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peterboroguycanada

Pontiac Silverdome show 77

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Hey who all went to the Pontiac sliver dome show in 77. anyone have any pic's from then.I was there right up front ,It was the best concert i have ever seen ..Hard to believe it was 31 yrs ago.wow.I got a few pic's from it but not good ones.I never took them as i lost my camera somewhere in the parking lot,from what i remember lol.I'll try to post the pic's i do have.No i can't figure out how to post pic's on here

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My dad went but it seems he remembers the story surrounding the show more than the actual show. Shit I have trouble remember details of concerts a month ago let alone 31 years. Im sure some of the details he left out, I'll probably ask him again soon. He always rubs it in when I wear my 77 tour shirt.

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Here's a couple of articles for you Ronnie. I better post them before our local copy 'n paste artist claims them as his own.

‘Beautiful Day’ For Fans As Zeppelin Packs Dome

It took Toledo truck driver Brian Coup a couple of weeks of skimping to afford to hear one of the world’s most popular rock’n’ roll bands Saturday at what turned out to be the biggest Pontiac Silverdome concert ever. “Man was it worth it,” he sighed, sitting on a parking lot fire hydrant long after Led Zeppelin, an explosive quartet of English musicians, had ended a high-energy three hour performance before more than 76,200 fans.

“This was the biggest and most subdued audience for a rock concert here yet,” said Silverdome’s special events promoter Gerry Baron. He looked happy as he gazed over a sea of blue-denimed humanity shuffling easily from the stadium floor and seats to the exits. “It was just a beautiful day.” And not just for Baron.

Roger and Marcia Mulheren watched the whole concert, thanks to a Silverdome friend, from the plush second level press box. They were still in their wedding outfits, hours after being married before 100 friends in a Pontiac church. Roger, a 24 year old nurse, and his 20 year old bride were joined by their best man and maid of honor dressed in matching peach outfits. “It’s a joyous occasion and I feel what better way to spend a joyous occasion than with friends,” said Marcia as Zeppelin kicked into “The Song Remains The Same.” “And what better friends than Led Zeppelin.”

But Zeppelin’s fans have not always been as friendly as the band’s touring entourage would have liked. In Cincinnati last week, a fan was pushed from the third level of the outdoor Riverfront Stadium into traffic below and was killed. There was much concern that such a mass of Detroit fans also could get out of hand. Barron said radio and television spots advising against early arrival, plus the decision to open the doors two hours early avoided a restive crowd outside the stadium. The audience had to wait 80 minutes beyond the scheduled 8:00pm start for the performance, but it did not get rowdy.

Fewer than 20% of the tickets were for so-called “festival seating” on the stadium floor-first come, first sit. The remaining $10.50 tickets, steep by most rock concert standards, were for reserved seating.

But there were usual problems. The stadium staff of four doctors and nine nurses treated well over 100 people for everything from hangovers to drug overdoses. Pontiac police made 44 arrests, 21 of them drug related and many for open liquor bottles and the disorderliness caused by the drinking. “Things went very well for a crowd of nearly 80,000 young people enjoying what they call nice music,” said Lt. Robert Verhine of the Pontiac police. And the music was “nice,” if the thundering crowd that demanded and got two encores can be believed.

Robert Plant, the 28-year-old singer, gave exactly what his legion wanted. Wearing jeans and his leather jacket open without a shirt, he went through stage gyrations befitting the best English rock performer. His piercing high voice, showing strain of the tour, still was exhilarating.

Jimmy Page, spending considerable time with his double-necked guitar, laid out thrilling heavy metallic licks, the sound signature of Led Zeppelin. Only on their classic tune “Stairway To Heaven” did Pages playing really shine. But the mesmerized crowd did not seem to notice. They were over-whelmed with the well-staged lighting scheme, complete with lasers and exploding powder pots, and the well-honed sound. For those far from the several ton mountain of sound equipment on the stage at one end of the stadium, the stadium’s gigantic video screen provided televised close-ups.

For Zeppelin’s efforts, the band took home over $600,000 for the night, a considerable portion of which covers the tremendous expenses incurred on the 5 month U.S. tour.

For the Zeppelin fans’ efforts, like fighting the mobs for tickets weeks ago, fighting traffic to and from the Dome, and waiting for the concert to start 80 minutes late, it all seemed worth it. Sixteen-year-old Elaine Alexander of Mt. Clemens, with friends after the concert, shrieked: “Words can’t even explain it. It was great “!

