Monday, November 28, 2011

Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin at Kezar Stadium, June 2 1973

I was 11 years old and just learning about Led Zeppelin. My neighbors older brother had Led Zeppelin 1, I heard the album and had to have it. I think I bought the album from a Montgomery Ward's department store. I still have the album and a lot more. I saw Led Zeppelin at the Oakland Colosseum in 1977. That concert lives on in infamy because Led Zeppelin's manager and crew had a circumstance with Bill Graham's people. Since that time, Led Zeppelin has had many changes including the unfortunate loss of John Bonham. Unofficially, the band broke up only to get back together to play in London at the O2!

Look for the release of the official recording of the reunion at the O2 - soon!
Kezar stadium was in San Francisco.

The following information was gleaned from Jimmy Page's website!

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Led Zeppelin’s live show at the Kezar Stadium in San Francisco signaled the midway point of the band’s North American tour, which spanned the Spring and Summer of 1973.
The rickety stadium, formerly inhabited by local NFL teams the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers, was built in 1922 and had seen better days before the band arrived to play.
Local newspaper reports state that Led Zeppelin’s performance “could be heard up to half-mile away,” while nearby hospital patients complained of the noise.

Another story about the Kezar concert; Led Zeppelin back in 1972-73 could easily afford to hire their own jet. Prior to the San Francisco Kezar show that was presented by the amazing Bill Graham, most of the band flew north from Los Angeles to San Francisco except for one key individual. Jimmy Page as it is told decide to fly among the commoners and take a commercial flight to San Francisco. As it happens, the jet was delayed and being held in rotation circling high above the bay area until they could land. Mean, while, the band minus one Jimmy Page is ready to play and the crowd has been waiting about an hour. Now, in the 1970's it wasn't too uncommon for a band to be late but an hour was pushing patience of the crowd. Bill Graham was completely freaking out and worried about the crowd and the repercussions. He resolved to get up on stage an make an announcement, "Folks, we are sorry about the delay but it seems that Jimmy Page has some problems with his double neck guitar and it's essential for many of Led Zeppelins tunes, we appreciate your patience while Jimmy sorts this problem out," to which the crowd responded with an uproarious cheer and loud applause. Moments later Jimmy showed up and nobody was the wiser! Bill Graham at his best!!!! 
Set list:
Rock and Roll
Celebration Day
Black Dog
Over the Hills and Far Away
Misty Mountain Hop
Since I've Been Loving You
No Quarter
The Song Remains the Same
The Rain Song
Dazed and Confused
Stairway to Heaven
Moby Dick
Whole Lotta Love
Communication Breakdown
The Ocean


For one sunny afternoon performance, Led Zeppelin attracted a crowd of more than 49,000 into an aging, has-been football arena, set a band record for gross revenue at a single concert, enriched the City of San Francisco by more than $25,000, and entertained one entire neighbourhood for free. 
The show climaxed the first half of the band’s 1973 US tour, which began May 4th in Atlanta. They’ll be back doing what they do best-- converting heavy metal into dollars—in July, hitting East Coast cities, plus Chicago and Detroit.
It was reported that the band could be heard up to half-mile away, along the Panhandle. And three blocks up the hill at the University of California Medical Centre, patients complained they couldn’t nap.
The Zeppelin freaks began to arrive for the Saturday show the preceding Thursday. Many brought sleeping bags and stayed overnight in park meadows. By the time promoter Bill Graham opened Kezar’s doors at 5:30am Saturday, several thousand persons were waiting. Graham, who says it is important “how you say hello,” handed out balloons and Frisbees.
- Harry Huddleston, Rolling Stone 1973

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