A 1963 Corvette Stingray rocks up and out jumps Jeff Beck with a ’59 Fender Telecaster and hands it to Jimmy Page to thank him for getting him a gig in the Yardbirds. Even if that Tele stayed in the case from then on it would still have some kind of cosmic significance in rock’s historical record.
But, as Jimmy Page explains in a newly revealed video segment, shot by Fender at their Custom Shop, in Corona, California, the guitar soon assumed a massive significance for him.
The Telecaster became inextricably linked to his development as a guitarist, at a time when he was finding his voice as a musician, using the bow, taking the principals of blues and rock ’n’ roll and colouring between the lines. It helped define the sound of Led Zeppelin I.
There are a number of things that are really great about this video but chief among them is the look on Page’s face as he tours the factory, shooting video on his phone. He has an ear-to-ear grin and the same expression of wonder that any of us gear heads would have in his position – only we didn’t write Heartbreaker or When The Levee Breaks.
Fender unveiled their replicas of Jimmy Page’s ’59 Telecaster (opens in new tab) in both its Dragon and Mirror form at NAMM 2019 in celebration of 50 years of Led Zeppelin. The series features two Custom Shop models in both finishes, master-built by Paul Waller, signed by Jimmy Page and limited to 50 each, and two production-line models in the Fender Artist Series.
You can read our review of the Fender Artist Series Jimmy Page Mirror Telecaster here (opens in new tab).