The Journey Of Jimmy Page From Yardbirds to Led Zeppelin
Jimmy Page - OLD TAPES / Youtube
We can all remember Jimmy Page as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Inside his career that started in the 60s and an impressive repertoire of songs, there’s no doubt that his name will forever be embedded as the best in the annals of rock history.
But, like the rest of us, Page had to go to lengths just to be where he is today. As we may have remembered, he started as a session musician to several stars before. Later on, he was recruited inside the English rock band the Yardbirds, as a dual lead guitarist opposite his friend and fellow legend Jeff Beck. The Yardbirds became a legendary group for spearheading the careers of three iconic guitarists: Beck, Page, and Eric Clapton.
But when Beck left during the North American tour, the band unceremoniously decided to split up – leaving Jimmy Page with no choice but to find members to fill in the spots. Page was inspired to create a new one when a 1966 recording session that had Keith Moon on drums, John Paul Jones on bass, Nicky Hopkins on piano, and himself and Beck on guitar occurred. At that time, Moon proposed forming a band and jokingly suggested the name Led Zeppelin, a name that struck Page.
“‘We can call it Led Zeppelin,’” Page remembered Moon’s words. “‘Because it can only go down, like a lead balloon.’ I thought it was a great name, and I didn’t forget it.”
The hunt for a frontman started and Page, together with manager Peter Grant, discovered Robert Plant along the way. Page has heard nice things about Plant and adored his singing by listening to the demo that the singer had given. The two hung out in Page’s boathouse in Thames, wherein they bonded over their love for Joan Baez’s song, “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You.”
With their formation, Page was able to contact fellow sessions player John Paul Jones for bass, and for Plant’s part, was able to contact his friend John Bonham for drums. With this foursome, a legendary group was molded; the rest is history.