One Last Show
[Photo By Ian Dickson]
One of the most debatable statements in music: Led Zeppelin was the greatest rock band in history. For me, that statement holds true. Jimmy Page continues to inspire me and my jaw still drops whenever I hear him solo. The overwhelming power and tenacity that band exuded continues to stun young and old listeners. They were together and toured for twelve years and released nine studio albums with some of the most iconic and recognizable songs in music. You can’t walk into a music store without hearing that signature guitar intro from Stairway To Heaven. But sadly, the magic ended abruptly on September 25, 1980: The day drummer John Bonham and Led Zeppelin died.
When tragedy like this happens, we always think about the lasts of everything. For bands, we think about their last album they released, or their last live performance. For the original lineup of Led Zeppelin, that concert was on July 7, 1980 at Eissorthalle in Berlin, Germany. The tour was promoting their last album In Through The Out Door and was the last show of a fourteen-stop tour.
The band members, Page and Bonham in particular, were struggling with alcohol and drug addictions. This behavior evidently was starting to affect their live performances and relationship as a unit. Merely two and half months after their Berlin concert, John Bonham was found dead in Jimmy Page’s home. He apparently “downed the equivalent 40 shots of vodka during a twenty-four hour period prior to his death.” After months of contemplating their future and how to proceed, in December 1980, the remaining members of Led Zeppelin announced that they were not going to replace Bonham and were calling it quits as a band.
This statement from singer Robert Plant was just about the final show of the tour, but resonates as a bittersweet moment for the band: “This is the last concert, so we intend to have a better time now than perhaps we have had before.”
Throughout the years, the members have released solo albums and collaborated with different artists. They also have played a few reunion shows with John Bonham’s talented son Jason on the drums, following in his father’s footsteps.
Train Kept a Rollin’, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, (Out On the Tiles intro) Black Dog, In The Evening, Rain Song, Hot Dog, All My Love, Trampled Underfoot, Since I’ve Been Loving You, White Summer ~ Black Mountainside, Kashmir, Stairway to Heaven, Rock and Roll, Whole Lotta Love.