This Blog Kills

Jimmy Page got his first guitar, a Spanish-style acoustic, when he was about 12 years old. Within a year, he was playing in bands around the Epsom, Surrey, area where he grew up. He was barely 14 when he appeared on a televised talent show, playing guitar in a skiffle band.

In the years between that first appearance and 1965, when he joined the Yardbirds, Page played on what has been estimated as “hundreds” of recordings. Stephen Davis, in “Hammer of the Gods,” wrote that Page “was the wise hack of the pop world, a consummate pro, making a fortune while the rest of his generation of English musicians toiled in bands for lots of fame...but little money. Outside the insular world of the London recording studios, Page was unknown.”

When questioned about which songs he played on, Page often points out that it is hard to remember exactly what he did, given the huge amount of sessions he was playing at the time. Various estimates have him playing on anything from 50 percent to 90 percent of the records that were produced in England between 1963 and 1965.

A double album set titled This Guitar Kills: More 60s Groups & Sessions captures Page’s early recording history, with songs from, among others, Neil Christian, Mickey Finn & the Blue Men, and Peggy Lee. The album was released as an import in 2003 and has been recently re-mastered and re-released, but is still – I believe – available in the U.S. only as an import.

“The two discs are just the tip of the whirlwind that was Page in the '60’s,” writes Tim Sendra, for the All Music Guide. “It is a very fun listen because even if a song or singer is pretty rotten Page can save the song with his fleet-fingered, wildly imaginative approach. Not quite an essential listen, but Page fans and fans of the '60s British scene should be quite happy.”

I’m pulling a few tracks from the first disk for today’s post. I’ll try to get some stuff up from disk number two in a couple of days. I’m being a little more generous than usual with the songs from this release because it’s an import.

Somebody Told My Girl.mp3 Carter-Lewis & The Southerners
My Baby Left Me.mp3 Dave Berry
Pills.mp3 Mickey Finn & the Blue Men
Is It True.mp3 Brenda Lee
Sweet and Tender Romance.mp3 The McKinleys

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