Today in 1964 Jimmy Page arrived in New York, during his first visit to the US. He was in transit to Los Angeles, as a guest of Bert Berns. Berns was a legendary R&B producer and songwriter for Atlantic Records who was responsible for countless hits, including The Isley Brothers’ Twist & Shout, Irma Franklin’s Piece of My Heart and Solomon Burke’s Everybody Needs Somebody. During Page’s stay Berns took him to Atlantic Records (who Page would sign with four years later with Led Zeppelin), where he met some of the label’s top management. “When people visit America, the very first port of entry always has a lasting effect on them. It certainly did for me, feeling the energy of New York and being introduced to these musical icons.”
Page: “I had first met Bert Berns when he came over to England. Atlantic Records were being distributed by Decca in the UK at the time, and it was a pretty unique situation to have a producer come over from the states to work with in-house artists. One of the sessions that Bert did in London was Here Comes the Night with Lulu, which he was also to produce with Them. Lulu’s version was recorded in Decca Studios. She sings a really credible version, which is worth hearing. I played guitar on this and also did some guitar overdubs on it.”
Today in 1970 Led Zeppelin III was in the Top 10 on both the US and UK album charts. Advance orders in the US alone were close to the 1 million mark, and its release (October) was trailered by a full-page ad in the music trade magazines:
Today in 1969 Atlantic Records planned to release “Whole Lotta Love” as a single in the UK, but Zeppelin manager Peter Grant was adamant that the band maintained a “no singles” approach to their music in the UK, and halted the release. The song was eventually released in the UK in 1997, as a CD single combined with “Baby Come On Home” and “Traveling Riverside Blues”. It reached #21 on the charts.
Also today, “Whole Lotta Love” made its debut on the U.S. singles chart. It went on to peak at #4, and was the first of six Top 40 singles for the band in the U.S.
Today in 1972 Led Zeppelin appeared at Green’s Playhouse in Glasgow, Scotland.
LED ZEPPELIN press man BP Fallon was beaten up during Zeppelin’s first concert at Green’s Playhouse, Glasgow, on Sunday night. The band were playing two nights in Glasgow, and there had been some confusion over tickets – plus some forgeries in circulation.
Fallon was trying to sort things out, and approached someone who he’d been told had been selling tickets outside the theatre. “I’m not big enough to be aggressive, even if I wanted to be,” said Fallon on Monday, “but I went up to him and said I understood there’d been some confusion about tickets.” The guy and two friends jumped on BP and beat and kicked him. He was cut and bruised, but on Monday was “hobbling around” without serious injury. “Frankly, I’m glad I didn’t get a knife in my back,” he said.
Glasgow police took away a number of tickets, and were planning to keep a close watch on people selling them outside the venue on Monday. On Sunday night, some people paid £5 for £1 tickets to see Zeppelin.
Today in 1972 Led Zeppelin kicked of their eighth UK tour (Dec 1, 1972 – Jan 30, 1973), at Newcastle City Hall in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
The setlist included Rock and Roll, Over the Hills and Far Away, Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Dazed and Confused, The Crunge, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love (medley including Everybody Needs Someone To Love, Boogie Chillen’, Need Your Love Tonight, For What It’s Worth, Heartbreak Hotel).
Today in 1979 John Bonham, John Paul Jones and Robert Plant attended the Melody Maker reader’s poll awards at London’s Waldorf Hotel, where they received awards for Best Live Act, Best Group, Best Album (In Through the Out Door), Best Guitarist, Best Producer, Best Composer, and Best Male Vocalist.
Plant succeeded Yes’ Jon Anderson (the previous year’s Best Vocalist), and Jimmy Page succeeded Yes’ Steve Howe and Genesis as Best Guitarist and Best Producer, respectively.
Today in 1971, Led Zeppelin’s 4th album made its debut on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. Peaking at #2 (it failed to knock Carol King’s Tapestry out of the #1 spot), it remained on the chart for 259 weeks and would prove to be the most durable seller in Zeppelin’s catalog and the most impressive critical and commercial success of their career.
Although also known as Led Zeppelin IV, Untitled, Runes, Four Symbols and Zoso, the album is officially untitled. Released on Nov. 8 (Nov. 12 in the UK), it was certified Gold by the RIAA on Nov. 16, and 23x Platinum on Jan. 30, 2006 (selling 38 million copies worldwide).