Err… well, not *that* good…

One thing Ken said to me while we were trading licks over Zep’s Good Time/Bad Times was ‘you’re too good to play Jimmy Page solos’ which while obviously tongue-in-cheek took me aback somewhat and made me think if it was in any way true (I’ve been playing for more than 20 years and have spent a good proportion of that trying to cop Jimmy). My conclusion: I’M MOST DEFINITELY NOT.

His comment probably stemmed from the fact that while I had previously boasted that I knew most of the Zeppelin catalogue (a boast under the influence of braggadocio) the truth is, rather than being able to play all the songs note-for-note, the reality is that I only actually know how to play small bits, riffs and licks from about half of them – hardly 100% coverage.  I know about 4 or 5 Zep songs all the way through. Anyway, while I fumbled through soloing over GTBD I in fact completely failed to reproduced any of Page’s parts with any accuracy and resorted to what I normally do in such cases – improvising something entirely different in E minor, which tends to work about 50% of the time for rock songs (A is also a safe bet) and playing as fast as I can. Nothing that issued forth from the speaker gave away any Page influence in my playing. It was at this point that Ken made his comment.

Pagey was (and still is) a most awesome soloist with leads that ‘speak’ to the listener with their lyrical and vocal qualities, dynamics, phrasing and panache. I’d give a section of lower limb to be in his league just as a guitarist, let alone possess a fraction of his overall musicianship, skill as composer, arranger and producer.  I’d give a section of the other limb to have lived half the Rock ’n’ Roll life he had too.

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