breakdown" was an inspiration for guitarist Johnny Ramone's downstroke guitar style. Ramone stated in the documentary "Ramones:The True Story", he improved at his down-stroke picking style by playing the song over and over again for the bulk of his early career. Brian May of Queen has said "I don't think anyone has epitomised riff writing better than Jimmy Page - he's one of the great brains of rock music". Tom Scholz of Boston was heavily influenced by Jimmy Page and credits the dual guitar harmonies in Led Zeppelin's "How Many More Times" as the inspiration for Boston's distinctive sound. Page's guitar solo from the song "Heartbreaker" has been credited by Eddie Van Halen as being the inspiration for his two-hand tapping technique after he had seen Led Zeppelin perform in 1971. Many other rock guitarists were also influenced by Jimmy Page such as Ace Frehley, Joe Satriani, John Frusciante, Joe Perry, Slash, Alex Lifeson, King Diamond, King Lizzard, and Dan Hawkins.
Page's solo in the famous epic "Stairway to Heaven" has been voted by readers of Guitar World and Total Guitar as the greatest guitar solo of all time, and he was named 'Guitarist of the Year' five times during the 1970s in Creem magazine's annual reader poll. In 1996 Mojo Magazine ranked him number 7 on their list of "100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time". In 2002 he was voted the second greatest guitarist of all time in a Total Guitar magazine reader poll. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named him number nine on their list of the "100 greatest guitarists of all time". In 2007, Classic Rock Magazine ranked him #4 on their list of the "100 Wildest Guitar Heroes". Gigwise.com, an online music magazine, ranked Page #2 on their list of the "50 greatest guitarists ever" in 2008. In August 2009, Time Magazine ranked him the 6th greatest electric-guitar player of all time.
David Fricke, a senior editor at Rolling Stone magazine, described Jimmy Page in 1988 as "probably the most digitally sampled artist in pop today after James Brown." Roger Daltrey of The Who has been a longtime fan of Page and expressed his desire to form a supergroup with Page in 2010 saying: "I’d love to do something, I’d love to do an album with Jimmy Page." Page was awarded "Living Legend Award" at Classic Rock Magazine Roll of Honour 2007. In June 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Surrey for his services to the music industry. Page was the first inductee onto the British Walk of Fame in August 2004.
For the recording of most of Led Zeppelin material from Led Zeppelin's second album onwards, Page used a Gibson Les Paul guitar with Marshall amplification. During the studio sessions for Led Zeppelin, and later for recording the guitar solo in "Stairway to Heaven", he used a Fender Telecaster (a gift from Jeff Beck). He also used a Danelectro 3021, tuned to DADGAD, most notably on live performances of "Kashmir". He usually recorded in studio with a Vox AC30, Fender, and Orange amplification. His use of the Sola Sound Tone Bender Professional MKII fuzzbox ("How Many More Times"), slide guitar ("You Shook Me", "Dancing Days", "In My Time of Dying", "What Is and What Should Never Be"), pedal steel guitar ("Your Time Is Gonna Come", "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You", "Tangerine", "That's the Way" and for effect at the very end of "Over the Hills and Far Away"), and acoustic guitar ("Gallows Pole", "Going To California", "Bron-Yr-Aur", "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp") also demonstrated his versatility and creativity as a composer.
Page is famous for playing his guitar with a violin bow, as on the live versions of the songs "Dazed and Confused" and "How Many More Times". This was a technique he developed during his session days, although he was not the first guitarist to use a bow, since Eddie Phillips of The Creation had done so prior to Page. On MTV's Led Zeppelin Rockumentary, Page said that he obtained the idea of playing the guitar with a bow from David McCallum, Sr. who was also a session musician. Page used his Fender Telecaster and later his Gibson Les Paul for his bow solos.
On a number of Led Zeppelin songs Page experimented with feedback devices and a theremin. He used a Wah-wah pedal, both in the traditional method of rocking the pedal back and forth as done by Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, but also by simply leaving the pedal fully forward to enhance the treble. The latter technique was used on the solos for "Communication Breakdown" and "Whole Lotta Love," while the former was mostly seen in live performances.
