Jimmy Page – 1963 Gibson EDS-1275
About the Guitar
As with all my guitar sculptures, I start by transferring my scale drawing onto a wood base. I make sure to accurately mark out all the features of the guitar; pickups, volume & tone knobs, jack plugs, bridges, fret position, headstock features etc.
Furthermore, I lay the outline of the body shape using an appropriate material that best fits the guitar characteristics. For the Gibson EDS-1275 I have used 2 complete motorcycle chains to form the body of the guitar. The main body is made from sprockets, valve springs, sparkplugs, valves, timing chains, and connecting rods (amongst other things). The 12-string neck is strung using two different gauges of fencing wire to replicate the actual 12-string configuration.
About the Artist
James Patrick Page (January 9, 1944)
Rolling Stone magazine described Jimmy Page as “the pontiff of power riffing”. He is widely considered to be one of the most influential guitarists of all time.
Jimmy Page is credited with playing session guitar with bands such as The Kinks, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker and Van Morrison.
In 1964, Jimmy was asked to replace Eric Clapton in The Yardbirds, but he politely declined out of loyalty to his friend. One year later, after Eric Clapton had quit The Yardbirds, Jimmy joined the band alongside another guitar legend Jeff Beck.
By 1968 Jimmy Page relaunched the band as the New Yardbirds. It featured new singer Robert Plant, drummer John Bonham and bass guitarist John Paul Jones. Their sound was darker and more heavy. This sound would become Led Zeppelin.
With hits, such as “Immigrant Song”, “Stairway to Heaven”, “Kashmir”, and “Dazed and Confused”, Led Zeppelin is credited with selling over a reported 300 million records worldwide, becoming the second bestselling band in American history.
Interesting fact – In 1966, Jimmy Page had an idea to form a supergroup alongside Keith Moon and John Entwhistle (both from The Who), however the lack of quality singers and contractual problems put paid to the idea. During this time, Keith Moon suggested to name the band “Lead Zeppelin”, after John Entwhistle commented that the proceedings would take to the air “like a lead balloon”. When Led Zeppelin was eventually formed, the “a” from “Lead” was dropped to avoid mispronunciation.
Jimmy Page popularised the SG Doubleneck with his live performances of “Stairway to Heaven”. Using the EDS-1275 negated the need for Jimmy to swap guitars mid-performance. The beginning of “Stairway to Heaven” is played on the bottom 6-string neck. It then switches to the top 12-string neck, then to the 6-string neck for the solo and then back to the 12-string for the final chorus.
By the time Jimmy wanted an EDS-1275 they were no longer in production so he had one custom made. His custom EDS-1275 had a slightly different shape to the original. Most noteworthy, the tailpieces are positioned near the bottom of the guitar which reportedly gave better sustain. Subsequently, ave reflected these subtle nuisances in my sculpture.
Other guitarists that also made the Gibson EDS-1275 their guitar of choice include:
Eddie Van Halen – Van Halen
John McLaughlin – Mahavishnu Orchestra
Alex Lifeson – Rush