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Introduction by Dave Lewis:

Led Zeppelin didn’t do fan clubs…

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



Throughout the past 45 years Tight But Loose has continued to chronicle the world of Led Zeppelin. After Led Zeppelin’s demise in 1980, as the solo albums unfolded, my enthusiasm for their work remained intact, leading to the books The Final Acclaim, A Celebration and Celebration II : The Tight But Loose Files and many more.

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

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


In recent times we have all faced difficulties with the Covid pandemic – here we have had some added pressures in the past two and a half years with my wife Janet recovering from a badly broken leg – she had a setback on this last October and underwent further hip surgery last year. I myself have been dealing with ongoing mental health issues.

I’m pleased to report that Janet has made good progress since the surgery and we are feeling very blessed about that.

Of course, music is always a salvation and  my commitment and enthusiasm for sharing my Zep related passion is as strong as ever and the TBL website and my Facebook page continue to be an outlet for my chronicling of this great life of music…

December 2022 Update:

Announcing the retirement of the TBL magazine:

Established in 1978 as a platform of communication for like-minded Led Zeppelin fans, the Tight But Loose magazine has reached out to over 30 countries around the world in its forty-plus years of publication. But after much soul searching and discussion with Janet and Mick Lowe and not a little sadness, I’ve decided that now is the right time to announce the retirement of the Tight But Loose magazine and cease publication.

The last edition issue of TBL was issue 45, a Led Zep at Knebworth Special published back in September 2019. Since then many things have happened, not least the pandemic and its far reaching consequences. That, and a combination of other factors – designer Mick Lowe’s changing circumstances, health issues here both physical and mental, and the birth of our lovely grandson, has led me to reach the conclusion that producing future TBL magazines is just too much for me to take on. Given the lack of any TBL issues in the past three years, I’m sure that will probably not come as too much of a surprise to anyone.

For many years the magazine has been published via content provided by   some crucial contributors, Mick’s design and layout, and my role in all aspects of the administration distribution – this has included sticking labels and stamps on  a 1,000 envelopes and physically taking them to be posted (mostly by means of my bike!).

It’s been hugely fulfilling to do this over the past four decades, but with changing values and age (hey, having done this since I was aged 22 and now being an official old age pensioner at 66, I’m not getting any younger!), the plain fact is I just don’t have the time and application to continue with this type of workload. Plus, there’s a need for me to prioritize what’s important and slow down a little bit.

I am of course immensely proud of what the TBL magazine has created and the enjoyment it has brought to so many Led Zeppelin fans.  Indeed, if you happen to have all 45 issues you own a unique catalogue in the chronicling of this great band we all love (with early issues typically fetching £100 plus on eBay).

I do intend to make available various back issues I still have left on a first come first basis at some point ahead. I did have a plan to reissue some of the older editions but that has proven difficult to do. I may return to that idea as a “best of” TBL book project.

Given everything going on in my life now, this seems the right time to bring the TBL magazine to a conclusion and it feels the end of an era but and as the great George Harrison once sang, all things must pass…

However let me make absolutely it clear it’s only the physical magazine I am ceasing – this does not mean I am retiring from chronicling the world of Led Zeppelin and my music writings – far from it…. 

I still aim to produce the regular TBL website updates which contain archive features, latest Zep related news and my diary blog update. In its way this serves as a mini online version of the TBL magazine and provides me with a platform for my writings which I am as passionate as ever to produce.

In conjunction with the TBL website, my own Facebook page is another means of getting my music message out there – this includes my thoughts on Zep and other artist’s releases and reissues, my passion for record collecting, the marking of important rock related birthdays and my regular nostalgic throwback Thursday postings of past retro charts and gig activity.

As for future book projects, my main objective is to work on my DL Memoirs – A Whole Lotta Music and More. I have been a very blessed man in enjoying over 50 years of musical appreciation and I am keen to tell many a story. I am currently about 25,000 words up and am about to enter 1972 so there’s a long way to go. I am not setting a deadline and I will work on it at my own pace so publication is a way off yet. I will report on the progress of this major project as it evolves via the TBL website and my Facebook page.

I did have a plan to produce a Robert Plant photo book but that idea has proved difficult to bring to fruition and remains on hold – as mentioned above, changing circumstances here limits the time I have to apply to research intensive projects and the DL Memoirs is my main written focus ahead.

I would like to offer sincere thanks to everyone who worked on and contributed to the TBL magazine over the years and there are many amazing people who made it happen, in particular Ross Halfin, Mike Tremaglio, Gary Foy, Richard Grubb, Mike Warry, Graeme Hutchinson, Nick Anderson, Paul Sheppard, Stephen Humphries, Jonathan Taylor, Rikky Rooksby Simon Cadmon and Andy Crofts.  May I offer an equally sincere thanks to every single person that invested in the magazine and made it such a thrilling and fulfilling outlet for me to be at the helm of for nigh on 44 years.