Jimmy Page is credited for the innovations in sound recording he brought to the studio during the years he was a member of Led Zeppelin, many of which he had initially developed as a session musician. He developed a reputation for employing effects in new ways and trying out different methods of using microphones and amplification. During the late 1960s, most British music producers placed microphones directly in front of amplifiers and drums, resulting in the sometimes "tinny" sound of the recordings of the era. Page commented to Guitar World magazine that he felt the drum sounds of the day in particular "sounded like cardboard boxes." Instead, Page was a fan of 1950s recording techniques, Sun Studios being a particular favourite. In the same Guitar World interview, Page remarked, "Recording used to be a science", and "[engineers] used to have a maxim: distance equals depth." Taking this maxim to heart, Page developed the idea of placing an additional microphone some distance from the amplifier (as much as twenty feet) and then recording the balance between the two. By adopting this technique, Page became one of the first British producers to record a band's "ambient sound" - the distance of a note's time-lag from one end of the room to the other.
For the recording of several Led Zeppelin tracks, such as "Whole Lotta Love" and "You Shook Me", Page additionally utilised "reverse echo" - a technique which he claims to have invented himself while with The Yardbirds (he had originally developed the method when recording the 1967 single "Ten Little Indians"). This production technique involved hearing the echo before the main sound instead of after it, achieved by turning the tape over and employing the echo on a spare track, then turning the tape back over again to get the echo preceding the signal.
Page has stated that, as producer, he deliberately changed the audio engineers on Led Zeppelin albums, from Glyn Johns for the first album, to Eddie Kramer for Led Zeppelin II, to Andy Johns for Led Zeppelin III and later albums. He explained that "I consciously kept changing engineers because I didn't want people to think that they were responsible for our sound. I wanted people to know it was me."
John Paul Jones has acknowledged Page's production techniques as being a key component of the success of Led Zeppelin:
The backwards echo stuff [and] a lot of the microphone techniques were just inspired. Using distance-miking… and small amplifiers. Everybody thinks we go in the studio with huge walls of amplifiers, but [Page] doesn’t. He uses a really small amplifier and he just mikes it up really well, so that it fits into a sonic picture.
In an interview Page himself gave to Guitar World magazine in 1993, he remarked on his work as a producer:
Many people think of me as just a riff guitarist, but I think of myself in broader terms... 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 really captured the best of our output, growth, change and maturity on tape -- the multifaceted gem that is Led Zeppelin.
Led Zeppelin broke up in 1980 following the death of drummer John Bonham at Page's home, The Old Mill House at Clewer in Berkshire. For some time Page refused to touch a guitar out of sadness for the loss of his friend Bonham, but he eventually made a return to the stage at a Jeff Beck show in March 1981 at the Hammersmith Odeon. Also in 1981 Page joined with Yes bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White to form a supergroup called XYZ (for ex-Yes-Zeppelin). They rehearsed several times, but the project was shelved. Demos of these sessions have turned up on bootleg and they reveal that some of the material emerged on later projects, notably The Firm's "Fortune Hunter" and Yes songs "Mind Drive" and "Can You Imagine?". Page would later join Yes on stage in 1984 at Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany, playing "I'm Down".
In 1982 Page collaborated with director Michael Winner to record the Death Wish II soundtrack. This, and several subsequent Page recordings including Death Wish III soundtrack (1985), were recorded and produced at his own recording studio, The Sol in Cookham, which he had purchased from Gus Dudgeon in the early 1980s.
In 1983 Page appeared with the A.R.M.S. (Action Research for Multiple Sclerosis) charity series of concerts which honoured Small Faces bass player Ronnie Lane, who suffered from the disease. For the first shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Page's set consisted of songs from the Death Wish II soundtrack (with Steve Winwood on vocals) and an instrumental version of "Stairway to Heaven". A four-city tour of the United States followed, with Paul Rodgers of Bad Company replacing Winwood as vocalist. During the US tour, Page and Rodgers also performed "Midnight Moonlight" which would later be recorded for The Firm's first album. All of the shows featured an on stage jam of "Layla" that reunited Page with Yardbirds guitarists Beck and Eric Clapton. According to the book Hammer of the Gods, it was reportedly around this time that Page told friends that he'd just given up heroin after seven years of use. On 13 December 1983, Page joined Robert Plant on-stage for one encore at the Hammersmith Odeon in London.
Page next linked up with Roy Harper for the 1984 album (Whatever Happened to Jugula?) and occasional concerts, performing a predominantly acoustic set at folk festivals under various guises such as the MacGregors, and Themselves. Also in 1984 Page recorded with former Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant as The Honeydrippers on the albumThe Honeydrippers: Volume 1, and with John Paul Jones on the film soundtrack Scream for Help.
