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Introduction by Dave Lewis:

Led Zeppelin didn’t do fan clubs…

… and outside of the UK music press weeklies there was little way of obtaining information. As a fan craving to know more, as a passionate Led Zep fan, in 1978  I undertook the task of creating a platform of communication between Zeppelin fans across the world.  Initially inspired (with some irony) by the do-it yourself principles of the punk magazines Ripped And Torn and Sniffin’ Glue, I put pen to paper (literally) and rattled out the first issue, placed a adverts in NME and Sounds and the magazine was up and running.



Throughout the past 42 years ,Tight But Loose has continued to chronicle the world of Led Zeppelin. After Led Zeppelin’s demise in 1980, as the solo albums unfolded, my enthusiasm for their work remained intact, leading to the books The Final Acclaim, A Celebration and Celebration II : The Tight But Loose Files and many more.

The TBL magazines and books are designed to aid your appreciation of the world of Led Zeppelin the band and take you back to the music with fresh perspective.

Through the magazine and books, the TBL website and my Facebook page, my objective remains to continue to inform, entertain and connect like minded Led Zeppelin fans new and old throughout the world – bringing them closer to the greatest rock music ever made.

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected us all and during the last year and I was unable to to produce a new issue of the TBL magazine. We have also had a difficult time in the past few months with my wife Janet recovering from a badly broken leg and myself suffering ongoing mental health issues.

However, my commitment and enthusiasm for sharing my passion is as strong as ever and the website and my Facebook page continue to be an outlet for my chronicling of my music passion. I am currently working on various projects including liaising with co -author Mike Tremaglio on a revised, updated and extended edition of  the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book. This is due to be published on September 9 in the UK and September 23 in the US.- keep an eye on the TBL website for more news on all this. I have also contributed to the recently published Record Collector Presents Led Zeppelin special issue -more details below.

Thanks for all your continued support,

Stay safe and well…

Dave Lewis –  April 2021

A summary of the TBL website postings from 2020 can be seen here:







Freelance writer, author, editor and publisher:








Dave Lewis first heard the music of Led Zeppelin in 1969 at the age of 13. The effect has been a lasting one.

He is acknowledged and respected throughout the world as a leading chronicler of the group and its individual members.

Dave was lucky enough to attend 15 Led Zeppelin concerts – at Wembley Empire Pool in 1971, Alexandra Palace 1972, five shows at Earls Court 1975, the two Knebworth dates in 1979, five times on their final Over Europe tour in 1980 and the O2 reunion in 2007. He has attended various Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones gigs and has witnessed Robert Plant perform live on over 115 occasions.



The Tight But Loose magazine:

Dave founded the Led Zeppelin magazine Tight But Loose in 1978

Published as a three issue subscription , It reaches out to Led Zeppelin fans in over 30 countries spanning the UK, America, Canada, Mexico, Ecuador , Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia , Israel, Turkey, Russia, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland,  Italy, Finland, Norway, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, China, Hong Kong and Japan.

Established in 1978 and edited by world renowned Zep chronicler Dave Lewis, each issue is a 32 page compendium of essential Zep reading. Combining the latest Zep related Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones John Bonham and Jason Bonham news with rare retrospective views, all guaranteed to take you back to their music with fresh perspective.

The TBL subscription works on a  one issue basis –

In an era of here today, gone tomorrow instantly digested info, the Tight But Loose magazine remains a genuine tangible collectable. Web sites are for browsing the Tight But Loose magazine is for reading, Time and time again…

The TBL magazine is designed by Mick Lowe at Studio Mix Bedford. Key contributors to the magazine include Mike Tremaglio,  Nick Anderson, Paul Sheppard, Stephen Humphries, Richard Grubb, Larry Bergmann jr, Andy Crofts, Cliff Hilliard, Rikky Rooksby, Dave Linwood,  Scott Heck, Ian Dixon, Simon Cadman, Jeff Strawman, Chris Charlesworth, and Alec Plowman.


The magazine has also greatly benefited over the years by the input of photos taken by the renowned rock photographer Ross Halfin.

The Tight But Loose magazine offers physical Led Zeppelin collectable content and presents unique essential Led Zeppelin reading… all pleasingly presented in an all colour format that can be stored, and re- read.

It rekindles that old fashioned thrill of actually waiting for something…and knowing when that package lands on your doorstep – the waiting will be worthwhile.

Websites are for browsing -the TBL magazine is for reading -time and time again.

The pic here shows working on TBL issue 42 with TBL designer Mick Lowe at the StudioMix design studio in Bedford in December 2016.

