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1969-01-20 Wheaton, MD, United States Options · View
Posted: Monday, March 09, 2009 6:11:54 AM

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Joined: 12/29/2008
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Location: Boca Raton, FL
On Saturday, a 40th anniversary "reunion" took place at the location formerly known as the Wheaton Youth Center in Wheaton, MD, a suburb of Washington, D.C., for anyone who claimed to be among the 50 or 60 people said to have attended Led Zeppelin's concert at that venue on Jan. 20, 1969. The Washington Post ran an article about the gathering.

I just got off the phone with Brian Knapp, the Led Zeppelin collector mentioned in the article, who told me some additional stories about the gathering and the people who attended it. He said various people had vivid memories of the show. One woman was specific with: "Jimmy Page stood right here. He was doing the duckwalk, and his hair was slicked back. Plant was over here, Jones was here and Bonham was here behind them." (She may have been Anne Marie Pemberton, who was quoted in the article saying something similar minus the duckwalk and the shellac.) But then one guy Brian talked to said he remembered equipment failures at the concert. He said the sound system was getting blown out and shutting off during songs because it was so loud. According to him, Led Zeppelin had to stop, wait until the sound was back on, and then start over again, on more than one occasion. So, if that was true, why didn't anybody else remember that particular detail?

The best part of the piece in the Washington Post, if you ask me, is tracking down why the Wheaton show is listed on in the Tour Itinerary. So the Post asks Sam Rapallo. Sam says he got it from a book. The book's author, who is at the gathering, says he got the story from the promoter of the Led Zeppelin concert, who's now in Los Angeles. The Post tracks him down. And now here are some details that make sense to Led Zeppelin fans:
Richards said the band's manager, Peter Grant, who died in 1995, was bitterly disappointed in the turnout, and blamed him for it.

"He was [angry]," Richards says. Out in the parking lot, "he got in my face." Richards thought Grant was going to beat him up.

Instead, Richards handed over $100 for gas money, and that's how Led Zeppelin left Wheaton -- so the story goes.

Rock and roll,
Steve "The Lemon" Sauer
Lemon Squeezings

Led Zeppelin News
On This Day In Led Zeppelin History
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