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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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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

January 09, 1944 - James Patrick Page was born in Heston, Middlesex
January 03, 1946 - John Baldwin was born in Sidcup, Kent
January 2, 1946 - Led Zeppelin Tour Manager Richard Cole was born in Kensal Rise, London, England
January 05, 1967 - Jimmy Page begins recording Little Games with the Yardbirds at De Lane Lea Studios in London.
January 17, 1969 - Led Zeppelin released in the US
January xx, 1970 - Led Zeppelin now play without support acts in order to perform longer sets
January 09, 1970 - Royal Albert Hall gig filmed and recorded for documentary that is eventually scraped. (But was recalled for 2003’s DVD)
January xx, 1971 - Recording continues at Headley Grange
January xx, 1972 - Page has a studio built into his home
January 02, 1973 - Plant’s car breaks down and Bonham and he barely make the Sheffield City Hall gig
January 22, 1973 - Led Zeppelin record a live gig at Southampton University
January xx, 1974 - Recording Physical Graffiti at Headley Grange
January xx, 1974 - The band resigns with Atlantic and forms their own label
January 03, 1975 - Jimmy breaks a finger at Victoria Station just a week before the European warm up shows
January 17, 1975 - The band rehearses in Minneapolis for the upcoming US tour. Bootleg "Johnny Kidd And The Pirates" evolves out of this rehearsal
January xx, 1976 - Jimmy contemplates the release of The Song Remains The Same film but, continues work on the soundtrack
January 01, 1976 - In Paris, Robert takes his first unaided steps since his car accident
January xx, 1977 - Rehearsals for US tour take place at Manticore Studios in Fulham
January 24, 1977 - Bonham and Plant watch The Damned perform at the Roxy in London
January xx, 1978 - Media still claims Led Zeppelin have broke up
January 21, 1979 - Robert Plant is now proud father to son Logan Romero
January xx, 1980 - Zeppelin donate Candy Store Rock to a benefit album to benefit children
January 31, 1995 - Jimmy Page escaped being knifed when a fan rushed the stage at a Page and Plant gig at Auburn Hills, Michigan. The fan was stopped by two security guards, who he knifed instead. After his arrest, he told police that he wanted to kill Jimmy Page because of the Satanic music he was playing.
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