27 Jul Zeppelin Conclude Massive Three Month Tour in Madison Square Garden
On this day in 1973, Led Zeppelin kicked off a monumental three night show at Madison Square Garden in New York, concluding a massive three month tour
The band performed three consecutive nights, and on the night of the third, it was discovered that $203,000 of the band’s earnings (approximately $1,117,981.35 in today’s money) had been stolen from their hotel safe deposit box. The cash was reportedly accounted for at 1:00pm that day, but by 7:30pm that evening, it had disappeared, with no evidence of forcible entry or tampering. The money was reportedly on hand to pay for the groups touring ‘expenses’ and a lawsuit against the hotel was later considered, but scrapped eventually as a $200,000 loss as compared to the $4 million profit seems more manageable. The case remains unsolved but has inspired a book based on the event called “Black Dogs: The Possibly True Story Behind Rock’s Greatest Robbery” and was also documented in the 1976 film, The Song Remains the Same.
The shows themselves went off without a hitch, and the group’s reviews were glowing. Coming off the back of the release of their fourth studio albums, Houses of the Holy, which added a new wealth of songs to perform live alongside the classics of their past albums. The setlist is considered to be something of a Zeppelin fans dream, opening with Rock and Roll and going on to classics like Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven and Whole Lotta Love. A film crew was invited to record the shows, the footage of which would become the basis for the aforementioned 1976 film.
The shows successfully pulled enormous crowds and won over reporters from various publications with their shattering three hour set, including a review from Playboy Magazine claiming, “they’re serious about what they’re up to, and when they decide to play rock ‘n’ roll, it doesn’t get any better.”