Led Zeppelin Facts

10 Led Zeppelin Facts You May Have Not Known

Before jumping into the Led Zeppelin facts, here’s a brief introduction to one of the greatest, most successful, and highly influential bands in music history.

Led Zeppelin – Short Biography

In the now distant 1968, four already experienced British musicians decided to form a band and made history – would be a short but accurate description of Led Zeppelin.

The group consisted of Robert Plant on vocals, Jimmy Page on guitar, John Paul Jones on keyboards/bass, and last but not least John Bonham on drums.

Since they all had previous experience with bands and had many music sessions under their belt, it didn’t take long for the newly formed group to start recording or even touring the world.

In fact, they started touring the UK a few months before even releasing their debut album. They kicked off their first tour in 1968, October, while their debut album came out in January the following year.

They also performed under a different name on that tour, but more on that later in the Led Zeppelin facts.


At the beginning of 1969, Led Zeppelin released their debut and eponymous studio album which became a massive success. The record brought a new and unique sound to the industry which left a significant mark in music history. A sound that paved the way for numerous hard-rock and heavy metal bands in the upcoming decades.

Shortly after the release of their debut record Led Zeppelin, they kicked off a world tour and also released their second studio album Led Zeppelin II. An album that became an even bigger commercial success than the first one.

An interesting fact about Led Zeppelin’s second album is that it was recorded during their North American tour in multiple studios.

Barely a year passed since the release of their self-titled debut album before Led Zeppelin began working on their third studio album. Led Zeppelin III showed the band’s versatility because of the album’s more acoustic and folk/Celtic music style.

During the early to mid-1970s, Led Zeppelin became one of the – if not the biggest band in the world. Although many believed that Rolling Stones would become the band of the 70s, just like the Beatles were in the 1960s.

After 7 highly successful years and constant touring, the group decided to pull the breaks and rest for a while due to multiple factors. But the hiatus didn’t last for long and the band returned to their old schedule.

Tragic End

Led Zeppelin closed the decade with massive success, but sadly the momentum didn’t transfer into the 1980s as well.

The reason for this was the sudden passing of the band’s drummer John Bonham – Bonzo in the autumn of 1980, a month before their scheduled North American tour.

Afterward, the remaining members canceled the group’s upcoming events and decided to disband. Replacing John Bonham wasn’t an option.

10 Led Zeppelin Facts

1. Led Zeppelin wasn’t their original name

Yes, Led Zeppelin wasn’t the band’s original name. This may come as a surprise to some newer fans but is probably well known among older ones.

Before becoming what they are known today, the band was formed under the name New Yardbirds. A name of an already existing band in which Jimmy Page participated as a bassist and guitarist. A band that had Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck in the lineup throughout the years. Three of the very best guitarists of all time.

Watch Eric Clapton’s bluesy cover of ‘White Christmas’

2. Robert Plant wasn’t the first choice

As weird as it may sound now, Robert Plant wasn’t the first choice for the lead vocalist role. In fact, Terry Reid was first considered to be the band’s frontman.

However, he had to refuse the offer from Jimmy Page and as a replacement, Terry recommended Plant – who at the time was part of Band of Joy alongside John Bonham.

3. The Who’s Keith Moon inspired the band’s name

Another interesting Led Zeppelin fact that older fans may already know is that The Who‘s drummer Keith Moon inspired the name Led Zeppelin.

But how did he inspire the name? Well, at first Jimmy Page wanted to form a super-group with his former band-mate Jeff Beck.

This, however, didn’t seem like the brightest idea to Moon who jokingly said that such a group would go down like a “lead balloon”. The “lead balloon” phrase apparently sounded interesting to the band who after some brainstorming and alterations – came up with the name Led Zeppelin.

4. Debut album recorded in 30 hours

Unlike their second album which took over 8 months to record. Led Zeppelin wrapped up their self-titled debut album in less than 30 studio hours according to Jimmy Page who actually paid the bill for the studio usage from his pocket.

