The Secret Hero Behind Led Zeppelin’s Worldwide Success
There’s no doubt that Led Zeppelin is one of the most iconic bands of rock history and although it has been over five decades since the band first entered our lives, they still enjoying international success. The person that is often credited the most for the band’s success is its founder, Jimmy Page.
As you may recall, the band released its debut self-titled album in 1969 through Atlantic Records. The album was recorded a year prior to its release but the recording sessions took place before the band had secured a recording contract. Jimmy Page and their manager, both of whom strongly believed that they would make it, paid for the expenses which totaled up to approximately £30,000 (today’s worth).
The album was produced by Jimmy Page himself and enjoyed commercial success soon after its release. It ranked in the Top 10 in both the United States and the United Kingdom and it even reached Number 1 in Spain. Although it seems clear who the big hero behind Led Zeppelin’s success is, there was one rockstar who inspired the members to pursue a career in music in the first place.
How Was Robert Plant Inspired By Elvis Presley?
Robert Plant is one of the most successful and appreciated lead vocalists of all time. Aside from his great career with Led Zeppelin, Plant also achieved worldwide fame with his solo career and side projects. In fact, he’s still active in the rock scene, and some years ago he formed a new band, Saving Grace, which was going to tour but the dates had to be postponed due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
However, there was one person thank inspired Robert Plant early on when he was still a kid, Elvis Presley. Plant paid tribute to the late rockstar multiple times during interviews, and in one of them, he revealed that before every show, he would warm up his voice with slow Elvis songs. Who would’ve known that years later, he would get a chance to sing with the King?
How Did Elvis Presley Inspire Jimmy Page?
Jimmy Page is for sure one of the greatest musical geniuses that the rock world has ever seen. He’s a great visionary who managed to form a band like Led Zeppelin, and he’s the creator behind most of the band’s most iconic songs that changed the history of rock music. Robert Plant and Jimmy Page had a lot in common, such as their love for Elvis.
Apparently, Jimmy Page’s interest in guitar started growing when he was just 12 years old. The moment that he recalls as the turning point which pushed him towards guitar was listening to Elvis Presley’s ‘Baby, Let’s Play House.’ Shortly after expressing his interest to his family, he started taking lessons but he was largely self-taught.
Did Led Zeppelin Members Meet Elvis Presley?
As mentioned above, the legends of Led Zeppelin grew up listening to the King, who ignited their passion for music. When Led Zeppelin made it and achieved worldwide fame in the ’70s, they actually got a chance to meet Elvis Presley in person, which must have been very exciting.
Plant and Page met Elvis in 1974 after attending one of his concerts. Following the concert, Plant and Page had a lovely chat with the King who invited them to his hotel suite as he was intrigued to get to know the rock band who was getting more famous by the day, while his fame was decreasing.
Here’s what Plant said about the moment they met:
“When I met Elvis with Zeppelin, after one of his concerts in the early seventies, I sized him up. He wasn’t quite as tall as me. But he had a singer’s build. He had a good chest – that resonator. And he was driven.
So when we were leaving, after a most illuminating and funny 90 minutes with the guy, I was walking down the corridor. He swung around the door frame, looking quite pleased with himself, and started singing that song: ‘Treat me like a fool…’ I turned around and did Elvis right back at him. We stood there, singing to each other.”
It must have been a memorable night for both the young musicians who’d started climbing the ladder of fame at a fast pace and for the King who had the chance to meet the rockstars that decided to pursue a career after being inspired by his work.