A MIDNIGHT RIDE WITH LED ZEPPELIN

Touring The Heartland With a Legendary Rock Band

Led Zeppelin will appear at the Pontiac Silverdome next Saturday night

Minneapolis - The 727 jet glides across the runway and halts gently at a private terminal. Floodlights along the perimeter cut through the gathering dusk to pick out the outline of a naked angel painted on the exterior of the cockpit, the logo of Swan Song Records, and just beneath it, the stylized lettering “Led Zeppelin”

The Zeppelin has landed; another performance during its 1977 tour of America, the first in two years. And witnessing a Led Zeppelin concert is like watching the last convertible roll off the assembly line. You know they won’t be making classics like this anymore.

The band and its sizable retinue of roadies, technicians, tour administrators, hangers-on, and this journalist scramble across the tarmac and pile into a fleet of seven limousines with engines running, waiting to sprint to Minneapolis’ Metropolitan Sports Arena. A police escort of eight motorcycles positions itself around the cortege like linesman circling the quarterback and, with sirens wailing, speeds through traffic lights and intersections to the arena.

Security people are barking into walkie-talkies. The bandsman storm into the backstage garage where ushers yank open doors and push them into the dressing room. This is no ordinary band.

During this five-month expedition, Zeppelin is expected to gross anywhere between $8 and $10 million in some two dozen cities. Easily a third of that will go to expenses.

“You wouldn’t believe what it costs for this band to tour”, says Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant, standing backstage. “I probably won’t have any accurate idea until months after it’s over”.

Grant, sporting a large gold earring in his left earlobe, is a bear-like man whose beard spills over his stomach, which spills over his belt. His steady speech and manner is that of a Peter Ustinov though his appearance brings to mind a massive Long John Silver ala Robert Newton. Grant is easily as responsible for the Zep’s longevity as the band itself. In the dressing room, he is a guardian hovering over his four charges amid reports from tour personnel concerning the mood of the audience, security measures, the arena’s acoustics, and a brief meet with the box-office manager who hands a healthy cut of the gate’s receipts over to him.

The atmosphere here is one of complete bedlam. Outside of a few revelers dipping into the ice-filled coolers of Heinekkan and Liebfraumilch, the mood is reminiscent of what Allied Forces headquarters’ must have been like the morning of D-Day. It is a marked contrast to the folderol aboard the Zep’s chartered 727 less than an hour ago.

Aboard the SS Zeppelin, the passengers wash down caviar with Pina Coladas, a favorite of the band’s staff, or sip champagne all served from behind an elaborately stocked bar. Surprisingly, there are few drugs in evidence, some grass, a little cocaine – a pittance compared to the average superstar road extravaganza.

Robert Plant meanders through the plane chatting here and there with small cliques. Drummer John Bonham staggers from compartment to compartment alternately offending and charming passengers, and swilling from a quart of beer (the band doesn’t refer to him in private as ‘Bonzo’ because he’s genteel). Lead guitarist Jimmy Page remains fairly aloof, coming out only for an occasional sortie to the bar. And Bassist- keyboard player “Jonesy”, John Paul Jones, settles down for a game of backgammon.

“We all have different personalities offstage,” he says flicking the end of a Marlboro into an ashtray. “I think that’s why we have lasted so long. Robert and Jimmy dote on the recognition, and that’s great for them. Bonzo and I prefer the anonymity. I like the idea of being able to go anywhere without a lot of people carrying on. I’d rather Robert and Jimmy take the spotlight because someone in the band has to be exciting, y’know, capture the imagination of the public. I think if all four of us wanted the glory, there’d be fights. We’d have broken up years ago like the other bands that started out the same time we did.”

Jones’ features resemble the patrician looks of Rudolf Nureyev, that timelessness about the eyes that soften the fact that Jones is 33, married, and with two children. “I can see most of our audience now is under 21,” he says, “but I don’t feel silly performing for a 15 year old crowd. We’ve been doing that for quite a few years and each new generation of 15 year olds likes our music, so we must be doing something right.” He swirls the ice around in his glass and sits back. “I don’t see why Led Zeppelin can’t go on past all of us turning 40,” he says. “Jimmy and I are 33, Robert and Bonzo are 28. I guess 40 isn’t so far off, right?” “But the band is doing what it wants, and we’re still making fans, still making people happy. There’s nothing else I want to do. We’re all happy with each other and no one wants to split as a solo act.” “Our secret is, we’re flexible and we like each other.”

