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Madison Square Garden - September 3, 1971

  • Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I've Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Celebration Day, That's the Way, Going to California, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl. Let That Boy Boogie, My Baby Left Me, Mess of Blues, You Shook Me), Communication Breakdown, Organ solo / Thank You, Rock and Roll.
srapallo's picture
on September 21, 2007 - 2:40pm
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Average: 4.7 (132 votes)
September 3, 1971
New York
United States

Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I've Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Celebration Day, That's the Way, Going to California, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl. Let That Boy Boogie, My Baby Left Me, Mess of Blues, You Shook Me), Communication Breakdown, Organ solo / Thank You, Rock and Roll.


Press Review: Led Zeppelin, British blues-rock combo in its first US tour in about a year, packed Madison Square Garden while many of the more than 19,000 (at $7.50) crowded towards the stage, the group especially lead singer Robert Plant kept things under control with remarks to the crowd.

The group was generally overpowering musically without much variation, despite a welcome acoustic bit. Jimmy Page, one of the premier rock guitarists in the world, was in top form, a flashy musician flashed by the group.

Drummer John Bonham had a strong well-received number in “Moby Dick”, which John Paul Jones generally in the background, was steady at bass guitar. Plant besides singing well, especially in bluesy tunes, strutted gyrated and otherwise was the picture of a rock vocalist.

Many of the numbers were from “Led Zeppelin IV”, the group’s next Atlantic album. Included were: “Black Dog”, Going to California” and “Stairway to Heaven”. Led Zeppelin still is a super group in crowd pleasing power. [Kirb, Variety / 9-71]


Press Review (1): Acoustics Wreck Zeppelin Sound

In direct contrast to the quiet beauty of The Flying Burrito Brothers's one week stand at The Bitter End was the one-show appearance of Led Zeppelin at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.

The sound system of the Garden has been criticized many times before, so there is no sense in repeating the customary nasty remarks. Let it suffice to say that at times a boiler factory is vastly preferable. One of those times was the beginning of Zeppelin's set. They opened the show with "Immigrant's Song" from the album "Led Zeppelin 3." Unless you are very familiar with the song, it was almost impossible to hear or understand one note or one word of the lyrics.

Thankfully, at least some of the bugs were worked out as the show proceeded. By the end of the evening the sound was almost passable. The show itself was something like "The Greatest Hits of Led Zeppelin." They did just about every song that made them famous. They did material from all three existing albums as well as throwing in some things from their as yet unreleased fourth effort.

Robert Plant (the vocalist, for those of you unfamiliar with the group) mentioned that the new album should be available within about three weeks. The hold-up seems to be finding a cover they like. He said that they have not decided on a title yet, either, but said they will definitely not call it "Led Zeppelin 4," to follow their other albums entitled "Led Zeppelin," "Led Zeppelin 2," and "Led Zeppelin 3."

At least one of the new songs sounded like a departure from their usual style. The title of the song is "Stairway to Heaven," and it is probably as close to a ballad as Zeppelin will ever come. For the first three minutes it is a quiet number with Jimmy Page playing a quiet twelve string electric guitar. At the end of about the third verse they hit an instrumental break, and at the finish of the break they go into their usual style of playing. The overall effect of the rapid change of musical style is quite stunning.

The three most extraordinary numbers of the concert were, in fact, the three longest songs. The first was their old stand-by, "Dazed and Confused." After the usual beginning, they hit the guitar break. As expected, Page brought out his violin bow and proceeded to play his guitar with it. No matter how many times you see him do that bit, it is always interesting, it is always different, and it is always great.

The second number was also an old stand-by, and it also is from the first album. "Moby Dick" spotlights drummer John Bonham in a 15-minute drum solo that is just magnificent. He starts off the same way every other drummer in the business does, but the similarity ends there. By the time he is done, your arms feel tired just watching him, but that never stops you from giving him the standing ovation he always gets and always deserves.

The third great number was, of course, "Whole Lotta Love." They stretched it to over 30 minutes of music, with at least three other songs thrown in as a medley in the middle.

