Alex Lifeson, guitarist for Rush, reportedly identified several guitarists but singled out Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page as the only one he wished to emulate. The guitarist stated why Page was the only one for him during a chat with Premier Guitar. He stated: “Jimmy Page was probably number one for me when I was younger.” I admired his playing, his attitude, and his appearance; everything about him inspired me.”Lifeson offered another name and explained why he wasn’t able to ‘duplicate’ their work. He went on to say: “Of course, Hendrix was incredible, but I never felt compelled to imitate his playing.” I believed he was so unique, so different, so amazing, and so tough to imitate that I’d just leave him alone.” He went on to say: “But Alvin Lee in the early 1970s, and later, Steve Hackett from Genesis, [I] always admired his playing.” Again, as the guitarist in a band, you provide excellent service to the music.” When asked if Jeff Beck had any impact on him, the guitarist replied:
“Oh my God, yeah.” From the beginning, when he was in The Yardbirds, when I first started playing guitars. We used to play a couple Yardbirds tunes when we were 13 and just starting out.” Lifeson’s fondness for Led Zeppelin was evident in a 2009 Guitar World interview in which he and bassist Geddy Lee chose their favorite songs from the band. The guitarist named three Led Zeppelin songs, indicating that the band had an effect on Rush’s sound. He mentioned this while addressing ‘How Many More Times’: “Jimmy Page was my biggest influence as a guitarist.” I aspired to look, think, and act like him. Rush was heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin in our early days. Page’s casual style of play demonstrated enormous confidence, and he plays without rules.” The guitarist recalled his first meeting with Page and stated: “In 1998, I met Page during a Page/Plant concert in Toronto. I was all googly-eyed and behaved like a child. I was terrified, and my hands were trembling. I was overjoyed to finally meet him because his work meant so much to me.” The complete interview is available below.