Average: 4.7 (230 votes)

August 11, 1979

Stevenage, UK

Knebworth Festival

Setlist:

The Song Remains the Same, Celebration Day, (Out On the Tiles intro) Black Dog, Nobody's Fault But Mine, Over the Hills and Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, Hot Dog, Rain Song, White Summer ~ Black Mountainside, Kashmir, Trampled Underfoot, Sick Again, Achilles Last Stand, Jimmy Page solo, In The Evening, Stairway to Heaven, Rock and Roll, Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown.

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Comments

Submit your personal review of a particular show you attended, updates, corrections, etc., which will be considered for addition to the official online archive.You may also contact the webmaster at: webmaster@ledzeppelin.com

I was there

Quite emotional sitting here 31 years on reading other people's accounts of something truly significant, - for them as individuals , and me , and all of us collectively - a true bond, and, yes, life changing for some.

For me it was something of a rite of passage. I was 18 - Led Zeppelin and the events of 11 Aug 1979 are inexorably linked with my older brother, tragically no longer on this mortal coil. He was the reason I love the music I do , having had it hammered into my skull as a pale youngster - and the reason I trekked a 700 mile round trip to the epitomy of my youth. He also sold me the 1973 Triumph Spitfire that me and fellow zepfreak Spider made the journey from Fife in..Christ I miss my brother - and I think I still owe him £200 on the car.

But! Having secured our tickets by sending off with the requisite postal order, (eat yer heart out Ticketmaster) the sacred briefs arrived and it was Game On. A hastily compiled C90 cassette of Zeppelin hits, along with a case of lager and another of Mcewans export, and a pair of wellies, which served for luggage accompanied us on the odyssey south. Can't remember much of the journey, possibly explained by the fact that the beer was 50% down by the time we got there...and there was a bit of a purple haze in the car...

So we get there. park up, fall asleep in or out of the car - who knows - in the piddling rain. We awake and make our way to the , ahem, 'arena '. And lo, the sun shines on us! Two red haired, befreckled, Scottish 18 year olds!! The rest of the day is a bit of a blur to be honest, but I recall it got warmer all day, and the heady reek of damp denim and patchouli still is ingrained in my, now ruined, olfactory canals.
I remember Chas & Dave getting us all woken up and mobile again, Southside Johnny I wasn't too keen on (but now I love!), Todd Rungren was, well, Todd Rungren, and as it got darker, we waited for Ron n Keef. And we waited. Word was they couldn't get Ronnie out of the bar, but about 45 minutes(?) late they were on and so what - you can't argue with 'Honky Tonk Women' and 'Brown Sugar' - although I do remember one of them fell into the camera pit...did that happen?

Another hiatus - by this time it was a beautiful, clear, still evening...stars on a navy blue velvet backcloth - or was something messing with my consciousness..?, We'd we'd made lots of friends in the crowd around us. A word here for my travelling companion - Spider. A mop of curly ginger hair, an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things musical, and a tremendous beer finder, so we became well connected as we sat about 50 yard from the biggest stage I'd ever seen.

And then! Suddenly ! Nicky Horne went quiet, and in a crash and a flash Zeppelin were on! Right in front of us! To try and describe the feeling is superfluous, and to recount the show itself is impossible, but as others have said, it wasn't that they were good or bad, or played this song or that, but that they - we! - were all there at the same time in the same place. Honestly, if you weren't, I don't think you get it. I met a guy in Liverpool a few years back who was there too, and it was like we'd known each other all along. Or was that just whisky...

Highlights? The usual - JP in the laser pyramid in 'Dazed & confused'; I remember the stage drenched in white light for 'Kashmir' - probably the best part for me - and 'Rock & Roll' , the new stuff from 'In through the out door' ...I've since heard the recordings and folks are right - it could've been better, but I Don't Care. It was amazing, fantastic, life -affirming...

...and then it was over, but burned into my psyche until now, and beyond. If only I could remember the details! There then followed the most ridiculous journey back to Scotland. About 15 miles on to the A1 I managed to roll the Spitfire. Was it a puncture? Did I fall asleep? Who knows...We were fine - I'm sure I had to kick Spider awake to get out the car.

As we sat at the side of the dark road a rumbling heralded the arrival of a bunch of Geordie Hell's Angels, who didn't kill us made sure we were ok, and against their better nature, went up the road and phoned the police to come to our aid. (Never got the chance to thank them..) The cavalry arrived, arranged to get the wrecked car towed, and pointed us in the direction of Stevenage station where amid a 70's Sodom & Gomorrah we got a train north and for our pains shared a space atop a hamper in a mail train (?) to Edinburgh & beyond. The car? A write off, and I got £50 for scrap, less the towing fee of £30 - and a bill from the local council for the lamp post and crash barrier that we took out...

...and I'd do it all again tomorrow without hesitation