The identity of the man who featured on the cover of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album has been discovered more than 50 years after the album’s release, and 120 years after the picture was taken.
The original image was discovered in a photo album by academic Brian Edwards, who has been conducting research into the regional history of Wiltshire, according to the Guardian. He's also a Led Zeppelin fan, which meant the picture jumped out at him as soon as he came across it.
The photo was captioned “a Wiltshire thatcher”, with further research uncovering that it shows a man named Lot Long, who lived in the village of Mere and died in 1893.
“Led Zeppelin created the soundtrack that has accompanied me since my teenage years, so I really hope the discovery of this Victorian photograph pleases and entertains Robert, Jimmy and John Paul”, says Edwards.
The colourised and framed version of the photograph of Long that appears on the cover of ‘Led Zeppelin IV’ was apparently bought by vocalist Robert Plant in an antique shop in Berkshire before becoming the centrepiece of the 1971 album’s artwork.
The newly discovered original will go on display at the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes early next year as part of an exhibition titled ‘The ‘Wiltshire Thatcher: A Photographic Journey Through Victorian Wessex’.