Good Times Bad Times: Zeppelin’s 50th Anniversary

Olivia White revisits one of the industry’s most celebrated and successful bands there ever was as they approach their 50th Anniversary


It has been exactly 1,228 years since the Vikings descended upon the British shores. It has been exactly 81 years since Tolkien began his fine LOTR works. It has been exactly 38 years since John Bonham, Zeppelin’s potent drummer, tragically passed. And now it has been exactly 50 years since the unveiling of Giants Walked the Earth.

2018 marks half a decade since prodigies Plant, Page, Jones and Bonham sat down in the Olympic Studio to record their metamorphic self-titled debut album, Led Zeppelin. The world just hasn’t been the same since. Simply ask any music management pioneers, concert promotion etiquettes, hotel owners, and even Barack Obama. Zeppelin not only transformed the rock and roll genre itself, but also its chaotic lifestyle.

Roaring Harley Davidson’s through hotel lobbies, mud-shark incidents and actually paying a hotel manager to throw one of his own TV’s out of his window. In fact, such behaviour has them all iconically enshrined in most of (if not all) the greatest rock movies such as Almost Famous, Dazed and Confused, and Spinal Tap.

Led Zeppelin only walked the earth for 12 years, but they shook the entire industry.  Can you honestly fathom being in a band for a mere 12 years and being nominated for nearly a thousand awards? Back in 2005, Zeppelin also won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award as well as having an entire Kennedy Centre Honours evening with Obama dedicated to them.

Mythological references to elves, Valhalla and ominous stairways frame the works of this mighty quartet. But don’t dismiss Led Zeppelin as sad dad music; because there will never be another band that made such a huge impact in such a short amount of time ever again.

Think that’s a bold statement? Try 21 million people applying for tickets at their one-off and possibly last ever live show back in 2007. That’s 80,000 people per minute.

In celebration of their reign, Zeppelin have released a career-spanning 30-track digital gathering named Led Zeppelin x Led Zeppelin. Embellished with their unique and famed runic symbols, the sacred memoir kicks off with ‘The Immigrant Song’ and finishes with ‘In the Evening’.

Such a lengthy and bold statement without any subsequent tour announcement really does cement the fact that Zeppelin will remain an era. An era that does not seek an ending. Perhaps because there isn’t one.

Zeppelin will be immortalised.