Friday, June 8, 2012


In March 1969, Dave Ridgeway of Buffalo's Transcontinental Records first introduced to the WOLF Radio music staff (Don Bomband  & others) a new Atlantic Records recording artist billed as the next super group, their name Led Zeppelin.  Their first single "Good Times Bad Times"  quickly entered the WOLF Top 30 charts March 20, 1969. Led Zeppelin's first album was also released picturing what we called the "Hindenburg" cover showing the photo of the Airship Disaster at Lakehurst, New Jersey back in 1937.

As a promotional teaser Atlantic Records sent to each radio station a toy inflatable blimp with the words "Led Zeppelin" painted across its side. The impact of the band was so great that flip side on the single "Communications Breakdown" also received heavy airplay especially on Bombard's night show. Their follow-up single was the monster hit "Whole Lotta Love" first played In Syracuse October 29, 1969.

That was the same week WOLF Radio & Buffalo Festival (David Nathan) brought Led Zeppelin to the Syracuse War Memorial Auditorium November 1, 1969. Sharing the bill was the James Gang (with Joe Walsh). Tickets were priced at $5.50. $4.50 & $3.50. This was a major event for WOLF with Don Bombard serving as master of ceremonies and introducing all the Big 15 jocks on stage.  Led Zeppelin featured Robert Plant (lead vocals), John Paul Jones (bass), John Bonham (drums), and Jimmy Page (guitar).

Here's a quick list of what I remember then performing- starting with "Good Time Bad Times" followed by "Communications Breakdown", "I Can't Quit You Baby", "Heartbreaker", "Dazed and Confused", "You Shook Me", "White Summer- Black Mountainside", "What Is and What Should Never Be", "Moby Dick", "Sometin Else" (Eddie Cochran song) and a few other.

When the concert ended Jimmy Page stayed backstage for photos with Howie Castle, Kurt Grow and myself.  I taped an interview with John Bonham for a weekly youth show we aired on Sunday evening called "The Young Set."  Note- To date this interview as never aired. Bonham & Jones asked if any clubs were still open as they planned on staying over night in a Syracuse Hotel. Well, this is pretty crazy...but we took them to the Yellow Balloon Club (now the Lost Horizon) in Dewitt and stayed till the club closed at 1 AM.

Led Zeppelin returned to Syracuse for a final time September 10, 1971 when they performed their all-time classic song  "Stairway to Heaven."  The promoter was Concert's East (Tony Ruffino & Larry Vaughan) and tickets were priced $6.00, $5.00, $4.00.  WOLF continued to play Led Zeppelin hits- "Livin Lovin Maid" (Feb 1970), "Immigration Song" (Nov 1970)," Black Dog" (Dec 1971)," Rock & Roll" (Mar 1972 and "Dyer Mak'er" ( 1973).

Classic dates that will not be forgotten by those of us that were there.

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