1968 – Vanilla Fudge and an unknown Led Zeppelin perform a New Year’s Eve gig in Portland, Ore.
1968 – Led Zeppelin appeared at Gonzaga University Gymnasium, Spokane on their first North American tour supporting Vanilla Fudge.
1968 – Led Zeppelin play their first ever gig in Canada at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum supporting Vanilla Fudge and the MC5.
1968 – Over in the UK, the Rolling Stones enter the charts at No. 3 with Beggars Banquet.
1968 – The Miami Festival kicks off, drawing 100,000 people over its three days for a line-up that includes Jose Feliciano, Procol Harum, and Fleetwood Mac. It’s the first major rock festival held on the east coast.
1968 – Miami Pop Festival features performances by Procul Harum, Chuck Berry, Fleetwood Mac and Canned Heat.
1968 – Led Zeppelin gives its U.S. debut performance in Boston on this day in rock history!
1968 – Led Zeppelin leave Britain to start their first American tour. Robert Plant remembered, “It was Christmas, and Christmas away from home for the English is the end of the world.”
1968 – John Lennon and Yoko Ono, dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus, distribute presents to the children of Apple’s staff.
1968 – In today’s New York Times, Leonard Bernstein plugs the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble. The group’s repertoire is made up of both rock and classical music.
1968 – Janis Joplin and her Kozmic Blues Band perform at the Stax/Volt Yuletide Thing at Memphis’ Mid South Coliseum.
1968 – The struggling Led Zeppelin performs at the Exeter City Hall in England for a fee of 125 pounds. On many dates in the current tour, the band is billed as the New Yardbirds simply to draw an audience.