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9 January 2013 9,269 views 17 Comments

Jimmy Page is 69 today (January 9th).

In a career that has spanned over six decades, he has written the rule book on the art of rock guitar. From monolithic riffing to blistering solos. From  acoustic beauty to vast instrumental guitar orchestration. Eastern tunings, Bues, 50s rock’n’roll psychedelic and full on riffs – his catalogue mirrors all those stiles and much more.

The Celebration Day film has only heightened the worldwide admiration and fasciation for this very special musician who continues to inspire and enthrall…

There were enough hints during the Celebration Day and Kennedy Center Honors media blitz, that Jimmy Page soon intends to be making new music of his own. He was quoted in Guitar World magazine as stating “This time last year I intended to be actually playing by now in a live outfit. So that will have to be postponed now into sort of next year, tail end of next year. But I definitely want to be doing that.”

When asked about his next move by Kirsty Long in the BBC interview  Jimmy said, ‘’Whatever I do next will always have these different moods and shades and colours because that’s how I am really… what I will be working on in the new year, because that’s when I intend to be doing it… well, I can’t really tell you can I?! What I can tell you is I’m still on my own at the moment, I haven’t pulled my musicians in but I will be doing so? in the new year and we shall see what we shall see… but I’m prepared. I’ve got a lot of material for this, I’ve written it myself, but yes the access point or the inspiration still fits in with other cultures.’’

As he put it on his official website on new year day…The year of the muse…

He remains the true lord of the strings….

Below is a round up of clips that vividly illustrate his unique genius.

 Happy Birthday Jimmy from all of us to you…

Above photo: UPI/Brendan Hoffman/Pool



In an exclusive interview in the forthcoming TBL magazine, Brad Tolinski author of the recent Light & Shade Conversations with Jimmy Page book, talks about the art of interviewing Jimmy Page and the collating of his book….here’s some extracts…    

DL: What inspired you to put compile this this book?

BT: I consider Jimmy Page to be one of the most important artists of the last 50 years and I felt that his musical story had not been told properly. I wanted to rectify that and set the record straight.

DL: Were you pretty tentative about interviewing Jimmy for the first time in 1993?

BT: Yes…he had a reputation for being a difficult interview subject, so I really did my homework and prepared for the first interview. Actually, I did that for all the interviews. I think he appreciated that I could talk about music — the playing, production and the abstractions of the creative process — in a relatively sophisticated manner, so we got along fine. He gave me almost three hours of his time.

DL: What for you has been the most illuminating interview you have conducted with Jimmy?

BT: My favourite is probably the one that revolves around the making of Led Zeppelin III. It’s not an album that people generally pay attention to, but I feel it is pivotal. Our conversation really works because Jimmy is clearly engaged and works hard to really explains the importance of that under-appreciated phase of the band’s

DL: Jimmy has recently stated he is keen to get back to creating new music –where do you think he should take his carer musically now?

BT: As I mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t be surprised if we heard some new music from him in the upcoming year. Regarding his “career,” I’m sure he will take his music wherever he wants, which is fine by me. He’s got incredibly high standards for himself, so embarking on a new musical project is a pretty big deal for him.

DL: Has the book accomplished what you set out to do with it?

BT: I think it accomplished a lot. I’ve been criticized for being too nerdy, but I really wanted to make a book about Jimmy Page and the very serious impact he has had on the 50 years of music. More often than not, our greatest rockers are reduced to a cartoon or a cheap punchline. Page is the mad occultist who sold his soul to the devil, Richards is the drug-addled reprobate with nine lives and Townshend jumping, windmilling ball of sexual confusion.

While I’m the first to laugh and shake my head at a good rock and roll tale, there needs to be some balance. The same serious musical analysis given to ground-breaking jazz and blues artists such as Muddy Waters and Miles Davis—visionaries who also bridged the gap between artistic and commercial success—should be rendered to our classic rock contemporaries. The music of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and the Who, and many others has clearly stood the test of time and continues to intrigue generations of music fans who were born years after.

