Led Zeppelin – The Day I Was There

I received an e-mail from Richard M. Houghton, the author of the book I posted about recently, Jimi Hendrix – The Day I Was There. He was letting me know that he had signed copies of that book available. He also informed me that he was starting his Led Zeppelin The Day I Was There book. He was accepting stories from fans. So I decided I would document my Led Zeppelin concert experience for inclusion in his next book.

I have been meaning to create a concert and memorabilia database, blog site so what better opportunity to kick it off with this blog post 😉

Led Zeppelin

June 11, 1977

Madison Square Garden

New York City, NY

The Day I Was There

Led Zeppelin first occurred to me as music phenomenon when I was a senior in high school in 1968. I hung around with a group of friends and we were passionate about rock music. We would meet in the cafeteria before school and at lunch to discuss who we were listening to on WNEW-FM radio. We devoured Rolling Stone magazine cover to cover.

A member of our discussion group had friends in England. They had told him about Led Zeppelin. He raved about this new supergroup which was creating a stir across the pond in the fall of 1968. Led Zeppelin did not release their earth-shattering album Led Zeppelin until January 1969. It was everything I had heard about and more. I took that album with me everywhere. I played it relentlessly on my hi-fi system and in art class at school. Lots of people borrowed it from me.

I wanted to see Led Zeppelin live in concert after bonding with their first album. Progressive FM airplay stirred that need even more. On July 3rd, 1969 on the way home from The Fillmore East in the East Village, New York City after a Jethro Tull/Jeff Beck concert I bumped into two friends from high school. We rode the subway from Astor Place to Grand Central Terminal to catch the train back to Connecticut.

They were psyched about having seen Led Zeppelin at The Filmore East a couple of months earlier. I listened intently as they talked about sitting in the balcony with binoculars studying Jimmy Page’s guitar mastery. They watched his hands the entire show as they both played guitar in a band. They were knocked out by his musicianship and urged me to see Led Zeppelin if I ever got the chance. I made a personal commitment to make that happen.

Eight years later that became reality. I purchased tickets at a Ticketron ticketing terminal to see Led Zeppelin at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Led Zeppelin had booked a six-night engagement at this famous venue, June 7, 8, 10, 11, 13 & 14 ,1977. I scored tickets for Saturday evening June 11th.

I recall that my sister-in-law drove us from Norwalk Connecticut in her Volvo. Travelling by car to the Garden added to the excitement of the evening. There is a thrill in witnessing the streets and atmosphere of New York City at night. The lights, the people, and the stores. We parked at The Garden and joined our fellow Zep freaks as we headed into the venue.

I was handed this pin by a Garden employee. I refer to it often in my pin collection. WPLJ-FM 95.5 was one of two major FM rock stations in New York City in the mid 70s.

Our seats were fantastic for $10.50 each. We sat on the left side of the band as they faced out into the audience. We had a great view of Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Bonham. John Paul Jones was tucked behind Bonham so we couldn’t see him as well.

Led Zeppelin proved to be everything I knew and felt about them in concert. My visual recollection of their performance centers around a couple of songs in their 21-song set list.

Set List:

The Song Remains the Same, (The Rover intro) Sick Again, Nobody’s Fault but Mine, In My Time of Dying, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter, Ten Years Gone, Battle of Evermore, Going to California, Black Country Woman, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Summer ~ Black Mountainside, Kashmir, (Out On the Tiles intro) Moby Dick, Jimmy Page solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway to Heaven, Heartbreaker.

I remember being tired that night and starting to drift off to sleep in my seat (I know who falls asleep at a Led Zeppelin concert?). They had played several acoustic numbers seated at the front of the stage. I snapped awake after Black Mountainside as I witnessed Jimmy Page kicking a three-legged stool as it slid fast behind him under Bonham’s drum kit. He grabbed his double neck guitar launching us into “Kashmir”. It was a powerful moment that swept me along for the ride. Ever since then “Kashmir” has been my favorite Led Zeppelin tune.

“Kashmir” was followed by the greatest drum solo I ever saw. John Bonham played “Moby Dick” with drum sticks, his hands, and the Gong. I have seen a lot of great drummers in my 49 years of live concerts. But no one has impressed me or reached me with their drumming skills like John Bonham. I realized after he passed away why Led Zeppelin did not want to reform without him as Bonzo was integral to their sonic experience.

