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Strider

STRIDER'S 1977 TOUR THREAD

229 posts in this topic

Ooh it's coming to a nail-biting finale! Does Strider get his tickets? Will he get abducted by a gang of tough-yet-sweet Zep groupies who make him their mascot? Tune in folks, for the next exciting episode of Strider's 1977 Tour Thread!

You left out the alien-abduction. ;)

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Post #5: I've Got A Golden Ticket!

Date: Monday January 31, 1977

Had a hard time sleeping through the night...lots of people apparently decided to party and stay up late and into the morning. Kept hearing noises and shit. And I don't know exactly when, but it was early when we decided to pack up our bags and stuff and take it to the car. Of course, someone had to stay behind to make sure we didn't lose our place in line.

The books and newspapers had been read(the main headlines being a frigid storm bringing the Midwest and East to a standstill with 14 inches of snow...6 people found frozen to death in Buffalo with possibly more to come...President Carter declared the states of New York and Pennsylvania disaster areas..."Mexico Torn by Gang Warfare Over Narcotics"(things never change, eh?)and 22-year old Freddie Prinze(of the tv show "Chico and the Man") dying after shooting himself in the head), the music all listened to, and the food and drinks consumed. It was now time to clean up and get the line organized in some fashion and begin that last bit of waiting until the clock struck 10:00am. At some point, the Forum people had moved us across the lot and closer to the box office. As there was no event scheduled for the Forum that day, they didn't need to keep the parking lot or box office clear anymore...it was all about selling Led Zeppelin tickets that day.

By Monday morning now, the line stretched way way way off into the distance. It was hard to fathom how all these people would get tickets. My friend and I started doing some calculations, and thanks to a handy LA Lakers and LA Kings schedule someone handed us, some conjecturing about possible added shows.

For example: there were 3 scheduled shows, March 9, 12 and 13. We used the soldout capacity for Lakers games as our reference figure: 17,505. So multiply that by 3 and you get 52,515 total tickets. We estimated the line at around 4,000. Assuming the usual ticket limit of 6 tickets per person, multiply that by 4,000 and you get 24,000 tickets that would be needed to assure everyone in line got tickets. Of course, we didn't know yet if the ticket limit meant per person or per show.

Then, there were the other Ticketron locations, located at Wallich's Music City stores, Pacific Stereo, and elsewhere...I think Sears or May Company or one of those big department stores at the time had Ticketrons, too. Conservatively we estimated around 30 Ticketron locations in the Southland, including the Forum. At six tickets a person at a rate of one person per minute, that was 180 tickets sold per minute. Divide that into the 52,515 tickets and it would take just over 4 hours for all those tickets to be sold.

That may seem slow to you kids today, when shows are sold out instantaneously it seems. But this was before tickets were sold through the internet, and most tickets were still sold in person at ticket windows, not over the phone and computer. Plus, the available customer base was still pretty much local. Unlike today, where a band will put ALL the tickets for ALL the shows on sale and a person in Georgia can buy a ticket for Oregon, the people buying tickets for those LA Forum shows were pretty much only Southern Californians...we weren't competing with the entire country for tickets.

This was also years before Ticketmaster(aka TicketBastard) became prominent. Before Ticketmaster became the company everyone loathed, it was Ticketron that dominated the ticket-selling market in the 1970s. They instituted the whole concept of computerized automated ticket machines and all that jazz. Hell, the company was even owned by a computer firm, Control Data Corporation. Besides tickets to concerts and events, you could also bet through Ticketron terminals.

And you know what? Everyone bitched about Ticketron back then the way we do about Ticketmaster today...tickets were too high, it was hard to get good seats, etc. So when Ticketmaster started branching out into a national service from its humble Arizona roots in the late-70s, many people thought this would finally give Ticketron some competition and drive ticket prices down and make it easier to get good seats. HA! Boy were we wrong. Ticketmaster eventually swallowed up Ticketron in 1991, and they became even more monstrous than Ticketron. Now with their recent take over of Live Nation, it seems there will never be any stopping them.

Anyway, back to the Zeppelin ticket line. Around 9am or so, there seemed to be some bustle of activity near the front...as I said earlier, where we were was somewhere around 150 people from the front. I guess because the Forum saw this huge mass of people(I thought I had a photo of the line taken from the air in my files, but I can't find it), they took pity and decided to go ahead and open the box office windows before the official 10am starting time.

