Uncut’s 50 Best Gigs – Extra!

Today: Led Zeppelin, Detroit, 1969

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In this month’s UNCUT, our writers, friends and favourite musicians reminisce about their favourite gigs.

The October issue, onsale now, features our best 50 – including Jimi, U2, The Band and Oasis – with rare photos from the shows too.

Now here’s some more – we’ll publish one everyday this month – including online exclusives on gigs by Manic Street Preachers,The Stone Roses, Pixies, Beach Boys, and Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones and Babyshambles’ Adam Ficek‘s favourite live memories too.




Grande Ballroom, Detroit, Michigan,


January 17-19, 1969


I was 15, working behind the bar at the Grande Ballroom, dispensing soft drinks to all the revellers. The more important part of my job was to make sure that no one dropped any psychedelics into the plastic cups assembled on the bar. As a “treasured” employee, I could get onstage and stand feet from my idols. Making sure I didn’t ruin my brocade satin trousers, I managed to squeeze in behind Jimmy Page’s Marshall stacks, moving centimetre by centimetre until I was almost on the same latitude as John Bonham’s drum kit. So moved and transfixed by “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” and “How Many More Times”, I found myself leaning on Jimmy’s amps in order to take it all in.

All four wore impossibly tight jeans and leather jackets, looking very little like the foppish dandies they later became. Page smoked a cigarette, the ash dangerously dangling only inches from his black leather jacket – while he waited for Bonham to tighten some doo dad on his rather modest kit.

Zeppelin only played nine songs that night, but they returned to the Ballroom one final time four months later. After that they sold out auditoriums…



Not even UNCUTs war-weary gig-hounds have been to every great show in history – but you lot probably have.

Email, or share your memories in the comments box below, of the ones we might have missed, and we’ll publish the best in a future issue!


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