Free Reminiscence tan

Free Reminiscence tan b

Free Reminiscence

Free Reminiscences pi lbl

Japan: 1977

Source:  The venue for the 30 April 1971 concert was Kyoritsu Kodo Kanda in Tokyo, a multi-purpose auditorium with a capacity of 2010 (Yes would also play their last night in Tokyo during their Japan tour in March of 1973)   ^ noted tracks on side 2: Free opening for ELP at Tokyo’s Korakuen baseball stadium on 22 July 1972

Side 1: Fire and Water / The Stealer / I’m a Mover / Heavy Load
Side 2: The Highway Song / My Brother Jake / Soon I Will Be Gone / Lady^ / Seven Angels^ / Honky Tonk Women^

Quality rating in HW: “Vgs”

1971 set list:

01 – Fire And Water
02 – Ride A Pony
03 – I’m A Mover
04 – Be My Friend
05 – The Stealer
06 – Heavy Load
07 – The Highway Song
08 – My Brother Jake
09 – Soon I Will Be Gone
10 – All Right Now
11 – Mr. Big
12 – The Hunter

I have listened to a short sample of the start of this concert and while technically lacking, I preferred the start of “Fire and Water” found here to any other live version of the song I have heard.

An eye witness account of the 1 May 1971 concert at Sankeii Hall as well as a Melody Maker article about ELP & Free at Osaka’s baseball stadium in ’72 can be found in this lengthy post about early Japan tours by Western rock acts. 

1972 Japan Tour set list:  I’m On The Run / Like Water / Lady / Seven Angels / Unseen Love / Heartbreaker / Honky Tonk Women / Fire and Water.

Free Tokyo 1971


While researching this article I came across this early Japanese Free bootleg I had never seen before:

Japan: 1973 – earlier/later?

Free Live Japan

Seller description:

“FREE / LIVE IN JAPAN ’71  (CL1015 Japan)

Ultra rare early ’70s Japanese private pressing live LP from their first Japan tour ’71 April Tokyo show. This is original first pressing with printed (front+back) deluxe cover, white label with stamp. Later, second pressing exist, with wrap around insert cover (from back cover of first edition) and blue label but this genuine first edition is now impossible to find.”

Side 1: Fire and Water / The Stealer / I’m a Mover / Heavy Load
Side 2: The Highway Song / My Brother Jake / Ride a Pony / Crossroads

Free Live At Tokyo 71

“FREE / LIVE AT TOKYO 71 (no label, ’73? )

Ultra rare vintage early ’70s Japanese pressing live LP from their first Japan/Tokyo show ’71 by original line up!! Never turns up in these days even in here because of very limited pressing at that time. Nice b&w wrap around/paste on cover.
Songs are: Fire and water/The Stealer/I’m a mover/Heavy load/The Highway song/My brother Jake/Ride on a pony/Crossroads. April 30 ‘1971 Tokyo.”


Free’s tumultuous biography has distinct pivot dates just after their first and before their second Japan tour, as found in descriptions such as these: “Frustrated by HIGHWAY’s commercial rejection and unsure of their future musical direction, Free was consumed by internal friction and a nagging sense of self-doubt. In May 1971, following a turbulent Asian Tour, Free disbanded.”

“On the eve of their [1972] Japanese tour Fraser fought with Rodgers and once again left the band, to be replaced by Yamauchi.”

Here is a longer excerpt from the book HEAVY LOAD by Clayton and Smith

CHAPTER 14  Free – The Japan Riots

“The only band I knew to go on without thinking they’re superstars, were Free. To me they were a great band. They were far ahead of any other band I know. I think they’re the only English band that people should feel they’re lucky to have.” – Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple) Sounds interview, January 1974

For Island Records Manager Johnny Glover and the rest back at Island’s round table, plans were put together for a fortnight’s stay in Japan and four big shows in Australia. The tour would then continue with the talented package of Free and Mott The Hoople storming through the United States, capitalising on the popularity of Free’s two previous stints. Likely tours of Europe and the UK would then be booked to round out the itinerary before the band headed back to the studio and finished off another album.

Management had no indication that the band was about to self-destruct. “They’d become a big act,” noted Glover. “So I said to Chris [Blackwell], ‘Look, I’d really like to do something properly, like a three-month world tour’. We were going to put them in a different bracket.”

Johnny Glover’s relationship with Andy Fraser was much closer than with the other members of the group because of the bassist’s prominent role in the band’s business affairs. The two spoke almost daily constructing the intricate details that were then surrounding a soon to be ‘world-class’ band. The first unsettling indication of a split, for Glover, was on the plane flight to Japan. Unusual for the two, Paul Rodgers and Fraser chose not to sit together. Simon Kirke and Paul Kossoff tried to lighten it up in their usually style, Kossoff with his comical impressions and Kirke with his sailor-like humour.

Sitting next to Glover, Fraser leaned over and said, “I’m gonna be quite sad when we get off this tour’.” Glover asked, “Why?” “Oh, yeah,” Fraser went on nonchalantly. “It’s always difficult coming to the end of something.” Glover remained speechless as Fraser confided that, the night before, he and Rodgers had broken their code of silence and gone in to see Blackwell. They told him they were going to “knock it on the head because it just wasn’t happening”. In short, Fraser and Rodgers were breaking up the band at the end of the tour. Andy said that basically he and Paul had fallen out and that was it. Free was over.

The intensity of the songwriting team that had pushed Free to its most successful heights was now the leading factor in their destruction. “Andy would tell everybody what to do because he was that way inclined,” said Johnny Glover. “Andy is a tremendously strong personality, and was very much the business driving force of the band. They all accepted that. Then one day, Paul Rodgers realised that he was quite capable of making those decisions too. The two clashed at that point. All of a sudden Andy was being questioned.”

Exhaustion added to the conflicting emotions. “I had made it clear to everyone that I wasn’t ready to do an American tour straight after Japan and Australia,” says Rodgers. “That was one of the frustrations. It was booked regardless and I thought, ‘Wow! I’m really not being listened to here’. Everything was going along flat out and you felt that you were on a big wheel turning and it was out of your control entirely, and that really brought it home to me: ‘Another tour, is everybody deaf?’ I was not ready for it, and actually I’d just bought my cottage in the country and I needed to chill a little bit – sit back and take stock, that’s really all I wanted, but I was so frustrated by the fact that it just went steaming ahead. They ignored anything I had to say about the subject so I said ‘Right, I’m out’.

“Another serious wall of contention would be that there came a time when I felt we needed to add more blues back into the set. We’d kept ‘The Hunter,’ made it our own, and I felt we could do the same with other blues songs – similar to what Zeppelin would do later. I could feel Koss’s frustration not being able to freewheel the material we’d been playing. Each attempt we made to play a blues song, Andy would either, put his bass down and walk out, or deliberately sabotage it by playing like shit. His inflexibility seriously pissed me off. I tried on a number of occasions and then gave up. Andy had the idea that the band was his creation alone – playing the little Emperor.”

