Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Radio documentary broadcast of Led Zeppelin at Western Springs Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand.
February 25th 1972.
Remastered for CDR by Blockbuster using Cool Edit Pro v 2.1, 44100Hz, 16-bit, Stereo.
01 - Intro
02 - Heartbreaker
03 - Morning Pirate Mark Perry reminisces
04 - Black Dog
05 - Fans make the pilgrimage to Auckland
06 - Since I've been loving you
07 - Connecting with the fans
08 - Stairway to heaven
09 - The power was awesome
10 - That's the way
11 - Peter Andrews gets hands-on
12 - Tangerine
01 - Concert promoter Robert Raymond remembers
02 - Bron-y-Aur stomp
03 - High Jinks at The White Heron Hotel
04 - Dazed and confused
05 - Fans recall their personal highlights
06 - Whole lotta love (intro)
07 - Let that boy boogie
08 - Hello Mary Lou
09 - Let's have a party
10 - Going down slow
11 - Whole lotta love (outro)
12 - Acknowledgements
13 - Communication breakdown
Over a 12-year, nine-album career from 1968-1980, Led Zeppelin was the most popular rock group in the world, ultimately selling more than 200 million albums worldwide. They developed the blues-based power trio-plus-lead singer archetype in many directions including mystical English folk-rock, Middle Eastern-influenced exotica, quirky pop and every manner of heaviness. They also came to symbolize the Dionysian excesses of the rock lifestyle.
Their ubiquity on classic rock radio formats and the aforementioned excesses have led many to dismiss the band as overrated and symptomatic of the decline of rock ‘n’ roll in the '70s and if anything, the band’s musical greatness is still underappreciated, due to the previously mentioned resentments and the fact that the band had no greater cultural impact — they didn’t much stand for anything. Jimmy Page formed the band in 1968 with veteran session bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, 19-year-old singer Robert Plant and Plant’s friend, drummer John Bonham.
Plant’s vocals reached levels of deranged ecstasy matched perhaps only by Little Richard on lyrics typically either oozing with sexuality or derived from Anglo-Saxon myth and/or the occult. Bonham (whose accidental death in 1980 broke up the band) pounded his drums relentlessly like a nimble elephant dancing through the house. Jones’s bass and strategic keyboards glued the disparate elements together. And Page, who did most of the writing and production, played some of the most fundamental and memorable guitar in rock history — from the heaviest crunch to the most delicate acoustic finger picking.
Radio Hauraki’s “Led Before Bed” a weekly series broadcast each Wednesday night from 10pm has featured DJ Mike Currie presenting live and rare material from Led Zeppelin provided by The Mysterious Benefactor, a local Zeppelin fan who has built up a formidable music collection over many years of collecting.
The Led Before Bed show broadcast on 11/05/2005 featured the only concert ever played in New Zealand by Led Zeppelin at Western Springs Stadium on February 25th 1972. The concert was recorded by an unknown member of the audience and has circulated amongst diehard fans for many years in one form or another. Many fans consider the band to be at their musical peak playing live around this period of the 70’s.
The Mysterious Benefactor took it upon himself to research the concert in depth which lead him to the NZ Herald archives at Auckland City Library to read issues from that week in February ’72. Copies of the original ad’s for the show are included along with the concert review from the Saturday 26th February issue.
The ad’s also showed that Radio Hauraki was the station at the time which promoted the show. The concert promoter was Australian Robert Raymond. He was tracked down in America and provided an exclusive interview recalling many events and stories from this time which were a feature of the broadcast. Also featured in another interview was the local record company rep who was given the task of looking after the band during their stay in the country.
Radio Hauraki’s listeners were asked over some weeks to contact the station if they had attended the concert and many of those who did can be heard reminiscing at times during the broadcast of their experiences of the concert on that day.
In the days following the broadcast Radio Hauraki DJ and Promotions Manger Mark Woods commented that in his 5 years with the station he had never received more calls or feed back for any other feature that had been played on the station. Clearly this one particular show had stuck a cord with the stations listeners and Mike Currie continues to receive calls about it to this day.
Radio Hauraki is a New Zealand radio network, specialising in AOR and classic rock. It was the first private commercial radio station of the modern broadcasting era in NZ and operated illegally to break the monopoly held by the government. Private commercial radio stations had operated from the earliest days of broadcasting, but the government began to close them down, the process accelerating after World War II. To break the state monopoly, Radio Hauraki was originally formed as a pirate station in the Hauraki Gulf in a famous and historic story that saw the loss of one life. Radio Hauraki's head office and main studios are now located on the corner of Cook & Nelson Streets in Auckland City, along with the other seven stations of The Radio Network.
Newspaper Ad scans, a few concert photographs and a text reprint of the April 1972 Rolling Stone magazine review of the concert are also included.
