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Jimmy Page Explains His Early Success as a Session Guitarist

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Most Led Zeppelin fans are aware of the fact that Jimmy Page was highly in demand as a session guitarist before joining the Yardbirds in the ’60s. But how did he earn his sought-after status?

Page offered a little insight during a recent interview with Absolute Radio (which you can watch above), looking back on his early days as a guitar-slinging teen and suggesting that — like plenty of other successful session players in subsequent eras — his ability to seamlessly switch between multiple disciplines helped him get a leg up over more experienced musicians.

“I got the opportunity to walk through that sort of iron-clad door,”  he recalled. “Session music was an extremely closed shop. I was given a try-out with other studio musicians — I must have been seven years younger than anybody else that was around at that point, and some were considerably older. They said ‘You can make up a part — play what you want.’ And because I had these roots across the board, going through from rockabilly to Chicago blues and the whole works, and acoustic playing as well, and I played harmonica too, I became quite an in-demand session player for one instrument or the other.”

Page is in a reflective mood lately, as he’s out promoting his new photographic memoir as well as the ongoing Led Zeppelin deluxe reissues, but he’s looking toward the future too; his plans for the coming months include his first new music after a lengthy recording hiatus.

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