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Man Pop Festival (Winnipeg Arena) - August 29, 1970

  • Setlists during this tour include: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, Bring It On Home, That's Way, Bron-Yr-Aur, Since I've Been Loving You, Organ solo / Thank You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley), Communication Breakdown.
srapallo's picture
on September 21, 2007 - 11:06am
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.5 (64 votes)
August 29, 1970
Winnipeg
MB
Canada
ca
Setlist: 

Setlists during this tour include: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, Bring It On Home, That's Way, Bron-Yr-Aur, Since I've Been Loving You, Organ solo / Thank You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley), Communication Breakdown.

Note: 

The venue is moved to the indoor Winnipeg Arena due to rain. Some of Zep's equipment does not arrive in Winnipeg and they use gear borrowed from other bands on the bill. The Guess Who's Randy Bachman loans Jimmy Page his Les Paul for the show, (the one used on "American Woman" according to Bachman).

PRESS REVIEW: It was well past midnight Sunday when Zeppelin took the stage. Despite the limitations of the PA system muddying their overall sound and a lack of suitable concert lighting for atmosphere, they played a loose,  stoned set with extended guitar solos by Jimmy Page.

“It was obvious they were really enjoying themselves, and they played forever,” recalls Bruce Rathbone (local promoter/journalist). “You could tell they were all loaded, but who wasn’t?”

While not their finest moment musically, it was certainly among the band’s best-received sets ever. One concertgoer insists singer Robert Plant altered the lyrics in Dazed and Confused from “Tried to love you baby/but you pushed me away” to “Saved all my money/gonna buy me a new PA.”  It had been a very long day, and some in the crowd fell asleep during the band’s set.

Led Zeppelin finally walked off the stage at around 3 a.m., leaving the audience both exhausted and satisfied.

Interviewed shortly afterwards back at their hotel, Plant admitted, “It was hard to get into it because of the sound, and the building we were in wasn’t too hot on the acoustics, wasit?”  Added bass player John Paul Jones, “I think you lot did a pretty good job, what with all your groups pitching in with all their equipment on such short notice. I feel sorry for the cats that lost all their sound system out there in the rain. Their insurance company is going to have a fit when they find out what happened.” [WFP / 8/2015]
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"It was 3 a.m., the show had run very late, however the group didn't appear to be dragging; they were full of fun, life and love. Unlike the impression their music may give, Zeppelin are not tough characters; they are not star struck. They are the every-day-people types; just four regular down-to-earth chaps that have a lot of fun running the world playing their music.

The first thing Jimmy Page did was to call for some tea. "Please send tea for 25" he told the voice on the other end of the phone, there were five of us in the room, and John Bonham said "Well you never know when friends might drop in" in a slightly too posh English accent which sent the rest of the group into guffaws of laughter. High flying, blonde and beautiful lead vocalist, Robert Plant commented on the night's performance; "We're not exactly happy about what went down tonight, it was hard to really get into it because of the sound. Our music demands a great deal of equipment for one thing and the building we were in wasn't too hot on the old acoustics was it?" I had to agree with him.

John Paul Jones said, "It was just an unfortunate set of circumstances, we don't blame anybody for it, I think you lot did a pretty good job, what with all the groups pitching in with their equipment and your local sound people, with such short notice. I feel sorry for the cats that lost all their sound system out there in the rain. Their insurance company is going to have a fit when they find out what happened!"

(Ann Stark, W.F.P 1970)

Notes: 

The venue is moved to the indoor Winnipeg Arena due to rain. Some of Zep's equipment does not arrive in Winnipeg and they use gear borrowed from other bands on the bill. The Guess Who's Randy Bachman loans Jimmy Page his Les Paul for the show, (the one used on "American Woman" according to Bachman).

PRESS REVIEW: It was well past midnight Sunday when Zeppelin took the stage. Despite the limitations of the PA system muddying their overall sound and a lack of suitable concert lighting for atmosphere, they played a loose,  stoned set with extended guitar solos by Jimmy Page.

“It was obvious they were really enjoying themselves, and they played forever,” recalls Bruce Rathbone (local promoter/journalist). “You could tell they were all loaded, but who wasn’t?”

While not their finest moment musically, it was certainly among the band’s best-received sets ever. One concertgoer insists singer Robert Plant altered the lyrics in Dazed and Confused from “Tried to love you baby/but you pushed me away” to “Saved all my money/gonna buy me a new PA.”  It had been a very long day, and some in the crowd fell asleep during the band’s set.

Led Zeppelin finally walked off the stage at around 3 a.m., leaving the audience both exhausted and satisfied.

Interviewed shortly afterwards back at their hotel, Plant admitted, “It was hard to get into it because of the sound, and the building we were in wasn’t too hot on the acoustics, wasit?”  Added bass player John Paul Jones, “I think you lot did a pretty good job, what with all your groups pitching in with all their equipment on such short notice. I feel sorry for the cats that lost all their sound system out there in the rain. Their insurance company is going to have a fit when they find out what happened.” [WFP / 8/2015]
- - - - - - - - -

"It was 3 a.m., the show had run very late, however the group didn't appear to be dragging; they were full of fun, life and love. Unlike the impression their music may give, Zeppelin are not tough characters; they are not star struck. They are the every-day-people types; just four regular down-to-earth chaps that have a lot of fun running the world playing their music.

The first thing Jimmy Page did was to call for some tea. "Please send tea for 25" he told the voice on the other end of the phone, there were five of us in the room, and John Bonham said "Well you never know when friends might drop in" in a slightly too posh English accent which sent the rest of the group into guffaws of laughter. High flying, blonde and beautiful lead vocalist, Robert Plant commented on the night's performance; "We're not exactly happy about what went down tonight, it was hard to really get into it because of the sound. Our music demands a great deal of equipment for one thing and the building we were in wasn't too hot on the old acoustics was it?" I had to agree with him.

John Paul Jones said, "It was just an unfortunate set of circumstances, we don't blame anybody for it, I think you lot did a pretty good job, what with all the groups pitching in with their equipment and your local sound people, with such short notice. I feel sorry for the cats that lost all their sound system out there in the rain. Their insurance company is going to have a fit when they find out what happened!"

(Ann Stark, W.F.P 1970)

Setlists: 

Setlists during this tour include: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, Bring It On Home, That's Way, Bron-Yr-Aur, Since I've Been Loving You, Organ solo / Thank You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley), Communication Breakdown.

Comments

Karen's picture

I was at the show as well. I was only 16 and because it went so late, my Mother grounded me for two weeks!!!
It was worth every minute of staying home as I played Led 1 & 2 over and over agian. Zep were fabulous!!!! It was the first time I had heard "Immigrant Song" and I was blown away. I know now that it could have been musically better however, being so young I was just in the moment and thought they were great. Also Iron Butterfly rocked!!

Mimi Yuzyk Kotelko's picture

So glad you guys are still around and playing once in awhile. I remember an outdoor concert in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where it rained so hard they moved the outdoor festival inside an adjacent arena. So many people; I lost track of friends and a good friend who worked for WEA saw me and quickly whisked me backstage with him so I wouldn't get hurt or lost. He plunked me on an monitor or amp and told me to stay right there until the end when he would drive me home ... and low and behold I was sitting on one of the Led Zepplin pieces of equipment! Saw the whole thing sitting next to John Bohnam ... and no one believed me ... ;S ... great fun ... I have never stopped listening to your albums ... Best of Luck to all of you!

Cornell Wynnobel's picture

My wife and I were at that show and it turned out to be a memorable moment in our lives. We were soaking wet, covered in mud and streamed into the Winnipeg Arena to escape the disaster happening outside in the Stadium. The mud and rain was incredible. I even pulled a guy's face out of the mud so he would not drown as people were stepping on him to get out of the Stadium.

The show was great all day. Really memorable was Iron Butterfly, who were outstanding and of course Led Zeppelin who were everything we were expecting. Even with the lack of equipment it was a great show. I still think about that show when I hear "Whole Lot of Love" and can still see, in my mind's eye, Jimmy, Robert, Bonzo and John Paul Jones on stage! Thanks again for finally agreeing to play in Winnipeg and giving us a memory we will never forget!

Ethan Guiboche's picture

would like to see some footage of this show if any exists!!

Dennis's picture

Our group ran for shelter to the arena when the thunderstorm hit. We noticed a zepplin ballon in the arena and people scurring around to erect a stage. Chairs were being layed out on the floor, so we shot down and grabbed front row seats. It was a long wait but well worth it. The Younbloods came on first and were a little dull. The Ides of March came on and did their hit song Vehicle and really got the place rocking with people standing on their chairs and set it up for Iron Butterfly and Zepplin. Despite the late hour both groups put on great show

Barry McLarty's picture

17 years old and soaked right through,we sat in the stadium until we heard a rumour they were moving the show to the arena.Needless to say we bolted for the arena,and found ourselves sitting front row center on the concrete floor of the rink.It was a long wait untill enough equipment was gathered up to make a decent sound system.(Thanks Gar Gillies).it was the best of many concerts I saw,mostly because true talent and love of their craft came shining through when conditions were far from optimal.Zeppelin could have gone through the motions and we would have been happy,but super efforts by them and Iron Butterfly made it a day(and night)to remember.I still shudder when I think of 10 hours on a concrete floor completely soaked.The joys of youth.

Alan's picture

I had seen them in Minneapolis that spring, and they were infinitely better. It looked to me as though they were going through the motions. That was 40 years ago, and it made such an impression that I've never forgotten that lack-luster performance.

BruceRathbone's picture

STEINKOPF ROCKED
The rain poured, but Maitland made the show go on

N the summer of 1970, Manitoba had turned 100 years old and I had turned 23. As luck would have it, that made me just about the same age as one of the great phenomena of the 20th century — rock ’n’ roll.

It was a great time to be involved in rock. The local music scene was developing nicely. Local musicians, agents and promoters could actually make a living. Media coverage was in its infancy and big stadium productions were almost unheard of.

I was managing a band called Next. We had recently landed a recording contract and the band had recorded and released Dusty Shoes on Warner Brothers. I was also in the final months of a two-and-a-half-year stint writing a column -- Popular Music by Bones -- for the Winnipeg Tribune. I tried to keep the column controversial, even deliberately antagonistic at times, taking shots at local announcers and celebs. I used the alias "Bones" to avoid being discovered and it worked well for some time. Peter Warren, later of CJOB Action Line fame, was at the Tribune and my editor at that time. The weekly column gave me my first taste of public recognition and a lot of contacts.

Which was why, I guess, that I got tapped for a role in the biggest show Manitoba had seen, a festival called Man-Pop. That's what I want to tell you about. It was a day that looked like disaster but ended in triumph and I'll bet nobody who was there will ever forget it, though the memories may be befogged. I want to tell you about the promoters Frank Weiner and Jerry Shore, about the band Led Zeppelin, about a pounding rainstorm that made it all wetter than Woodstock and mostly about a 58-year-old man, a stranger to rock n' roll, who made it happen.

His name was Maitland Steinkopf.

He had been a cabinet minister in Duff Roblin's Conservative government -- he was the province's first Jewish cabinet minister. So he was establishment and not quite establishment.

Though Steinkopf did not run for re-election in 1963, he held one of the most important posts in the Roblin government, heading up the preparations for Manitoba's centennial celebration in 1970.

There were many centennial projects and events, including the construction of the Centennial Concert Hall, Man-Pop, and the Mom & Pop Festival at the CPR's Royal Alexander Hotel. And, perhaps because there were teenagers in the Steinkopf household, there was to be something for young Manitobans. It was to be the very first outdoor festival-style event at the Winnipeg Stadium.

Some heavy contemporary names were being tossed around. John and Yoko Lennon, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Iron Butterfly, the Youngbloods and Canadian acts like Chilliwack were among those being considered. There was talk originally of the tickets being free although eventually it was decided that would create problems and tickets were eventually priced at $6.50.

It was a bold plan that was not well received in all quarters. Some politicians and others publicly criticized the very thought of public monies sponsoring a rock concert. There was also much banter in the government caucus room about the inappropriateness of inviting John Lennon and his wife Yoko to attend the event. They considered it inappropriate for the Centennial Corporation to sponsor such an event, as they felt it promoted an objectionable lifestyle. It was typical conservative BS and it could not derail Maitland Steinkopf. He remained adamant that the youth of the province were entitled to have a celebration. It was going to happen and would be called Man-Pop. It was a wonderfully bold idea from a sometimes crusty, but sincere, driven, dedicated father and Manitoban.

Frank, Jerry and I promoted shows together for years including the first Aerosmith show in Western Canada. It's long story but it took three tries to pull that show off but when Aerosmith finally performed, for us here, they were traveling with a skyrocketing young support act called AC-DC. Aerosmith/AC-DC was the largest arena show ever at that time.

Maitland retained Frank to book all the talent for Man-Pop.

Jerry was responsible for all entertainment for the Centennial Celebrations for the province, so he, too, was very involved in Man-Pop right from the start.

Jerry eventually recommended that I be hired to assist with the event and so I was, soon after planning started. The show would be an all-day event, on Aug. 29.

Frank was a notorious night owl. He was usually up late and not in the office until early afternoon. Maitland, on the other hand, was an early riser, and started his day before dawn.

It was hilarious to hear Frank rant and rave about how he had to stay up all night to meet with Maitland at one of his routine early morning meetings, and then go home to sleep.

"I'm not kidding you, I have to stay up all (bad word) night or I won't wake up.

