Jimmy Page Says Jeff Beck's Sister Arranged Playdate When They Were Teens

 

The legacy of The Yardbirds' three iconic guitar heroes Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page is a little bit conviluted, but Page did his best to explain it in a new video for Fender.

Fender's recent conversation with Page was released in connection to his new signature Fender Telecaster, which is based on the guitar he used in the Yardbirds and in the early days of Led Zeppelin.

The original guitar was a gift from Beck to Page, and the pair's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame relationship was largely thanks to Beck's sister, Annetta Beck.

Page says he and Jeff initially connected due to their mutual interest in the guitar. Electric guitarists were a rare breed in rock and roll's early days, he noted.

"There weren't many guitarists in the area at that point," Page recalled. "You'd hear of other guitarists, you'd meet other guitarists, but nobody was in really close proximity to me. There was an art college at Epsom; Jeff Beck's sister was attending that art college."

Somehow Beck's sister heard about Page and got the idea that she should introduce her brother to the other local guitarist Page. One day, Jeff and Annetta just showed up at Page's house.

"There was a knock on the door, and there was Jeff's sister, and there was Jeff holding his homemade guitar," Page recalled. "We just bonded immediately."

You can check out the full conversation in the player above or here.

Jeff eventually upgraded from his homemade guitar to a 1959 Fender Telecaster. Page came to possess the Tele after scoring Jeff a big break.

Page says he was a studio musician, working his way up to being a record producer, when he was approached about joining the Yardbirds. But he wasn't ready to give up working in the studio, and he suspected Clapton was unaware of the conversation, so he recommended Jeff for the job.

Jeff got the gig and soon bought himself a new guitar. But rather than keep his Tele as a backup, he gifted it to Page as a thank you. The Yardbirds were one of the U.K.'s biggest blues bands at that point.

Years later, Page joined the Yardbirds as a bassist; he switched to guitar after Jeff left for greener pastures.

To add to the band's stage show, Page affixed several circular mirrors to the guitar's body. After some time, he stripped the paint off and painted a dragon design on the guitar.

The Yardbirds later morphed into The New Yardbirds and, finally, Led Zeppelin after John Paul Jones, John Bonham and Robert Plant joined up with Page.

The Dragon Telecaster was Page's main guitar on Led Zeppelin I and at the band's earliest performances. It fell out of favor after a friend repainted it and compromised the electronics in the process, Page says.

Photo: Getty Images

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