The area behind the stage looks like the movie set to “Frankenstein”, an array of pre-amps, monitors, laser-beam units, highly sophisticated consoles for mixing and balancing the audio, a score of “flashboxes” electronically triggered on cue and all of this wizardry operated by a small army of technicians. In the smothering darkness pierced only by the rows of fire-red idiot lights on the consoles, Jimmy Page stands by and watches until satisfied all is in working order. He ambles past and into the dressing room. He is wearing a Nazi officer’s cap, Wehrmacht jodhpurs and jackboots. It is an ensemble he is apparently infatuated with for he’s seen around the hotel before Showtime or backstage which he sheds only to don a white satin suit for the concert. Page, slim to the point of exaggeration with dark, curly hair framing his androgynous face, is not only the band’s architect and inspiration, but also Led Zeppelin’s resident Sphinx. In concert, he has been known to get so caught up in his lengthy acoustic instrumental that he is unaware he has strayed too far from his amplifier, thus plucking the cord from it, and playing without sound until one of the stage crew crawls onstage to replace the errant cord.

The legions of Led Zeppelin fans have never been known as docile but this evening’s audience in Minneapolis is particularly feisty. Roman candles whistling around the rafters, firecrackers hurled onstage and two assaults by fans determined to mount the stage. As Bonzo begins the drum shuffle to his “Moby Dick” solo, a firecracker lands inches from Plant who dives from the stage. “We’re used to rowdy crowds,” walking back to the dressing room, “but this is crazy. A lot of times it breaks up our concentration. I’m watching Jimmy or they’re watching me for a cue and suddenly a Frisbee sails out of the audience and none of us sees it. We’ve all been hit by them onstage, but the crackers are much worse; scares the hell out of us.”

We retire to the dressing room since Bonzo will be flailing away for another 10 minutes. Plant sips from a plastic cup of honey and lemon and lights up a Camel. Drenched in perspiration, he sheds his soggy shirt, revealing a long, blue-black scar near the left elbow. a remnant from his near-fatal collision last Summer while driving his family during a holiday in Greece.

Though the three-hour set always begins with “The Song Remains the Same,” and closes with “Stairway To Heaven,” the band changes each show’s line-up of about 15 songs. “It keeps things interesting,” Plant explains, “You can picture what a drag it would be to do the same set night after night. I think that’s why so many bands get sick of touring.”

Another novel, though expensive, practice Zeppelin has adopted to reduce the rigors of the road is to set up a permanent base of operations for each section of the country they’re playing. During their tour of the Midwest, the Zep has stayed at the Ambassador East Hotel in Chicago, flying out early each evening to wherever they’re appearing that night, then back to Chicago. “You’d be amazed at what a difference that makes,” Plant says “Instead of packing suitcases every day, doing the show, unpacking at a different hotel that night, then repeating it all the next day, we just fly out early, do the show and fly back to our rooms. When we do the East coast, we’ll stay in New York and do the same thing there.”

Peter Grant surveys the unruly audience and shakes his head. “I think the cause for a lot of this is the ‘festival seating,’ no reserved seats on the floor. These kids get in here and start pushing each other about, tossing bottles, firecrackers, anything they can throw. I’m afraid it might be the same situation in Detroit next Saturday,” he says. “It’s festival seating on the field at the Silverdome and they might get rowdy.”

Is the band not courting disaster by cramming so many fans into so large an arena ? Why not two nights at a smaller hall ? (they played three nights in Chicago). “I’m afraid that’s my doing,” Grant says. “The band didn’t want to cut into the two week break after the Detroit show. They’re flying back to England for two weeks, and then returning for the last leg of the tour. I knew they’d only do one show so I thought it wisest to play the largest venue in the area. We were hoping to fill the place to capacity, 75,000, but the Fire Marshall would only allow us 72,000 tickets maximum.”

Grant admits the $10.50 ticket price at Pontiac is stiff but qualifies it after listing tour expenses – fueling a jet, carting along tons of equipment, the technicians, and even a physician who keeps an eye on the band’s health.

By Stephen Ford

News Entertainment Writer

4-24-77

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This is from the "official" page....

I'm 50 now, but I remember this show well. It was general admission and we got there really early. The weather was lousy, so rather than waiting outside and getting soaked, we went to a local mall. We stopped into a music store (Grinnell's maybe?) and there was John Paul Jones, looking at upright basses. We walked up to him and asked, "Excuse me, are you ...?" and he replied "Yes, I am", then quickly disappeared into the crowd. We were floored - a great memory.

I call bullshit. It was the nicest day of the year. Also, the band flew in from Chicago and were 90 minutes late arriving to the Silverdome. LoL....I doubt JPJ had time to go shopping for a Bass.

