Jimmy Page started his career at an early age playing in bands with friends and also working as a session musician. He quickly became one of the most sought-after guitarists in London for recordings and by the mid-60s had the opportunity to join The Yardbirds.
When that group came to end, Page decided to form his own band, to which he recruited John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and John Bonham. Named Led Zeppelin, the group changed Rock and Roll completely in the late 60s and during the 70s, becoming one of the most influential bands of all time.
They have sold an estimated amount of 200 to 300 million records worldwide. Page not only became a real guitar hero, but also a very respected producer, since he was the one who produced all the albums of the band. Over the decades, the legendary guitarist talked a lot about his peers and even praised one guitarist that according to him, has an amazing technique.
The guitarist that Jimmy Page said had an amazing technique
At their prime Led Zeppelin tragically had to come to an end after the death of their drummer John Bonham. Plant, Jones and Page decided that they couldn’t go on without the musician, since he was such an important element of their chemistry. The band never recorded again with another drummer. But there were live reunions which had drummers like Jason Bonham and Phil Collins.
After that, Page worked on movie soundtracks, formed the supergroup The Firm, played with David Coverdale, Robert Plant, The Black Crowes and many other artists. But in the 80s, he was constantly part of TV shows and special performances. It was a decade where Rock and Roll changed a lot and in an interview with Guitar Show back in 1985 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage), he gave his opinion about that.
He was first asked if there were any new guitarists that had impressed him. He said: “Not like Django Reinhardt, not really.” But when pushed to talk about the music and the guitar players of that era, he mentioned the late legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen.
“Well, for instance, like Eddie Van Halen. (He’s) got an amazing technique with all this sort of hammering on and everything, you know. I can’t do that, but at least they’re stretching the horizons and everything. Is great,” Jimmy Page said.
Eddie Van Halen thought that Jimmy Page was sloppy when playing live
Even though Jimmy Page was one of the best session guitarists in England in the 60s and made amazing records during his career, he is often called a “sloppy” guitar player when performing live. The late Eddie Van Halen agreed with that. He talked about it in an interview with Guitar World magazine back in 1981.
“Jimmy Page is an excellent producer. Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin II are classics. As a player, he’s very good in the studio. But I never saw him play well live. He’s very sloppy.”
“He plays like he’s got a broken hand and he’s two years old. But if you put out a good album and play like a two-year-old live. What’s the purpose?” Eddie Van Halen said.
But Eddie liked him and said he was influenced by Page
Although Eddie said that about him in that conversation he praised the British guitarist many times during his life. For example, in the documentary “The History of Rock N’ Roll” (1995), he said that it was Page who inspired him to do the “funny things” he did on guitar.
He also praised the guitarist and was present when he was inducted into Hollywood’s Rock Walk in 1993. He said during his speech: “I don’t think there is anybody here that somehow hasn’t been affected by Jimmy Page’s music as a guitar player.”
“The guy is a f*cking legend, you know. He influenced me and everybody that I know and what more can I say?” Eddie Van Halen said.
Jimmy Page called him a pioneer
Eddie Van Halen sadly passed away back in 2020 at the age of 65 after years battling cancer. The whole music world paid their tribute as soon as the news was shared. Jimmy Page released an official statement at the time. He praised Eddie and said he was a pioneer.
“It is with great sadness that I heard the passing of Eddie Van Halen. He was the real deal. He pioneered a dazzling technique on guitar with taste and panache that I felt always placed him above his imitators. It was good to see him featured at the Met’s Play It Loud Exhibition. R. I. P. Eddie,” Jimmy Page said.