There's More To Led Zeppelin Than Fans Realize

As one of the greatest rock and roll bandsof all time, Led Zeppelin's history has been well documented.

But no matter how big of a fan you might be, there's still probably a lot you may not know about the undisputed gods of '70s rock.

By 1969, Led Zeppelin was already blowingaudiences away with their explosive and dynamic live performances, and guitarist Jimmy Pagewanted to keep record label meddling to a minimum on the band's records.

So, he financed their epic self-titled debutalbum himself.

Whereas bands typically received a cash advanceto record an LP, Zeppelin showed up at Atlantic Records with master tapes in tow, leavingthe label no say in the actual artistic process.

There were other advantages to self-financing.

Because Page planned ahead and knew exactlywhat he wanted the band to be, recording costs were kept to a minimum.

In fact, the whole recording process onlytook 30 hours.

While vacationing in Greece in 1975, RobertPlant and his family were in a car accident.

The singer sustained a broken ankle and elbow, which left him in a wheelchair and on crutches for almost two years, forcing the band tocancel the remainder of their North American tour.

Plant's injuries also hampered the recordingprocess of the group's seventh studio album, Presence.

Forced to stand and sing on crutches, thevocalist once even caught his crutch on a studio cable and took a painful tumble.

He was taken to the hospital, but luckilyhis ankle proved to be okay.

He was reportedly so stoked at the diagnosisthat he wheeled himself right back into the studio.

Then he recorded the vocals for the band'smasterpiece, "Achilles Last Stand, " and wheeled himself out like a boss.

"Stairway to Heaven" is probably the mostwell-known track in Led Zeppelin's catalog and one of the most famous rock songs ever, so it's shocking to hear that anybody hates it.

But apparently you can count Robert Plant, of all people, as one of those who would like to never, ever hear "Stairway" ever again.

Jimmy Page, however, absolutely adored thesong, considering it the peak of the band's artistic output.

Plant, meanwhile, saw virtually nothing specialabout it at all, believing it wouldn't be nearly as popular if its lyrics weren't soambiguous.

In 1988, he said, "It was a nice, pleasant, well-meaning, naivelittle song.

" He's apparently barely played it at all sinceZeppelin's 1980 break-up, saying, "I'd break out in hives if I had to sing 'Stairwayto Heaven' in every show.

" "Hey!" "No 'Stairway'? Denied!" "Going To California" is a gentle ballad abouta beautiful, lonely woman, but there's also something about drowning in the gods' giantnosebleed, so who knows what Plant was getting at.

It turns out that he wrote the song to documenthis love for singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

The two weren't an item, but he had a massivecrush on her and wanted to express it.

As he put it, "When you're in love with Joni Mitchell, you'vereally got to write about it now and again.

" Plant also had earthquakes on the brain.

The other part of the song, about mountainsshaking and gods getting punched in the nose, was inspired by the pains of working in Californiaright on a fault line.

In fact, when Jimmy Page was mixing the albumin Los Angeles, a minor earthquake shook up the studio.

Technically, in their native England, LedZeppelin is a one-hit wonder.

That's mainly because they were an album-orientedband that, for the most part, hated releasing singles.

At the time, most radio singles were underthree minutes, and Zeppelin rarely went that short.

When Atlantic wanted to release "Whole LottaLove" as a single in the United States, many radio stations were very nervous about playinga six-minute song with a bridge consisting of weird sounds and moans of ecstasy.

So the label edited the bridge out, enragingZep, who cared about the art remaining intact way more than any calculated business decisions.

In response, the band refused to release aU.

K.

version of the single, which remained a practice for their entire career and beyond.

No Zeppelin songs were released in Englandas singles until a remastered version of "Whole Lotta Love" appeared on the Billboard chartsin 1997.

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