Maybe they also heard all those reports of earlier box office riots for Led Zeppelin tickets. Although, to tell you the truth, given the huge amount of people, other than a couple hassles about people trying to cut in line, I don't recall anybody getting violent or anything like that...of course, it helps that we were in a mild clime like LA. Most of those riots I read about usually happened in places where people had been waiting in freezing cold.

So, whether it was 9 or 9:30am I can't be sure, but it was definitely before 10am when the first people were allowed up to the box office windows and a roar went up from the crowd. Now I was really excited and I had to struggle to keep certain facts straight in my head...like how many tickets I was getting and for which date. The reason my excitement was at such a pitch, and you may find this corny...but THIS was my first time actually BUYING Led Zeppelin tickets in person. In 1972 and 1973, my Led Zeppelin tickets were bought for me by adults. In 1975, the tickets were sold by mail order, which eliminates the waiting in line concept. So, this was my first time(and alas, only, it turned out) doing the camping out and waitng in person for Zeppelin tix.

I had already narrowed my ticket preferences to the Saturday and Sunday shows(3/12 and 3/13) as it would be pretty hard for me to go on another school night when I was already seeing Queen on a school night(3/3) the week prior. We noticed that gap between March 9 and the 12, and figured they would add a date on one of those days...if they did, we hoped it would be the 11th, as that was a Friday, which would make it easier to attend for me. Alas, after consulting the Lakers and Kings schedules we had, we saw the Lakers would be playing at the Forum that night. Then, we saw the Kings were playing the Forum on the 10th...that explains why there was that 2 night gap between the 9 and 12. Okay, that meant any extra concerts would come after the 13, which sucked as that would be on a schoolday.

After their game on Friday the 11th, the Lakers were out-of-town until the 18th. The Kings would be away until the 17th. So any extra days would be either on March 15th or 16th...or both. That would be a total of 5 Forum concerts....a total in one run that only Jethro Tull and the Rolling Stones had accomplished, both times in 1975. But since those days fell on a Monday and Tuesday, it didn't mean anything to me. My goal of seeing Led Zeppelin one more time than I saw them in 1975(4 times) looked to be shattered.

So, we worked it out that he would get the best seats he could for the Saturday show(3/12) and I would get our tickets for the Sunday show(3/13). He was also getting a ticket for his girlfriend for the Saturday show, which meant he needed at least three seats together. We were going with his older brother who was buying his own tickets for him and his pals, but we didn't need to be sitting with him, so we broke it up...the smaller number of tickets you're getting, the better chance you have of getting good seats.

I had about $80 left from the $90 that I had brought with me, which meant that I had plenty to get 6 tickets...8 if there wasn't a limit. I was buying two for Sunday, which left four for any other dates where I could find the best seats. The reason for buying tickets for a show I wasn't planning on going to, is that in those times, a Led Zeppelin ticket was worth more than its weight in gold. It was better than cash. It truly was like finding Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket!

I knew there would be some concerts coming up later that spring and in the summer(Pink Floyd's Animals tour, for instance), that I would want to see, and I could trade my extra Zeppelin tix for them...especially if they were decent seats. Let me put it this way...It would be easier for me to go to a broker and trade my Zeppelin ticket for an ELO ticket than the other way around.

So, my plan was after first securing the best two seats available for Sunday's 3/13 show, to then ask for the best available for any of the shows...especially any floor seats or floor risers...anything better than Colonnade(which was the upper bowl section of the Forum). A slim chance of floor seats obviously...but you never know when you ask for just a single, one might pop up.

The line was moving....too slowly it seemed to me...but moving nonetheless. Actually, it felt like a cattle call, all of us massed and slowly trudging step-by-step past the barricades and security, etc. You feel like "mooing" sometimes. Closer and closer you creep towards the windows...there must have been 4 or 5 box office windows open for business...and all the while you're thinking "Yes! I'm almost there!" followed by the nagging fear that just as you get up to the front, somebody's going to come out with their bullhorn and announce that the "shows are sold out...there's no more tickets."

I'm sure anybody here that has bought tickets in person, rather than thru the phone or computer, knows what I am talking about. You're constantly praying and pleading with the concert gods...please just let me get my tickets before they sell out.

