The Band Name John Bonham Wished Led Zeppelin To Use

John Bonham

Have you ever wondered what a different name would sound like for your favourite band? Since their names only partially identify them, it would probably be rather strange to call them by a different name. The names that many bands have now, though, weren’t always their first choices. Dream Theatre, for example, would have been called “Majesty”. Mike Portnoy originally suggested when he called Rush’s “Bastille Day” finale “magnificent.”

Conversely, Van Halen was formerly referred to as Mammoth. Before choosing Mammoth, they performed under the name Genesis, but this would cause problems for Phil Collins’ Genesis. Eddie Van Halen proposed the moniker Rat Salad after they learned that another band of the same name already existed. Fortunately, David Lee Roth intervened and persuaded his fellow musicians to go by “Van Halen.”

There are numerous other examples. For instance, we may have known Foreigner as Trigger, KISS as Wicked Lester, Journey as the Golden Gate Rhythm Section, or Aerosmith as the Jam Band. It turns out that Led Zeppelin became known by a different name, but only for a single performance. But John Bonham loved this name so much, he wished Led Zeppelin would stick with it for the rest of their career.

In 1970, Led Zeppelin faced an unusual challenge when K.B. scheduled them to perform. Hallen in Copenhagen, Denmark. A woman named Eva Von Zeppelin took offence at the use of her family’s name. When Zeppelin was a guest at a Danish television show the previous year, she even referred to them as a band that sounded like “shrieking monkeys”. While this was a strange coincidence, Von Zeppelin was actually threatening to sue Led Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin had a brilliant idea to get around this problem: playing under a different band name. “We’ll refer to ourselves as the Nobs when we travel to Copenhagen,” Jimmy Page stated in an interview with Melody Maker. “This is ridiculous all around. We asked her to meet us backstage the first time we played so she could see what nice young lads we were. After we soothed her, she erupted when she saw our record cover, which featured an airship in flames, and left the studio! I had to hide and run. She just lost her mind.

John Bonham seemed to like the idea, even though the band only made one performance under the name the Nobs. Roy Carr, the author of “Thirty Years Gone: Remembering John Bonham,” claims that the drummer expressed to him his desire to retain the name. In my opinion, Bonham had stated, “We ought to have persisted as the Nobs” . Imagine what our record covers might have looked like!

John Bonham therefore desired that Led Zeppelin continue to play as the Nobs following the Copenhagen Show. But this was an isolated incident lost to the dusty records of rock history. There’s no denying, though, that referring to the Zeppelin icons as the Nobs would sound absurd and out of place in the modern era as it likely did in the past, given that they had already made their breakthrough as Led Zeppelin.

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