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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.



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.




Freelance writer, author, editor and publisher:


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

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

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



The Tight But Loose magazine:

Dave founded the Led Zeppelin magazine Tight But Loose in 1978

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

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

The 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:

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  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:



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.’’


barton 3

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

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

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


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

band on rec coll

Record Collector back issue information – see link at:



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

Here are links to read the above:


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


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

Dave Linwood maintained the site until 2005.

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

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

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

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

Here’s some feedback on the site:

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

Thanks again

John Thomson – Melbourne

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

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


The Dave Lewis/TBL Facebook is another major source of TBL information with daily updates, photo content, news, views, retro images and vintage charts.. With over 4,000 friends, it’s another major hub for following the world of Dave Lewis and Tight But Loose.



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





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.





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cel prem 15

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

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

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

The Led Zeppelin Reissue programme:


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

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

The Complete BBC Sessions Liner Notes:

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









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

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

The book is available via this link:

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


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:

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.


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


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:


Looking ahead – Projects ahead: Updated July 2018:

Announcing the forthcoming publication 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

Publication late July

Price £20 approx..

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…


Due out September:

Announcing the forthcoming publication of …

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

At last we have reached the finishing line – the book myself and Mike Tremaglio, along with TBL designer Mick Lowe have been working on for the past four and a half years is finally a wrap…

On Thursday, June 14, 2018 we did the last corrections and the book files are now with Omnibus Press to begin printing.

Planned publication via Omnibus Press is September.

So firstly, here are some facts and figures about the book:

576 pages

260,000 word text

2,500+ images

170 rarely seen colour and black and white photos

Large hardback size 267 x 204mm

Price: £40

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.



Other projects Dave has on the ongoing list:

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


More details to follow as they unfold…



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

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




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

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



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

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

Other shops/fairs: Dave recommends the following outlets:

Fopp Covent Garden, London.

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

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

The Spitalfields and Brick Lane record fairs.

Across the Tracks and Wax Factor in Brighton.

Empire Records – St Albans.

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

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


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

Here are Dave’s thoughts on the vinyl habit:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The dialogue went like this:

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

JP: Like you!

DL: Indeed!

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

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

So what do I collect?

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

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

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

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

sunday one

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

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

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

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

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

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



Why I love records…another example:

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

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

So what do I love about it?

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

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

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

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

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



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


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


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!

DL AT 60:

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



Dave sites seeking out 60s and 70s vinyl LPs and singles , reading music magazines and books, socializing with friends in the pub, cycling, and following the fortunes of Tottenham Hotspur FC as his main passions. He lives in Bedford with his wife Janet (of nearly 33 years), and has a daughter, Samantha and son Adam

margarets party



Home Tel: 01234 267515

Mobile: 0794 126 0997

Web site:


Updated  July, 2018


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.


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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