Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Jimmy Page and the Gibson J-200 Acoustic Guitar

James Patrick, or "Jimmy" Page - A Guitarist Of Many Styles.

I make no bones about it, Jimmy Page is one of the most influential guitarists to have played in the past one hundred years. No Jimmy Page isn't one of the most technically stunning or prolific guitarists of that time, but one of the most influential, and the reason for this, in my opinion, is because he could meld together so many diverse styles of music into the things he's recorded.
Of course Jimmy Page is primarily known as the guitarist for Led Zeppelin, and that will always be true, and it was with Led Zeppelin that he primarily fused so many styles together. Now Page plays lots of guitars, but what is very noteworthy is that he was very much a proponent of the big three American guitar manufacturers, Gibson Guitars, Fender Guitars, and C.F. Martin & Co. guitars. He played no brand more than he did Gibson, however, and among his Gibson guitars is their acoustic flagship instrument, the J-200, which is perhaps, the world's most easily recognizable acoustic guitar.

Jimmy Page And His Gibson J-200 Acoustic Guitar

Jimmy Page's 1963 Gibson J-200.

The Gibson J-200 is a huge instrument, in fact, it is the largest production acoustic guitar in the entire world, but that isn't all there is about it that makes the thing so easily identifiable, there is the strange signature mustache bridge as well, and of course Gibson's large block abalone inlay fret board markers always help. The very large pick guard with it's floral inlay arrangement is another beautiful identifier of these instruments, and well, they are pretty pricey too, you could easily trade one in for a car or truck with a lot of life left in it - but you can't play Joan Baez'sBabe I'm Gonna Leave You on a car or truck, unless it happens to be playing on the radio.
The Baez tune wasn't the only song James Patrick Page recorded on the Led Zeppelin debut album with a big old Gibson J-200 though, he also used the guitar to record Your Time Is Gonna Come, and Black Mountain Side.
Jimmy Page's particular J-200 was a 1963 model with figured maple back and sides, a solid spruce top, a five piece laminated maple neck, a rosewood "closed" mustache designed bridge body with pear block inlays, black pear bridge pins, and an ABR "tune o' matic" adjustable metal inset like the Gibson Dove guitars of those years had.
The fingerboard or fretboard of the guitar was ebony with pointed end crest abalone inlay for fret markers. The headstock was bound with pear plant inlay of abaolone, and the celluloid pick guard was had the requisite abalone flower motif inlay.
This big and beautiful Gibson J-200 only appeared on the first Led Zeppelin album and in 1970 was stolen.but on April 26, 1970, Jimmy Page used it to perform Black Mountain Side/White Summer on the Julie Felix show on the BBC.

Jimmy Page With His Gibson J-200 Performing Live On BBC Television!


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