This is a tale of the Gods, their ability that has inspired many more budding rock legends. Their weapons, the six string guitar, both electrical and acoustic. Now let’s enter a world of licks, riffs and magical music produced by the Heroes of the Six String.
Let us enter the life and times of the legend of ‘Stairway’, Mr Jimmy Page. Jimmy Page is probably more known for his role in the 70’s band, Led Zeppelin, with his band mates, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham played inspirational rock music that took the world by storm and their music is still famous today such as the totally amazing Stairway To Heaven which is played among the budding guitarists today, myself included.
Jimmy Page was born on the 9th of January in Heston, Middlesex in England. Not many people know that Jimmy Page, a well known rock musician was inspired than none other than Elvis Presley and his hit single ‘Baby Let’s Play House’. After hearing this song, Jimmy picked up his first guitar and he was only 13 years old, hey that’s exactly when I started so there’s hope for me!
Jimmy then found his calling in his first real rock band, Neil Christian and the Crusaders, who to be totally honest with you I have never heard of. However Jimmy put all of his talents into this band and went on to tour with them all around England. Jimmy found this exciting and began to base his career around it. Yet you could say fortune was not on his side as Jimmy fell ill with the annoyance that it is, Glandular Fever. Jimmy had to leave the band to recuperate from his illness. When he had recovered his luck obviously did not as he found himself out of the band. This particular event stands out to me as the point at which there might never have been a Led Zeppelin, a thought I would not want to consider myself. This came about as Jimmy then began to rethink his career and he decided to follow other hobbies such as painting, yeah I thought that too. He enrolled in the Sutton Art School in Surrey.
Hey that is not the end of Jimmy Page and his musical fingers, with the arrival of the Rolling Stones and what seemed to be the gritty rock and blues sounding guitar, Jimmy began to regain his faith and interest in his musical career and guitar player. He decided though not to go straight into a band and began as a session guitarist; he made music with some of the best in music, such as The Kinks and the Rolling Stones. However when 1966 rolled up Jimmy was looking to join a full time band.
The Yardbirds were on the look out for a new guitarist since the departing of the equally talented, Eric Clapton. Jimmy accepted this offer to join the band. He began however as a bassist, a fact not many people know about today! He later, of course, became a guitarist. The Yardbirds however were descending from the pedestal if it were band wise, as leader Jeff Beck left the band shortly after the arrival of Jimmy. The band finally ended in 1968 and Jimmy was left with no band again, but Jimmy did not stop there. This was probably the most exciting time in Jimmy Page’s life as he started a new band with John Paul Jones on the Bass Guitar, Robert Plant on vocals and the percussionist, John Bonham and so was born one of the most legendary rock bands in the history of music, Led Zeppelin.
The band Led Zeppelin made Jimmy Page a legendary guitarist and gave him passage into the ‘Hall of Fame’ and to me an inspiration for many younger guitarists. Led Zeppelin went and did the best thing a new band could do and that was explore new territory, they did this by delving into the heavy metal and gritty rock side of music. This seemed a good idea as the band produced quality songs such as ‘Houses of the Holy’ and ‘Whole Lotta Love’. However all good things must come to an end and for Led Zeppelin it was to be a tragic one with the death of John Bonham and the family tragedy of Robert Plant with the death of his son earlier in 1977. Led Zeppelin disbanded in late 1980.
Jimmy Page left the music scene for a while and was known to not have touched the guitar shortly after the disbanding. Who remembers the film Death Wish 2? Well if you do, you will notice the gritty guitar and riffs in the soundtrack. This was hailed to be Jimmy Page’s come back to the music industry.
Jimmy took part in the A.R.M.S tour in which Jimmy Page was united with his ex-singer from the Yardbirds, Jeff Beck; also Eric Clapton joined the two. In 1984 Jimmy joined Jeff Beck, Robert Plant and Nile Rogers for the creation of the Honeydippers, I have one of their songs actually and take it from me it was worth it! Yet again however the band called it quits shortly after their album, Mean Business was released.
Jimmy Page went on to do a few more concerts, the most famous as his reunifying of Led Zeppelin and Tony Thompson and Phil Collins for a concert.
In 1994, Jimmy Page began the last leg of his musical career and joined up with Robert Plant once again. They mostly made acoustic hits and did a MTC Unplugged special with a world tour. Then Led Zeppelin were given a place in the Hall of Fame, about time too.
So ends the high life of one of my Guitar Heroes and a well known Hero of the Six String.