Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Sign in to follow this  
Jimmy's A Legend

Case Solved?

Recommended Posts

I was wondering did that case of Zep's missing money back in 1973 ever get solved?

As far as I know, the case of Zep's money missing from the safe deposit box at the Drake Hotel has never been solved. I was living in NY when that happened and I remember that, because Cole was responsible for the band's money, rumors flew amongst the young fans that he was in some way connected to the theft. All sorts of conspiracies were imagined. The other thing that I remember hearing at the time was that it was Cole (and his people) who were responsible for quickly clearing out the rooms of girls and drugs before the NYPD arrived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was wondering did that case of Zep's missing money back in 1973 ever get solved?

No. It was probably an inside job; Led Zeppelin never stayed at The Drake again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A staff member of the hotel was apparently fired soon after under a cloud too.

Maybe Cole took it - maybe someone at the hotel did - maybe it was an inside job by the band to get publicity? Who knows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A staff member of the hotel was apparently fired soon after under a cloud too.

Maybe Cole took it - maybe someone at the hotel did - maybe it was an inside job by the band to get publicity? Who knows.

Who knows, indeed, but did they really need the publicity? (Especially the kind they'd have gotten if it came out that they'd "stolen" their own money? :huh: )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Who knows, indeed, but did they really need the publicity? (Especially the kind they'd have gotten if it came out that they'd "stolen" their own money? :huh: )

I agree, personally I think it's far fetched but that is one of the theories that have floated around. However, it certainly got them main-stream media coverage which they weren't getting so much of, compared to music press coverage. If that was what happened, I suppose it was a good way of bragging about how much money they were making.

I don't think Cole is above suspicion, however his problems later in life seem to indicate that he didn't have a massive stash of money anywhere.

Most likely it was someone with access to the hotel's key. NY was certainly a city with a lot of organised crime, and it could have been related to that? Or there is a very rich bell boy somewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Richard Cole had key access to the box. I think Peter Grant's decision not to give Richard Cole a role with Swan Song Records a year later, which Cole admitted in his biography of the band had perplexed him, indicates to me that after this incident Grant wasn't totally trusting with Cole. That's not to say Cole did it though.

I agree, personally I think it's far fetched but that is one of the theories that have floated around. However, it certainly got them main-stream media coverage which they weren't getting so much of, compared to music press coverage. If that was what happened, I suppose it was a good way of bragging about how much money they were making.

I don't think Cole is above suspicion, however his problems later in life seem to indicate that he didn't have a massive stash of money anywhere.

Most likely it was someone with access to the hotel's key. NY was certainly a city with a lot of organised crime, and it could have been related to that? Or there is a very rich bell boy somewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Richard Cole had key access to the box. I think Peter Grant's decision not to give Richard Cole a role with Swan Song Records a year later, which Cole admitted in his biography of the band had perplexed him, indicates to me that after this incident Grant wasn't totally trusting with Cole. That's not to say Cole did it though.

Probably Grant just thought Cole was too much of a roadie to stick in an office

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Richard Cole had key access to the box. I think Peter Grant's decision not to give Richard Cole a role with Swan Song Records a year later, which Cole admitted in his biography of the band had perplexed him, indicates to me that after this incident Grant wasn't totally trusting with Cole. That's not to say Cole did it though.

That statement is very interesting for me to read because I've wondered about that myself - whether Cole was innocent or not, did Grant begin to rethink Cole's role and responsibilities because of that incident?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That statement is very interesting for me to read because I've wondered about that myself - whether Cole was innocent or not, did Grant begin to rethink Cole's role and responsibilities because of that incident?

Or was there just a Whole Lotta tax money that didn't have to be paid because of the theft ? ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whoever stole the money probably put it up his nose a long time ago. Either way, it didn't hurt the band any. They are all rich and famous and unless there is some kind of death bed confession, I doubt we will ever really know. The authorities probably could care less because number one, nobody was killed and number two, they know that Led Zeppelin's members are richer than rich anyways. I'm sure Jimmy and Robert and JPJ don't miss that money one bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Whoever stole the money probably put it up his nose a long time ago. Either way, it didn't hurt the band any. They are all rich and famous and unless there is some kind of death bed confession, I doubt we will ever really know. The authorities probably could care less because number one, nobody was killed and number two, they know that Led Zeppelin's members are richer than rich anyways. I'm sure Jimmy and Robert and JPJ don't miss that money one bit.

But because it was stolen it became tax deductible, so the IRS will never let it die.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That statement is very interesting for me to read because I've wondered about that myself - whether Cole was innocent or not, did Grant begin to rethink Cole's role and responsibilities because of that incident?

