Rocker Jimmy Page spoke of how he was inspired by graduates at Berklee College of Music as he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the prestigious music school on Saturday.
The night before the Led Zeppelin star was given the degree during the school’s commencement ceremony in Boston, Massachusetts, members of the 2014 graduating class participated in a concert celebrating Page’s work and the music of fellow honorees, Jazz pianist Geri Allen, singer/songwriter Valerie Simpson and jazz trumpeter Thara Memory.
When the guitarist was due to give a speech at the ceremony, he stood in front of the crowd and admitted, “I’ve got something here which could be reasonably called a speech. After the experience of listening to the concert last night, this speech is rendered useless. So here I am; I’m a sort of busking musician trying to busk my speech!”
Throughout his fairly short talk, Page described his pre-Zeppelin days and confessed his background in music wasn’t as extensive as the graduates in the audience.
He said, “I have to be perfectly honest with you all: I’m sort of self-taught. Not such a bad thing, because I learned from records and trying to interpret playing my guitar heroes from there.”
Page added, “Music has so much power across so many avenues. To be in a position where you’ve done the thing that you’re pretty much best at, which is making music, and bringing joy and pleasure to other people, it can’t really be much better than that, can it? I pass that on to all of you.”