Robert Plant And Jimmy Page’s Unexpected Black Sabbath Appearance, Kim McAuliffe Recalls

In a recent appearance on BBC Radio 2’s the Rock Show with Johnnie Walker, Girlschool’s Kim McAuliffe chose her rock god as Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant, and also recalled the Hammersmith Odeon shows they supported Black Sabbath, where she saw Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Bonham on the side of the stage watching the show.

Although Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath were rivals in the eyes of many, their long-standing friendship went way back to their days in Birmingham. It was around the time when Robert Plant was just joining the Yardbirds that eventually became Led Zeppelin.

Besides having been in each other’s orbits for many years, Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham even played with Black Sabbath in the early days of his career, not to mention their recording session once that never came out of the woodwork. The two bands have a long history, so Zeppelin being in Hammersmith Odeon in 1980 to go and show support for Black Sabbath should not be that surprising. However, for Kim, a hardcore fan of Led Zeppelin, it was a really big moment.

Kim McAuliffe’s words about seeing Led Zeppelin members at one of their shows:

“Hi, this is Kim from Girlschool, and my rock god is Robert Plant. I was lucky enough to meet him throughout the years after actually queuing up all night to watch him at Earls Court with obviously Led Zeppelin, the best band ever in the whole world.

One night when we were supporting Black Sabbath at Hammersmith Odeon for three nights, I looked across the side of the stage and guess who was there? It was Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Bonham, and I’m saying to Denise, ‘It’s Led Zeppelin, it’s Led Zeppelin.’ She’s just going, ‘What, what, okay, it’s Led Zeppelin!’”

McAuliffe couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Bonham were all there to watch the show, and they, as Girlschool, happened to be opening. It was a dream-come-true moment for the musician. She had waited in line to see Zeppelin before, but on that occasion, she was the one performing alongside her bandmates for her idols before Sabbath took the stage.