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Music

Jimmy Page remembers featuring in the 1960s classic 'Blow Up'

Jimmy Page has enjoyed a life and career like no other. Led Zeppelin man is one of the most influential musicians of all time, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

Whether it be as the guitarist or producer of Led Zep, his work in The Yardbirds, or his lifelong interest in all things esoteric, there’s a real creative density to Page’s career, and this has allowed him to stay relevant and so well-respected all of these years whilst many of his peers fade into obscurity. 

One of the most exciting moments in Page’s career came in The Yardbirds. As the band were London’s premier psychedelic rockers, many doors were opened, one of which was into the film industry. Famously, the band appears playing in a club in a scene in Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 flick Blow Up, a mystery thriller set amongst the mod subculture of swinging ’60s London. 

Starring David Hemmings and Vanessa Redgrave, the movie is a classic of the era, and it inspired a string of noteworthy subsequent films, such as Dario Argento’s The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation, and Brian De Palma’s Blow Out.

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Looking back on that heady time, Page shared his memories on Instagram about the experience of starring in the award-winning film, and unsurprisingly, they were fond ones. 

He wrote: “The award-winning Michelangelo Antonioni film, Blow Up, was premiered on this day in 1966 in New York and went on general release. Although The Yardbirds were not invited to any of the premieres, some of us lined up with everybody else sometime after the event to see the film. Apart from the section we had recorded, we knew very little about the film.”

“The production team seemed to know as little about the plot as we did: in fact, it was said that Mr Antonioni had been asked what was the ‘Blow Up’ during the shoot and he replied ‘This is the blow up’, referring to the guitar breaking scene. I remember a very tall, statuesque woman in the line waiting to see the film, it was in fact Veruschka, a famous model of the time who featured in the film.”

Page concluded: “For Blow Up, The Yardbirds recorded the track ‘Stroll On’ at IBC studios in London. It was the first time Jeff Beck and I got to record with the guitars.”

Watch the scene featuring The Yardbirds from Blow Up below.

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