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Music

The songwriter Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page called a "genius"

@TylerGolsen

It should come as no surprise that Jimmy Page has pretty good taste. The man played with the greatest names of the 1960s during his times as a prolific session musician, and by the time he made a name for himself in Led Zeppelin, he was paying tribute to all-time greats like Robert Johnson in ‘The Lemon Song’, Muddy Waters in ‘Whole Lotta Love’, and Joni Mitchell in ‘Going to California’.

But it was back as a session musician where Page got his first taste of a young up and coming folk singer who was about to make a major change to electric rock and roll. Page remembered seeing Bob Dylan for the first time in an Instagram post back in 2019. “In May 1965 I experienced the genius of Bob at the Albert Hall,” Page explains in the post. “He accompanied himself on acoustic guitar and cascaded images and words from such songs as ‘It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’ and ‘She Belongs To Me’ to a mesmerised audience. It was life changing.”

He added: “In 2013, Bob Dylan played at the Albert Hall again – this was the first of three nights – when he would feature songs from his latest album Tempest and some re-arranged earlier material including ‘She Belongs To Me’ and ‘Tangled Up In Blue’. It was intoxicating.”

Page wasn’t the only Dylan fan in the band, however. “Something happened when Dylan arrived,” Robert Plant told the Guardian in 2007. “I had to grapple with what he was talking about. His music referenced Woody Guthrie, Richard and Mimi Farina, Reverend Gary Davis, Dave Van Ronk and all these great American artists I knew nothing about.

“He was absorbing the details of America and bringing it out without any reservation at all, and ignited a social conscience that is spectacular. In these Anglo-Saxon lands we could only gawp, because we didn’t know about the conditions he was singing about. Dylan was the first one to say, ‘Hello, reality.’ I knew that I had to get rid of the winkle-pickers and get the sandals on quick.”

Check out Page’s original post down below.