February 22 – Zep Went Through Out Door On A High Note

Sailing high one last time, Led Zeppelin‘s last hit song hit its peak this week in 1980 – no “fool”ing! “Fool in the Rain” hit #21 on Billboard this day in 1980. Of course, by that time, In Through The Out Door had been on the shelves for a few months and troubles were brewing in the Zep camp…in no small part due to the excessive excesses of drummer John Bonham and guitar god Jimmy Page. As we know, Bonham would die of that excess about half a year later and the Zeppelin would crash to the ground.

As big and legendary as Led Zep were, it might be a big surprise to many they never scored any #1 hit singles. “Stairway to Heaven”? Good luck finding that on Billboard‘s Hot 100 singles list or the CHUM chart north of the border in Canada. By getting to merely #21, “Fool in the Rain’ was their biggest U.S. hit since “Dyer Maker” seven years earlier. Not that it mattered much – their albums sold in the tens of millions, as presumably fans went out and bought the LP as soon as it came out and couldn’t be bothered by collecting 7” vinyl. That said, “Fool in the Rain” still ranks as one of their enduringly most popular tracks, and a fitting swan song for the group which created the Swan Song label.

In Through the Out Door saw a lot more impetus from musical genius John Paul Jones, and singer Robert Plant than previous records, largely because the other two members were… well, honestly too out of it to add much. Although Bonham could still drum. This one , with its highly unusual 12/8 time signature, was, according to allmusic, “a showcase for Bonham – it’s a monster groove.” Plant and Jones got the idea for the samba-style rhythm while vacationing in Argentina to watch World Cup Soccer. John Paul played both bass and keyboards on the track, one of the reasons they never played the song in concert … he couldn’t do both effectively at once and they didn’t typically bring in extras to fill in the sound playing live. Another of course, was that the band would be dead only months after the record became popular.

The lyrics are open to debate, but only to a limited degree. Some say the idea was a guy waiting for a blind date on a street corner – the wrong corner, natch – for his date and feeling a “fool in the rain”, while others suggest it was a straight forward couple with the gal deciding to ditch the dude by standing him up. Either way, standing alone on a corner isn’t a great way to spend an evening. Doing so in the rain, less ideal yet!

The single hit #14 in Canada, but their Brit countrymen didn’t buy enough to even have it make their charts in the UK. In the end, a good ending to an epic band which signified the decade just ended at the time. Whether we agree with PopMatters which said it was the only “fun” track on the album, it’s hard to disagree with their assessment of it being the “Standout” . Get in and take it out… maybe the best straight-out single from the band that fought Pink Floyd for the title of the best Non-singles band.

January 12 – Zeppelin Was Up, Up And Away

A group that moved the British blues movement forward and in new directions caught our ear this day in 1969 Led Zeppelin. Their eponymously-titled debut was released 53 years ago today, after the band had established themselves with months of touring Europe.

At the time, the band was essentially Jimmy Page’s project, having picked the other three members and written most of the band’s original material. That said, John Paul Jones had accrued an impressive resume by that point as well. While Page had recently been in the Yardbirds with Jeff Beck and before that was a much in-demand session guitarist (working on records ranging from the Kinks and The Who – rhythm guitar on “I Can’t Explain” – to Van Morrison and even Petula Clark’s “Downtown”) , Jones was potentially even busier. He’d been one of the top English session musicians for much of the decade, both as a bassist and arranging string sections for everyone from the Rolling Stones’ (“She’s A Rainbow”) to Lulu. Surprisingly, Page’s first pick for drummer wasn’t John Bonham, but B.J. Wilson of Procol Harum. Robert Plant, a singer Page had seen in less-successful bands was recruited and sold them on Bonham. Good call!

They funded the recording of the record themselves, at a cost of just under 2000 pounds (about $4000 at the time or perhaps $30 000 today) and put it together in just nine days! This was accomplished, according to Page, by knowing the material well from the tours and putting it together in studio as essentially a live recording with little overdubbing or other studio enhancement. Page produced it but with help from Glyn Johns, the great Abbey Road sound guy who features prominently on the Beatles documentary Get Back. The album which gave us “Good Times, Bad Times,” “Communication Breakdown” and “Dazed and Confused” was panned by most critics. Rolling Stone gave it a famously bad review, noting that it did little Jeff Beck hadn’t done better already, comparing Robert Plant to a second-rate Rod Stewart imitator and saying while Page was “admittedly, an extraordinarily proficient blues guitarist” that he was a “writer of weak, unimaginative songs.” Only Melody Maker seemed to like it back then. That publication called it “a gas” and noted “their material does not rely on obvious blues riffs, although when they do play them, they avoid the emaciated feebleness of most so-called British ‘blues’ bands.”

