Jimmy Page and Robert Plant pay tribute to former Led Zeppelin road manager Richard Cole

Jimmy Page and Richard Cole
Jimmy Page with Richard Cole at the launch of the official Led Zeppelin book in 2018 (Image credit: David M. Benett / Getty Images)

Robert Plant and Jimmy Page have both paid tribute to former Led Zeppelin road manager Richard Cole, who died late last week after a battle with cancer. 

Cole was Led Zeppelin's road manager and fixer from 1968 until 1980, and later authored the controversial Stairway To Heaven biography of the band. He was also Stephen Davis's chief source for his infamous Hammer Of The Gods

While the band members have publicly refuted the accuracy of both books – Page said of the former, "The two bits that I have read are so ridiculously false, that I'm sure if I read the rest I'd be able to sue Cole and the publishers" – Cole was ultimately forgiven, and was invited to attend Led Zeppelin's Celebration Day show in London on 2007 as a VIP guest.

Page posted, "Richard and I went back a long way and he had been recruited by Peter Grant to be tour manager with the Yardbirds Keith Relf, Jim McCarty, Chris Dreja, and myself during our American touring schedule of underground venues. He was with me at the time that band folded and when I formed Led Zeppelin.

"From the time of the rehearsals at my home at Pangbourne through to the touring of the USA, we witnessed the phenomena that was Led Zeppelin. He was there for the first and last concerts of the band.

"He was a brother and a friend to the end. Goodbye my dear friend. They were special times and so were you."

Robert Plant simply posted, "Farewell Ricardo... sadly no more tall tales... brave to the end."

Cole also worked with the likes of Eric Clapton, Black Sabbath, Lita Ford, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Uhuru, Gipsy Kings, Crazy Town, Fu Manchu and Three Dog Night.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.