When young lovers of rock music discover that I was born in 1964, among the first things they wonder is whether I ever saw Led Zeppelin. Sorry, no. I’d have been 13 in 1977 when they last toured the US, and anyway, they didn’t come to Syracuse, NY, where I raised. Sure, I was technically old enough to see Zeppelin, but for all practical purposes I was unaware of the band in 1977, even if I knew a song or two, and I was in no position to thumb a ride to New York or Philadelphia, where they played. By 1980, I was a huge fan and was planning to see the band in Buffalo at Rich Stadium. Alas, John Bonham died that year and the concert never happened.
But since most people don’t know those little details, I want to claim that I saw Led Zeppelin. I want young rockers to envy me the way I envy people who have had their plays produced. I want them to point me out at parties and remark to one another that I witnessed the greatest band in the history of rock music. Part of me honestly feels like I could get away with lying about it. Who is going to look up Led Zeppelin’s 1977 concert tour dates (besides me)? No doubt someone would, exposing me as a fraud and causing a scandal, such that this website suddenly gets millions of hits and I become famous. Then, using some internet advertising scheme, I make tons of money. But, alas, I’m a bad liar. (So please don’t ask if I ever saw REO Speedwagon).