Jimmy Page

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Jimmy Page at the 2013 Echo Awards

James Patrick "Jimmy" Page , OBE (born January 9, 1944 in Heston , England ) is a British musician . He was best known as the founder, electric guitarist and producer of the British rock band Led Zeppelin (1968–1980), but was also a member of the rock bands The Yardbirds (1966–1968) and The Firm (1984–1986). He was also a versatile and much sought-after studio musician .

In 2005, Page was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the British Queen in recognition of the merits of his charity work in Brazil ; for the same reason he was made an honorary citizen of Rio de Janeiro .

The US-American music magazine Rolling Stone listed Page as number 3 of the "100 best guitarists of all time" . In addition to the guitar , he occasionally played the mandolin and theremin .


Childhood and youth

In 1952 the Page family moved to the London suburb of Epsom . In the new house, the previous owner had left a simple guitar that caught James' interest. His father, who noticed his enthusiasm for the instrument, gave him a "real" guitar. After all, the boy had to finance an electric guitar himself. She tied him, according to his own statement, "like nothing before in his life". Parents accepted his passion, but expected him to graduate from school . At seventeen he attended an art school out of a passion for painting . The fact that, as is sometimes claimed in publications, he earned his first money with street music , he declares to be incorrect.

As a studio musician

Jimmy Page (right) with Led Zeppelin 2007

Page had started playing guitar at age twelve and performed with bands like Neil Christian & The Crusaders at age 15 . Due to a glandular fever, he was soon unable to perform live, which is why he worked as a studio musician. He was to be heard on many records of the time, for example on recordings by The Who , The Rolling Stones , Joe Cocker , Donovan , Sonny Boy Williamson II , Brian Auger and others. In 1965 he recorded a single called She Just Satisfies , which achieved only moderate commercial success. Page was also a passionate painter and attended art school in Sutton. When he received more and more offers as a studio musician, he said he had to choose between music and painting and eventually left art school.

At the yardbirds

In 1966, Page joined the band Yardbirds . There he initially took over the post of bassist. After a while, the previous rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja switched to bass and Jimmy Page played lead guitar together with Jeff Beck . When he left the band because of persistent problems and differences of opinion, Page took over all guitar parts. In 1967 he recorded the album Little Games with the Yardbirds , on which his later bandmate John Paul Jones can be heard. In the summer of 1968 the band broke up, Page gathered new musicians around them because of still outstanding live performances in Scandinavia and renamed the band The New Yardbirds . In the fall of 1968, the New Yardbirds finally became Led Zeppelin with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant , John Paul Jones and John Bonham .

At Led Zeppelin

Jimmy Page 1977 with Doubleneck guitar

Page had the most successful period of his career with Led Zeppelin . To date, the band has sold more than 300 million records worldwide. The band also enjoyed great success as a live band, especially in North America. Page was instrumental in songwriting at Led Zeppelin. Among other things, he wrote the music for the ballad " Stairway to Heaven ".

After the hard rock formation did not go on tour for some time at the end of the 70s due to the personal blows of their singer Robert Plant, they wanted to perform again in public in 1980. The situation changed with the sudden death of their drummer, John Bonham. The remaining band members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones decided after detailed consultation to leave the vacant position vacant and not to take on a new drummer as a fourth band member. This decision meant the end for the rock band with the highest endowment worldwide. Page released a total of nine studio albums with Led Zeppelin.

After 1980

After Led Zeppelin was dissolved in 1980, Page started a few solo projects and worked a. a. with David Coverdale ; Noteworthy is the collaboration with Chris Squire and Alan White from Yes under the name XYZ (Ex Yes Zeppelin), but this did not lead to a long-term commitment, as Robert Plant, who joined after some time, thought the song material was too little emotional. Some of the song ideas later appeared as a bootleg and on albums by The Firm and Yes. The Firm toured several times, but broke up in 1986. A member of the band was u. a. Paul Rodgers . More successful was the collaboration with Jeff Beck and Robert Plant under the name The Honeydrippers , a formation that brought out an album in 1984 called Volume One . In the same year, Page also worked with Stephen Stills on his album Right By You .

In 1982 Page composed the score for the Michael Winner film Death Wish II . In 1983 Page went on tour (ARMS) with former Yardbirds guitarists Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. In 1988 he brought out his only solo album Outrider , a work very strongly influenced by the blues .