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Thanks Bong- Man for the 1977 Pontiac stories and clarifications. As a veteran of the 4 Led Zeppelin shows performed in Chicago earlier that month it brings back that time. As you noted they're are lot of fabrications in the Timeline section about the show you attended. It's the same situation about the Chicago shows I saw. An overactive imagination or just total bullshit. Either way many inaccuracies.

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If only I wasn't negative 8 years old in '77 :angry:

I'd have rather seen them in a non-stadium setting anyways I guess

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This is from the "official" page....

I'm 50 now, but I remember this show well. It was general admission and we got there really early. The weather was lousy, so rather than waiting outside and getting soaked, we went to a local mall. We stopped into a music store (Grinnell's maybe?) and there was John Paul Jones, looking at upright basses. We walked up to him and asked, "Excuse me, are you ...?" and he replied "Yes, I am", then quickly disappeared into the crowd. We were floored - a great memory.

I call bullshit. It was the nicest day of the year. Also, the band flew in from Chicago and were 90 minutes late arriving to the Silverdome. LoL....I doubt JPJ had time to go shopping for a Bass.

On the day of the show Led Zeppelin flew in from Cleveland, where they'd been staying at the infamous Swingo's Celebrity Hotel. They did take a chartered bus to Silverdome, having declined the venue's offer to transport them directly to the site from Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus using helicopters. They finally arrived at the venue at 9:10pm…concert performed 9:30pm - 1am, to include a second three minute encore.

Having gotten offstage at 1am, band were immediately flown toward their two-week break, during which Jimmy enjoyed a short stay in Cairo, Egypt.

I believe if the encounter with JPJ occured at all it was during a previous tour, quite

possibly July 12-13 1973 given Cobo Hall's downtown location and the fact they were

in town for a couple days. The 1/31/75 gig at Olympia can be ruled out because they

flew in and back to New York the same day. There are other possibilties prior to 1973

but then one has to question the authenticity of the story to have gotten the dates

so obviously wrong.

GrinnellBrosMusicHouse.gif

Grinnell Bros. Music House Woodward Ave Detroit, MI

By Vivian M. Baulch / Special to The News

In l872 Ira Grinnell founded his piano firm in Ann Arbor. His brother, Charles, later joined him and they opened a store in Detroit in l882. By l908 they constructed their headquarters at l5l5 Woodward just south of Grand Circus Park for $l50,000. It was expanded in l963 to take over the adjoining Sanders store.

In l913 their manufacturing plant opened in Holly, Mich., as "the largest piano factory on the earth". It offered l5 models in a choice of mahogany, walnut, oak, ebony and fruitwood. By l955 Grinnell's had more than 70 workers and was the world's largest piano distributor and one of the leading piano makers. Only such a large firm could supply the number of pianos needed for the Michigan Music Festival. Inspired by a similar musical event in Indianapolis in the late l930s, the Detroit area began enjoying a similiar annual spectacular piano concert in which thousands of students performed in front of their proud parents and friends. And it also showcased the durable Grinnell pianosGrinnell's and a music teacher's group, Festival Teachers Association, co-sponsored the annual extravaganza. Only three of Detroit's largest halls could accommodate the crowd and the pianists: the State Fair Colosseum, Olympia Stadium, and later Cobo Hall.

The young pianists, divided into four groups according to ability, played different tunes. The Grinnell store on Woodward scheduled groups of 65 students to rehearse on Saturdays with the conductor, Francis W. Smith. He tapped his baton to get the squirming musicians to pay attention, breaking many in futility. The squirmers offered little hope of excellence, with the girls trying to carefully follow his directions while the boys' attention often seemed to be elsewhere. These events may have produced a few rock bands later, judging from the practice many of the students got jumping and pounding on their instruments. But the sessions proved the Grinnell pianos could withstand abuse.

The girls dressed in bridesmaid-style formals with matching shoes and white gloves, and the boys wore white shirts and ties.

The pianos formed a half-circle, all facing the conductor. Most of the pieces were duets which allowed more players to participate.

In the l938 Detroit concert, the 400 pianists presented Chopin's "Polonaise", Moszkowski's "Valse Brilliante", Shubert's "Marche Militaire" and a certain "Vale of Song" by Rolfe. The last song was played four times, once by each group.

In l958, l,200 participants of the "world's largest mass piano concert", also listened to l8-year-old Lois Pachucki, who had won a $l,000 scholarship the previous year and was currently studying at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.

In 1960, Grinnell's vice president, Lloyd V Grinnell, attended his 17th concert, having never missed the event. Also the popular Detroit Belle Isle Concert Band conductor Leonard B. Smith, joined by his trumpeters, performed with the organist Eric Norris.

