Sunday, March 6, 2011

August 31, 1969 - Lewisville

August 31, 1969
Texas International Pop Festival
Motor Speedway
Lewisville, TX



Audience Recording:

101. The Train Kept A Rollin
102. I Can't Quit You Babe
103. Dazed and Confused
104. You Shook Me
105. How Many More Times
106. Communication Breakdown

Taper: Reggie the Bullet
Soundboard Recording:

201. Introduction
202. The Train Kept A Rollin'
203. I Can't Quit You
204. Dazed And Confused
205. You Shook Me
206. How Many More Times
207. Communication Breakdown


An excellent show, perfectly consolidating all of the great playing that this tour had produced, from the powerful opener to the extended end of show medley, complete with Plant doing his best adlibs yet. An easy choice for one of the very best shows of the year. As if the performance wasn't enough, a superb soundboard, as well as a near-excellent audience sources circulate for this show. Plant mentioned about the cancelled August 4th concert: "It's very nice to be back in Texas. Last time we were here it was a near disaster when we said we weren't doing the festival and everything. This is the last date before we go back to England, so we'd really like to have a nice time ... And you can help us." Plant also apologised for cutting the set short: "We've got to say goodnight according to the programme. Unfortunately, the programme has got a little delayed but there's nothing we can do about it!" Pages amps act up during a few spots in the show, producing brief crackling sounds, as if his guitar cable or a connection somewhere was coming loose. Although not at all a distraction for the listener, this makes for a funny moment during Dazed And Confused and How Many More Times, when Page's amps can be heard briefly picking up the sound of the festival security staff speaking on their radios.


Texas International Pop Festival was full of surprises for artists, fans, onlookers August 30, 2009 By MICHAEL E. YOUNG and ROY APPLETON / The Dallas Morning News

After Woodstock, where most attendees walked in for free, organizers of the Lewisville festival knew they needed better security.

So they hired men like James Polser, then 28 and selling Chevys at Huffines before taking over his family's Lewisville Feed Mill in 1978. Handy on horseback, Polser and others patrolled the perimeter of the property, and saw some sights that still shock them 40 years later:

"I was out there on my horse, riding the fence line, and there was a man and a woman and a little baby, and they asked if they could put the baby on my horse and take a picture of him," Polser recalled.

"I said that was fine. The only thing was that the woman – and she was a good-looking woman – she had her pants on and that was all.

"And nobody paid any attention, except for me and my heart attack. Gosh almighty, we saw things that would blow your mind."

Led Zeppelin
gets the news

Even among the stellar lineup at the Lewisville pop festival, none was hotter in the summer of '69 than Led Zeppelin. So when the band came to perform at the Fair Park Coliseum on Aug. 4, three weeks before the festival, Angus Wynne III and his partners saw a chance for some publicity.

"We found their road manager, and we said we wanted to make sure the band recognized the festival from the stage," Wynne said. "And he said, 'Well, the fellows think they're going to be on vacation then. They don't know about it.'

"The band gets on stage, and after a couple of songs, Robert Plant says, 'Anyone heard of the Texas International Pop Festival? We got into town today and saw the posters with our name on them. We've never heard of it. It's a classic ripoff, and if you have tickets, you need to get your money back.' "

Furious, the producers found the road manager locked inside a limousine.

They pounded on the windows and almost tipped the car over before the manager emerged.

"He ran out there and he pulls Plant over to the side and whispers in his ear," Wynne said. "Then Plant grabs him by the lapels and starts shaking him.

"At the end of the song, Plant goes to the microphone and says, 'Yeah, we're going to play [at the festival]. Our weasel road manager just told us.' "

How Wavy Gravy got his name

He arrived in Lewisville as Hugh Romney, the gentle, gravel-voiced jokester who'd promised the crowd at Woodstock "breakfast in bed for 400,000."

But after a brush with blues royalty at the Texas International Pop Festival, Romney would forever be Wavy Gravy.

Exhausted from hours spent around Lewisville Lake urging nude festivalgoers to cover up, Romney collapsed on the free stage at a lakeside campground.

"They had these conga drummers on the stage, and I said, 'Don't dance on the wavy gravy,' " he said. "Then someone announced that B.B. King was there, and he was going to play for free.

"I started to get up, and I felt this hand on my shoulder and it was B.B. King. And he said, 'Are you Wavy Gravy?' and I just said, 'Yes, sir,' and he said, 'Wavy Gravy, I can work around you.'

"And he stood me up next to his amplifier, and Johnny Winter comes from the other side, and they played all night long.

