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."