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Home » ABOUT TBL AND DAVE LEWIS – UPDATED OCTOBER 2018

ABOUT TBL AND DAVE LEWIS – UPDATED OCTOBER 2018

 

Introduction by Dave Lewis:

Led Zeppelin didn’t do fan clubs…

… and outside of the UK music 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 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.

 

TBL 1

Throughout the past 39 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.

Now up to issue 43, my commitment to chronicling the world of Led Zeppelin drives ever onward. Through the magazine and books, the TBL website and Facebook page, my objective is 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 ’’

Dave Lewis – October 2017.

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NOBODY HAS WRITTEN MORE WORDS ON LED ZEPPELIN THAN DAVE LEWIS….

DAVE LEWIS BIOGRAPHY:

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.

 

ABOUT THE TBL MAGAZINE,WEBSITE AND BOOKS:

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 majority of issues are now sold out (a good reason to subscribe and never miss an issue!). Issues 38, 39, 40 and 41 along with the recently published issue 42 are readily available to order via the TBL website.

The TBL subscription works on a  three issue basis – the 2016/17 subscription encompasses issues 41, 42 (already out) and issue 43.

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.

Gary Foy assists the subscription admin.

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

TBL Subscription details via this link:

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/subscribe-now-to-the-tbl-201415-magazines-and-receive-a-free-10-x-8-led-zep-art-print/

TBL 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 and 42 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.

The Tight But Loose magazine has long been established as the key regular Zep written source. The launch of the magazine in digital format via the Magzster Newsstand, therefore represents a major step forward in reaching out to enthusiasts of the band throughout the globe. Online readers will now have access to this essential Zep read at the mere touch of a screen. Each issue adds a fresh perspective to their appreciation of all things Led Zeppelin.

Here are some initial thoughts on the TBL 39 digital version from long time TBL subscriber Michael Rae in Australia:

“I’m so pleased to hear that TBL will be available as a digital publication. I’ve subscribed to the print version of TBL for many years, and I certainly will continue doing so. In my view, nothing beats TBL in hard copy for reading enjoyment, especially over the long-term.

Nonetheless, I will also buy a digital subscription so as to be able to read TBL on my iPad. The convenience of its easy portability is obvious, but, as current TBL readers well know, each edition is packed with information, requiring a small type font. My iPad’s zoom feature will make for much easier reading and viewing the photos and graphics with my aging eyes!”

James Cook at LedZepNews   https://www.facebook.com/ledzepnews/  adds:

”Tight But Loose magazine has always been the definitive magazine for Led Zeppelin fans, and this digital release is going to make it even more essential. Dave and his network of contributors share so much information and expertise, and I’m often bombarded with requests on how to buy the magazine. This new digital release is going to make the magazine and the Led Zeppelin message available to even more fans.”

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

http://www.magzter.com/EK/Tight-But-Loose/Tight-But-Loose/Entertainment/

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THE BOOKS:

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)

 

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 however the last four are readily available via the TBL website.

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)

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.’’

THE MAGAZINE CONTRIBUTIONS:

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.

RECORD COLLECTOR:

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:

 https://recordcollectormag.com/issue-detail/483

 

band on rec coll

Record Collector back issue information – see link at:

http://recordcollectormag.com/issues-list

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLASSIC ROCK WEBSITE:

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:

 http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-06-14/top-10-jimmy-page-led-zeppelin-solos

http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-06-22/the-top-10-greatest-led-zeppelin-john-bonham-songs

http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-07-11/ten-best-robert-plant-solo

http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-07-04/the-top-10-best-who-songs

http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-06-27/the-top-10-best-beatles-songs-written-by-george-harrison

http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-08-01/the-top-10-best-mick-jagger-rolling-stones-songs

http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-07-25/top-10-faces-songs

http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-08-15/the-10-best-songs-by-crosby-stills-nash-young

http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-07-18/the-top-10-best-paul-mccartney-wings-songs

http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-07-26/led-zeppelin-iv-every-song-ranked-from-worst-to-best

CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE:

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.

THE TBL WEBSITE:

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 – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Led-Zeppelin-News/103835869791090

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 PAGE:

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 4,000 friends, it’s another major hub for following the world of Dave Lewis and Tight But Loose.

Visit:

https://www.facebook.com/tightbutloose.loose

DAVE LEWIS/TBL ON TWITTER:

With frequent postings to Dave’s 2,000 plus followers.

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SOME MEMORABLE DL MOMENTS:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILCCzCF2TqQ

 

 

 

THE MEDIA ACTIVITY AND MORE:

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:

http://www.youtube.com/user/KnebworthTBL30/videos

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.

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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:

DaveJimmy1

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTABLE BOOK PROJECTS:

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”.

The book is available via this link:http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/books-t-shirts/knebworth-book/

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

Dave explains about this deluxe publication …

The Format:

30 x 30 album size de-luxe hardback book

288 pages  – including approximately 62 colour photos, 155 black & white photos – 229 in all – plus 165 colour memorabilia images including Earls Court bootleg LP, CD and DVD sleeves etc.

Drawn from over 350 images sourced from various contact sheets provided by publisher Mark Smith, and with the assistance of Ross Halfin as associate picture editor, the best photos possible have been selected. Knowing that there has been a host of photos of the band at Earls Court published over the years, the objective was to select rarely seen images and unusual angles.

Amongst the many images are scenes of the stage being set up, close ups of the acoustic set, the band performing four part harmony on Tangerine, the Jimmy Page violin bow solo in Dazed And Confused, John Bonham explaining “football is a load of bollocks” and the Led Zeppelin emblazoned sign in view as they perform their encore numbers. In effect, every aspect of Led Zeppelin’s Earls Court performances is represented.

rufus pic

In laying out the photos for design and to get the feel of the five glorious nights, I have separated the photos into five sections each representing the individual concerts performed. Where possible, I have sequenced the photos in to something of a set list order for each night  and supplemented them with some of Robert Plant’s comments from the stage at the time, along with a series of press comments that demonstrate the esteem in which these concerts were held by reviewers at the time. I have also attempted to match the photos to the nights they were taken though this has not always been possible. The bulk of the images used are from the May 17, 18 and 24 gigs – less photos have surfaced of the May 23 and 25 gigs. Therefore, I have applied some artistic license within the photo spreads to represent each night and performance.

Overall, much thought has gone into the presentation of the photos to best capture the visual impact of the superb images we have selected. The pic here shows another intensive wade through the proofs at StudioMix recently.

To complement the photo content, there’s a Preface that explains why these concerts were amongst the most important the band ever performed – plus interviews with promoter, Mel Bush, photographer, Barry Plummer and journalist Chris Welch. The appendix sections bring together various selected images of Earls Court bootlegs and magazine covers, and there’s also an appraisal of the 2015 reissue of Physical Graffiti.

The Foreword is provided by long time rock radio DJ, Nicky Horne who introduced the band on stage at the May 24 gig.

Five Glorious Nights is in a strictly limited edition of 1,200 books.

Rufus Stone Limited Editions have a proven record of producing large format books of high quality – their catalogue includes Deep Purple at the California Jam, Jon Lord All Those Years Ago and The Beatles Monochrome. This is a high end price but as you will see by visiting the Rufus Stone site, they pride themselves on producing quality books to an exceptionally high standard.

All books are individually numbered and printed on high quality paper with high end binding.

All books are individually numbered and personally signed by the author.

The book design is by Mick Lowe at StudioMix – highly regarded designer of previous Dave Lewis, Led Zeppelin books Feather In The Wind – Over Europe 1980 and Then As It Was – At Knebworth 1979.

Much more than a mere book of photos, the intention is to capture the atmosphere of the five Earls Court shows through these startling images – sequenced and presented in a way that unfolds the whole saga of this remarkable series of concerts – to be viewed and enjoyed time and time again.

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)

 

More Satisfied Customers: Here’s some Five Glorious Nights Feedback:

‘Five Glorious Nights captures Led Zeppelin at the peak of their career during the Earl’s Court gigs of May 1975. For those lucky enough to have been there, and for generations of rock fans who weren’t, Dave Lewis provides a front-row perspective on the action with an impressive choice of dramatic images by famous rock photographers who snapped the band in full-flight. Rikky Rooksby

It’s not often (these days) I’m blown away by things in general, but this book is fantastic. I expected it to be good, but this is beyond my expectations – John Copeland

Five Glorious Nights’ arrived this morning, a stunning book that takes you back to those magical May evenings at Earls Court all those years ago. It’s hefty size and weight can only reflect the power of those concerts, and the array of beautiful shots of the band in all their glory, a fitting tribute to Led Zeppelin in one of their momentous periods. To collate all the photographs and references must have been an Herculean task, but the wait has been worth it, a fine souvenir  for all of us lucky enough to witness those amazing concerts, but also for anyone with an interest in Led Zeppelin. Thanks Dave and the team for all your hard work, just off to have another browse through the book, I can almost picture. Bob Harris in the spotlight and remember the intense excitement and anticipation of what was to follow in the next three hours  that warm evening in May 1975. – Alex Machin

You can order the book via

http://www.rufuspublications.com/rufusbooks/Led-Zeppelin-Earls-Court

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TBL issue 42:

 

TBL 42 published in two editions – the standard Robert Plant cover and a special limited Jimmy Page collectors cover edition in a run of 300 only. Both issues feature photos from Led Zeppelin’s Royal Albert Hall appearance on June 29, 1969 taken by Robert Ellis.

The limited edition cover is available to order here, while stocks last:

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/tbl-issue-42-jimmy-page-cover-collectors-numbered-limited-edition/

Here’s some feedback from more satisfied customers

Here’s some initial feedback:

My copy arrived this morning and as usual it looks like a great read with plenty of colour illustration. If you are into Zep you have to have TBL.

Rikky Rooksby

Got TBL 42. Dave’s enthusiasm about all things Zep always impresses me, and this issue is no exception. How can he keep the motivation through all these years is beyond me.

Hiroshi

Mag looks great Dave. Full of varied topics of interest to Led Zeppelin fans and beautifully illustrated. I haven’t read much of it yet but overall it really looks a class production. Well done

Paul Sheppard

In these digital days.. ain’t nothing like receiving a bonafine paper mag in the old mail box! Thanks Dave Looking forward to reading this issue.

Mimo Antabi

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TBL issue 43:

Published September 2017:


Here’s some initial feedback:

Dave – thrilled to have received TBL43 yesterday. I’ve started reading the mini-book and it’s a belter….as if it would be anything but!!! Ian Saikia

Thanks for the latest, brilliant, TBL. As always, it’s a fascinating read. Just when you think you know pretty much everything about a band along – Neil heritage

Mine arrived yesterday. An excellent read, particularly the 77 tapes and the new Plant review. Thanks Dave, the quality remains the same – Paul Stevenson

Absolutely fabulous read. Gave me goosebumps reading about THAT gig  – Michaela Tait

Dave just a quick line to say latest TBL is exceptional. I spent a happy hour perusing the contents and I am not finished with it yet. Your piece on the new Robert Plant album  is one of the best balanced pieces of journalism on the man I have read for a while – Andrew Ricci 

Order link here:

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/tbl-issue-43-out-now/

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DAVE LEWIS LATEST BOOKS :

OUT NOW!

Led Zeppelin Live 1975 – 1977:

Aside from the Evenings With Led Zeppelin I’ve also been involved in the above title in an Editor and collator role.

Firstly some facts and figures:

Led Zeppelin Live – 1975 – 1977  ACC Editions/Iconic Images

Featuring the Led Zeppelin photographs of Terry O Neill, Michael Brennan and Baron Wolman

Text, captions and editing by Dave Lewis

190 pages

140 approx. black and white photos – 32 approx. colour photos

Large format Hardback

Embossed cover

Here’s the basic overview:

Led Zeppelin Live – (ACC Editions/Iconic Images)

“They were pure rock – and I never saw a band perform quite like they did. They owned the stage and each member had their own special and specific contribution. And to see them live – to capture those moments onstage – well, it was like watching kings surveying their kingdom. Their kingdom was the stage.” – Terry O Neill

Between 1975 and 1977, there is little doubt that Led Zeppelin ruled supreme as the biggest band in the world. Bigger audiences, bigger stage settings, bigger venues lights, lasers and dragon suits. All this combined to produce some of the most iconic images of the 1970s rock era. That era comes firmly under the spotlight in Led Zeppelin Live.

The book profiles the work of three highly respected photographers. Terry O’ Neill made his name documenting the fashions, styles and celebrities of the1960s. He was also on hand to capture Led Zeppelin at Earls Court in London on May 23, 1975; at Tampa Stadium, Florida on June 3,1977; and at New York s Madison Square Garden on June 7 of the same year. Also in the right place at the right time was Michael Brennan. Michael had built a reputation working for various daily newspapers in the UK. He moved to America in 1973 and began working on entertainment and sporting assignments. In early 1975, Michael travelled with the band on their rented luxury jet, a Boeing 720B known as The Starship. He was then in close proximity for their show on January 31,1975 at Detroit s Olympia Stadium.

The former chief photographer of Rolling Stone magazine, San Francisco-based Baron Wolman, was in attendance to capture what would turn out to be Led Zeppelin s final performances in America. In front of 50,000 fans each day, they played in the open air at the Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland California, on the afternoons of July 23 and 24,1977. Baron s chronicling of the band in stark daylight offers a unique portrayal of their final appearances in a large stadium setting.

Fifty years on from their formation in 1968, Led Zeppelin s legacy continues to inspire admiration and awe. The timeless photos presented in this book accurately capture Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham in all their on-stage glory during their latter era. Compiled and edited by world-renowned Led Zeppelin authority Dave Lewis, Led Zeppelin Live chronicles the period when Led Zeppelin could rightly claim to be the greatest live rock attraction on the planet. Here s the lasting photographic proof…

LIMITED EDITION TBL RUN OF 150 ONLY – ORDER DETAILS HERE:

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/led-zeppelin-live-1975-1977-the-photographs-of-terry-oneill-michael-brennan-and-baron-wolman-edited-by-dave-lewis-special-tbl-limited-edtion-in-a-run-of-just-150-signed-by-the-editor-plus/

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OUT NOW!

Announcing the forthcoming publication of …

Evenings With Led Zeppelin – The Complete Concert Chronicle by Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio

 

576 pages

260,000 word text

2,500+ images

170 rarely seen colour and black and white photos

Large hardback size 267 x 204mm

Written by Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio

Edited by Chris Charlesworth

Designed by Mick Lowe at StudioMix Bedford

Foreword by former Led Zeppelin Tour Manager Richard Cole

Here’s the basic overview of what the book projects:

“When Led Zeppelin played a concert, it wasn’t just a concert – it was an event.” – Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin’s manager, 1993

Evenings With Led Zeppelin chronicles in consummate detail the 500-plus concerts that Led Zeppelin performed throughout their career.

From their earliest gig in a Denmark school gymnasium on September 7, 1968, through to the last gig that Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones ever performed with John Bonham, in Berlin on July 7, 1980, this is the Led Zeppelin story told from where their legend was forged – live on stage.

Deploying impeccable research spread over many years, Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio bring clarity, authority and perspective to their unique story.

Evenings With Led Zeppelin is a show-by-show narrative of every known Led Zeppelin performance that portrays with pinpoint accuracy the group’s rapid ascent from playing to a few hundred at London’s Marquee Club to selling out the 20,000 capacity Madison Square Garden in New York – all in a mere eighteen months.

Supplemented by historical reviews, facts and figures and expert commentary that capture the spirit of the times, Evenings With Led Zeppelin is illustrated throughout with rarely seen concert adverts, posters, venue images, ticket stubs and photos, all of which offer matchless insight into each and every concert. This is the on-stage heritage of Led Zeppelin as never before chronicled in one volume.

Fifty years on from their formation, Led Zeppelin’s potency as a live band remains unsurpassed – Evenings With Led Zeppelin vividly explains why.

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TBL LIMITED EDITION RUN OF THE EVENINGS WITH LED ZEPPELIN BOOK:

Each book is personally numbered and signed by Dave Lewis  – this is in a run of 100 only.

Order here:

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/evenings-with-led-zeppelin-the-complete-concert-chronicle-book/

Satisfied readers of the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book

 ‘’This book is an utter triumph, a vast pool of knowledge and amongst the finest publications on ANY band, let alone those myriad of tomes about Led Zeppelin. Very few books are completely essential. This is…’’

Andy Adams – Celebration Days To Be a Rock blog

‘’Not only the definitive reference book on Led Zeppelin but also one of the most entertaining.’’

Chris Charlesworth – Just backdated blog

‘’The colour photos, the layout, and the comprehensive detail is beyond impressive. I can see why this has taken years to produce.- the amount of research that has gone into it is staggering. It’s Biblical’’!

Stephen Humphries – US journalist

Now that’s what I call a book. Dave Lewis & Mike Tremaglio’s extremely hefty new tome Evenings With Led Zeppelin: The Complete Concert Chronology is here. Meticulously, lovingly compiled, it revisits very date and each set-list over more than 500 appearances, from 1968 to 1980, along with adverts, posters, tickets, photos, historical reviews and press reaction of the era. It’s a stunning piece of work’’.

Dave Ling – Classic Rock

‘’There are few popular music acts that could generate, or justify, such an intensely researched history but I can assure you that no one is better qualified to do that for Led Zeppelin than Dave Lewis. Don’t kid yourselves folks, this book is the real deal. Historically significant; magnificently researched and presented; packed with new information and a work of art to boot. If you ever wanted to know the entire scope of Led Zeppelin’s career, where they were, what they did, and how they were received this is the last word in that story. I cannot imagine it will ever be surpassed’’.

Rob Godwin –Author and Led Zeppelin chonciler

‘’For me, it’s a Desert Island book choice for sure. All in all, a magnificent book, clearly lovingly put together and with a wealth of research to support the content. The selected illustrations help to make it a visual joy too, clearly carefully chosen to support the copious text. This wonderful tome will surely become one of the literary linchpins when it comes to the history of Led Zeppelin as it appears to offer both historical ‘meat’ for researchers alongside a barrel full of useful information for fans. 10/10 is an easy score for this lovely book’’!