"I was Hugh Romney at Woodstock, but I've been Wavy Gravy for 40 years."

'Lewd and loose in Lewisville'

A Dallas Morning News editorial helped whip up the fear and loathing for all those hippies coming to hear all that music.

An Aug. 30, 1969, editorial headlined "Nausea at Lewisville" told readers:

"Young people assembling to hear music is one thing. Young people assembling in unspeakable costumes, half-naked, barefooted, defying propriety and scorning morality is another.

"... We hope readers of this newspaper will realize this weekend that the great majority of youngsters in this area are at home where they ought to be – mowing yards, working at part-time jobs and preparing for useful lives.

"In the meantime, the lewd and loose at Lewisville will swing and sway. They are to be pitied."

Lu Mitchell remembers the heat, the refreshing water hose, leaflets dropped from an airplane, the friendly crowd and enjoying the music, particularly Janis Joplin, until 5 a.m.

A singer-songwriter herself, now living in Farmers Branch, Mitchell didn't care much for the editorial stance. "I got so upset over that that I wrote this song," she said. It's a song she still performs at age 85.

We were lewd and loose in Lewisville, we had us a time

Lewd and loose in Lewisville covered with dirt and grime

We were unsanitary and full of fleas

Some had beards clear down to their knees

Lewd and loose in Lewisville

The Dallas News told you so.



Freak meets west Pop fest Texas style
Texas Magazine, Sunday, Sept. 21, 1969
By Jeff Millar
That's it. That's all. I've seen everything. The entire staff of Mt. Palomar could say Uranus
has traded orbits with Mercury and I'd yawn.A headline in The Chronicle could say
WALKING CATFISH LEARN SHUFFLE-OFF-TOBUFFALO and I’d say so what.
I saw a small-Texas-town cop walk out or, a stage, shoot the peace sign to about 35,000
hippies and plastic hippies -- a good 10 percent of them zonked on some kind of drug or
another -- and say: "Any time you want to come back, you're welcome."
How're ya gonna top that Armageddon? This happened -- I swear it did -- Labor Day
weekend at the Texas International Pop Festival at Lewisville (pop. 10,000). Little
Bethel. Son of Woodstock. Freak Meets West 18 miles north of Dallas at a motor speedway
and five miles away at the Garza-Little Elm Reservoir campground.
I: Pop Protocol
Pop festivals have been around only a couple of years and it wasn't until Woodstock, up in
New York, that the pop festival protocols really solidified. Previously, pop festivals had been
like jazz festivals; one undergoes a certain amount of privation -- crowding, uncomfortable seating,expensive tickets, scarcity of housing -- to be able to hear a lot of artists back to back. At Woodstock, however, where 400,000 turned up when the promoters expected maybe 150,000 tops, the whole festival environment became the thing. The music was secondary. You probably couldn't hear it because you couldn't sit close enough, or you never got there to begin with. But you were part of the Experience, part of the Presence. The more freaks the better. You were there at the Gathering. Great God Almighty, for one time there was more of You than there was of Them. The national press thought this was an epochal event. Big spreads in Life. Huntley-Brinkley. The Festival Style was set. So the people coming to Lewisville knew what to do. The main thing was no hassles that would upset the fuzz. I.E., no breaking up things, beating up on each other or the local yokels. The idea is to keep the cops out of the festival area so that no one will get busted for pot or hard stuff. The cops know that people are using drugs. The people know the cops know. And the people know that the cops are willing to trade drugs for no hassles. If there are 40,000 people there, the cops can't handle the hassles. So no hassles.

II: Freaks Meet Cowboys
If the pop festival wasn't enough, the Lewisville Rodeo was in town that weekend. By Sunday, the road from IH 35E to the campgrounds, where a good 2500 festival goers had crashed, was half-and-half with psychedelic VW buses and bashed-up Chevy pickups with gun racks and U.S. flag decals. The cowboys were coming to eyeball the freaks.
Out on the water, a good 100 freaks were skinnydipping. There had been nude swimming at Woodstock, so there had to be nude swimming at Lewisville. The cops weren't doing anything. A Department of Public Safety helicopter was circling, looking mildly disapproving, but there were no hassles. More of Us than there are of Them.
Up on the bank, two cowboys from the rodeo were watching. They were drinking Pearl and watching. There weren't as man}' girls swimming nekkid as you'd like, but it was better than TV back at the motel. "Get the cowboys"' cried one of the skinnydippers, and about 15 naked, giggling freaks emerged from the water and began to take off the cowboys' clothes. The cowboys kept their bottles of Pearl and walked into the water. They were grub white from the waist down. The ground hurt their feet. Later, it was reported, the cowboys arm-wrestled on the campground free bandstand. They had the strobe lights on them, and the rock band was playing "God Bless America." The sky was black with Cessnas buzzing within 15 feet of the freaks. The water offshore was black with outboards. It seemed every square inch of campground not occupied by a freak was occupied by a '68 Fairlane. The motor was running, the windows were up, the air-conditioner was running, the doors were
locked, and the people inside had the same look of passivity and awe that they would have if they were parked on a bluff watching the Trinity River rage two feet from flood crest.
Down by the bank, a whole family had turned up in a Chevy quarter-ton. They had lawn chairs for the truck bed, a Styrofoam cooler full of beer and Cokes-and binoculars. A girl sunbathing naked had her back to them. When another freak told her she was being watched, she turned around to face them.

