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Mid-South Coliseum - April 17, 1970

  • We're Gonna Groove, Dazed and Confused, Heartbreaker, Bring It On Home, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Since I've Been Loving You, Organ solo / Thank You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, How Many More Times (medley incl. Boogie Chillen', Bottle Up 'n Go, Memphis Tennesee, For What It's Worth, Ramble On, Tobacco Road, Long Distance Call, Honey Bee / "Lemon Song", That's Alright Mama), Whole Lotta Love.
srapallo's picture
on September 21, 2007 - 9:53am
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.6 (41 votes)
April 17, 1970
Memphis
TN
United States
us
Setlist: 

We're Gonna Groove, Dazed and Confused, Heartbreaker, Bring It On Home, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Since I've Been Loving You, Organ solo / Thank You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, How Many More Times (medley incl. Boogie Chillen', Bottle Up 'n Go, Memphis Tennesee, For What It's Worth, Ramble On, Tobacco Road, Long Distance Call, Honey Bee / "Lemon Song", That's Alright Mama), Whole Lotta Love.

Note: 

While in Montreal a few days earlier, the group is told the mayor of Memphis plans to honour them with keys to the city.


Click here to read Phillip Rauls' story of his day with Zeppelin in Memphis 1970. (Phillip was an Atlantic Record's Regional Promotion & Marketing Director)


Press Review: The Led Zeppelin: My! My! Groovy

The lyrics of Led Zeppelin’s opening song went “Set my soul on fire. We’re Gonna Groove – my, my, my – we’re gonna groove” And with the help of 10,732 Memphis fans these four British blues men did exactly that at Mid-South Coliseum last night.

Jimmy Page, lead guitar, captured the audience on Dazed and Confused by playing his guitar with a violin bow. Page also exhibited his enormous playing ability on Heartbreaker. At one point in the song, Page allowed down to such a point that it sounded like easy-listening music.

The slowness didn’t last for long. Robert (“Platt”) lead vocalist and harmonica player, began Bring it on Home with – “you got it. Just a little louder. This is where the beat comes from.” The audience listened intently as (“Platt”) sand and played his harmonica for 10 minutes.

Jimmy Page and drummer John (“Benham”) were responsible for the group’s first standing ovation. Page was featured in a 12-minute version of White Summer.

A member of the audience screamed a request for one of his favorite songs and Robert (“Platt”) calmly replied, “Easy, easy. Don’t scream. It’s all gonna come. Scream at the end.” He then mentioned that he had seen Elvis Presley perform in Las Vegas and really liked his performance. He wanted to dedicate Since I’ve Been Loving You to Memphis’ most celebrated musician.

John Paul Jones, organist and bass player, hot his chance to show his ability on the organ and on a song that resembled church music at times. Jones’ solo brought another standing ovation.

The crowd stood and roared their approval long before “Benham” was through with his drum solo in Moby Dick. After this 20-minute song, “Platt” asked, “Does everybody feel alright?” They obviously did.
Before Led Zeppelin’s supposedly last song, “Platt” said “Put your hands together for this good city. Get loose.” When the group began their potpourri of Memphis, Tobacco Road and others, some of the audience came out of their seats to the front of the stage and began clapping, giving the peace sign and moving about. This action brought on the house lights and some of the crowd was pushed back by police officers.

They tried to leave the stage but were brought back by a screaming crowd. They sang their biggest hit Whole Lotta Love. Led Zeppelin obviously fulfilled the expectations of Pam Palmer, 18, a student at Kingsbury, who said “Fantastic, just fantastic.” Becky Schneider, 17, also a student at Kingsbury and a friend of Pam’s said with delight in her eyes, “It’s the best I’ve ever seen.” [M. Hughes, Press-Scimitar, April 18, 1970] 

Notes: 

While in Montreal a few days earlier, the group is told the mayor of Memphis plans to honour them with keys to the city.


Click here to read Phillip Rauls' story of his day with Zeppelin in Memphis 1970. (Phillip was an Atlantic Record's Regional Promotion & Marketing Director)


Press Review: The Led Zeppelin: My! My! Groovy

The lyrics of Led Zeppelin’s opening song went “Set my soul on fire. We’re Gonna Groove – my, my, my – we’re gonna groove” And with the help of 10,732 Memphis fans these four British blues men did exactly that at Mid-South Coliseum last night.

