From the Stacks

From The Stacks: Led Zeppelin – A Tribute to Johnny Kidd and the Pirates

Led Zeppelin Johnny Kidd frontThis is what bootlegs are all about: 28 tracks of unrehearsed Led Zeppelin goodness. If you’ve ever wanted to be in the room while the mighty Zep dicked around with their instruments, this is as good as it gets. False starts, a few measures of this or that, Bonzo banging the shit out of his drum kit,  Jimmy noodling on the same riff like a kid amusing himself on the front porch, come on!

A Tribute to Johnny Kidd and the Pirates isn’t what the title suggest. This bootleg captures a 1975 sound check before a show at the Minneapolis Sports Center and some 1970 acoustic jams at Bron-Y-Aur cottage, Wales. The latter tracks are what really custard my pie. Fast forward to the 30 minute mark for the lovely jam named “Bert Jansch”:

So what’s with the title? Johnny Kidd and the Pirates were a first wave British rock and roll band, and as such a huge influence on ’60s era UK rockers. The Who’s cover of “Shakin’ All Over” is probably their best known song, and you can hear Zep cover it here. Like all bands, Led Zeppelin played the songs they enjoyed during sound check, so here you get lots of ’50s rockers; heck, album opener is the Chuck Berry classic “School Days.” It’s like listening to the full Zep lineup playing a Honeydrippers set.

There are a couple of versions of this bootleg floating around, both on vinyl and CD. They usually go for around 15 bucks, so don’t get suckered into paying some of the outrageous prices online retailers are asking. Happy hunting.


Led Zeppelin Johnny Kidd back

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