Classic Rock Review

The home of old record and bootleg reviews…

Zeppelin take the states by storm (May 1973)


The latest Led Zeppelin tour is taking America by storm, proving yet again that this is the top rock ‘n’ roll band in the world.

There are no exceptions, no maybes, no ifs or buts. Not Alice Cooper, not the Rolling Stones, not the Who. There isn’t a group anywhere that could come close to sinking the Zep.

The band’s fifth album, ‘Houses Of The Holy’, hit number one on the North American best-selling lists after only five weeks of release – against super stiff opposition from the Beatles oldies, Bread, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper and Edgar Winter.

The feat is made even more notable when you realise that ‘Houses Of The Holy’ is receiving virtually no airplay on AM radio in the U.S. Most American top 40 stations do not programme and album cuts.

Instead they concentrate on oldies and to this end, the Beatles two albums were snapped up like the choicest remnants at a bargain basement sale. Yet still Zep got there first.

Members of the Zep and Atlantic Records are now trying to decide which cut to release as a single. There’s been a lot of talk about ‘Over The Hills And Far Away’. Personally I prefer ‘D’Yer Mak’er’ which strikes me as a certain number one.

Any rock critic worth his free records and concert tickets would hesitate long and hard before introducing the Beatles as one end of any analogy. Yet in the case of Led Zeppelin, it’s desperately hard to avoid.

Take, for example, the first two concerts on Zep’s 1973 North American tour.

UntitledAt the opening night gig in Atlanta Braves Stadium, Led Zeppelin smashed the seven-year old attendance record set by the Beatles in 1965. The Liverpool lads drew 33,000 people. Zep pulled in 49,236 fans for a total gross of 246,180 dollars. That’s virtually a 50 per cent improvement on the Beatles best in Atlanta.

Moving on to Tampa, Fla., Zeppelin drew the largest crowd ever to a single concert performance in U.S. history. The band attracted almost 57,000 patrons for a gross of 309,000 dollars.

The old record was held by the Beatles’ crowd of 55,000 for a gross of 301,000 dollars at Shea Stadium in 1965, at the height of Beatlemania.

Led Zeppelin would have walked away from Tampa at least 200,000 dollars richer, which is not bad at all for a couple of hours on stage. They were probably the two most lucrative hours in show business history.

There’s never been anything like it. I am now convinced that Zepp could outdraw the Stones, Alice Cooper, Carole King or Elvis Presley in any U.S. city you care to mention.

So much for the cynics who doubted if Zepp still had U.S. drawing power. And for the critics who arrogantly and ignorantly said the album sucked. Led Zeppelin reign supreme and it’s high time many more members of the media realised it.

January 21, 2014 Posted by | Zeppelin take the states by storm | , | Leave a comment