5. Never topped the singles charts

Probably one of the most interesting Led Zeppelin facts is the fact that they never achieved a No.1 single despite their enormous popularity. Their best result is No.4 in 1969 with an edited version of ‘Whole Lotta Love’. However, multiple factors play part in their lack of chart-topping singles.

One of the main reasons for this occurrence is that they wanted fans to buy their albums to enjoy the full experience and viewed themselves as a live band with awesome shows (which they were). Because of this they always encouraged their fans to come and see them live at concerts. The band made only one TV appearance and regretted it because the quality of their music was in the hands of the sound engineers.

Another major reason is that  their songs were too long for radio and they didn’t want to cut or edit them just to please the stations. The group wanted their work to be heard and enjoyed as they intended. Something they share with Pink Floyd who also refused to cut and edit their songs.

May interest you: 15 Pink Floyd Facts

6. Traveled with a private Boeing 720

Led Zeppelin had so much success in the 1970s, that they even started traveling in a private Boeing 720 called the Starship. The airplane was owned by fellow musician Bobby Sherman and his manager who rented the Starship to musicians and bands. Most notably Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, and Alice Cooper.

led zeppelin members

7. Thrashed Hotels

Thrashing hotels is another Led Zeppelin fact connected to the band’s great success that allowed them to act like Rockefellers.

While on tour, the band had a habit of renting out entire hotels or sections just for themselves. And these rented-out hotel sections became the biggest lairs of various vices. Sometimes they thrashed the places so hard, that they received lifelong bans from the establishment.

One of the most notorious incidents includes John Bonham – Bonzo riding a bike inside a rented hotel.

8. Plagiarism

While Led Zeppelin is often praised for their influence and unique sound, they do have a big history of plagiarism. Copying someone’s work with their approval is fine in most people’s books. But they failed to do so and that’s why the band still has unresolved court cases with musicians suing them to this day.

The most notable plagiarisms are also some of their biggest hits as well, for example:

  1. ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’ by Joan Baez
  2. ‘Dazed and Confused’ by Jake Holmes
  3. ‘Whole Lotta Love’ by Willie Dixon
  4. ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ by Moby Grape
  5. ‘You Shook Me’ by Muddy Waters

9. Unscheduled hiatus

In the introduction of this Led Zeppelin facts post, I mentioned that the band took a break from music in the mid-70s.

Well, while that indeed happened, it wasn’t a voluntary decision. It happened because Robert Plant wasn’t physically able to continue recording or touring.

In 1975, Plant and his family suffered serious injuries in a car accident during their holiday in Greece, but thankfully everyone survived.

Because of this, the band had to cancel their upcoming tour dates and postpone the recording sessions for their fourth album. They eventually started touring again two years later in 1977.

10. Inspired by Tolkien and LOTR

In many of their song lyrics, Led Zeppelin makes references to one of the most famous fantasy novels – The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Books written by the great J. R. R. Tolkien who was actually alive during Led Zeppelin’s prime years in the early to mid-1970s.

References to LOTR can be heard in many Led Zeppelin songs. The most famous ones are ‘Rumble On’ and ‘Battle of Evermore’ where the band makes allusions to Mordor, Gollum, Frodo’s journey, and the battle of the Pelennor Fields.

Other songs that are believed to be inspired to a degree by Tolkien and his work are ‘Misty Mountain Hop’, ‘Bron-Y-Aur-Stomp’ and ‘Stairway to Heaven’.

Final Thoughts

While four decades have passed since Led Zeppelin’s disbandment, the group still makes headlines to this day and continues to inspire many young musicians while their fanbase just grows bigger and bigger as the years go by!

A feat only a handful of musicians or bands can say that they have achieved. They are truly a special band with a unique and distinctive sound that differs from anyone in the music industry. Because of that their spot among the world’s most successful and beloved bands worldwide is without a doubt fully deserved.

If you think I missed some essential or intriguing Led Zeppelin facts, please feel free to add them in the comment section below!