The 20 Best Jimmy Page Quotes

When you say the name Jimmy Page, you might immediately conjure up ideas of hard rock, Led Zeppelin, six-string solos, intricate winding songs and the echo of Robert Plant’s voice.

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The lead guitar player and songwriter of many of Led Zeppelin’s songs (and before that, the Yardbirds), Page, along with Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham, were a fearsome foursome with all the talent in the world.

A legend in his field, one might wonder, however, what the 79-year-old British-born artist has to say about life, his craft and the world at large outside of his famous songs.

These are Page’s 20 best quotes.

1. “If I pick up a guitar, I don’t practice scales. I never have. I come up with something I haven’t done before, new approaches to chord sequences, riffs, rhythms, so it becomes composition. It’s not like the music I’m doing is just a single thread.”

2. “If you listen to our work, from Led Zeppelin I to Coda, it’s just a fantastic textbook.”

3. “Right from the first time we went to America in 1968, Led Zeppelin was a word-of-mouth thing. You can’t really compare it to how it is today.”

4. “I wanted to emulate music from America—young punks playing rock n’ roll is what it was. I read part of Keith Richards’ autobiography, and it was totally parallel with me, learning from American records.”

5. “That’s exactly why I came into music in the first place: to be inspired by what I hear to make it something else, to make it my own. That’s how culture, creativity, moves, isn’t it?”

6. “Led Zeppelin was a band that would change things around substantially each time it played… We were becoming tighter and tighter, to the point of telepathy.”

7. “We weren’t making money in the Yardbirds.”

8. “I was really competitive with myself.”

9. “I can’t think of a greater guitar icon than someone who has the musical intellect to change what was there before and take music in another direction. That’s a guitar hero for me.”

10. “You want that—peers respecting what you’re doing.”

11. “I’ve never mastered the guitar. Either I was playing it, or it was playing me; it depends how you look at it. As a kid, the only things I had to do was go to school, do my homework, and play guitar.”

12. “Isolation doesn’t bother me at all. It gives me a sense of security.”

13. “I may not believe in myself, but I believe in what I’m doing.”

14. “I’m always looking for the creative spark. Always.”

15. “I believe every guitar player inherently has something unique about their playing. They just have to identify what makes them different and develop it.”

16. “The instruments that bleed into each other are what creates the ambiance. Once you start cleaning everything up, you lose it. You lose that sort of halo that bleeding creates. Then if you eliminate the halo, you have to go back and put in some artificial reverb, which is never as good.”

17. “In the 1960s and into the ’70s, everyone in their own way was trying to open up the musical horizon. There shouldn’t be a wall that you’re going toward and bouncing off.”

18. “Let me explain something about guitar playing. Everyone’s got their own character, and that’s the thing that’s amazed me about guitar playing since the day I first picked it up. Everyone’s approach to what can come out of six strings is different from another person, but it’s all valid.”

19. “Playing in my early bands, working as a studio musician, producing and going to art school was, in retrospect, my apprenticeship. I was learning and creating a solid foundation of ideas, but I wasn’t really playing music.”

20. “My vocation is more in composition really than anything else—building up harmonies using the guitar, orchestrating the guitar like an army, a guitar army.”

(Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage)

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