They were two of the most historic rock shows ever performed in Dundee.
In, 1971 Dundee fans paid £1 a ticket to become the first in Scotland to hear Led Zeppelin perform ‘Stairway to Heaven’ live on stage.
A gig at the same venue just two years later was among the last of the ‘small’ shows the band ever played before they began to embark on major stadium tours.
Music historian Richard Houghton, from Manchester, is now appealing for fans who were at the gigs to share their memories of what he described as “a golden era for the group”.
He said: “The set list for the 1971 show included several songs from the band’s fourth album, which had been only just been released so the Dundee audience were the first Scottish fans to hear ‘Stairway to Heaven’, the band’s most famous song, performed live.
“By 1973, Zeppelin had become such a huge draw in the UK and US that they were abandoning concert halls for arenas.
“The 1973 visit to the Caird Hall was amongst the last of the ‘small’ shows the band ever played.
“Led Zeppelin were at the height of their powers when they came to Dundee, and the city was fortunate to host them twice.
“From 1975 onwards, the band was bedevilled by drug and alcohol abuse by two of its members and was past its best.
“The shows at the Caird Hall truly were a golden era for the group and these were special evenings for Led Zeppelin fans.”
The 1971 Caird Hall gig was Led Zeppelin’s only Scottish date on their UK tour and Jimmy Page told the crowd: “You’ve got a great little world of rock appreciation here”.
Led Zeppelin returned in 1973 as part of a sold-out 18-date UK tour and Dundee was the second last gig they played.
Mr Houghton – who has previously written books on The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who – is compiling a people’s history of Led Zeppelin to mark 50 years since they first performed live.
“I’m a music historian and I’ve written books As a Zeppelin fan, and because it’s 50 years this month since they started as a band, they seemed an obvious choice for my next book,” he said.
“I’m trying to tell the Led Zeppelin story in a different way.
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“There have been loads of books about them but I’d like to tell it through fans memories of those shows, including what they remember of the concerts but also who they went with, how they got tickets and so on.
“The music of the 70s was about social and cultural change and the book will hopefully capture that and weave together musical and personal memories to provide a social history of Led Zeppelin.
“People capture gig memories now on their phone and upload them to YouTube as soon as they get home.
“But memories from the ’60s and ’70s are still in people’s heads and hearts and I’m hoping to capture some of those memories for posterity.”
Graham Kennedy, 62, who now lives in Suffolk, attended both shows while living in Dundee and he described the 1971 concert as the best he has ever attended.
He said: “Having queued all night in the cold and rain to get a ticket the excitement was electrifying.
“The set was wonderful and of course we heard Stairway for the first time.
“Jimmy Page paid a complement to the Dundee crowd about having ‘a great little world of rock appreciation here’ before the house lights went up.
“Jimmy spoke fondly of the 1971 concert afterwards and described it as being “phenomenal” and “fantastic”.
“He was right and still is.”
Anyone who would be willing to contribute their memories should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or write to 1 Totnes Road, Manchester, M21 8XF.
November 13, 1971
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Rock and Roll, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, That’s the Way, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Tangerine, Dazed and Confused, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley including Let That Boy Boogie, Hello Mary Lou, Mess of Blues, Honey Bee), Communication Breakdown, Weekend.
January 27, 1973
Rock and Roll, Over the Hills and Far Away, Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl. Everybody Needs Someone To Love, Let That Boy Boogie, (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care, Let’s Have a Party, Going Down Slow), Heartbreaker, Communication Breakdown.