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July 7, 1980: Zeppelin’s Final Show With John Bonham

It was the last stop on their European tour supporting In Through the Out Door, but little did Led Zeppelin or rock fans the world over know that July 7, 1980 would mark the final performance of the original Zeppelin lineup.

That performance in Berlin, which has been captured and released via bootleg as Led Zeppelin – Final Stand, contained a setlist that included some of their biggest hits like “Black Dog,” “Kashmir,” “Stairway To Heaven” and “Whole Lotta Love.”  However, there’s something about how the band opened the show with “Train Kept-A-Rollin.’” It was a little reminder that Zeppelin, at its core, was a blues band, and that performance was, in some way, like a love letter to their influences.

Zeppelin were scheduled to follow up their European tour with a series of shows in North America, but John Bonham’s untimely death on September 24th, 1980 would lead to the tour’s cancelation and  the breakup of the band just months thereafter. 

While Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones would reunite for various performances after Zeppelin’s breakup, the band’s official website dubs the 1980 Berlin show as “The final Led Zeppelin performance.”  Without Bonzo behind the kit, I doubt anyone would disagree.