Friday, May 2, 2008

New online-only videos span Led Zeppelin's career

The other day, I chortled when I read a comment on this blog from my friend Rich, requesting some live Zeppelin clips rather than live clips of Zep covers from a music festival in 2008 where no Led Zeppelin members even appeared. He has a point!

It just so happens that some vintage live Zeppelin performances are being uploaded to Youtube these days with the approval of the band. The LedZeppelin Youtube channel is officially sanctioned by the group, so some video and audio clips are now seeing their official release exclusively online.

The channel has some clips from their previous official releases. Who could forget this excerpt of the powerful "I Can't Quit You Baby" from the Royal Albert Hall in 1970?

...or this funky version of "The Ocean" performed at Madison Square Garden in 1973?

...or the classic and penultimate take on "Kashmir" from the Knebworth 1979 shows?

But what's especially interesting to see are some of the videos added over the past couple of weeks whose release the band had heretofore withheld authorizing.

Chris Welch took some 8mm footage of the group on tour in West Germany in July 1970. Now these clips have been edited together and come to life with the soundtrack of "Celebration Day" supplied for effect.

An outstanding performance of "Sick Again" from the L.A. Forum in 1977 is presented in full with several sources supplying great angles of Jimmy Page in his white dragon suit wielding his double-neck guitar, and the rest of the guys doing what they do best. This montage was spliced together by Sam Rapallo, webmaster of the official Led Zeppelin Web site,

The band takes flight in this 8mm footage shot on location in Pittsburgh in 1973 outside the Starship. This was the location of a famous photo shoot in which the band poses next to their touring plane with Robert Plant opening his arms wide. The first half of the footage is accompanied by Page's guitar instrumental "Bron-Y-Aur," until we arrive at the concert. Then, snippets of that night's version of "Rock and Roll" and "Black Dog" kick in with the visuals synched up to the tunes.

Cut to a year earlier in San Bernardino, Calif., where the band can be seen and heard ripping up a version of "The Song Remains the Same" a whole year before it was released. Page's guitar antics continue in the middle of his "Heartbreaker" solo. This also includes snippets of "Black Dog," "Stairway to Heaven" and Page's violin bow solo from "Dazed and Confused." Remarkably, before the footage ends with a brief snippet of "Whole Lotta Love," we get a glimpse of a rare onstage performance of "The Crunge."

Here's a version of "Kashmir" recorded in Los Angeles the year it came out on album. That Mellotron John Paul Jones plays may not be quite in tune, but what else would you expect from a 1975 performance?

Fast-forward two years, again in Los Angeles, and this time there's nearly 10 minutes' worth of Led Zeppelin performing. This 8mm footage includes a shot of Jones at his keyboard during "Trampled Underfoot" and another of John Bonham during his "Over the Top" drum solo. Page can be seen performing portions of a guitar solo that preceded "Achilles Last Stand." But the biggest surprise of the night comes five-and-a-half minutes into the video, when Led Zeppelin welcomes a rare guest onstage -- namely Keith Moon, drummer for the Who. With Keith at Plant's microphone and Plant at the drums, hilarity ensues! Moon then sticks around to play timpani and tambourine for the encores, and Page marks the one-off occasion with an out-of-tune string heard a few times at the beginning of "Rock and Roll."

There are also segments from several shows on Led Zeppelin's final tour. Catch up with them in 1980 at their destinations in Munich:

...and Zurich:

...and Rotterdam.


  1. Remarkable stuff. Thank you for posting this material. It was sweet to see Chris Welch's home movie footage, which re-frames CD. Now it's about you, the viewer, this song, as you attempt to join the band!

  2. Yes, that's some great stuff.

    I guess you mean "Immigrant Song" instead of "The Song Remains The Same" in the San Berdu footage.

    Immigrant Song,Heartbreaker,Black Dog,Since I've Been Loving You,Stairway To Heaven,Going To California,That's The Way,Tangerine,Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp,Dazed & Confused (includes The Crunge),What Is And What Should Never Be,Moby Dick,Whole Lotta Love (includes Boogie Chillun',Let's Have A Party,Hello Mary Lou,Going Down Slow,The Shape I'm In),Rock And Roll.


Comments are moderated prior to publication. Comments will not be published if they are deemed vulgar, defamatory or otherwise objectionable.