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10% STAKE IN LED ZEPPELIN FOR SALE/ LZ NEWS/STORY OF HIPGNOSIS SCREENING EVENT/ROBERT PLANT 1982 INTERVIEW/BADGEHOLDERS – IT WAS 46 YEARS AGO/LIVE AID 1985 /DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

13 July 2023 1,299 views 3 Comments

Helen Grant’s 10% stake in Led Zeppelin tendered for sale:

Unsurprisingly plenty of news coverage for this story…

This via LZ News…

Helen Grant, the daughter of Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant, plans to sell her 10% stake in the band’s music, according to a new interview published in The Times on July 10.

Peter Grant owned a 20% stake of the “rights” of Led Zeppelin’s music, The Times reports, which was split equally between his children Helen and Warren Grant upon his death in 1995.

Now, Grant’s daughter has announced plans to sell her 10% stake in Led Zeppelin’s music. “[Peter Grant] also owned 20 per cent of the band’s rights. He passed them on to Helen and her brother, Warren, and now Helen is selling her 10 per cent share,” The Times reported on July 10.

“I’d much rather have Dad back, but I know I’m bloody lucky,” Grant said in the interview, with the newspaper referring to “her coming windfall.”

Music Week reports that no deal has been made yet and included contact details for Grant’s lawyer who is currently soliciting offers.

That article also reveals that Grant’s stake extends to areas beyond Led Zeppelin’s music. “While deals involving legendary acts are usually structured around sound recording and publishing rights, this covers a share in those rights as well as the band’s other business ventures, which encompass the trademarks and merchandise,” it reported.

See more at:

https://ledzepnews.com/2023/07/10/peter-grants-daughter-is-selling-her-10-stake-of-led-zeppelins-music/

https://ledzepnews.com/2023/07/10/exclusive-why-10-of-led-zeppelin-is-up-for-sale-in-public/

https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/a-10-stake-in-led-zeppelins-music-is-for-sale-heres-how-it-ended-up-on-the-market12/

Above photo by Dave Lewis/TBL


The definitive guide to Led Zeppelin’s corporate empire

This one via LZ News:

The members of Led Zeppelin own a series of companies used to collect millions of dollars in royalty payments and to control global trademarks for the band’s name.

LedZepNews reviewed decades of corporate filings and trademark records from around the world to definitively map out the network of companies that makes up Led Zeppelin’s corporate empire.

Our investigation gives fans of Led Zeppelin a rare peek into the estate planning carried out by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones as they hand control over band royalties to their children. It also details the shareholdings owned by Helen Grant, Peter Grant’s daughter, as she seeks to sell her 10% stake in Led Zeppelin’s businesses.

Read more at:

https://ledzepnews.com/2023/07/12/the-definitive-guide-to-led-zeppelins-corporate-empire/?fbclid=IwAR3ZbYW_56Gk5e7mU6PHuqqImi7bopqzbAKACEKVBeRA7FZoXBYiywPfSKg

LZ News:

Here’s the latest round up from LZ News

Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page attended a KISS show in London

Jimmy Page attended a KISS show in London on July 5, the first time he has been photographed in public since attending the launch party for Pattie Boyd’s book on October 18.

Page attended the concert at London’s O2 Arena, the same venue where Led Zeppelin performed on December 10, 2007. He was photographed with Paul Stanley as well as Shannon Tweed-Simmons and also took photos with Corcho Rodriguez and Ross Halfin.

Robert Plant

Robert Plant to perform with Saving Grace at Bert Jansch tribute concert

Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in London on November 4 at a tribute show to mark what would have been Bert Jansch’s eightieth birthday.

Plant previously performed at another Jansch tribute concert at the same venue, the Royal Festival Hall, almost a decade ago on December 3, 2013.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss completed their latest tour

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss completed their latest tour with a performance at RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa, Ontario yesterday.

The pair changed their tour setlist in the past two weeks, adding “Stick With Me Baby” as the first encore song before “Gone Gone Gone”. The only other major change that happened to the setlist during the tour was adding “In The Mood” and “Matty Groves” into the show’s running order.

What does Robert Plant eat for breakfast while on tour? We can finally answer this all-important question thanks to a Twitter user who claims to have cooked breakfast for Plant in Portland, Maine on July 4. Plant apparently had two poached eggs, some marble rye bread, corn beef hash and some bacon and onion.

Plant now has the rest of July and most of August off until he begins touring Europe with Saving Grace in Portorož, Slovenia on August 24.

