Led Zeppelin’s London Debut

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Under the name of Led Zeppelin, the band made their first performance in London on November 9, 1968.

Led Zeppelin had just recently changed their name from the New Yardbirds to Led Zeppelin. The band had been bouncing around West Europe before making their rounds to the U.K. The band did play at The Marquee in London in October of 1968, but they were under the name of the New Yardbirds.

The show would be opened by The November 9th show featured a similar set list to most of their early shows. This would include “Dazed and Confused,””Train Kept a Rollin’,””Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,””How Many More Times,” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby.”

The band was able to make 150 Euros on the night. This number would obviously increase as Zeppelin continued to grow. The band would continue to tour the U.K. for a while before making their way to the United States.


 

David Bowie made his US TV debut on Cher’s show, 42 years ago today

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After making a name for himself around England and the World, David Bowie would make his US television debut on November 8, 1975.

David Bowie would make the appearance on Cher’s show on CBS. The show came to be after Sonny and Bono went their separate ways. Bowie performed his hit song “Fame” on the show.

Later on in the show Cher would join Bowie for a six and a half minute medley. The medley featured parts of 13 songs. These songs were Young Americans, Song Sung Blue,  One Is The Loneliest Number, Da Doo Ron Ron, Wedding Bell Blues, Maybe Maybe Baby, Day Tripper, Blue Moon, Only You, Temptation, Ain’t No Sunshine, Young Blood, and a Young American reprise.

Bowie would continue to make a name for himself from here. Bowie’s spontaneous career, made this performance seem strange and overlooked. However this performance became an important moment for Bowie and Rock N’ Roll.


Led Zeppelin played their first show under their new name, 49 years ago today

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After a brief stint with the band name of the New Yardirds. Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones went under the name of Led Zeppelin for the first time on October 25, 1969.

The Yardbirds would play their last show under the name on October 19, 1969, when Jimmy Page decided for the name change. The reason for the change was that former Yardbird Chris Dreja, claimed that he legally owned the name of the band.

There are many rumors as to how the band got their name. The most famous theory is that the name came from The Who’s drummer, Keith Moon. The theory is that Keith Moon along with The Who bassist, John Entwistle joked that the band would go like a lead balloon. The band took inspiration from the joke and went under the name of Led Zeppelin for the first time at the Great Hall at Surrey University.

There is no evidence of what songs were played on this night, however many suggest that many songs from Zeppelin’s first album were played. Many songs from the Yardbirds were played as many shows included these before. Either way this day would live in Rock history and be the first time one of the biggest bands in history went by their historic name.

Watch an early performance of “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” from 1968:


Pearl Jam’s First Concert

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One of the biggest and most influential bands of the 90s, Pearl Jam, took the stage for the first time together on October 22, 1990. At the time the band consisted of five members and went under the name of New Jersey Nets point guard, Mookie Blaylock. The band would of course change their name to Pearl Jam before the release of their debut album.

The band came together after the band Mother Love Bone broke up after the death of their singer, Andy Wood. This left band members and everyone involved in the grunge movement devastated. Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard did not do much for some time before they started jamming with guitarist Mike McCready. The group made a demo tape and passed it around.

Eddie Vedder was one of those who got possession of the tape. Eddie was working at a gas station in San Diego at the time and just began getting into the music scene. Vedder wrote lyrics to the melodies that the three men created and put them on a tape and sent it to them. The three men couldn’t believe what they were hearing and got a hold of Eddie quickly. Eddie then made his way to Seattle and made his way into the band after a week.

The band began rehearsal and went over songs that would appear on their debut album. Eddie sang over the melodies of “Once” and “Black” on the tape and these were some of the songs that the band decided to go over in their rehearsal for their first gig. The band was blown away by Eddie’s power in his voice, especially coming from someone so soft spoken.

It was a cloudy night in Seattle when the band took the stage. Their first concert was at the Off Ramp Cafe. Pearl Jam would go on to play an eight song set during the night. These songs included many that appeared on the debut album including “Alive” “Release” and the two songs they rehearsed “Once” and “Black.” The band showed their power and presence right away especially with Mike McCready’s ability on the guitar.

