45 Years Ago: Led Zeppelin Make London Debut, Robert Plant Gets Married
On Saturday, November 9, 1968 Led Zeppelin made their ‘official’ debut on a London stage. The band had only been up and running for a couple of months, playing a smattering of gigs throughout Denmark and Sweden before finally hitting the U.K.
On Oct 18, they played the Marquee Club in London while they were still flying under the Yardbirds banner. It wouldn’t be until the Nov. 9 show at the Roundhouse where they would arrive fully formed under the Led Zeppelin moniker.
As was common with the band’s earliest live dates, their set was comprised of Yardbirds standards and holdovers including ‘Train Kept a Rollin,’ ‘Dazed and Confused,’ and ‘White Summer,’ as well as tracks that would ultimately end up on their debut LP in early 1969 like ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,’ ‘You Shook Me,’ and ‘How Many More Times.’
They raked in a mere £150 for the performance, a figure that would escalate significantly in a few months. According to guitarist Rafael de Swarte from opening act Tyres via Led Zeppelin.com, “It was an exciting time, and just before Zeppelin headed to the States. John Lee Hooker was hanging around backstage watching.”
That date also looms large in Zep history as the date of Robert Plant marrying girlfriend Maureen Wilson. The couple would have three children, including son Karac, who died tragically in 1977. They divorced in 1983.