Guide to British Music of the 1960s

 

Jimmy Page

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Jimmy Page - vocals, guitar

Jimmy Page grew up listening to skiffle and he started to develop in this style. Scotty Moore was a major influence and Page claimed that his solo on Elvis Presley's Baby Let's Play House encouraged him to take up the guitar. Although he had trouble finding other musicians to play with, Neil Christian asked him to play with his group the Crusaders. He played with the band for two years and this included a number of recording such as 1962's The Road to Love. Page then left the band to return to art college. He carried on playing the occasional gig with blues bands such as Cyril Davies' All Stars and Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated. He was then offered session work, his first record being Jet Harris & Tony Meehan's Diamonds which reached number 1.

Jimmy Page soon became one of the most sought-after session guitarists. He played on sessions by the Kinks, The Who's Bald Headed Woman, Them, Marianne Faithfull, The Nashville Teens, Dave Berry and many more. He also recalled in an interview having contributed some incidental music to the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night film.

Page released a single under his own name in February 1965. She Just Satisfies features Page on guitar, bass, harmonica as well as vocals. The only thing he did not play was the drums! Around this time Jimmy Page was invited to join the Yardbirds, replacing the recently departed Eric Clapton. However, he turned this down to concentrate on his lucrative session work. He did recommend his friend Jeff Beck though.

In 1966, Jimmy Page was instrumental in producing Beck's Bolero with himself and Jeff Beck on guitar, John-Paul Jones on bass, Keith Moon on drums and Nicky Hopkins on keyboards. This was almost the beginning of Led Zeppelin. In 1966, Paul Samwell-Smith left the Yardbirds to concentrate on production. This time Page agreed to join, initially on bass until Chris Dreja had become sufficiently proficient to take over bass guitar duties.

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