Paul Sheppard – TBL contributor and led zeppelin expert

 ‘’This book is a monument to painstaking research. One of the many great joys of this book is looking at a tour, reading the entry and press reviews, and then being inspired to dig out the recording and listen to it.’’

Julian Walker – Underground Uprising website

‘’The contents, layout and production is stunning. This book will be a “must have’’ for every Led Zeppelin fan.’’

Cliff Hilliard

‘’I have over 100 Led Zep books, this is the best Zep book i have, ever seen – simple as that.’’

Scott Martin – Australia

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ALSO ON THE PROJECTS LIST:

Other projects Dave has on the ongoing list:

TBL issue 44 due early 2019

The Best of TBL – a reissue of the early TBL issues.

More details to follow as they unfold…

……………. 

DL THE RECORD RETAIL YEARS: 

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK-hPWms-FI

 

 

 

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.

 

ASIDE FROM LED ZEPPELIN…RECORDS…AND LOTS OF THEM…

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 –  http://www.vinylbarn.co.uk/

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.

collection

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

DL

 

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…

DL

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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.

LIFELONG FRIENDS, FOOTBALL  AND NICKNAMES:

Dave has been fortunate to have a variety of lifelong friends – notably Dec Hickey, Tom Locke, Phil Harris (all of whom saw Zep with Dave at Earls Court and Knebworth) plus Max Harris and James Eaton – all of whom also played in the Wallbangers FC team Dave played for circa 1976 to 1981 -the team pic here was taken in 1978.

Many of these lifelong friends still refer to Dave by his old nickname of Dobber or Dob.

Why Dobber you may ask? Well, nothing too deep and meaningful, it was how he referred to himself when he was very young and could not say the words Dave! Like these things do, the trend stuck!

who four

ON STAGE WITH THE WHO:

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!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg0464LMlzs

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:

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/tbl-news/dl-at-60-on-the-occasion-of-my-60th-birthday/

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/tbl-news/live-on-blueberry-hill-46-years-gonejimmy-on-later-with-joolsuncut-complete-bbc-sessions-preview-lz-newsdl-diary-update-60th-birthday-special/

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/tbl-news/todays-the-day-led-zeppelin-the-complete-bbc-sessions-released-olympic-studios-listening-eventjimmy-page-interviews-on-later-bbc-6-musiclz-newsdl-diary-blog-update/

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AND FINALLY…TO SUMMARISE..

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 34 years), and has a daughter, Samantha and son Adam

margarets party

CONTACTS:

Email: davelewis.tbl1@ntlworld.com

Home Tel: 01234 267515

Mobile: 0794 126 0997

Web site: www.tightbutloose.co.uk

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Updated  2018

 ……………………………

INTERVIEWS:

Evenings With Led Zeppelin – The Complete Concert Chronicle (Omnibus Press)

An Interview with the authors Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio

In this  question and answer session with TBL magazine contributor Gary Foy, Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio explain the background to the writing and collating of the book – all 260,000 words of it…

 

Gary Foy: What was the original concept for the book?

Dave Lewis: It initially came out of an idea to funnel Mike’s amazing Led Zeppelin research in some way. We had been collaborating for many years – in fact, Mike’s tour logs began to be a cornerstone of every TBL magazine from around 2007. I was incredibly impressed at his level of detail and archive research.

Mike Tremaglio: It’s intended to fully cover Led Zeppelin’s 12-year concert history on a gig-by-gig basis. Over the past decade-plus, the explosion of archival material, particularly newspaper archives, has provided much insight into the band’s performances across the globe. For fans who’d seen the band live it gives them the opportunity to relive it, and for fans who hadn’t seen them, the background text and countless visuals provide key insight into what the excitement was all about.

GF: How long did the book take to compile?

DL: We had the initial idea back in 2010. Mike had been plugging away for some years on forming a definitive tour itinerary. He had sent me many pages of an early format of what we would later develop into book form. I approached one or two publishers and eventually Chris Charlesworth at Omnibus became interested. It took another couple of years to get something formally accepted. From about 2014 we began formulating the concept of the book. It’s been very full on for the past three years.

I brought in TBL designer Mick Lowe to work with us. I knew Mick would understand what we were looking for visually as he had designed Mike’s tour logs in the TBL magazine .

I also knew Mike’s diligence in researching the concert history of Led Zeppelin was second to none. So our collective objective was to formulate a book that would chronicle the in concert performance history of Led Zeppelin in greater detail and accuracy than ever before.

We also shared the vision of illuminating the performances with summaries, reviews and comments from the time and as much relevant detail as we could come up with. Mike also made it his quest to find as many photos of the venues they played to provide the visual setting of each gig for context.

GF: Given that you both reside on different sides of the Atlantic with you Dave in Bedford and Mike over in Connecticut, was it difficult to collaborate effectively not having the luxury of meeting regularly.

DL: There has never been a problem collaborating in this way. As we know, in an internet driven world, communication is much more effective. We were constantly on email and regularly on skype to thrash out the many issues we faced along the way. What was always inspiring was that we always found ourselves singing from the same hymn sheet as it were. Our vision of what the book should, or should not be was always in harmony with each other.

All of us shared the workload. As Mike collated the concert to concert logs, I worked closely on a day to day basis with Mick Lowe at his StudioMix location in Bedford overseeing the design. The actual design was very much based on Mike’s vison of how it should look with the various images integrated. Mick and I worked on Mike’s proto layout ideas and then developed each page from there. The designed pages were then diligently checked by Mike. We went through many revisions of text and layout – particularly in the latter stages. Right up to signing it all off, we were still discovering new facts and new photos.

I have to put on record that it has been Mike’s constant intense research that has really driven this book to be what it finally has become. Without his relentless pursuits it just would not have happened. There’s no way I could have undertook this task without him. This book really is a triumph for Mike in particular – his commitment has been awe inspiring to say the least.

GF: How does this book differ from the Concert File book which is based on a similar gig to gig log?

DL: Firstly, this book concentrates solely on the concerts Led Zeppelin performed between 1968 and 1980 plus the main reunions. Unlike the Concert File there are no studio details or solo activities chronicled.

Looking back I am extremely proud of what myself and co-author Simon Pallet achieved with the Concert File book. Simon did a great job of assessing all the tapes and bootlegs – which assisted greatly in coming up with as accurate a concert itinerary as we could.

However, much of the research was done for that book in the pre-internet days – in fact, it’s over 20 years ago that we initially worked on that. Since then, there’s been so much more to discover and through Mike’s exhaustive research, so much more information has come to the table. As a result, the concerts have been covered in much greater detail along with many more images throughout the book. Not only is the size of the book significantly larger than the original full-sized Concert File book (exactly 400 pages more), but colour pages throughout the entire book allows for the material to be presented in a larger and more visually appealing format.

This really is the Led Zeppelin story from the place they functioned best – live on stage.

There’s also a major emphasis on unravelling the story in real time – and by that I mean through deploying countless reviews from the newspapers of the day, particularly the provincial ones in the US. This builds up a real perspective of how Zep were perceived at the time by the journalists of the day.

GF: Can you explain the format of the book?

DL: The early pages commence with a Prologue section that details the early performing days of the four band members. Particular emphasis is placed on each musician’s month-by-month activities in 1968, just before Jimmy Page recruited them for his new Yardbirds line up. It also focuses on the dissolution of The Yardbirds and the circumstances behind how Page selected his new bandmates – culminating in their first rehearsal together in London, August 1968.

The next 500-plus pages chronicle the 516 confirmed gigs Led Zeppelin performed between 1968 and 1980 – all with drummer John Bonham. Also included in those pages are the 90 or so shows that were either cancelled or unconfirmed. The four post-1980 appearances without John Bonham – at Live Aid in 1985, the Atlantic 40th anniversary show in 1988, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1995, and the O2 reunion in memory of Ahmet Ertegun in 2007 – are discussed in a Postscript section.

All of the band’s tours are represented with a cover page summary with the specifics of each given tour, and what it represented to their touring history. In terms of the individual concert entries we note the following:

Support acts – who were also on the bill for each concert (or festival).

Setlists – provided only where they can be verified with either recordings or press reviews.

Background Info – historical context is given to each gig.

Press Reaction – features masses of reviews from the time. For this section, we have drawn upon countless daily newspapers plus many music papers and magazines published during the 1960s and 1970s.

Bootleg Recordings – lists the various original recording sources with associated running times for each. While we have mentioned some of the key bootleg album/CD titles, this is neither a bootleg guide nor a performance review guide. Rather, this section focuses on what makes a particular concert unique in terms of either song selection, rare features, or a “fan favorite.”

Also included for concert entries are countless images relevant to a particular gig – all with the intent to provide the reader with a feel for the concert as an “event.” Venue pics are extensively used to provide a visual setting for the gigs, along with accompanying ticket stubs, handbills, concert ads, press reviews, concert memorabilia, etc. – all designed to make each concert come alive.

There are a few of the band’s guest appearances during 1968-1980 that are included, but we have only chronicled key performances that we felt were particularly relevant – such as Jimmy Page’s appearance on the Julie Felix show in 1970. The focus of the book is firmly on Led Zeppelin concerts only.

