View Full Version : Led Zeppelin met Elvis Presley.

12-03-2007, 02:48 PM
1972 - The two diametrically opposed corners of the music world came together. Led Zeppelin met Elvis Presley.

Robert Plant Rockwave Festival, Athens June 29, 2007 Jimmy Page

It's hard to believe that they were ever in the same room, but in 1972 the two diametrically opposed corners of the music world came together. Led Zeppelin met Elvis Presley.

The matchmaker was their mutual promoter, Jerry Weintraub (later to produce the Ocean's 11 series with George Clooney and Brad Pitt), who took Jimmy Page and Robert Plant up to Presley's Las Vegas hotel suite.

Zeppelin's music then permeated the airwaves. They were enormously popular, an enigmatic force of hard rock. Presley had already reinvented himself as the jump-suited King of Vegas, and an "honorary drug-enforcement" pal of Richard Nixon's.

For the first few minutes of the summit meeting, Elvis ignored Led Zeppelin. The room was filled with an awkward silence. Bodyguards monitored the temperature. Jimmy Page - who had first picked up a guitar after hearing Elvis singing Baby Let's Play House on overseas American radio - began to fidget. What was going on? Did Elvis really want to meet them? Was this a big misunderstanding?

Finally Elvis turned to his guests. His first question had nothing to do with Zeppelin's music. It was their roguish reputation that interested him. "Tell me," asked Elvis, "is it true, these stories about you boys on the road?"

For a surreal moment, they found themselves staring at the three-dimensional embodiment of their own youthful rebellion. Plant spoke first, without cracking a smile. "Of course not," he said. "We're family men. In fact, I get the most pleasure out of walking the hotel corridors, singing your songs." Plant leaned forward, and offered his own best Elvis Presley impersonation. "Treat me like a foooool, treat me mean and cruuuel, but loooooove me…"

Presley eyed Plant very carefully. Presley's "Memphis Mafia" studied the moment with growing intensity. And then Presley burst out laughing. The bodyguards burst out laughing. Suddenly, the atmosphere was dorm-room friendly.

For the next two hours, Presley entertained them with his own road stories, and tales from his movie-making days. He confessed that he had never heard Led Zeppelin's music, except for the one song his stepbrother played him - Stairway to Heaven. "I liked it," said Presley.

Later, walking down the hallway from the hotel room, Page and Plant congratulated themselves on their meeting with the King. Had it really gone as well as it seemed? The answer arrived a moment later.

"Hey," came a voice from down the hall. Elvis had poked his head out the door. They would never meet again, but this last image was one for the memoirs. It was Presley, serenading his new hard-rock friends with a perfect imitation of Robert Plant doing him. "Treat me like foooool…"

2007/12/03 www.telegraph.co.uk / www.epgold.com

12-03-2007, 03:25 PM
Aww, I really enjoyed this article Jen...so typically Elvis. :lol:

Thanks so much for posting. I had a good laugh!


12-03-2007, 03:36 PM
Is it just me or did Elvis seem to be hesitant to meet other musical acts sometimes? The Beatles meeting being another example of this. Most of these bands/performers seemed to have had a great deal of respect for Elvis; it just seemed it took Elvis a little bit to warm up to them. Great article by the way!

12-03-2007, 03:39 PM
Hehe, loved the story Jen, thanks for posting :lol::D
I've heard a story that Elvis exchanged his own golden watch with Plant's(I think, if not, then with some other member of the band) Mickey Mouse watch...lol.
Don't know if it's true though.

12-03-2007, 05:56 PM
Great story Jen....thanks for posting.(y)(y)

12-03-2007, 07:29 PM
Thanks for sharing! I didn't know they had met...Did Elvis meet a lot of rock bands? (except the Beatles)

12-04-2007, 02:49 AM
Alice Cooper's story about meeting Elvis is hilarious.

12-04-2007, 03:05 AM
I really should re-read this before relaying it, but I somewhat recall the story of Elvis meeting Eric Clapton. I believe this was when Clapton was at the height of his early fame, in the 'Clapton Is God' era, and he was in Memphis and one of the guys had arranged a meeting. Elvis was sort of not crazy about it, as apparently Marty/Lamar/whoever mentioned a couple of times that they needed to go there without much comment from Elvis, till finally at one point EP asked, "Who the **** is Eric Clapton?" :lol:

So it was nothing against Eric Clapton, but Elvis just didn't know who he was and wasn't crazy about meeting other celebrities anyway, particularly as the years passed.

But it did happen. They met at a movie theater. (I would imagine it was told to Clapton's camp that that's where Elvis was going to be so it was decided they would meet him there.) I don't remember many details about the event but Elvis did later comment several times what a nice guy Eric was.

12-04-2007, 03:10 AM
A beautiful story..... only... it didn't happen in 1972. It happened during his two concerts in the LA Forum in May 1974

12-04-2007, 05:30 AM
the story of Elvis meeting Eric Clapton.

This meeting occurred at the General Cinema in Memphis on either July 28th or 29th, 1974.

There is an account of this (without dates) in Jerry's book.

12-04-2007, 07:28 AM
This meeting occurred at the General Cinema in Memphis on either July 28th or 29th, 1974.

There is an account of this (without dates) in Jerry's book.

There is also an account of this meeting with Slowhand in the hardcover book, "The Elvis Encyclopedia", from 1994.

12-04-2007, 07:30 AM
By the way, I am a HUGE Led Zeppelin fan(atic) !!!

Just think how great would it have been if Elvis and Zep had gotten together for a jam session or studio recording ???

Geez, now that would have been smokin' ...