Brad’s Picks…Jimmy’s Finest Guitar Moments

DL: There’s a section in the book where guitar musicologist Jimmy Brown selects Jimmy’s top ten Led Zeppelin Guitar Moments –I’d be fascinated to hear your own favourite  Jimmy Page guitar moments drawn not just from Zeppelin, but his whole career –how would that line up?

BT: That’s a big question! Here’s a little list I cooked up. It’s not definitive, but it’s what I’m feeling at the moment.

 Happenings Ten Years Time Ago – The Yardbirds, 1966

This is one of the only recordings featuring both Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck on the guitar, and it doesn’t disappoint. In fact, this tour de force of psychedelic invention and orchestration is one of absolute the best singles of the era. Beck unfortunately departed the Yardbirds shortly after, leaving this as a glimpse of what could’ve been.

Dazed And Confused – Led Zeppelin, 1969

Recorded primarily in a single take using just his Fender Telecaster, a Vox amp, a Sola Sound Tone Bender for distortion, a wah-wah pedal and a violin bow, the guitar sounds like an orchestra of otherworldly textures and sonic dread.  So titanic was the composition that it would become Jimmy’s signature and the cornerstone for Led Zeppelin’s group improvisations that would go on for well over 20 minutes at many gigs.

 Since I’ve Been Loving You – Led Zeppelin, 1970

It starts as a relatively standard minor blues and then it slowly unfurls into one of the most harmonically rich and complex compositions in the entire Zeppelin catalog. The solo is a stunningly original musical statement that combines gut-wrenching emotion with daring note choices and true rhythmic invention. As Jimmy explains, “We were playing in the spirit of the blues, but trying to take it into new dimensions dictated by the mass consciousness of the four players involved.”

Achilles Last Stand – Led Zeppelin, 1976

Clocking in at ten minutes and twenty-five seconds, this contender for Led Zeppelin’s greatest studio moment features one of drummer John Bonham’s most powerful drum performances and guitars so majestic and pit-marked that they successfully evoke the Greek ruins of Ephesus. “I thought the solo on ‘Achilles’ was especially good,” said Page, who is usually reluctant to pick favorites. “When I listen back to it, I think to myself, ‘My God, that solo says a hell of a lot to me.”

 Emerald Eyes – Jimmy Page, 1988

A beautiful instrumental from Page’s only solo album, Outrider. With its intertwining acoustics and tremolo rhythms, yearning lead guitar and tasteful use of keyboards, it sounds like a runaway track from Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti.

 Pride And Joy – Coverdale/Page, 1993

The media was quick to pounce on the project as being beneath Page, dismissing the flamboyant Whitesnake singer David Coverdale as nothing more than a Robert Plant wannabe, but the truth is their one-off album is incredibly well recorded and a whole lotta fun. The single “Pride And Joy” bursts with good-natured bonhomie, featuring Page on the harmonica for the first time since his session days. The guitarist claims it took him about two hours to recover: “I blew so hard I saw stars!”

 Shining in the Light – Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, 1998

This opening track to the highly underrated Walking to Clarksdale album produced by iconoclastic punk-rock producer/engineer Steve Albini is a wonderful and wistful modern alternative rock song. Page saw the album as a collection of songs and moods that “hopefully, presented a musical landscape.” And for him, “Shining in the Light” was the access point to this landscape, “with high peaks and mountains and smoky valleys.”

The complete interview with Brad Tolinksi and his list of Jimmy’s finest moments is one of many highlights in the forthcoming TBL magazine  isue 34 – order link below..

…..and now some examples of his craft….

Yardbirds 1966

Earls Court May 24 1975

Arms tour 1983

Led Zeppelin – Good Times Bad Times – Celebration Day

Jimmy Page and Donovan – Sunshine Superman – 3rd June 2011 – Albert Hall

The Black Crowes & Jimmy Page – Shake Your Money Maker – 13th July 2011 –  Sheperd’s Bush Empire

Roy Harper with Jimmy Page – The Same Old Rock – 5th December 2011 Royal Festival Hall

Led Zeppelin – Song Remains The Same – Celebration Day

It Might Get Loud…

And doesn’t get any better than this…


Until next time… keep reading -keep listening

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy

January 9th, 2013.

