Bad Company’s Simon Kirke Shares Their Own Shark Story
via Paste Magazine / Youtube
Simon Kirke, the legendary drummer and founder of hard rock supergroup Bad Company, told a hilarious story about what he called an “innocent” shark episode in a recent interview clip that VRP Rocks posted.
As he told the story, Kirke disclosed that the band’s ordeal took an unexpected turn when they were barred from the hotel they had been staying in—a turn that remarkably resembled a previous incident involving the venerable band Led Zeppelin.
The band’s earnest attempts to protect the shark in question made theirs different from their fellow hard rockers. Bad Company’s acts had not been as benign as they had intended, even with the best of intentions. In his funny retelling, Kirke created a clear picture of the tragedy and its aftermath.
In the end, Clive Coulson, their manager became enraged after he heard about the shark and a cleaner maid getting hurt, telling Kirke off, “We’re banned, we gotta have to find another f*cking hotel, idiots!”
They caught a shark and thought it was a good idea to keep it in the tub
In one segment of VRP Rocks, Paul Stephenson asked Simon Kirke to retell the infamous shark in the bathtub as it always puts a smile on the podcast host’s face.
The drummer shared how he and bassist Boz Burrell were out smoking spliffs at Seattle’s Edgewater Hotel—the same hotel Led Zeppelin stayed in that offers fishing from their windows—when Burrell got a tug from his rod.
It was a four-foot shark that they wrestled back into the room where the duo decided to stuff it in their room’s bathtub. They left the sea creature flapping around in the tub and got out for their next gig.
“[Coulson] comes out with this look of thunder on his face. He says, ‘You, Simon. You were in Boz’s room, right?’ And we’re going, ‘Uh oh. Yeah, we were’. He says, ‘Well, the maid was in the room and apparently she was cleaning when she pulled back the shower and there is a shark in there, and it’s kind of flapped around.’”
Their ‘good intentions’ resulted in a lifetime ban
The sudden appearance of the shark must have surprised the maid, and she acted quickly to get the band barred from the hotel chain. Kirke described the incident as it happened, quoting their manager, “‘She slipped, she sprained her wrist and she’s banged her head, and she’s suing us.’ And we’re banned…”
The consequences were immediate and severe. Coulson was so angry he cursed the duo on the phone, saying, “We’re banned, we gotta have to find another f*cking hotel, idiots.”
Fascinatingly, the story is similar to the infamous Led Zeppelin “mud shark story”. Caught in a weird dilemma of reeling a shark, and with intentions of not hurting the animal, Kirke and Burrell decided to do what they thought was the best option, instead of, y’know, chucking it back to the ocean where it belonged.
They had little to no idea that their good intentions would spur a maid’s lawsuit, which would result in a lifetime ban from staying at the hotel. The similarities between the two tales highlight how erratic and frequently ridiculous touring life for rock stars can be.
Led Zeppelin’s infamous mud shark incident
The shark tale of Led Zeppelin develops as a very different and contentious chapter from Bad Company’s aquatic mishap. The hard rock pioneers’ infamous shark story had always remained a dark tale of their rock and roll lifestyle, as detailed in the 1985 biography Hammer of the Gods.
According to the book, Led Zeppelin engaged in an intriguing series of events with members of Vanilla Fudge and their road manager following their successful capture of a shark. A strange twist to this story goes further: the musicians allegedly proceeded to implant portions of the shark into the vagina of a groupie who was “disrobed” and then tied up to a bed.
Mark Blake, the author of Bring It On Home: Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin, and Beyond–The Story of Rock’s Greatest Manager, argued that the incident is indeed based in reality, despite doubts about the story’s veracity growing over time.
Rock & roll history is characterized by turbulence and eccentricity, and this contentious occurrence has sparked discussion and curiosity among both fans and critics. You can watch the snipper of Simon Kirke sharing the story below: