On Sunday, we put out a call for help regarding the mystery of the ODO ‘71 “Rock on…” plaque at Green Lake Park.
While we haven’t definitely solved the ODO ‘71 mystery, there has been be a lot of great speculation in the comments to that post, including this note from Casey McNerthney:
Another thought was that it was related to Led Zeppelin playing at Green Lake. But that happened in 1969 at the Aqua Theater, and the dismantling of that to it’s current state as the crew house started in 1970.
Yes, you heard that right … Led Zeppelin once played a show at Green Lake’s Aqua Theater:
An excellent essay about the show, written by Peter Blecha, can be found at HistoryLink.org. Here’s an excerpt:
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that on that sunny day “several thousand of the whimsically clad and nearly unclad younger set” attended, but that “only about half the crowd” paid for their entry tickets – the “rest bent their freeloading ears to the amplified sounds from a variety of places. Some roosted in the trees, many crowded onto one small dock, it submerged slightly. A flotilla of canoes, rented rowboats and rubber rafts surrounded the back side of the stage, where a few also treaded water. A hundred perched on the roof of a concession stand. And a thousand or so sprawled out on the lawns around the theater, forming a wall-to-wall carpet of human bodies.”
Blecha has reconstructed the following set list from the May 11, 1969 show:
- “Train Kept a Rollin’”
- “I Can’t Quit You Baby”
- “Dazed and Confused”
- “As Long As I Have You”
- “Killing Floor”
- “White Summer” / “Black Mountainside”
- “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”
- “You Shook Me”
- “How Many More Times”
- “Communication Breakdown”
- “Pat’s Delight”
- “Good Times Bad Times”
Yesterday was the 41st anniversary of the event. There was a bit of buzz on Twitter about the show, including a tweet from Stan Orchard, who called the show “AWESOME.”
I got in touch with Stan and he generously shared his memories:
I was lucky enough to see some great shows back in the 60s and this had to be near the top.
Our seats were up front, just across the pool from the stage. Very intimate, even though we were outside on a gorgeous day. Three Dog Night was good, but Jimmy Page and crew just ROCKED! His ‘acoustic’ set, where he sat down on a chair and became one with that guitar was incredible. They were right there! Gorgeous weather, incredible venue, good friends, and the music. A very memorable day.
I also saw LZ at the Seattle Pops Festival in Woodinville. A totally different experience. The stage was farther away, WAY more people. It was another memorable experience but for different reasons. At the Aqua Theater the music took center stage.
Sadly, I have no pictures from either event. Just in my mind, which was totally absorbed on both occasions. Wish we could replicate such a place now, but doubt it can ever happen.
Thank you, Stan!
Do you have memories (or photos) of the show that you would like to share? Please drop us a line.
Update, May 13, 2010: Great news! Thanks to a heads-up from My Green Lake tipster Jeff Curtis, we’ve located some amazing photos from the show. As I have no idea who holds copyright to these shots, I can’t publish them here, but here are a few links:
The origin of these photos is explained in a comment from a seattlepi.com”Eastside Uptown Girl” post from last February:
the photobucket page is not the original source; it’s somebody’s Facebook page; guy by the name of Dave. He writes: “These are scanned images of prints I got toady from some negatives my mother gave me several years ago. My father found these negative in the garbage at a photo shop in montery CA in 1972.”
The Eastside Uptown Girl has a great little remembrance of the show:
I went alone at age 13. It was a Sunday afternoon at Green Lake. I sat in the bleachers and watched Led Zeppelin blow the audience away. No one knew whether to laugh or cry, whether to leave or stay, whether to just say..”Three Dog Night Who?”
It was so raw, so rock n roll, the sounds of Robert Plants’ voice arching into the air of Green Lake with Jimmy Page’s guitar enhanced with a violin bow wailing into the clear summer afternoon air. After they left the stage, I looked around. The audience was awestruck. Bubblegum was so gone.
And, there are some excellent comments from those who were at the show at Led Zeppelin’s Official Website.
Wow, I’m feeling pretty jealous right now — this sounds like an incredible show.