Myles Kennedy Addresses ’Not Perfect’ and ’Reckless’ Jimmy Page Solos and What He Loves About Them

Myles Kennedy, known as the guitarist and frontman of Alter Bridge and the singer of Slash’s band The Conspirators, looked back on some of the guitar players that impacted his work the most. During his chat with Guitar World, Myles brought up Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page as one of the important names on this list. Looking back at Page, Kennedy said:

“As a composer, guitar player and producer, Jimmy Page is very unique. He has a truly special approach, and what’s crazy is that we saw that right out of the gate, but he managed to keep it up throughout his career.

Myles Kennedy on Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" - Hooked

However, one of the things that we’ll often hear when Jimmy Page’s name is mentioned is his lead playing. Particularly, you’ll hear people saying how it’s “sloppy,” which is what many famous musicians also addressed. However, Myles Kennedy uses different words to describe his playing:

“But I think what I loved about Jimmy and still love about him is that he has this reckless abandon.

He also added:

“He’s an incredible composer and arranger, and he’s great in the studio, but when he executes his leads, I don’t know… there’s something very dangerous about the way he plays.

Alter Bridge - Kashmir

As Myles adds, these parts are in no way bad but are rather “punk rock in its ethos”:

“It’s not perfect, and there’s a bit of that reckless abandon, which I love. It’s almost punk rock in its ethos, but really, it’s fearlessness. I’ve always loved that about Jimmy’s playing.”

Although Myles Kennedy didn’t talk about it directly, plenty of musicians address Jimmy Page’s guitar-playing style and often reflect on how some people may call him “sloppy.” One of the other rock legends to do so recently was also The Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson. Discussing Jimmy Page in an interview, Robinson explained how he was impacted by his playing and music:

“Jimmy meant as much to me as anyone, and maybe even more because I got to play with him on tour with the Crowes. I mean… to sit there and play with Jimmy Page was an experience I’ll take with me forever.“

Jimmy Page solo live at MSG , 1973 HD

“His compositional approach, acoustic playing, and rhythm playing were all on a plane he only existed in. And his solos are so tasteful and filled with these moments where he ebbs back and forth with these beautiful melodies. What can I say? He’s fucking unbelievable. Jimmy is straight-up amazing.“

Going more into Jimmy’s work, Robinson then addressed the accusations of “sloppiness,” giving a pretty simple answer on the matter:

“Anyone who calls him sloppy or whatever, fuck that. He’s a God of guitar, which should be obvious. So, to get up there and play those Zeppelin songs with him and then to have him play my songs during those two summers that we toured with him, those are some of the best moments of my life.“

Everytime Jimmy Page Showed Off His Guitar Collection

“He’s just one of those guys who can take apart those songs and inject this tone and feeling that you can’t duplicate, no matter how hard you try.“

“Having listened to and loved his music my whole life and then having played with him, I have absolute respect and reverence for Jimmy. When I look back on the entire thing, taking the stage with him was nothing short of a gift for me.”

And earlier this year, modern blues master Joe Bonamassa also spoke up on the matter. According to Joe, all you have to do is try and play this one song by Led Zeppelin and you’ll realize how complex Page’s writing was:

“A lot of people like to call Page sloppy, and that’s fine. You can call him sloppy all day long, but can you play it? …Try to play ‘The Rain Song’ as well as he played it. You won’t be able to. Not a chance.”

The Rain Song - Jimmy Page & Robert Plant

Joe also reminded us that, for his era, Page was one of the most in-demand session players. This was around the time before he started Led Zeppelin. Bonamassa added:

“The thing about Jimmy Page that most people don’t realize is he was a very in-demand session guy before the Yardbirds and Zeppelin. He did boatloads of amazing things before he even was in those bands… Call him sloppy, but he was a once-in-a-generation talent.”

Going back to Myles Kennedy, the Alter Bridge frontman was offered a spot in what would be a revamped Led Zeppelin back in 2008. Nothing came out of this project but Kennedy still got the chance to jam with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham’s son Jason. In an interview with Ultimate Guitar in 2019, he said of it:

“It was originally gonna be like a project. I don’t think they were going to call it Led Zeppelin. But just the fact that the people who were involved were, you know, former members of Led Zeppelin, was pretty, pretty heavy and certainly carried a lot of gravity. In a good way.

jimmy page's best solo

“So when I got that call and have the opportunity to fly to London and hang with those guys, it was obviously a dream come true. That happened over 10 years ago and I still have to pinch myself and ask myself: ‘Did that actually happen?’. [Laughs] It seems so far fetched in a lot of ways.

“It was definitely one of the highlights of my musical career, without a shadow of a doubt.”

Photos: Alfred Nitsch (2017 Myles Kennedy (cropped)), Dana Wullenwaber (Jimmy Page 1983)

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.

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