Richard Cole (Former Led Zeppelin Tour Director)
Music director, who has contributed to the careers of Britain’s greatest artists, dies at age 75.
Born in London in 1946, Cole entered the music business in 1965, working as a road manager for Unit 4 + 2. Soon after, he became responsible for the tour management of major British invasion groups. like The Who and The Yardbirds. Shortly after the latter’s disbandment, their then-session guitarist Jimmy Page introduced Cole to his new band Led Zeppelin. In his interview with Vice magazine, the manager admitted that it didn’t take long to realize that the band was exceptional: “About four concerts during that first tour of 1968-1969, I realized that Led Zeppelin was an exceptional group, simply brilliant musicians. “
Cole’s prolific collaboration with Led Zeppelin spanned 12 years. His book Stairway To Heaven: Led Zeppelin Uncensored recounts his personal experiences working with the band and describes the atmosphere of 1960s London.
One of the first managers to organize American tours for British bands, Richard Cole changed the technical aspects of touring practice. He introduced the practice of bringing in equipment and crew from England.
The list of other artists he has worked with includes such venerable names as Eric Clapton, Black Sabbath, Lita Ford, Ozzy Osbourne, Edan Everly, Black Uhuru and Three Dog Night.