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Friends

"I'm telling you know, the greatest thing you ever can do now, is trade a smile with someone who's blue now, it's very easy just-... Met a man on the roadside crying, without a friend, there's no denying, you're incomplete, they'll be no finding looking for what you knew. So anytime somebody needs you, don't let them down, although it grieves you, someday you'll need someone like they do, lookin' for what you knew." ~"Friends" by Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin is one of my all-time favorite bands- second only to the Beatles. Jimmy Page, along with George, are my two greatest guitar idols, and they themselves were close friends. Here are some *eh-hem* interesting experiences they have shared...

zep.jpg
The members of Led Zeppelin: John Bonham, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones

Both these stories are excerpts from the book "Stairway to Heaven: Led Zeppelin Uncensored" by Richard Cole with Richard Trubo:

The First Meeting, 1973:
"...That [May 31, John Bonham's (drummer) birthday] was the night of the first Forum show, and after the concert the general manager of an FM radio station in L.A. hosted a party for Bonzo [Bonham] at his house in the hills above Hollywood... Bonzo showed up wearing swimming trunks and a t-shirt. George Harrison and his wife, Patti, were there, too.
George had seen the Forum show and seemed intrigued with Led Zeppelin. He had once talked to me [Richard Cole, Zeppelin's road manager] about coming to see the band perform at
Madison Square Garden
and suggested that he 'pop in during intermission.'
'Well,' I told him, 'Zeppelin doesn't take an intermission.'
George was puzzled. 'How long do they play?'
'Most shows run close to three hours. Never less than two and a half.'
'Holy s***!' he said, letting those numbers sink in for a moment. 'With the Beatles, we were contracted to play thirty minutes max! Usually, we were off the stage and gone within fifteen!'
Harrison
felt there was something special about Led Zeppelin. So when Bonham wanted his picture taken with George, the former Beatle was flattered- but also a little hesitant. After all, he knew about Zeppelin's reputation for practical jokes and was wary that Bonham might have something else planned besides a photograph. So George decided to strike the first blow. He walked over to the birthday cake, picked up its top tier, raised it over Bonzo's head, and dumped it on the drummer.
There were gasps from the party-goers. And then laughter. John chased after George, caught him within a few steps, and then lifted
Harrison
up and tossed him into the pool. Almost instantly, full-fledged pandemonium broke out. Bonzo was pushed into the water, and most of the other party guests followed close behind.
Jimmy, meanwhile, rather than risk being pushed into the pool, gracefully walked down the steps into the water, wearing an elegant white suit. 'I don't know how to swim,' he said. 'I'm going to stake out a place in the shallow water before someone pushes me in the deep end.'"
 
The Dinner Date, 1974:
"...One late afternoon, to relieve the monotony, I suggested that the band dress up in drag. There didn't seem to be anything better to do. 'Let's see how pretty you "girls" really are!' I challenged them. 'I'll take a few pictures, and maybe we'll use 'em on the next album cover. I'll put Annie Leibovitz right out of business!'
Without much coaxing, the trio of groupies who were with us that day and Jimmy, Robert, and Bonzo squeezed their way into them, tearing the seams on the dresses and creating runs in the nylons as they did.
'All you guys need now is some makeup,' Lori [Jimmy's girlfriend at the time] said, helping Jimmy and the others apply lipstick and a little rouge. Interestingly, the boys didn't feel at all awkward or embarrassed as the transformation occurred; in fact, they seemed to enjoy their new look. If only the drag queens in New
Orleans
could have seen them.
We had become so preoccupied with this impromptu photo session that we almost forgot we were supposed to meet George Harrison for a dinner date. 'Let's give George a cheap thrill and let him see how we look," Robert [singer] said. When
Harrison
arrived at the hotel, he had Stevie Wonder with him. George took one look at Robert, Bonzo, and Pagey in drag, and he fell on the floor laughing. The hysterics were contagious, and before long everyone was shrieking- everyone, that is, except Stevie.
'What's so funny?' Stevie kept saying, with a slight grin on his face, knowing something was going on but unsure exactly what it was.
'S***,' I thought. 'I hope Stevie doesn't think the joke is on him.' Everyone else must have had the same idea, too. The laughter stopped, and we just wanted to crawl into a hole, dresses and all."

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This is just a little bit from an interview Guitar World Magazine held with Jimmy Page.

"Is there any truth to the rumor that George Harrison inspired the Zeppelin anthem ["Stairway to Heaven"]? Page scratches his head and laughs in sudden recognition: 'You've got the right story, but the wrong song! George was talking to Bonzo one evening and said, "The problem with you guys is that you never do ballads." I said, "I'll give him a ballad," and I wrote "Rain Song", which appears on Houses of the Holy. I fact, you'll notice I even quote "Something" in the song's first two chords.'"

The Rain Song
It is the springtime of my loving,
the second season I am to know.
You are the sunlight in my growing,
so little warmth I felt before.
It isn't hard to feel me glowing,
I watched the fire that grew so low.
It is the summer of my smiles,
flee from me Keepers of the Gloom.
Speak to me only with your eyes,
it is you I give this tune.
Ain't so hard to recognize, oh,
these things are clear to all from time to time.
Talk, talk, talk, talk.
I felt the coldness of my winter,
I never thought you would ever go.
I cursed the gloom that upon us, 'pon us, 'pon us,
but I know that I love you so,
but I know that I love you so.
These are the seasons of emotion
and like the winds, they rise and fall.
This is the wonder of devotion,
I see the torch we all must hold.
This is the myst'ry of the quotient,
upon us all, upon us all,
a little rain must fall.