The following is an excerpted feature from the new CREEM Magazine coming Sept. 15. Subscribe now to reserve your copy.
In the pantheon of hotel debauchery, perhaps no one ascended to the heavens quite like infamous tour manager Richard Cole (1946–2021) during his years with Led Zeppelin. From his exploits at Seattle’s Edgewater Hotel with Vanilla Fudge drummer Carmine Appice, a teenage groupie, and yes, a mud shark, to his unofficial night job as architect of the multi-floor “Riot House” escapades of Led Zep at the Continental Hyatt House in West Hollywood, Cole certainly had no qualms aboutinjecting a little hostility into the hospitality if the end result was a good time.
But there is a brilliant irony to Cole’s real rise in the music world beginning with the Who in 1965—and especially a teenage Keith Moon. Pensively eager to do his best on the first day of work, Cole recounts in his unpublished memoir chronicling his pre-Zeppelin yearshow his initial feelings of calm and wonder as the guest of a grand hotel were decimated by a panicked scramble to find the band new digs thanks to the high jinks of their infamous rhythm section.