Jimmy Page’s Doubleneck Gibson

Jimmy Page, founder, leader, composer and producer of Led Zeppelin, is one of the most beloved guitarists of all time. Fans of 70s music often talk of him and his influence on the world of popular music during that decade and for years after it.

Jimmy was born in London in 1944 to parents who were not at all musical. They did, however, get him his first guitar, when he was a young teenager and provide him with a few months of lessons from a local music store. He took to the instrument immediately, but was content to learn much of his technique on his own just from listening to his favorite artists. He admired Elvis Presley, as nearly every other teenager in the 50s did. But he was also a fan of guitarists with a variety of styles including BB King, The Everly Brothers, Bert Jansch the folk-acoustic artist and Scotty Moore, who played with Elvis.

One of Jimmy’s first electric guitars was a used 1959 Futurama Grazioso and he spent hours copying the sounds he heard his heroes playing. As a young adult, Page played with several other musicians in local clubs and bars and soon was offered a job as a studio musician. He used his time there to learn all he could about the technical aspects of producing a record and developed his own preferences for mixing sounds.

In 1966, Jimmy joined the pop group The Yardbirds. He began as their bass player but soon moved up to sharing lead duties with Jeff Beck. He influenced the group to go in the direction of hard rock music, and when the band broke up, Jimmy recruited the musicians that would make up Led Zeppelin. During his early years with the group, Page used a 1960 custom Gibson Les Paul that he named Black Beauty. It had a Bigsby tailpiece and was a favorite of Page’s. When it was stolen from an airport in 1970, it is said that Jimmy mourned its loss deeply. To this day, Black Beauty has not been recovered, but Gibson has issued a tribute model to recreate it as closely as possible.

Led Zeppelin became well known in the area of heavy metal/hard rock almost immediately, and Page’s skill with a Gibson Les Paul and a Marshall amp created a unique and riveting sound. Jimmy developed some techniques that are still used today. For example, on “Tangerine” and “In My Time of Dying,” he used a slide guitar. He also developed a fuzz distortion for “Whole Lotta Love,” and was one of the first to use Asian-inspired scales and stringed instruments from India like the sitar to create a Far Eastern effect.

Jimmy’s best-loved solo has to be “Stairway to Heaven,” which was first performed live in 1971. As audiences became familiar with it, Stairway was added to nearly every Led performance from that time forward. Jimmy Page used a double-neck Gibson EDS-1275 for the complicated guitar solo. Because the song sometimes lasted as long as 10 minutes during a show, and included both soft legato sections, and a hard-driving bridge and final chorus, the double neck was perfect for the job. Jimmy would use the bottom six-string neck for the introduction and first verse and switch to the twelve-string neck for the solo work. The 1275 made it unnecessary for him to pick up a new instrument in the middle of the song.

Page’s EDS-1275 was made especially for him by Gibson. It had a cherry body and one-piece mahogany necks. The tailpieces were placed near the bottom of the body to increase its sustain and it was equipped with T-top humbucking pickups. In 2007, Gibson produced a total of 250 Jimmy Page Signature EDS-1275s. Gigwise.com has named this guitar as one of the Coolest Guitars of all Times.

As a fan of Jimmy Page, you will certainly want to listen to a recording or see a video of his live performance of “Stairway to Heaven.” You may also benefit from the lessons offered by Metal Method, if you have dreams of being a lead guitarist like Page. There are several home study guitar courses reviewed on our site, which can all help you achieve your guitar playing goals.