The Rake

‘LOOK AT THE WHO! THEY USED EXPLOSIVES! HOW DID WE GET THE REP?’

Source: From left to right: John Bonham, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page in Honolulu, Hawaii, each with a customary lei, in 1969.

The expressive and enigmatic Robert Plant in 1972

Plant and Page performing in Sydney, Australia, in 1972

and on stage at Earl’s Court in London, 1975.

It was a live shark. Or a dead one. A live octopus. Or perhaps just a whole red snapper. Either way, details aside, it was never meant for the purpose of pleasuring a naked and bound groupie. Or there was the time when Jimmy Page — said to always travel with a suitcase of whips — stripped, lay across a room service trolley, covered himself in whipped cream, and had himself served to the gaggle of girls in his hotel room. Or the occasion when, after another corridor of rooms was trashed, the hotel manager complained not of the damage — this, as usual, was paid for in cash on check-out — but of his envying the freedom it embodied, only to be invited to “have one on the band” and go upstairs to destroy a room himself, which he did.

Such were the antics of drummer John Bonham, guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant and bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, better known collectively as Led Zeppelin. And that — a lead balloon — is what they would go down like, The Who’s Keith Moon

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