Previously unseen 8 mm film footage of Led Zeppelin playing in New Zealand has been revealed after it sat forgotten for nearly 50 years.
Five minutes of the show, which have been synced to music by another archivist, can be seen below.
Photographer Lloyd Godman was 20 years old when he shot some of the band’s performance at the Western Springs Stadium in Auckland, on Feb. 25, 1972. He put the film away in his shed and forgot about it until he was recently cataloging his collection. “I knew I had this roll of film in the shed, so I sent it off to get digitized,” he told the RNZ. “I knew there was band stuff on it, but I didn’t know what it was. … It came back, and there was the Zeppelin film.”
Godman added that even though the footage is grainy, he reacted with “joy” when he saw it because it includes so many closeups of the musicians’ faces. “Of the still photographs I took, I only ended up with six shots, which were really the rejects, because the promoter had picked through the best of them and they just disappeared,” he explained. “So finding this was like finding gold really.”
The American archivist made contact after some of Godman’s still images were posted online; he said he had audio of the same show, which is how the YouTube clip came together. Godman noted while he was aware he could have sold his footage to a collector, he preferred to share it with other fans. “It’s really timeless music, some of that stuff,” he said.
“It’s so powerful, and I think the combination of musicians that came together to form the group – it was just like a giant cyclone. … It just came together, and it just formed into this amazing vortex that not only carried them along but carried everybody else along as well.”
RNZ noted that the Auckland show was attended by around 20,000 people, who’d paid between $2.27 and $3 for tickets. It was the fourth of six concerts Led Zeppelin played during their only tour of Australia and New Zealand. It followed the release of their fourth album the previous year.