Jimmy Page Recalls ‘Paranoid’ Moments That Made ‘Stairway To Heaven’ Guitar Solo

Jimmy Page Recalls ‘Paranoid’ Moments That Made ‘Stairway To Heaven’ Guitar Solo | Society Of Rock Videos

Via Oliver Patrick Loughnan/Youtube

He Had A Tough Time Figuring It Out

Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” is a musical masterpiece and one of its defining features is Jimmy Page’s iconic guitar solo. In the latest issue of Classic Rock magazine, the legendary axeslinger recalled how he laid down the solo.

“I would invariably do guitar solos at the end, once the finished vocals and any overdubs were already on,” Page told Classic Rock. “I always put the solo on at the end because you’ve really living the track by then, and being the producer you’ve already supervised all the overdubs that have already gone on.”

Though he’d been using Les Pauls, he got his Telecaster out to play that solo. He called it “a bit of a magical guitar” because it was given to him by Jeff Beck, and he used it during his time with The Yardbirds and on Led Zeppelin’s debut album.

“I just said: ‘Roll it’, took a deep breath – that’s what I usually do – and then go. I had a couple of cracks at it, because you didn’t have as many options as you would have now,” Page continued. “I worked out how I was going to actually come into it, the first two or three notes, but after that I didn’t work it out, I just played it.”

Engineer Andy Johns, who passed away in 2013, was in the control room while Page worked on the solo.

“He hadn’t completely figured it out,” Johns revealed. “He’d done a few passes and it wasn’t going anywhere. I could see he was getting a bit paranoid, and so I was getting paranoid.”

“I turned around and said: ‘You’re making me paranoid’”, he added. “And he said: ‘No, you’re making me paranoid!’ Then: bang! On the next take he ripped it out. Of course, it’s a really wonderful solo. Pagey was just unbelievable.”

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