Being a big Led Zeppelin fan, I had to make some sort of Zeppelin shirt. But what was I to do? Unlike a band like the Grateful Dead, who had a plethora of iconography to choose from, Led Zeppelin had limited visual symbolism. The two items I settled on as instantly recognizable imagery, Led Zeppelin swiped from other artists. Is “Imitation the sincerest form of flattery”? Or, it it just business as usual in the art world?
The original image that Led Zeppelin borrowed their Swan Song glyph from is called “Evening (Fall of Day) and is from circa 1869. It was meant to be a depiction of Apollo the Greek Sun God. As a young adult I looked at the image and assumed I was looking at Icarus (obviously also a Greek creation) flying to close to the Sun.