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Olympia Stadium - October 18, 1969

  • Setlists during this tour include: Good Times Bad Times (intro) ~ Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, You Shook Me, White Summer / Black Mountainside, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, How Many More Times.
srapallo's picture
on September 21, 2007 - 6:32am
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Average: 4.3 (43 votes)
October 18, 1969
United States

Setlists during this tour include: Good Times Bad Times (intro) ~ Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, You Shook Me, White Summer / Black Mountainside, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, How Many More Times.

'69 Programme Click here to view the 1969 Tour Book

Press Review: Zeppelin Rises High

There was no evidence of a 'Communications Breakdown' between Led Zeppelin and its enthusiastic audience when Zeppelin recently played to a sellout crowd at Olympia.

The group's lead guitarist, Jimmy Page, his fingers sliding across frets and strings, as if greased, demonstrated plainly to the crowd why he has been classed with such guitar greats as Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.

Page, outfitted in a cream-colored velvet jacket, white ruffled shirt, white satin pants, and red patent leather shoes, resembled a 17th centutry king, his thick, dark brown hair flowing over his shoulders and down his back.

Half way through their performance, Page soloed on guitar in two of his own compositions, 'White Summer' and 'Black Mountain Side'. In some of his leads, Page used a violin bow which he drew across his electric guitar strings, producing an entirely different technique as well as sound.

Three acts, preceded Zeppelin: Lee Michaels, Grand Funk Railroad and the MC5.  

But no act topped Jimmy Page and the Zeppelin.

Several hundred people, during the last number, 'How Many More Times,' left their seats to surround the stage,  listening intently until the last note out of Page's electrifying guitar was sounded.

[by Linda Chomin / Oct. 1969]


Setlists during this tour include: Good Times Bad Times (intro) ~ Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, You Shook Me, White Summer / Black Mountainside, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, How Many More Times.


Bill Jones's picture

Remember it was the 60's so my head might not have been everywhere it should have been. But, I remember, Lee Michaels' band was so great that once Led went on we were rockin out. It realy made for a great concert experience for somebody that went to many concerts. I had never even heard of Lee before that night. But man, did he put on a good show. I miss those days. Kids just don't rock out like we used to.

Neil Grudzen's picture

Although I was only 14 at the time, the memories of that night, some 41 years later, remain with me today.The MC5 played a spirited set with Sonic Smith leading the charge.The little band from Flint also kicked it out.Lee Michaels and his fabulous drummer Frosty tore it up, with Frosty playing a solo similar to Bonzo on Moby Dick,using just his hands and feet,no sticks.There were so many great shows at that time with multiple acts that it was just what you did every weekend.As it turned out,it was the only time I ever saw Zep,but it was simply amazing seeing a band who would play each night as if it were their last.Jimmy played the Les Paul for the majority of the set, and the Danelectro for White Summer/Black Mountain Side.That night Zep set the bar for the next 10 years.

Charlie Orlando's picture

I too attended this concert at age 15 and I believe Dan Grochowski is correct with the order in which the bands played. Lee Michaels opened the show, followed by MC5, Grand Funk Railroad, and then Led Zeppelin. Grand Funk Railroad was outstanding and appeared to be removed from the stage to allow Led Zeppelin to play. Whether it was due to a time constraint or envy is a matter of interpretation. It was a great gig, nonetheless, with a line up seldom seen today, and certainly not for such a nominal fee.

Gary Lindell's picture

At 16 years old, I had just received my driver's license. I drove to Olympia with some friends to see my favorite group. Actually, I remember very little of the show except for the excitement of being there. And I was not on drugs, having never done any. What I do remember, though, is walking to what I recall was the third floor (somewhere high and back). When the group was in the middle of a song, they came to a point of complete silence. At that precise point, I screamed as loudly as possible, "Heeeeeeey Jiiiiiiimmmmmyyyyyy." That part of the show I will never forget. What a memory. I often wonder if that scream was ever picked up by recording equipment.

rick rieckhoff's picture

I attended this show. The MC5 opened,then Lee Michaels,then Grand Funk Rail Road, then the mighty Zeppelin. This was my first time seeing Zeppelin and they did not disappoint. All acts on the bill were great and Zeppelin were debuting music from their 2nd album.Looking at the set list above, I only see one song from that album but my memory (sorry I didn't start keeping set lists til later) tells me that they did " What is & what should never be" "bring it on home" Thank You" and "Whole lotta love" as well. I do have a couple of pictures from the show.Anyone else attend?