Here is just a sample of many satisfied TBL reader feedback comments:

‘I’m an avid reader of Mojo, Q, Uncut, Record Collector and Rolling Stone but my subscription to the Led Zeppelin Tight But Loose is far and away the best value for money.’’ Michael Rae, Victoria Australia

‘’TBL is a great balance of serious in depth analysis and handy sized chunks to keep you fully up to date of what’s going on in the Zep world. If you are a Zep fan there really is no excuse not to get subscribed!’’  Richard Grubb, Cardiff, Wales.

..The TBL magazine consistently provides interesting and highly entertaining commentary and photographs in every issue. If you’re a Zep fan and haven’t subscribed yet, don’t wait another day.’’ Bill McCue, USA

‘’Without Dave Lewis. so much Zep folklore would be scattered – his infectious enthusiasm makes us all become the young Zeppelin fans we used to be once again!’’ Kevin Hewick, Leicester  UK


BL Magazine Goes Digital:

TBL has linked up with the Magzter Digital Newsstand to produce a digital edition of the TBL magazine.

TBL issues 39, 40, 41,42 and 43 are available now via Magzter as a digital download for iPad and Android formats.

The Magzter Digital Newsstand is one of the leading multi platform digital newsstand, with 6,000 magazines from 2,500 publishers globally available for sale.

TBL in digital form can be ordered via the link below:



Dave is the author of the following Led Zeppelin books:

Led Zeppelin The Final Acclaim (Babylon Books 1983)

Led Zeppelin A Celebration (Omnibus Press 1991)

Led Zeppelin in Their Own Words –with Paul Kendall  (Omnibus Press 1993)

The Complete Guide To the Music of Led Zeppelin (Omnibus Press 1994 )

Led Zeppelin -Talking -with Paul Kendall -update of  In Their Own Words book (Omnibus Press)

Led Zeppelin The Concert File -with Simon Pallett (Omnibus Press 1997)

Led Zeppelin A Celebration – revised compact edition (Omnibus Press 2003)

Led Zeppelin Celebration 2  -The Tight But Loose Files (Omnibus Press 2003)

Led Zeppelin The Concert File-with Simon Pallett revised compact edition (Omnibus Press 2005)

Led Zeppelin Then As It Was – At Knebworth 1979 (Tight But Loose Publishing 2009)

Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind – Over Europe 1980 (Tight But Loose Publishing 2011)


Over Europe for tbl

Led Zeppelin From a Whisper To A Scream -The Complete Guide To The Music of Led Zeppelin (Omnibus Press 2012)

Led Zeppelin Then As It Was – At Knebworth 1979 (Revised edition Tight But Loose Publishing 2013)

Led Zeppelin Five Glorious Nights – Led Zeppelin at Earls Court May 1975 – A Photographic Record (Rufus Stone Limited Editions 2015)

Note – many of the above are now out of print

He has also supplied text contributions for the following books:

Led Zeppelin Making And Breaking Records – Ross Clark (Kingsmead 1992)

Robert Plant Through The Mirror –Mike Randolph (Randoph/Tracks 1994)

Led Zeppelin Portraits –Neal Preston (Vision Publishing 2002)

All Pens Blazing – Neil Daniels (Authors Online 2009)

Get The Led Out – Denny Somach – (Sterling 2012)

Led Zeppelin Live 1975 -1979 (ACL Books 2017)

Dave has contributed the Forewords to the following books:

Live Dreams –Larry Ratner (Margaux Publishing 1995)

Led Zeppelin And Philosophy – Scott Calef (Open Court 2009)

The Chris Welch book The Peter Grant The Man Who Led Zeppelin (Omnibus Press 2001) employed the text of the extensive interview Dave conducted with Peter Grant in 1993.

Dave was also a main consultant on Mick Wall’s book When Giants Walked The Earth (Orion 2008) and was interviewed by Barney Hoskyn for his  Trampled Underfoot – The Power and Excess of Led Zeppelin book (Faber & Faber 2012) and Martin Power’s No Quarter – The Three Lives of Jimmy Page (Omnibus press 2016)

Dave’s entry in Celebration Day The Led Zeppelin Encyclopedia by Malcolm Dome and Jerry Ewing (Cherry Red 2010) reads:

Dave Lewis is the premier Zeppelin archivist and chronicler and editor of the long running and hugely respected Zeppelin magazine Tight But Loose’’

Reviewing Dave’s A Celebration book in The Rough Guide To Led Zeppelin (Penguin 2007) Nigel Williamson said:

Editor of the Zeppelin magazine Tight But Loose, Dave Lewis’s enthusiasm and knowledge is legendary and his A celebration is a must have compendium of fact and analysis. Profiles, album by album, chronology, discography and much more besides are all here, lovingly assembled by the music’s number one fan. With so much of what is written about Led Zeppelin indulging in cheap sensationalism, the band are lucky to have such an assiduous, dedicated and constructive chronicler.Respect.’’


barton 3

Dave’s first printed Led Zeppelin written work  was featured in a four week Led Zeppelin Ten Years Gone special series edited by Geoff Barton for Sounds music paper in September 1978.

