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4 May 2010 2,471 views 5 Comments

Another missing link in the saga of Led Zeppelin’s TV appearances in 1969 has recently surfaced on You Tube.

It had long been speculated that Zep made an appearance on the famous German Beat Club TV show recorded in Bremen in 1969.

Clear evidence that they had recorded a slot first came to light with the emergence of a story in the Hearts & Essex Observer edition of April 4th 1969. This story reported that the band were on board a British Airways Comet plane on Friday March 28th returning from Bremen that was forced to make an emergency landing at Stansted Airport in Essex. The story mentioned that Zeppelin were returning from Bremen after recording a TV show.

It was then rightly presumed they had recorded a TV appearance the day before on March 27th for the Beat Club TV show. However for whatever reason, this 1969 appearance was never shown.

The first visual evidence of the 1969 Beat Club filming taking place appeared three years ago when a clip of the band miming to Babe I’m Gonna Leave You from that Beat Club show briefly aired on You Tube.  The two still photos above and below are from that clip.

It was evident from viewing that clip that the German Beat Club programme subsequently compiled footage of this 1969 filming for their 1970 collage clip of Whole Lotta Love spliced between footage of a psychedelic go go dancer. This collage clip was first aired on March 27th 1970 when Whole Lotta Love was riding high on the German charts.

Now for the first time an additional clip from the March 27th 1969 appearance has surfaced. It’s a full length mime to the studio version of You Shook Me and lip sync or not it’s a remarkable find. The band line up with Bonzo situated on the end- there is a combination of close up and shots distances with the close-ups acting as a back droop (ala the Knebworth footage). This was a popular Beat Club technique notably employed for The Who Beat Club promo appearances for Tommy.

Bonzo is seen playing what appears to be a borrowed drum kit – Bill McCue notes that it is the same one used by drummer Carmine Apice on a Vanilla Fudge Beat Club clip for their February 1969 single Shotgun.  It could well be that Zep and the Fudge recorded their clips on the same day and shared the drum kit.

Bonzo occasionally  ‘plays’ the kit with the sticks held in the jazz style of Buddy Rich – as opposed to his usual straight grip. John Paul Jones also doubles on the keyboards – something of a first for Zeppelin in a stage setting as he never used an organ set up with the band until 1970.

All in all this is a fascinating early document of Zep in action albeit in a mimed form. There’s some great close ups and the black and white footage in the close ups is very clear.  The emergence of this You Shook Me Beat Club footage adds to the already known surviving clips of March ‘69 – notably the Swedish TV mime of Communication Breakdown, the 35 minute Danish TV special and the Supershow film clip of Dazed And Confused.

There may be at least one more Beat Club clip from that March 27th recording –at the time of the Concert File research we were informed Dazed And Confused had been recorded for the show at that 1969 filming.

Until anything else surfaces ,You Shook Me is the latest in a long line of remarkable filmed remnants from that TV filled  Zep month of March 1969. (DL)

* Credit should go to Bill McCue/Billy’s Zep Phreaks Club and Chris Barbero for the find and  Gyozateisyoku who first posted the clip on You Tube alongside 17 other rare clips including Jimi Hendrix, The Who Jeff Beck, Black Sabbath and Yes.

The audio track for the clip has been withdrawn but here it is in silent form:

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  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    That would have been the Beat Club Whole Lotta love 1970 clip which used the 69 footage behind a go go dancer -most bizarre!

  • mARK hARRISON said:

    I distinctly remember seeing this (or something VERY similar) on a very grainy video back in the 1980’s!! Or am I mistaken?

  • Jim Sloane said:

    Very good – what a find !

  • Kathy Urich said:

    Awesome footage, what a great find. I’m suprised this didn’t show up in the 2003 DVD extras; is this something that Jimmy wasn’t aware of?

  • russell ritchin said:

    excellent footage (even without the sound) i am really intrested in
    earlly zep footage and this is really clear well worth a watch.

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