“Simon and Koss didn’t want to break the band up. They would have been happy to play in Free forever.” ~ Johnny Glover

Everyone was looking for someone to blame as the plane descended into Tokyo airport. The imminent break-up hung heavy over the band and its management. Glover recalls, “There I was sitting on the plane with two months ahead of me on the road in Japan, Australia and America with Andy not talking to the other three. And that’s exactly how it was from that minute on.”

Though the band was in Japan for nearly a fortnight, Andy rarely left his hotel room apart from brief business meetings and press calls. He secluded himself from the rest of the world, ordering and eating in and becoming involved with a Yuki Shibata, a young Japanese public relations girl from Atlantic Records.

“Everyone got involved with Japanese chicks,” remembers Glover. “Rodgers fell in love with one and later married her. Kossoff fell in love with one who was going out with somebody else, so he was heartbroken all through the tour. Kirke fell in love everywhere he went.”

Japan enveloped the group in its exotic scent. Kirke says: “The group was almost over, and we had never seen anything like Japan. We took full advantage of our situation. The Japanese girls knew everything about us and they were doing everything for us.” From Rodgers standpoint “Tokyo was wild. They had never seen anything like us.”

Free played two nights in Japan: Kyoritsu Kodo, Kanda, on 30 April and Sankei Hall, Tokyo, on 1 May 1971. The first night was absolutely electric, stretched to the very edge with tension. Free hit the stage, a vision of fury boiling over the top in front of 5,000 screaming fans.

“I think Kossoff and Kirke were playing better because they were trying to will the thing to stay together,” Glover speculates, “or they were desperate.”

An American singer named Alan Merrill (later in the UK band The Arrows and, with Jake Hooker, co-writer of Joan Jett’s massive American hit I Love Rock & Roll) saw the Kanda show. It just so happened that the girl Andy Fraser was dating invited Merrill along.

“Yuki was my public relations girl at Atlantic,” says Merrill. “I’d heard about Free, but I wasn’t really familiar with their records. Then I went to this show and was just blown away. It was such magic I still get goosebumps even now talking about it. I walked in about the third number and I stood at the back of the hall and was just transfixed. The sound was incredible. It was so powerful. I’ve never heard anything like it since. It was just unbelievable.”

Merrill wasted no time becoming friendly with the group and joined the ranks of their Japanese entourage. Recently commenting on Free’s after-hours escapades he said, “Yuki was friendly with Machiko Shimizu, who was a big lyric writer. We all went out to this place called Spiglow, which was like speakeasy. We had some burgers and Paul [Rodgers] and Machi were all over each other. They were attached at the mouth like kiss fish.”

Later that same evening the friends continued their party moving on to a nightclub called Byblos. The alcohol continued to flow and after a very lively evening they decided to head back to the hotel for some long-overdue shut-eye. As they were leaving the club, Merrill – somewhat the worse for wear, noticed that Rodgers’ hair was on fire! “I guess it was caused by a cigarette – his hair was so LONG,” says Merrill. “I didn’t know what to do. Paul had a reputation for a quick temper and no fear of fighting at all – not the kind of guy to take kindly to being smacked on the head out of the blue. So I told Machi, ‘Your boyfriend’s hair’s on fire!’ She grabbed a glass of water and dampened it. This all happened in a matter of seconds, but to me it was like a slo-mo camera.”

Merrill’s connections included the Japanese bassist Tetsu Yamauchi. Born in Fukuoka, Japan, in 1947, Tetsu had been playing in bands since high school. His parents hated the idea of him playing rock ‘n’ roll, so Tetsu’s elder brother, who was doing some jazz drumming, helped nurture his talent. Tetsu later joined a progressive band called Samurai who recorded a couple of albums for the Philips label. In 1969, they managed to break out of the country and do some work in Europe. Tetsu first saw Free while in Geneva at a club called the Black Cat. “I thought they were a really good band,” he says today, “and in the next year they came to Japan.”

Tetsu Yam 71

When Samurai returned from Europe they broke up and Tetsu became a gun for hire. “One day someone in the studio came up to me and said, ‘Free is coming, why don’t you come and see them.’ I said, ‘Okay’, and went to see them at their hotel. Then I started talking to Paul Kossoff about Europe and music and all that. He said, ‘What do you do?’, and I said, ‘I play the bass’. Then we started talking about the gig in Geneva. He said with a laugh, ‘I didn’t notice you there’. He then asked to hear me play. The next day I had studio time so I said, ‘If you have some time, you can come to the studio’. I wrote down the address and phone number thinking he probably wasn’t going to make it. But if he did come, I would be really pleased.

“The next day he came, with his guitar – his Les Paul – and we ended up playing for about two hours non-stop. The next day after that he brought Simon and Paul Rodgers down. So we did a session, the four of us in the studio. After that we went for a drink and Kossoff told me that they were going to split up after the Australian shows. He said, ‘Maybe we can form a band,’ and I said, ‘Why not?’ Free was a really good band and I really liked them so I asked Koss why were they splitting up. He said there were too many things happening in the band so they had to split up. He was saying, ‘It’s just a bad time’.”

Free’s second Japanese gig was at Sankei Hall, Tokyo. The venue had a revolving stage with the headline act on one side, the support band on the other. Free blazed through their set and were called back for three encores by the exuberant crowd. The band retreated, sweat-soaked, backstage. Kirke jumped into the shower while the others went to their independent corners of the dressing room. No one was speaking much.

Within 15 minutes the promoter came running up to Glover shouting, “Look, you have got to go back down there. All hell’s broken loose. A riot has broken out and the police are firing smoke canisters outside. Everyone is going berserk!”

The riot was bad news but the last thing Glover wanted was to intrude on the dressing room. “I never went in there after gigs because it was awful, even when they were great,” says Glover. They were so intense that when they’d get off the stage they were unbearable.” He refused to allow the promoter to address the band personally, saying he alone would be the one to ask them back for another encore.

With a delicate knock, Glover entered the room and was greeted by cutting stares. Hesitantly, he pleaded with them to consider returning to the stage to calm the riot. Moments later, still filled with aggression Free prowled out into the spotlights. Simon, half dressed, a towel draped over his shoulders began to pound out the beat and Rodgers picked up the microphone lunging out to the front. When Fraser and Kossoff reached down to plug in they suddenly realised that in their short absence, the circular stage had been rotated. Although they were facing the audience, their equipment was not. There was a riot going on and they were about to plug into the support band’s gear.

Rodgers, eyes aflame, stared at his bandmates with uncomprehending anger – then began to sing. Within four measures he was in full song. He made no introduction, just ripped into an old blues number. No one remembers exactly what it was. Kirke continued to bash away on his adopted kit. The word went out to the roadies to rotate the stage again. Rodgers, suddenly realising what was up, leapt off the rotating section onto a fixed ledge at the front of the stage. Kossoff and Fraser followed suit, and Kirke broke off for a moment to sprint around to his own kit as it moved into view of the audience. At which point the rotating stage stretched their mains power cables to breaking point and all their equipment and lighting expired.

