Led Zeppelin Played Here
directed by Jeff Krulik
Before bands were famous, they were unknown. They took crappy gigs, toured in microbuses and played to empty houses. Why should Led Zeppelin be any different? Anyway, there’s this unverifiable rumor that they did a gig in 1969 at a youth center in semi-rural Maryland. Supposedly 50 kids saw it, after all it was a rainy Monday school night in January, and Richard Nixon was sworn in as president. What teen of the era would miss that earth-shaking event? Led Zeppelin was in transition as well: the old Yard Birds has broken up and reformed with a radically new sound and despite the fame they would have a year or two later, they were still an unknown quantity. But still, why would they be in such an unpromising venue for $200 in the first place?
As we explore the question, some interesting facts appear. The venue was booked by a local DJ Barry Richards, he had connections and pulled in bands like Iggy Pop and The Small Faces and Humble Pie and Jethro Tull passed though, they may be oldies but they were goodies. The filmmakers take us to the sort of record collectors that sit around complaining about disco and rap; they recollect Woodstock tales like great grandpa boring us with tales of the Normandy Invasion. Are their brain cell scrambled, did they confabulate multiple shows over the past half century, or did Robert Plant actually sweat in this gym? It’s an intriguing question, and not even the remaining band members recall, but hey, if you remember the Sixties… Ultimately the question is resolved, but it’s not the resolution so much as the fact we still care about the question that makes this a charming visit to the teen years of the baby boomers.
_This film is part of the 2014 Florida Film Festival running April 4 to 14 in Orlando Fl. Details, screening locations and times may be found at www.floridafilmfestival.com_