I had discussion this past year with some guys forming a Led Zep tribute band. While it never panned out, I spent a number of weeks digging into the guitar playing of eight Led Zeppelin songs, and casually learning/relearning about six more. Even for an old Led Zeppelin fan like me, who has played guitar for 40-years and learnt the instrument on the stylings of Jimmy Page, it was eye-opening.
On the Song Remains the Same, an incredible piece of musical composition, he plays this one lick. It's just a note really, except he bends the note 2 1/2 tones, from a B to an E, then brings it back down in staccato shots half a tone at a time: E! D#! D! C#! C! and back to B. It's simple in essence, I could teach it to a beginner, although it takes some physical strength to bend a note 2 1/2 tones on a 12-string. But it's also brilliant, pure musicianship required to make it sound like anything at all.
The catalogue, especially after the third album, is full of examples. There was virtually no wasted notes: if Jimmy Page played it, there was a reason for it.
On his 69th birthday it's worth pointing out that after a lifetime of playing, in my late-40's I'm still discovering the mysteries of what Jimmy Page did in his 20's and early 30's. I'm still finding magic in the notes he created.
Happy 69th Birthday Jimmy Page. For all of it, and for all that is still to come.