If you’ve seen early footage of Led Zeppelin, you may have caught the band’s performance on Danish TV in early 1969. During the opening bars of “How Many More Times,” lead singer Robert Plant introduces the members of the group,
When he gets to guitarist Jimmy Page, the crowd hears the thrashing electric wail of a familiar blues riff — something Page tosses off casually. In the following minutes, he proceeds to unleash one assault after another on his instrument.
It may not be Plant’s finest hour on vocals, but Page came to the show ready to play. Anyone who heard the performance might have thought Page was the greatest thing to happen to the guitar since Hendrix (and they’d have been right).
But while Hendrix passed away the following year, Page would have more than a decade ahead of him with Led Zeppelin. Between ’69 (when Zeppelin I appeared) and 1980 (when the group disbanded), Zeppelin produced a music catalog that became worth over half a billion dollars.
Page has managed and protected that catalog well in the decades since. Here’s a look at some eye-popping Led Zeppelin paydays and Page’s estimated net worth in 2019.
A $300K concert on the record-breaking 1973 tour
American audiences went wild for The Beatles in the 1960s, but it turned out to be nothing compared to the crowds — and box-office receipts — Zeppelin pulled in during their 1970s tours. To get an idea the sort of money they made, just check on two days of the ’73 Zeppelin U.S. tour.
On May 4, the band packed 49,000 into Braves Stadium in Atlanta. The take for that show was $246,000 (adjusted for inflation, $1.4 million in today’s money). Considering The Beatles only had 33,000 fans show up to their Atlanta show the previous decade, it’s safe to say Zeppelin obliterated the Fab Four’s record.
The following day, Page and the group headed south to Tampa, where they played before 57,000 fans and set a new rock-concert earnings record with a $309,000 take. (In today’s money, that’s the equivalent of $1.75 million.)
Once you start adding up the number of concert dates the band played during the decade, you get an idea of the riches the band earned during its time together. But we’re not even mentioning the record sales.
300 million record sales and Page’s net worth of $170 million
Led Zeppelin isn’t the biggest-selling music act of all time, but it’s up there. According to informal estimates, the band has sold over 300 million record units (including singles, albums, CDs, downloads, etc.) over the years.
As far as certified sales go, the band sits at No. 4 all-time with 111 million units. (The Beatles reign supreme with over 175 million.) Additionally, Led Zeppelin IV still ranks as the fifth-best-selling album (23 million copies) ever released.
Those numbers are mind-boggling, and Page has credited Peter Grant, the band’s very aggressive manager, for fighting for every dollar the band deserved during its heyday. Meanwhile, Page was writing the songs, producing the albums, playing the guitar, innovating during the recording sessions, and showing up on stage every night to thrash for hours.
Since the band broke up following the death of drummer John Bonham (Led Zeppelin’s heartbeat), Page has been the steward of the band’s legacy, laboring tirelessly over the re-releases which seem to come out every few years. Obviously, it’s kept the millions rolling in all the while.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Page the guitar god is currently worth $170 million.
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