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Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page, London, England, May 23, 1975
Jimmy Page, May 23, 1975, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London, England
Vital Stats
Birth Name: James Patrick Page
Born: January 9, 1944
Heston, Middlesex, England
Occupation(s): Musician, Songwriter, Producer
Instrument(s): Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Theremin, Banjo, Pedal Steel Guitar, Dulcimer, Sitar, Hurdy Gurdy, Harmonica, Bass Guitar, Vocals
Associated Act(s): The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, XYZ, The Firm, Coverdale-Page, Page and Plant, Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes

James Patrick Page was born on January 9, 1944 in Heston, Middlesex. His mother, Patricia (Gaffikin), was a doctor's secretary and his father, James Patrick, was an industrial personnel officer.

His parents moved from Heston to Feltham, Hounslow when he was a toddler and he spent part of his first few years living on a great-uncle's estate in rural Northamptonshire. When Jimmy was eight years old, his family moved to Epsom, Surrey to escape the noise of Heathrow Airport.

He spent his time as a youth like anyone else, but at age twelve, his life changed forever when he heard Elvis' Baby, Let's Play House. He picked up a Spanish guitar, and after a handful of lessons, he was set.

At age fifteen, he accepted a position to play in Neil Christian and the Crusaders after Neil spotted him performing in a dance hall in Epsom. He toured for two years until a bout with glandular fever forced him to quit.

He then enrolled in an art college in Sutton, Surrey. He attended for 18 months, from 1962 to late 1963. He was still involved in music and jam sessions were commonplace. Jeff Beck was a frequent guitarist at these sessions.

Jimmy had brief stints in various bands, like The Cyril Davies All Stars, Carter Lewis and the Southerners and The Mickey Finn and soon became one of the most sought after session players in London, playing for artists such as Burt Bacharach, PJ Proby, The Who, The Kinks, Herman's Hermits, Donovan, Brenda Lee and Lulu.

In 1965, he was approached to join the Yardbirds, but instead recommended Jeff Beck. Also, in 1965, he managed to record his own single, She Just Satisfies, with Keep Moving on the B-Side. Jimmy Page also crossed paths with Eric Clapton at this time, recording a handful of tracks.

Getting tired of session work, Jimmy joined the Yardbirds, this time taking the role as the bass guitarist, after previous bassist, Paul Samwell-Smith quit the band. Jimmy switched over to guitar, assuming one half of a dual lead guitarist group with Jeff Beck, when Chris Dreja, the rhythm guitarist, took over on bass.

This excitement was short-lived, because by the end of 1966, the band could not work with Jeff Back anymore, and The Yardbirds fired him from the band. About this time, The Yardbirds gained a new manager, Peter Grant. The glory days for The Yardbirds were far gone and by early 1968, they decided to call it quits.

Needing to fulfill some Yardbirds tour dates, Jimmy quickly needed to put together a band. Terry Reid became Jimmy's first choice for a lead singer, but he was under contract and could not joined. He suggested Robert Plant, who was playing in the Midlands band named Obs'tweedle. In late July 1968, Jimmy and Peter Grant went to see Robert perform at a teacher training college. Jimmy invited Robert to his house in Pangbourne to discuss some ideas about starting a band.

Although Procul Harum's drummer BJ Wilson, Keith Moon, Paul Francis and Aynsley Dunbar were under consideration for the drum spot, Robert's insistence on John Bonham got him the spot. John Paul Jones contacted Jimmy about being the bassist. After three weeks of rehearsal, the band was off to Scandinavia to play a handful of dates.

For several months after John Bonham's death, Jimmy did not touch the guitar. His live return to the stage came on March 10, 1981, when he joined Jeff Beck for a encore jam at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. He spent the next few months at his home studio, Sol, preparing material for Led Zeppelin's 10th album, entitled Coda, which was released November 19, 1982.

