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Richard Cole

Richard Cole, May 1969
Richard Cole, 1977
Richard Cole, 1992
Richard Cole, Dec. 10, 2007

Tour Manager (1968-79)

Richard Cole was was on January 2, 1946 in Kensal Rise, Brent, England. He quit school at age 15 to work at a dairy factory. He soon worked in a sheet metal factory and construction jobs to make more money.

Cole got into the music business in 1965, becoming the road manager for the pop band Unit 4 + 2, upon recommendation by journalist Richard Green. He later became tour manager for The Who in 1965 and The New Vaudville Band in 1966, where he met Peter Grant, their manager.

Cole moved to the United States in 1967 to become sound engineer for Vanilla Fudge and when he heard that The Yardbirds were coming to the United States in 1968, he contacted Peter Grant to become their tour manager. Cole stayed with Peter Grant when The Yardbirds broke up in July 1968 to become the tour manager of Led Zeppelin.

Richard Cole was in charge of bringing over all of the band's equipment from England and having it transported to each concert. He was in charge of booking hotels and transportation for the band and crew and for collecting box office earnings and keeping receipts for band expenses. Cole was the only one with a key to the safety deposit box at the Drake Hotel in New York City in July 1973 when $203,000 disappeared. The money was never recovered and Colefe was cleared of any involvement.

Later in the 1970s, Cole became heavier into drugs and they began to fuel his actions and mis-actions. On July 23, 1977, Cole along with band security member John Bindon, John Bonham and Peter Grant physically assaulted a member of Bill Graham's stage crew after he accused Peter Grant's son Warren of stealing a dressing room sign. All four pleaded nolo contendere and received suspended sentences.

Cole was fired from his position as Tour Manager by Peter Grant on Led Zeppelin's 1980 European tour after Grant became concerned with Cole's drug and alcohol abuse. He was replaced by Phil Carlo. Cole went to Italy for rehab and was temporarily imprisoned after being mistaken for a terrorist.

After Led Zeppelin, Cole became tour manager for a variety of performers and bands, such as Eric Clapton, Black Sabbath, Lita Ford, Ozzy Osbourne and Three Dog Night.

In 1985, Richard Cole contributed to the Led Zeppelin biography Hammer Of The Gods, with the assistance of Stephen Davis. It had come under criticism by Robert Plant, who dismissed most of the book. 7 years later, Cole wrote his own autobiography, entitled Stairway to Heaven: Led Zeppelin Uncensored. Jimmy Page was highly upset by things he had heard were contained in the book. John Paul Jones vowed never to speak to Cole again because of this book.

Despite all of this, Cole was invited to the 2007 Led Zeppelin reunion concert at the O2 Arena in London, England.

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September 07, 1968 - The band fulfills some old Yardbirds dates in Scandanavia
September xx, 1969 - Jimmy Page is reported saying the second album will be harder than the first
September 19, 1970 - Led Zeppelin gross over $100,000 for two performances at Madison Square Gardens on the same day
September xx, 1971 - Jimmy Page is furious over a live Yardbirds release. It was forced off the shelves
September xx, 1971 - The band vacations in Hawaii
September xx, 1972 - Discussions to play various countries ends with a decision to play Japan again
September xx, 1973 - Jimmy Page considers a live release of material before releasing a new album
September 14, 1974 - Led Zeppelin and CSN&Y jam at an after party
September xx, 1975 - Jimmy meets up with Robert in Malibu, where he is staying on a tax exile
September 12, 1976 - Page and Bonham return to Switzerland and record a drum piece title Bonzo’s Montreux
September 08, 1977 - Page takes to the stage with other well knowns at a WEA records sales conference
September 15, 1978 - Zep road manager Richard Cole and Bad Company’s Simon Kirke get married in a double ceremony
September 17, 1979 - Promoter Fred Bannister forced into liquidation over Knebworth Sales with Led Zeppelin
September 18, 1980 - Jimmy reviews a new stage set up and technical details for the Eighties Part One tour at Swan Song offices
September 25, 1980 - John Bonham is found dead in Jimmy Page’s Windsor mansion by sound technician Benji Le Fevre
September 12, 2007 - It was announced at a press conference by Harvey Goldsmith that the remaining members of Led Zeppelin would reunite with Jason Bonham on drums.
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