Led Zeppelin History – July 13

Today in 1985 Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones reunited for the Live Aid concert at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, playing a short set featuring Phil Collins on drums (Collins had contributed to Plant’s first two solo albums). However, the performance was marred by the lack of rehearsal, Page’s struggles with an out-of-tune guitar and poorly-functioning monitors, and by Plant’s hoarse voice. Page himself has described the performance as “pretty shambolic”, while Plant was even less charitable, characterizing it as an “atrocity”. When Live Aid footage was released on a four-DVD set in late 2004, the group unanimously agreed not to allow footage from their performance to be used, asserting that it was not up to their standards.   Setlist: Rock and Roll, Whole Lotta Love, Stairway to Heaven.

Live Aid was organized by Bob Geldof (The Boomtown Rats, “Pink” in the 1982 film The Wall) to raise funds for the then-ongoing famine relief in Ethiopia. It was a dual-venue concert, held simultaneously between JFK Stadium in Philadelphia and Wembley Stadium in London. Images were broadcast to over 1.5 billion people in 160 countries, making it the largest live broadcast ever known. The cream of the world’s biggest rock stars took part. Artists included Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, The Who, U2, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Queen, Tina Turner, The Cars, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Dire Straits, Bryan Adams, Hall and Oats and Lionel Richie. 

Led Zeppelin History – July 12

Today in 1988 Robert Plant performed at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa, and I was there. This was part of Plant’s “Non Stop Go” tour, in support of his fourth post-Zeppelin solo album, Now and Zen. Cheap Trick was the opening act.

Plant’s voice was in great shape (very “Zeppelin-esque”) and he alternated between his solo songs and Zeppelin classics. It was probably the next best thing (sound-wise) to actually seeing Led Zeppelin live.

Setlist: Helen of Troy, Other Arms, Billy’s Revenge, In The Evening, In The Mood, Black Country Woman, Ship of Fools, Dimples, Trampled Underfoot, Heaven Knows, Misty Mountain Hop, Big Log, Tall Cool One, Communication Breakdown.


©2016 by GotLed

Led Zeppelin History – July 11

Today in 1983 Robert Plant released his second post-Zeppelin solo album, The Principle of Moments. Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song label had ceased to function by this time, so Plant created his own label, titled Es Paranza, for its release. Billboard hits from the album included “Big Log”, “Other Arms” and “In The Mood”. Genesis drummer Phil Collins played drums for six of the album’s eight songs (as he did in 1982 on Plant’s Pictures at Eleven), and former Jethro Tull drummer Barriemore Barlow performed on the other two.


Led Zeppelin History – July 7

Today in 1968 Jimmy Page and the Yardbirds played their last gig ever, at Luton Technical College in Bedfordshire, England. The band dissolved after this.

Also today, in 1980, Led Zeppelin performed their last gig ever, at the Eissporthalle in Berlin. John Bonham would die two months later, effectively ending the band’s career. They finished this show with a 17-minute version of Whole Lotta Love.

Zeppelin show setlist: Train Kept a Rollin’, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Out On the Tiles (intro), Black Dog, In The Evening, The Rain Song, Hot Dog, All My Love, Trampled Underfoot, Since I’ve Been Loving You, White Summer / Black Mountain Side, Kashmir, Stairway to Heaven, Rock and Roll, Whole Lotta Love.

Led Zeppelin History – July 6

Today in 1969 Zeppelin played the last day of the four-day Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, RI, despite being “banned”.

Setlist: Train Kept a Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, You Shook Me, How Many More Times, Lemon Song, Communication Breakdown, Long Tall Sally.

Review: Zeppelin Close Newport, Despite Ban!
The three day event attracted a record crowd of some 80,000, the heaviest attendance figures of 25,000 coming on Friday night, which was devoted entirely to heavy rock. It also attracted the attention of the local authorities who, because of the tension and near riotous situation which prevailed, demanded that Led Zeppelin be cancelled from the final bill on Sunday, and subsequently revoked the permission given them for the opening concert on the Blind Faith tour.

Other British acts there were Jeff Beck, Ten Years After, Jethro Tull, and John Mayall. Beck, Ten Years and Jethro all appeared Friday, along with Roland Kirk and Blood Sweat and Tears. Beck had the responsibility of closing an incredible show which was literally a six-hour swing through the best in rock. All the excitement caused tension, the tension provoked trouble with the local authorities, and the city of Newport, hardly used to rock, told promoter George Wein to cancel Led Zeppelin’s appearance on Sunday “in the interest of public safety”.

So Wein announced that Zeppelin would not appear, owing to the illness of one of the group. They showed up on Sunday anyway, and at 1am proceeded to go on stage and completely destroy the audience.

It was a strange situation for Zeppelin to be in. Jimmy Page said: “You don’t blow a date like this one. Not after all that. The Newport Jazz Festival was far too important to us to just cancel out and I’m very upset at the whole thing. Wein should never have announced once of us was ill.” (J. Harris, July 1969)

Led Zeppelin History – July 5

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 has 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 had been injured, 16 arrested, 4 cars were 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. I believe the footage can be found on YouTube.

©2016 by GotLed

GotLed’s “This Day in Led Zeppelin History” Blog

(NOTE: This is the first chronological “Zeppelin History” posting on this blog. For the July 1 inaugural post, please click on the Mario Medious Interview link to the left.  -GotLed)

July 4 –
Today in 1979: Already scheduled for August 4, Zeppelin confirmed a second Knebworth Park appearance for August 11, due to exceptional demand (after touring much of the rest of the world, these would be Zeppelin’s first British shows in four years).Knebworth-Unused1

©2016 by GotLed