Rolling Stone’s Lester Bangs loved it and hated it. Advance orders were nearly 1 million and it was a major hit in both the US and Europe.
August 15, 1979 ~ Led Zeppelin’s 8th and final album is released …
The whole ’77 Led Zeppelin tour was one that almost destroyed the band. It all came to a head at the Days of the Green Festival in Oakland on July 23 …
Led Zeppelin’s two-night residency at the large outdoor venue was being promoted by concert impresario Bill Graham, who they already had had some rough dealings with them in the past. The trouble began when Peter Grant’s 11-year-old son Warren tried to take down a dressing room sign bearing the band’s name and was assaulted by a member of Graham’s staff, Jim Matzorkis. This was a huge no-no. Peter Grant was a mountain of a man; a former professional wrestler who carried with him an extremely short temper.Corbin Reiff, Uproxx
Bonham saw the whole thing and went after the worker. Eventually, Grant himself, along with John Bindon, a member of Zeppelin’s crew and a well-known London gangster, cornered Matzorkis in a trailer and savagely beat him down, while Cole guarded the door, refusing to let anyone in. Obviously, Graham was furious about the whole thing, but with another show the next night still on the books, he signed a letter of indemnification, absolving the band from any wrongdoing in order to get them back on the stage. Nevertheless, charges were eventually filed against Grant, Bindon and Bonham who all later pled no contest and paid a small fine to make the whole thing disappear.
The interview would mark Bonham’s last ever appearance on television before his untimely passing and was a very strangely conducted interview, one which was too short to really get started and stopped Bonham from ever getting into full flow. The footage later became a somewhat notorious clip due to its disastrous nature.
It’s impossible to know how long Led Zeppelin would have survived had Bonham lived, but the 1980 tour made it pretty clear they were not quite ready to call it quits.
Bad Company’s Simon Kirke joins Led Zeppelin for a cameo during the concert in Munich, Germany on July 5, 1980. (See the 7:09 mark .. but the whole thing is worthy)
Kirke is the last guest musician to perform with Led Zeppelin. Bonzo dies two days later.
It was the band’s first performance in the UK since 1975 …
Led Zeppelin at The Winterland in San Francisco ~ April 26, 1969. Note the encore … This would be the first time “Whole Lotta Love” would be performed live.