So it’s goodbye to the physical Tight But Loose magazine, but be assured my passion to present and share the chronicling of the world of Led Zeppelin and the music I love goes on with the same unrelenting enthusiasm that I had when I handwrote the very first issue of the TBL magazine back in 1978.

In effect, the song does remain the same here, albeit in a way that reflects the time and application I can give to share my thoughts on this wonderful music that continues to enthrall and inspire us all.

Dave Lewis – January 2023

Thanks for all your continued support

A summary of the TBL  website postings from 2023 can be seen here:

March 2023 update:

Looking at this photo of past issues of the Led Zeppelin TBL magazine I edited brings back many a memory.
I have to say I am already missing the Tight But Loose mag and everything that went with it. The planning, the editing, the production, working with designer Mick on the layout and design, over seeing the printing, the distribution and reaction. A process I have been involved in for many a year. It was hugely fulfilling and I am very proud of the TBL heritage and the 45 magazines produced over a 40 plus year period.
Though there had not been an issue for a good while, I had a lot of stuff backlogged to use and had already sorted a cover mock up and a page plan for the next issue. The idea was to work on it around this period.
When I decided to call time on the TBL magazine last December it was done with much soul searching and was by no means an easy decision.
That all said, I do stand by that decision as circumstances have changed considerably here in the past three years. There is just not enough time to apply the necessary focus that is needed to produce and sustain an intensive 32 page workload.
There are fresh priorities now and helping out with our grandson Ollie is one of them and a total joy for the good lady Janet and I – when he is here the playlist switches to the likes of Wheels on the Bus and Old MacDonald Had a Farm – all great fun and we feel very blessed indeed….
It’s been a combination of factors that led to me retiring the TBL magazine. Nobody is getting any younger – I was 22 when I hand wrote the first issue in 1978 and here I am an old age pensioner at 66. With age comes health worries and there are ongoing issues here both physical and mental to navigate through.
However, my enthusiasm to chronicle and share the music I love and write about, goes on unabated. With the TBL mag no more – the platforms of this Facebook page and the regular TBL website update become ever more important for me.
I love compiling the regular TBL website update, keeping up to date with the latest Zep related news and often focusing on key Zep related events from the rich heritage of past TBL content.
Similarly I love my various Facebook posts – the daily posting of musicians Birthday’s with links to You Tube clips, marking key Led Zeppelin anniversaries, the Saturday is platterday – on the player posts, the Throwback Thursday retro chart and adverts from my paper archive and the reporting of my record and CD finds etc.
All of this defines who I am and what I do – it also serves as an inspiration to fend off the black dog of depression which I am often prone to. In effect I need to do this as it’s good for the soul.
As is well known, I also love collecting records and CDs across many a genre – amongst them foreign Led Zeppelin pressings, anything Page, Plant and Jones related, 1960s and 70s sampler albums, Beatles and Rolling Stones albums, promo and demo singles, singles with Beatles cover versions, anything interesting on the the Swan Song, Apple, Atlantic, Island and Immediate label to name but a few, plus, eight track cartridges and cassettes, charity shop bargains, visiting record fairs and record shops and more -add to all that the consumption of monthly music magazines and music related books which I soak up relentlessly.
As the late great David Crosby sang ”Music is love” and that’s the way it’s been for me from an early age.
As previously mentioned here, my current writing focus is chipping away at my own memoirs. Researching my memoirs is an ongoing process and discovering the roots of my music and collecting passions is proving to be both cathartic and revealing.
Listening, collecting, chronicling and sharing this great music I and many other likeminded people love is in my DNA.
This very deep connection I have with my favourite artists is as fervent as ever – and all this is a reminder of why I do what I do and sometimes it’s good to stop and reflect on it all.
So, this Facebook page and the regular TBL website updates are important outlets for me to express and share my musical passion and enthusiasm – and to do so continues to be a privilege and a pleasure…
Dave Lewis – March 17 2023


Latest book news:December 2022:

Five Glorious Nights – Led Zeppelin at Earls Court May 1975 – Revised & Expanded Edition