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The evening ended with the encore of “Stairway to Heaven” which is the classic Led Zeppelin hit.  Hearing Robert Plant’s voice echo across the sea of people in Madison Square Garden as the huge disco ball cast its light on us was breathtaking to witness. His hair was golden as was the memory.

I’m always reminded of this concert when I see this rock t-shirt being worn. It’s a shirt I must add to my rock t-shirt wardrobe.

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Jimi Hendrix – The Day I Was There

As a veteran of over 415 concerts in 49 years, one of my regrets is that I never saw Jimi Hendrix live in concert. Alas, that was not meant to happen.

I will soon have an opportunity to read about the personal memories of 400 eyewitness accounts of seeing Jimi live. Richard M. Houghton has a new book coming out on the 48th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s death, September 18, 2018, Jimi Hendrix, The Day I Was There.

I love the use of color that illustrates the book cover.

Richard M. Houghton is a music journalist/archivist. He has forged an interesting niche by writing a series of books from a rock music fan’s point of view. His, I Was There theme is a smart and welcome idea. The Jimi Hendrix book is the fifth I Was There title in the series.

He has written I Was There books about The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Pink Floyd.

He is working on several more I  Was There books for 2019 and beyond. Upcoming projects are fan memories of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath (2019), the Faces, Cream and Neil Young.  I have some memories to share with Richard for those titles.

If there’s anyone else you’re passionate reading about, he’ d love to hear from you. Drop him a line at iwasatthatgig@gmail.com

I will be corresponding with Richard very soon 🙂

Jimi Hendrix – Both Sides of the Sky

The gift that keeps on giving is the Jimi Hendrix vault. Both Sides of the Sky is the third and final installment in a trilogy series of unissued archival recordings. This recording contains 10 previously unreleased tracks. It follows 2010’s Valleys of Neptune and 2013’s People, Hell, and Angels.

Jimi

Many of the 13 tracks showcase the trio line-up that became known as Band of Gypsys: Hendrix on guitar and vocals, Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums. “Hear My Train A Comin'” features the original line-up from the Jimi Hendrix Experience: Hendrix, bassist Noel Redding, and drummer Mitch Mitchell.

Several notable guest collaborators highlight the set, including Stephen Stills, Johnny Winter and vocalist/saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood (Hendrix’s pre-fame bandmate in Curtis Knight & the Squires). Stills appears on two tracks recorded in September 1969: a cover version of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” (tracked months before Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s famous reworking) and the original song “$20 Fine.” Winter appears on a previously excerpted rendition of Guitar Slim’s “Things I Used to Do,” appearing here in a full, remixed version.

Engineer Eddie Kramer who worked on every Hendrix project before the guitar legend’s death has co-produced the album with John McDermott and Hendrix’s sister, Janie Hendrix.

The album will be available March 9th, 2018 via Sony Legacy Recordings on multiple formats, including CD, digital and a numbered, 180-gram audiophile double-vinyl.

Jimi Hendrix – Both Sides of the Sky Track List:

1. “Mannish Boy” (previously unreleased)
2. “Lover Man” (previously unreleased)
3. “Hear My Train A Comin'” (previously unreleased)
4. “Stepping Stone” (previously unreleased)
5. “$20 Fine” (previously unreleased, featuring Stephen Stills)
6. “Power Of Soul” (previously unavailable extended version)
7. “Jungle” (previously unreleased)
8. “Things I Used to Do” (featuring Johnny Winter)
9. “Georgia Blues” (featuring Lonnie Youngblood)
10. “Sweet Angel” (previously unreleased)
11. “Woodstock” (previously unreleased, featuring Stephen Stills)
12. “Send My Love To Linda” (previously unreleased)
13. “Cherokee Mist” (previously unreleased)

The Hendrix Flat Opens

“Well I never been to England
But I kinda like the Beatles
Songwriter: Hoyt Axton Song Lyrics: Never Been To Spain

We long to visit London, England one day. Tourist attractions associated with The Beatles and the British Invasion are high on our list. A destination to include on the itinerary would be the flat Jimi Hendrix and his then girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham rented at 23 Brook Street, Mayfair.

