#1
Ok so I'm a Jimmy Page freak, with that out of the way let me start. I am taking my telecaster and doing some Page style mods, basically everything except a psychedelic dragon painted on it (I'll be sure to post some pics when I'm done) Anyways I've been searching the net looking at pictures of Pages and replicas that luthiers have done and I've found some interesting history about it on all these different sources, so I'm putting it all in one spot, I'm going to try and make this as easy as I can and not go to depth in detail.

The history begins when The Yardbirds promoted Page to guitar in September of '66 and fellow Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck presented him with a white telecaster which is believed to be a 50s or quite possibly a 60s model, but from the looks of the wood grain it appears to have an ash body which means it is most likely a 50s model (60s models mainly had alder bodies) It was originally white with a matching white pickguard and reflective circles added by Page.

Sometime after Beck left (November of '66 to early '67) Page sanded it down to the natural wood and painted a psychedelic design on it that resembled a dragon (hence the name) and put a modified pickguard on it that featured an extension that ran between the control plate and the bridge for the complete length of the bridge. The material was a clear plastic with reflective foil underneath it. Page repainted it in the same manner in '68 or early '69 and then retired it sometime in '69 when page chose the Les Paul as his main axe. It didn't see daylight again until the fourth album where page used it to play the stairway solo.

Sometime in the '70s one of Pages friends took it upon himself to surprise page and give it a new look by repainting it brown and adding a black pickguard. To do this the person sanded all of pages beautiful work away and virtually ruined the guitar, according to page all the pickups where out of phase and the finish in general sucked. Its not clear if it was this configuration or the original dragon configuration that was used on stairway. Page is also known for using another telecaster later on in Zeppelin that was brown with a black pickguard, However no one is really sure if this is the repainted dragon.

The Dragon was Pages main guitar from '66 to early '69. Page used the dragon on all Yarbirds recordings that featured six string electric guitar, as well as all electric parts on Led Zeppelin I, The Stairway to Heaven solo and possibly Led Zeppelin II and later Zeppelin albums and solo recordings. The 1969 promo to Whole lotta love (Led Zeppelin II) features page using the dragon which kind of fuels the belief to it being used on the second album even though Page says he used a Les Paul and the striking resemblance in sound is due to mic placement.

Questions, comments, concerns and corrections are welcome.

I thinks that's it...
#2
I always loved the finish on that instrument. I have a recording on Sky+ of an old studio gig where he was playing it and he did sound pretty damn good.
#3
it was definitely used on the second album, you can tell on some of the songs by the tone.
#4
The Brown B-Bender Telecaster and the Dragon Tele are not the same guitar though Page eventually added the neck from the Dragon Tele in 1979 to the B-Bender Tele. The brown B-Bender was purchased sometime in late 1975.

There's only a small piece of evidence of the Tele being used on II for Heartbreaker (not the unacommpanied solo), that comes from a man who was there when they recorded it. Of the few studio pictures from LZII sessions, Page is always on the LP. He never mentions the Tele being used on II only the Les Paul, though he never says he didn't use it either. The '69 Promo for Whole Lotta Love really means nothing when it comes to what guitar he used, it's just video footage from a TV Studio in Germany in March '69, they're not even really playing Whole Lotta Love in that video.

More info here on Page's guitars here... https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=889990

#8
i was wondering about the pictures. i wasn't kept entertained, as there were no pictures :p
Quote by Mister.Y
Well, The Lion Sleeps Tonight is still a bit popular... I mean, cmon...

awimbawe awimbawe awimbawe awimbawe...


"I'll See You In The Next World, and Don't Be Late"
#9
Yeah sorry, I might upgrade my photobucket account to prevent that from happening again. If not the pics will be back up on Sunday, that's when the bandwidth is reset.

The Dragon Tele pics...

Late 1966 with the Yardbirds. This is basically how he gets it from Beck. When Beck had it, it had a black pickguard though.



April 1967 in Denmark, decent shot of the reflective circles.



Sometime in mid or late 1967 the guitar was stripped down and repainted with the Dragon theme. Still trying to get a more precise date on it.



September 1968, the first Led Zeppelin gig or technically The New Yardbirds.



March 1969 at the Supershow performance in England. Clear shot of the top loader bridge with the string holes still on the body - the main piece of evidence pointing to a '59 or early '60 Tele.




May 1969 at Rose Palace, final known stage appearance of the Dragon Telecaster.


Also upon some more digging there may be some truth to the rumors regarding the bridge pickup being rewound or replaced at one point, possibly around March or May 1968.
#10
The Botswana Brown B-Bender Telecaster "Brown Bomber"

Quote from the guy that sold it to him:
"Found your post on Jimmy Page's guitars last night and wanted to let you know I sold him the brown Telecaster guitar many years ago. A fellow who worked with us at SRI studios worked for them and asked me to find a Telecaster and send it up to Gene Parsons for a pull-string device. I had Gene engrave the back plate with Jimmy's name on it. I originally found it in Ocean Beach (San Diego) near where I grew up. It is a '53 model dated from the serial number. I also have a few photographs of it with the receipt before I send it to Jimmy. I wish I had the old refinished neck since he put the Red Dragon rosewood neck on it."

