A Researcher Identifies the Old Man on the Iconic Cover of Led Zeppelin IV, 52 Years After the Album’s Release

Who’s that bearded man on the cover of Led Zeppelin IV, the one hunched over, carrying a large bundle of sticks? Brian Edwards, a researcher from the University of the West of England, has solved the 52-year-old mystery. Looking through a photo album while conducting research, Edwards spotted a photograph and, being a Led Zeppelin fan, “instantly recognised the man with the sticks.” “It was quite a revelation, he told the BBC.” From there, he figured out who took the photograph in 1892 (Ernest Howard Farmer), and eventually identified the figure in the photo itself: Lot Long, a thatcher from Mere, a town in Wiltshire, England. You can see him above.

Decades later, Robert Plant apparently found a colorized version of the photograph in an antique shop. On the 1971 album cover, we see the photo turned into a framed painting and layered onto the wall of a drab home. The rest, as they say, is rock ‘n’ roll history…

Related Content 

Deconstructing Led Zeppelin’s Classic Song ‘Ramble On’ Track by Track: Guitars, Bass, Drums & Vocals

William S. Burroughs Reviews a Led Zeppelin Concert for Crawdaddy! Magazine (1975)

Hear Led Zeppelin’s First Recorded Concert Ever (1968)

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Support Open Culture

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s educational mission, please consider making a donation. We accept PayPal, Venmo (@openculture), Patreon and Crypto! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.