Mac Poole, who was once a candidate to be Led Zeppelin's drummer, died on Thursday (May 21) after a long battle with throat cancer.

We learn of this via Classic Rock, who say that his longtime friend Paul Greene broke the news on Facebook. "He was a friend for well over 30 years," he wrote, "a great drummer who would help me out time and time again. We had some great gigs together. From the 70s at the Midland, Dangerfield/Greenie Allstars in the 80s, The Solid Gold gigs in the 90s and The Honeycombs after the millennium. RIP mate, you need the rest. I will miss him terribly."

Poole was a friend of Robert Plant, who approached him about coming with in a group he had just joined. As Poole recounted in Mick Wall's book, When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin, "Robert put it to me in a very kind of simplistic way. He just said, 'I'm doing these sessions with a guy called Jimmy Page, and we're gonna get a band together and we're gonna call it the New Yardbirds -- and we need a drummer.' That was like asking me if I was free. That's how we did it in Birmingham, you sounded people out first, you didn't just say, 'Do you want the job in the band?' But I just said, 'Well, I've got my own band, Rob, we've got our own deal.'"

While Poole lost out on his chance at becoming a rock legend, he nonetheless carved out a long career in a series of bands, most notably Warhorse (pictured above), which featured former Deep Purple bassist Nick Simper and future Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman. After recording two albums with them between 1970 and 1972, Poole joined Gong for three months. He also played in Magill, which was fronted by Huw Lloyd-Langton of Hawkwind.

In 2008, he was told by his doctors that his cancer had gone into remission. He wrote about his experience for the Express in 2010.

See Other People We've Lost in 2015

You Think You Know Led Zeppelin?

More From Ultimate Classic Rock