What Was Led Zeppelin Doing In 1989

Muddy Waters & Led Zeppelin

In 1989, Led Zeppelin embarked on their 19-date United States tour. This tour marked the UK rockers’ first US tour in 20 years, since their 1969 concert appearances. Prior to the U.S. dates, Led Zeppelin had performed numerous shows throughout Europe – their last European dates were held in Berlin, Germany, in July 1989.
The tour began at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena on October 18th and ended on November 13th at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York. Special guests on the tour included Muddy Waters & Band and Fats Domino & Band. During the tour, Led Zeppelin performed some of their biggest hits such as “Stairway to Heaven”, “Kashmir” and “Whole Lotta Love”, as well as tracks from their mostly-acoustic 1988 album, In Through the Out Door.
At the tour’s Los Angeles opening night, Led Zeppelin performed with Muddy Waters & Band. The performance was a treat for fans as it marked the first time the two bands had played together. Muddy Waters & Band brought a stirring blend of rock, blues, and funk to the show. It was the start of something special between the two bands and a great way to kick off the tour.
The same night, Water’s spectacular performance of “The Hoochie Coochie Man” was released as a bootleg. The bootleg, “Muddy and Zeppelin Live”, was released as a limited-edition promotional record, only available to attendees of the tour.
Although the tour ended in New York, for those in attendance, it must have been a night that felt like it would never end. The Led Zeppelin and Muddy Waters collaboration toured throughout the U.S. until the last show in NYC.

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin were ecstatic that the tour went so well. The notoriety of having performed alongside a legendary artist such as Muddy Waters was an exciting moment for them. During the tour, Page and Plant also took time to reflect on Led Zeppelin’s previous accomplishments.
Page and Plant discussed how their band had produced twelve albums, with four of which going multi-platinum in the US. In addition, they discussed Led Zeppelin’s success of popularizing blues rock and becoming an iconic symbol of the 1970s. As the show concluded, the fans cheered in amazement that Led Zeppelin was still making beautiful music and remembered by millions around the world.

Rolling Stone Reviews

Led Zeppelin’s tour earned positive reviews from the press. Rolling Stone Magazine praised the band for their “lush sound” and “shimmering guitar riffs”, concluding that “Led Zeppelin still encapsulated the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll”. In particular, the magazine highlighted the performances with Muddy Waters as “special highlights” of the tour due to the collaboration’s “raw energy and electric rapport.”
The magazine specifically noted the performances of “The Hoochie Coochie Man”, which they described as “a sober, yet vibrant version.” While the song had been performed several times at the tour, the collaboration between Muddy Waters and Led Zeppelin was hailed for its improvisation and energy.

The Legacy Of The Tour

Led Zeppelin’s 1989 tour was a success. It was a chance for the band to reconnect with fans and introduce new music to a whole new generation of fans. The performances with Muddy Waters and band had a lasting impact, and the bootleg live album was one of the most sought-after records of the time.
The tour cemented Led Zeppelin’s legacy as one of the most successful hard rock bands of all time. Today, fans continue to look up to Led Zeppelin’s sound and bold attitude. The tour allowed the band to prove that although they had been away from the limelight for two decades, they were still as dynamic and talented as ever.

The Impact on Music

The tour had a lasting impact on music. Led Zeppelin had already explored the blues-rock, folk and psychedelic genres in their previous albums, and the collaborations with Muddy Waters allowed them to bridge these sonic worlds. The tour inspired bands in many genres to incorporate the blues-rock fusion sound.
Today, many bands are incorporating elements of Led Zeppelin’s mix. Indie-rockers The Black Keys, the Filipino group Tres Marias, and even modern-day hip-hop groups such as OFWGKTA are channeling the band’s raw, bluesy sound. The tour had a profound influence on modern-day music and continues to shape the sound of artists today.


Led Zeppelin’s single “Kashmir” was a cornerstone of their live set throughout their 1989 tour. The song was written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant and released as the lead single of Led Zeppelin’s sixth studio album, Physical Graffiti. The track was praised for its sonic exploration and experimentation, taking listeners on an epic journey.
Lyrically, “Kashmir” explores themes of escapism, freedom, and individuality. It’s a powerful anthem that resonates deeply with audiences – the title being an ode to the troubled region of Kashmir. Throughout the song, Page and Plant chant the chorus, “Oh, Carry me Home” – expressing a longing for freedom.
The song was a fan favorite throughout the tour and continued to be performed by Led Zeppelin for years after. Today, it is one of the band’s most loved and iconic tracks.

The Revival of Led Zeppelin

The tour was instrumental in the band’s revival in the late 1980s. By the mid-80s, Led Zeppelin had lost its sheen. They had gone nearly two decades without a U.S. tour and were largely absent from the mainstream music scene. However, the 1989 tour allowed them to reconnect with their fans and showed the world that they still knew how to rock.
The success of the tour enabled the band to embark on an extensive world tour in the 90s. It was a newfound energy for the band and began a new chapter in their career. The legacy of the tour has since been celebrated by Led Zeppelin fans and the band itself.

The Relevance of Led Zeppelin Today

Today, Led Zeppelin is remembered fondly by its followers. The band created an iconic sound and has been credited with popularizing blues-rock. Led Zeppelin’s influence can be seen in modern-day acts, such as Muse and The Black Keys. In addition, the band’s influence has transcended generations – inspiring young contemporary musicians, and now even parents reconnecting with Led Zeppelin’s music.
The European leg of Led Zeppelin’s 1989 tour included a show at Knebworth Park, UK. The show has gone down in history as the greatest rock concert in the history of the UK. It featured massive crowds cheering at the band during their two nights of performance. The band later expressed that the Knebworth Park show was “the greatest ever.”

The Music Video

The tour would eventually become immortalized by the music video for “Kashmir”, released in June 1989. The video was shot during the Led Zeppelin’s performance of the song at Madison Square Garden and featured audience reactions, colorful visuals, and plenty of concert footage.
Led Zeppelin’s performance of “Kashmir” underscored the wild energy of their 1989 tour. The video and single gave fans around the world a glimpse into the tour and stirred excitement for what was still to come.

Glastonbury Festival Show

Led Zeppelin’s 1989 tour culminated with the band’s performance at the Glastonbury Festival in England in June 1990. At the time, Glastonbury was one of the biggest music festivals in Europe.
Ever to pursue exploration and innovation, Led Zeppelin explored a range of musical genres at the festival. The band performed their most popular rock songs, such as “Rock and Roll” and “Stairway to Heaven”. They also performed acoustic versions of some of their more experimental albums, such as “No Quarter”.
The audience sang along with

Edgar Grizzle

Edgar D. Grizzle is a passionate writer and music lover with a deep understanding of the rock and metal genres. A lifelong fan of classic and modern bands alike, he has honed his craft in writing about the music he loves over the past decade. He is committed to giving readers an accurate and captivating look into the music that he loves, and he is dedicated to helping fans discover new music and explore the rich history of rock and metal.

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