Jimmy Page ’s incredible career spans four decades, appearing on an innumerable list of recordings. Best known for his trademark Les Pauls, double-neck guitar and riff-master deluxe, his contributions to rock history are nearly unmatched. He first picked up a guitar as a child, curiously plucking away on a Spanish acoustic given to the family. Soon after, Page became entranced with rock and roll, inspired by Elvis Presley’s “Baby, Let’s Play House”. The rest is history…
In the early sixties, he performed and recorded with several bands including Carter Lewis & the Southerners and Neil Christian & the Crusaders. His first taste of success came with an early session (in 1963) that reached #1, “Diamonds” by Jet Harris & Tony Meehan, featuring Page on guitar.
In a rare hand-written letter in 1963, sent just after this single peaked, Page expressed his excitement: “I was lucky enough to play backing guitar (on “Diamonds”), the ex-Shadows Jet Harris & Tony Meehan. You can understand how knocked out I was when it made #1 position”, writes Page. Incredibly, a 19-year-old Jimmy Page writes to his American friend, Ron Kellerman, asking “Do you think there would be interest in America for a guitarist like me?” This is by far one of the biggest understatements in music history!
Soon after, Page became one of the hottest session guitarists in the U.K., turning down an offer to join the Yardbirds after Clapton left. Of course, he later joined the Yardbirds in 1966 in a brief guitar super-group with Jeff Beck and taking over the lead guitar spot until the group’s demise in 1968. The formation of Led Zeppelin in the summer of 1968 would bring unparalleled success. Through Zep, Page could unleash his playing and songwriting in a variety of styles: blues, folk, Indian etc., but the magic of Led Zeppelin created an unimaginable chemistry of its own.