Jimmy Page made a surprise appearance at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony Friday night (November 3) to honor his “hero” Link Wray.
The 79-year-old LED ZEPPELIN legend initially appeared on screen with a pre-recorded message during a video chronicling Wray‘s pioneering career. In the message, Page recalled hearing Wray‘s classic instrumental “Rumble” for the first time when he was a teenager and thinking, “What is this? In those days, there were many guitar instrumentals, but as a 14-year-old kid who could barely play the guitar, it really had an effect on me,” he said. “The vigor and the strength and the power in it. And you know something else — it was fearless. It was just phenomenal. The essence of cool.”
Page then appeared on stage in person at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, along with his iconic Gibson double-neck guitar, and played “Rumble” as a tribute to the late American guitarist and songwriter, who was being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. This marked Page‘s first performance in eight years.
Prior to last night’s Rock Hall appearance, Page‘s last public onstage performance took place in November 2015 when he joined an all-star lineup of musicians — including members of ALICE IN CHAINS, SOUNDGARDEN, CHEAP TRICK and GUNS N’ ROSES —at a benefit show at Seattle’s Experience Music Project Museum to perform the ZEPPELIN classic “Rock And Roll”.
The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame class of 2023 also includes RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, Kate Bush, Willie Nelson, Missy Elliott, Sheryl Crow, George Michael, DJ Kool Herc and THE SPINNERS.
Back in 2014, Page said that he wanted to hit the road, but told England’s The Week that he’s still hadn’t secured the band to take on tour. “I know people want to hear me play,” he said. “I want to hear me play, too… I’m really starting to get myself enthused and limbered up for putting something together… That for me is exactly how things should be. I want to surprise people.”
Page is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential guitarists of all time, and one of the most important record producers and songwriters in rock history. Page first picked up a guitar aged 12 and performed with Neil Christian and THE CRUSADERS as soon as he left school. He honed his craft as a session musician in London and, by the mid-sixties, was one of the most sought-after guitarists in Britain. He was a member of THE YARDBIRDS from 1966 to 1968 and then, in late 1968, founded LED ZEPPELIN, one of rock’s most successful and enduring bands, who have sold more than 300 million records to date.
Following LED ZEPPELIN, in the 1980s Page went on to produce a film soundtrack, “Death Wish II”, toured with Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck on the fundraising “A.R.M.S.” tour, formed bands THE FIRM and COVERDALE PAGE, and released a solo album, “Outrider”. From 1994 until 1998, Page reunited with LED ZEPPELIN bandmate Robert Plant on two albums and two tours as PAGE AND PLANT. Since then, Page has collaborated on a wide range of projects, including performing with Sean Coombes, THE BLACK CROWES and at the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics with Leona Lewis. Jimmy Page has been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame twice, once as a member of THE YARDBIRDS (1992) and once as a member of LED ZEPPELIN (1995). In 2005, Page received an OBE from the Queen, then also received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Surrey (2008); in 2012 he received America’s highest award for the arts, the Kennedy Center Honors, from President Barack Obama at the White House and an Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College, Boston (2014). More recently, Page produced and remastered LED ZEPPELIN‘s nine studio albums with companion discs, rereleased in 2014 and 2015, and in 2019, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s remarkable “Play It Loud” exhibition featured some of his most iconic guitars.
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