Credits: Michael Brennan

Here are 5 more facts you might not know about Led Zeppelin

Zeptember 19/09/2018

1. John Bonham was drummin' on a plastic garbage pail in "Ramble On"

You can hear this unique bongo-like sound that Bonham plays throughout the song. Bonham used a plastic garbage pail to achieve that sound effect. Don't believe us? Listen to it again below and you'll go... ah-ha!

2. Led Zeppelin changed their band name to "The Nobs" for one show

Frau Eva von Zeppelin was offended by the group's name for "dishonouring the family name". The direct descendant of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin demanded the band to change their name. On 28th Feb, 1970, the group performed one show in Copenhagen as The Nobs but decided to retain their original name afterwards due to popular and critical opinions that favoured their original name.

3. John Paul Jones is more than just a bassist

John Paul Jones is commonly known as Led Zeppelin's bassist but did you know that he's a multi-instrumentalist? He can play the organ, koto, guitar, mandolin, violin, auto-harp, lap steel guitars, banjo, upright bass, sitar, ukelele, continuum, recorder, cello and the mellotron. 

4. Led Zeppelin had their own plane

You heard that right! They used $45,500 NZD from 1973 U.S. tour revenue to purchase a Boeing 720-022 plane that they named "The Starship". 

The plane was also the very first of its model to be built, which includes a main cabin with seats and tables, revolving armchairs, a couch and a fully stocked bar with a built-in electric organ. The plane also featured a TV set and video cassette player with a well-stocked library as well as a bedroom complete with a white fur bedspread and shower room. The plane's exterior was re-sprayed with Led Zeppelin emblazoned down the side of the plane's fuselage.

Having a plane meant that Led Zeppelin could skip changing hotels so often while on tour. They would often be transported back from the concert venue to the airport via a limousine, as shown in their concert film, The Song Remains The Same.

After a series of changing owners from 1977 till 1979, the plane was eventually dismantled for parts in July 1982.

4. Robert Plant was in a wheelchair when the band recorded "Presence" album.

Plant had been in a car crash in Greece prior to the recording sessions for "Presence". Plant showed up at the recording studio in a wheelchair. Page told The Guardian that Plant was "really keen to do the recording, and we all were because there wasn't anything else that we could do." 

Plant said that he had attempted to move on crutches while at the studio but fell down. He said Page ran from the control room to help him to get back on his feet. "He was like an Olympic athlete! I'd never seen him move so fast in my life!" Plant recalls.

The band has a reputation of recording their albums in short durations, "Presence" was recorded in 18 days in Munich, Germany.

5. Led Zeppelin were fans of J.R.R. Tolkien

Robert Plant had a huge obsession with Tolkien which he channelled into his songwriting during his time with the band.

Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and the One Ring from LOTR movie

The lyrics for "Ramble On" were influenced by Tolkien's poem titled "Namárië". The opening line, "Leaves are falling all around" was paraphrased from the poem's first stanza. The song is sometimes interpreted as Plant narrating Frodo's quest to Mordor as the story goes in "Lord of The Rings". The most obvious LOTR reference would be where Plant sings, "'T was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair but Gollum, and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her."

Another song that was heavily influenced by Tolkien is "The Battle of Evermore". In this song, the lyrics weren't as obvious as it referenced "Queen of Light" (Galadriel), "Prince of Peace" (Frodo) and "Dark Lord"  (Sauron). As none of the members had confirmed any relations, these are purely fan interpretations.

The mandolin-driven ballad was also the only song Led Zeppelin had recorded with a guest vocalist, Sandy Denny.

Other songs that were speculated to have Tolkien influences were "Misty Mountain Hop" and "Over the Hills and Far Away".

Ramblin' On About Led Zeppelin