"I'm serious, I stay up all night and Maitland comes in the room and starts on me right away. 'Why don't we have an answer on this? Did we hear back about that? Why is this taking so long? Why do they want so much money?'

"He doesn't understand how hard it is to talk these bands into coming up here for a one-off outdoor date.

"I can't take it any more, I swear he's going to drive me (bad word) crazy. Why seven in the morning? I can't even think straight and he starts grinding me."

I would have given anything to be a fly on the wall at their early morning get-togethers. It was always hilarious to listen to Frank complaining about Maitland and Maitland never missed an opportunity to publicly berate Frank about how much money he was trying to charge. Jerry used to love to stir that pot.

Maitland was insisting on the most popular bands of the time and had the kids at home to coach him. In all fairness to Frank, it was no small chore in 1970 trying to lure major acts to such an obscure market in Canada. The acts also had concerns about the production side of the event, things like the stage, sound and lights. The performers were concerned and wanted assurances that the production would be up to snuff.

They needed to hear the name of an American with production credentials.

There was of course, the matter of cutting the deals. The other concerns were logistics that could be resolved, but what really makes show-biz go-round is money. Acts were available but at what price. On-again-off-again, negotiations were taking time.

In spite of the fact that the talent budget was enormous, for some it is not a matter of money. John and Yoko, as it ended up, were either not interested, or not available, at any price. Led Zeppelin and Premier Talent were at least taking calls. They had the date open but turned down $35,000.00 US, an enormous fee for the times. They finally settled on $50,000.

To ease artists' concerns it was decided, much to my personal chagrin, that an American professional be brought in to supervise the production of the event. The bands wanted to know there would be an experienced hand. Frank recommended a guy named Joel. According to associates of Frank's he came with the right credentials. Joel was retained to supervise all aspects of production. He was an American citizen from San Francisco.

Joel was a regular looking guy, average height, with shortish brown hair and was rather soft spoken. He hid, perpetually, behind a pair of dark shades. He checked into the City Center Hotel on Ellice Avenue on the cuff of the Centennial Corporation and would now be a player in this mega-rock event in Winnipeg history.

For a young guy in the biz from 'Frisco, he looked pretty straight. In fact I cautioned the guys in Next to keep all weed-smoking out of his sight.

That didn't last long.

He and some of the guys got into it almost immediately. A week prior to the event, one band member even got busted and eventually fined $10 for possession of grass he was getting for Joel.

Joel wasn't in the 'Peg long before a pretty, rather spaced-out, slightly scruffy, lady friend arrived on a plane from San Francisco and moved into his hotel room, with her bag of goodies, I presume. As time passed. Joel would spend more and more time in his pitch-black hotel room with his lady friend. But soon, they weren't in Winnipeg or anywhere else on earth -- they were on another planet!

Joel had Maitland's blessing from the start and Maitland accepted what Joel told him without question. All production decisions were clearly to be in Joel's apparently very experienced, and capable hands.

Jerry and I knew better than to criticize Joel around Maitland.

In the meantime, at Joel's direction I was contracting forklifts, trailers, scaffolding and other essentials using local contacts as much as possible. I was also plugging the show and releasing information through the column. I also secured a spot on the show for Next. They were very popular and yes, Frank was our agent, and yes we paid him a commission.

Tickets went on sale before the final lineup was announced but the event was selling well in spite of the fact that not all the talent had been confirmed. Finally, contract negotiations were completed and the shows' talent line-up was confirmed. Frank really pulled though. Drum roll please...

It was an impressive roster for sure. Led Zeppelin, Iron Butterfly, the Youngbloods, Chilliwack, the Ides Of March, Dianne Heatherington and the Merry-Go-Round, the Mongrels, Next, Justin Tyme, Chopping Block, Sugar & Spice, Haymarket Riot and Euphoria. This was a huge show anywhere in North America, never mind Winnipeg, Manitoba. The buzz on the street was incredible.

The minute the lineup was announced, Frank started grinding Maitland for immediate payment. However, now that the acts were all confirmed, Maitland was in no hurry to pay Frank. In fact, he seemed to delight in antagonizing him. He was not alone. Jerry took great delight in telling him that Maitland planned to reduce his fee. He would go ballistic every time. Jerry recalls Frank saying, "If he doesn't pay me what I'm supposed to get, I'm going to get carried into his bloody office on a stretcher, and I'm going to stay there on the stretcher until he pays me."

As the event got closer, Joel started to get downright weird. One time I called the hotel room and after about 15 rings girlfriend answered the telephone and barely whispered "Hello." I asked for Joel and heard the telephone slowly tap the desk. I could barely hear her speaking in the background. It seemed forever and it must have been at least five minutes before he came on the phone.

"Hello? (pause) Who's this?"

It's me.

"Uh ha"

It's me. Bones. Are you OK?

(Silence).

Joel?

"OK then."

Joel?

The line went silent. He had hung up.

They were both on something, but nobody ever figured out what. It was more than pot though.

It was now the day before the event. Our temporary production office was in the arena. We had motor homes set up on the parking lot for the acts and some dressing rooms inside the arena.

I checked the forecast the day before and spoke to Joel. The earlier forecasts were rather nebulous. Now there was a possibility of rain in the forecast. We all mused about how it would be a bummer to have the fans get wet after all this sincere effort. It won't rain, we said. Well, not much, anyway.

Some acts were starting to arrive and do interviews on the radio and with the press. I was also interviewing for my column between festival duties. The official hotel was the International Inn Hotel near the airport. Jerry was busy with that end of things making sure the acts got checked in OK and taking care of "special requests."

Joel seemed to be pulling it off. The stage, sound, lights were all in town and being unloaded. The stage was late going up and backstage power was a chronic problem, but Joel remained nonchalant. Eventually we came into stride and all was ready.

I called the hotel the night before late in the evening to talk to Joel about what we would do in case of rain. Joel was right out of it and I could hear his girlfriend carrying on, mumbling to him in the background. After a few minutes I realized that it was pointless to continue and said good-bye. It was going to be interesting in the morning.

Morning meant 5 a.m.

The morning forecast was gruesome. Maitland was worried. Joel was back on scene and frantic. I don't think he had slept at all. Power to the stage and outdoor dressing rooms remained a problem and the crowd was arriving early, camping outside the stadium fence.

We had a meeting at 6 a.m. and decided to open the doors as soon as we could to relieve some of the pressure outside.

By mid-morning the skies were overcast, but it was warm, with a gentle breeze, The weather office however, was telling us rain, lots of it, was a now certainty. There was a huge cell with a lot of moisture in it going to hit us by mid-afternoon. With rain now a certainty we decided to get started right away and sacrifice some of the local bands. Next said they were willing to go on early, at 11 a.m.-ish, and did so. The schedule was changed as it became more overcast. Dianne Heatherington and the Merry-Go-Round would go on next, followed by Chilliwack.