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Photo: Alamy

 

The Handel House Trust unveiled the Hendrix Flat this past week on February 10th.  It allows fans to witness the rooms where the greatest rock instrumentalist in history conducted his famous jam sessions and, most excitingly, to view highlights from his varied music collection.

What I find fascinating is that the Hendrix Flat was right next door to the Handel house where the classic composer George Frideric Handel lived for 36 years. The synergy of music purveyors Handel and Hendrix in the same building is total kharma.

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Credit: Handel House Trust

The restored flat comes complete with Hendrix’s old Epiphone FT79 acoustic guitar, which he used to devise his epic cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘All Along the Watchtower’.

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Credit: Michael Bowles/Handel & Hendrix in London

Hendrix’s Vinyl Collection

Examining the timeframe when Jimi Hendrix resided with Kathy Etchingham in 1968 it was in-between the albums, Axis Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland. 

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The Vinyl Factor wrote an article about the vinyl records that Jimi Hendrix listened to while he was living at the flat, EXPLORE JIMI HENDRIX’S RECORD COLLECTION IN LONDON. Jimi Hendrix’s personal record collection included records from sitar guru Ravi Shankar and French music concrète pioneer Pierre Henry, psychedelic outfit Red Crayola and a copy of Handel’s Messiah performed by the English Chamber Orchestra.

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For Jimi Hendrix, 23 Brook Street was the doorstep to the London music scene of the late 60s. His flat was a short stroll from legendary venues like the Marquee, the Speakeasy and The Scotch of St James and he would spend many evenings wandering from club to club looking for a chance to play.

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Photography: Barrie Wentzell

Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation’s Day of Giving

 

Today, April 29, 2014 is the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation Day of Giving. I have a deep affinity for Jimi Hendrix. I was my honored to give to this worthy cause.

 

Inspired by the music, life and legacy of our own “West Coast Seattle Boy,” Jimi Hendrix Park will be a unique gathering place for the entire community.

Stand together with local community leaders to help shape the future of Jimi Hendrix Park.

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The Electric Church High Priests – Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, and Carlos Santana

Electric Church was a belief held by Jimi Hendrix’s knowledge that electric music (such as Jimi’s band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience created) brings out emotions, feelings and ideas in people as well as fosters spiritual maturity. In an interview on the Dick Cavett Show in 1969, Cavett asked Hendrix about the Electric Church. Hendrix replied by saying that he designed his music so that it would be able to go “inside the soul of the person, and awaken some kind of thing inside, because there are so many sleeping people”. I thought it might be interesting to review the three point intersection in the Electric Church shared by Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, and Carlos Santana.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix considered “Electric Church” his religion and based his third album Electric Ladyland on that inherent belief.

When asked why he didn’t name his then-new album “Electric Church” instead of “Electric Ladyland”, Jimi said that some ladies were electric too. (then he laughed as if he were embarassed.)

Buddy Miles appeared on two songs on the Hendrix album “Electric Ladyland.” When Hendrix disbanded the Jimi Hendrix Experience and replaced the British musicians with African-Americans, Buddy Miles joined Jimi in the Band of Gypsys along with Billy Cox on bass.

Copyright 1968 Eddie Kramer

On the last night of the 1960s, a New Year’s Eve show, they recorded Band of Gypsys, an album that included “Them Changes.” This was the epitome of the Electric Church in the most spiritual rock hall at that time, The Fillmore East. If only the walls of that building could talk. Fortunately that concert was preserved on DVD (or YouTube I am guessing…).

Buddy Miles

The Buddy Miles Express album, Electric Church was partly produced by Jimi Hendrix.  It bridged the gap between the late 60s psychedelic rock scene and Miles’ R&B roots. The album Electric Church had a looser, more jam-oriented vibe than the first album, Expressway to Your Skull. 

Carlos Santana

Buddy Miles and Carlos Santana joined their talents to further grow the Electric Church as a live concert setting which became the album for Columbia Records, Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles Live!                 They recorded this performance in the Diamond Head Crater an inactive volcano in Hawaii. Embed from Getty Images

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