Rescued from VHS: Aerosmith hanging backstage with Jimmy Page

On Jan. 6, 1975 Boston Mayor Kevin White pulled the plug on a Led Zeppelin show at the Boston Garden.

This is not footage of that incident, but it’s as close as we could find online. It’s a Led Zeppelin member — Jimmy Page — hanging out and going over last-minute adjustments to jumping onstage with the “bad boys from Boston” themselves, Aerosmith. OK, so it’s a little bit of a stretch to include this footage with the historical anecdote, but indulge us a little.

Back to that day 39 years ago before we discuss the clip: Reportedly a crowd of more than 2,000 people gathered outside the Garden to buy tickets to see Led Zep the next month. Some in the line of people sleeping outside to get tickets broke into the Garden broke into the Garden(!) The fans started running amok in the nearly empty arena, and the staff decided (at sometime after 2 in the morning) to just open the ticket windows hours ahead of schedule. The show was sold out by 6 a.m., but the crowds had apparently caused more than $50,000-worth of damage to the Garden.

Mayor Kevin White was so angry that he canceled the performance. Not only that, but he banned Led Zeppelin from coming to play Boston for the next five years.

This means that Led Zeppelin never played Boston again, because the band’s 1977 tour didn’t hit the Hub, and the band threw in the towel in 1980, after the death of drummer John Bonham. Reunion performances have been historically sporadic, but needless to say this clip is pretty much as close as it gets to Zep playing in Boston.

OK, that’s not true: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have played in Boston before, I just needed a segue.

So 10 years after Zep broke up, Jimmy Page joined Aerosmith onstage for a Monsters of Rock performance and he crammed with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry backstage before the show. It’s interesting to watch the shirtless pair who were known as the Toxic Twins in the 1970s, speed-talking about what they’re going to do for their short set. In 1990, the band had historically cleaned up their act, but it does look like Steven Tyler has a bowl in his hand that he’s about to spark up, doesn’t it?


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