The public agreed – by summer it had gone gold in the U.S. and was a top 10 hit there and in the UK, eventually selling some 15 million copies worldwide. It does bear noting though that the popularity wasn’t staggering right out of the gate. It peaked at #6 at home and #7 in the U.S., making it their only studio album not to get to #1 in the UK or at least #2 in the States. Oh, and Rolling Stone– they changed their tune. By 2003, they considered it the 29th best album of all-time! they now say of it that the band was “Still in the process of inventing their own sound…an astonishing fusion of Page’s lyrical guitar-playing, Robert Plant’s paint-peeling love hound yowl and John Paul Jones and John Bonham’s avalanche boogie” which “heavy metal still lives in (the) shadows of.”

December 26 – Plant & Page Were Up And Away

The dirigible was in flight…and it had crossed the ocean. Led Zeppelin made its North American debut on this day in 1968…in Denver. As an opening act.

Of course, at the time, they were far from a huge, well-known rock entity. They’d only gotten together that summer, as the New Yardbirds, and they’d played a few shows in Europe as such, and under the new moniker – the “lead” being intentionally misspelled to aid pronunciation of the name – since they had signed to Atlantic Records in November. They signed for an advance of over $100 000 (more than a million in today’s funds), quite a large amount for a new band. But of course, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were established, respected players already and Atlantic had a good nose for talent.

Their debut album was still a month away, but the label had shipped some unfinished advance copies to American rock radio to build up the band’s profile prior to the 36-concert tour.

Denver was perhaps a surprising city to pick for the grand roll-out, being that it was mid-sized and had little reputation for being a rock music center. But fellow Atlantic recording artists Vanilla Fudge were slated to play there, and they and the record company decided Zep could be a good opening act. More surprising, local promoter Barry Fry didn’t want them on the bill and wasn’t going to allow it until the Fudge agreed to chip in $750 of their own – half of the performance fee for the soon-to-be-superstars.

Opener of not, people in Denver’s Auditorium Arena paid attention. One Denver newspaper , referring to them as “the Led Zeppelin” declared them “heavy…blues-oriented, hyped electric” music. the Rocky Mountain Journal out there said they played powerfully, gutsily, unifiedly” and were in general appreciating although when it came to Robert Plant, they thought him “a cut above average in style but not special appeal in sound.” Likewise, they considered drummer John Bonham “very effective…but uninventive, unsubtle.”

We don’t have a setlist for that show, but on most of the concerts that winter they played a dozen songs, including the Yardbirds “For Your Love”, with the old blues standards rearranged they so loved like “Train Kept A-rollin’” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby” and finishing up with “Communication Breakdown.” The sets varied though, and by the time they hit Boston late in the tour, they played a four hour set (!) including a lot of covers of other British Invasion acts like the Beatles and the Who. By that time, they’d become the headliners.

John Paul Jones wasn’t surprised they were well-received. He remembers “we played tightly and quickly. We would just go out and go ‘bang, bang, bang’ with three driven songs with solos.” It made an impression everywhere, including Denver. That city’s archives note that under 4000 were in attendance for the ’68 show but Zeppelin returned in 1970 to play a sold-out concert of 11 500. And on the 50th anniversary, in 2018, the mayor declared it “Led Zeppelin Day” in the city.

November 8 – Zep Put Out One ‘IV’ The Ages

It was a “heavenly” day for hard rock fans 50 years back! Led Zeppelin put out their fourth album, generally called IV this day in 1971.

The band actually didn’t really put a title on the LP at first, nor their name on the cover much to the chagrin of Atlantic Records and their own manager. However obtuse their logic in doing so, it didn’t hurt. Led Zeppelin IV went on to be their biggest, and best-received album… and give high school dances something to wrap up with for years to come. Similarly, although they were a highly-regarded and hard-working (not to mention hard-partying) live act, they defied conventional wisdom by not doing any concerts, let alone tours, to promote their previous III album, preferring to take more time on writing new material and recharging their collective batteries for IV.