III: Get Stoned Just Sitting There
At the festival grounds, they liked Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter and Led Zeppelin, but they were crazy over B. B. King. There weren't any badges inside the festival grounds. There were freaks with little orange badges that said SECURITY. Near the infirmary, there were two girls with Red-Cross armbands. They had on bikinis. Sometimes they wore the armbands on their legs. If you cut your foot or got too much sun, they took you to the first aid tent. If you'd taken drugs and were getting zapped bad by it, they called over somebody from the Hog Farm and took you to the trip tent. The Hog Farm is the New Mexico commune which got good display space in Life when they ran the trip tent and free kitchen at Woodstock.
Nobody was ducking behind anything at either the festival grounds or the campgrounds to take drugs. A festival spokesman was giving the press a statement that he knew of no drug use while somebody was leaning against the fence behind him rolling a joint of marijuana. Sweet smoke. More of Us than there are of Them.
Near the body-painting tent, a guy in cut-offs, a Jimi Hendrix hat, and shower slippers, looking hot and hassled, asks:
"Hey man, do you know where I can buy a straight cigaret?"



J. Millar | HOUSTON CHRONICLE 8/13/1989
I wasn't at the "Woodstock" Woodstock. But I was at the "Texas "Woodstock.

Less than two weeks after the tribes left Max Yasgur's farm, they regathered in the heart o' Texas. And I was there. The Chronicle sent me to Lewisville, a prototype of a little North Texas town near Dallas. On Saturday, Aug. 30, 1969, I was standing on the banks of a reservoir at a Corps of Engineers campground watching rednecks watching the early arrival hippies skinny-dipping. An editorial in the Dallas Morning News that morning greeted the tribes:

"Young people assembling to hear music is one thing. Young people assembling in unspeakable costumes, half-naked, barefooted, defying propriety and scorning morality is another.

"Who and where are their parents? Where do these young people get the money to loaf around the country in their smelly regalia?"

There were three days of music, through Monday, Labor Day. The crowd estimates averaged about 100,000. I don't remember who was positioned as the headliner. At this distance, the only performer I remember is Janis Joplin. I watched from a plywood sound booth at the side of the stage. She did everything in exact concordance with the legend: screeched, spoke unintelligibly between songs, swigged from a bottle of liquor.

As they had at Woodstock, members of the Hog Farm, a New Mexico commune, set up a trip tent at Lewisville and escorted those who were having a bad trip or needed medical attention.

Whatever went on up in New York has now become known as "Woodstock." The Texas International Pop Festival was known as "Lewisville" for the length of time it was remembered, which, stretching it, may have been as long as Sept. 21, 1969, when my story appeared in Texas magazine.

We called the story, "Freak Meets West." Excerpts are printed here:

Popfest Texas style: That's it. That's all. I've seen everything. A small-Texas-town cop walked out on a stage, shot the peace sign to about 35,000 hippies - a good 10 percent of them zonked on some kind of drug or another - and said: "Any time you want to come back, you're welcome."

This happened - I swear it did - Labor Day weekend at the Texas International Pop Festival at Lewisville (population 10,000). Little Bethel. Son of Woodstock. Freak Meets West 18 miles north of Dallas at a motor speedway and five miles away at the Garza-Little Elm Reservoir campground.

Pop festivals have been around only a couple of years, and it wasn't until Woodstock that the pop festival protocol was really solidified. Previously, pop festivals had been like jazz festivals; one undergoes a certain amount of privation - crowding, uncomfortable seating, expensive tickets, scarcity of housing - to be able to hear a lot of artists back to back. At Woodstock, however, where 400,000 turned up when the promoters expected maybe 150,000 tops, the whole festival environment became the thing. The music was secondary. You probably couldn't hear it because you couldn't sit close enough, or you never got there to begin with. But you were part of the Experience, part of the Presence. The more freaks the better. You were there at the Gathering. Great God Almighty, for one time there was more of You than there was of Them.

