Of all figures in rock history, few are shrouded in as much mythology as Led Zeppelin’s legendary lead guitarist Jimmy Page. He was a force to be reckoned with as a session musician, a key component of the Yardbirds, and the driving force behind some of the best rock records of all time with Zeppelin.
After John Bonham’s death on September 25th, 1980, Jimmy Page was somewhat disillusioned. Led Zeppelin was over and would never truly be re-ignited. He was armed with only his guitar and the white hot ability to shred.
This led to an entire decade of guest appearances, cheeky collaborations with Graham Nash and Paul Rodgers, and even a soundtrack under his belt, (Death Wish II).
Thus, in honour of the wildly talented super freak that is Jimmy Page, we have gathered the 5 most remarkable times he appeared out of thin air and shredded.
Mythical being spotted! These are the 5 most outrageously unexpected guest appearances of the mighty Jimmy Page post-Zep.
The Beach Boys (1985)
Is that you, Jimmy Page? Behold as a mysterious shredder, clad in a top-shelf Hawaiian shirt, tears it up with The Beach Boys in 1985.
The first half of the clip covers a daytime performance, while the second half shows a performance which occurred later that night. It’s undeniably drenched in ’80s with Hawaiian shirts and white slacks lathering the scene, an American flag waves lazily behind the stage as the crowd roars.
Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck – ARMS Concert (1983)
This is actually an incredibly remarkable performance when you think about it. Not only is Eric Clapton in top form and pulsating with power he’s joined by both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Here on stage you have three of the best guitarists of all time, but more remarkably so three lead guitarists for the Yardbirds at different times. Something magic in the water.
Sadly, Page was at a loss after loosing Bonzo was suffering from a severe heroin addiction (to be fair though so was Clapton). He certainly seems to be flying high in the video below, thrashing about and almost knocking Eric Clapton over at one point. Unfortunately you can hardly hear his guitar and what you can hear sounds like the wrong key.
The Black Crowes – Paris (1995)
During the Page/Plant 1995 world tour, Jimmy Page found some time to make a guest appearance at a Black Crowes show live at Le Zénith, Paris, France Feb 4th, 1995. The footage is good quality, Jimmy Page looks like he’s having a good time and actually plays some fairly incredible guitar solos.
The Black Crowes and Page quickly launch into a lightning hot Elmore James cover of the classic Shake Your Money Maker.
EMP Museum Founders Award – 2015
While Jimmy Page reportedly refused to perform during this star-studded benefit he eventually gave in and performed a super tight rendition of Rock n’ Roll.
On stage Jimmy is joined by one-time The Firm band mate Paul Rodgers, Cheap Trick‘s Rick Nielsen, former Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, ex-Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson, Soundgarden‘s Kim Thayil, Tesla‘s Brian Wheat, and Alice in Chains members Jerry Cantrell and William Duvall.
Live Aid (1985)
A far from perfect performance, this was hailed as the Led Zeppelin comeback show. However, everyone well knew that there was no Zeppelin post Bonham. Plants voice is shaky and Jimmy Page seems to be battling his demons and mic stand throughout a pounding rendition of Rock n’ Roll.
Through it all, whoever saved the footage has done a magnificent job cleaning up the old tape and synchronising the video making for an electric if slightly unfulfilling watch. An important moment at one of the most famous concerts in history.