Concert memories

This section focuses on the memories that Led Zeppelin fans have of going to see them live. Led Zeppelin remain without a doubt the finest live band in Rock History, and to see them on stage was a great honour and a special event. Hopefully after reading this other fans all over the World will be good enough to send their memories of a concert that they went to, for inclusion here.

To start the ball rolling, Phil Bushe of Stafford, England, has sent in the following reminiscences about two Led Zeppelin concerts that he attended, at The Place in Hanley on 14 March 1971, and on 15 January 1973 at Trentham Gardens in Stoke on Trent:-

"I'd just turned 16 in late '70 and a school chum was real keen to show me some records he found at home in a large carry case and that belonged to a lodger.  Curiosity almost killed the cat - we were caught red-handed pilfering through his prized collection of Pink Floyd, Van Der Graaf Generator, Soft Machine, Blodwyn Pig and other rarities including a newly purchased Led Zeppelin II album which was in my sticky little mitts as he walked in and almost had a heart attack!  That album cover blew me away and that was where it all began - in my friend's living room with the lodger verbally assaulting us for he was worth. The last time I saw Zepp was at Trentham Gardens, Stoke-On-Trent and after listening to Broken Fingers I can't ever remember Plant sounding that bad!  I was right in the front row, cross-legged between him and Page and just missed catching his bow after he finished his section on D&C.  It was in tatters!!  Everyone jumped for it.  The set went on for a lot longer than any CD I've seen of this concert - almost 3 hours if I'm not mistaken and there was no warm-up band.  My head was still ringing the following week.  I don't think any of my friends or myself were prepared for the sheer volume and force of the playing.  I still have very fond memories, especially after the doors opened and we sprinted like athletes on steroids to get the best place.  Awesome!  I wish I still had the ticket stubs.  My mum threw everything away after I left home, including programmes!!!!!!  The '71 show was at The Place. I can't remember it very well and only as a vague memory.  I was hopping from concert to concert in those days - Black Sabbath, Mayfair Ballroom in Birmingham, where everyone seemed to be smoking and stubbing out the dog ends in the thickest red pile carpet I'd ever seen.  Buxton pop festival, Yes, Rory Gallagher, Wishbone Ash and so on.  What a period in music history - kids today don't have any heroes, or so it seems."

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Thanks to Joel Barron for sharing his memories of the Newport Jazz Festival on 6 July 1969:

In 1969 the Newport Jazz Festival included several "jazz-rock" groups that the organizer, George Wein, invited on the recommendation of advisors hip to the new wave of sounds in the late sixties. He thought he needed to have some of this to keep up with music trends. Well it turned out to be a ROCK festival, with all that goes along with it, i.e. drugs, nudity, and assorted hippiedom. There were also traditional jazz performers mixed in with the rock groups. Many of the blue blooded rich of Newport were near the front rows and they were mortified by the blasting volume and antics of the rock bands. The local newspaper had photos of these people and their facial reactions to the proceedings. It was GREAT! Some of the rock performers were Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, Ten Years After, Johnny Winter, Frank Zappa, Sly and the Family Stone, and Jethro Tull. Friday night was billed as "Jazz-Rock" night and had the bulk of these bands then. However, Led Zeppelin played as the last band on the last night of the festival, Sunday. As the festival was about to begin on Thursday, the townspeople and the police began to take notice of the undesirable element (hippies) invading the small town of Newport, Rhode Island. People had no place to stay so they ended up camping on lawns, in parks, and on the beach. During the shows people surged the stage and many outside of the festival grounds snuck in through the fence. It was seen as a riot and George Wein freaked out. He made an announcement that Led Zeppelin would NOT be performing. He was trying to get the masses of hippies to leave and restore normality. I attended the Sunday evening show, I was only 12 years old but into the whole scene. My father was in the Navy and as a result I lived on the base only 1/4 mile away from the grounds! I could hear the Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows from my house! My next door neighbor and I walked to the concert just outside the base gate. Let's see, Buddy Rich, Herbie Hancock, Gypsy and the Savage Rose, B.B. King and Johnny Winter played before Zeppelin. As Led Zeppelin were coming into town in a limo they noticed all these cars leaving. They were wondering why. Well, Peter Grant (their manager) found out about George Wein making his announcement of an Led Zeppelin no-show and gave George Wein a piece of his mind and said they WERE GONNA PLAY! Since festival goers had heard about the no-show many had left by the time Led Zeppelin came on. It seemed to be about midnight when they took the stage. Opening with Train Kept a Rollin' that electrified the few that had stayed, the place appeared to be less than half full. Robert Plant said over the loudspeakers that he heard there were rumors of their non-appearance but assured the crowd they never intended not to play. Drawing mostly from their first album they played about an hour. I remember How Many More Times the best. It was my favorite Zep tune. They really jammed. Also, Dazed And Confused sent the crowd crazy with the violin bow section. After it was over my friend and I walked back to the Navy base gate where my parents were waiting, angry at me staying so long. Being only 12 at the time I had to be reminded by some newspaper accounts to validate my faded memories. I still remember the Joshua Light Show (brought in from the Fillmore shows), the smell of my first time around pot, and how the P.A system sounded pretty shitty. But what a great experience to see these bands and it was a full month before WOODSTOCK!!

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San Bernardino 8 August 1969

This received from Jgaul:-

I went to the Zeppelin concert on 8-8-69 at the Swing Auditorium with my girlfriend Andrea Johnson, and a bunch of my friends. Tickets were $3.75 as I recall. At the Swing there were seats around the perimeter of the indoor venue, but the whole floor area was open. We stood at the front of the stage, only 10 feet from the band! To top it of, the opening act was Jethro Tull. Ian Anderson still wore his patchwork coat in those days. Anyway, we knew at the time it was a bitchin' concert, but little did we know how cool it would seem all these years later. The Swing was especially hot inside that night. I think Jimmy had to keep tuning his Les Paul a lot. They opened with Train Kept A' Rollin'. The three members of the band took the stage, then at the start of the song you heard this sustained feedback, and on came Jimmy Page. An opening song I won't forget.

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Another early memory is from Hemisfair Arena, San Antonio, Texas 0n 15 August 1969 (courtesy of Dan O'Connor):

" San Antonio, TX. August '69. It was nearing my birthday (Aug 15) and mom had taken me to North Star Mall (actually the second indoor mall in the U.S.). Now the world was DIFFERENT back then, especially in San Antonio. The AM radio did not carry any "concert info" and the "underground" FM stations, well they were on so late, how would I know. Mom and I walked past a small record store that had a sign up announcing Led Zeppelin tix would go on sale that very day, indeed almost at that moment. No crowds, no fuss, no nothing. So mom got a pair of tix for me and a pal next door for my birthday. She or dad would drive the 20 miles into San Antonio and hang out while we went in. In those days, if our hair touched our eyebrows, ears, or collar, you were sent home for a haircut or suspended. I liked neither! So here I am 13 yrs old with a "bap" haircut and mom buying me tix. She sprung for the good ones. Row H (whatever that meant). The big night. Guys at school are talking about this "new" sound that Zeppelin is putting out. Jethro Tull is kicking ass too. We go to the Hemisfair Arena and eventually get to our seats which we notice seem to be in the 8th row center!! What good luck!! I do not remember who opened but it was likely The Children or perhaps Bubble Puppy. Next comes out Ian Anderson. Now I am already a "seasoned" drummer of 4 years and even taking lessons. In band and all at Junior High School. Anderson and crew looked like they stepped out of a Dickens novel, early English outfits, Martin Barre wearing powder all over his face looking dead. And Clive Bunker, the drummer, was just on fire. Ian spun his flute and danced, wow!! It was great!! So now the wait for Led Zeppelin. My buddy and I got up and walked all around gripping our ticket stubs as though life depended on it (that night it did). Security was different then. Nobody hardly tried to go backstage except chicks. And there were only saw horses standing in your way at that. It is getting later. Finally I want to ask what is up. I see this long (LONG) haired fellow standing near the stage steps wearing jeans and LADIES low heals!! I thought man these English are a bit gone. So I ask him, "Say, man," in my squeaky 13 yr old voice, "is Led Zeppelin coming on soon?" He turns and pleasantly smiles and says, "Yeah--any minute now." SO we scurry back to our seats, now occupied by two groupies. We are scared shitty. These broads look serious man. Serious. It seems as if everyone is staring at us and pissed. We figure they are gonna steal our seats but squeeze in anyway. I am gonna see the show!! Finally, I get an usher that takes the broads away. The whole line CHEERS us!! ! WOW!! Far out man! Now we sit down and I look up and who is the lead singer but the dude I was talking to!! WOW!! Zeppelin breaks into their routine, playing the first album and who knows what. Jimmy whips out a violin bow and has a go at his Les Paul. Bonham plays with his hands. The show absolutely rocked the house. I will never forget that night. Before light shows (blinking colored lights), they just had on stage lights period, and played their asses off. Of course I still have my ticket stub as I do all of my shows. Zeppelin came through three more times, I believe, and each time it just got crazier. Recently, Plant and Page came to Orlando on the No Quarter tour. I was afraid to go but had to. I hated to see the guys a parody of themselves but went out of respect. Man, they flat tore the ass off of the stage. I believe that they are better than ever, oddly enough. Many ovations, and my nieces gave me a sudden look of awe. "Like, now we understand what you have tried to tell us about the glory days of rock and roll! "When this new, loud as hell blues was not called "metal", when bands truly were forming what would be known as Zep!!! This was a real experience. The second show I ever attended, right after Jimi Hendrix!!

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Many thanks to Iden for his memories of that classic and simply superb concert that Led Zeppelin played in Toronto on the 18 August 1969:

"It was a hot August night in the summer of 1969 and it we were not headed to a Neil Diamond concert. A sensational power rock band, Led Zeppelin, the latest version of heavy bands which started with Cream back in 66 were in Toronto to do two sold out shows. My friends Donnie Ditchburn, David Strawbridge who worked for John Gibb, a local Toronto clothier (his store was later to become Long johns, retailers of rock n' roll clothing, and I had tickets to the 7:00 p.m. show. Gibb was an old school chum of Jimmy Page and he had had them over for dinner that evening. Pagey as he was called by his mates, was the former front man and lead guitarist for the now defunct Yardbirds, and since he had formed his new band Led Zeppelin, they sailed to the top of the album charts and underground radio stations with their first record entitled Led Zeppelin 1. A previous gig at the same venue earlier in the year (February) had brought quite a lot of good press, especially from Ritchie Yorke, the Toronto Telegram's resident writer for rock concert reviews back then. Since the release of the first album, Led Zeppelins popularity had created a large cult following thanks to the incredible guitar playing of Jimmy Page and the wailing and siren like voice of the lead singer, Robert Plant. The giant leap in record sales and popularity became for the promoters of this particular show, both a blessing and a curse. Led Zeppelins fee had jumped from 2,000 in February to 8,000 for the two shows on this night, and Peter Grant, Led Zeppelins notorious manager was not prepared to honor the agreement he had made with the promoters back in February. More about this later.
 The venue for the concert was called the Rockpile, which in fact was the old Masonic Temple located at Davenport and Yonge St. In the past year (68-69), The Rockpile had been converted to Toronto's version of Fillmore East, which was much to the disgruntlement of the old Masons who still had some sway and influence in the running of the hall. What bothered them most was all the Marijuana smoke used by all of the stoned out hippies who attended these shows. To the Masons, this temple was a sacred venue. It was a very hot August night as the doors opened at 6:30 and the huge line up piled in quickly so as to get the best possible viewpoint in the hall as there were no seats, you got to sit cross legged on the main floor or stand in the Balcony.
 By the time my mates and I got inside we headed straight up up to the balcony area which was jammed packed shoulder to shoulder and hot hot hot. David was a bit of a dandy and would not have considered for a minute sitting down in his finest Carnaby Street styled garb. We would regret not sitting in a bit later. By the time the opening act came on, Edward Bear, The inside of the building must have gone well into the 90 degree Fahrenheit range with very high humidity and high smoke density. You surely did not need to bring your own stuff that night because the air was filled with the sweet smell of pungent smoke. Edward Bear, was local pop trio and radio favorite who had a hit, You Me and Mexico. I found them to be very commercial and in fact could not stand their veiled attempts to look the part with long haired crowd by looking the part with hair down to their shoulders and bell bottomed jeans while at the same time they played forgettable commercial pop. We were here to see our  heroes play with the Marshall amps stacked to the ceiling, wailing away to the songs from Led Zeppelin 1. Once their set was finished, they were given a polite and energetic hometown Canadian response and off they went. Perhaps we only had a 20 minute wait for the main act, our heroes!! I couldn't stand the excitement and anticipation, this was going to be my first live experience to the most listened to band in my repertoire of favorite groups and it was all about to unfold live in front of my eyes. And we waited, and we sweated some more, and we waited. It suddenly dawned on us that there was a problem. Led Zeppelin was backstage but Peter Grant would not let them go on. Seems the promoters insisted that he honor the contractual option they had exercised from the previous gig and Peter Grant said no way. His attitude was that they had two sold out houses and the band wanted their full fee otherwise they were going back to the hotel and onto the next city on this tour. A tug  of war was going on while the 2000 or so of us sweated it out and waited some more. The promoters finally gave in and after about 1 1/2 hours of waiting, which made it about 9:00 pm, we heard the roadies nailing down a drum kit behind the curtain followed by a drummer slashing away at his drums getting ready to play. Then we heard a guitar, and then a bass guitar. Ooh I couldn't take the excitement at that stage, we were moments away.  Suddenly, there was a locomotive opening guitar sound from the song A Train kept a Rollin, an old Yardbirds standby. A thundering drum sound and then the curtains exploded open. There they were. The place was bedlam. The band looked very little like the group photo on the back of the first album. Plant had hair down to the middle of his back in blond curls, and was dressed in bell bottom blue jeans and a bright red tee shirt. Page had hair down to his waist, dressed in pink pants and had a Les Paul Sunburst guitar draped over his body, and Jones and Bonham also had very very long hair and wore the fashions of the day even in this ridiculous hot house. All I could think at that moment was how cool they looked. It was like a wave of gigantic sound had hit you and we were on a journey to places I had never been to before in a concert. Marshall amps were piled to the ceiling. It was loud and that was fine by me, how else was one to listen to Led Zeppelin except at ear splitting volume. Plant sang stronger and harder than anything I'd ever heard before on record. He raced around the stage shaking his shoulders, whipping his head around to shake all that hair, and throwing back beer from the Heinekens he had stashed on Jonesy's amp at the back of the stage, while the maestro Jimmy Page leaned over his guitar, brought his knees together in a weird sort of knock kneed pose, while rarely looking up from behind all of that jet black cascading mop. The music spoke to us, we were a part of history as far as I was concerned because this group had more energy and spontaneity than any group I had ever seen. It was raw energy, uninhibited, creative, and free from any contrivances. They segued into I Cant quit you Babe, You Shook Me, and then Dazed and Confused where somewhere in the middle of the song, the violin bow came out. It was a typical 18-20 minute version of the song from the early days of the band but what really blew my mind was the vocal and guitar interplay between Page and Plant. Page would play some notes, Plant would sing them, Plant would sing some notes, Page would play them. This was not typical stuff that bands would do in concerts. This was taking improvisation out of the box, never to return, Amazing. Then, after Plant introduced the band to us as Jimmy played the intro notes to another Yardbirds standby, Smokestack Lightening, they jumped into the finale, How Many More Times complete with the Lemon Song bit into the middle. This number number completely brought the house down with the tradition blues rendition of Squeeze My Lemon until the juice runs down my leg. Then as fast as they had arrived, Robert said to us We have another house to play to tonight, sorry we took so long and see you soon. Then they were off, no encore . When I left the venue and finally got onto the street out of the hot house of the Rockpile, I really thought that this group, Led Zeppelin would be bigger than Beatles. I was close, and 34 years later I'm still a big fan.
Best wishes, Iden"

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Here is a contribution from Craig Borda in Pennsylvania about his memories of Led Zeppelin playing at Madison Square Garden in New York City on 19 September 1970:

"On Sept.19th, 1970, I attended one of many shows that came to the New York and Philadelphia area of the U.S. Although I have many detailed memories of all the shows ranging from Philly '69 to Philly '76, I am constantly reminded (based on other reviews and memories I've read about) about how unique the afternoon, 2 pm show at Madison Square Garden was on the aforementioned date.