Cole remained a close confidant and continued to fulfill his primary responsibilities up

through 1979. IMHO, more telling is the fact no member of Led Zeppelin ever stayed

at The Drake again (1974-2007).

-------------------

The Drake Hotel was a hotel which was located at Park Avenue and 56th Street, New York.

The Drake hotel was built in 1926 by the real estate organization of Bing and Bing. It was a 21 floor complex with 495 rooms. "It boasted innovations such as automatic refrigeration as well as spacious, luxurious rooms and suites."[1]

Bing and Bing owned and operated the hotel for more than 35 years. "In the early 1960s, entrepreneur William Zeckendorf acquired the hotel, added 180 guest rooms and opened New York’s first discotheque, known as Shepheard’s."[1] Fauchon chocolates was located on the ground floor.

In 1965, the Tisch brothers acquired the Drake. The hotel was acquired in the early 1980s by the Swissotel company of Zurich, which undertook a $52 million room-by-room renovation of the building. Renovations were completed in 1991.

Silent film star Lillian Gish lived at the hotel from 1946-1949. Other notable guests included Frank Sinatra, Muhammed Ali, Judy Garland, and Glenn Gould; restauranteur Toots Shor lived there in his final years. Songwriter Jerome Kern collapsed on the sidewalk in front of the Drake on November 5, 1945.

In the 1960s and 1970s the Drake Hotel was the preferred accommodation in New York for a number of touring rock bands, such as Led Zeppelin and The Who. During their stay there in 1973, Led Zeppelin had $180,000 stolen from a safe deposit box at the hotel. The money was never recovered and the identity of the thief or thieves has never been discovered. The band later sued the Drake Hotel for the theft.

In 2006 the hotel was sold for $440 million to developer Harry Macklowe. It was as demolished in 2007. An apartment tower now occupies the site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cole remained a close confidant and continued to fulfill his primary responsibilities up

through 1979. IMHO, more telling is the fact no member of Led Zeppelin ever stayed

at The Drake again (1974-2007).

-------------------

The Drake Hotel was a hotel which was located at Park Avenue and 56th Street, New York.

The Drake hotel was built in 1926 by the real estate organization of Bing and Bing. It was a 21 floor complex with 495 rooms. "It boasted innovations such as automatic refrigeration as well as spacious, luxurious rooms and suites."[1]

Bing and Bing owned and operated the hotel for more than 35 years. "In the early 1960s, entrepreneur William Zeckendorf acquired the hotel, added 180 guest rooms and opened New York’s first discotheque, known as Shepheard’s."[1] Fauchon chocolates was located on the ground floor.

In 1965, the Tisch brothers acquired the Drake. The hotel was acquired in the early 1980s by the Swissotel company of Zurich, which undertook a $52 million room-by-room renovation of the building. Renovations were completed in 1991.

Silent film star Lillian Gish lived at the hotel from 1946-1949. Other notable guests included Frank Sinatra, Muhammed Ali, Judy Garland, and Glenn Gould; restauranteur Toots Shor lived there in his final years. Songwriter Jerome Kern collapsed on the sidewalk in front of the Drake on November 5, 1945.

In the 1960s and 1970s the Drake Hotel was the preferred accommodation in New York for a number of touring rock bands, such as Led Zeppelin and The Who. During their stay there in 1973, Led Zeppelin had $180,000 stolen from a safe deposit box at the hotel. The money was never recovered and the identity of the thief or thieves has never been discovered. The band later sued the Drake Hotel for the theft.

In 2006 the hotel was sold for $440 million to developer Harry Macklowe. It was as demolished in 2007. An apartment tower now occupies the site.

I have to agree...I don't think Cole would be that stupid to try and pull something like that off. He had a great gig going and it would have been pretty crazy to do that. I wouldn't be surprised at all though if he were buying low and selling high B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is correct Steve. There is a misconception though, generated in part by Cole's book publicity, that he was tour manager for their entire career. He was in fact replaced by Phil Carlo for the Europe 80 tour and the tour manager for the band prior to Led Zeppelin's first tour of the United States was an Englishman by the name of Jerry Ritz, a man forgotten by most books on that era including surprisingly Dave Lewis' tome.

While Cole continued to act in the capacity of tour manager after the Drake incident I found it interesting he was never given any position within the record company Swan Song a few months later in 1974, despite his stated amibitions in his book and his approach to Grant.

Cole remained a close confidant and continued to fulfill his primary responsibilities up

through 1979. IMHO, more telling is the fact no member of Led Zeppelin ever stayed

at The Drake again (1974-2007).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Drake Hotel apparently had a history of robbery.

We ascertained there was money in that box. It was noted by uh one of the clerks.

