Classic Band Of The Week: Led Zeppelin II

Led Zeppelin is as near and dear to me as JAWS is and both have ties to Narragansett beer. I have fond memories of spending...

Classic Band Of The Week: Led Zeppelin II
Led Zeppelin is as near and dear to me as JAWS is and both have ties to Narragansett beer. I have fond memories of spending my summers mowing lawns for little spending cash and listening to Zeppelin blasting through a boombox on the porch. What did I do with the cash? I bought a cherry sunburst Les Paul so I could play like Jimmy Page. Now I learn that Zeppelin played 2 shows, not 1, but 2 shows in the Gansett Tribal Rock Festival. The festival was more of a concert series put on by legendary concert promoter, Skip Chernov, with the help of Narragansett Brewing Co. at venues in Providence, Boston, and now Springfield from 1969 to 1971. I already posted the October 25, 1969 show from the Boston Garden. Now this gem came to my attention and it was just 6 nights later. They rocked the Springfield Auditorium on Halloween night in 1969. "Don't take drugs!" If I had a time machine, this might be the first era I would want to go back to and see some music. At least start in the mid 60's and stick around for a while. Zeppelin also rocked the controversial Newport Jazz Festival in the summer of '69. George Wein added rock bands to the festival which caused some chaos and almost canceled Zeppelin. They insisted on playing despite the rumors and took the stage at 1am on Monday morning to close out the show and create history. All this in the same year with an extensive international tour and 2 studio LP's, Led Zeppelin I and II. That's unheard of today. No wonder these bands were so big and remain timeless. "Ramble on!" You can learn more about these shows on their official site [caption id="attachment_24899" align="alignnone" caption="*Note: Rockin' a cherry sunburst Les Paul doesn't make you Jimmy Page."] Here's a great write up taking a look back on the show from Ray Kelly on

Forgotten concerts: Led Zeppelin at Springfield Symphony Hall

Published: Thursday, May 03, 2012
It was no trick, just a big treat when British rock gods Led Zeppelin performed in downtown Springfield on Halloween night in 1969. Sponsored by the Narragansett Brewing Co., Led Zeppelin performed at Symphony Hall, then known as Springfield Municipal Auditorium. The concert took place nearly three years before the opening of the Springfield Civic Center. Occurring at time before rock concert reviews in the Pioneer Valley were commonplace, there is no official chronicle of the band's Oct. 31, 1969 performance. Thankfully, Led Zepellin fan Barry Hayes preserved a vintage poster and torn ticket stub, which are featured at the band's official website. A front row seat to see one of the biggest bands in rock history in an intimate 2,600-seat hall went for just $5.50 back in 1969. Balcony seats were priced at $4.50 and $3.50. (In comparison, the face value for tickets to Led Zeppelin's reunion show in 2007 at the O2 Arena in London were priced at $200). The Springfield concert took place just nine days after the release of the album "Led Zeppelin II." The band had performed in Buffalo the night before and had a gig in Syracuse on Nov. 1. Indeed, Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham toured much of the U.S. between an April 24 show at Winterland in San Francisco and a return engagement to that fabled concert venue on Nov.Barry Hayes
The set list for the fall portion of the U.S. tour typically included: "Good Times Bad Times," "Communication Breakdown," " Can't Quit You Baby," "Heartbreaker," "Dazed and Confused," "You Shook Me," "White Summer / Black Mountainside," "Moby Dick," "How Many More Times" and "Whole Lotta Love." According to the poster, the show also included Springfield's Taj Mahal as the opening act. By October 1969, Mahal had released three solo albums. He had performed the previous year in the Rolling Stones "Rock and Roll Circus" film. There have been several unconfirmed reports that Led Zeppelin also performed at the Springfield Municipal Auditorium on Jan. 27, 1969, though it is not listed on the band's website. If so, that show would have taken place immediately following a four-night stint at the former Boston Tea Party and prior a run at the Fillmore East in New York.

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