It seemed like days, but it probably was only an hour or two when our group finally made it to our respective windows. That's when you realize all the careful planning in the world and all the thinking you do in your head vaporizes as you get to the window and you feel the pressure of just getting tickets, and I became somewhat flustered and had to calm down and remember my goal. The first thing was getting Sunday...no floor seats, but a pretty good pair of loges. Got 'em. Okay, any floor seats anywhere for any of the shows? Nope, but there was a single loge for the 9th. Okay...that's three tix. What about Saturday's show? It's a Saturday night and that's usually a preferable night than a weekday show to use as trade bait...nothing but Colonnade and some Loges. I took a pair of the Loges. Checked again for Sunday's show and nothing better than Loges, but nothing close to the stage. Next question was if there were any added shows...I was told nothing confirmed yet but check back later in the day as it looked like one would be added. Paid my money, under $50 for 5 tix, grabbed my tickets and met my friends over by the window where they had a seating chart map, where everyone was scoping out their seat locations. My friend didn't get any floors either for Saturday, just Colonnade...apparently asking for three together made that much of a difference than asking for two.

But, hey, we were in the building for at least two of the three Led Zeppelin concerts, Saturday and Sunday March 12 and 13. We decided against hanging around the Forum for another show announcement for two reasons: 1) Me and my friend had to get to school for at least a token appearance...or at least in time for me to catch the school bus back home; and 2) there was still such a mob of people that even if they added another show, by being at the back of the line, there was no way we would have a chance at good seats.

Oh, there was another good reason to high-tail it out of there...when you have Zeppelin tickets and there's thousands in line still waiting to get theirs, it's not wise to hang around flaunting your tickets. It's like waving a red flag before a bull.

We collected ourselves, a little relieved that the whole ordeal was over and, if not a total success(I guess I was never destined to be in the front row of a Zeppelin concert), still we left with what we came for...tickets! We also, knew, and could feel it in our bones, that at least ONE more show would be added that day and put on sale. It was just a matter of when. I still had some money left...over $30. Since my friend and I had to be at school, I gave my money to my friend's brother so he could get tickets for me for any show that was added. Once we got back to Riverside and he dropped us off at school, he was going to go to one of the local Ticketron outlets and wait for the new show to go on sale. My friend would call me at home with any news.

Driving across town from Inglewood to Riverside on a Monday we studied and beheld our tickets like they were gold. One thing about buying tickets at the Forum box office was that the tickets had the distinctive Forum logo printed on the ticket. Stopping for lunch on the way, we got to our school somewhere around 5th period...I think I made it for my last couple of classes. More importantly, I was able to be on the school bus home...if I hadn't come home on the bus, my stepmom would have gotten suspicious and figured something was up.

And you might be surprised, but I really didn't tell too many people that day about getting Zeppelin tickets...I didn't want word spreading to the teachers or principal about what I was doing out of school Monday.

Later after I got home, came my friend's call with the good news...there was an added show that went on sale that afternoon: Tuesday March 15. Better still, we got floor seats...in the rear, but still on the floor. So we could take those floor seats for the 15th and trade them for floorseats for the 12th or 13th. I also had two extra tickets left over from the three he bought for me with my $30. So, in all, I had:

1 Loge for March 9.

1 Colonnade for March 12.

2 Loges for March 12.

1 Loge for March 13.

3 Rear Floors for March 15.

I was definitely going to the concerts on the 12th and 13th. There would be plenty of time to sort the rest out later...for now, the most important thing was to put them in a safe place where they wouldn't get lost, or get discovered by my snooping stepmother.

And, when one countdown ends another often begins. The tickets now in hand, now began the long, long, LONG wait for the actual concerts to arrive. 40 days and 40 nights until our first concert of March 12.

Edited by Strider

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Amazing as always Strider! Question; When did you find out the shows were post poned to June?

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February 26. One day before the whole shebang was supposed to begin in Ft. Worth. All things in due time, my friend...I'll get to that.

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I remember the news of Freddie Prinze committing suicide. Chico and the Man was a popular sit com at the time and it was a real shocker to hear that.

A nice stash of tickets for you. Where did you end up hiding those tickets to keep your snoopy step mom from finding them? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Strider, thanks for the awesome review of the 1977 tour. Can you give me the list of Zeppelin concerts you've attended?

Edited by Taro

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I remember the news of Freddie Prinze committing suicide. Chico and the Man was a popular sit com at the time and it was a real shocker to hear that.

A nice stash of tickets for you. Where did you end up hiding those tickets to keep your snoopy step mom from finding them? Inquiring minds want to know.