After being hopelessly addicted to live Zep after a Philly show in early '69, where they were still doing the very flashy premiere shows with the then mysterious Immigrant Song flowing right into the monstrous Dazed and Confused.....Jimmy doing his "sit down" numbers Black Mountain Side and White Summer...etc, my best friend and I (both just 15 ) learned of a new third album to be released very soon. in late summer of '70, my older brother (who just returned home after a stay in Vietnam with the Army), told my friend and I that a local AM radio station - yes...AM...... had received a promo 45rmp pre release of the song Gallows Pole. My brother knew the director at the station and by that evening we had the record in our hands and on a record player. We all sat there listening very seriously and somewhat wondering about what we were hearing. We couldn't help but wonder what was in store with the third LP, based on this promo record. The next day, as we were driving to a local record shop, on the same AM station, came an almost overwhelming advertisement : "Led Zeppelin next week in New York at MSG - evening show sold out - but tickets remain for an added show at 2 pm that same day". Needless to say we were on the phone with MSG and making sure that what we heard was for real.... a show way before the expected release date of LZ3! So, after borrowing a cassette tape recorder (sorry - the tapes are lost) from a poor soul who couldn't go along with us, we took a bus to MSG , hoping to get tickets on the spot when we arrived. Well, tickets we got, and by some stroke of luck, they were 5th row center. We were ready. But not for what came. About an hour before Showtime, as we sat there in total awe from the events, we saw a dark haired bearded man with a floppy hat (like a hiker or gardener would wear) walk up by the guitar amp area (Marshalls and Orange) .  We looked at each other and said at once, "New.....that couldn't be..... it must be his brother.... or..... new...." . It was. Jimmy had a beard and looked totally different than anything we expected. Jimmy talked with a stage hand about something for a few minutes from behind the amps, but I don't think anyone else recognized him due to his new look. (At this point, before I review the concert and the unique aspects of it, I should mention that at this point in time, no one in the audience knew about the band members new look, the names of the songs from THREE which were about to be performed, not even the name of IMMIGRANT SONG which was used in previous concert openers from '69 --- due to the fact that there were no internet , and even magazine articles were way behind on new events and up to the moment happenings).

...............SO, ON WITH THE SHOW !!!!!! .......... At about 2:15 PM , a radio personality from a local NY station walked on stage with the houselights still on and said "FROM ALL OF US AT NEW FM - PEACE - AND FROM ENGLAND AND THE NEW SURVEY JUST TAKEN, THE NUMBER ONE MOST POPULAR GROUP IN THE WORLD REPLACING THE BEATLES...... LED ZEPPELIN !"The announcer walked off as the lights went down and on walked all four member of the band. As mentioned before, we had a preview of Jimmy with his beard, hat, and blue jeans. Robert we now saw was sporting his "sir guy de guy" swashbuckler moustache/goatee, dressed rather typically for him in tight blue jean bellbottoms and a stretchy knitted top that showed off his middle. John Paul and Bonham were both dressed rather conservative in a way that looked like they were just there to do a few practice numbers...regular men's casual shirts, very uncommon-like and no glitz at all.

After a few thumps on the bass, a couple of drum whacks and a bit of guitar test notes , within about two minutes IMMIGRANT SONG (though we didn't know it's name - it wasn't out yet) started out of no where in tight thunderous fashion. No counting down 1,2,3 or even clicking of drum sticks. And that's not an easy tune for that to happen right on spot! Looking around , I noticed that there was something very different about this crowd compared to the first '69 show I saw in Philadelphia....... everyone was seated and staring up at the stage with jaws dropped in awe at who and what was on stage. No jumping around. No screaming. No standing. Not even the smell of marijuana or alcohol in the air. Just a packed arena of early Zep fans that had been totally taken aback by the event that was to be the most unique of all periods in Zepdom. So, from this perspective of uniqueness, (which was made more evident by the passage of these last thirty some years), our new claimants to "fab-fourdom" proceeded to deliver the very best of live music shows. Overall sound was , to my collective memory of many shows and venues, the most excellent of mix, volume level, and super home audios that I have ever experienced. It was powerful without being ear splitting. Wild without the typical mid-range mush so common even in our new millennium. The sound, the music, the Boys natural presence, the absence of goofy substance abusers acting like the apes from 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY &trying to touch or get near the monolith on stage...........well, I guess you get the picture. It wasn't the "band playing off the crowd" stuff we hear so much about but rather, LED ZEPPELIN DELIVERING their goods to the consumers in audience land. This was a delivery. And in much the same way that people come to hear classical music performed at a musical academy - sitting in reverent respect of what is delivered, followed by enthusiastic applause from their hearts, so did this afternoon crowd of respectful LZ fans. Immigrant Song flowed into Heartbreaker (hey, we knew the name of this one!!!) and Jimmy gave his usual command performance of guitar improvisation. Funny, but he, as well as his three mates, looked quite sober and visceral for 2 in the afternoon...... considering their reputation for being party boys. Well, they sure weren't burnt out looking on this day in New York.

With a pause after Heartbreaker, my friend decided to yell out requesting Dazed and Confused. With the lack of usual ambient crowd noise, his yell stood out like a sore thumb. But guess what song was next on their play list anyway? You got it. Plant looked our way and said : "RIGHT>>>> THIS NEXT ONE IS FROM WAY< WAY BACK>>>>" , John Paul came in with the ominous baseline and my friend and I looked at each other in disbelief. But rather than continue reviewing the rest of the show (the set list can be found in the TABLE tour history pages) I'll just give a few highlights....... When the folding chairs were put out on stage and acoustic guitars and mandolins appeared, I knew that this show had nothing to do with anything from the raucous early few years. At the time, I was somewhat shocked, but looking back from Jan.2002 , I now realize that these guys had a gift matched by no other pop music group from that time - or even since. Bonham played the bass notes on John Paul's organ foot petals at the end of That's The Way. Robert hit freaking'high notes on the stuff from THREE that I never heard him do ever again in future shows. Since I've Been Loving You gave new hope for the blues edge that was the basis for the band, and the show went on and on and on and on. No opening act. Sound quality to mesmerize. Performance without faking or cover-up. No goofy crowd to distract the worshiper. A set list that was exhaustive for both performer and audience alike repeat with new songs that were never heard before....... sometimes when your lucky enough to have witnessed a show as good as this, you almost have to wonder if you might have dreamed it. But not because of what you may have consumed prior to show or whatever..... but because it was good. It was good.

Finally, at the end when LZ reappeared for an encore, someone up front yelled out for"HANGMAN" !!!!! My friend and I yelled back at him and said quite proudly " HEY MAN , the song's name is GALLOWS POLE!!!!"We had the 45rpm solo. We knew.

Oh....sheeeeesh... I almost forgot one other really unique thing about this show......at the acoustic part of the show, Garden personnel allowed people with cameras from about the first ten rows to come up to the front and take pictures !!!!!!!!! Row by row for about fifteen minutes .............THAT is definitely something never seen by this guy again.

Another of many LZ shows that I was at was the July '73 show where they shot film for the TSRTS movie. But for all the reasons I just gave, I chose to offer my memory of this very unique period in time.Cheers to all who read. Double Cheers to those who may have also been there !!!!!!

Craig, Pennsylvania, USA".

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We are indebted to Tim Hardman from Cheshire, who has corrected the venue location in Liverpool for the Led Zeppelin concert on 29th November 1971. It should be the Liverpool Stadium, and not the Empire. Here are his memories of that concert:

Six of us fifth formers had queued for tickets one Saturday morning a few weeks prior to the concert. Tickets were £1 each which was unprecedented at the time for the venue. The going rate was 70p for the likes of Mott the Hoople and and Free and I remember Black Sabbath being 60p. So there was bit of "A quid and no support band ? Who do they think they are ?". The ticket was a big postcard sized affair in amber card with the "Electric Magic" picture in black and the date of the show. Wish I still had it ! Liverpool Stadium was a boxing and wrestling venue which had begun promoting rock shows again and successfully competed with Liverpool Empire and Liverpool University for a few years. Nearly all the big tours of '71, '72 and '73 went to the Stadium. As it was a boxing venue, the amps was set up on the ring itself which was in the middle although bands did not play "in the round" as they call it today. The audience were all gathered facing one side of the ring with a bit of spillage to each side. Although we had the albums, such was Zep's deliberately developed mystique that we didn't really know much about the band. Before the band came on, Jimmy Husband the Everton forward, sat in front of us which impressed us as much as the anticipated show. We remembered he had said he liked to listen to Led Zeppelin in the Everton match programme one time. We were not used to watching a band without a support act and although scheduled for 7.30, it was running a bit late. Suddenly the lights went out and BAM! the riff for "Immigrant Song" blasted out at massive volume as the lights came on again revealing Plant screaming away centre stage with the rest of the band behind him. Page was bearded and wearing the same "Zoso" maroon pullover that he wore at Wembley. As "Immigrant Song" ended abruptly they tore straight into "Heartbreaker". We just all looked at each other for a fleeting moment before rising as one and tearing down the aisle to the front of the stage and joining a mass of flailing heads. After the "hot" numbers, Page Plant and Jones sat down at the front of the stage and everyone sat on the floor for an acoustic interlude which included "That's the Way" and "Going to California" before everybody got up again for "Bro-Yr-Aur Stomp". Bonham had joined the other three for this one with a stand-up percussion stick of the type used in Morris dancing. At one point Plant went into his rambling introduction mode and said they had played Wembley recently which was a boarded over ice rink and he had caught a cold because of it. Acoustic set over, they played a long "Dazed and Confused" with Page using his violin bow and "What is and What Should Never Be" before launching into Whole Lotta Love. They had been on stage well over two hours by then and some of us had to leave during the Elvis songs to catch the last train home. That evening they also played "Black Dog", "Rock and Roll" and "Stairway to Heaven" but I'm not sure if they were before or after the acoustic set.
I went out the next weekend and bought the "Going to California" double bootleg on blue vinyl from Virgin Records (Richard Branson sold bootlegs openly in those days). Again, I wish I still had it ! Liverpool Stadium was quite strict on bootlegging and I cannot recall ever seeing anyone taping a concert there. As far as I know, no boots of this show exist.

Tim Hardman.

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Received from 'Kashmir56', Down Under:-

Memorial Drive, Adelaide, 19th February 1972

It's been a long long lonely lonely time since I saw the mighty Led Zeppelin in concert, so my recollections are vague to say the least. So I 'll try and recall the experience the best I can remember. Me and my mates were in our 3rd year of secondary school when we heard the news that Zepp were on their way downunder. There was a buzz of excitement around the school. Tickets went on sale at Allans music shop in the city, so me and my buddies went in and lined up for what seemed a lifetime to see our favorite rock band. A$ 4.20 was the price of a ticket, a couple of weeks pocket (allowance for you American folk) money for me.The school holidays past slowly, we went back to school about the end of January. Zeppelin were to play on Friday the eighteenth of February. That afternoon me and about 4 or 5 other guys rocked into the city. We went to the local gaming parlours during the day having a great time.Then we heard BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM an I mean that was loud. What we heard was the sound check of the drums in the city. The Memorial Drive stadium was a fair distance away. We all looked and thought F$*K!!! were going to that! We were really itching to go by this point. We had a bite then proceeded to the Drive, as I remember it would have been about 6.00pm. The weather was on the dodgy side all day, raining, windy, bit of sun, so it wasn't a bit of a surprise to find out the concert was cancelled due to equipment and stage damage from the rain. The local radio station which was promoting the show had a vehicle in the car park letting punters know the show was off till the next night, we were really f$*ked off to say the least. The expectation was like waiting for an orgasm. Some of us had tickets to see Creedence on the next night, toss up for some, Creedence or Zeppelin, needless to say that Zepp won hands down. Just unfortunate they had to miss Creedence. The choice was justified 10X believe me. We all rocked up the next night, lined up, anticipation running at an all time high. As we filed into the arena we past the stage, and looked up in awe at the PA, and the cables powering it. Whoa!!!! We rocked in sat on the tennis court lawns, listening to the records through the PA. Joints were passed around, we were chatting getting high, how else do you expect to see Zepp? The sun was setting, the waft of pot in the air, cloudless cool night, stars out, it was set. Darkness fell, lights out. The anouncement, something like ''Led Zeppelin'' boomed from the PA (which is not captuered on the bootleg). Then this unbelievable wall of sound engulfed the whole stadium at an extremely high volume, Immigrant Song was upon us. The place erupted. We were gazing upon amazement at each other, this was it, the real thing in concert. ''Ohh My Ears Man'' indeed. I remember around the time of Black Dog or Stairway, there was some idiot in the crowd causing some classic Plantations. Plant really took the piss out of him. Dazed was brutal in its delivery, the acoustic set was a relief from the sonic onslaught of the electric stuff, but then again the acoustic set had a powerfull presence. The band powered through the classics SIBLY ,D&C, BD, WLL, MD, WIAWSNB, R&R, STH, IS, HB, which had the crowd shell shocked. In an odd sort of way when the pummeling stops, it becomes a relief in between songs. The band had a really good time, and they really pleased the crowd, because Zeppelin loved to play live, it was a real party atmosphere. It was an awesome experience which hasn't been equaled since, the times have faded but the memory still excites me.

Another memory from this concert has been sent in by Greg Evans, on behalf of his brother in law Chris Rice:

These are the recollections of my brother-in-law Chris Rice:

I remember when the concert first announced around November 1971 because it was during exams. Had a lean Christmas saving for it, $4 was a lot of dough for broke student. Was recovering from a heavy 1971, (saw Deep Purple with Free in early 1971 (my first concert), and Black Sabbath in the middle of 1971, both at theApollo), and had really started to buy a lot of albums, (possibly as many as 30 that year at $5-$6 a pop). Doesn't sound a lot of cash but it was back then. Do remember wondering about Memorial Drive as a venue because others I had been to had been indoors, The Apollo (Stadium) for overseas acts, Town Hall's or dreaded disco's for local acts, Daddy Cool, Thorpie, La De Das, etc. Anyway, my music type friends and I at the time, (I was 17), were all into the Heavy riff type British Blues, (in fact 2 of them were British and wouldn't listen to anything that wasn't), so yes we would defintely go and tickets would be bought from Allans by one of the guys mothers who worked at David Jones or Myers, ( I forget), and who knew someone who worked at Allans so we wouldn't have to wait in line. I think you could also get tickets from 5AD. Tickets in our hot sweaty hands, (it was summer), and we would once again conquer the world.

