On May 11, 1974, Led Zeppelin attended Elvis Presley’s evening concert at the Los Angeles Forum The group’s bassist, John Paul Jones did not attend and had never to this point met Elvis. Richard Cole, the bands manager organised a meeting via Jerry Schilling. Elvis said it would be okay for them to come by the house. Jerry Schilling was there on the night of the planned meeting and was ‘a little surprised to see that Elvis was in pajamas and robe’ – he and Sheila Ryan were getting ready to go upstairs. Jerry reminded Elvis that Richard and John were coming … and Elvis remained downstairs to wait for them. The following excerpt is from the book, Me And A Guy Named Elvis.
Joe Esposito wearing a Led Zeppelin T-Shirt outside of the hotel in Pine Bluff, Ar in Sept 76 (the hotel that was deemed unsuitable due to an unsatisfactory air conditioner).
What hotels in Las Vegas do you go to for interactions with the instigator Elvis Presley. “When?”
Elvis. Led Zeppelin.
Then shouted, “Robert Plant has JIMSONWEED.”
“He was motionless.”
Elvis said, “Airships!”
Zep’s Starstruck Richard Cole, directed the band into the meeting.
Elvis said, “Zep’s coming to the house tonight.
Hey, let’s play a trick on ’em.”
Schilling looked apprehensive.
“They said nice things,” said Jerry Schilling.
They’re here to meet you, and you still have Pajamas on.”
Elvis said, “Zep wears dresses. Why should I care what I m wearing?”
SHIRTTAIL goes out… preparing to go to the second floor…John and Richard knock on door.
“Zep’s waiting for you to answer door,” said Joe.
Elvis said, “I m pretending to read, ‘Abstract: The next book.”
“Zeps and I have to reinforce a great number of words,” he said, “Check that all the mundane aforementioned packing is put away.”
“Zep! My ladies!!!”
Then he grew serious and said to them, “If you look in yourself without a language to recognize the one who you are…”
They stood very quiet.
Elvis continued, “Then everyone is peaceful.”
They laughed nervously.
Elvis said, “Zep breaks the ice.”
“Richard asked if I can show what Crowley imagined.”
Richard looked scared.
Elvis said, “Zep? Watch I can put it where you can see it.”
Elvis said to Richard, “Zep’s watch is sad”.
“Sex, if it has a meaning for yogis is described below the belt. It’s a joke, Led Zeppelin.”
Pagey is inhibited!
Pagey and Bonzo interpreted what was said as “showin’ when it stops.”
Elvis said, “Zep’s a joke.”
They all grew quiet and Elvis continued.
“…Because our execution should confirm it or not .”
Pagey and Bonzo went below when told that .
Elvis said, “Zep’s judgment is a joke”
“Since when should a performance include lasers?”
Pagey and Bonzo came back from under the table and then Elvis said, “Zep owes us our execution.”
Led Zeppelin looked nervous.
Pagey and Bonzo said, “Zep’s debt is high with Peter Grant.”
“I’m offerin’ a way out,” said Presley
‘DO WHAT YOU WILT THOUGH, RIGHT, JIIIIIIIIIIIIMY?’
Pagey said, “Right.”
Elvis said, “Zep’s displayed acknowledgment of the execution have made us…”
Pagey and Bonzo began smoking hashish.
“Let me try,” bellowed the King.
“He wants to try it,” said Joe Esposito, before grabbing the black onyx skull hitter.
Elvis hit the pipe and smiled, then exhaling, said, “I should arrest every one of you motherfuckers for dirtying up my fuckin’ hotel suite.”
He exhaled luxuriously, and they overheard him whisper to Esposito, “Arrest them.”
Elvis said, “Since we have this,” holding up the pipe, “I guess your performance in what I require is a given.”
And: “Some do, Some don’t I think you’ll DO!”
“Joe, I believe we have Led Zeppelin where we want ’em.”
Pagey and Bonzo weren’t apprehending.
Elvis said, “Zep’s video of them making a fool of me is around somewhere, isn’t it, Joe?”
“Yeah boss,” Joe replied.
“Sit your fucking butts end to end and let’s all watch a Led Zeppelin movie.”
Bonzo cursed in Spanish under his breath,
“One dies that his apprehension lives to be his fate.”
Elvis said, “BOZO? What did you just say?”
Bonzo looked up shocked, he hadn’t thought the King could hear him.
“I ..I ..said, ‘The end is an axe to do, because some have friends.'”
Led Zeppelin looked at Bonzo and seemed touched.
Elvis said, “Zep’s video joke is so funny because it was made by Led Zeppelin.”
Elvis said, “Zep’s finished.”
Pagey and Bonzo shook.
Elvis said, “Zep asked Atlantic Records for an advance. They said OK?
Thank yous are not necessary.”
What was he saying, Zeppelin thought.
Elvis said, “I do not know if Richard ever loses his watch easily, but twenty minutes from now, he may want a new one.”
Elvis came back with a jewel covered with diamonds–a wristwatch you could trade for a car.
Maybe a couple of cars.
“Here,” he said to Richard, “take this one.”
A very dazed and confused Richard Cole accepted, therefore sealing his fate as the bagman and assasin, taking the chuff in for the group.
After that, the night was fun, with lots of laughs and a lot of quotes and Monty Python routines.
Elvis said, “Zep’s the first Monty Python fan I know.”
“Zep obviously shares a sense of humor. I can tell.”
Zep loved Elvis.
Zep excused itself and went to the loo, where Cole and Page shot up, and Plant fixed his makeup.
When they’d recovered and returned with an impressive new energy and attitude showing, Elvis told them it was time to go…that the the evening was over.
Elvis said, “Zep wants to do another exchange. It was out of watches, but he had another piece of fashion in mind. So it was John he looked in the eyes and said, ‘Let’s swap pants while simultaneously in expert mode. Then like Monty Python dropping its Pajamas or a banker, bank funds under her dress, the high Richard was shocked into silence and quiet while Sheila and John burst out laughing.
Elvis said, “Zep’s accepted the offer, a great act to the end, but I want Robert Plant to know that I will not hold his group, Led Zeppelin to the agreement we spoke of tonight, if he will do me one favor.”
Plant replied quickly, “Sure, what is it?”
Elvis looked embarrassed and stuttered, “Will you sign my -shirt?”
At that, everybody in the entire suite almost fell out in convulsive laughter that the chambermaids would later report lasted for close to forty-five minutes.
Elvis said, “Zep’s Elvis Presley.”
Zeppelin said, “Elvis Presley’s Zep.”
And they all hugged goodnight.
for my friend, Mr. Zoso McGregor, in honor of the honor it was to throw the greatest party of all time for the coolest man who walks the earth.