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Jimmy Page sheds new light on the inception of 'Led Zeppelin I'

Jimmy Page at the Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin book launch © REX/Shutterstock

Jimmy Page has marked the 50th anniversary of the inception of ‘Led Zeppelin I’ by shedding new light on its first recording session.

Fresh from attending the launch of Led Zeppelin’s first official picture book ‘Led Zeppelin By Led Zeppelin’ at The National Portrait Gallery earlier this week, Jimmy took to his official website on Tuesday afternoon (25th September) to cast his mind back to the birth of ‘Led Zeppelin I’.

Jimmy posted a half-century old timesheet from RAK Music Management, which shows that following two days’ rehearsals at Jimmy’s house in Pangbourne, Led Zeppelin – listed as The Yardbirds on the sheet – commenced work on ‘Led Zeppelin I’ at 11pm on Wednesday 25th September at Olympic Studios in Barnes, London.

Jimmy writes: “So we're in the 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin, and on this day on 25th September 1968 heralds the inception of the epic Led Zeppelin I album: the moment whereby I would be able to manifest the sounds and layers I had heard in my head and also prove my status as a producer.

“The group went to Studio No.1, Olympic Studios, 117 Church Road, Barnes, London, SW13, having extensively rehearsed the material for Led Zeppelin I at my house in Pangbourne and we had had the opportunity to perform a good percentage of that material during a few concerts in Scandinavia and the UK to experience our music in a live situation under the clandestine cloak of the Yardbirds. In those days, the studio time was scattered and limited over a few days in September and October, dictated by Olympic's availability.

“Thus, with the aid of my old friend Glyn John's masterful engineering, at 11pm on Wednesday 25th September 1968, we began our recordings and embarked upon committing this eclectic powerhouse to tape.

“Much has been speculated about the initial recordings, so I thought it would be useful to show the worksheet from RAK that gives the dates and times that we were scheduled initially to go in. It makes fascinating reading.”

You can see a screengrab of the timesheet here:

Jimmy Page’s official website is currently updating daily with his memories of landmark anniversary moments in Led Zeppelin’s history.  

Tuesday (25th September) also marked the 38th anniversary of the death of legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.

As part of Planet Rock’s month-long Zeptember celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin’s first live show, last week we published 50 facts about Led Zeppelin’s iconic album covers including, of course, ‘Led Zeppelin I’.

Check out the feature right here.

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