Don’t forget that you can follow Dave Lewis/TBL on Twitter – LedzeppelinTBL

and view additional photos etc at the Tight But Loose Facebook

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  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    David great story!

  • David Hood said:

    Dave thought you might like this report in today’s Glasgow Herald:
    Led astray

    OUR story about rocker Jimmy Page’s birthday reminds Steve Inch in Bishopbriggs of when his pal Dean went to a Led Zeppelin concert in Aberdeen in the early 1970s.

    Having two spare tickets he went into the Star and Garter Bar opposite the Aberdeen Music Hall where he spotted two potential customers having a quiet drink in the corner.

    When Dean asked if they fancied buying a couple of tickets to see the show, one told him: “Sorry mate, we’re the band,” and at that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant finished their drinks and headed across the road to tune up.

  • Jadwiga Petrykiewicz said:

    Happy Birthday to a great person who is gifted and talented. Thanks so much, Jimmy, for contributing your music so that others, young and old, may enjoy.

  • Mark Williams said:

    James Patrick Page ; simply the most exciting,dynamic and enigmatic guitarist ever !

    Lets hope he finds his muse in 2013….

  • James Rimmer said:

    Happy birthday Jimmy from New Zealand. TSRTS from Celebration Day … simply STUNNING!! Your band is on fire!! Come on down.

  • Lisa in Florida said:

    Happy Birthday to you, Jimmy — the most extraordinarily and supernaturally gifted musician, songwriter and producer the world has known. His visionary brilliance and limitless musical curiosity has opened up new musical realms and inspired generations yet to be born. We are all so very, very lucky to have lived in the time when his music was created and performed, and I wish him many, many, many more birthdays to come. Blessings on you, Jimmy, and thank you from my heart for sharing your phenomenal gifts with the world.

  • Dr Mark- New York said:

    Happy birthday wishes Jim. Just listened to Kashmir from Celebration Day and Tangerine on the radio. Brought a big smile to my face hearing your awesome playing. Thanks for all the fantastic memories.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Great comments folks…

  • Wolfgang Seidel said:

    Happy birthday Jimmy from the north of Germany.
    Thanks for 40+ years of great, great music.
    The greatest and most talented rock musician England ever had.
    Rock music without Jimmy Page? We would live in another world.

  • Paul webber said:

    Hey jimmy have a good one , the greatest and always will be rock on paul

  • Ed-Washington DC said:

    Birthday greetings to Jimmy Page and many more.

    The cup is raised, the toast is made yet again.

  • Mark Harrison said:

    Personally the last 8 years have been pretty tough for me. Unknowingly Jimmy Page has pulled me back from the very brink of the abyss…(And that’s NO overstatement) He and his wonderful music help me each and every day of my life. He’s no soundtrack to my existence ( A soundtrack is in the background) Jimmy Page is EVERYWHERE…..

  • Margaret Henden said:

    Hi Jimmy – lots of hugs for you on you Birthday – have a wonderful day!

    From Margaret in the South of France (hope you will have some of our weather today)

  • ann said:

    I would like to congratulate Jimmy with his birthday.
    Dear Jimmy, I congratulate you with your Birthday! You are the greatest hero in the whole history of Rock’n’Roll music!
    I wish you to enjoy this day! I’m sure your life will be long, interesting and delightful !
    I also wish you neverending inspiration at musical field!!!

  • Denzepp58 said:

    Happy Birthday Jimmy..thank you for all the great music that I have enjoyed for the Last 40 years. Looking forward to whatever you do in the next year and for years to come. My life has been richer because of you and that is all I need to say..God Bless you…Randy

  • Kathy Urich said:

    Happy Birthday Jimmy ~ Thanks for your gift of music to the world. I can’t imagine what life would sound like without you.

  • Larry said:

    Happy Birthday, Jimmy!

    Here’s hoping that this is the year you come on back and show ’em all how it’s done!

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