50 Years Ago: Jimmy Page Releases His Debut Solo Single
Released on Feb. 26, 1965 on the Fontana label, "She Just Satisfies" (backed with "Keep Moving") found Page producing, playing all the instruments except the drums, and -- for what seems to be the first and only time -- handling lead vocals.
The recordings took place toward the end of Page's lucrative and prolific career as one of the most sought-after session guitarists on the U.K. rock scene, but before he stepped into the spotlight as a member of the Yardbirds (and later, of course, Led Zeppelin). "My session work was invaluable. At one point I was playing at least three sessions a day, six days a week! And I rarely ever knew in advance what I was going to be playing. But I learned things even on my worst sessions -- and believe me, I played on some horrendous things," he later recalled. "I finally called it quits after I started getting calls to do Muzak. I decided I couldn’t live that life any more; it was getting too silly. I guess it was destiny that a week after I quit doing sessions Paul Samwell-Smith left the Yardbirds and I was able to take his place. But being a session musician was good fun in the beginning -- the studio discipline was great. They’d just count the song off and you couldn’t make any mistakes."
Even if he was growing disenchanted with the session life, Page wasn't exactly dying to become a solo artist. It took some encouragement from his girlfriend at the time, singer-songwriter Jackie DeShannon, with whom he'd collaborated on a string of songs that included "Dream Boy" and "Don't Turn Your Back on Me" (as well as "Keep Moving"). And while the fact that it wasn't a hit probably made a long-term solo career a moot point anyway, Page later seemed dismissive of his efforts on the single.
"There’s nothing to be said for that record except it was very tongue-in-cheek at the time," he later shrugged in an interview with Creem. "I played all the instruments on it except for the drums and sang on it too, which is quite, uh ... unique. ‘She Just Satisfies,’ that’s what it was called. It’s better forgotten."
These days, YouTube is a pretty fantastic tool for making sure no piece of musical history is ever forgotten, and sure enough, some enterprising fans have uploaded "She Just Satisfies" and "Keep Moving" for all of us to enjoy. Perhaps not Pagey's finest musical hour, but an interesting footnote in an incredible career, and a fascinating glimpse of what was soon to come from one of the greatest guitarists in rock 'n' roll history.
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