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Chicago

A Stormtrooper's Easter! Led Zeppelin: Live in Chicago 4/10/77

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The fans reaction was one of quiet concern. Not really knowing why Jimmy had collapsed mid-song, Page was eventually walked off stage by fellow band members to applause. We waited for about 5 minutes until it was announced the show would be re-scheduled. All tickets would be honored at the future show. This show was to be performed on August 2nd with an added concert the following night. It was never to be, as Robert's son passed one week prior to these intended shows.

It's funny but I've heard the story of his collapse over and over again, and it's the first time someone actually "takes me there". Thanks for the additional info. Did you ask for your refund, or did you just keep your ticket stub?

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Killer story, Chicago, thanks for sharing. Kinda gave me an idea of what it would be like to be there at the madhouse with Led Zep right in front of me. Alas, born too late.

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Glad you enjoyed the read Grand and Octagon. I retained my ticket stub which was to be honored at the August 2nd make-up show. A second show was added for August 3rd. A close friend of mine had copped 3rd row dead center for the added show. I purchased a single ticket from him for $45. To say I was thrilled was an understatement.

One week to the day of these shows the heartbreaking news of Karac Plant's death was announced. I knew immediately that it would lead to the tour's cancellation and threaten the band's very existence. Only then did I return my tickets and collect a refund. I took a financial loss on the August 3rd ticket. Zeppelin then basically vanished for 2 years. A total disappearance.

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thanks for the stories, i love reading about peoples' experiences of zeppelin in their original form.

Can't say i'd blame any band, even one as big as zeppelin was, for effectively disappearing from public for a couple of years after the death of a close relative of a band member. OK, so some people deal with loss by throwing themselves at work, well obviously not Plant.

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Chicago,

Thanks for the teriffic read, You filled in some lost memories! I killed my share of brain cells back then, I'm sure, and my memory isn't as sharp as I'd like it to be. I was at all four Chicago shows in '77, and to read your description of the events of those nights has been a blast. I can't believe the detail you're able to recount... My hard drive memory is pretty fried! :blink:

Starting with our first Zep show in '73, my friends and I did everything possible in those days to make sure we didn't miss a show when they were in. This usually meant grabbing whatever tickets we could get our hands on, then wheeling and dealing to improve our station as far as seating goes before they hit town. The first night I sold some 2nd. balcony seats and wound up sitting in the mezzanine to the left of the stage on JPJ's side, probably about as far back as the hockey blue line would be from the end boards. I loved the show, but then again they could do no wrong in my eyes in those days. Kashmir really stood out for me, I remember it being crushingly loud and hypnotic. Some guy next to me was so stoned he fell asleep on my shoulder during the accoustic set...! :rolleyes:

The second night was good for me too, even though the seats were up in the 2nd. balcony to the right of the stage, about halfway back.

I remember the Saturday sick show much the way you recount, the mood was one of quiet concern, numb shock as much as anything. For that show we had what would have been a lower mezzanine seat across from the stage and slightly to the left side. I had seen all three shows in '75 too, and Robert was sub par vocally opening night because of his, how did he say it, "Inability to come to grips with the climate", which was a nasty cold or flu. But they made it through, and the next two shows were great. But this one really showed their mortality, and as much as we told ourselves it was going to be fine, I remember going to bed that night and being really worried.

The 4th. show, the Easter Stormtrooper gig, turned out to be very special for me. After three tours worth of wheeling and dealing for the best seats we could get, one of the girls in the group we hung out with called me, told me she had four seats and asked me if Id be interested in a 2nd. row main floor seat... (More on that girl later....) I almost fell over, couldn't believe it. Of course I jumped on it, wound up selling a 20 - something row main floor seat to a friend.

I knew I had to take pictures, but I didn't have a decent camera. I wound up borrowing an old 35 mm manual camera from my dad. I was at a total loss as to the use of film speed, f-stop, use of flash, etc., so I went to a local camera shop and talked to a pro. He explained that my best bet would be to shoot slides since then I wouldn't need to use a flash. He recommended a high speed color film (400 ASA) and when I told him I didn't think I could load the camera in the dark, he suggested focusing carefully, loading up with 36 exposures and being mindful with my shots! He was pretty familiar with Zep's lighting tendencies, so he set the camera up and off I went.

