Led Zeppelin’s iconic guitarist, Jimmy Page, started his remarkable music career as a studio session musician in London around the early 1960s. He is mainly a self-taught player, although he did initially receive some formal education. From a very young age, he knew all his attention was on the guitar and how he could develop his technique. The guitarist had difficulty finding other musicians with whom he could jam in the place he lived at the time, but that didn’t hinder his passion for his instrument.
Within years passing as a session musician, he made a name for himself as a skilled and sought-after instrumentalist. This period allowed him to gain experience and interact with different genres, which helped him broaden his horizon as a guitar player. Eventually, with the legendary Led Zeppelin, the guitarist enjoyed incredible success and great fame. However, Jimmy Page had to make many sacrifices and make many hard decisions on this long way to success, which changed the course of his career.
Jimmy Page Dropped Out Of School To Join A Band
It is never easy for artists to manage a professional music career and education together. This situation sometimes leaves them with difficult moments of decision, as Jimmy Page also experienced. The guitar consumed much of his attention since he started playing it; thus, simultaneously concentrating on his academic life was a real challenge for the instrumentalist.
In an interview with Rock Cellar Magazine in 2020, Jimmy Page reflected on the early days of his music career and revealed that he dropped out of school to join a band because he wanted to develop himself and achieve more as a guitarist. He decided to leave secondary school in West Ewell to pursue music around the age of fifteen. He had already been playing in local places and had a unique talent that did not go unnoticed.
Thus, he was asked to join a touring band, Neil Christian & the Crusaders. He toured with them for approximately two years and played on their several records. During the interview, Jimmy Page also talked about how the industry operated differently than today at the time. The bands would tour and look for opportunities to be signed by a record label. However, the record labels were interested in only singers rather than musicians. So, he had to put in a lot of effort to show his talent.
His big sacrifice to pursue music, in Jimmy Page’s words:
“Yeah. Well, when I left school, I left school to join a group. And what happened with bands that were touring around dance halls in those days was that they’d make an audition record for a record label. The record label would listen to the singer, and if the singer were any good, they’d pull the singer out of the band, and then they would record with studio musicians.
And I think the plan was to let the band go-’round then and promote the record that they’d made. Of course, the bands never really felt very happy about having to promote singles because they were always crap anyway or rubbish. So I actually was in this band, and we started doing a lot of the Chess catalog, way in advance of the Rolling Stones coming on the scene and all of that. You were supposed to just play Top Ten stuff in dance halls and that.”
Every musician’s musical journey is full of hard choices and sacrifices before reaching where they are now. Jimmy Page also gave up his education life to become an iconic guitarist, which he successfully accomplished.