The American journalist Ellen Sander describes how on the last night of Zep's second America tour, band members, led by Bonham, ripped her clothes off, "shrieking and grabbing". I was absolutely terrified that I was going to be raped..." Zep's former-nightclub-bouncer manager, Peter Grant, bodily pulled Bonham off her.She describes life with the band as like being inside cages at a zoo where "you get to smell the shit first-hand".A m legal action ensued, and the night lives in Led Zep legend as "The Oakland Incident".The American promoter Bill Graham later described Grant's security men as "just waiting to kill".She describes how, while she fellated Plant, Cole urinated on her.Bebe Buell, a Playboy Playmate, told Playboy magazine that her time with Page was a meeting of minds, and how she felt Page's habit of "spewing saliva" into her mouth during sex was "his way of putting some of himself in me".
And woe betide anyone he spotted in the audience with a recording device (in Vancouver in 1971 he destroyed what he thought was a taping device only to discover it was sound-monitoring equipment installed by the local council).In his unauthorised biography Hammer of the Gods, Stephen Davis explains how one could catch fish out of the window of Cole's room.He then quotes Cole as saying: "These birds were coming up to my suite wanting to fuck, and me and Bonzo [the drummer, John Bonham] were quite serious about catching these fish." Cole then describes the "victim": "She might have been hit by the shark a few times for disobeying orders, but she didn't get hurt." Let's hope she saw it the same way.She also tells how she had to be locked up, albeit willingly, most of the time so that word of this illegal relationship statutory rape could not get out.Cole figures a lot in the more unsavoury episodes of Zep's career.
There's the brutal violence, the accusations of attempted rape, the child abuse; and that's before we get to such modern-day mundanities as drugs and occultism.