September 26, 2007
Vol: vol.14 No: no.40

News

Change Agent

By Rosette Royale / Interim Editor

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Ditch digger. Mad scientist. Writer. As a kid, Jim Page thought he might be one of these when he grew up. But, at age 15, he found his true calling: the guitar. “It completely took over,” Page remembers.

But what could a kid from San Jose do with his love of the six-string? Well, check out the scene in New York. Too bad it was 1970 and the scene had largely passed. When some cats offered him a ride out to Seattle, he hopped aboard.

Shortly after his arrival, he set about changing street singing laws, along with taking his guitar everywhere. Out on the streets, he asked people what they wanted to hear, taking their feelings, their ideas, and transforming them into lyrics. “Once you start to sing songs that relate to their lives,” he says, “they’ll talk to you.”

And listen. Which has led Page, now 58, to become a locally cherished troubadour, a musician whose politically infused lyrics continue to make him a huge draw. Says Page of his guitar: “You can take this out and sing a song and, oh, it’s about the best thing you can do.”

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