The Sound of a Generation
In 1963 I was on a session at PYE studios in London assisting Bob Auger in recording a tough new rock band called the Kinks. This was my first exposure to really loud amps and they really blew me away!! When it came time for the lead guitar parts Shel Talmy (their American producer) wanted the best rock guitarist on the scene, which happened to be Jimmy Page. My next encounter with Mr. Page was at Olympic Studios in 1967 when he was still with the Yardbirds, but for hire as one of the top session guys in town. I was recording a track for Donovan and Micky Most, the producer, had hired the top gun, Jimmy Page for the gig. The song we were recording was “Hurdy Gurdy Man” and Page’s distinct fuzz tone and wailing guitar can be heard all over the record. I was also fortunate to meet and befriend John Baldwin (later John Paul Jones) who was the session bass player and pop arranger during the time I was at Olympic. He used to arrive at the session wheeling in his Ampeg B15 bass amp, with the charts under one arm and his Fender bass over the other, plug in, stand up on the conductors rostrum and proceed to conduct the entire 60 piece orchestra with the bass in his hand!! I remember going over to Jones’s flat one day just before the release of Zeps 1st album in early ’68. I thought the album stunning and incredibly heavy. I asked Jonesy what was the name of the band and he said “Led Zeppelin”. My reply was … “That’s the dumbest name I have ever heard of”… boy was I ever wrong..!!