By Josiah HughesBefore they were busying themselves with supergroups and arguing about reunion tours, the four members of Led Zeppelin were a fierce, inventive rock'n'roll band that helped lay the framework for heavy metal and hard rock. At their peak, Zeppelin were one of the biggest bands in the world. Now, their humble beginning has been documented with their earliest ever recording.
Recorded on December 30, 1968, three weeks before the release of Led Zeppelin, a live version of Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused" has hit the Internet. The show took place at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, and saw them opening for Vanilla Fudge. Led Zep were so unknown at the time that ads for the gig billed them as "Len Zefflin."
According to The Metal Den, this Zeppelin bootleg predates any other recordings of the band. Though recorded by a concertgoer, the sound quality is surprisingly good. Without further ado, you can hear "Dazed and Confused" live below.
UPDATE: Exclaim!'s Wood, Wires & Whiskey editor/resident Led Zeppelin nerd Jason Schneider took the time to point out that this track has been available to Zep fans for some time, although it only recently hit YouTube. Schneider says, "I have to reveal how much of a geek I am by pointing out that that recording has been circulating within collector's circles since the '80s. Yes, it is earliest known live recording of the band, and I first heard it on a very expensive 4-LP set I bought many years ago called Alpha & Omega, which also included a recording of their final U.S. concert in 1977. With the coming of CDs, the full Spokane tape has been released under many different titles, the best I've heard being Lifetime Guarantee, released by the Empress Valley bootleg label, which is reportedly a transfer of the master cassette." Now you have some titles to start digging for on eBay, Zeppelin fans!