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“I realised just what a powerful force he is behind those Rolling Stones records” Jimmy Page recalls jamming session with Keith Richards

“It would’ve been nice to maybe have done more together with Keith around that time, before we moved on to other pastures.”

Keith Richards and Jimmy Page

Image: Getty Images

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Jimmy Page has looked back on the jamming sessions he shared with Keith Richards, praising The Rolling Stones guitarist as an “extremely versatile” and “super creative” musician.

Speaking to Uncut in a new interview dedicated to Keith’s 80th birthday, Page says that he and Richards first crossed paths in 1962 when the first American Folk Blues tour came through Manchester.

12 years later, the pair reunited at Ronnie Wood’s studio at The Wick in Richmond, Greater London, where the two Stones members decided to record some music. The sessions that ensued would result in Scarlet, an unreleased track from 1973’s Goats Head Soup that the Stones later included in their 2020 deluxe reissue.

“That was the time when I really had a chance to play with [Richards],” Page explains. “Because that was the backing track to Scarlet, with Keith playing rhythm and me doing a counterpoint riff.”

“I remember thinking, ‘This is great,’ because I just wanted to sort of lay it on top of what he did and not get in the way. The following day, I put a couple of solo overdubs on it at Island [studios].”

Recounting the session, Page says that “The thing I remember the most is that Keith was solid and driving and he didn’t make mistakes. He kept going all the way through. And I realised just what a powerful force he is behind those Rolling Stones records. There was no doubt about it. Of course, I could take it all apart and highlight everybody’s vital contribution, but Keith was really driving it.”

The Led Zeppelin rocker adds that “it would’ve been nice to maybe have done more together with Keith around that time, before we moved on to other pastures.”

“It was two guitar musos creating something, which is how it is when you get together with someone like that,” Page says, likening the pairing to him and Jeff Beck, with whom he shares an “automatic sort of mutual respect for each other that’s built up over the years”.

“The thing about Keith is his timing is really good and he has the imagination to be able to construct these wonderful riffs, which are the driving force behind the Stones’ records, pretty much,” Page continues. “Not only that, but he could then turn his attention towards the acoustic playing on the 12-string, where he does Angie and things like that.”

“So he’s extremely versatile. And super creative. If you’ve got somebody who can keep coming up with really good riffs decade after decade, that’s pretty serious. And to be respected.”

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