Since 1980 Dave has written over thirty features on Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones for Record Collector magazine. These features include the first ever accurate log of Led Zeppelin’s BBC sessions, re- appraisals of the Led Zeppelin I, Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin III, Led Zeppelin IV, Houses Of The Holy ,Physical Graffiti and Presence albums, Knebworth 1979, a Led Zeppelin Memorabilia Collectors guide, the Top 100 Led Zeppelin Rarities listing, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page career retrospectives and two interviews with John Paul Jones.

He also contributed to Led Zeppelin features in Mojo ,Q, Classic Rock, Goldmine,Music Collector and The Sunday Times.


Aside from Zeppelin, Dave has also written major features for Record Collector on Nick Drake’s Five Leaves Left album (2009), The Who Live At Leeds (2010) and Who’s Next album(2011)  Rod Stewart’s Never A Dull Moment (2012), The Rolling Stones Goats Head Soup, Paul McCartney & Wings Band On The Run (both 2013), The Yardbirds with Jimmy Page and a feature on Rock Singes 1968 -1972 (both 2016)

In September 2018 Dave and Mike Tremaglio compiled the Led Zeppelin 50 Greatest Gigs feature for Record Collector: ORDER BELOW:


band on rec coll

Record Collector back issue information – see link at:









In the summer of 2016, Dave contributed a series of top ten listings for the Classic Rock website -artists featured included Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, The Faces, The Who and Crosby Stills Nash & Young.

Here are links to read the above:


In 2016, Dave was asked to contribute to Classic Rock’s The Real 100 Greatest Albums of the 70s listing which appeared in the May 2016 issue.Dave’s contribution Led Zeppelin Live On Blueberry Hill was ranked at number 4.


Dave has edited the Tight But Loose website since it’s inception in 1995 when it was founded by Dave Linwood.

Dave Linwood maintained the site until 2005.

The site is one of the foremost and longest running sources of on-going Led Zeppelin related news and views on the web.

The TBL site is updated on a weekly basis by Dave Lewis normally towards the end of the week. Each posting takes the form of a newsletter compiled by Dave with a combination of current news monitoring the careers of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones together with Led Zeppelin related news and related artists such as Jason and Deborah Bonham.

Plus retrospective archive features and latest TL projects news. The news information also features edited highlights of the weekly newsletter produced by the LZ News site in conjunction with James Cook –

It also features the Dave Lewis Diary Blog Update, a regular blog of Dave’s personal musings.

Here’s some feedback on the site:

Thanks for all your efforts putting info on your website – it is a weekly must read as well as your magazines, books etc… you do a great job and not only does your passion come through but your professionalism and determination in keeping the flame alive.

Thanks again

John Thomson – Melbourne

The site carries an extensive archive of past material, including previous postings going back to 2007  plus tour watch reports, retrospective features, and interviews.

There are also links to buy the full range of TBL products which includes the current TBL Subscription offer, TBL back issues, books and merchandise.


The Dave Lewis/TBL Facebook is another major source of TBL information with daily updates, photo content, news, views, retro images and vintage charts.. With over 4,500 friends, it’s another major hub for following the world of Dave Lewis and Tight But Loose.






Heathrow Airport – May 17, 1977 -with Robert Plant and John Paul Jones

Goaldiggers  Football Five a Side Tournament – Wembley Empire Pool November 5, 1978: With Robert Plant

Knebworth August 2, 1979: With Robert Plant









Princes Trust Concert July 21, 1982: With HRH Prince Charles


Celebration Day Press Conference September 2012: With Mojo ediro Phil Alexander and group photo taken by DL







With Alice Cooper Classic Rock Awards 2015 -with Lemmy  Classic Rock Awards 2011






With Chris Dreja of the Yardbirds and photographer  of the back cover pic of Led Zeppelin I -with Chris Farlowe 2019, with Jimmy page and Paul Smith Led Zeppelin launch 2017







With Deborah Bonham John Bonham Memorial May 31 2018, with Julie Felix Royal Albert Hall 2018, with David Hepworth and Mark Ellen recording The Word podcast 2019








With David Hepworth 2019, with Spike of The Quireboys 2019,with John Paul Jones at the 100 club 2019







With Ross Halfin 2018, with Andy Adams and Janet 2018, with Richard Cole post party02 Arena Reunion  2007



With Dave Ling of Classic Rock at the Knebworth book launch 2014, with Charles Shaar Murray 2013, with Chris Charlesworth 2012,









With Bev Bevan 2019, with Keith Moon 1978, with Glenn Hughes 2016,








with Deborah and Mick Bonham 1992,

with John Paul Jones 2012,







with Jimmy Page 2014 2015














with John Paul Jones 1998







With John Paul Jones 2012, with Jason Bonham 2011


with the late Howard Mylett 2007









with Ross Halfin 2015, with Jimmy page 1980, with Jimmy Page 2015









with daughter Sam 1990, with Janet 2015


With John Davis engineer on the Led Zeppelin reissues 2014, with Deborah Bonham 2013, with Rochrd Cole and warren grant 2014,










with Glenn Hughes 2011







With Deborah Bonham and photographer Dick Barnett








With John Paul Jones 2012, with Ross Halfin, with Charles Shaar Murray






with author Barney Hoskins 2012, with John Paul Jones 2012, with Roy Harper 2011










with phtogropher Baron Wolman 2015, with DJ Nicky Horne 2011, with Glenn Hughes 2014






with Jason Bonham 20111, with DJ Bob Harris 2010, with author Mick Wall 2010









With John Paul jones 2011, with Jason Bonham 2010, with Glenn Hughes 2010









with Joe Bonamassa 2010, with Adrian Chiles 2010, with author Nick Kent 2010.




with John Paul Jones, with led Zeppelin II engineer Eddie Kramer 2009






BBC Six O Clock News – December 10 2007:

Dave was interviewed by BBC News prior to the Led Zeppelin reunion show at the 02 Arena on Monday December 10 2007.

Here is the link to view the BBC Six O Clock news interview with Dave.





In his role as a foremost authority on Led Zeppelin, Dave has also contributed to a variety of radio programmes including BBC Radio One, Radio Two, Radio Four, Planet Rock, Classic Rock, the syndicated US radio show Get The Led Out and various BBC local radio stations. He has also been featured on MTV, VH1 and the series of Classic Album DVD’s concerning Led Zeppelin. He was also a consultant on Channel 4’s Peter Grant documentary in 1999 and the BBC 2 Robert Plant By Myself documentary screened on November 6th 2010.

Dave appeared live on BBC Radio Two as part of the Simon Mayo show prior to Robert Plant’s Electric Proms performance on October 29, 2010.

He was also interviewed by a variety of radio stations for the release of the Celebration Day film and the Led Zeppelin reissue series.

Some of Dave’s media appearances can be seen via this you tube link:

In 2002,Dave contributed the essay for the Jimmy Page entry in the programme for the Teenage Cancer Fund charity show at the Royal Albert Hall.

In 2005 Aubrey Powell of the Hipgnosis design team visited Dave to film some of my memorabilia for a Robert Plant project – part of which involved filming his copy of the Honeydrippers Sea of Love on the Dansette player I had – this was used as an house record company promo film.

In 2005 Dave acted as researcher and referencing consultant on the official Robert Plant Nine Lives box set release – he is duly credited for this in the box set liner notes.

Tight But Loose subscribers have been called upon to form audiences co-ordinated by Dave at the 1994 Unledded filming, Page & Plant’s TFI Friday appearance, Page & Plant’s Molson Beer Competition winners show at the ULU London in 1998, the recording of Robert Plant’s Storytellers on VH1 in 2002 and his appearance on Re-covered.

cel prem 15

Dave has also been involved in various media launches including the re-launch of the Led Zeppelin CD catalogue in 1994, the Led Zeppelin DVD premiere in 2003,the re issue of The Song Remains The Same film in 2007 and the premeire of the film It Might Get Loud featuring Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White. He also attended the official press screening and press conference of the Celebration Day film in September 2012. Pic on the left shows Dave greeting John Paul Jones at the Celebration Day Premiere,Hammersmith Apollo October 2012.

Dave also co organized with Andy Adams, the two major Led Zeppelin weekend conventions held in London in 1992 and 1994 (see pic below with Andy setting up the Convention in 1992). He has  also been involved in many other one day conventions staged in London, Crewe, and Stourbridge, plus tribute band events and pre gig Tight But Loose informal fan gatherings bringing fans together from all parts of the globe.

