Friday, September 11, 2009

The Eighties -- Part One

On this day in 1980, Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant announced that the group would soon go on tour in North America for the first time in three years.

Back in '77, Robert Plant's son had died, meaning more than just the immediate end of a Led Zeppelin tour in North America. Plant's mourning also jeopardized future dates.

It was, in fact, John Bonham who ultimately was responsible for pulling Plant back into the Led Zeppelin fold. When the singer wasn't sure whether or not touring the world was worth leaving a family behind at home, it was the drummer who hated flights and abhorred being away from his own family who convinced him of the merits of Led Zeppelin concert dates.

All Bonham had persuaded Plant to do was to come back and try out some new material. This became the album In Through the Out Door, which came out just after Led Zeppelin's concert series at the Knebworth festival. The idea of going on tour, however, was something that wasn't seriously brought up to Plant by anyone in Zeppelin's circle until after those concert dates were observed.

After Plant said yes to a tour of Europe in the summer of 1980, that was all Led Zeppelin was under obligation to do. Again, nothing further was discussed until after the last encore was played. And when Peter Grant finally broached the subject with Plant, he finally said he was willing to go and give it another try.

That's what was being announced all those years ago on this date. Led Zeppelin was again going to tour North America, with everything having been put behind them. All the concert dates were now in place.

The touring campaign was called "Led Zeppelin: The Eighties -- Part One." Plans were for Led Zeppelin to continue with a set of dates to follow in 1981.

It was considered "Part One" because there were tentative plans to reconvene in 1981 for tours of Japan and, for the first time ever by Led Zeppelin, South America. For the time being, Led Zeppelin was going to appear:
  • Oct. 17 at the Forum in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Oct. 19-20 & 23 at the Capital Center in Landonver, Md.
  • Oct. 22 & Nov. 3-4 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Oct. 26-27 at Richfield Coliseum near Cleveland, Ohio
  • Oct. 29-30 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich.
  • Nov. 1 at the War Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Nov. 6-7 at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Nov. 9 at the Saint Paul Civic Center in Saint Paul, Minn.
  • Nov. 10, 12-13 & 15 at Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Ill.

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