July 2 – Lenox, Massachusetts

  • Rich Woman
  • Fortune Teller
  • Can’t Let Go
  • The Price of Love
  • Rock and Roll
  • Please Read the Letter
  • High and Lonesome
  • Trouble With My Lover
  • In the Mood / Matty Groves
  • Gallows Pole
  • The Battle of Evermore
  • When the Levee Breaks
  • — Encore —
  • Stick With Me Baby
  • Gone Gone Gone

July 3 – Portland, Maine

July 5 – Toronto, Ontario

July 7 – Montreal Jazz Festival in Montreal, Canada

  • Rich Woman
  • Fortune Teller
  • Can’t Let Go
  • The Price of Love
  • Rock and Roll
  • Please Read the Letter
  • High and Lonesome
  • Trouble With My Lover
  • In the Mood / Matty Groves
  • Gallows Pole
  • The Battle of Evermore
  • When the Levee Breaks
  • — Encore —
  • Stick With Me Baby
  • Gone Gone Gone

July 8 – RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa, Ontario

Upcoming events:

  • 2023 – The second Band Of Joy album titled “Band Of Joy Volume 2” will be released and an expanded edition of the Honeydrippers album “The Honeydrippers: Volume One” will be released.
  • July 14 – “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will be released in the UK.
  • August 7 – “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD.
  • August 24 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Portorož, Slovenia.
  • August 26 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy.
  • August 28 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Macerata, Italy.
  • August 30 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Taormina, Sicily, Italy.
  • September 1 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace at the Locus Festival in Bari, Italy.
  • September 3 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Ostia, Italy.
  • September 5 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Milan, Italy.
  • September 6 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace at the Vicenza in Festival in Vicenza, Italy.
  • September 9 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Ourense, Spain.
  • September 10 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Donostia / San Sebastián, Spain.
  • September 12 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Barcelona, Spain.
  • Summer 2024 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Vienna, Virginia.

 

Many thanks to James Cook

For all the latest Zep and related news check out the Led Zeppelin news website at:

http://ledzepnews.com/


My thoughts on…

Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis) – preview screening and Q and A with Aubrey (Po) Powell at The Cinema at The Power Station Battersea July 11 2023..
To the very impressive newly built Power Station complex at Battersea. The occasion being the screening of Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis) and Q and A with Aubrey (Po) Powell.
I had already seen the film at a previous preview screening a few weeks back and on this second viewing, it was every bit as good.
Anton Corbijn’s superb documentary film traces the story of the Hipgnosis design team and its main players Aubrey (Po) Powell and Storm Thorgerson.
For Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd fans this really is essential viewing as unsurprisingly, they both loom large. There are some wry comments in new interviews from the Floyd’s David Gilmour, Roger Waters, and Nick Mason and the Zep’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. It says everything about the esteem their work is still held in that such often disparate parties should freely speak about them.
As mentioned before, central to the narrative is the often fractious dynamic of Storm and Po’s working relationship. Po the more affable and measured and a bit of a charmer and chancer. Storm often arrogant and cantankerous -something of a tortured genius as Paul McCartney states ”He could be a bit crabby’’
McCartney, Peter Gabriel and 10cc’s Graham Gouldman add their thoughts while Noel Gallagher brings an astute contemporary view of what these album covers mean to him.
All the key Hipgnosis designs are analysed and sound tracked by the magnificent music that brought those album covers alive – the sound system in the cinema was mightily impressive.
Po is on camera throughout the film unfolding this remarkable story with clarity, wit and often deep emotion.
After the film had been screened It was an absolute pleasure to see the man himself up on stage for a Q and A with the Mark Blake – author of the recent excellent biography Us And Them –The Story of Hipgnosis.
Mark set the scene asking Po about how the film came in to being and his hopes for it. Po stated the importance of the role of Anton Corbijn in producing the kind of film Po had envisaged.
The room was then thrown open for audience questions.
I had a question ready and before I asked it I reminded Po of the time back in 2005 when he came to my house to film some Robert Plant memorabilia
for a promo film.
My question was this:
‘’For the In Through The Out Door sleeve you travelled to New Orleans to check out a bar that you felt would be perfect for the barrelhouse concept you had in mind. The bar was the Old Absinthe House, a French Quarter juke joint.
You then came back with a series of photos that you used as a guide for a set that was constructed to rebuild the bar in a West London studio
Given that Hipgnosis had built a reputation for travelling to all manner of exotic locations to shoot their album covers, what made you rebuild the bar in London rather than shoot it in the actual bar you had visited in New Orleans?’’
Po was actually a bit stumped for a straight answer initially replying ‘’To be honest Dave I’m not really sure!
On further recollection he did say they were up against time and it well might have been a decision driven by Zep manager Peter Grant. Po added that they were all very happy with the reconstructed bar that provided the six covers that were used in the finished package – complete with that outer brown paper bag.
‘’Jimmy came down to the set and loved it’’ added Po. He also revealed there was a plan to film the set for possible promo use as this was the advent of the music video era though Zep themselves would not have been on camera.
Asked what his favourite Hipgnosis sleeve design was, Po went for The Nice Elegy sleeve shot in the Sahara desert with giant inflatable footballs. ‘’That was the one that really got us recognised’’
All in all, this was a fabulous event with Po as ever informative, affable and so proud of what he and Storm created all those years back – designs that continue to resonate across the globe. For anyone weaned on those iconic images Squaring the Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis) is an unmissable watch.
After the Q and A Po graciously signed various books and album sleeves -my comrade Steve had a couple signed and I got Po to sign one of my In Though The Out Door paper bag sleeves (I have a few!)
It was great to chat briefly too with Mark Blake and Richard Evans a designer who has worked with Hipgnosis over many years and does much work for the Who and worked with me when I was a consultant on Robert Plant’s Nine Lives box set booklet.
Also great to meet Pink Floyd fan Chris and see Mr Peter Chow ever present at such events who I have known since the 1992 Zep London convention the late much missed Andy and I organized. Daryl sorry I missed you!
So, a fantastic occasion in equally fantastic surroundings and a night where our passion for album sleeve art and accompanying music definitely remained the same…
Dave Lewis – July 12, 2023

