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1969-05-23 San Jose, CA, United States Options · View
SteveTheLemonSauer
Posted: Monday, December 29, 2008 12:19:23 PM

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Location: Boca Raton, FL
Just noticed a recent change:
Flagged May 23rd 1969 Santa Clara Pop Festival as 'cancelled'

What prompted this change?

My compliments on your site. Great execution of a grand idea!

Rock and roll,
Quote:
Steve "The Lemon" Sauer
Lemon Squeezings

Led Zeppelin News
On This Day In Led Zeppelin History
Your Overlord
Posted: Monday, December 29, 2008 4:08:35 PM

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They aren't mentioned in the clippings after the show and MikeZep61 found an article somewhere saying that they had pulled out of the festival. I'll post it if I can find it.
mikezep61
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 1:58:31 PM

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Here you go Steve:

SteveTheLemonSauer
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 2:16:31 PM

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Location: Boca Raton, FL
Yes, it does seem suspect that Led Zeppelin would have played the festival if the band was also booked to play the first of two shows at the Kinetic Playground in Chicago on the same day. LedZeppelin.com says, "In an unusual turn of events, Zeppelin perform two shows in different cities this day, flying from Chicago to San Jose and back to Chicago." I just don't see that happening. One reason is, of course, the logistical inconvenience.

A separate issue makes me wonder whether or not Led Zeppelin actually played both Kinetic Playground shows in Chicago between May 23 and 24. Jimmy Page, in a published interview at the time, mentions only one date at the venue. Robert Godwin, in The Press Reports, transcribes Page's statement in the May 31 New Musical Express as this: "Look at this, these watches were presented to us by the owner of the Kinetic Theatre in Chicago after our date there last weekend. It's just fantastic!" So, was Jimmy referring to the Friday or Saturday show? Or did he misspeak and they played there twice? It's possible he misspoke; after all, he seemed to name the place wrong: Kinetic Theatre versus Kinetic Playground.

OK, back to the San Jose date on May 23. It wouldn't surprise me to learn, as you suspect, that Led Zeppelin canceled the booking. I would speculate that it's because Led Zeppelin wasn't a headlining act; the headlining acts were the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jefferson Airplane and the Chambers Brothers. That's been discussed as the reason Zeppelin turned down the Woodstock festival three months later -- because Zeppelin didn't want to be lost among a crowd of acts, so to speak.

Zeppelin did, of course, play other festival dates. This San Jose one on May 23, 1969, would have been the earliest. As you point out with your "festival dates" feature here, the earliest played was more likely the Bath Festival in England that June. After returning to America for a summer tour, they played six festival dates in July alone and no more until the end of August. Then that was it for 1969. There were two festivals in the summer of 1970 and the accidental booking at the festival in Milan in 1971 that ended up being called off early due to riots. And of course, that was the last of their festival appearances until their massive bill-topping appearances at Knebworth in 1979.

But I believe I notice a pattern within these confirmed festival appearances: Led Zeppelin headlined more often than not.

In the May 23 edition of my newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History" I reported that Zeppelin played the festival on '69. I made no mention of the dates in Chicago. I would be happy to report the correct information if it can be ascertained. I commend the efforts by the users of this forum and database to dig up the history!

Rock and roll,
Quote:
Steve "The Lemon" Sauer
Lemon Squeezings

Led Zeppelin News
On This Day In Led Zeppelin History
SteveTheLemonSauer
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 2:18:32 PM

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Oh wow, I just read the Rolling Stone clipping posted here. So Zeppelin did cancel. And it wouldn't surprise me if the reason had to do with not being billed as a headliner. Or maybe Peter Grant simply smelled a skunk in San Jose.

Rock and roll,
Quote:
Steve "The Lemon" Sauer
Lemon Squeezings

Led Zeppelin News
On This Day In Led Zeppelin History
Your Overlord
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 2:25:08 PM

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SteveTheLemonSauer wrote:
Yes, it does seem suspect that Led Zeppelin would have played the festival if the band was also booked to play the first of two shows at the Kinetic Playground in Chicago on the same day. LedZeppelin.com says, "In an unusual turn of events, Zeppelin perform two shows in different cities this day, flying from Chicago to San Jose and back to Chicago." I just don't see that happening. One reason is, of course, the logistical inconvenience.