Despite the initially poor sound and two unforunate spectator incidents, the concert as a whole was a tremendous success. Led Zeppelin proved that despite a one-year absence from New York they can still draw a huge audience, and then satisfy that audience completely. [-R. ATDNSON / Sun / Sept. 1971]

Press Review (2): Led Zeppelin, British blues-rock combo in its first US tour in about a year, packed Madison Square Garden while many of the more than 19,000 (at $7.50) crowded towards the stage, the group especially lead singer Robert Plant kept things under control with remarks to the crowd. The group was generally overpowering musically without much variation, despite a welcome acoustic bit. Jimmy Page, one of the premier rock guitarists in the world, was in top form, a flashy musician flashed by the group.

Drummer John Bonham had a strong well-received number in “Moby Dick”, which John Paul Jones generally in the background, was steady at bass guitar. Plant besides singing well, especially in bluesy tunes, strutted gyrated and otherwise was the picture of a rock vocalist. Many of the numbers were from “Led Zeppelin IV”, the group’s next Atlantic album. Included were: “Black Dog”, Going to California” and “Stairway to Heaven”. Led Zeppelin still is a super group in crowd pleasing power. [Kirb, Variety / 9-71]


Press Review (3):  Like that bridge over troubled waters, Madison Square Garden laid itself down to two sellout crowds this weekend, offering music of such variety as to calm the waters and waves and maybe even the savage beasts that music is supposed to soothe.

The concerts featured on Friday night, the four-man Led Zeppelin, a British rock group making its first appearance in the US in a year, and on Saturday, Lawrence Welk and his orchestra, for the first time anyone could remember. And while the music and the ages of the audience were generations apart, the performances and crowds they drew seemed remarkably similar.

Led Zeppelin is a hard-driving and musically interesting group, held together by guitarist Jimmy Page. He, bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham lay down melody lines behind singer Robert Plant, who prances around the stage like an Indian trying to make the rain clouds come.

Plant has a unique voice. It’s shrill and lively sometimes; at other times, it’s deep and intense. The band is blues-oriented and Plant’s voice fits in well. He uses it almost as if it were another instrument in the group, but an oddly flexible one. He bounds around dancing, his long blonde hair waving, his body arching and stooping. He’s an exciting performer, though sometimes he seems like a petulant child.

Musically, the group’s standards are high.  Jones moves easily from bass to keyboards and he has a pleasant, swinging style on the organ.  It’s hard to maintain audience interest during a drum solo, but Bonham managed to do it on one number for a full seven minutes and at the end, the crowd was yelling for more.

Jimmy Page is the major force in this group, however. He proved his versatility on just about every number. He plucked his guitar, he bowed it, he talked to it and it almost answered. He gets a lovely, happy sound from it and it is obvious he sets the tone for the band.

It would have helped considerably if the sound system had been working better Friday night. The speakers hanging over one section were so poor that the sound seemed just about at distortion level and that’s not much of an inducement to come to the big hall to listen to bands. Better to stay at home and hear the records. [Daily News / Patricia O’Haire / Sept. 1971]


Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I've Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Celebration Day, That's the Way, Going to California, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl. Let That Boy Boogie, My Baby Left Me, Mess of Blues, You Shook Me), Communication Breakdown, Organ solo / Thank You, Rock and Roll.


Bill's picture

I rememeber the lights were out and Immigrant song started playing in the pure blaclkness... Came on when Plant started vocals.

Argenteum Astrum's picture

An exceptional show in front of a rude and downright scary crowd! There are some disturbing crowd comments and the general atmosphere is one that is way out of control. "Good evening. How have you been? I think we're gonnaget a bit warm tonight!" said Plant at the beginning. The show itself is amazing; Jimmy is on fire, Robert's voice is unreal, Bonham is thunderous and Jones is aggressive and loud, and the real shining star of the show! There are brilliant improvisations that cannot be described in words, and in the middle of Thank You, the crowd charges the stage, prompting Robert (who sounds very scared) to stop the song and scream at the audience to move back: "You've gotta move back. Move back. Move back or we can't go on! Move right back! It's not fair to everybody else. Besides I'm scared of heights!" They do, and Thank You finishes with a great solo, and a fast Rock And Roll (unreleased and still called It's Been A Long Time) is played with a great solo, great high vocals (with Robert saying: "I gotta tell you, I can't hear a thing I'm saying. All the equipment's fallen out!"), but the last verse is skipped to get the group the hell off the stage.

