November 29, 2020

ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: What Happened To Led Zeppelin’s Boeing 720, “The Starship?”

The unit held registration N7201U and was the first Boeing 720 built. It was initially delivered to United Airlines in October 1960.

However, the 138-seater saw its most famous action following its purchase for $600,000 in 1973.
According to I Love Classic Rock, new owners Bobby Sherman and Ward Sylvester splashed $200,000 into the project. By the time the new configuration was over, the main cabin featured a 30-foot-long couch that ran along the right side of the plane, as well as a TV and video cassette player. The superstar passengers could also have a shower on board. This helped lessen the need to live out of hotels and suitcases while traveling from town to town across North America.

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There was undoubtedly plenty of alcohol to go around at the bar. Road manager Richard Cole highlights the top quality champagne that was onboard.

Cole said the following, as reported by The New York Times:

”In those days, we went through a phase where we only drank ’64 and ’66 Dom Pérignon. If we found a good deal we’d have one of the assistants buy several cases and store it on the plane.”

Nonetheless, the first paying passengers on The Starship were the band members of Led Zeppelin. The group jumped on in July 1973, and during this period, they were one of the biggest bands across the globe. In true rockstar fashion, they toured with style, and there was plenty of excitement on their travels.

The band painted their name across the fuselage and treated the master suite like an hourly rate motel. There was also a lot of intoxication while in the skies, as Cole called the jet ”a floating gin palace.”


‘Jimmy Page: The Anthology’ and His Previous Coffee Table Book: None Will Be Revealed.

The Liner Notes of the Gods: ‘Led Zeppelin: The Oral History of the World’s Greatest Rock Band.’

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