Led Zeppelin North American Tour 1975

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North America 1975
LedZep1975.jpg
Poster for Led Zeppelin's concert at Baton Rouge, used to help promote its 1975 North American tour
Concert tour by Led Zeppelin
Associated album Physical Graffiti
Start date 18 January 1975
End date 27 March 1975
Legs 2
Shows 38 (and two European warm-up shows)
Led Zeppelin concert chronology
North America 1973 North America 1975 Earls Court 1975

Led Zeppelin's 1975 North American Tour was the tenth concert tour of North America by the English rock band. The tour was divided into two legs, with performances commencing on 18 January and concluding on 27 March 1975. It was preceded with two European warm-up shows, performed at Rotterdam and Brussels respectively.

History[edit]

Led Zeppelin live at Chicago Stadium, January 1975.

This tour took place nearly 18 months after the conclusion of their previous concert tour, which was the longest break between concerts yet taken by the band. As a result, some critics have suggested that the band seemed sluggish and rusty upon their return to the stage, with the group lacking dynamics and giving rather 'heavy' performances.[1]

To make matters worse, guitarist Jimmy Page suffered a broken ring finger after slamming its tip in a train door prior to leaving England for this tour. This forced him to take pain killers and to develop a three finger playing technique during the first portion of the tour.[2] In addition, Robert Plant contracted a bad case of influenza early in the tour, causing the cancellation of one show and negatively affecting his singing ability for much of the rest of the tour, leading to some unfavourable reviews.[3] However, toward the end of the tour it was noted that the group seemed to be recovering, leading to some memorable performances.[1][4] Indeed, by the end of this series of dates, Plant himself stated that:

This has been our most successful tour on every level and I had a great time all the way through.[2]

For this stint of concerts, Led Zeppelin employed a much grander light show than had been used on previous tours, featuring a large neon-lit 'Led Zeppelin' backdrop and krypton laser effects for Jimmy Page's violin bow interlude.[5]

One scheduled concert in this tour, on February 4 at the Boston Garden, was canceled by the Mayor of Boston, Kevin White, when fans, who waited in the freezing cold for the tickets, were taken pity on by the stadium owners and were let in inside but rioted and trashed the stadium. A concert at 8 March at the West Palm Beach Speedway in Florida was also canceled following the promoters' failure to make property improvements at the venue.

The concert tour was promoted by the Concerts West firm, and it marked one of the first tours ever where an individual concert promotion firm promoted the whole U.S. tour of an artist or group. The company further established its mark by promoting the band's subsequent 1977 tour of North America.

An image of Katharine Hepburn in Christopher Strong wearing her aviator's suit appeared on the tour poster.

During this tour Led Zeppelin hired The Starship - a former United Airlines Boeing 720B passenger jet, to transport them between cities. This was the second and final time the band used this plane, having initially done so on their previous tour of North America in 1973.

Towards the end of this tour, Lynette Alice "Squeaky" Fromme, a member of Charles Manson's "Family", confronted Danny Goldberg, vice-president of the band's record company demanding to speak with Jimmy Page to warn him of "bad energy." Fromme claimed to have foreseen the future and wished to forewarn Page of the imminent danger. She swore the last time this happened, she had seen someone shot to death before her eyes. Goldberg stated that even he couldn't see Page until the following night, to which Fromme responded "tomorrow night will probably be too late." Goldberg persuaded her to write a long note to Page, after which she left. The note was burned, unread.[6] Later that year, Fromme made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford

Cancelled Legs[edit]

The second leg of the band's US Tour concluded in March, and was followed by a series of shows at London's Earl's Court in May 1975. The band had planned to continue touring after a break, with a further round of US shows in August and September, starting with two sold out dates at Oakland Coliseum and including a show to occur at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.[7] A European Tour was also scheduled in the fall. These plans were cancelled when Robert Plant sustained serious injuries from a car accident on the Greek island of Rhodes on 5 August 1975. The band opted to record the Presence album in the time originally allotted for the tour, while Plant recovered.

Recordings[edit]

Audio recordings from many of the tour's shows have been preserved on unofficial bootleg recordings. Several high-quality soundboard bootleg recordings of shows from this tour have surfaced in recent years, including the 12 February Madison Square Garden, 14 February Nassau County Coliseum, and 16 February St. Louis Arena dates. The recording of the Dallas show from March 5 rivals the quality of officially released recordings, and shows that by the later stages of the tour, the band was playing as skilfully as on previous tours.