Chris Snider's picture

This was my first Zeppelin concert and at 17 years old still remains one of the best in my life. The stage did in fact collapse under the weight of some overly exuberate fans trying to get closer to the band. Probably 20 or so did get up on stage and after moving several feet towards the retreating Plant and Page, almost as if in slow motion (maybe that was just me) the stage began to sink starting in the front center. Plant and Page ended up standing on top of the quite large sound monitors to finish the concert with the entire front center of the stage now missing and the empty space now filled with fans. I remember only one more song being played after the collapse but I may be mistaken after nearly 40 years. Page and Plant continued playing almost as if the collapse was part of the show, which of course it wasen't. In later years, had this happened, the entire concert would have been cancelled and lawsuits would have been filed before the last fan had left the Garden. Now that concert was what music was all about. Music and only the music.
Great Times!!

Chuck Comito's picture

This was my first concert. Getting the tickets was mayhem. the ticketron locations on Long Island were sold out, we were told that the Garden still had tickets. we borrowed a car and took off for Manhattan. The show was fantastic. The stage collapsing, it was rock n roll at it's finest. I was fifteen years old.

Lynn Argenziano's picture

This was my first date with Fred. We've been married 36 years now.

Paul from Northern Virginia's picture

It was a daytime show; the four of us were in the 10th row - there was no pit in those days - and I remember thinking "they're just blowing the vocals out over the Garden PA." That might not have been the case, but Plant was muffled much of the time. The vocal sound was not great; instrumentally, the band was stunning, Page, Jones, and Bonham awesome. Late in the concert, I remember screaming into a momentary break in the commotion for "Communications Breakdown!" and Jimmy went right into it - I thought I had magical powers, as did my three mates. We were all very...mellow. And even if you weren't mellow, the...ambiance would have made you...mellow. Great memory of my first Garden show that wasn't the NIT or the Knicks.

Name R.T.FOX's picture


A.J. Crandall's picture

Led Zeppelin at MSG in 1971…

Over the years I have attended over four hundred concerts. In some circles, this statement produces gasps of disbelief. In other circles, it is met with the aforementioned pissing match response. (“I saw the Dead over five hundred times, and that was just in the seventies, man”). Yes, I am counting the time that Pete Seeger played eight or ten songs in the Cherry Hill Grammar School cafeteria during an ice cream social. And I am also counting the symphony and opera I was required to attend in order to pass Music Appreciation 101 back in community college.

No, I am not counting all the times my friends and I played bars in college for free beer. Nor am I including my sisters’ high school band concerts, even though she was first chair violin and uber talented. I only count legitimate shows for which tickets need to be purchased, admission paid, etcetera, for musicians who were being paid to entertain me. This loose interpretation also includes benefit show, for those of you kind readers who might call me to task for including the M.U.S.E. concerts in New York City, or Farm Aid in Seattle.

I have never knowingly thrown away a ticket stub since 1971. I used to keep them all in a clear plastic box with brass hinges and a leather handle like a briefcase. It eventually got full and I decided to place them in a photo album. When that was full, I started putting them in the plastic case again. When that filled, I got another album. You get the idea. Some pages include souvenirs like guitar picks. Others contain newspaper clippings or other press kit paraphernalia.

So, in a way, I have made a list. A listing of all the concerts I have attended over the course of the last four decades. The list is merely numerical, nothing more. A list can contain countless items, mine stops short of four hundred fifty. Dates. Times. Venues. Those are the items on my list. Simple letters and numbers. I went to this many show at this many different places and saw this many different artists over so many years. If I shared this list, I would be sharing only facts, tangible data without any other purpose than to inform. I got to tell you, there are plenty of facts to go around. About those facts on my list I offer the following sentiment: Who gives a shit?

