Led Zeppelin revised the rock ‘n’ roll book about excesses and extremes. 

Their constant trumping of one another with alcohol, drugs, sexual conquests, and unspeakable acts debauchery made Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards seem like Cliff Richards.

Richard Cole, their tour manager and perhaps even harder-living companion during their decadent heyday was by their side. He died from cancer at the age of 75.

Cole hired a motorbike, a 10-foot python and an 11-foot python during a historic monthlong trip of America in 1978.

Rock 'n' roll king: Led Zeppelin's hellraising tour manager Richard Cole has died of cancer, aged 75. Pictured, at his wedding to former bunny girl Marilyn Woolhead in London in 1974

Richard Cole, Led Zeppelin’s tour manager extraordinaire and rock ‘n’ roll legend has been diagnosed with cancer. He was 75 years old. Photo of him at his 1974 wedding to Marilyn Woolhead, a former bunny girl.

Friends to the end: Jimmy Page with Richard Cole at an event in 2018. Cole came under fire for sharing the band's secrets, and some 'tall tales', but ultimately they reconciled

Jimmy Page and Richard Cole, friends until the end. Cole was criticized for sharing some of the secrets and tall tales about the band, but they eventually reconciled.

It turned out that the bike was used for racing along the Sunset Strip corridor.

Although the python did not materialize, he made many other interesting acquisitions in his 12 year tenure with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.

Cole and Bonham bought two Samurai weapons while on their stop in Japan. They used the swords to open the Tokyo Hotel door for bassist Jones. After they got inside, the rampage continued and the furniture was reduced to pieces. 

However, the most prominent incident was at Seattle’s Edgewater Inn. This occurred in 1969.

Though widely disputable, the story says that Bonham and Cole were fishing for sand Sharks. The sharks were then hung from their bedroom wardrobes.

Robert Zagaris, the tour photographer, recalls that then everyone started smoking marijuana and hash. A blonde groupie was stripped naked.’

On the road: Born in London, Cole moved to Los Angeles where he was contacted by Led Zeppelin's manager, Peter Grant, ahead of the band's first American tour in 1968-69. Pictured, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and Richard Cole at Honolulu Airport in May 1969

On the road: Born in London, Cole moved to Los Angeles where he was contacted by Led Zeppelin’s manager, Peter Grant, ahead of the band’s first American tour in 1968-69. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and Richard Cole, Honolulu Airport, May 1969

Flying high: Robert Plant and Richard Cole recline on a fur-covered bed ahead of a concert in New York in 1973. Cole was eventually fired in 1980 after succumbing to a heroin addiction

Robert Plant and Richard Cole relax on fur-covered beds before a 1973 concert in New York. Cole lost his heroin addiction in 1980 and was ultimately fired.

The next thing that happened was that a guest dropped a bag full of fish intestines on the girl. Bonham and Cole were writhing around with it. Cole claimed that it was sharks, and not red snappers.

Cole had to organize tour logistics and escort women and girls into the hotel rooms. He also kept the band ‘nourished by drugs,’ he wrote later in an explosive memoir. It’s shocking to see their behaviour in this #MeToo world, but Cole said that the women were always keen to get involved.

He said, ‘We had just finished our hot climb and no one was paying attention. All the Led Zeppelin depravity was done in an alcoholic fog. It was easy to achieve almost any goal we set our minds to and it seemed that there were a lot of fun-loving, co-operative groupies. 

Cole was born in London in 1946. He is the son of a Rolls Royce engineer and worked as a milkman at age 15. 

Cole was a lucky meeting in 1965 at a club. He became Unit 4+2’s road manager and continued his work with The New Vaudeville Band as well as the Who.  

Exploring the world: Robert Plant and Richard Cole on a surf board in Hawaii in May 1969

Robert Plant and Richard Cole explore the globe on a board of surf in Hawaii, May 1969  

Cole moved to Los Angeles, where Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin manager, contacted him ahead of their first American tour, which began in 1968.

He was the trusted friend and fixer of the band.  

Led Zeppelin became one of America’s most popular bands by achieving sell-out tours, record sales and a stage presence that was second to none. 

The chaos only escalated when there was more drinking and drug abuse. 

Grant, Cole, Bonham, and a security guard were arrested in 1977 after they assaulted a worker at a San Francisco theater. All three were given suspended sentences and fined.  

Cole’s heroin addiction had become so severe that he was forced to quit by 1980. 

Wedding day: Unlike his famous antics, Cole kept his private life out of the spotlight. He is thought to have married at least twice - once to former bunny girl Marilyn, above - and is survived by a daughter. Pictured, Cole, Marilyn, Lionel Bart, Page, John Paul Jones and Plant

Wedding day: Unlike his famous antics, Cole kept his private life out of the spotlight. It is likely that he was at least two times married – one to Marilyn, a former bunny girl – and is survived today by his daughter. Pictured are Cole, Marilyn and Page. John Paul Jones, Page and Plant.

Although he was a trusted member of the Zeppelin family, Cole shared the band’s secrets to Stephen Davis for his controversial 1985 biography Hammer of the Gods, before following up with his own book, Stairway to Heaven: Led Zeppelin Uncensored, which was met with public criticism by the band, who claimed he had exaggerated their debauched antics. 

Plant explained that the stories were filtered from women who had supposedly been at my house, but in reality they were in his. This was in 1985 interview. ‘He got paid a lot of money for talking c**p.’

Plant also mentioned Cole’s “tall tales” in his Twitter tribute. He wrote: “Farewell Ricardo… Plant said that there were no more tall stories… But Brave to the End.

Cole left his hard partying ways behind and began working for Eric Clapton, Black Sabbath, and Eric Clapton. He quit the music business in 2003. 

Remembered: Jimmy Page paid tribute to his 'brother and friend to the end' in a statement

Recollected: Jimmy Page gave a speech in which he paid tribute to his friend and brother to the end.

Cole did not make a public show of his personal life, unlike his famed antics. Cole is believed to have been married twice, once to Marilyn Woolhead (a former bunny girl) and survived by Claire. 

He rekindled his love for Zeppelin in the last years of his life. He was invited to attend the book launch and official film premieres of Led Zeppelin, as well to the concert that was held in 2007. 

Page spoke out to remember his friend and said that Richard and I had a history. He was recruited by Peter Grant as a tour manager for the Yardbirds Keith Relf and Jim McCarty and Chris Dreja during their American underground venue touring. He was there when the band disbanded and when Led Zeppelin was formed.

From the time we were at Pangbourne to the tour of the USA, Led Zeppelin became a reality. He attended the last concert of the band.

“He was both a brother and friend until the very end. Goodbye my dear friend. These were very special moments and they were so much fun.