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Houston 1971 (16mm film)

srapallo's picture
on April 17, 2008 - 11:41am

Clips of Led Zeppelin live in Houston 1971. (16mm film)

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Sam Houston Coliseum - August 26, 1971
Video Timeline: 


Fred's picture

I have been a Zep fan for a long time(over 40 years); and this to me is LZ at it's Finest. The band is dynamic and very confident on stage-and it shows

Their tightness as a band and their stage presence is second to none.

The 4th album wasn't released yet and the crowd is going WILD!!

Imagine the reaction when they received a copy of this album and the sheer pandemonium that would ensue after it's release

This is a band pushing themselves to the next level-which would be SUPERSTARDOM!!   I think Plant say's it best:

"It's not that we think we are the Number 1 band in the world ; but I feel we are so much better than whoever Number 2 is"

Rick Kent's picture

Hi Zep fans,

I was about to turn 15 years old and enter the 10th grade at Waltrip HS. This was a show everybody went to that had any sort of understanding of what was cool with regards to music.

I bought my first zep albums along side the Beatles Abbey Road at Foley's Northwest Mall location. To get my tickets for this show I rode my Schwinn Stingray to a building downtown where tix were sold, rode the elevator up to a small office and bought my single ticket on the floor. I knew it didn't matter what seat as long as it was the floor so I could move forward and sit closer in the aisle.

No preliminary bands came out just Zeppelin and I don't remember having to wait a long time although they did postpone the show one day for what turned out to be something to do with Robert Plant having a throat issue (Laryngitis I think). I've read on many fan sites that the show was originally slated to be at Hofheinz (Pavilion) but that is not correct and certainly easy to verify because the original tickets said Sam Houston Coliseum or as we knew it just plain "Colloseum".

The show itself was totally outrageous and over the top because about mid-concert fans began to gently push the person in front of them up onto the stage resulting in two or three rows of fans watching the show in a kneeling position just in front of the band. The stage was only chest high and no one got hurt. I would gladly pay big bucks for a photo taken from behind the band of this spectacle because I was one of the kids on the stage. I've made half hearted attempts for photos with no luck.

They opening with Immigrant Song and simply crushed as with other songs for over three hours including three encores. FM radio was becoming the big thing and I remember this new expression "heavy" being used to describe Led Zeppelin on FM (KRBE, KFMK, KLOL). Yes they were indeed "heavy" at that concert but another word comes to mind and that's "serious". They knew what they were doing up there and the sound engineer did amazing things controlling what channel's drove the sound.

With all the joints being passed around and me being so young along with the music itself I was completely overwhelmed from the experience. I've read reviews of a lot of the other shows and one review seems similar and it's a Vancouver show in '70 and people made moves up onto the stage much like Houston '71.

We were pushed up during three songs and pushed back off due to the fire marshall and finally asked (regretfully) not to not do it again (by Robert Plant). I don't recall ever being in danger and it was never a riot or anything bad.

The only news media I remember mentioning how good that particular show was was "Space City News" but they also complained about lack of crowd control.

I hope you liked my drive down memory land.


Rick Kent
Austin, TX

Mac's picture

Was there and will never forget it...Amazed and Confused !

Ellis's picture

Great video.

I had to work that night. Got off at 11pm. Drove my 1970 blue Chevy hippie van to the Coliseum.
Parked right across the street, near the crosswalk. There were dozens of HPD there. I got out, walked across the street, a cop stopped me and said, "what are you doing?"

"Going to meet my friends after the concert."

"Boy, you better get out of here."

I went back to my van and sat there just as the doors opened and the crowd came out. The cops immediately began hassling everyone. "Move on", etc. Anyone who crossed against the light or outside of the crosswalk was getting arrested. Paddy wagons came around the corner and lined up. It was straight out of Chicago 1968 Convention. The cops grabbed hippies by the hair, (male and female) dragged them to the wagons. Hauled off truckloads of people. Many of the cops had 3 foot nightsticks. The used them to intimidate and crack skulls. I saw a number of kids run with cops chasing and swinging as hard a they could. Luckily, a 16 year-old can outrun a cop.

After about 30 minutes a cop noticed me and said, "Leave now or go to jail."

Sorry I missed the concert, but I had a front-row seat for the outside action.

