Dazed Facts About Jimmy Page, The Godfather Of Heavy Metal

One of the greatest guitarists of all time, Jimmy Page was the genius behind Led Zeppelin's iconic, hard rock sound.

But behind the rock god image, Page cultivated enough dark secrets, questionable behavior, and interpersonal problems to fill a stairway to heaven.

1. He Happened Upon His First Guitar

Born in a West London suburb in 1944, Jimmy Page and his family moved to a house on Miles Road in Epsom, Surrey. Upon moving into his new home, Page found an old Spanish guitar waiting for him. Whether it was left behind by the previous occupants of the home or placed there as a gift by a family friend, the Pages never found out.

Page wouldn’t give the guitar very much attention at first, but when he finally did notice it again, his whole world changed.

Photo of LED ZEPPELIN and Jimmy PAGE

Jorgen Angel, Getty Images

2. He Started Playing For A Surprising Reason

At the age of 12, Page picked up that old Spanish guitar and learned a few chords from a friend at school. But this is Jimmy Page we're talking about.

He quickly surpassed his friend’s limited knowledge and began to self-teach by playing along to records.

So, why did one of the world’s most influential musicians decide to pick up the axe? Because, in Page’s own words, “I was bored”. Soon, his casual habit went national.

Jimmy Page's  guitar

Eden, Janine and Jim, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

3. He Had An Unhealthy Obsession

Page may have started guitar from boredom, but he quickly became fixated on the instrument. As Page’s obsession with the guitar grew, he would bring it to school daily so that he could practice whenever he got even a couple of minutes to do so. This irked certain teachers and resulted in Page's guitar being confiscated every day, too. Eventually, this turned into a crisis. 

Jimmy Page performing

Andrew Smith, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

4. He Dropped Out

The school’s Deputy Head, Miss Nicholson, did not approve of Page’s musical ambitions. Her scathing dismissal of Page’s dreams was the last straw.

He passed the minimum tests required and left school at 15, the youngest age permitted in Britain at the time.

Page would, of course, turn out to be right about chasing his dream—but his teacher had a point about the dangers of his obsession.

Jimmy Page performing

Pascal P Chassin, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons