Some extraordinary footage of iconic hard rock band Led Zeppelin performing in 1970 has surfaced for the first time. The rare footage had been laying in a drawer collecting dust for 50 years before the man who filmed it finally revisited the old film reel.
In the video, the legendary quartet perform at the Inglewood Forum in Los Angeles on September 4, 1970. This was during their sixth tour of America. Led Zeppelin fans know this performance well, as it was used for the widely circulated bootleg recording, On Blueberry Hill. This newly released footage captures approximately 7 minutes of the music performed that night. It’s the only video footage to ever emerge from this famed performance.
The footage was shot by Zeppelin fan Eddie Vincent. He attended the show and borrowed his parent’s home movie camera to capture some memories of the show. Long before we had cameras in our pockets, he took a windup 8mm Kodak Brownie. Which could only record in 30-second bursts. He smuggled the camera in along with two reels of film under the armpits of a baggy jacket.
“I had really great seats,” Vincent told Classic Rock. “They were right behind the band. I had seats in the front row, right behind John Bonham’s kit. The only problem was that you couldn’t really see John because the gong was there, but he came around and chatted to us while they were doing the acoustic set.”
How the Led Zeppelin Footage Emerged
The footage stayed in Vincent’s belongings for half a century. It wasn’t until he came across footage of The Who performing at Anaheim Stadium in 1970. He had some footage of The Who of his own. So he reached out to bootleg video trader John Waters to assist him with transferring the footage into digital files.
Waters loved Vincent’s footage of The Who. So he asked if he had more. That’s when Vincent remembered his old Led Zeppelin tape.
“My collector’s heart was racing,” Waters said. “A few days later, the reels arrive and the magic unfolds.”
The footage was later identified as an exact match from the audio that’s long circulated on the On Blueberry Hill bootleg. Vincent and Waters worked together to have the footage released on the 52nd anniversary of the performance.
“To write ourselves into a little bit of Led Zeppelin history is an honour,” Waters said. “The music needs to be out there. I know a lot of collectors and traders that don’t give their stuff away, and that’s a shame to me. Music’s 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.”