The band would sign a record deal just one year later and they would release their debut album which was released in August of 1991. The album would be one of the most important albums in grunge and would become one of the best selling debut albums of all time. The band would sell tens of millions of albums and perform explosive live shows while keeping almost all of the same members from the beginning.

Watch the band perform their first show as Mookie Blaylock below:

 

 

Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains The Same premiered 41 years ago today

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One of the most popular Rock films of all time, Led Zeppelin’s “The Song Remains The Same” Premeired at Cinema I in New York on October 20, 2017.

Led Zeppelin had been planning a live film for a documentary since 1969. The band’s manager, Peter Grant, originally planned for a live film in 1970. The filming did happen, but the film was shelved after it was determined that the lighting was too poor.

Peter Grant would then sign a contract with director Joe Massot on the morning of July 20, 1973. The director who was already familiar with the band, had been rejected from filming a live film for the band multiple times. Grant changed his mind when he saw the massive success of the 1973 tour. Massot would then go on to film the band’s three performances at Madison Square Garden July 27-29.

Prior to the New York performances, the band was film exiting the starship and traveling to their concert in Pittsburgh, three days prior. The scene with the police chasing an intruder and Peter Grant putting down a promoter for receiving kickbacks were filmed in Baltimore on July 23rd. Some unused scenes that were shot in Baltimore and Pittsburgh later appeared on a promotional video for “Traveling Riverside Blues” in 1980.

During the band’s three performances in New York they wore the same clothes, except for John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page who switched their clothing during a concert. This led to an issue with the continuation of songs when Jones and Page were wearing different clothes. Jones said on this,”I’d think not to worry, I’ll save the shirt I wore the previous night for the next filming. Then what would happen is that I would get on stage and see the cameras ready to roll.”

The film also featured fantasy sequences with all the band members. Peter Grant and tour manager Richard Cole were seen as hitmen driving around England. John Paul Jones is seen recreating scenes from the film Doctor Syn. Robert Plant is seen as a knight rescuing a fair maiden. Jimmy Page is seen climbing up a snow-covered mountain in the middle of the night. John Bonham chose to simply be himself during the sequence and is shown drag racing around the UK at 260 MPH. The film also shows various scenes of the band relaxing at their homes with their wives.

The production of the film took over three years after the filming. They also decided to redo scenes from the filming in 1974. They set up a fake Madison Square Garden stage and showed close ups of the band members which took up a majority of the scenes in the film. John Paul Jones had to wear a wig during the filming because he had cut his hair after the original filming. The film was 18 months over scheduled and over budget.

The film grossed an estimated $10 million in 1977. The critics still gave the film a negative review as it was seen as average quality. Fans still loved the film as it was the only way to see documentation of the members of the band. The film was later re-issued in 2007 on DVD and featured all 15 songs from the filming.

Watch the band perform “Stairway To Heaven” during the filming below:



Get Robert Plant’s new album “Carry Fire” today!

Paul McCartney first Quarrymen performance

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Just three months after one of the most important days in music occurred with Paul McCartney meeting John Lennon at St. Peter’s Church in Liverpool. Paul McCartney joined the Quarrymen on stage for the first time on October 18, 1957.

Promoter Charlie McBain held regular rock n’ roll events at his venues. New Clubmoor Hall in Norris Green, Liverpool would be where Paul McCartney first appeared  with the Quarrymen.

McCartney and Lennon wore cream spotted jackets which were paid for by the group that night. McCartney practiced the guitar intro to “Raunchy” by Bill Justis and the solo from “Guitar Boogie Shuffle” endlessly all week beforehand which annoyed the band members very much. The practicing however, did not matter when during the show, McCartney missed his cue for the solo and began playing the wrong notes. McCartney then stepped back to hide behind the other guys in embarrassment. You would expect the other members to maybe feel sympathy for his nervousness, but John Lennon did the exact opposite. Lennon fell over laughing and almost pissed himself.

Paul McCartney said on the solo in his anthology:

For my first gig, I was given a guitar solo on Guitar Boogie. I could play it easily in rehearsal so they elected that I should do it as my solo. Things were going fine, but when the moment came in the performance I got sticky fingers; I thought, ‘What am I doing here?’ I was just too frightened; it was too big a moment with everyone looking at the guitar player. I couldn’t do it. That’s why George was brought in.

McCartney’s botched solo could also be part of the reason promoter Charlie McBain panned the group in his review. The Quarrymen did continue to play for McBain the rest of the fall despite the review. The band covered a lot of rock n’ roll acts like Elvis, Little Richard, and Carl Perkins. The band would eventually call on George Harrison to take over on the guitar and moved Paul to bass, which would go on to work very well for the group.

Listen to The Quarrymen performance from the day Lennon met McCartney below:


The night Aerosmith got a cherry bomb thrown at them in Philidelphia

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When you live the life of a rock star you never know how fans will treat you or what they will have with them. Aerosmith learned this on October 10, 1977 in Philadelphia and this would not be the last time they would deal with similar situations.

The band was starting their encore set for a ruckus crowd. That encore set would be cut short thanks to a fan’s use of a cherry bomb. Guitarist, Brad Whitford described the scene in an interview by saying,”I was going up the stairs right behind  Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, and I felt the concussion of the cherry bomb going off. Steven immediately covered his face and there was blood shooting up out of Joe’s arm, literally. So pretty quickly we got ourselves to the emergency room.”

The incident left the band in a pretty bad state. Steven Tyler’s cornea was burned and Joe Perry ruptured an artery in his hand. The incident kept the band off the tour for a while and left them very upset. The band declined any offers to play in Philadelphia for some time. Brad Whitford added to his interview,” I have to say we were shaken by it and extremely pissed off. We had a few offers to come back and passed on it.”

The band however, did return to the scene of the crime just a little over a year later. The band would have flashbacks to their last performance when once again Steven Tyler was injured by a fan.

The band was beginning their fifth song in their set and a fan threw a beer bottle from the balcony. The bottle hit the stage in front of the monitor and shattered. Shards of glass went everywhere and went right into Steven Tyler’s face and even into his mouth. Brad Whitford detailed in his autobiography,”Backstage, Steven’s holding a towel to his bloody face, and he wants to go back on! The vote was four-to-one against, and we were in the limos two minutes later. F this.”

Aerosmith’s 1977-1978 tour would be notable for violent incidents along with the band’s heavy drug use. The lifestyle would take a huge toll on the band and effected their shows. The band would get used to this kind of lifestyle and go on from there. The band always had a beef with Philadelphia fans for some time, but would continue to play shows at the Spectrum eventually.

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Listen to audio from the second Philadelphia incident below:

The day Aerosmith bailed 30 fans out of jail for smoking pot

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An Aerosmith concert in Fort Wayne, Indiana, would be known for more than the loud music on October 3rd, 1978.

As with most concerts, there was a large group of police patrolling the concert. With the nature of concerts, this is an easy spot for cops to bust young kids for drinking and smoking. This particular incident would happen to an estimated 70 young teens in Fort Wayne that night. Every kid involve with the incident, was dragged out of the concert which was in support of a the band’s recently released Live Bootleg! album.

The kids were charged with possessing pot, while others were charged with underage drinking and smoking. Among those arrested included Steven Tyler’s seamstress, who was caught after lighting a cigarette on stage. The Aerosmith singer became very upset with this fact and called the cops who patrolled that night “scumbags” and “gestapo” while on stage.

Aerosmith finished the show but was not done with this incident. After the show the band offered to post bail for every fan who was arrested that night. There was an estimated 30-63 people who were put in jail that night. The group is referred to as the “Fort Wayne 44” and a local disk jockey, Doc West, organized a reunion for the group.

28 of those arrested took up the offer from the band and was released from prison. The band’s tour accountant would pay $4,200 in bail and fines in a separate court appearance. The incident would be remembered and idolized in Fort Wayne, when Aerosmith became hero’s to a group of kids looking for a good time.

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The Rolling Stones song “Star Star” was banned by the BBC, 44 years ago today

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From The Stones 1973 album Goat Head Soup, the song “Star, Star” was not shockingly banned by the BBC on September 10th, 1973.

Originally titled “Star F–cker” the band’s 1973 single was written about a groupie, which the Stones are very familiar with. The term “Star F–cker” is a slang for a groupie. Atlantic Records forced the band to change the name of the song to “Star, Star” to avoid controversy. The band however, still refers to the song as it’s original title.

The song details an experience with a groupie in New York City. The lyrics are very descriptive and are rather shocking especially for the time. Feminist groups were very upset with the band for the song, but Mick Jagger never apologized because he just described what he saw.

The song also included references to John Wayne and Steve McQueen. The Wayne lyric read,”She’ll get John Wayne before he dies.” The problem was John Wayne never gave the band permission to use his name. Engineer, Andy Johns put some echo over the lyric and convinced the record company you could not hear the name in the song. When the album was released, you could hear the Wayne reference. Nothing much came out of this however.

Unlike John Wayne, Steve McQueen was rather amused by the lyrics. The lyrics involved a story of Ali McGraw getting mad for the groupie giving head to Steve McQueen.

Due to the constant use of the F word and raunchy lyrics, the song was banned by the BBC to no one’s surprise. The record company did not want to release this song, but the Stones insisted. The song has a sound reminiscent of Chuck Berry and though the lyrics are raunchy, the song is very catchy. The song was one of the highlights of the rather disappointing album and charted in the top 50 in three countries.

The song is also noteworthy for the fact that during the Stones 1975 tour, the band would inflate a giant penis on stage during the song. During that Tour Mick Jagger said in an interview,”People always give me this bit about us being a macho band, and I always ask them to give me examples. “Under My Thumb” Yes, but they always say Starf–ker, and that just happened to be about someone I knew. There’s really no reason to have women on tour, unless they’ve got a job to do. The only other reason is to f–k. Otherwise they get bored, they just sit around and moan. It would be different if they did everything for you, like answer the phones, make the breakfast, look after your clothes and your packing, see if the car was ready, and f–k. Sort of a combination of what  Alan Dunn does and a beautiful chick.

Listen to a live version of the song from 1978 below:

Led Zeppelin performed for the first time, 49 years ago today

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Long before they were considered the gods of Heavy Metal or sold 300 million albums, Led Zeppelin performed for the first time. That historic date would be September 7th, 1968 in Gladsaxe, Denmark.

Before Led Zeppelin was formed, Jimmy Page played along side Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck in the Yardbirds. The legendary band was beginning to break up, but they were already scheduled for a tour. Jimmy decided not to forget the tour and instead put together a new band with new members to fill the time. That lineup would consist of Jimmy Page on guitar, Robert Plant on lead vocals, John Paul Jones on bass, and John Bonham on drums. The band would call themselves the New Yardbirds.

Jorgen Angel who photographed the event said,”It’s only a short while before the concert that we realized it wouldn’t the real Yardbirds that were going to play. Gladsaxe Teen Club had booked the Yardbirds a few months before, but the Yardbirds broke up, and Peter Grant and Jimmy Page came with other musicians to fulfill those commitments. They signed a contract for a small tour in Scandinavia. Jimmy recruited three other guys and they played all the clubs where the Yardbirds were supposed to play.”

The New Yardbirds took the stage at 5:30 PM at the Gladsaxe Teen Club in Gladsaxe, Denmark. It is hard to believe a band like Led Zeppelin would ever play here, but you have to start somewhere. Though the venue was small, the band put on a big performance. The band was believed to play Yardbird hits “White Summer” “You Shook Me” “Dazed and Confused” and “Train Kept A-Rollin.” Led Zeppelin would later cover these songs and play them in their own concert.

There were rave reviews of the concert written in the newsletter of the venue.

“Their performance and their music were absolutely flawless, and the music continued to ring nicely in the ears for some time after the curtains were drawn after their show. Let me in particular give my praise to Jimmy Page who has made a great job with the three new men. They really succeeded and in particular the guitar solo by Page created huge applause. We can therefore conclude that the new Yardbirds are at least as good as the old ones were.”

The New Yardbirds would not keep their name but kept the members. There is wide circulation of whether Jimmy changed the name because of legal issues or he wanted to start new. There is also speculation that Keith Moon and John Entwistle were the inspiration behind the name when they remarked the band would,”go over like a lead balloon.” Either way this important venue would change history and all of music forever, as Led Zeppelin would shake up the World in a matter of time.

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