Joel Hoekstra



by James H

Joel Hoekstra

Jimmy Page has released a new edition of his photo- autobiography, "Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page" . If you missed out on the leather bound $2k + first edition ,the current hardcover at $46 is a bargain and you won't be too nervous to flip through the pages. This is a must for the dedicated but even the casual fan will appreciate the scope of Jimmy's illustrious career. From the opening shot of the young man as choir boy , the evolution through skiffle and into blues and rock, studio player, Yardbird, it's easy to forget that even before the birth of the quintessential Olympian Rock God band Jimmy had already made his mark on modern music. Candid studio shots of Jimmy with Rolling Stone Brian Jones (shot by Stone Ian "boogie with" Stewart) as Jimmy warms up his violin bow show that sonic experimentation was already part of his identity. Of course there are some familiar iconic shots of the low-slung Les Paul with the dragon suit and many never published images giving insight to the band and the man behind the music .

On November 12th Jimmy sat down with Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell to discuss the book in front of a live audience at Los Angeles theater from the 1920's. The capacity crowd greeted the pair with a standing ovation and settled in to hear what the wizard had to say. 

Cornell is uniquely qualified to guide the conversation as he is not only a disciple of Zeppelin but modeled much of his own sound and career approach on the pattern set down by them . The format for the evening consisted of various pages selected by Cornell, projected onto big screen and they would talk about it. A photo showing Jimmy at his home in Pangbourne with a stereo and a gold record on the wall sparked the explanation from Jimmy : " Of course, everyone knows about the first rehearsal in Chinatown, but what they don't know is that all of the subsequent rehearsals were held in this room. It's the same room where I initially met with Robert Plant and played records and discussed my vision for the band".

A shot of bearded Jimmy in a hat and boots sitting on a rock in a little stream prompted Cornell to muse how that image perfectly matched the "interior universe" that he had constructed while listening to the acoustic Zeppelin material as a teen. Jimmy laughed in agreement and explained that the picture was taken whilst he and Robert were at the Welsh cottage, Bron-Y -Aur writing material for the upcoming third album. The remote cottage had no electricity, only a gas stove and gas lights, they recorded ideas on a portable Sony cassette tape recorder.

The always cagey Page indicated that he has something new in development that should be ready by the end of 2015. Hopefully the presence of Chris Cornell as the discussion partner and the obvious personal rapport they shared indicate that the two will be collaborating. I would pay money to hear Jimmy tune his Les Paul but it sure would be a dream to have a hard hitting new project from the master with the powerful energetic vocals of Chris Cornell (and a tour to support it). You may say I'm a dreamer....

Joel Hoekstra


Jimmy Page: How Stairway to Heaven was written - BBC News


Jimmy Page on guitars, Led Zep and Robert Plant - Full Length | Guardian Live


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