Saturday, May 10, 2014

Dr. Guitar God

Stay true to your passion. That’s it, isn’t it?
~ Jimmy Page, Boston Herald interview, May 2014

I liked the Boston Herald's photo caption for the photo below, so I borrowed it for the title of this post.

Dr. Guitar God

Here are some links to various articles and videos of Jimmy Page yesterday and today, at the festivities and ceremonies associated with his being awarded an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music.
Boston Herald 
Boston Herald Video
Boston Globe
Boston Globe video

Photo links:
Boston Globe
LedZepNews (Twitter)

Also Ask Jimmy Anything event in NYC. You can ask but I'm guessing not every question will be answered.

I'd appreciate it if anyone who comes across a video recording of the concert and/or the commencement ceremonies would post the links in the comment section below.  Thanks.


Advice from Dr. Guitar God that everyone should heed: “Developing your own character within music and with your own sort of creation and just believing in what you’re doing.  If you can feel that it’s coming and you've got your music coming through, you've got to go through with your passion.

That's how Magick happens.


Jimmy Page's Berklee College of Music Commencement speech
May 10, 2014 at 10:08am

Oh wow! Well, good morning! I had to check my watch there to make sure it was the morning. It’s so, ah, this is absolutely so amazing. It’s such a privilege to be part of this. All the energy from the graduates. You know, congratulations to all of you. And to the families as well. It really is something being up here and feeling all this.

I’ve got to say, the concert last night, you can see I’ve got something here which could loosely be called a speech, but I must say, after having come to Berklee and been part of the experience and listening to the concert last night, the speech is rendered useless. It’s not even going to be referred to. Here I am: A sort of busking musician trying to busk my speech.

What a spirit there is here! It’s absolutely amazing. The quality of musicianship that was shown last night is really moving, right across the whole of the different genres that were being played. I thank you so much for the interpretation of my music. That was really touching. But, across the music of Geri Allen, and Thara Memory, Valerie Simpson’s music, which is superb, I must say. Valerie Simpson was absolutely superb last night. Absolutely! But also the sheer, to hear the brass section that you have here. Hearing them last night from the audience, just down there, was so powerful and so precise and so punchy and everything about what real good brass sections should be about. Fantastic soloists there. It was just moving, right across the whole of the evening’s event and I must say that being here in a college, I have to sort of be perfectly honest with you all that I was sort of self-taught. Not such a bad thing because I learnt from records and trying to sort of interpret playing of what would be my guitar heroes from there.

Along the way I became a, I think you call it a side-man here, a session musician. And I was going in there and I’d have the charts. I was head-hunted for this, actually, curiously enough, but I couldn’t read music at that time. But I could read the chord charts and the session musicians in those days would play across quite a wide variety of music. It wouldn’t be, like, if you were a guitarist you wouldn’t just be the stylist in your own sort of field. I had quite a number of sort of guitar techniques that I’d evolved over my sort of teenage years so I could apply all of this acoustic folk-picking and slide guitar and etc etc. But it was a very, very closed shop in those days. Actually, probably still, maybe.

But now, obviously, as a specialist musician, you would be contracted in. But, in those days, when I had to sort of go in the door and have that discipline to play because, boy, if you made mistakes, you wouldn’t be seen again. I was in this whole sort of studio role for about two and a half years playing all manner of things from TV jingles to soundtracks and film music, Goldfinger, to The Kinks, to, you know, it was really a wonderful sort of, colourful role that I was playing.

Until, one day the music charts were passed out and there were the notes, and it was a gentle hint, I think, that I had to learn to read music in a very, very serious way. Because there were serious competitors there and everybody was fluent with music then. So I had to come on very, very quickly in leaps and bounds so it was, yeah, it was quite a pressurised moment but I had come through it and then I was reading like all you guys do.

So I just wanted to give you that little bit of empathy and understanding about having to learn. Reading music is a major part of it and of course, once you can read, write it down, read others' work, that’s great. Thank you so much for inviting me here, it really is an honour and a privilege and I thank you all very much. Good luck in the future. Thank you.


  1. Lots of photos of the commencement today at Led Zeppelin ~ Ultimate Fan Page's Facebook album.

  2. Yes a true legend and guitar master.