Born in England, back in 1944, the guitarist Jimmy Page started his musical career at an early age in 1957. During the 60s he became one of the most required session guitarists in London and played in the studio with many incredible artists like The Who and Donovan.
Outside the studio, he first achieved fame as a member of The Yardbirds and in 1968 helped to form Led Zeppelin, that would become one of the best-selling bands of all time. They have sold an estimated amount of 200 to 300 million records worldwide. The group was active from 1968 to 1980 and released eight studio albums.
Part of the music business since the 60s, Page had the chance to see many incredible guitar players up-close and he even said which one was the best the world ever had.
The guitarist that Jimmy Page said was the best the world ever had
There wouldn’t be Rock and Roll music without the electric guitar and over the decades, many incredible players appeared. They inspired countless musicians all over the world to improve their playing and create new music.
By 1975, when Led Zeppelin already was one of the biggest bands in the world, Jimmy Page was asked by Rolling Stone magazine to talk about American guitarists he liked. He quickly replied, saying: “we’ve lost the best guitarist any of us ever had and that was Hendrix.”
The American guitarist Jimi Hendrix formed his own band The Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1966. Their grounbreaking debut album “Are You Experienced” was released one year later. Even though his career was cut short at the age of 27 due to his tragic death, the musician was a huge influence to countless musicians.
Jimmy Page is two years younger than Jimi Hendrix, but he started his musical career in 1957, five years before the American musician. Besides being part of many groups when he was a teenager, Page also became a very successful session musician in England, being able to record with many famous bands in the 60s.
Hendrix had a similar path in music, but being part of many backing groups of famous artists, like Little Richard. Those years the two guitarists spent with other bands were crucial for both of them find their own style.
Page said that Hendrix’s albums were excellent
Besides being the band’s guitarist and writing many song lyrics, Page was also Led Zeppelin’s producer. In 1993 he was asked by Guitar World magazine to give his opinion on Hendrix’s records as a producer.
“I thought they were excellent. Oh yeah. Jimi’s drummer, Mitch Mitchell was also a man inspired. He never played drums like that before or since. He played some incredible stuff!!” He also said that many artists at the time were trying different things and evolving. Page gave The Beatles as an example, as a group that went from performing “Please Mr. Postman” to “I Am The Walrus”.
What was Jimi Hendrix’s opinion on Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page
Since Led Zeppelin released their first album only one year before Hendrix’s death, he wasn’t asked much in interviews about the group. But, Robert Plant said in an interview for the documentary “Led Zeppelin: Whole Lotta Rock” (2019) that he and John Bonham had an encounter with Hendrix one night. According to Plant, the guitarist told Bonham that he had a “foot like a rabbit”, because of his drum skills.
In May, 1970, just a few months before his death, Hendrix was asked by Melody Maker magazine about Zeppelin. He said: “I don’t think much of Led Zeppelin. I mean, I don’t think much about them. Jimmy Page is a good guitar player”.
Jimmy Page once saw Jimi Hendrix but didn’t had the chance to see him performing
Until this day Jimi Hendrix is considered the greatest guitarist of all time. However since his career with his own band was short, lasting only four years, not many people had the chance to watch him playing live. In an interview with Rolling Stone back in 2012, Page recalled that he had the chance to see Hendrix once, but wasn’t lucky enough to see him playing.
“It wasn’t a lack of will. I wanted to see him. But I was doing studio dates and touring with the Yardbirds. Jeff (Beck) came ’round. (He) was telling me about how this guy got up at London Polytechnic, jammed and taken them all by surprise. I remember I was back in London after a Zeppelin tour. Hendrix was playing the next night at the Royal Albert Hall.”
Jimmy Page continued:
“I was pretty shot. (I) thought, ‘I’d really like to see him.’ But I’d heard all these wonderful stories of him playing in clubs. (I’ve said) ‘I’ll wait and see him next time ’round.’ For me, there wasn’t going to be a next time.”
“The only time I actually saw him was at a club called Salvation in New York. He was across the room from where I was sitting with some friends. I was going to go over and say, ‘I’m sorry I missed the London concert.’ But then he was leaving with the people who were with him. He looked a little worse for wear. I thought, ‘There will be a more favorable time.’ In the end, there wasn’t,” Jimmy Page said.