How Led Zep beat hotel ban

The former boss of a Seattle hotel has told how Led Zeppelin sneaked back in – eight years after they'd been banned for life as a result of the notorious "shark episode."

Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and co had been kicked out in 1969 after an incident in which a fish was used in a sex act at the Edgewater Hotel on the bank of the Puget Sound.

But former premises manager James Blum has revealed the band returned in 1977 – and although they didn’t cause problems on the same scale, they were still enough of a handful.

He tells his story in retired radio boss Beau Phillips’ book I Killed Pink Floyd’s Pig. Blum says: “Somehow Led Zeppelin reserved rooms in the Edgewater and we didn’t catch it. There were no computer systems back then, and the band didn’t use real names when booking, so it got past us.”

He decided he couldn’t throw them out once they’d checked in, but also wanted to make sure they knew they were being watched. “I called Zeppelin’s road manager, Richard Cole, and welcomed them back to the Edgewater – I left it at that,” Blum recalls. “Mr Cole got the message that I knew they were staying despite being banned.”

He thought the stay had gone smoothly until he got a call from the head housekeeper the day Led Zep checked out. “She said, ‘The rooms are fine, but the TVs are gone in all five rooms.’”

Blum ran to investigate the first room. “I checked it from top to bottom. Just then a gust of wind blew back the wraps and I realised the window was open. I pulled back the curtain and looked outside – to find not one, but five television sets floating in Puget Sound.”

When Cole came to settle the band’s bill, he was charged $3000 for the stay and an additional $2500 for the TVs at $500 each. The young desk clerk, astonished to see the transaction completed in cash, asked Cole: “What does it feel like to toss a TV out of your window?”

The roadie handed over another $500 and told the clerk: “Kid, there are something in life you’ve got to experience for yourself – go toss a TV courtesy of Led Zeppelin!”

I Killed Pink Floyd’s Pig contains 34 more untold rock’n’roll road stories plus a foreword by Sammy Hagar. It’s on sale now.

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.