That should go over like a lead balloon was a phrase that steered the name of a band that Jimmy Page put together with Robert Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones. Originally Page tried to assemble a supergroup with ex-Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck and the Who’s John Entwistle and Keith Moon, but that never materialized. When the Yardbirds broke up, Jimmy Page recruited three new men for a reboot of the Yardbirds. The four musicians first played together billed as the New Yardbirds, a relaunch of the British Invasion blues rockers who had imploded just months before. The name Led Zeppelin came from a comment made by Keith Moon, who said the band would go down like a lead balloon. Moon is said to have borrowed the term from John Entwistle, who had previously used it to describe bad gigs.
Jimmy Page completed a Scandinavian tour with an impromptu band named the New Yardbirds, but Chris Dreja had rights to the name Yardbirds and when this new group started calling themselves The New Yardbirds, he contacted a lawyer, so they couldn’t legally use it. The choice of Zeppelin in the band’s name was surely influenced by the Hindenburg disaster of 1937. The newsreel of the event, complete with announcer Herbert Morrison’s famous “Oh, the humanity” line, was commonly seen footage in English cinemas during the 1950s and 60s and Page would certainly have been familiar with it. The band used an image of the crash for the cover of their first album. Moon’s prediction could not have been more wrong, as Led Zeppelin became one of the most popular, arguably the most popular, musical act of the first half of the 1970s and reputedly have sold more than 300 million albums.
Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #192 using the photo prompt above.