We have also included details of a handful of unconfirmed shows, notably the infamous January 20, 1969 Wheaton Youth Center debated appearance – plus known details of the 85 or so cancelled gigs.

GF: Where does the title originate from?

DL: We had been looking for a title for a while – I remembered something Peter Grant had said to me when I interviewed him in 1993. He explained to me how he had come up with the tag line ‘Evenings With Led Zeppelin’ – it was a throwback to how they billed the old music hall acts he remembered form seeing in his youth. When we saw how many of the gig adverts and flyers carried that name it seemed a really obvious title for the book – these are the ‘Evenings With Led Zeppelin’ over 500 of them – oh and a few afternoons too…

 

GF: The cover has a striking photo of Led Zeppelin in their early days – how did the cover concept evolve?

DL: We went through various proto cover designs. What we really wanted was a photo of all four on stage that projected their connection with an audience – an audience evidently enjoying this particular evening with Led Zeppelin at the Boston Tea Party in May 1969.

GF: Looking at some of Dave’s recent TBL website blogs , it looks as though you were under some pressure coping with it all. Has it been something of a trail to get to the finish line?

DL: Yes there’s no doubt about that. I can say categorically that this has been the hardest challenge of my long Led Zeppelin chronicling career.

To bring this all to fruition has been a truly monumental task shared by Mike Tremaglio and Mick Lowe. For me personally, it’s been a very difficult process – as in between all this, I’ve been constantly spinning many other plates – namely the Five Glorious Nights – Led Zeppelin at Earls Court 1975 book, the production and distribution of a number of TBL magazines, the weekly collation of the TBL website updates and the Iconic Images Led Zeppelin Live 1975 – 1977 – not to mention organising the ‘Ahmet We Did it’ fan gathering in London last December.

So, all of the above has come together as I kept a close eye on the ongoing development of the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book.

This book did bring with it a number of challenges that have caused frustration, worry and stress – there were times when I felt we were never going to get through it all. In fact, I could write a book about the making of this book as there have been many twists and turns along the way. At times I’m sure our single mindedness to achieve all this has driven our nearest and dearest to despair.

The last three months in particular, have been a real slog as we sought to perfect everything with various proofreads and corrections to make this book as good as it possibly can be.

As mentioned, right up to signing it all off, we were still discovering new facts and new photos.

There were some very difficult situations to deal in getting to the finishing line some of them very challenging. It was therefore all a big relief when we eventually called it a wrap in mid June.

GF: There are a number of Zep books out there how does this book differ and what does this book tell us that other Zep books don’t.

DL: I think the depth of information gathered offers a real perspective on what Led Zeppelin was really all about – which was playing live for as many people as possible. As I’ve said before, I’d like to think it reads as more than a mere list of dates. Within the format we adopted it does clearly illustrate all the peaks and troughs of their career: the great nights, the not so great nights, all the craziness of their travels across America and beyond.

This is no mere train spotters guide. I view the book as a result of a thirst for knowledge that paints as complete a picture as possible on the subject.

GF: Being a major reference work, is this book just for the Zep die-hards or has it got a broader appeal?

DL: While the main appeal is obviously Led Zeppelin fans, I’d say it definitely has a broader appeal. For anyone interested in the heritage of rock music and its development during the 1960s and 1970s, this book reveals much about how the touring scene evolved. As Richard Cole, Zep’s tour manager notes in the Foreword, single-act stadium concerts were a rarity back then – until Led Zeppelin made the bold move into performing to masses of fans – and with no support act.

This intensive documenting of their live appearances also reveals much about the evolution of the entertainment touring industry in the late 1960s and 1970s. It reveals that Led Zeppelin shared billing with a diverse list of acts such as The Who, Alice Cooper, Isaac Hayes, Jethro Tull, Jose Feliciano, Taj Mahal, Three Dog Night, Santana, Joe Cocker, Dr. John, Sun Ra, Grand Funk Railroad, and Johnny Winter. On festival bills they appeared alongside a virtual who’s who of historical musical artists: Janis Joplin, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Chuck Berry, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Ten Years After, Chicago, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Jefferson Airplane, Jeff Beck, Blind Faith, The Guess Who, The Byrds, The Doors, Moody Blues, Bo Diddley, Steppenwolf, Miles Davis, Buddy Rich, Mothers of Invention, Sly & the Family Stone, John Mayall, Sam & Dave, Ike and Tina Turner Revue, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and many, many others.

And as we know by the many advert images we found that are reproduced – an eclectic line up of fellow artists were always swinging by in the same time frame – names such as Dusty Springfield, Liberace, Tom Jones, Glen Campbell, Richie Havens, Burt Bacharach, The Temptations, The Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, etc.

As the band moved from gig to gig, there’s a vivid sense of progression and momentum. Their performances carried energy, speed and vitality, leaving stunned audiences in their wake. Following the story gig to gig, that energy and speed is more than evident as they elevate from performing to a few thousand people at the Fillmore East in New York to selling out the 20,000-capacity Madison Square Garden in the space of a mere nineteen months.

Led Zeppelin worked incredibly hard to achieve their success – particularly in their first year together. During 1969 alone, they played 150 or so concerts – roughly the same number of shows they performed in the subsequent 33 months combined.

Amongst all the detail, the sense of drama and creativity that surrounded Led Zeppelin shines through. Even the most casual fan will have come into contact with their unofficial catalogue on some level and cross referencing the music to the text will certainly add to the enjoyment of the book. There are of course many bootlegs out there to draw from if you want to hear how this all sounded.

It is worth mentioning that this is not a critique of Led Zeppelin’s performances. That format has already been very successfully employed by Luis Rey in his Tape Documentary book.

Whilst we do offer an overview and perspective of each touring period, the story really unfolds via the historical reviews of the time.

This is an extensive volume and also acts as a major reference work on the live history of one of the most important bands of all time.

GF: What have been your primary sources in researching the book?

DL: Everything and anything.

In approaching the task of logging every known Led Zeppelin concert appearance, we’ve wiped the slate clean and started afresh. Deploying hours of impeccable research spread over many years, we’ve sought to bring clarity, objectivity, authority and insight to this unique story. We’ve also strived to offer a perspective on it all.

To achieve those objectives – as mentioned, we document the setlists, provide context with insightful performance background information, and include press reaction from the times to capture the true essence and heritage of Led Zeppelin in concert.

It is worth mentioning that we also took inspiration from previous scholarly Zep chronicling by the likes of Howard Mylett, Luis Rey, Robert Godwin, Hugh Jones, Andy Adams, and Eddie Edwards.

Along the way, in collating the book we would like to acknowledge the tremendous support we received from Scott Baker, Cliff Hilliard, Sam Rapallo, and Chris Selby. Their generosity in sharing both their expertise and memorabilia cannot be overstated. Chris Charlesworth has also played a key part in editing all the text.

As for sources, we mined a whole host of vintage music papers, magazines and provincial newspapers.

MT: Countless sources were scoured for years to compile as much information about Led Zeppelin’s concerts as possible. Besides digging deep into music magazines and newspaper archives, particularly enlightening were the many rare underground newspapers that reviewed their concerts in the late 1960s and into the 1970s (the United Press Syndicate Underground Newspaper Collection comprised of almost 500 microfilm reels were extensively researched). Dozens of college and university newspapers also provided a wealth of information about the band’s gigs.

What was the most difficult period of their live history to gain accurate information from?

DL: Given how many gigs they performed during their first 18 months together, that late 1968 period through to 1969 is always a challenge. Again, I have to tip my hat to Mike for his incredible research during this period. One of the key challenges with the book was to ascertain what shows they didn’t play – particularly where previous information might have indicated that they did.

If there was a doubt, Mike did his best to verify the information.

MT: The most challenging time to gather concert information on the band was the early UK dates (fall of 1968 and winter/spring 1969) since there wasn’t a lot of documentation on some of the more obscure dates.

What criteria were used for being absolutely sure of your information concerning uncertain dates?

MT: Any uncertain dates were thoroughly researched to determine if the gig was actually played. If hard evidence was found (newspaper ads, articles, etc.), along with supporting anecdotal fan accounts, it allowed us to nail down certain dates.

In researching the Zep tour itinerary what were some of the most significant previously undocumented gigs that came to light?

DL: Again, some of the 1969 shows that were verified.

MT: While I was writing one of my tour retrospectives for TBL several years ago, I discovered a previously undocumented Baltimore Civic Center gig on February 16, 1969 in the Baltimore Sun newspaper archives.   I was also able to finally nail down the exact date for the Las Vegas Ice Palace gig as August 7, 1969 when I found an article in the Las Vegas Sun. It had previously been erroneously assigned to August 11, 1969.

How many new dates do you reckon you have discovered or wrong dates corrected?

MT: Several other dates were revised based on new information that has come to light. For example, the Supershow, March 25, 1969 was rightfully moved to March 18, 1969. The band’s official work sheet for that week included this date and was corroborated by a Melody Maker article. The Toby Jug, Tolworth date was moved from April 9, 1969 to April 16, 1969 based on the timing of a Record Mirror ad. The Hampton, Virginia show of August 17, 1970 was moved to August 10, 1970 (opening night of the tour) based on newspaper ads, articles, reviews, along with a supporting handbill and ticket stub. Another key date that was moved was the Behan’s West Park impromptu appearance in December 1975. Based on press accounts, the show was performed on December 16, 1975, not December 10, 1975.

