Jimmy Page pays tribute to Led Zeppelin tour manager Richard Cole: “He was a brother and a friend until the end”
Jimmy Page paid tribute to Led Zeppelin road manager Richard Cole, who passed away on Thursday, December 2.
In a post shared on his social media, the guitarist acknowledged Cole’s long history with the band, detailing his role since the start of Led Zeppelin.
“Richard and I have come a long way,” Page said. “He had been recruited by Peter Grant to be a tour manager with the Yardbirds Keith Relf, Jim McCarty, Chris Dreja and myself during our US underground venue touring schedule. He was with me when that band broke up and when I formed Led Zeppelin.
Cole was born in the UK but moved to the US in the 60s and became known for his talents helping English bands tour North America. His innovations by hovering over a group’s favorite crew and gear hitting the road—rather than depending on local talent and hiring facilities—helped lay the groundwork for the mega tours of the era.
The tour manager later fell out of favor with the band, after his contributions to the rock biography of Stephen Davis in 1985. hammer of the gods and revelations in his own 2002 biography stairway to Heaven, which the group said were inaccurate. They seemed to work things out though, as Cole was later invited to the band’s 2007 live performance in London.
Indeed, Page’s tribute certainly doesn’t seem to show any signs of ill will, stating:
“From rehearsals at my home in Pangbourne to touring the United States, we witnessed the phenomenon that was Led Zeppelin.
“He was there for the band’s first and last gigs. He was a brother and a friend until the end. Goodbye my dear friend. These were special times and so are you.