Boogie with Stu

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"Boogie with Stu"
Song by Led Zeppelin
from the album Physical Graffiti
Released 24 February 1975 (1975-02-24)
Recorded Headley Grange, Headley, England, 1971
Length 3:45
Label Swan Song
Producer(s) Jimmy Page

"Boogie with Stu" is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin from their 1975 album Physical Graffiti.

Recording and production[edit]

It was a freeform jam recorded in 1971 at Headley Grange by Island Studios, London, where the band had done most of the recording for their fourth album. They were using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio and were accompanied by Rolling Stones' road manager and pianist, Ian "Stu" Stewart, who ended up jamming with the band on piano.[3]

According to Jimmy Page this song would not have emerged had it not been for the particularly informal 'live-in' environment at Headley Grange where it was recorded:

Some of the things that happened there, like "Boogie with Stu" where Stu turns up and plays a piano that's totally unplayable, were incredible. That was too good to miss because Stu wouldn't record, he wouldn't do solo stuff. All of these things wouldn't end up on albums as far as other people were concerned, but they did with us.[4]

It has been reported that Plant played guitar on the track (Page playing mandolin).[5] The slapping guitar came from an overdub session with an ARP guitar synthesizer.[3] Bonham's drumming was improvised in the studio. The song was never performed live.[3]

Original title[edit]

The working title for this song was "Sloppy Drunk," said to be a title that Robert Plant came up with,[3] though in fact is the title of a Leroy Carr song.[6] The song was based (heavily according to author Dave Lewis) on Ritchie Valens' "Ooh, My Head," so his mother, under the name Mrs. Valens, was added to the credits.[3] Later, Valens' publisher, Kemo Music, filed suit for copyright infringement and an out of court settlement was reached.[7] As Page explained:

What we tried to do was give Ritchie's mother credit, because we heard she never received any royalties from any of her son's hits, and Robert did lean on that lyric a bit. So what happens? They tried to sue us for all of the song![8]


In a retrospective review of Physical Graffiti (Deluxe Edition), Mark Richardson of Pitchfork felt "Boogie with Stu" was one of the simplest tracks on Physical Graffiti and found he kept coming back to it more than any other track.[9] Richardson also believed "Boogie with Stu" is what "makes me think of what blues and early rock'n'roll meant to a certain generation of young men growing up in England during the 1950s and '60s", specifically how you would hear about lives being changed just by one record.[9]




  • Lewis, Dave (2004) The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9
  • Welch, Chris (1998) Led Zeppelin: Dazed and Confused: The Stories Behind Every Song, ISBN 1-56025-818-7


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti – Album Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Roberto Avant-Mier (6 May 2010). Rock the Nation: Latin/o Identities and the Latin Rock Diaspora. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 134. ISBN 978-1-4411-6448-3. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Dave Lewis (1994), The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.
  4. ^ Phil Alexander, "Up Close & Personal", Mojo magazine, February 2010, p. 72.
  5. ^ Led Zeppelin: Dazed and Confused: The Stories Behind Every Song, by Chris Welch, ISBN 1-56025-818-7
  6. ^ Shadwick, Keith. Led Zeppelin: The Story of a Band and Their Music, 1968-80 (2005): 144
  7. ^ Lehmer, Larry. The Day the Music Died: The Last Tour of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens (2004): 166
  8. ^ Brad Tolinski and Greg Di Bendetto, "Light and Shade", Guitar World magazine, January 1998.
  9. ^ a b Richardson, Mark (24 February 2015). "Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin IV/Houses of the Holy/Physical Graffiti Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 

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