Each of those shows, to me, represents a set of memories. There’s a story behind every one of those ticket stubs. A tale to be told regarding the journey, the music, the fortune or misfortune that accompanied me into each seat be it reserved, general admission or lawn. Over the course of this occasional column, I would like to take you, gentle reader, along with me to the source of some of these memories. Video aside, you will never dance in the aisles of Giant Stadium to Jerry Garcia’s surreal mandolin playing with the Dead. You can never witness, first hand, Keith Moon destroy a drum kit at the end of Baba O’Riley. You’ll never be awed by the commanding stage presence that was Freddie Mercury. Instead, I will attempt to transport you to those shows via the written word. My own recollections of a misspent youth (and adulthood) in concert halls and county fair grounds, record stores and race tracks. All in search of the next show.

First big show
Led Zeppelin, 09/03/1971.
Madison Square Garden, New York.

It had been a year since Ed had gone to the city to see Zeppelin. He and Dennis and Randy took the train into Manhattan and saw their first big time show. I still remember my brother Ed’s dazed look when he got home that night. He said the show started with WNEW-FM disc jockey, Scott Muni announcing to the crowd, “Melody Maker takes a poll every year around the world. These guys just dethroned the Beatles after eight years. Ladies and gentlemen, LED ZEPPELIN!”

He went on to describe the violin bow on the guitar, the drum solo that was Moby Dick and all the hippies that were there. He said that there was an unbelievable encore that went on forever. I was getting as wild-eyed as he was, and I was stuck at home, in the bedroom we shared growing up in the suburbs. As cool as we thought we were (and for Airmont, N.Y., we pretty much were the definition of cool in 1970) we were far from hippies. This was big.

We had been born in The Bronx and had been suburbanites for about six years. Myself fifteen, and Ed, eons older at seventeen, had been bitten by the rock and roll bug along with countless others when the Beatles hit the Ed Sullivan Show. Our neighbor/babysitter, Mary Burns, actually went to the airport to greet them and fainted on the tarmac. Film of her being carried off was to be on the CBS news that night, though I never saw it. Our Aunt Loretta had given Ed a tape recorder for his birthday that year and he recorded the entire performance. It started something with Ed, as he recorded all the popular acts on Sullivan from then on. He would grab the T.V. section of the Sunday Daily News and check the listings for who was to be on that night. Then he would get the recorder ready, queuing up the end of the last entry so as not to erase last week’s band performance. The Turtles, the Dave Clark Five, whoever came on, he got them on that tape. We listened to that so many times, I think we wore it out.

So, anyway, after hearing Ed’s description of the show, (which is still regarded as one of the finest performances Zeppelin ever put on. It included a medley tribute to Jimi Hendrix, who had recently passed away) I wanted nothing more than to go see a show, now more than ever. I had been forced to stay home that first night due to a coincidence of the calendar. On September 19, 1970, Ed was above that magical, imaginary dot on the time line of sixteen years, whereas I was still eleven months short. I would have to wait till next time. Turns out it was just days after my sixteenth birthday.

September 3, 1971.

We had gotten a ride into the city with Dennis and Jeff’s dad when we bought the tickets, sometime in July I think. That’s another story by itself, the highlights of which were the subway excursions we took to get around Manhattan, Blimpie’s heroes, and countless sightings of that old nose and eyes over the fence sketch, in magic marker, accompanied by the phrase “Uncle Remus Was Here”.

The day of the show, Ed, Jeff, Dennis and I walked up to the local drug store and got cassette tapes and batteries for my new, portable cassette recorder. Portable is a relative word, really. Think small briefcase, maybe six Sony Walkman’s duct taped together with a big, immobile plastic handle at the top. The cassette was state of the art technology as far as I was concerned in 1971. I had the heart of a taper from the start.

The four of us took the train to the city the day of the show. Ate dinner at Blimpie’s and got into our seats with about 15 minutes to spare. I remember the long climb up endless stairways to get to our section and then to our seats. I clutched that ticket stub like it was a lifeline. With this ticket stub, I can not get lost. I can barely see the stage, but I have a seat in the room.

You bet your ass I still have that ticket stub. Green and a bit tattered, Cost $6.50 with no service charges because, hell, they hadn’t been invented yet. Section 343, Row F, Seat 2. About five rows from the top of the second promenade, up in the nosebleeds, just slightly right of as far away as you could get on our level. The blue level was above us. The tile wall a mere four or five steps uphill. I had snuck in the cassette recorder and Ed snuck in an instamatic camera. Jeff and Dennis had the flash cubes in their pockets. We were set.