Mike Mc's picture

I did not personally attend this show but across the border in Windsor Ontario Canada, we were just getting into the 1st LZ album. We couldn't beleive the sounds that were coming out of our console stereo record player (over the years...this album has withstood the test of time extremely well I might add) However, I still remember rumours,(can't corfirm if they're true or false) that the PA died at Olympia and Robert Plant's vocals could still be heard over the instruments.
What a great band these guys are.

Chris Black's picture

I grew up in Motown and was with my best bud, Bob, drinking orange juice and vodka (with possibly some herbal assistance) but I recall this concert vividly. MC5 (Motor City Five for the uninformed) started off with their trademark song, "Kick Out the Jams" and got the place rocking. Lee Michaels, who I had never heard of, was next, doing probably his best song, "Do You Know Whad I Mean (sp?)?" and the Frosty drum solo referenced by others was awesome! Frosty was about 400 lbs. plus and it seemed like he was going to go right through the top of the drum. Then another Michigan band, Grand Funk Railroad, came on and easily could have headlined. Every person in the place rocked to them for what seemed like an hour or more at the time. Everyone was doing the lighter in the air thing for them to come back (I don't recall the interruption referenced by others, thought they completed the set-maybe the vodka?) and then LZ came on. Their 2nd album had just come out and they tore the place down!! This as it turned out was my only Zep concert. I've seen a lot of bands (Stones, McCartney, Chilis, Aerosmith, Clapton, Winwood, etc. etc.) and this was the best concert I have EVER attended!! Awesome, 5 stars of 5 for sure! I am honored to comment on it.

Bill Ten Eyck's picture

Lee Michaels did indeed lead off the set, followed by the MC5 debuting (at least for me) their "Back In the USA" album. It was considered a plum set placement for the 5 to play after someone with a national fm radio hit.(or two) I personally thought it was a fantastic set by the MC5. Thank you to the other commentators who just reminded me of Frosty's awesome, stickless drum solo! The next group, most in the audience had not heard of, (including myself) but by mid-set, everyone knew it was Grand Funk Railroad. Later in their set, Mark Farner mentioned Zep's management was a little jealous of how much the crowd dug their act, and would have to cut it's act shorter than expected. Naturally the crowd yelled to keep playing longer. At some point the power was cut, and then Mark Farner said "should we just play with out power?" A drum solo followed for what seemed like 10 minutes, to finally close out the set. My recollection was my ticket cost only $3.00, the same price that night as a hit of Purple Flat. Now that's an entertainment value! Shutting down the power was a foreshadowing of what happened 13 nights later at the Black Arts Festival.(the kids then rioted, tearing up the ice rink covers) Coven was the best band at that show, on Halloween. Olympia management then banned festival seating. Please see Barry Kramer's and Dave Marsh's article in the November 1969 Creem magazine, "A Fiasco of the Black Arts". Thanks for reading this!! Keep on rock'n! Rrrock'n Bill p.s I was 17 years old then.

Bobby D's picture

I too remember this concert like it was yesterday. I was with CB (below) and this was BD (before drugs) and yes, we were high on OJV (orange juice and vodka), but we have been talking about this concert for 42 years and have never experienced anything close since. I remember that we were quite close to the stage on the ground floor and Grand Funk was soooo good that the crowd would have been pleased if they just played all night long. I do seem to remember their last song being cut short which was upsetting to all (rumors were that they we just tooooo good), BUT then (whooha) Led Zepplin came on and blew the roof off the building! I am sure that there will never be a concert that approaches this level of intensity and will always be grateful that I can say that I was able to attend this one with my all-time best freind!

Dan Grochowski's picture

I also attended but would swear Lee Michaels and Frosty played first and were fantastic. (At the time I wrote the order of the bands appearance on the back of my ticket stub; I thought I got it right.) Thought Frosty's drum solo was the best of the night. Especially when he started playing with his hands sans drumsticks. Then MC5 disappointed me. Grand Funk Railroad really got it going again with an incredible set. Unfortunately they were stopped in the middle of a song. We had no idea what was going on at the time and were totally bummed out when they left the stage. Read in the paper later that Led Zeppelin had to start their set before midnight so they had to stop Grand Funk Railroad to meet that contractual agreement. Don't know how true that really was. Had a hard time getting into Led Zeppelin when they started after the way Grand Funk Railroad was unceremoniously stopped but ended up totally enjoying their set too. "What Is and What Should Never Be" was definitely part of the set and my favorite song of theirs that evening. What amazes me now is seeing those four bands for less than $5.