They did much of that at Headley Grange, a country house in England (which apparently had a big resident black dog, which gave them one song title!), using the Rolling Stones mobile studio, although they finished it up mixing it in L.A. Being there, along with the music of Joni Mitchell, of whom they were fans, helped inspire “Going to California” on it. Those recharged batteries resulted in their third straight #1 album in the UK and Canada, but in the States it only got to #2. That didn’t hurt it in the long run as it went on to sell over 23 million copies there alone, making it the fourth biggest-selling album ever. Similarly, it’s double-diamond status in Canada, and at 9X platinum in the UK, their biggest one there. The LP featured the single “Black Dog” (a top 20 in North America and Australia), the epic seven-minute “When the Levee Breaks” (which Mojo‘s Stevie Chick considers their “most ground-breaking track” due to John Bonham’s thundering and echoing drumwork) and of course the band’s signature, “Stairway to Heaven.” As you possibly know, that song wasn’t released as an official single, so despite its popularity, it never showed up on the Billboard hot 100 chart.

Although the BBC upon getting it declared it to be a perfect blend of the “folk” they experimented with on the previous album and the hard rock of II, all in all, reviews at the time it were mixed. But the album’s stature has grown steadily in decades since. Mojo readers would vote it among the 25 best albums ever in the ’90s, Entertainment Weekly would later grade it “A+” calling each track “awesome”. Power Pop, confirmed Zep fans, rank it as the band’s best, noting “the light and heavy were perfectly balanced.” Rolling Stone would call it the “peak of 70s hard rock” in ranking it among the 100 greatest albums of all-time (it actually rose to #58 on their latest such ranking of albums last year); Spin label it “the monolithic cornerstone of heavy metal.” Meanwhile, Classic Rock, true to its name, ranked it “greatest rock album ever” in 2001.

July 7 – Hammer Of The God’s Swan Song

Perhaps bands with members who aren’t in A-1 shape might want to avoid playing in Germany. Just a thought, since Germans got to see the last Nirvana show in 1994 about a month before Kurt Cobain passed away and 14 years prior, also got to unwittingly see a big finale. On this day in 1980, about 6000 or so fans in West Berlin got to see the last show for Led Zeppelin with their legendary drummer John Bonham pounding away behind that over-sized kit.

Zep were amidst a haphazard job of promoting their late-’79 album In Through the Out Door. they’d not had any major tours for about three years and although John Paul Jones remembers “morale was very high, we were in really good spirits” in the summer 40 years back, band historians seemed to see things a little differently. Robert Plant was apparently a bit reluctant to go out on the road again and Jimmy Page and Bonham were both dealing with significant substance abuse problems. The label wanted a major international tour, but Plant’s balking led them to schedule a smallish tour of Europe in the summer, with a North American tour slated to kick off in Montreal in the fall. The Euro tour was going to be 14 or 15 dates, primarily in West Germany (remember this was long before the fall of the Berlin Wall and USSR.) It kicked off in Dortmund, West Germany on June 17.

Led Zeppelin were a band known for excesses in every way, from their wild lives to the long, often orchestral pieces and lengthy elaborate concerts. This tour was rather a scaled-down version in most ways. The music was a little more sparse, the shows a bit shorter and the actual venues tinier than they’d played in years. The final show for instance was in the Eissporthalle, a 6000 seat arena. “We were stripped down a lot, “ Jones say. “Punk kind of woke us up again.”

For the most part the shows were 13-song sets, beginning with a ’50s blues number called “Train Kept A-rollin’” and going through a dozen of their own songs, mostly well-known like “Black Dog”, “Trampled Under Foot”, “Kashmir” and “Stairway to Heaven” (which closed the regular part of the show) as well as a couple from the new album, usually “Hot dog” and “All My Love.” They’d then come back for a two-song encore, which varied from city to city, but in their last show consisted of “Rock and Roll” and “Whole Lotta Love.”

Most of the concerts went fine but the June 27 one in Nurembourg was a red flag, or should have been. They had to stop it after just three songs when Bonham collapsed and was taken to hospital. The publicist and his bandmates blamed a bad stomach from a case of food poisoning but everyone else figured Bonham had passed out from over-drinking, perhaps with some drugs mixed in for fuller effect.

