When Jimmy Page and the Beach Boys Played to a Crowd of 1 Million People

by Jeremy Spirogis
Jimmy Page and the Beach Boys

If you’re searching for the golden age of Jimmy Page guitar work, you’d in all probability begin with the late Yardbirds period and comply with the thread by Presence (1976), the final nice Led Zeppelin album. But Page didn’t give up in 1980, when the Zep was grounded following John Bonham’s loss of life.

Dig into Page’s ’80s work and you discover him engaged on soundtracks for 2 Death Wish sequels and forming new teams with different business brand-names. Besides The Firm (with Paul Rodgers on vocals), Page labored with the bassist and drummer of Yes in a short-lived band known as XYZ.

In ’84, Page reunited (on separate tasks) with former Zep bandmates Robert Plant and John Paul Jones. Page was no stranger to this kind of bouncing round. In his pre-Yardbirds days, the guitar nice as soon as performed on Rod Stewart’s debut single and Petula Clark’s “Downtown” on the identical day.

Page additionally returned to the stage in that interval. After ’83 A.R.M.S. concert events alongside Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton, Page toured with The Firm throughout Zep’s outdated stomping grounds (i.e., America) into May ’85. That summer season, Page stored at it. At one enormous gig, he performed with The Beach Boys in entrance of 1 million folks.

Jimmy Page and The Beach Boys performed to 1 million in Philadelphia on July 4, 1985

Jimmy Page and the Beach Boys
Jimmy Page joined Carl Wilson and the Beach Boys in live performance in Philadelphia, 4 July 1985. | Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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Philadelphia has hosted some large July Four celebrations through the years. The 1976 bicentennial introduced some 2 million guests to the City of Brotherly Love, and the ’85 festivities had been no slouch, both. On each events, The Beach Boys carried out dwell.

The ’85 occasion was particularly noteworthy as a result of the band introduced in Page as a visitor guitarist. They didn’t skimp on house for Page, both. On “Lucille,” the band stayed out of Page’s means as he took an prolonged solo. Page appears to be like like he’s having a blast as he shreds within the surviving video.

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That day, the gang numbered over 1 million, in line with a number of reviews. It wasn’t ’76, nevertheless it was nonetheless a large crowd for any live performance. In 2019, Page seemed again on the day in an Instagram post, calling it “a memorable day.”

“It was an honour to meet Brian and Carl Wilson and play with The Beach Boys on this historic day,” Page wrote. “I became quite friendly with Beach Boy musician Bruce Johnston.”

Page and The Beach Boys performed one other enormous present that evening in Washington, D.C.

Jimmy Page playing with the Beach Boys in 1985Jimmy Page playing with the Beach Boys in 1985
Jimmy PAGE and THE BEACH BOYS play in Washington, D.C., 4 July 1985. | Ebet Roberts/Getty Images

Since it was July 4, The Beach Boys had been actually spreading the patriotic love round. After the Philly present, Page and different visitor performers hopped on a prepare to Washington, D.C. Page once more rocked out on “Lucille” and “Surfin’ USA,” whereas Joan Jett jammed with the band on “Barbara Ann.”

They weren’t the one celebrities within the touring occasion, although. “Mr T was also on that trip,” Page recalled on social media of that day. Indeed, the A-Team star and persona performed with The Beach Boys on no less than one monitor of their units. The D.C. present had one other 550,000 in attendance, UPI reported.

So what was Page doing there? Though he’d solely lately wrapped up his tour with The Firm, he was extra possible there preparing for his reunion with Plant and Jones at Live Aid (July 13, 1985). Of course, that present didn’t prove as properly for the surviving members of Led Zeppelin.

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