35 Years Ago: Led Zeppelin Play Their Last Concert With John Bonham
On July 7, 1980, the original members of Led Zeppelin performed together for the final time at Eissporthalle in Berlin, Germany.
The concert was the last scheduled stop on a 14-date European tour in support of the group’s most recent (and ultimately final) studio album, 1979’s In Through the Out Door. Trouble had been circling the band in previous years, with John Bonham and Jimmy Page both struggling with alcohol and drug addictions.
Two weeks before the Berlin show, on June 27 in Nuremburg, Germany, Led Zeppelin were forced to stop their show after just three songs when Bonham was rushed to the hospital after suffering what was reported as food poisoning but rumored to instead be the result of a blackout.
A North American tour, which, like the European jaunt, was to see the band trimming some of the excess soloing and pageantry of previous expeditions, was scheduled to begin in October. But on Sept. 24, after reportedly drinking 40 measures of vodka during a 12-hour period on a rehearsal day, Bonham went to bed at Page’s house and was found dead the following morning.
A few months later, on Dec. 4, 1980, the group issued a statement declaring they would be breaking up as a result of Bonham’s passing. The surviving members have reunited only a few times since then, including short sets at Live Aid in 1985 and the 40th anniversary concert for Atlantic Records in 1988. Most recently, they performed a full-scale show on Dec. 10, 2007, in London that was captured on the Celebration Day concert film that was released in 2012.
Although the photo above is taken from a show a few days prior, you can see photographs, the complete set list, ticket stubs and other memorabilia from Led Zeppein’s final show at their official website.
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