The July 7 show by all accounts went quite well. Although they didn’t record it, bootlegs of the show have been around for years. They played more or less their usual set list, except they missed “Achilles Last Stand” that had been performed most nights. They were slated to do another show the following night in Berlin, but whether due to band indifference or low ticket sales, that never took place. They headed back to Britain to rest and practice a bit more for the upcoming North American tour, but alas,

Bonham died from a night of massive over-drinking in September, and a few weeks later Led Zeppelin decided to call it quits. Bonham was only 32 and had already established himself as one of the greatest ever drummers.

March 28 – Zep’s Fifth Found Way Into Many Houses

Their fifth album, but first one with a title…yet also the first without that title or the band name appearing on the cover. A cover some objected to as obscene or perverse but was nominated for a Grammy by those conservative awards. The last record they’d release on the Atlantic label and the first with nods to ’50s rock and West Indian beats. An album with a great title track… that doesn’t show up on the record. Perhaps it should have been Led Zeppelin recording a song called “Changes” in the early-’70s. Their great Houses of the Holy was released on this day in 1973.

While they hadn’t been a one-trick pony or the easiest band to describe sound-wise through their first four albums, this one took their eclecticism to a new height. Perhaps that was partly from recording it over a good chunk of the preceding year at places like Olympic Studios in London, Electric Lady in New York, Jimmy Page’s own studio and even Mick Jagger’s house, complete with the Rolling Stones mobile studio. The result was an eight-song, 41-minute album where no two songs sounded the same, leading to a weird diversity most fans embraced but a few disliked, yearning for a steady stream of more of their heavy blues-rockers that dominated the first couple of Zep albums.

Several of the songs became quickly accepted as “rock classics” and staples of the massive Led Zep stage show.”No Quarter,” “Over the Hills and Far Away,” The Song Remains the Same”, the upbeat “Dancing Days,“The Rain Song” ( a song allmusic would later call “one of Zeppelin’s finest moments, featuring a soaring string symphony and aching melody”). The song “Houses of the Holy” was recorded with the rest, but didn’t make the album somehow, but did appear on their next one, Physical Graffiti. And then, most divisively there was “D’yer Maker”. When you have a song that people can’t even agree on the pronunciation of, it’s no surprise that reactions to it were mixed.

Apparently the song began as something of a joke, with John Bonham playing a sort of reggae beat on his drums and someone referencing a joke about “Jamaica”. (“My wife’s going to the Caribbean on holiday.” “Jamaica?” “No, she wanted to go.”) So, despite many assuming the title was pronounced “dire maker”, they meant it as “J’yer makuh”, as in “did you make her?” with an accent. The song was disliked by John Paul Jones but Robert Plant thought it great and more or less demanded it be put out as a single. Except in Britain, where they didn’t release 7” singles as a rule.

Turned out to be a win for Plant; the single got to #20 in the States and #24 in Canada and won them rare AM hit radio play to accompany the usual FM rock coverage. Little surprise then that the album hit #1 in both those countries, as it did in their homeland and Australia as well, and is currently diamond-status in the U.S. That despite Rolling Stone at the time panning the record and calling “D’yer Maker” “one of the worst things the band has ever attempted.”

They’d change their tune over time. Although last year it dipped to #278, that magazine generally has listed it among their top 200 albums of all-time, suggesting the “epic scale suited Zeppelin…they had the largest crowds, the loudest rock songs, the most groupies…” Entertainment Weekly also would look back and give it an “A”, calling it the “last unqualified masterpiece (for the group) and an album of remarkable stylistic range.”

A couple more notes about Houses of the Holy. The cover, the controversial orangish picture with the naked kids on a rocky shore was made by Hipgnosis, the well-known art team that the same year designed Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon cover. It was a heavily manipulated collage of photos taken by Aubrey Powell on an Irish shoreline, using two child models. The novel Childhood’s End inspired the idea. While it was a Hipgnosis cover, it wasn’t one by that firm’s better-known artist, Storm Thorgerson. He riled the band up by creating a design using a large tennis racket. The band took it to assume he felt they weren’t music but just a “racket.”

And one of the record’s biggest fans was Axl Rose. He says listening to it “got me into heavy rock.” You may debate amongst yourselves if this is a good thing or not!

