(5)June 15, 1972: Led Zeppelin @ Nassau Coliseum was advertised as a 3 1/2 hour show and as I was still shaking from the MSG fiasco (9/3/71) less than a year ago so I had NO intentions of going to this venue to see Led Zeppelin especially in this new arena which made headlines by have the Nassau PD bust scores of concert goers in the parking lot for drinking (tailgating) and smoking before a GRATEFUL DEAD show only a few weeks before. BUT at the Todd Rundgren show only a few days before, my girlfriend found two tickets for LZ next to the gear box in my VW. Strange as it sounds she did not place the tickets there and to this day I still never found who or why, but we went to the show, with me looking over my shoulder the whole time. (Great review by Robert Christgau in NEWSDAY- see LZ website for setlist and review of this 2 night stand.)
(1)May 30,1969@Fillmore East: For me the first time and in the best place in NYC, FILLMORE EAST was THEE venue to see LED ZEPPELIN. The talk since late January was how this band from England, the undercard on the bill, destroyed IRON BUTTERFLY which was the headliner for this weekend of shows. The buzz was that Led Zeppelin left IB stunned in the wings awaiting to hit the stage,left only to play their hit IN A GADDA DA VIDA to the chagrin of many. The schism is now widened as a new sound is in town.
TICKETS TORN IN HALF: Led Zeppelin- Feb. 12,1975@ Madison Square Garden
This is my seventh time seeing Led Zeppelin. I first saw them on their second tour /first heading tour of the US in May of 1969@ Fillmore East. Truly an eye opening experience for its time. So five years and a few months later I am now sitting in THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA experiencing what is considered by some as the BIGGEST BAND IN THE WORLD. Their sixth album “Physical Graffiti” a double record set will be released in a few days and having not toured since July of 1973 anticipation for tickets to any live shows would be great.
When announced in late December that tickets for LED ZEPPELIN’s three(3) nights at Madison Square Garden, along with two shows at Nassau Coliseum would go on sale Monday, January 6, lines started to form as early as the Saturday morning before. Three shows at 20,000 seats were set for the Garden, with 45,000 tickets to be sold at the box office. The remaining 15,000 would be sold at TICKETTRON outlets throughout the area on Monday also. Throughout Saturday lines grew at the box offices, at both The Garden and Coliseum.At The Garden, the overwhelming crowds became restless especially when a few knuckleheads decided to “skip the line” protocol. The Garden staff became alarmed and started selling tickets at 1 AM Sunday night and quickly “SOLD OUT” which led to other problems. The same scenario occurred at Nassau Coliseum where those in line received a number ,Numbers 1 through 2000 were issued .Orderly at first until at number 900, all tickets were sold.The lucky 900 bought all the tickets in a matter of minutes leaving 1100 people in a angry state. Finally, those remaining tickets which would go on sale at TICKETTRON had huge lines, massive fights, and again sold out in minutes. Ironic how this ticket selling fiasco lead to the Garden box office later relying on mail orders and TICKETTRON outlets for future first day of sales for high demand events. Also, a limit of four tickets per person was implemented. Mine ( two tickets@$7.50 in the 300 section) arrived a few days later via SASE.
February12,1975: LED ZEPPELIN opened with ROCK AND ROLL, followed by (partial set list)No QUARTER, SONG REMAINS THE SAME,DAZED AND CONFUSED, STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN,MOBY DICK(20 minutes), WHOLE LOTTA LOVE, BLACK DOG,and the encore of HEARTBREAKER. There is a great bootleg of this show, one which in my opinion is much better than TSRTS.
One reviewer claimed that Bonham’s 20 minutes displayed some of the best drumming in the world, something that Billy Cobham should take notice of. What? To me, the solo which was about 18 minutes too long was the perfect time to stretch my legs, and I’m a drummer.
(1/8/75 NYT) More than 1,000 persons crowded Macy’s department store in Roosevelt Field, L. I., and shoving matches, erupted when 25 Nassau County policemen attempted to reorganize the waiting line. Six persons were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct or harassment.
