The question was solved 52 years after the album was released
On November 8, 1971, iconic rockers Led Zeppelin released their fourth album – “Led Zeppelin IV” – with a cover photo of an old, mustachioed man carrying sticks on his back and looking into the lens.
Since then, everyone has been wondering who the man on the cover is.
Yesterday, on the anniversary of the release of the record – which contains the band’s smash hit ‘Stairway to Heaven’ – and 42 years later, the mystery was solved after the original photo was located and identified.
Many thought it was a painting but it turns out that the picture is a real photo of a Victorian farmer.
According to Brian Edwards, a researcher who found the photo, it is Lot Long, then 69, who was making thatched roofs for cottages in Wiltshire, a rural county in southwest England.
How the photo got on the album cover
According to the NYT, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page were in an antique shop in Pangbourne, a village about 50 miles west of London along the River Thames.
There they spotted a color version of the photo, which caught their attention.
Page later said that the fourth album’s cover art was intended to highlight the contrast of the city with the village originally featured on Led Zeppelin III, and a reminder that people should take care of the Earth.
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