Friday, 13 April 2012

L is for Led Zeppelin

While in New York last summer, I took a rock n roll walking tour of the East Village, which offered a real insight into the city's music links. The tour's put together by Bobby Pinn, a man so obsessed by the city's musical heritage that he's spent years researching who lived where, who rocked where and who died where, and when.

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?


  1. I understand your blog header - I'm homing in on 30 years myself later this year!

    This is me, Duncan D. Horne, visiting you from the A-Z challenge, wishing you all the best throughout April and beyond.

    Duncan In Kuantan

  2. Love Zeppelin and I enjoyed the story...

  3. The drug dealer story is way more rock and roll! Yet, your theory is so much more realistic. It's a toss up. Visiting from A2Z. Loved the story.

  4. Very interesting, I like tours like that...added your post to my A.D.'s Fav 5 today! HAve a look!


  5. Hi, I am almost 79 and still doing stuff. You don't have to get it all done by age 30. Come visit me at my blog sometime. So nice to meet you. I enjoyed reading your post. Best wishes to you. Ruby

  6. Love Led Zep, ever since I first discovered them in high school. Went out and bought all their albums. Still love listening to them today.

    I am trying to read all the A to Z blogs, but coming back to the ones I really like.
    Looking forward to seeing what you do all month!

    The Other Side
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

  7. To quote Otto the bus driver in The Simpsons: "ZEPPELIN RULES!!!!!!!!"