Forty-one years ago today, on August 11, 1979 Led Zeppelin took the stage at Knebworth for their second concert at the historic 1979 festival.
The Knebworth Festival 1979 consisted of two concerts performed by the English rock band Led Zeppelin and other artists at Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, England, in August 1979.
The grounds of Knebworth House near the village of Knebworth had been a major venue for open air rock and pop concerts since 1974. In 1979, veteran promoter Freddy Bannister booked Led Zeppelin to play that year's concerts, which took place on 4 August and 11 August.
Led Zeppelin had not performed live for two years, since the death of Robert Plant's son during the band's 1977 North American tour, and they had not performed in the United Kingdom for four years. Their manager Peter Grant decided that the band should perform at Knebworth instead of embarking on a lengthy tour.
In the lead-up to the concerts Led Zeppelin undertook extensive rehearsals at Bray Film studios near London, and attended the venue at Knebworth in order to inspect the site, complete a publicity photograph shoot and perform a soundcheck. In addition, they performed two low-key warm-up shows in late July at the Falkoner Theatre, Copenhagen, Denmark.[
The two concerts were professionally recorded on the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio (engineered by George Chkiantz) and also videotaped, with live images beamed directly onto a giant screen behind the stage. The video was done by the TV International company under the direction of Chris Bodger. There was a plan for the footage to be used on a television special (this is one of the reasons the band members wore the same clothes on both nights) but this idea was never realised. Only short clips of some of the songs were used by Atlantic Records for promotional purposes.
For many years, bootleg copies of this audio and video material circulated amongst fans. The first audience-recorded bootlegs became available in early 1980. However, aside from the promotional snippets, Led Zeppelin never officially released any of the recordings until 2003, when parts of the footage were digitally remastered and included on the Led Zeppelin DVD.
Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream
I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been
To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed
Talk and song from tongues of lilting grace, whose sounds caress my ear
But not a word I heard could I relate, the story was quite clear
Oh, I been flying... mama, there aint no denyin
Ive been flying, aint no denyin, no denyin
All I see turns to brown, as the sun burns the ground
And my eyes fill with sand, as I scan this wasted land
Trying to find, trying to find where Ive been.
Oh, pilot of the storm who leaves no trace, like thoughts inside a dream
Heed the path that led me to that place, yellow desert stream
My shangri-la beneath the summer moon, I will return again
Sure as the dust that floats high in June, when movin through Kashmir
Oh, father of the four winds, fill my sails, across the sea of years
With no provision but an open face, along the straits of fear
When Im on, when Im on my way, yeah
When I see, when I see the way, you stay-yeah
Ooh, yeah-yeah, ooh, yeah-yeah, when Im down...
Ooh, yeah-yeah, ooh, yeah-yeah, well Im down, so down
Ooh, my baby, ooooh, my baby, let me take you there
Let me take you there. let me take you there
Songwriters: John Bonham / Robert Anthony Plant / James Patrick (Jimmy) Page
Kashmir lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc