New book sheds light on $200,000 Led Zeppelin robbery

Led Zeppelin when had to find out the really hard way that the demonstrate must go on.

Prior to the last of a a few-evening stand at Madison Sq. Backyard in 1973, the band was robbed of a complete lotta cash: approximately $200,000. The stacks of hundred-dollar bills — along with everyone’s passports and a handful of credit score playing cards — experienced been saved in a safe-deposit box guiding the desk at the Drake Hotel on Park Avenue at 56th Street, exactly where Led Zep was remaining.

Led Zeppelin was worn out and strung out on drugs, with cocaine and heroin becoming sent to their lodge, but experienced to pull it together for these crucial MSG gigs, in which footage was being shot for their 1976 concert movie “The Music Stays the Exact.”

Richard Cole, the band’s then-tour supervisor, found the theft at 7:30 p.m. the night time of the last gig — with only the passports remaining. Though the Drake transformed into a key criminal offense scene, the band went on to enjoy MSG.

“New York City law enforcement and the FBI moved in to examine, but so did the paparazzi,” writes Bob Spitz in “Led Zeppelin: The Biography,” out Tuesday in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of “Stairway to Heaven.”

“To protected-guard the band’s privacy, the musicians were stashed in an apartment on East Eighty-sixth Avenue … until things cooled down. Meanwhile, Richard Cole, the FBI’s primary suspect, combed the band’s rooms, scrubbing them of prescription drugs. There was loads for him to fret about.”

Led Zeppelin performs at Madison Sq. Back garden during its a few-night stand in 1973.
Getty Photos

In reality, Cole had the only key to the strongbox. “It definitely seemed to the cops like an within task,” writes Spitz of the case, which continues to be unsolved. “He was interrogated and fingerprinted. Cole also claimed that he had taken and handed a lie detector check. Even so, he remained a primary suspect, as did a bellman.”

But Spitz also raises some suspicions about Led Zeppelin’s then-supervisor, Peter Grant. “No a lot less than five sources near to the band informed this author that Grant had admitted spiriting the Drake cash away,” he writes. The funds was from the past two nights of performances at the Back garden, as nicely as for a previous gig.

At the time, The Submit claimed that it was “the greatest-ever lodge hard cash robbery in New York City.”

The cover of the new book "Led Zeppelin: The Biography"
The new reserve “Led Zeppelin: The Biography” is out on Tuesday in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of “Stairway to Heaven.”
Penguin Push

Regardless of all of the ensuing drama, Spitz notes that the basic-rock legends “didn’t feel far too put off” by the theft. “Jimmy [Page] and I just laughed about it,” explained frontman Robert Plant, who considered that the theft really “somehow produced sense.”

In truth, Spitz writes, “In the plan of points, a decline of $200,000 was pocket modify to Led Zeppelin, but it confident didn’t search that way to the exterior entire world.”

Between those descending on the Drake Lodge to include the story was a photographer from The Put up. Grant grabbed his digicam and smashed it — “doing a bit of problems to its owner’s deal with as perfectly,” writes Spitz.

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin was as soon as robbed of around $200,000 at NYC’s Drake Lodge in 1973.
Redferns

Grant was arrested and jailed in a mobile at 100 Centre St., but before his arraignment, a settlement was attained that authorized the circumstance to be dismissed.

The robbery intensified the chaos that was by now swirling all over Led Zeppelin at the time, with medicines taking their toll on the band. “The theft, the publicity, the nonstop journey, the breakneck timetable, the vast sums of dollars, the loss of life threats and protection, the prescription drugs, the rumors, the thrust-pull, thrust-pull, press-pull, the Led Zeppelin phenomenon — the complete detail was getting far too substantially to cope with,” writes Spitz. “The band was knackered. The men had been in a daze.“

“I was just totally and entirely spaced out,” Site admits in the ebook. “There was an massive total of adrenaline that we have been setting up up on phase, and just taking it offstage into the land of mondo bizarro.”

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