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The Grande Ballroom - January 17, 1969

  • Songs performed during this period include: Train Kept a Rollin', I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, As Long As I Have You, Killing Floor, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, You Shook Me, How Many More Times, Communication Breakdown, Pat's Delight (drum solo).
srapallo's picture
on September 20, 2007 - 2:25pm
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.8 (32 votes)
January 17, 1969
Detroit
MI
United States
us
Setlist: 

Songs performed during this period include: Train Kept a Rollin', I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, As Long As I Have You, Killing Floor, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, You Shook Me, How Many More Times, Communication Breakdown, Pat's Delight (drum solo).

Setlists: 

Songs performed during this period include: Train Kept a Rollin', I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, As Long As I Have You, Killing Floor, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, You Shook Me, How Many More Times, Communication Breakdown, Pat's Delight (drum solo).

Comments

Mimi Le Mieux's picture

I was "Bobtized" at this show. Standing at Roberts feet, mere inches away. I could feel the heat coming from his energy. I could smell incence, smoke and sweat. When lo and behold, in a swish of those luscious curls, a shower of said sweat landed "plop" right upon my forehead. That was it, I was hooked. 16 years old and in love, and still...43 years later, that love lingers on and on...

Jim Costa's picture

We arrived with a sense of excitement to hear the new Jimmy Page supergroup and having recently listened to their first album were expecting a great concert. When the band set up and was ready to perform their first song, Robert Plant announced that the bands equipment was still in the air on another jet due to an ice storm and that Wonderland Music graciously provided amplifiers to help out. However, the amps were Vox Superbeatles, not Marshalls that the band typically performed with. The result was Robert Plant's vocals washing out the rest of the instruments because the Vox's limited power. It was disappointing.

During their performance of Dazed and Confused, we were sitting at the side of the stage, only a few feet from the edge. (the place was empty due to weather and Led Zepplin being an unknown). When Jimmy Page used his violin bow, we noticed that his bow was 3-4 inches from the strings but he used a foot pedal/recording to create the sound. I could be wrong but that's what all three of us observed.

Shortly after that we left because of the poor sound quality. I would have liked to seen them with their own equipment and would have probably stayed.

Terrance Mish's picture

I heard a story once long ago that when Led Zeppelin first played in Detroit, it may have been at the Grande Ballroom, that the auditence booed them. Jimmy Page took the microphone and said "Some day you will pay good money to see this band." It might be true, but I wasn't there.

Robert Willingham's picture

The first night Led Zepplin played at the Grande they used Rickenbacker amps because Wonderland Music Co. rented them to the band and Bonham had bought or given a dozen pair of drumsticks. I saw Page the first time when he played at the Grande with the Yardbirds when I believe Jeff Beck also played with them cause I took my first date to their concert, who she adored and went to 90% of shows at the Grande. Saw the Who 3 times there,

The Cream the first time they played, were great, and many others CCR. Chuck Berry Janis Joplin, and so many others. How i miss the Grande. East Town took over and it sucked. I saw Led Zepplin a few times at larger concert halls, at Olympia but nothing could beat the Grande.

Jaan Uhelszki's picture

The 1275-person capacity ballroom was only half-filled on the first night of the three-night stand because no one had yet heard of the band with the rather Germanic-sounding sobriquet of Led Zeppelin. In fact, local

Motor City denizens were more familiar with the opening bands (Linn County, Target and the Wind) alternating during Zep’s two-night stand. Of course, by the second night the crowds had swelled beyond the Grecian pillars that encircled the jewel box of the ballroom. Word quickly spread about how audacious and sonically tremendous this new band was, an unexpected hybrid of bluesy, soulful hard rock and unexpected musical delicacies, exhibiting technical wizardry. The sound was massive, psychedelic and vaguely frightening, taking up more psychic space than the new band had a right to.

All four were garbed in impossibly tight jeans and leather jackets, looking very little like the foppish dandies that they would later become. Bonham, with his neat trimmed mustache and grown-out Roger McGuinn bob looked more like a member of Moby Grape than the heavy-metal titan he would later become — the bad-boy Bonzo myth having not even gathered steam during these formative days. John Paul Jones was the picture of decorum, his shirt tucked in, and not a hair out of place, as he straddled a bass that seemed a little too large for him. Plant would perform onstage at the Fillmore East barefoot two weeks later, in the dead of winter; but on this night in mid-January, his corona of blonde frizzy hair seemed to have a life of his own, as he tossed his head back to reach those impossibly high notes of “You Shook Me.”

Only 15 years old, and not yet a journalist, I worked behind the bar at the Ballroom, dispensing soft drinks to the revelers. Though the more important part of my job was to make sure that no one dropped any nefarious psychedelics into the plastic soda cups that were assembled on the bar for easy consumption. A rabid Yardbirds fan during the Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page eras, I was willing to forego my sentry post at the bar, in order to watch Led Zeppelin’s set. Watch is only an operative term. Since I was a treasured employee, I had privileges that mere mortals didn’t share. I could actually get on stage and stand mere feet from my very idols. And make no mistake, Jimmy Page’s presence was larger than life to me.

At the time, all I was concerned with was making sure that I didn’t ruin my brocade satin trousers by slinking between the dusty unused amps and speaker boxes, while not angering my boss by taking a break for the entire set, and getting as close to Page as I possibly could. By some perversion of physics, I managed to squeeze in behind the guitarist’s Marshall stacks, moving centimeter-by-centimeter, until I was almost on the same latitude as John Bonham’s drum kit. So moved and transfixed by “Babe I'm Gonna Leave You” and “How Many More Times,” I rather forgot where I was, and found myself fully leaning my elbows on Page’s amps in order to take it all in. Even stranger, no one came to dislodge me from my perch. Later, pictures of the event show Page pulling notes off his guitar with a concentration that was otherworldly.

Led Zeppelin played a mere nine songs that night — hardly enough for me — or anyone else for that matter, because four months later the band would return to the Grande Ballroom for one final time.

Nancy 's picture

We were also at the show and found the group to be amazing. If I recall, the cost was only 75 cents. We were right down in front and stood dazed and confused. I am a lifelong fan of the group; especially Jimmy Page.

Jimmy Recca's picture

hi jan,i walked to the grande that night from 8 mile & southfield mike gibson who took tickets was from my neighborhood and let me and my friend rob ulivi go in ...as we topped the stairs and took a right towards the stage they broke into "Good Times / Bad Times" A Remarkable show I went on to see L.Z. 7 more times once in Germany ,I remember you Peggy C. Linda J. who was my girlfriend the" Grande Girls " what wonderful memories

Sandy's picture

Hi just thought you, (Sam who "worked behind the bar at the Ballroom, dispensing soft drinks to the revelers")
might like to see this 50th Anniversary of the Grande Ballroom
FB page for the Oct event:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1745456429007538/

Patricia Clements's picture

I too was there with friends that Saturday and Sunday, thanks to my brother's insistance, as we were not familiar with Led Zep

pelin.  I've never seen anything like it before and since.  My brother, friends and I frequented the Grande Ballroom and the Grand Theatre during that wonderful time.  Man, we saw some wonderful shows!  

Killer's picture

about 30 people showed after the band hung around and partied 

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Comments

Incredible show by Patricia Clements (not verified)
about 30 people showed after by Killer (not verified)
I was "Bobtized" at this by Mimi Le Mieux (not verified)
led zeppelin by Jimmy Recca (not verified)
Led Zeppelin being booed by the audience. by Terrance Mish (not verified)
We were also at the show and by Nancy (not verified)
January '69 Concert at the Grande by Jim Costa (not verified)