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Led Zeppelin II Has Died

Led Zeppelin II
Chicago Tribune

A 64-year-old Illinois man who made headlines last year when he changed his name to Led Zeppelin II has passed away after suffering a fatal heart attack.

The former George Blackburn, who settled on the name change as a sort of symbolic renewal after finalizing his third divorce, told reporters at the time, “I reinvented myself…Since I became Led Zeppelin, my life has improved a thousand fold.”

Blackburn was a hardcore classic rock fan — according to his daughter, he covered his living room walls with classic album covers after the divorce — but Zeppelin’s second LP was “the one he just really related to, the whole thing.”

“They changed my life forever,” he explained in an interview after the name change. “I don’t want to appear to be some off-the-wall, drug-addict idiot. I just changed my name from the standpoint that I can be a better person than I used to be.”

According to his obituary — which includes arguably the most appropriate use of the phrase “Stairway to Heaven” ever — “Led’s loves were rock ‘n roll, hot rods and Amsterdam.” He left behind a large family, including his father, a brother, and three children.

Next: See Other Rockers We Lost in 2012

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