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Today In Rock: Jimmy Page is Born

Monday, January 9: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

On January 9, 1944, Jimmy Page was born in England. A talented multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer, Page is best known for his incomparable guitar virtuosity, and is one of the most influential guitarists of all time. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: in 1992 as a member of the Yardbirds and in 1995 as a founding member of Led Zeppelin.

Page picked up his first guitar at a young age, seeking to emulate rockabilly guitarists of the Fifties, such as Scotty Moore and James Burton. His appreciation and tastes quickly expanded to include folk, blues and skiffle, and he would play in a band that favored the latter. 

By the Sixties, Page was an in-demand session musician, playing on songs for Donovan ("Hurdy Gurdy Man"), Them ("Gloria") and the Who ("I Can't Explain"), among others. Page joined the Yardbirds in the mid Sixties, for a period sharing the stage with friend and fellow guitarist Jeff Beck, who had replaced Eric Clapton on lead guitar. "You'd listen to Jeff along the way, and you'd go - wow, he's getting really, really good," said Page during Jeff Beck's 2009 Hall of ...

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Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "How Soon Is Now?"

Wednesday, December 21: 1 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?" is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

The Smiths placed 10 singles in the U.K. Top 20 between 1983 and 1987, yet "How Soon Is Now?" was not among them. Only in the years following the group's breakup did this towering Morrissey-Johnny Marr composition become one of the group's best-loved and most familiar songs. Guitarist Marr kicks it off with shimmering Bo Diddley tremolo chords and builds layer upon layer of echoing six-string sound effects as Morrissey croons his defiance: You shut your mouth/How can you say/I go about things the wrong way/I am human and I need to be loved/Just like everybody else does. Sire Records president Seymour Stein called the nearly seven-minute-long song "the 'Stairway to Heaven' of the Eighties."

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