Today in 1971, Zeppelin’s last show of this European tour (at the Vigorelli Velodrome football stadium in Milan) ended prematurely when a riot between fans and police broke out about 40 minutes into the show. The band fled the stage and their road crew was seriously injured while trying to save the equipment amidst clouds of teargas. John Paul Jones described the scene as “a war zone”. After an hour of waiting in their barricaded backstage room, armed officers escorted Zeppelin back to their hotel. Fans were still fleeing the area, hanging onto passing trucks and running in the streets. Only a small group of youths were responsible for sparking the entire incident, but police overreactions fueled the incident to a war-like fiasco. By the end of the evening, 40 people were injured, 16 arrested, 4 cars vandalized and the Velodrome sustained an enormous amount of damage.
Setlist: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Whole Lotta Love.
Also today, in 1980: At a show in Munich, Germany, Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke joined Zeppelin onstage for their “Whole Lotta Love” encore.