Here’s a great record of what Led Zeppelin looked and sounded like in the first year of the band’s existence. The date was March 17, 1969. The group’s debut album, Led Zeppelin, had been out in America for almost three months but would not be released in the UK for a couple more weeks. Led Zeppelin was on a tour of the UK and Scandinavia when they stopped by the TV-Byen studios in Gladsaxe, Denmark, a suburb of Copenhagen, to play four songs from the new album:
- “Communication Breakdown”
- “Dazed and Confused”
- “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”
- “How Many More Times”
Zeppelin had only been together a little more than half a year when the TV show was recorded (the band’s first gig, on September 7, 1968, also happened to have been in Gladsaxe) but they sound tight. Some of the band’s trademark theatrics are already in place, including Jimmy Page’s ethereal violin-bow guitar solo. Page is playing his classic 1959 Fender Telecaster, a gift from Jeff Beck that Page had painted a dragon on and used as his main guitar during his days with the Yardbirds. Only a month before this broadcast, during Zeppelin’s kickoff tour of America, Joe Walsh had given Page a Gibson Les Paul. By the time Led Zeppelin II was finished, Page had switched to the Les Paul and basically retired the Telecaster, though he played it on his famous 1971 solo in “Stairway to Heaven.”
Jimmy Page, 13, Plays Guitar on BBC Talent Show (1957)
‘Stairway to Heaven’: Watch a Moving Tribute to Led Zeppelin at The Kennedy Center
John Bonham’s Isolated Drum Track For Led Zeppelin’s ‘Fool in the Rain’
Jimmy Page Tells the Story of Kashmir
Wasn’t a fan in ’71. Even less so now.
Zep version 1 was my (not everyone’s) fav. This clip was March of 1969… the first American tour must have been in the summer? Ending at a stage / roller ring (forgot the name) in Honolulu.
I was standing in front of the most percussive thing I had ever heard as Bonham warmed up.
Thanks for the links.
Led Zeppelin’s first U.S. tour was in late 1968 and early 1969, ending not long before the European tour that included this show in Denmark. The band returned to America the next month and played the Honolulu Civic Auditorium midway through the tour, on May 13, 1969. Must have been a great show.