Page subsequently collaborated with Paul Rodgers to record two albums under the name The Firm. The first album, released in 1985, was the self-titled The Firm. Popular songs included "Radioactive" and "Satisfaction Guaranteed". The album peaked at number 17 on the Billboard pop albums chart and went gold in the US. It was followed by Mean Business in 1986. The band toured in support of both albums but soon split up.
Various other projects followed, such as session work for Graham Nash, Stephen Stills and The Rolling Stones (on their 1986 single "One Hit (to the Body)"). In 1986, Page reunited temporarily with his ex-Yardbirds band members to play on several tracks of the Box of Frogs album Strange Land. Page released a solo album entitled Outrider in 1988 which featured contributions from Robert Plant, with Page contributing in turn to Plant's solo album Now and Zen, which was released the same year. Page also embarked on a collaboration with David Coverdale in 1993 entitled Coverdale and Page.
Throughout these years Page also reunited with the other former members of Led Zeppelin to perform live on a few occasions, most notably in 1985 for the Live Aid concert with both Phil Collins and Tony Thompson filling drum duties. However, the band members considered this performance to be sub-standard, with Page having been let down by a poorly tuned Les Paul. Page, Plant and Jones, as well as John Bonham's son Jason, performed at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary show on 14 May 1988, closing the 12-hour show. In 1990, a Knebworth concert to aid the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre and the British School for Performing Arts and Technology saw Plant unexpectedly joined by Page to perform "Misty Mountain Hop", "Wearing and Tearing" and "Rock and Roll". Page also performed with the band's former members at various private family functions.
In 1994, Page reunited with Plant for the penultimate performance in MTV's "Unplugged" series. The 90-minute special, dubbed Unledded, premiered to the highest ratings in MTV's history. In October of the same year, the session was released as the CD No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded, and in 2004 as the DVD No Quarter Unledded. Following a highly successful mid-90s tour to support No Quarter, Page and Plant recorded 1998's Walking into Clarksdale.
Since 1990, Page has been heavily involved in remastering the entire Led Zeppelin back catalogue and is currently participating in various charity concerts and charity work, particularly the Action for Brazil's Children Trust (ABC Trust), founded by his wife Jimena Gomez-Paratcha in 1998. In the same year, Page played guitar for rap singer/producer Puff Daddy's song "Come with Me", which heavily samples Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" and was included in the soundtrack of Godzilla. The two later performed the song on Saturday Night Live.
In October 1999, Page teamed up with The Black Crowes for a two-night performance of material from the Led Zeppelin catalogue and old blues and rock standards. The concert was recorded and released as a a double live album, Live at the Greek in 2000. In 2001 he made an appearance on stage with Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst and Wes Scantlin of Puddle of Mudd at the MTV Europe Video Music Awards in Frankfurt, where they performed a version of Led Zeppelin's "Thank You".
In 2005, Page was awarded the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his Brazilian charity work for Task Brazil and Action For Brazil's Children's Trust, made an honorary citizen of Rio de Janeiro later that year, and was awarded a Grammy award.
In November 2006, Led Zeppelin was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame. The television broadcasting of the event consisted of an introduction to the band by various famous admirers (including Roger Taylor, Slash, Joe Perry, Steven Tyler, Jack White and Tony Iommi), a presentation of an award to Jimmy Page, and then a short speech by the guitarist. After this, rock group Wolfmother played a tribute to Led Zeppelin, playing the song "Communication Breakdown".
In 2006, Page attended the induction of Led Zeppelin to the UK Music Hall of Fame. During an interview for the BBC for said event, he expressed plans to record new material in 2007, saying "It's an album that I really need to get out of my system... there's a good album in there and it's ready to come out" and "Also there will be some Zeppelin things on the horizon".
On 6 January 2007, Page was featured at #19 on Channel 4's The Ultimate Hellraiser, a countdown of music's top 25 who "lived the rock 'n' roll lifestyle". The show's reason for featuring Page was almost exclusively attributed to the groupies who toured with Led Zeppelin. In addition, many of John Bonham's shenanigans (for example driving a motorcycle down a hotel corridor) were falsely blamed on Page.
