Boston Mayor Kevin H. White banned Led Zeppelin from performing in the city ever again after fans rioted while attempting to buy tickets to a concert scheduled for February 1975. As it turned out, Jimmy Page just found out about it this past week.
Page discovered the ban that happened 45 years ago while doing some research for a blog post. Here’s what he wrote about it on facebook: “On this day in 1975, I planned to play Boston Garden. On researching for my website, I discovered that on Jan. 6, 1975, there had been an incident at the box office at Boston Garden in Boston, Mass., that had involved a sale/non-sale of tickets to thousands of fans. Police were called and it all ended with the scheduled Led Zeppelin show being canceled by Mayor Kevin H. White (who saw red) and, even more, there was apparently a five-year ban put on the band playing the venue. I was blissfully unaware of any of these shenanigans, but the mayor was, by all accounts, a Rolling Stones fan!”
A few years ago, Steven Davis, an author who covered the 1975 Led Zeppelin tour, shared his memory of the events of that night. Davis said fans had been lining up outside Boston Garden the night before to buy tickets but because it was cold that night, staff let the fans wait inside. That’s when things went bad.
According to Davis, “Pretty soon they were passing bottles of Boons Farm apple wine and Ripple — another kind of wine they had back then — and smoking joints and generally getting rowdy,” Davis said. “The kids broke into the beer concessions and started feeding themselves. And when the next [security] shift came on, they turned the fire hoses on them. Then [fans] turned the fire hoses on Boston Garden, then they started to torch the seats. …It was just like the place had been bombed.”
When all was said and done, fans had committed about $30,000 in damage to Boston Garden and the mayor declared that Led Zeppelin would never play Boston again, which they didn’t. The ban was in place until Led Zeppelin broke up in 1980 after the death of John Bonham.