Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin looks at Sunset Strip from a balcony at the "Riot House" (the former Continental Hyatt House). "As I took this photo," Peter Simon said, "Plant shouted out, 'I am a golden God!'" This phrase was immortalized in Cameron Crowe's film, "Almost Famous."
Peter shared the back story with Rock Paper Photo:
"I was on assignment for The Atlantic Monthly in March 1975 with rock biographer Stephen Davis. We had unprecedented access to the group for four days, and traveled to shows along the West Coast. The details of the 'Golden God' photo appear on page 147 of his recent book 'Led Zeppelin -'75.' I had been snapping shots of Plant while he was being interviewed by Stephen in his room at the (Hyatt House) hotel.
"Once the interview concluded, I casually asked him to step onto to the balcony for a few shots in better light. Back in those days, I never used artificial lighting in any form. Once he stepped onto the balcony, he noticed a huge billboard to his right advertising the release of Zeppelin's new album, "Physical Graffiti." He was probably a bit amazed and humbled by this massive structure, and the general sway of public acclaim that was finally coming their way in the USA. He very spontaneously spread out his arms (wings) and exclaimed, 'I Am A Golden God!' " Fortunately, I did have film in the camera and managed this one shot for the few seconds he held that pose.
"I never used to ask my subjects to do anything special or artificial for me, and usually still don't. I also didn't have the use of a motor drive back then, so this iconic shot is the only one I have from that classic move. Everything just seemed to 'click.' "