By Jeff Krulik (7/23/2013, www.ledzeppelinplayedhere.com)
On the evening of July 23, 1973, this guy was yelled at by Peter Grant backstage at the Baltimore Civic Center. Who is he?
Peter Grant was the legendary manager for Led Zeppelin, who orchestrated their rise to rock super-stardom by an unprecedented tough-guy business style. He was equally admired, and feared, and he single-handedly rewrote the rules on rock and roll band management.
While touring for Houses of the Holy in 1973, their ninth tour of North America, their Baltimore stop on July 23 was the first date where 35mm film cameras were rolling for The Song Remains the Same, the Led Zeppelin concert film. One infamous scene in the film, released three years later in 1976, was of Peter Grant yelling at a backstage manager about the sales of bootleg merchandise.
In the biography Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin it states At the Baltimore Civic Center on July 23 1973, they filmed cops chasing a half-naked intruder. This was also the setting for the scene in which Peter Grant berated the promoter. Amidst a flurry of abuse he more or less accuses the man of receiving kickbacks with the aim of squeezing every last nickel out of Zeppelin. “We knew nothing about him. As soon as we found out about it, we stopped him,” protested the man, believed to be one Larry Vaughn.
Larry Vaughn was one of the promoters of the concert, but has confirmed that’s not him. Nor is it Richard Klotzman, longtime local Baltimore promoter. And it’s not Steve Weiss, Led Zeppelin lawyer, who is the man standing next to Grant in the dark glasses.
Bud Becker, who has been involved in the concert and music business for decades, including many years at the Baltimore Civic Center, has confirmed through his sources that this man may be named Denny, and he ran concessions for ARA, short for Automatic Retailers of America, and now known as ARAMARK.
Who is this man in the blue shirt? I’d like to talk to him. What does he remember about that night? And for that matter, who is the seated guy selling the photos? Please write me with any leads at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you very much,
Led Zeppelin Played Here screening at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore on Thursday, Aug. 22nd, 2013.
Chris Welch’s obituary of Peter Grant in The Independent Newspaper stated his achievements well.
“It was Grant who arranged their deal with Atlantic Records in 1968, then hailed as one of the biggest in industry history. He never interfered with their music, but was a “hands-on” manager who travelled the world with his charges to ensure their financial and physical well-being. Grant was essentially the fifth member of Led Zeppelin. While stories of his exploits have become legendary, and he was as much feared as admired, Grant was a warm and good-humoured man who know well the impression he could make on the nervous and unwary … he was determined that Led Zeppelin would get their fair share of the profits. As a result, Led Zeppelin became extremely wealthy from the sales of millions of albums and concert tickets during their 12-year reign from 1968 to 1980”