Glover grimaces at the memory: “Just when they were all supposed to come in there was only an awkward silence.” Free smashed everything in sight and the crowd went berserk again. Still, this difficult night had its consolations. “In Japan, that one thing made them an absolute household name overnight,” notes Glover.

All the success in Japan didn’t make matters any better inside Free as they moved on to Australia. The manager had his hands full the minute the plane landed in Perth, Western Australia 5 May 1971. Glover’s ego was still badly bruised knowing that Chris Blackwell had been aware of the split prior to the tour and hadn’t seen fit to tell him. It didn’t help matters to see the Australian promoter completely shaken when they first met at the airport. Free soon discovered why; the tour had been hi-jacked by a local hood named Sammy Lee and while the official promoter was still handling all the arrangements, Lee was taking all the money. “Sammy Lee had essentially kidnapped the promoter of the tour, but things were made to look normal,” says Fraser. “He would be sent out to meet the bands at the airport and would tell them to get into this van or that bus and be taken to the hotel. All which would seem to be perfectly normal.

“In fact, everything occurred as one would expect, except that this promoter seemed under an abnormal amount of stress, nervously perspiring as if he was on the verge of a heart attack. He was being told what to do by these big guys with bulges in their coat pockets. The major difference was they were collecting the money.”

Ian Gillan of Deep Purple, also on the tour, says, “Sammy had this side-kick called Jake who carried a case full of guns, silencers and ammunition. Those guys were so powerful that part of the plane was set aside for them…not even the hostesses would go up to them.”

But, for Free, all this was a distraction compared to their internal problems. Rodgers and Fraser resented being together, Kossoff and Kirke were hanging on by a thread, none of them liked supporting Deep Purple, they were homesick and they missed their Japanese girlfriends. To add to their misery they were traveling without their own gear, and the equipment provided in Australia was substandard. For example, the tour cabinets contained only one 12-inch speaker and not the four 12-inch speakers they normally used. When Purple refused to continue with the gear provided, Sammy Lee intimidated them saying, “If you don’t carry on, we’ll shoot your legs off,” claims bassist Roger Glover.

Despite their troubles within, Free were determined to outplay Purple at every show. “We had to be tight,” says Graham Whyte. “No matter what happened internally we had to go on stage and put on a good show. That was the whole aim of it.”

At the Festival Hall in Melbourne, the only indoor show, 5,000 fans were turned away when the venue sold out. At Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, the last of the three open-air gigs, the crowd was estimated at between 35,000 and 50,000. The shows themselves were aggressive to the point of violence. Marc Biddall, an Australian fan, recalled Paul Rodgers throwing the microphone and stand into the swimming pool in front of the stage at the end of the first show in Perth. During the same show, “Andy Fraser was kicking the shit out of the bass speakers”.

On 8 May 1971, at The Memorial Stadium in Adelaide, Australia, the show nearly didn’t happen at all. “Sammy Lee, he was just amazing,” says Whyte. “He liked me because we called his bluff. We were supposed to have a certain size stage and I went down there and it was a postage stamp. I went to Sammy and I said, ‘The stage ain’t big enough, we’re not playing here tonight’. He just freaked out and threatened to shoot the brains out of me. The other roadies were a bit scared because he had this other dude with him. I said ‘Come on let’s go. So we went to a pub down the road and we had quite a few bevvies and we’re there for a couple of hours. When I said, ‘Come on let’s go back and see what’s happening.’ The other boys were like, ‘Well, we’ve already been threatened!’ I said, ‘Naw, naw, it’ll be alright’. So we kind of waltz back in through the door. We heard all these skillsaws and hammers going. Sammy had got rid of 200 chairs and extended the stage. He sees me and comes running up and throws his arms around me and says, ‘Go and get hamburgers and chips for the boys. We got a show to put on tonight’.”

Free o a g

Above: Free on stage at Sydney’s Randwick Racecourse. The drums look awfully close to the front of the stage, don’t they?

By the time the bands arrived in Sydney on 9 May, the atmosphere had become so bad that for Johnny Glover it was challenging just to stay sane. “They [Free] were looking to do two months in America after Australia and it was getting impossible to deal with,” he says. “It came down to the [Randwick] gig when I said to the guys, ‘I’ll have to cancel America, we’ll never get through it’. So I cancelled America two or three days before the end of the Australian tour. I’d rung up Blackwell and said, ‘Look Chris, I’m going to have to do this. I can’t keep them together. You should have told me they were going to break up’. I mean, it was getting violent, Andy and Rodgers were getting close to blows.”

DP Free Syd flyer

With the decision to cancel the American leg of the tour, Randwick had suddenly become their farewell gig. Glover sighs, “It was the day it was all going to end and it was real emotional. I was upset because it was the first band I’d been involved with on a management side, and one that had made a hit! You can’t recapture the excitement of the first time you’re involved with a band that has a hit record.”

As the caravan of buses, trucks and vans rolled up to Randwick racecourse the bands were greeted by the largest audience ever assembled for a Sydney rock concert up to that point. Free arrived in a green Ford Transit. But, behind the scenes the more sinister side of the tour was showing. Fraser says, “I remember Kossoff being threatened with a gun. When we were being shuttled from the hotel to the gig, Koss went into one of his favorite characters. With his hand on his forehead he proclaimed, ‘Oh! I can’t go on tonight. I won’t be ready for my close-up for quite a while, Mr. DeMille’. Well one of the big guys close by didn’t have a sense of humour and thought he needed to change Koss’s mind with showing his firearm! I think the most remarkable aspect of that was far from rattling anybody, we just figured… ‘Oh, no sense of humour’ and went back to our business. The whole situation was so surreal what with us breaking up anyway; it didn’t seem that absurd at the time. I have since heard that Sammy Lee is long dead, quite unpleasantly I believe, and won’t be kidnapping any more tours.”

Randwick went down a storm. “We just captivated the audience,” says Whyte. “It was just a fantastic afternoon. Free was all over the front of the Australian newspapers the next morning. That’s how big it was.”

“Free: Just too much! UNDOUBTEDLY THE NEXT BIG WORLD WIDE GROUP!” wrote one reviewer. “The young FREE had everything.” The review climaxed with its account of Rodgers flinging his mike stand into the wings in a final defiant note. And that’s what they intended Randwick to be – final.

During this leg of the tour and especially during the Randwick show in Sydney, Sammy Lee’s thugs tried to take control of the bands, insisting they do all the dates over again. Every night had been sold out, busting the capacity of each venue and raking in the dough. Sammy Lee’s bunch saw a financial windfall at their fingertips. Manfred Mann’s manager told the “Mafia types” he didn’t think that this would be possible. He was answered with a rather bad beating. So, says Fraser, “Johnny Glover just got us to the airport and outta there.”

