Jimmy Page appearances are rare, but the Led Zeppelin guitarist was happy to come to Cleveland on Saturday to induct his longtime friend and former Yardbirds bandmate Jeff Beck into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist.
“He’s been instrumental in pioneering a whole blueprint that was totally unique to him and…has been such a blueprint for everyone else to learn from,” Page told Billboard.com before the ceremony. “No one’s ever equaled what Jeff’s done. He really shifted the whole sound and face of electric guitar music.”
Asked after Beck’s induction — during which the two guitarists combined “Beck’s Bolero” and Zeppelin”s “Immigrant Song” — about their enduring friendship, Page noted that “we’ve known each other since we were…11 years old. We’ve vibed on the same things, and music’s been the main common denominator of us meeting in the first place. So that’s always been there. We’re respectful of each other’s playing and solo endeavors and all the rest of it. Mutual respect, man.”
The two did joke around about Beck’s ouster from the Yardbirds in 1966. “I was thrown out,” he said, to which Page replied, “Not by me.”
Beck: “It was your fault! (Page) didn’t like me on the stage with him.”
Page: “Oh, bollocks…”
Beck and Page also joined Metallica, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea for an all-star rendition of the Yardbirds staple “Train Kept A Rollin’,” while Beck was also part of an all-star jam on Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock.”