May 30th, 2006
I am going to assume that Led Zeppelin needs little introduction. Everyone and their mother knows “Stairway to Heaven”. It was claimed that the tune was the most-oft played song on the radio, it was requested for funerals, and, in general, became a phenomenon unto itself. I’ve heard that song so many times that I can’t listen to it anymore. “Whole Lotta Love”, “Immigrant Song”, “Kashmir” – the list goes on and on. LZ are probably the only band in the whole world whose entire back catalog is considered suitable for classic rock radio.
The origins of the band go back to the summer of 1966 when guitarist Jimmy Page joined The Yardbirds, a hard blues group that featured Eric Clapton before he got all purist. A couple years later, Page found himself the only Yardbird as the rest of the band had left. By September of 1968, he had recruited Robert Plant on vocals, John Paul Jones on bass, and drummer John Bonham and rechristened the band The New Yardbirds. The following month, they renamed themselves Led Zeppelin and recorded their first album.
This week’s show was recorded on the lengthy tour in support of Led Zeppelin I on 25 July 1969. The venue was right here in Wisconsin at Exhibition Hall on the State Fair Grounds in West Allis (just outside of Milwaukee). The band played as part of the Mid West Rock Festival which was a 3-day affair and also featured Buffy Saint Marie, Blind Faith, Jeff Beck, Johnny Winter, Bob Seger System, and a host of other national & local bands. This is an audience recording but a pretty good one considering its age. Not high fidelity but quite listenable.
Train Kept A Rollin’
I Can’t Quit You
Dazed & Confused
White Summer/Black Mountain Side
How Many More Times