The national press thought this was an epochal event. Big spreads in Life. On Huntley-Brinkley. The Festival Style was set. So the people coming to Lewisville knew what to do.

The main thing was no hassles that would upset the fuzz: No breaking up things, beating up on each other or the local yokels. The idea was to keep the cops out of the festival area so that no one would get busted for pot or hard stuff. The cops were willing to trade drugs for no hassles. With that crowd, the cops couldn't handle the hassles. So no hassles.

Freaks Meet Cowboys: If the pop festival wasn't enough, the Lewisville Rodeo was in town that weekend. By Sunday, the road from IH 350 to the campgrounds, where a good 2,500 festival goers had crashed, was half-and-half with psychedelic VW buses and bashed-up Chevy pickups with gun racks and U.S. flag decals. The cowboys were coming to eyeball the freaks.

Out on the water, a good 100 freaks were skinny-dipping. There had been nude swimming at Woodstock, so there had to be nude swimming at Lewisville.

Up on the bank, two cowboys from the rodeo were watching. They were drinking Pearl and watching. There weren't as many girls swimming nekkid as you'd like, but it was better than TV back at the motel.

"Get the cowboys!" cried one of the skinny-dippers, and about 15 naked, giggling freaks emerged from the water and began to take off the cowboys' clothes. The cowboys kept their bottles of Pearl and walked into the water. They were grub white from the waist down. The ground hurt their feet.

The sky was black with Cessnas buzzing within 15 feet of the freaks. The water offshore was black with outboards. It seemed every square inch of campground not occupied by a freak was occupied by a '68 Ford Fairlane. The motor was running, the windows were up, the air-conditioner was running, the doors were locked, and the people inside had the same look of passivity and awe that they would have if they were parked on a bluff watching the Trinity River in a raging flood.

Down by the bank, a whole family had turned up in a Chevy quarter-ton. They had lawn chairs for the truck bed, a cooler full of beer and Cokes - and binoculars. A girl sunbathing naked had her back to them. When another freak told her she was being watched, she turned around to face them.

Get stoned just sitting there: At the festival grounds, they liked Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter and Led Zeppelin, but they were crazy over B.B. King.

Near the body-painting tent, a guy in cut-offs, a Jimi Hendrix hat and shower slippers, looking hot and hassled, asked:

"Hey man, do you know where I can buy a straight cigarette?"




August 18, 1969 - Toronto

August 18, 1969
The Rock Pile
Toronto, ON


Early Show

101. Train Kept a Rollin
102. I Can't Quit You
103. Dazed and Confused
104. You Shook Me
105. How Many More Times

Late Show

201. Train Kept a Rollin
202. I Can't Quit You
203. Dazed and Confused
204. White Summer
205. You Shook Me
206. How Many More Times
207. Communication Breakdown


The first show was a great opening set that would be nothing when compared to the scorching second show here! The recording has many volume fluctuations but is fairly clear. The playing here is hot, though. Dazed And Confused is short, compact and powerful, and You Shook Me and How Many More Times are breathtaking in power and playing, and short to work to a maximum effect. Just wait until the next show! What an excellent show in front of the best crowd you'll ever hear! The band is just brilliant here and plays their guts out for this great audience. The band is so exciting to be in Canada after a bad reception from the side of Texas audience few days before what caused of Plant's long comments: "It's very nice to be back, but we've got a lot of problems. We've just come from San Antonio in Texas, wjere all the geezers thought we should get our hair cut, and we've been through that and everybody's been feeling rather bad, so we're very pleased to be here one way or ranother. It's nice to be back. We'd like to say hello to anybody from the British Isles, including Scotland and two geezers who used to come from Birmingham in a group called The Yellow Rainbow. Nice to see you're still nicking gear! And so, if everybody can feel free and easy, we'd like to see what we can do." How Many More Times is filled with some tense drama that is broken by Robert laughing when he can't hit the highest note. A very hot reception caued Plant to introduce the band in a verry funny mood: "We'd like to try to draw a conclusion to what's been a very hectic day. We'd like to tell you that Texas is still as it was when you last read about it and that England is still what it always will be, and we'd like to see you very shortly again, but if not you could all move to the Bahamas or something ... on bass guitar, Hammond organ, and throne ... King John Paul Jones, on drums John Henry Bonham and on lead guitar and as many chicks as he can find ... Jimmy Page!" Then Bonham took the microphone and inctroduced Plant as "straight from the Labour club at Cradley Heath." Communication Breakdown is a blistering version for an encore.