There was a final poignant encounter as Free climbed into their cars after the gig. “This English guy comes over,” recalls Glover. “And he says, ‘Hi guys, just wanna shake hands with you’. I saw one gig of yours in England before I emigrated and thought you were great!’ Nobody was really interested in what he was saying ‘cos they were all preoccupied thinking about getting outta there. But somebody says to him, ‘Where did you see us?’ He said, ‘Chesterfield Quaintways,’ and there was this quiet moment. That was the first gig they ever played as Free. He’d seen their first and last and nothing in between.

“We sat in the car and the sun was going down. It was one of those things, an afternoon gig, and I was sitting next to Kirke and he looked out at the sunset and looked at me and said, ‘It’s a bit of a weird moment, isn’t it?”

ELP 21st S R. 4ELP 21st S R

ELP 21st S R. 3

This may be the easiest to find OG release of them all.

“Total duration: 34:28  A very fragmented album of an average audience recording.”
“Track 1 – 4 is from an unknown show, most likely between April and June 1971.
One can hear Keith Emerson talking about ‘a new album’ (TARKUS) which will be released – he says – in August; ‘maybe earlier’. The last track – Lucky Man – is from the Korakuen Stadium / Japan – show in July 1972.


Side 1: The Barbarian (6:03) / Rondo (14:51) [track is cut in the middle of the drum-solo.]                             Side 2: Take a Pebble (4:33) [cut just before the Greg Lake-part is about to begin] / Knife Edge (5:27) [cut just before the last verse] / Lucky Man (3:34) [Tokyo 22 July ’72 “much better sound-quality”]

I am not sure if there are two different versions of OG-630 – with & without two tracks by Free added to end of side 2 – or if auction sellers are just quoting the insert without actually having listened to the record to verify.


“Some copies of this album included two bonus tracks with Free, who supported ELP on the 1972 Japan-tour.”

Track list for the second pressing: 

Side 1: Take A Pebble (Emerson, Lake and Palmer)/ Knife Edge (Emerson, Lake and Palmer)/ All Right Now (Free)/ Fire And Water (Free)
Side 2: Barbarian (Emerson, Lake and Palmer)/ Gong (Emerson, Lake and Palmer)


It’s unclear where exactly the two Free tracks come from. Both tracks can be found on this rare Japanese bootleg, recorded during their first Japan tour in April/May 1971:

Free Live Japan



ELP Osaka ticket

When a promoter booked half of surf/instrumental group The Ventures (the budget was too small to also send their bass and drum players, which would have to be supplied by local hired guns) in 1962 for an Asian tour supporting pop crooners Bobby Vee and Jo Ann Campbell , it seemed like an insignificant decision. However, for modern pop culture in Japan, it was the first spark leading to a significant bonfire. Japanese youth embraced these new culture gap-free sounds produced by electric guitars and the “group sounds” movement was born.

The following link provides an in depth look at the Ventures’ Japan success story:

I believe one music phenomenon we have to thank the Ventures for is the “Live in Japan” album, Their first one was released in 1965:

 Ventures in Japan


This was soon followed by similar live albums by artists such as the Spotniks, the Shadows, Miles Davis and a number of MOR artists. I believe it would not be too far fetched to say that the first bootlegs made in Japan were efforts to provide an unofficial ‘Live In Japan’ souvenir album when the record companies had no plans to do so.

Looking at further influences by bands from the UK & USA, the first vocal group to have visited Japan were the Liverpool Five (none of the members were actually from Liverpool, which probably underlines how much of a influencing force the Beatles had become by then), who had won a contest to represent the UK during a series of concerts in Tokyo during the 1964 Olympic Games. None of the Japanese bands who performed as part of this “World Surfing Festival” had a vocalist. “Playing to sell-out crowds of over 8,000 at the Korakuen Ice Palace and other venues, the lead singers’ vocals caused a stir among musicians in the audience and was almost certainly responsible for the decision of several of the new eleki bands that sprung up in the next few months to begin recruiting vocalists and move towards a sound and approach that would increasingly diverge from that of the Ventures.”

The Animals were the next and first internationally well known band to tour Japan, on the strength of their first world wide success “House of the Rising Sun” and coinciding with the release of their second album ANIMAL TRACKS in May of 1965.

Animals Japan 65Animals 1965 Japan Tour Book

Next up, were of course the Beatles in the summer of 1966, with enough ticket applications received to fill the Budokan 21 times. As far as I can tell, the next group to play at the Budokan were the Monkees in the fall of 1968. Then, it appears we had a bit of a gap until the new breed of UK & US blues rock bands perfected their acts.

Monkees Budokan


A Woodstock like large festival to be named “Fuji Odyssey” never got off the ground series of mini-festivals called “Rock Carnival” started in December of 1970, presenting local and Western artists (John Mayall participated in the first one). Part of the tour schedule for Western artists for 1971 follows.

February 1971: Blood, Sweat and Tears

March ’71: B.B. King [Rock Carnival # 3]

 BB King Japan 71


April/May ’71: Free [Rock Carnival # 4]

 Free Japan 71

From an eye witness account: “This event started at midnight in the now defunct Sankei Hall, Ohtemachi. It was a festival style, all night event where many Japanese bands were to play. I scarcely remember most of the bands’ names but I remember that the unit of Narumo Shigeru and Tsunoda Hiro was the final act. After many bands had sequentially played, it was about the time when the first train was leaving, Free appeared. That was nothing but the coolest.

Each of their sounds and each of their motions were rock itself. When its thirty-minute show was over (or that might be more than sixty minutes, but it felt like thirty minutes for me), the rotating stage turned (you seldom see this these days but there used to be at that time) and the day’s main act, Narumo Shigeru and Tsunoda Hiro came out. However, enthusiastic applause for Free never stopped. The stage turned again and Free appeared, the whole audience was driven into a state of feverish excitement. Although I had gone to see some concerts before this, let me say, this was my first experience of the real rock concert.

Nine songs were issued years later on the Japanese ‘fake Idle Mind bootleg’ Reminiscence (ca. 1977), making it the earliest audience tape recorded in Japan and pressed on a Japanese rock bootleg.

 Free Reminiscence tanFree Reminiscence tan b

June ’71: Chicago’s first Japan Tour

July ’71: Grand Funk Railroad [Rock Carnival # 6]

GFR Tokyo 71GFR Tokyo 71Composite of two photos taken by Koh Hasebe at the Tokyo concert


The superstars of 1971 – I believe they were the second band to play at Shea Stadium after the Beatles – had already outgrown the Budokan and were the first to play at a baseball stadium in a line up with three other bands in front of a crowd of 35,000. Unfortunately, summer is the rainy season in Japan and it poured on concert night. The same conditions repeated, when Emerson, Lake & Palmer played Korakuen stadium the following year together with Free. An audience recording from the Osaka Stadium performance exists but was not pressed on bootleg.

I am talking about the band that was on everyone’s lips in its heyday, the marvelous Grand Funk Railroad (G.F.R.), and their legendary Tokyo concert of 1971. I was excited to hear of G.F.R.’s impending arrival in the summer of 1971 in Tokyo. I was a young man of twenty-two years of age at that time. Back then, there weren’t any large halls expect the Budokan, and I was concerned where and how they would play with their huge amount of equipment, and finally, they chose the sacred home of Japanese baseball, Korakuen stadium. Since even Budokan was very large for us those days, it was even more exciting having the concert in the much larger baseball stadium.

