Missouri resident George F. Blackburn had a moment of inspiration one day when he went to the local courthouse to finalize his divorce from his third wife. The 64-year-old gentleman seized the opportunity to file papers with the clerk's office to do something he'd been thinking about for years: changing his name to Led Zeppelin II, after his favorite album by the great rock band.
"I reinvented myself," he tells stltoday.com. "Since I became Led Zeppelin, my life has improved a thousand fold."
Zeppelin said he had a childhood fascination with zeppelins, and has been a fan of the rock stars since seeing them live in concert in Chicago in the late 1960s. It has been a love affair with their music since. The "II" at the end of the name is after the band's second album, "Led Zeppelin II."
"I don't want to appear to be some off-the-wall, drug-addict idiot," he said. "I just changed my name from the standpoint that I can be a better person than I used to be."
He said it's a tribute to the music. "They changed my life, forever, and that's my whole reason for doing this."
When some fellow Led Zeppelin music fans learn his name, he said, they buy him drinks and dinner. They say they admire him for having the guts to do it. Even his ex-wife is supportive, calling him L.Z. or Zep.
Some folks still call him George instead of Led, and he said he's fine with that, too. "I want them to be comfortable."
I got a whole lotta love for that guy. What is and what should never be is the freedom to redefine ourselves as we see ourselves. I could listen to him ramble on all day about his new name, he has a way of bringing it on home. Thank you.
Read the full story here at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.