"Jimmy was different from every other session guy…"


“It must have been 1964. The personnel of my band, Carter-Lewis And The Southerners, was flexible, and we had a tour coming up but we didn’t have a proper band. Me and Ken Lewis knew Jimmy from sessions. We’d played together on [Dave Berry’s] The Crying Game, and we’d booked him for a few Carter-Lewis sessions, which he was brilliant on. So we asked him to join: ‘Yeah, why not?’

“I remember the first session I ever saw Jimmy on. He was eighteen or nineteen, a young lad. He wore normal sixties clothes. I don’t even remember his hair being long. We’d all meet round the corner from Decca Studios after sessions and go for a drink. We’d talk about music, the old blues guys, rock‘n’roll. He may have been quiet with blokes, but not with girls. I mean, I don’t want to give away any secrets.

“Jimmy was different from any other player going around. His invention was the best at that time. But he never took over on a session; no ego at all. He’d say: ‘What do you want?’ And we’d say: ‘Just make something up.’ Then he’d make up a solo which was absolutely fantastic. That was when you got the best out of Jimmy Page.

“What happened next? Sessions were getting very busy for him, and I think he wanted to concentrate on that, more than being on the road, because you earned a lot more money. The band broke up soon after. I really did think he’d go on to big things. I was pleased for him with Zeppelin, because he deserved to become famous. He was brilliant then, but with Zeppelin he just went higher and higher.

“For a while we kept in touch. I saw Jimmy again maybe four or five years ago, at an airport. We passed each other and we both just said: ‘Aha! It’s you!’