Led Zeppelin Live in Duluth | Oct. 19, 1968

Led Zeppelin - Minnesota Blues - Live in Duluth

Don’t let the “Minnesota Blues” or the “Live in Duluth” on this album cover fool you, Led Zeppelin never performed in Duluth. But what is the story behind this Zep bootleg?

Setlist.fm, and several other websites, list Led Zeppelin performing at Liverpool University on Oct. 19, 1968 — the date listed on Minnesota Blues. The track list on the album, however, does not match well with the Liverpool set list.

Led Zeppelin Duluth back cover

Setlist.fm’s Liverpool Set List
Train Kept A-Rollin’
Dazed and Confused
White Summer/Black Mountain Side
For Your Love
Communication Breakdown
I Can’t Quit You Baby
You Shook Me
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
How Many More Times
As Long as I Have You

There are numerous web forums on this subject, but they have flashing objects on them and go off topic and are full of speculation, so it’s difficult to read through them all and decipher if anyone has come to any clear conclusions. It remains a mystery to me if solid determinations have been made about a) if 10/19/68 is the correct date of the bootleg recording or b) where exactly it was recorded and c) why it was labeled as a Duluth show.

Bootleggers are somewhat notorious for intentionally mislabeling albums, so that could be the case with Minnesota Blues. But it also might have been a sloppy mistake.

Zeppelin Minnesota Blues minnesota blues led zeppelin

Several different versions of album art exist, and one version marks the recording as “Live in Denmark, 1969.” Perhaps Duluth was mistaken for Denmark at some point. Another thing I’ve gleaned from information online is that the album gets its title from the last track, which is labeled “Minnesota Blues” but apparently it’s a blues standard titled “A Mess of Blues” or “Mess of Blues” or “Mess o’ Blues.”

One theory that comes up fairly often is that the performance on Minnesota Blues is an April 1, 1971 show at the Paris Theatre recorded for the British Broadcasting Corporation. I haven’t found anything to dispute that. If it’s the case, the bootlegger probably felt that changing the details of the show would reduce the likelihood the BBC would file a copyright infringement lawsuit.




about 8 years ago

Haven't listened to it lately, but that set list is the same as the 1969 show I taped off the Westwood One Radio network (or WXRT in Chicago) back in the 1980s. The 1971 BBC show opens with "Immigrant Song" and features an early performance of "Stairway to Heaven," as it was recorded well before the album came out in the fall. The "Mess of Blues" - Minnesota Blues show was recorded, I'm very certain because it's listed in the same order as my cassette tape show, in the latter half of 1969, and includes the quintessential performance of "White Summer."

Mark Jep

about 7 years ago

The first few tracks on side B of my Duluth Rehearsal TDK sa90 cassette have no audience between. Then the rest is the BBC radio release described above.

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