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5 American guitarists Jimmy Page said were his favorites in the 70s

Jimmy Page
Images from Academy Of Achievement and Robert Plant


5 American guitarists Jimmy Page said were his favorites in the 70s

Led Zeppelin released their first album in 1969 and the record was one of the main influences for the evolution of Hard Rock music during the 70s. The band’s co-founder, producer and guitarist Jimmy Page became one of the most famous guitar heroes in the world and was an inspiration for countless musicians.


During that decade he talked a lot with the press about other bands and artists. He even listed in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine back in 1975, the 5 American guitarists who were some of his favorites. Rock and Roll Garage selected what the musician said about those guitar players over the decades and his connection with some of them.

The 5 American guitarists Jimmy Page said were his favorites in the 70s

Jimi Hendrix

When Jimmy Page was asked by Rolling Stone Magazine in 1975 which were some of his favorite American guitarists, the first one he mentioned was the late legendary Jimi Hendrix. “Well, let’s see, we’ve lost the best guitarist any of us ever had. That was Hendrix,” Jimmy Page said.

His admiration and respect for Hendrix continued over the decades, as he praised even how good his records sounded. When asked by Guitar World in 1993, from a producer’s point of view how well made the Hendrix albums were, Page said that they were excellent.

They didn’t had the chance to play together but they almost met each other

Even though Page was a respected session musician in the 60s and had the opportunity to achieve fame with The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin, he never had the chance to talk or play with Hendrix. The only time the two were in the same place together, the Zeppelin guitarist said that Hendrix was too high at the time. So Page thought it would be better to talk to him another day.

“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.’ But 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 told Rolling Stone back in 2012

Clarence White

“The other guitarist I started to get into died also, Clarence White. He was absolutely brilliant. Gosh,” Jimmy Page told Rolling Stone in 1975. White was an American Bluegrass/Country guitarist and singer, being known for his work with the Kentucky Colonels and The Byrds.

Just like Jimmy Page, he also worked extensively as a session musician. Some of the musicians he recorded with were The Everly Brothers, Joe Cocker, Ricky Nelson, Pat Boone, The Monkees, Randy Newman and Jackson Browne. He tragically died at the age of 29 in 1973 after being struck by a drunk driver.

In an interview with Guitar Player in 2023, he revealed that a Clarence White and Gene Parsons “invention” inspired parts of Zeppelin’s classic album “In Through the Out Door”.

“I heard the Byrds’ [1970] Untitled album. It’s a live album and I thought, What the hell is he doing? And it turned out it was Clarence White playing on the Gene Parsons and Clarence White invention, which was his idea to make the string pitch up.”

Jimmy Page continued:

“You can hear Clarence use it on the Byrds’ ‘Sweetheart of the Rodeo’. But the live album is where I first heard it and thought, I can’t fathom this out. I don’t know how it’s done. Albert Lee was the first person I saw using the string bender, when he was playing with Eric Clapton,” Jimmy Page said.

He had already praised White in a conversation with Guitar World magazine back in 1986, saying what he was doing with The Byrds was “quite amazing”. At that interview he recalled he had the chance to see the American group live many times.

Amos Garrett

“On a totally different style—the control, the guy who played on the Maria Muldaur single, ‘Midnight at the Oasis.’ Amos Garrett. He’s Les Paul oriented,” Jimmy Page told Rolling Stone magazine in 1975.

Amos Garrett was born in  Detroit, Michigan and raised in Toronto, Canada. He is best-known for the famous guitar solo he recorded in the Maria Muldaur’s song “Midnight At The Oasis”.

During his career, the musician had also recorded with many other artists like Stevie Wonder, Todd Rundgren and Bonnie Raitt. He has recorded with more than 150 artists. Besides being a musician, Amos is also a writter and has written several books about music. One of them is “Amos Garrett—Stringbending: A Master Class”.

Les Paul

Les Paul is the one, really. We wouldn’t be anywhere if he hadn’t invented the electric guitar,” Jimmy Page said in the interview with Rolling Stone in 1975. Even though, Jimmy Page used many guitar models during his career with Led Zeppelin and solo, like the Fender Telecaster, the two most famous ones are Les Paul models. He is best known for using the Gibson Les Paul DeLuxe and the Double-Neck Gibson EDS-1275.

As the name says, those guitars would exist if it wasn’t for Les Paul, that simply was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar. He had the opportunity to meet the American inventor and guitarist. Page even received an advice from him as he told GQ in 2021. The guitarist was talking about never going to a commercial path in his career, so he recalled what Les Paul told him.

“I think it’s more satisfying to throw down the gauntlet to yourself. Take on the challenge and then come out with something where you’ve really pushed yourself. To actually do something unique and new.”

“Les Paul said to me, ‘You know what you can do? Same picture, different frame.’ So you never lose the main part of your character, that’s recognised. But you adjust the framing of the picture,” Jimmy Page said.

Elliot Randall

“Another one is Elliot Randall, the guy who guested on the first Steely Dan album. He’s great,” Jimmy Page said to Rolling Stone in 1975. Curiously, back in 2016, a small chat with Page was posted on Youtube, he was asked to grade some guitar players out of 10. When the classic Steely Dan track “Reelin’ In The Years” was played, Page immediately said: “Oh I know this, that’s cool. I like that one. Steely Dan, classic. That’s got to be 12”.

“The thing is I really love all guitar playing. That’s exactly the thing, hearing the guitar when I was a kid and just really appreciating even then. That you know, it’s six strings of an electric guitar. But everyone will take on it their caracthers. So they are different. That’s the cool thing about it,” Jimmy Page said.

Elliott Randall is a session musician and is also best known for playing on the song “Fame” from Irene Cara. Other musicians he recorded with are Richie Havens, Peter Criss, Peter Frampton, Yoko Ono/John Lennon and Asia. Randall also worked on the soundtrack of many classic movies. Some of them are “The Warriors” (1979), “The Blues Brothers” (1980) and “Fame” (1980).

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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