Also, Jimmy was hard at work, writing the soundtrack for the movie Death Wish II. This soundtrack album was released in February 1982. On May 12, 1982, he joined Robert on stage with Foreigner for a version of Lucille and on May 24, 1983, he joined Eric Clapton in a low-key encore jam, which prompted Eric to invite Jimmy to perform at some charity events at Royal Albert Hall in London on September 20 and 21, 1983 called ARMS. The success of these concerts prompted a 10-date US tour in late 1983.

In 1984, Jimmy played some guest spots, including a birthday party for producer Glyn John, some dates with Roy Harper and an encore jam with Yes. In early 1984, Jimmy assembled a band with singer Paul Rodgers that eventually had Tony Franklin on bass and Chris Slade. The band rehearsed under the name The McGregors, but started touring Europe on November 29, 1984 under the name The Firm. The Firm recorded two albums, The Firm and Mean Business over the next two years and toured the US and England.

During this time, Jimmy got together with Robert and John Paul Jones for some performances, including the Live Aid performance on July 13, 1985 and an encore jam on July 23, 1985 with Robert. In January 1986, rehearsals with Robert and John Paul sparked Led Zeppelin reunion rumors, although plans fall apart.

In 1988, Jimmy joined Robert at the Hammersmith Odeon on April 17, 1988 for a jam on some Led Zeppelin tunes and groups up with Robert and John Paul once again on May 14, 1988 for Atlantic Records' 40th Anniversary part held at Madison Square Garden.

Following these dates, Jimmy worked on a solo project, with John Miles as singer, Jason Bonham on drums and Durban Laverde on bass. The resulting album was called Outrider which is supported by a US and UK tour in late 1988.

In 1989, Jimmy joined Robert Plant and John Paul performing at Robert's daughter, Carmen's 21st birthday party and on April 28, 1990 to perform at Jason Bonham's wedding.

Also, in 1990, Jimmy jammed with Bon Jovi at a benefit show and joined Robert on June 30, 1990 at Knebworth for the Silver Clef Awards, performing Wearing And Tearing, Misty Mountain Hop and Rock And Roll. He jammed with Aerosmith on two occasions in August 1990. Jimmy put together a 4-CD boxed set of the Led Zeppelin catalog, which was released in October 1990, along with a condensed 2-CD Remasters set.

He got up for a jam with Poison on May 14, 1991 with David Coverdale and was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame with The Yardbirds on January 10, 1992.

In 1993, Jimmy recorded an album with David Coverdale, and although a 45-date US tour is planned in mid-1993, it got shelved instead for a low-key Japanese tour in December 1993. In 1993, Jimmy released the remaining 34 tracks not included in the Remasters, along with The Complete Studio Recordings boxed set, which was released in September 1993.

On April 17, 1994, Jimmy joined Robert at the Alexis Korner Memorial Concert for a couple tunes. Two more jams solidified a Page and Plant reunion with Plant's backing band.

In August 1994, filming began for an MTV Unplugged show. New versions of old Led Zeppelin tunes awere performed along with some newly written tunes. The resulting album No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded was released on October 14, 1994, with a supporting 1995-96 world tour.

January 12, 1995, Led Zeppelin was entered into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Jimmy jammed with Robert, John Paul, Jason Bonham, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry from Aerosmith, Neil Young, as well as Charlie Jones and Michael Lee.

In April 1997, Jimmy joined Robert for a cover of Rainer Ptacek tune Rude World on a tribute album for him. On December 7, 1997 Jimmy joined Robert with Charlie Jones and Michael Lee as part of a charity concert for the Seniors Tennis in England.

On April 21, 1998 Walking Into Clarksdale, Jimmy's first new album with Robert in almost 20 years was released. A 1998 World Tour started in Croatia on February 21, 1998 and ended on December 10, 1998 in Paris.

Jimmy lent a riff and his guitar playing to Puff Daddy for a track called Come With Me, a re-working of Kashmir, that was included on the Godzilla movie soundtrack. Jimmy appeared with Puff Daddy on Saturday Night Live on May 9, 1998.