December 26 – The Zeppelin Crossed The Ocean

The dirigible was in flight…and it had crossed the ocean. Led Zeppelin made its North American debut on this day in 1968…in Denver. As an opening act.

Of course, at the time, they were far from a huge, well-known rock entity. They’d only gotten together that summer, as the New Yardbirds, and they’d played a few shows in Europe as such, and under the new moniker – the “lead” being intentionally misspelled to aid pronunciation of the name – since they had signed to Atlantic Records in Novemeber. They signed for an advance of over $100 000 (more than a million in today’s funds), quite a large amount for a new band. But of course, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were established, respected players already and Atlantic had a good nose for talent.

Their debut album was still a month away, but the label had shipped some unfinished advance copies to American rock radio to build up the band’s profile prior to the 36-concert tour.

Denver was perhaps a surprising city to pick for the grand roll-out, being that it was mid-sized and had little reputation for being a rock music center. But fellow Atlantic recording artists Vanilla Fudge were slated to play there, and they and the record company decided Zep could be a good opening act. More surprising, local promoter Barry Fry didn’t want them on the bill and wasn’t going to allow it until the Fudge agreed to chip in $750 of their own – half of the performance fee for the soon-to-be-superstars.

Opener of not, people in Denver’s Auditorium Arena paid attention. One Denver newspaper , referring to them as “the Led Zeppelin” declared them “heavy…blues-oriented, hyped electric” music. the Rocky Mountain Journal out there said they played “powerfully, gutsily, unifiedly” and were in general appreciating although when it came to Robert Plant, they thought him “a cut above average in style but not special appeal in sound.” Likewise, they considered drummer John Bonham “very effective…but uninventive, unsubtle.”

We don’t have a setlist for that show, but on most of the concerts that winter they played a dozen songs, including the Yardbirds “For Your Love”, with the old blues standards rearranged they so loved like “Train Kept A-rollin’” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby” and finishing up with “Communication Breakdown.” The sets varied though, and by the time they hit Boston late in the tour, they played a four hour set (!) including a lot of covers of other British Invasion acts like the Beatles and the Who. By that time, they’d become the headliners.

John Paul Jones wasn’t surprised they were well-received. He remembers “we played tightly and quickly. We would just go out and go ‘bang, bang, bang’ with three driven songs with solos.” It made an impression everywhere, including Denver. That city’s archives note that under 4000 were in attendance for the ’68 show but Zeppelin returned in 1970 to play a sold-out concert of 11 500. And on the 50th anniversary, in 2018, the mayor declared it “Led Zeppelin Day” in the city.

December 4 – Zep Went Out Through The Out Door

Mojo‘s “greatest rock and roll band of all-time” broke up this day 40 years ago. A few weeks after the 1980 death of drummer John Bonham, Led Zeppelin  announced that with the “loss of our dear friend, and deep sense of undivided harmony felt by ourselves and our manager,…led us to decide we could not continue.”

The band was about to tour North America in support of their In Through The Out Door album, their eighth studio release (and seventh #1 hit in the U.S.) when Bonham was found dead in guitarist Jimmy Page’s home after a day of excessive drinking. The cause of death was listed as “asphyxiation from vomitting”. The band responsible for such anthems as “Stairway to Heaven” and “Black Dog” have since been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, received a Grammy Award Lifetime Achievement Award and met with President Obama – but never reunited for more than a couple of shows, in which John’s son Jason took over on the drums.

All three members moved on eventually, none more prominently than lead singer Robert Plant. He says “I’d lost my best mate,” and it took awhile to decide “did I just want to sit back…and just kind of rake (money) in (or) continue this kind of gig.” He opted for the latter and did well on his own with solo albums and his retro-sounding early-’80s group The Honeydrippers.

John Paul Jones said “at the time that John died, I had just moved to Devon to bring up my family, so after the split…I must say I didn’t miss (being in a band.)” However, after time, he got back in the swing of things, at times helping out Plant on a couple of his records, working with R.E.M. and the Foo Fighters in the studio, producing albums by Heart and The Mission, and more recently taking part in the band Them Crooked Vultures with Dave Grohl.

And guitarist Jimmy Page has kept busy, initially forming a band called XYZ with a couple of members of Yes, which never really got off the ground. But he then formed a short-lived band called The Firm with Paul Rodgers which did quite well in the mid-’80s, worked with Plant again on his Now & Zen album and formed Coverdale-Page with, not surprisingly, David Coverdale of Deep Purple.

