One of the absolute gems of the tour was getting to visit the building that adorned the cover of English rocker's Led Zeppelin's sixth album, 'Physical Graffiti'. Upon reaching the St Marks Place site, our punk guide pulled the 12" record from his bag, holding it up for comparison alongside the real life apartment block. "Anyone know what's missing from the album sleeve?" Pinn asked, as we huddled in for a look.
Led Zeppelin's 'Physical Graffiti'
The real life 'Physical Graffiti' building
After a few lame guesses on our part, Pinn went on to explain how the real building actually has five floors, while the album sleeve has just four. Yeah, I know, it's easy to see now, right? Well, it's claimed Jimmy Page's drug dealer lived on the fourth floor of the apartment block at the time the album was made and rather than risk drawing attention to him, it was decided the floor he lived on would just be removed from the image.
I'm not sure how true that is, but it's an awesome story. My theory is that the building was too tall for a 12" sleeve to have all five floors included, so I think one had to be removed to fit the space. Of course, it's the drug dealer story I usually share with people - it's more rock n roll isn't it?