December 6, 1969
02. Communication Breakdown
03. I Can't Quit You
05. Dazed And Confused
06. White Summer/ Black Mountain Side
07. You Shook Me
08. Moby Dick
09. How Many More Times
Over the years, there's been much speculation regarding the validity of Led Zeppelin's appearance at Ecole Centrale's Piston 70 - despite a review in the French magazine Best in February 1970 and a publication of the programme in the book Hexagonal Experiences. The first clue was the photographs of the gig taken by Gilles Château, which were published on the LedZeppelin.com website.
But now, more than 40 years later, there's no doubt that it really happened since this recording has been dig out! A 40 years old master tape that has never been circulated before. It must have a few glitches from times to times, but it's a miracle that it was not completely gone after all this time.
I first heard about the Châtenay-Malabry show through the website of Jean-Claude Bellamy (a former Centrale student who operated as a lighting engineer that night). Having done an engineer school myself, I always remained curious to find a copy of the show, but quickly realized it was a controversial date. But I kept believing in it, and basically always asked about it when Led Zeppelin came into the discussion. I'm finally so glad that I managed to find it and was able to restore it. Nowadays, it'd likely have just been rubbishly ripped onto mp3 and shared onto a blog as if it was an evident download. A shame because such a new Led Zep find is a very big deal. I've spent many hours on the editing just for the sake of all the fans who hoped to hear it as well. Big thanks to Gérard for digging out his tapes collection, and coming home with some of them, and of course for taping this show at the time!
So, a few words from Gérard the taper:
"The concert took place in the suburbs of Paris, it was very cold and snowing. I went there with four friends. One of them became famous later in the seventies, under the nickname of Ramon Pipin when he became the founding member of bands called Au Bonheur Des Dames and Odeurs. The musical press had announced this concert hosted by the École Centrale, and of course we bought our tickets and I kept mine, numbered 1111. We were sitting on a kind of balcony above the stage located in the main hall of the building. "We had already seen Led Zeppelin in England and France. I must say that during the late sixties, we went very often to England and we saw many bands that would become successful and often in small venues. It's difficult to imagine now, for example, seeing Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett playing to an audience of just 40! "We've seen Led Zeppelin many times and the most memorable concert was the one in a pub in London. We paid 10 shillings and Led Zeppelin played for more than two hours. We were standing in front of the stage. This was one of the best concerts I've attended!!"
Also attached with the recording are a scan of the original ticket, and an article by Christophe Le Pabic published in Tight But Loose #34, courtesy of Dave Lewis who also reviewed the recording.