25 Feb 2021

Fan finds Led Zeppelin Auckland concert film in shed

12:39 pm on 25 February 2021

Forty-nine years ago today, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones sauntered onto the stage at Western Springs Stadium and put on one of the greatest shows the country had ever seen.

Led Zeppelin's (L-R) John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page in 2012.

Led Zeppelin's (L-R) John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page in 2012. Photo: AFP

Led Zeppelin was the biggest band in the world, famed for their extravagant performances, excessive lifestyles, and supreme musicianship.

Needless to say, there weren't too many opportunities to see their like in Auckland in 1972.

Among the 25,000 people to purchase a ticket for either $3.10 or $4.10 was 20-year-old photographer Lloyd Godman, who managed to film some of the show.

But much of what he captured has never seen the light of day, until now.

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Godman, who's now an ecological artist in Melbourne, was cataloguing his work from years past when he recently came across the film, tucked away in his shed.

"I knew I had this roll of film in the shed so I sent it off to get digitised. I knew there was band stuff on it but I didn't know what it was," he said.

"It came back and there was the Zeppelin film."

It's about five minutes long and is quite grainy, but that's offset by the shots being very tightly framed around the band members, he said.

"[My reaction was] really one of joy because, 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. So finding this was like finding gold really."

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A screenshot of Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin performing at Western Springs. Photo: Supplied / Lloyd Godman

Godman put some screenshots up online and they were spotted by a Led Zeppelin film archivist in the United States, who got in touch.

"He said, 'Look, if this is from a film, we've tracked down a copy of the soundtrack of that concert'. And he said 'Can we have a go at syncing it?'"

Godman obliged and he said they did a brilliant job matching up the visuals with the audio.

Life went in 'different directions'

The reason for the 49-year delay seems strangely in keeping with the film's subjects and those heady days in the early '70s.

"After I shot a lot of the music stuff in New Zealand in the '70s - this is an even kind of crazier story - I went and lived in a three-storey tree house on Elizabeth Taylor's brother's land in Hawaii and surfed every day," Godman said.

"It was like the ultimate hippy experience so, you know, a lot of previous things I'd done got lost and my life went in different directions."

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Photo: Supplied / Lloyd Godman

Band 'like a giant cyclone'

Godman continues to enjoy Led Zeppelin's music to this day.

"It's really timeless music, some of that stuff. 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.

"The way a cyclone's formed is, you know, all the energy was there - 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."

New footage found in a shed has been digitsed and had music synced to it

Photo: Supplied / Lloyd Godman

Godman reckoned he could have sold the film for a fair bit of money to a private collector but he preferred for it to go public so it could tell another small part of the Led Zeppelin story.

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