GF: How important was it to confirm the gigs they were billed to play but for one reason or another were cancelled?

MT: Very Important. Being able to compile a comprehensive list of cancelled dates allows us to present the complete story in terms of their touring years. Nailing down some of the cancelled dates also allowed us to firm up the band’s actual tour itinerary.

For example, there was a purported November 16, 1968 UMIST gig on tour itineraries going back many, many years. It always seemed doubtful to me that this gig was actually played because Jimmy Page jammed with the Jeff Beck Group at Thee Image club in Miami the night before. As it turned out, I tracked down an ad for a Chris Farlowe gig at UMIST for November 16, 1968, so it seems unlikely that the band played there on that date.

Other examples of finding tangible proof of cancelled gigs going back many years include the April 18, 1969 State University of New York Jazz Festival (scheduled for Albany, New York, not NYC); the confirmation from multiple sources that the band cancelled out on the Northern California Folk-Rock Festival on May 24, 1969; the Copenhagen October 9, 1969 Tivolis Koncertsal date switched to February 28, 1970; the band cancelling their opening night of the 1970 US summer tour at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Ohio on August 6, 1970; the Spoon River Rock Festival in Pennsylvania on August 30, 1970 cancellation; a proposed gig with Sly & the Family Stone slated for the University of Arizona Stadium on April 24, 1971 cancelled; and two Oslo, Norway dates (March 10, 1973 & November 11, 1975) cancelled. Also covered extensively are the cancelled shows on the 1975, 1977, and 1980 US tours, among many other cancelled dates.

GF: This might be a timely moment to ask whether you have established if they did or did not they play that much rumoured and discussed show at the Wheaton Youth Center in early 1969?

DL: I know Mike went to great lengths to get to the bottom of this mystery.

MT: Unfortunately, there still is no definitive proof confirming that this gig was actually played. Filmmaker Jeff Krulik who produced a documentary titled “Led Zeppelin Played Here” discovered a November 20, 1970 article in The Spur, the Montgomery Junior College newspaper that featured promoter Barry Richards. It mentioned that Richards had presented the concert at the Wheaton Youth Center in 1968 (sic) before “a pitiful turnout of only 200 people.” Other than some local fan accounts, that’s the only tangible “proof” that the gig was played. It’s worth noting that a concert performed at the venue four days later by The Expectations was advertised in the Washington Times, but no such ad exists for the Led Zeppelin concert.

GF: Pictorially, have you unearthed many rare photos and images?

DL: Indeed we have – and this is without doubt another of the books strengths.

Again, Mike has tapped into his intensive research archive to produce an array of original concert adverts, posters, flyers, etc., from the time and venue photos. This really brings the text alive as it demonstrates how they were promoted all throughout their career.

As for photos, Mike and I have gone to great lengths to unearth as many rare photos as possible. Examples of this include some incredible photos from Detroit’s Grande Ballroom in May 1969, Chicago’s Kinetic Playground shows in July and October 1969, Helsinki 1970, MSG, NYC 1970, Odense, Denmark 1971, Orlando 1971, Hamburg 1973, San Francisco 1973, St. Louis 1977, Landover 1977, and many, many more.

We have also been responsible for the photo research – Mike again has done an amazing job in securing some rarely seen photos and we had much support in this area from the likes of Larry Ratner, Stuart Whitehead and Dan Cuny to name but three of many.

I have to put on record that it has been Mike Tremaglio’s constant intensive research that has really driven this book to be what it finally has become. Without his relentless pursuits it just would not have happened. There is no way I could have undertook this task without him. This book really is a triumph for Mike in particular – his commitment, attention to detail and sheer diligence has been awe-inspiring to say the least. He also been a joy to work with. We were always singing from the same hymn sheet…

The internet is incredibly populated now with Zep photos so it can be difficult coming up with something fresh and rarely seen. We have endeavoured to illustrate the book with as many rarely seen images as we could search out.

GF: Looking over the text how would you summarise their development over the years – commencing with those early touring dates in 1968-1969?  

DL: What is really apparent as you turn the pages is how quickly they elevated from the blues based post psych Yardbirds influences of their early tours. Within twelve months they had really developed their own identity. This is really personified on performances such as the Lyceum show in October 1969 and the subsequent Fall US tour.

By early 1970 with the input of new songs from Led Zeppelin II, the variety and vitality of their set was just amazing. Obviously as each album appeared their repertoire expanded.

As we all know via those many bootlegs, Led Zeppelin as a live band was an extraordinarily dynamic unit. From the very beginning, no two performances were alike. Such was the creative spark between the four outstanding musicians that the basic structures of their songs were repeatedly reworked, extended and improvised on, making their studio counterparts almost unrecognisable.

“The beauty of playing in the band,” Jimmy Page reflected in a recent interview, “was that when we went onstage we never actually knew what was going to go on within the framework of the songs. They were constantly changing. New parts would come in on the night. The spontaneity was on the level of ESP, which meant it was always exciting.”

It was this air of unpredictability within their performances which made Led Zeppelin such an engrossing live act throughout their career. Their original ten studio albums may represent one of the biggest selling and most influential back catalogues of all time – but they were only part of the story. “To me the records were just a starting point,” recalls John Paul Jones. “The most important thing was always the stage show. So many great nights. At our worst we were still better than most. At our best we could just wipe the floor with the lot of them. It was just a very good live band.”

As Peter Grant observed, Led Zeppelin stopped giving mere concerts – their appearances were events. But they were also often less than perfect musically. Working spontaneously, there was always the risk that it could all go wrong. The fact is on any given night they could be incredibly inconsistent. As Robert Plant acknowledges: “We often used to take off and get lost. We were quite ramshackle at the best of times. People who tell you we were always good or always bad are wrong. It was always on a wing and a prayer.” Walking a tight musical tightrope was all just part of the attraction.

GF: What would you single out as the key performances?

DL: From the early days I would point to their early US 1969 appearances – for example, those dates at the Fillmore West & Winterland in April were a real watershed. The BBC One Night Stand recording from June 27 is another early milestone. The Royal Albert Hall in January 1970 which was captured on film. Moving through the years, the 1970 Bath Festival was a momentous occasion for them and they really pulled that off. The Los Angeles Forum night in 1970 that became immortalised on the vinyl bootleg Live On Blueberry Hill as I mentioned.

Then the whole of the Japanese tour in 1971. There was such a spontaneity about their playing at that period. Thanks to the How The West Was Won live album we can all hear in crystal clarity how on top of their game they were in the summer of 1972. From the same era, the June 19, 1972 show in Seattle was quite something. They premiered four new songs and one of them ‘Dancing Days’ they even performed twice! In 1973 their sheer instrumental prowess is superbly captured on the tape of their March 16 Vienna show.

Moving to the latter era, as I mentioned the increased depth of their repertoire gave them the scope to really stretch out and expand. Unsurprisingly, given I was there, I’d point to Earl’s Court and in particular the final night on May 25 as the best example of that. The expansiveness of the set list was so impressive.

It’s not everybody’s opinion, but for me Zeppelin worked best on the big arena. The whole dynamic of the band was built for grandiosity. Jimmy’s vast plangent riffs, Plant’s flamboyant front man persona , JPJ’s musicianship and Bonzo’s hammerings – that all lent itself best to the bigger stage. And that is definitely best captured in 1975.

In hindsight the US tour in 1977, while a source of great fascination for the whole out of control on the road Zeppelin excess, musically was vastly erratic. The set list I think expanded to unmanageable lengths. That said, the LA Forum shows in June contained many magic moments and the June 21 Listen To This Eddie bootleg remains an outstanding remnant of that era.

I personally also love the Knebworth shows – I think they gained in stature after the footage that emerged on the 2003 official Zep DVD was so good. I think it stands up as vital nights in their history. Perhaps the last really great events. The final Over Europe trek in 1980 was a genuine attempt to scale the operation down and the enthusiasm and sense of rejuvenation is well evident on the second show in Cologne.

MT: There are so many great shows throughout their entire career, that it is a near impossible task to single out just a few. Dave has touched upon some of the key shows, and I would certainly agree with his assessment. Besides those shows, some of my favourite performances were in cities were Zeppelin consistently performed great concerts, particularly Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, and Montreux, Switzerland.

GF: Much has been written recently about Zeppelin’s final years – how would you assess their latter era touring days?

DL: Well the spirit was willing that’s for sure, but I think the whole physical and mental state of the band took its toll. Knebworth was such an emotional comeback and it worked on many levels, but if you analyse the set list it was very much based on the 1977 performances. Performing only two tracks off a new album would be unheard of in today’s touring climate. You have to ask why they did not attempt the likes of ‘Carouselambra’, ‘I’m Gonna Crawl’ and ‘Fool In The Rain’. I’d have swapped those tracks for say ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’, ‘Misty Mountain Hop’ and ‘No Quarter’ at Knebworth.

Over Europe was a brave and intelligent move to scale it all down, though the physical state of the band was still in doubt. Basically what was really missing in those years was sheer match practice. Had they been strong enough to undertake say the touring schedule of 1971/2 well then I think those years would have produced very different and superior results.

