Led Zeppelin Rocks A Lake!
They were the world’s greatest rock band, no denying that, but they didn’t begin that way – in the early days they played some, shall we say, more “obscure” venues?
Like Seattle’s Green Lake?
I love this story, and only wish I had been old enough at the time to see it myself!
As Historylink.org posted:
On Sunday May 11, 1969, the up-and-coming British rock ‘n’ roll band Led Zeppelin performs a legendary concert at a most unusual venue: Seattle’s Green Lake Aqua Theatre. That theater — an outdoor stage set on the western edge of one of the town’s most popular parks — had been built in 1950 to feature shows by the Aqua Follies and so it boasted a stage with a 40-foot diving tower on each side, and a pool between the stage and the 5,000-capacity concrete grandstand. Although the theater was generally dedicated to rather light fare — “swimusicals,” comedic plays, and a jazz festival or two — by 1965 rock ‘n’ roll promoters began producing the occasional show there with pop stars such as Sonny & Cher or Ian Whitcomb. So, clearly, bringing the world’s heaviest hard-rock band, Led Zeppelin, into the place was raising the stakes in a seismic way — and the theater would ultimately pay the highest price by sacrificing its life in the wake of that thundering event.
The other band that day? Three Dog Night!
The article goes on to state:
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that on that sunny day “several thousand of the whimsically clad and nearly unclad younger set” attended, but that “only about half the crowd” paid for their entry tickets — the “rest bent their freeloading ears to the amplified sounds from a variety of places. Some roosted in the trees, many crowded onto one small dock, it submerged slightly. A flotilla of canoes, rented rowboats, and rubber rafts surrounded the back side of the stage, where a few also treaded water. A hundred perched on the roof of a concession stand. And a thousand or so sprawled out on the lawns around the theater, forming a wall-to-wall carpet of human bodies.” The Seattle Times concurred: “The audience was everywhere. The benches in the Aqua Theatre were filled to overflowing … . Several energetic souls treaded water in the pool between the stands and the stage. There were even two swimsuit-clad fellows perched atop the roof of one of the diving towers.”
Bravo to History Link for this great story – you can see more here:
And someone just shared this: recently, Jimmy Page returned to Green Lake!
Yes, on a recent trip to Seattle, the legendary Guitarist took a moment to go back to the scene of the concert…
Here is that story!
I love that!
Of course, there are some incredible books about rock’s greatest band, but perhaps none as influential as this one:
This book tells the entire story of Led Zeppelin’s rise to greatness, and it includes a very raucous story from Seattle as well…another book that tears the lid off rock is this one, about the other band to perform that day at Green Lake:
Yes, the lead singer of Three Dog Night had a rough stretch – see more about both of these classic rock’n’roll memoirs here:
Let me know if you were lucky enough to see Led Zeppelin at Green Lake!