Led Zeppelin

Elvis Presley asked Led Zeppelin star to ‘swap pants’ with him

ELVIS PRESLEY earned a lot of admirers over the years, including the hard rock and metal artists of the 1970s. Led Zeppelin were among his fans, and in one hangout session, Elvis dropped his trousers after making a request.

Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin’s singer, has always been very open about how much he adored Elvis Presley over the years. In one interview, he recalled meeting the King and singing some of his favourite songs to his idol.

The two parties became friends, and in the early 1970s Led Zeppelin visited Elvis at his home, Graceland, in Memphis.

Jerry Schilling, a member of Elvis’ entourage – the Memphis Mafia – recalled the historic meeting in his book Me and a Guy Named Elvis. He remembered the guys having a great time palling around in the King’s enormous estate.

And at one point, the rockers and the King decided to swap jewellery around the room. Before long, Elvis decided to switch things up even more.

Jerry wrote: “Before the evening was over, Elvis said he wanted to make another exchange. He was out of watches, but had another bit of fashion in mind. So he stood, eyed [Led Zeppelin drummer] John [Bonham], and said: ‘Let’s swap pants!'”

Elvis Presley led zeppelin

Elvis Presley hung out with Led Zeppelin and pulled a prank on them (Image: GETTY)

Elvis’ antics didn’t stop there. Without missing a beat, he punctuated his banter with some physical comedy.

Jerry wrote that Elvis made this pants-swapping request “while simultaneously, in expert [Monty] Python fashion, letting his pyjama bottoms drop beneath his robe”.

He added: “[Led Zeppelin’s tour manager] Richard [Cole] was shocked into silence, while quiet Sheila and John burst out laughing.”

Through the laughing, Elvis simply stood there waiting for a response.

Elvis Presley led zeppelin

Elvis Presley asked the band to swap pants with him (Image: GETTY)

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley wanted to swap everything around (Image: GETTY)

Elvis Presley robert plant

Robert Plant looked back fondly on meeting Elvis Presley (Image: GETTY)

Jerry added: “Nobody accepted Elvis’ offer, but it was a great note to end the night on.”

Elvis and Led Zeppelin met up a few times in the 1970s. 

Robert Plant later wrote about meeting the King for the first time. He said: “I sized him up. He wasn’t quite as tall as me. But he had a singer’s build. He had a good chest – that resonator. And he was driven.” He also told Elvis that he would warm up for big gigs by singing some of the star’s “moodiest” hits.

Plant recalled during an interview: “Jimmy Page joked with Elvis that we never sound-checked — but if we did, all I wanted to do was sing Elvis songs. Elvis thought that was funny and asked me, ‘Which songs do you sing?’ I told him I liked the ones with all the moods, like that great country song Love Me.”

So when Plant and Zeppelin were leaving, Elvis turned around and locked eyes with the singer.

Plant remembered: “He swung ’round the door frame, looking quite pleased with himself, and started singing that song: ‘Treat me like a fool…’ I turned around and did Elvis right back at him. We stood there, singing to each other. And of course, we were just crying.” 

The King’s stepbrother, David Stanley, recalled the event.

He said: “There was one other time the Elvis tour ran across the band while out on the road. It was at the Washington / Baltimore airport. We were playing in Washington, and Led Zeppelin was playing at the Capital Centre. We arrived on the Lisa Marie, Elvis’ private jet, and Led Zeppelin arrived on the Caesar’s Chariot. It was a hell of a sight to see these two private jets sitting side-by-side on the private tarmac.”

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