To celebrate the release of Jimmy Page’s lavish new photo book, Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page, the guitar legend appeared with Chris Cornell, guitarist and singer for Soundgarden, at the Theater at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles for a relaxed question-and-answer session that spanned the entirety of Page’s 50-year career.
Sponsored by Genesis Publications, Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado, the hour-and-a-half event enthralled a packed house of 1,400 fans as Cornell quizzed Page about the rare photos and memorabilia—many drawn from Page’s personal archives—which were projected on an enormous screen hovering above both men.
The 70-year-old Page, with his silver hair, scarf and black leather jacket, looked as sharp as a James Bond super villain, while Cornell, in thick-rimmed glasses, evoked a hipster newsman. The subject matter ran the gamut from extremely light and frothy to the serious matter of drummer John Bonham’s untimely death, of which Page commented, “when we lost 25 percent of the band, we really lost the whole thing.”
Among the more humorous moments was when Cornell took note of a photo of Page wearing a bright—but very tight—red sweater emblazoned with his “Zoso” symbol. Page explained that a friend’s girlfriend had knit it for him, but when he sweated onstage, it immediately started to shrink.
During another point in the conversation, as a July 1986 cover of Guitar World featuring Page on the cover (See the photo gallery below) was projected on the screen, Cornell flat-out declared Page to be the greatest guitarist in rock history, eliciting an extended standing ovation from the audience. In response, Page buried his head in his hands and declared his embarrassment, but a smile betrayed his appreciation.
Talking about future plans, Page expressed hope to be touring within the next year.
“The most important part is to be seen playing,” he told the delighted audience, which included such special guests as Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Zakk Wylde and Edgar Winter. “It doesn’t matter what I do at home!”
The entire evening was professionally video taped by Guitar World, so stay tuned for highlights on guitarworld.com!
Page appears on the cover of the all-new Holiday 2014 issue of Guitar World magazine. This time around, Page discusses the new versions of Led Zeppelin IV and Houses of the Holy, both of which were released late last month and are climbing the charts. You can check out the new issue of GW right here.