The Led Zeppelin solo Jimmy Page played to prove people wrong

Jimmy Page is a contentious performer, one of the most influential people to take up the electric guitar. Some have criticized him for being careless and unreliable, despite his exceptional technical and lyrical abilities.

This is explained by his peculiar approach and the fact that he rarely performed his well-known solos exactly as they are recorded in a live environment, opting instead to pull something unexpected. While some admirers saw this as evidence of his creative genius, others saw it as a sign that he saved his best playing for the studio, where he had more time to perfect his flourishes. According to these purists, this was not the method of the fretboard greats.

Blues rock icon Joe Bonamassa was among those who followed in Page’s footsteps, and he aptly recently explained why Led Zeppelin’s guitarist is the “toughest” performer to imitate. He declared: “Page arguably is the toughest to kind of copy the sound [because] he had these kinds of wacky slurs and things that he would do. In some circles, it’s argued he’s not a very accurate player. I disagree. He’s intrinsically very consistent, so that’s not a question of accuracy. That’s just how he plays. And one of the hardest things to do is copy those idiosyncrasies in his playing, so much so that I’m not going to bother attempting it.”

Even Page finds it difficult to imitate him. He said this following the reunion of Led Zeppelin’s three surviving members in 2007 at The Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at London’s O2 Arena. He said that he never performs his recorded solos the same in a live setting after their thunderous final flourish. Nevertheless, he explained why, during the performance, he nearly exactly replicated his most well-known piece, “Stairway to Heaven,” but it wasn’t the same.

He disclosed that he decided to sing the solo from “Stairway to Heaven” at the O2 to demonstrate his ability to duplicate the genius he had imagined in the studio. He said to Brad Tolinski, the author of Light and Shade: I don’t think anybody thought I could actually play it! I guess I just wanted to show I could.”

Intriguingly, Page felt the need to demonstrate his ability to do the solo on “Stairway to Heaven.” Not only did he demonstrate humility in the process, but he also refused to stray from his tried-and-true method of live improvisation, demonstrating his unwavering faith in this strategy. This was essential to Page’s Led Zeppelin’s charm since they are among the best jam bands of their time.

Jimmy Page performing “Stairway to Heaven” at the O2 may be listened to below.

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