You could feel the dampness in the air, but spirits were high with music finally playing. I think momentarily we were all lulled into thinking things were going to be OK. By the time Chilliwack hit the stage, it was about 2 p.m. The black clouds were moving in and it started to sprinkle off and on just as they started Rain-O. As they progressed the real rain started and eventually poured. Chilliwack played a stellar performance. They made many fans that day.

The stage had been hastily covered but not the sound power amps, and by time we got to them, they had shorted out and were useless. The sound company, Kelly Deyong, were furious at Joel and refused to let us use any of their speakers or equipment that had survived. All the speakers used in the final arena system were guitar amps!

Nobody, including Joel, had planned for torrential rain. No precautions or preparations were made to protect the sound and lighting equipment power amps, which is automatic these days. The sound equipment wasn't going to provide another note of music and Joel lost his mind.

As the wind blew cold, the crowd began to seethe. Raincoats and sweaters were donned, makeshift tents erected and the young fans moved around restlessly. But few -- maybe 1,000 --of the 15,000 went home, even when the skies opened up at 5 p.m.. They held tight, dancing and singing in the rain, some of the males peeling off wet clothes.

Maitland came out about 7 p.m. to announce that everything was being adjourned to the arena. The rain was coming down in torrents and the crowd ran for the arena doors.

The whole thing was screwed, and I had no idea what could be done to straighten it out. Besides, neither Maitland nor Joel ever listened to me anyway. I decided I needed a drink.

I ended up in the Youngbloods' motor home drinking wine with them. They were great guys and we were having a fine time relaxing, getting stoned and speculating in the midst of the pandemonium all around us in the backstage compound. I thought the event was dead. I figured we could not possibly reschedule and the arena was far too small -- this was before the upper decks went in, and it sat only 10,000. I was having a great time till the knock on the door.

Lorne Safer, the manager of the Mongrels, was at the Youngbloods' motor-home door. Once inside he looked right at me and said "Maitland wants to see you right away."

Maitland got right to the point.

"Bruce, Joel is sick."

(Sick? He was stoned out of his mind).

"He cannot continue. He needs to be taken care of. I am negotiating with the Enterprises to move the show indoors." As Jerry recalls it, Maitland used his "unique" style of persuasion on everyone from the fire marshal to the arena manager to the police. He told them what he was doing, he didn't ask.

"We will not have room to accommodate everyone and I'm not sure how we will deal with that. My understanding is that the sound company is refusing to co-operate. I want to try continuing and I want you to take over for Joel. Do you think a sound system can be arranged? Can we continue if the bands will agree to play?"

It was the first time I ever felt Maitland cared what I thought.

I said I thought we could but needed to go meet with some people. I said that if I did agree I didn't want any interference from anyone (meaning him).. He grudgingly agreed and I went to find Joel.

I found him literally hiding behind a desk in the production office. Joel was so destroyed he couldn't communicate. He didn't know where his hotel was or what it was called. In the midst of the massive confusion I flagged a cab over and gave the cabby instructions to take him to the lobby of the City Centre.

I paid the driver and off they went into the maze of buses and cars, police vehicles, and parents frantic to find their kids in the rain.

It was then that it hit me. What the hell did I just get myself into? I couldn't afford to screw up. Maitland would eat me alive. Well, here goes. I gotta get some wine.

I got together with Herman Fruhm, the Garnet brothers, and some of the band production people among others in the backstage area. After a lively discussion and a lot of blind faith they decided they were simply going to "black-tape it." They would use a combination of Garnet guitar amps, and local band amplifiers and equipment, and we could have a usable system -- they hoped. But it was going to take time and the kids were wet and getting restless outside. And there was the matter of convincing the major acts to play on it.

I found Maitland with Jerry. They were asking Frank what the status was with the bands. Frank says, "The bands are concerned about the sound system. They don't think they can play on it."

Maitland asked how my meeting went. "Can it be done? Can we announce the move?"

He loved to make announcements and did so constantly until I stopped him. You know, the "would little Johnny so-and so call his mother" stuff. He was trying to be helpful, but I finally told him to relax. They would all be fine, and would all live without him re-uniting every individual in the place. Only a few real emergency announcements were allowed after that.

I said, "We need some time. We can do it, but we'll need to hold the doors while we section off the stage and start to build it and the system. We won't have any lights, but we will fire as many spotlights as we can. We are picking up some equipment from Garnet's warehouse now."

I told Frank to tell the bands that we were putting a system together that the Guess Who use on tour. Dropping the Guess Who's name really helped. The Guess Who used Garnet equipment exclusively. Otherwise, Garnet was certainly not well known in the States, and we had a lot of their gear in the system.

Maitland told Frank. "Tell the bands we expect them to play or they won't get paid." Frank was exasperated. He couldn't do that in his position as an agent. He told Maitland that it wasn't that easy. The storm was an "act of God." They had a right to cancel.

Maitland had no patience for that. "I'll speak to them myself in a bit."

I added that if we could win their individual soundmen over, the bands would likely play. And some of the soundmen were already pitching in.

Cords and connectors were custom-made on the spot. You could have wrapped the arena with the gaffer and electrical tape used that day. It was non-stop crisis after crisis. We'd just get one problem solved and another would pop up.

At the time I was a pretty good social drinker and as I said, I started drinking with the Youngbloods before I first talked to Maitland. I had dispatched a runner to get more wine at Polo Park. It was sitting in some water under the loading dock, to keep it cool. But when I went for a drink it was gone. I wanted that wine. I felt it would keep me going if I drank it slowly.

We found out that the police had discovered my stash and confiscated it. I said if I didn't get my wine back right away I was going to "stop the whole (bad word) process" and "you can deal with 14,000 pissed-off kids." It was a bluff of course, but it worked, and the Mateus was put back in the water at the loading dock. Rock SSRqnSSRq roll. Ya gotta love it.

My wine aside, the police were absolutely fantastic that day. They kept their composure through some pretty tense moments.

The doors were opened about 7 p.m. The pressure buildup against the arena doors was getting dangerous. There was no way to let all the ticket-holders in. According to all accounts when the doors were finally shut, about 14,000 squeezed in leaving about 800 outside very wet, and very angry. They would all receive refunds later but it was a drag. Three big windows at the front eventually got smashed. No charges were laid.

Meanwhile, the sound system was being tested and by now the roadies and soundmen from the major bands had become believers. The system was not pretty but it seemed to work and actually kicked ass during testing.

Meanwhile at the International Inn, Led Zeppelin were being difficult.

The band was already partying, the whole "sound system thing" concerned them and we had no lights except for the follow spots. Maitland had arranged for Government of Manitoba cheques for the balances due. They had all received a 50 per cent deposit. However, Peter Grant, Zeppelin's manager, was now demanding U.S. cash instead of a cheque or they would not perform.

