The Infamous Story Of The Sharks And Led Zeppelin

The Infamous Story Of The Sharks And Led Zeppelin | Society Of Rock Videos

via Led Zeppelin Rarities / YouTube

In the heart of Seattle, on a pier overlooking Elliott Bay, stands The Edgewater Hotel. During the 1960s, it became a popular spot for rock legends like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, and Led Zeppelin. What made it stand out was the unique feature that allowed guests to fish from their rooms on the north side.

On July 27, 1969, Led Zeppelin performed at the Seattle Pop Festival and stayed at The Edgewater. Known for their lively gatherings, an amusing incident occurred when the band’s road manager, Richard Cole, and drummer John Bonham were fishing in their room, joined unexpectedly by guests, including a red-haired woman. The result: sharks hanging in the closet and smaller fish scattered around.

The party continued with some clothes coming off, and a red-haired woman jokingly asked Cole for a fish. Playfully, Cole agreed, saying, “Let’s see how your red snapper likes this red snapper,” placing the fish’s nose on the woman’s face. The entire episode was filmed by Mark Stein of Vanilla Fudge, leading to media coverage with exaggerated rumors. Led Zeppelin decided to keep quiet about the incident due to negative press.

Led Zeppelin’s Banned Encore

In 1973, the band attempted to return to The Edgewater but was banned after reportedly leaving around 30 mud sharks in various places – under beds, in closets, elevators, hallways, bathtubs, and beds. The chaos extended beyond marine life; the band also tossed furniture, TVs, mattresses, lamps, drapes, and glassware into Elliott Bay.

Despite the mayhem, Robert Plant was eventually welcomed back to The Edgewater. The mud shark incident became a legendary rock story, solidifying Led Zeppelin’s reputation as true rock and rollers who left an indelible mark on the place.

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