Paul Stanley Believes Eric Clapton Isn’t On The Same Level With Jimmy Page, Tracii Guns Recalls

Tracii Guns recently shared a video on Instagram from last year’s KISS Kruise, where he asked Paul Stanley about his musical role model. The footage showed the frontman picking Jimmy Page as his favorite and comparing him to Eric Clapton. During his answer, Stanley said:

“Jimmy’s Beethoven. Jimmy is so far beyond… When people say, ‘Oh, all respect to a lot of other hotshot guitar players,’ they’re guitar players. Jimmy Page is a brilliant cinematographer; he’s a brilliant arranger. He paints with sound.”

He explained what set Page apart from other guitarists:

“There’s lots of guys… They say, ‘Well, who’s better: [Eric] Clapton or…?’ Jimmy Page is in a class totally by himself. And there’s loads of great guitar players, but he’s so far beyond that. Plus, it’s amazing ’cause I was a 17-year-old kid seeing them in 1969, and it was life-changing — it changed my life.”

Recalling Led Zeppelin guitarist’s effect on him, the KISS founder went on:

“I couldn’t believe how great they were; I couldn’t believe that the bar could be that high. And to be at this point in my life where I go out to dinner with Jimmy, or Jimmy sends me texts, or says to me, about KISS, he goes, ‘You guys are a serious, kick-ass rock and roll band.’ Well, it doesn’t get better than that.”

Years after watching him on stage for the first time in 1969, Stanley officially met Page following one of his band’s London shows. Then, the two started a friendship, which the KISS vocalist talked about in 2019 during a chat with ‘Let There Be Talk’ podcast by saying:

“There’s an old adage that you should be weary of meeting your heroes and the people you look up to because, quite frankly, a lot of them are assholes. Jimmy is the complete opposite. He lives and breathes music, and he’s a terrific, terrific guy, and I would argue the most important and influential guitar player, not only in terms of playing but in terms of vision.”

Explaining his point, he added:

“What he created was symphonic. It’s not as simple as a guitar, bass, and drums, and a singer. What he did on those records was multilayered and a tapestry of sorts. He’s painted with an amazing brush and amazing palette of colors. So he’s right up there at the top for me.”

When Tracii Guns posted the singer’s answer during the 2022 Q&A session on Instagram, he also commented on these points in the caption. He wrote:

“I popped that question. Knowledge is power, especially when producing rock records. I never talk much about how I produce records. It’s all in what you don’t really hear. I’ll say that much. The rest is gonna cost ya. Paul Stanley is a huge fan of rock music and is all about using his influences as the tools of his craft. Much respect. The wizard is Jimmy Page.”

You can watch Paul Stanley’s full answer in the video below.