Let me get this part of it out of the way before I go any farther. The cassette tapes were a bust. Besides all of our prominent background noise, there was a problem with the tapes themselves. The replay sounded like the Chipmunks do Zeppelin. Too bad. It didn’t stop us from listening to it over and over for months after the show. But it didn’t go a long way towards impressing our friends.

Same thing happened with the photos. Turns out, the flash cubes illuminated the backs of the heads for about seven rows. And what could be seen of the stage in the developed picture was the tiniest blur of color just past the shiny scalps of those seated in front of us. Again, too bad, but what are you going to do?

We were joined by Eric, another friend from the neighborhood. He had brought the wine skin full of sangria and some pot. Plus, he was our ride home. He had a V.W. Beetle.

I was in awe. I hadn’t been to the Garden since the circus, probably seven or eight years earlier, this was intense to my sixteen year old senses. Foghat was blaring from the largest banks of speakers I had ever seen. Frisbees and beach balls were flying around through a smoky haze that hung just slightly higher than the level at which we were perched. Twenty thousand other music fans were in the house and the party was at fever pitch. I saw boobs in public for the first time. I drank sangria out of a wine skin for the first time. I smoked joint after joint with total strangers for the first time. When the show started, I was primed and ready.

The house lights went down and Foghat stopped suddenly. Everyone stood and screamed and clapped, so I did too, why not? A spotlight lit a tiny figure on the stage. I remember like it was yesterday.

“I’m Scott Muni, from WNEW-FM. They take a poll over in England every year. For the second time, the greatest rock and roll band in the land, LED ZEPPELIN!”. The crowd went ape shit.

With the stage still pitch black, Robert Plant’s guttural wail silenced just about everybody. “AAH-AAH-AAAAAAAHHH - -AAH”, the primitive, gut wrenching opening notes from the third album’s Immigrant Song. What followed was flat out effing amazing. Heartbreaker, Since I’ve Been Loving You just about put me on my butt. This was a band whose records we had worn thin, memorizing every note. I had played air guitar to all of these solos, but they were different now. More than just a lot louder than I had ever heard before, but it was like Jimmy Page was speaking a different language with that guitar, and I could understand every word. Granted, drugs and alcohol were involved, bit that’s a feeling I still get to this day when I see a performer or band getting into the flow, communicating in that foreign tongue that seems part of me. It’s what happens when you ‘get it’.

They played a new song (Black Dog, though I didn’t know it at the time) and then a forever long version of Dazed And Confused. I remember concentrating on the tiny John Bonham behind the drum kit. Even from that distance, his arms were a blur. When the applause ended, the stage remained dark for a bit longer than normal. When the lights came back on I could see why. Jimmy Page had switched to a huge acoustic guitar. Eric, to my left, pointed out that it was a twelve string. Plant introduced the next song as “Something we’ve been working on from our next album and I hope you like it.”

What followed was the first time I had ever heard Stairway To Heaven (an awful lot of firsts going on here). This song was unbelievable. The intricate fretwork on the introduction, the crash of energy when the full band kicks in, the extended jamming before the big falsetto final verses, culminating with Robert Plant’s breathy finale, it all worked together and literally stunned the crowd, present company included.

When the last echo of the final cymbal crash died into silence, the entire audience resembled slack jawed mutes for a good ten count. Then someone in a seat much closer to the stage than ours began clapping, a lone cadence breaking the trance we all seemed to share. Bit by bit, the rest of us woke from our fog and applauded wildly. Without a doubt, I had heard the finest piece of music I had ever experienced in my short at the time life. Goosebumps doesn’t begin to describe the feeling I got from “Stairway” that night.

Not that “Stairway” was the only highlight of the show that night, not by a long shot. What Is And What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, it was one classic after another. The lights were blindingly bright. The acoustics at the back of the second tier magnified the echo, making the bass line deafeningly loud. I was grinning like the stunned teenager from the suburbs that I was and not giving a crap about anything else in the world.

