Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Physical GraffitiReleased: 1975
"Stu" is Ian Stewart, the Rolling Stones road manager and piano player. The song was recorded when Led Zeppelin was set up in Headley Grange. They were using the Rolling Stones mobile recording unit and Stu stopped in. There was an old piano in the main room that was slightly out of tune. Stu was playing it and Jimmy Page was tuning his guitar to how the piano was out of tune. Tape was rolling and everything was pretty much improvised from Bonzo's drumming to the lyrics Plant was singing.
Stewart was considered the "6th Stone." Stones management felt he didn't fit the image and kept him behind the scenes. He died of a heart attack in 1985.
This was recorded in 1971. It was used on Physical Graffiti to fill the double album.
Lead singer Robert Plant played guitar, while guitarist Jimmy Page played mandolin.
The lyrics were taken from the Ritchie Valens song "Ooh My Head." Since Valens was dead, his mom was given a composer credit so she would get some royalties. That's why "Mrs. Valens" is listed on the album. The composer credit reads: Page/Plant/Jones/Bonham/Ian Stewart/Mrs. Valens.
While "Mrs. Valens" has always been listed as a composer of this song, the Valens estate sued the band in 1979 over the amount of royalties they were owed.