I'm two minutes late for my 3:00 p.m. phone call with Unity MacLean, the former publicist, A&R, and office manager for Led Zeppelin's Swan Song Records. It might as well have been a lifetime. I know she’s got stories to tell.
The youngest child of English cricketer Walter Robins, MacLean was born in Windsor, Berkshire, U.K. in 1948 and raised in Hampshire, in the South of the country. At 14, her family moved to London's hip St John's Wood, where she became entranced by the blossoming mid-’60s counter-culture. It was there that MacLean began hanging at her friend Kenny Evan's flat—in 1966, his roommates were Bernie Rhodes, a designer who would go on to discover Johnny Rotten for the Sex Pistols before managing the Clash, and Richard Cole, the late road manager for Led Zeppelin, with whom MacLean formed an instant friendship.
"I think [Cole and I] got along so well because we didn't bore each other with all the, ‘Oh, can you hear that bass come in through the speakers? Oh boy! The drums are just beating into your soul,’ [nonsense.] We never talked about that sort of crap." she says. "It was more 'What's your favorite whiskey, Richard? Let's get some beers in. What whiskey are we getting, let's have a few shots!’"