Classic Rock Review

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Led Zeppelin Concert Memories: Capital Centre, Landover, Maryland, May 25th 1977

untitled2From Underground Uprising

I was 14, Zeppelin announced 3 dates at the Capital Centre in Landover ( Largo) Maryland. They would later add May 30 to the string of shows making the total of 4 dates.

Mother refused to take me even though the gigs were draped across the weekend rather nicely. Thanks mom. A schoolmate had an extra ticket for the first night’s performance. I wasn’t about to accept defeat. Face value was something like $7.50. I bought it. I had a few weeks to find a ride to the show because the schoolmate wasn’t really a good friend and he lived about 8 miles away. I was a rather geeky kid that happened to love Zeppelin and my best friends weren’t into Zeppelin at all.

Their loss I figured. I ended up creating a flier, a rather big one, and propped it up against the speed limit sign out on the parkway near my house in Columbia, MD. I was sure someone was going to either, A: pick me up and take me to the Zeppelin Concert, or, B: pick me up and molest/torture/harass/exploit/terrorize me. B didn’t happen, and I was picked up by a sedan filled with some older boys going to the show. Turned out one of the brothers of the driver that pulled over and picked me up was in my home room at my middle school.

Okay, so I was too reluctant to ask my schoolmate for a ride, but adventurous enough to risk getting abducted just to get to see my favorite band. What a dumbshit, eh? I get there and instantly this dude was trying to sell me what he called acid. It was a pink little pill and looked like damn Benadryl or something (and probably was) So I bought one for $3.00. What a dumbass. (why am I sharing this? I hope someone is having a good laugh…:-) So I get in after waiting till about 8 PM. They must have had a very late sound check… Who knows.

I walk to the nearest entrance to view the stage area and damn, I thought, “who’s opening for Zeppelin?” – Because Bonzo’s drum kit didn’t have the 3 rings on the bass drum head. “Silver kit with white heads?” I thought this was a warm up band. To my surprise of course it WAS Bonzo’s kit. I took my seats and my schoolmates weren’t there yet. I think they stumbled in around 9:30. They wouldn’t even give me a ride back when I asked. Jerks. (is this hilarious or what?) Zeppelin stumbled onto the stage around 9:20. There was no warm up band. I gathered that around 8:45. Would have been great if Detective or somebody had opened. I’m sorry, but I love that Detective album “Takes one to know one.”

If you haven’t heard it and you dig Zeppelin, Check it out… Anyway, I had nose bleed seats but they were close to the stage. The speakers were hiked up pretty high (close to us). It was loud as F*$k. I was receiving 120 dB easily. Stereo Effects sucked, especially during Page’s solo and Bonzo’s solo. Best part was No Quarter with the lasers. There were some cables obstructing some of the stage but the guys moved back and forth enough I wasn’t too disappointed. Page nearly tripped once over his effects then he tried to play it off by repeating his goof pretending his steps were intentional. He was playing pretty bad. Plant was spot on. He only cracked a couple times. He was very controlling of his wild-out-of-control audience. He hushed everybody once or twice.

Page was really bad that night (too many horse tranquilizers and JD possibly?). Bonzo stole the show. He added a crash cymbal to his set that year. I wish I knew more about him. I wish his son would write a book. Page really sucked that night. Too many med’s on board I guess. The more reverberation for that night the better. I just want it to go with my ticket stub and maybe my kids will find it interesting that I attended the show. I ended up running into the same guy that picked me up on the side of the road. That was the luckiest day of my life up to that point. The next luckiest day was getting to see RUSH later that December. Not sure if this qualifies as a review suitable for posting, I just felt compelled to share.

A. Ekland Raleigh

May 29, 2013 Posted by | Led Zeppelin Concert Memories: Capital Centre Landover Maryland May 25th 1977 | , | 1 Comment