Tour set list[edit]

The new set list included material from the band's recently released album, Physical Graffiti. Songs from that album which were played for the first time on this tour included "Sick Again", "In My Time of Dying", "Kashmir", "The Wanton Song" and "Trampled Under Foot". This was in spite of the fact that the album itself was not released until the second half of the tour. Unforeseen delays in the production of the album's elaborate sleeve prevented its release before the commencement of the tour.[2]

Initially, both "When the Levee Breaks" and "The Wanton Song" were included in the set; the only period during which these songs were played live by Led Zeppelin. Both were dropped after a few weeks. It was also the last time "How Many More Times" was played, being temporarily brought back to replace "Dazed and Confused" which Page was unable to play until his injured finger healed.[2] "Since I've Been Loving You", the other song that Page was unable to play due to his finger injury, was played only three times on the tour: February 14 at Nassau Coliseum,[8] March 21 at Seattle Center Coliseum[9] and March 27 at the Los Angeles Forum.[10]

The fairly typical set list for the tour was:

  1. "Rock and Roll" (Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham)
  2. "Sick Again" (Page, Plant)
  3. "Over the Hills and Far Away" (Page, Plant)
  4. "In My Time of Dying" (Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham)
  5. "The Song Remains the Same" (Page, Plant)
  6. "The Rain Song" (Page, Plant)
  7. "Kashmir" (Bonham, Page, Plant)
  8. "No Quarter" (Page, Plant, Jones)
  9. "Trampled Under Foot" (Page, Plant, Jones)
  10. "Moby Dick" (Bonham)
  11. "How Many More Times" (Page, Jones, Bonham) / "Dazed and Confused" (Page)*
  12. "Stairway to Heaven" (Page, Plant)

Encores (variations of the following list):

* Performances of this song during the first leg of the tour included "San Francisco", while the band switched to "Woodstock" during the second leg. Also when performed, "Mars, Bringer of War", was included

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
European warm-up shows
11 January 1975 Rotterdam Netherlands Ahoy Hallen
12 January 1975 Brussels Belgium Forest National
North America
18 January 1975 Bloomington, Minnesota United States Metropolitan Sports Center
20 January 1975 Chicago, Illinois Chicago Stadium
21 January 1975
22 January 1975
24 January 1975 Richfield, Ohio Richfield Coliseum
25 January 1975 Indianapolis, Indiana Market Square Arena
29 January 1975 Greensboro, North Carolina Greensboro Coliseum
31 January 1975 Detroit, Michigan Olympia Stadium
1 February 1975 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Civic Arena
2 February 1975
3 February 1975 New York City, New York Madison Square Garden
4 February 1975 Uniondale, New York Nassau Coliseum
Replaced cancelled concert at the Boston Garden which was originally scheduled for this date
6 February 1975 Montreal, Quebec Canada The Forum
7 February 1975 New York City, New York United States Madison Square Garden
8 February 1975 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania The Spectrum
10 February 1975 Landover, Maryland Capital Centre
12 February 1975 New York City, New York Madison Square Garden
13 February 1975 Uniondale, New York Nassau Coliseum
Ronnie Wood joins the band during the encore of "Communication Breakdown"
14 February 1975 Nassau Coliseum
16 February 1975 St. Louis, Missouri St. Louis Arena
27 February 1975 Houston, Texas Sam Houston Coliseum
28 February 1975 Baton Rouge, Louisiana LSU Assembly Center
1 March 1975 New Orleans, Louisiana Municipal Auditorium
2 March 1975 Knoxville, Tennessee Stokely Athletic Center
3 March 1975 Fort Worth, Texas Tarrant County Convention Center
4 March 1975 Dallas, Texas Dallas Memorial Auditorium
5 March 1975
10 March 1975 San Diego, California San Diego Sports Arena
11 March 1975 Long Beach, California Civic Arena
12 March 1975
14 March 1975 San Diego, California San Diego Sports Arena
17 March 1975 Seattle, Washington Seattle Center Coliseum
19 March 1975 Vancouver, British Columbia Canada Pacific Coliseum
20 March 1975
21 March 1975 Seattle, Washington United States Seattle Center Coliseum
24 March 1975 Inglewood, California The Forum
25 March 1975
27 March 1975

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Luis Rey (1997) Led Zeppelin Live: An Illustrated Exploration of Underground Tapes, Ontario: The Hot Wacks Press, p. 302.
  2. ^ a b c d Chris Welch (1994) Led Zeppelin, London: Orion Books. ISBN 1-85797-930-3, pp. 71-73.
  3. ^ Lewis, Dave and Pallett, Simon (1997) Led Zeppelin: The Concert File, London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-5307-4, pp. 103 ff.
  4. ^ Dave Lewis (2003), Led Zeppelin: Celebration II: The 'Tight But Loose' Files, London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 1-84449-056-4, p. 30.
  5. ^ Lewis, Dave and Pallett, Simon (1997) Led Zeppelin: The Concert File, London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-5307-4, p. 103.
  6. ^ Davis, Stephen (July 4, 1985). "Power, Mystery And The Hammer Of The Gods: The Rise and Fall of Led Zeppelin". Rolling Stone (451). Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  7. ^ http://www.ledzeppelin.com/event/august-8-1975
  8. ^ Led Zeppelin official website: concert summary
  9. ^ Led Zeppelin official website: concert summary
  10. ^ Led Zeppelin official website: concert summary

External links[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Lewis, Dave and Pallett, Simon (1997) Led Zeppelin: The Concert File, London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-5307-4.