During the encore’s first song, Thank You, the audience got dangerously close to the stage. As was sort of the custom at the time, Plant and Page actually walked on the hands of those in the front few rows. As they made their way back to the stage, the crowd joined them and the stage collapsed. Plant and Page made their way to the top of the stacks of amps, then crawled down and off stage. The house lights came up and the P.A. announcer asked for calm and for everyone to return to their seats.

Roadies appeared from out of nowhere and began to reassemble the stage. It took about twenty minutes, but soon the house lights dimmed and once again, from the darkness we heard Robert Plant begin the song again, “If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you”. The stage lights came up and the crowd again roared their approval. I spied Jimmy Page on top of the stack on the left side, Plant on the right. They were taking no chances, but determined to finish their set.

From his perch high atop the amplifiers, Plant introduced their last song of the night as Been A Long Time, which became Rock And Roll by the time the fourth album came out a couple of months later. Simply amazing interplay between Bonham and Jones highlighted this stomping blues gem. I was floored for the final time that night. When the lights came up, Ed tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to the wall behind us, at the top of the section. There, scrawled in black magic marker, were those words we had seen countless times before, but only during our journeys related to Led Zeppelin:

The ride home was as uneventful as seven teenagers in a V.W. Beetle coming home from a concert in the city late at night could be. With my first time buzz still rattling my senses, crammed against the window behind the driver with someone’s butt against my elbow I watched the cars whiz by on Route 17. I wouldn’t sleep that night. Too wired.

We went to our jobs as lifeguards the next day, Jeff and I. I imagine Ed and Dennis came down to the lake and partook of the Labor Day Weekend festivities, though on those points, I am clearly not certain. But that previous evening, that late summer Friday night’s trip to the city, set in motion a love of live music that has yet to diminish even slightly.

Rock on Through The Fog,

A.J. Crandall

maria's picture

I believe my both brothers were there and 1 was on the stage before it collapsed.

Will u ever have a video of that concert...

Yours truly


Jim Dekis's picture

I remember hearing Stairway to Heaven, it still was not released on Album, there was no question the song was going to be a great hit - a masterpiece! Still love it 40 years later. I was just 16 years old then. I have seen Jimmy Page a number of times after that, the San Francisco Cow Palace concert for Ronnie Lane on 12-3-1983, when Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck Played Layla, together and Jimmy played Stairway to Heaven. Too many other great performers to list here.

I think I was in Heaven that night. My jaw just dropped in Awe.

I guess I saw some great shows- Jimmy Page always blew me away.

Thank you Jimmy

Tom's picture

I think this was The Night the Stage Collapsed. I'd like to get confirmation. Before Thank You, lots of people jumped on stage and were not evicted. Plant and Page appeared to stand on top of monitors to be seen over the heads of the audience, who were crowded all around. Then the stage split down the middle. It happened slowly, so no one seemed to have gotten hurt. The crowd abandoned the stage, but there was a big hole front and center. Roadies moved equipment away from the edges, then the band returned for one last song. There was a piece of stage floor extending over the hole, too inviting for Plant to ignore. While the band played an intense but then yet unreleased song, Robert jumped up and down on the springboard singing "Lonely lonely lonely lonely time."

From that time forward, one's Led pedigree was determined by the answer to the question "were you there when the stage broke?"

bob felle's picture

Just got home from Viet Nam this was my first concert,was pretty stoned. I'm sure they played a few more songs after the collapse.Just a wild night.

Taia's picture

Tom, you are correct. That was "The Night the Stage Collapsed" although we always referred to it as "when the stage cracked".

That was my first Zeppelin concert and, I can't speak for the band members, but I remember it as being more exciting than frightening. Because several of the songs that the band played that night were new to us (off the not-yet-released LZ IV), some of us didn't quite know when to be quiet and when to yell. I remember this happening most clearly when Robert was announcing Stairway to Heaven and trying to get us to quiet down. Once Zep started to play STH, however, we did quiet down.

