School is back in session. A new year of education is commencing as younger students pack up their backpacks with freshly sharpened pencils and older ones move into dorm rooms.
You might not associate rock ‘n’ roll with academia, especially because rock artists are often presumed to be college dropouts. Of course, this isn’t always the case. Some note that classroom experience rarely compares to real life. “If you want to get laid, go to college; if you want an education, go to the library,” Frank Zappa once said. Leonard Cohen described his time as a graduate student at Columbia University as “passion without flesh, love without climax.”
At the very least, this all proves that one doesn’t need a degree or formal education to become a rock star. The Beatles never learned to read sheet music, Jimmy Page learned to play guitar mostly on his own by listening to records and Mick Jagger didn’t take a single voice lesson until he was more than 50 years old.
As the decades have gone by and the history of rock ‘n’ roll has started to be examined more closely, several artists have become the subjects of college classes. As their catalogs and contributions to music and pop culture have grown in significance, it’s worth studying how they got to where they ended up.
We take a look at 26 Rock ‘n’ Roll College Courses below. The class will now begin.