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Led Zeppelin Make Their Live Debut - September 7, 1968
Photo by: Jørgen Angel

Led Zeppelin performed together for the first time on Sept. 7, 1968, but not under that now-famous name.

By the summer of 1968, the once-mighty Yardbirds had all but fallen apart. Their then-lead guitarist Jimmy Page picked up the pieces and put together an all-new version of the band for an already booked tour. This combo would include vocalist Robert Plant, bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham. The site of their low-key (but clearly now history-making) debut was the modest Gladsaxe Teen Club of Gladsaxe, Denmark.

In a newsletter from the venue, writer, Bent Larsen stated, "Their performance and their music were absolutely flawless, and the music continued to ring nicely in the ears for some time after the curtains were drawn after their show. Let me in particular give my praise to Jimmy Page who has made a great job with the three new men. They really succeeded and in particular the guitar solo by Page created huge applause... we can therefore conclude that the new Yardbirds are at least as good as the old ones were."

"It's only a short while before the concert that we realized it wouldn't the 'real' Yardbirds that were going to play," photographer Jorgen Angel told Kashmir Magazine, "Gladsaxe Teen Club had booked the Yardbirds a few months before, but the Yardbirds broke up and Peter Grant and Jimmy Page came with other musicians to fulfill those commitments. They signed a contract for a small tour in Scandinavia. Jimmy recruited three other guys and they played all the clubs where the Yardbirds were supposed to play." Angel's photos from the show, one of which you can see above, are now legendary.

This first show was a late afternoon gig, beginning at 5:30, and was followed with a second show that evening at the Brondby Pop Club in Nørregårds-hallen, Brondby, Denmark. Though no set list survived, it is safe to say the show included songs such as 'White Summer,' 'You Shook Me,' 'Dazed And Confused,' and 'Train Kept A Rollin,' all of which were Yardbirds staples at the time. Support acts for the first show were Fourways and Bodies, and no, we're not sure what became of them! Page soon changed the name of the group, either because of legal claims from other former Yardbirds members or out of a desire to start fresh, and the rest is history.

From: Ultimate Classic Rock
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

March 17, 1969 - A four-song performance is filmed for TV Byen in Denmark (aired on May 19, 1969)
March 21, 1969 - Zeppelin’s debut TV appearance on "How It Is"
March 25, 1969 - Filming session for the Supershow
March xx, 1970 - The band turns down many TV offers worth large sums
March 05, 1971 - Led Zeppelin started a 12-date "Thank You" tour for British fans, appearing at the clubs from their early days and charging the same admission prices as in 1968. The first show was at Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland where they played songs from their upcoming fourth album, including the first public performances of Black Dog, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California and Rock And Roll.
March 12, 1972 - Page and Plant rehearse some songs with the Bombay Orchestra
March 25, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finally release Houses of the Holy after production issues with the album cover
March 28, 1973 - Led Zeppelin released Houses Of The Holy in the UK. The album title was a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed "houses of the holy". Houses Of The Holy has now been certified 11 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 11 million copies.
March xx, 1974 - The band decide to release a double album due to the amount of left over studio material
March 29, 1975 - Led Zeppelin saw all six of their albums in the US Top 100 chart in the same week, alongside their latest album Physical Graffiti at No.1. Physical Graffiti has now been certified 16 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 16 million copies.
March 15, 1975 - Tickets for the Earls Court shows sellout within four hours
March xx, 1976 - Jimmy speaks with reporters mentioning the new album due out called Presence
March 31, 1976 - Presence is released
March 28, 1977 - Zeppelin arrive in Dallas, Texas to rehearse before opening the eleventh tour of the US
March xx, 1978 - Robert and John spend some time hanging around the Midlands
March 26, 1979 - Robert takes lead vocal at a Bad Company gig in Birmingham
March 04, 1980 - John Bonham makes a TV appearance on "Alright Now" with Bill Connolly
March 26, 2006 - Readers of Total Guitar magazine voted the guitar solo by Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven as the greatest guitar solo of all time. The 1971 track was voted ahead of tracks by Van Halen, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles. On the 20th anniversary of the original release of the song, it was announced via US radio sources that the song had logged up an estimated 2,874,000 radio plays - back to back, that would run for 44 years solid.
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