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Jimmy Page

Rock britanique

jimmy page by dubside on Grooveshark

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.

Jimmy Page is viewed by critics, fans and fellow musicians alike as one of the most influential and important guitarists and songwriters in rock music. Rolling Stone magazine has described him as \\"the pontiff of power riffing\\" In 2010, Jimmy Page was ranked number two in Gibson\\\'s list of \\"Top 50 Guitarists of All Time\\" and, in 2007, number four on Classic Rock Magazine\\\'s \\"100 Wildest Guitar Heroes\\". Page was ranked third in Rolling Stone magazine\\\'s list of the \\"100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time\\" in 2011. 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).

Early years

Jimmy Page was born to James Patrick Page and Patricia Elizabeth Page (née Gaffikin) 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, who was of Irish descent, was a doctor\\\'s secretary. In 1952 they moved to Feltham, and later again to Miles Road, Epsom in Surrey, 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 was largely self-taught:

When I grew up there weren\\\'t many other guitarists ... There was one other guitarist in my school who actually showed me the first chords that I learned, and I went on from there. I was bored so I taught myself the guitar from listening to records. So obviously it was a very personal thing.

Among Page\\\'s 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 Although he appears on BBC1 in 1957 with another guitar, Page states that 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, Muddy Waters, 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\\". 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 pm 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, and 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.

Session musician

While still a student, Page would often perform 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\\". Mike Leander of Decca Records first offered Page 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 other noted British session guitarist 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.\\" He has also stated that \\"In the initial stages they just said, play what you want, cos at that time I couldn\\\'t read music or anything.\\"

Page was the favoured session guitarist of producer Shel Talmy. Talmy would later state in an interview with Finding Zoso, \\"I mean, he was original. At that time in London where there were very few really current musicians. A lot of good musicians, but kind of mired slightly in the past. There was like one or two good rhythm sections and that was it. I originally started using Big Jim Sullivan who was the only other one, and then when I found Jimmy, who I thought was even better because he was more with it. He was doing what I thought should be done and certainly what was being done in the states so it was a no-brainer.\\" As a result, he secured session work on songs for The Who and The Kinks. Page is credited with playing acoustic twelve string guitar on two tracks on The Kinks\\\' debut album \\"I\\\'m a Lover Not a Fighter\\" and \\"I\\\'ve Been Driving On Bald Mountain\\" and possibly on the b-side \\"I Gotta Move\\". 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\\") 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\\", Brenda Lee\\\'s \\"Is It True,\\" and Petula Clark\\\'s \\"Downtown\\".

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[29] album The Maureeny Wishful Album with Big Jim Sullivan. Page worked as session musician on Donovan Leitch\\\'s Sunshine Superman (1966) and the Johnny Hallyday albums Jeune Homme (1968) and Je Suis Né Dans La Rue (1969), the Al Stewart album Love Chronicles (1969), and played guitar on five tracks of Joe Cocker\\\'s debut album, With a Little Help from My Friends. Over the years since 1970 Page has played lead guitar on 10 Roy Harper tracks, comprising 81 minutes of music.

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 enormous number of sessions he was playing at the time. In a radio interview he explained that \\"I was doing three sessions a day, fifteen sessions a week. Sometimes I would be playing with a group, sometimes I could be doing film music, it could be a folk session ... I was able to fit all these different roles.\\"

Although Page recorded with many notable musicians, many of these early tracks are only available as bootleg recordings, 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 and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards covering Robert Johnson\\\'s \\"Little Queen of Spades\\". Several early tracks with Page were compiled on the twin album release, Jimmy Page: Session Man.

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 any more; 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.

The Yardbirds
The Yardbirds, 1966. Clockwise from left: Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Keith Relf, Jim McCarty, and Chris Dreja.

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\\".

After the departure of Keith Relf and Jim McCarty in 1968, Page reconfigured the group with a new line-up to fulfil unfinished tour dates in Scandinavia. As he said:

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.\\"

Led 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.

Post-Led Zeppelin career
Page at the Cow Palace, San Francisco, 2 December 1983

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. Page refused to touch a guitar out of sadness for the loss of his friend Bonham, but 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 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 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\\".
Jimmy Page performing at the Led Zeppelin reunion concert (2007)

In 2005, Page was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of his Brazilian charity work for Task Brazil and Action For Brazil\\\'s Children\\\'s Trust,[39] 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 10 December 2007, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin, as well as John Bonham\\\'s son, Jason Bonham played a charity concert at the O2 Arena London.

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\\".

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.

On 7 June 2008, Page and John Paul Jones appeared with the Foo Fighters to close out the band\\\'s concert at Wembley Stadium, performing \\"Rock and Roll\\" and \\"Ramble On.\\"

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 10 October 2010.

On 3 June 2011, Jimmy Page played with Donovan \\"Mellow Yellow\\" and \\"Sunshine Superman\\" twice, live at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The concert was filmed. Page made an unannounced appearance with The Black Crowes at the Shepherd\\\'s Bush Empire in London on 13 July 2011. He also played alongside Roy Harper at Harper\\\'s 70th birthday celebratory concert, in London\\\'s Royal Festival Hall on 13 July 2011.

In November 2011, Conservative MP Louise Mensch launched a campaign to have Page knighted for his contributions to the music industry

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