Led Zeppelin North American Tour 1977

Led Zeppelin North American Tour 1977

infobox concert tour
concert_tour_name = North America 1977


artist = Led Zeppelin
type = Concert
locations = North America
start_date = April 1, 1977
end_date = July 24, 1977
number_of_legs = 3
number_of_shows = 44 (51 scheduled)
last_tour = Earls Court 1975
this_tour = North America 1977
next_tour = Knebworth 1979

Led Zeppelin's 1977 North American Tour was the eleventh and final concert tour of North America by the English rock band. The tour was divided into three legs, with performances commencing on April 1 and concluding on July 24, 1977. The tour was originally intended to finish on August 13, but was cut short following the death of vocalist Robert Plant's son.

History

This was the first tour embarked on by the band following their enforced layoff caused by Plant's car accident in Greece in 1975. During this sabbatical, the band had recorded their seventh studio album, "Presence". Rehearsals for the tour eventually took place at Manticore Studios, Fulham in early 1977, where the band worked for two months on a new set list.Liner notes by Cameron Crowe for "The Complete Studio Recordings".]

Led Zeppelin's manager Peter Grant conceived this series of concerts as an effort that would reassert Led Zeppelin as the dominant band of the decade.cite journal |last=Gilmore |first=Mikal |title=The Long Shadow of Led Zeppelin |journal=Rolling Stone |issue=1006 |date=August 10, 2006 |url=http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/11027261/the_long_shadow_of_led_zeppelin/print |accessdate=2007-12-09 ] Fifty one concerts were scheduled over a three-leg period, for 1.3 million ticket holders. The tour was scheduled to commence on February 27 at Fort Worth, Texas, but Plant contracted laryngitis and the schedule was postponed for a month. It eventually kicked off on April 1, at the Dallas Memorial Auditorium in Dallas, Texas. [ [http://ledzeppelin.com/show/april-1-1977 Led Zeppelin official website: concert summary] ]

Led Zeppelin's 1977 North American Tour was a massive fiscal success, as the band sold out large arenas and stadiums. On April 30 they performed to 76,229 people at the Pontiac Silverdome, a new world record attendance for a solo indoor attraction, beating the 75,962 that The Who attracted there in December 1975, and grossed $792,361.50 (also a record breaker). [ [http://ledzeppelin.com/show/april-30-1977 Led Zeppelin official website: concert summary] ] [cite book | title=Tight But Loose Files:Celebration II | year=2003 | author=Dave Lewis | pages= 49] Steven Rosen, [http://www.classic-rock-legends-start-here.com/led-zeppelins-1977-tour.html "Led Zeppelin's 1977 Tour - A Tragic Ending!"] , Classic Rock Legends.] Lengthy stints were spent in New York and Los Angeles, where the band performed six sold out shows each at Madison Square Garden and the Los Angeles Forum. In New York alone, the band spent no money on advertising for the gigs, relying on street demand to sell out the shows, and enough ticket applications were received to sell out a further two nights had time permitted.

For the tour, the band chartered "Caesar's Chariot", a 45-seat Boeing 707 owned by the Caesars Palace Hotel in Las Vegas, to shuttle them between cities. This plane should not be confused with the more famous "Starship", which had been used by the band on its previous two concert stints in North America, but which was permanently grounded in 1977 due to engine problems.For many of the concerts on this tour, Jimmy Page chose to wear a striking custom-made white silk dragon suit, as is captured in several famous photographs of the band.

Though profitable financially, the tour was beset with difficulties. On June 3, after a concert at Tampa Stadium was cut short because of a severe thunderstorm, a riot broke out amongst the audience, resulting in several arrests and injuries. Police ultimately resorted to tear gas to break up the crowd. [ [http://ledzeppelin.com/show/june-3-1977 Led Zeppelin official website: concert summary] ] [ [http://www.robertplanthomepage.com/2006planthomepage/History/june.htm Robert Plant's Home Page] ] Guitarist Jimmy Page's ongoing heroin addiction also caused him to lose a noticeable amount of weight on this tour, and arguably began to hamper his on-stage playing performances.cite journal |last=Gilmore |first=Mikal |title=The Long Shadow of Led Zeppelin |journal=Rolling Stone |issue=1006 |date=August 10, 2006 |url=http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/11027261/the_long_shadow_of_led_zeppelin/print |accessdate=2007-12-09 ] cite journal |last=Davis |first=Stephen |title = Power, Mystery And The Hammer Of The Gods: The Rise and Fall of Led Zeppelin |journal = Rolling Stone |issue=451 |date=July 4, 1985 |url =http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/ledzeppelin/articles/story/17537975/power_mystery_and_the_hammer_of_the_gods |accessdate=2008-01-15 ] During a performance in Chicago on April 9, Page fell ill and needed to sit in a chair to play "Ten Years Gone" before leaving the stage with severe stomach cramps. The show was canceled after only sixty-five minutes, with Page's illness later being attributed to a case of food poisoning. [ [http://ledzeppelin.com/show/april-9-1977 Led Zeppelin official website: concert summary] ] cite journal |last=Davis |first=Stephen |title = Power, Mystery And The Hammer Of The Gods: The Rise and Fall of Led Zeppelin |journal = Rolling Stone |issue=451 |date=July 4, 1985 |url =http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/ledzeppelin/articles/story/17537975/power_mystery_and_the_hammer_of_the_gods |accessdate=2008-01-15 ]