Then came Saturday and I was playing tennis on the back courts at the Memorial Drive when all of a sudden there was this booming noise echoing off the hill behind Adelaide Oval. We all sort of thought what the hell, it sounded like a 44 Gallon drum rolling down the road. Ahh, brain engages, it was the roadies tuning up Bonham's kit. My doubles partner and I lost our set as quick as we could and hopped the fence. A few other like souls joined us and we sat in the western stand, in our tennis whites, (sports nerds hey, but with long hair), and were treated to the full tune up by the roadies and then sound check by Zep themselves.Then followed the ultimate version of Whole Lotta Love, echoing off the empty northern and southern stands with an audience of 8 or 9 guys in tennis whites.
That night I drove all of us, parked down on the river behind Adealide Uni, got in early as the lawns was unreserved so first in best spot. We camped about 10 yards in front of the mixer desk area so I guess we were 40 yards from the stage. Memorial Drive had 2 centre courts facing North/South. This lawned area was enclosed on the North side, (Jewellery section), by the main stand, (comfy seats and tin roofed, probably holds 1500),on the Southern side by the "I want Jewellery but can't afford it stand", (reasonable seats but no roof, probably held about 1500), and on the Western " I think aboutjewellery sometimes"side a temporary stand that was just hard boards on risers, probably only held about 600.The stage was at the Eastern end. So in the middle on the lawns, ( approx 50 yards wide and 100 yards deep), was the "what's Jewellery?, are they the support act" section of the crowd, ( that's us). Guess it fitted about 4000 comfortably in this area. We had another section of crowd this night, the "I can't even spell Jewellery" section that lined the fence outside the southern stand, a portion of which, called the " but I'll steal some if you want", broke, actually no, demolished, the aforementioned fence, allowing many hundreds of " I can't even spell Jewellery" types in who immediately offended the southern stand patrons, ( who remember would like jewellery), so the officers of the Law, resplendent in Jewellery came in their multitudes to restore proper order, (but not the fence). Back to the concert itself. Don't remember there being a support act, so their either wasn't or they were very forgettable. Do remember the sound being very clear, (Purple and Sabbath had been quite murky however thats proably just Apollo acoustics although I remember Free particulary Koss sounding superb) Can't remember what songs they did, (other than the obvious ones Whole Lotta Love, Stairway, Immigrant, Moby Dick, Since I've Been Loving You, Black Dog and they opened with Immigrant song), however I do know it was from Zep 1 through 4. The Drive was the best venue for Heavy bands, Zep, Sab, Heep, Doobies, Purple, Bad Co., but I reckon Whole Lotta Love sounded better in the afternoon when the stands were empty.

I do remember being surprised at Plant's vocal power and do remember appreciating the way Bonham's kit was miked. Do remember a white Telecaster being used for a couple of numbers and do remember Marshalls and the Lovely Les Paul. Don't remember Jimmy being bearded however the cover of the CD shows one. Don't remember it being overly loud however I am comparing this to Purple and Sabbath indoors so guess it's relative. Do remember the vibe on the Lawn area which was very "cool and communal". The "heavy scenes man" under the Southern stand was, as mentioned last email , 50 yards off to my right and I didn't even notice it, (until we were leaving and saw the demolished fence).

I'm a bit vague on this next bit but I reckon I remember the papers next morning saying there was as many people outside on the road and car park as there were inside and I think for concerts the Drive holds about 8000 so was a big night.I think the figure of 200 police/security guards was also mentioned. Also think it may have been this concert that resulted in the 11pm curfew for concerts at the Drive, (because the sound travelled all the way down to Henley Beach so 20% of Adelaide couldn't sleep until concert finished which I reckon was after midnight. I still don't remember it being overly loud? Really was a good show at a time when I think we were just beginning to be spoilt with international acts.

Concert memory of the Auckland concert a few days later on 25th February 1972, from Gini now in Groningen, Netherlands

Auckland's Western Springs Stadium is a natural amphitheatre used for rugby and speedway since 1938 and outdoor concerts later on. It's located next door to Auckland Zoo which explains the angry trumpeting of elephants, roaring of lions and general cacophony of other birds and animals when the Led Zeppelin struck the opening chords of their show on Feb 25 1972. Don't ask me to remember the entire playlist... it happened far too long ago... but I do recall a couple of things about the occasion. I was there, all of 17, at my very first rock concert featuring a world-famous band, with my boyfriend Dave. We arrived very early on my motorbike, parked near the stadium gates and were amongst the first fans to throng through the gates when they opened. Running madly across the vast expanse of the rugby field, we managed to post ourselves front row centre for a marvellous unobstructed view of the stage (and later on, for me (as I doubt Dave was interested), a close-up view of the fascinating bulge in Robert Plant's pants) (but I digress). After a long... endlessly long wait... for dusk to fall (Feb is late summer in the southern hemisphere) and for the stadium grounds to fill, the stage finally lit up and there at last was Led Zeppelin in living 3D audiovisual splendour. I was overwhelmed by the bright spotlights and the sheer volume of the music. From where we were, plumb between the huge constellations of speakers, the sound was louder than anything I'd ever heard before. I was overwhelmed by the noise, both the music and oppressive roars of the massive crowd behind us that surged inexorably forward as the show progressed until we were pressed tight against the barrier. I was overwhelmed by the whole occasion and put on my helmet to mute the sound (a desecration I know!) but also as protection against the tinnies (empty beer cans) and beer bottles that yobbos threw at the lucky ones at the front. The empties certainly weren't aimed at the band because in my recollection the concert was a smash hit (smashing ear drums, certainly) with the whole crowd, judging by the jubilant roars (which probably taught the lions next door a trick or two). Despite such distractions, it would have been impossible not to enjoy the show. The band played all the favourites, including of course the transcendently tender Stairway to Heaven...highlight of all brilliant highlights... an aural relief, coming as it did between RP's usual primal screams (which probably taught the elephants a trick or two, too). Afterwards, Dave and I raved on and on about the show, for ages, boring all our (jealous) friends to death. We were that close to the stage, and truth be told, I developed quite a crush on RP in full glorious spate. Dave didn't seem to mind (don't think he ever noticed) but even so, I was careful to discuss what was planted in his pants with my girlfriends only. No need to disturb Dave... cheers, ~gini

The photo: The irresistible Mr. Plant, as I recall him (and no cracks about 'in yer dreams!') The one of the stadium actually comes from a Bowie concert, but it gives you a good idea of the lie of the land. The zoo is beyond the trees (left), out of shot. The one of the crowd comes from Rockrarecollectionfetish . blogspot . nl / 2009/10/ led-zeppelin-western-springs-stadium.html  Now I can't be 100% sure but I suspect that the bloke with the stash, right up front, facing the crowd, is my boyfriend Dave and slightly to his left, you can see the back of my head and my long wavy hair.

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Received from Glen Towler in Ontario, Canada:

"Hi, my name is Glen and I have seen Zeppelin four times:-
Montreal Forum June 7 '72
Montreal Forum Feb. 6 '75
Pontiac, Michigan Silverdome April 30 '77
NYC, Madison Square Garden June 11 '77

Montreal Forum June 7 '72

30 years ago. Been a long time since I ..... don't recall a heck of a lot. During Black Dog Plant drove the last word in the verses lower. For one of the songs, a roadie carried a opened guitar case to Jimmy (rather like presenting a sword on a pillow to a king) and he took out a black Les Paul. I forget the song they played. The reason I bring this up is, for years I thought this was the ax that got nicked on tour, however when I looked in Richard Cole's book for a positive I.D. i.e. "It's the old black one," Henry said." The Les Paul that Keith Richard gave him" ( First page chapter 19). It turns out that it was stolen two years earlier ... according to Mr. Cole. Did Richard Cole get the date wrong? or did I see a replacement ax? I have never seen a post '72 photo of Jimmy with that ax. I was only 14 years old. I think Richard was slightly more bent than I. No tunes from Houses yet. An acoustic set. Organ solo into Thank you for one of the encores. I had no bootleg experience at this point, so I was lost with no reference points to compare against. I just remember thinking, don't they listen to their albums? They're making it up as they go along! Another funny thing, Plant kept telling everyone to be quiet, then later in Osaka Japan on a bootleg he tells the crowd "you are too quiet, too silly, and fast asleep". Man, it's dizzy at the top, eh Robert? Light show? There wasn't one to speak of, so I'll type. 2 light stacks (at the front corners, I don't recall 2 more at the back?) 4 horizontal ribs that's it! I liked Robert's jeans so much, that the next day I bought a pair of mauve jeans and sewed four two inch bands around the right leg, two purple, one around the lower thigh, one just above the knee, one yellow one at the bottom of the knee-cap, and the last purple one just below. And of course a patch, where else.. but the crotch.

Montreal Forum Feb. 6 '75 Plant has half a voice due to the flu.

I had moved to the Toronto area in '73 relocating from Montreal where I first saw Zep. And so it was, the tour bus package, the pilgrimage by Zeppelin maniacs to a musical Mecca. A Zeppelin gig (and I don't mean hard drive size:).

We had been dropped off at the wrong location to catch the buses, so we had to walk several miles, and didn't have much time. We did it! Someone on our bus recorded the show, and on the return trip he taped (electrical) the bus P.A. handset to the tape recorder and replayed the show until the batteries died. The running order of the bootleg (vinyl) that I have of the show is as follows:

Rock And Roll / Sick Again / Over The Hills / In My Time Of Dying / The Song Remains The Same / The Rain Song / Kashmir / Trampled Underfoot / Dazed And Confused / Stairway To Heaven / Whole Lotta Love / Black Dog Heartbreaker
Now that's 13 songs, Zep usually played 16 songs.

What's missing is No Quarter after Kashmir, Moby Dick after Trampled Underfoot, and The Lemon Song. I think it was the second encore between WLL/Black Dog and Heartbreaker, but I couldn't say for sure. But what  I could say for sure is that it was the second album version of The Lemon Song. The only time I have heard it played that way, but then again I only have about 20 bootlegs. Also, Percy grabbed his "AREA" during this tune. I always wondered where Michael Jackson got that move from! I remember thinking wow what a great show, and it was. However when the bootleg came out, in comparison to the West Coast and/or American gigs, it seemed a little tame. Tight but crisp. Not much spontaneous experimentation going on here, no playing on the edge. Great show, not a lot of magic. They took the night off. Oh well... Zeppelin on six cylinders sounds better than most bands on eight! Physical Graffiti had been postponed a few times so we hadn't heard the new material yet. Zeppelin was mind blowing, even when you knew what was coming, but with the element of surprise this new material was mind numbingly awesome. Kashmir? Hammer of the Gods stuff. It squashed us. When Kashmir ended you heard 18,500 people say in amazement and in unison...HOLY FUCK!

After the first two tunes, Plant spoke, "Good evening Montreal, bonjour. We've been together now for seven years and tonight we are going to give you, what is, a cross-section of our work". (Well almost Percy. No acoustic tunes. No tunes from the third album)  "You've heard the first song before but the last song, Sick Again is from the new album. We're going to do one you know, Over The Hills And Far Away and then a new one In My Time of Dying". The intro for Kashmir went something like " sweeter than Moroccan, more expensive than Red Lebanese" Light show? First year with Showco, absolutely winning presentation. Laser lights were the new gimmick of the day and every band over used them, hundreds of them. Zeppelin used three lasers during Dazed, that's it. Less is more I guess. Over The Hills And far Away solo on the twelve string. So that's why it sounds so weird on bootlegs! Great Plant yell in Black Dog. The sound of the Dan Electro during Kashmir, a unique wafting ringing quality about it. Live that is. For me, anyway, Kashmir never really translated well to bootlegs. You simply could not capture the magic of that song live. When Zep took to the stage for one of the encores Jonesy did the Ministry Of silly walks to his station, Plant raced across the stage with a broom between his legs ( flying witch ) and turned around just in time to see Page trip on the top step. Plant laughs, points at Page, looks at the crowd, like you are the only one with them in their living room, and says "Did you see that?"

Well, what a show. I had logged many hours listening to bootlegs since the '72 show so this show I could deeply appreciate. Three and a half hours long as usual. Zeppelin was the only band I saw where you got a sore ass, and for ninety minutes, kept saying to myself "This has got to be the last song" but of course they hadn't played their 'hits' yet!
When I saw Page/Plant ( and I know that isn't Zep) it struck me that the best thing about those Zep gigs, may have been the pair of nineteen year old eyes I was seeing them with. Let the music be your master".

Pontiac Mich. Silverdome April 30 '77

And so it was, my second tour bus package. From Toronto to Pontiac approx.260 miles. A pilgrimage to be in the same time and space as Zeppelin. "To sit with elders of a different race". I still wasn't sure if these guys were human! We are on the buses, ready to go. First order of business, a representative of the bus lines laying down the law, setting out the ground rules. This is so and so, your driver. He is the boss. What he says, goes. There will be one scheduled stop each way and no more. OUR first order of business, eight minutes down the road however was libation. First stop the L.L.B.O. (Liquor License Board Of Ontario). Everyone stocked up. Everyone tipped the driver with a pint or two of beer or a small bottle of liquor. Very quickly it was difficult to negotiate past the driver as the mounting pyramid of alcohol made for quite the obstacle course. You had to drink your way around him!( with drink plc you should have been there). All manor of substance was on that bus. All levels of abuse. Some wouldn't or couldn't pace themselves. "There you sit, sitting spare, like a book on a shelf, rustin' " ( or throwing up on the bus or at the show as the case may be). The silly party. The set list. Song/sick again. Nobody's fault . I remember Plant very nearly blew his harp a verse early, he had it to his lips then pulled it back in the nick of time. Since I've Been loving You. Introduced as " English blues". In My Time Of Dying Introduced as " American blues". The violin bow / Lucifer's Rising (Kenneth Anger thing) that later evolved into the beginning of In The Evening. I believe that took us into Achilles Last Stand. Then White Summer / Black Mountain side / Kashmir. Ten Years Gone. The acoustic set. Battle... after which Plant laughed, and said "What a disaster" referring to Jonesy's vocal abilities, or lack there of. And he was right! California. Black Country / Stomp. Trampled. No Quarter. Moby Dick. Rock And roll .Whole Lotta Love. I know the last five songs are out of order somehow. I just can't remember. During one of the guitar changes in the acoustic set, Page handed the roadie the ax by turning the body towards the roadie. Now the machine head is close to Page's head. The roadie reaches out to grab the ax by the neck, but turns away as he does so. He's not really looking at Jimmy as he tries to walk away with the guitar. The machine head becomes entangled in Jimmy's hair, and the roadie nearly pulled Page off his stool by his hair.

