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On the road with Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, and the Who in 1973, the year the sixties died and the modern rock star was born

Michael Walker

1973 modern rock stardom born. Completely changed from the Beatles 60's era with fans throwing jelly babies, to the 70's era of Led Zeppelin in limos and private jets trailed by feral 15yos with fake IDs. The rock gods are now stars; the groupies will now do anything for anyone; the drugs are ubiquitous.

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1973 Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper and the Who launched the most ambitious tours ever (and then basically expire). But the three tours had a lasting impact on the way rock music is performed and perceived.

Billion Dollar Babies led to Kiss makeup, Marilyn Manson fire-breathing and Lady Gaga's theatricals. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant showed the way for both gunslinger stage shows and off-stage debauchery, and The Who's Quadraphenia showed that stories could sell.

1973 brought Dark Side of the Moon, Aladdin sane, Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Goats Head Soup and Living In The Material World.

Everybody is on the road that year - Aerosmith, Queen, New York Dolls, Lynyrd Skinner, 10CC, Steve Miier, ZZ Top, Steely Dan, Wings, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Ten Years After, Rod Stewart and the Faces, Frank Zappa, Grateful Dead, Simon & Garfunkel, Three Dog Night, Santana, Yes, Thin Lizzy, Traffic, Fleetwood Mac, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Peter Frampton, Jethro Tull, CCR - they were all touring in 1973.

The generation who were born in late 50's with parents listening to the Beatles and getting stoned, went to permissive schools run by liberal teachers themselves reacting against the militaristic education system they'd grown up with, and they wanted something edgier than the anodyne Beatles pop.

So they annointed the Stones and The Who, but particularly Led Zepp.

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