The stage did crack that night and it did happen right before Thank You. I always thought that Plant and Page stood on the monitors because they saw that the stage was starting to split and they also wanted to put a bit of distance between themselves and the fans on stage. I never felt that the crowd was overly rowdy or dangerous. I don't think that the band did either because they gave us "Rock and Roll" after the stage cracked. I remember Robert bouncing up and down on stage. I have only fond and wonderful memories of that concert.

Kevin F Smith's picture

Was there also. Believe it was also the show when a fan threw an M-80.

Rhys's picture

The stage was actually very high so the only way to see the concert if you were next to it was to climb up the layers of scaffolding that made up the stage. I spent about half the concert sitting directly in the middle of the stage with my legs inside the scaffolding watching the concert. It was incredible. I was where a kind of small cowboy hat with a nice head band around the rim. I thru it up on stage and of course it sailed all the way out of sight. When one of the stage hands pick it up to through it in the back with all the other crap, John Bonham grabbed it from him and wore it for a few songs. Afterwards one of the hands happened to be close to the front of the stage and I ask him if he would get my hat back. He grabbed it and scaled it across the stage and some girl a few feet away grabbed it. Needless to say she didn't have it for very long. I had that hat for ever.
Towards the end of the concert so many people were climbing onto the stage that it was getting crazy. I saw a friend of mine that looked like he had taken a lot too much of something and when he saw me he ask for help. Well I grabbed him and we started for the seats. We just got up to the 2 second level when the stage let loose. It really did happen in slow motion. A couple of Pages guitars were on stands and when the stage tipped they started sliding toward the crowd. One of the hands made the best sliding catch you could ever imagine just in time to save that guitar. Plant jump up on the piano and all the lights came on in the garden. The whole thing came to a stop. Everyone was just waiting to see what would happen. Then Plant just said something like, " wholly shit I never saw anything like that before." With all the lights on they started playing and finished the concert with the whole front of the stage missing. It was without a doubt the best show I ever saw.
During the whole acoustic session in the middle when Page, Plant and Jones were sitting on stools right at the center of the stage I was sitting directly in front of them along 5 feet away. I was a 16 year old drummer and that was the without a doubt one of the best time of my life.
I'm 53 now and can remember it like it was yesterday.

Wee Willie's picture

The concert was awesome and I think part of the reason the crowd rushed forward and crushed the stage was because some jerk threw a flare from the upper deck to the main floor.
Zep backed up as the crowd pushed forward and the stage front gave way. They climbed up onto their speakers to finish the show. Awesome!!!!!

Dee 's picture

I was there at MSG as well as an innocent naieve 20 year old and was blown away. Will take that feeling of seeing Led Zep to my grave. so amazing and so electric. followed them with my stunning American friend Susan to Hawaii. Also went to the Rhino club (I think) with Robert Plant and Bonzo mid town Manhattan. Also went to Nobodies club downtown in the village. such amazing mind blowing times and such beautiful people of the age.


Debbie's picture

I think by far this has to be one of THE most memorable concerts ever.

I cannot even remember how many Led Zeppelin concerts I attended over the years but I certainly remember this one!

Apparently it left an indelible mark on many other than myself

Robert's picture

Tom, (and Taia)

Yep, my first show as well, was 17 for less than a month, and went with my best friend Chris who was a year older and already a fan. It was fantastic, and despite being pretty loaded, the image of Robert bouncing on the edge of the broken stage made a huge impression. Lucky enough to see the band 5 more times, including the show in Tampa in '73.
Also remember when Robert announced a new song called "Black Dog", a couple of black guys behind us made a comment, and Chris told them to have a listen first and shared some of our party with 'em; turned out to be a pretty good song ;->


Wee Willie's picture

It was an awesome show. I don't think the goofball threw an m-80 but instead a road flare. Zep tried to calm the crowd and then ended the show standing on their speakers as the stage collapsed in front if them.

