Sunday, March 26, 2006

Special journalism edition part 1 of 2

This newsletter edition, published on the 36th anniversary of a Led Zeppelin concert that was reviewed in a questionable manner, detailed numerous other instances of questionable journalism relating to Led Zeppelin members.

On this day in 1970, a staff writer for a newspaper in Salt Lake City, Utah, couldn't make up his mind about Led Zeppelin's performance at the city's Salt Palace for a concert review published the following day. Meanwhile, the music critic of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver was complimentary of the entire band in a review of the previous night's show.

At a time when the band had only two albums to its name, George Raine of the Salt Lake Tribune evidently had mixed feelings about Led Zeppelin's March 26 concert in his town. Although Raine found Jimmy Page worthy of being called a "virtuoso," he wasn't as complimentary of the rest of the band.

Raine's concert review praised the guitarist: "There is seemingly nothing he cannot do in the technical realm," he remarked. "He plays one of the fastest guitar necks to be seen. His intonations, his vibratos and his sense of time and syncopation probably are matched by only a handful of contemporary guitarists." His thoughts on the whole band, however, was that "it is not particularly hot, nor is it cold. Led Zeppelin is not good, nor is it bad." The headline summed up Raine's comments, saying, "Group is nothing to get excited about."

The write-up in the March 26 edition of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver was more favorable for the band. The headline of Music Critic Thomas MacCluskey's review said the band "has arrived."

Denver was also the location of Led Zeppelin's first U.S. concert, about 15 months earlier. MacCluskey reported on the increase in "the value of LZ's performances" between the two Denver appearances: The value had "risen from $1,500 to $32,000," the article said.

A separate piece in the same issue of the Rocky Mountain News focused mostly on a dozen broken window panes at the Denver Coliseum. According to that article, the police had expected more trouble "for a crowd this size." What size? The article quoted promoter Barry Fey of Feyline Productions as saying the attendance was more than 11,500 people.

It was not only the largest assembly ever gathered for a concert in the city, but it was also Denver's first concert to be officially recognized* as sold out. Fey said it sold out two weeks before the show.
* Officially recognized: A Beatles concert at Denver's Red Rocks Amphitheater on Aug. 26, 1964, is thought to have sold out although it was not officially recognized as such. It seemed to be a sold-out show because 10,000 people were crammed into a 9,000-capacity venue. Only 7,000 tickets were sold, and still 2,000 remained unsold, so it's estimated that about 3,000 fans must have used counterfeit tickets to gain admission.
The attendance at other Led Zeppelin concerts was also becoming quite impressive. After Denver and Salt Lake City, the band traveled to California for a March 27 show at the L.A. Forum in Inglewood. Led Zeppelin welcomed 20,000 people, earning $71,000 for the single appearance.

The second part to this edition of "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History" carried on the "Special journalism edition" theme.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Users agree to avoid posting profanity and defamatory comments.