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Stryder1978

SUPPORTING ACTS AT THE O2

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I thought some of you might be interested in a snippet of my journal about the support acts for the O2 event in 2007:

At 1900 hours Harvey Goldsmith (the promoter that came up with the ticket allotment idea), came on stage and introduced the show. I was expecting to hear boos, but I didn’t hear any. It was funny when Harvey said, “We know why you are here, but the REAL reason we are here is to honor Ahmet Ertagun”. He introduced a 15 minute video clip that showed Ahmet with all the artists he had signed for Atlantic Records. Every time they showed Jimmy or Robert on the screen, everyone started yelling and clapping. There was a 5 minute pause after the video and the lights went out at 1915 hours. An orchestra came out from stage right and started to set up. The crowd was like “What the hell?” Then from stage left, out came Chris Squire (bass player for Yes), Simon Kirke (drummer for Bad Company), Alan White (the drummer for Yes) and Keith Emerson (the keyboard player for ELP). Alan White went to a pair of kettle drums and Simon Kirke got behind a drum kit. Chris Squire said “Good Evening” and then the brass section of the orchestra started Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” (which ELP did a version of back in the day). You might not know the song by name, but it is the instrumental that they use to start the Olympics. It was a brilliant way to start the show. Nobody in line was keen on any of the supporting acts, but when that song started every ones mouths dropped open! It was an incredible version – they even snuck some snippets of “Kashmir” in it (much to the delight of the crowd) and a little bit of “Roundabout”. After the song, the four “stars” went to center stage and took a bow. Alan White even threw the kettle drum sticks to the crowd. Great start to the evening.

After most of the orchestra cleared the stage, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings entered. There were four guitarists on stage with him and a set of three “Doo Wop” girls on the stage left. They started playing and from the side of the stage came a portly guy in a red zoot suit and felt hat with a long feather in it. It was a singer named Mike Sanchez. He sang the Ray Charles classic “I Got a Woman” and commanded the stage with his presence. The band stayed on stage and next was Paolo Nutini, a Scottish lad barely 18 who was the last artist Ahmet signed to Atlantic records. He went up to the mike and kinda said “Wow, this is incredible” and sounded like a dork. But when he opened his mouth and started singing the classic Ray Charles hit “Mess Around” (actually written by Ahmet) he got our attention. Incredible strong growly blues voice that was perfect for those R&B numbers. He did a second song as well, “Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot me Down)” made famous by Cher in the early 70’s.

The BWRK stayed on stage and provided the accompaniment for Maggie Bell (a soulful blues singer) who did a flawless version of Aretha Franklin’s “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man”. One of BWRK guitarists was none other than Albert Lee who stepped up to the mike and sang “Baby That’s Rock and Roll”. It was more a rocker and the crowd loved it. Finally, one of the “Doo Wop” girls stepped forward. It was Beverley Skeete who did an awesome version of “Show Me” (“show me a good woman who’s got a good man!”)

The orchestra brass left the stage and from stage right came Paul Rogers (former lead singer in Free and Bad Company and fresh off a stint as singer for Queen). He paid homage to his first band Free with “All Right Now”. It was note for note perfection especially the guitar solo and the crowd went nuts and everyone was singing along. The entire stage emptied except for Paul and then a roadie came out and handed him a unique custom acoustic guitar which Paul used to accompany himself for the Bad Company hit “Seagull”.

Leaving the stage to incredible applause, another band came out. Foreigner (whose sole remaining original member is guitarist Mick Jones) came out and started the keyboard intro to “I Wanna Know What Love Is”). Everybody in line was bad mouthing Foreigner and it didn’t help their cause to come out with this song after Paul Roger’s rockers. The lead singer kept shouting to the crowd to sing along, but the crowd really didn’t get into it, even when a choir of children came out to sing the final chorus.

The supporting acts finished at 2045 hours, that gave the road crew 15 minutes to clear the stage for the main act (which was already set up behind the front equipment of the support acts). I didn’t think they’d be ready, but at 2103 hours, the auditorium lights went out and the screams began.

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Nice read. I would have thought Foreigner would have received a better reception, but sounds like the song they opened with was one of they're cheesy, make me puke, remind me of mullet haircut, top 40 pop tunes that I can't turn off fast enough each time it comes on the radio. Regardless, nice post! Is there any footage of the crowd just prior to and at the moment the house lights going down for Zeppelin?