Ledzepfvr, I never was a fan of the show...I watched a couple episodes when it debuted, but it didn't do much for me. It wasn't as good, in my opinion, as "Sanford and Son". Freddie Prinze may have been a rising young comic, but he was no Redd Fox.

But 22 is a terrible age to die, no matter who you are. Just for the record, he was pronounced dead at UCLA's Medical Center...where Roger Daltry and Robert Plant had their press conference last month.

As for where I stashed my tix...I divided the tix into two envelopes and taped them to the inside of the white band of paper that wrapped around the "Houses of the Holy" album, then slipped the band back around the album.

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Well 'Strider' I'm shocked at you being such a 'Devious Imp'..LOL And then enlisting your Friends Mum to help in this cunning plan... :o

I was going to wait to read your post until it was finished but, my curiosity got the better of me and I must say that I'm glad that it did.

It is a really good read... :thumbsup:

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Post #6: Four Forum Shows Officially Sold Out

Date: Wednesday February 2, 1977

No big post today, but did want to share this notice that was in the February 2, 1977 edition of the Los Angeles Times.

post-1470-0-88725700-1328211282.jpg

I read it that day in the school library. So the four LA Forum shows had sold out, and rumours abounded of a 5th Forum date soon to be added. Which meant nothing to me, as the date added would surely be Monday, March 14(a school night), and besides, I was broke. I had little left of the $90 I took with me to get the Zeppelin tickets.

I still hadn't decided which of the extra tickets to use to trade, and for which show. I really wanted to go to Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle" concert that was upcoming, but unfortunately, it was on a school night. But the Kinks were playing on an upcoming Friday night, so that was a possibility.

post-1470-0-59463600-1328211356.jpg

P.S. Whatever happened to Norton Buffalo?

Edited by Strider

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Great read as usual Strider, and your last post answered what I am thinking at this point: how does 4 nights in March turn to 6 nights in June? Well, it looks like from your post above, that a 5th night was about to be announced. Surely that would have sold out quickly, so it would be interesting to speculate whether or not Zep could have put in a 6th show in March at the Forum, especially as you point out, the Forum was full of sporting events between the Kings and Lakers.

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Post #6: Four Forum Shows Officially Sold Out

Date: Wednesday February 2, 1977

No big post today, but did want to share this notice that was in the February 2, 1977 edition of the Los Angeles Times.

post-1470-0-88725700-1328211282.jpg

I read it that day in the school library. So the four LA Forum shows had sold out, and rumours abounded of a 5th Forum date soon to be added. Which meant nothing to me, as the date added would surely be Monday, March 14(a school night), and besides, I was broke. I had little left of the $90 I took with me to get the Zeppelin tickets.

I still hadn't decided which of the extra tickets to use to trade, and for which show. I really wanted to go to Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle" concert that was upcoming, but unfortunately, it was on a school night. But the Kinks were playing on an upcoming Friday night, so that was a possibility.

post-1470-0-59463600-1328211356.jpg

P.S. Whatever happened to Norton Buffalo?

Sadly, Norton Buffalo passed away from lung cancer in October 2009. He had been with the Steve Miller Band since the late 70's, maybe that 1977 Forum concert was one of the first shows he played with them?

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I just happened to catch a glimpse of (then) Fleetwood Mac's album "Rumours". What it would be like to experience the hype of that album. If, there was any hype at all.

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February 26. One day before the whole shebang was supposed to begin in Ft. Worth. All things in due time, my friend...I'll get to that.

Thanks! You have quite the memory.

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Sadly, Norton Buffalo passed away from lung cancer in October 2009. He had been with the Steve Miller Band since the late 70's, maybe that 1977 Forum concert was one of the first shows he played with them?

Thanks Stargroves for the info. Norton Buffalo is one of those names that have been lost in the mists of my memory. Shame about his passing. I eventually did see Steve Miller later that summer, but cannot recall if Nortan Buffalo was on the bill or in Steve's band. Quite frankly, none of the Steve Miller Band members stands out in my memory.They were one of the more anonymous, faceless bands of the 70s.

I just happened to catch a glimpse of (then) Fleetwood Mac's album "Rumours". What it would be like to experience the hype of that album. If, there was any hype at all.

Oh, there was quite a buzz about "Rumours", Led Zep Girl, believe me. You couldn't escape that album if you tried...it was all over the radio in 1977; AM and FM. You can PM me any questions you have about Rumours.

Thanks! You have quite the memory.

