Johnny Thompson Music
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Zeppelin and More
Do you recognize the three young men in the above picture? On the left is John Paul Jones and on the right is Robert Plant, at JTM on May 2nd, 1969, from
the rock group Led Zeppelin. If you look closely, you can see me in the background.
More recent pictures of John Paul Jones and Robert Plant.
Email exchange with Led Zeppelin webmaster
Email with LedZeppelin.com Webmaster
Subject: Led Zeppelin question
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2008 08:08:05 -0500
I work for Led Zeppelin and was curious about their in-store appearance that is shown on your site. The audio clips don’t seem to work -
could you please send a link to the audio? Also, do you have any other photos?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
p.s. Do you happen to know the exact date this occurred?
From: Johnny thompson [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 9:12 PM
Subject: RE: Led Zeppelin question
Thanks for the email of Nov 11, 2008. The audio clips should be up and running now http://www.johnnythompsonmusic.com/aboutus/history.html.
We will be expanding the site to include more history. The only surviving photo was taken May 2, 1969. I was 25 years old. Here's my Led Zeppelin story:
Sometime in 1968, I walked into the office of Sunn Musical Equipment, national artist relations manager Buck Monger. At that very moment, he was on the
phone with Jimmy Page, calling from Britain informing Buck that he had formed a brand new group and the name of the group is to be called “Led Zeppelin.”
He told Buck that Zeppelin was going to be a monster group and he wanted Sunn to provide amps for their first tour. Buck happily obliged.
Early in 1969, probably January, my sound system service was hired by the promoter to do provide the sound for a Zeppelin concert during their first tour
at a very cold-temperature place called the Ice Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. I personally mixed the performance.
The next time I saw them was backstage at a concert on Thursday, May 1st, 1969, at Crawford Hall, University of California (UC) at Irvine. Their record
was played only on “underground” FM radio stations at a time when FM rock radio was new. Even so, they already had become a major group with an enthusiastic
and growing following. The concert was at overflow capacity as they had enough attendance for two separate Zeppelin concerts. The group did not agree to play
twice, so the school officials allowed for no seats standing-room only. It was sweaty, hot and so sardine-tight that the audience had to clap their hands over
the tops of their heads. The group was magnificent and was a magical event that no one in attendance will ever forget.
After the show, I approached Zeppelin’s roadies and asked them if the group would come in to my music store the following day and do a short radio commercial.
I offered them dealer cost on whatever equipment they needed for the road trip. The next day, Friday, May 2nd, 1969, their roadies came with Robert Plant and
John Paul Jones. I found them to be down-to-earth, friendly and unaffected by their fame. We taped their commercial/endorsement and took their picture with me
in the background.
I never got around to advertising on radio. Recently in ‘08 I resurrected the old photo and tape for our informational website. Teenage rock groups of today
play music they call “Black Metal” which bears little resemblance to the music of Led Zeppelin. Yet, most young rock-band musicians today that come into my
music center enthusiastically say that Zeppelin is their all-time favorite rock band, and they often refer to the group and members as “gods.” Danny and the
Juniors famously wrote… “Rock ‘N Roll will never die,” and as long as that continues to hold true the same can be said for Led Zeppelin.
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance, and also what is it you do for Led Zeppelin?
Sent: Thu 11/27/08 5:28 PM
To: 'Johnny thompson' (email@example.com)
Thanks very much for your reply - great story. This was a pleasant surprise to me, that’s for sure.
As for working for Led Zep, I’m in charge of their official site (and their individual official sites: robertplant.com and johnpauljones.com – Jimmy
doesn’t have his own yet).
P.S. If you happen to know anyone with original rare photos, film, recordings etc., please let me know.
