On September 18, a video was uploaded to a little-known YouTube channel named “gbauer10” that had just a handful of subscribers. The video was a newly published recording of Led Zeppelin’s June 21, 1977 Los Angeles show, which is the same show captured on the well-known Mike Millard recording “Listen to This Eddie.”
The man who uploaded the video, Gary Bauer, didn’t expect there to be a great level of interest in his 40-year-old recording. But his YouTube video was passed around music forums and mailing lists as evidence of a second source of a legendary Led Zeppelin show.
Now, Bauer’s recording has been remastered and re-released on YouTube with the help of the JEMS remastering group. LedZepNews spoke to Bauer about his recording, and you can read our full email interview below.
But first, here’s the remastered version of Bauer’s tape, which he has named “Listen To This Erik”:
And here’s the same recording with small gaps to separate the songs:
LedZepNews: First of all, what do you remember of the show back in 1977?
Gary Bauer: I have very vivid memories of the show because of the recording. From Bonzo’s drum kit lighting up when he was warming up just before ‘The Song Remains The Same’ to little things like Plant turning away from the microphone just before saying ‘Ten Years Gone.’
One favorite memory was Page facing Bonzo right at the start of the ‘Stairway To Heaven’ solo then turning and strolling towards the front of the stage just as he starts his solo. I still get full body chills listening to my favorite parts especially the first chord of ‘The Song Remains The Same’ – chills every time! Another favorite memory was the crowd just going crazy when JHB started ‘Rock And Roll.’ At 1 am, no less.
When I divided up the songs for posting I just couldn’t put a cut between ‘White Summer/Black Mountainside’ and ‘Kashmir.’ I can remember Page kicking away his stool and Plant jumping out from beside the drum kit just as they launched into ‘Kashmir.’ For me, there can’t be a break between the songs because it just ruins the memory for me. My copy of Listen To This Eddie had that break and I just couldn’t listen to it. It just didn’t seem like the same show.
I realize that people love Listen To This Eddie and I also love the music on it (especially the parts that I didn’t manage to record). However, for me (and probably only me but that’s okay) this recording more closely aligns with the show that I heard that night. For me it’s my experience and that’s why it has always been very special to me.
LedZepNews: Was it the first time you saw Led Zeppelin?
GB: Yes, I only started going to shows in 1976. I was also at the June 26th show. My wife knows if they were ever to tour again (looking highly unlikely) money will be no object. There’s no one else that I would say that about.
LedZepNews: Was it what you expected going into the show?
GB: I expected a long loud show but nothing like what happened. Back then bands like Led Zeppelin were literally like Gods from another planet. I had seen ‘The Song Remains The Same’ several times and I was an avid reader of Rolling Stone, Creem, and other music magazines. There was no MTV, etc. so seeing Led Zeppelin live was almost a surreal event.
LedZepNews: You named your recording “Listen To This Erik.” What’s the story behind the name?
GB: I named the recording after my lifelong friend Erik. He unfortunately indulged in too many chemicals and Thai weed before the show. All he knows is that he had a great time at the show (as people have told him) but doesn’t really remember anything about the specifics. The title is obviously a blatant rip off of Listen To This Eddie but Erik is my friend so it didn’t matter. For the record Erik is thrilled to be associated with the show!
LedZepNews: What happened to Erik over the years?
GB: Erik and I hadn’t talked in several years (we live a couple of hundred miles apart) but we reconnected thanks to this. I am happy to report that 17 year old Erik went on to get an engineering degree and became a ROCKET SCIENTIST! That’s what I said. Not a typo! He has spent a lot of time working with Saturn 5 rockets. Erik is really excited about his new ‘fame.’
LedZepNews: Was it the first show that you taped?
GB: It was my second. I had taped the Eagles in October 1976. I had the song ‘Hotel California’ a couple of months before it was released. After taping the 6/21 show, I was caught sneaking the recorder into a Kansas show in Long Beach. The tape recorder that I was using for all three shows was borrowed from a friend’s Mom. I was afraid it was going to get confiscated so I never tried again. I have huge regrets about that.
LedZepNews: What made you decide to tape the show?
GB: I honestly don’t remember. Zeppelin was my all time favorite band so I’m sure that figured into it.
LedZepNews: Did you have any issues sneaking your tape deck into the show?
GB: Not really. The recorder was fairly small so I just hide it in my pants. Security was much more lax back then.
LedZepNews: You had some issues with the battery during the show, right?
