Today in 1969 Zeppelin was reportedly scheduled to play the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, but this booking is disputed and apparently never happened. They played in Chicago on Oct. 19 and in Cleveland on Oct. 24, so it’s quite possible the Philadelphia date was on an earlier version of the tour schedule.
This is one of several disputed tour dates/appearances throughout Zeppelin’s career. Probably one of the most well-known of which is a Jan 20, 1969 show reportedly held at the Wheaton Youth Center in Wheaton, MD. It is reported by locals that the band played for 45 minutes there on this date, but the remastered super deluxe edition of Led Zeppelin I (released June 2014) does not mention this date/venue. This concert is the subject of a documentary titled “Led Zeppelin Played Here,” by Jeff Krulik (http://www.ledzeppelinplayedhere.com).
Today in 1968, the Yardbirds were advertised to appear at Surrrey University, England. If this gig had taken place, it would have been the live debut of Led Zeppelin. But, for whatever reason, it did not happen, and their debut as Led Zeppelin took place (at the same venue) on Oct. 25.
Melody Maker, a UK music magazine, reported on October 24:
“Led Zeppelin, the group formed by Jimmy Page after the disbandment of the Yardbirds, make their debut at Surrey University tomorrow (Friday). Their manager, Peter Grant, is currently finalizing a six-week American tour for the group, starting around November 16. They have started work on their first LP, which will be released early in the New Year.”
NOTE: The tour start date proved to be incorrect; Zeppelin started their first American tour on December 26 of that year.
Today in 1994, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page’s Unledded project, part of MTV’s “Unplugged” series (back when MTV still played music), aired on the channel. The 90-minute project, recorded in Morocco, Wales, and London, was then released two days later as a live album, titled No Quarter. The 10th anniversary of the recording was commemorated by the release of a DVD, titled Unledded.
Nobody’s Fault but Mine
City Don’t Cry
Since I’ve Been Loving You
The Battle of Evermore
That’s the Way
Today in 1994, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page went to The Beacon Theatre in New York to promote their Unledded project, with a simultaneous preview at London’s Planet Hollywood. From the ambitious itinerary and the early footsteps in Morocco, to the last number, “Kashmir,” recorded in London’s LWT Studio, the project had manifested and would be aired the following day on MTV.
Today in 1973, Joe Massot, the filmmaker hired to shoot live performances of Zeppelin for what would become the film The Song Remains the Same, commenced filming individual “fantasy” sequences at the homes of Plant, Page, Jones, Bonham, and band manager Peter Grant.
Today in 1971, after a 5-date tour of Japan ended, Zeppelin travel back to the UK, where Page and Plant then visit Thailand, India and Hong Kong, ostensibly to get some new music ideas.
Today in 1968 Led Zeppelin began recording their debut album at Olympic Studios in London. Engineer Glyn Johns recalls that the album took about nine days to record, but the band were only actually in the studio for about 30 hours, at a cost reputed to be a mere $2,300. But the power and spontaneity of the performances can be attributed to the fact that the band had already been rehearsing and touring (fulfilling Yardbirds tour obligations in Scandinavia) before they arrived at Olympic.
“It was easy because we had a repertoire of numbers worked out and we just went into the studio and did it. I suppose it was the fact that we were confident and prepared which made things flow smoothly in the studio. And as it happened, we recorded the songs almost exactly as we’d been doing them live. Only ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’ was altered, as far as I remember.”
“The group had only been together for two-and-a-half weeks when we recorded it. We’d had fifteen hours of rehearsal before shooting straight over to Scandinavia for a few gigs, then straight after that we cut the album. There was very little double-tracking. We were deliberately aiming at putting down what we could actually reproduce on stage.”
“I wanted to get an ambient sound and I also had this idea for using backwards tape echo, which I suggested before on a Yardbirds track. So I knew it worked! I also wanted there to be a lot of light and shade and a certain dramatic tension. I know that I influenced pretty heavily the content and arrangements but that was only because we didn’t have the time to discuss everything between us. The first album was a real mixture of blues, rock and acoustic music.”