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mickey g

How different would LZ have been if Jimmy never switched to a Les Paul ?

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Sort of a silly question, but I'm mainly thinking of how different his "look" on stage would have been; i.e. Would he have looked as "sexy" ?  We could also discuss his sound/tone too !

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Such an interest thought in terms of JP with no LP... One might think the tone may not be as thick but that first album was pretty heavy. He also used teles on later stuff too. In terms of look I think we would all agree Page+LP = Cool & Sexy. Back to the playing side of things Page seemed to solo with a bit more ease on that tele mainly thinking of that Denmark black and white footage but in some of the BDs & SIBLYs from 72 to 75 the playing on the LP was pretty wicked. Final thought playing comes down to if Page was feeling it. Look is all LP

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I thought he started with Les Paul, then switched to a telecaster after Jeff Beck gave him the teli when he quit the Yardbirds? Seems like I heard Page say that somewhere in an interview. Actually I think I heard that on his interview with Periscope this year.

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these are two of my favorite pictures of jimmy page.

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I think he could pull both off. I personally like the long hair and casual clothes look as apposed to the dragon suit look.

I dont think what guitar he was using would have changed much in terms of stage presence. he probably could have used the danelectro as his main stage guitar and no one would have payed any less attention.

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tone wise I dont think so mainly because he had a les paul before the telecaster so he knew the difference and more than likely would have found another les paul had the #1 not come along.

its like the old saying goes "the suit doesn't make the man, the man makes the suit."

Edited by sk8rat

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I thought he started with Les Paul, then switched to a telecaster after Jeff Beck gave him the teli when he quit the Yardbirds? Seems like I heard Page say that somewhere in an interview. Actually I think I heard that on his interview with Periscope this year.

he had a les paul black beauty before the telecaster but the original post is refering to his '59 les paul that he got from joe walsh which replaced the telecaster.

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Just compare Dazed & Confused live from Jan 1969 to the mid 69 live shows. 

Although Jimmy stated that he stopped using the Telecaster because someone repainted the body and ruined the guitar, I do think having to compete with Bonzo's switching to a new Ludwig kit with the 26" bass drum (vs the 22") around the time of the Jan 23,1969 Boston Tea Party may have also influenced the decision as well. 

 

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he had a les paul black beauty before the telecaster but the original post is refering to his '59 les paul that he got from joe walsh which replaced the telecaster.

ok, yep, I guess Walsh's guitar did become his main axe, I guess I misread the original post. Thx

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What a great idea for a thread!

I think the Les Paul has a much nicer, fuller sound than the Tele.  And yeah, I think he looked a lot cooler with the starburst LP.

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I thought he started with Les Paul, then switched to a telecaster after Jeff Beck gave him the teli when he quit the Yardbirds? Seems like I heard Page say that somewhere in an interview. Actually I think I heard that on his interview with Periscope this year.

I'm going by memory here - but wasn't Jimmy playing the tele in the Yardbirds video from Blow Up, with Jeff Beck on stage with him?  Haven't seen that video in some time but I thought he was already using it.  In my opinion, Jimmy with the Les Paul is as iconic of a rock n roll match as there ever was.  How many others ended up playing one during the 70's, after Zeppelin became huge?  All of them - even Pete Townshend.  The tone was perfect for the light and shade Jimmy strived for.  

Edited by Walter

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I'm going by memory here - but wasn't Jimmy playing the tele in the Yardbirds video from Blow Up, with Jeff Beck on stage with him?  Haven't seen that video in some time but I thought he was already using it.  In my opinion, Jimmy with the Les Paul is as iconic of a rock n roll match as there ever was.  How many others ended up playing one during the 70's, after Zeppelin became huge?  All of them - even Pete Townshend.  The tone was perfect for the light and shade Jimmy strived for.  

wow, good memory.  I wonder what Jimmy was referring to in the interview I just watched? He was talking about his telecaster, said he had been using a Les Paul before getting the telecaster from Jeff Beck, it was the interview with Periscope this year. I found it on YouTube. 

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I didn't listen to the interview, but maybe he received the guitar before Beck's departure?  From Beck.

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wow, good memory.  I wonder what Jimmy was referring to in the interview I just watched? He was talking about his telecaster, said he had been using a Les Paul before getting the telecaster from Jeff Beck, it was the interview with Periscope this year. I found it on YouTube. 

are you referring to him using a les paul during his time with the yardbirds? if so the les paul he would have been referring to was jeff becks les paul with the black pick guard. 

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Edited by sk8rat
added more pictures

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are you referring to him using a les paul during his time with the yardbirds? if so the les paul he would have been referring to was jeff becks les paul with the black pick guard. 

 

Actually I'm going to rewatch the interview I was referring to, it could be Jimmy was talking about his sessions period? I'll get back to you. I know he said he was using a Les Paul before he obtained the dragon telecastor, he then said before he painted the dragon on it, he stuck some mirror/chrome dots on it in honor to Sid Barrett who had a similiar design on his telecaster, and Page looked up to Barrett.

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Page's Les Paul gave him a very distinctive sound live. It gave him a sort of characteristic "quack" that he was known for when playing in the middle pickup selector. It added a fullness and 3-dimensional sound compared to the telecaster before. The LP responds better to higher gain, and the mids cut through very well.

