On January 9, 1944, James Patrick Page was born in a West London suburb of Heston, England, the only child of James Patrick and Patricia Elizabeth Page. Raising a family in this part of the London Borough of Hounslow, the senior James Patrick Page earned a living as an Industrial Personnel Manager while his mother worked as a secretary to a Doctor.
The family moved from this area to Feltham in 1952 then later moving again to Surrey. This would be where the younger James Page would find a guitar that would lead him to become the famous musician, producer and song writer that rockers of all ages have come to respect. Jimmy nor his parents are sure where this guitar came from, perhaps left behind by the previous occupants or a casual gift from a family friend.
Nonetheless, Mr. Page adapted to the instrument naturally and other than some brief formal lessons, a school mate that was a guitarist taught him some cords and listening to records, Jimmy Page learned the guitar. At the age of 14, hearing Elvis for the first time, he became tuned in to blues and learned every blues song he could find. Taking his guitar to school was a routine that ended up with the instrument being taken up by the teacher.
At the age of 15, all the hours of practice came to pay off when the young musician was invited to play with Neil Christian & The Crusaders. From this start, the many talents of Jimmy Page began to come to surface as he joined in on sessions with The Who, The Kinks and Van Morrison as well as The Rolling Stones. In short time, the multi tallents of Mr. Page are becoming a hot request in London as he plays back up for these famous groups.
Jimmy Page joins The Yardbirds during which time he and Jeff Beck recorded one single together. As Eric Clapton left The Yardbirds, he suggested the lead guitar position be taken over by Jimmy Page. Mr. Page passed this offer over to Jeff Beck, who, in 1966, leaves The Yardbirds, Jimmy Page takes of all Lead Guitar and Rhythm parts. Prior to The Yardbirds break up, Mr. Page records one album with them as lead guitarist.
As The Yardbirds broke up, Jimmy formed The New Yardbirds that became the group now known as Led Zepplin. In 1969, after only 15 hours of recording, the group releases their debut album “I”. Jimmy Page took the experience and lessons he learned from The Yardbirds and The New Yardbirds and utilized that knowledge throughout the rest his career.
Jimmy Page takes his life performance experience and combines with his talent as a songwriter and forms Led Zeppelin with the recruiting of Robert Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones. The sound that become the staple of rock and roll is the results of Mr. Page and Mr. Plant co-writing and Mr. Page producing the tunes that rockers still jam to today.
Mr. Page created unique sounds by using a violin bow, the Theremin or his method of using the Vox Wah Wah in full treble position that gave the piercing sound heard in “Communication Breakdown”. Taking lessons learned in studio recording Jimmy Page would put the microphone away from his instrument, letting ‘distance make depth’ with the results of the deep, full sound that Led Zepplin is known for. The Gibson-EDS-1275 double-neck guitar is Mr. Page’s choice when playing “Stairway To Heaven” as it allows him to switch between a six-string and twelve string guitar without even changing axes.
Using the same technique, producer Jimmy Page would have John Bonham’s skins at one end of a hallway and his mic at the total other end, thus the natural echo sound heard in “When The Levee Breaks”. In the vocals or “Whole Lotta Love” the backward echo created by Mr. Page is prominent and makes the song what it is today.
He applied this distance miking technique to the drums in “When the Levee Breaks”. Drummer John Bonham’s kit was placed at one end of a hallway, with the microphone at the other end, creating a natural echo effect. Another example of his production skill was his invention of backwards echo, which is heard in the vocal track of “Whole Lotta Love”.
Jimmy Page had numerous relationships in the early 70s, one of which was Krissy Wood, the ex-wife of Rolling Stones, Ronnie Wood. To knowledge, only one live-in relationship with a woman he referred to as ‘My Lady’, Charlotte Martin during their relationship from 1970 through 1983, created a child. One daughter, Scartlet, was born from this union in 1971 and is a photographer.
For awhile, Jimmy Page had an interest in the occult and it showed through his work in designing album jackets for Led Zeppelin. Such as their fourth album has has four symbols that is said to be representing each band member of Led Zepplin. The album cover of “Led Zeppelin IV” has artwork inside that was influenced by a tarot card “The Hermit” that came from the inspiration of a painting by William Holman Hunt.
A fan with interest in the architecture style of William Burges, Mr. Page purchased the home of Richard Harris in 1972. Mr. Page was quoted as saying “”I had an interest going back to my teens in the pre-Raphaelite movement and the architecture of Burges. What a wonderful world to discover.” Mr Burgess architecture reputation is extravagant designs with a Gothic revival from the 19th century.
Jimmy Page’s interest in the Gothic revival, flavored with the occult, became more evident as Led Zeppelin took off toward popularity. The “sigil” is Mr. Page’s own “Zoso” symbol, which is said to be consistent of zodiac signs and was embroidered on his clothes with the other zodiac symbols.
The signs of Cancer, Capicorn and Scorpio were all included on Mr. Page’s ‘Dragon Suit’, respectively representing the Moon, Sun and Ascendant. Jimmy Page once owned a bookshop and publishing house focused on the occult in the early 70s. As Led Zeppelin’s popularity grew, he closed it down to focus on the group.
During the early 70s, Kenneth Anger, a underground movie director and a mutual occultist, commissioned Mr. Page to write the soundtrack for his film ‘Lucifer Rising’. Mr. Anger claims that they agreed to Mr. Page writing soundtrack for the full length of the 28 minute film and instead, it fell 5 short of that. Anger threw accusations that Page was too gone on drugs to finish the soundtrack as agreed, while stated that he did complete his agreed obligations.
Keeping with his interest in Gothic and the occult, beginning in the early 1970s and into the 1980s, Jimmy Page also owned the Boleskine House. This was the residence of occultist Aleister Crowley. The film “The Song Remains the Same” as the inspiration, Mr. Page’s fantasy sequence was filmed on the mountain side behind the Boleskine House at night.
In 1980, Jimmy Page owned the ‘The Mill House’, the former home of actor Michael Caine. It here that John Bonham was found dead by Mr. Page and shortly afterwards, Led Zeppelin disbanded. Feeling the deep loss of not only a band member,but a friend, it was a long period of time before Mr. Page were to pick up another guitar. He sold the home in 2004.
At the request of Jeff Beck, he did return to the stage in March 1981 at the Hammersmith Odeon followed by an appearance with Yes bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White. They formed the supergroup called XYZ. The letters were a combination for ex-Yes-Zeppelin. Only a few rehearsals and the project was shelved, nothing every officially recorded and released. Bootleggers have managed to get some of the demos of the group’s sessions out there.
Never to stay far from the world of music, Jimmy Page collaborated with director Michael Winner in 1981 and recorded the soundtrack to “Death Wish II” as well as the soundtrack to “Death Wish III” in 1985. Both were produced and recorded in Mr. Page’s recording studio.
In 1986 Jimmy Page married a model / waitress, Patricia Ecker and they brought one child to this union, James Patrick Page III in April 1988. In 1995 the couple was divorced and Jimmy married Jimena Gomez Pratcha. The couple has three children, Jana (born 1994) Zofia Jade (born 1997) and Ashen Josan (born 1999).
Without an argument, Led Zeppelin is the best and biggest rock band by many rockers account and opinion, and founder, Jimmy Page, multiple skills and talents is what made them who they were in their hey day and who they are still today. Guitarist, Jimmy Page, has a major impact on future guitarists today and will going forward.
A person of many skills and talents may be called “a jack of all trades, master of none’ but when referring to the famous found of Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page is not only a ‘jack of all trades’ he is the ‘master of all’ as well. After 40 years of founding Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page is still an influential musician and as popular today as he was in the beginning.