By Matt Dolloff (@mattdolloff)
Led Zeppelin have no shortage of outrageous tour stories, and were known for partying as hard as any band. These photos might be PG-rated compared to what you really want to see, but they are still a fascinating look at the band at their peak.
The photos are dated July 30, 1973, which would make these parties a celebration of the end of their 1973 North American tour in support of Houses of the Holy. It ended on July 29, after the third straight show at Madison Square Garden that the band recorded for their concert film The Song Remains the Same.
According to the liner notes for the film, Robert Plant said of the 1973 tour: “The kind of speed we were moving at, the creative juices in the air, the whole thing was just an absolute mixture of adrenaline, chemical, euphoria … and there were no brakes. We couldn’t stop what was happening. We had no idea what it even was. But we just kept trying, pushing forward, every show.”
These photos are dated July 30, 1973, but it’s possible that they were actually taken a day or two before, when the tour was still going on. The band’s safe deposit box in their hotel room, containing over $200,000, was famously stolen on the night of the final show on the 29th, while the photo of Robert Plant in his hotel room describes him as discussing an upcoming show. So in these private jet photos they’re either having a typically fun time or drowning their sorrows.
My only issue with these pics? A distinct lack of Jimmy Page. Check out the awesome collection of photos below.
Here’s John Paul Jones playing an organ for some female…fans?
John Paul Jones of English rock group Led Zeppelin plays a Thomas electric organ behind the bar on board a private Boeing 720B airliner known as ‘The Starship’, which is being used by the band on their North American tour, 30th July 1973. (Photo by Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Nice leg tattoo, Joan Jett wannabe.
A young woman watches a video on board a private Boeing 720B airliner known as ‘The Starship’, which is being used by English rock group Led Zeppelin on their North American tour, 30th July 1973. (Photo by Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Looks like a Rum & Coke?
Two bartenders prepare drinks for guests at the bar aboard the British rock band Led Zeppelin’s private jet, July 30, 1973. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
Don’t look so excited, Robert, you’re only the biggest rock star in the world!
British rock singer Robert Plant (L) of the band Led Zeppelin and the group’s road manager, Richard Cole, relax on a bed covered by a fur rug and discuss details of their upcoming concert, New York City, New York, July 30, 1973. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)