ON THE TURNTABLE: And the year was…1970
Every few weeks I post a review of the albums I listened to in a particular year. So today is one of those postings…AND THE YEAR WAS:1970
Strange freaking year for me.January of 1970 I just turned eighteen years old, awaiting graduation from high school, applying to colleges and possible facing the military draft. No matter what transpired the night before or what each morning brought upon us, we partied on.My job at the cassette factory recently closed so I had to find gainful employment to keep my obsession of attending live shows and buying recorded music. I found not one job but two; One working in a boat yard part time after school and full time on the weekends, as well as working evenings as a substitute cleaner/custodian in the local schools when called upon, which was regularly.That custodian gig paid off big time years later, but that’s another story altogether.I graduated high school in June, worked the summer, and headed off to college in September. There I immediately landed on the college radio station doing Friday night 11PM to Saturday 7 AM as well as an occasional afternoon show.
1970 Music: in no particular order or favor:
To me NEIL YOUNG’s third album “After The Gold Rush” (August 70)was better than CSNY’s (March 70)“Deja Vu” but not nearly as exciting as Neil’s “Everybody Knows…”. It’s 1970, so “…Gold Rush” is the perfect collection for the 8-track tape players we all installed in our cars. One copy of “Gold Rush” moved from one friend’s cars to other friends cars. Perfect “pot smoking music” was how it was once described.
After I and II the new LED ZEPPELIN album had to entitled “ III”.They are original…or maybe not, anyway “Immigrant Song” kicks it off, on from there it was electric, acoustic,electric back to acoustic. Cool stuff. The tune“Since I’ve Been Loving You” was copped directly from the obscure “Grape Jam”. Robert Plant was good friends with BOB MOSLEY of MOBY GRAPE so Zep stole from every one, being unscrupulous,unmerciful, but good.
VAN MORRISON’s “Moon Dance” was another staple on the ole turntable, as well as the new turntable/stereo which I had updated at this time. I now had an actual stereo system with true speaker separation… And loud,too.
THE WHO- “Live at Leeds” I bought this (vinyl), threw it on, cranked up the stereo and almost blew out the windows to my room.Simply said, it’s “DA ‘HO”…played it a 1000 times.
THE BEATLES “Let It Be” well… everyone bought this. No biggie here for me, I did buy it but hardly ever played it. I did buy the “Naked” version years later and must say I like the Naked better.
TRAFFIC: “John Barleycorn Must Die”-Summer of ’70, six songs, thirty five minutes, bravo. I was so glad BLIND FAITH was over and TRAFFIC together for another go round. This was a quite different TRAFFIC sound and another great tape to bring out with the boys on the corner.
Two from ELTON JOHN, “Elton John” and “Tumbleweed Connection”- After seeing ELTON JOHN (the trio) open for LEON RUSSELL @ Fillmore East, I was sold, this guy would be huge, but how huge I did not know.
BAND OF GYPSYS “Band of Gypsy’s”-I appreciated his uniqueness, his innovative approach but still was not a huge fan as were most of my friends. Don’t get me wrong, his first album was a gem, and “Electric Ladyland”, wow. Then I wanted to go to this FILLMORE EAST show, New Years Day 1970, even had tickets but that’s another story. After I got this album, I really regretted not going and had a higher appreciation of the artistry known as HENDRIX.
THE DOORS- “Morrison’s Hotel”, this is their fifth album. Their fourth sucked, horns and all. This was a “return to the blues” so said one reviewer. Which blues, I’ll never know. Better than “Soft Parade”, I’ll give you that.
CSNY “Deja Vu” Funny how I liked most of the tunes, except the Graham Nash ones. To this day, I still laugh at the words to “Our House”.With “Two cats in the yard”…”flowers in the vase”…yuck, this is rock and roll, Graham.
T.REX- “T.Rex”(1970 release) After reading about T. Rex and DAVID BOWIE in MELODY MAKER I contacted the record company and received a copy of the album for the radio station in January 1971. I took it home on the winter break and never brought it back.
DEREK and THE DOMINOS-“Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” I saw the band at FILLMORE EAST in October before the album was released. November ,we get it at the radio station, and I throw it on in the lounge. “Little Wing” grabbed my attention, then that “Layla” tune was kinda special. We saw the band again in December at Suffolk Community College (another story), they never played “Layla” but we did on the station, constantly. During one of my overnighters I played the entire album along with the original version of some of the blues numbers.
THE GRATEFUL DEAD- “Workingman’s Dead” and “American Beauty” both were heavy rotation on my show and in my room.
