Considered one of rock's greatest guitarist, James Patrick Page (1944-) was born on this day in Heston, England and learned how to play the guitar after hearing an Elvis Presley song.
Page was self-taught, and became a prolific, in-demand studio musician before joining the Yardbirds in 1966. Two years later he formed Led Zeppelin with Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones. Their 1969 debut album blew the world away.
"My vocation is more in composition really than anything else," he once said. "Building up harmonies using the guitar, orchestrating the guitar like an army, a guitar army."
The talented Page wrote the book on heavy metal, with astounding rock riffs and guitar solos on such classics as Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Kashmir, and Stairway to Heaven. He co-wrote the songs and produced the albums, helping create the band's unique, passionate sound.
"The beauty of the band," Page said, "was you never knew what was going to come out next."
Since Led Zeppelin's break up in late 1980, Page has continued to record with other artists: the Firm in 1985, David Coverdale in 1993, again with Plant in 1994 and 1998, and The Black Crowes in 1999.
The influencial musician observed, "Trying to do good work and improve upon what you've done--it still is a race against time."
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