Skip directly to content

Memorial Hall - November 5, 1969

  • includes: Good Times Bad Times (intro) ~ Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, How Many More Times (medley incl. Boogie Chillen', Move On Down The Line).
srapallo's picture
on September 21, 2007 - 6:56am
Rate this show: 
Average: 3.5 (41 votes)
November 5, 1969
Kansas City
United States

includes: Good Times Bad Times (intro) ~ Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, How Many More Times (medley incl. Boogie Chillen', Move On Down The Line).


Two Shows: 7pm & 9:30pm. The group's stage equipment was sent to San Francisco from their show in Ontario, Canada the night before, in preparation for their dates at Winterland. On this night in Kansas City, they played with rented P.A.'s and amps from Mission Music.

'69 Programme Click here to view the 1969 Tour Book

Two Shows: 7pm & 9:30pm. The group's stage equipment was sent to San Francisco from their show in Ontario, Canada the night before, in preparation for their dates at Winterland. On this night in Kansas City, they performed with rented P.A.'s and amps from Mission Music. Support Acts: Morningstar, Bartok’s Mountain Spokesmen, Blues Garden & Bill Zickos.

Press Review: Music In Mid-America

The Led Zeppelin rock group in concert for two performances last night at Memorial Hall, Kansas City… It is somewhat amazing though not surprising – that the Led Zeppelin sounded as good as they did, considering the circumstances.

They brought none of their own instruments, and were forced to use the instruments provided them by the promoters or borrow from other performers on the bill. The resulting sound was a tribute to their ability really, for the need to adapt to unfamiliar instruments forced them to improvise more than they no doubt desired.

The only flaws in their performance came as very slight signs of reluctance, or uneasiness, but were not numerous enough to detract from their tonal sound.

The equipment, it should be noted, was more than sufficient – it just was not theirs. A good part of the rock message lies in the ability of the musicians to relate through their particular media… or instruments can sometimes drastically hinder a musician’s ability to interpret.

Led Zeppelin, however, is made up of good and seasoned musicians who can overcome the limitations of their media, and for the most part that is what they did last night.

Jimmy Page seemed to outshine the rest, but not to the point of making the group top heavy. He was most adept in the number I Can’t Quit You Baby.

Using a violin bow at times on his guitar, he was able to achieve an electrifying cello-like sound, especially in the lower-middle ranges.

Robert Plant, as usual, blended well with Page’s guitar, particularly in the aforementioned number. John Paul Jones and John Bonham balanced the other two well.

It is a shame Led Zeppelin couldn’t attain their usual level of quality. The absence of the P.A., echo or lag equipment was noticeable and unfortunate.

The program presented by Corinth-Baldwin, also included the highly capable Morningstar, Bartok’s Mountain Spokesmen, Blues Garden and Bill Zickos. [S. Weber / Star / 11/69]

'69 Programme Click here to view the 1969 Tour Book

includes: Good Times Bad Times (intro) ~ Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, How Many More Times (medley incl. Boogie Chillen', Move On Down The Line).


Argenteum Astrum's picture

Page is playing as excellently as he had been the past few dates. Jones as well is spot on. And Plant is in strong voice. But Bonham ... The story goes that Bonham was so drunk that he couldn't stay awake at this show. I don't know if that's true, but I wouldn't be surprised, as it sure sounds like it. The entire night he seems to frequently disappear from songs, often times crashing in at the wrong time, and playing either too fast or too slow when he does come in. Some "highlights" include his drum outro to I Can't Quit You Baby, his on-again-off-again participation during the return from Page's solo in Heartbreaker, his total absence during the beginning of Dazed And Confused, and his complete butchering of The Hunter portion of How Many More Times, among many other moments of really really bad drumming. Bizarrely, a review of this show in the Kansas City Star doesn't mention anything about Bonham's performance. It does mention, however, that the band did not use their own instruments at this show. Besides not making any sense whatsoever, this doesn't sound like it was entirely correct. A mystery is from which show exactly this recording comes from.

