Music History

Led Zeppelin + Oral Sex + Airplane Turbulence = An Unwise Idea

I’ve only flown on a private jet once. It was a quick flight–barely 45 minutes–from YYZ to YUL with William Shatner on six-passenger LearJet when I helped him with his How Time Flies stage production. I cannot begin to explain how intoxicating and addictive this experience was.  Christ, I want my own jet.

Rock stars routinely fly private, but their experiences are–ahem–substantially different from what most human can dream up. This appeared in The Hollywood Reporter under the title ‘Oral Sex During Turbulence’: True Tales From the ’70s Rock-Star Party Plane of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and More.

Decades before deep-pocketed rock and pop stars embraced the Gulfstream V, there was the Starship, a former United Airlines Boeing 720 refurbished in the early 1970s by teen heartthrob Bobby Sherman and his manager,Ward Sylvester, as an airborne pleasure dome. The plane plied the skies in the service of, among others, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, The Allman Brothers, The Bee Gees, Elton John, Peter Frampton andAlice Cooper.

One of the great artifacts of the coke-flecked, halter-topped, ‘lude-dropping rock ‘n’ roll gestalt of the ’70s — and probable inspiration for Austin Powers’ shag-a-delic private 747 — the Starship brimmed with gaudy-chic delights. There was a bedroom with a king-sized waterbed, a drawing room with a fake fireplace, a 30-foot brass-trimmed bar with built-in electric organ, a prehistoric video system stocked with everything from Deep Throat to Duck Soup and two stewardesses to cater to the velvet-trousered minstrels fresh from their Madison Square Garden gigs.

Oh, you’ll want to read the rest.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37438 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

3 thoughts on “Led Zeppelin + Oral Sex + Airplane Turbulence = An Unwise Idea

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.