The concert was scheduled to start on Saturday, July 17th, 1971, at 5pm. I turned up around 2 o’clock, and hung around seeing many dirty yet cool young people, and I felt an electrifying atmosphere in the stadium.
When the time came and I entered the stadium, I was amazed to see what looked like every speaker in Japan stacked in large walls around the massive stage, which was set up near second base on the baseball field. And before the stage was a big board plastered with “GRAND FUNK RAILROAD” in huge letters.
The concert began, and after long forgotten Japanese bands warmed the crowd up, the time for G.F.R. to hit the stage finally arrived. All of a sudden the sky became dark and a strong wind blew the G.F.R. board off the stage. However, with the sound of an explosion of a reckless running railroad train on the big screen on the stage, the band appeared to the cheers of their adoring fans. And they played up a storm, like the hard rain and strong winds that accompanied them.


August ’71: Hakone Aphrodite Festival (Pink Floyd’s first visit to Japan on a bill with Buffy St, Marie the 1910 Fruit Gum Co. and Strawberry Path, The Mops,  Happenings Four, Yosuke Yamashita and the Masahiko Sato Trio. They also made time for a performance at Osaka’s Festival Hall.

All of these were all taped and an ambitious compilation bootleg was produced in 1972 or later– Pink Floyd (KP339-KP344), also known as Osaka/Tokyo Triple and PINK FLOYD JAPAN 70-71′, ‘LIVE IN TOKYO/OSAKA 1972, one of the most valuable early Japanese bootlegs ever and the first ever Japanese 3 LP bootleg (and pretty much for the rest of the decade as I cannot recall another until the 80’s when they were pretty common). This used to be one of the most valuable Japanese bootlegs with auction prices reaching $2,000 and 2000 Euros.

Pink Floyd Osaka TripleTwo tracks from from the first day at Hakone were presented on this set.

In depth information can be found here:

Hakone Aphro 71

Hakone is to the southwest of Tokyo and it takes 2 hours from Tokyo by car. Many people visit there and enjoy playing golf and tennis, and sightseeing . The open-air concert entitled ”71 Hakone Aphrodite’ was held at the open space called ‘Seikei Gakuen Jofudai ‘ by Lake Ashi on Aug.6 & 7, 1971. It is said that 30,000 people gathered there. Pink Floyd appeared in the evening (6:00 pm) on Aug.6, 1971 and played ‘Atom Heart Mother’, ‘Green is the colour’, ‘Careful With That Axe, Eugene’, ‘Echoes’, ‘Cymbaline’ and ‘A saucerful Of Secrets’.”

There were two stages, the main and the sub, and the audience was moving between the two for their favorite bands. The place was filled with an easy feeling. Of course, our target was Pink Floyd. And we thought Pink Floyd might be last, after sunset. So we hung around and enjoyed nature’s euphoria, drinking beer and looking on while bands played. Finally, 1910 Fruit Gum Company’s show was over, and it got dark enough; the time for Pink Floyd had come. Then, suddenly, dense fog began to form. I’m not sure that it was usual in that area or not. And surprisingly, it became nature’s miraculous stage effects. In that psychedelic atmosphere (you may say it was too good to be true. But it was true), their first, and maybe their best performance in Japan had started. Listening to their song “Echoes” in the fog was the coolest of the cool!

R Wright Japan 72

Pink Floyd Japan 72

Pink Floyd Osaka 71Ticket for the concert at Osaka Festival Hall. A further two songs from this performance were selected for the OSAKA TRIPLE package.


September ’71: Led Zeppelin’s first triumphant Japan tour inspired a number of Japanese vinyl bootlegs and possibly may be credited with kickstarting the local bootleg industry:

 Led Zeppelin Super-Stars! 3


The rare SUPER-STARS! double, a copy of which recently sold for $1,500, as reported on this blog. Released between the very end of 1971 and very early 1973, if I had to make a guess and a candidate for one of the earliest Japanese rock bootlegs [I would love for someone with greater knowledge on the topic to correct me or contribute].

No label
Side 1: Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker medley incl. Bouree, Feelin’ Groovy/Since I’ve Been Loving You/Out On The Tiles Intro-Black Dog/What Is And What Should Never Be
Side 2: Dazed And Confused medley incl. I Got A Feeling
Side 3: Celebration Day/That’s The Way/Going To California/Tangerine
Side 4: Whole Lotta Love medley incl. Boogie Chillun, Cocaine, Rave On, Your Time Is Gonna Come, I’m A Man, The Hunter, Hello Mary Lou, Pretty Woman, How Many More Times
Recording: Good mono audience. Runs a bit fast. Source: Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan Sept. 24 ’71.



Recording Includes: [ supposed to be not recorded: Band Announcements ] Immigrant Song [ 1:57 – cut ] >> Heartbreaker (<< Bouree, Feelin’ Groovy..) [ 6:53 – cut ], Since I’ve Been Loving You [ 7:27 ], Out On The Tiles Intro [ 0:12 ] >> Black Dog [ 5:27 ], [ cut ], Dazed And Confused (<< I Got A Feeling..) [ 24:03 ], [ cut ], Celebration Day [ 4:56 ], That’s The Way [ 6:30 ], Going To California [ 7:08 ], Tangerine [ 3:45 ], [ cut ], What Is And What Should Never Be [ 4:29 ], [ cut ], Instrumental Intro [ 0:59 ] >> Whole Lotta Love (<< Boogie Chillun, Cocaine, Rave On, Your Time Is Gonna Come, I’m A Man, The Hunter, Hello Mary Lou, [ cut ], Pretty Woman [ cut ], How Many More Times..) [ 25:43 ].
Source: Incomplete good 2nd audience recording. Nearly 107 minutes.
Details: Again, the sound is muffled, somewhat mushy in places and distant. This one seems to be also bit boomy here and there. However, this source is much more bright. The real problem here is lots of crackle from vinyl and original tape – it overloads the intimate atmosphere of recording. Furthermore, on the original LP What Is And What Should Never Be is placed right after Black Dog.  Bootleg LP Reference source: Super Stars (Led Zeppelin In Tokyo) (no label)



Led Zeppelin In Concert 660 track list

The similarly extremely rare IN CONCERT on the OG label, which I would place with a 1973 production date. A copy recently failed to attract a single bid (starting bid had been GBP 500).

Led Zeppelin In Concert 660 lbl

Side 1: Since I’ve Been Loving You*/Out On The Tiles Intro-Black Dog*/Stairway To Heaven*
Side 2: Going To California*/Whole Lotta Love (*)/(an excerpt from Whole Lotta Love medley) The Hunter, Hello Mary Lou, Pretty Woman, How Many More Times**/Communication Breakdown medley incl. Hey Hey What Can I Do?**
Recording: Fair-Good mono audience. Runs fast. Source: (*)Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan Sept. 23 ’71 except (**)Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan Sept. 24 ’71. Comments: Japanese bootleg. Very rare.