He has been in close proximity to the group and its members on many occasions over the past 39 years. In 1993, Dave conducted the last ever major interview given by their legendary manager Peter Grant before his death in 1995 and one of the most extensive interviews ever given by John Paul Jones in 1997. He has also interviewed many associates within the Zeppelin entourage including Jason Bonham, road manager Richard Cole, recording engineer Eddie Kramer, road crew members Mick Hinton, Phil Carlo and Joe Jammer, sleeve designer Aubrey Powell, PR guru BP Fallon, DJ’s Bob Harris and Nicky Horne, NME journalists Nick Kent and Charles Shaar Murray, renowned rock photographers Ross Halfin and Neal Preston, long time Robert Plant sideman Kevyn Gammond, and Justin Adams, Robert Plant’s manager Bill Curbishley and Warren Grant the son of Peter Grant. TBL issue 41 featured a world exclusive interview with John Paul Jones

The Led Zeppelin Reissue programme:


Dave was actively involved in supplying various memorabilia items for the accompanying Led Zeppelin reissue deluxe box set books and is duly credited. He also attended all of the Reissue Playbacks hosted by Jimmy Page at Olympic Studios.

Dave interviewed Jimmy Page regarding the Led Zeppelin reissues in October 2014 and again in June 2015 for the TBL magazine issues 38 and 39

The Complete BBC Sessions Liner Notes:

In 2016 Dave was personally commissioned by Jimmy Page to produce the liner notes for the official Complete BBC Sessions release. The full liner notes appear in the book that accompanies the Super Deluxe box set version – an edit of the notes can also be seen in the CD booklet.









Led Zeppelin -Then As it Was  – At Knebworth 1979 published in November 2013.

Launched at the Music Mania Fair at the Olympia Record Fair in November 213 –  Jimmy Page in attendance at the fair, commented on the book ‘’I think it’s a really good job done and some of the pictures I have never seen before”.

Five Glorious Nights Led Zeppelin At Earls Court 1975 – A Photographic Record compiled by Dave Lewis – published by Rufus Stone in June 2015.


Jimmy Page with his copy:

handing over to jimmy

On July 16 2015  at Olympic Studios London , It was an absolute pleasure to hand over to Jimmy Page his copy of  the Five Glorious Nights Earls Court book. Copy number 0001 naturally. I’m pleased to say Jimmy was most impressed – ”It looks amazing” he said. I signed a book for him and he signed my copy that I brought along.

Looking through the book, Jimmy commented on various photos notably the group shot on pages 238/239 – this is a side on shot during Trampled Underfoot. ”That is all four of us really going for it” he told me. (Dave Lewis)





Dave spent 35 years working in the record retailing business. He worked for WH Smith from 1974 to 1985, the Our Price chain from 1986 to 2000, V- Shop and Sanity 2000 – 2002 ( mainly in Bedford) and the Virgin Megastore/Zavvi in Milton Keynes from 2003 to 2009.  In 1991 Dave was awarded a personal triple gold disc award from WEA for his in store efforts that contributed to high sales of the Led Zeppelin Remasters box set and double album release.

The same year Dave formed a band in the Bedford Our Price to rise money for Comic Relief. Clips of this with Dave on drums can be seen at this link:




In 1999 Dave was featured in Pete Frame’s Rockin’ Around Britain book. In the entry for Bedfordshire, it states ”A local Our Price record shop is managed by Dave Lewis, editor and publisher of the excellent Led Zep fanzine Tight But Loose” 

Dave was made redundant when the Zavvi stores went into administration in February 2009. He subsequently went self employed, working from home and established the TBL Publishing arm and freelance writing projects.



Over the years ,Dave has amassed a large collection of Led Zeppelin memorabilia covering records, tapes, CD’s books, magazines and rare promo items. He also has an extensive archive of music papers and magazines.

He can often be seen at London record fairs, markets and shops wading through the vinyl racks – notably the weekly Vinyl Barn market stall in Bedford on Fridays run by Darren Harte –

Other shops/fairs: Dave recommends the following outlets:

Fopp Covent Garden, London.

Reckless Records, Sister Ray and Sound Of The Universe in Berwick Street in London.

The VIP Record Fairs in Victoria and Olympia (Nick Carruthers stall is always worth a visit there).

The Spitalfields and Brick Lane record fairs.

Across the Tracks and Wax Factor in Brighton.

Empire Records – St Albans.

