Today in 1968 Led Zeppelin invaded America! They started their very first US tour at Denver Auditorium Arena as an unbilled opening act for Vanilla Fudge and Spirit. The story, from the Rocky Mountain News:
Denver music man Barry Fey (Feyline Productions) nearly became famous for being the guy who refused to book Led Zeppelin.
Fey had sold out a Dec 26, 1968 Vanilla Fudge and Spirit concert in the Denver Auditorium Arena. About 10 days before the show, he got a call from Ron Terry, Vanilla Fudge’s agent, saying he wanted to add an act to the show. Fey told Terry all the tickets were sold. Terry begged, saying “You’ve got to do this for me, Barry; this is a big, big act. Their name is Led Zeppelin.” Fey thought it was a joke and turned Terry down.
Ten minutes later Terry called back and said “Vanilla Fudge is going to give you $750, and if you provide $750 of your own money, we still can put Led Zeppelin on the show”. Fey finally agreed. The concert crowd had no idea that this new heavy-metal band from Britain was added to the show, and that night marked Zeppelin’s American debut.
Fey got up on the stage and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, give a warm Denver welcome to Led Zeppelin”. Fey said, “They started playing, and it was incredible. It was an unbelievable show; people were gasping. That was a big day in Denver history”.