On 2 December 2007, Contactmusic.com confirmed that Page was "Too traumatised for Zeppelin reunion" until now. He states in the article, "After John Bonham's death I spent 15 years not even wanting to think about Led Zeppelin. But I also have difficulty thinking it's all over. Now at least one concert is planned and I'm incredibly happy about that."
For the 2008 Olympics, Jimmy Page, David Beckham and Leona Lewis represented Britain during the closing ceremonies on 24 August 2008. Beckham rode a double-decker bus into the stadium, and Page and Lewis performed "Whole Lotta Love", representing the change in Olympic venue to London in 2012.
In 2008 Page co-produced a documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim entitled It Might Get Loud. The film examines the history of the electric guitar, focusing on the careers and styles of Page, The Edge, and Jack White. The film premiered on 5 September 2008 at the Toronto Film Festival. Page also participated in the 3 part BBC documentary London Calling: The making of the Olympic handover ceremony on 4 March 2009. On 4 April 2009, Page inducted Jeff Beck into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Page has announced his 2010 solo tour while talking to the Sky News on 16 December 2009.
In January 2010, Jimmy Page announced he is publishing an autobiography through Genesis Publications, in a hand-crafted, limited edition of 2,500 copies. Page has also been honoured with a first-ever Global Peace Award by the United Nations' Pathways to Peace organisation after confirming reports that he would be among the headliners at a planned Show of Peace Concert in Beijing, China on 17 April 2010.
In July 2007 Page gave testimony and observed evidence on behalf of Led Zeppelin at a court case in Glasgow against an alleged bootlegger. Robert Langley was charged with, and denied, 12 counts of producing and selling products without copyright permission. Page was shown hundreds of CDs and DVDs, ranging from his solo material to his time in Led Zeppelin and The Yardbirds, which Langley was allegedly selling in Scotland during 2005. Many contain footage and audio from Page's personal collection, stolen from his home in the early 1980s.
The goods were found on sale as far away as New York, where shop-owners thought they were official. Page later said "If you have something like this that appears legitimate then it is just not right". Page concluded his day in court by greeting waiting fans and signing autographs.
From 1986 to 1995 Page was married to Patricia Ecker, a model and waitress. They have a son, James Patrick Page III (born April 1988). Following his 1995 divorce, Page married Jimena Gómez-Paratcha. They have three children together, Jana (born 1994) Zofia Jade (born 1997) and Ashen Josan (born 1999).
In 1972 Page bought, from Richard Harris, the home which William Burges designed for himself in London, The Tower House. "I had an interest going back to my teens in the pre-Raphaelite movement and the architecture of Burges", he said. "What a wonderful world to discover." The reputation of William Burges (1827-1881) rests on his extravagant designs and his contribution to the Gothic revival in architecture in the nineteenth century.
From the early 1970s to well into the 1980s, Jimmy Page owned the Boleskine House, the former residence of occultist Aleister Crowley. Sections of Page's fantasy sequence in the film The Song Remains the Same were filmed at night on the mountain side directly behind Boleskine House. Page sold the house in the early 1990s.
Page has acknowledged heavy recreational drug use throughout the 1970s. In an interview with Guitar World magazine in 2003, he stated:
I can't speak for the [other members of the band], but for me drugs were an integral part of the whole thing, right from the beginning, right to the end.
Oh, everyone went over the top a few times. I know I did and, to be honest with you, I don't really remember much of what happened.
In 1975, Page began to use heroin, a fact attributed to Richard Cole, who stated that Page (in addition to himself) was taking the drug during the recording sessions of the album Presence in that year, and that Page admitted to him shortly afterwards that he was addicted to the drug.
By Led Zeppelin's 1977 tour of the United States, Page's heroin addiction was beginning to hamper his guitar playing performances. By this time the guitarist had lost a noticeable amount of weight. His on-stage appearance was not the only obvious change: his addiction caused Page to become so inward and isolated it altered the dynamic between him and Plant considerably. During the recording sessions for In Through the Out Door in 1978, Page's diminished influence on the album (relative to bassist John Paul Jones) is partly attributed to his ongoing heroin addiction, which resulted in his absence from the studio for long periods of time.
Page reportedly kicked his heroin habit in the early 1980s. In a 1988 interview with Musician magazine, Page took offense when the interviewer noted that heroin had been associated with his name, and insisted that "I'm not an addict, thank you very much."
