Artists have the power to sway audiences with their works of art, whether it be a song, a picture, a poem, or a sculpture. They have the power to inspire, move, and enlighten people by communicating ideas, emotions, and stories that cause them to consider their own lives and the wider world. The most crucial aspect is that they are transformed by their own inspirations as well.
Jimmy Page is a renowned English singer-songwriter who is best known for his work with the famous rock group Led Zeppelin. He played solo guitar for the band and is regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Led Zeppelin’s distinctive sound was created by John Bonham’s thunderous drumming, John Paul Jones’s multi-instrumentalism, Plant’s strong singing, and Page’s heavy, blues-based guitar playing. Rock music’s evolution was significantly influenced by Page’s use of experimental recording methods and guitar effects.
He took possession of a guitar that had apparently been left behind by the previous owners when he and his family relocated as children to Epsom in Surrey. It wasn’t in perfect shape, but Page didn’t care because it sparked a passion that would give him a purpose to live. Page also said, “I don’t know whether [the guitar] was left behind by the people [in the house] before [us], or whether it was a friend of the family’s—nobody seemed to know why it was there.”
He was an innovator who developed a unique playing style, combining aspects of blues, hard rock, and folk music. His unique approach to playing included the use of hammer-ons, pull-offs, and extended chords, as well as effects pedals and wah-wah. Page’s guitar playing was noted for its powerful riff-based sound, complex composition, and rhythmic complexity. He wanted his own type of guitar-playing style. While speaking to Bob Boilen for the book Your Song Changed My Life, he revealed, “I wanted to have my own approach to what I did. I didn’t want to … do a carbon copy of B.B. King, but I really love the blues. The blues had so much effect on me and I just wanted to make my own contribution in my own way.”
It took Page a lot of effort to discover his favorite musicians. In a 2014 radio talk, Page clarified, “Even if you were listening to the American Forces Network, or whatever, they weren’t playing Muddy Waters.” The former Led Zeppelin guitarist responded when asked about the first Muddy Waters song that had the biggest effect on him as a young, impressionable listener, “There’s two. There’s ‘I Can’t Be Satisfied’, which is a bottleneck one, and just him and a bass player.”
He added, “And then, ‘Standing Around Crying’, which is one with Little Walter on harmonica. As much as there’s technical playing, there’s a whole atmosphere to the performance that really got me as much as anything else. That was just so eerie. Oh, my goodness. I get the chills even thinking about that one.”
Listen to the song below.