Led Zeppelin, the iconic rock band of the 70s, experienced an unexpected financial setback during their 1973 tour. On July 29, $200,000 in cash vanished from a safety-deposit box at their New York City hotel. While the loss was not crippling for the successful band, it marked a turning point in their illustrious career.
The Record-Breaking Tour: Conquering the U.S.
Led Zeppelin’s 1973 tour was a monumental success, propelling them to new heights of fame and fortune. Tearing their way across the U.S., the band performed in more than 30 cities across 20-plus states, shattering attendance records and setting new box-office high-watermarks. The tour showcased the raw power of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham, leaving audiences in awe of their high-decibel onslaught.
The Vanishing Cash: A Mysterious Heist
Amidst the triumph of the tour, disaster struck when $200,000 in cash mysteriously disappeared from the band’s safety-deposit box at the luxurious Drake Hotel in New York City. Tour manager Richard Cole discovered the loss when he checked the box around 1 AM on July 29, only to find it empty when he returned at 7:30 PM. The absence of any evidence of forced entry puzzled authorities, leaving the case unsolved.
Zeppelin’s management hesitated to delve further into the matter, given the enigmatic origins of the substantial sum. Cole informed detectives that the money was tour proceeds held for expenses, and the band seemed content to return to England despite the loss. The mysterious heist remains an unsolved mystery, with the culprit remaining at large.
According to tour manager Richard Cole, all the money was accounted for when he checked the box around 1 AM on July 29, but it was nowhere to be found when he next opened it around 7:30 PM.
The Costly Truth: A Turning Point in Zeppelin’s Career
Though the $200k loss was not financially devastating for Led Zeppelin, it signaled a turning point in their illustrious career. The heist highlighted the potential dangers and vulnerabilities that came with their soaring fame and fortune. As they continued to captivate audiences worldwide, the band would face further trials and tribulations in the years to come.