Well, my memory only goes so far. Sure, today I would probably still remember the dates being changed from March to June, but I wouldn't be able to tell you the exact date the announcement was made if I didn't have the old article.

Like I explained with the 1973 concert posts, my memory was helped by old notes, journals and newspaper clippings I kept. Plus, every time I would get together with old friends(or new) and relive old concerts, each time I would talk about a Led Zeppelin concert further ingrained itself into my mind. Which is why I have a clearer recall of a 1973 Led Zeppelin concert than I do of the 1983 Psychedelic Furs or 1993 Ned's Atomic Dustbin concerts; nobody ever asks me about the Furs or Ned's shows.

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Holy shit badgeholder! I'm so jealous of you...that must have been sweet working the sound back then. You must have a lot of tapes from back then. That Van Halen Whisky show was one of the first, if not THE first time I went to the revived Whisky. They had a spell there in the mid-70s where they stopped booking bands and went to more of a discotheque direction.

I'm curious as to how long you worked there? It wasn't long after the Van Halen show that we went back to see Blondie and Tom Petty there.

Elmer was a trip...later, I worked for a brief time as a bouncer/doorman at the Roxy and Whisky for Elmer and his grandson...this was around the late-80s early-90s. His grandson and I shared the same name...but different spellings.

That was when the Strip was hopping and the sidewalks and street would be clogged with girls and dudes hawking their bands. There must have been a ton of band flyers for the trashmen to sweep up every morning. Grunge killed that scene lickity-split.

I'm always sorry I wasn't able to go to Elmer's memorial...I was visiting family in another state. Did you go?

I didn't work for Elmer, I worked for VH. Elmer was indeed a trip, he wanted to be called 'Radar' like in MASH, so we called him Radar. I missed his memorial too. Don't have a lot of tapes unfortunately, (or photos, even), that was really frowned upon at the time. I used to see a ton of acts at both the Whiskey and Roxy back then. But anyway - back to the Zeppelin tale!

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Great posts Strider. Thank you for taking so much time to share your wonderful memories with us. :)

Edited by Magic Fills the Air

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Post #7: Party Bus to San Diego!

Date: Sunday, February 6, 1977

As it was a Sunday, I did my weekly ritual of reading the Sunday Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times and came across this most intriguing ad:

post-1470-0-85768600-1328597139.jpg

Now, unlike the 1975 tour, where Led Zeppelin played two dates at the San Diego Sports Arena, in 1977 they only scheduled one show. I guess with the multiple LA Forum dates, they figured anybody that couldn't see the San Diego show could drive up for the Forum gigs.

What I am curious about is if ANYONE here took this Party Bus to the San Diego show, or knows someone who did? You don't hear much about the 1977 San Diego gig, other than John Bonham was off his game. Anyway, this sounds like it would have been fun...an entire bus-full of Zeppelin freaks!

FYI, Troy Ticket Service was one of those Ticket Brokers that dotted the Southern California landscape. Basically a legal ticket scalper, you paid a deposit and that would guarantee you a ticket without you having to wait in line on the day tickets went on sale. Depending on the popularity of the band, and the desirability of the concert and the ticket location, a ticket with a face value of $9 could cost you anywhere from $12, $15, on up to $25, or even as much as $30 sometimes.

Also in the February 6, 1977 Calendar section was this ad for auditions for the show that would eventually become the "Beatlemania" Broadway sensation:

post-1470-0-31023000-1328597162.jpg

And if you look at the top, you will note that Lee Michaels was playing a club in Huntington Beach that night. The same Lee Michaels that opened for Led Zeppelin at the 1973 Kezar Stadium show in San Francisco...and who played on the bill with Led Zeppelin and Grand Funk Railroad in Detroit in 1969.

Lastly, there was an ad for a Foghat show that because it was scheduled for a Saturday, I could probably make:

post-1470-0-70928700-1328597196.jpg

Edited by Strider

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Strider, just tremendous...................seriously a great read.

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Damn, I have to wait until the weekend so I can enjoy the read..I am sure I will Strider ;)

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I'm currently listening to "Listen To This Eddie : Live At The Forum In Inglewood On June 21, 1977". The moment I started listening, I thought of this thread and of you Strider! B) Cheers to you sir!! :beer:

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Fascinating, Strider! You have a true gift which is quenching our thirsts, yet we remain parched.

More.

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Thanks for that post, a great read!

