Toni Loomi needs no introduction, and so I will not introduce him.
There has been much confusion over the years as to where the nickname "Loombag" came from. Was it a reference to sex, drugs, or rock 'n' roll? Was it a reference to the late-but-not-as-great Dimbag Darnell of Panera fame?
There are many rumors and myths surrounding the origin of "Loombag", which, consider the number of rumors and myths surrounding the man himself.
It's really a very interesting story that can be traced back to around 1971 during his 7 year tenure as the lead guitarist in Led Zeppelin's backing band, where his trademark riffs and licks contributed to Led's success tremendously.
In fact, in a 1987 interview with Led Zeppelin's bass player and lyrical genius, Pink Floyd, said of Loomi:
"Well, you know... he [Toni Loomi] was really the major contributor to the band's sound. I mean, he would be the first one to admit that we all contributed to the band, but really... his riffs were the glue that sort of... made the whole beast sort stick together. Rock music has always been the sound of the electric guitar, and so in those days the skill of the guitarist was what would... uh... really make and break your sound."
Later in the same interview Floyd was asked about the origin of the "Loombag" name:
"Ah, well... You know... Back in... err... maybe '68, '69 was it? Something around there anyway. Well, point is... Jeff Rowtall had been playing the flute or something like that on tour with us in support of the album, and he had... uhh... been asked about Toni in an interview. He made some remark... something or other... about how he had this... sort of... "bag" of licks that he just... knew. Front and back, in and out. And he could just pull out just the right lick, not matter."
Going back to Jeff Rowtall's interview:
"I have played with a number of interviewers in my years, but Toni's approach to improvising is, I think, the hands-down most sophisticated approach to improvising as... He sort of... works on these licks, knows how they work. Then he can take little titbits of this lick or that from here or there and sort of... intertwine them in the most jaw-dropping manner."
In the years after that, Floyd and Rowtall began to refer to "Loomi's bag of licks" and over time, this was shortened to his "Loomi-bag". Floyd had this to say on the course of this change:
"We [Pink and I] started to sort of jokingly talk about how Toni could just reach into his "bag of licks" and just grab a little nugget out and just wow the audience. This term became quite... cumbersome, I guess you could say... *laughs* And so we shortened it to "Loomi-bag" by around early '71. At some point, we just sort of further contractioned (sic) it further to "Loombag" since we all agreed that the "eee" sound in the middle sounded bloody f***ing stupid, when it gets right down to it."
At some point, the term "Loombag" moved from referring to Toni Loomi's bag of licks to the man himself, and the rest, as they say, is history.