Today in 1973 Zeppelin played a show at the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium. During their stay at the Royal Orleans Hotel, bassist John Paul Jones was involved in an “incident” described in their song of the same name (“Royal Orleans”), later to appear on the 1976 Presence album. The story goes that Jones accidentally brought a transvestite up to his room, thinking he was a woman. Both smoked marijuana and fell asleep, the transvestite with a lit joint in his hand, which caught the bed on fire and burned the room down (though everyone escaped).
In an interview he gave to Mojo magazine in 2007, Jones clarified the reliability of this rumor, stating that: “The transvestites were actually friends of (tour manager) Richard Cole’s; normal friendly people and we were all at some bar. That I mistook a transvestite for a girl is rubbish; that happened in another country to somebody else… Anyway ‘Stephanie’ ended up in my room and we rolled a joint or two and I fell asleep and set fire to the hotel room, as you do, ha ha, and when I woke up it was full of firemen”.