Back When Led Zeppelin Was Presented with Gold Records at a Live Sex Show
Every recording artist dreams about their albums selling well enough to be certified gold or platinum, but actually picking up those fancy awards usually entails spending a boring few hours in a conference room with stodgy label executives. Usually, but not always — and especially not for Led Zeppelin.
By 1973, Zeppelin had plenty of gold and platinum awards lying around, so when manager Peter Grant was informed that the band had earned another round of certifications for its ‘Houses of the Holy’ LP, he took the unusual step of suggesting they hold the ceremony at Chat Noir, a Stockholm sex club. And because Grant was not the kind of guy who tended to take no for an answer, that’s exactly what ended up taking place — during a live sex show, no less.
It’s the kind of story we’d be inclined to chalk up to rock ‘n’ roll legend if not for the fact that a photographer was invited, and those shots — one of which (thoroughly NSFW, by the way) is currently up at Nerve — are now heading for the auction block, where they’re scheduled to be sold during a June 23 event that will, appropriately enough, be hosted by the Bonhams auction house.
The sale lot, which includes “fifty six black and white negatives, a corresponding set of prints and two contact sheets,” is presented in a listing that reads in part, “During the proceedings, which included a naked couple performing on a small stage, the band was presented with a number of gold album sales awards…The great majority of these images are previously unseen…a few images are thought to have appeared in a Swedish men’s magazine at the time.” They aren’t cheap — Bonhams lists a range between $34,000 and $42,000 — but if you’ve got some extra money to burn and you’re looking to own a piece of rock history that will double as a guaranteed conversation-starter, you could certainly do worse.