People Are Who They Are!

My First Concert

It was May 4, 1973.  I was 15 years old and not really allowed to even listen to that "loud crap" (as my mother put it), let alone go to a concert!  But Led Zeppelin was it man and they were in Atlanta.  I knew I had to go no matter what the cost or consequences. 

It was the 70's in Atlanta.  Hippies were everywhere.  The motto was "Make Love Not War".  Long hair, tie dye shirts, peace signs, and marijuana were a big part of the culture.  Led Zeppelin was the epitome of it all. Apparently, no one else planned to miss the concert either.

I don't know where the concert was originally slated to be, but it was changed.  The (original) Atlanta Stadium was opened for it's first concert ever and it sold out.  Tickets were $5.00. 

Atlanta wasn't ready for this kind of crowd however.  I-75 didn't have enough lanes to hold the cars that brought 40,000 people to the concert. Traffic backed up so bad that the people, who were not about to miss the opening guitar licks, decided to park their cars and get out and walk.  They didn't care.  They actually put their cars in park in the middle of I-75 in downtown Atlanta and walked down to the stadium. 

How wonderful for me.  It just so happened that my uncle drove a wrecker and the company he worked for had the City of Atlanta account.  When I found out he had been making trips to the stadium all evening to pull cars off of the interstate, I hitched a ride!  There is a God!  My mother would later want to kill me for going and my aunt and uncle for taking me without her permission.  I really didn't care! 

Led Zeppelin was great, no doubt.  But the atmosphere there was something I'll never forget.  It was like going to a gigantic party.  The field had been opened up and there were thousands of people walking around.  I don't know how, (like I said, there is a God) but I found people I knew there.  I have never seen so many drugs or so many people on drugs gathered together in one place before or since then.  (Of course, I didn't attend Woodstock either.) 

Some of the songs on the ticket were Stairway to Heaven, The Song Remains the Same, Dazed and Confused, Heartbreaker, and Whole Lotta Love. What a show!  What a party!  What a great memory! The show went on for hours, but the party went on for days.  It took them 3 days to get everyone out of the stadium and all of the cars off of the interstate after the concert was over. It was absolutely awesome. 

While I would attend many concerts through the years, none stood out like that one did. One of my fondest memories of my teenage "hippie" days for sure!

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3 responses

  1. I listened to so much Led Zeppelin in high school that I needed about ten years off through college and beyond. I'm grateful to be able to listen to them once again though. That's one hell of a first concert.

    February 6, 2010 at 5:24 pm

  2. Thanks for reading! Yes it was! Even better, years later when my daughter was about 15, she came home one day and said "Oh mom, I heard this new song and it's awesome, you've got to hear it!" I said "What's it called?" She said, "Ummmmm, Stairway to Heaven I think." I fell out in the floor with laughter. I said "I think I've heard that honey, it's not new!" I didn't tell her about my first concert until many years later.

    February 6, 2010 at 5:57 pm

  3. I grew up too far from hippie movement to attend any concerts, but even in rural Colorado I did my best to dress the part. Once I got to San Francisco years later, it all clicked for me. I was "home." The essence of the movement is still alive there – acceptance, creativity, freedom. I've recently moved from my home base (of 35 years!) to Canton Ohio, where I'm doing my best to bring the "spirit" with me!

    February 7, 2010 at 11:43 am

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