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1982 Robert Plant Interview via the Classic Rock website:

A very good Robert Plant interview here with Geoff Barton published in Sounds in September 1982 – I avidly read this at the time though it wasn’t his first post Zep full interview.
That was with Steve Gett for Kerrang! in June 1982…another one I eagerly dissected at the time…
Here’s the link to read more:
https://www.loudersound.com/features/robert-plant-first-post-led-zeppelin-interview
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TBL 1977 Retro Archive: A week for Badgeholders – 46years gone – June 1977: Part 2

To commemorate those epic six Los Angeles Forum shows of June 1977 of 46 years ago last month, here is the second part of a lengthy overview of the 1977 tour that first appeared in TBL issue 9. The pre-amble sets the scene on the state of play inside Led Zeppelin at the time and leads on to a summary of three of those June performances as heard via the legendary Listen To This Eddie bootleg plus the two Last LA Forum sets issued back in the mid 90s.

Thanks to the late Mike Millard’s superb audience tapes, we can hear lasting evidence of the sheer excitement of the 1977 Led Zeppelin, capturing a week where the sense of on the road fun was never more evident. Read this…and get those 1977 CD remnants on your player…..

TBL 1977 Retro Archive:

la13

….But the LA story doesn’t end there. By the wonder of more silver rarities, this time via two double packages on the Badge holder/Great Dane Italian label, we can continue the progress of the tour and enjoy two more nights at the Inglewood California venue. Allegedly taped by the same guys that did the opening night, ‘The Last LA Forum 2 Days’ contains similar quality audience tapes of the complete performance on June 25 and 74 minutes of the last ever LA Forum show on June 27 – spread over a pair of double disc sets with similar grey graphics, reproducing the No Split In Zepp’ November ’77 NME Jimmy Page interview headline.

So once again we can imagine we’re front row centre as Page stalks the stage in white dragon suit, firing out the chords that will become ‘The Song Remains The Same’. Fresh from a day off and having survived a Keith Moon encore three days previously, the whole band sound on a crest of a touring wave. In general, this fourth night at the Forum is every bit as exciting as the ‘Eddie’ set and the fact that this particular gig contains three additional songs not performed on the opening night is the veritable icing on the cake. So by the time they have romped through the urgent ‘Song Remains’ and a muscular ‘Sick Again’ and Plant has observed that “It’s Saturday night” . . and driven the band through a tough and cooking ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’ (and, yes, Bonzo is still all there . . .) we can enjoy the first of the set alternatives. In place of ‘Over The Hills’ the boys opt for ‘In My Time Of Dying’. Not that this is any old version of ‘In My Time Of Dying’. It opens perfunctorily enough but it’s soon clear that, as Luis Rey observed in his log, Page is definitely on! So much so that when Plant reaches the “Oh My Jesus” refrain and begins a completely spontaneous version of ‘Rip It Up’ (“Well it’s Saturday night and I just got paid” . . .) Page is immediately with him backed by Bonzo and Jonesy as they skit around this 50s fun for a few seconds before returning to the original theme. Then Robert throws in lines from both ‘You Shook Me’ and Let That Boy Boogie’ (“So many roads”) at the finale. Yes, it’s one of those nights.

