Did Led Zeppelin really play in Wheaton, Md.?

WASHINGTON – No fliers, photos or physical evidence support it. But a mysterious local legend has it that Led Zeppelin played a show in 1969 at maybe the least likely of local venues — the Wheaton Youth Center.

Or did they?

Documentary filmmaker Jeff Krulik has spent the past four years trying to answer that question. His documentary “Led Zeppelin Played Here” explores the Wheaton show, which supposedly happened on Jan. 20, 1969 — the day of Richard Nixon’s inauguration.

The AFI Silver Theatre is screening the full-length documentary beginning at 9:15 p.m. Friday.

To gather footage and interviews for the film, Krulik held a reunion to conduct interviews with people who say they were at the Wheaton show, The Washington Post reported in 2009.

From there, Krulik began to compare stories.

“You kind of cross reference everyone’s stories and make sure they sound legit,” he tells WTOP. “The (show’s) promoter, who happened to be a very famous DJ around here named Barry Richards, says that it happened. But people who worked closely with Barry Richards denied that it happened.”

There’s no confirmed evidence from Led Zeppelin either, Krulik said. The band’s website said the show “is officially unconfirmed and no proof has yet surfaced.”

Krulik said Georgia Avenue’s Wheaton Youth Center itself became a major part of the documentary.

“It turned out a lot of people have a lot to say about it,” he says. “Many claim they were there in the audience seeing this concert on the very night that Richard Nixon was being inaugurated and right when Led Zeppelin was starting out. No one knew who they were.”

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