September 3 – Plant Logged A Hit

Close to 3 years after Led Zeppelin broke up, singer Robert Plant “logged” his first solo top 40 hit in the U.S. this day in 1983. “Big Log” was from Plant’s second album, The Principle of Moments (in his UK he’d already scored a hit single with “Burning Down One Side” off his debut album).

The slow, languid “Big Log” eventually made it to #11 in the UK, #6 in New Zealand and was a top 30 in North America. In fact by hitting #20 on Billboard, it is Plant’s one and only solo top 20 single. Not that he’s done that badly as a post-Zep artist; he had a top 10 hit the following year with his short-lived band the Honeydrippers (“Sea of Love”) and would place some 16 of his songs onto rock radio top 10s by the mid-’90s. The single helped the album hit top 20 in most markets and go platinum in the States. Although it lacked Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, Plant’s solo had some backing star power – Phil Collins drummed on it and several other tracks.

The song is odd for several reasons, not the least of which is its lack of the words “big log” in the lyrics. Some suggested the tune was an homage to the writings of Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien (of whom Plant is a fan) while others suggest that it’s a “road song” since the video involves Plant and a broken down car and it mentions “highway” in it and a “big log” is a book truckers use to track the hours they drive.

July 7 – Bonham’s Last Stand, Berlin

Perhaps bands with members who aren’t in A-1 shape might want to avoid playing in Germany. Just a thought, since Germans got to see the last Nirvana show in 1994 about a month before Kurt Cobain passed away and 14 years prior to that also got to unwittingly see a big finale. On this day in 1980, about 6000 or so fans in West Berlin got to see the last show for Led Zeppelin with their legendary drummer John Bonham pounding away behind that over-sized kit.

Zep were amidst a haphazard job of promoting their late-’79 album In Through the Out Door. They’d not had any major tours for about three years and although John Paul Jones remembers “morale was very high, we were in really good spirits” in the summer 40 years back, band historians seemed to see things a little differently. Robert Plant was apparently a bit reluctant to go out on the road again and Jimmy Page and Bonham were both dealing with significant substance abuse problems. The label wanted a major international tour, but Plant’s balking led them to schedule a smallish tour of Europe in the summer, with a North American tour slated to kick off in Montreal in the fall. The Euro tour was going to be 14 or 15 dates, primarily in West Germany (remember this was long before the fall of the Berlin Wall and USSR.) It kicked off in Dortmund, West Germany on June 17.

Led Zeppelin were a band known for excesses in every way, from their wild lives to the long, often orchestral pieces and lengthy elaborate concerts. This tour was rather a scaled-down version in most ways. The music was a little more sparse, the shows a bit shorter and the actual venues tinier than they’d played in years. The final show for instance was in the Eissporthalle, a 6000 seat arena. “We were stripped down a lot, “ Jones say. “Punk kind of woke us up again.”

For the most part the shows were 13-song sets, beginning with a ’50s blues number called “Train Kept A-rollin’”and going through a dozen of their own songs, mostly well-known like “Black Dog”, “Trampled Under Foot”, “Kashmir” and “Stairway to Heaven” (which closed the regular part of the show) as well as a couple from the new album, usually “Hot Dog” and “All My Love.” They’d then come back for a two-song encore, which varied from city to city, but in their last show consisted of “Rock and Roll” and “Whole Lotta Love.”

Most of the concerts went fine but the June 27 one in Nurembourg was a red flag, or should have been. They had to stop it after just three songs when Bonham collapsed and was taken to hospital. The publicist and his bandmates blamed a bad stomach from a case of food poisoning but everyone else figured Bonham had passed out from over-drinking, perhaps with some drugs mixed in for fuller effect.

The July 7 show by all accounts went quite well. Although they didn’t record it, bootlegs of the show have been around for years. They played more or less their usual set list, except they missed “Achilles Last Stand” that had been performed most nights. They were slated to do another show the following night in Berlin, but whether due to band indifference or low ticket sales, that never took place. They headed back to Britain to rest and practice a bit more for the upcoming North American tour, but alas, Bonham died from a night of massive over-drinking in September, and a few weeks later Led Zeppelin decided to call it quits. Bonham was only 32 and had already established himself as one of the greatest ever drummers.