The tour also experienced some unsavory off-stage problems, exacerbated by the the hiring of London gangster John Bindon as Led Zeppelin's security coordinator. After a July 23 show [ [http://ledzeppelin.com/show/july-23-1977 Led Zeppelin official website: concert summary] ] at the "Days on the Green" festival at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California, Bindon, band manager Peter Grant and band member John Bonham were arrested after a member of promoter Bill Graham's staff was badly beaten during the performance. A member of the staff had allegedly slapped Grant's son when he was taking down a dressing room sign. This was seen by John Bonham, who then walked over and kicked the man. Later, when Grant heard about this, he went into the trailer, along with Bindon and savagely assaulted the man with tour manager Richard Cole guarding the door and also roughing up another member of Graham's staff. Later after the incident, Bill Graham was reported to have flatly stated he could never book Led Zeppelin again in good conscience. cite book | title=Hammer of the Gods (LPC) | year=1995 | author=Stephen Davis | pages= 277] cite book | title=Led Zeppelin: The Definitive Biography | year=1993 | author=Ritchie Yorke | pages= 210]

The following day's second Oakland concert [ [http://ledzeppelin.com/show/july-24-1977 Led Zeppelin official website: concert summary] ] would prove be the band's final live appearance in the United States. After the performance, news came that Plant's five year old son, Karac, had died from a stomach virus. The rest of the tour was immediately cancelled. cite book | title=Hammer of the Gods (LPC) | year=1995 | author=Stephen Davis | pages= 277]

In recent years, Plant has reflected on the negative dynamics which increasingly became evident as the 1977 tour progressed:

According to Jack Calmes, the head of Showco (the company that provided lights, sound, staging, and logistics for the band's American tours since 1973):

Recordings

At least one concert from this tour (at Seattle on July 17) was professionally filmed for the band. It is also possible that several of the concerts of this tour were filmed, but to date only the Seattle video has been made available on Led Zeppelin bootleg recordings. When reviewing material for the "Led Zeppelin DVD" in 2003, some 1977 footage was considered, but it was not ultimately included. Producer Jimmy Page was unable to locate multi-track sound recordings from any 1977 shows, and it is unknown if any exist.

However, audio recordings from many of the tour's shows have been preserved on unofficial bootleg recordings. Notable bootlegs from this tour include "The Destroyer" (the soundboard recording from Cleveland on April 27), "Listen To This Eddie" (an audience recording from Los Angeles on June 21) and "For Badgeholders Only" (an audience recording from Los Angeles on June 23).

The second disc of the "Led Zeppelin DVD" contains semi-hidden bootleg footage from the show at the Los Angeles Forum (under the promos menu). The menu background audio features the complete opening number from the 21st June 1977 show ("The Song Remains the Same") with visuals bootlegged from various shows on the 1977 tour. [ [http://www.thegardentapes.co.uk/dvdmenus.html The Garden Tapes] ]

Tour set list

The set list played on this tour included an acoustic section, which had originally been revived by the band at their previous concerts at Earls Court Arena in 1975 and was retained for the 1977 concerts. Only two songs from their most recent album, "Presence" (1976), were performed: "Nobody's Fault But Mine" and "Achilles Last Stand"

The fairly typical set list for the tour was:

#"The Song Remains the Same" (Page, Plant)
#"The Rover" (intro)/"Sick Again" (Page, Plant)
#"Nobody's Fault but Mine (Page, Plant)
#"Over the Hills and Far Away" (Page, Plant) or "In My Time of Dying" (Page, Plant, Bonham, Jones)
#"Since I've Been Loving You" (Page, Plant, Jones)
#"No Quarter" (Page, Plant, Jones)
#"Ten Years Gone" (Page, Plant)
#"The Battle of Evermore" (Page, Plant)
#"Going to California" (Page, Plant)
#"Black Country Woman" (Page, Plant) / "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp" (Page, Plant, Jones)
#"White Summer"/"Black Mountain Side" (Page)
#"Kashmir" (Bonham, (Page, Plant)
#"Trampled Under Foot" (Page, Plant, Jones)
#"Out On The Tiles" (intro)/"Over the Top"/"Moby Dick" (Page, Jones, Bonham)
#"Guitar Solo" (Page) / "Star Spangled Banner"
#"Achilles Last Stand" (Page, Plant)
#"Stairway to Heaven" (Page, Plant)

Encores (variations of the following list):
*"Whole Lotta Love" (Bonham, Dixon, Jones, Page, Plant)
*"Rock and Roll" (Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham)
*"Communication Breakdown" (Bonham, Jones, Page)
*"Black Dog" (Page, Plant, Jones)
*"Trampled Underfoot" (Page, Plant, Jones)
*"It'll Be Me" (Clement)
*"Heartbreaker" (Bonham, Page, Plant)

There were some set list substitutions, variations, and order switches during the tour.

