Today in 1972 the U.S. branch of Atlantic Records released the Led Zeppelin single “Rock And Roll” / “Four Sticks”, from their 1971 untitled fourth album.
“Rock And Roll” came about as a jam session while the band was attempting to create “Four Sticks” (which apparently just wasn’t happening that day). John Bonham spontaneously began drumming the intro of Little Richard’s “Keep A Knockin”. Jimmy Page added a suitable guitar riff and Robert Plant improvised the vocals. The piece also features Rolling Stones mentor Ian Stewart on piano.
“Four Sticks” was originally recorded by Page and Plant during a visit to India, when they had set off around the world in search of ethnic musical influences. The idea was to get an abstract feel, but after many takes it still didn’t materialize – until the day Bonham decided to use two sets of drumsticks at one time (hence the title).