The show itself was brilliant, that's the way I remember it. Jimmy coming out in the boots, scarf, hat, etc. was a trip, Robert was playful, JPJ and Bonzo were dead nuts on and the mood for me was one of vindication and relief. You could see their confidence and ease increase as the show went on, and it's my warmest memory of the band live. At one point, after blasting out a chord, Jimmy had his right hand in that familiar pose, his first finger and thumb forming the "okay" sign, and the other three fingers pointed out straight. As he moved in front of us, I raised both my arms in the air and mimicked the hand position with both hands. He looked down, saw me, smiled, and maintaining that hand position, pointed right at me.... I almost fell off the chair, I remember one of the guys we went with who was in the seat next to me turning around and looking at me with his mouth open and eyes wide in disbelief.... :o

Well, I did get my pictures, the only problem was, I burned through all of the film in probably the first 20 or 30 minutes. I left a lot of great photos out there that night, including Jimmy right in front of us doing the bow section in the green laser pyramid. Most weren't that good, washed out or taken foolishly when Jimmy or Robert strolled to the far left side of the stage. There are a dozen or so that turned out pretty well, including a nice candid shot of Peter Grant standing in the wings watching the show. A little dark, but not too bad. I'll try and post them as soon as I get a chance. I dug the slides out for the first time in about 25 years a few months back and had them transfered to disc.

About that girl who thought of me and gave me first shot at the tickets.... Shortly after that show, everybody's lives changed, and I drifted away from my high school friends, including her. Last January, a day short of a year to the day of this posting, I was contacted by a couple of the guys that I was so close to in school. We met up, and I found out that they all still see each other, 30 years later, still hang out. In April we had a surprise party for one of the guys for his 50th., and I saw my ticket girl for the first time in 30 years. We talked, one of the first things that came up was that Zep show Easter night, April 10, 1977. Turns out we're both divorced, and it soon became apparent that we had a real connection, sparks were flying. We've been seeing each other seriously now since May, and this is the woman I'm going to wind up getting old with.... My "Angel with a broken wing." Thanks Zep, you defined my life then, and you're still shaping it now.

To paraphrase Robert at the end of the Knebworth show on the DVD, "I dunno know how to say it....thanks for 35 years." :)

Edited by zep73

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Chicago,

Thanks for the teriffic read, You filled in some lost memories! I killed my share of brain cells back then, I'm sure, and my memory isn't as sharp as I'd like it to be. I was at all four Chicago shows in '77, and to read your description of the events of those nights has been a blast. I can't believe the detail you're able to recount... My hard drive memory is pretty fried! :blink:

Starting with our first Zep show in '73, my friends and I did everything possible in those days to make sure we didn't miss a show when they were in. This usually meant grabbing whatever tickets we could get our hands on, then wheeling and dealing to improve our station as far as seating goes before they hit town. The first night I sold some 2nd. balcony seats and wound up sitting in the mezzanine to the left of the stage on JPJ's side, probably about as far back as the hockey blue line would be from the end boards. I loved the show, but then again they could do no wrong in my eyes in those days. Kashmir really stood out for me, I remember it being crushingly loud and hypnotic. Some guy next to me was so stoned he fell asleep on my shoulder during the accoustic set...! :rolleyes:

The second night was good for me too, even though the seats were up in the 2nd. balcony to the right of the stage, about halfway back.

I remember the Saturday sick show much the way you recount, the mood was one of quiet concern, numb shock as much as anything. For that show we had what would have been a lower mezzanine seat across from the stage and slightly to the left side. I had seen all three shows in '75 too, and Robert was sub par vocally opening night because of his, how did he say it, "Inability to come to grips with the climate", which was a nasty cold or flu. But they made it through, and the next two shows were great. But this one really showed their mortality, and as much as we told ourselves it was going to be fine, I remember going to bed that night and being really worried.

The 4th. show, the Easter Stormtrooper gig, turned out to be very special for me. After three tours worth of wheeling and dealing for the best seats we could get, one of the girls in the group we hung out with called me, told me she had four seats and asked me if Id be interested in a 2nd. row main floor seat... (More on that girl later....) I almost fell over, couldn't believe it. Of course I jumped on it, wound up selling a 20 - something row main floor seat to a friend.

I knew I had to take pictures, but I didn't have a decent camera. I wound up borrowing an old 35 mm manual camera from my dad. I was at a total loss as to the use of film speed, f-stop, use of flash, etc., so I went to a local camera shop and talked to a pro. He explained that my best bet would be to shoot slides since then I wouldn't need to use a flash. He recommended a high speed color film (400 ASA) and when I told him I didn't think I could load the camera in the dark, he suggested focusing carefully, loading up with 36 exposures and being mindful with my shots! He was pretty familiar with Zep's lighting tendencies, so he set the camera up and off I went.

