Richard Cole (former Led Zeppelin tour manager) – RIPA music manager, who contributed to careers of greatest British acts, dies at 75.

Born in London in 1946, Cole entered the music business in 1965, working as a road manager for Unit 4 + 2. Shortly after that, he became responsible for tour management of such prominent British Invasion acts like The Who and The Yardbirds. Not long after the latter disbanded, their then-session guitarist Jimmy Page introduced Cole to his new band Led Zeppelin. In his interview to Vice magazine, the manager admitted that it didn’t take long to realise the group was outstanding: “About four shows into that first tour of 1968–1969, I realised Led Zeppelin was an exceptional band—simply brilliant musicians.”

Cole’s prolific collaboration with Led Zeppelin lasted for 12 years. His book Stairway To Heaven: Led Zeppelin Uncensored tells about his personal experiences of working with the band and describes the atmosphere of ‘60s London.

One of the first managers to organise American tours for British bands, Richard Cole changed the technical aspects of touring practice. He introduced the practice of bringing over the equipment and crew from England.

The list of other artists he worked with includes such venerable names as Eric Clapton, Black Sabbath, Lita Ford, Ozzy Osbourne, Edan Everly, Black Uhuru, and Three Dog Night.

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  1. RIP….. great man with Zep.
    I’m sure he will get the same recognition that Robert Plant gave towards Phil Johnstone’s passing.


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