The sound at this show was very different from song to song. Since I've Been Loving You not so good or the acoustic stuff. Rock And roll ... I didn't hear the solo. The rest was very good as usual. What a huge barn.76,000 people. The giant close circuit screen saved the day. It's in the Guinness book of World Records that gig! Single act! Jonesy played his three necked guitar for Ten Years. I mention this because, six weeks later in N.Y.C. I see he's playing Ten Years on the keyboards. Key of what ? There's gotta be something lying around here I can play. A working musician who starts a band, as opposed to being labelled a musician because you are in a rock band. Big difference! Also they changed the set list by three songs in N.Y.C. '75 Page's black out fit, very dark feeling to the show.'77 white outfit, bright ,wholesome. I remember thinking what a tremendous difference in mood or feel of the shows simply due to colours that Page was wearing. Strange, but I did notice it right away and it was not subtle. May have been the bus ride. I envied those who lived in N.Y.C. or L.A. To see Zep seven times in a ten day period, that would have been bliss. I always got the feeling that Zep used Canadian gigs to recuperate from or rest up for the American shows. Their mad lifestyles on the road seemed to bleed into the performances. The Canadian date bootlegs aren't as bloody. The top twenty Zep shows don't have a Canadian date among them. All the whining Plant did about U.S.A. Capitalism. The states kissed off The British Empire. Canada was a member the commonwealth at the time. You would have thought that that was worth something. American currency talking, Zep listening." I live for my dreams and a pocketful of gold". They deserved it. Can't blame them. "It must be a race, it's a total disgrace, and the best thing I can do is run ". I thought I had Ledify Zeppelinitus bad, but to run a website for over twenty years, you gents must have a particularly wicked viral strain.

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Gregory Gunter's memories from Tampa 5 May 1973

May 5, 1973, Tampa Stadium

A month or so before show, ads came out in newspaper about upcoming show. ( still have the clipping). I immediately got tickets... and awaited the show. At the time, I was working as a broilerman in a well known restaurant in St. Petersburg ( The Sand Dollar- had the first Merry Go Round bar ! ) .. A week before the show, I asked the owner for the day off, did not tell him for what.
The owner advised me that it was going to be a busy day and he would not be able to let me have the day off... Day of show, I called in sick and my friend and I hitched and took buses to Tampa Stadium, arriving early in the morning... we were amongst the very first people there. Later in the day, when they opened the gates,,, we were amongst the first three or four people let into the show... I clearly recall running down the football field...( it was a general admission show).. We set up camp right at barrier and were as close as you could get to the stage..

This was a huge stadium and slowly it filled up... the crowd filled in the field and we could not have gotten out if we had wanted to ... There was some intense pushing by the crowd,, fortuanately, we were at the barrier so had something to lean against.

Zep comes on late afternoon , opens with Rock and Roll and the crowd roared... Page worked his magic and the show was just incredible... later in the show, twilight set in and stage lights came on.... They had the disco ball and near to the end,, a large flock of white doves were released.... just magical...
I took a number of photos ( with a cheapie Instamatic) which came out reasonably well.. I must try to find them amongst the many shoe box's of photos !!

It was announced before Zep came on that this show was the single largest concert event at that time... and the news media really picked up on it.. lots of crowd photos,etc.

The next night I go to work and the owner asks me if I am feeling better and I respond yes,, thanks for asking.  He then points to a newspaper and says " you do not look so sick in this picture",., and sure enough, I look at newspaper and there is a photo of me and my friend, clear as day...looking up from the barrier.. thankfully the owner had a sense of humour and did not fire me.. Years later, I bought one of the Zep books,, Hammer of the Gods has a photo from the stage looking out into crowd and sure enough, there is me and my friend.

Sure would like to get the upgrade version of the Tampa '73 show.

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Jimmy Rich of Bonifay, Florida has this memory from Mobile, Alabama on 13 May 1973:

May 13, 1973, Led Zeppelin in Mobile, AL. A very memorable month for the four of us, we all were graduating from high school the same month. We travelled over in an old beat up Ford van (150 miles), we already had tickets, we got to the Mobile Auditorium about 2 hrs. early and hoped we were early enough to get somewhere close to the stage. The crowd was surely already assembling but we managed to get fairly close to some front doors. At about 5:00pm they started opening doors. I heard glass shattering from a couple of the doors that got broken from the rush of the crowd, we all ran like mad men for the stage, there was only one dude that found his spot between me and the stage edge. We all sat to claim our ground before the show began. For a solid hour there we smoked dope (we came with some of the best "Sensi-bud" popular item in our area). The neatest thing that we all remember was that they SLOWLY dimmed the lights in the auditorium for that hour, it was almost pitch black in there at 6:00pm, all you could see was little red lights from their stage equipment and of course the "shared" weed roaming around a couple of exit signs. Then Bonham started that famous intro to Rock And Roll, the hair stood all over me, then every flood on stage came on all at once, damn what a rush!!!!!!! Another interesting thing that happened to us in particular was one of my buddies passed out during the show and the crowd was so tight that he couldn't fall down. We carried him out at almost the show's end, only to happen into some seats at the stage corner!! I was looking up at Plant during the show and could almost smell him. I remember seeing Jimmy Page's sweat drip from his chin onto the face of his guitar, I was surely there. I would have seen them again in the Superdome, I had tickets and hotel reservations, but Plant got the news about his son when he arrived in New Orleans, that's what happened to that and the rest of that tour.

Jimmy Rich

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Providence 21 July 1973

I only got to see Led Zeppelin once but it was a tremendous show and here are some random memories from it. Submitting this because I just read the review of the recent release of the show, that is hopefully as big an upgrade as is claimed!

When I was 17 I was making pretty good money for the time and still living at home. Mom and Dad weren't asking for any contribution to the household bills and I was frankly ignorant about volunteering to do that. Long story short though, I had a wad of cash from payday just burning a hole in my pocket and as usual I went to my local record store to see what was new and exciting. This was before the days of Ticketmaster et al and this guy behind the counter, who knew my tastes, if not my name, pulled out a big old stack of Led Zeppelin tickets bundled together in a rubber band for an upcoming show in Providence. He just set the stack on the counter in front of me and let me read who they were for. Led Zeppelin? September? Providence? This was the first time I had heard it mentioned, it hadn't even been advertised yet. Fast as I could retrieve the money from my pocket I bought 2 tickets and he peeled them off the top of the stack for me. By the time I finally did hear them mentioned on the radio they were already sold out. I had my tickets though and I was eighth row dead center. One of the best shows by any band I ever saw, they played for 3 hours and the only break they took was to calm the crowd down. A night or two before they had played Boston and there were many problems, fans did a lot of damage inside the arena, as they did months earlier when tickets there first went on sale. We knew about that, it was in all the papers. That troubled my parents and my friend's parents but we went anyway. Providence would be different, but several songs into the show it did look like there would be trouble. We had already seen 2 people ejected after they started a fight on the floor a few aisles away from us. And the aisles were packed with people. We knew Page and Plant and Jones saw what was happening. Plant pointed out the two fighting to Page. They must have had a plan just in case because they didn't consult with each other, they just finished that song and Plant stepped up to the mic. Plant said they weren't going to let another Boston happen so they were stopping the show until everyone got back in their seats and the aisles were all cleared. That took a few minutes and the band just waited on stage for us to comply. Everyone did return to their seats, but we all stood on our seats, you couldn't sit down for a show by Zeppelin no matter how close you were. When we finally got organized and the aisles were clear again they launched into something..can't remember now but after that Plant thanked us and said to show there are no hard feelings they were going to play the next song especially well. They played Misty Mountain Hop and it WAS outstanding. Later on they of course played Stairway to Heaven and it was the first time I had ever seen a mirrored 'disco ball'. When they hit that with lights at the end of Stairway the effect was stunning to say the least, and you could hear the awe of the crowd. I know it sounds campy or even lame by today's standards but for most of us this was a first. During No Quarter they used dry ice and though that wasn't my first exposure to the fog there was more of it than I had ever seen and the effect was equally stunning...it looked like Plant was standing in the middle of a waterfall that was falling over the edge of the stage. By far the highlight though was Dazed and Confused. To be able to watch Jimmy do what he did with that guitar live was an honor and a treat! He moved from pick to bow, he employed feedback waving his hands like a deranged healer across the range of some kind of electrical device a few yards away from him. Every movement of his hands resulted in a change to the feedback. When he used the bow it was smooth and graceful, until he started to bang the strings with the bow...not violently, but enough that we knew he was stepping it up a notch. I read an interview early the following year where Page said he thought the Providence show was the best show they did that year and I won't argue that, as I said easily the best show I ever saw. Page and Plant, even back then, got most the press so I was surprised, and thrilled to hear both Bonzo and John Paul...a better rhythm section I can't imagine. This was July 21st, 1973. Tickets were $7.50 each. A friend of mine (Hey Tom Vartanian! Where did you end up?) way back then actually taped the show and gave me an 8-track (!) of it. I was thrilled to have it, it was my first ever bootleg recording and even though it sounded less than pristine I cherished it and played it continually for months. Even when other music finally managed to get playing time that recording was never far away and it was still played often. If I remember correctly he was sitting in the front row of the lower balcony stage left. I got a copy of the show several years ago on CD. Turns out it's a small world, I can tell it's my friend's recording. There's one part when they've stopped the show and Plant says something along the lines that we just want to have a good time playing, we're not going to hang ourselves or anything. On the CD I have you can hear my friend, the taper, yell out hey Alice. A reference to Alice Cooper's tour at the time where he 'hung' himself as part of the theatrics. Unfortunately though the CD sounds as bad as the 8 track did although someone has eliminated the cuts between tracks or more likely had access to something closer to the source tape and prior to it being put on 8-track. I rate the recording as a C. I've certainly heard worse but it's really probably only of interest to folks like myself who were there and those who want everything regardless of quality. But that's my story. I didn't realize until later, after Bonzo died how lucky I was to have seen them at all, let alone as close as I was. A very memorable evening! I haven't been to the Providence Civic Center in years, indeed it has a new name today, but back then there was a good sized water fountain outside the arena. Leaving the venue after the show I met up with a friend of mine (Hey Wayne!) who seemed absolutely possessed...he was 'celebrating' the tremendous show standing in the fountain, completely drenched head to toe, and splashing everyone he could with water. Noone seemed to mind, there seemed to be a universal, "wow, did you HEAR that show?", state of euphoria running rampant through the crowd.

'Fareyouwell' June 2005

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Philadelphia 8 February 1975

Thanks go to Jack Gibbons for his memories from Philadelphia 8th February 1975:

Thirty Years Gone"...Led Zeppelin Rocked the Spectrum In Philly - February 8th, 1975 If there was ever a good reason to return from "lurkdom" this is just cause.

I wanted to share some concert memories of an epic evening some 30 years ago. The concert was a sell out within a few hours of tickets being sold; somehow I'd missed a chance to buy tickets to the most anticipated concert in years.

Somehow I had to find a way...less than a week before the show I saw an ad in the newspaper advertising two tickets. I immediately called and this voice on the other end barks loudly: $100! I said excuse me? ...are you calling about the Zeppelin tickets?! Yes...$100! Was his reply again, without hesitation I said OK (apparently this guy had been inundated with phone calls and was fed up of his phone ringing). We made arrangements to meet the next day. My night was restless hoping the deal would not fall through. With tickets costing $7.50 to $9.50 I realized I was paying unheard of prices for a concert in 1975. Two tickets and a live performance of Led Zeppelin? It was time to kiss that $100 good bye. The next day we met at his place of employment, a car mechanic working at a local gas station. I forked over the money and he hands me my two tickets, one is almost completely torn in half and both are badly smudged with greasy fingerprints. I looked on in horror and disbelief; I suppose I expected them to be handed to me on a silver platter. None the less, I walked away smiling broadly...I just bought my rights to see the greatest band in the world performing live!

The next few days were filled with an eager anticipation and endless hours of playing one vinyl album after another from the five Led Zeppelin releases I owned. If my immediate neighbors didn't have an appreciation for the music of Led Zeppelin, they certainly got to know it!

Saturday finally came around, a cold February day that seemed perfect for an evening of Rock and Roll...the perfect day of the week for a concert actually. The obligatory pre-concert party was in full swing, people tail gate partying, the sounds of music blaring from their vehicle's 8-track tape players filled the cold winter air all around the arena parking lot. As the 8:00 hour approached we made our way inside. My worst fears of having my tickets rejected because one was already almost torn in half and you had to look through the grease stains to see "Led Zeppelin" imprinted on the ticket went unfounded. Whew! A big sigh of relief...let's get inside and party! After hours of indulging in beer drinking I was in serious need of finding the closest bathroom before heading off to our seats. After a long wait in a big line I finally find my moment of release. While standing at the pisser who is standing next to me but my good friend Mark! (Neither of knew the other was going) "Sorry dude, I'll have to shake your hand another time!" I say. Mark asks: Where ya sitting? Well, I'm way up top in the nose bleeds but hey! I'm in!! Mark quips: "We had a no show and have an extra seat, come sit with us! Great seats too!" Wow! Small problem though, I'm here with my girlfriend. "Ditch her!" is his reply. I laugh uncontrollably as the urine goes everywhere but into that prized porcelain bowl hanging on the wall in front of me. Finishing business we head off to find my girlfriend and our new found seat. Turns out the single seat is in the very last row just below the press/media boxes. Excellent seat and with nothing but a wall behind us no worries of blocking another's view. Without hesitation I decide to take the extra seat, if my girlfriend has to sit on my lap for several hours its ok if that's the price of admission for a great view of the show. Within minutes the lights were dimmed...an unmistakable aroma filled the arena and a hazy smoke wafted in the air. Bonham rolls out the familiar opening beat to "Rock n' Roll" and Led Zeppelin explodes on stage! The hair on the back of my neck is standing...Damn! The boys are here! This is live!! Everyone is standing at this point; the crowd is in a total frenzy.

Growing up in a huge metro area such as Philadelphia had some real advantages. I had the good fortune of seeing all the big name concerts of the day: The Rolling Stones, The Who, Yes, Pink Floyd, etc. But no one delivered the power of a live band the way Zeppelin could. I'd never experienced such raw emotion from an audience, the sound was numbing! They literally blew you away. When Robert cried out to the crowd a second time: Good Evening!!! I thought the roof would come down. Philly was ready to Rock! The energy they opened the evening with left you awed...I knew it was going to be a special evening.I remember the impact of a phenomenal light show to compliment the sound. Seeing Led Zeppelin live was bigger than life. While Jimmy played his slide during "In my time of Dying" there were two sets of lights on either side of the stage that would rotate in a circular fashion just bathing the band in spectacular light. Its visual impact was surreal. By now my lower extremities had gone completely numb. I had a gorgeous babe sitting on my lap and Led Zeppelin was performing live in front of me...it truly couldn't have been any better. In retrospect it would have been nice to have had a few less beers, perhaps a few less tokes to help crystallize the memories, but alas, that was part of the evening's protocol. The music just put you in that mood, there was no escaping it.

Other memories I hold: The huge "Led Zeppelin" in lights that prominently lit the stage for the encores...a fitting backdrop for Rock's greatest act. That evening's concert left me with an impact no other band ever has. I was witnessing rock and roll history at the time and I knew it. I remember having taken a small instamatic camera along and even though the end product photos were pathetic it was great to reminisce about the power of the concert. I remember walking back to our cars after the show to have another beer and talk about the performance...we were yelling at each other! My ears were buzzing, literally. Zeppelin was not only the greatest performing band in the world they were also the loudest!

There was no turning back after this show; you knew no other concert could ever match its power. The weeks that followed were restless waiting for the release of "Physical Graffiti". Finally local radio station WMMR played its pre-release one evening. A chance to relive the concert was perfect, only this time my girlfriend was not sitting on my lap for hours...we enjoyed the sounds in a more inviting horizontal mode together...some fond memories of Led Zeppelin.

