Which Yardbirds guitarist was better? Ritchie Blackmore decides: ‘He doesn’t have many ideas’

Share this:

Discussions over the relative prowess of Yardbirds’ guitarists Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page have raged since their ’60s-era debuts. Leave it to Ritchie Blackmore, a legend in his own right after co-founding both Deep Purple and Rainbow, to put everything into quick perspective.

Blackmore, in a newly posted interview with the Guardian, praises Jimmy Page “a three-dimensional guitarist. He has a range. He has ideas, but he can’t be everything — so sometimes he lacks on improvisation a bit. He’s so caught up with producing and everything else concerned with being a top band, whereas someone like Jeff Beck is entirely in the opposite direction. Jeff can extemporize really well, but I don’t think he can write a song. It’s always somebody else’s tune. He doesn’t have many ideas, but he’s a brilliant guitarist.”

Jeff Beck followed Eric Clapton into the Yardbirds, serving from 1965-66 in a stint that overlapped with Page — who at first appeared on bass before taking over lead duties upon Beck’s departure. Ultimately, Jimmy Page would remain with the Yardbirds from 1966-68. From there, Page co-founded the far-heavier Led Zeppelin, which Ritchie Blackmore says had an immediate impact on turn-of-the-1970s Deep Purple.

“Zeppelin – I liked their hard approach when they came out and did ‘Whole Lotta Love,'” Ritchie Blackmore says. “I immediately tuned in with that type of style because before when we were fiddling around with orchestras, I thought: something’s wrong; I’m not giving all that I can. Thanks to them for the inspiration. They got it from Jeff Beck, who got it from the Small Faces.”

Something Else!

Something Else!

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Something Else!
Share this:
Close