In an interview he gave to Q magazine in 2003, Page responded to a question as to whether he regrets getting so involved in heroin and cocaine:
I don't regret it at all because when I needed to be really focused, I was really focused. That's it. Both Presence and In Through the Out Door were only recorded in three weeks: that's really going some. You've got to be on top of it.
The appearance of four symbols on the jacket of Led Zeppelin's fourth album has been linked to Page's interest in the occult. The four symbols represented each member of the band. Page's own so-called "Zoso" symbol originated in 'Ars Magica Arteficii' (1557) by J Cardan, an old alchemical grimoire, where it has been identified as a sigil consisting of zodiac signs. The sigil is reproduced in "Dictionary of Occult, Hermetic and Alchemical Sigils" by Fred Gettings.
During tours and performances after the release of the fourth album, Page often had the "Zoso" symbol embroidered on his clothes, along with zodiac symbols. These were visible most notably on his "Dragon Suit", which included the signs for Capricorn, Scorpio and Cancer which are Page's Sun, Ascendant and Moon signs, respectively.
The artwork inside the album cover of Led Zeppelin IV is from a painting by William Holman Hunt, influenced by the traditional Rider/Waite Tarot card design for the card called "The Hermit". Page transforms into this character during his fantasy sequence in Led Zeppelin's concert film The Song Remains the Same.
In the early 1970s Page owned an occult bookshop and publishing house, "The Equinox Booksellers and Publishers" in Kensington High Street, London, eventually closing it as the increasing success of Led Zeppelin resulted in his having insufficient time to devote to it. The company published a facsimile of English occultist's Aleister Crowley's 1904 edition of The Goetia. Page has maintained a strong interest in Crowley for many years. In 1978, he explained:
I feel Aleister Crowley is a misunderstood genius of the 20th century. Because his whole thing was liberation of the person, of the entity, and that restrictions would foul you up, lead to frustration which leads to violence, crime, mental breakdown, depending on what sort of makeup you have underneath. The further this age we're in now gets into technology and alienation, a lot of the points he's made seem to manifest themselves all down the line.
Page was commissioned to write the soundtrack music for the film Lucifer Rising by another occultist and Crowley admirer, underground movie director Kenneth Anger. Page ultimately produced 23 minutes of music which Anger felt was insufficient because the film ran for 28 minutes and Anger wanted the film to have a full soundtrack. Anger claimed Page took three years to deliver the music, and the final product was only 23 minutes of droning. The director also slammed the guitarist in the press by calling him a "dabbler" in the occult and an addict, of "having an affair with the White Lady" and being too strung out on drugs to complete the project. Page countered that he had fulfilled all his obligations, even going so far as to lend Anger his own film editing equipment to help him finish the project.
Although Page collected works by Crowley, he has never described himself as a Thelemite nor was he ever initiated into the O.T.O.. The Equinox Bookstore and Boleskine House were both sold off during the 1980s, as Page settled into family life and participated in charity work.
Pre-Led Zeppelin session recordings have been released on various labels and compilation packages, including:
Due to the fact the guitar was too heavy, one of Jimmy Page's Les Paul Custom Black Beauty guitars is now owned by Dan Hawkins of The Darkness. It is not the same Black Beauty that was stolen from him in 1970.
Gibson released Jimmy Page Signature Les Paul which was discontinued in 1999, then released another version in 2004, which has also been discontinued. The 2004 version included 25 guitars signed by Page, 150 aged by a former Gibson employee (an acknowledged aging 'master'), and 840 'unlimited' production guitars. The Jimmy Page Signature EDS-1275 has been produced by Gibson. Recently, Gibson reproduced Page's 1960 Les Paul Black Beauty, the one stolen from him in 1970, with modern modifications. This guitar was sold in 2008 with a run of 25, again signed by Page, plus an additional 500 unsigned guitars.
In December 2009, Gibson released the 'Gibson Jimmy Page #2 Les Paul'. This is a re-creation of Page's famous number 2 Les Paul used by him since about 1974 until present. The model includes the same pick-up switching setup as eevised by Page, shaved-down neck profile, Burstbucker pick-up at neck and 'Pagebucker' at bridge. A total of 325 were made in three finishes: 25 Aged by Gibson's Tom Murphy, signed and played by Page ($26,000), 100 aged ($16,000) and 200 with VOS finish ($12,000).
Led Zeppelin (1968-1980) was a British rock band that was pivotal in the development of hard rock and heavy metal, becoming one of the most popular and influential bands of all time.