The Led Zeppelin symbols are probably one of the most recognizable band logos in rock ‘n’ roll. Before the release of their fourth album, known as Led Zepplin IV, the band felt some pressure. Their previous album, Led Zeppelin 3, was highly anticipated and topped the chart, but critics received it with mixed and unfavorable reviews.
To follow Led Zeppelin 3, the band wanted to detach their name from the album, so with the new release, there wasn’t a title or track listing. There wasn’t anything that was tied to Led Zeppelin. Along with the lack of information on the record, the band chose four symbols that represented each of them as members, which were included on the inner jacket of the record. Needless to say, the album was a hit.
Robert Plant said on the topic of the symbols, “Each of us decided to go away and choose a metaphysical type of symbol which somehow represented each of us individually—be it a state of mind, an opinion, or something we felt strongly about, or whatever. Then we were to come back together and present our symbols.”
So without further ado, let’s go over what each symbol of the four members of Led Zeppelin means.
Robert Plant’s Symbol
The Robert Plant symbol is a feather encased within a circle, representing the feather of Ma’at, the ancient Egyptian goddess of truth, justice, harmony, and balance. The feather can also be perceived as a pen, which would check out for lyricist Robert Plant. The symbol originated from the Mu civilization, which existed 15,000 years ago on a lost continent in the Pacific Ocean.
Jimmy Page’s Symbol
Page’s symbol presents the most mystery out of all the band members. His symbol is known as the Zoso symbol, and many members speculate that it has a satanic meaning behind it. Fans have found the source of Page’s symbol from a 1557 book, Ars Magica Arteficii, by J. Cardan. One of the theories saw the symbol as Page placing his own twist on it. The “Z” represents the astrological sign of Capricorn, which is Page’s sign and then the “oSo” aligns with the Satanic origin of “666.”
Truly, no one knows what the meaning of Page’s symbol to this day—not even Robert Plant. “You may not believe this,” says Plant, “but Pagey once took me aside and said ‘Look, I’m going to tell you the meaning of this once, and then I shan’t ever mention it again—or at least, not for a long, long time anyway.’ And would you believe that I have since forgotten what it was, and now Pagey won’t tell me.”
John Paul Jones’ Symbol
John Paul Jones’ symbol is three interlocking ovals with a circle over them. The symbol is from Rudolf Koch’s Book of Signs and entails Celtic and Gaelic origins for the sign. With multiple meanings behind the sign, Jones chose the meaning of the sign that represented a confident and competent individual.
John Bonham’s Symbol
According to Far Out Magazine, Bonham also looked in Koch’s Book of Signs and landed on one that represented the holy trinity: mother, father, and child. It was the same format of his own family at the time. Page said that Bonham was drawn to the symbol without any significant notice, but Plant would disagree. Whether or not it had personal meaning, the symbol was also the inverted Ballantine Beer symbol, emphasizing Bonham’s jokester and partying characteristics as well.