There was also the matter of the naked man in the hallway outside one of their hotel rooms. He was knocking on one of their doors begging for his clothes back. Nobody cared. Too much going on.

It was now around 8 p.m. The arena was bursting at the seams. It was hot and humid from all the wet clothing. You could actually see the steam coming off the crowd. It took a long time to get patched in and ready but the Youngbloods were going to be the first to try the system. They were about to take the stage, but at the last minute decided they too wanted to get paid before they went on, in U.S. cash. They were finally convinced to start and that payment was coming. They went on to thunderous applause.

At the hotel the other major acts were now also concerned that if they didn't get to play they wouldn't get paid or the cheques would bounce when they got back home. They were all demanding U.S. cash and Frank was frantic.

Just after that Maitland went to the hotel to talk to Peter Grant. The very heavy-set manager was getting a bit drunk. As Jerry recalled it, Maitland plunked $25,000 US cash in mixed bills on the table in big stacks. Jerry didn't know where he got it, on a Saturday night in Winnipeg in 1970, but there it was.

Grant said, in a slurred thick British accent, "Mr. Steinkopf, you are a gentleman. We are ready to give the best goddam show we've ever played. We will play anytime you're ready for us and as long as you'll have us!" And that was that.

The only problem was, it was so late by the time the band took the stage, they were all hammered.

Meanwhile back at the arena the Youngbloods, who at first wouldn't take the stage without being paid, now wouldn't stop playing until they got their money. They went on and on but Youngbloods fans, oblivious to what was really going on, thought it was great. It was quite some time before their road manager was satisfied but he finally gave the signal and they left the stage.

Next up, the Ides Of March, who from all accounts performed beyond expectations and were very well received. George Belanger of Harlequin fame noted, "They weren't really a favorite band of mine but I thought they stole the show musically; them and Iron Butterfly."

It was after 11 p.m. when Iron Butterfly got on stage. According to Dennis Lind "They easily had the largest stage set-up. The drummer was so loud he was behind Plexiglas, un-miked, and was still loud!! They were smokin' right from the start with David "El Rhino" Reinhardt and Mike Pinera, the singer from Blues Image, on guitars. Their version of Easy Rider was phenomenal. Their show was unbelievable. They got standing ovations. They were the best act there."

Then, finally, what everyone was waiting for. With spotlights swirling, Led Zeppelin took the stage to deafening applause. It was obvious they were really enjoying themselves, and they played forever. You could tell they were all loaded, but who wasn't? I remember Jimmy Page's guitar solos being incredible. After many standing ovations they finally closed the show and left the stage. It was 3 a.m.

Everyone including the audience was exhilarated, exhausted and a little numb from the experience.

It was surreal as the crowd slowly left the building. Outside, buses had been kept on to take fans home and were even instructed to pick stragglers up along the way. Hundreds of concerned parents came to pick up their kids.

I had been awake for 24 hours, with little sleep the night before. Like everyone, I was exhausted, but still high from the sheer excitement and energy of the whole thing. More cold beer and wine surfaced and we had a few. While fans went home there was much to do dismantling the equipment and wrapping up. It was daylight when we finally left the arena.

Man-Pop was a reflection of the wonderful innocence, innovation, experimentation, excitement, and livin' for the moment, rock 'n' roll of the 70s.

The show did go on. It was an experience that all of us who were there, will treasure forever.

Thank you Maitland. You pulled through for us and we remember.

-30-

By: Bruce Rathbone
Winnipeg Free Press - August 21, 2010

Lone Wolf's picture

I was there, age 14.  A memorable show indeed.

Winnipeg Free Press's picture

High and dry

Rained-out 1970 rock show shifted from stadium to arena

John Einarson Remembers | By: John Einarson

Posted: 8/30/2015

 

Manitoba's 1970 summer of outdoor music festivals began on May 24 with the Niverville Pop Festival, which transformed from a friendly hippie fest into a colossal mud bath after torrential rain disrupted the event. So it seemed sadly fitting the concluding summer event, Man-Pop, would suffer a similar fate. But unlike the Niverville event, Man-Pop continued indoors thanks to quick thinking and a team effort.

 

What resulted 45 years ago has become the stuff of legend.

 

30a8_Led_ZeppelinRobert.jpg

 

Man-Pop -- the only rock festival sponsored by the provincial government -- was held on Saturday, Aug. 29, 1970. What began as an outdoor concert at the Winnipeg Stadium finished more than 15 hours later inside the Winnipeg Arena with one of the most memorable shows ever to grace a local stage, even a makeshift one. Chances are many of you reading this were among the 14,000 or so who attended the event.

Intended as the last of the major events marking Manitoba's centennial year, Man-Pop boasted a 13-act roster that included many of the best-known local bands, plus hard-rock heavyweights Iron Butterfly and Led Zeppelin. Six months earlier, Centennial Corp. chairman, former provincial cabinet minister and respected businessman Maitland Steinkopf had solicited suggestions for headliners from the public.

 

Ballots were printed in the Free Press and Winnipeg Tribune to be mailed in. With chart-topping albums at the time, Zeppelin and Iron Butterfly were a shoo-in as fan favourites, and the Youngbloods and Ides of March were also booked. The Rolling Stones placed fourth, while Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young finished 10th in the voting. (Three Dog Night ranked second but was unavailable.)

 

Initially, Steinkopf proposed a two-day event at Birds Hill Provincial Park, issuing an invitation to ex-Beatle John Lennon to attend as guest of honour. With controversy swirling around his Two Virgins nude album cover, Lennon's people politely declined.

 

The festival was scaled down to a one-day affair with a budget of $130,000. Tickets were $5.50 in advance, $6.50 at the gate. The Centennial Corp. was not expecting to turn a profit but indicated the projected loss was manageable within their overall budget. Local booking agent Frank Weiner of the Hungry I agency was tasked with securing the local talent, while impresario Jerry Shore looked after the big-name acts.

 

On the morning of the concert, the sun shone brightly as thousands of young people began filling the football field. Steinkopf took to the stage around noon, declaring Man-Pop open with the words, "We'll show those squares in government."

 

The first half-dozen acts were local groups, with Euphoria (featuring yours truly) kicking it off. I clearly remember standing onstage and facing my Garnet amplifier when we were introduced, turning around and looking out over the largest crowd I had ever set eyes upon. It was my very own Woodstock moment, and local photographer Gerry Kopelow captured the stunned look on my face.

 

We were received with polite applause. Haymarket Riot followed with the next set, as the crowd continued growing. Justin Tyme, boasting a new lineup, and Next (formerly the Fifth, and featuring future Harlequin frontman George Belanger) were next, followed by pub favourites Dianne Heatherington & the Merry-Go-Round.