In the following days I scoured record shops looking to see if there were any such things as live recordings. I didn't really know if bootlegs existed, much to my amazement I was directed to an area in the very back of this small basement record shop. I was dumbfounded...I'd found some live Zep recordings! My first albums being pressed vinyl releases, I still have them to this day. Having never really thought of it in these terms I guess I've been collecting live recordings for almost 30 years now!

Sure, there were other concerts that followed, but nothing ever lived up...the only cure was to see Led Zeppelin again. And by good fortune I did. Two years later my girlfriend and I drove up to New York City to see the closing night of the legendary six night stand at Madison Square Garden on June 14, 1977... (But that's another story for another time). And how did I come across those tickets? You guessed it...paying way too much to someone who offered tickets through a newspaper ad. My only regret of the concert experiences is that I didn't personally keep the ticket stubs. A year later my girlfriend and I were to part ways on not so amicable terms and in a fit of anger all the concert ticket stubs, all the memories (she hoped) would be erased with one swift drop into a garbage can. Oh Well...some memories will never be forgotten.

And lastly, the $100 I paid (a huge sacrifice for a kid at the time) for each of those concerts I attended? Did that money really have any impact on my life? None. The memories of having seen Led Zeppelin live in concert? Priceless!

Aloha,

Jack Gibbons

This reminiscence brought another one for the same concert by Philly Jack:

I was in grade school when I first heard Led Zeppelin. It was 1970. My family felt I was too young to go to a concert. Knowing your favorite band was in town,and you were not going to attend, did nothing more then create a hole inside that could never be filled. Until 1975. Tickets, as usual, were impossible to get. Then through my brother-in-laws' sister-in-law's mother I received three tickets she was able to purchase as an employee of the Philadelphia Spectrum. This was Philadelphia's " House Of The Holy" where we saw all our favorite rock bands. The date was February 8th,1975. Cold, wintery weather which went unnoticed. All that mattered was in a little while I would be seeing a dream come true that started 5 years earlier. Back in the day, I had little information on setlists,bootlegs and the kind of details the internet provides fans today. Most info was word of mouth or what the local DJ could squeeze in between songs. I was hoping to hear "Over The Hills And Far Away", "No Quarter," and of course "Stairway To Heaven". Imagine hearing what you wanted and also being treated to NEW songs from an album to be released later that month! It was hard to understand what Robert Plant spoke of with that heavy English accent, but the music sent a clear cut message. Led Zeppelin was here to stay ! There was no "warming up" to the new Physical Grafitti material. It rocked everyone immediately. It is still one of my favorite Led Zeppelin albums today. They performed "Sick Again","In My Time Of Dying", " Kashmir" and "Trampled Underfoot".

One word describes this show for me: ENERGY! From the first notes to the last, it was non stop, in your face, rock and roll. The crowd swayed in front of the stage like a "wave" in the ocean just like Robert Plant described what he sees from the stage. At one point during "The Song Remains The Same", there was an UGLY incident when a fan (with the aide of the crowd) tried to get up on the stage. Just as he was about to get on, a security guard grabbed him, pulled him to the ground and proceeded to beat him terribly. Robert saw this, looked at Jimmy, who nodded his disapproval of the security guards' actions. Robert went over to the front of the stage, threw the microphone down and "popped" the guard in the head and brought it back to him in one big swoop. I never saw anything like it. The security guard stopped beating the kid and he was ushered off, probably just to be escorted out. What a shame. All he wanted to do is what we all wanted to do: be part of the show. Jimmy actually described some of this incident in an interview with William Burroughs for Crawdaddy magazine back in 1975. Jimmy stated if he wasn't wearing his double neck at the time he would have hit the guard over the head with it. The energy didn't stop there. During the show, I looked around and experienced something I never quite felt as strongly as I did this night. Looking over the crowd, you could almost SEE the energy. Something was there. It was almost as if the gods themselves hovered over the crowd to catch a glimpse of these legendary rockers. At first I thought my imagination was getting the best of me or maybe the cloud of cannabis swirling around, but Jimmy talked about this in the same article. He felt it too. If you ever have the chance to get this issue, please do. A very candid glimpse into what the boys are thinking. Truly ascending the Stairway.

Well the night roared on. Dazed and Confused was chaotic! Robert running all over the place. Looked like a roaring lion! During Jimmy's bow section, Robert was laying, legs crossed, on top of John Paul Jones' piano. He added the eerie moans and howls that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up! It was a dark and mysterious stage. The song was a show in itself and left you exasperated by the end. It was one of the first nights Jimmy brought it back into the set. Earlier in the tour he had "How Many More Times" in its place due to him injuring his ring finger on his left hand in a train door. I am glad I had the chance to see this. It was the last tour it was played on. I still have a photo from a friend where you can see Jimmy's black nail bed where he hurt his finger. I am surprised he could play at all! Everyone was in good form. John Paul Jones and John Bonham truly provide the backbone of the band. The interplay between Jimmy and John Bonham was incredible. John was pure emotion.

We were also treated to a rare encore for 75. Heartbreaker! Never quite heard it the same since and this topped off the evening. When Led Zeppelin left, you felt fufilled. I truly couldn't ask for anything more. These fours guys gave it everything they had. Its funny, when they left the stage, roadies wrapped the boys up in red robes so they would not get sick. They were drenched from sweat. I remember thinking how they all looked like victorious prize fighters who had just won the match. I can tell you one thing. Led Zeppelin won that night. It was a knockout!

Philly Jack

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Gregory Gunter's memories from Uniondale on 14 February 1975

Feb 14, 1975,
Nassau Colliseum, NY 

We were in Massachusetts and heard that Zep was going to be playing in NY.. we tried to get tickets but the show was long sold out. 

A few days before the show, we decided to take a chance that we will be able to buy some tickets... so five of us, day of show,  got up early and drove to NY and arrived at the parking lot of the collisem early,,, around noon.   We're hanging around in parking lot, and some  guy, very long hair , a bit older than us comes by and asks if we are going to the show.   I said yes, if we can get some tickets... He advised us that he had tickets for sale ,... 6 together , 14th row center.   We only needed five and  I asked how much .. He said 25.00 each ( alot of money then).. I had worked for Don Law before at some concerts so knew about counterfeit tickets so I said OK,  let's go to the Box Office and if they verify the tickets, we'll take 5.

We go to box office and I ask the lady if tickets are OK and she says " I don't know how you got these but they are some of the best seats in the house" ! so we negotiated and bought the 5 for 20.00 each.
This is the stuff that fairy tales are made out of !! We are literally stunned... not only are we in but on the floor - 14th row ..

One of the guys we were with was quite well off so he went out and bought a camera and a tape recorder.... He knew that I had previously recorded a number of concerts so he put me in charge of the recorder. I sneak the recorder in, a Panasonic... nothing fancy... security was tight but not like it is today.. Having recorded a number of shows before, I knew a bit about levels.... I set the levels low... but as the final tapes show, ultimately, not low enough.

Show get's underway... it is electric !! and LOUD !
Whether you were a Zep fanatic or not, Zeppelin were powerful and used dynamics in a way that many bands then ( and now) do not ...Only but a few, Jimi, The Who, ... could equal the power of Zeppelin in this show.
The band clearly were enjoying themselves... Plant wishing everyone a "Happy St. Valentines Day...
the last of the papan holidays "......
He sings a few snippets of Tangerine.... in a teasing way...

One of my most vivid memorys of the show is Page and the theramin during Whole Lotta Love.,.. just incredible... he was like a sorceror... coercing unearthly sounds out of the theramin...waving his hands back and forth... like a magician... incredible imagery... I''m taping the show  and at some point, everyone stands up... ... I knew better but I foolishly get up and aim the mike towards the stage.... Some minutes later, I see a group of guys on the side of the stage pointing towards me... I quickly place the recorder under my seat and cover it with my jacket.
Sure enough,  a few mintues later, three big goons are there asking " where is the recorder?"..
What recorder ?.... of my friends says .... they quickly look around and then leave.
Years later, I read somewhere about Richard Cole and he talks about going out into the audience and beating up tapers and then tossing them out... I looked in his book and sure enought,  one of the goons had been Richard Cole...  so... this tape almost did not make it... and I probably had escaped a beating !!

I listened to the tapes over the years and ... eventually  a few split ( which accounts for some of the missing pieces in some songs,,,, original tapes ( 3)  were virtually complete ).  Again,  we'd listen to theses ( and other shows) in a little cassette recorder, perched above the fryolater in a restaurant,,,, it's lucky they survived at all...

A number of years later,   I started to collect Hendrix and eventually got in touch with one of the big tape traders of the day (not just Jimi, he collected, sold, bartered tapes of  most any band). ( this was long before Internet, personal CD burners, etc )     I asked him if he could fix the tapes  and of course, he said yes.... The agreement was that he would not trade or sell the tape but that he would make a copy for "his own personal collection".   I sent the tapes off and he did indeed repair them and sent back to me the originals plus a safety copy...

Sure enough, a year or so later, I see that a boot had been made of this show !!  This really did not bother me too much.. but I lost faith in this fellows word....It was good to see this show out there...

Only recently did I have the original tapes transferred to CD...  Indeed, on some songs , there is bass overload but not to the point of ruining the audio...I've read that there were two sources of this show... mine is with the bass overload in various places.. I have a few photos of the show... around here somewhere...

To me, this is one of Zeppelin's finest shows....

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San Diego 10 March 1975

SAN DIEGO SPORTS ARENA, MARCH 10, 1975

By Chuck Heck

Led Zeppelin at the San Diego Sports Arena on Monday, March 10, 1975 was my second concert experience. My first was Foghaty and Rod Stewart at the Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino , three days earlier. The Swing Auditorium was the very same venue where my older brother David and his music loving friends caught Led Zeppelin nearly three years before in 1972 (captured on the bootleg Berdu [which is San Bernardino's nickname]). At David's invitation, I skipped school that Monday to join him and these same party-animal/concert veteran friends in their trek down to San Diego to see Zeppelin on their Physical Graffiti tour. I knew I was in for a treat; however, what actually awaited me was the musical equivalent of an atomic explosion to my 16-yr old mind; a concert that would change my life and become the standard by which I judged all subsequent musical experiences.

As many Led Zeppelin fans know, the San Diego performance was a one-night stand with no opening act (normal, of course, for this band). The venue was sold out, and the seating format for this show was “unreserved.” In other words, first come, first served. This created frenzy outside (and inside!) the arena the day of the show, as one can imagine. When the doors to the arena opened at 3:00 on that cloudy afternoon (people had been camping on the grounds for weeks, and were now joined with newcomers in a huge line), a stampede almost took place. Several of the people in my party got pressed so tight into the crowd as it merged towards the doors, their feet were not even touching the ground as they were pushed along! The frenzy was in force. A pivotal detail (and one that had quite an affect on Zeppelin's performance that evening) was that there were no seats on the arena floor! As the crowd entered it, folks either stood their ground or sat with their friends until the start of the show. Consequently, there was this crazy, uncontrolled atmosphere to the place. (Two years later, during Zeppelin's 1977 concert at this arena [and with a regular, seated floor], Plant comments on how the San Diegans finally found their seats and how nice it was for the venue managers to provide seats for you people. The band remembered this gig!) With the show scheduled to begin at 8:00 that evening, what ensued was a massive, six-hour party with 16,000 people present all waiting for one thing and one thing only: the arrival of the band.

Everything about this concert event had big stamped all over it. From the 2,000 or so Frisbees (more than I've ever seen in one place!) to the 9-foot balloon which looked like a monstrous globe with the words, 1975 North American Tour emblazoned on it. The mammoth sphere bounced and rolled over heads, hands, and bodies which were huddled tightly together on the arena floor. The concert stage hardware was gargantuan, as well. Suspended from and flanking the sides and rear of the stage were 5 massive lighting towers upon which at least a dozen technicians worked non stop, readying them for the visual pyrotechnics that would awe the crowd later. Also, there was a large sheet of cheesecloth stretched across the rear of the stage. This was used to full advantage during the performance to create a hazy dream-like effect, as well as to reflect lights and upon which scenic effects were projected, notably during Kashmir (more on this later). Another dozen techies and roadies busied themselves around the stage floor, running wires, checking monitors, and testing the instruments themselves. On what would be Jimmy Page's side of the stage, three guitars leaned upright on stands: A black and white Dan Electro (wielded during In My Time of Dying), the familiar cherry red double-necked Gibson (for Song Remains Rain Song, and Stairway) and the famous starburst Gibson Les Paul (which would be Jimmy's mainstay for the evening). For what seemed like a long time, a roadie pounded on Bonham's drum set, a clear-yellow Ludwig that was flanked by Tympanis and a huge gong. What intrigued me most about the drum set was the kick drum. Set against the 3-circle rune printed on the face of it was a huge microphone--the largest on the stage. (Always reaching for the heaviest bottom-end they could get!). Hanging from the ceiling by steel cables, were speakers that looked like mutant Altec Lansings. The tweeters alone were as big as the front of a house. And they were ridiculously loud. As the pre-concert music mix blasted forth (I distinctly remember Skynyrd's Free Bird being one of the tunes played) I had to shout just to be heard by the person sitting next to me. I later learned that Zeppelin's '75 sound system was the largest ever assembled for a single act up to that time.

This pre-concert preparation continued from the time I entered the arena (at approximately 3:30) until nearly 8:00 when the show was scheduled to begin. However, as the arena floor filled up to standing room capacity, the pressure in the very front grew more and more intense. As the crowd pushed forward, the yellow-shirted bouncers (it appeared as though the entire San Diego State University football team was there) pushed backwards against the crushing human tide. As this went on, bouncers on the stage itself were leaning over, pulling fainted victims out of the crush. Since pleas to the crowd to stop pushing were ignored, the announcement to postpone the show for an hour went forth at 8:00. This was met with a boo! so deafening I thought a riot was about to break loose. Fearing the same, the announcer immediately added (in a semi-panicked tone), The show won't be shortened in any way! Still, this did not pacify the rowdy patrons, who flipped the guy off with over 15,000 birds. (These middle fingers would be replaced by as many matches and Bic lighters later in the evening). For one hour (which seemed endless in duration), the crowd waited in unbearable anticipation. It had been a year and a half since Zeppelin had last been in town. The stage was prepared. The crowd was waiting. As each piped-in song ended, the angst-ridden mass became more boisterous and impatient.

