The Martin D-28 Acoustic Guitar and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin
Jimmy Page And The Martin D-28
Now pretty much everyone knows who Jimmy Page is, and pretty much everyone knows exactly why he's famous. Of course he was only the founder and guitarist of one of the world's most famous and successful musical acts of all time, Led Zeppelin. Besides all the heavy blues, heavy metal, and thundering crunch combined with Robert Plant's high pitched cathartic blues busts, Led Zeppelin recorded quite a lot of acoustic music, and if you haven't heard it, then you are probably deaf.
Look around on the web and you'll find a never ending number of pages of Page holding that big double neck Gibson SG of his. He only used that thing for three songs, and he only used it on stage. Were the photographers of the day more on the up and up, they'd have taken a lot more photos of James Patrick Page with his Martin D-28. The Martin D-28, of course, is a much more practical instrument, and besides that, Jimmy Page recorded and played the thing on stage a heck of a lot more than the double necked beast.
Jimmy Page With Led Zeppelin Playing His Martin D-28
Jimmy Page in the 1990s With His Martin D-28
Jimmy Page And The Martin D-28
Of course Jimmy Page will probably forever be remembered for his Les Paul playing, but he also was a heavy practitioner of the Fender Telecaster and the Fender Stratocaster too. On the first Led Zeppelin album, Page's acoustic compositions featured a big Gibson J 200. The second Led Zeppelin album was almost entirely heavy electric blues, but when the band got ready to record their third album, Jimmy Page bought himself aMartin D-28
Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin debuted the Martin D-28 at the Bath Blues and Progressive Music Festival on June 28, 1970 when the band played "That's The Way," and "Bron-Y-Aur," for an adoring crowd, the second tune he managed to always throw in some clever musical references to the great Doc Watson, which is also completely fitting for the D-28 guitar, especially.
The Martin D-28 reappeared for Led Zeppelin's 1973 European tour for all acoustic songs, but by then Jimmy Page had his Martin fitted with a Barcus Berry Model 1355 transducer and pre-amp for improved sound, as it beat just playing into a microphone as he'd done before.
In 1977 Jimmy Page squired a second Martin D-28, and the purpose of having two was that page often played songs in various and sundry alternate tuning on stage, and so he needed one tuned to standard tuning, and one set up for whichever tunes the band intended to play in whatever alternate tuning the songs were recorded in.
After the death of John Bonham in 1980, and the subsequent breakup of Led Zeppelin, the 1990s resurgence of the band's music brought page and his Martin D-28's out of retirement, as he'd use them in a 1990 live interview, and in 1994, he'd record "The Rain Song" with Robert Plant on the two's No Quarter album.
Now the exact year models of the two Martin D-28 guitars that Jimmy Page owns and has used on stage and in the studio, I can't find that information, however, it is likely from the specifications that both instruments were purchased new, and that one is a 1970 model, and the other a 1977 model. Both instruments are standard models, and are not herringbone models, and this is probably preferable as the herringbone instruments are more fragile, and wouldn't be so great to tour rigorously with, or keep in the stresses of alternate tunings.
Both guitars feature Sitka spruce tops and East Indian rosewood backs and sides, have ebony bridges and fretboards, and chrome tuning machines.
Jimmy Page always kept his original D-28 for standard tuning, and he used a tiny white star placed in the middle of the pick guard in order to differentiate between the two.