LEGENDARY Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant was refused dinner at one of Glasgow’s plushest hotels, a new book reveals.
The band was performing in the city at the height of their fame in the early 1970s.
But that cut no ice with staff at the Grand Central Hotel who refused to serve Plant – because he was not properly dressed.
The story of how Glasgow brought Plant back to earth is revealed in a book about the hotel and how it played host to some of the biggest celebrities of the 20th Century, including Laurel and Hardy, Bob Hope and Gracie Fields.
But the book, which is subtitled “Glasgow’s most-loved hotel”, reveals that Plant got short-shrift for breaking the strict dress rules in the dining room.
The group were in Glasgow for a gig at Green’s Playhouse in December 1972 as part of a world tour.
According to the book, Plant and a group of his friends turned up in the dining room to enjoy some fine dining.
Despite being one of the most celebrated rock stars on the planet, touring by private jet, unyielding staff flatly refused to serve Plant and his friends because none of them were wearing ties.
The aggrieved singer and his entourage eventually gave up and stomped off in to the Glasgow night to find somewhere else to eat, reveals the book.
Thankfully, the frosty reception they received in the dining room was not repeated at the gig itself on December 4.
It was described as “an excellent, powerful show in front of a really ecstatic crowd”.
Remarkably, given his treatment in the dining room, Plant dedicated “Misty Mountain Hop” to The Central Hotel”, drawing a big cheer from the crowd”
A bootleg recording of the show, which included classics such as Whole Lotta Love and Stairway to Heaven, is still available today.
The book, written by Jill Scott, and Penny Grearson, and published by Waverley Books, is partly based on the recollections of autograph hunter Jimmy Friel.
Now 70, the Glaswegian, hunted for stars at the hotel, bagging Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Gracie Fields and Frankie Laine in the process.
Another source for the book is Desmond Lynn, now 74, who used to work at the hotel as a page boy.
He tells how was able to upbraid comedians Laurel and Hardy over a small tip.
The famous comedy duo were visiting the city in 1947, and were received by a raucous crowd when they appeared on the hotel’s staircase window.
As Desmond was taking them up to their third floor rooms he produced a paper and pencil for the pair to sign autographs.
Oliver Hardy took the pencil and opined about its small size.
Desmond quipped back with: “Not as small as your sixpenny tip.”
The two stars chipped in an extra five shillings after that.
The hotel, on Glasgow’s Hope Street, was part of the British Transport Hotels chain, along with the North British, now the Balmoral, in Edinburgh and the Caledonian.
It went into decline in the 1980s after being sold, but now a £320m refurbishment aims to restore its lost splendour.