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AUDIO: Earliest Known Led Zeppelin Recording

Written by Daniel Clarke on April 8, 2010

This is a pretty incredible piece of music right here. It’s the earliest known recording made of the legendary Led Zeppelin, playing ‘Dazed And Confused’ a few weeks before the release of their debut self-titled album.

The show took place at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, on December 30th, 1968 and was the third date of a US tour where the band opened for Vanilla Fudge. An uncredited attendee commented that “the Vanilla Fudge set seemed dull and lifeless – as if psychedelia died and heavy metal was born in one three hour show!”

Zeppelin were so unknown at the time that ads for the gig billed them as “Len Zefflin”.

This Zeppelin bootleg predates any other recordings of the band, and while it’s been available since at least the 80s in vinyl, cassette and CD releases, this is the first time it’s appeared on Youtube. For a fan recording, the quality isn’t too bad – it’s not perfect, the bass frequencies are often blown out – but it’s quite listenable.

Check it out:

[youtube QALjWAv_bXk]

(For all those bootleg-obsessed completists like me out there, the best CD recording of this gig is entitled ‘Lifetime Guarantee’ and claims to be sourced from the original cassette master tape, recorded using the internal mic on a Norelco cassette recorder that sat perched on the mixing desk in the front row.)

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