Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Led Zeppelin posts fan's film from 1973 online

Some rare fan-shot 8mm footage of Led Zeppelin in concert at Madison Square Garden in New York appears on the group's official YouTube channel today, synched to audio recordings of the same show. The concert in question took place July 28, 1973, one of the three nights at the venue during which a film crew captured Led Zeppelin for their movie, The Song Remains the Same. The show on July 28 was the second-to-last of the tour.

Footage like this helps someone from a younger generation (hmmm, a self-reference here) understand what made a Led Zeppelin concert such an amazing event.

This is not a complete show or anything like that. It's 10 minutes total, and due to the nature of the 8mm video camera, no portion of the concert extends more than a few seconds. But there's still a lot to witness -- and to appreciate.

Take "Whole Lotta Love" for example. With the clips that exist of this song, we get a portion of a Theremin solo from Jimmy Page. Seconds later, at the 6:22 mark, off go the onstage pyrotechnics. At 6:37, while they're still finishing the song, the next special effect is John Bonham's gong, which is now on fire. And you thought you were cool!

Prior to today, this footage was exclusively the subject of bootlegs, having been released on a Cosmic Energy bootleg DVD specializing in footage shot over the three nights at Madison Square Garden, plus some outtakes from The Song Remains the Same and a movie trailer. The official Led Zeppelin YouTube channel contains a few gems that aren't available on any official release, such as this Chicago '75 footage that has well over 1 million views.

This marks the second time in as many weeks that some rare Led Zeppelin footage has appeared online. On April 29, a YouTube user posted a rare video of Led Zeppelin miming to "You Shook Me" for the TV show "Beat Club" in 1969, although the audio no longer remained after May 3 due to copyright policy.

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