The show itself was brilliant, that's the way I remember it. Jimmy coming out in the boots, scarf, hat, etc. was a trip, Robert was playful, JPJ and Bonzo were dead nuts on and the mood for me was one of vindication and relief. You could see their confidence and ease increase as the show went on, and it's my warmest memory of the band live. At one point, after blasting out a chord, Jimmy had his right hand in that familiar pose, his first finger and thumb forming the "okay" sign, and the other three fingers pointed out straight. As he moved in front of us, I raised both my arms in the air and mimicked the hand position with both hands. He looked down, saw me, smiled, and maintaining that hand position, pointed right at me.... I almost fell off the chair, I remember one of the guys we went with who was in the seat next to me turning around and looking at me with his mouth open and eyes wide in disbelief.... :o

Well, I did get my pictures, the only problem was, I burned through all of the film in probably the first 20 or 30 minutes. I left a lot of great photos out there that night, including Jimmy right in front of us doing the bow section in the green laser pyramid. Most weren't that good, washed out or taken foolishly when Jimmy or Robert strolled to the far left side of the stage. There are a dozen or so that turned out pretty well, including a nice candid shot of Peter Grant standing in the wings watching the show. A little dark, but not too bad. I'll try and post them as soon as I get a chance. I dug the slides out for the first time in about 25 years a few months back and had them transfered to disc.

About that girl who thought of me and gave me first shot at the tickets.... Shortly after that show, everybody's lives changed, and I drifted away from my high school friends, including her. Last January, a day short of a year to the day of this posting, I was contacted by a couple of the guys that I was so close to in school. We met up, and I found out that they all still see each other, 30 years later, still hang out. In April we had a surprise party for one of the guys for his 50th., and I saw my ticket girl for the first time in 30 years. We talked, one of the first things that came up was that Zep show Easter night, April 10, 1977. Turns out we're both divorced, and it soon became apparent that we had a real connection, sparks were flying. We've been seeing each other seriously now since May, and this is the woman I'm going to wind up getting old with.... My "Angel with a broken wing." Thanks Zep, you defined my life then, and you're still shaping it now.

To paraphrase Robert at the end of the Knebworth show on the DVD, "I dunno know how to say it...." "Thanks for 35 years." :)

Great story, Zep73! What memories...and you got the girl, albeit 35 yrs later! Awesome story...

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Can't wait to see the pictures Zep73 !! Fate dealt you a few good hands over the years ehh ? Unreal story about hooking back up with your lady....

Really looking forward to seeing that pic of Grant !! Did you quickly get a pic of Jimmy when he looked at you ? That'd been cool !!!!

I pulled the disc today and looked at it. The pictures were really just okay quality wise due to my inexperience with the camera, but there are several nice shots. I had the slides stored for 30 years, and the years haven't been real kind to them. They're not real bad, but the images could use a cleaning up. I suppose in some regards they're pretty historic, you don't see many pictures of that show. Those original slides are a record in time... One of these days I'm going to take them to somebody who can run through them and clean them up, maybe improve the quality a bit. I just have to figure out how to post them here.

I was already out of film by the time Jimmy came over. Like I said, I blew 36 shots pretty quick. He later changed into the white suit he used on that tour, and I'm not sure if I have any pics with him wearing it. I think he'd changed by the accoustic set. A little bit into the show I remember he pulled off the Military hat and put on a white fedora kind of thing. I'm not sure if he got it from someone in the crowd or what.

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Great stuff Zep 73!

Very enjoyable to read someone else's impression of those 4 nights in Chicago. Back then it was possible to see a great band and still afford it. It cost me less than $100 to see all four Zeppelin shows!

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Great stuff Zep 73!

Very enjoyable to read someone else's impression of those 4 nights in Chicago. Back then it was possible to see a great band and still afford it. It cost me less than $100 to see all four Zeppelin shows!

Chicago,

You got it! If I'm not mistaken, that 2nd. row seat set me back a whole $25.00. If Zep hit the road again and wound up at the United Center, you couldn't sniff that seat for less than 5 grand, and I'm not kidding.... A one night gig at the U.C. would be packed with corporate types, politicians, pro atheletes and other local "celebs" who wouldn't have known Led Zeppelin from The Archies back in the day.... :angry: The true fans, (or peasants as we have come to be known) might, if we were lucky, be relegated to watching some digital simulcast charged at an outrageous rate at "select venues." <_<

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Proof of Jimmy wearing the White Fedora Hat during No Quarter-4-10-77 (There you go Steve A.- I knew I had a pic of him wearing it somewhere) :D

77f.jpg

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Proof of Jimmy wearing the White Fedora Hat during No Quarter-4-10-77 (There you go Steve A.- I knew I had a pic of him wearing it somewhere) :D

77f.jpg

That's the one, thanks David. I tried to send some pics of that show yesterday, but for some reason they didn't go. May have been too many. I'll try again.

