Wednesday, September 23, 2009

We'll drive our ships to new lands

On this day in 1971, Led Zeppelin performed its first-ever concert in Japan. At the Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Zeppelin opened with "Immigrant Song," which had been No. 1 on the charts for a record stretch.

Onstage, between songs, Robert Plant talked extensively to the crowd about how much fun Zeppelin was already having in the country, even before one show was underway. And it's no wonder, based on the stories that have been told since then of Zeppelin's stay at the Tokyo Hilton, which resulted in a ban of any further stays there by the group.

Evidently, there was some mistaken peeping tom activity going on -- and an incident with a samurai sword where John Bonham cut up the wall of the hotel and left John Paul Jones sleeping in the hall. And finally, a fruit fight among Zeppelin's entourage clinched the Tokyo Hilton ban on Led Zeppelin.

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