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I find it quite sad that this topic just goes to show how to some Led Zeppelin being the main event, hijacked the Ahmet Ertugen Tribute Concert and turned into something it was never meant to be. Nobody on the bill was a support act. Yes, Led Zeppelin were the draw but calling the other acts on the bill "Support" is an insult to them and to the spirit of what the event was all about, A tribute to Ahmet Ertugen.

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JTM,

Sorry you feel that way and I certainly meant no disrespect to the other acts that performed. I actually enjoyed all of them - with the exception of Foreigner. But when artists like Pete Townsend who was originally on the bill dropped out stating that they didn't need him there if Led Zeppelin were playing - well, that pretty much sums out how most felt about the other acts on the bill.

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I would safely say of the 20 million people attempting to obtain tickes 99.9999999% were not thinking of Ahmet Ertugen being paid tribute to. Many likely had no clue to who he really was before the show was announced. Zeppelin reuniting WAS the draw for the fans, not Ahmet. Of all the bands that played they were probably more in line with the purpose, but they knew well prior to the show fans were there for Zeppelin. Robert did thank the other bands for coming and and playing for the memory of Ahmet. Jimmy, I would say, was likely more focused on continuing Led Zeppelin rather than it being a one-off tribute to Ahmet. That's reality. Proceeds did go to the AHmet Ertugen foundation, but again, aside from insiders, nobody really cared about the purpose. Pete Townsend was not going to be put in a position where he was warming up an half empty arena knowing most all were there for a band he greatly disliked...though Robert supported the Who as a "supporting" act and played to a less than full house.

I find it quite sad that this topic just goes to show how to some Led Zeppelin being the main event, hijacked the Ahmet Ertugen Tribute Concert and turned into something it was never meant to be. Nobody on the bill was a support act. Yes, Led Zeppelin were the draw but calling the other acts on the bill "Support" is an insult to them and to the spirit of what the event was all about, A tribute to Ahmet Ertugen.

Edited by Mudslider

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I would safely say of the 20 million people attempting to obtain tickes 99.9999999% were not thinking of Ahmet Ertugen being paid tribute to. Many likely had no clue to who he really was before the show was announced. Zeppelin reuniting WAS the draw for the fans, not Ahmet. Of all the bands that played they were probably more in line with the purpose, but they knew well prior to the show fans were there for Zeppelin. Robert did thank the other bands for coming and and playing for the memory of Ahmet. Jimmy, I would say, was likely more focused on continuing Led Zeppelin rather than it being a one-off tribute to Ahmet. That's reality. Proceeds did go to the AHmet Ertugen foundation, but again, aside from insiders, nobody really cared about the purpose. Pete Townsend was not going to be put in a position where he was warming up an half empty arena knowing most all were there for a band he greatly disliked...though Robert supported the Who as a "supporting" act and played to a less than full house.

The 20 million figure is complete and utter exagerated bollox, I would go even further and also say that it was no where near the true figure imho . Anybody and everybody who applied for tickets made multiple applications either themselves or via relatives, friends etc. For you to say that many did not have a clue who Ahmet Ertugen was, just makes me shake my head in disbelief. Thank fuck Robert Plant saw it for what it was, a one off event and then afterwards bolted the door firmly shut on any idea that it would lead to a full blown album/tour reunion.

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Thanks very much, Stryder - I thought I had missed a lot of the opening show but it turns out I "only" missed Harvey's introduction. Whew!

Thank you also for naming Mr. Squire's band members. It's weird that he's the only one I remember - I'm a Yes fan but it didn't even register that Alan White was there w/ Chris, not to mention Simon Kirke whom I've always thought was a cutie. I was in such a state waiting for Led Zeppelin, ay dios mio.

I remember that Bill Wyman's band was very good but really I just wanted them to get off the stage.

Edited by FireOpal

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Thank you for your comments Mudslider and FireOpal. I was hoping the bonus DVD in the Led Zeppelin O2 set was going to be the other tribute bands, but alas, it was not. That said, here are some photos I took to accompany the above post:

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The 20 million figure is complete and utter exagerated bollox, I would go even further and also say that it was no where near the true figure imho .

Care to explain?

