Happy 70th birthday, Jimmy Page!

Today is Jimmy Page’s 70th birthday. Here he is as a young intern at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. He would go on to have some middling success with the guitar.

My best Jimmy Page story: sometime in the mid-’80s, when I was a total Zeppelin freak, I went to see him as a member of his plod-rock project The Firm. Here’s one of their songs, “Radioactive,” which is not the Imagine Dragons version:

“I’m not uptight/Not unattractive” may be the most passive-aggressive come-on ever.

Anyway, my little brother tagged along for the concert, and as the lights went out to start the show, he lofted a tennis ball in the direction of the stage. The lights come up, no tennis ball onstage; we figured he’d missed. Then, as Page is wandering around the stage, the ball drops out of the rigging, where it had obviously been bouncing around. He gave it a passing glance and moved on. Hell, the guy’s probably seen body parts thrown onstage; you think a Penn 4 is gonna spook him?

You know his Zep stuff. Here are a couple quick alternative videos. First, here he is completely blasted at Live Aid in 1985, yet still delicately fingerpicking his way through “Stairway to Heaven”:

Jimmy Page is the only person on earth who can play the “Stairway” intro and not get immediately shot. He’s grandfathered in.

On a more positive note, here he is in the spectacular documentary “It Might Get Loud,” whaling on an acoustic guitar like nobody else:

Happy birthday, you old sorceror. Sorry about the tennis ball.


3 Responses to “Happy 70th birthday, Jimmy Page!

  • Paul A.
    ago3 years

    *wailing (the song wasn’t Moby Dick). 😉

  • Well played.

    I always thought it was “whale,” like hitting the guitar as hard as if you were swinging a whale. Which would be pretty cool.

  • Paul A.
    ago3 years

    If anyone could do that with a whale, it would be Jimmy.
    Anyway, I may have been too hasty in my correction; I apologize. This seems to be an area of some confusion and semantic nuances. For example, see http://hill-kleerup.org/blog/2009/05/05/wail-whale-wale.html
    Since the clip was Jimmy playing acoustic guitar, “wailing” really doesn’t apply, but “whaling” also looks odd to me. Isn’t English fun!?

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