Jimmy Page was permitted to replace Led Zeppelin members and keep the band name, according to original recording contract with Atlantic Records

The contract was signed by Jimmy Page, and laid out a three-year deal for the band.

Jimmy Page performing live

Credit: Robert Knight Archive/Redferns

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Led Zeppelin’s original contract with Atlantic Records has been newly unveiled, and, interestingly, it states that guitarist Jimmy Page could have replaced any or all members of the band and kept the Led Zeppelin name.

The contract was signed by both Page and Atlantic Records founder and president Ahmet Ertegun on 11 November 1968. In the case of a hypothetical firing, those that had been let go would have been blocked from performing under their famous moniker.

The contract, which is 14 pages long, has been obtained by LedZepNews. The outlet states that it got hold of the contract via a 2005 Florida court filing made by a lawyer representing Steve Weiss, who represented the band from 1968 to the 1980s.

Weiss took legal action against Atlantic Records over his share of royalties from Led Zeppelin releases in the 2000s, in which the band’s original contract was put forward as evidence, though it was eventually settled out of court.

It was Page who originally founded the band, hence why the contract states the outfit could only continue as Led Zeppelin if Page remained a “member of and the leader of Led Zeppelin”: “The person or persons whose services are terminated shall not use the name ‘The Led Zeppelin’ in any commercial or artistic endeavours,” it declares.

Elsewhere, the document shows that the band received $104,100 from Atlantic Records as part of a three-year deal (formerly believed to have been a five-year deal) to record 24 sides of 45rpm vinyl records per year.

The band later received $51,300 in 1969 followed by another $51,300 in 1970. The 2005 filings also include a letter showing that on 4 December 1969, Led Zeppelin’s contract with Atlantic Records was extended by two years to end on 31 October 1973.

View the document below, shared via LedZepNews:

In other Zeppelin news, it was just last year that the identity of the man pictured in Led Zeppelin’s Led Zeppelin IV album was uncovered. Brian Edwards – of the University of the West of England (UWE) – said he was confident that the man was likely a 19th-century thatcher by the name of Lot Long, from Mere, Wiltshire in the UK.

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