I guess we should have taken Jimmy Page more seriously when he said he was gearing up to start working on some new music last month when he was buttonholed at London's Ivor Novello Awards. He archly told reporters: "At the moment, I'm constructing a website because I've had the domain name [jimmypage.com] but I've not had a website, so I'm constructing that. I think that will bring a few surprises to how thing normally are. Once that's done, then I'm going to start working on some new music."
Apparently, he got waylaid by some old music first. On Friday, June 3, the iconic Led Zeppelin guitarist joined his long time compatriot, friend, and folk imp, Donovan at London's Royal Albert Hall to a recreate his guitar parts (with his black Gibson Les Paul Custom classic) on "Sunshine Superman," the title track from Donovan's legendary third album, for which he got the princely sum of 13 pounds for three hours work, according to Donovan.
He had such a good time that he returned to the stage for the encore, ably assisting his pal on a darker, bluesier version of "Mellow Yellow."
"Though he's known for his power guitar," Donovan told Rolling Stone, "Jimmy is a real folk aficionado."
Page agreed. "A lot of my songs were written on the acoustic guitar. And so much of the first album of Led Zeppelin was acoustic, too."
Page has an enduring affection for the folk legend, and fondly remember the sessions they did together right after he left the Yardbirds:
"Donovan was a great writer and he was really consistent all the way through," recalls Page. "I really enjoyed the sessions I did with him. They were very memorable to me. I remember there was one song we were doing it together and Donovan said to me, 'Oh, these things sound really, really good just with two guitars.' Even though we were going to be doing things with rhythm sections and all that. He was really into that sort of aspect of what the guitar can do as an instrument on its own. Just how full it is, and the voicing. He set the whole mood with his guitar playing, I believe Donovan's underrated as a guitar player. He did those sorts of Bert Jansch kinds of thing. Like what he did on 'Oh Deed I Do' for example. I wouldn't underestimate him at all as a guitarist, nor should anyone, because he's a really solid player. His timing is excellent. His songs are terrific. He's a very romantic writer, and then he's got a lovely sense of humor with him when he's writing."