Today in 1970 Zeppelin played the Man Pop Festival in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This was an outdoor music festival that began at noon, but by 2:00pm it began pouring rain and at 5:00pm it was decided to move the festival indoors to the adjacent Winnipeg Arena. Some of Zep’s equipment did not arrive in Winnipeg, and so they used some gear borrowed from other bands on the bill. The Guess Who’s Randy Bachman loaned Jimmy Page his Les Paul, the one used on “American Woman” (according to Bachman). Zeppelin didn’t get onstage until after 1:00 AM, and played until 3:00 AM.
PRESS REVIEW: It was 3 a.m., the show had run very late, however the group didn’t appear to be dragging; they were full of fun, life and love. Unlike the impression their music may give, Zeppelin are not tough characters; they are not star struck. They are the every-day-people types; just four regular down-to-earth chaps that have a lot of fun running the world playing their music.
The first thing Jimmy Page did was to call for some tea. “Please send tea for 25” he told the voice on the other end of the phone, there were five of us in the room, and John Bonham said “Well you never know when friends might drop in” in a slightly too posh English accent which sent the rest of the group into guffaws of laughter. High flying, blonde and beautiful lead vocalist Robert Plant commented on the night’s performance; “We’re not exactly happy about what went down tonight, it was hard to really get into it because of the sound. Our music demands a great deal of equipment for one thing and the building we were in wasn’t too hot on the old acoustics was it?” I had to agree with him.
John Paul Jones said, “It was just an unfortunate set of circumstances, we don’t blame anybody for it, I think you lot did a pretty good job, what with all the groups pitching in with their equipment and your local sound people, with such short notice. I feel sorry for the cats that lost all their sound system out there in the rain. Their insurance company is going to have a fit when they find out what happened!” (Ann Stark, 1970)