Page picked up his first guitar when he was 12 years old, and although he took a few lessons, he was largely self-taught. After playing in various bands he surfaced as guitarist with Neil Christian and the Crusaders, with whom he toured England.
In 1963 Page enrolled in Sutton Art College in Surrey to pursue his other love, painting. During this period, he often found time to jam on stage at The Marquee. It was here where Page was sitting in one night that he was approached to do session work. Word spread quickly that Page could play anything and offers for session work came in from all over the place, including EMI and Decca Records. His first session for Decca was the recording Diamonds by Jet Harris and Tony Meehan which went to Number 1 on the singles chart in early 1963.
While doing session work, Page joined the Yardbirds playing twin lead guitar with Jeff Beck. Following Beck's departure from the band, the Yardbirds continued as a quartet and recorded one album (with Page as the lead guitar) titled Little Games. During the band's live performances, they were becoming increasingly more experimental.
Eventually the Yardbirds disbanded, and, keen to develop his ideas, Page recruited vocalist Robert Plant, drummer John Bonham and multi-instrumentalist John Paul-Jones to form a band soon to be known as Led Zeppelin.
Led Zeppelin made their debut at the University of Surrey in October 1968. Their self-titled first album was released in January 1969, during their first US tour. The album's experimental blend of blues, folk and eastern influences with distorted amplification made it one of the pivotal records in the creation of heavy rock music. In their first year, Led Zeppelin managed to complete four US and four UK concert tours and release their second album, Led Zeppelin II. The second album was an even greater success than the first and reached the number one chart position in the US and the UK. Zeppelin became a must-see live band.
As a producer, composer and guitarist, Page was one of the major driving forces behind the rock sound of the era, with his trademark Gibson Les Paul guitar and Marshall Amplification. He also helped create one of the first fuzz boxes, came up with innovative recording techniques such as reverse echo, recording ambient sound and using stairwells to record drums. He rapidly became known for his innovative production techniques as well as his intricate guitar playing. Page used a bow, slide guitar, eastern scales, acoustic guitar, and the double-neck in addition to inventive recording techniques to create the Led Zeppelin sound, which became a prototype for all future rock bands.
After Led Zeppelin broke up in 1980, Page formed several other bands and performed live at the ARMS Charity series of concerts in 1983 which honoured Small Faces bass player Ronnie Lane. He then met with Paul Rodgers and together they formed The Firm. He also found time to record on albums with Roy Harper while session work with Graham Nash and others followed. He recorded his first solo album Outrider in 1988, collaborated with David Coverdale in Coverdale Page, and made a live album with The Black Crowes.
Page had played lead guitar on Robert Plant's Honeydrippers project and they reunited again to do two albums, tours in 1995 and 1998 and the MTV UnLedded special showcasing their album No Quarter, a compilation featuring restyled Led Zeppelin songs, which was a huge success.
Since 1990, Jimmy Page has been responsible for the remastering of the entire Led Zeppelin back catalogue and presenting new products such as the DVD How The West Was Won, and the immensely successful Mothership album in 2007.
He is currently involved in various ongoing charity concerns, particularly Task Brazil and the Action for Brazil's Children Trust (ABC Trust).
In 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. In June of 2008 Page received an honorary doctorate from the University of Surrey for his services to the music industry.
Read earlier biographies on this page.
Jimmy Page Facts
|James Patrick Page
|January 9, 1944 (80)
|Middlesex, England, United Kingdom
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