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jimmy2copy.jpg

Hey Ev! Great to see you as well. I thought I'd add this shot of Jimmy peaking during the No Quarter guitar solo. The White Fedora song. It's a photo from the personal archives.

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jimmy2copy.jpg

Hey Ev! Great to see you as well. I thought I'd add this shot of Jimmy peaking during the No Quarter guitar solo. The White Fedora song. It's a photo from the personal archives.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------quote from Evster:

Okay (stretches and prepares for the worst), yes, Jimmy swapped to KT88s, but his volume was just set a 4-7 depending on venue. Not speaker blowing territory when you look at his rig.

As for heroin, he (as far as I know) never shot with a needle. It was mostly coke with a little smack cut in. Clearly the set had gotten routine by '75. The magic was Bonham by then. He was the beating heart. The improv was gone for the most part. Tight but loose, yes, but the song didn't remain the same. People always want to blame it on the drugs. But it wasn't the drugs. At least not then. It was the road. The lifestyle across the board took its toll. It was just too big. By '77, the groupies weren't getting the services rockstar Page was delivering in '72. It was a diet of banana daiquiries and magazine interviews. Creem magazine painted the iconic picture. But it took Karac's death to plunge Jimmy into full-on self destruction. Yeah, Jimmy was doing some smack in '77, but that's not what broke him. It was the circus around him. It was off the rails (no pun intended), not the dope. That was present yes, but only took over when there was no Zeppelin, when he was sequestered in his home wondering if his band was over. Zeppelin was a band on autopilot in '77, not a band too fucked up to play. There was so much swirling around them. Like I said, it just got so big. It became more about the show than the performance, if you can follow my meaning. The exploration of the music took a back seat, and the spectacle took over. It wasn't the drugs. That happened later.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your insight into the band's plight at the time is spot on Evster. I think this pattern became truly ingrained following Robert's accident. Lethary, inertia ,depression and sloth all stem from lack of work combined with the various intakes that deplete. That doesn't lead to musical inspiration. It's a bad formula.

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Proof of Jimmy wearing the White Fedora Hat during No Quarter-4-10-77 (There you go Steve A.- I knew I had a pic of him wearing it somewhere) :D

77f.jpg

That is freaking awesome! What a gangster!!

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That is freaking awesome! What a gangster!!

He broke the E-string on his guitar about 10 seconds after that photo was taken. He then re-arranged the entire second half of the solo. Give it a listen and you'll hear him change gears.

Edited by Chicago

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What a great report, Zep73! I (and certainly many other people) would love to see your photos, however "unprofessional" they are!!

Edited by birdoffire

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Good to see you on the boards, Evster. :)

You really leaving Cali or is that a play on the lyrics (as Plant is no longer associated)???

R B)

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Great reports by Chicago and Led Zep '73. Some wonderful insight, firsthand on these shows and what was going on. Thanks. :thumbsup:

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On 10/23/2008 at 3:54 PM, Chicago said:

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------quote from Evster:

Okay (stretches and prepares for the worst), yes, Jimmy swapped to KT88s, but his volume was just set a 4-7 depending on venue. Not speaker blowing territory when you look at his rig.

 

As for heroin, he (as far as I know) never shot with a needle. It was mostly coke with a little smack cut in. Clearly the set had gotten routine by '75. The magic was Bonham by then. He was the beating heart. The improv was gone for the most part. Tight but loose, yes, but the song didn't remain the same. People always want to blame it on the drugs. But it wasn't the drugs. At least not then. It was the road. The lifestyle across the board took its toll. It was just too big. By '77, the groupies weren't getting the services rockstar Page was delivering in '72. It was a diet of banana daiquiries and magazine interviews. Creem magazine painted the iconic picture. But it took Karac's death to plunge Jimmy into full-on self destruction. Yeah, Jimmy was doing some smack in '77, but that's not what broke him. It was the circus around him. It was off the rails (no pun intended), not the dope. That was present yes, but only took over when there was no Zeppelin, when he was sequestered in his home wondering if his band was over. Zeppelin was a band on autopilot in '77, not a band too fucked up to play. There was so much swirling around them. Like I said, it just got so big. It became more about the show than the performance, if you can follow my meaning. The exploration of the music took a back seat, and the spectacle took over. It wasn't the drugs. That happened later.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Your insight into the band's plight at the time is spot on Evster. I think this pattern became truly ingrained following Robert's accident. Lethary, inertia ,depression and sloth all stem from lack of work combined with the various intakes that deplete. That doesn't lead to musical inspiration. It's a bad formula.