Tour dates

*01/04/1977 flagicon|United States Memorial Auditorium - Dallas, TX
*03/04/1977 flagicon|United States The Myriad - Oklahoma City, OK
*06/04/1977 flagicon|United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL
*07/04/1977 flagicon|United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL
*09/04/1977 flagicon|United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL
*10/04/1977 flagicon|United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL
*12/04/1977 flagicon|United States Metropolitan Center - Bloomington, MN
*13/04/1977 flagicon|United States Civic Center - St Paul, MN
*15/04/1977 flagicon|United States St Louis Blues Arena - St Louis, MO
*17/04/1977 flagicon|United States Market Square Arena - Indianapolis, IN
*19/04/1977 flagicon|United States Riverfront Coliseum - Cincinnati, OH
*20/04/1977 flagicon|United States Riverfront Coliseum - Cincinnati, OH
*23/04/1977 flagicon|United States The Omni - Atlanta, GA
*25/04/1977 flagicon|United States Freedom Hall - Louisville, KY
*27/04/1977 flagicon|United States Richfield Coliseum - Richfield, OH
*28/04/1977 flagicon|United States Richfield Coliseum - Richfield, OH
*30/04/1977 flagicon|United States Pontiac Silverdome - Pontiac, MI
*18/05/1977 flagicon|United States Jefferson Memorial Coliseum - Birmingham, AL
*19/05/1977 flagicon|United States L.S.U. Assembly Center - Baton Rouge, LA
*21/05/1977 flagicon|United States The Summit - Houston, TX
*22/05/1977 flagicon|United States Tarrant Country Convention Center - Fort Worth, TX
*25/05/1977 flagicon|United States Capital Centre - Landover, MD
*26/05/1977 flagicon|United States Capital Centre - Landover, MD
*28/05/1977 flagicon|United States Capital Centre - Landover, MD
*30/05/1977 flagicon|United States Capital Centre - Landover, MD
*31/05/1977 flagicon|United States Coliseum - Greensboro, NC
*03/06/1977 flagicon|United States Tampa Stadium - Tampa, FL
*07/06/1977 flagicon|United States Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
*08/06/1977 flagicon|United States Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
*10/06/1977 flagicon|United States Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
*11/06/1977 flagicon|United States Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
*13/06/1977 flagicon|United States Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
*14/06/1977 flagicon|United States Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
*19/06/1977 flagicon|United States San Diego Sports Arena - San Diego, CA
*21/06/1977 flagicon|United States The Forum - Inglewood, CA
*22/06/1977 flagicon|United States The Forum - Inglewood, CA
*23/06/1977 flagicon|United States The Forum - Inglewood, CA
*25/06/1977 flagicon|United States The Forum - Inglewood, CA
*26/06/1977 flagicon|United States The Forum - Inglewood, CA
*27/06/1977 flagicon|United States The Forum - Inglewood, CA
*17/07/1977 flagicon|United States Kingdome - Seattle, WA
*20/07/1977 flagicon|United States Arizona State University Activities Center - Tempe, AZ
*23/07/1977 flagicon|United States Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum - Oakland, CA
*24/07/1977 flagicon|United States Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum - Oakland, CA
*30/07/1977 flagicon|United States (Cancelled following the death of Plant's son) Superdome - New Orleans, LA
*02/08/1977 flagicon|United States (Cancelled following the death of Plant's son) Chicago Stadium - Chicago, IL
*02/08/1977 flagicon|United States (Cancelled following the death of Plant's son) Chicago Stadium - Chicago, IL
*06/08/1977 flagicon|United States (Cancelled following the death of Plant's son) Rich Stadium - Buffalo, NY
*09/08/1977 flagicon|United States (Cancelled following the death of Plant's son) Civic Arena - Pittsburgh, PA
*10/08/1977 flagicon|United States (Cancelled following the death of Plant's son) Civic Arena - Pittsburgh, PA
*13/08/1977 flagicon|United States (Cancelled following the death of Plant's son) JFK Stadium - Philadelphia, PA

References

ources

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

External links

* [http://www.classic-rock-legends-start-here.com/led-zeppelins-1977-tour.html Article about the tour by rock journalist Steven Rosen]
* [http://www.ledzeppelin.com/timelinebrowse Comprehensive archive of known concert appearances by Led Zeppelin (official website)]
* [http://www.bootledz.com/setlists.htm Led Zeppelin concert setlists]
* [http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&start=400&num=200&msa=0&ll=39.436193,-98.085937&spn=52.090116,79.101563&z=4 View in Google Earth]

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