A separate issue makes me wonder whether or not Led Zeppelin actually played both Kinetic Playground shows in Chicago between May 23 and 24. Jimmy Page, in a published interview at the time, mentions only one date at the venue. Robert Godwin, in The Press Reports, transcribes Page's statement in the May 31 New Musical Express as this: "Look at this, these watches were presented to us by the owner of the Kinetic Theatre in Chicago after our date there last weekend. It's just fantastic!" So, was Jimmy referring to the Friday or Saturday show? Or did he misspeak and they played there twice? It's possible he misspoke; after all, he seemed to name the place wrong: Kinetic Theatre versus Kinetic Playground.

OK, back to the San Jose date on May 23. It wouldn't surprise me to learn, as you suspect, that Led Zeppelin canceled the booking. I would speculate that it's because Led Zeppelin wasn't a headlining act; the headlining acts were the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jefferson Airplane and the Chambers Brothers. That's been discussed as the reason Zeppelin turned down the Woodstock festival three months later -- because Zeppelin didn't want to be lost among a crowd of acts, so to speak.

Zeppelin did, of course, play other festival dates. This San Jose one on May 23, 1969, would have been the earliest. As you point out with your "festival dates" feature here, the earliest played was more likely the Bath Festival in England that June. After returning to America for a summer tour, they played six festival dates in July alone and no more until the end of August. Then that was it for 1969. There were two festivals in the summer of 1970 and the accidental booking at the festival in Milan in 1971 that ended up being called off early due to riots. And of course, that was the last of their festival appearances until their massive bill-topping appearances at Knebworth in 1979.

But I believe I notice a pattern within these confirmed festival appearances: Led Zeppelin headlined more often than not.

In the May 23 edition of my newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History" I reported that Zeppelin played the festival on '69. I made no mention of the dates in Chicago. I would be happy to report the correct information if it can be ascertained. I commend the efforts by the users of this forum and database to dig up the history!


What do you mean with regard to the "accidental booking" for Milan? What is the story with that date?
mikezep61
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 2:30:21 PM

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Joined: 3/30/2008
Posts: 110
Points: 191
Location: CT
Steve,

Here's a link to more information regarding this festival (look under 2nd annual festival section):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquarian_Family_Festival

BTW, Ellen Sander never mentioned this festival in her "Trips" book, but mentioned just about every other date on the 1969 Spring tour (accurately, I might add). No way the band played this festival. She specifically mentions that the band played two nights in Chicago.

SteveTheLemonSauer
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 2:38:52 PM

Rank: Member

Joined: 12/29/2008
Posts: 11
Points: 33
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Your Overlord wrote:
What do you mean with regard to the "accidental booking" for Milan? What is the story with that date?


Just gonna quote from my own newsletter edition on the Milan show:

... the band was
not instructed that it was not the only act scheduled to perform today. Led
Zeppelin turned out to be one of 29 acts booked, and the concert was a
government-sponsored festival.
Many times over the years, Page has announced that he hates arriving more
than a few minutes before going onstage. This was one of those times he was
made to wait. "Five or six other acts went on before us," Page complained.
Before the group went on, he suspected that the heavy police presence
would only hinder the peace. He said he even had a conversation with the
promoter, in which he said, "Look, this is absurd. Either get them out or get
them in trim, or there's gonna be a nasty scene."
...

The interview quote from Jimmy Page was printed somewhere, and I'll have to check on it if you want. I wasn't into citing my sources six years ago when I was publishing my newsletter daily. It was printed somewhere. And a lot of my information came from my handy copy of Robert Godwin's The Press Reports. I smacked myself silly when I read his interview for Frank Reddon's book, Sonic Boom, The Impact of Led Zeppelin: Volume 1, Break & Enter, when he discussed how much time it took him to find all those news clippings and then just to have them liberated from his book on the Internet so freely! And I was probably responsible for 90% of it at the time. His book was printed in 1997, just as I was really getting into the band.

Speaking of Godwin's book, here's a quote from page 190, originally appearing in Billboard on August 7, 1971. It quotes a Premier Talent agent on why Led Zeppelin didn't perform at Woodstock (coincidentally, I brought up this topic earlier in this thread). This agent, who is not named in Godwin's (but might be in Billboard, only Godwin knows I guess), doesn't mention the issue of Zeppelin not headlining but says:

"There's a misconception in the business that from a monetary point of view festivals are successful. At the time of Woodstock, Led Zeppelin played five dates around the area at triple the money. The festival audience usually travels from 200-300 miles to make the festival scene, which usually means a "barring clause" goes up against working the area. Zeppelin would not have been able to play those five dates if they had done Woodstock. The same is true today. I advise my acts against festivals."