In 1994, Page and Robert Plant re-recorded some Led Zeppelin songs for the MTV Unplugged series and experimented with a Moroccan orchestra. The remarkable new versions of the Led Zeppelin songs and the new pieces, some of which were recorded live in the MTV studio and some with North African musicians in Morocco, appeared on CD No Quarter and as a video. After this release, Page and Plant and their band, which was reinforced by North African musicians around Hossam Ramzy and a string ensemble, embarked on an extensive celebrated world tour. In 1998 the two released the folk rock-oriented album Walking into Clarksdale and went on tour together again. In 2001 Page and Plant stood together for the last time at the Jazz Festival in Montreux.

1998 Page played the lead guitar for the song Come With Me by Puff Daddy one. The melody and guitar riffs mainly come from the Led Zeppelin classic Kashmir . The emphatically arranged song was produced for the Roland Emmerich film Godzilla . The melody and the guitar riffs will be played before the start of the game in the Westfalenstadion near Borussia Dortmund .

Page played several concerts in the USA with The Black Crowes in 1999 and 2000 and recorded the live album Live at the Greek with them at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles , which also features a number of songs by Led Zeppelin and the Yardbirds. The planned European tour as well as the current US tour 2000 were canceled by Page due to back problems.

In 2006, Page announced another concert with Robert Plant. The concert should take place at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Due to back problems, Page could not perform and Robert Plant stood on stage without him.

Page 2008 at the closing ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing

The year 2007 started with many rumors about a reunion of Led Zeppelin. At the beginning of September it was officially announced that the band would come together for a one-time reunion concert in honor of the late record boss Ahmet Ertegün . The concert was supposed to take place on November 26th, 2007, but was postponed to December 10th 2007 due to a finger injury from Page. The 20,000 available tickets were sold by lottery, as the rush of over 20 million interested parties was greater than ever before at a concert. According to the band, the concert, which the press hailed as a "triumphant return", will not be followed by a tour.

He played with Leona Lewis on August 24, 2008 at the closing ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing as a representative of the XXX. Summer Olympic Games in London in 2012 to Led Zeppelin Title Whole Lotta Love .

On May 9, 2014, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music.


On the occasion of his 75th birthday, Page has expressed the intention to reactivate Led Zeppelin in 2019 (without Robert Plant if necessary).

Instruments and style

Page mainly played and still plays the electric guitar models Les Paul and a Gibson EDS-1275 in which he exchanged the pickups on the six-string neck. In the studio, however, he often picked up a Fender Telecaster , which was also used to record the first Led Zeppelin album and the guitar solo in Stairway to Heaven . In the late phase of Led Zeppelin, Page also used a Fender Stratocaster , making use of the vibrato lever for the main theme for the song In the Evening . He also used a danelectro for the song Kashmir , which he played in an open DADGAD mood. With his songs Stairway to Heaven and Whole Lotta Love , which are exemplary for many electric guitarists , he rose to the ranks of the Guitar Heroes of rock music. His style is based on rock 'n' roll elements of the 1950s, paired with a hard rhythm and blues and folk elements, mainly from the field of Irish folk music. Unlike some other electric guitarists, Page also knows very well how to use the acoustic guitar, which is where his folk influences can be seen most clearly. As a guitarist, but also as a composer and co-composer, Jimmy Page is one of the most influential rock musicians of the 20th century, from whom countless guitarists have been and still are inspired.


Page is very interested in occultism , has a library and owned the Boleskine House on the banks of Loch Ness near Foyers, Scotland, where Aleister Crowley had previously lived from the early 1970s to 1991 . For a long time it was said that Page had built a satanic message into Stairway to Heaven - a verse can also be understood as played backwards. Page himself has always rejected this story.

On June 14, 2003, an asteroid discovered in 1997 was named after Jimmy Page: (44016) Jimmypage .

In 2006, toy manufacturer McFarlane Toys paid tribute to Jimmy Page when it released a realistic miniature sculpture of the musician.

In 2008 the documentary / Rockumentary It Might Get Loud was released , which is dedicated to the history of the electric guitar and the three guitarists Jimmy Page, The Edge ( U2 ) and Jack White ( The White Stripes and The Raconteurs as well as The Dead Weather , there however as a drummer). The film was shown in German cinemas from August 27, 2009.

Brad Tolinski's Licht und Schatten appeared in October 2013 . Conversations with Jimmy Page .

