Jimmy Page. You might not realize it but Jimmy was quite the session musician before the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin. Although there is still some controversy about his role during the recording of the Who’s first album, I have done quite a bit of research (a Jimmy Page interview in a 1974 Creem magazine article and multiple websites including http://www.thewho.net and http://www.musicko.com) and am convinced of his role.
Jimmy was brought into the recording session for the Who’s first album by Shel Talmy who was producing the album because there was concern regarding Pete’s guitar skills. Looking back this was absurd but you need to realize that Pete was an unknown and Jimmy was already a legendary guitarist based on his session work.
Jimmy was scheduled to play lead on both I Can’t Explain and the b-side of that single which was called Bald Headed Woman. Unfortunately for Jimmy, I Can’t Explain required a Rickenbacker twelve string guitar and Jimmy didn’t own one. As it turns out, Pete did have one and there was no way Pete was going to hand it over to Jimmy to play on his record . Score one Pete who got to play the lead guitar part while Jimmy was relegated to rhythm.
Pete’s luck ran out during the recording of Bald Headed Woman which required a Fizz Box. According to John Entwistle, Jimmy owned the only Fuzz Box in the country at the time! Needless to say, Jimmy that got the lead part on Bald Headed Woman. Let’s listen. (sorry about the ad)
Let’s call it a draw overall ….and things didn’t turn out to badly for either Pete or Jimmy 🙂
As always, let me know what you think.