Rock Down By The Riverside!


Monday, 01 February 2016 14:11 Written by Administrator


Film Producer Rob Whitehouse is making a short film for the BBC in Nottingham for their 'Inside Out' series related to the People's History of Pop, to be screened on February 8th.

He was particularly keen to find unusual pop memorabilia. Contributors were urged to search cupboards, attics and garages, and sure enough Keith Atkinson, President of Nottingham Rowing Club hit gold in his recently flooded garage in Southwell. He found a complete file of contracts for bands that played at the Nottingham Boat Club in 1969 - including one for Led Zeppelin!

Rory Gallagher and the Taste, 10 Years After, Free, Chicken Shack, John Hiseman's Colosseum, and the American Blues artists Freddie King, John Lee Hooker and Howlin'Wolf, and of course Led Zeppelin, were all ‘Down at the Boat’ in '69.

The contracts were between the club and the band, each of whom was expected to be on site for 7pm, and cash would be paid on the night. Special arrangements like a concert tuned piano for Chicken Shack's Christine Perfect were supplied by the club.

"Led Zeppelin's 1971 generous free gig was the main topic", explained Keith Atkinson. "They saw the Boat Club as a stepping stone to stardom and came back as a free thank you. The place was packed. Tickets were 50p. You couldn't get to the bar, and fans were climbing onto the balcony. It was Nottingham's greatest gig. An original ticket has recently sold for hundreds of pounds."

The 1969 contract was  £80 for two 30-minute spots!


Below: Keith being interviewd for the programme

bbc filming