One of the most iconic and influential rock bands in music history ended their successful 12-year run on this day exactly 33 years ago.
It was largely due to the death of Led Zepellin’s drummer John Bonham on September 25, 1980 that the band members decided to part ways. The official press release, which was simply signed “Led Zeppelin” and released on December 4, read:
We wish it to be known, that the loss of our dear friend and the deep respect we have for his family, together with the deep sense of undivided harmony felt by ourselves and our manager, have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were.
On the months leading to their disbandment, the members of Led Zeppelin were actually preparing for their North American tour slated to begin in October. Bonham was said to have been drinking heavily the day before he died due to asphyxiation from his own vomit. Names of Bonham’s supposed replacement cropped up shortly after; however, these were all proven to be false with the cancellation of the tour and the band’s breakup.
Led Zeppelin was initially called the New Yardbirds and was formed in London, England. It was on October 25, 1968 when they played their first gig carrying the Led Zeppelin name at the University of Surrey. Throughout their career they have released eight successful studio albums not including their ninth and final one, “Coda”, which was released post-breakup in 1982.
The decades that followed saw Led Zeppelin having reunion performances a number of times. They have also received many awards and accolades, including induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1995) and the UK Music Hall of Fame (2006), not to mentioned several awards received by each of their albums. Two albums, one track, and a single were also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in addition to receiving a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2005). And according to the Rolling Stone, Led Zeppelin is among the greatest artists of all time! More recently, in December 2012, the band’s surviving members John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, and Jimmy Page were not only given a tribute but were also given the Kennedy Center Honors. Even US President Barack Obama himself did a tribute to the band at the event held at the White House!
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