Jimmy Page, lead guitar, captured the audience on Dazed and Confused by playing his guitar with a violin bow. Page also exhibited his enormous playing ability on Heartbreaker. At one point in the song, Page allowed down to such a point that it sounded like easy-listening music.

The slowness didn’t last for long. Robert (“Platt”) lead vocalist and harmonica player, began Bring it on Home with – “you got it. Just a little louder. This is where the beat comes from.” The audience listened intently as (“Platt”) sand and played his harmonica for 10 minutes.

Jimmy Page and drummer John (“Benham”) were responsible for the group’s first standing ovation. Page was featured in a 12-minute version of White Summer.

A member of the audience screamed a request for one of his favorite songs and Robert (“Platt”) calmly replied, “Easy, easy. Don’t scream. It’s all gonna come. Scream at the end.” He then mentioned that he had seen Elvis Presley perform in Las Vegas and really liked his performance. He wanted to dedicate Since I’ve Been Loving You to Memphis’ most celebrated musician.

John Paul Jones, organist and bass player, hot his chance to show his ability on the organ and on a song that resembled church music at times. Jones’ solo brought another standing ovation.

The crowd stood and roared their approval long before “Benham” was through with his drum solo in Moby Dick. After this 20-minute song, “Platt” asked, “Does everybody feel alright?” They obviously did.
Before Led Zeppelin’s supposedly last song, “Platt” said “Put your hands together for this good city. Get loose.” When the group began their potpourri of Memphis, Tobacco Road and others, some of the audience came out of their seats to the front of the stage and began clapping, giving the peace sign and moving about. This action brought on the house lights and some of the crowd was pushed back by police officers.

They tried to leave the stage but were brought back by a screaming crowd. They sang their biggest hit Whole Lotta Love. Led Zeppelin obviously fulfilled the expectations of Pam Palmer, 18, a student at Kingsbury, who said “Fantastic, just fantastic.” Becky Schneider, 17, also a student at Kingsbury and a friend of Pam’s said with delight in her eyes, “It’s the best I’ve ever seen.” [M. Hughes, Press-Scimitar, April 18, 1970] 

Setlists: 

We're Gonna Groove, Dazed and Confused, Heartbreaker, Bring It On Home, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Since I've Been Loving You, Organ solo / Thank You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, How Many More Times (medley incl. Boogie Chillen', Bottle Up 'n Go, Memphis Tennesee, For What It's Worth, Ramble On, Tobacco Road, Long Distance Call, Honey Bee / "Lemon Song", That's Alright Mama), Whole Lotta Love.

Comments

mike rhodes's picture

Almost 40 years ago I hitch-hiked from Blytheville AR. to Memphis to see Zeppelin. I was 17 at the time and actually caught a ride with a group of other hippies IN A FLOWER PAINTED VW BUS........what a trip!

Needless to say by the time I got there (75 miles), I was more than ready to see the band,and it was outragous!!!!!!!! Saw many great groups at the Midsouth Coliseum, Grand Funk, Mountain, Moody Blues, Ten Years after, and more, but Zepplin was the absolute best. Great for us old hippies to remember back to those times...kids today don't have a clue what great times are!

Gary Little's picture

I was a sophmore at Whitehaven HS in Memphis when I went to this concert. I was freakin' out cause we were late and as we ran from the car to the entrance we could hear Jimmy playing the lead section of Dazed and Confused. I was never so pumped in my life and when we got in, it was packed. We had to go up high and behind the stage to find a seat close. We were literally looking over John Paul Jones shoulder on stage right. My friends were bummed with the seats but it was a blessing for me because I had been playing drums for about 4-5 years so I had a birdseye view of John Bohnam all night. The solo in Moby Dick was awesome to observe from above. You could really see the physical style of this incredible drummer. Thirty eight years robs you of a lot of detail but I remember Jimmy's weird little box with the antenna (a Theremin) and thinking, "so that's where that sound comes from!" Thanks for having the Set List. It jogged my memory that they had played Chuck Berry's "Memphis, Tennessee." I would see them again at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium in '73 but the sound was not anywhere near the quality as this concert.

