Lost Led Zeppelin Bootleg Film Clips Restored and Revealed
A bootleg trader released lost footage of Led Zeppelin performing in Los Angeles in 1970, saying it was important to share fan recordings rather than hide them in personal collections.
The band’s show at the Inglewood Forum was already immortalized in an audio recording known to fans as On Blueberry Hill. Recently, fan John Waters was contacted by someone who had forgotten that he had smuggled a movie camera into the same show. Although Eddie Vincent’s wind-up machine could record only 30 seconds at a time, another fan was able to match the clips to the audio. The restored moments can be seen below.
“I had really great seats," camera operator 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.”
He forgot about the footage, which remained hidden away for 50 years until he dug it out and made contact with collector Waters, who oversaw the restoration process. “The music needs to be out there,” he argued. “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.”
In the text accompanying the YouTube video, Waters thanks Led Zeppelin “for the music” and writes, “Old concert film is important and must be preserved! If you shot film in the past, traded and collected reels, or just bought them from the classifieds of rock magazines in the '70s and '80s, it's important we save these.” He also provides an email address for those who would like assistance with restoration or sharing.