April 27, 1972
A Special Report:
Fear & Led Zep in New Zealand
AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Robert Raymond is an Australian, a qualified lawyer, sun-tanned, pleasant-mannered and a promoter who has taken up residence in Remuera, a very plush suburb of Auckland, New Zealand, and from there he has brought over Tom Paxton, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Mary Hopkin, Mungo Jerry, Elton John, Led Zeppelin and a few others I've probably forgotten -- all this in less than six months, to a country which is veritably Townsend’s Teenage Wasteland. Or was, up until less than six months ago.
Most of these acts would doubtless have made it over here anyway, the difference here being the rapidity in which they have arrived, but where the appearance of Elton John was an eye-brow raiser, the arrival of Zeppelin brought a near-catatonic reaction from the country's rock freaks, who descended on Auckland from as far away as Dunedin (the other end of the country: about 900 miles) for the open air concert February 25th. Three planes brought the equipment across the Tasman, and from what Raymond would say, it appeared that the whole thing would cost him around $40,000. Seats sold at $3.10 and $4.10 and somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000 filled the Western Springs Stadium (a couple of miles from Auckland city and usually used for stock cars and other related entertainment) -- so it seems the genial Raymond did OK. They don't pay lawyers that well over here, that's for sure.
Zeppelin had come from Australia, and in keeping with a number of rock acts who've played there, they didn't have much of a time there. A harrowing raid on their motel in Perth had obviously left it's mark on a still-shaken Jimmy Page at the small party quickly arranged for them the night they arrived. You sensed they were going to play this one through on alcohol before getting back to Sanity. "Australia was really pretty s-----," said Page as his eyes wandered around the room -- the occasional groupie grooving to Sha Na Na ,the inevitable media people whom Raymond tactfully remembered to invite, and John Bonham filling the intermittent silences with amusing and loud imitations . . . a chick with "Merlene" knitted across her breasts, was arranging "interviews" (EMI's delightful press liaison girl Louise told me Merlene was "a strange person who read poetry in Wellington -- 500 miles away") and it was later dutifully reported that Merlene had scored two out of four.
Our little group was heavily into the Raoul Duke thing -- those ROLLING STONE issues had just arrived in New Zealand -- as we laid our goodies out on the table (what's more, I'd just flown up from Dunedin to discover that AUCKLAND WERE NOT YET INTO NITROUS OXIDE, and so the gleaming blue 275-gallon cylinder took pride of place in the middle of the table. Something to sustain the stone later in the evening.)
It was a good three hours before starting time when we set off for Western Springs (we began to peak prematurely as the Yugoslav taxi-driver quickly launched into an excited discussion on communes and people-who-live-on-beaches: "Have you seen them?" he roared at us as he snaked dangerously in and out of the lanes. Roger tipped him ten cents at the end and we ran off). Three hours wasn't in any way early and we got some of the remaining good seats on the hill overlooking the stage, perhaps 75 yards away.
We were warmed up with the Allman Brothers' live double album. I don't know how many knew that Duane Allman was dead (I don't know how many knew Duane Allman actually) but the razor-sharp lead guitar came through the superb system with each note crystal clear. Then it was dark, 8 o'clock, and we knew it would be any minute . . .
There had been some publicity on how there would be live animals jumping through hoops, but all that had sort of been forgotten what with all the mind-food fighting for a hold in our heads. But suddenly there was a lion on stage: Plant. I mean we all read the rock magazines over here and the record companies sportingly release just about everything with half a reputation, but we didn't realize that Zeppelin were so loud -- specifically Plant doing the jungle intro to "Immigrant Song." And then Page hitting those chords...most of us had seen Townsend a couple of years before (just about the time the Who were breaking in America) and we'd always thought that was the way to play chords. But Page has moved along with the times -- and weren't we lucky to see him. On the other side of the world. Wow.
I'll skip the way they put the concert together -- it was exactly the way we expected they'd fill three hours and doubtless exactly the way
they'd done it many times before. Suffice to say they played excellently, relative to their records and relative to reviews on how they'd played in the past.
It was really quite a significant evening for New Zealand and for New Zealand rock. On record there are a few bands that still have it over Led Zeppelin for my taste, but working simply on what I have to work on, I can't really see there being much better live rock around -- possibly because Zeppelin came here with a definite mystery thing where say the Stones have been exposed both live and on record live: Zeppelin haven't done anything live and they refuse to be filmed (Two detectives accompanied the NZBC film crew around Western Springs to ensure the cameras would never swing round onto the stage).
Bob Raymond has a lot more goodies planned, and he's moving into records too (a group called Ticket, who have stunned New Zealand by getting their debut album accepted by Ahmet Etregun for release in America on Atlantic, will probably hit your shores in around six months after Australia and Japan). Winter's coming on now but around say October it gets really nice -really green, you know? But you could always ask Led Zeppelin about that. (RS107)
Copyright 1972 Rolling Stone