Back in '76: Peter Grant on Why "TV Didn't Work with Led Zeppelin"

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G Morris/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

Aboard a ship enjoying a swell cruise down the Thames River, Robert Plant and manager Peter Grant revealed the secret to their fame in late 1976, during the heat of their success as the world’s best-selling live music performers. 

Stating Led Zeppelin’s “[perseverance] with a positive mind of not appearing on television anywhere in the world,” the interviewer questioned the band, “Why have you particularly done that?”

"To me, I just don’t see “[TV] working with Led Zeppelin,” Grant responded.

When pressed further, Grant cited that television’s limitations, “particularly the sound,” contributed to “the lack of facilities to record the sound,” resulting in an undeniable overall inability “to capture the magic of Zeppelin.”

Grant’s managerial contributions in enforcing this mantra have undoubtedly enabled Zeppelin to establish their concrete identity as a band whose full sensations should be experienced in true flesh rather than artificial form. 

Led Zeppelin was not an image floating inhibited to the small screen and studio dimensions of TV, nor were they a press circuit limited to the realms of print (although the papers was bound to relentlessly report on the band’s ceaseless accomplishments). 

Nay, Zeppelin, in good times and bad, built their superstar status through credifying their reputation as stadium rockers, touring around the world with the sonic strength and visibility of a tornado. 

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