Former Inked Editor Jason Buhrmester Tackles Led Zeppelin Robbery in 'Black Dogs'
"Zeppelin really was robbed of $203,000 in N.Y.C. at the end of their '73 tour," Buhrmester, who also edited at Playboy, said. "The cash was allegedly taken from their safe deposit box at the Drake Hotel. It was never recovered. The NYPD initially suspected Zeppelin's tour manager Richard Cole, but he passed a polygraph test. It's still unsolved. At the time, it was the largest safe deposit box heist in N.Y.C. history." Buhrmester said the book has been described as 'Almost Famous' meets 'Reservoir Dogs' and 'That '70s Show' meets 'Ocean's 11,' as it's a mix of smart comedy, some violence and the criminal element. Buhrmester joked he would have preferred the book to be described as "the great American novel ever," but he'll take the praise as is!
"The guys in 'Black Dogs' are four petty crooks from Baltimore who concoct this plan to rob Zeppelin,' the author said. "As the plan goes horribly wrong, they get mixed up with Backwoods Billy, the nutcase leader of the Holy Ghosts Christian motorcycle club. They also cross paths with a pill-poppin' district attorney, a safe-cracking funk band called the New York Giants and other characters from the '70s Baltimore underworld. Then it's a race to see if the guys can still make it to N.Y.C. and pull off the heist. Along the way, they drink a lot of beer and tell dick jokes. Criminal masterminds, I tell ya!"
Buhrmester was inspired to pen the tome when Zep's concert film 'The Song Remains the Same' was reissued on DVD. "I read an article on the making on the movie," he said. "It mentioned that the film was delayed for several years after the proceeds from Zeppelin's '73 tour were stolen. That money was apparently supposed to fund the making of the movie. It hit me just how insane it was that someone could rob the biggest rock 'n' roll band in the world of nearly a quarter of a million dollars and get away with it."
He began researching the robbery and watched the pic, since it features footage about the robbery. "Then I sat down and started writing," the author said. "I tried to stick to the facts as much as possible, including the tour dates, the set lists, the stage outfits, even the safe deposit box number. Then I just made up some burned-out dirtbags who reminded me of the burned-out dirtbags I grew up with and had some fun."
Ironically, Buhrmester sent a copy of the book to Cole, the tour manager initially accused of having sticky fingers and pocketing the scratch, with an inscription that read 'Hope you get a laugh out of this!' Cole wrote back. "He said that he dug the book and did get a laugh out of it," Buhrmester revealed.