Jimmy Page surprises with first performance in eight years at Rock Hall induction ceremony

The Led Zeppelin legend paid tribute to his “hero” Link Wray with a performance of his instrumental classic, Rumble.

Jimmy Page performs onstage during the 38th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony

Image: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

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If there’s one good thing that came out of 2023’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, it’s that fans have finally got the chance to catch Jimmy Page performing on stage again.

The Led Zeppelin guitarist made a surprise appearance at the ceremony on Friday night (3 November), honouring his “hero” Link Wray with a performance of the latter’s instrumental classic, Rumble.

The show marked Page’s first public guitar performance since November 2015, where he played alongside an all-star band at a benefit show at Seattle’s Experience Music Project Museum.

Before he took the stage, Page narrated his induction speech via a video recording, saying: “If ever there was a guitarist who deserves this, if ever there was a guitarist who changed people’s attitude to what they heard, it’s Link Wray.”

“I first heard Link Wray’s music via the Rumble and it was when I was 14 years old. It wasn’t necessarily the sort of music that was being played on BBC radio, but I heard it on a jukebox. The first time I heard it I remember listening with such awe because I thought, ‘What is this?’”

“In those days, there were many guitar instrumentals, but as a 14-year-old kid who could barely play the guitar, it really had an effect on me,” Page continued. “The vigour and the strength and the power in it. And you know something else, it was fearless. It was just phenomenal. It’s the essence of cool, it’s a masterpiece that melted its way into the fibres of my body and my consciousness as far as the drama that you can set up with six strings.”

“It’s the sort of stuff that can’t be taught. it’s the sort of stuff that you can feel and you can take on board if you’re lucky. I’m really thrilled and honoured to be the one to be able to induct Link Wray, my hero, into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.”

Check out Page’s performance below.

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