Eddie Phillips with The Creation--and the bow.
One of Jimmy Page's guitar trademarks has been his use of a violin bow to get a drastically different sound out of an electric guitar. The former London studio musician made it famous during his years with Led Zeppelin and still uses the technique today. It's a trademark of his style, one many assume he invented. Page himself claimed to have devised the technique during his session days as he watched string players in various London studios.
Today Jimmy Page (OBE) turns 73. The former Led Zeppelin guitarist, like everyone else, had to start somewhere. Here's a bit of him well before he became a household word in Britain, much less the world. The above shot, with his Les Paul Deluxe, was taken during his days as a studio guitarist. We did this three years ago on his 70th Birthday, but these are new clips, not a rehash of the ones from 2014. If you missed it, You can find that blog entry here.
The highly publicized trial pitting the estate of Randy Wolfe (better known as "Randy California" from the 60's rock band Spirit) against Led Zeppelin over the rather obvious resemblance of a distinctive chord progression California's composition "Taurus" and the equally distinctive riff in Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" has made for an interesting trial. It's been marked by arguments over the long history of descending chord progressions.
Last month, Billy Joel, performing at Madison Square Garden, offered a shout-out to Joe Cocker, noting he wasn't well and expressing his hope that Cocker be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Well, if Cocker, who died today at his Colorado home of lung cancer at 70, had done nothing more than record his powerful, soulful version of the Beatles' "A Little Help From My Friends," he would have left a mark. Aside from Steve Winwood and Tom Jones, few other white singers of his generation could evoke the raw emotional spirit of a Ray Charles.
As Scott Mervis wisely pointed out on his Pop Noise blog (I'd forgotten), Jimmy Page turned 70 yesterday. No long biographies here. No attempt to be definitive here. You can get the obvious stuff anywhere. Here's some Page material from the lesser-known earlier corners of his career.