Finally, at around 9:00, 6 hours after the arena doors opened the house lights went out abruptly and were replaced by the blinding flashes of a couple hundred flash bulbs. The audience's roar of approval shook the building. Everybody was standing. All eyes were fixed on the darkness of the stage. A few loud notes from a bass and electric guitar were heard, as well as a few loud chops from Bonham's Ludwig. The announcement was now made introducing the band. The cymbal crashes of Rock and Roll began and what happened next was utterly unexpected and brutal: When the sound blasted forth for the first time with the band in action, it was so loud, everyone in the seated sections sat down! This was Zeppelin's “hammer of the gods their answer to the frantic eagerness of the southern California crowd was to flatten it with the fury of their musical assault. It was an unprecedented display of force. (The band would mellow the volume out considerably after about 3 songs. This at least allowed for the audience to know what was being played but it was still incredibly loud. Long before I heard anyone else use the term, I told my friends that Zeppelin's live music wasn't hard rock but thunder rock or earthquake rock. I'm not at all surprised therefore that someone titled a bootleg Thunder Rock or that an article appeared in a magazine that year entitled, Led Zeppelin Stages A Rock And Roll Earthquake With Physical Graffiti!). Bathed in radiant spotlights, Robert Plant threw back his mane and stomped his feet pompously while Jimmy Page, as animated as I have ever seen him, bent over and furiously picked at the strings of his Les Paul which was swung low as he strutted in a wild and uncoordinated fashion. Looking more like a music teacher than a player in the world's biggest rock band, John Paul Jones stood coolly in his corner, steadily sending out earthquake-like vibrations from his Fender bass, and John Bonham, wearing a white jumpsuit and sporting a derby hat (a Clockwork Orange-like getup), leaned forward over his snare drum and thundered out the first Zeppelin number of the evening. Their music was so loud, that it was almost impossible to tell what was being played! Plant's voice cracked out of the speakers as it wailed above the din of a veritable assault of beat and tone changes. Whatever song it was, it was an onslaught from note one. When the 2-song medley of Rock and Roll and Sick Again ended, Plant was already pleading with the crowd to shut right up and to step back since people were now being pulled from the crowd right and left, in what appeared to be unconscious states. It was barely controlled pandemonium. However, this electricity only propelled the band to greater heights of intensity resulting in the most incredible audience/band interaction I have ever witnessed. As I will mention later, by the end of the first encore, even the band was taken aback!

The stage production on this tour was the zenith of Zeppelin's 12-year career. The lighting effects for this tour were astounding (and much more intricate and bombastic than the toned down [but tastefully executed] '77 shows). I disagree with critics who claim that these 1975 visual pyrotechnics “covered” for the band's physical inadequacies on this tour (e.g., Page's broken finger; Plant's flu-stricken voice). Not distracting an iota from the music, they actually accentuated the full force of the dynamics of Zeppelin's music. As the third song, “Over the Hills and Far Away” began, there were dim blue lights on Jimmy and Robert as the intro was sung. When the rest of the instruments blasted forth with that great riff, huge yellow spotlights (resembling the kind of searchlights used during store “grand openings”) on each side of the stage floor lit up and spiralled upward. We were being hammered unmercifully. But the show was still young! In My Time of Dying followed with a tumultuous cheer of approval when Robert announced the release of Physical Graffiti. Jimmy bent, and crouched, and basically went berserk as his steel bar slid all over the strings of his Dan Electro. In the middle of the song, when the guitar, bass, and drums culminate in those synchronized, staccato blasts, multi-colored light bulbs went off like strobes under each band member and perfectly to each note. Screams of amazement filled the moments in between. It was breathtaking. The Song Remains the Same followed with the same unrelenting blast, until finally, The Rain Song, brought the audience to the band, so to speak. It was as if the arena had been momentarily transformed into a massive nightclub. Emanating from the crowd, dense clouds of smoke billowed through the bright yellow spotlight that illuminated Robert as he leaned against the mike stand and sang the lyrics. When the song came to its rousing end, Plant cried, Welcome back to San Diego! After five whoop-ass songs in a row, The Rain Song was our first chance to breathe!

One statement that stuck in my head was when Plant introduced the next song in the set. He said, Even if you've just been to San Bernardino, you can still go where we go Kashmir. This is too much, I thought, Led Zeppelin remembers San Bernardino?! Then “Kashmir” thundered forth. Zeppelin's mysticism had matured to this powerful and majestic epic. As spacey red and purple lights lit up the stage, desert “clouds” drifted across the cheesecloth screen behind the band, creating the dream-like Shangri-la “sky” depicted in the lyrics while Bonham's drums cracked and thudded thru the sound system like Godzilla stomping thru Tokyo. The song was a triumph and was my immediate favorite from the Graffiti album. Nothing, however, prepared me for “No Quarter.” As dry ice fog rolled off of the stage, Jones' hands floated over the organ keys. As the song drew to its end with Plant's wails and Page's wah-wah's growing to full intensity, four white spotlights hit an afore-unnoticed gigantic mirrored ball hanging from the center of the ceiling, creating a dizzying effect. Plant threw up his arms as if to say, behold this is for you! Bathed in the scattered reflections, the entire arena appeared to be spinning! During Trampled Underfoot, Jimmy's wah-wah riffs were so loud, it was as if the sound just sprayed from the speakers when he lifted his foot off of the pedal. There was absolutely nothing subtle about this song!

Moby Dick followed from the already legendary second album. It should be mentioned that by 1975, Led Zeppelin II was considered a bone fide classic, a must-have milestone in rock music. I had heard this record countless times. But live, Moby Dick was an altogether new experience for me. The opening and closing riffs by Jimmy Page came across as being so massive and powerful, I was utterly blown away. Sheer classic Zeppelin. What a riff! Bonzo soloed for nearly half an hour with female cries of Go Bonzo! making him grin throughout. Multi-colored lights stationed in and around his drum kit created kaleidoscopic visual effects which were matched by the auditory “hallucinations” of his synthesized drum rolls. As the tympani solo rescinded into Bonzo's “gong smash,” it sounded as if five hundred trains were pulling into a station. With my mind reeling under the still shimmering sound waves, Jimmy Page (now absent for a good twenty minutes) ran out just in time to close the marathon with that classic, powerful riff. A far cry from hearing vinyl spun on a home stereo turntable (or 8-track!), the sound and sight of Page and Bonzo laying down that amazing riff live before my ears and eyes provoked me to jump up as another uproarious ovation ensued. Studio recorded Zeppelin would NEVER sound the same. (In fact, during the 2-hour drive home from the show that night, a Led Zep II 8-track was playing continuously on the van's stereo how abysmally crude and outdated that studio production sounded after 3 hours of live Zeppelin! Indeed, even the recorded songs themselves came across as mere stick-figure sketches compared to the 3-dimensional masterpieces performed that evening.) By now thoroughly overwhelmed and stunned by the proceedings, I had all but forgotten about what was then my favorite Zeppelin tune, Dazed and Confused. So when the opening bass notes shook the arena floor underneath my feet, I let out an astonished yell. As the rest of the audience roared in approval, literal flames shot up from the stage as Plant sang of women created “below.” I was now in for the most intense musical voyage of the evening. Jimmy Page, the brain behind Led Zeppelin, was now to be showcased for over 30 minutes of guitar histrionics. During the bow segment, the audience gasped when three Krypton laser beams (2 blue, 1 green in the middle) shot out of nowhere just over Page's head, through the eerie smoke rising from the stage floor and across the entire expanse of the arena. In a technologically induced display of psychedelic sensory-melding, sight and sound became one as Jimmy struck his guitar with the bow and pointed, “making” the sound and the lasers do his bidding and travel to that very point in the arena. Smiling broadly at his new bag of tricks and his audience's obvious appreciation of them, Page treated each segment of the crowd to the effect, including the people seated behind the stage. Equally mesmerizing was the effect produced by what appeared to be glitter or confetti, which continuously fluttered down onto the stage throughout this song. The overall result was mystical and breathtaking. Dazed and Confused was the center piece of the set. It was the Led Zeppelin at its most amazing.

Having journeyed to the gloomy world below, the audience was now ready to go back up (where the path runs straight and high). Crouched over his double necked Gibson, and bathed in heavenly blue lights, Jimmy picked out the opening notes of Stairway to Heaven and was nearly blanketed by lingerie which floated over the edge of the stage and onto Page and his Gibson. As Robert began with, There's a lady a yellow ray of light illumined just his head as screams shot forth from the crowd. This, I thought, is the ultimate rock and roll band. The first encore was Whole Lotta Love with a sound phaser used in full force. This device (utilized earlier in Page's laser-throwing light show) pushes the sound around the arena and was used in conjunction with the Theremin segment of Whole except that it was “left on” after the first encore making (I swear) the audience's noise itself propel around and around the arena. For 3 weeks afterwards, my hearing went up and down like this effect! Whole went into Black Dog which crescendo with massive flash pots and explosions which triggered the borders of the lighting towers to light upward from the stage on both sides which in turn lit up a huge neon LED ZEPPELIN sign behind the band. It was too much! As the smoke on the stage cleared, this glowing billboard spelled out the name of the rock group that just kicked 16,000 asses for the past 3 hours! The audience roared in approval with a massive and deafening ovation. Even Zeppelin was visibly blown away by the response (no kidding!).

After Black Dog, the band exited for a good ten minutes. More Bic lighters and matches than I've ever seen at a concert lit up the arena floor and perimeter. This ocean of flickering lights made the massive concert hall look like a sparkling universe as the audience relentlessly whistled, yelled, screamed, and stomped. Finally (and not captured on the bootleg of this show, Symphony in A Thousand Parts), Jimmy Page emerged with a huge grin and strutted out from the rear of the stage with the opening notes of "Heartbreaker." The audience responded with yet another deafening roar! As the song progressed many memorable moments ensued. I'll mention three of them: First, Zeppelin's playful side was in full force. Robert and Jimmy (now bathed in sweat) interplayed throughout this song with uninhibited abandon. At one point, Robert hung his arm around Page's neck and kissed the back of his head. When Jimmy turned around and grinned, Robert winked at the crowd and planted a couple of more kisses on Jimmy's face. They were playing up the "sexual" side of their musical personas to the hilt. At another point, when Page was bent over in his trademark stance wailing away at his Les Paul, Robert turned his back on Page and skipping backwards, pressed his butt up against Page's! Jimmy threw his head around and laughed. Finally, a young woman on the arena floor about five rows back and dead center of the stage got up on some guy's shoulders and pulled off her blouse and her bra. As the broad yellow spotlight that engulfed Plant was now aimed at the girl (so the whole arena could see what was up), the lead singer seized the opportunity to play up his sexual bravado. As the song climaxed with Plant wailing "heartbreaker," the lead singer rubbed his crotch and pointed at the woman in playful accusation. The young lady's response was to heave her breasts in abandon holding her arms up towards the band in total surrender to its potent sexual/musical assault. Over to the right of Page and Plant, at the rear of the stage, John Paul Jones shook his head and laughed at his crazy comrades. And the audience roared again.

In point of fact, the audience roared in the final ovation of the night. As the band put down their instruments, Bonham threw his drumsticks and then flung his derby hat into the audience. Joining his band mates at the edge of the stage, Bonzo laughed and, playing off of the naked woman's antics, motioned with his hands to his chest as if he were bouncing his own breasts! The place was in a state of such tumultuous approval of the band, roaring continuously with arms outstretched from every quarter of the arena, even the pompous Plant appeared to be humbled! As the band locked arms and did their bowsthe floor of the arena shook under the roar! Robert picked up the mike once more and, exasperated, shouted, "Sssannn Diiiieeeegooooo!!!" It was a mind-bending triumph with the band as blown away as the audience! At one point, Robert looked at Jimmy and the rest of the band and threw up his arms as if to say, "My God really???". Begging for yet another encore, the audience lit their Bics and stomped again. This time however, the house lights came up for the first time in 3 hours. A rude awakening to a dazed audience! The lights were met with a thunderous "BOO!" as the roadies slowly appeared out of the back stage darkness and began their post-performance duties. The show was over.

As we exited the arena, dazed and confused, I followed one of my brother's friends to our van. Dodging bumper-to-bumper traffic and blinking raindrops out of our eyes, he kept muttering, "They were so hot ! Forget Rod Stewart, none of those bands even compare to them!" I was too muted by the experience to verbally agree. But I did agree. Hell, I was pulverized! What can I add except that this was a stunning and amazing experience? The next day at school, I was unable to even say a word about the show except that, "words can't describe it” In fact, I was at a loss for words for weeks. But gradually and with greater detail, I began to recollect moments of the show to my high school buddies. Funny thing is, 30 years later I am still in awe and still unable to really communicate my remembrances the way I would like to. Guess that's why us Zeppelin junkies seek after bootlegged CDs and Video Tapes to relive our experiences through sight and sound (the way Zeppelin intended), and not merely via words. But hopefully, some of mine have painted a picture, however vague and inadequate, for you.

At the LIVE AID reunion, Plant reported that people on the sides of the stage were weeping when the surviving Zeppelin members began playing. He remarked that he was amazed that people were still that impacted by what he dubbed "the Zeppelin experience." I recall hearing that reunion on the radio as it happened. When the announcer shouted, "Jimmy Page just walked onstage!" I totally rushed out! Hell yes we were impacted by "the Zeppelin experience"! Nobody else came close to delivering the goods like what was the most amazing and talented hard rock band of all time. The Zeppelin experience is multi-layered, as well. There are so many sides to that band. So much subtlety and craft in their studio productions; so much mysticism and magic coupled with raw, street-level sexuality in their live performances. They employed so broad a vision and delivered so complete an experience. They were simply amazing.

Although I caught Led Zeppelin twice more during their '77 L.A. Forum gigs, 3/10/75 marks the best concert I ever had the privilege of attending. As a magazine devoted to the '75 shows put it, "Cities Zeppelin played were frenzied in anticipation, stunned in performance, and dazed in aftermath." This was just part of the Zeppelin experience.

(For an interesting exploration of the influence of Aleister Crowley on Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin, check out “Fallen Angel: The Untold Story of Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin” by Thomas Friend. You can probably find it on Amazon.com. It's the most thoroughly researched writing on the subject I've ever seen.)

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Earls Court Arena, London, 17 & 23 May 1975

This has been received from Alex Easton for the opening night at Earls Court in May 1975:

I'm amazed at how many guys are out there who are too young to even have seen the greatest rock & roll band in the world ever [ Rolling Stones pah ] being as my kids would put it " so old you should be in black & white". I had the good fortune to see the boys at their very best in London 75 [twice] & at the end at Knebworth [but that can probably wait for another time]. In the early 70s a friend of my eldest brother tried to get me in to LZ by playing me their latest release [LZ3]. I was only mildly impressed although I was rather taken with my 1st experience of big city blues "Since I've Been Loving You" but then he said you gotta buy their new album which turned out to be of course the 4 symbols masterpiece, totally blown away I went out & bought the full collection of 4 - after that I had every new LZ release pre ordered. At that point I started attending concerts - Gallagher, Beck Bogert & Appice etc, & festivals - Bardney, Reading etc, so when the NME bore the headline "Zeppelin's May Daze" in the Spring of 75 I decided I had to see this band live & so more in hope than expectation I mailed off for tickets.

I received 4 in the return mail for the 23rd, great I thought, but it was about to get better as a workmate had double booked for the 17th with a Yes show, did I know any one who wanted a Zep Earls Court ticket for face value [£2.50]. What could I do but help a workmate out?

So it was that at 8.00 pm on the 17th of May I found myself inside London's Earls Court arena as the lights dimmed & torches moved eerily across the darkened stage, from the opening chords of Rock & Roll I was transported for the next 4 hours, I also at that moment was a fan for life. I of course returned on the 23rd & happily repeated the process. Like I say I saw the boys again at Knebworth in 79 [not knowing like many others that it would be their last time] but that can wait for another mail.

