The guitarist Jimmy Page said “didn’t make mistakes”

Embarking on the journey to musical greatness often entails navigating through a labyrinth of errors and mishaps. Amidst the virtuosos who effortlessly grasp their art, there exists a cohort who dedicate years to their instruments before ascending to the pinnacles of the industry. Jimmy Page, long before the inception of Led Zeppelin, invested considerable hours perfecting his craft, but a distinct memory etched in his mind involves a guitarist who flawlessly navigated a session with him, devoid of any missteps.

Before Page crystallized his musical legacy within a band, he had already earned the stripes of a seasoned session musician before his late twenties. Fingers dancing on the fretboard, Page’s melodic prowess adorned numerous classics from the 1960s, preluding his eventual collaboration with The Yardbirds.

Page’s trajectory mirrored that of John Paul Jones, another session musician who seamlessly blended various string arrangements for studio sessions and lent his bass talents to songs demanding a lower sonic register. The era demanded session bands, but The Beatles had already shifted the paradigm, making collective musical genius more of an expectation than an anomaly. As The Rolling Stones countered the pop-infused rock wave ushered in by The Beatles, Page, ever the session maestro, found himself behind the studio glass during the Stones’ 1970s recordings.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the dynamic duo at the helm of The Rolling Stones, transformed from a blues cover band into global icons. Inspired by the songwriting prowess of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, they churned out hit after hit. Despite the presence of lead guitarist Brian Jones, Page found himself in the studio shadows.

As Jones meandered away and Mick Taylor loomed on the horizon, Page engaged in jam sessions with Richards between Led Zeppelin album recordings. Surprisingly, Richards, devoid of formal musical education, emerged as a pioneering force in guitar innovation. The architect of the signature open-G tuning, Richards crafted iconic licks like ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ and ‘Start Me Up.’

Page, initially taken aback by Richards’ prowess, reminisced, “The thing I remember the most is that Keith was solid and driving, and he didn’t make mistakes. I realised just what a powerful force he is behind those Rolling Stones records.” In an industry teeming with musical perfectionists, Richards stood out, influencing Page’s perspective on instrumentation and alternate tunings for Zeppelin songs.

Amidst the ever-changing landscape of lead guitarists, Richards remained the steadfast anchor of The Stones, shaping Page’s approach to virtuosity by emphasizing the importance of rhythm over shredding. Richards epitomized the journey from rhythmic mastery to virtuoso status in the grand tapestry of musical evolution.

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