Brian May Admits He Owes A Lot To Jimmy Page

Queen was inspired by the British rock acts of the 1960s and ’70s, including Led Zeppelin. It’s known that Robert Plant influenced Freddie Mercury, and now Brian May pays homage to the band’s guitarist, Jimmy Page. Speaking to Total Guitar, May said he owes Page a lot.

Although they seemed rivals as they were subjected to comparisons, Queen never denied Led Zeppelin’s influence on their sound. According to May, Freddie Mercury was not only influenced by Robert Plant but also tried to imitate the rock icon to hide his shy personality. Plant, on the other hand, believed Freddie was a better singer and performer.

Apparently, Brian May also has things to say about the band’s iconic guitarist, Jimmy Page. In a recent interview, May described Page as the master of riffs while admitting he owes the guitarist a lot. He then said that their 1974 song ‘Now I’m Here’ was inspired by Led Zeppelin and their use of time signatures.

Brian May also confirmed that he and his bandmates thought Led Zeppelin’s music and success were what they were trying to achieve when they first listened to them. However, he argued that Queen had a slightly different vision than Zeppelin — more harmonic and melodic. May then admitted Zeppelin influenced them with their image and stage shows as well.

Here is what Brian May said about the song ‘Now I’m Here’:

I owe a lot to Jimmy Page, of course – the master of the riff and the master of getting lost deliberately in time signatures. I think that song was inspired, definitely, by the spirit of Zeppelin. All those wonderful things happening when Bonzo is throwing in things that sound like they’re in a different time signature – that stuff has always fascinated me.

Those guys were not far ahead of us in age, but the first time we heard Zeppelin, we thought, ‘Oh, my God, this is where we’re trying to get to, and they’re already there!’ So in a sense, there were times when we felt like we’d missed the boat – like we wouldn’t be able to get our stuff out there. But our vision was slightly different from Zeppelin, musically. It’s more harmonic and melodic, I suppose.”

He continued:

“I would never be ashamed to say that Zeppelin were a huge influence on us, not just musically, but also in the way they handled themselves in the business, without compromising. The way they handled their image, the integrity, the way they built their stage show – so many things. I suppose between Zeppelin and the Beatles and the Who, you would see where we came from. That was the kind of platform that we bounced off.”

So, Brian May isn’t ashamed to admit that Led Zeppelin significantly influenced Queen’s music and stage image. According to May, he personally owes Jimmy Page a lot and considers the guitarist the master of riffs and master of losing himself in time signatures.