 

GF: If they had kept going how do you think Led Zeppelin would have fared in the 1980’s?

DL: It’s a difficult question. I think there was a lack of total commitment on Robert’s part during those final days, understandably really what with all the misfortune and tragedy. That said, had they gone to the USA and rekindled their love affair with the American audiences it may well have inspired them into a whole burst of creativity. A 1981 studio album could have been very interesting and we know Jimmy was keen to get back to the harder edge riff-based material. Something like ‘Who’s To Blame’ which Jimmy used for the Death Wish 2 soundtrack with its descending riffing would certainly have lit up a Zeppelin album had they still been functioning.

I’m also sure they would have embraced the video age, adopting their artistic leanings in that area and moving with the times. I would guess the need for solo projects would have occurred too, though not at the expense of the band itself. It was too much of a creative force to fizzle out. Despite everything, there’s enough evidence during their final 12 months that Zeppelin still had new places to take their music.

 

GF: As you mentioned earlier, the book includes many historical reviews. It’s fair to say they were often misinterpreted in the press – were there many bizarre reviews that you came across?

DL: The media reaction to these concerts was sometimes supportive, often negative, and on occasions downright beguiling. The fact that even the promoters of their gigs often misspelt their name – during 1969 they were erroneously billed as Len Zefflin, Led Zeptlin, Lead Zeppelin and Led Zepplin to name a few, was clear indication of the confusion and indifference they often faced in their early touring days.

They certainly didn’t get off to a good start with the press; a review of their December 28, 1968 Vancouver show in The Columbian newspaper noted that – and I quote – “The singer was a farce. His Mick Jagger singing style, tossing his head from side to side and strutting about the stage, left me quite cold. In short, Led Zeppelin went over like a lead balloon.” It did get better after that!

In reprinting original reviews from many of the national and provincial newspapers of the day, a sense of the sheer mystery and wonder that critics were faced with becomes very apparent.

 

GF: You have a Foreword written by Richard Cole – how important do you think his role was as their Tour Manager?

DL: Very important – in his own way Richard Cole, Peter Grant’s assistant on the road, forged a legacy of his own that didn’t fall far short of his mentor. Richard had earned his reputation by working on the road with the likes of The Who – driving Keith Moon and John Entwistle to gigs – and The New Vaudeville band, and it was while working with the latter that he came into contact with Grant. Richard also worked with The Jeff Beck Group and Terry Reid, Page’s first choice for the role of singer in the group that became Zeppelin.

Having also worked with The Yardbirds tours, he was the natural choice of tour manager when Led Zeppelin formed in late 1968, the perfect wingman for Grant. He adopted the same no-nonsense approach to getting the job done, and his skill at overseeing the set-up of each gig was a masterclass of touring logistics that set an industry benchmark.

Of course, we should also mention Peter Grant was absolutely crucial to their success. In managing the band he virtually rewrote the entire rule book of how to successfully maintain an act’s career. We duly acknowledge both their roles in a final section in the book.

GF: Which shows during their career stand out for you personally?

DL: Obviously the ones that I was lucky enough to be in attendance at – Empire Pool Wembley in 1971, Ally Pally ’72, Earls Court, Knebworth, five in Europe in 1980 – and the magnificent O2 reunion show which exceeded all expectations. One thing I did not see that I wish I had was a US concert – which Mike did in 1977.

MT: From a personal standpoint, the answer to this question is quite obvious to me – it’s the one and only time I was able to experience the magic first hand at Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 7, 1977. The memories of this show are permanently embedded into my brain, as I was finally able to see them in the flesh. After the disappointment of missing them on the 1975 US tour, as I was unable to secure tickets, being able to acquire tickets via a New York Times ad for the 1977 gig was beyond exciting. Listening to bootlegs of the show is one thing, but being able to experience and remember that opening night at the Garden so vividly, so many years later, is another thing entirely. Just the anticipation and excitement of Zeppelin’s return to New York was something to behold. It was truly magical.

GF: In writing the book has it prompted you to reappraise certain performances and touring eras?

DL: Yes, it certainly has. For me the intensity of their early touring days has prompted a return to listening to some of the key 1969 concerts again. Any Zep fan reading the book will I’m sure want to revisit some of their bootlegs again as they wade through the book. In fact, that is another enjoyable aspect of the book –readers can dip back into it at will to reinvestigate certain touring periods.

Gf: Which individual live tracks best represent Led Zeppelin’s live prowess?

During their first 18 months on the road they cleverly interwove the basic recorded material from the first two albums with additional impromptu jams. Early examples of this included the long jam on Garnet Mimms’ ‘As Long As I Have You’, employed on many of their 1969 shows, the medley of numbers to be found within ‘How Many More Times’ and an improvised jam session in the middle of ‘Communication Breakdown’. Then there was ‘Dazed And Confused’, Page’s late Yardbirds remnant that by 1970 was developing into a marathon 20-minute opus with differing sections, including the violin bow episode and a call and response battle between Page and Plant.

The Whole Lotta Love medley was always an engrossing close to their set. It really could take them anywhere. Take for instance the March 20, 1975 performance in Vancouver. In the space of three minutes just before Jimmy Page’s Theremin solo, Robert Plant initially leads them through a spontaneous version of James Brown’s ‘Licking Stick’ which incorporates their own funk rhythm from the Houses Of The Holy track ‘The Crunge’. He follows that with a random war cry from the Led Zeppelin III opener ‘Immigrant Song’. And then with equal spontaneity the Jones, Bonham & Page rhythm section interlock for a riff sequence that would be recalled some three years later for the track ‘Ozone Baby’ which eventually saw the light of day on the Coda album. That onstage spontaneity is what made them such an engrossing live act.

From the same era, their marathon performances of No Quarter was just full of captivating improvisation.

GF: Let’s talk about the bootlegs. How important are the bootlegs to the Zep story?

DL: Very important indeed – in fact, essential. Bootlegs and Led Zeppelin have been synonymous for over three decades. Despite manager Peter Grant’s heavy-handedness when dealing with those he caught taping their shows, the band became the most bootlegged act of all time, outstripping even The Beatles, Dylan, Springsteen and the Stones. Their final seven shows in the UK alone (five at Earls Court and two at Knebworth) account for over 100 different releases between them. Just about every known amateur recording of the band’s live gigs has made it onto CD. Given the length of their stage shows, the CD format, with its 80-minute playing time, is tailor-made for presenting Zeppelin in concert, but even before the flood of CD titles that emerged in the early 1990s there was no shortage of vinyl Led Zeppelin bootlegs.

The Tight But Loose magazine has carried reports on Led Zeppelin bootlegs since its inception. As far back as the handwritten first edition I was enthusiastically reviewing the then recently issued vinyl bootleg Ballcrusher which documented their BBC In Concert show. Issue number two carried an extensive report on Live On Blueberry Hill which was already a legendary bootleg album.

Whatever the legal standpoints of such releases, searching out their bootleg recordings is a necessity for every serious Zep fan. Their studio albums only hinted at the creativity the group were capable of. It was on stage in live action that Led Zeppelin really excelled.

To analyse it further, their impact on the initial American tours made them a prime target for the emerging bootleg recording business. The bands’ skill at extending and improvising on their studio record repertoire elevated their live shows to something very different from playing their albums.

As mentioned, despite the long shadow of Peter Grant (he also once destroyed the equipment of a noise pollution expert, thinking it was bootleg recording gear at a 1971 Zep show in Vancouver), their expanding reputation as a live act ensured a steady stream of vinyl issued during the 1970s with titles such as Mudslide, Going To California, BBC Broadcasts, Earls Court and many more on labels such as TMQ, The Swingin’ Pig, Amazing Kornyphone, and Smilin’ Ears.

After the band’s demise, a steady stream of vinyl releases appeared on labels such as Toasted/Condor and Rock Solid in a variety of coloured vinyl issues and extensive multi disc packages such as the box set Strange Tales From The Road and the rare 70 disc vinyl set The Final Option.

The real explosion, however, occurred with the advent of the CD format.

In recent years, the advent of online downloading and file sharing has curtailed the demand for physical bootleg product – though there are still plenty of packaged titles appearing out of Japan. Many are repackaged versions of earlier tapes, some with minor improvements in quality. There have been some exceptions, notably the appearance of a series of 1975 and 1977 soundboard tapes.

Of course, there is much speculation regarding what Jimmy Page may seek out from their archive for official releases to mark their 50th anniversary. Rumours of multi-track recordings from Japan 1971 are rife and the prospect of yet more live material being officially released is a mouth-watering one.

 

GF: What would you list as the essential Zep bootlegs?

DL: That is obviously a personal choice but there are some really essential ones:

  • April 27, 1969 Fillmore West, San Francisco, California
  • August 31, 1969 Texas International Pop Festival, Lewisville, Texas
  • January 9, 1970 Royal Albert Hall, London, England
  • September 4, 1970 Live On Blueberry Hill, The Forum, Inglewood, California
  • September 14, 1971 Going To California, Community Theatre, Berkeley, California
  • September 23, 1971 Budokan, Tokyo, Japan.
  • September 29, 1971 Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan.
  • June 19, 1972 Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, Washington
  • March 16, 1973 Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria
  • June 2, 1973 Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, California
  • February 14, 1975 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
  • March 21, 1975 Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, Washington
  • May 24, 1975 To Be A Rock And Not To Roll, Earls Court Arena, London, England
  • May 25, 1975 When We Were Kings, Earls Court Arena, London, England
  • April 27 & 28, 1977 The Destroyers, Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio
  • June 21, 1977 Listen To This Eddie, The Forum, Inglewood, California
  • June 23, 1977 For Badgeholders Only, The Forum, Inglewood, California
  • August 4 & 11, 1979 Knebworth Festival, Stevenage, England
  • June 29, 1980 Tour Over Europe, Hallenstadion, Zurich, Switzerland
  • July 7, 1980 Eissporthalle, Berlin, Germany (final show with John Bonham)

GF: Mike is there any you would add to that?

Besides the shows that Dave has already listed above, here are some other personal favorites:

 

  • April 24, 1969 Fillmore West, San Francisco, California

 

  • April 26, 1969 Winterland, San Francisco, California

 

  • March 7, 1970 Casino, Montreux, Switzerland

 

  • September 19, 1970 Madison Square Garden, New York City (evening show)

 

  • August 7, 1971 Casino, Montreux, Switzerland

 

  • August 31, 1971 Orlando Sports Stadium, Orlando, Florida

 

  • October 9, 1972 Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan

 

  • January 22, 1973 Southampton University, Southampton, England

 

  • March 24, 1973 Ortenauhalle, Offenburg, Germany

 

  • May 31, 1973 Bonzo’s Birthday Party, The Forum, Inglewood, California

 

  • July 17, 1973 Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, Washington

 

  • February 12, 1975 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York

 

  • June 7, 1977 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York

 

  • July 24, 1979 Falkoner Teatret, Copenhagen, Denmark

The above recordings exist in many different CD configurations.

 

GF: Has writing the book changed your perception of Led Zeppelin in any way?

DL: It has in so much that during the collating of it all – their achievements as a touring band become even more apparent. It has also brought home the sense of honesty they projected – both in their music onstage and how they conducted themselves. They were totally committed to always trying to give the best performance they could – often, as is revealed in the book, under the most trying of circumstances.

GF: Has the book turned out the way you envisaged it?

DL: Definitely – all the key objectives we set out with have been achieved. It’s been a very intensive process that has come together over many years and countless hours of work to get it right. I have been involved in writing numerous Led Zeppelin books, but I can honestly say this one has been by far the most challenging.

Looking over the near 600 pages, it really is does feel incredibly fulfilling to have completed such a project. As is said before, this is a triumph for Mike in particular. It’s his single minded mission to attain such an accurate portrayal of this story that has constantly inspired me.

In terms of what has been achieved between us – this really is one of the best Led Zeppelin book project I’ve been involved in.

 

What do you think readers of the book will draw from it?

DL: Certainly the sense of rapid movement and growth of the band from their earliest days through to their elevation as the world’s greatest live rock attraction. It’s a steep curve that just gets more fascinating as it goes on – and all illustrated with rare images and photos that bring the story alive.

GF: Final thoughts…

When we undertook this challenge, none of us could have envisaged the amount of hours it would need to complete. It seemed to take on a life of its own as it evolved into a much larger work than we initially planned in size, page count and content.

We are all immensely proud of Evenings With Led Zeppelin, especially since we have tackled such a difficult project and managed to pull it all off. Reviewing the final proofs made us realize that the book is exactly what we had intended in the first place – and that’s very rewarding.

Of course, this will not be the only book on the market place come the autumn – a fair few are planned not least the official Led Zeppelin By Led Zeppelin book. There is no intention here to rival that publication – indeed the official book will be a must read and we are all going to revel in that one.

We see Evenings With Led Zeppelin as a book that complements the official Led Zeppelin By Led Zeppelin work.

We certainly view it as an important historical document – a very substantial volume at that. One that seeks to set the record straight on the story of their live in concert history – and in doing so enlightens and entertains every person that reads it.

There is a huge sense of fulfilment at what we have achieved.

For me personally, this book feels like the culmination of many years dedication and passion to the cause. It feels like a book I really needed to be involved in and produce – because fundamentally it reminds me of the reason I believe in it all still – my memories of the 15 occasions I have been lucky enough to see Led Zeppelin live on stage – coupled with so many vivid listening experiences via the many bootleg albums, cassettes and CD’s – this book has been an outlet for me to express my gratitude in print to the Led Zeppelin live legacy.

It all adds up to being the onstage heritage of Led Zeppelin as never before chronicled in one volume. We think it makes for some fascinating reading –and we believe this book to be the most accurate log of Led Zeppelin live appearances ever assembled in one volume, and of course we hope all readers of the book will agree.

Ultimately, we have attempted to present a book that will appeal on many levels.

To the many fans who’d witnessed Led Zeppelin back in their touring heyday there’s the opportunity to relive it again. To the countless fans who never had the opportunity to see the band in person, we offer a front row seat to experience each concert performance via period reviews, concert memorabilia and photos.

To anyone interested in rock history – this is one band’s development chronicled as never before.

Initial reaction to the book as been fantastic. Andy Adams a hugely influential commentator on all things Led Zep concluded his highly complementary review on his Celebrations Day Facebook group by stating:

This book is an utter triumph, a vast pool of knowledge and amongst the finest publications on ANY band, let alone those myriad of tomes about Led Zeppelin. Very few books are completely essential. This is…

We had a couple of highly successful launches for the book – on September 28 at the Festival of Sound Hi Fi event in Hammersmith London and two days later at the TBL Led Zeppelin 50th Anniversary fan gathering event at The Atlas pub in Fulham.

We were able to re iterate emphatically that it was onstage where Led Zeppelin functioned best, and Evenings With Led Zeppelin demonstrates that at the turn of every page.

Like I said, we think we have created something very special with this book – a book that will appeal to anyone interested in the concert history of the greatest live attraction of their times – as Richard Cole astutely acknowledges in his Foreword “They were the last of the giants and they still loom ever large – in fact, even now they seem bigger than anyone else.’’

Onstage was where Led Zeppelin functioned best, and Evenings With Led Zeppelin demonstrates that at the turn of every page.

So get ready to relive these evenings with Led Zeppelin – and a few afternoons as well…

Fifty years on from their formation, Led Zeppelin’s live legacy is unsurpassed. We have created this substantial book to demonstrate why…

 Dave Lewis & Mike Tremaglio

October – 2018

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Dave Lewis Interview with Matthew Pallett:

This interview was conducted by Matthew Pallett for his Producing and Debating Journalism module of his Journalism degree, which he is currently taking at the University of Roehampton. It was his first ever real interview and it’s a pleasure to present it on the TBL website.

Matt is the son of Simon Pallett who co-authored with Dave the book Led Zeppelin The Concert File originally published by Omnibus Press in 1997.

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Dave Lewis Interview with Matthew Pallett:

Mathew Pallett: What is it about the music of Led Zeppelin that resonates with you?

Dave Lewis: The sheer breadth of styles they covered – from blues to rock to folk, jazz – taking in Indian influences and more – that, coupled with a unique chemistry between the four players and musicianship of the highest calibre. There’s also a fifth element as Jimmy would put it. They have this mystique – a certain aura that no other band has. It’s hard to explain ….but I am sure many reading this know what I mean.

MP: You have been able to see Led Zeppelin in concert 15 times. Do you have a particular favourite? A memory that really sticks out?

DL: I was very lucky to see the band as many times as I did – so many memories stand out from being a mere 15 year old schoolboy when I first saw them at the Empire Pool Wembley in 1971 ( nothing was the same in our house after that!) the five nights at Earls Court when they really were at the height of the powers through to the emotional comeback at Knebworth. Perhaps most memorable of all were the five shows I saw on what would be their final tour in Europe in the summer of 1980. I was lucky enough to view those shows from the side of the stage – an incredible experience. Oh and the night of nights at the 02 reunion in 2007 when they proved they were, are and always will be the best…

MP: Why do you think rock music is no longer considered the ‘mainstream’ genre of music like it was back in the 60s and 70s?

DL: With the advent of downloading, Spotify streaming sources, YouTube etc music is now very accessible. The air of mystery and mystique that was prevalent back in the 1970s has all but gone. Back then, the only way to access music was on record or though the radio,TV and live gigs. There are also so many genres of music now – rock lines up with many other choices of style –from hip hop to dance etc.

MP: It could be argued that rock music isn’t nearly as popular as it was back when you started “Tight But Loose” 38 years ago. Has your readership declined, or has the Zeppelin fan base remained loyal?

DL: Again the whole way information is accessed has changed massively. When I began the magazine the only way to find out about the group was in the weekly music magazines NME, Melody Maker etc. It was one of the key reasons I created the magazine – to present regular information to fans throughout the world. The Internet of course changed all that – there are now hundreds of websites and fan forums about the group. Luckily the demographic I appeal to are fans who still love a tangible product – the subscription base has remained steady and given the mass accessibility of the internet and social media – very loyal.