Just received my copy of this book which I’ve been working on for much of 2022 – and it looks fabulous…
Rufus aim to fulfill all pre orders for the Compact Size Standard Edition in the next few days.
Here’s the info:
Five Glorious Nights – Led Zeppelin at Earls Court May 1975 – Revised & Expanded Edition
Standard Compact Edition with slipcase and 4 exclusive prints out now
What this book is all about…
Firstly the backstory…
In 2014, Mark Smith the publisher of high value deluxe photo books via Rufas Stone Publishing, came to me with an idea for a Led Zeppelin photo book – it was established that this could be showcase for images of their five concerts at Earls Court in May 1975.
Being a long time devotee of this period and having attended all five nights and written extensively about the subject of Led Zeppelin at Earls Court, I was more than happy to get fully on board with this project.
Mark collated a number of images from various photographers, notably the archives of Dick Barnatt, Ian Dickson, Barry Plummer and Michael Putland. I got in touch with a few other photographers I knew who had Earls Court material and very quickly we had amassed over 300 images. We had a title too paraphrasing something Robert Plant said on stage at Earls Court to the effect that these were Five Glorious Nights.
In early 2015, the brilliant TBL designer Mick Lowe began to piece together the layout under my ever watchful eye. The pair of us worked non stop on it for the next four months eventually emerging with a 288 page volume. I wrote and collated all the text and I asked the renowned rock photographer Ross Halfin to act as the photo editorial consultant and his experience added greatly to the photo selection.
By the end of April 2015 we had a finished book layout and the book to be titled Five Glorious Nights –Led Zeppelin at Earls Curt May 1975 was ready to go. It was published in early June just as the 40th anniversary of these famous shows was being celebrated. The standard version was a limited edition of 1,000 copies at £130 each.
Here was the challenge…
First of all, it’s worth mentioning that the title I came up with Five Glorious Nights – was a clear indication that rather than just slap various photos on to the pages, the objective was to represent each night and unfold the whole saga of each concert.
I was of course well aware that there had been a fair few photo books of Led Zeppelin – and there’s been some significant ones since 2015, not least Jimmy’s Anthology book and their own Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin volume published in 2018.
In laying out the photos for design and to get the feel of the five glorious nights, I separated the photos into five sections each representing the individual concerts performed. Where possible, I then 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 demonstrated the esteem in which these concerts were held in by reviewers at the time.
This was a key strategy and something I had remembered from the photo book that accompanied George Harrison’s Concert For Bangla Desh triple album in 1972 –whereby relevant photos were matched to the entire set list.
So what emerges within the layout is a visual representation of the key moments of each performance – early group shots of the opening numbers, In My Time of Dying with Jimmy using his Dan Electro guitar, The Song Remains The Same/Rain Song sequence with Jimmy on the Gibson double neck guitar, the swirling lighting backdrop to Kashmir, the four part harmony of Tangerine, the acoustic set, the revolving lights of Trampled Underfoot, John Bonham in full percussive flight on Moby Dick, Jimmy in full on violin bow mode in the laser lights during Dazed And Confused, Jimmy back on the double neck and Robert brandishing the tambourine during Stairway To Heaven, Jimmy caught in theremin action during the Whole Lotta Love encore and Jimmy and Robert clustered together on the shared chorus of the same track, the close of concert and coming off the stage scenes including Bonzo stating that ‘’I think Football is a load of bollocks on the May 24 show.
Through these stunning images placed in set list order, every reader can travel on the journey of their three and a half hour powerhouse performances. Even more so with the appropriate Zep at Earls Court bootleg.
Working on this revised and expanded edition, I applied the same set list sequence formula.
So this is no mere photo book – it’s an accurate visual portrayal of the Led Zeppelin experience across those five memorable performances – to be enjoyed time and time again.
Back to the story – In July 2015, I met with Jimmy Page at Olympic Studios to interview him for the then forthcoming Led Zeppelin reissues. I took the opportunity to personally hand him a copy of the book. He was very impressed.
The reaction to the book was excellent and that first edition subsequently sold out within a few months.
For the past couple of years, Mark Smith and I have talked about updating the book in some way. This all took too an upward turn earlier this year when Mark informed me he had acquired a further round of Led Zeppelin at Earls Court photos notably by Jill Fumanovsky and Adrian Boot. It was Adrian’s photos that were the real clincher. For these were all taken at the May 23 show.
For the first edition, we had very few photos from that particular concert –this was the night Robert Plant wore the wraparound cherry adorned top he favoured on the US tour that spanned January to March. This was the only show of the Earls Court run that he wore that garment –the four other nights he had the Miss Selfridges cut off top.
So this was a real opportunity to present a much more accurate portrayal of the five shows. As I had mentioned in the Preface of the first addition, I had taken a measure of artistic license in presenting the May 23 section first time out –purely as at that time we had no source for photos from that night. The late great photographer Terry O Neil did cover that night extensively but those could not be cleared for the Rufus book at the time. incidentally, I did go on to work with Terry and his Earls Court photos when I compiled the Led Zeppelin Live 1975 -1977 book for ACC Editions /Iconic Images in 2018.
Thanks to Adrian’s photos, we now had all angles covered. I put it to Mark that we should re-lay in these new photos in and possibly extend the page count. Mark was in total agreement and the plan was to add 32 pages to the book to make it a total page count of 320.
I also proposed that I update all the text where required and set about that task in early May.
Then came the major task of re sequencing the photos to accommodate the new photos and the 32 extra pages.
The first plan was to re- sequence the May 23 section and add the Adrian Boot photos in. I was mindful throughout the whole process to keep the photos sequenced in tandem with the set list and in a chronological order –as I had with the first edition.
For this revised layout, I worked with the Rufas in house designers, initially with Karl Burbage and recently more extensively with Jamie Wallis.
Once the May 23 section was in and signed off, I worked on revising all the other nights. I was now in full on mode for this project and spent a lot of hours working all this out and coming up with a cohesive volume that really tells the story of Led Zeppelin at Earls Court through the stunning images of those talented photographers who were right there in front of the action.
So what can you expect for your money with this new expanded and revised edition?
Firstly, it’s worth noting that those who have purchased the first edition may feel they already have this subject covered and do not need a second version – and that of course is fine.
Given the limited run of the first book and its initial high end price tag, there are many fans out there who missed out. This was something I was well aware of and to that end, I suggested to Mark that we come in at a price that would be more affordable for the average fan.
So this time there is a standard compact edition for a very reasonable £69 – providing the opportunity for fans to invest in a high quality book at a price that offers real value.
Then there is a high end leather bound larger size version with repro Earls Court poster at £495 in a strictly limited edition run this is due out mid January.
Even for purchasers of the first edition, there is a lot on offer in this revised version that would in my view, make it a very worthwhile package.
As for anyone who did not indulge first time around – well, I’d say this is an essential addition to the ever bulging Zep book case.
Whenever I approach any Zep book project, I always come in from the angle of what I, as a fan would want to read.
Given the subject matter being so close to my heart, I do feel under an amount of pressure to bring the best possible representation of these milestone concerts. This one has been a real challenge but I am pleased to say I am very happy with the end result.
Here’s some statistics:
Book size: This reprint is physically smaller than the original in the compact standard version and is 230mm square.
There are around 30 photos have been re positioned from the first edition.
Photo count: 200 black and white photos and 80 colour shots making a grand total of 280 Earls Court images
The May 23 section has 30 Adrian Boot photos that are new to this revised edition – in all there are 40 photos that are additions from the first book
A bulk of the overall photos used in the book are rarely seen shots.
Add to that another 150 colour memorabilia and LP and CD images
The Compact Standard Edition comes shrink wrapped in an outer slip case and includes 4 exclusive black and white prints of Led Zeppelin on stage at Earls Court taken by Adrian Boot.
The many photographs presented and taken at some of their most famous performances ever will take you back there time and time again. As mentioned, this really is 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.
It’s been a real challenge to revisit this book and make a good thing even better and I have put my heart and soul into this project since May. I knew there was huge scope to produce and present something really special for fans all over the globe..
With the Earls Court Exhibition Centre long demolished – Five Glorious Nights – Led Zeppelin at Earls Court May 1975 offers a permanent visual record of a band at their absolute zenith, in a setting that truly justified their status as the world’s greatest live rock attraction. These really were five glorious nights in May 1975.
I’m very pleased and privileged to have been given this fresh opportunity for fans to relive them through the visual magnificence of this newly revised and expanded deluxe volume which vividly captures the power and glory of Led Zeppelin on stage at Earls Court all of 47 years ago.
Dave Lewis January 2023
Here’s the press release:


Five Glorious Nights – Led Zeppelin At Earls Court May 1975

A photographic record compiled by Dave Lewis (Rufus Publishing) 

In May 1975, Led Zeppelin performed five momentous concerts at the Earls Court Arena in London to a combined audience of 85,000 fans. This was a band  at the peak of their powers slaying the sold out audiences with a nightly marathon three and a half hour presentation of light, sound, power and energy.

There’s no doubt that Led Zeppelin’s Earls Court appearances represented a career high for the band and four decades on, are still held in the highest esteem by the vast following.

Five Glorious Nights –Led Zeppelin at Earls Court May 1975 captures the sheer visual magnificence of the band though the images of some of the finest rock photographers of the era who were right there on the spot to capture rock history.

Compiled by Dave Lewis, this new 320-page revised and expanded edition offers a permanent visual record of a band at their absolute zenith – in a setting that truly justified their status as the world’s greatest live attraction.

It comes in two versions – the standard edition is a 230mm square hardback format in a printed sleeve with slip case and an exclusive Leather and Metal Edition, measuring a huge 375mm square, bound in recycled burgundy leather and supplied in a hand-made aluminum slipcase with a reproduction show poster. Only 100 of these are available and includes the standard edition.

The standard version should ship this month with the deluxe version in January.

For ordering details visit





Freelance writer, author, editor and publisher:









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

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

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



The Tight But Loose magazine:

Dave founded the Led Zeppelin magazine Tight But Loose in 1978

The TBL magazine has reached out to Led Zeppelin fans in over 30 countries spanning the UK, America, Canada, Mexico, Ecuador , Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia , Israel, Turkey, Russia, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland,  Italy, Finland, Norway, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, China, Hong Kong and Japan.