Peg's picture

That was the most intense concert I’ve ever experienced, it was a journey and I'm so happy I went. It was a TRIP!
Driving down the NJ Turn Pike I seen the bands plane parked off the run way by the fence. It looked like the Led Zepplin Blimp. Led Zepplin was writen over the door. It's like a Reflections of a Dream

Joe Hoff's picture

yep, the stage collapsed all right. We had been running from security. Four guys had just grabed our pal "Southern Man" and lifted him like a piece of plywood " one on each arm & hand and carted him up the center row , away from the front of the stage & out of the front row. I was not about to be captured and ducked under the stage. There were a few other people under there as well. Aa I recall it was like double rows of tables stacked one atop another. We were on the top row. At about that time the front section collapsed like  ramp lowering- kinda in slow motion. At this point I scurried " on my knees I believe " toward the more stable rear. As I popped out in the rear I jumped up onto to stage . The band was playing at full speed as I and a few. "Survivors" proceed d to run across the stage toward the collapsed front section and jump back into the crowd , security forces no were to be seen

     It was all very exciting for n 18 yr. old and one of the more memorable concerts events of my life.It is now 2017 and I finally had a chance to research is event that left an indelible imprint on my memory bank- still, after 47 years 

Great fun

Njwana Joe Hoff

Neshanic Station


Tom's picture

Wrong year. The M-80 night was one of the nights they filmed The Song Remains the Same.  If you listen closely to the very end of Stairway, you can hear it.  I was right near there.  I saw them at the Garden most of the nights they played there.

Chris Snider's picture

Someone also threw a roadside flare from a promenade deck onto the floor. Made a circle of emptiness in the center floor until it was taken out, still burning by security. At least that's what it looked like from the 2nd promenade.

Dennis Durante's picture

This was an incredible night. The show went on like nothing happened. I remember them getting on top of some very large amplifiers. Extraordinary evening!


Phil's picture

I was at this show as well.  YEars later I got to meet Robert Plant and I brought this up.  He had forgotten completely about it but remembered it and we had a few nice laughs about it.

Steve Ruotolo 's picture

15 years old. First concert LSD and the stage collapsed. Lights went out and the immigrant song no introduction. Communication breakdown with the lights on. 66 years old now. Can't find any video of that show. What a ride

anthony everlin's picture


i was near front left and page was doing a blistering solo when the stage dropped with him falling midair ...did not miss a note ..hit and kept on going not even a pause ..they looked at each other and laughed and smoked the tune ..and people were still on the stage for a while around em ..great show ...

 i was at the first show at the garden and if anyone reading this remembers ....i was the young man standing on the top of the seat a few rows back to the right facing them ..only one in the garden doing that ..i was so into them ..they played that night like no other time ..i've seen em 7 times ..that night was when they opened up heaven an hell for all to see an hear ..and conjured images over head with the sounds they created  sound ,images ,  of war an terror of war ..truly the hell unleashed by war ..unreal .. tops   people were amping out from the intensity of what they did ..plant was aware of the plight of some of the people there ..and hipped page to it so they did not kill ..they very well could have ..i kid not ..never again did i see an hear them in that zone again o man .. ok back ...i was on the seat top and so into it i raised my fist in the air with all my being ..all ..and page mid solo stopped  the band stopped ..he looked at me and returned the salute ..fist in the air . resumed playing .and kicked ass ...i fell back into the crowd from being overwelmed wit emotion ...they caught me  and said oh man dude he stopped the show  to give you a right on .. yeah an for all the right reasons i fight the good fight still ..peace .. be  a peace maker .. a healer .. tone

karen mcquillen's picture

RP was standing on the piano in that little blue beaded vest singing Thank You-a famous poster of that- when Men fans broke through security guards joined arm to arm. At 16 I had never seen gay men before! They played until at least 2. Later.  Great concert! !!

Ed Drayton's picture

Great show!!! Typical NYC crowd, got all rowdy for the encore. Front rows collapsed the front of the stage after chairs were disregarded at first song. Don't remember when the flare was thrown. Tense anticipation; then Plant comes out and stands on top of a large speaker cabinet, stage right, and shouted out "We wanna play, we wanna play".He calms us down, the stage still drooping in the center, they played their encore set. Don't know if it was "Stairway" for the first time in US or that was earlier in the show. Epic, never forget.

MARGARET O'Connell 's picture

Jimmy Page the best guitar player EVER.  ROBERT plant , sexy singer. Awesome clothes. JOHN Bonam on drums! As a 17 year old female living in NYC this concert was sold out in hours if not minutes. 

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