MILES DAVIS: “Bitches Brew”- “Miles Runs The Voodoo Down” followed by DR JOHN’S “ Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya” can get one in a bit of controversy with the radio staff, especially when you are the new guy (me) and the offended party is the outgoing “thinks he is a big shot Assistant Program Director”, a guy who regularly plays a “Melanie Half Hour”. I still swear he removed “Bitches Brew” from the record library. Smart me, I’ll bring my own and play it again, just for fun.
Speaking of fun…THE STOOGES “Fun House” was not welcomed at my parent’s home nor at the radio station…no fun zone, I guess. Nor was the VELVET UNDERGROUND’s “Loaded” welcomed but I played “Sweet Jane”, “Who Loves The Sun” and “Rock & Roll” to no end. Throw in the MC5 “Back In The USA” and one can see why I was hosting a very late night radio show. rather than “the Breakfast Hour”.
And then there was THE KINKS “Lola Versus Powerman and The Money Go Round”, JETHRO TULL’S“Benefit”, VAN MORRISON’s “His Band and Street Choir” wonderful follow up to “Moon Dance”,
WOODSTOCK “TheSound Track, JOE COCKER’s“Mad Dogs and Englishmen”, ROD STEWART’s “Gasoline Alley,THE BEACH BOYS “Sunflower” and of course SPIRIT “Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus”.
Funny, by Spring of 71 I was in charge of the record library at the station, a true benefit for any record collector, AND was doing Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, with a weekend show… 16 hours total air time…AND NO HOLDS BARRED.
WHATEVER BECAME OF LEN ZEFFLIN?
Ah, the joys of being an opening act for a major rock band. Consider the following: you are four young men from England, traveling together for the first time as a new up and coming act. Since your band has been recently signed to a major record label, say, ATLANTIC RECORDS, it has been decided by shared management that you will tour with a label mate of some renown, The VANILLA FUDGE. It’s late 1968 and THE FUDGE is, well, still relying on their remake of THE SUPREMES “You Keep Me Hanging On” to put hineys in the seats. You meet up on the west coast for your scheduled romp across The States, 41 dates, with fees ranging from a low $320.00 to a high of $1500.00. At some point your band will leave THE FUDGE and finish the short tour opening for IRON BUTTERFLY of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” fame.So, who or what is this band?
Ladies and Gentlemen…LEN ZEFFLIN. (cue applause). In short order,club owners will know how to spell the name for they will make some headlines, in one year’s time they will release two noteworthy albums, and in two years time they will be the biggest concert draw in America.
For those who only know of the power and popularity of Led Zeppelin of latter days, let me take you back to a time before their very first album hit the stands.
Jimmy Page was one of the “three”, the triumvirate of rock guitarist gods who moseyed through a British band of some renown named THE YARDBIRDS. This band ,who legend states took their name from Charlie YARDBIRD Parker was somewhat known in the USA, but more popular in their homeland of Great Britain. Without giving the long history of the Yardbirds let’s just say they got a CRAWDADDY (a club) gig when the spot was vacated by THE ROLLING STONES, a band on the move. Eric Clapton was the YARDBIRDS guitarist at that time who became uncomfortable with the band veering away from it’s blues roots, heading into a pop direction. Clapton leaves and suggest Jimmy Page take his spot. Page was the “go to studio guitarist” at the time and didn’t want to vacate that profitable role, so PAGE suggested JEFF BECK who took the gig.
With BECK’s influence the YARDBIRDS moved toward a psychedelic route with fuzz tones, feedback, and overall guitar virtuosity. By 1966 JEFF BECK was voted Melody Maker’s GUITARIST OF THE YEAR.When the bass player drops out of The Yardbirds JIMMY PAGE steps in for a spell. When a new bassist is recruited PAGE stays on for a BECK/PAGE new dual guitar attack approach. Beck gets sick, misses a few gigs and ultimately leaves the band to Page.With the lead singer Keith Relf’s alcoholism and the band not having any more hits, as well as with the rise of CREAM and JIMI HENDRIX, soon most of The Yardbirds disappeared, leaving Jimmy Page with the name. To fulfill some contractual commitments,with a new manager PETER GRANT on board, the band hits the road as THE NEW YARDBIRDS.
Page had recruited TERRY REID as vocalist but he, with a new MICKIE MOST contract, could not leave. Reid suggested a friend, ROBERT PLANT who brought along his drummer friend JOHN BONHAM. Page called his studio buddy JOHN PAUL JONES for bass and keyboards and after a short tour of Scandinavia, the NEW YARDBIRDS hit the studio to record what would become LED ZEPPELIN’s debut.