 

Tribune reporter John Forsythe, writing of the event in Monday's newspaper, wrote, "The stadium had a picnic-like atmosphere in the warm 70-degree temperature Saturday morning. Thousands sprawled in front of the stage at the south end of the field and gulped beer, wine and other more potent beverages. There were several announcements warning that a poor quality 'white lightning' (LSD) was being circulated, but drug-taking was unobtrusive. In the clear spaces at the north end of the field, groups of teenagers played catch with footballs and Frisbees (toy flying saucers)."

A light sprinkle during Sugar & Spice's mid-afternoon set failed to deter proceedings.

 

Married musical duo Bill and Sue-On Hillman had an idea for keeping dry.

 

"Sue-On and I went across to the Polo Park mall and purchased plastic drop sheets that we wrapped ourselves in as we sat on the turf near the stage," recalls Bill Hillman.

 

It wasn't until around 5 p.m. and Chilliwack's rather prophetic Rain-o that the clouds opened up. Grabbing whatever improvised shelter they could find (mostly green garbage bags), few left the stadium, expecting the show to resume once the rain let up. Unfortunately, that never happened.

"Amazingly, the... crowd held tight," wrote Forsythe, "dancing and singing in the rain, taking off wet clothes -- almost entirely in some male cases -- or standing packed together under the stands, sipping coffee."

 

Following frenzied negotiations with Winnipeg Enterprises, Garnet Amplifiers and various band managers, Steinkopf returned to the rain-soaked stage around 7 p.m. to announce the festival was moving into the adjacent arena. Suddenly, the passive crowd mobilized en masse in a mad dash to get a decent seat inside and escape the continuing torrent.

 

"The rain at that time was coming down in torrents, and the crowd fled as if from a holocaust," wrote Forsythe.

 

"One of the guys in our band got a heads-up that it was moving to the arena," notes Harold Eide, "and we ran up there and waited at the door till it opened."

 

A scuffle ensued outside the arena as hundreds of ticket-holders found themselves barred. A local radio station had declared it a free concert, and hundreds more raced to the arena.

 

"I heard about the chaos on the radio and just hitched over to the arena and walked in the back entrance with the rest of the paying customers," says Nelly Mills.

 

Three glass doors were shattered as 50 police officers held back the mob. Steinkopf came out to reassure the angry ticket-holders they would receive a full refund.

 

Inside, a makeshift stage and jerry-rigged PA comprised of more than a dozen Garnet speaker cabinets was hastily wired together.

 

The gear was not designed to do what it did, but it somehow did it," recalls Haymarket Riot drummer Barry Carr. "There was no planning and no time to get it put together properly, but it worked remarkably well considering the odds."

 

The headliners were assured this was the same gear used by the Guess Who, by then one of the biggest rock acts in the world. The musty aroma of damp clothes mixed with sweet-smelling marijuana hung like a cloud just above everyone's heads. Spirits ran high, and a party atmosphere ensued as the crowd waited for the entertainment to resume.

 

"I remember it being like sardines," recalls guitarist Ron Siwicki. "So hot, humid and sweaty. We were all squashed against each other. It took so long to get a PA put together."

 

In the interim before the festival moved indoors, I managed to go home and change out of my wet clothes. When I returned, the front doors were already locked, and an angry throng was banging on the doors demanding entry. I went around to a side door of the arena and pounded on it until a young security guard finally opened it. I showed him my performer's badge and told him I was due to play. He let me in, and I found a seat in the stands and waited for the concert to resume indoors.

 

The Youngbloods were first up, offering a laid-back, bluesy set that went far too long as the crowd grew restless. Behind the scenes, their manager wasn't letting the band wrap up until payment was received in full. With their hit song Vehicle still on the charts, Chicago's Ides of March followed and were the surprise of the night, turning in a high-energy performance.

 

"I loved the jolt of the Ides of March," recalled Moe Hogue. "Talk about a band being truly pumped up to play."

 

George Belanger agrees. "They weren't really a favourite band of mine, but I thought they stole the show musically, them and Iron Butterfly."

 

As Ides of March drummer Mike Borch remembers, "That night was unforgettable for us. We were thrilled to be playing with the likes of Zeppelin, Iron Butterfly and the Youngbloods. Somehow we soared that night and went places musically in the jam sections that we hadn't been before." Amiable and energetic guitarist/singer Jim Peterik, sporting saddle shoes, was an instant fan favourite.

 

Next up, Iron Butterfly were true to their name, pummelling the crowd with a heavy metal, twin lead-guitar assault culminating in the inevitable and interminable In A Gadda Da Vida, complete with lengthy drum solo.

 

Dennis (the Gear) Lind insists Butterfly stole the show. "They were unbelievable. They got standing ovations. They were the best act there."

 

Rumours circulated among the crowd about whether Zeppelin would actually perform. With a clause in their contract stipulating that in the event of rain Led Zeppelin would not be expected to perform but would still be paid in full, the band members, manager and crew were holed up at the International Inn (now the Victoria Inn by the airport), high (one assumes quite literally) and dry. Steinkopf appealed to their burly and belligerent manager Peter Grant to appease the rain-soaked crowd by performing, but he remained intransigent.

 

It took local singer Dianne Heatherington exhorting the British band to play that got them moving, insisting they owed it to the crowd, and calling them "a bunch of wimps." Merry-Go-Round keyboard player Hermann Frºhm accompanied Heatherington to the band's room.

 

"She shamed them into playing," marvels Frºhm. "She told them, 'All these people are here to see you and you're chickening out?' She spoke to them like they were her little brothers or something. No fear whatsoever."

 

Grant demanded the remainder of their fee be paid first -- along with several thousand more dollars for the four-hour delay -- before his boys would appear. According to local promoter and music journalist Bruce Rathbone's colourful eyewitness account, "Maitland plunked US$25,000 cash in mixed bills on the table in big stacks." How he came up with the cash late on a Saturday night remains a mystery.

 

"Grant said, in a slurred thick British accent, 'Mr. Steinkopf, you are a gentleman. We are ready to give the best goddamn show we've ever played.' "

It was well past midnight Sunday when Zeppelin took the stage. Despite the limitations of the PA system muddying their overall sound and a lack of suitable concert lighting for atmosphere, they played a loose, stoned set with extended guitar solos by Jimmy Page.

 

"It was obvious they were really enjoying themselves, and they played forever," recalls Rathbone. "You could tell they were all loaded, but who wasn't?"

While not their finest moment musically, it was certainly among the band's best-received sets ever. One concertgoer insists singer Robert Plant altered the lyrics in Dazed and Confused from "Tried to love you baby/but you pushed me away" to "Saved all my money/gonna buy me a new PA." It had been a very long day, and some in the crowd fell asleep during the band's set.

 

Led Zeppelin finally walked off the stage at around 3 a.m., leaving the audience both exhausted and satisfied.

