“People were saying, ‘Oh, Led Zeppelin’s gone acoustic.’ Well, what happened to your ears on the first and second album?” How Jimmy Page redefined the role of acoustic guitar in rock

Jimmy Page
(Image credit: Ian Dickson/Redferns)

The images emblazoned in pop-culture’s memory of Jimmy Page in his pomp are electric. The dragon-embroidered bell-bottoms and 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard. The double-necked EDS-1275. The Telecaster and the violin bow. 

But just as Page changed electric guitar, he changed the acoustic, redefining its place in rock, using it to traffic in melodies inspired by Indian and Arabic music, to blur the line between folk and rock. To think that folkies were outraged at the electric Bob Dylan while Page was being similarly iconoclastic, re-contextualising folk through rock epics.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.