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Nottingham Boat Club gigs (1969/1971)

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Did you go to Led Zeppelin's historic Boat Club gig?

By Nottingham Post | January 14, 2016

The night Led Zeppelin played a free gig at the Boat Club is part of Nottingham rock and pop history.

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It was more than 40 years ago but now a film maker is hoping to find Nottinghamshire people who remember that show.

As part of a major BBC project called People's History of Pop, producer Rob Whitehouse is making a short film for the East Midlands magazine programme Inside Out focusing on fans' memories in the East Midlands.

And he is particularly interested in hearing from anyone who was at the Led Zeppelin gig. (1969) (1971)

He said: "It would be wonderful if I could find someone who took photographs, even better if anyone had some film or a sound recording of that night.

"Unfortunately, there were no mobile phones back then but you never know."

Rob will be filming an interview with Boat Club president Keith Atkinson, who first booked Led Zeppelin to appear on Trentside in 1969 before they achieved worldwide fame - for the princely fee of £80.

The free Led Zeppelin gig of 1971 is still regarded by many as Nottingham's finest rock hour.

Led Zeppelin became the biggest stadium band in the world, breaking attendance records in America held by the Beatles.

Yet, in March 1971, they returned to the Boat Club for an extraordinary gig.

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Keith, speaking about a night he will never forget, said: "They played for free that time. They wanted to put something back to the venues that had set them on the road to success."

He said the queue of fans hoping to get a ticket snaked back across Trent Bridge, adding: "Ironically, although we were raking in the cash at the time, we hardly made anything that night because it was so rammed that people couldn't get to the bar because no-one could move."

There were other high-profile visitors to Trentside, including Rod Stewart, Elton John, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Motorhead – led by the legendary Lemmy who died this month – and Ozzie Osborne with Black Sabbath.

Rob is hoping to hear from anyone who was at these gigs, especially if they have memorabilia from the time.

His film is part of a nationwide project in which the BBC is crowd sourcing photographs and audio/video of fans' cherished music memorabilia – ticket stubs, diary entries, teen band recordings, wrist bands, rare footage and more – to tell the story of British rock and pop music from the 1950s to the noughties.

A BBC spokesman said: "Whether you were into skiffle, punk, hip hop or anything in between, we want to see your stuff and hear your stories.

"What was the first record you bought? Do you still have the ticket stub to your all-time favourite gig? Were you in a teen band and do you still have the recordings?

"If you've been inspired by British sounds and you still have the memorabilia in your attic, under your bed or in the recesses of your computer, dig it out and go to www.phop.co.uk to take part.

"All you need to do is join up by creating a profile with our partners, History Pin, and follow the links to share your stuff. If you have an object, just take a photo of it and upload that. If you have audio or video, you can embed that too.

"Everything sent in to People's History of Pop will be part of an incredible online archive and will culminate with a television series for BBC Four, featuring the best of what's been uploaded to the site."

http://www.ledzeppelin.com/show/april-6-1969

http://www.ledzeppelin.com/show/march-21-1971

http://www.nottinghampost.com/BBC-search-fans-attended-Led-Zeppelin-s-historic/story-28522398-detail/story.html

 

 

 

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Hi. If you look closely at the contract you will see that the person who booked the original show was Keith Symons, my father. I am not certain why Mr Atkinson would be claiming to be responsible for this or other bands he has alleged to have booked in various other articles that have been published in the last couple of years, but his claims are certainly upsetting to my mother. There was a recent article in a rowing magazine where Mr Atkinson acknowledged that my father had made the initial booking. Perhaps something has been lost in translation?

My father was active in the 60s and 70s promoting groups including Led Zeppelin and the Faces amongst others including at the Nottingham Boat Club. He was responsible for bringing the Bee Gees to Nottingham Britannia Rowing Club, and booked Ike and Tina Turner to play at the Sherwood Rooms in the Nottingham City Centre. He was a contemporary of Peter Stringfellow and a friend of the Dave Clark Five. He ran a club called the Beachcomber in the city and would often have blues musicians there, doing 'all nighters'. 

I can't say that I was at either of the Led Zeppelin events - I was 9 at the time - but I am certain that between us my mother and I could provide some background information. 

Always happy to receive a call/email. 

 

Cheers

 

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