Jimmy Page Just Heard About Led Zeppelin’s Ban From Boston
Jimmy Page said he didn't know about Led Zeppelin being banned from the city of Boston in 1975 until just recently.
He learned about the incident when he was researching a blog post marking the 45th anniversary of a riot in the city on Jan. 6, 1975, as fans waited for tickets to go on sale for a planned concert on Feb. 4.
“On this day in 1975, I planned to play Boston Garden,” Page wrote on Facebook. “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!”
In 2015, author Steven Davis, who covered Led Zeppelin’s 1975 tour, recounted his version of events to WGBH in Boston, after it had been announced that tickets would go on sale for the show the morning of Jan. 7. As a result of low temperatures, venue staff allowed fans who lined up overnight to wait inside.
“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.”
Reports claimed it took a riot squad until 5:30AM to gain control of the situation, by which time an estimated $30,000 of damage was done. On inspecting the scene, Mayor White “saw the burned seats and the flooded hockey rink and the trashed concession stands, and he said, 'Led Zeppelin will never play in Boston again,'" Davis recalled.
The ban lasted until the band broke up following the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980.