Steve C's picture

I was there. My girlfriend at the time gave me tickets for my 17th birthday which was 4 days later. We sat pretty far from the stage but I remember Jimmy Page using a violin bow on his guitar which seemed very strange to me at the time. This was definitely early in their history as evidenced by a guy behind me tapping me on the shoulder and asking "Which one is Led Zeppelin?" At least I knew the members of the band enough to tell him their names. I have often thought back to that concert and realized how lucky I was to see Led Zepplelin in person.

Dennis's picture

This was my first concert. I was 14 and me and my buddy had my parents drop us off at the Mid South Coliseum. Zeppelin had no opening act. WHBQ radio had all their D.J.'s come up on the stage before the show. Finally when the last d.j. stepped up to the microphone he said "All I can say is Led Zeppelin". The band came out and started peforming. The place was packed and I made sure I had as good of a seat as money could buy.
$6.50 and I was still up high watching them from the left side. I remember them saying that they had a new album coming out (Led Zeppelin 3) and would play a song off it, then broke into Since I've been Loving You. I also remember the craziness when Robert Plant had to beg the audience to get off the chairs and that they had their manager back stage at derriger gun point. Also was blown away when the broke into their rendition of "Memphis Tennessee" which naturally got the crowd going crazy.

Tom's picture

Detail - After only a couple of songs, the Memphis cops turned the Coliseum lights on and threatened to end the concert if people didn't stop standing on their seats. It was such a Memphis moment. Plant announced that the authorities were holding a Derringer to their manager's head, or some such. Thankfully, the concert continued and to this day it remains one of my fondest memories.

Argenteum Astrum's picture

A really spectacular show ... the entire band is on fire and Robert's voice is amazing! From the opening blasts, the band is out to crush the crowd, and they certainly do! "We've waited for a long time to come to Memphis, in fact ever since we were born I think!" said Plant. The bass/drum/guitar interplay is unreal and Page plays some breathtaking figures in Heartbreaker, which also has a spaced-out intro and finale where Page makes the Theremin sound like a scratched record ... it's too much! Jimmy plays a riff in Black Mountain Side that will later be developed into Kashmir ... five years later! During How Many More Times things were out of control so Plant tried to diffuse the situation: "I want the policemen to put their hands together. Put those lights down! You're beautiful - even with the light on!" And during the medley he tried to calm things down again: "All we wanna do is save our manager! Save Mr Peter Grant! Don't stand on the chairs 'cos they'll give you such shit! And also, please don't step on the rails, because your parents paid rates for them as well. They are yours but don't stand on them. They're for the hockey." And "Everybody must get off those chairs - really must! They're taking our manager away! Please get off the chairs - it's no joke! ... Listen, you must respect the fact that we've come from England and everything and we weren't paid. Just please get off everything that might not be cool!" It was reported that during as Plant tried to calm down the rowd, backstage, the local promoter tried to coerce Peter Grant into pulling Zeppelin off the stage and when Grant refused, a gun was pulled and thrust at his stomach! The story goes Grant response is blunt and to the point: "You can't shoot me, ya cunt. They've just given us the fucking keys to the city." The jams are amazing, and this tape features the bootlegger himself introducing and closing the tape with comments about the show .. .spectacular!

Jerome's picture

I was at this concert in Memphis 1970. I was going to school at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas which is only an hour's drive from Memphis (I think - can't remember actually). So we would often go to concerts in Memphis and I was able to see many of my favorite groups at that time (Hendrix, Chicago Transit Authority, Big Brother, Mountain, Quicksilver, Grand Funk Railroad, etc etc). Led Zeppelin was needless to say awesome. They were yet so young and incredibly loud but the magic was thrilling. We had taken lots of acid and most of the people in the audience too :-). It was right after the release of the second album I think. I didn't see them again until San Francisco a few years later but this concert I will never forget.

Cheers

Jeromezone

Jimmy's picture

After this night I was never the same. I fell in love with the music of Zepplin on this night.

