I just got a pretty good Yardbirds compilation (2 discs, 52 tracks, all three lead guitarists, and great liner notes). In the liner notes it mentions that when Clapton left and the band first approached Jimmy Page he was “already one of the most sought after session players”. Page, being too busy with session work, suggested Jeff Beck.
So, who knows some of the session work Jimmy Page was doing in the 60’s? Anything worth checking out? Did he work with anyone particularly cool?
Page committed himself to full-time session work. His studio output in 1963 included Brian Pool & The Tremeloes’ “Twist and Shout”, Heinz’s “Just Like Eddie” and in 1964, The Rolling Stones “Heart of Stone”, Marianne Faithfull’s “As Tears Go By”, The Nashville Teens’ “Tobacco Road”, Dave Berry’s “The Crying Game”, and Lulu’s hit “Shout”. Under the auspices of producer Shel Talmy, Page recorded The Kinks “You Really Got Me” (1964) (although there is a dispute on whether Page or Dave Davies played lead]), the guitar part on Them’s “Baby Please Don’t Go” (1965), and recorded a lead guitar part on The Who’s first single “I Can’t Explain”, although there is disagreement over whether or not it was used. In 1965 Page was hired by Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham to act as house producer for the newly formed Immediate Records label, which also allowed him to play on tracks by John Mayall, Nico, and Eric Clapton. Page also formed a brief songwriting partnership with then girlfriend, Jackie DeShannon. It is estimated that Jimmy Page appeared on 60% of rock music recorded in England between 1963 and 1966.
The lead solo in The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” is attributed to Dave Davies, but Davies has a different playing style and people have claimed that he wasn’t able to play it live when the single was first released.
Both Ray and Dave Davies dispute the Jimmy Page as studio muscian on the Kinks music. Story that used to float around was that Jimmy heard the live recordings for Dave Davis on You Really Got Me and laughed his ass off. Bad blood ever since.
Mind you, a session man doesn’t play only on COOL records! He plays for pay, which means he performs with any act who’ll pay him. SO, while Jimmy Page played with the Kinks, the Who and the Stones, he ALSO played with Petula Clark, Herman’s Hermits, Tom Jones, and a host of not-very-hard-rocking acts.
In fact, I once heard Peter Noone say that Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were, indirectly responsible for the breakup of Herman’s Hermits. He says that his bandmates were invariably replaced by Jimmy Page John Paul Jones and other assorted session men when they made records, and they began to resent the hell out of Peter for being the only lucky tosser who got to appear on the records. (I’m sure there was much more to the breakup than that, of course).
According to Ray Davies in X-ray (a very fine biography referred to as “The unauthorized Autobiography” in which he adopts another character to tell the story) the session musicians on You Really Got Me were Bobby Graham on drums and Arthur Greenslade on piano.
As to Page playing on All Day and All of the Night he says the session musos were Bobby Graham, Perry Ford on piano and Johnny B Goode on backing vocals and:
“When we went upstairs to hear the playback in the tiny control room, we found it crowded with onlookers and assorted musicians. Among them was Jimmy Page, who cringed as it came to Dave’s guitar solo. Perhaps Page was put out about not being asked to play on the track, and we were slightly embarassed by the amount of jealousy shown by such an eminent guitarist. Perhaps it was because he thought Dave’s solo inferior to anything he could have played, but Dave had not only invented a sound, but also had every right to play whatever solo he felt fitted the track.”
Davies has often said that he considers Dave the best guitarist of his vintage.
One of my treasures is a copy of Al Stewart’s second album, 1969’s “Love Chronicles.” i was a lad of 20 at the time I got it, working for a small Oregon radio station. It was unusual in several ways. First, it had a letter inside from the record company suggesting that we listen carefully to the lyrics before putting it on the air. Then there was this 18-minute song in which Stewart basically chronicled his love life up to that point, including a verse which went (from memory)
In time we found that just plucking
The fruits of the bed weren’t enough
It became a little less like f***ing
and more like making love.
Well, that wasn’t getting on the air no matter what, particularly in those early-Nixon days, so I took it home and became enchanted with Mt. Stewart’s work. It wasn’t until years later, in reading the liner notes, that I discovered Jimmy Page credited with guitar. No wonder those little guitar fills were so tasty throughout.
As a coda, I had the pleasure of finally seeing Mr. Stewart perform live in a small Napa, Calif. theater. A wonderfully intimate setting, and he stayed around afterwards to talk with fans. i now have an autographed copy of my 35-year-old album, and the letter as well, plus the memory of a charming evening.
If you’re a fan of either Stewart or Page, I heartily recommend the record.
The other session musician on tracks off Face to Face was an unnamed bass player required because Peter Quaife had been injured that weekend in a car accident. They put down, in 6 hours, Rainy Day in June, Rosie Won’t You Please Come Home, You’re looking Fine, Too Much on My Mind, Fallen Idol and Session Man.
Okay, if the OP wants specifics, Peter Noone says that John Paul Jones played on MOST of Herman’s Hermits’ singles, while Jimmy Page played on exactly two: “Silhouettes” and their remake of Sam Cooke’s “(What a) Wonderful World.”
In the same Trouser Press interview I quoted above, Page says that he didn’t play on “Hurdy Gurdy Man.” (“He [Donovan] wanted me to, but I was in the States at the time.”) Allan Holdsworth is also often credited with the “Hurdy Gurdy Man” solo, but he too denies it. Page says it was sessionman Alan Parker.