Fender Partners With Jimmy Page to Recreate His First Led Zeppelin Guitar
By Andrew Magnotta
October 31, 2018
While Page is most often associated with the Gibson Les Paul, the guitar god's first choice of axe in his iconic band was a Fender Telecaster that he painted himself.
The guitar, which was a gift from Jeff Beck in 1965, helped create genre-defining songs from Zep's debut album like "Communications Breakdown," "Dazed and Confused" and "Good Times Bad Times."
Fender is remaking the guitar in two models, one on its American production line and another 50 "Limited Edition" guitars through the Fender Custom Shop.
Page says he wants the guitar to be as immortal as his catalog, so he reached out to Fender about recreating it last winter. For over eight months, Page presided over the process with Fender master builder Paul Waller.
"It's so absolutely as it is, as it should be and as it was," Page raved. "They really got it 110 percent right."
Page's handiwork is all over the guitar, as he tinkered with it in the years that it was his main instrument.
When Page received the guitar from Beck in '65, it was undecorated in a factory blonde finish. Two years later in 1967, Page affixed eight circular mirrors to the body. He played the guitar with that look only briefly when he removed the mirrors, stripped off the paint and hand-painted a dragon onto the body.
While Page was away touring on Led Zeppelin I, a friend repainted the guitar once more. Eventually, however, Page restored the guitar to its early-Zeppelin look.
Fender has announced it will build both mirror and dragon-painted versions of the guitar on its production line.
The 50 guitars from the Fender Custom Shop will all have personal touches from Page himself, including the guitarist's signature on the headstock and hand-painted flourishes on the body artwork.
The complete lineup will be revealed in January. Models will be released throughout 2019, the 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin I.
Photo: Getty Images