Wally Scott's picture

(Just for accuracy) I remember being at Led Zeplin's concert at Roberts Stadium in Evansville on April 16, 1970. Robert Plant commented duing the show that they had just released their third album... Last night I went back to Roberts Stadium for a basketball game; and could not keep from thinking about that Led Zeplin concert I attended there so many years ago. ... and tonight, reflecting back on it all by coming to the Web Site. Peace be with you. - WWS

Chris Fox's picture

Was actually my FIRST concert. Definitely changed me forever.

Ronnie Foster's picture

I wonder if the local promoter was Bob Kelly that is mentioned here in this article?

Barry Henson 's picture

Hello folks I went to this concert in 1970. At age 17 it was my second rock concert I'd ever been to. About mid-way through the show my 2 buddies who had drug me over from wynne,ark and I went down to the floor and didn't quit moving 'til we were leaning on the stage. The crowd was all seated and into the music which gave us plenty of room to roam the floor in front of the stage and got 'blown away up close' .. That was one night I'll never forget!! They are great! Jimmy page was as good as advertised or not advertised.

I was blessed to have seen this experience up close!!  Led Zeppelin is the greatest band ever.

Thanks, Barry Henson

David Stanley's picture

I was 14 years old when Led Zeppelin came to Memphis on April 17, 1970. As the youngest step-brother to Elvis Presley I was living at the Graceland Mansion. My divorced mother Dee Stanley married Elvis' widowed father Vernon Presley on July 3, 1960. Anyway I went to the concert with a friend and was blown away. John Bonham playing his solo on Moby Dick, Jimmy Page stroking his Les Paul with a fiddle bow, John Paul Jones laying down heavy bass and of course the driving voice of Robert Plant. While growing up as Presley's step-brother I was no stranger to great music. But it was Led Zeppelin that became MY MUSIC while growing up the King.

I started touring with Presley in 1972 when I was 16. I always had Zeppelin's music with me. In 1974 while at the LA Forum Led Zeppelin came to see Elvis. Later that night after the show Robert, Jimmy and John Bonham came to Elvis’ suite at the hotel across the street from the Forum. I met them as they came off the elevator and walked with them to Elvis' s room. I introduced myself, shook their hands and got their autograph. Of all the people I met during my life with Elvis, it was only Led Zeppelin's autograph that I asked for. 

As I continued to tour with Elvis till his death in 1977 I would often ask my friend Tom Hewlett and Jerry Weintraub of Concerts West (the tour company that handled Elvis and Zeppelin) how the Boys were doing. He always gave me updates.

There was one other time the Presley tour ran across the band while out on the road. It was at the Washington/Baltimore airport. We (the Presley tour) were playing in Washington and Led Zeppelin was playing at the Capital Centre. We arrived on the Lisa Marie, Elvis' Private Jet, and Led Zeppelin arrived on the Caesar's Chariot. It was a hell of a sight to see these two private jets sitting side by side on the private tarmac. 

I asked Elvis if I could go with the band that night for their concert. He just looked at me and said "no". When I asked him why he said "look at the bottom of your paycheck'". As I entered the limo with Elvis I said they sure have a nice jet. Elvis leaned over and reminded me that they lease their jet from Caesar's Palace, I own mine.

To me Led Zeppelin was and still is the greatest band in the world.

Thanks Guys For So Many Great Memories.

David E. Stanley

Writer/Director/Producer

  

Andy McWilliams's picture

i was there with two girls from Lausanne School. They got kicked out of school the next day because a bag of pot was found in one of their purses. 

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Memorabilia:

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Comments

Memphis LZ by Andy McWilliams (not verified)
I was there. and more... by David Stanley (not verified)
Hello folksI went to this by Barry Henson (not verified)
Local Promoter. by Ronnie Foster (not verified)
I was there by Dennis (not verified)
Memphis Concert 17 April 1970 by mike rhodes (not verified)
4-17-70 Memphis Concert by Chris Fox (not verified)
Led Zeplin Concert by Wally Scott (not verified)
Memphis concert by Tom (not verified)
I was there..... by Jimmy (not verified)
Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis 1970 by Gary Little (not verified)
4-17-70 Memphis Concert by Steve C (not verified)