 

Interviewed shortly afterwards back at their hotel, Plant admitted, "It was hard to get into it because of the sound, and the building we were in wasn't too hot on the acoustics, was it?" Added bass player John Paul Jones, "I think you lot did a pretty good job, what with all your groups pitching in with all their equipment on such short notice. I feel sorry for the cats that lost all their sound system out there in the rain. Their insurance company is going to have a fit when they find out what happened."

 

"I was 15 at that time, and I was there," Jack Moore says of Man-Pop. "It was the best, and I don't think we will ever see another one like it. Maitland Steinkopf will never be forgotten because of this event."

Many would agree.

 

7072886.jpg

COURTESY OF BARRY CARR The scene at the stadium before the skies opened.
 
7072898.jpg

 

JIM WOROBEC / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Maitland Steinkopf (left), chairman of the Manitoba Centennial Corp., organized the quick change in venues.

 

With thanks to Bruce Rathbone.

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 30, 2015 A1

Scott Komus's picture

The line up for this concert rivalled Woodstock's, in my opinion. Every group there was a favourite of mine, and of course, Led Zeppelin was the main attraction. I went there alone but met some friends from school there and we hung around during the afternoon, listening to the bands, hoping the cloudy skies wouldn't turn into rain. But it did rain and we all got soaked. I lived nearby so I walked home and changed, thinking that was that.

Then I heard on the radio that the concert was being moved into the arena. A friend of mine, who had heard that it was going to be a free concert, phoned me and we went together. I borrowed my parents' '60 Chev and found a parking spot by Eaton's in Polo Park (a stone's throw from the back of the arena). I had my ticket (which had cost me $6.50) but my friend was convinced it was free. We were going to walk around to the front, but found a rear door open and unattended, so we walked in and found seats close to the stage high on the west side. I didn't know that by this time some people at the front door weren't getting in because the arena was now full.

I enjoyed all the groups thoroughly and they all played my favourites. “Get Together” by the Youngbloods, “Vehicle” by Ides of March, “In a Gadda da Vida” by Iron Butterfly. I remember the announcer saying that Led Zeppelin wouldn't come on stage if people crowded the stage too much. The stage was only a foot higher than the arena floor! When Led Zeppelin were in the middle on “Dazed and Confused” I took a walk to the washroom. The concourse was deserted and the floor was covered with tracked-in mud. With that song echoing in the background the whole scene became kind of surreal. I walked down to the floor level at the back where people were dancing; many, if not all, under hallucinogenic influence. Back at my seat, Jimmy Page launched into a blistering guitar solo. At one point he spun around, knocking over a mike stand with the neck of his guitar and sending it flying. I was very impressed.

Led Zeppelin played for quite a while, and my friend suddenly announced that he was tired and could he have my car keys and sleep in the car. I said go ahead but this is Led Zeppelin and I'm staying till the end.

A thoroughly memorable event. I wish I had brought a camera.

John Einarson's picture

File under: One of Manitoba's finest musical moments

On this day, August 29, 1970, 47 years ago today, ManPop 70 took place beginning at the Winnipeg Football Stadium and ending in the Winnipeg Arena.

Manitoba’s 1970 centennial year summer of outdoor music festivals began on May 24 with the Niverville Pop Festival that transformed from friendly hippie fest into a colossal mud bath after torrential rain disrupted the event. So it seemed sadly fitting that the concluding summer event, Man-Pop 70, would suffer a similar fate. But unlike Niverville, quick thinking and team effort allowed Man-Pop to continue indoors. What resulted 45 years ago yesterday has become the stuff of legend.

The only provincial government-sponsored rock festival, Man-Pop 70, was held on Saturday August 29, 1970, What began as an outdoor concert at the football stadium finished up more than 15 hours later inside the old Arena with one of the most memorable shows ever to grace a Winnipeg stage, even a makeshift one. Chances are many of you reading this were among the 14,000 or so who attended the event.

Intended as the last of the major events marking Manitoba’s Centennial year, Man-Pop boasted a thirteen-act roster including many of the best-known local bands topped by hard rock heavyweights Iron Butterfly and Led Zeppelin. Six months earlier, Centennial Corporation Chairman, former cabinet minister and respected businessman Maitland Steinkopf had solicited suggestions for headliners from the public. Ballots were printed in both newspapers. With chart topping albums at the time, Zeppelin and Iron Butterfly were a shoe-in as fan favourites with the Youngbloods and Ides of March also booked.

Initially, Steinkopf proposed a two-day event in Birds Hill Park, issuing an invitation to ex-Beatle John Lennon to attend as guest of honour. With controversy swirling around his Two Virgins nude album cover, Lennon’s people politely declined. The festival was then scaled down to a one-day affair with a budget of $130,000. Tickets were $5.50 in advance, $6.50 at the gate. The Centennial Corporation was not expecting to turn a profit but indicated that the projected loss was manageable within their overall budget. Local booking agent Frank Weiner of The Hungry I agency was tasked with booking the local talent while impresario Jerry Shore looked after the big name acts.

On the morning of the concert the sun shone as 14,000 young people filled the football field. Steinkopf took to the stage around noon declaring Man-Pop open with the words, “We’ll show those squares in government.” The first half dozen acts were local groups with Euphoria (featuring yours truly) kicking it all off. I clearly remember standing onstage facing my Garnet amplifier when the band was introduced, turning around and looking out over the largest crowd I had ever set eyes on. It was my very own Woodstock moment and local photographer Gerry Kopelow captured the stunned look on my face in a photograph. We were received with polite applause. Haymarket Riot followed us as the crowd continued growing. Justin Tyme, boasting a new lineup, and Next (formerly The Fifth and featuring future Harlequin front man George Belanger) were next up followed by pub favourites Dianne Heatherington & the Merry-Go-Round.

Winnipeg Tribune reporter John Forsythe, writing of the event in the Monday newspaper, observed, “The stadium had a picnic-like atmosphere in the warm 70 degree temperature Saturday morning. Thousands sprawled in front of the stage at the south end of the field and gulped beer, wine and other more potent beverages. There were several announcements warning that a poor quality “white lightning” [LSD] was being circulated but drug taking was unobtrusive. In the clear spaces at the north end of the field groups of teenagers played catch with football and Frisbees [toy flying saucers].”

A light sprinkle during Sugar & Spice’s mid-afternoon set failed to deter proceedings. “Sue-On and I went across to the Polo Park Mall and purchased plastic dropsheets that we wrapped ourselves in as we sat on the turf near the stage,” recalls Bill Hillman. It wasn’t until around 5 PM and Chilliwack’s rather prophetic “Rain-o” that the clouds opened up. Grabbing whatever improvised shelter they could find, mostly green garbage bags, few left the stadium expecting the show to resume once the rain let up. Unfortunately that never happened. “Amazingly the 15,000-plus crowd held tight,” wrote Forsythe, “dancing and singing in the rain, taking off wet clothes almost entirely in some male cases, or standing packed together under the stands sipping coffee.”

