On April 27th, 1969 Led Zeppelin played the final show of a four night stand at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. Of all the bootleg recordings I've collected this is by far the one I have listened to the most. A close second being the demo recordings George Harrison made for All Things Must Pass. You can see flyers for the Zeppelin show here.
This song is a version of Killin' Floor which they later stole, put it on their second album and called "The Lemon Song." That song also borrows a line from Robert Johnson. I guess if you are going to steal, steal from the best. What I like about this song is that it is a good example of "tight but loose." It starts out nice and structured, it has an improvised middle and is brought back home nicely. They were a jam band before being a jam band was cool. Early in the song there is about 90 seconds where the sound quality gets pretty bad. Most of this bootleg is from a soundboard recording that is incomplete. Some collector somewhere out there took an audience recording plugged the holes in the soundboard recording. Those segments can be distracting if you're not ready them. That's what I love about the internet, you can profit from the obsessions of others. Whoever did do this did a fantastic job editing the parts together.
I love concert recordings of Led Zeppelin from the late 60s and 1970, right before they got real big and still play a lot of old blues songs. They are almost a different band on these earlier recording. They are just a hot blues rock band and not gods yet and it comes through in the performances. I guess everybody has more urgency about what they do when they are clawing to the top.
Another nice little tidbit this song offers is the very end. Listen to the crowd, it sounds like there is no one there. Can you imagine seeing that band in an intimate venue with a small crowd? Good god.
Led Zeppelin - Killing Floor 4/27/1969 by zzazazz
Howlin' Wolf performing Killin' Floor
Hendrix set this song on fire at Monterey