This Musician Was Almost The Lead Singer Of Led Zeppelin

Success in life is sometimes about taking advantage of an opportunity once it's presented. Nowhere is this more true than in the music industry, where chances at fame and stardom don't come frequently, and once they're missed, may never come again. There's no question that Led Zeppelin are among the most successful rock bands in the history of the genre. To get there, they made many bold moves when the timing was right. Before settling on the lead singer Robert Plant, though, there was another musician in the running. He turned them down.

There are many examples of musicians and singers declining offers or leaving bands before they make it big, including Tony Chapman, The Rolling Stones' original drummer, Bob Welch and Fleetwood Mac, and Stephen Duffy with Duran Duran (per NME). Some of these artists go on to find success on their own terms, while others fade from view. When Jimmy Page was putting together a new group following the dissolution of his band The Yardbirds, he first approached one teenaged singer to see if he was interested. The singer had other things going on, but he did recommend another option, as well as a drummer. In doing so, that musician rewrote rock 'n' roll history (per the Daily Mail).

He also turned down Deep Purple

Around 1966, singer-songwriter Terry Reid (pictured above) received a phone call from Jimmy Page, who offered him a chance to sing for the new band Page wanted to start. Per the Daily Mail, Reid was interested, but he had one other obligations: Reid was about to head out on tour supporting The Rolling Stones. Should he drop off that tour with a band as enormously popular as The Stones to take a risk on a new group with no proven track record? When presented in that context, Reid's decision to politely refuse Page's overture makes sense, and that's exactly what Reid did. He did, though, have another singer to suggest.

Terry Reid knew both Robert Plant and the drummer John Bonham from other musical projects, and he recommended them to Page instead of accepting the offer to sing. Does Reid — who would accumulate far more critical acclaim over the course of a long career than any kind of commercial success — regret this decision? Not in the least. "These guys are my friends. There was no Led Zeppelin at the time when Jimmy Page was trying to put the group together, and if I had have joined, they might not have been the band they are today," he told the Daily Mail. Interestingly enough, Deep Purple also tapped Reid to sing in 1969, which he also declined (per Observer). Proving when it comes to music opportunities, Terry Reid sure knows how to pick 'em.