I’ve recently made the acquaintance of one Alden Marin, wine connoisseur and concert-goer extraordinaire. Alden had mentioned attending numerous Led Zeppelin concerts, so I recently asked him if he’d bought Zep’s brand new 3-disc live release.
His answer is classic Marin: bombast, hyperbole, and enthusiasm to match my own.
eah—When I heard it was the ’72 LA Forum concerts, I was so excited that I bought TWO copies, Joel!
HOW THE WEST WAS WON is a great disc—well recorded, fine song selection, good balance between heavy, hard rocking songs and sweet acoustic. The GOIN TO CALIFORNIA rendition is a tear jerker. They could make you stand up on your seat pumping your fist and screaming with ecstasy one song, and then make you cry the next.
I was at the ’72 shows at the Forum—as well as the 73 shows AND the legendary 7 nights at the Forum (breaking Neil Diamond’s run of 6 sold out nights there) in August of ’74. The ’74 shows at the Forum were really the apex of Zep’s career—they were simply amazing. We went opening and closing nights. People went berserk—and we had second row center seats, about 30 ft from the stage. My dad (who’s with Time, Inc in the magazine division) knew Jack Kent Cooke and he personally got us the seats.
Add to that, Jimmy and Robert were living in Malibu Colony that Summer—where we grew up—and we knew them a little. For the August 74 shows, Robert is wearing a shell necklace that my then 13 year old sister gave him.
One night, I think it was the final night of that ’74 tour, they played 3 encores with the FORUM HOUSE LIGHTS ON. They just loved LA like it was their own—they would not leave the stage and people were crying with joy, just anarchic—and the shows were the best rock and roll spectacles I have EVER seen. Pure power and precision and bombast and aggressiveness and gentleness as NO ONE ELSE IN ROCK could do. I think that was the last I saw them, ’74.
I went off the Stanford and got into Genesis and the Dead (who were great in concert too—have you ever heard their magnum opus EUROPE ’72? WHAT AN ALBUM—I was there for part of the show.)
ALSO FRAMPTON COMES ALIVE in 75/76. I was at BOTH of those shows in the FRONT ROW, Joel—Winterland AND the Marin Civic auditorium. I can hear my whistling and screams of encouragement to Peter through the entire classic record. I just knew HE was gonna make it. You should have been there, man, when the house lights dimmed at Winterland on that first night—and he roared into SOMETHINGS HAPPENING: Jerry Pompelli announces “WOULD YOU PLEASE WELCOME AN HONORARY MEMBER OF SAN FRANCISCO SOCIETY—MR. PETER FRAMPTON” and the place just ERUPTS. You can hear the pure magic on that song on FRAMPTON COMES ALIVE. Just ethereal.
I have actually thought that it was the piercing qualities of so much of MY OWN ambient whistling throughout the disc that might have helped him make it!! I am such an egotist…BUT ZEP was really peerless. WE EVEN SAW THEIR FIRST SHOW EVER IN SO. CAL—1969 at the ANAHEIM CONVENTION CENTER to introduce the first album…guess who opened the show? Right—JETHRO TULL—who themselves were amazing—they introduced the classic album STAND UP that year. What a disc THAT is—still great…
I could go on and on. You should interview me. I’ve seen it ALL—even BOWIE’s ’72 debut of ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS TOUR at the Hollywood Palladium. He also played the Santa Monica Civic if you can believe that—we saw that one too.