Led Zeppelin performed for the first time, 49 years ago today

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Long before they were considered the gods of Heavy Metal or sold 300 million albums, Led Zeppelin performed for the first time. That historic date would be September 7th, 1968 in Gladsaxe, Denmark.

Before Led Zeppelin was formed, Jimmy Page played along side Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck in the Yardbirds. The legendary band was beginning to break up, but they were already scheduled for a tour. Jimmy decided not to forget the tour and instead put together a new band with new members to fill the time. That lineup would consist of Jimmy Page on guitar, Robert Plant on lead vocals, John Paul Jones on bass, and John Bonham on drums. The band would call themselves the New Yardbirds.

Jorgen Angel who photographed the event said,”It’s only a short while before the concert that we realized it wouldn’t the real Yardbirds that were going to play. Gladsaxe Teen Club had booked the Yardbirds a few months before, but the Yardbirds broke up, and Peter Grant and Jimmy Page came with other musicians to fulfill those commitments. They signed a contract for a small tour in Scandinavia. Jimmy recruited three other guys and they played all the clubs where the Yardbirds were supposed to play.”

The New Yardbirds took the stage at 5:30 PM at the Gladsaxe Teen Club in Gladsaxe, Denmark. It is hard to believe a band like Led Zeppelin would ever play here, but you have to start somewhere. Though the venue was small, the band put on a big performance. The band was believed to play Yardbird hits “White Summer” “You Shook Me” “Dazed and Confused” and “Train Kept A-Rollin.” Led Zeppelin would later cover these songs and play them in their own concert.

There were rave reviews of the concert written in the newsletter of the venue.

“Their performance and their music were absolutely flawless, and the music continued to ring nicely in the ears for some time after the curtains were drawn after their show. Let me in particular give my praise to Jimmy Page who has made a great job with the three new men. They really succeeded and in particular the guitar solo by Page created huge applause. We can therefore conclude that the new Yardbirds are at least as good as the old ones were.”

The New Yardbirds would not keep their name but kept the members. There is wide circulation of whether Jimmy changed the name because of legal issues or he wanted to start new. There is also speculation that Keith Moon and John Entwistle were the inspiration behind the name when they remarked the band would,”go over like a lead balloon.” Either way this important venue would change history and all of music forever, as Led Zeppelin would shake up the World in a matter of time.

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