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

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

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


The 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 magazine update 2022:

Announcing the retirement of the TBL magazine

Established in 1978 as a platform of communication for like-minded Led Zeppelin fans, the Tight But Loose magazine has reached out to over 30 countries around the world in its forty-plus years of publication. But after much soul searching and discussion with Janet and Mick Lowe and not a little sadness, I’ve decided that now is the right time to announce the retirement of the Tight But Loose magazine and cease publication


Dave is the author of the following Led Zeppelin books:

Led Zeppelin The Final Acclaim (Babylon Books 1983)

Led Zeppelin A Celebration (Omnibus Press 1991)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Over Europe for tbl

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

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

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

Note – many of the above are now out of print

He has also supplied text contributions for the following books:

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

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

Led Zeppelin Portraits –Neal Preston (Vision Publishing 2002)

All Pens Blazing – Neil Daniels (Authors Online 2009)

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

Led Zeppelin Live 1975 -1979 (ACL Books 2017)

Dave has contributed the Forewords to the following books:

Live Dreams –Larry Ratner (Margaux Publishing 1995)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


barton 3

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

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

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


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

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


band on rec coll

Record Collector back issue information – see link at:










The Record Collector Presents Led Zeppelin special is out

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







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

Here are links to read the above:


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


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

Dave Linwood maintained the site until 2005.

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

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

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

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

Here’s some feedback on the site:

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

Thanks again

John Thomson – Melbourne

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

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


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








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

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

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

Knebworth August 2, 1979: With Robert Plant

Knebworth August 2, 1979: With Robert Plant

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

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

Celebration Day Press Conference September 2012: With Mojo editor Phil Alexander

Celebration Day Press Conference September 2012: With Mojo editor Phil Alexander

Celebration Day Press Conference September 2012: group photo taken by DL

Celebration Day Press Conference September 2012: group photo taken by DL

With Alice Cooper Classic Rock Awards 2015

With Alice Cooper Classic Rock Awards 2015

With Lemmy  Classic Rock Awards 2011

With Lemmy  Classic Rock Awards 2011

With Chris Dreja of the Yardbirds and photographer of the back cover pic of Led Zeppelin I

With Chris Dreja of the Yardbirds and photographer of the back cover pic of Led Zeppelin I

