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A music promoter has come forward with the proof that one of the world's biggest ever rock bands played a gig in Peterlee.

Brian Stoker and friend David Richards booked rock super group Led Zeppelin for just £100 to play at the Argus Butterfly pub in Peterlee on March 23, 1969.

The gig, which came just weeks after they had released their first self-titled album, saw the group play before hundreds of fans ahead of a gig before tens of thousands at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

The group then went on to become one of the most successful rock bands in the world and played a sell out gig earlier this year after reforming to perform at the O2 Arena in London.

Easington Colliery-born Brian, 65, who organised gigs under the Peterlee Jazz Club banner, has unearthed the original flyers for Led Zeppelin gig and a string of other shows that were held at the pub in the late 1960s.

He said: "We booked Led Zeppelin for £100 and they went down a storm. Everyone loved it and I remember me and Dave had a drink with the lads from the group.

"I was talking to guitarist Jimmy Page and asked if he enjoyed it and he said 'yes' and he would come back. I said what are you doing next month and he said they were playing the Hollywood Bowl, so that was the last we saw of them."

The pair secured the band through a contact at London promotion firm Ellis Wright, which went on to become the Chrysalis music company.

They attracted bands that had played the previous night at universities in Scotland and got them to stop off to play a Sunday night spot in Peterlee while travelling south.

Other groups that played at the venue included Free, Deep Purple, Family, 10 Years After, Taste, and Jethro Tull.

Dad of two Brian, who moved to Sheffield in 1974 to work for a brewery, said: "We had Free on about three or four times and the last time we had them Alright Now was number one the week after. We had booked them for £100 as well.

"They also told us they had this solo act and they wanted £100. I said you must be joking because we had Led Zeppelin for £100. I asked his name and he said Elton John and I said no chance am I paying that for a bloke on his own."

Brian and David later launched similar nights at the Swan pub in Billingham where acts including Joe Cocker and 10 Years After played gigs, but he said the venue did not have the same success as the Argus Butterfly.

Music promoter Mick Arnell is hoping to return the pub into a successful music venue and is appealing for local talent to come forward to perform.

'I booked Led Zep for £100 but turned down Elton John' 'I booked Led Zep for £100 but turned down Elton John'



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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

November 21, 1968 - Robert becomes a father to a baby girl named Carmen Jane.
November 09, 1968 - Robert marries Maureen in London. Their reception is a performance at the Roundhouse in London
November xx, 1969 - Tempers flare over Atlantic in the UK wanting to release singles
November xx, 1969 - Recording for Led Zeppelin III begins at Olympic Studios in London
November xx, 1970 - Plans are in motion for a Yardbirds reunion
November 08, 1971 - Finally after much anticipation, Untitled is released
November xx, 1972 - Houses Of The Holy is mixed and completed
November 10, 1972 - Led Zeppelin sell out 120,000 tickets in one day
November xx, 1973 - Initial recordings for Physical Graffiti commences at Headley Grange
November 04, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finalize the purchase of Headley Grange to be their new corporate headquarters
November xx, 1974 - The band makes plans and rehearses for the tenth North American tour
November xx, 1975 - Led Zeppelin records Presence in a mere 18 days
November xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin book into Ezyhire Studios to rehearse new material for an upcoming tour
November 04, 1976 - The Song Remains The Same movie premieres in Europe
November xx, 1977 - Jimmy dispells rumors of Led Zeppelin’s break up
November 06, 1978 - Led Zeppelin purchase and ship new gear to Polar Studios to begin work on a new album
November 10, 1979 - Led Zeppelin and their entire entourage attend an ABBA concert
November 07, 1980 - The band meets with Peter Grant to announce the retirement of Led Zeppelin
November 29, 1999 - The RIAA announced that Led Zeppelin were only the third act in music history to achieve four or more Diamond albums, a Diamond album being awarded for accredited sales of more than 10 million units in the US.
November 01, 2007 - An announcement was made that Jimmy Page had fractured his finger on his left hand after a fall in his garden and the reunion show would be postponed to December 10, 2007.
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