MP: Led Zeppelin no longer perform as a group, yet “Tight But Loose” is still going strong. What do you think has been the key to the magazine’s ongoing success?

DL: Firstly, Led Zeppelin have achieved lasting durability and popularity. Along with a handful of other acts The Beatles, Stones, Elvis – they set the benchmark in their influence over generations of music fans. Their albums sound as fresh today as when they were recorded. Musically they are a massive influence on budding rock musicians throughout the globe.

Given that legacy, the Tight But Loose magazine has been well placed to constantly enhance like- minded readers enthusiasm for the band over many years. It’s become a trusted source of accurate information, news views and features. The content is also very unique and tangible – as I have often noted, websites are for browsing – the TBL magazine is for reading time and time again…

MP: Led Zeppelin is a band that officially broke up in 1980. 37 years later – they are still being written about and their albums are still in the charts. What do you think contributes to their longevity?

DL: As I mentioned above – their influence is vast – their music is lasting and they are forever in the present tense. The sheer creativity of their catalogue is simply awe inspiring and that is why they mean so much to so many people.

MP: Your career history was in record shop management, but you have successfully transitioned to full time author and music journalist. How easy/difficult was this transition? Any specific challenges?

DL: I enjoyed 35 years in music retail across the WH Smith, Our Price and Virgin Megastore brands – when the curtain came down in December 2008 and I was made redundant, I was faced with a major challenge – could I make a living out of something that had been a side line? It was into the unknown really but a step I feel I had to take. Luckily I had vast resources to tap into to produce a catalogue of work. It was, and continues to be a major challenge to self publish both the TBL magazine and books. I tested the self publishing book market with the first edition of the Then As It Was Led Zeppelin At Knebworth book in 2009 –to good very response.

I really began to get my head around it all in 2010 – I began working with designer Mick Lowe who runs a design and graphics studio in Bedford. He has been central to establishing the TBL publishing brand – I work closely with him on all TBL projects and he is absolutely superb to work with.

Being self- employed has thrown up many challenges. I work from home a lot of the time which can be quite isolating. It requires major discipline and organisational and planning skills. In terms of other freelance work –I have nurtured this along the way – it’s been good to come out of the Zep comfort zone and write about other artists . I’ve done pieces on Nick Drake, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart & The Faces, Paul McCartney, George Harrison Crosby Stills, Nash & Young and others for Record Collector, Classic Rock and Mojo etc.

It’s about earning a reputation for delivering informed and interesting copy on time – if you do that, repeat work comes your way. Building relationships is also very key and I’ve made some great contacts in recent years.

Operationally, it does remain a virtual one man show – I update the TBL website on a weekly basis, I write and edit copy, I assist the design, I do the marketing, I log all the orders that come in and process them. I am also distribution manager in packing every book and magazine and taking them to the post office on my trusty bicycle! I count them all in and count them all out…

MP: Initially, all content was authored by yourself personally. Now there is a selection of other writers and your role is more editorial. Is this easier/harder to edit somebody else’s work? Do other writers get offended if their work is rejected or heavily edited?

DL: I am still fairly hands on with the writing but in terms of the TBL magazine. I do have a very valuable list of contributors. These contributors share the same standards as myself so it’s not really a big problem in terms of editing their work –they know their subject very well indeed often better than I do! There is a balance to be had sometimes in where everything will fit and I do take editorial control on that – I always explain the reasons for copy being edited. There’s no doubt that having such ardent enthusiastic writers on board has maintained and enhanced the standard of the TBL magazine. I am therefore most grateful to Mike Tremaglio, Nick Anderson, Paul Sheppard ,Stephen Humphries, Larry Bergmann jr, Chris Charlesworth, Cliff Hilliard, Scott Heck, Andy Crofts , TBL website founder Dave Linwood, Ian Dixon, Jeff Strawman, Rikky Rooksby, Richard Grubb and Simon Cadmon and a few others whose knowledge and writing has lit up many an issue.

In terms of news gathering –TBL is affiliated to the Led Zeppelin news site run by James Cook – he does a fantastic job in collating current Zep related news.

MP: When you started “Tight But Loose”, it was purely a magazine. Now there is a strong website presence, Facebook account, Twitter feed. Do you find it enjoyable to keep up with social media demands? Does this become a burden or a valuable tool to promote your products?

DL: We live in a social media world and to an extent we are all slaves to it. The skill is making it work as a platform to create awareness of what TBL has to offer. Keeping on top of the TBL website , Facebook, Twitter etc is pretty relentless but hugely important. Facebook in particular has been a major platform for me to drive the TBL message. The website also has a very loyal following. It’s one of my key objectives to keep making that an interesting hub for visitors to tap into – and ultimately drive sales of the TBL magazine and books and merchandising.

My Facebook page is also a crucial driver of the TBL message – I have over 4,000 friends on the page –many of them ardent Zep fans – it’s a great method of keeping them abreast with news and views.

MP: Do you think technology has made it easier now for speciality journalists to get their work out there, than it was back when you started “Tight But Loose”? If so, why?

DL: It has categorically made it easier –simply by the many channels there are to get your work seen – we now have E-zines, blogs, forums, websites, Facebook groups etc. back in the 1970s it was just me and my pen! Like said, it’s how you use these platforms to your advantage and basically that is down to determination and enthusiasm to get your work seen.

MP: You have recently started to produce a digital version of your magazine. How much impact did this have?

DL: It has certainly spread the word and offered an online presence for the magazine – something I needed to do.

MP: Are you finding more people subscribing to the digital version to the traditional paper based version? Will the plan be to phase out the paper version of the magazine?

DL: The digital version has appealed to some readers – I do find some subscribers buy both the physical and digital version . In terms of accessibility, it’s a viable option. However, the physical magazine remains at the heart of the TBL brand – this is where a bulk of the sales still occur. There are no plans to phase out the paper version.

There are reasons for this – as mentioned before, the demographic of the mag is rather old school and they have been raised on physical products such as vinyl records and tangible magazines.

Attracting younger reads to the magazine is difficult – the plain fact remains that there is a lot of Led Zep information out there – and they are reluctant to pay for it –that applies to music also.

MP: Do you think by having a digital service, “Tight But Loose” has lost some of the collectability that the magazine used to have?

DL: None at all – as it has not had any considerable effect on the subscription base of the physical mag.

MP: Which do you personally prefer: digital magazines or physical copies? Why?

DL: it’s convenient to have a digital version but for me it really is all about the physical magazine – it’s tangible – it’s collectable –it can be stored to be read time and time again.

MP: You have been publishing the Led Zeppelin “Tight But Loose” magazine since 1978. It has progressed from a black and white Xeroxed fanzine to a full colour glossy professional magazine. How hard is it to still create original content (especially considering the band no longer perform)? Or is content rewritten for new generations?

DL: I’m pleased to say there is never an issue with the content. I have a backlog of features to use. What the mag is able to do is keep abreast of the current news but most significantly, present the heritage of Led Zep through unique content such as the Tranatura bootleg guide Paul Sheppard, interviews with key players in the story such as Zep PR man BP Fallon – offering a collector focus platform that advises on the state of the Zep collecting market etc. All this contributes to making the magazine a captivating read that will enhance the appreciation of the music for every reader.

MP: What do you consider to be the highlights of your career so far?

DL: There are so many – the feature I did for Sounds to celebrate ten years of Zep back in September in 1978 –that was my first written work of Zep in print, The Final Acclaim book in 1993, the A Celebration and Concert File books (the latter with your Dad!), being involved in researching Robert Plant’s Nine Lives box set in 2006 , intervening Peter Grant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, overseeing the Five Glorious Nights Led Zeppelin at Earls Court photo book and most recently liaising with Jimmy Page in compiling the new liner notes for the official Complete BBC Sessions set. That was of course a huge accolade.

MP: What new projects are you currently working on?


DL: TBL issue 43 has just been published – another massive outpouring with 50,000 words.

I also have an ongoing book project with co-author fellow Zep chronicler Mike Tremaglio – Evenings With Led Zeppelin is a book that will concentrate purely on the gig to gig history of the band presented with unique images. This has proved to be a huge undertaking – it’s a massive 500 page volume and Mike and I will be concentrating solidly on it in the coming months. I am working closely with TBL designer Mick Lowe on the lay out. It will be our way of marking the 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin’s formation.

As for other future objectives, I have many ideas under consideration – a chronicle of the 02 reunion concert, a possible reissue programme of the early TBL magazines, a possible best of TBL compendium and my own memoirs somewhere along the line.  I am also working on a feature that focuses on collectable UK singles – as all readers of this website know, I am big collector of vinyl records..

Looking ahead, fundamentally, the main point of contact and news of the latest TBL developments remains the TBL website and my Facebook page– the regular updates via those platforms will continue to inform readers of the TBL projects ahead not least the progress of the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book.

As we approach the landmark 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin’s formation there is much to celebrate. Whether it be online or though social media and the TBL website ,via the magazine, future book projects etc I will continue to endeavour to ensure TBL has a platform and voice that enhances the enjoyment of this very special band of musicians…

In short, chronicling the world of Led Zeppelin is in my DNA and it continues to be an absolute privilege to do so…

Dave Lewis – October, 2017.

 

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