Thank you for your comments Mudslider and FireOpal. I was hoping the bonus DVD in the Led Zeppelin O2 set was going to be the other tribute bands, but alas, it was not.

The opening acts' performances were not filmed. Edited by Geezer

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Care to explain?The opening acts' performances were not filmed.

You don't really believe that 20 million individuals actualy applied for tickets do you Geezer. Don't forget, many of the applicants who were out to make some easy money did not give a fuck who LZ were. Tout/Scalper multiple app's were probably about 40%. I would guess that most LZ fans made at least five applications each (I did) So It would be safe to assume that really only one and a half to two million LZ fans applied for tickets.

Methinks you are one of those people who think LZ are bigger than they really are.

Don't get me wrong Led Zeppelin were a great band, but one of many.

Edited by JTM

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You don't really believe that 20 million individuals actualy applied for tickets do you Geezer. Don't forget, many of the applicants who were out to make some easy money did not give a fuck who LZ were. Tout/Scalper multiple app's were probably about 40%. I would guess that most LZ fans made at least five applications each (I did) So It would be safe to assume that really only one and a half to two million LZ fans applied for tickets.

Methinks you are one of those people who think LZ are bigger than they really are.

Don't get me wrong Led Zeppelin were a great band, but one of many.

Way off there. They are considered one of the top five bands ever and that's not coming from me. That is coming from just about anybody you ask when it comes to rock music. Any poll, etc. and they are usually one of the first bands mentioned. Methinks you sound bitter for some reason.

Edited by Wolfman

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Btw, I was there and I highly enjoyed the other acts, but in the back of my head I was thinking..."Awesome, not get off the stage and bring out the main event!". What an exciting night it was!

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I thought most of the opening acts were OK, apart from Foreigner, who were dire as far as I was concerned.

As this was a tribute concert for one of the top guys at Atlantic, I would have thought they could maybe pulled in someone with a bit of a higher profile, someone like, say, Aretha Franklin or someone or similar stature. Still, better than having to sit through Chas and Dave, I suppose...

Let's face it, the support acts were just there to fill in the time until Zep arrived.

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Way off there. They are considered one of the top five bands ever and that's not coming from me. That is coming from just about anybody you ask when it comes to rock music. Any poll, etc. and they are usually one of the first bands mentioned. Methinks you sound bitter for some reason.

You don't really believe that 20 million individuals actualy applied for tickets do you Geezer. Don't forget, many of the applicants who were out to make some easy money did not give a fuck who LZ were. Tout/Scalper multiple app's were probably about 40%. I would guess that most LZ fans made at least five applications each (I did) So It would be safe to assume that really only one and a half to two million LZ fans applied for tickets.

Methinks you are one of those people who think LZ are bigger than they really are.

Don't get me wrong Led Zeppelin were a great band, but one of many.

I DONT CARE!!! Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd, and The Doors are just some of my other favorite bands you wolfman are not seeing the fucking point of actual music, underrated or overrated. Go listen to some StH u fag

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I DONT CARE!!! Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd, and The Doors are just some of my other favorite bands you wolfman are not seeing the fucking point of actual music, underrated or overrated. Go listen to some StH u fag

:huh:

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Nice read. I would have thought Foreigner would have received a better reception, but sounds like the song they opened with was one of they're cheesy, make me puke, remind me of mullet haircut, top 40 pop tunes that I can't turn off fast enough each time it comes on the radio. Regardless, nice post! Is there any footage of the crowd just prior to and at the moment the house lights going down for Zeppelin?

All of Foreigner's songs make me want to puke!

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Seconded.

Yeah, there seems to be an abundance of douchebags around lately with nothing but hateful posts to spread around.... I find the way the "opening bands" were brought on that evening to be very interesting. Seems that if a certain act wasn't your cup of tea, you didn't have to wait for too long for another to come on. Too bad none them were documented on the DVD in another section, to represent the event as a whole. Of course we all know who everyone came for, but the event was for Ahmet and the performers obviously had a stake in it too.

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When Led Zeppelin is reuniting for a one-off, it's pretty predictable that openings acts will be redundant. 99% of the audience went to the concert to see Led Zeppelin.

Edited by Geezer

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When Led Zeppelin is reuniting for a one-off, it's pretty predictable that openings acts will be redundant. 99% of the audience went to the concert to see Led Zeppelin.

The other 1% wanted to be seen to be there

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