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whitelight

1975/1977 - All About The USA?

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With the exception of Earls Court, Rotterdam and Brussels in 1975,  the band did no shows outside of North America in 1975 and 1977.

Was the band so much bigger in the US compared with the rest of the world during these years that focusing on the US made sense?

 

 

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They toured the US so much because that's where the people, the money, and the music industry were. Simple as that. 

Also, in both of those years, the band's plans were cut short. 1975: Plant's car accident, 1977: the death of Plant's son.

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Important to note,  by 1975 Great Britain was under Labor Party government  and Zep opted to become  tax exiles (like the Stones). Working and living in the U.K would have cost them a small fortune. Dennis Heally imposed a tax rate  as high as 90% for the big earners....Percy is constantly referring to this cut throat situation during the Earl's Court Shows.  This era would end in 1979 when Maggie and the Tories took over.

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Injuries and death cut short many of Led Zeppelin's plans to tour Europe, the Far East, Australia...maybe even finally hit Mexico or South America.

But yes, the U.S. with over 230 million people at that time, was Led Zeppelin's largest and most devoted market. "Physical Graffiti" was selling faster and more than any double-album before it. The U.S. was also light years ahead of the rest of the world in concert tour infrastructure. We had better venues with better sound and better roads and airlines to get the gear and entourage from place to place. We had a better power grid built to handle the power the P.A. amp and lighting systems required for a big rock show. The europeans had puny voltage.

It was just plainly easier and economical and less stressful to tour the U.S. 

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It was all about the money.

At knebworth Robert hinted about a uk tour but was that really a possibility?

Venues such as the city hall Newcastle (mentioned by name) had a capacity of a couple of thousand. Despite  the Who “put the boot in” one off gigs at charlton (London) and Swansea I don’t think that football stadia gigs had really taken off in the uk at that time and there were no big arenas outside of London. A lot of work for not a lot of reward.

Breaking and making it in the states and becoming tax exiles was where the money was to be made.

 

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On 1/13/2018 at 6:28 AM, duckman said:

Important to note,  by 1975 Great Britain was under Labor Party government  and Zep opted to become  tax exiles (like the Stones). Working and living in the U.K would have cost them a small fortune. Dennis Heally imposed a tax rate  as high as 90% for the big earners....Percy is constantly referring to this cut throat situation during the Earl's Court Shows.  This era would end in 1979 when Maggie and the Tories took over.

Dennis, poor Dennis. No artists in the country anymore. He must be Dazed And Confused!

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Were they really thinking of a South American tour in the mid -late 70s?  Ha-ha that would
have  made for some interesting stories  -- considering what was going on with the band
and their entourage at that time.  
:unsure:


Led Zeppelin + South America + late 70s + plenty of narcotics + John Bindon and his lovely
psychopath personality introducing  everyone to your friendly South American neighborhood
drug cartel +  Page trying to take some 15 year old Colombian girl back into the States?!?  
Yeah nothing to go wrong there.  Nope no chance of anything illegal going down.  We
probably would have dubbed it The Boy Scouts 'N' Bibles Tour.   Donny Osmond and his
brothers could have joined them.  
:ahhh:  


Sorry back on topic.   Agreed Zeppelin definitely struck gold here in the USA.  I know this
doesn't count for all of Zep's fans in America,   but something else to consider was the social
significance of the US draft closing out and the Vietnam War ending.  It was a different time in
the US.  There was no more need to picket on a college campus at anti-war demonstrations.  
Teens or collage aged students could sit back and just get locked into the music,  and Zep
provided that at a time when it was badly needed.   I'm not saying their music was not big
here prior to 73,   but everything from there on out for Zep in the U S A became a HUGE
production. Their fan base here grew and grew enormously.  Of course this is just an opinion.  
That was all  before my time. 

Edited by KellyGirl

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Yup, the US was where it was at. Zep adopted the US touring pattern set by Cream in 1968, and followed it to its logical conclusion. I don't think the 'bigger, longer, louder' route served them well in the end, but who wouldn't have got carried away with it all. The irony is that a lot of that excellent US infrastructure (much of which was new when Zep toured in 73-77) is now demolished or derelict.

Conjecture, but I'm pretty sure they would have been keen to head back to Japan in 75/76, had the car accident not intervened.

Europe too.. we know of one Finnish date that was pencilled in for late 75. Europe was a smaller place in those days. Central/Eastern Europe and Spain, Portugal, Greece were largely off limits for political reasons. Zep had bad experiences in France and Italy, and never went back to either after 73 and 71 respectively. That only left West Germany, Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Austria and Switzerland; pretty much what they did in 79-80.

They'd have found a way to play somewhere in the UK too, although as has been said, a tour was off the agenda for tax reasons. I'm no tax accountant, but I assume the Thatcher tax changes didn't come into effect immediately in 1979, so the UK environment would have been expensive right through to the end of Zep's life in 1980, and beyond; their tax liabilities caught up with them in about 1982 I think. One caveat; Plant was pretty shocked by the negative reaction of the UK press to Knebworth in 1979, and that may have dimmed his interest in more UK dates.

 

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