Tim's picture

I saw a lot of concerts back then and this was one of the worst. They played on borrowed equipment and it showed. John Bonham was SO drunk that there was someone kneeling at his side who was literally holding him up so he could play. The band sounded like shit, the crowd knew it and so did the boys. The crowd let them know and the band told us to go fuck ourselves. We left.
Don't get me wrong, I was and remain a HUGE fan of theirs. I was VERY disappointed I didn't get to see them at their best.

Bob S's picture

the first show the band struggled to make do with the borrowed equipment, they seemed frustrated they tried to do the best they could under the circumstances.
In between shows the promoter failed to clear the first show people out of the hall. Many stayed. It became a solid sea of people,
John Bonham stood up on the stage with a mike and said "...some of you people are sitting in seats that have already been bought!" The mess did not get resolved, it was already very late. The band went through the motions of performing a set...sort became obvious to everyone things were not working the way they were supposed to. by the time it ended John Bonham was slumped over at his kit, head hanging down just one hand hitting a snare occasionally

Michael McMilllin's picture

Zep in 69, Kansas City.

Bonzo sits on front row, four rows in front of us. Drinking Jack Daniels, watching opening act. (Not sure who that was).

Bob S's picture

if you look at this flyer for the show you see there are FIVE other acts scheduled to appear...five set changes AND Led Zeppelin to begin at 7::30 and be finished by 9:30 so the SECOND show could begin...A recipe for chaos...

Bill Gigax's picture

Great show (what I remember) I worked with lead guitarist for Blues Garden (opening act) second row seats....Awesome!
Ya gotta Love em man!

Nelson Clark's picture

Re the comment about rented equipment...that was Mission Music. I was responsible for the equipment...however, I was not responsible for Bonham drinking almost a fifth backstage and consequently getting so drunk he couldn't finish the set. That was me sitting behind Bonham holding him up so he could finish the set and fulfill the contract!! As a thank you, they gave me a huge poster signed...someone stole it from the music store when I was on vacation....great great stories from many concerts....please contact me if your interested. Sincerely, Nelson Clark

Doug Hughes's picture

I was at the first show and it seemed to be fine, though this was only my 3rd ever concert and I had little to compare it to. I remember they played a smoking set and Bonham didn't fall off his drum stool. I later heard the second show was marred by his being drunk, which made me glad I went to the 1st show. The boot recording, while not steller shows they played well that night during the first set.

Nelson Clark's picture

Here is a follow up to my other comment: The equipment that Mission Music furnished to Zep was exactly what their road manager requested. Marshal Amps, and a Ludwig Drum Set exact rep of Bonhams. Apparently, Bonham threw a little fit backstage and decided to down a fifth among other things. Jones & Page were grateful, as I mentioned before but they were really pissed at should have heard them backstage!! I would pay a lot if someone...anyone took a picture of me holding up kid still has his doubts...hey, it was great!!! Sincerely, Nelson Clark

Nikia Angel's picture

and they were boo'd offstage. John Paul Bonham was so stoned he fell off his stool and was taken offstage. The opening band's drummer came and tried to take over but it was awful. They vowed never to return to KC and didn't until Rob't Plant played there in the late 80s.

David M Rice's picture

Was at a great venue Memorial Hall. Led Zeppelin did 2 of the best shows. I went to both. Did one and parts of two. Memorial Hall only holds about 3500 people. At the 2nd show John Bonham passed out on his snare while playing Moby Dick solo with his hands. Some people were pissed but I loved it having seen both shows. I was 17 years young. I think tickets were 3 dollars. I use to go to lots of concerts. This concert was truly one of the top 3 I ever saw. Along with Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix

Mark W. Mullenioux's picture

Was fortunate to attend the first show along with a band mate from Lexington, MO. I was nineteen and Zeppelin was a strong influence. We came expecting to hear songs off their debut album but instead they played extended blues and improvised sets. Plant told us that their equipment was held up in "customs" in Chicago and apologized for their performance due to using rented equipment. He then said they'd return to KC at the end of their tour as a make up for their performance that night. He was good to his word and they played Municipal Auditorium August 19th 1970 in one of the greatest live performances I've ever seen! But that's another story........

