Jimmy Page: “Led Zeppelin Began Their North American Tour…” – L.A. Forum August 21, 1971 – NIGHT 1 – VIDEO – COOL HISTORY
Led Zeppelin began their North American tour in Vancouver, Canada on 19th August 1971 but started in the US at the LA Forum on this day (8/21/71) – this being the first of two nights.
I remember a standing ovation from a good percentage of the audience after Stairway to Heaven – this was quite remarkable as we were touring this material from an album not to be released until three months later.
Photo © Chuck Boyd, 1971
August 21, 1971
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Celebration Day, That’s the Way, Going to California, What Is and What Should Never Be, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl. Let That Boy Boogie, I’m Moving On, That’s Alright Mama, Mess of Blues, Got a Lot of Living to Do, Honey Bee), Weekend, Rock and Roll, Communication Breakdown, Organ solo / Thank You.
Led Zeppelin’s 1971 North American Tour was the seventh concert tour of North America by the English rock band. The tour commenced on August 7 and concluded on 17 September 1971. It included two warm-up shows in Montreux, Switzerland.
This tour took place just prior to the release of the band’s fourth album. The band had hoped to release this album in time for the tour, but various delays prevented this from occurring.
This was the longest break that the band had from touring North America to date, with their last tour there having taken place almost a year previously. During the interim, the hard rock band Grand Funk Railroad had asserted its influence on the American music market, and Led Zeppelin was keen to re-establish their live reputation through this stint of concert performances.
Before this tour, Robert Plant shaved off his beard, a style which he and the rest of his bandmates had adopted the year before. John Paul Jones followed suit a month later. However, Jones would later grow a beard in late 1972 and keep it until March 1973, and then have a mustache for part of the 1973 North American Tour, and also have a beard from late 1975 to early 1977.
It was on this tour that the notorious “Folding Chair Incident” took place. On August 26, at the show in Houston, several fans threw folding chairs at the stage in protest to what were perceived as overpriced tickets. No one was injured, and the show continued without any more interruptions.
On this tour, the band grossed $1 million.