with Chris Farlowe 2019

with Chris Farlowe 2019

with Jimmy page and Paul Smith Led Zeppelin launch 2017

with Jimmy page and Paul Smith Led Zeppelin launch 2017

With Deborah Bonham John Bonham Memorial May 31 2018

With Deborah Bonham John Bonham Memorial May 31 2018

With Julie Felix Royal Albert Hall 2018

With Julie Felix Royal Albert Hall 2018

With David Hepworth and Mark Ellen recording The Word podcast 2019

With David Hepworth and Mark Ellen recording The Word podcast 2019

With David Hepworth 2019

With David Hepworth 2019

With Spike of The Quireboys 2019

With Spike of The Quireboys 2019

With John Paul Jones at the 100 club 2019

With John Paul Jones at the 100 club 2019

With Ross Halfin 2018

With Ross Halfin 2018

With Andy Adams and Janet 2018

With the alte much missed Andy Adams and Janet 2018

With Richard Cole post party02 Arena Reunion 2007

With the late much missed Richard Cole post party02 Arena Reunion 2007

With Dave Ling of Classic Rock at the Knebworth book launch 2014

With Dave Ling of Classic Rock at the Knebworth book launch 2014

With Charles Shaar Murray 2013

With Charles Shaar Murray 2013

With Chris Charlesworth 2012

With Chris Charlesworth 2012

With Bev Bevan 2019

With Bev Bevan 2019

With Keith Moon 1978

With Keith Moon 1978

With Glenn Hughes 2016

With Glenn Hughes 2016

With Deborah and Mick Bonham 1992

With Deborah and  late much missed Mick Bonham 1992

With Jimmy Page 2015

With Jimmy Page 2015

with John Paul Jones 1998

with John Paul Jones 1998

With John Paul Jones 2012

With John Paul Jones 2012

with Jason Bonham 2011

with Jason Bonham 2011

with the late Howard Mylett 2007

with the late Howard Mylett 2007

with Ross Halfin 2015

with Ross Halfin 2015

with Jimmy Page 1980

with Jimmy Page 1980

with Jimmy Page 2015

with Jimmy Page 2015

with daughter Sam 1990

with daughter Sam 1990

with Janet 2015

with Janet 2015

With John Davis engineer on the Led Zeppelin reissues 2014

With John Davis engineer on the Led Zeppelin reissues 2014

with Deborah Bonham 2013

with Deborah Bonham 2013

with Richard Cole and Warren Grant 2014

with Richard Cole and Warren Grant 2014

with Glenn Hughes 2011

with Glenn Hughes 2011

With Deborah Bonham

With Deborah Bonham

... and photographer Dick Barnett

… and photographer Dick Barnett

With John Paul Jones 2012

With John Paul Jones 2012

With Ross Halfin

With Ross Halfin

With Charles Shaar Murray

With Charles Shaar Murray

with author Barney Hoskins 2012

with author Barney Hoskins 2012

with John Paul Jones 2012

with John Paul Jones 2012

with Roy Harper 2011

with Roy Harper 2011

with photographer Baron Wolman 2015

with photographer Baron Wolman 2015

with DJ Nicky Horne 2011

with DJ Nicky Horne 2011

with Glenn Hughes 2014

with Glenn Hughes 2014

with Jason Bonham 2011

with Jason Bonham 2011

with DJ Bob Harris 2010,

with DJ Bob Harris 2010

with author Mick Wall 2010

with author Mick Wall 2010

With John Paul jones 2011

With John Paul jones 2011

With Jason Bonham 2010

With Jason Bonham 2010

With Glenn Hughes 2010

With Glenn Hughes 2010

with Joe Bonamassa 2010

with Joe Bonamassa 2010

with Adrian Chiles 2010

with Adrian Chiles 2010

with author Nick Kent 2010.

with author Nick Kent 2010.

with John Paul Jones

with John Paul Jones

with Led Zeppelin II engineer Eddie Kramer 2009

with Led Zeppelin II engineer Eddie Kramer 2009

With Spike of The Quireboys


With Bob Harris 2024


BBC Six O Clock News – December 10 2007:

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

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










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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cel prem 15

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

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

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








The Led Zeppelin Reissue programme:


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

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


The Complete BBC Sessions Liner Notes:

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








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

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

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





Jimmy Page with his copy:

handing over to jimmy

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

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


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

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




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

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


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

He can often be seen at London record fairs, markets and shops wading through the vinyl racks

Other shops/fairs: Dave recommends the following outlets:

Slide Record Shop, Bedford

Fopp Covent Garden, London.

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

The VIP Record Fairs in Victoria

The Spitalfields record fairs in London.

Across the Tracks and Wax Factor in Brighton.

Empire Records – St Albans.

The VIP Bedford Record Fair at The Harpur Suite


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 Victoria 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 3,500 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




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.


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 38 years), and has a daughter, Samantha and son Adam and Grandson Ollie.


London Record Shop Analysis: Updated March 2024…

 London record shop thoughts…

I often get asked for advice from visitors to London on what are the best record shops to check out. On my last visit a few weeks back I conducted a record shop analysis of the shops to be found in the Berwick Street and Soho areas – so here goes..

Sister Ray Records:

75 Berwick St, London W1F 8TG

Now this is my kind of record shop. Sister Ray (named after the Velvet Underground track) is a two floor shop on the right side of Berwick Street as you turn in from Oxford Street.

It used to be in a larger site across the road.

The top floor has racks on CDs both sides – plenty of bargains to be had here. The counter area also stacks various titles for under a fiver. The latest issues of Record Collector and Shindig! magazines are always were on show too.

Behind the counter there’s always a choice selection of the latest box set release. The basement floor is taken up with racks of mainly second hand vinyl LPs and singles.

There’s a cheaper section of titles at £1.99 and 3 for £5. Lots of rarities to be seen on the displays above the racks. The singles area has a £1 ex Juke Box section and a great selection of 60s/70s vintage singles rock, reggae, soul, psych and punk. The pricing is very reasonable and there are always a few demos and promos in there – I’ve snapped up a fair few of these over the years and on the day I was there last week bagged a couple of Marvin Welsh & Farrar demos on the Regal Zonophone label,

It may be a smaller unit than it once was but they pack in a variety of interesting stock. The staff are good too and the guy there went out of his way to fine the last copy of the 1962 British Hit parade a 60s compilation set I needed another copy of.

I rarely come out of Sister Ray without buying – the sign of a shop that is always an essential stop off as I make my way to the TBL office (also known as The Spice of Life)…

Reckless Records

30 Berwick St, London W1F 8RH

Another essential Berwick Street stop off. Reckless Records has a long standing reputation for being a magnet for collectors. It’s packed with interesting stock . The emphasis is firmly on LPs of every genre –both new pressings and second hand.. There’s also plenty of CDs, many at sale prices. It also stocks a lot of  singles –notably a rack full £1 bargains.

Reckless caters for the high end market too with lots of rare pressings to be seen above the main racks. A Led Zeppelin I in the turquoise let sleeve as on sale for a cool £1,500

With a constant stream of new stock arriving, there’s always something to wade through on every visit.

Sounds Of The Universe

 7 Broadwick St, London W1F ODA

Just around the corner from Reckless is Sounds of the Universe. This shop specialises in soul, funk and jazz Lps and singles but also has plenty of rock titles. There’s always a great selection of rock, soul and jazz books. The shop is well presented and clearly priced. There’s a basement area specialising in reggae along with more books. I’ve had a few bargains from here over the years – notably the Nick Drake Remembered For a While book for £15 and again it’s a shop always worth a look in.


