RollingStone.com recently conducted an interview with LED ZEPPELIN's Jimmy Page as part of a series of articles called "Secrets Of The Guitar Heroes." A couple of excerpts from the chat follow.
RollingStone.com: How did your experiences as a studio guitarist in the Sixties playing behind so many different singers influence your writing and playing for ZEPPELIN?
Page: "I was very inspired by the [vocal] groups of the Fifties. I loved the way they worked, the perspective of the guitar within that sound. Blues was a pivotal thing on the first ZEPPELIN album. But I was playing acoustic guitar as well as electric in sessions, and I was into people like [American studio guitarist] James Burton. I wasn't into jazz so much I preferred things raw."
RollingStone.com: For a short time, you and Jeff Beck both played lead guitar in THE YARDBIRDS. Did you ever consider having a second guitarist in LED ZEPPELIN?
Pag: "In THE YARDBIRDS, when Jeff was there, we played the riffs in harmony. The approach was almost like a big band with brass the power of that applied to guitars. In LED ZEPPELIN, I never considered having anything duplicated, because we were such a complete unit. We felt we could do anything in-house, certainly on the records. Once a song got on the road, those parts would change, especially where there were numerous guitar parts on the record. We used to do 'Ten Years Gone' [on 'Physical Graffiti'], and that's got lots of guitars. We did a pretty good version. It wasn't until I played it with THE BLACK CROWES [in 1999] that I heard all of those parts live. That was a thrill."
RollingStone.com: Young guitarists learn to play now by studying your riffs and solos. What is left for you to discover on the guitar?
Page: "There is a lot I can and should be doing. The main thing is quality. I've always had a high benchmark in everything I play. That won't change. The important thing is to commit to playing. You have to put a lot in to get a lot out. The great thing about the guitar, when I was 12 years old, was that it was portable. It made the music accessible to me all the time. I could get together with my mates, and before you knew it you had the serious spirit of music there even kids just playing a few chords. You can do it with computers and keypads now. But I'm interested in how you get that spirit on the guitar. Because that's my instrument of choice."
Read the entire interview at RollingStone.com.