Led Zeppelin in Spokane! ... in 1968


So have you ever heard that rumor that the oldest known Led Zeppelin recording is from a concert at Gonzaga University? We sure have, but we always just kind of took it as one of those bootleg-tape-sharing myths.

The concert is well-documented. Zeppelin played Spokane on New Years Eve 1968, opening for a band called The Vanilla Fudge in the middle of a dreadful cold snap. Zep was a minor band at that point and whoever made the handbill couldn't read good, so both the Spokesman and the now-defunct Spokane Chronicle billed the show as "The Vanilla Fudge, with Len Zefflin" according to the official Zep web site.

But while the concert is part of the canon, the recording of the event has been the stuff of suburban nerd legend. Until now.

According to the resident Zeppelin nerd at monthly Canadian music mag Exclaim!, the audio has been circling the bootleg circuit for years. He believes, though, that this is the first time it's available to everyone.