John J's picture

I remember the details about their equipment issues and could relate to it as I was a member of a band and when their were issues related to equipment it always made for an interesting situation.

ZepFan's picture

They played 2 shows, and John (Henry,not Paul) Bonham was in trouble by the 2nd.  They did get booed (yes, I was there), but they were back in KC the following August, this time at Municipal for a sellout GA audience.

John Aikin's picture



Jim Turner's picture

Zepplin did indeed play in Kansas City again in the 70's and a couple of times at that.  I saw the 69 Memorial Hall show and John Bonham was indeed drunk; very drunk at the 69 show.  They played Municipal Auditorium in the 70's.

David Bosier's picture

We drove down from Cedar Rapids, Ia. and saw the first show.  I being a drummer and my band did quite a few Zep tunes but I always wondered how Bonham did the drums for Good Times Bad Times (my favorite song). They opened with it and I was blown away! I had been playing the hihat with my sticks and he played the opening with his feet and he also had a fast bass drum riff that I thought had been done with a double bass set not so... a single bass drum was used. Awesome drummer for sure!

Name's picture

From reading all the above comments, I wonder what REALLY happened! Some say both shows were great, some only the first, some say Bonzo fell, som say it did not happen, there seems to me that most of the people attending, or at least the one commenting, have a wide variance of what they feel is a good or bad performance.


Just wish I could have been there to see for myself!

Georgia Brown's picture

Neither show was great, Plant was hot and cold, Bonham kept passing out on drums and some one would put sticks in his hands and he would play a little and pass out again. Page asked for a metal lipstick top for his finger from women in crowd before show. He was the only one in band who played well.

Greg's picture

I was with Blues Garden for the second show with Jerry Chambers, Gary Mallen, Bob Diltz and Jack Manahan. Talk about  

a great night meeting some of my idols. In walks Bonzo, John Paul, Plant and followed by my guitar hero Page (of course I had to ask him some stupid guitar question). One particular moment I remember is Jonesy walking over to an old upright piano off stage-right, sitting down and playing a classical piano piece (think it was Chopin).

Our band sat out in the crowd for the first Zep show and they absolutely rocked. We then went up and did our show (a memorable version of "Almost Cut My Hair" was included). We then watched Zep's second show where Bonzo passed out on the drum kit (following at least one bottle of a Black and White or Red Label) but  Page, Plant and Jones carried on admirably, alternately accenting notes by hitting the cymbals with the heads of their guitars. It was a huge disappointment but the Garden got a great review in the KC Star. 

John Aikin's picture

I drove to the show in my first car a 1959 Rambler Station Wagon packed with all of my week-end Hippie friends. We were fanatic fans of the 1st album and got 2nd row seats for the 2nd show. What a total let down. Bonham so drunk he had to be held on his drum throne. It was pretty awful, but I am glad now that we went. It was memorable.


Bob Felbeth's picture

Actually I walked out of this
It seemed endless and uninspired

James T's picture

I can confirm that JB was having a rough night. I recall someone being behind him to keep him upright on his stool. I went backstage after their set to get autographs and only got three as JB was "asleep" on a bench.

Post new comment

Plain text

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
3 + 6 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.


[{"parent":{"title":"Get on the list!","body":" Get exclusive\u00a0official\u00a0Led Zeppelin news and announcements. ","field_newsletter_id":"9697319","field_label_list_id":"5720","field_display_rates":"0","field_preview_mode":"false","field_lbox_height":"","field_lbox_width":"","field_toaster_timeout":"60000","field_toaster_position":"From Top","field_turnkey_height":"1000","field_mailing_list_params_toast":"&autoreply=no","field_mailing_list_params_se":"&autoreply=no"}}]