As always Strider, you never cease to amaze me with your beautiful writing skills! What can I say except that I am deeply grateful that you take so much of time and effort to share all this with us! :thanku: I do look forward to more of course, ;) but don't worry, no pressure! :lol:

Thank you Strider for this thread- I have enjoyed reading your previous LZ experiences & am looking forward to this one as well. :thumbsup:

Great posts Strider. Thank you for taking so much time to share your wonderful memories with us. :)

Hi all,

Danke Herr Strider!Always a great read!

KB

Strider, just tremendous...................seriously a great read.

Damn, I have to wait until the weekend so I can enjoy the read..I am sure I will Strider ;)

Fascinating, Strider! You have a true gift which is quenching our thirsts, yet we remain parched.

More.

Thanks everyone...and if I missed anyone, thank you to you, too. I wasn't sure how this would be received...making you wait and all that. Not to mention the potential for solipsistic overdose. I am trying to strike the right balance between giving you a flavour of the times and getting bogged down in too much detail.

I was hoping somebody would have any info about that San Diego Party Bus...how about you MadScreamingGallery?

Also, in the rush of activity leading up to the Super Bowl weekend, I goofed and overlooked one of the days of my timeline...so this should have been posted February 5.

Post #8: How 4 became 5...the Fifth Forum concert is added.

Great read as usual Strider, and your last post answered what I am thinking at this point: how does 4 nights in March turn to 6 nights in June? Well, it looks like from your post above, that a 5th night was about to be announced. Surely that would have sold out quickly, so it would be interesting to speculate whether or not Zep could have put in a 6th show in March at the Forum, especially as you point out, the Forum was full of sporting events between the Kings and Lakers.

Before 4 turns to 6, there has to be a 5, right? Well, here's your answer, AYKHII...

I was reading the paper that weekend (Feb. 5-6, 1977) and came across this ad for Led Zeppelin tickets by one of the ticket agencies. It puzzled me because it listed a 5th LA Forum date...March 16!!!

post-1470-0-76599900-1328923433.jpg

I called the number and sure enough they said there were now 5 Forum shows. Mar. 9, 12, 13, 15, and 16. The tickets for the fifth Forum show had gone on sale Thursday, February 3 at 10:00am. Shit, how did I miss that news? Not that it mattered much, as I was still pretty much broke, and the 16th was a school night and so I wouldn't be able to go.

The first chance I got I went to the library and asked for the Thursday Feb. 3 edition of the Los Angeles Times. Went through the View section(Part IV), which during the weekdays was where the arts, movies, television and music news was located. Yep...there it was...Page 15. The ad took the entire page.

post-1470-0-73068900-1328923497.jpg

So that is when the four Forum shows became FIVE...and there was still room to add a SIXTH, as Monday the 14th was still open.

Just to wrap up...I mentioned the "Roots" miniseries that ABC broadcasted the final week of January 1977, when the news of the Zeppelin tickets struck. Well, the ratings for "Roots" were shattering; it broke the record for most-watched and highest-rated TV show...beating the previous year's first-time airing of "Gone With the Wind". Which has a sort of poetic justice about it.

post-1470-0-72992700-1328923654.jpg

Eventually, Super Bowls and the final episode of "M*A*S*H*" would eclipse "Roots", but it is interesting to note the difference in ratings between now and then. The 8th and final episode of "Roots"(ABC, in a daring move, broadcast "Roots" over eight consecutive nights) garnered a Nielson rating of 51.1 and a 71% share.

That means that 51.1 percent of U.S. households with TV's were watching "Roots", and that of the televisions that were in use, 71% were tuned into "Roots", with around 100 million viewers.

Nowadays, most Super Bowls get more viewers...for instance, the one just concluded between the NY Giants and New England Patriots was watched by 111.3 million viewers and had a 40.5 rating. But the 1982 Super Bowl between San Francisco and Cincinnati is still the highest RATED Super Bowl with a 49.1 rating and 73% share.

And if you look closely at the article above, you will see that ABC won the weekly ratings race with a 35.5 rating. This week, with the Super Bowl, NBC was tops in the ratings, but only with a 7.7 rating. Networks barely crack a 10 rating anymore thanks to the fragmented audience.

Oh, and to this day, I still have not seen the end of "Roots". Reading the book was enough for me to do the assigned report and I never got around to watching any of the repeated airings.

Edited by Strider

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Good things come to those who wait.

Patience grasshoppers.

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Post #9: Tom Petty at the Whisky!