When the boys folded I remained a fan but what can you actively do as a fan with no new material to collect? But then came the internet through which having done some homework I ascertained that the must have soundboard recording of that week of 5 gigs was called  "To Be A Rock And Not To Roll" so with the help of a very kind person [happy trails to him, he knows who he is] I began building a bootleg CD collection. Some years later I have a number of shows but would still like [quality soundboard] recordings from the 17th & 23rd, the shows I attended. This is my 1st effort at this type of forum so I'll sign off wishing all the Zeppelin heads out there all the best, cheers to all. ( Alex Easton October 2004)

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This (which originally appeared in 'Tight But Loose' magazine) comes from legendary Led Zeppelin fan Phil Tattershall, who was very fortunate to see the band three times at Earls Court in May 1975:

I had tickets for three of the Earls Court shows – 17 th, 24 th and 25 th .  One of the guys in our gig-going gang at the time was, David Straughan, a keen amateur photographer who fancied taking some pictures of the shows.  Strategies for smuggling in a decent camera were formulated, but the sensible plan of going to the first show ‘clean’ to suss the security was vetoed when we saw how near the front our tickets for the 17 th were.  We knew that our chances of getting decent results from the distant seats we had on 24 th and 25 th were remote, so decided to risk taking the camera on the opening night. The security presented no problem.  The white T-shirted door staff from ‘Sturico – your friendly security men’ (anybody else remember them?) waved Dave through without a search, and we took our seats (so near the front – wow!) with eager anticipation.

The band came on. Click, click, click went the shutter, the one roll of film was exposed during the first few minutes and we sat back to enjoy the rest of the show. The following day, we converted Dave’s mum’s bathroom into a darkroom and developed and printed the pictures (yes, it was all DIY in those days). The results weren’t bad at all, as you can see. The following week, we thought we’d have another go, so Dave borrowed a 200mm lens from his dad and stuck it on his Practika 35mm SLR. I remember about half way through, Dave was seen by a Sturico guy and told to stop taking photographs. Dave hastily fabricated a lie and replied that he wasn’t photographing, he was just using the equipment as a telescope in order to see the tiny figures on the stage a little better. Curiously, this wholly implausible explanation was accepted by Mr Sturico, who disappeared without bothering us again. Results from the back of the hall were less spectacular. The final night, we decided to go ‘clean’, because, as some of you will know, you can’t really enjoy a show if you’re burdened with contraband. So, even though we had a great time, there are no pictures from that night.

Footnote:
Our mode of transport to and from all three shows was Dave’s Austin Champ (a rather rare open topped ex-army truck, vintage 1955). Two incidents of note here: on the night of Saturday 24 th, we were driving along Kensington High Street after the show. The London streets were littered with Scots, tired and emotional after a 5-1 reverse at Wembley earlier in the day, and suddenly we found we had an extra passenger. No, not a football fan, but a guy in a Sturico t-shirt who’d jumped into the back of the truck first and asked for a lift afterwards(!?). Why he assumed we were going his way remains a mystery. The astonishing thing was, he didn’t like Led Zeppelin and thought the show was crap. He was only there because he got paid for it. Just who were those Sturico guys? From which planet did they come? On the 25 th, Robert twice mentioned ‘the Austin Champ’ between songs. Was the memory of Robert’s own Champ triggered by the sight of us turning up at Earls Court in Dave’s?

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The Summit, Houston, TX, 21 May 1977

With the release of the complete video soundboard of this concert in July 2005, we are most grateful to Stephen J. Christensen for sharing his memories of attending this concert:

TimeLine: The Summit, Houston, Texas Saturday May 21, 1977.

I was fortunate to have witnessed this concert after just turning 16. Getting a ticket was a challenge in itself and I didn't get one upon initial sale, only getting one from a friend later. The tickets were sold at Warehouse Records and Tapes, a chain of Houston area record stores and sold out immediately. The people lucky enough to get tickets had to be hustled out of the back of the stores because people were attacking them and stealing their tickets. My friend got pushed through a plate glass window at the store but only received minor cuts and stayed to get tickets. The police actually called out the fire department and they turned on water cannons to disperse the crowd at one location. These tickets had the original date of February 28th printed on them but the concert was postponed until May 21st because Robert Plant got sick. Talk about an agonizing three month wait, we honestly didn't think they would ever play after the postponement. After all of that, Plant's voice actually seemed to be in great shape during the show. So it was with a great deal of hope and sense of event that we filed into the Summit on the Saturday of the show. I did not see one person selling tickets outside the venue, but there were thousands trying to buy them, a real mob scene and mentality. I kept my ticket in my front pocket with my hand inside my pocket for extra safety. One very distinct memory was the crowd reaction at this concert. After 8pm every time a warm up song ended on the PA system the crowd would go crazy cheering in anticipation so by the time the show started at 8:25pm the crowd was in a total state of delirium, people were literally yelling at the tops of their lungs when Zeppelin finally took the stage. To be completely honest I really think people were skeptical that they would play right up to the moment they appeared on stage. The sound was so loud and clear during the concert it was shocking. The sensationally strange set list of the 1977 tour would not be repeated before or after this tour making it unique in that respect. John Bonham was a true monster during this show, his drums sounded like cannons being shot off. Jimmy was a rock and roll gymnast, he was moving around like it was the last time he would ever play. The acoustic set was well received and quite a spectacle with all of the Zeps sitting in a row across the stage. JPJ's triple neck guitar got a lot of comments among the crowd. The Drum Solo, Kashmir and Achilles Last Stand were the highlights of the show. Stairway made everyone pour into the aisles on the main floor and storm the stage. After Stairway the band locked arms and bowed as a rainbow lighting effect washed across the stage. During the first encore of Rock and Roll Jimmy fell to his knees while doing a spin move and everyone kind of looked at each other laughing and saying he fell down, he fell down. It took an eternity for the band to return for the second encore, a great drunken version of Trampled Underfoot and the show officially ended at 11:50 pm. The show was broadcast over the in house video system and certainly couldn't have been done without the bands permission.

After the show the crowd broke many of the twenty foot high windows that surround the Summit and caused a half million dollars in damage, I guess this was their way of throwing a television set out of a hotel window. We went to the car and got away from the crazies as quick as possible. A couple of really horrible reviews that have been reprinted in the Concert Files book appeared in the Houston papers the next day, making us wonder if the writers had been at the show at all. Bad Company was playing the Texas circuit that same weekend and it was no secret that the bands were hanging out and partying together. In conclusion, people who never had the opportunity to see Led Zeppelin cannot truly understand or appreciate what it was like being in the same room with all of that power, it was absolutely awe inspiring. There was next to nothing in the press regarding Led Zeppelin in those days, Creem and Circus magazine were probably the main magazines in the states that printed anything about them, no hype whatsoever. At that time Jimmy Page was the most mysterious and revered figure in rock. It is hard to imagine how much power Zeppelin had in those days. There was so much demand in the Houston area I honestly think they could have sold out the Astrodome twice . We talked about the show for months afterward and still do to this day.

Stephen J. Christensen, July 2005

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Capital Centre, Landover, Maryland
May 25, 1977

I was 14, Zeppelin announced 3 dates at the Capital Centre in Landover ( Largo) Maryland. They would later add May 30 to the string of shows making the total of 4 dates. Mother refused to take me even though the gigs were draped across the seekend rather nicely. Thanks mom. A schoolmate had an extra ticket for the first night's performance. I wasn't about to accept defeat. Face value was something like $7.50. I bought it. I had a few weeks to find a ride to the show because the schoolmate wasn't really a good friend and he lived about 8 miles away. I was a rather geeky kid that happened to love Zeppelin and my best friends weren't into Zeppelin at all. Their loss I figured. I ended up creating a flier, a rather big one, and propped it up against the speed limit sign out on the parkway near my house in Columbia, MD. I was sure someone was going to either, A: pick me up and take me to the Zeppelin Concert, or, B: pick me up and molest/torture/harass/exploit/terrorize me. B didn't happen, and I was picked up by a sedan filled with some older boys going to the show. Turned out one of the brothers of the driver that pulled over and picked me up was in my home room at my middle school. Okay, so I was too reluctant to ask my schoolmate for a ride, but adventurous enough to risk getting abducted just to get to see my favorite band. What a dumbshit, eh? I get there and instantly this dude was trying to sell me what he called acid. It was a pink little pill and looked like damn Benadryl or something (and probably was) So I bought one for $3.00. What a dumbass. (why am I sharing this? I hope someone is having a good laugh...:-) So I get in after waiting till about 8 PM. They must have had a very late sound check... Who knows. I walk to the nearest entrance to view the stage area and DAMN, I thought, "who's opening for Zeppelin?" - Because Bonzo's drum kit didn't have the 3 rings on the bass drum head. "Silver kit with white heads?" I thought this was a warm up band. To my surprise of course it WAS Bonzo's kit. I took my seats and my schoolmates weren't there yet. I think they stumbled in around 9:30. They wouldn't even give me a ride back when I asked. Jerks. (is this hilarious or what?) Zeppelin stumbled onto the stage around 9:20. There was no warm up band. I gathered that around 8:45. Would have been great if Detective or somebody had opened. I'm sorry, but I love that Detective album "Takes one to know one." If you haven't heard it and you dig Zeppelin, Check it out... Anyway, I had nose bleed seats but they were close to the stage. The speakers were hiked up pretty high (close to us). It was loud as F*$k. I was receiving 120 dB easily. Stereo Effects sucked, especially during Page's solo and Bonzo's solo. Best part was No Quarter with the lasers. There were some cables obstructing some of the stage but the guys moved back and forth enough I wasn't too disappointed. Page nearly tripped once over his effects then he tried to play it off by repeating his goof pretending his steps were intentional. He was playing pretty bad. Plant was spot on. He only cracked a couple times. He was very controlling of his wild-out-of-control audience. He hushed everybody once or twice. Page was really bad that night (too many horse tranquilizers and JD possibly?). Bonzo stole the show. He added a crash cymbal to his set that year. I wish I knew more about him. I wish his son would write a book. Page really sucked that night. Too many med's on board I guess. The more reverberation for that night the better. I just want it to go with my ticket stub and maybe my kids will find it interesting that I attended the show. I ended up running into the same guy that picked me up on the side of the road. That was the luckiest day of my life up to that point. The next luckiest day was getting to see RUSH later that December. Not sure if this qualifies as a review suitable for posting, I just felt compelled to share.

A. Ekland Raleigh, NC March 2004.

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This comes from Greg Mezatasta, who was a very young fan when he saw Led Zeppelin at the Richfield Coliseum in Cleveland, OH, on their second night in 1977, on 28th April:

"First off I can tell you security was tight. I later found out this was because of the 1975 show which had a small riot. When they opened I remember someone threw a black blimp onstage which Robert Plant picked up and made it look like he had a boner. I have seen this photo in magazines over the years and wish I had a picture of it. The concert was loud and the light show was awesome. The most awesome thing was Page's solo with the green laser. John Bonham had on his tuxedo t-shirt and was wicked on the drums. I also have to say the acoustic set was great . All I can say is LED ZEPPELIN has touched my life for many years. I still watch The Song Remains The Same every week and I still wish that I met or had the chance to tell Led Zeppelin that they were great . I could go on and on about April 28 1977 Led zeppelin at the Richfield Coliseum but i'll sum it up with these words: If God made anything better he kept it to himself.

Does Anybody Remember Laughter!!!!!!!!!!!"

We have another memory of this great concert from the Richfield Coliseum in Cleveland on the 28th April 1977, received from Dave Davis:

"This was my first ever concert. Led Zeppelin? who is he? I walked out of that concert changed down to my core. I couldn't hear, and I couldn't talk the next day, I was stunned. I burnt all my John Denver, Billy Joel, and KTel's greatest hits. I am almost forty years old now, looking back, that concert was one of my rites of passage. Just breathing the air and afloat in a massive ruckus and static excitement of that huge crowd, I still get shivers. That was truly an event, that has had no real equal for me. I went to see Jimmy play with the Black Crowes, and I was in both places, at the same time, once again, very strange, and I was smoking cigars and not that sweet stuff. In any case, the only concert I want to have in my collection is this concert. It means something personal to me, I was there, I felt it, I breathed it, I tasted it, I was completely awed by it".

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Our thanks to 'Hither and Yonder' for memories of the ill fated Tampa Stadium concert in Florida 3 June 1977:

I've been to over two hundred concerts since the early seventies, but nothing can compare before or since to the Led Zeppelin concert at Tampa Stadium on the night of June 3rd 1977. I'd bought my ticket in advance and arrived about 1/2 an hour before show-time. As I made my way towards the field, the sight that greeted me was astounding. At every entry portal throughout the stands, two cops dresses in full riot gear stood silent century. Clear shields, clubs, leggings, helmets... the works. I'd seen the Tampa police present in large numbers before, but never anything like this. As the entire stadium became visible, I realized as I peered across the vast expanse between me and the other side, that even the walkway rows in the stands were completely full of people! I'd been to many concerts at the Stadium, but I'd never see a crowd this size before. I couldn't put my finger on it then, but there was a certain strange 'electricity' in the air. Very weird. Much like the feeling one gets when one is about to be struck by lightening. Something almost seen, but just out of the range of one's vision. I can remember thinking at the time that it felt like something very big was about to happen. It was. And it was to be much bigger than anyone could have anticipated.

I made my way down onto the field, just to the right of center near the 20 yard line, where some friends were already waiting for me. There on stage were Bonzo's drums and all their gear. It was a towering sight, and seethed of the power that was sure to come. I had never seen Zeppelin before, but I knew that I was in the right place.Just before dark they came on. They kicked right into it, no holds barred, and the massive crowd responded in riotous cheers. I looked back into the sea of countless faces behind me... then back again to the power and the glory that was on that stage.... Plant standing toe-to-toe with Page, and him with that big ax... And the thunder on those drums that was Bonham .. At that range, it was like being strapped to the front of a runaway freight train. Total chaos but under total control! It was easy to think that we were all in for one hell of a night. But it was simply not to be....

I can still hear them wailing out strains of 'Nobody's Fault But Mine' as the first grape-sized rain drops began to fall. Just as the song neared it's end, the rain got so bad that the band was forced to leave the stage, saying that they would be back when the shower was over. The crowd, already pumped up by this fine taste of jam, waited patiently.It rained for at least 1/2 an hour; maybe 45 minutes. And then, just as suddenly... it was over. We were all beginning to get up and shake off the rain, when a voice came over the PA system and said simply that everyone had to leave the stadium... that the show had been cancelled. They issued this command at least three times, with no other explanation. No mention of rescheduling. No mention of whether we'd be getting our money back. Nothing. My ticket stub said "rain or shine". I suspected everyone else's did too because it wasn't 30 seconds before bottles began pelting that stage. I stood there in utter amazement, watching a steady stream of objects raining down on their gear. The voice came through the PA again, but this time in a harsher tone. The hail-storm of bottles got even worse. That's when I knew for sure that there was going to be trouble.

This went on for at least three or four minutes before I noticed the long line of black helmets filing in on the other side of the crowd barricade. They weren't fifty feet away from my vantage point, trotting single file, left to right. Then, with no further warning, over the barricade they came. An immediate stampede followed. Everyone in front of me just turned and ran as fast as they could. I soon discovered the source of their motivation....

Before I could get a grip on what I was seeing, I was stepped on, knocked to the ground and run over. By the time the crowd cleared, there they were... The meanest bunch of cops you'd ever want to see. They were two-abreast and busting the crap out of anybody that was in their way. 'In their way' at this point, were the dozens of other poor souls who, like me, were just trying to get to their feet. The two cops who were moving towards me chose to bash the people to my left, which gave me a chance to gather myself up. I got to my feet and surveyed the bedlam going down all around me. What especially caught my eye was the mayhem at the far end of the field.... where everyone had been flushed by the cops. Everywhere it was insanity in motion. I don't even know how to describe it. Missiles were flying. Thousands of people were running in every direction. Screaming. Trying to get away. Angry police and confused fans could be standing right next to each other at any given time, but would not even be aware of the another's proximity. Too much to take in. Too much all at once at any given moment to process in the short distance of that moment. A friend who was knocked down with me urged me to come with him and get the hell out of there. But me, being 19 and very pissed off at what I'd just seen, decided to head for the other end of the stadium where my brothers and sisters needed me more.