In l972, the 400 stars played "Home on the Range", Golden's "Toymaker's Dream", Khachaturian's "Masquerade Waltz", Scherzo from "A Midsummer Nights Dream," Martin's "Valse Caprice", Handel's "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.". Tickets to the concerts were free at Grinnell stores. The 30th concert, held in 1973 at Cobo Hall, was the last such concert noted in The Detroit News files.

In l969, the Holly plant had a five-month strike, and in l977 most of the branch stores closed. In l98l the downtown store closed and the few remaining branches soon followed. The Japanese competition and new technology in music combined with the demographics of fewer children spelled the end of the firm. Financial reverses and lawsuits helped seal the fate of the once prosperous old company.

However, many of the well-built pianos undoubtedly remain in many Detroit-area homes. In 1994, 15 years after Grinnell's closed, a new firm, Grinnell Bros. Piano Co. was opened by Joseph Marras Sr. in Dearborn Heights. It offers pianos built to the old Grinnell Bros. sturdy specifications.

Edited by SteveAJones

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You're right... being a resident of Detroit, theres just no way that JPJ would be meandering around Pontiac... theres not much around the Silverdome to see and its a pretty shitty area... actually I'm not even aware if theres a music shop around there... better chance that he was in a pawn shop lol.

On the more probable 1973 note, Grinnells was just about 7 or 8 blocks (less than a mile) from Cobo Arena, so that seems like a much more probable occurance.

Edited by docron

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Thanks Bong- Man for the 1977 Pontiac stories and clarifications. As a veteran of the 4 Led Zeppelin shows performed in Chicago earlier that month it brings back that time. As you noted they're are lot of fabrications in the Timeline section about the show you attended. It's the same situation about the Chicago shows I saw. An overactive imagination or just total bullshit. Either way many inaccuracies.

I can say for myself that i can't remember much seeing as we got there the day before and partied all night and day with everyone in that parking lot.walking around from cars /van etc.i lost all my friends i went with and never found them again and had to hitch hike to get back to windsor /canada.I was totally baked as were most people at this concert.i remember eating about 10 hit of acid ,drinking booze like it was water,smoking everything from pot to hash ,It was great.I have seen alot of concerts since then but that is the concert i still talk about to this day,the best concert i've ever seen.That concert set the stage for all concerts to come .I remember i was just amazed at what i was seeing I was right up front getting totally squished by all the people on the floor and by the security pushing us all back,Now i hear they will be doing a reunion tour and Plant is on board.I am so pumped 28 yr's later and feeling like 18 again.wow .I am in my glory i cannot wait to see them again that will make a complete circle of concert life for me.anyhow i am rambling on here so i'm going to say memory's of Led Zep,will always Remain the Same. for me.

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I can say for myself that i can't remember much seeing as we got there the day before and partied all night and day with everyone in that parking lot.walking around from cars /van etc.i lost all my friends i went with and never found them again and had to hitch hike to get back to windsor /canada.I was totally baked as were most people at this concert.i remember eating about 10 hit of acid ,drinking booze like it was water,smoking everything from pot to hash ,It was great.I have seen alot of concerts since then but that is the concert i still talk about to this day,the best concert i've ever seen.That concert set the stage for all concerts to come .I remember i was just amazed at what i was seeing I was right up front getting totally squished by all the people on the floor and by the security pushing us all back,Now i hear they will be doing a reunion tour and Plant is on board.I am so pumped 28 yr's later and feeling like 18 again.wow .I am in my glory i cannot wait to see them again that will make a complete circle of concert life for me.anyhow i am rambling on here so i'm going to say memory's of Led Zep,will always Remain the Same. for me.
:blink: :blink: :blink: : :unsure::huh::o:mellow:<_<:blink:

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You're right... being a resident of Detroit, theres just no way that JPJ would be meandering around Pontiac... theres not much around the Silverdome to see and its a pretty shitty area... actually I'm not even aware if theres a music shop around there... better chance that he was in a pawn shop lol.

On the more probable 1973 note, Grinnells was just about 7 or 8 blocks (less than a mile) from Cobo Arena, so that seems like a much more probable occurance.

Robert recalled when they played their first Detroit shows (Grande Ballroom, 1/17-19/69) they stayed in Dearborn, but I've been unable to confirm the hotel (yet).

When the band arrived in Detroit from Honolulu in the pre-dawn hours of 5/16/69, they checked-in to the Congress Hotel (downtown) literally minutes after the bellhop had shot and killed a robber in the lobby. Their Grande Ballroom gig that night was plaqued by blown fuses and power outages.

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