Led Zeppelin – The Woody Woodrocker Show (Tarantura TCD-23)


 The Woody Woodrocker Show (Tarantura TCD-23)

Central Park, New York, NY – July 21st, 1969
Train Kept A-Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You Babe, Dazed & Confused, You Shook Me, White Summer/Black Mountainside, How Many More Times (incl. Woody Woodpecker Song, For What It’s Worth, The Hunter, The Lemon Song, You Make Me Feel So Young), Communication Breakdown

The Schaefer Music Festival was a series of concerts organized by New York promoter Ron Delsner sponsored by the Schaefer Beer Co.  His official website history states:  “In 1966, Ron Delsener developed and produced the highly successful concert series at Wollman Ice-Skating Rink in Central Park. During its fifteen-year history, every major contemporary artist appeared at this series, including: Billy Joel; The Who; Louis Armstrong; Miles Davis; Benny Goodman; Otis Redding; Wes Montgomery; Bobby Darin; Muddy Waters; Flatt & Scruggs; Howlin Wolf; Neil Diamond; Stevie Wonder; Sly & The Family Stone; Led Zeppelin; and many more. The ground-breaking Wollman Rink concerts offered audiences the opportunity to see incredible artists in a dramatic setting, with comfortable seating and an astonishing $1.00 admission price. Two shows were held each evening and the series quickly became the hallmark by which most other outdoor concert series are judged.”

This tape of Zeppelin’s first show that day at 7 pm was first released on cd as  Schaefer Music Festival (Rock Calender RC 2107 ) followed by Twist (no label but thought to have been produced by the TDOLZ folks) and afterwards the definitive version Complete Central Park (TMOS96901) on the sadly defunct Sanctuary label.  It is a very clear, detailed and up front audience recording and a minor miracle considering it comes from the summer of 1969.  The only drawback is the minor amount of tape hiss present.  Sanctuary’s release was the best sounding, most complete and ran at the correct speed.  Tarantura’s sounds very similar to that one, the only difference is they didn’t boost the volume quite so high.  It’s really matter of personal taste which one is exist  many different shows to choose from their summer 1969 tour which focused upon a lot of festivals. 

I’ve always liked this one since they were able to play their entire festival set and is one of the earliest tapes in existence to record an extended medley in “How Many More Times”.  They throw in the “Woody Woodpecker” theme during the staccato riff early in the number, and this is the first reference to Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”, a song that plays an important role in Zeppelin’s history (from the “Whole Lotta Love” medly to their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1995).  Woody Woodrocker Show is another opportunity to own this great show and is well worth having.  It comes packaged in a thick cardboard sleeve that opens to reveal a photo taken of the concert with both Plant and Page wearing cowboy hats and is limited to two hundred copies.

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