Eddie Money Saw Led Zeppelin’s First and Last U.S. Shows

Eddie Money, who passed away aged 70 on Sept. 13, enjoyed a successful career that spanned 45 years with his natural larger-than-life attitude.

Along with his own musical achievements, he recalled having the rare honor of having witnessed the first and last American performances by Led Zeppelin in a previously unpublished interview with UCR in 2012.

The British band first appeared at the Carousel Ballroom, also known as the Fillmore West, in San Fransisco on Jan. 9. 1969. “There couldn’t have been more than 400 people in there,” Money said, remembering the signature moment when Jimmy Page played guitar with a violin bow. “They did everything the way the record was gonna be; the record didn’t come out till three weeks after they did that show. I thought, ‘These guys are amazing.’”

Later, he recalled being in Memphis in the Lansky Bros. clothing store where Elvis Presley famously loved to shop. “I ran into those guys in a place called Lansky’s… I was buying a big colored shirt that I never wore, and they were buying colored shirts that they were never gonna wear. I told them about the first show that I saw them at and they went, ‘You know, that’s actually when we broke the States.’” He added that he’d found Page and Robert Plant to be “the greatest guys in the world,” and that they’d invited him to their Memphis show that night, where they treated him “just like I was one of the boys.”

On July 23, 1978, Money was present when Led Zeppelin performed at that year’s Day on the Green festival in Oakland, CA, delivering what turned out to be their last American show to an audience of around 30,000. “Somebody actually beat up one of [promoter[ Bill Graham’s people; I don’t know what happened,” he said. “So I saw the first Led Zeppelin show and the last Led Zeppelin show. I mean, that’s really something.”

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