Joe Walsh Says He Saved Jimmy Page From A Serious Problem In The Early Years Of Led Zeppelin
Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh opened up about the time when Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page asked him to find a Les Paul during the early years of the band while appearing on the Wong Notes Podcast and revealed how he found a Les Paul and gave it to Page which ultimately became the staple aspect of Led Zeppelin’s music.
Initially playing a Fender Telecaster in his early works, especially with the Yardbirds, Jimmy Page used a Gibson Les Paul guitar for the recording of most of Led Zeppelin material from the band’s second studio album, ‘Led Zeppelin II’ onwards which was released on 22 October 1969, and the guitar became a trademark for the band’s sound as well as Page’s live performances.
During a recent interview, Joe Walsh revealed how he was the one who gave Jimmy Page his first Gibson Les Paul guitar, and apparently, the Led Zeppelin guitarist didn’t find his former guitar, Fender Telecaster, quite enough for the music with the band, however, he didn’t find a Les Paul in the United Kingdom. Therefore, he asked his friend Walsh to find one for him.
Being the lucky person that he is, the Eagles guitarist found one in the basement of a family-owned music store and another one through a friend which he ultimately possessed through trade. Eventually, Joe Walsh gave the Gibson Les Paul guitar to Jimmy Page thus became the first person to introduce him to a Les Paul and fans couldn’t more appreciate the fact that Page was blessed enough to receive the guitar he has been using for decades now.
During the podcast, Joe Walsh revealed the story like this:
“Oddly enough, Jimmy Page played a Telecaster in all of The Yardbirds, and the James Gang opened for Led Zeppelin when they first came to America. We opened for them, and they played four or five places – one of them was Cleveland. And so I met Jimmy, and their first album had just come out, and people were just starting to discover Led Zeppelin. The word of mouth was huge but a lot of people came to hear The Yardbirds songs because that’s all they knew.
So Jimmy and I became friends because pretty much that’s a three-piece band with the lead singer, and Jimmy said to me, ‘Look, The Yardbirds is great and I played on so many records…’ He played on so many sessions! If you look up what he played on, you’ll be amazed. But he said, ‘This Telecaster ain’t cutting it for Led Zeppelin. And I don’t know what to do.’ Now, Les Pauls virtually didn’t exist in England at the time. They didn’t hit popularity yet, and they were pretty easy to find because they hadn’t been discovered – and they didn’t cost very much.”
“After the fact, when that became the guitar for rock ‘n’ roll, the rest is history – but he said, ‘I got to get a double-coil situation and I’ve looked for Les Paul, there aren’t any in England. Do you know any way you could help me get one? Because Led Zeppelin ain’t making it with a Telecaster.’
And I happen to have two. I found one in the basement of a family-owned music store, I think in Athens, OH, where Ohio University is. It was just in the basement. I just walked in another garage, and it was all boxes – and I said, ‘What do you get downstairs?’ And there was a Les Paul! And I found another one through a friend, I traded him some stuff for one. So, one I really liked and one I just was saving for a rainy day, so I gave Jimmy that one.“
You can listen to the podcast down below.