Why Led Zeppelin was banned from performing in Boston in 1975
Undeniably: Led Zeppelin - one of the greatest rock bands in history. Although their tracks are not featured in films and they have not yet been made into a biopic, their iconic riffs are instantly recognisable to millions of people around the world. Their works have become an integral part of classic rock, and they themselves have long been icons of the genre and their time. And, of course, as with any other rock band of this magnitude, the biography of the "Zeppelins." is shrouded in a mass of theories and legends that have not ceased to this day.....
One legend is more than true, although it sounds like the plot of some rock 'n' roll action film! This story took place almost half a century ago, and after it happened, the band was prohibited perform in Boston - a place that meant so much to Led Zeppelin... All thanks to their fans!
It didn't take long for the excitement to die down
During their record-breaking tours in the 1970s, Led Zeppelin earned a reputation as one of the most of the leading rebels in rock 'n' roll.. In one story, their drummer, John Bonhameven riding a motorbike down a hotel corridor! However, the band's most notorious scandal came in 1975, when they had banned from performing in Boston. And it was the fans who made this whole mess. Stephen Davies, a journalist and writer who covered Led Zeppelin during their 1975 world tour and even wrote two books on the subject, recalls:
"It was an amazing mix of epic emotionality and really heavy rock! They were just an awesome band with an incredible guitarist, a screaming singer and one of the greatest drummers ever to play rock 'n' roll... By 1975 Led Zeppelin really were, if not the biggest rock band in the world, one of those bands."
By then Led Zeppelin had legions of fans around the world, hits and brilliant albums. They were toured extensivelyplaying legendary concerts that sometimes stretched for four hours... And often had adventures, which, in general, has always been characteristic of rockers.
When they went on the tour, they planned to visit the Boston - a place that has always had a special meaning to them. Davis continues:
"Boston was a very important city for Led Zepplin. They broke out of England in early 1969 to a Boston club in the beginning of their journey, where they played a series of raucous concerts. And then in 1969, 1970, 1971 they came back about nine times and played everywhere! And they were very much loved there..."
The band was supposed to play a show in the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, in January 1975. The band had performed in this city many times before, and their fans were more than ready to see them live again... However, their own handiwork shattered their dream and forced the band to change their plans regarding their tour itinerary.
Fans are not on the fence about it
It's all started 6 January 1975when it was announced that tickets for the upcoming Zeppelin show at Boston Garden would go on sale the next morning. The excitement was great: the number of people who came to buy tickets was estimated at about three thousand people! They were mostly very young, still young people, teenagers even. Davis recalls:
"By about 5pm they started lining up on Causeway Street near the old Boston Garden. There were several thousand of them and they were all wearing denim trousers and denim jackets! They were cold..."
When evening came and the temperature dropped into the single digits, the Garden's doors were ajar so fans could wait inside until the box office opened the next morning - assuming they would be behave. But good behaviour is a bad tone for a true admirer of heavy rock. And soon the extravaganza began without the Zeppelins themselves....
"A great many of them carried booze with them, and not only that. Soon they were drinking, smoking and rioting...". Davies continues, "Teenagers broke into beer bars and started piling up all the merchandise they could get their hands on!"
The fun quickly turned to full-blown riotWhen the next shift of law enforcers arrived, they tried to defuse the situation by pointing fire hoses at the crazed fans. Unfortunately, the response they received was much the opposite of what they wanted to achieve, as the rioters began to set fire to the seats.
"The place was a smoking ruin. In addition, the hall was completely flooded...".
A total of about $30,000 in damagesbefore control was finally restored around 5.30am.
I'm not going to Boston
Davis' response, however, is not as colourful as that of Boston's then-mayor, Kevin White.
"He saw the burnt-out seats, the flooded hockey court and the trashed bleachers and he said: "Led Zeppelin will never play in Boston again!"
And they never did. White denied them permission for the 1975 concert. They skipped Boston during their colossal of the 1977 American tour of the year. And as they were rehearsing for their 1980 American tour, the drummer died John Bonham - and it was the end of Led Zeppelin's career.