Here's a link you will enjoy

Does anyone remember the group who videoed concerts in the early 70's? Space City Video.

tony tomaselli's picture

Um, like i know you guys are the mighty Led Zeppelin and definitely my favorite band..Jimmy Page influenced me enough to start playing the guitar. BUT.. the date that's posted above (August 25, 1971) is wrong the correct date is (August 26, 1971)...if you watch the video, in the beginning, the marquee sorta clearly states the 26th. If you remember correctly you guys played Memorial Auditorium in Dallas on the 24th and the Convention Arena in San Antonio on the 27th. The mighty Led Zeppelin took a day off on the 25th...BTW, just wondering if ya ever payed off the bill for the p.a. equipment you guys rented from Showco???...LOL

Eric's picture

Amazing footage

Boyd's picture

I will never forget that whole day and night...I was only 17 yrs. old and I bought some acid in the bathroom of the coliseum and man, was it ever a trip!!! I had a seat in the upper section behind a cement column and moved down, eventually to the floor. I was tripping on that acid so incredibly hard and it was obvious that I was on acid, to the point that several people asked me if I was okay. When Jimmy Page pulled out the bow and started playing his guitar with it I nearly lost touch with reality. It sounded like a spaceship was taking off!! What a great time in my life I will never forget--so young, and Houston was so cool back in those days. Truly, the good ol' days.

Mario Esteves's picture

Led Zeppelin the best

Jana's picture

Had folding seats close-up on stage! I remember it well!!

Name  Peter's picture

Can somebody lend me a time machine so I can relive the day I saw Led Zepp in Stoke on Trent at Trentham Gardensn March 1971.

David Michael's picture

Great concert,changed my life.

Wayne's picture

Seeing this video reminded me that they had misspelled the bands name on the Marquee!! Had a great time at this one and many others!
Poor old Sam Houston Colisseum. Guess it was one too many concerts and wrestling matches. Lots of good memories there and at the Music Hall !

Michael's picture

they should put more from 1971 and a dvd of all the performances

John Barnet Denver's picture

this is fantastic! I thought I'd seen everything Zep-wise, but this was a suprise!

Peter's picture

Nobody plays and moves like Jimmy.
(Top Man)

Walter Five's picture

Ooooh!!! Many thanks for this one!!! Any chance we'll see this and other rare vids released on an official DVD???


this is fantastic......

celeste's picture


Bj's picture

I was born in 71 - discovered Zep as early teen in the 80s. All the videos on this site....Jimmy's playing & Plant's singing together...seriously YUM!!! (of course Bonham/Jones are powerful and essential) STILL gives me chills. MAN! They are ELECTRIC!! First time I heard KASHMIR on the radio I *FREAKED* (remember this is, like, 1983 already) but I freaked the first time I heard other songs too. I still don't consider them 'heavy metal' but man they were pretty heavy for 1969-71. I'd probably consider Black Sabbath the first heavy metal band (besides Zep traverses so many styles of Rock). Zep's first album is my favorite although every album after it rocks too. Every song so different from each other yet you can always hear Jimmy's style (I only need to hear one note actually) Ok, the rest of them are very distinct as well but I was a young guitar player so Jimmy was god-like to me. To this day I am *VERY* jealous of anyone who has seen Zep live - including all you people who've posted here!! I would just like to sit down with you all and chat about those times.... Zep was probably the biggest reason I wanted to grow up in the 70s while I was growing up in the 80s. Man, the sheer electric power & charisma behind Jimmy's riffs, the bass and the drums - all together are phenomenal!! I don't revisit that time in my youth too often but when I do and I listen to this - I am reminded of why I was known around the Tempe area as a serious Zep Head.

Liz 's picture

So amazing to discover this video from that night! It was my first "date" (his parents drove us- HA!). We sat way up in the back balcony to the left of stage. And when the lights went down and LZ was about to play, my date offered me a set of EARPLUGS! I politely declined them and enjoyed every dB at my own risk....and have been ever since that date. Sigh. What memories......!

Patrick's picture

the best band ever...4 of the most talented musicians to be brought together by another un earthly force that will be 100 years from now still under comprehension

Pat's picture

Is there more of this concert footage available? How can one purchase it? Plant's voice from the '70-'71 era was very unique - never the same before or after - and needs to be brought to the public so that everyone can see/hear the Led Zeppelin that the legendary god-like status was created from.

David's picture

A nice sampling of a typical 71 concert

Walt Whalen's picture

AHHHH! The good ole days brought into the present...Outstanding!
-The Mar-Lin Cabin Crew

mh forman's picture

i was there...

leslie rinehart's picture

I was there man ,well in body atleast,fanfucking tastic!!!

David's picture

Don't care what anybody else sez's the Greatest Band ever, even when I am not stoned, like that night!

Joel Salcedo's picture

i was there snuck in throw the roof it was bad as, didnt have a seat but it was good i'll pay to see them next time 11/10/08 there coming soon i live in Dallas now

shak's picture

please tour 08-09

JAMIE's picture

Wow, I wish I would have had the chance to see my ultimate band!!! Do you even remember any of the concert? I know all to well how trippin on acid is!! I'm getting the 4 symbol tattoos on the back of my neck, what do ya think? Led Zeppelin is my ALL time favorite


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