Led Zeppelin played here.
Led Zeppelin played here. At least that is what the folks in Wheaton, Maryland have been saying for the past 45 years. Residents claim that on January 20, 1969, Led Zeppelin played a gig for approximately 60 attendees in the youth center in Wheaton.
Naysayers, however, are doubtful and they are not without good reason. While this small group of residents has stuck to their story for four and a half decades to date, even slight investigation into the supposed show seems to indicate otherwise. According to Led Zeppelin’s official website the Wheaton gig is labeled an “unconfirmed rumour.”
Furthermore, according to online sources, Richard Cole, Led Zep’s road manager, cannot confirm the concert and has “no memory of it”. Strangely, not one of the Wheatonites who say they were there has offered up any physical proof. They have no physical evidence or souvenirs—concert posters, contracts pages, photos or even ticket stubs—to back up their continued claim. No one has ever produced more than an old pair of sneakers that were supposedly worn the night of the concert.
Inspired by what some label a longtime “local legend”, movie-maker Jeff Krulik — co-creator of Heavy Metal Parking Lot — to do a documentary tentatively titled Led Zeppelin Played Here. In 2009 the filmmaker invited the supposed 1969 show audience to meet with him. According to the Washington Post, the number of people to meet with Krulik was double that of the alleged event audience and yet only five or six people insisted they were at the concert.
Krulik was undaunted by the results of his Maryland meeting. In fact, he has more recently been showing scenes from the incomplete motion picture at different film festivals and other select venues to drum up interest in the Led Zeppelin project.
One of the more vocal alleged event attendees, Anne Marie Pemberton, still insists: “They were definitely here. (Guitarist Jimmy) Page was over here. (Bassist-keyboardist) John Paul Jones was over there. (Lead singer Robert) Plant the showman was right here. And right behind was (the now late) John Bonham with his hellacious drum set.” Did it really happen or are these people just “Dazed and Confused”? The surviving band members and their manager have yet to comment.
(Images courtesy of FineArtAmerica and BoyMeetsMusic)