Following frenzied negotiations with Winnipeg Enterprises, Garnet Amplifiers, and various band managers, around 7 PM Steinkopf returned to the rain-soaked stage to announce the festival was moving into the adjacent Arena. Suddenly the passive crowd mobilized en masse in a mad dash to get a decent seat inside and escape the continuing torrent. Wrote Forsythe, “The rain at that time was coming down in torrents and the crowd fled as if from a holocaust.”

“One of the guys in our band got a heads up that it was moving to the Arena,” notes Harold Eide, “and we ran up there and waited at the door ‘til it opened.”

A scuffle ensued outside the Arena as hundreds of ticketholders found themselves barred. A local radio station had declared it a free concert and hundreds more raced to the Arena. “I heard about the chaos on the radio and just hitched over to the arena and walked in the back entrance with the rest of the paying customers,” states Nelly Mills. Three glass doors were shattered as fifty police officers held back the mob. Steinkopf came out to reassure the angry ticketholders that they would receive a full refund.

Inside, a makeshift stage and jerry-rigged P.A. comprised of more than a dozen Garnet speaker cabinets was hastily wired together. “The gear was not designed to do what it did but it somehow did it,” recalls Haymarket Riot drummer Barry Carr. “There was no planning and no time to get it put together properly but it worked remarkably well considering the odds.” The headliners were assured this was the same gear used by The Guess Who, by then one of the biggest rock acts in the world. The musty aroma of damp clothes mixed with sweet smelling marijuana hung like a cloud just above everyone’s heads. Spirits ran high and a party atmosphere ensued. “I remember it being like sardines,” recalls Ron Siwicki. “So hot, humid and sweaty. We were all squashed against each other. It took so long to get a P.A. put together.”

In the interim before the festival moved indoors I managed to go home and change out of my wet clothes. When I returned the front doors were already locked and an angry throng was banging on the doors demanding entry. I went around to a side door of the Arena and pounded on it until a young security guard finally opened it. I showed him my performers badge and told him I was due to play. He let me in and I found a seat in the stands and waited for the concert t resume indoors.

The Youngbloods were first up offering a laidback bluesy set that went far too long as the crowd grew restless. Behind the scenes, their manager wasn’t letting the band wrap up until payment was received in full. With their hit song “Vehicle” still in the charts, Chicago’s Ides of March followed and were the surprise of the night turning in a high-energy performance. “I loved the jolt of The Ides of March,” recalled Moe Hogue. “Talk about a band being truly pumped up to play.” George Belanger agrees: “They weren’t really a favorite band of mine but I thought they stole the show musically, them and Iron Butterfly.”As Ides of March drummer Mike Borch remembers, “That night was unforgettable for us. We were thrilled to be playing with the likes of Zeppelin, Iron Butterfly and the Youngbloods. Somehow we soared that night and went places musically in the jam sections that we hadn’t been before.” Amiably energetic guitarist/singer Jim Peterik in his saddle shoes was an instant fan favourite.

Next up, Iron Butterfly were true to their name pummeled the crowd with a heavy metal twin lead guitar assault culminating in the inevitable and interminable “In A Gadda Da Vida” complete with lengthy drum solo. Dennis ‘The Gear’ Lind insists Butterfly stole the show. “They were unbelievable. They got standing ovations. They were the best act there.”

With a clause in their contract stipulating that in the event of rain Led Zeppelin would not be expected to perform but would still receive payment in full, the band members, manager and crew were holed up at the International Inn (now the Victoria Inn by the airport) high (quite literally) and dry. Steinkopf appealed to their burly and belligerent manager Peter Grant to appease the rain-soaked crowd by performing. Local singer Dianne Heatherington also exhorted the British band to play insisting they owed it to the crowd and calling them “a bunch of wimps.” Merry-Go-Round keyboard player Hermann Frühm accompanied Heatherington to the band’s room. “She shamed them into playing,” marvels Frühm. “She told them, ‘All these people are here to see you and you’re chickening out?’ She spoke to them like they were her little brothers or something. No fear whatsoever.”

Grant demanded the remainder of their fee be paid first along with several thousand more dollars for the four hour delay before his boys would appear. According to local promoter and music journalist Bruce Rathbone’s colourful eye witness account, “Maitland plunked $25,000 US cash in mixed bills on the table in big stacks.” How he came up with the cash late on a Winnipeg Saturday night remains a mystery. “Grant said, in a slurred thick British accent, ‘Mr. Steinkopf, you are a gentleman. We are ready to give the best goddamn show we’ve ever played.’”

Despite the limitations of the P.A. system muddying their overall sound and a lack of suitable concert lighting for atmosphere, Zeppelin played a loose stoned set with extended guitar solos from Jimmy Page. “It was obvious they were really enjoying themselves and they played forever,” recalls Rathbone. “You could tell they were all loaded but who wasn’t?” While not their finest moment musically, it was certainly among their best-received sets ever. One concertgoer insists that singer Robert Plant altered the lyrics in “Dazed & Confused” from “Tried to love you baby but you pushed me away” to “Saved all my money gonna buy me a new P.A.”. It had been a very long day and some in the crowd fell asleep during the band’s set.

Zeppelin finally left the stage at around 3:00 AM. Interviewed shortly afterwards back at their hotel, Plant admitted, “It was hard to get into it because of the sound and the building we were in wasn’t too hot on the acoustics was it?” Added bass player John Paul Jones, “I think you lot did a pretty good job, what with all your groups pitching in with all their equipment on such short notice. I feel sorry for the cats that lost all their sound system out there in the rain. Their insurance company is going to have a fit when they find out what happened.”
“I was 15 at that time and I was there,” states Jack Moore. “It was the best and I don’t think we will ever see another one like it. Maitland Steinkopf will never be forgotten because of this event.” Many would agree.

John Einarson

With thanks to the late Bruce Rathbone. Photos from Barry Carr, Gerry Kopelow and Michael Gillespie

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File under: One of Manitoba's by John Einarson (not verified)
Winnipeg's Woodstock by Scott Komus (not verified)
High and dry -Man-Pop 1970 by Winnipeg Free Press (not verified)
I was there, age 14.  A by Lone Wolf (not verified)
STEINKOPF ROCKED by BruceRathbone (not verified)
Winnipeg by Mimi Yuzyk Kotelko (not verified)
would like to see some by Ethan Guiboche (not verified)
Winnipeg 1970 by Karen (not verified)
Man Pop 1970 by Barry McLarty (not verified)
Zeppelin at Manpop by Alan (not verified)
Memorable Concert to say the least! by Cornell Wynnobel (not verified)
Man Pop by Dennis (not verified)