For more than fifty years the guitarist, composer and record producer Jimmy Page has influenced contemporary music in many ways. When he was still a teenager, together with a handful of other musicians, he introduced the American blues to the British audience, creating a revolution that paved the way for artists such as The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Cream. His virtuosity on guitar during the sixties, when he worked with several artists, helped create the soundtrack of the “Swinging London”. Then came the compositions and productions with Led Zeppelin, who dominated the seventies and generated an echo that resonates until today. Even now, in fact, Page is a dynamic artist who surprises for his inventiveness.
James Patrick Page was born on Sunday, January 9th, 1944, from his father James and his mother Patricia, in the London district of Hounslow. Page family lived there for about a decade, until the noise of the Heathrow airport in the nearby pushed them to move in the quieter suburb of Epsom, Surrey. Or, using Jimmy’s words: “When the jets arrived, we left.” And once there, his story as a musician started: the first things that he found in the new house was a guitar. As he told to the British journalist Charles Shaar Murray in 2004: “I don’t know whether the guitar was left behind by the people before, or whether it was a friend of the family’s—nobody seemed to know why it was there.”
Guessing that the misterious guitar was sent in that house by Divine Providence would be probably too much, but we wouldn’t be too far from reality. When he’s 13, he learned from some schoolmates and friends how to tune his guitar and play some amatorial notes. For the rest, he was a self taught artist. Later on, Page bought his first electric guitar, a three pickup, 1958 Resonet Grazioso Futurama, which looked like the Fender Stratocaster. Page’s career began in the first few months of 1963, but he took off only during fall, when they asked him to play in a session with John Carter, the singer of Carter-Lewis and the southerners.
Little curiosity: Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton, perhaps the three most important non-acoustic guitarists of all time, grew up in small towns in the southwest of London, a few miles from each other.