Recording Includes: Since I’ve Been Loving You [ 7:05 ], [ cut ], Out On The Tiles Intro [ 0:12 ] >> Black Dog [ 5:21 ], [ cut ], Stairway To Heaven [ 8:55 ], [ cut ], Going To California [ 6:05 ], [ cut ], Whole Lotta Love [ 1:08 – cut ].
Source: Incomplete fair to good 1st audience recording. Near 31 minutes.
Details: A significantly distant and somewhat flat sounding source, with some hiss throughout. Bootleg LP Reference source: IN CONCERT

Led Zepelin Tokyo 71 lg


Recording Includes: (an excerpt from Whole Lotta Love medley): The Hunter [ cut ] >> Hello Mary Lou >> Pretty Woman >> How Many More Times >> Whole Lotta Love [ 11:50 – cut ], [ cut ], Communication Breakdown (<< Hey Hey What Can I Do?..) [ 5:33 – cut ].
Source: Incomplete fair to good 1st audience recording. 17 minutes.
Details: Muffled and distant, not clear at all. Bootleg LP Reference source: IN CONCERT




Led Zeppelin Live In Japan 1971 OG-799Led Zeppelin Live Japan 1971 a d1

In 1974, the OG label debuted the “on stage mic’d” source, with emphasis on John Bonham, often mistaken for a soundboard.

Side 1: Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker medley incl. Feelin’ Groovy, Bouree/Since I’ve Been Loving You
Side 2: Tangerine/Moby Dick
Side 3: Stairway To Heaven/Celebration Day
Side 4: You Shook Me/Whole Lotta Love/Communication Breakdown medley incl. Just A Little Bit/Organ Solo/Thank You
Comments: There were at least four different pressings/versions of this double album (original red labels, as shown here. Orange labels with a different design and lettering. Black labels and the UFO version).

This source is discussed here:


October ’71: Elton John

EJ Tokyo 71

A soundboard from his October 1st show later surfaced.



February 1972: CCR


March 1972: Pink Floyd return for their first proper tour and play 6 concerts. The following descriptions are taken from

Taiikukan, Tokyo, Japan, March 6   “Two recordings exist, a partial FM source featuring a large portion of the Dark Side suite and a complete audience recording…”

Taiikukan, Tokyo, Japan, March 7   “There are three sources for this concert in varying degrees of sound quality…”

Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan, March 8   “The first gig in Osaka has been widely bootlegged, and at least four  sources exits for this concert.” The bulk of the OSAKA TRIPLE vinyl set was taken from one of these sources.

Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan, March 9   “There is one main source for the second night in Osaka…”


Pinkk Floyd Osaka triple 2Pink Floyd Osaka tapePinkk Floyd Osaka triple 3b3Pink Floyd Osaka triple deta

Side 1: Cymbaline *, A Saucerful Of Secrets **                                                                                                   Side 2: Fat Old Sun *, Atom Heart Mother
Side 3: One Of These Days, Careful With That Axe Eugene                                                                                 Side 4: Echoes
Side 5: Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe (Reprise), The Great Gig In The Sky                        Side 6: Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse

Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan – March 8th, 1972 plus * Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan – August 9th, 1971,                 ** Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan – March 9th, 1972

” …the first tape of this show to surface on LP in the early seventies.  This is a straight transfer of the classic three LP Japanese set Pink Floyd (KP339-KP344).  It was originally released with three individual plain white covers and two posters placed inside a brown paper bag with sticker. 

Later variations were released under the name Pink Floyd Japan 70-71, Live In Tokyo / Osaka 1972 and Tokyo Triple.  The bulk of the material comes from the March 8th, 1972 Osaka show, but “A Saucerful Of Secrets” is from the Osaka show on March 9th, 1972 and “Cymbaline” and “Fat Old Sun” date from their first tour of Japan on August 9th, 1971, also in Osaka. The sound quality is, compared to the others, very muffled and dull and barely enjoyable.” [review by]


Furitsu Taiikukan Hall, Kyoto, Japan, March 10   “There is one source for the Kyoto show…”

Nakanoshima Sports Center, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, March 13   “The final gig in Japan for 16 years has four know recordings that circulate in varying degrees of completeness…”


D Gilmoure Japan 72


 June ’72: Chicago return for their second tour of Japan in support of Chicago V. All of their Osaka performances are taped by CBS/Sony for a Japan only live album. Recorded by hooking up two eight track machines, the final result surpasses the official Live At Carnegie Hall


 July ’72: ELP supported by Free play Korakuen Stadium in Tokyo and at Osaka’s Koshien Stadium

ELP Osaka ticketELP Japan 72

Three songs from Free’s opening set are included on the aforementioned Reminiscences album:

Free Reminiscence

 While one track by the headliner’s was issued on the surprisingly easy to find OG release 21st CENTURY SCHIZOID ROCK OG-630

ELP 21st S R

“Total duration: 34:28  A very fragmented album of an average audience recording.
Track 1 – 4 is from an unknown show, most likely between April and June 1971.
One can hear Keith Emerson talking about ‘a new album’ (Tarkus) which will be released – he says – in August; ‘maybe earlier’. The last track – Lucky Man – is from the Korakuen Stadium / Japan – show in July 1972.
Some copies of this album included two bonus tracks with Free, who supported ELP on the 1972 Japan-tour.
Alt. track list: 1.TAKE A PEBBLE (ELP) 2.KNIFE EDGE (ELP) 3.ALL RIGHT NOW (FREE) 4.FIRE AND WATER (FREE) 5.BARBARIAN (ELP) 6.GONG (ELP) Matrix number 707 (print) ”

ELP 21st S R b


August ’72: Deep Purple play three shows (rescheduled from May). The band reluctantly agrees to have the shows recorded for a ‘live in Japan only’ album. Famous last words…


October’72: Led Zeppelin return for their second and last ever Japan tour to play six concerts. None of them reach the critical acclaim of their first visit.