With all the admiration for the 77 tour shows on these boards, and the rose colored ears...this is the most cogent assessment of the 77 performances IMO. 

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12 hours ago, porgie66 said:

With all the admiration for the 77 tour shows on these boards, and the rose colored ears...this is the most cogent assessment of the 77 performances IMO. 

Couldn't agree more. Not that I know about the backstage stuff but that with regards to his evaluation of the performances, yes

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I love when someone resurrects these old posts. . This one in particular because of Chicago and Led Zep 73 accounts of an amazing trial and triumph run in Chicago. . These stories seem to mean a lot to those who were unfortunately "late to the party". . Thanks for digging this one out Porgie:)

16 hours ago, porgie66 said:

With all the admiration for the 77 tour shows on these boards, and the rose colored ears...this is the most cogent assessment of the 77 performances IMO. 

 

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This is WAY overdue...

A long time ago and under another username, I first replied on this topic. I was at all four of the Chicago shows in '77, and for the Easter Sunday show we were fortunate enough to score 2nd row main floor seats.

A few days ago, the girl I was with that night was digging through a trunk of old pictures, and an old, yellowed, aged envelope came out.... Inside were the photos she took that night with her little Kodak 110 Instamatic. They had been lost to the light of day for 42 years, and although they are of the poor quality you would expect due to their source and age, they're still pretty cool because of how personal they feel, and because tell a little piece of the story, especially the two of Jimmy.

It explains exactly where the "White Fedora" came from that night. I was standing right next to her when she took these pictures, but I didn't know she caught Jimmy taking the hat from somebody in the crowd.

Most of the photos are a hopeless blur, dark, or hazy. There was no way that little camera could keep up with the motion and changing stage lighting, so we're lucky to have them at all. There are a couple more I will try to post when I can.

It's really just a little piece of history, but a treasure no less. What was once lost, has now been found..... 

IMG_2223.thumb.jpg.ccde6aef20ae6579fa8d905ddac418a1.jpg

IMG_2224.thumb.jpg.5ddcaf9bdbd6531d1cfdc12b562147dd.jpgIMG_2219.thumb.jpg.efa1e0d5bfaf8ccda33624c6f02aa881.jpg

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A classic moment caught on film! Thanks for unearthing these photos Jetcat. I remember being taken aback at how skinny Jimmy's arms were when he wore that outfit. It wasn't as noticeable the other 3 Chicago shows when he wore the white dragon suit.

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3 hours ago, Jetcat1 said:

This is WAY overdue...

A long time ago and under another username, I first replied on this topic. I was at all four of the Chicago shows in '77, and for the Easter Sunday show we were fortunate enough to score 2nd row main floor seats.

A few days ago, the girl I was with that night was digging through a trunk of old pictures, and an old, yellowed, aged envelope came out.... Inside were the photos she took that night with her little Kodak 110 Instamatic. They had been lost to the light of day for 42 years, and although they are of the poor quality you would expect due to their source and age, they're still pretty cool because of how personal they feel, and because tell a little piece of the story, especially the two of Jimmy.

It explains exactly where the "White Fedora" came from that night. I was standing right next to her when she took these pictures, but I didn't know she caught Jimmy taking the hat from somebody in the crowd.

Most of the photos are a hopeless blur, dark, or hazy. There was no way that little camera could keep up with the motion and changing stage lighting, so we're lucky to have them at all. There are a couple more I will try to post when I can.

It's really just a little piece of history, but a treasure no less. What was once lost, has now been found..... 

IMG_2223.thumb.jpg.ccde6aef20ae6579fa8d905ddac418a1.jpg

IMG_2224.thumb.jpg.5ddcaf9bdbd6531d1cfdc12b562147dd.jpgIMG_2219.thumb.jpg.efa1e0d5bfaf8ccda33624c6f02aa881.jpg

Very cool jetcat. Thank you for sharing those! 

 

1 hour ago, Chicago said:

A classic moment caught on film! Thanks for unearthing these photos Jetcat. I remember being taken aback at how skinny Jimmy's arms were when he wore that outfit. It wasn't as noticeable the other 3 Chicago shows when he wore the white dragon suit.

I was thinking the same thing looking at those shots. They look as bad as the ‘80 tour when he wore the shortsleeved shirts.

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