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32 Years Ago Today: Zeppelin Breaks Up

Led Zeppelin

In the summer of 1980 a bunch of friends and I were going to camp out to get tickets to see Led Zeppelin when they came to play Minneapolis late that Fall. (Yes, for the younger readers, it’s what we did. Stand in line for hours, sometimes days, for a chance to get tickets to see our heroes. LONG before internet, cell phones, tablets, and even ticketmaster. Think Black Friday randomly throughout the year, but the only thing going on sale was concert tickets.)

Anyway, fans of Led Zeppelin know I never got to see that concert. September 25, 1980, after a long night of heavy drinking, drummer John ‘Bonzo’ Bonham died from asphyxiation from his own vomit. The death was ruled accidental.

Rumors swirled that the band was trying out other drummers to continue their legacy and eventually a tour (though obviously the tour that I had planned to see was cancelled shortly after Bonham died.) Ultimately the three surviving members: Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, decided against it and on December 4, 1980, issued the following statement:

“We wish it to be known, that the loss of our dear friend and the deep respect we have for his family, together with the deep sense of undivided harmony felt by ourselves and our manager, have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were.”

Arguably the greatest rock band in the world ceased to exist on this date 32 years ago. Yeah, I’m still bummed out.

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