Jimmy joined Robert on the Jimmy Rogers All Stars CD in late 1998. After the World Tour, Jimmy took a break from touring and from Robert. On June 13, 1999 Jimmy performed in London at a party launching Gibson Guitar's new office in London and he appeared in late June, with the Black Crowes for the ABC Task Brazil Trust, for the street children of Brazil.

Jimmy and the Black Crowes joined up once again for NetAid at Giants Stadium in NYC on October 9, 1999 as well as October 12-14 in NYC and October 16,18,19, 1999 at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, the latter which produced a live CD, which was first available for purchase and download via the WWW.

Jimmy toured with the Black Crowes once again in the year 2000 in the States, but the 2nd leg of the US tour, as well as the European and Japan dates were cancelled due to a back injury that Jimmy had.

Jimmy joined Robert for another tribute track entitled There's A Hole In My Bucket in early summer 2000 for the Sun Records tribute and in addition, performed a short set (including the first-ever performance of Candy Store Rock) with Robert at the 2001 Montreux Festival on July 7. On Nov. 8, 2001 Jimmy performed at the MTV Europe Music Awards show, along with Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit and Wes Scantlin of Puddle of Mud, performing Thank You.

In 2005, Jimmy Page joined John Paul Jones in accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammy Recording Academy on Feb. 12. Jimmy Page was awarded the Order of the British Empire on Dec. 14 for his work with the ABC Trust and British charity Task Brazil.

Jimmy was on hand to have Led Zeppelin inducted into the UK Hall of Fame. Australian band Wolfmother performed Communication Breakdown on Nov. 14, 2006.

2007 brought Jimmy Page back together with Robert Plant and John Paul Jones for the first time in 19 years, headlining the Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert at the O2 Arena in London, England on Dec. 10, 2007.

In 2008, Jimmy Page participated in the Closing Ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing on Aug. 24, along with Leona Lewis, performing Whole Lotta Love on top of a double decker bus, as part of the handover to London 2012 Summer Olympics. Jimmy also appeared (and co-produced) a documentary entitled It Might Get Loud, co-starring The Edge of U2 and Jack White of the White Stripes. It premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on Sep. 5, 2008.

On Apr. 4, 2009, Jimmy Page inducted Jeff Beck into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, performing with Beck and the allstar jam.

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December 16, 1968 - Zep plays Bath Pavilion for a mere £75.
December 26, 1968 - First American concert at the Coliseum in Denver, CO
December xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are reported to have sold 5 million dollars worth of albums in the US
December 11, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are presented gold and platinum discs for their first two albums
December xx, 1970 - The band enters Island Studios to begin work on the fourth album
December xx, 1971 - The band plays a few low-key shows back in England
December 23, 1972 - The band break for Christmas holiday after a London gig
December xx, 1973 - John Paul Jones works on studio productions for Madeline Bell
December xx, 1973 - Joe Massot films Jimmy Page’s fantasy sequence at Loch Ness
December 19, 1974 - John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page jam with Bad Company at the Rainbow Theater
December 10, 1975 - Led Zeppelin play a 45-minute show with Norman Hale at Behan’s in Jersey
December xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin rehearses for the 1977 tour
December 25, 1976 - It’s announced that Plant and Bonham will reunite with the Band of Joy for three shows in the new year
December xx, 1977 - The band minus Robert gather to discuss Led Zeppelin’s future plans
December xx, 1978 - The new album is completed quickly at Polar Studios and mixed at Jimmy’s Plumpton Studio
December xx, 1979 - John Bonham considers joining Paul McCartney’s Wings
December 29, 1979 - The band minus Jimmy Page attend the Paul McCartney And Wings Kampuchea befefit show
December 04, 1980 - Led Zeppelin issue the following statement not to carry on as a band: "We wish it to be known, that the loss of our dear friend and the deep respect we have for his family, together with the deep sense of harmony felt by ourselves and our manager have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were."
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