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Old 09-07-2018, 05:29 PM   #1
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How Led Zeppelin Came to Be

Jimmy Page recruited “three new men” for his Yardbirds reboot, and in the process made rock history

On September 7th, 1968, Led Zeppelin played their first live show ever in, of all places, a converted gym in Gladsaxe, Denmark. They weren’t yet billed under their soon-to-be world-famous name but were instead performing under the guise of the New Yardbirds, a relaunch of the British Invasion blues rockers who’d imploded just months before. The only known quantity among this new lineup was guitarist Jimmy Page, who’d funded the tour through Scandinavia out of his own pocket, but that was enough draw a young crowd to the venue, known as Teen Club. “Their performance and their music were absolutely flawless,” local reviewer Bent Larsen wrote in the venue’s monthly newsletter, “and the music continued to ring nicely in the ears for some time after the curtains were drawn after their show.”

As far as gigs go, this show, which featured several songs that would ultimately appear on the band’s first album, like “Communication Breakdown,” “Dazed And Confused” and “You Shook Me,” paled in comparison to the marathon runs they would undertake at the Forum in Los Angeles or Earls Court outside of London in the years to come, but the momentousness of the occasion can’t be overstated. It was Zeppelin’s first step in their ascent to the top of rock’s Olympus, and Jimmy Page deserves much of the credit for making it happen.
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