The album is released January 12,1969. Some of the tunes hit the New York FM airwaves after the band’s now legendary performance as the opening act for IRON BUTTERFLY at FILLMORE EAST January 31 and February 1, 1969, this being Led Zeppelin’s first US tour. Pete my buddy at Dubbings Electronics attended one of those shows that weekend. He raved about this new band who blew Iron Butterfly off the stage, leaving Iron Butterfly to play just one song, their hit IN A GADDA DA VIDA, and according to Pete, Led Zeppelin came back out due to the booing of Butterfly and the calls for “more” Zeppelin. I have never been able to verify that but Pete said it,so…it must be true.
A few days later while at work Pete asked me to join him to see LED ZEPPELIN at THE SCENE a club in Manhattan. With little provocation I agreed to go to the Wednesday night show. But alas, the shows were cancelled due to John Bonham’s son falling at home in England and Bonham was needed there. So, I made due by purchasing LED ZEPPELIN and listening to the debut album, over and over again.
January 12,1969: LED ZEPPELIN is released.I almost burnt that record out. It was on heavy rotation with JETHRO TULL’s “This Was” on my turntable.Geez, it was so good in early 1969, and is still a good listen today.Nothing like it at the time. Dump the cd, get the vinyl.
ON THE TURNTABLE -1969:
Putting out my BEST OF for this past year made me nostalgic in a way. So I dug out some listings from yesteryear and over the next few weeks I’ll post a few.My brother and I actual compiled lists of our favorite records but this listing is from most of the records I bought that year, in no particular order or preference.
It’s 1969 and my record collection was growing in leaps and bounds. Seems like the more money I had the more records I bought. However, my stereo was not what one would expect of a serious record collector. I was using an old split speaker (in a case) record player propped up on my desk. But hey, the sucker did the job. That and my portable single speaker cassette player tucked along side my portable PANASONIC AM/FM stereo radio made up my “sound system”. I also had an AM/FM radio bedside. A friend had a huge stereo unit, one with humongous speakers,a turntable with a “stylus” no less, but alas he had virtually no records, always borrowing mine.
Records In My Rotation throughout that year included:
The debut album from LED ZEPPELIN “Led Zeppelin”, I bought this early on in the year after a recommendation from my work buddy, Pete, who saw this “unknown” band open for IRON BUTTERFLY. This album was amazing and it took me a few days to realize that this JIMMY PAGE was the same JIMMY PAGE from THE YARDBIRDS. Later, in the year after its release and after seeing the band live twice I copped LED ZEPPELIN II. Geez, these recordings were unique, and the band was …WOW.
THE BEATLES “Abbey Road” was and still is a hard listen for me, yet when it first was released I played it continuously, usually picking out a song or two before moving on to some other record .It was probably the Harrison tunes that I liked the most.
THE WHO “Tommy” is another difficult record to listen to all the way through, but that year I did see the band perform “Tommy” in its entirety twice, and I must say, live WHO was better than any record.
KING CRIMSON’S “In The Court Of The Crimson King”was/is a great record, one that for its time was truly original. This band blew me away when I saw them in the fall of 69, opening for FLEETWOOD MAC and JOE COCKER. After their 34 minute set, I bought the album the next payday. Speaking of FLEETWOOD MAC “Then Play On”( their 3rd album) drew me to see them live and I became a PETER GREEN fan that night. This collection showed the originals of the name sake take their blues influenced and mostly refurbished recordings a step further. I must have recited the opening of “Oh, Well-Part 1” a million times to friends, to the point where I was annoying. I still am, say some. And JOE COCKER’s “With A Little Help From My Friends” which I grabbed in the early summer after hearing some of his tunes on the radio and before seeing him and THE GREASE BAND open for The AIRPLANE at FILLMORE EAST was a goodie, but again, live he was a trip.
Also, there was NEIL YOUNG’s masterpiece “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere”, along with FRANK ZAPPA’s “Hot Rats” which help change my musical perspective and soon led me to CAPTAIN BEEFHEART “Trout Mask Replica”.
