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Famous Guitar Gear

Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin

It’s been five years in the making, but Led Zeppelin’s 2007 O2 Arena gig is finally seeing a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray release in the form of Celebration Day. This is exciting news, since anyone who was there (myself included) will tell you that the band were on phenomenal form. Guitarist Jimmy Page, in particular, was certainly playing better than he did in Zep’s latter days, and his clear yet heavy tone helped to offset the band’s newly developed tone-down tuning (instigated in order to ease the strain on ‘ol Robert Plant’s voice). So, here’s a quick guide to the gear Page was using at that most legendary of legendary gigs.

Guitars

Jimmy Page with his 1959 Gibson Les Paul (and excellent shades)

Unsurprisingly, Page used his No 1 1959 Gibson Les Paul for over half of the O2 gig (according to Achilles Last Stand). Since its stint in the 1970s Led Zeppelin days, the guitar has been modified to include push-pull pickup pots, giving Page lower-gain single coil-esque tones on demand. Other O2 guitars include a Gibson Custom Shop Jimmy Page Les Paul Custom (complete with Bigsby vibrato system and a six-way toggle switch) on For Your Life, as well as a 2006 Gibson Custom Shop ES-350 on In My Time Of Dying. Of course, a Gibson EDS-1275 doubleneck also saw use for Stairway To Heaven and The Song Remains The Same.

Amps

Whole Lotta Amplification: Jimmy Page onstage at the O2

Jimmy Page is synonymous with Marshall, so the fact that he was presented with two customised 100JH (Jimi Hendrix) models by Jim Marshall for the gig will come as no surprise. However, Page also made use of several other amps at the gig. Two Petersburg P-100/JP-100 heads formed part of his backline (and have done since the mid-90s), and Orange AD50 and OR50 heads also saw action, accompanied by an Engl 4×12 cabinet. It’s not quite clear when Page switched between these different amps, but this will no doubt become clear when Celebration Day hits cinemas this week.

Effects

This is what space-age looked like in the early 90s: Jimmy Page’s custom Pete Cornish pedalboard

Being a big rock star and all, Page isn’t just going to stick a couple of Boss pedals on a Pedaltrain. No, he went to notorious sound guru Pete Cornish for a giant custom-made ‘board. Again, Achilles Last Stand helps to demystify things somewhat, and provides a handy list of what Page hides inside that black hunk o’ wood/plastic/metal. Aside from the two visible DigiTech Whammy Is and a modified Jen Cry Baby wah, Page uses an MXR Phase 90, Yamaha CH-10Mk II chorus, Boss CE-2 chorus and a send/return to a modified Echoplex EP-3. Every aspect of the ‘board has a cleaner bypass system than with stock units to ensure optimum signal integrity, or so Pete Cornish says. You can see the ‘board onstage in the image below.

The three surviving members of Led Zeppelin at the O2 (note Page’s pedalboard to the left of shot)

Well, that’s it for now. Apologies for the delayed/sporadic posts, but there will be more. Thanks to JimmyPage.co.uk and Achilles Last Stand for the info, and long live Led Zep!

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About Michael Brown

Michael is a journalist, musician and general guitar geek who works for Total Guitar and Guitarist magazines. He also freelances on the side, most often for Drowned in Sound. You can view his work here.

Discussion

6 thoughts on “Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin

  1. Great article!

    Posted by Jeff Strawman | October 28, 2012, 9:10 pm
  2. does anyone know what tuning he used at the ’07 reunion show?

    Posted by Gaz Williams | December 30, 2012, 3:59 pm
  3. That pedalboard picture was worth its weight in gold. Fully diggin’ the Celebration Day DVD.

    -m-

    Posted by moverdrive | June 12, 2013, 4:46 am
  4. Jimmy actually used his number 2 boot his number 1.

    Posted by douglas Maltba | February 28, 2014, 2:29 pm
  5. What tuning did Jimmy use for this show? Down a half step or a whole step? I’m curious to see where Robert’s comfort zone is these days? If anyone knows…I’d be grateful. I’ve heard people say they didn’t sound good and blah blah blah…I wonder what show they were listening to? Cause what I heard sounded simply amazing. And to learn that Page used only the Orange the entire show will make a great number of “Jimmy Tone Chasers” very happy!

    Posted by Westrocker | September 24, 2014, 1:43 pm

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