Review: Led Zeppelin Soars to the Pop Stratosphere

With the exception of the Toronto Pop Festival, last night’s Led Zeppelin concert at the Rock Pile was the most significant pop event this year. Not only were the two shows completely sold out in advance, but at least 2,000 were turned away, the management reported.

They missed out on one of the finest shows ever to pour sweat onto the Rock Pile stage. Led Zeppelin proved itself not only to be one conceivable replacement for Cream, but at times I doubt if even Clapton, Bruce and baker could have topped what Zeppelin offered.

At its tightest, Cream was the most exciting band of musicians in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, yet the Zeppelin came close to equaling it.

Six months ago, this four-piece band was unknown, save for lead guitarist Jimmy Page, who had gained an impressive reputation with the Yardbirds.

Two concert tours later, the band has become the most popular English group on the scene, with the exception of Beatles and possibly Rolling Stones.

But it’s not surprising. When the Zeppelin plays blues, it plays them as few white men ever have. Judging by last night’s concert, I’d even go as far as to say that very few colored bands could touch it. Certainly there are better individual musicians then the members of Led Zeppelin but, together it’s difficult to imagine a more cohesive and colorful team.

Led Zeppelin was not a band for the chicken-hearted or the people who want subtlety and soft messages in their music. It lays it all out, hard and heavy, and it was the sort of thing that only a dyed-in-the-groove rock ‘n’ roller can take.

I don’t want to sound overawed, but I do believe it is the strongest, tightest band to emerge from the current vogue of white blues groups.

The most amazing thing was the improvement in the group since its first appearance here last February, when it was a fledgling blues band. It had the ideas and the dynamics, but the expertise was yet to develop.

Now it has, and as the band says in one of its best known songs, Led Zeppelin leave one feeling dazed and confused. (R. Yorke, G&M ‘Pop Scene’, Aug. '69)


Ben Burnett said:
I was 13, a farm boy in Toronto for the CNE with my worldly 15 yr old buddy. We had tickets for the later show, $4.00, incredible!
As we lined up outside a firetruck came by and turned the hose on the crowd, welcome relief from the heat. When Edward Bear finished we wormed our way to the front right of the stage, Jimmy Page was right in front of us. I too remember Page and Plant matching each other, voice to guitar and vice versa. That changed my life forever, I instantly become the grooviest guy in school. To this day, when people talk about the best concert they have ever been too, they clam up when I tell them about this!!!!!!
Now in the radio business, on-air guy, every now and then I bring up the concert, after a Zepp song. I always say "Did I mention I saw Led Zepp in '69?" This webpage brought back so many memories of that night, 40 years ago yesterday. Thankyou for the pictures


Eagle Jackson said:
I was 15 when I saw this show. Forty years later, this is still one of the most memorable concerts I've ever attended. It was a hot, sweaty summer night in Toronto and the Rockpile was packed in, standing room only -- I'm sure far beyond the legal capacity. I was standing in the back, neck craning to see the stage. I still have the image of Jimmy Page bowing the guitar and Robert Plant's wailing voice and the wall of sound. An incredible, rocking performance.


August 8, 1969 - San Bernardino

August 8, 1969
Swing Auditorium
San Bernardino, CA


01. Train Kept A Rollin'
02. I Can't Quit You Baby
03. I Gotta Move
04. Dazed And Confused
05. White Summer
06. You Shook Me
07. How Many More Times
(included school days,hail hail rock n'roll)



"This show has two distinctions to it, besides being a great show. First, is that this is the first recorded performance of the band headlining in a large auditorium, with this show having taken place at the Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino, California. The second, is that this show contains the first instance of the band using a cover-filled medley as a show-closer. This happens when they insert a full rendition of Chuck Berry’s "School Days" into the end of "How Many More Times", with Page also playing guitar lines straight from Freddie King’s instrumental classic, "Hideaway".


The Venue...

While other dates on this tour still had the band playing as a supporting act at various pop and rock festivals, and in clubs and theaters across the country as headliners, in Southern California the band was now able to play in the larger venues in town. In this week alone, the band headlined not only this show at the Swing Auditorium, but also at the Convention Center in Anaheim, and the Sports Arena in San Diego. Quite an accomplishment considering that this was only the band’s third tour of the US, with the first having been spent largely as an opening act, and the second as headliners in small clubs. To have made the jump to arena headliners so quickly has to be looked at as impressive, especially considering that it was accomplished mainly on the word of mouth hype surrounding their live shows, and the strength of their first album on the radio. Nothing short of amazing, that after having spent only 5 months on the road in the US, the buzz of the clubs had already begun to spill into the arenas.


