Recorded in monochrome during the Stourbridge-based band’s November 16,1979 gig at West Bromwich College, the video shows Diamond Head playing their massive hit Am I Evil?, which was later covered by Metallica, as well as Helpless and Shoot Out the Lights.
But it had remained buried in the loft of a retired senior lecturer at the college, Lionel King, until his son Daniel noticed an appeal for the tape on the band’s website.
“I never thought I’d be a rock archaeologist,” said Lionel, who managed to track down the video and send it to band co-founder and guitarist Brian Tatler last month.
“When I told Tatler he was overjoyed. It was the authentic McCoy, like finding the Magna Carta of rock music.
“Bands used to come into the studio to record songs, giving television students some practice in return for a free video to promote the band. I remember Diamond Head having very long hair and being incredibly polite when they came in. They really threw themselves into it.
“They were absolute pioneers in heavy metal and were tipped at the time by local DJ Chris Phipps to be the next big thing.”
Diamond Head are credited with influencing heavy metal bands such as Metallica and Iron Maiden and are still touring today, playing Sonisphere festival and a 17-date tour in USA last year.
Tatler, now aged 51, said footage of early gigs was extremely rare.
“Unfortunately, there’s not that many videos of Diamond Head. We played over 220 gigs at venues as big as Reading Festival and the Apollo... but without that footage, the moment’s gone, you can’t go back and film it.
“I’m so glad there are a few surviving pieces left. I was sort of nervous to watch the video for the first time in 32 years. I couldn’t remember how the gig had gone or how many songs we’d played.
“But it was fantastic, a real trip down memory lane. I loved it. It’s the first video recording of the band, before we got signed. It’s a miracle it survived this long.”
To watch the video, visit www.diamond-head.net.