In Through The Out Door, 1979
Zeppelin never hid their love of vintage rock’n’roll, although they rarely made it as obvious as on this frothy In Through The Out Door track.
Allegedly written about Texan groupie Audrey Hamilton – hence its country twang – it was a moment of playfulness at a point when the Zeppelin unit was beginning to fracture. With Jimmy Page and John Bonham neck-deep in dark habits, it was left to Robert Plant and John
Paul Jones to pick up the slack during the album sessions at ABBA’s Polar Studios in Stockholm. “Robert and I were getting a bit closer, and probably splitting from the other two,” said
Jones. “We were always to be found over a pint somewhere, thinking: ‘What are we doing?’”
Ironically, Hot Dog was the sole Page-Plant credit on the record. It might not have matched the music they’d written during their imperial phase, it at least showed that the bond wasn’t completely broken. Years later, Page looked back on it with a degree of fondness: “Hot Dog was just a bit of fun.” Charitable, perhaps, but also accurate. De
‘Hot Dog was a moment of playfulness at a point when the Zeppelin unit was beginning to fracture.’