The Medley...

To be fair, the band may have actually debuted what we now know as "the medley" before this show in San Bernardino. Between this date and the last recorded date before it in Milwaukee on 7/25, there are 10 shows that remain uncirculated. So, it’s possible that any one of those dates (and even possibly others before that) saw the real debut. As it is, the inclusion of the Chuck Berry cover here seems to fit in naturally and somewhat spontaneously. So, on that merit alone, perhaps it’s not such a big deal. On the other hand, this was the beginning of what would soon become a hallmark of nearly every Zeppelin show through to the end of 1972 (or 1973, depending on your viewpoint). Those 20 and 30 minute versions of "How Many More Times" and, later, "Whole Lotta Love", of which many would be what we remember most about so many of these shows, all these years later.

The groundwork for this had actually begun as early as the band’s first tour of the US, when they would improvise on riffs and melodies during "As Long As I Have You" and "How Many More Times". But in those cases, they never went so far as to stop the song they were in to feature a complete note-for-note cover, and especially not in this way. The furthest they ever went to covering another band’s music (besides their set in general) came in the form of Plant singing the lyrics to other songs while the rest of the band were already in the process of stretching the arrangements out. For instance, take his singing of the vocal lines to "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush" on 4/27, or the impromptu performance of parts of "For Your Love" during the bow solo on 1/26 in Boston.

The first real hint at what would eventually become the medley would be in the form of a minor re-working of "How Many More Times" in the UK in June, where Page’s bow solo was dropped from the song, and the "Squeeze My Lemon" lyrics from Robert Johnson’s "Traveling Riverside Blues", that Plant had previously been inserting into the band's version of "Killing Floor", were added as a wind-down into the song’s finale. This new arrangement can be heard most notably on the 6/27 BBC recording, and it would be this rendition of the song that the band would use on their subsequent third tour of the US, with recordings from the shows on 7/6 in Newport, 7/20 in Cleveland, 7/21 in New York and 7/25 in Milwaukee all having the song played the exact same way. With this show in San Bernardino, the band decided to do something different. From here, the next recorded date in Toronto on 8/18 would feature the band doing covers of Big Bill Broonzy’s "Trucking Little Woman" (which Plant will have re-worded as "Trucking Little Mama"), the song "Bottle Up And Go", made famous by bluesmen like Tommy McClennan and Lead Belly, and Plant’s variation on the song "Think You Need A Shot (The Needle)" by Walter Davis. The final night of the tour at the Texas Pop festival on 8/31 would show the band doing variations on Howlin’ Wolf’s "Shake For Me" and Sonny Boy Williamson’s "Eyesight To The Blind". From there, the band would return to England, and when they reappeared in October with a set featuring songs from the upcoming second album, "How Many More Times" will have kept the trait of featuring various cover songs within it.

As for this recording, it’s similar in sound to the tapes from Boston on 1/26 and New York on 5/30, with the recording being completely dominated by Page’s guitar. This out of balance sound is usually due to the proximity of the taper to the stage, specifically the guitar amps. In this show’s case, the tape isn’t as bright and manageable as Boston 1/26, but also not nearly as rough as the 5/30 New York tape. It can be a challenge to listen to, but once you find your bearings there is still enjoyment to be had. The title "Summer of 69" on the Rubber Dubber label was the first appearance of the tape, supposedly resurrecting that vintage label from it’s long silence since the vinyl days of the 70s. Since then, the Empress Valley label has released their take on the recording, as a bonus disc on their release of the 7/21 New York show on the title "Live In Central Park". As far as I’ve read, it’s supposed to be an improvement. I’d be interested to hear how much of an upgrade one could actually give this particular tape, though.

As far as the gig itself, the show is very good. After a solid performance of "Train Kept A Rollin" and "I Can’t Quit You Baby" the band pause for Page to change a string, which prompts the rest of the group to get into another "I Gotta Move" jam, like they had done in March on the radio. But, before they get into it, something seems to happen in front of the stage, which causes Plant to laugh and comment:

"How we doin? You must bear with me. I’m of slight coordination, right? So, if you’re ready to take it, I can give it."

At which moment a girl can be heard near the recorder yelling out in true "summer of 69" hippy spirit:

"Get high!...And get with meeee!"

With a nearby audience member responding to her in like manner:

"Be free!"

Funny how quickly the California audiences would change.

