Elvis Presley: Story Behind the Incredibly Cool Way He Became Friends with Led Zeppelin

by Madison Miller

Elvis Presley helped to influence the future of the rock ‘n’ roll genre. However, he had friends and influences in a multitude of different genres at the time. Elvis Presley had friends in high places. For example, he once got the opportunity to befriend the very popular hard rock group, Led Zeppelin.

Here’s how Presley befriended the group behind “Stairway to Heaven,” “Whole Lotta Love,” and “Immigrant Song.”

Elvis Presley and Led Zeppelin

According to IMDb, Presley met with Robert Plant and John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin in 1973.

That year Led Zeppelin happened to be on a record-breaking tour. It was the ninth tour of their career. The band set off on tour after releasing their album, “Houses of the Holy,” which was topping the charts at the time. The tour actually broke a number of different box office records in North America and grossed over $4,000,000 at the time.

The setlist for the tour would include songs like “Rock and Roll,” “Moby Dick,” “The Rain Song,” and “Stairway to Heaven.”

Apparently, Presley then said he wanted to meet “who was outselling” him at concerts. As the three sat together, Plant and Jones were starstruck. Plant could barely get words out. Meanwhile, Jones could at least engage in small talk with Presley. At one point, he happened to mention the watch that Elvis had on.

Presley immediately stripped the $5,000 gold and diamond watch from his wrist and handed it over to Jones. The two traded for Jones’ $10 Mickey Mouse watch he had on.

The trade happened to spark more conversation and got rid of everyone’s nerves. Suddenly, the three had become fast friends. Throughout the rest of the 1970s, Led Zeppelin members would attend, and even sit front row, at Elvis’ concerts. This is because Presley specifically gave them that privilege.

Sadly, the friendship only got the chance to last about four years. Elvis Presley passed away suddenly from a heart attack in his Graceland master bathroom.

Robert Plant Talks Meeting Presley

In a radio interview from several years back, Plant talked about how great of a guy Presley was and his experience spending time with him.

Plant had met a variety of different singers during his career with Led Zeppelin, but The King always stood out to him.

“He was so full of charm and he had a wicked sense of humor. He had this big suite opposite of the L.A. Forum … the door at the end opened and in came Elvis swinging his hips ’round all the furniture. You could not believe how slinky this guy was and all the time his eyes were twinkling because he was having a laugh,” Plant said.

The group laughed and talked that night. At one point Presley asked if they do sound checks. Someone in the group said, “When we do the singer only wants to sing your songs.” Presley seemed amused by that information at the time.

“We come to leave and we’re in the corridor and he suddenly swings around the doorframe and starts singing to me,” Plant said. The two then sang an Elvis tune face-to-face with each other.