This is also reflected in the Japanese bootlegs that this tour yielded or rather the immediate lack of. The OG label presented this unnumbered but visually appealing one disc release of the Osaka October 9th show around 1975 as one of their last releases:


Led Zeppelin LIVE Osaka IILed Zeppelin LIVE Osaka bLZ live lbl 1LZ live lbl 2

Recording Includes: [ supposed to be not recorded: Band Announcements ] Rock And Roll [ 3:38 ], Out On The Tiles Intro [ 0:13 ] >> Black Dog [ 5:01 ], Over The Hills And Far Away [ 5:49 ], Misty Mountain Hop [ 4:35 ] >> Since I’ve Been Loving You [ 7:23 ], Dancing Days [ 3:26 ], The Song Remains The Same [ 5:15 ] >> The Rain Song [ 7:24 ], [ cut ], Dazed And Confused (<< Down By The River, The Crunge..) [ 26:57 ], Stairway To Heaven [ 9:23 ], Moby Dick [ 15:43 ], [ cut ], Whole Lotta Love (<< Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Something’s Got A Hold On Me, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Leave My Woman Alone, Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Heartbreak Hotel, Wear My Ring Around Your Neck, Going Down Slow, The Shape I’m In..) [ 28:57 – cut ], [ cut ], Stand By Me [ 6:14 ], Immigrant Song [ 3:36 ].
Source: Incomplete very good 1st audience recording. 143 minutes.
Details: This is clear recording. Page’s guitar is fairly prominent in this source but it doesn’t overwhelm the other instruments. There is some hiss though. [all detailed comments taken from]

“Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” was taken from a different concert recording: OCTOBER 4 – OSAKA FESTIVAL HALL, OSAKA, JAPAN (WEDNESDAY, 6pm), thus the following might apply: “1st source, taped by Yoshiaki Sumitomo (speed issues in few places – he also recorded Osaka October 4th, 1972 1st source)”

This release was copied by Vicky Vinyl ca. ’76/’77 and is much better known as:

Led Zep MBH lg



Ca. 1979 a further tape was acquired in Japan, this time from the start of the tour at the Budokan. The following are vinyl releases containing the first source:


Led Zep L@Budokan Remember

Red labels – first or second issue? Apologies for the bad quality, this is the only one I have found.

Led Zep Budokan RemLed Zep Budokan Rem bLed Zep Budokan Rem lbl


“Recording Includes: Band Announcements, Rock And Roll [ 3:37 ], Over The Hills And Far Away [ 5:22 ], Out On The Tiles Intro [ 0:12 ] >> Black Dog [ 4:41 ], [ cut ], Misty Mountain Hop [ 4:32 ] >> Since I’ve Been Loving You [ 7:07 ], Dancing Days [ 3:20 ], Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp [ 4:23 ], The Song Remains The Same [ 5:14 ] >> The Rain Song [ 7:11 ], [ cut ], Dazed And Confused (<< The Crunge..) [ 20:55 ], [ cut ], Stairway To Heaven [ 8:59 ], [ cut ], Whole Lotta Love (<< Just A Little Bit, Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Boogie Chillun, My Baby Left Me, Killing Floor, I Can’t Quit You Baby..) [ 21:17 ], [ cut ], Heartbreaker (<< Bouree..) [ 6:00 ], [ cut ], Immigrant Song [ 3:46 ] >> Communication Breakdown [ 4:17 ], [ cut ], Band Announcements [ cut ].
Source: Almost complete very good to excellent 1st audience recording. 126 minutes.
Details: The tape contains rather little hiss and is recorded very close to the stage with all the instruments well balanced and with genuine clarity. The only drawback of this source is the bass line, which sounds a bit mushed.”

Side 1: Rock & Roll/Over The Hills & Far Away/Out On The Tiles Intro-Black Dog/Misty Mountain Hop/Since I’ve Been Loving You (26:15)
Side 2: Dancing Days/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp/The Song Remains The Same/Stairway To Heaven (26:48)
Side 3: Dazed & Confused medley incl. The Crunge (21:18)
Side 4: Whole Lotta Love medley incl. Just A Little Bit, Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Boogie Chillun, My Baby Left Me, Killing Floor, I Can’t Quit You Baby/Heartbreaker medley incl. Bouree (27:11)
Recording: Very good stereo audience. Source: Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan Oct. 2 ’72. Comments: Japanese bootleg. Deluxe black & white cover.

Led Zep TokyoLed Zep Tokyo white detailLed Zep Tokyo white detail 2Led Zep Tokyo white back

Ken’s Toasted Records copied the Remember title in the US, around 1980 – but got the date wrong. It was reissued on white PVC and also included in the massive FINAL OPTION box:

Led Zep Final Option box sideLIVE IN TOKYO 10/2/72
Recording: Very good stereo audience. Comments: US bootleg. A reissue of LIVE AT THE BUDOKAN (Remember N5518). Deluxe color cover. Some copies on colored vinyl. Also available in the mid-1980’s on US label Amazing Stork Records (if you are wondering why this has “The Rain Song”, see below for the material from the 3rd of October also included) with some copies pressed on colored vinyl. Part of THE FINAL OPTION box set.

Led Zep Tokyo Amaz StLed Zep Tokyo Amaz St b


Led Zep Live@Budokan NOG 72

Led Zep Live@Budokan NOG 72 lbl

A very rare record, the New OG Label edition, which unlike the Remember version includes “The Rain Song” (the discogs entry, however, omits this song).  The cover art quotes LIVE IN JAPAN 1971 OG-798/799, it seems.

Led Zep Live@Budokan 72 ins

NEW OG 1149-50 A-B
Recording: Very good stereo audience. Comments: Same material as LIVE AT THE BUDOKAN (Remember N5518) but in a different order plus The Rain Song. Comes with an article about the concert from a Japanese magazine.

Matrix / Runout (Side A machine stamped): OG 1149 A 〄 a 19223 (A) 1H
    Matrix / Runout (Side B machine stamped): OG 1149 B 〄 a 19224 (B) 1H
    Matrix / Runout (Side C machine stamped): OG 1150 A 〄 a 19225 (A) 1H
    Matrix / Runout (Side D machine stamped): OG 1150 B 〄 a 19226 (B) 2J



Source 2:

“Recording Includes: Stairway To Heaven [ 8:08 – cut ], [ cut ], Whole Lotta Love (<< Just A Little Bit, Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Boogie Chillun, My baby Left Me, Killing Floor, I Can’t Quit You Baby..) [ 21:06 ], [ cut ], Heartbreaker (<< Bouree..) [ 5:57 ], [ cut ], Immigrant Song [ 3:31 ] >> Communication Breakdown [ 4:27 ].
Recording: Incomplete very good 2nd audience recording. Almost 45 minutes.
Details: A good defined and clear tape taped not far away from the stage. No signs of distortion here. However recording suffers a bit from bass frequencies which dominating throughout, [oversaturating] rather significantly whole content.

Led Zep Live in Tokyo LLXLed Zep Live in Tokyo LLX b

A release on the LLX ‘label’ (the same folks who had brought the world SUPER-STARS! ). When was this issued? The discogs entry claims 1973 but I doubt this. It also says there that every known copy has a different cover slick.  

LLX 1233-4-5-6  Matrix / Runout (all sides machine stamped): LLX 1233/4/5/6 IN
Side 1: Rock & Roll (3:16)*/Out On The Tiles Intro-Black Dog (4:14)*/Over The Hills & Far Away (5:42)*/Misty Mountain Hop (4:48)*/Since I’ve Been Loving You (8:10)*
Side 2: Dancing Days (3:31)*/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp (4:39)*/The Song Remains The Same (5:42)*/The Rain Song (7:42)*
Side 3: Whole Lotta Love medley incl. Just A Little Bit, Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Boogie Chillun, My Baby Left Me, Killing Floor, I Can’t Quit You Baby (20:28)**
Side 4: Stairway To Heaven (8:22)* & **/The Ocean (4:16)*/Heartbreaker medley incl. Bouree (6:05)**/Immigrant Song (3:56)**/Communication Breakdown (4:12)**
Recording: Very good mono audience. Source: (*)Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan Oct. 3 ’72 except (**)Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan Oct. 2 ’72. Comments: Rare Japanese bootleg. Stairway To Heaven is spliced with two different sources.


