Jeff Beck recalls the funny way he met Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page:
“My sister knew Jimmy from Epsom Art School. She came to my room one day and said: “There’s a weirdo at school, he’s got a weird guitar like yours,” and then slammed the door. I ran after her saying: “Where is he?” She said, ‘I’ll take you over there because I’d like to see him play. I don’t believe he can play.”
“We went over there, he opened the door and we got tea and cake. We visited regularly from then on. His mum had bought him a really good quality tape recorder, so we’d record there. I don’t know where those tapes are now but there’s some rare stuff on them.”
“When I first heard what he’d done with Led Zeppelin I thought: “That’s a little bit more than inspired by the [Beck’s] Truth album.” When I finally got over that I realised I needed more than I had. I needed a frontman with girly appeal. Plant certainly had that in abundance – the bare chest, golden locks and all that. We [the Jeff Beck Group] had Rod Stewart [laughs].”
In an interview with Music Radar back in 2014 Jimmy Page talked about his friendship with Jeff Beck, saying:
“It was really good, great. I don’t know how old he says we were when we met, I think he reduces the years to almost 11. His memory’s bloody good, I’ll tell you that much. You know that by his guitar playing: he’s got a photographic memory.”
“I met Jeff when we both had homemade guitars, so we go back that far, when we’re seeing who’s got the closest version of My Babe by James Burton. Just two kids really enthusiastic and passionate about music and guitar playing.”
“Anyway, Jeff had said it would be great if we both played in The Yardbirds together. That was what he said, and I said I didn’t really think it was going to be possible, because there was this union, five Yardbirds – five live Yardbirds – and it didn’t seem that that was going to be six, to have even more guitars.”
James Patrick Page was born in Heston, 9 January 1944 and is a British musician, music producer and composer who has achieved international success as a guitarist for Led Zeppelin. He began his career as a studio musician in London. In the mid-1960s, became the most sought after session guitarist in England. He was a member of the Yardbirds from 1966 until 1968, and later founded Led Zeppelin in 1968.
Page is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential guitarists of all time. Rolling Stone magazine placed him on the third position between the”100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time“.