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Jimmy Page
An Interview with Jimmy Page

<Listen Online Now>

By Tony Morris

By far, the most unexpected thing to happen to me since producing Classical Guitar Alive! has been receiving a phone call from Jimmy Page, formerly of the rock super-group LED ZEPPELIN.

Jimmy Page heard my program while on tour with Robert Plant in Pensacola, Florida on radio station WHIL-FM (broadcastsfrom Mobile, AL). He was particularly interested in a piece that he heard by Puerto Rican composer Ernesto Cordero, his "Concierto Bayoan"; for guitar and orchestra, featuring guitarist Ivan Rijos.

One of Jimmy Page's assistants, Matt Williamson, called WHIL-FM, and they referred him to me at KMFA-FM in Austin, where I produce the show. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at KMFA and one of the announcers (who had never heard of Led Zeppelin before) told me, "Some guy named Jimmy Page called from Pensacola about your show, and wants you to call him back at --- --- ---- ."

I immediately dismissed it as just another practical joke, and I threw the phone number in the trash. But, a little while later, my curiosity got the better of me, and I finally called the number. It was the number to a room in a huge hotel in Pensacola. There was no one there, so I left a message at the front desk with my phone number at KMFA.

Around 8:30pm, I got a call at KMFA from a guy with an English accent: "Hello, is this Tony? This is Matt Williamson. Jimmy's right here, he wants to talk to you."

I talked to Jimmy Page for about 15-20 minutes, and during that time, we did an impromptu phone interview. He was a very nice guy, and completely without the "rock-star ego". He was extremely gracious and complimentary. During our chat, we talked about music, the guitar, and my radio show. We also made arrangements to send a copy of Ernesto Cordero's CD to his management at Atlantic Records, and he agreed to record a promo for Classical Guitar Alive!. Here is a brief excerpt from our phone interview:

TONY MORRIS:Well, I have to ask you, are you "THE Jimmy Page", of Led Zeppelin?

Jimmy Page: I am, yeah.

TM: Wow.

Jimmy Page: (laughs). It's a different sort of field, but it's still got six strings, eh?

( laughter)

TM: Wow.

Jimmy Page: (laughs)

TM: Well, I have to say I'm really, really, thrilled to speak with you, and as a classical player, I have to say, one of the first pieces I sort of played badly was "Stairway to Heaven", so...

Jimmy Page: Oh, yeah? Well, I've played it badly too!

TM: (much laughter) Well, it sounds great to me, so...

Jimmy Page: Yeah? Yeah, ..well that's great, good, good.

We're a bit electric and amplified, really, but nevertheless.. I still play acoustic, but usually six-(steel)string, on the very, very, very, rare occasion, the gut-string.

But, I'm basically self-taught, but, well, I am self-taught, but I must admit, that at one point, I actually used to do a lot of studio work, you know..

TM: Right, right!

Jimmy Page: ..and at one point, basically because I started to see music appearing in front of me, I actually had some classical lessons, but I mean it wasn't even a handful, really.

But, it was really very interesting. And really it was to learn to read (music) as well. That's about the only formal training, if you could even call it that! It was really "meddling", than "training", really (laughs).

Did you actually put.. Because it was a whole, classical guitar, sort of..

TM: Right, that's..

Jimmy Page: You put all that together, did you?

TM: Yes, actually...

Jimmy Page: Congratulations!

TM: Well, thanks!

Jimmy Page: It was a really nice..

TM: Well, Thanks! Right now, it's the only nationally-syndicated guitar show in the US. It's on like ninet...three cities right now, I think, and it's only like a year and a half old. So, the show's doing real well.

Jimmy Page: And you were instrumental in doing all that, with the distribution, and everything?

TM: Well, yeah...

Jimmy Page: Congratulations. I know it's not easy getting things like that done, is it? (laughs)

TM: (laughs) No, it's not! (laughs)

Jimmy Page: So, you think one might be able, you think you might be able to get a copy? Or he might be able to send it (of the Concierto de Bayoan CD by Ernesto Cordero)
TM: Are you kidding?! Yeah! I'm sure he'd be just thrilled to death!

Jimmy Page: Well, that would be wonderful! Thank you! Well, listen, thank you so much for your help.

TM: Thank you!

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