After 52 Years in Storage, Led Zeppelin Concert Footage Hits YouTube
aaamusic | On 29, Sep 2022
In this age of YouTube and online streaming, it’s quite common for something buried down in a basement or attic to make it to the main pages of these online platforms. Because there are many people who owned cameras back then and possibly left their content on an old tape, waiting for time to remind them so they could bring it back to life, it is only natural that in this age of overcrowded content, such videos finally emerge.
Such is the case of the latest addition to Led Zeppelin’s vast history of discoveries and unveilings, but none so far as what these fanatics shed light on. It was a recording of one of the most important and significant concerts the band ever played, none other than the 1970s LA Forum concert, particularly because it was the place and time they launched their Live on Blueberry Hill LP, considered by many as their first rock bootleg ever.
One of the peculiarities of this impressive concert is that nobody has filmed it, or so it was tough, since until the beginning of September, when one of their fans, Eddie Vincent, released 7 minutes of recording, creating a big wave of thousands of fans that desperately went to watch the video on YouTube. This brief but quite significant piece of video is one of those jewels of rock and roll history that helps some of the younger fans of the band figure out how they used to be back in 1970.
The history of a lost tape
As he explained in the YouTube video, sneaking a camera into a concert was much easier back then because security at the door was much more relaxed than it is today. They covered it under Vincet’s jacket and went to their seats, quite close to the stage, but behind John Bonham’s gong, so they couldn’t really see him, but still the sound was great.
They also took a camera with them and finally got to see John during the acoustic set as he “ducked behind the gong to grab a cigarette and very graciously acknowledged our slavish praise,” Vincent added. “He even posed twice for my still camera, and both times the flash failed to go off. Those pictures came out worthless, unfortunately. But a few others, along with that 8 mm film, survived.
It was only when checking one of his garage boxes that Vincent found this old relic and sent it to his friend, John Waters, so he could add the audio of the songs and some sound effects. This created a great 7-minute piece perfectly synchronized that gives a great immersion of what people lived in what is called one of the best concerts in history. It’s literally like some sort of time machine that allows anyone with access to the Internet to sit in the front row of this impressive performance.
Waters stated, when asked why he did not charge for this release, “I know a lot of collectors and traders who don’t give their stuff away, and that’s a shame to me.” Music is to be shared, and today you need it to get away from the crazy world. And if this film brings a lot of people happiness, hey, we did a good job.” This statement goes with a whole new group of “sharers”, whose only objective is to show other generations how great music used to be in the past.
A piece of the past
Water also expressed that he also regrets that many old films might be decomposing in cellars or attics, and that a great opportunity to catch that great time machine might be slipping through the fingers of time. Old concert film is important and must be preserved!”, Waters exclaimed on the YouTube video, but also added in an interview that “If you shot film in the past, traded and collected reels, or just bought them from the classifieds of rock magazines in the 70s and 80s, it’s important we save these. Please contact me if you have any rock music on film. “
There are some recent examples that “broke” the Internet, consisting of old recordings of some bizarre, in some cases, jewels of music, which act as a time machine and also a great reservoir of nostalgia. Such is the case of a Soviet post-punk band called “Alliance”, who launched their career success back in 1987 with a song called “At Dawn”, and literally got more views than a lot of modern bands and their costly productions.
This humble but really emotional video got the attention of a great number of people that like Soviet bands like the great Viktor Tsoi and Kino, creating really engaging and rocky post-punk on the other side of the iron curtain. The success of this basement found tape that saw light in 2019 was so great that the living members of the band recreated the song in radio studios, creating a whole new movement both in Russia and all over the world demanding more Soviet Synthpop, as it’s called nowadays. Maybe the same kind of rebirth will happen with Led Zeppelin or any other band whose concert footage is waiting in some drippy basement.