Every day, hundreds (if not thousands) of new bands get together in an attempt to ascend to rock stardom. Some don't make it out of the first rehearsal, more quit after their first few gigs and only a handful ever come within sniffing distance of what could be considered success. But every once in a while, a new band will play together for the first time and eventually ascend to legendary status. That's exactly what happened on this day in 1968 when Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones got together to rehearse for the first time. The group, known then as the New Yardbirds, got together in a London studio to practice for a series of concerts in Scandanavia that Page's former band the Yardbirds had committed to but couldn't perform because of their break-up a month prior. During the session, the group recorded a cover of "Train Kept A-Rollin'," a rockabilly song that was a Yardbirds staple. Following the Scandanavian tour, the group decided to drop the New Yardbirds schtick and continue on under a new name: Led Zeppelin.
The group played its first concerts as Led Zeppelin in October of 1968, released their first album in 1969 and spent the next 11 years establishing themselves as one of the greatest rock bands in the history of the genre. Their big, bluesy, arena-ready sound informed every major rock movement for the next four decades, from the dark intonations of heavy metal to the pretty theatrics of glam to the epic stomp of prog rock to the workmanlike riffage of grunge. (Page's influence is also all over Jack White's performance in the new documentary "It Might Get Loud.") Though Bonham's untimely death in 1980 essentially ended the group, they've made a few attempts at comebacks (most recently in 2007 at a tribute concert for late Atlantic Records honcho Ahmet Ertegun). But they accomplished enough in their decade of dominance — aided by pulse-pounding joints like "Black Dog" — to write their ticket to eternity.