This text will be replaced by the flash music player.
|They did an adlib radio commercial free for me the day this photo was taken ad we have a sample of their recording as well as other musician friends from big name groups of their day. All of the recorded commercials were made between 1968 and 1970 for freeon a portable home reel to reel tape recorder and kept in storage for 40 years before restoration and transferring to CD format. The result is a somewhat damaged recording, but still clear enough to understand.|
||1971 United Artists Concert Review|
||1971 United Artists Concert, Hollywood Bowl|
||Sound company started by Johnny Thompson and Bob Coziar. Based in Honolulu, HI. Click here to read an email we recently received regarding one person's experience with Concert One Stop in Honolulu.|
||4,200 RMS watts amplifier rack used by Johnny Thompson Sound. This system was used primarily for larger arenas and outdoor venues, including the Sunshine Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1971. |
|Here are three photos taken by me of the original Diamond Head Crater Festival called the “Sunshine Festival” of 1971 which took place within the crater of Diamond Head volcano in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is said that 50,000 people were in attendance and onstage in the photo was the Carlos Santana group. We provided all the sound equipment and sound-mixing service for the event with my partner Bob Coziar, who ran our Honolulu sound company, known as “Concert One Stop.” Coziar personally mixed the sound for the event.|
||Headliner Santana band on stage at the New Years Day 1971 Sunshine Festival, Diamond Head Crater, Honolulu, Hawaii.|
||Also pictured (Source: http://www.imsai.net/) is Carlos Santana and Buddy Miles, who performed during the festival. Drummer Buddy Miles’ own group was called the “Buddy Miles Express” and a good friend of Jimi Hendrix who together formed Jimi’s second recording band “Band of Gypsies” for the recording of the album of the same name.|
||This album was recorded January 1, 1972 at the Sunshine Festival inside Diamond Head Crater, Honolulu, Hawaii.|
||Article featuring Johnny Thompson about the change and decline of rock concerts (click photo of J.T.). |
There were numerous popular recording and touring artists that came to our music center for various needs. As part of Concert
One Stop, we also provided traveling professional sound system service for many more artists, including Led Zeppelin, Creedence
Clearwater Revival, Earth Wind and Fire, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Deep Purple, John Mayall Blues Band, Albert Collins,
Linda Ronstadt, Blood Sweat and Tears, Seals and Croft, Kenny Loggins from Alhambra, Elton John in Hawaii, Elvis Presley's classic
Aloha from Hawaii concert broadcast worldwide by satellite and more. The following is a list of well known acts and bands we have
been associated with. Let's see if you recognize any:
10 Years Later
Angus Tung (Taiwan, China)
Azteca with Sheila E.
Kenny Bee (Hong Kong, China)
Black Oak Arkansas
Blood, Sweat and Tears
Bobby D and the Mixx
Bread (David Gates)
Brenton Wood B and (Bobby D. Dixon)
Buddy Miles Express
Buffalo Springfield (Dewey Martin)
The Byrds (Roger McGuinn)
Cannibal and the Headhunters
Charles Lloyd Jazz Quintet
Chicago (Peter Cetera)
Country Joe and the Fish
Credence Clearwater Revival
Cui Jian (Beijing, China)
Deep Purple (Nick Simper, Ritchie Blackmore)
Delaney, Bonnie and Friends
Doctor Hook and the Medicine Show
Doctor John and the Night Tripper
Earth, Wind & Fire
Edgar Winter and the White Trash
El Los Trigres del Norte
The Four Tops
Grand Funk Railroad
Gao Qi & Overload (Beijing, China)
Mike Guerrero and Friends
Randy "Guitar God" Holden
Illinois Speed Press
Jimi Hendrix Experience (Noel Redding)
John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers
Led Zeppelin (Robert Plant & John Paul Jones)
Lee Michaels & Frosty
Michael McDonald (Doobie Brothers, Soto)
Jimmy Messina (Buffalo Springfield, Loggins & Messina)
New Riders of the Purple Sage
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Oingo Boingo (Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez)
Eddie James Olmos
Seals and Croft
Sly and the Family Stone
Tengge'er & Borot Chono (Neimenggu, China)
Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers)
Ten Years After
Thee Midniters (Jimmy Espinoza)
Three Dog Night
Tierra w/ Joey Guerra
TIME (Larry Byrom)
Tower of Power
Ike and Tina Turner
The Turtles (Johnny Barbata)