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It Was 42 Years Ago Today…

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Led Zeppelin records began to play.

Today marks 42 years since their self-titled debut album hit record stores and revolutionized rock and roll forever. I’m not going to expound and pontificate about the record itself, but rather, what happened in 1970 on their European tour. It was on that tour that the album cover caused some controversy.

Let me set this up:  If you remember what the album cover looks like, it’s a picture of the Hindenburg moments after it burst into flames when it was landing at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey.  The Hindenburg was classified as an LZ 129 Zeppelin Air Ship.

A descendant of the Zeppelin creator, Frau Eva von Zeppelin took issue with the band’s use of the Zeppelin name and tried to pull the plug on a Danish TV appearance in 1969. Trying to play nice, the group invited her to the studio to meet with them and they reportedly received a very cool reception from Frau Eva. However, after the meeting she got even more mad when she laid eyes on the album sleeve depicting the Hindenburg disaster. When the group returned to Denmark in early 1970, hostilities toward the band began to grow and they were threatened with a lawsuit that basically stated Led Zeppelin had to change their name while they were working in that country.

Band Manager Peter Grant suggested the name Ned Zeppelin, which Jimmy Page found quite funny. After quite a bit of discussion, Grant and Page settled on the name The Nobs which was a takeoff on the name of the concert promoter Claude Nobs. As the saying goes, “No press is bad press”, the band gained worldwide publicity over the incident.

On their 1970 tour, the band had several different numbers that they used as their encore. Please enjoy this performance of Little Richard‘s Long Tall Sally from Led Zeppelin’s performance January 9, 1970 at England’s Royal Albert Hall.

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