-The Song Remains The Same

New York City-The Hotel Pierre Heist [superb Robbery] (1/3)

New York City-The Hotel Pierre Heist [superb Robbery] (2/3)

New York City-The Hotel Pierre Heist [superb Robbery] (3/3)

The 1972 Pierre Hotel Robbery was a hotel robbery planned by Samuel Nalo and Robert Comfort, an associate of the Lucchese crime family, and carried out by several of his associates. It began in early November of 1971. This robbery would later be listed in Guiness Book of World Records as the largest, most successful hotel robbery in history.

Planning and execution

Samuel Nalo and Robert Comfort were professional burglars and thieves. Samuel and Robert had previously robbed $1,000,000 in jewelry and cash from the Sherry Netherland Hotel and performed major robberies/burglaries at The Regency Hotel, The Drake Hotel, The Carlyle Hotel and The St. Regis.

Nalo was the true genius behind all the heists but the equally courageous Robert Comfort was also a major organizer. It was not until December 30 that in the back room of Samuel's night club Port Said, that Nalo brought the team together and informed them of their intended target. The team consisted of Lucchese crime family associate Robert "Bobby" Germaine. His job would consist of prying open lock boxes maintained for guests in an open vault. Ali-Ben, a Turkish-Albanian contract killer who worked primarily for the Turkish mafia, Al Green, the brother-in-law of Ali Ben, a hotel burglar only identified as "Petey", Alan Visconti a Lucchese crime family mob associate and a freelance contract killer Donald Frankos. On January 2nd, 1972 they arrived at 3:50 AM. Ten minutes later Al Green, dressed in a chauffeur's uniform, wheeled a black Cadillac limousine up to the 61st Street entrance. Robert G, with "Pete" and Al Visconti got out and told the security guard, "Reservations-- Dr. Foster's party." The security guard called the registration desk and confirmed that a Dr. Foster (Robert Comfort) had paid for a room, and the guard unlocked the door. They held the guard at gunpoint as they entered the hotel. Al Green remained on watch outside. The date of the robbery was perfect. Most of the hotel's guests were soundly sleeping off their escapades from the previous New Year's Eve extravaganzas, which they had attended wearing their finest jewels. The jewels were kept in safety deposit boxes downstairs until more secure bank vaults re-opened at 9:00 that morning. Also, because of the holiday, the hotel had hired a skeleton crew, including guards. The men quickly rounded up all the staff. Donald guarded the 61st Street entrance, handcuffed and led anyone who they confronted to Al Visconti. Al then brought the hostages to a large alcove near the registration desk, where he ordered them to lie face down on the floor. The number of hostages grew steadily, ultimately totaling nineteen, but the robbers had brought three dozen pairs of handcuffs to deal with the situation. The robbers were all dressed in disguises, Sam Nalo wore a huge wig, fake nose and eyeglasses and all the burglars wore gloves and carried guns. Nalo forced the hotel auditor to provide the index cards that matched the boxes to depositors. They only broke into lock boxes of people whose names they recognized, which included Harold Uris, Tom Yawkey and Calliope Kulukundis.

http://www.bookrags.com/wiki/Pierre_Hotel_Robbery

Edited by eternal light

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Drake Hotel apparently had a history of robbery.

When were Nalo and Comfort arrested?

Meg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When were Nalo and Comfort arrested?

Meg

They were arrested 4 days after the heist at the Pierre, on January 7, 1973.

They pleaded guilty to possession of stolen goods and served 4 years. The police did not recover all of the loot that was taken. Nalo and Comfort were reportedly in prison at the time of the robbery at the Drake Hotel in 1973, but they were part of an organized crime syndicate and did not necessarily commit their robberies alone. And apparently they had robbed the Drake Hotel previous to 1973.

Edited by eternal light

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
His job would consist of prying open lock boxes maintained for guests in an open vault.

The Drake Hotel apparently had a history of robbery.

As I understand it, there's been no mention in reports of a forced entry on Deposit Box 409, meaning it would had to have been someone who had key access.

Side trivia: In the scene from The Song Remains the Same where Peter Grant is driven to the police station to be questioned about the theft from the safe deposit box at the Drake Hotel, he has his arm outside the police car. According to an interview conducted in 1989, he explained the reason he wasn't handcuffed was that the policeman driving the car used to be a drummer in a semi-professional band which had supported The Yardbirds on one of its US college tours in the late-1960s. Grant had at the time been manager of The Yardbirds.

Meg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As I understand it, there's been no mention in reports of a forced entry on Deposit Box 409, meaning it would had to have been someone who had key access.

No forced entry. Condition of box is actually shown in that b&w '73 newsreel footage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No forced entry. Condition of box is actually shown in that b&w '73 newsreel footage.

Agreed. Box door was shown in the film as dusted but perfectly intact. :beer:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...