There are some really great songs performed on Zep’s first couple of tours which are never repeated. For Your Love is one of them. This is from January 5, 1969. Led Zeppelin I wasn’t out yet. They had been in the USA for one week. They’re still driving a van to gigs. They’re not insanely tight yet. They’re rough and raw. Pure power. Jimmy playing the telecaster he played in the Yardbirds. He didn’t have the Les Paul yet. Joe Walsh sold him his Les Paul. Did you know that? You do now. That pic in the video is from the Boston Tea Party in May 1969. Jimmy has the Les Paul there, because he bought it in April.
This show, the Whiskey A Go Go, January 5, 1969, is the first soundboard recording we mortals can hear. The band had only been in the states for their first tour, for a week. They were playing gymnasiums and clubs. Absolutely no one knew who they were, or what they brought.
Led Zeppelin was young and hungry. They set out to blow the acts for which they were opening (Vanilla Fudge, Iron Butterfly, The Doors, for example) off the stage. They succeeded. They had a lot of cover songs in their set, because they only had album in the can, and no one had any idea who they were, aside from ‘the guy from the yardbirds’. And it wasn’t like ‘that guy from the Yardbirds’ had much effect, because at that point, Jimmy Page was the least famous guy from the Yardbirds. Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck were already stars. The Jeff Beck Group was already touring, and had two albums out (or at least one), fronted by Rod Stewart. Zeppelin started from obscurity and fucking conquered.
You can hear that in this performance of the Yardbirds hit, For Your Love. It’s kind of loose, super aggressive, but the thing that stands out for me is that they aren’t gelled completely as a band, yet. They’re awesome for sure but almost unstable in their ferocity. I love it.