It had a maple neck on it when he got it, kept it on through 1977. In 1979 he added the neck from the Dragon Telecaster. The guitar was used during 1977 and 1979 for Hot Dog and Ten Years Gone. Used on In Through the Outdoor. Would become one of his most used guitars during the 1980s.

November 1976 - Ezyhire Studios


July 1977 Oakland


August 1979 Knebworth


From a 1982 magazine article
#12
Yeah I just read somewhere actually that the brown tele is a different model, and at some point it had an all maple neck. By the way was the footage from the whole lotta love promo shot in Germany? If my memory serves me I recall seeing "Marquee club" in the background... I always thought that the marquee was in England and it also appears that they are insync with the music too maybe a coincidence?
#14
Actually there are some pictures that show page using a Les Paul at the rose palace during the same show that was the dragons last appearance. However there is the possibility that it was a different rose palace date and it turns out he just happened to be wearing the same clothes.
#15
OK I just found some interesting info on the dragon tele It comes from jimmy pages site:
1958 Fender Telecaster
A gift from Jeff Beck in 1966
Originally decorated with 4 silver circles
Stripped down and handpainted by Jimmy Page in late 1966
Stripped down again, painted "Botswana Brown" and fitted with a Parsons B-Bender in 1976
Temporarily swapped rosewood neck to maple neck in April-May 1977
So this says that the Botswana tele is the dragon tele hmmmm..... it may be wrong though seeing that we have a quote from the guy who sold him the Botswana tele. Maybe he had two?
#17
Quote by yomoma21
it was definitely used on the second album, you can tell on some of the songs by the tone.

He often left his wah pedal in the on position for a much sharper tone; a lot of the time you could be forgiven for thinking that he was using the Tele.
#18
Quote by zeppelinrules69
Yeah I just read somewhere actually that the brown tele is a different model, and at some point it had an all maple neck. By the way was the footage from the whole lotta love promo shot in Germany? If my memory serves me I recall seeing "Marquee club" in the background... I always thought that the marquee was in England and it also appears that they are insync with the music too maybe a coincidence?


Yes, it was shot on 3/27/69 at The Beat Club in Bremen Germany. Page's guitar isn't even plugged in. They were actually faking Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, not Whole Lotta Love. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkgRLfOxkXQ I have a few still photos as well.

The first known performance of Whole Lotta Love on stage was 4/26/69 at the Winterland Ballroom, they don't play it again on stage until 1/8/70. You're reading way too much into this promo footage thing, the song wasn't even recorded yet, that footage is from March, the majority of the song was done at Olympic Studios in June '69.

OK I just found some interesting info on the dragon tele It comes from jimmy pages site:
1958 Fender Telecaster
A gift from Jeff Beck in 1966
Originally decorated with 4 silver circles
Stripped down and handpainted by Jimmy Page in late 1966
Stripped down again, painted "Botswana Brown" and fitted with a Parsons B-Bender in 1976
Temporarily swapped rosewood neck to maple neck in April-May 1977
So this says that the Botswana tele is the dragon tele hmmmm..... it may be wrong though seeing that we have a quote from the guy who sold him the Botswana tele. Maybe he had two?


That's just a Jimmy Page fan site and the info is copied from an incorrect Guitar World article. Here's a direct quote from Page in 1998 when asked about the Dragon Telecaster

"I still have it (referring to the Dragon Tele), but it’s a tragic story. I went on tour with the ’59 Les Paul that I bought from Joe Walsh, and when I got back, a friend of mine had kindly painted over my paint job. He said, "I’ve got a present for you.” He thought he had done me a real favor. As you can guess, I wasn't real happy about that. His paint job totally screwed up the sound and the wiring, so only the neck pickup worked. I salvaged the neck and put it on my brown Tele string bender that I used in the Firm. As for the body… it will never be seen again! (laughs)"
Last edited by Whole Lotta Led at Dec 11, 2008,
#19
Quote by Rock Pig
He often left his wah pedal in the on position for a much sharper tone; a lot of the time you could be forgiven for thinking that he was using the Tele.


Wouldn't surprise me, but he definitely did use a tele on a lot of the second album.

And the first obviously..
#20
Quote by willieturnip
Wouldn't surprise me, but he definitely did use a tele on a lot of the second album.

And the first obviously..


And what's your proof of this?
#21
I wasn't aware of the date that the promo was filmed, I didn't even know they where faking babe I'm gonna leave you, I was aware however that they where faking because I noticed that page isn't plugged in in fact I've never seen that version before! wow what a video I must say! That is the same footage of the whole lotta love one but the whole lotta love promo has a naked chick in it (I don't know if you've noticed that or not)
#22
Quote by Whole Lotta Led


July 1977 Oakland


From a 1982 magazine article


Whats the knob behind the bridge used for? Never figured that out, in the second picture it looks like the B string attaches to it? Might just be the picture though
2003 Music Man Axis Pacific Blue Burst