Fifth source:

Recording Includes: Band Announcements, Rock And Roll, Over The Hills And Far Away, Out On The Tiles Intro >> Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop >> Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains The Same >> The Rain Song, Dazed And Confused (<< The Crunge..), Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love (<< Just A Little Bit, Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Boogie Chillun, My Baby Left Me, Killing Floor, I Can’t Quit You Baby..), Heartbreaker (<< Bouree..), Immigrant Song >> Communication Breakdown.
Source: Almost complete very good 5th audience recording. 128 minutes.
Details: This audience source is a bit distant and muddy, with the balance and the sound clearing a bit in time. Plant’s voice sound rough on occasions.

Led Zep Panties 2Led Zep Panty insertsLed Zep Panty

Side 1: Tangerine (3:43)*/Stairway To Heaven (9:04)*/Celebration Day (4:50)*/What Is And What Should Never Be (4:17)*/Moby Dick (1:30)*
Side 2: That’s The Way (6:29)*/Going To California (7:24)*/Over The Hills And Far Away (6:04)**
Side 3: Rock ‘N’ Roll (3:34)**/Stairway To Heaven (8:50)**/Whole Lotta Love (conclusion 2:20)**
Side 4: Immigrant Song (3:55)***/Communication Breakdown (4:17)***/The Song Remains The Same (5:12)***/The Rain Song (7:15)***
Recording: (*) (**)Good to Very good mono; (***)Very good mono. Audience. Source: (*)Hiroshima-ken Taiikukan, Hiroshima, Japan Sept. 27 ’71; (**)Osaka Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan Oct. 4 ’72; (***)Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan Oct. 2 ’72. Comments: Brown record mailer with rubber stamp and obi. Contains a large black & white poster, postcard and a real female rubber stamped panty. Because of this quite often this set is called “Panty” box. What’s very interesting, at least some copies also have bonus tape with another source for Hiroshima date (actually, it is source no. 4). Rare.

Digger seems to have been a label from the 1980’s specializing in Led Zeppelin releases; a forerunner to the CD bootleg labels who carried on this obsession from the 1990’s. See below for the Osaka source from October 4th.



Recording Includes: [ supposed to be not recorded: Band Announcements ] Rock And Roll [ 3:04 ], Out On The Tiles Intro [ 0:12 ] >> Black Dog [ 4:53 ], Over The Hills And Far Away [ 5:33 ], Misty Mountain Hop [ 4:50 ] >> Since I’ve Been Loving You [ 7:30 ], [ cut ], Dancing Days [ 3:25 ], Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp [ 4:33 ], [ cut ], The Song Remains The Same [ 5:19 ] >> The Rain Song [ 7:30 ], [ cut ], The Ocean [ 4:04 ].
Source: Incomplete very good 1st audience recording. 57 minutes.
Details: A bit distant and somewhat flat sounding tape, with rather nice atmosphere.

Found on: Live In Tokyo Oct. 2-3 1972 Budokan Big Hall (LLX 1233-4-5-6) & Tokyo 10/2/72 (Amazing Stork Records):

Led Zep Live in Tokyo LLXLed Zep Tokyo Amaz St


Source 2:

Recording Includes: Band Announcements, Rock And Roll [ 3:07 ], Out On The Tiles Intro [ 0:12 ] >> Black Dog [ 4:56 ], Over The Hills And Far Away [ 5:37 ], Misty Mountain Hop [ 4:58 ] >> Since I’ve Been Loving You [ 7:36 ], Dancing Days [ 3:30 ], Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp [ 4:27 – cut ], The Song Remains The Same [ 5:25 ] >> The Rain Song [ 7:41 ], Dazed And Confused (<< The Crunge..) [ 27:17 – cut ].
Source: Incomplete good to very good 2nd audience recording. 83 minutes.
Details: A bit distant and tiny but still decent quality. The real problem with this source is that it was surfaced only on vinyl, which is very scratchy, with a lot of noise throughout and even after some declicking job the sound isn’t too clear. What worse, near the end of Dazed another song can be heard playing from underneath, and from that point sound deteriorates significantly into mush.

Privately Cut Japanese Acetate (no title, no label) [no image available]




Recording Includes: [ supposed to be not recorded: Band Announcements ] Rock And Roll [ 3:30 – cut ], Out On The Tiles Intro [ 0:12 ] >> Black Dog [ 4:52 ], Over The Hills And Far Away [ 5:23 ], Misty Mountain Hop [ 4:35 ] >> Since I’ve Been Loving You [ 7:11 ], Dancing Days [ 3:22 ], Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp [ 4:31 ], The Song Remains The Same [ 5:16 ] >> The Rain Song [ 7:11 ], Dazed And Confused (<< San Francisco instrumental, The Crunge..) [ 23:10 – cut ], Stairway To Heaven [ 9:18 ], Whole Lotta Love (<< Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Boogie Chillun, Got A Lot O’Livin To Do, Let’s Have A Party, You Shook Me, The Lemon Song..) [ 22:21 ].
Source: Incomplete very good 1st audience recording. 108 minutes.
Details: Taped from 5th row and a really good sounding audience recording. All the instruments are up front and well balanced with the audience in the background. There is some distortion on bass line.


Side 2: That’s The Way (6:29)*/Going To California (7:24)*/Over The Hills And Far Away (6:04)**
Side 3: Rock ‘N’ Roll (3:34)**/Stairway To Heaven (8:50)**/Whole Lotta Love (conclusion 2:20)**



Recording Includes: [ supposed to be not recorded: Band Announcements ] Rock And Roll, Out On The Tiles Intro >> Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop >> Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains The Same >> The Rain Song, Dazed And Confused [ cut ], Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love (<< Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Boogie Chillun, I Feel So Good, Let’s Have A Party, You Shook Me..), Mellotron Solo (<< Sakura Sakura..) >> Thank You.
Source: Incomplete fair to good 1st audience source.
Details: A distant, muddy and somewhat hissy tape that sounds like it was recorded under the towel but almost no serious distortion here. It still holds the dynamics and some fragments are brighter a little bit.


Led Zeppelin Squeeze Me

Side 1: Out On The Tiles Intro-Black Dog (5:09)/Misty Mountain Hop (4:16)/Since I’ve Been Loving You (7:11)
Side 2: Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp (4:35)/The Song Remains The Same (5:05)/The Rain Song (7:20)
Recording: Fair-Good mono audience. Source: Nagoya-shi Kokaido, Nagoya, Japan Oct. 5 ’72. Comments: Rare Japanese acetate.

In the 1980’s there was this incredibly rare Japan acetate as the final vinyl offering from the tour before the era of CD bootlegs took over. This copy was offered on eBay in August of 2014 and sold for over $900.