1 Earlham St,

Fopp is situated on the corner of Cambridge Circus – it’s named after a track on the Ohio Players  1975 album Honey. It’s not a collectors store as such as it only deals in new stock. However, there is much to seek out between the three tightly cramped floors.

From the moment you walk in this is a store that shouts ‘’buy me!’’ The front area has multiple displays of the latest releases plus piles of bargain value books – for instance they had The Beatles large format Get Back book reduced by half price to £15.

Further into the ground floor there’s DVDs, book offers, T shirts and plenty of themed end panels. There’s boxes of sale LPs plus a 3 for £55 vinyl offer.

The lower floor is packed with DVDs.  On climbing the stairs to the upper floor there’s an array of classic albums on CD racked at the front. The central A-Z racks are full of CDs.  To the left there a deep catalogue presentation of LPs. Books galore at the counter area mostly for under £7.

A number of CD titles are racked to commemorate the year they were released –again this all adds to the specialist feel of the store.

This Fopp store has been a favourite for years –and though the prices have raised a little, it’s still a very happening store with product offers everywhere you look.  It’s great for keeping up to date with recently released reissues etc and has long since been a key destination in filling gaps in my CD collection and more. There are still bargain priced CDs on offer from £3

A word of warning – it might be advisable not to visit the TBL office also known as The Spice Of Life  before a visit to Fopp. A couple of pints tends to heighten the desire for the Fopp retail experience!


I often get asked which are London’s best record shops to visit – Sister Ray, Reckless Records Sound of the Universe and Fopp are a great starting point as they are all in close proximity and within easy access of the Oxford Circus /Piccadilly tube stations

Elsewhere there’s Rough Trade East in Brick Lane, Flashback Records in Islington and Crouch End, Music & Video Exchange in Notting Hill Gate , Casbah Records in Greenwich, Sounds Original in Ealing and the Spitalfields Record Fair on the first and third Friday of each month. Plus the regular VIP Record Fairs at Victoria on January, April, September and November.

I’m sure there are many other great record shops dotted around the London area – let me know if there’s one you know of that I can add to this list…

Dave Lewis – March 2024



who four


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

View the clip here:

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

The full story of this appearance is at this link:



The Complete Concert Chronicle Revised & Expanded Edition by Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio:

This new expanded edition is extended by 48 pages bringing the total to 624 – including a brand new 10-page concert bootleg CD discography appendix

Dozens of additional concert ads, handbills, ticket stubs, press reviews, venue photos have been added – many images updated and improved.

More on stage photos have been added, including many never published before.

If you bought the first edition you already know that it is a thorough and complete chronicle of Led Zeppelin’s concert history – it achieved a 95% five star rating on Amazon reviews.

This new updated edition is a major upgrade over that highly acclaimed first edition – and even if you have the first book – this new edition adds so much more -and will be a very worthwhile re investment…

Here are some statistics on the additions to the revised & expanded edition:

Now includes over 300,000 words and 3,100 images!

55 Concert entries have been expanded in length with new text, images, and information

55 Concert entries include new press concert previews & reviews (many with images)

100 Concert tickets added

75 Concert adverts added

25 Concert photos added

22 New Led Zeppelin (11 unconfirmed or cancelled gigs) & pre-Zep 1968 concert listings (11)

20  Handbills/Posters images added

20  Miscellaneous images (Programs/Membership cards/press releases/contracts/venue pics, etc.) added

10  Page concert bootleg CD discography added to the Appendix section.

If you have yet to invest, be prepared to be amazed – this is essential reading for every Led Zeppelin fan…


Here’s the UK ordering link:


The book is available in the US via Amazon  at the link below




Update January 2022:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There’s always music in our world with the good lady Janet here and lots of it and no doubt if you are reading this – yours too.

With the ongoing  difficulties of living with Covid, it’s something to  to be inspired by – some much needed salvation in the face of adversity.

As Nick Hornby once said ”record stores can’t save your life but they can give you a better one”.

Music is always hugely accessible – be it in record shops , online ordering, via YouTube, streaming and downloads.

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

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

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

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

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

Given that we can no longer indulge in the activities  we once took for granted without a strong feeling of  trepidation and fear -the outlet of my Facebook page and the TBL website is increasingly important to me.

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

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

In short, it’s in my DNA. Of course chronicling the world of Led Zeppelin and all that revolves around it, has been central to my musical obsession for over 52 years and continues to be.

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

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

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

Thanks for listening…

Stay safe and well.

Dave Lewis – January, 2022


Latest book update:


Five Glorious Nights – Led Zeppelin At Earls Court May 1975

A photographic record compiled by Dave Lewis (Rufus Publishing) 

In May 1975, Led Zeppelin performed five momentous concerts at the Earls Court Arena in London to a combined audience of 85,000 fans. This was a band  at the peak of their powers slaying the sold out audiences with a nightly marathon three and a half hour presentation of light, sound, power and energy.

There’s no doubt that Led Zeppelin’s Earls Court appearances represented a career high for the band and four decades on, are still held in the highest esteem by the vast following.

Five Glorious Nights –Led Zeppelin at Earls Court May 1975 captures the sheer visual magnificence of the band though the images of some of the finest rock photographers of the era who were right there on the spot to capture rock history.

Compiled by Dave Lewis, this new 320-page revised and expanded edition offers a permanent visual record of a band at their absolute zenith – in a setting that truly justified their status as the world’s greatest live attraction.

It comes in two versions – the standard edition is a 230mm square hardback format in a printed sleeve with slip case and an exclusive Leather and Metal Edition, measuring a huge 375mm square, bound in recycled burgundy leather and supplied in a hand-made aluminum slipcase with a reproduction show poster. Only 100 of these are available and includes the standard edition.

The standard version should ship this month with the deluxe version in January.

For ordering details visit

Distribution update –  the standard edition  should be ready for distribution over the weekend


My plan ahead…

A Whole Lotta Music and More – The Dave Lewis Memoirs

Work in progress…for future publication…

The Our Price record shop chain that Dave Lewis worked for used to have a slogan that read “Mad About Music – See a Specialist’’

It’s an apt description, as for over 60 years Dave Lewis has been mad about music – make that a whole lotta music… and he has also been something of a specialist.

Acknowledged as a renowned world authority on Led Zeppelin, his many widely acclaimed books and magazines on the band have reached out to fans in over 30 countries. It’s an all-encompassing passion that ran parallel with a 35-year career at the forefront of the UK record shop industry.

This is a man who has been is consumed and inspired by so many great sounds, sights, musicians and people…

Now in this enlightening memoir, A Whole Lotta Music and More tells the story behind these inspirations and passions.

It’s a passion that has led him to watching five a side football with Robert Plant, meeting Prince Charles backstage at the Dominion Theatre, leaping on stage to share the spotlight with The Who’s Pete Townshend (while innocently cuffing Roger Daltrey in the process), waving Led Zeppelin off at Heathrow Airport, watching them in Europe from the ultimate vantage point at the side of the stage, receiving a bear hug from John Bonham in a Munich hotel, conducting one of the last ever interviews with legendary Zep manager Peter Grant, co-organising the first ever Led Zep UK Convention that became a Bonham family reunion, being serenaded by John Paul Jones on mandolin in Borders books shop and discussing writing sleeve notes for Zep’s Complete BBC Sessions album with Jimmy Page in a fish and chip shop in Ladbroke Grove…

Over a 50 year period, Dave has chronicled the world of Led Zeppelin from the Empire Pool Wembley across Meadowlands Arena New Jersey to the Bostanci Centre in Istanbul and a tent in Ashby de la Zouch – not to mention a glorious Zep swan song at their O2 Arena reunion tribute concert for Ahmet Ertegun in 2007. As the esteemed co -founder of Atlantic Records once put it “It is a great life – this life of music”

Alongside all that, there’s many a tale to be told from behind a record shop counter. Working in music retail from 1974 to 2009, Dave experienced the retail sales phenomenon’s of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin, John Lennon, Queen, The Bay City Rollers, Slade, Abba, The Jam, Band Aid, Elton John, Take That, Oasis and many more.

He has also witnessed the changing face of the record industry at close quarters and indulged in much over the counter banter such as the occasion he innocently explained to a customer that the new Four Skins album had been pulled back…

Aside from his association with the members of Led Zeppelin, Dave’s journalistic endeavours have led to him to interview and be in close proximity with the likes of musicians such as Alice Cooper, Brian May, Jack Bruce, Jeff Beck, Roy Harper, Julie Felix, Deborah Bonham, Jason Bonham, Joe Bonamassa, Glen Hughes and Lemmy – adding to that list is the legendary Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant, Who manager Bill Curbishley and pioneering journalists such as Chris Charlesworth, Charles Shaar Murray and Nick Kent. All these liaisons are all faithfully reported in the book.

Football and the varying fortunes of Tottenham Hotspur and England also get a big look in – as does Fireball XL5, The Dave Clark Five, The Daleks, Subbuteo table soccer, Dave’s continual collecting passions and pursuit of LP records, singles and CDs and the love and support of a very good lady.

Drawing on 50 years of personal diaries and a vivid memory, A Whole Lotta Music and More is the story of one man’s unrelenting passion for music and life relayed with much wit, candour and often with a nostalgic tear in the eye…

Dave Lewis continues to be mad about music and more – and is now eager to share his musical and life affirming memoirs that will resonate greatly with many a like-minded soul…

More on this as it evolves …

Dave Lewis – January 2024

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