Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page Found an Abandoned Guitar as a Child and It Changed His Life

Jimmy Page is one of the founding members of the rock band Led Zeppelin along with Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham. After years in the music industry, Page is considered one of the best guitarists of all time. His love of the instrument started when he found an old guitar when he was a child.

A black-and-white photo of Jimmy Page playing the guitar
Jimmy Page | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Jimmy Page found a guitar when he was a kid

Page was born in 1944, and in 1952 he and his family moved to a house in Miles Road, Epsom of Surrey, England. According to Led Zeppelin: The Biography by Bob Spitz, this is where Page found his first guitar.

According to Spitz’s book, the “cheap Spanish-style guitar that had come with the house. It was nothing more than a neglected ornament in a corner of the living room that no one had bothered to stash in the attic.”

Spitz reports that Page said finding the guitar as a child “felt ‘like divine intervention.'”

After finding the guitar, Page would practice with his friends and classmates Rod Wyatt and Dave Williams.

“From the beginning, Jimmy and the guitar were joined at the hip,” Williams said in Led Zeppelin: The Biography. “Once he had those chords down, he basically taught himself how to play.”

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How the Led Zeppelin guitarist improved his skill

According to the biography by Spitz, Page got the book Play in a Day by Bert Weedon to help himself learn how to play the guitar. However, the methods of the book did not match what Page needed to keep learning the instrument.

“I was far too impatient,” Page said in Led Zeppelin: The Biography.

Spitz writes that “It was easier for” Page “to play by ear,” so he started making “arrangements on his own.”

“You listened to the solo, lifted the tone arm, and put it back down to hear it again,” said Page in Led Zeppelin: The Biography.

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Jimmy Page got a new guitar

While finding the abandoned guitar in his house sparked his interest in the instrument, Page reportedly outgrew the limits of the guitar rather quickly.

In Led Zeppelin: The Biography, Page said that he wanted a guitar that “was something you would see on albums by Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps and Buddy Holly… Getting a guitar [like that| was like dreaming about a Cadillac.”

After speaking with his parents, Page was encouraged by his father to take on a paper route to earn money for a new guitar.

“I did a paper round and got a Hofner Senator,” Page said in Led Zeppelin: The Biography.

While this guitar did not suit his needs as much as an electric guitar would, Spitz wrote that it was enough for Page to start his own band with friends from his neighborhood.

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