Two debuts, one from CROSBY, STILLS AND NASH, a summer hit and Blind Faith’s one and only official release, which I thought was a mess, as was their show at MADISON SQUARE GARDEN. “Nashville Skyline” by BOB DYLAN was a pleasant surprise, even my POP liked it, well, it had JOHNNY CASH on it.THE FLYING BURRITO BROS “Gilded Palace of Sin” was a good pick up and ISAAC HAYES’ “Hot Buttered Soul” arrived unannounced when I did not respond in time to a record company selection deadline but boy was I glad I got that gem. CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY’s debut double set before they shortened their name to CHICAGO, and coincidentally was the only record I ever bought by them. JETHRO TULL’s “Stand Up” was a mainstay on the turntable along with the profane MC5’s “Kick Out The Jams” which was played on minimal volume as not to upset the parents. And then there was the profanity nestled in JEFFERSON AIRPLANE’s “Volunteers” another record which kept a low profile when played.
I practiced my drums listening to THE GRATEFUL DEAD’s “Live Dead” but was not enthused with The DOORS “Soft Parade”, and
PINK FLOYD’s Ummagumma was, well, just listen to “Careful With That Axe ,Eugene” and wonder why my Mom would yell, “What is that? Please, no more.” She didn’t particularly enjoy THE STOOGES “The Stooges”, either, no matter how many times I played it. Speaking of Mom’s taste, THE VELVET UNDERGROUND “The Velvet Underground” was more to her liking as was THE KINKS “Arthur”.
JOHN MAYALL’s “Turning Point” was bought the same day as PHAROAH SANDER’s “Karma”, late 1969. Both late night incense burning albums.
and of course, THE ROLLING STONES Beggar’s Banquet which never left my turntable and the follow-up release Let It Bleed (see blog Oct. 20, 2018)
PROCUL HARUM’s “A Salty Dog” which was actually my kid brother’s record found it’s way into my room many a night, along with his SLY and The FAMILY STONE’s “Stand” and JANIS JOPLIN’s “I Got Dem Ole Kosmic Blues Again Mama” but not any of his CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL or his “Odessa” by THE BEE GEES. Just the red felt cover on that one turned my stomach. Continue reading
1969: Records in heavy rotation in my bedroom included the debut album from Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, THE BEATLES Abbey Road (which is a hard listen for me-sorry Beatles fans), THE WHO Tommy (another difficult record to listen to all the way through), KING CRIMSON’S In The Court Of The Crimson King a great record,one that for its time was truly unique, THE ROLLING STONES Beggar’s Banquet which never left my turntable and the follow-up release Let It Bleed, NEIL YOUNG’s masterpiece Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, ZAPPA’s Hot Rats which help change my musical perspective, FLEETWOOD MAC’s Then Play On, CSN debut, Blind Faith’s one and only official release which is also a very strange record, Nashville Skyline by BOB DYLAN, The MC5’s Kick Out The Jams, Isaac Hayes’ Hot Buttered Soul which arrived unexpectedly when I did not respond in time to a record company selection deadline and glad I got this gem,Chicago Transit Authority double set before they shortened their name to CHICAGO, Jethro Tull’s Stand Up, Live Dead, The DOORS Soft Parade, PINK FLOYD’s Ummagumma, Jefferson Airplane’s Volunteers, and PROCOL HARUM’s A Salty Dog which was actually my brothers record.
October 5,1970 LED ZEPPELIN III is released.
(Show #3)September 19,1970: Led Zeppelin @Madison Square Garden.One year later from when I last saw them and the boys have hit the big time doing an unusual afternooon/ evening performance with one show at 2pm and then another at 8pm. We had four tickets for the 8pm show, where they opened with IMMIGRANT SONG. Geez, the band was so good and getting bigger by the moment. With two albums under their belt, and the third LED ZEPPELIN III to be released a few weeks after this gig.
This is my fourth (4) time seeing the band.September 3,1971: Led Zeppelin @ MSG This was advertised as a “2 and1/2 hour show with no opening act” and became a disaster of an evening almost immediately. SOLD OUT in a matter of hours. The show was marred by a huge protest mob (riot) developing outside due to “overpriced” tickets $5:50 – $7:50. Inside we were treated to a (dangerous) fireworks show as some idiot was tossing M-80’s from the upper balcony toward the ceiling in the Garden, each exploding just before it landed close to those seated below. Then the stage collapsed.Show over, lights on. Didn’t know if I wanted to experience that again.
Great review,set list and my tix stub is featured on LedZeppelin.com.