Roden 1/144 B720 Starship One Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple Tour Passenger Airliner Kit
Sale price $27.19 Regular priceROD-314
In 1973 famous former American actor and singer Bobby Sherman together with his manager Ward Sylvester, co-owners of artists agency Contemporary Entertainment, purchased the plane from United Airlines with the intent of converting it into a convenient and comfortable 'flying hotel' for effecting flights between cities and out of the country by various artists. The music industry during this period was at its peak - a considerable number of performers of all styles of music plied their trade on numerous tours of the territory of the USA, and without any particular financial drawbacks the considerable fees received by them for concerts at that time allowed them to rent the plane for fast and comfortable travel from city to city.
The well-known band Led Zeppelin was the first of many acts who fully appreciated the advantages of such VIP accommodation. Their manager Peter Grant never held back over issues connected with comfort for the members of the group, and so for Zeppelin's tours, which often covered some tens of cities of the USA during the season, Starship One was a real find.
In 1974 Starship One was hired by another famous 20th Century rock group, Deep Purple. At this time Deep Purple were at a critical stage of their career - vocalist Ian Gillan and bass guitarist Roger Glover had just left the group, but they were replaced by David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. With this new line-up in 1974 (known as 'Mark III') Deep Purple arrived in the USA, where the California Jam Rock festival was to take place.
The festival was unsuccessful and didn't justify the hopes of the organizers, and Deep Purple returned to the UK aboard Starship One, but in the following year during the next tour they rented the same plane again. At that moment the group finally lost one of its founders, its leader and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. He was replaced by Tommy Bolin, and in the new line-up, known as Deep Purple Mark IV, they went on a world tour. It should be noted that the plane's color scheme was unaltered, but instead of the Led Zeppelin emblem, 'Deep Purple' was emblazoned on the fuselage. However, the destiny of Deep Purple Mark IV was more connected with scandals, than with worldwide fame - in 1976 Tommy Bolin died of a drug overdose, and Glenn Hughes was several times arrested by police for the same offense. Deep Purple ceased to exist after that.