Photos from this show have Bonham using two kick drums onstage, which you may, or may not, be able to faintly hear in use during the drum intro to "Train", and the drum solos at the end of "I Can’t Quit You", "You Shook Me", and "How Many More Times". There are also photos from this date showing Plant backstage with his then-wife Maureen. Which, when taken with the photos of Bonham’s double-bass drums, and the significance of the venue, perhaps suggests that this show, along with the other California dates, was indeed a big deal for the band. The type of occasion where they broke out new gear and had their families flown in to see them. Who knows?

Unfortunately, the show is cut-short, as Plant describes before "How Many More Times":

"Uh, according to the guys, what run this place, the place is gonna close in about a quarter hour or something. So we’ve gotta do our last number. This is a thing called How Many More Times."

Since the tape ends right after the band’s wonderful performance of the song, perhaps that really was the end of the show. It is a little hard to believe that they wouldn’t have come back onstage to do their typical encore of "Communication Breakdown". But, given the time restraint, perhaps that was indeed the case.

Given the sound of this tape, it’s much easier to recommend any of the earlier festival tapes from July. Although, the real gems from this tour are the tapes of the second show in Toronto on 8/18 and the Texas Pop performance on 8/31. In those cases, both for the performance and the sound. Nevertheless, given the various bits of significance involved with this show, it rightfully keeps it’s place. If only that taper was just a little further back from the stage."



G.L left this message on my old blog:

G.L. said...
Greetings,
I've just recently happened on your Led Zeppelin blog... extraordinary doesn't begin to describe the joy in discovering these unearthed Zeppelin gems.

Would it be possibly to re-post the San Bernardino 1969 Led Zeppelin performance?

When I attempted to download the file, I received a message that the file doesn't exist.

Interestingly enough, I was at that performance. The opening acts were TRAINE [a local Southern California band with great potential], and JETHRO TULL [wish a tape of TULL would turn up as well].

There was no air conditioning [if there was it wasn't operating] and the stadium seats [basically very long boards screwed to supports] had recently been painted [green, at least where I was seated].

If you stayed seated very long, you might find that you were somewhat stuck to the seats. The indoor temperature was over 100 degrees with very high humidity [all the people of course]. Didn't dampen any of the performances!

TRAINE was energized enough to get the audience up and moving [the main floor was without seating].

JETHRO TULL was truly amazing, with Ian Anderson in superior form. A befitting opener for LED ZEPPELIN.

As the back of the CD states - "this performance oozes the urgency and ruthless energy that they {ZEPPELIN] possessed during this time." In truth, LED ZEPPELIN simply exploded!

I would love to relive this classic early LED ZEPPELIN concert.

I appreciate your consideration of my request.

Much thanks.
G.L.




July 25, 1969 - West Allis

July 25, 1969
Mid-West Rock Festival
State Fair Grounds
West Allis, WI



01. Train Kept A Rollin'
02. I Can't Quit You Baby
03. Dazed and Confused
04. White Summer > Black Mountain Side
05. How Many More Times
06. Communication Breakdown



A super-charged festival set! The band plow through this material with one of the best versions of The Train Kept A Rollin' ever and frenzied playing throughout. Bonham plays some really inventive patterns and Jonesy is flying as always. Robert's voice is gutsy and Jimmy is great as always ... every song is excellent, and the vibrant recording make this a kicking show!


Mike Mueller said:
Great description of one of the best times of my life. Even with rain and no music everybody gathered into the covered grandstand and had fun and shared whatever any of us had. It was really one of the only times I felt I belong to a community of like minded people and was very comfortable. I also remember the Bob Reichtman ( 1st. FM underground radio DJ's in Milw.) co-signed a note to get Johnny Winter on the stage. They tried to cover the stage with clear plastic sheeting to protect the performers. It did to a point, Joe Cocker came on and was outstanding until the water build up burst right over his head, He continued to complete his set. Blind Faith and Led Zepplin, just blessed to be there.. $15.00 in today's money would convert to 1500.00 easy.


July 21, 1969 - New York CIty

July 21, 1969
Schaefer Music Festival
Wollman Rink Theater
Central Park
New York City, NY




01. Train Kept a Rollin
02. I Can't Quit You Baby
03. Dazed and Confused
04. You Shook Me
05. White Summer
06. How Many More Times
07. Communication Breakdown


A wild show! The great recording gives a vibrant atmosphere and the show is outstanding! Plant's voice is just amazing, and the instrumental machine is exquisite, soaring and roaring through every song with a vengeance! I love listening to the Zeppelin festival sets from 1969 because they had a set time to play and they put everything they have into it and it leaves you breathless! Robert apologized to the audience for the lack of new material: "We've got an album coming out in the second week in August, but at the moment there's a bit of delay in us getting the numbers together really for stage, because we're still doing the old ones." Some wacky and exciting surprises in How Many More Times add to the fun and excitement!


