Boston Tea Party — the rock club, not the protest — celebrates anniversary

Led Zeppelin played the Boston Tea Party.

Led Zeppelin played the Boston Tea Party.

How many of you can name the first band to play at the Boston Tea Party? Didn’t think so.

When the legendary venue on Berkeley Street opened its doors on Jan. 20, 1967, the Lost, a psychedelic/garage band fronted by Willie “Loco” Alexander, headlined. So what? Next week, the Music Museum of New England is throwing a party at the Verb Hotel to mark the Tea Party’s 50th anniversary, and three members of the Lost, including Alexander, plan to attend.


The Tea Party only lasted for four years, but the inventory of acts who performed there is mighty impressive and includes the Grateful Dead, Neil Young, the J. Geils Band, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, Cream, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, the Who, the Byrds, Santana, Sly & the Family Stone, and the Velvet Underground, whose principal songwriter, Lou Reed, once called the club “our favorite place to play in the whole country.”

Steve Nelson, president of the Music Museum of New England, says the party Jan. 20 is an opportunity for rock ’n’ roll fans new and old to celebrate the Tea Party’s legacy. In addition to Willie “Loco,” the Lost’s bassist Walter Powers and drummer Lee Mason have RSVP’d, Nelson said.

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