GB: Yes, the show ran so long the batteries started to fade during ‘Achilles Last Stand.’ JEMS did an amazing job getting the pitch corrected. The changes in speed weren’t consistent and the whole process was incredibly tedious. I honestly had tears in my eyes listening to ‘Stairway To Heaven’ at the correct speed. I had listened to the sped up version for 40 years.
LedZepNews: What happened to the tape over the years?
GB: After playing the original many times over the first few months, I transferred the recording to another cassette and never played the master tape again until JEMS transferred it. I did make a few copies for friends but not many. I doubt that they still exist.
LedZepNews: Did you listen to it regularly or was it filed away?
GB: I listened to the show a ton. I also transferred it to my computer and burned a few CDs for friend as well. Until this was released it had probably only been heard by 12-15 people. It’s impossible to estimate how many times that I’ve listened to the show. I would venture so say that there is no one that has heard this show more than me.
Many Zeppelin fans listen to multiple shows but for me this one show was the one that I listened to 95% of the time. I have all the comments made by the fans around me memorized. Every ‘Hot tonight,’ ‘I remember, I was there!’, etc.
LedZepNews: What made you decide to dig the tape out and get it remastered?
GB: I was very aware that this was the fortieth anniversary of that show so I decided to post something on YouTube that I could direct my friends to if they wanted to hear the show. However, the only digital copy that I had was on iTunes. I put it on YouTube without realizing that somehow I had substituted the Seattle ‘Moby Dick’ for the 6/21 version. There also were bad cuts etc. Total amateur job.
However, a Zeppelin fan that goes by Zephead 315 noticed the video and posted it on a thread on the Led Zeppelin forum where people had been speculating about a second source complete ‘Ten Years Gone’ supposedly from 6/21.
For the record, I haven’t heard this ‘Ten Years Gone’ but knowing the limited number of people with my recording I can be sure it is not mine. I saw comments on my YouTube channel and tried to respond both on YouTube and the LZ Forum. Everyone was urging me to get the show properly transferred.
LedZepNews: How did you choose someone to help you remaster it?
GB: A lot of people offered to help transfer the tape but there was no way that I was going to send the master off to a stranger. Luckily, a friend in the Bay Area is a big part of the taping community and he was able to refer me to JEMS. Due this connection, I had zero hesitation in sending off my master tapes. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have had this connection. I kind of feel that the timing for the release was just right.
I am ecstatic with the recording. Who knows how it would have sounded if done by someone else. I also was able to rely on JEMS’ expertise to get the recording distributed properly. I wanted to get the show out there for free to as many people as possible.
My real hope is that no one pays for this so look around it’s out there to download. I even posted a version cut up into songs so that it’s easier to cut up when downloaded. Abbie Hoffman may have written ‘Steal This Book’ (or something like that). I’m urging- steal this recording! Please don’t pay for it!
LedZepNews: What were the challenges there?
GB: There were many challenges with these tapes. Not only were they 40 years old but they were also 120 minute tapes. I had even re-shelled one of the tapes after some problems and the pads had to be replaced. There were also many drop-offs that lasted between 1/4 and 1/2 second throughout the recording. These were caused by moving the recorder during the show. Luckily JEMS had the equipment to fill in those drop-offs based on the sound around them. Amazing technology!
There were also the speed issues that I had mentioned earlier. The JEMS person that did the pitch for ‘Stairway To Heaven’ said that he never wants to hear the song again! Many kudos to him for his dedication!
LedZepNews: Were you aware of the level of interest that there would be in your tape? Or did it take you by surprise?
GB: I am completely blown away by the response. I had posted once in 2013 on the Led Zeppelin forum about the recording. It was in response to something that I saw about the 6/21 show. In my posting I mentioned that I had been to the show and had my own recording of the show. I kind of threw that out there seeing if anyone would react. When there was no reaction, I just figured there wasn’t a great demand. Yeah, I know – pretty lame to think that one random posting will suddenly open up the floodgates … but here we are! I am honestly just so stoked that people are enjoying the recording.
Bauer also emailed a follow-up thought that he wanted to make clear:
“One point of clarification too. My YouTube channel isn’t monetized and never will be. I’ve downloaded a LOT of stuff myself and therefore wanted to give back something.
“It would be cool too if people would check out some of the videos on there, though. There’s some really good Pearl Jam (check out an epic Corduroy), Springsteen, U2, Temple of the Dog (including ‘Achilles Last Stand’), Neil Young, etc. Almost all are within the first five rows.”