The fuzz had forced what the papers said were "between 3,000 & 5,000 rioters" into one of the four huge stadium exit portals on the field. I darted across that battle-line and into the biggest mass of pissed-off, snarling, steaming, oath-spewing, bottle-hurling rock people I'd ever seen. It took a lot of blood and quite a few busted fingers, but we somehow managed to closed the huge gates on them, so they couldn't try to force us any further out. Every time a cop would lay his hands on those gates he'd get his hands smashed with something. Did I mention the missiles?  It was unbelievable. The air was loaded with flying things throughout this whole affair. After a while we ran out of things to throw. They said later that stadium cleanup found 3,000 pairs of shoes... Like I said, nothing left to throw.

The whole melee was eventually forced out of the stadium and into the west parking lot. Tampa police and the Sheriff Auxiliaries busting heads everywhere. Thousands of people running in all directions. The only way that I've been able to describe the deal in the parking lot is to say that it must have been a lot like Pickett's charge at the battle of Gettysburg. At one point, I was knocked to the ground by some kind of blow to the back of my head. As my vision stabilized and I lay there looking up, I was astounded at what I saw: Nothing but flying object filling the air, in all directions. It was like looking at a pile of jackstraws, except they were moving.

I got to my feet and spied two Sheriff deputies about thirty feet away, standing there amidst the pandemonium, talking to each other just as calmly as you please. They were talking face-to-face. Looking to the ground, I saw a beer bottle lying about five feet away. I could not resist! I grabbed that sucker by the neck, and in one movement, hurled it end over end, right at those two helmet-headed cops. But my aim was too true. The bottle passed right between their faces. I mean, there couldn't have been four inches on either side! They had helmets on, but their faces were not protected (I thank God now for the fact that I missed. It would have followed me around for the rest of my life If I would have connected. I was pretty disappointed then, though). But there was hardly time for thought. A second after I let fly, I was slammed to the ground from behind and cuffed by two county Sheriff deputies. They drug me away to a small secure room on-site and threw me in with a few others. A little while later, I even got to ride in the paddy wagon!

First, they took us to the city stockade and put us in a holding cell with about twenty other dudes. I swear to God, they couldn't fit another person in there. Standing room only. All concert-goers. Many bleeding. Many shouting for help. All ignored by a fat cop working at his desk not ten feet away. I spent the rest of the night in county lockup, and was arraigned the next morning on a very serious charge.... "Hurling a deadly missile at a police officer in the line of duty", I think it was (the two cops who took me down saw the whole thing). There were 150 other arrests that night, but only three felonies. Me being one.

My hotshot lawyer later got the charge reduced because I had no adult record, and the cops weren't hurt. Not only that, but by the time any of us made it to court, the whole Led Zeppelin affair had become a bad taste in the city's mouth and everybody just wanted to wash their hands of it. It was an experience Tampa (and the rock and roll community here) would live with for a long time. It was quite a while before they'd allow another concert there again (I think it was the Eagles in 1980).

The next day, the newspaper ran a great picture (big) on the front page showing these two riot-clad cops dragging this totally bewildered looking fan away. The disturbing thing to me was the sneer of hate on this one cops face. A very clear message, and not surprising to anyone who was there. They were ready for trouble.

We later learned that Led Zeppelin had been chauffeured away before the rain had even stopped. The Tribune ran a picture of their limo streaking away. You could see Plant through the window looking very distraught. When all the dust settled, it came out that the city had cancelled the show after the rain due to some kinda curfew at the stadium or something.

It was a real bust but AT LEAST I did get to see them, and they were really cooking! They never came back to Tampa again. The Tampa police were eventually saddled with the blame, by and large. Coming from one who actually saw it, I think I can say that they were at least 75 percent at fault. You just don't go and rush a pumped-up crowd of over 70,000 LZ fans and get away with it. It was one of the stupidest things I've ever seen.

Then-Zeppelin spokeswoman Janine Safer said in Rolling Stone #243, that... "The entire situation from top to bottom was handled as miserably as anything could conceivably be handled" (there's a couple of photos in this issue, including the one of the evil hateful cop dragging the poor bewildered freak away). The papers said the next day that there were 27 car crashes around the area of the stadium that night. Fans caught up in the mass exodus who just wanted to get the hell away from a really bad experience.
Not long after this, the stampede incident at the Who show in Cincinnati happened, and the days of festival seating were almost over. Tell me.. When's the last time you went to a concert and saw a human-pyramid or a blanket-toss on the field, or hundreds of Frisbees flying through the air all at once? Now you have little old ladies with flashlights who show you to your seat. I can see my friends over there but I can't get to them. So much of the communal spirit has been quashed with the taming of the rock arena.... Rock will never be the same again. It was the end of an era that was old as rock itself.

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Here are the memories from Nech, who went to see Led Zeppelin at Madison Square Garden on the 8th and 14th June 1977:

 

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Tempe 20 July 1977

This concert was originally scheduled for Sunday March 6, 1977 but Robert Plant's laryngitis postponed this show until Wednesday July 20th.

The show was supposed to begin at 8pm but didn't start until just before 9:00.

The show opened with a strong performance of "Ths Song Remains the Same". Jimmy Page was dressed in his black dragon pants, with a plain black tee-shirt, and white scarf. The first part of the set seemed decent, with the exception of Page who stood still near Bonzo's drum riser for most of the night. During the guitar solo in "Over the Hills and Far Away" Page miscalculated his need to switch his guitar floor effect, with Robert Plant being closer to it and actually activating it for him. Things took a strange turn after a very low key acoustic set. During "Trampled Underfoot" Page turned in a very uninspired guitar solo. Then...He chose not to perform "White Summer". He played a few bars of "Black Mountain Side" before going into "Kashmir"......but without the rest of the band, slowly Bonzo joined in, then John Paul Jones. Next ...there was no "Moby Dick!!" Bonzo seemed to be "missing in action" at the close of Page's guitar solo so there was an improvisational opening to "Achilles Last Stand". And after the opening bars of "Achilles" right when the song "kicks" in, there was an extremely LOUD explosion with a blinding white light from the flashpots located at the front of the stage, which threw Jimmy back a couple feet, then you could see him going over to the side of the stage raising a closed fist presumably at a roadie. After the song Robert announced that the explosion was not meant to happen and that the person responsable would soon be "casterated". The band just never seemed to ever get on track and turned in a very uneven performance. Jimmy was content with standing perfectly still through most of the show. During "Stairway To Heaven'' Jimmy actually dropped to one knee during the guitar solo. Bonzo seemed in a hurry to end the show and was off his drum stool and gone before Robert finished the final lyric. So you didn't have the customary cymbal flurry at the end of the song. Then.... that WAS IT!!!

NO ENCORE! I heard people in the crowd after the show making comments, one was "Led Zeppelin didn't eat their Wheaties". But you know even though the performance was very lacklustre, I was never the less just happy that I got to see them live, and being only 75 feet from the stage,well very close. Tempe Arizona, sadly would be the second to last U.S. city the band would ever play in. It would have been nice to have had a supercharged show, but that was not the way it was. I hope you enjoyed my concert memory.

Thanks, Ed Ortiz

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Here are two concert memories, one of Led Zeppelin in 1980, and another of Live Aid in 1995, received from Jason Peterson:

Ahoy Sportspaleis, Rotterdam, Holland June 21 1980
As a "military brat," my father had been assigned to a base in England in spring 1980. One of the first he did on arrival was secure tickets for Led Zeppelin's European tour. He didn't care which date, and as it turned out - Rotterdam it was. He decided to give me my first concert experience with this show; I was only seven years old. We took the ferry from Southampton to Amsterdam and made our way down to Rotterdam. I remember arriving at the Ahoy and the many people standing outside and around the building, many with shouts of "Led Zeppelin!" and "Jimmy Page!" I wasn't a fan per-se then, but I remember that quite clearly. I remember the show was loud and gritty; Jimmy's guitar sounded even "grungier" than the bootlegs represent. And who can forget that opening segment when Jimmy starts playing "Train Kept a Rollin" and the place is completely dark, then BOOM Bonham kicks in and so does the light show! As a result of this show, TKAR was the first song I ever learned to play on guitar two years later. I remember how pumped the audience was during "Nobody's Fault But Mine" and "Heartbreaker." It's a shame the bootlegs make it sound like the audience was so cool. Since I was only seven, that's about all I can recall these days. What a great first concert, and sadly the last true Led Zeppelin concert I would have the chance to see.

Wembley Arena, London, England July 13 1985
Once again my father and I, off to see some great artists at the Live Aid benefit concert! Now 12, I remember many more aspects of this show and the whole Live Aid concert. We arrived early, and it had been a long, enjoyable, and tiring day! The fun didn't stop with the concert in England, though -- after the British performances were complete, the US performances were shown via satellite on the video screens at Wembley. And so, my second taste of Led Zeppelin live came in the wee hours of the overnight/morning. The Wembley crowd had been rather quiet compared to earlier in the day; watching a concert on a giant video screen just isn't the same after you've had The Who, U2 and Queen kicking your ass in-person. But when Phil Collins bumbled through the introduction of Zeppelin, the crowd at Wembley went completely nuts! Everyone stood up, applauded, screamed. You'd of swore they were actually on our stage. No one sat down the whole time, and people were singing the songs along with Plant. And after the first few notes of "Stairway" you couldn't hear anything but the deafening sound of crowd cheer and applause. Who could top that act? As far as London went, no one, as no other act got the same response after Zeppelin. Even though I didn't start collecting Zeppelin bootlegs for a few years after, it was Live Aid when I first realized the true power of Led Zeppelin Live.

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For a perspective of a Solo Robert Plant concert, this is from Craig Borda:

"Having sent in the Led Zeppelin memory from Madison Square Garden, I thought it would be fitting to reflect on something a little different for those of you who have read, but maybe never had the opportunity to see how things progressed over the years within the Zep family. The second most "Huge Impression" I experienced was from quite a few years later when Plant was touring with his new band on the Now and Zen tour. The exact date is listed on various websites that chronicle tour dates, but I know it was a weekday in May of 1988, shortly after the new recording was released.

Other than the disappointment that there was an opening act (the Van Zandt who later died in a helicopter crash).... the 2 hour show that followed was nothing short of magical and overwhelming at once. Most true fans who are old enough to have seen Zep progress from the very beginning would agree that a certain pinnacle was reached possibly by Houses of the Holy, if not, certainly by Physical Graffiti. One could argue that an interesting comeback may have developed in the 80's had Bonham not died, but in all truthfulness, the level of excess in self indulgence began to have an affect on the quality of performances towards the end. Plant moves on with three very good albums , decent tours that stuck strictly to solo material and left audiences with an appetite for what once was.

This show (from Now and Zen) was the gourmet six course meal that not only fed that appetite, but made for old-fashioned Roman style gorging. The album was HOT on the charts, loads of radio play, and Plant was lucky enough to discover a band of magicians that created a unique reversal of roles for Plant : where Robert once did "Percy", it now seemed like Percy doing Robert Plant. Shaking off the slightly effeminate Percian image of bare midriff, lacy shirts and flower power bellbottoms, the Tall Cool One emerges on stage with a kind of Pirate of the Seven Seas vengeance and rips into Helen of Troy...... no excuses / nothing to prove / nothing unclear about what was about to go on for the next few hours........ just a very happy and excited group of musicians who knew they had the equivalent of an armed nuclear device on stage with an all too receptive crowd who would have delighted in being part of the explosion !!!! Helen of Troy winds down in a teasing way that makes you wonder when it will stop and then hauntingly blends into an electronic keyboard "vocal effect" of the familiar riff in Other Arms from the Principle Of Moments. I do consider myself a hardened connoisseur of all things that Plant has done from Zep to Page & Plant , but suffice it to say that this tour, this concert intro, and all of what followed during this show was quite possibly the best I've ever seen from Plant himself. Not to take anything away from Zep shows, but, Plant from this period of 1988 to 1991 was superb. ......Craig ( child of the son ) heh heh heh..

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This memory of another Robert Plant concert, from St. Petersburg, FL, on 20 October 1990 comes from 'Zmarley':

What a magical night. before the concert I had this feeling I would meet Plant. I told my friends to come with me and my girlfriend if they wanted to meet Plant but they drove separately, never to be seen that night. the concert itself was unbelievable. solo work, which I wish he would do once more, and some Zeppelin numbers. Liars Dance was splendid, with Plant teasing the crowd with... "lets leave it to the lady there whose sure..... there's a lady whose sure...... she won't be back again...." After the concert we snuck back stage where I found a Now And Zen stage hand pass which I kept. Two girls backstage said that Percy had already left, but was staying at a hotel overnight. I immediately thought to myself " the Don Caesar ", an expensive hotel on St. Petersburg beach. A worker backstage also said that Percy was driving a convertible red Mustang. I decided to head to the Don Caesar and upon arriving I saw a convertible red Mustang parked directly out front. we wandered in and went out to the back balcony and enjoyed a little spliff. After a few minutes I heard footsteps and immediately knew it was Percy. I looked down and sure enough it was Robert walking with his manager, whose name I unfortunately have forgotten. We ran down the steps and met him and I had him sign the stage pass I had found. He was really talkative until a group of fans arrived and got down on their hands and knees and started bowing before him... he wasn't into this and made a hasty exit into the lobby. we followed and had some more conversation {he said he liked my jeans and asked where I got them} he introduced us to his manager and kept staring at my girlfriend, who had dark skin and dark hair, Robert's favorite. For the fashion conscious, Robert wore jeans and a t-shirt which read " die yuppie scum" the fans showed back up and Robert once again bolted , this time into the elevator, but first, not even caring that I was there, in true Percy fashion, he grabbed my girlfriend and tried to kiss her. She pulled away and he went into the elevator. before the door closed she stuck her arm in and it opened and she stepped in. before the door closed I stuck my hand in , opened the door and walked in. I was not about to let my girlfriend go up to Percy's room alone. I would have never seen her again. Just before the door closed one of the crazed fans put their arm in once again. Plant was somewhat perturbed by now. We were all 3 in the elevator, my girlfriend unable to speak. She wouldn't get out and finally Robert picked her up and carried her out, planting a kiss on her after setting her down. He got back in the elevator and was gone. Years later, in 1995, we were in New York City, and I caught a glimpse of someone on the sidewalk and I immediately felt it was Percy. He was in disguise, long black trench coat, sunglasses. hair tucked away in a ski cap. I didn't really see him but I definitely felt his presence. We stopped the car got out and followed. It was him. My girlfriend pretended she didn't know who he was but kept asking him "don't I know you from somewhere ?" and "have you ever been to the Don Caesar in St. Petersburg?" It was fun and seemed genuinely amused. Two nights later he and Jimmy put on an unbelievable show at Madison Square Garden during the No Quarter tour. I miss Percy. I only hope he comes to Florida during his summer tour with the who. I had a dream about Percy about a year ago. It was very vivid. I never remember my dreams but for some reason I remembered this one. The next day I learned that he was in Orlando, just an hour away, at Disneyworld. I truly believe he has some kind of power- the hammer of the gods.

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