Could there ever have been a doubt, that Led Zeppelin’s first album cover would be the historic Hindenburg explosion picture?
What’s In A Name?
The Who’s Keith Moon was thinking about the iconic photograph of the Hindenburg bursting into flames when he suggested to his friend, Jimmy Page, that Led Zeppelin might make a good name for the new Rock N Roll band he was putting together. Page liked the idea, and asked Moon if he’d mind if he used the Zeppelin name. Of course Moon didn’t mind. He was honored to have named the band.
In the Spring of 1937, After a well publicized, and seemingly successful, transatlantic voyage, the first Nazi airship to visit the United States came to its tragic end May 6, 1937, in Manchester Township, New Jersey. THE HINDENBURG, while attempting to dock with its mooring mast at the Lakehurst Naval Station, for a still unspecified reason, burst into flames, killing more than 50, and ended the practice of flying passengers in huge balloons (dirigibles) filled with Hydrogen, obviously, as sen here, a dangerous flammable gas.
(NO SUB AGENCIES IN UK, FRANCE, GERMANY, HOLLAND, SWEDEN, FINLAND, JAPAN.) Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page, John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant) backstage at a show on their first tour, at home in the United Kingdom.
— Danish TV (1969)
Queen of Torture (March 17, 1969)
Led Zeppelin at the Gladsaxe Teen Club in Gladsaxe, Denmark was to be the band’s first appearance on Danish television, in support of its recent debut album, Led Zeppelin I. Using the Hindenburg Explosion on the album’s cover, Led Zeppelin so enraged a descendant of the von Zeppelin family, that they threatened to sue the (offensively titled) band, if it dared to play any shows outside the United Kingdom.
After the “Led Zeppelin” name, seeing the cover enraged Frau Zeppelin even more, and she decided to continue her crusade against the band. In the days before their 1970 Copenhagen show, the band understood that she was so determined to stop them from playing in Denmark that she had hired several high-profile lawyers, and was threatening a lawsuit against the band.
Although they were planning on canceling the show in order to avoid run-ins with the law, the band ultimately decided to laugh it off, and take it for the joke it was. For the day, February 28, 1970, Led Zeppelin called itself “The Nobs,” a good natured play on the band’s European promoter, Claude Nobs’ name, and then went about the business of preparing for the show.
The decision to change their name worked, Eva von Zeppelin’s name wasn’t “Nobs,” and her lawyers told her Led Zeppelin was within its rights to call itself Nobs, and go on to play what remains one of Zeppelin’s earliest, and most entertaining shows.
The television-tight, and intimate performance, combined with the amusement of whiny royalty, attracted the attention of an always hungry, international, music media. Newspapers and magazines made Led Zeppelin the rock n roll hero, and Frau Zeppelin the world-wide joke.
Matches Made In “Rock N Roll” Heaven. b/ The Righteous Brothers
Led Zeppelin (Stairway to Heaven) Robert Plant / Jimmy Page rock n roll (vocal/guitar) partnerships Rolling Stones — [Mick Jagger/Keith Richards] Aerosmith — [Steven Tyler/Joe Perry] Black Sabbath — [Ozzy Osbourne/Tony Iommi] Deep Purple — [Ian Gillan/Ritchie Blackmore] Living Colour — [Corey Glover/Vernon Reid]
From the time the Wright Brothers first took flight from the tall sand dunes on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the Germans, inspired by a need for power and world domination ruled the skies, as a platform from which to deliver their weapons of terror.
Arguably one of the most recognizable rock ‘n’ roll songs of all time, thanks to its use in numerous TV shows and movies. Although named after a region in the Himalayas, Jimmy Page has cited southern Morocco as the lyrical influence for the song.
As the cliche has it, this is the Led Zeppelin song that every budding guitarist spends hours perfecting. It begins with gentle guitar riff, builds to subtle crescendo, and then into an iconic blaring Page solo, complemented by John Bonham’s masterful drumming and Robert Plant’s soaring vocals.
Released in 1969 on the self-titled debut album, it’s another short track from the band’s catalogue. The two 16-note triplets used by Bonham became an inspiration for a generation of rock’n’roll drummers.
Melodic bass line and gentle vocals begin this track, which was influenced by JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The instrument used for the soft, mysterious background drums was long debated. Eventually, it was confirmed that Bonham improvised, using the case of a guitar.
• John Paul Jones: Led Zeppelin’s best-kept secret John Paul Jones’s career since Led Zeppelin has featured some impressive collaborations, none more so than his work with Dave Grohl and Josh Homme in Them Crooked Vultures, writes Roy Wilkinson.