Barn Barn Records Lost In Vinyl, Relevant Records,  and the market stall in Cambridge.

The VIP Bedford Record Fair and Bedford Pop Up Record Shop events.


The pic here shows some of Dave’s Led Zep collection.

Here are Dave’s thoughts on the vinyl habit:

Records are the music carrying format of my choice and they instantly re connect me with the music that I grew up with – the music that continues to define who I am.

The first record I owned was the Fireball XL5 theme by Don Spencer on HMV (1962) – the first single I bought Pinball Wizard by The Who and the first albums were the Island sampler You Can All Join in and Cream – Fresh Cream (1969). Incidentally, the first gig I attended was The Dave Clark 5 package show with The Hollies and The Kinks at Granada Cinema Bedford in April 1964. The second was Led Zep at the Empire Pool in 1971.

I  spent 35 years selling records etc in my retail job (1974 – 2009) and my interest in collecting records began in 1969 -so it’s been a long standing affinity.

On the player the sound is warm and open and pure – and as we all know, there’s no finer example of that recently than the Jimmy Page/John Davis mastered Led Zep reissues.

Yes, CD’s are more convenient and don’t get me wrong, they too are great to have -indeed I’ve got flippin’ lots of the buggers – I really love the Universal’s Deluxe Editions and Sony’s Legacy series and well packaged bootlegs (of which I also have a fair few!) and I also own a variety of box set packages -David Bowie, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones to name but a few – recent additions include The Beatles Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band deluxe set.

As has been chronicled here, in recent years my vinyl collecting has reached new highs and I am certainly not alone – Mr Jimmy Page himself explained his record collecting bug to me in the interview I conducted with him for TBL 38 in October 2014.

The dialogue went like this:

DL: I know one of your great pastimes is record shopping. What inspired you to get back to collecting LPs again?

JP: Like you!

DL: Indeed!

JP: Probably when my children grew up… because what doesn’t mix is children and vinyl! All of us fathers know this. When our vinyl is in easy reach and becomes in easy reach of children. Children and vinyl don’t mix, so I kept having to shift it up a level. Then it got put away, and then there was separation, divorce or whatever. So, once I got back into my own space Dave, I thought ‘Right, I’m going to get my records out and I’m going to listen to them again’. It’s like meeting old friends again and ‘Yeah’ it’s great. I’m my own man, I can play records when I want, I can watch TV when I want. I can do what I like now, so I’m going to make sure I’m going to resuscitate my vinyl collection! There’s a lot of stuff in there. I’ve got Led Zeppelin white labels and all the stuff you would salivate over.

My own collection  has been considerably aided in recent years by the Olympia Record Fairs, Record Store Day and the likes of Reckless Records, Sister Ray, Empire Records – great record shops bucking the trend of the demise of such destination stores. The addition of our own local stall the excellent Vinyl Barn which operates in Bedford’s town centre on Fridays, has made for a much welcomed weekly vinyl rendezvous.  Charity shops can also come up with the goods – I found a mono copy of Bob Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde for £3 last year and recently in the local Oxfam shop a one off 1968 single by Heavy Jelly produced by Guy Stevens (Mott producer etc) on the original island label for £3.50.

So what do I collect?

Well, unsurprisingly, anything interesting Led Zep related – the most recent items I’ve added being a Physical Graffiti pressing from Canada and a Japanese pressing of Coda with the all important obi strip.  I also search out any interesting late 60s/ early 70s UK bands and artists including..

The Beatles, The Rolling Stones (the latter pair are my joint second favourite bands), The Who Family, Yes. Cream, Groundhogs, Jethro Tull, The Faces, Mott The Hoople, ELP, Free  etc etc. From the same era, American rock pressings ie Canned Heat, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, Steppenwolf, Grand Funk, Crosby Stills & Nash etc. Any interesting Miles Davis releases on the original Columbia label. I also love vintage vocal crooners like Rod Mckuen, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra etc. The cover art and sleeve notes on the likes of the Capitol label really capture the era – I have over 100 Frank Sinatra LP pressings.

Other delights and curios I search out: Female singers such as Lulu, Sandie Shaw, Joni Mitchell, Sandy Denny, etc. Soundtracks and spoken word albums – recent acquisition here include Here We Go ‘Round The Mulberry Bush soundtrack with Traffic and Spencer Davis Group, the Collected Speeches of Winston Churchill, The Rolling Stones Stay Cats compilation, David Bowie at the Beeb box set,David Crosby Lighthouse ,The Hollies – Confessions Of The Mind,Cat Stevens – Numbers, Miles Davis – Jack Johnson,Thunderclap Newman -Hollyywood Dream, Richard Thompson – Live.