Discography (excerpt)


year Interpreter title
1967 Yardbirds Little Games
1971 Yardbirds Live Yardbirds: Featuring Jimmy Page
2005 Yardbirds BBC sessions

Led Zeppelin

year Interpreter title
1969 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin
1969 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II
1970 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin III
1971 Led Zeppelin Zoso.svg(Often also called Led Zeppelin IV , Untitled , Four Symbols or Zoso )
1973 Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy
1975 Led Zeppelin Physical graffiti
1976 Led Zeppelin Presence
1976 Led Zeppelin The Song Remains the Same (live)
1979 Led Zeppelin In Through the Out Door
1982 Led Zeppelin Coda
1997 Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions (live)
2002 Led Zeppelin Early Days & Latter Days (Best of)
2003 Led Zeppelin How the West Was Won (live)
2007 Led Zeppelin Mothership (Best of)
2014 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin - 2-CD Deluxe Edition: 1st remastered original album, 2nd live album (previously unreleased) Live At The Olympia Paris, 10.10.1969
2014 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II - 2-CD Deluxe Edition: 1st remastered original album, 2nd studio outtakes (previously unreleased)
2014 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin III - 2-CD Deluxe Edition: 1st remastered original album, 2nd studio outtakes (previously unreleased)
2000 Led Zeppelin The Song Remains the Same
2003 Led Zeppelin DVD
2007 Led Zeppelin The Song Remains the Same (Extended)
2012 Led Zeppelin Celebration Day

Solo, guest appearances & other sessions from 1970

year Interpreter title
1970 Screaming Lord Sutch Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends
1971 Roy Harper Stormcock
1971 Mike Heron Smiling Men With Bad Reputations
1972 Sonny Boy Williamson II , Jimmy Page & Brian Auger Don't Send Me No Flowers
1973 Roy Harper Lifemask
1974 Roy Harper Valentine
1974 Roy Harper Flashes From The Archives Of Oblivion (live)
1975 Maggie Bell Suicide sal
1982 Roy Harper Work of Heart
1982 Soundtrack Death Wish II (Soundtrack)
1984 The Honeydrippers The Honeydrippers : Vol. I.
1985 The Firm The Firm
1985 Soundtrack Scream for Help (soundtrack)
1985 Willie and the Poor Boys Willie And The Poor Boys
1985 Soundtrack Death Wish III (Soundtrack)
1985 Roy Harper Whatever happened to Jugula?
1985 Stephen Stills Right by you
1986 The Firm Mean business
1986 The Rolling Stones Dirty work
1986 Box of Frogs Strange land
1986 Roy Harper In between Every Line (live)
1988 Robert Plant Now and Zen
1988 Jimmy Page Outrider
1993 Coverdale / Page Coverdale / Page
1994 Page & Plant No quarter
1998 Jimmy Rogers All-Stars Blues blues blues
1998 Page & Plant Walking into Clarksdale
2000 Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes Live at the Greek
2006 Jerry Lee Lewis Last man standing
1998 Puff Daddy & Jimmy Page Come with me
2004 Page & Plant No Quarter Unledded
2008 Foo fighters Live at Wembley Stadium

Web links

Commons : Jimmy Page  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  • Neil Daniels: Robert Plant - Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page & the Solo Years. Hannibal Verlag, Höfen 2009, ISBN 978-3-85445-300-0 (Original edition: Robert Plant )

Individual evidence

  1. 100 Greatest Guitarists: Jimmy Page. In: RollingStone.com. Retrieved January 1, 2017 .
  2. At 17 you still have dreams . In: Kulturspiegel , No. 11/2014, p. 46; Interview with Jimmy Page
  3. ledzeppelin.alexreisner.com
  4. ^ Brad Tolinski, Greg di Benedetto, Light and Shade: A Historic Look at the Entire Led Zeppelin Catalog Through the Eyes of Guitarist / Producer / Mastermind Jimmy Page ; Guitar World January 1998; Pp. 100-104.
  5. John Bonham is dead - He died at the age of 32 .
  6. Jimmy Page: Why Led Zeppelin died with John Bonham . October 29, 2014.
  7. Jimmy Page turns 75 - ingenious, egomaniacal, cult!
  8. Asteroid (44016) Jimmypage (English)
  9. Brad Tolinski: Light and Shadow. Conversations with Jimmy Page . Edel, Hamburg (translated by Michael Mundhenk ; Light and Shade. Conversations with Jimmy Page . Crown, New York 2012).