Rock and roll,
Quote:
Steve "The Lemon" Sauer
Lemon Squeezings

Led Zeppelin News
On This Day In Led Zeppelin History
Your Overlord
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 3:56:57 PM

Rank: Administration

Joined: 2/10/2008
Posts: 336
Points: 1,027
SteveTheLemonSauer wrote:
Your Overlord wrote:
What do you mean with regard to the "accidental booking" for Milan? What is the story with that date?


Just gonna quote from my own newsletter edition on the Milan show:

... the band was
not instructed that it was not the only act scheduled to perform today. Led
Zeppelin turned out to be one of 29 acts booked, and the concert was a
government-sponsored festival.
Many times over the years, Page has announced that he hates arriving more
than a few minutes before going onstage. This was one of those times he was
made to wait. "Five or six other acts went on before us," Page complained.
Before the group went on, he suspected that the heavy police presence
would only hinder the peace. He said he even had a conversation with the
promoter, in which he said, "Look, this is absurd. Either get them out or get
them in trim, or there's gonna be a nasty scene."
...

The interview quote from Jimmy Page was printed somewhere, and I'll have to check on it if you want. I wasn't into citing my sources six years ago when I was publishing my newsletter daily. It was printed somewhere. And a lot of my information came from my handy copy of Robert Godwin's The Press Reports. I smacked myself silly when I read his interview for Frank Reddon's book, Sonic Boom, The Impact of Led Zeppelin: Volume 1, Break & Enter, when he discussed how much time it took him to find all those news clippings and then just to have them liberated from his book on the Internet so freely! And I was probably responsible for 90% of it at the time. His book was printed in 1997, just as I was really getting into the band.

Speaking of Godwin's book, here's a quote from page 190, originally appearing in Billboard on August 7, 1971. It quotes a Premier Talent agent on why Led Zeppelin didn't perform at Woodstock (coincidentally, I brought up this topic earlier in this thread). This agent, who is not named in Godwin's (but might be in Billboard, only Godwin knows I guess), doesn't mention the issue of Zeppelin not headlining but says:

"There's a misconception in the business that from a monetary point of view festivals are successful. At the time of Woodstock, Led Zeppelin played five dates around the area at triple the money. The festival audience usually travels from 200-300 miles to make the festival scene, which usually means a "barring clause" goes up against working the area. Zeppelin would not have been able to play those five dates if they had done Woodstock. The same is true today. I advise my acts against festivals."


Interesting. I never knew that about Milan.Smile

On the Festival issue I have no doubt that that is true on a dollar for dollar basis, but festivals offer way more exposure for a band. Now granted, in retrospect it didn't hurt Zeppelin's career, but it was still probably a poor decision to skip the festival at the time.
SteveTheLemonSauer
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 4:26:10 PM

Rank: Member

Joined: 12/29/2008
Posts: 11
Points: 33
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Thanks, you guys, for the great discussion and all your work in unearthing and publicizing this info in such an efficient and accessible manner.

Do you guys know Robert Godwin? I wonder if he knows I am responsible for much of the "liberating" of the fruits of his intensive research and how he would react to meeting me.

"Oh, YOU'RE Steve Sauer?" Punches me in the face.

Probably not. The guy's Canadian. I have yet to meet a Canadian who'd take a swing at anybody.

Looks like the Wikipedia page on the Santa Clara Festival needs an update to reflect the info that Zeppelin did not perform. That's all very interesting stuff: the Rolling Stone article and the Wikipedia article on the Aquarian Family Festival in California a few days earlier. According to that, Zeppelin was so interested in seeing the Aquarian Family Festival go on as planned that the band gave money toward the legal cause, even though the band didn't even play the festival! Now there's a story that hasn't really seen the light of day ... yet ...

Rock and roll,
Quote:
Steve "The Lemon" Sauer
Lemon Squeezings

Led Zeppelin News
On This Day In Led Zeppelin History
Your Overlord
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 4:35:28 PM

Rank: Administration

Joined: 2/10/2008
Posts: 336
Points: 1,027
SteveTheLemonSauer wrote:
Thanks, you guys, for the great discussion and all your work in unearthing and publicizing this info in such an efficient and accessible manner.