Album label wise anything on the UK Atlantic Records distributed by Polydor plum and orange label from the late 60s early 70s in keeping with the Led Zep early issues.

sunday one

Generally by searching around, it’s relatively easy to pick up good conditioned albums of the above ilk for well under £10. before I go any further you might be asking ”where does he put all this lot?… we have a very modest size house so that can be tricky – late last year I did invest in a proper vinyl rack though it is quickly filling up as the good lady keeps reminding me…there are a fair few albums in the loft too. there’s always a bit of room somewhere!

I’ve also got right back into buying singles – again late 60s/early 70s as above – anything on original pink Island, the Immediate label, Apple and Vertigo. In that department, I recently picked up Jethro Tull’s Living In The Past on the original Island label and a couple of Juicy Lucy singles on Vertigo. I’ve also picked up singles recently by Ten Years After (Love Like A Man with one version at 45 rpm and the B side a lengthy live version at 33 rpm), Family, Jimi Hendrix, Stone The Crows and the superb Rare Bird single Sympathy on Charisma. A feature I wrote on collecting Rock singles can be seen in the Record Collector October 2016 issue -see pic below.

Another of my vinyl addictions is  the worldwide releases on Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Records. I collect anything on that label and have done since 1974. I have around 50 album pressings on Swan Song and over 70 singles across Led Zep, Bad Co, Pretty Things, Dave Edmunds, Detective etc.

Recent additions to this line up – Bad Company’s Can’t Get Enough Canadian single and a German issue of the Pretty Things single Tonight -on album the Sad Café album issued on the label in the US and a US promo copy of Death Wish II – lovely stuff!

How many have I got? I have around 2,500 albums, 2,000 singles and 2,000 CDs

Vinyl and record collecting  …it makes my world go around at 45 and 33 rpm…rather splendidly



Why I love records…another example:

Bob Dylan Subterranean Homesick Blues/She Belongs To Me (CBS 201753- original UK single)

I have this celebrated Dylan track on various albums and CD’s but it was great to pick it up in its original 45rpm format.

So what do I love about it?

Well for a start, the distinctive orange CBS sleeve of the time and that equally distinctive orange label. This informs us that it was written by Dylan and produced by Tom Wilson. It also informs that it’s 2.17 in length. The B side, the luscious She Belongs To Me, clocks in a second longer. They are two prime Dylan cuts from his 1965 mid 60s glory period.

Now here’s the thing. I just love the fact that back in 1965, this sat in a record shop somewhere waiting for its owner to be seduced by its charm – notably the rip roaring A side with its slogan filled lyrics, so effectively displayed in the famous promo film of the time that which has the singer holding up placards of the lyrics.

Playing it today on 45 rpm, it sounds fantastic in all its mono fuzziness. Of course both sides feature in varying alternate versions on the much heralded new Bootleg Series official release Bob Dylan 1965 -1966 – The Cutting Edge.

However, alongside The Cutting Edge releases, this utterly divine seven inch single purchased for a mere £1 this week at London’s Reckless Records, acts as the standard bearer of how Bob Dylan’s pioneering message was spread so simplistically all of 50 years ago.

It runs at 45rpm – it’s on vinyl – it’s a record and that to me is a precious old thing because there’s history in these grooves…



As revealed above, Dave is an avid collector of vinyl albums and CD’s – aside from Zeppelin, he enjoys the music of a variety of artists and has a vast collection of LP’s and CD’s covering The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, Fairport Convention, Free, Bad Company Paul Weller, Rod Stewart & The Faces, Family, Crosby Stills & Nash, Burt Bacharach, Dusty Springfield, Island Records samplers and anything on the Swan Song or Apple labels plus many other 60s/70s faves.


who four


Dave can be seen making an unscripted appearance at the end of The Who’s feature film The Kids Are Alright – making a leap of faith into Pete Townshend’s’ arms (and nearly poking Roger Daltrey’s eye in the process!) at Keith Moon’s final gig staged at Shepperton Studios in May 1978,

View the clip here:

I enter proceedings at around 10 minutes 43…I had to do something while Zep were off the road!