 

 

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This is all very interesting. One thing for sure, though; no way Page could wear the Tele inches from his 

knees like with the LP. He even said in a 77' GP interview that playing the Tele was a bit of a fight, "but there

were rewards". Even on the 77' tour Jimmy was not hanging the Tele in "gunslinger" pose. Soundwise

I see a mass of contradiction, some see the LP as cutting thru better than the Tele, but sometimes Jimmy

got a bit muddy with the LP, something that never really happend with the Tele. Overall I would say that

the LP was ultimately the right main guitar for Jimmy, both for looks and sound. But don't underestimate

that dragon Tele, it got IMO some sounds the LP never got.

 

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^ Agree.. No doubt the Les Paul sounds great, looks cooler and is the guitar Jimmy Page is most associated with. But Page got such an incredible tone out of his Telecaster, unlike anyone else I've ever heard. Warm and harsh.. Most people that play the Tele go for a more jangly tone.. not Jimmy. Plus, his most famous solo was recorded on his Telecaster ...STH.. He would have been fine no matter which guitar became his main axe.. Merry Christmas...

Edited by the chase

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One thing that is still murky is whether or not Page's Tele was custom wired. If so, the two pickups could

well have been wired to get reasonably close to a LP sound. Page did mention that after he lent the Tele

the wiring(among other things)was wrecked, which sounds like a custom job because Page in some early

article was known to be handy with a soldering iron, Yet apparently not skilled enough to fix custom wiring.

A standard Tele has very simple, very easy to fix wiring. Any definitive answers ??

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One thing that is still murky is whether or not Page's Tele was custom wired. If so, the two pickups could

well have been wired to get reasonably close to a LP sound. Page did mention that after he lent the Tele

the wiring(among other things)was wrecked, which sounds like a custom job because Page in some early

article was known to be handy with a soldering iron, Yet apparently not skilled enough to fix custom wiring.

A standard Tele has very simple, very easy to fix wiring. Any definitive answers ??

I looked into it and from what I found it seems that the wiring and pickups were stock. I recall watching a recent interview where he jokingly talked about how the wiring was messed up and if he would switch to the neck pickup it would go to the bridge pickup or something like that.

I imagine he didn't bother to do anything with it or take it to his tech because the paint job was so bad that even if it was fixable he wasn't going to use it so eventually he just swapped the neck onto the b bender tele.

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Could well be. As well,(correct me if I'm wrong), pretty sure that Jimmy was when using the Tele with Zep,

using the same fuzz/overdrive pedal as with the late Yardbirds. The pedal was called a ToneBender, or

who knows what, as there are now many boutique pedal makers claiming to make exactly what Page had.

This is what possibly could have made the Tele sound fuller. The LP had of course much higher output pups

and pretty sure the pedal was retired from live work( don't know 100%, but pretty sure).

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Could well be. As well,(correct me if I'm wrong), pretty sure that Jimmy was when using the Tele with Zep,

using the same fuzz/overdrive pedal as with the late Yardbirds. The pedal was called a ToneBender, or

who knows what, as there are now many boutique pedal makers claiming to make exactly what Page had.

This is what possibly could have made the Tele sound fuller. The LP had of course much higher output pups

and pretty sure the pedal was retired from live work( don't know 100%, but pretty sure).

correct, he was using a tone bender mkII. he got it in 1966 and used it with the yardbirds and with led zeppelin up until june of 1969. it is possible his pedal is different from the original production and reissue pedals because he said he had it custom built however a photo copy of the receipt from musical exchange is available online so it could be possible he is mistaken.

in the documentary "it might get loud" it appears that he is using a D*A*M* tone bender reissue.

I have one and despite the possible difference between the one he had and regular production pedals, it still does a very good job of getting that early led zeppelin tone.

the pedal is definitely one of the reasons why he got such a full sound from the telecaster. it gives a pretty fat overdriven tone.

also, I believe there was a short time where he used the tone bender and the les paul from april to june of 1969.

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Thanks for clearing that up. Amazing how back then some (well few) pedal makers were able to make a

pedal that imitated or pushed a tube amp to its' limits without wrecking the original signal. Fuzz Faces, etc

may have been great for solos or riffs, but usually sounded nasty with chords , or some of the fingerpicking

Page employed even early in Zep's live repertoire. But apparently the Tele was harder to play, Jimmy

never held it even close to the LP gunslinger pose. That would be an interesting question to ask him,

and not violating his privacy. Might even get a laugh out of him, who knows ???

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Absolutely. I am old school, there are so many guitarists chasing Page's sound thinking that finally the

right combo of guitar, amp, and effects, etc., will ultimately do the trick. As far as amps, I'm a tube guy

but arguably nowadays you can get a really versatile good sounding modeling amp with many effects

for as cheap as $200. Please don't start with the all modeling amps suck; 10-15 yrs ago , yes, now, bull.

And you don't need a Gibson Les Paul , either. If you have $2000 , go ahead. Otherwise there are plenty

of excellent guitars from $400-$1000 , from Ibanez, PRS, Fender,ESP, etc. The best route to getting Page's

sound is figuring out his riffs and solos by ear, paying great attention to all inflections. Otherwise you get

a teacher to steer you in that direction, and make sure the teacher starts training your ear at some point.

Iv'e been to many jams where a guy gets up with a Les Paul to play Zep, and he sounds nothing like Page;

Then somebody gets up with a Van Halen guitar and sounds very close to Page. It's mainly in the hands

and brain, there are so many good and cheap (sort of)pedals and amps around that get many diff sounds,

you want to mainline Page by copying whatever he plays, not agonizing that you can't afford a tube Marshall Stack.

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