Do you guys know Robert Godwin? I wonder if he knows I am responsible for much of the "liberating" of the fruits of his intensive research and how he would react to meeting me.

"Oh, YOU'RE Steve Sauer?" Punches me in the face.

Probably not. The guy's Canadian. I have yet to meet a Canadian who'd take a swing at anybody.

Looks like the Wikipedia page on the Santa Clara Festival needs an update to reflect the info that Zeppelin did not perform. That's all very interesting stuff: the Rolling Stone article and the Wikipedia article on the Aquarian Family Festival in California a few days earlier. According to that, Zeppelin was so interested in seeing the Aquarian Family Festival go on as planned that the band gave money toward the legal cause, even though the band didn't even play the festival! Now there's a story that hasn't really seen the light of day ... yet ...


I've talked to Godwin a number of times and he has been incredibly nice. Of course, this was long before I launched the website. I would hope that he recognizes by now that the internet has done that to all information and that it is a good thing. In the next code release of this site(which will be soon Ver 5) I am adding a thanks page and he is listed prominently. He is the godfather of what Mike and I do these days and we are huge fans. I think that "The Press Reports" is the best Zeppelin book ever released and ten years later it still stands up. Wink
SteveTheLemonSauer
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 4:49:46 PM

Rank: Member

Joined: 12/29/2008
Posts: 11
Points: 33
Location: Boca Raton, FL
The first one I ever read was "Led Zeppelin: A Celebration," by Dave Lewis, followed quickly by Ritchie Yorke's "Definitive Biography of Led Zeppelin." My newsletter started out just as some notes to myself jotted down in a basic word processor for easy access to information that mostly Dave Lewis wrote, with some stories pulled from Yorke's book. From that, I had something for every day of the year give or take a few buggers, so I started posting it online on July 29, 1998. In those early days, I was using only those couple of sources and wasn't careful to cite even those sources. Sometimes, I even let an occasional passage -- sometimes short and innocuous, but other times long and egregious -- be plagiarized from either source verbatim and uncredited! I wasn't necessarily all that careful back then. I appeal to my youth and inexperience at the time. I was basically just a kid when I started going online and spewing off stories from 10 years before I was born. After all, Zeppelin had four kids when it first started ...

Rock and roll,
Quote:
Steve "The Lemon" Sauer
Lemon Squeezings

Led Zeppelin News
On This Day In Led Zeppelin History
SteveTheLemonSauer
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 6:10:16 PM

Rank: Member

Joined: 12/29/2008
Posts: 11
Points: 33
Location: Boca Raton, FL
I haven't looked in a while at what I had in the newsletter for that tour. The first source I had for those tour dates was Dave Lewis's "A Celebration." I remember him having the entire tour itinerary duplicated two months apart. I wasn't sure that was correct, and then Robert Godwin's "Press Reports" seemed to clarify it all for me, verifying one set of dates and eliminating the other by ignoring it.

Rock and roll,
Quote:
Steve "The Lemon" Sauer
Lemon Squeezings

Led Zeppelin News
On This Day In Led Zeppelin History
Your Overlord
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 6:18:25 PM

Rank: Administration

Joined: 2/10/2008
Posts: 336
Points: 1,027
SteveTheLemonSauer wrote:
I haven't looked in a while at what I had in the newsletter for that tour. The first source I had for those tour dates was Dave Lewis's "A Celebration." I remember him having the entire tour itinerary duplicated two months apart. I wasn't sure that was correct, and then Robert Godwin's "Press Reports" seemed to clarify it all for me, verifying one set of dates and eliminating the other by ignoring it.


I take it that this post is in response to my pm?

For those reading along at home, I asked him about the 71 European tour.Laughing
SteveTheLemonSauer
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 6:23:44 PM

Rank: Member

Joined: 12/29/2008
Posts: 11
Points: 33
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Oh, sorry. I am on a BlackBerry at the moment and couldn't tell it was a pm. My bad. Newbie mistake.

Rock and roll,
Quote:
Steve "The Lemon" Sauer
Lemon Squeezings

Led Zeppelin News
On This Day In Led Zeppelin History
Your Overlord
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 6:26:04 PM

Rank: Administration

Joined: 2/10/2008
Posts: 336
Points: 1,027
SteveTheLemonSauer wrote:
Oh, sorry. I am on a BlackBerry at the moment and couldn't tell it was a pm. My bad. Newbie mistake.


No problem. Cool, I have never posted on the forum from my blackberry before.Smile
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