Date: Saturday, February 12, 1977

Since my friend and I were going to the March 12 and 13 Led Zeppelin shows for sure, those concerts were now exactly a month away. I was still looking at the upcoming concert calendar to decide which concerts to trade some of my extra Zeppelin tix for...The Kinks at the Santa Monica Civic and Boston at Long Beach Arena were a couple I could go to for sure, as they were on a weekend. As mentioned above in an earlier post, I had given thought to going to the Foghat show Feb. 12 at the Swing Auditorium in San Bernadino(just north of Riverside), colloquially known as San Berdu. It was relatively cheaper and closer than going to Long Beach for their show the previous night of Feb. 11.

But two things nipped that idea in the bud. One was that I still only had $5 or so on hand...not quite enough for a Foghat ticket. Second was my friend calling up and asking if I wanted to go see Tom Petty at the Whisky that Saturday night; his brother was going and we could get a ride with him.

"Hell YEAH!!!" said I.

I had only just recently gotten the debut Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album. It was released in November 1976, and there was a write-up about it in the LA Times in December, but it wasn't until I heard "Breakdown" and "American Girl" on the radio(Jim Ladd of KMET was a BIG BOOSTER of the album) that I decided to buy the album.

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It immediately became one of my favourite albums of the year...and I thought it was a better debut than Boston's first album. How could you not like a song such as "American Girl", with those incredible lines:

"God it's so painful when something that's so close

Is still so far out of reach"

Besides the radio songs, it was "The Wild One, Forever" that sealed the deal for me...such a great and underplayed song. And THAT album cover...with the Flying V straight thru the heart...one of the great band logos of all-time!

I had seen an ad for the Whisky shows...he was opening for Blondie(had no clue about them yet) for four nights Feb. 9-12...but I didn't think I would have any way to get to and from the Whisky.

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My friend appeared to have only a lukewarm interest in Tom Petty...he didn't really think the album was all that great; he loved the Boston album instead. But apparently his older brother did like Tom Petty...and liked him enough to want to see him at the Whisky, too. My $5 was enough for the Whisky cover charge, too. So fortune or good luck shone down again, and I was able to see my FIRST Tom Petty concert(and first Blondie concert, for that matter) in a small club. It wasn't even close to being sold out. In fact, I think it was less crowded than the Van Halen show the previous month.

I thought it was weird that Tom Petty was opening...he had an album out and was played on the radio, while I had no idea who or what Blondie was, and they certainly didn't play them on KMET or KLOS("Heart of Glass" was still a year or so away). But in a way, that was cool, as that meant I didn't have to wait long for them to take the stage.

I can't remember the setlist in detail...I'm pretty sure they played mostly the first album and maybe a new one or two. What I do recall is how great the songs SOUNDED live...this was a GREAT BAND. This wasn't just Tom Petty and a bunch of schlubs, but Tom Petty & the HEARTBREAKERS: Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, Stan Lynch, Ron Blair all could really play, and they had a chemistry on stage. In concert, those songs from the album came alive and were punchier, raunchier, more rocking! Best of all, there was no fat to the set...no long drum solos or self-indulgent wanking.

Tom Petty himself cut a rather unique figure onstage...he was so thin and gangly, his face like a hawk, with those sharp lines of his nose and jaw. The girls seemed to find him appealing, that's for sure.

In a flash, his set was over...at least it seemed his set was over too soon. We decided to stick around for at least a couple songs of Blondie and if we didn't like what we heard, we would leave.

Well, as soon as Blondie came on, I think we all forgot about that, as all I can remember is being struck by how HOT Blondie(or to be more specific, Debbie Harry) looked! I think it was even a few songs before I even started paying attention to the music, hehehe.

Of the New York CBGB's scene bands, Blondie was the second one I had now seen; The Ramones were the first(saw them at the Roxy summer of 1976) and I also had bought the first Ramones album. In my early opinion, Blondie were no Ramones. Like the Ramones, though, they seemed to have a "look"...but more European and "upscale" than the Ramones' jeans and leather jackets motif. But they didn't have any songs....at least no songs stood out at that Whisky show to me; not in the way that the Ramones had instantly catchy songs that stuck in your head for days.

Or the way Tom Petty's songs did. In fact, Tom Petty reminded me of another guy who I had recently discovered in 1976 thanks to Robert Hilburn's championing of him: Dwight Twilley. Sadly, Dwight Twilley had some of the worst luck in music biz history and his career never took off the way Petty's did.

Edited by Strider

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