Baton Rouge 5.19.77

LSU Assembly Center - May 19, 1977

 

8mm film clips of Led Zeppelin in Baton Rouge, May 19th, 1977, including the band's arrival at the airport. (audio synched w/5.22.77)



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Promoter & Drummer Born in Baton Rouge

At 14, this was my first concert and as buzzed as I was it would be the beginning of a very long road and career in the music business. Having played drums in the school band since I was 9, I had ceased being interested in the instrument anymore until after seeing John Bonham on this particular evening. I have to admit that at the show I was fairly unfamiliar with most of the music (except Stairway) and confused by their individual names (Jimmy Paul Jones, Robert Bonham, etc.) but it wouldn't take long. For a mere $8.50 these legends played for 3 hours which included an amazing, acoustic set which included standouts Going to California and Bon Y Ar Stomp. Who needs a warm-up band when you're this incredibly talented?

Today, as a 47 year old concert promoter with a degree in Music Business, I can honestly say that this was the show that started the adventure of this lifetime. Jimmy destroyed the stings on his violin bow while ripping on "Dazed and Confused" - standing in thick smoke - underneath a green laser pyramid that spun to the music while rainbow colored lasers shot from a single point behind him and flaired out over his head to the far walls in the upper rear of the LSU (Pete Maravich) Assembly. Meanwhile, the moving lasers you see in this video were bouncing to the music on the ceilings overhead and in a room filled with the sweet smells of mother nature you can only imagine the vibes coming from the entire hall. Robert must have felt it too due to the fact that at a point during the show, the entire band stopped abruptly when a fan threw a joint on stage and Robert bent down to pick it up. He shrugged his shoulders and looked out at the audience as if to say "what's this". He then passed it around the band twice and and yelled "Thank You Baton Rouge" flicking it back out to the audience before kicking back into the song exactly where they left off. In the ensuring years I have seen some GREAT shows including Jimmy Page (Excellent), Robert Plant (4 times/ All Excellent), Page & Plant (Excellent) and The Firm (Disappointing) but nothing compares with this show on May 19, 1977. It was so great that we initially decided to drive the 70 miles to New Orleans if we could still get tickets and see it again with some friends who didn't make it to this Baton Rouge show. Thank God, we didn't. Immediately upon arriving at their New Orleans hotel, Robert received the call that his son Karac had died and the show was canceled. Other than a few European shows, following Knebworth, they never played the US again due to Bonhams untimely death. Long live the great Led Zep. Thank you for whoever shared this video which I never knew existed. Thank you to Led Zep for the memories and especially for the motivation.