When picturing the rolling hills and bubbling rivers of the Shire or the splendor of Imladris, readers might not initially have thoughts of shredding guitars and flashing stage lights. But Lord of the Rings and rock and roll quickly became irrevocably associated thanks to the dedicated work of Led Zeppelin, which repeatedly made references to Tolkien's work in their songs. The stories of Middle-earth have captivated readers, movie-watchers, and music aficionados for generations, since the 1937 publication of The Hobbit. It's been 85 years since first leaving Bag-End and there have been radio shows, cartoons, blockbuster films and most recently a series by Amazon. But before it all, the rock and roll scene embraced the legendarium, with Led Zeppelin most famous of all. Where are the tributes to this epic fantasy hidden in one of music's most formative groups, and what made something so seemingly different so appealing to the rockstars? Led Zeppelin was ready to ramble on to Mordor Led Zeppelin has referenced Tolkien's work numerous times / Everett Collection Based in England and formed in 1968, Led Zeppelin is regarded as one of the founding groups of hard rock and heavy metal. Like other artists, though, their style drew inspiration from other genres like folk and blues. These roots are especially audible in their early work; blues and folk tunes wove stories of love, loss, and adventure. This was encouraged by vocalist and lyricist Robert Plant's own fascination with stories and legends. Listeners can hear this in songs like "Kashmir" and "Immigrant Song." THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, US advance poster art, Elijah Wood, 2001. ©New Line Cinema/courtesy Everett Collection RELATED: An Inside Look Into The Bizarre Night When Led Zeppelin Met Elvis Presley Also, early in the band's life, listeners were introduced to "Ramble On," full of falling leaves, flowing drinks, and Gollum, creeping and stealing away. Even before the blatant references surface, the song's very introduction is rife with ideas of adventure, travel, and the supernatural. In fact, its introduction is a synopsis of a poem Tolkien composed in the Elvish dialect of Quenya. The nods to this fantastical series became even more obvious a few short years later with "Misty Mountain Hop," whose title is a direct nod to a location Bilbo Baggins travels through - and where he finds the famed One Ring. But these references act as more than just love letters to a good story; they are ways to elevate values the Led Zeppelin members held dear. Like-minded individuals found something they value in 'Lord of the Rings' The Lord of the Rings appealed to people like the members of Led Zeppelin / Flickr For all its fantasy elements, Lord of the Rings has inspirations rooted in raw reality. Reverential romance permeates every hill of the Shire because of Tolkien's own love of nature and rejection of industrialization. The destructive Isengard was something of an analog for the Industrial Revolution that left Tolkien's home country transformed after World War II. After experiencing combat in World War I firsthand, he understood the grave cost too well, and the ideal life would be kicking up his feet with a good drink, plenty of food, and some pipeweed, of course. Not unlike the life of hobbits, who want nothing to do with the turmoil of the larger world of Man. THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME, Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, 1976 / Everett Collection That all sounds very appealing to Plant's counterculture sympathies that were anti-establishment, pro-personal liberation, and very pro-experimental drugs and peace. Indeed, The Vintage News argues, anyone with a fondness for the hippie movement found reason to love Lord of the Rings. The rebellious rockstars of Led Zeppelin were no different. They say as much in "The Battle of Evermore," singing that "The pain of war cannot exceed the woe of aftermath," of course throwing in, "The Ringwraiths ride in black, ride on." For those whose spirit is crying for leaving when they look west, perhaps it's time to ramble on back to Middle-earth with Led Zeppelin and Lord of the Rings.