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Spotlight on Jimmy Page

Bronze Medalist in the Guitar Survivor Competition


In light of Jimmy Page's outstanding third place finish in the Guitar Survivor competition, the following feature is designed to provide a resource for all Page novices to learn about the legendary guitarist from Led Zeppelin.

Born James Patrick Page, "Jimmy" grew to become arguably the most influential rock guitarist since Jimi Hendrix. Page started playing guitar at 13 years of age, and while still in his teens became an active session recording musician around London.

In 1966, Jimmy Page joined The Yardbirds on bass guitar, as Jeff Beck was already the guitarist in the band. Not long after, Page migrated to guitar, sharing duties with Beck, forming a legendary dual guitar line-up. Although The Yardbirds as a unit was the latter stages of it's existence, the stories of the live shows featuring these two guitarists together are legendary.

After the band's dissolution in 1968, Jimmy Page gathered together a new group of musicians, and started performing under the name "The New Yardbirds". This rather laborous band name soon gave way to a much more familiar one... "Led Zeppelin".

The legacy of Led Zeppelin is of course well known to most music fans. Via Led Zeppelin's nine albums, the band almost single-handedly shaped the sound of rock music, and their influence remains as strong as ever, despite having officially broken up in 1980 (due to the death of their drummer, John Bonham). Bands like Rage Against the Machine were heavily influenced by Zeppelin's (Page's) songwriting style - extensive use of guitar riffs as the basis for entire songs.

When Led Zeppelin disbanded in 1980, Jimmy Page dropped out of the spotlight, making only sporadic appearances on record. In 1984, Page formed "The Firm" a band which also included Free/Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers. "The Firm" lasted only two years and two albums, and most people feel the band never really clicked as a unit.

In 1993, Jimmy Page collaborated with vocalist David Coverdale (Whitesnake), and released the aptly titled Coverdale/Page, to more mixed critical reaction. It wasn't until 1994's reunion with Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant for an unplugged album that fans wholly embraced Jimmy's music again.

After a tour and a successful follow-up album with Plant, Jimmy Page began a working relationship with The Black Crowes, which seems to be pleasing both critics and fans. The guitarist, however, has been plagued by recent back problems, which has kept Page from appearing with the band on numerous occasions.

Whatever Jimmy Page does or doesn't do for the rest of his career, he has made a lasting impact on the guitar community. Whether through his songwriting style, or through his signature Les Paul sound, Page is fully deserving of his fine placing in the Guitar Survivor competition.

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