Norina said:
Hot, dark, sweaty Central Park. I remember that night like it was last week. I have the ticket stub but don't remember that there was any real entrance. You could see and hear just fine from a distance. Those Schaefer Concerts were very cool. Just that one summer I think.




July 20, 1969 - Cleveland

July 20, 1969
Musicarnaval
Cleveland, OH



01. The Train Kept A Rollin'
02. I Can't Quit You
03. Dazed And Confused
04. White Summer
05. Black Mountain Side
06. You Shook Me
07. How Many More Times



A very intense and powerful show but plagued with some PA problems. Plant: "Once again, as last time in the State of Ohio, we find that the PA system is completely inaudible; but, nevertheless, we'd like to carry on ... I think I'd better get out of the way ... If we go up with a flash and a bang..." The first two songs are very powerful and Robert's voice is simply devastating. Page is playing great and the rhythm section is unalterable in Dazed And Confused and incendiary and dynamic in How Many More Times, steering the group through the changes.



Press Review: Zeppelin Lands To Big Cheers At Musicarnival

CLEVELAND - The Led Zeppelin made a four-point landing at Musicarnival here during the Eagle movement on the moon. The British quartet had a sold-out audience of 2,574 stomping, clapping and dancing in the aisles during their five song stint.

Jimmy Page, former anchor man for the Yardbirds, received a standing ovation for his bluesy solo "White Summer." But the group hit their highest stride in the last part of their 10-minute "Dazed and Confused" when Page, singer Robert Plant, drummer John Bonham and bass guitarist John Paul Jones sailed in a tight, together jam.

Plant shakes and bumps like a burlesque headliner, swings the mike like a lariat, comes across with the funky finesse of a male Janis Joplin.

The Atlantic group scored with encore "Communication Breakdown." A local group, the James Gang, also received a standing ovation.
(JANE SCOTT / Billboard)



Cleveland Rocks with Led Zeppelin Musicarnival July 20, 1969 by Michael Pierson
"The year was 1969. Location, Musicarnival, a tent in the round in Warrensville Heights. The draw is Led Zeppelin featuring Jimmy Page.

Opening act, the James Gang: “When they played Musicarnival, we had front-row seats. It seemed like a medium-sized venue, enclosed by a large tent. "The James Gang opened the show—Joe Walsh was wearing bright pants. They didn’t move around a whole lot, but Joe showed what a great guitarist he was, performing from the first two albums—“Funk #49,” “The Bomber,” etc. When they played “Lost Woman,” I wondered if Jimmy Page could hear it. During the break, I was looking to my left and could see some people coming in our direction. Suddenly it was Jimmy Page carrying his famous Les Paul, walking right by us to get to the stage.

They got up and played I think pretty much their first album. Sounded great. Page’s guitar solos were amazing. They played at least one Yardbirds song, “White Summer,” and of course the violin bow was used during a song or two. At the time it seemed extremely cool to see them—and in retrospect, it was something to see them before they got really big. "My friend and I were waiting for our ride, standing in the parking lot, when we saw some cool-looking guys walking toward us. Then we realized, wow, it was the group. I pulled out my camera and took a picture of Page as he was walking by. I should have asked before taking it, but he didn’t seem to mind. We watched them walk to a small house in the middle of the parking lot and go in. We stood outside one of the windows, hoping for a peek inside, but no such luck.

Headed home in the car, we realized that we were missing the telecast of man first walking on the moon, on July 20, 1969. We also realized that Led Zeppelin were probably inside that little house watching it themselves. [It was the home of Herman Spero, head of Upbeat.] "A couple months later, Led Zeppelin announced they were coming back to Cleveland again, this time playing the huge Public Hall. Grand Funk opened for them and played a lot of songs from their album with “I’m Your Captain” on it. They also played their anti-drug song and tried to rally the crowd with it.

It was October 24, 1969. "With “Whole Lotta Love” on the radio all the time, the crowd this time was huge. When the group came on, Robert Plant was running around, wearing a construction worker’s hardhat with an American flag design on it. I remember they did songs from their first two albums. Our seats were, as I recall, about thirty or so rows back, on the main floor. Sounded great. —Michael Pierson, fan (Chicago)" Reprinted from "Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories," by Carlo Wolff (2006) copyright.