Category: madison square garden

Led Zeppelin: The Jimbert Remains the Same! Ro…

Led Zeppelin: The Jimbert Remains the Same! Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, MSG 1973, by David Redfern.

Queen, Madison Square Garden, December 2, 1977…

Queen, Madison Square Garden, December 2, 1977, by Richard E. Aaron

Janis, by Jim Cummins.

Janis, by Jim Cummins.

Mick Jagger peeking from behind Keith Richards…

Mick Jagger peeking from behind Keith Richards, Madison Square Garden 1975.

Canadian coverage of Led Zeppelin’s 1971 North…

Canadian coverage of Led Zeppelin’s 1971 North American tour. 

The Toronto show at Maple Leaf Gardens was on September 4, 1971, and was sandwiched between shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden on September 3, and Chicago on September 5.

The Vancouver show on August 19 was actually the first date of the tour, which stretched as far east as Boston, MA before returning west to end in Hawaii: 23 shows in 29 days! 

George Harrison and Bob Dylan rehearsing “If N…

George Harrison and Bob Dylan rehearsing “If Not For You” before the Sunday afternoon show of the Concerts for Bangladesh, Sunday, August 1, 1971. It’s messy, but adorable.

Like The Beatles, Bob Dylan had quit touring in 1966. Unlike The Beatles, and apart from  a 1969 TV performance with Johnny Cash, and an appearance with The Band at the Isle of Wight, Bob had all but disappeared. While he was generally up for lending a hand to George’s effort, he wasn’t sure what to sing, and was even less sure if he was going to be able to pull himself together to even show up at the appointed hour. When George introduced him that afternoon, he was by no means certain that Bob would actually walk out. 

While they were working out which songs to perform together, “If Not For You” was an obvious place to start. A lovely tune that Bob introduced on New Morning almost exactly a year earlier (August 12, 1970), George covered it on his own album All Things Must Pass, which was the #1 album in the US for the first 7 weeks of 1971, and for the months of February and March 1971 in the UK

Neither Bob nor George released “If Not For You” as a single, but in May 1971, it was the debut single for 22 year old Olivia Newton-John. Based on George’s arrangement rather than Bob’s, it reached #7 in the UK, and in the US, #25 on the Billboard Hot 200, and eight weeks straight at #1 on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart! 

(Yes, I bought it. Yes, I still love it. Yes, I will post it later.)

Our boys passed on performing this for the big show(s), but this rehearsal is an enduring reminder that beyond being two of the all-time giants of popular music, and rock gods, they were also both just so incredibly fucking adorable.

Bob Dylan at Madison Square Garden, September …

Bob Dylan at Madison Square Garden, September 29, 1978, by Waring Abbott

Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones, July 24, 1972…

Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones, July 24, 1972, New York City, Madison Square Garden, by Bob Gruen

John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page: Led…

John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page: Led Zeppelin acoustic trio, ZEPtember 3, 1971, Madison Square Garden. 

Queen: Freddie Mercury, Madison Square Garden …

Queen: Freddie Mercury, Madison Square Garden 1983, by Larry Marano