Bill W. Ten Eyck's picture

Thank you to this site's comment monitors for including most of my previous post. As the night advanced towards the 1:00 am City of Detroit curfew, it must have been a titanic confrontation between Zep's manager Peter Grant and Grand Funk's manager Terry Reid! As it was, Led Zeppelin was able to perform their complete set, but I can remember the show not getting out until around 1:35 am. The Detroit Fire Marshall on site enforcing the curfew must have been deeply unhappy! I personally think Grand Funk, and their manager, should have been somewhat grateful for the local exposure and not tried to endanger the featured artists set length. I think it showed the band's as well as the manager's inexperience. There were no curfews at the Atlanta Pop Festival where Grand Funk Railroad hit it big. My all time favorite Led Zeppelin show was June 12th 1973 at Cobo Hall. Cobo had much better acoustics than Olympia.

onethumbpicker's picture

Terry Knight was the manager of Grand Funk Railroad(they dropped the 'Railroad', later).  Terry Knight had previously been the front man for a local Detroit band-'Terry Knight and the Pack'.  Coincidentally though, Terry Reid was considered as the singer for Zeppelin before they hired Robert Plant.  Reid figured he could do better solo.  He figured wrong.  Reid was also a great singer, though.

onethumbpicker's picture

I was there too, and seem to remember MC5 going on first, and Lee Michaels second.  And the '5' were disappointing in that they had adopted their 'Back in the USA' act which was more 'polished'.  Curiously, I saw the MC5 at Tartar Field the following summer(1970), and they were back into their manic  'White Panther Party revolutionary' act.  There's a YT video of it.  On 'Looking at You', I can see myself in front of the stage at 17, which is really weird.  Check it out-especially Wayne Kramer's move towards the end of that tune.  They didn't do any of that at Olympia!  We may have the order of who played before who mixed up-its been a long, long time.  But I do remember Lee Michaels opened his set with 'Stormy Monday', and the organ keyboard gymnastics Lee's version that the song began with-before it settled into a simmering, pulsing, organ groove.

Robert's picture

"I still remember rumours,(can't corfirm if they're true or false) that the PA died at Olympia and Robert Plant's vocals could still be heard over the instruments."

I was there. Yes, the PA went out for a period of time and you could still hear Plant above the sound of the band. I've always wondered whether it was his unamplified voice, or whether it was still coming through stage monitors. I don't know. Not even sure they had stage monitors then, LOL! It was a great show, none-the-less. I was only 18 years old--I just wish I could have fully appreciated the significance of what was happening musically at that time.

Bill Ten Eyck's picture

Oh my gosh! The previous poster is correct. Of course Grand Funk Railroad's manager was Terry Knight! Good call, "Mister you're a better man than I" lol   I still stand behind my memory of Lee Michaels opening the show. (although I was mucho tripping)  My first concert at the Grande was a Sunday evening all ages show with Jefferson Airplane and Terry (Season of the Witch) Reid. The event, and school bus ride down to Detroit, were sponsored by my high school. go figure

My all time best Led Zep show ever, Cobo Hall 1973. The band (and set list) was in magnificant form. The Olympia 10-18-69 show was the second best ever out of 5 concerts I saw. Jimmy Page's guitar (and bow work) on "Dazed and Confused", was especially memorable. The band looked to be about half way through a fifth of Jack Daniels, when they came on stage after Grand Funk Railroad. Remember, their act was delayed by Grand Funk Railroad's extended set...

John Pearce's picture

This was my first big concert at age 14. As a want to be rock drummer, this was a night to remember. I remember them tossing Frosty a towel after his solo and it turned red with blood!

I was with my cousin, Mike Bennett and Bill Grant.

The image I remember most is Robert Plant leaning off the front of the stage with what looked like 2 gold lights on him from the front and the back. With his hair highlighted in gold, it created a lasting image in my brain.


And I think we paid $2.75 up in the balcony.

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