Maybe you've heard: Richard Hayner, the Denton resident who maintains the Texas International Pop Festival Web site, is trying to raise enough green to plant a Texas historical marker where the old Dallas International Motor Speedway once stood. That's where, over a long Labor Day weekend in '69, Sly and the Family Stone, Janis Joplin, Sam and Dave, Santana, Sweetwater, B.B. King and myriad others converged a mere two weeks after Woodstock; far out, man.
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Which brings us to this week's Friday farewell: the entirety of Led Zeppelin's set from the Texas International Pop Festival, including "Train Kept A-Rollin'," "Dazed and Confused," "I Can't Quit You" and the 25-minute medley that starts out as "How Many More Times" before morphing into "Suzy Q," "Eyesight to the Blind," "All Shook Up" and whatever else the band felt like whipping out to the crowd's obvious delight, followed by an almost punk "Communication Breakdown" as the final number.
Funny thing is, as Angus Wynne reminded me this evening, The Led Zeppelin, as the foursome were introduced, didn't even know it was playing the Pop Festival till damned near the last minute; the road manager neglected to mention the booking, "and the band was pissed," Angus recalls. "Well, not really pissed," he says, "but not thrilled either. They thought they were on vacation." But all that unhappiness disappeared once Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham took the stage; it's a powerhouse set taken from the soundboard.
The recording has surfaced here and there since the early '90s -- here's the whole sordid history. And there's some video too, as I've mentioned in the past. But I don't recall Zep appearing on the bootleg boxed set, which was stolen from me long ago, and till now I've never bothered to seek out the set as a keepsake. Submitted for your weekend listening pleasure ... and well beyond.
Bonus boot: Buddy Guy and Stevie Ray Vaughan at the Lone Star Cafe in New York in April 1986. Because who doesn't want to end their work week with some "Champagne and Reefer"?