The full story of this appearance is at this link:

DL AT 60:

On September 5, 2016, Dave celebrated his 60th birthday – here are the links to the various 60th birthday postings on the TBL website:




Dave sites seeking out 60s and 70s vinyl LPs and singles , reading music magazines and books, socializing with friends in the pub, cycling, and following the fortunes of Tottenham Hotspur FC as his main passions. He lives in Bedford with his wife Janet (of 37 years), and has a daughter, Samantha and son Adam



Home Tel: 01234 267515

Mobile: 0794 126 0997

Web site:


Update February 2021:

42 years on from the TBL issue 1 advert – some thoughts and reflections…

42 years ago in early 1979, I placed a series of adverts in the UK music press for the first issue of Tight But Loose, a Led Zeppelin fanzine/magazine I had created out of pure love and enthusiasm for the group’s music and world.

This one here was in the January 20 1979 issue of Sounds music paper. The TBL ad appears right at the bottom of the page under Special Notices.

From a 13 word three line advert, small acorns were planted…I am pleased to say the response was excellent and TBL was up and running.

I am not sure if The Three Degrees fan club is still going but I am still out there…

42 years on, that enthusiasm for my musical passion is there every morning I wake up. Those that follow my Facebook page will know, my day will commence with me posting acknowledgments of relevant musician’s Birthdays and passing’s plus seeking inspiring tracks to post via YouTube clips.

Reproducing retro charts and adverts from my archive, presenting what’s on my player here (Saturday is platterday etc.), recounting my thoughts on my record and CD acquisitions- advising on screenings of rock programmes on BBC 4/Sky Arts , the regular updating of my Led Zep TBL website, the TBL archive pieces I present and my book projects and written work.

All these declarations of my passion are lifelines to me, particularly now in this very difficult time where face to face social contact is not possible.

Though the motivation to do so is sometimes disappointingly side-lined by the arrival of the black dog of depression I encounter, it’s never about the lack of intention. I need to do these things.

There’s always music in our world with the good lady Janet here and lots of it and no doubt if you are reading this – yours too. With the increasingly perilous Covid situation, it’s something to hang on to – some much needed salvation in the face of adversity.

As Nick Hornby once said ”record stores can’t save your life but they can give you a better one” and even though under the current restrictions, we cannot visit record stores, music is still hugely accessible – be it by click and collect, online ordering, via YouTube, downloads and more.

I of course, love the tangible aspect of records and CDs of which I am lucky to be surrounded by a fair few. There’s no shortage of choice and as we all know, music can transport us back to past times and I revel in that constantly.

It’s the soundtrack to my life and every record in my collection tells a story.

Reading about music has been another lifelong indulgence and for me that soaking up the monthly publishing fixes of Record Collector. Mojo, Uncut, Shindig and Classic Rock is always a tonic. .

There’s further inspiration to be had by the fact that some of my favourite veteran artists are making some of their best records of recent times – witness the recent Dylan, Springsteen and McCartney albums. Others are choosing this time for reflect and revive some of their past triumphs – Robert Plant ,The Rolling Stones, Cat Stevens and Elton John to name but a few.

For a man prone to deep anxiety and depression, my musical obsession helps in no small way to preserve my mental wellbeing. I am sure I am not the only one.

Given that we can no longer indulge in the face to face activity that we once took for granted – and for me that would involve my weekly visits to the Vinyl Barn, record fairs, Pete’s record club, the Esquires music quiz, live gigs, London meets at The Spice of Life, socialising in the pub etc.

Sadly as we are all experiencing, these things cannot happen as they did and there has to be an acceptance to that.

Therefore, the outlet of my Facebook page and the TBL website is increasingly important to me.

Writing about music, sharing my experiences with it, feeding off the experiences and opinions of others – as I do with many of you here.

All this has defined who I am for decades and continues to do so. Once it was from behind the counter of the record shops I worked in for 35 years –now it’s mainly online but just as important.

In short, it’s in my DNA. Of course chronicling the world of Led Zeppelin and all that revolves around it, has been central to my musical obsession for over 50 years and continues to be – indeed I hope to be announcing my latest Zep/TBL project soon.

In these incredibly difficult times all this acts as a diversion and hopefully an inspiration to other like-minded souls.

Looking at that quaint TBL issue 1 advert today, reminded me of the original TBL remit: to present my thoughts on their music and in doing so, develop a platform of communication between fellow enthusiasts.

In a constantly challenging and fearful world, it’s a source of much wonder and gratitude that those aspirations still prevail….

Thanks for listening…

Stay safe and well.

Dave Lewis – February, 2021



The Record Collector Presents Led Zeppelin special is out

I am very pleased with the end result – I spent a lot of time liaising with editor Jamie Atkins on the content and contributing my pieces and it’s all been well worth it –it’s a 114 page Zep visual feast and essential reading for Zep fans everywhere…ordering link below


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