The Led Zeppelin solo Jimmy Page played to prove people wrong

Jimmy Page

Despite being one of the most influential figures to pick up an electric guitar, Jimmy Page is a polarizing musician. Despite his exceptional technical and songwriting ability, some have criticized him for being sloppy and unreliable.

This can be ascribed to his distinctive approach since he would rarely play his classic solos exactly as recorded. He prefers to pull something new out of the bag. For some fans, this demonstrated his artistic brilliance. For others, it indicated that he left the best version of his playing in the studio. There he had plenty of time to practice his flourishes. For these purists, this was not the method of the great fretboard players.

One of those who rose in Page’s wake was blues rock legend Joe Bonamassa.  Bonamassa previously explained why the Led Zeppelin man is the “toughest” player to emulate. He stated, “Page perhaps is the most difficult to imitate the sound [because] he had these types of strange slurs and things that he would do. Some claim that he isn’t a particularly accurate player. I disagree. He is naturally very consistent, thus it is not a matter of correctness. That is exactly how he plays. And one of the most difficult things to accomplish is to replicate those peculiarities in his playing. So I’m not going to bother trying.”

Page even finds himself difficult to emulate. He made this statement after the three remaining members of Led Zeppelin reunited in 2007 at London’s O2 Arena for The Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert. Following their thundering final flourish, he stated that he never performs his recorded solos in the same way live. Nonetheless, he revealed why he replicated his most famous song, ‘Stairway to Heaven’, virtually note for note – but not exactly the same – during the show.

He said that he chose to perform the solo from ‘Stairway to Heaven’ at the O2 to demonstrate that he could duplicate the brilliance he envisioned in the studio. He told Light and Shade author Brad Tolinski, “I don’t think anyone imagined I could play it! I guess I just wanted to show I could.”

Intriguingly, Jimmy Page wanted to demonstrate that he could perform the solo on ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Not only did he practice humility in doing so, but he also refused to entirely abandon his tried-and-true method of improvising life. He demonstrated his unwavering faith in this technique. After all, Page’s Led Zeppelin was one of the best jam bands of their era, and this was fundamental to their success.

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