“Tonight is the annual general meeting of the LA Badge holders”, Plant tells the audience, sustaining the in-joke theme of the famous ‘For Badge holders Only’ June 23 LA concert. This was a sketch whereby Robert referred to the tour entourage as being privileged badge holders – no doubt equipped with Led Zeppelin United States of America 1977′ tour laminates and passes. Following a no-nonsense delivery of ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’, Robert introduces John Paul Jones. “This features a man who has a badge holder in the wings who we haven’t quite got the spotlight trained on yet . . . for John Paul Jones’ badge holder – ‘No Quarter’.” Following that particular opus, Jimmy can be heard tuning the Telecaster in preparation for Ten Years Gone’ which is duly delivered tight but loose with the man pulling out some undeniably beautiful lyrical guitar phrases. This performance of the song reinforces my opinion that the decision to play this most difficult of on-stage arrangements made for one of the most ambitious and ultimately moving parts of their post ’75 concerts.

The acoustic set unfolds and tonight Plant enigmatically follows the “They say she plays guitar and cries and sings” line in ‘Going To California1 with the comment “And I saw her last night”. Another LA set bonus occurs with the inclusion of Trampled Underfoot’ (previously employed as an encore number on the first leg of the ’77 tour), which is slotted in after ‘Kashmir, a space reserved for ‘Heartbreaker’ on the opening LA night. Robert precedes it by enlightening the audience on the song’s source of reference – namely Robert Johnson’s ‘Terraplane Blues’. “Anybody heard of Robert Johnson? Does anybody remember laughter? Well, Robert Johnson was one of the first guys to liken the automobile to the actual physical side of love making and he recorded a track called Terraplane Blues’. This is a sort of 1975 version equivalent . . . it’s called ‘Trampled Underfoot’.”

Moby Dick/Over The Top’ is graced with the usual cryptic intro though not as extensive as the epic opening night’s lengthy sketch. “As the atmosphere builds in this building I think it’s only right that we should introduce the main stay ot the whole driving force behind sleeping with Led Zeppelin . . . John Bonham Over The Toppppppp!”

And finally to a very reverent Stairway’, complete with typically reverent Plant speech. “So amidst the confusion that surrounds all of us in our lives … as life takes its course (people adjust snare drums and bass drums), yes, it’s all the same . . . having a nervous breakdown . . . who knows? Here’s a song that has the opposite effect of ‘Communication Breakdown’.” Enter Page s opening chords accompanied by an exploding firecracker. The reference to ‘Communication Breakdown’ is not without substance, as, come the encore, instead of the ‘Whole Lotta Love/Rock And Roll’ customary medley, they instead come out of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and blitz into a short punchy rare ’77 version of ‘Communication Breakdown’ with Robert putting all that Manticore rehearsing with the harmoniser to good effect. “Thank you very much LA. Good Night!”

la15

Just another night on the road? Hardly.

But then it never was just another anything when Led Zeppelin hit Los Angeles. As can be seen by their insistence to throw in the odd set variation, the four experienced a spontaneous rapport with their Califoiamian audience that ensured a high energy performance every time.

From there we move to the final night of the LA stint with disc 2 of the second The Last LA Forum 2 Days’ containing 74 minutes of highlights from another high energy performance.

The action commences with yet another quite awesome Over The Hills And Far Away’. It’s preceded by a tantalising warm up from Jimmy before he embarks on the revolving intro (guaranteed to send shivers down my spine every time). The solo is just out of this world. A series of staggered ripples from the Gibson that swoop and dive across the speakers. It brings to mind that story from the beginning of the ’75 tour when Jimmy informed Robert he was tired at one of the shows and to expect short solos – only to extend Over The Hill to eight minutes – a direct response to the surge of energy created between the band and its audience. In fact ‘Over The Hills’ is nigh on nine minutes on this final LA night. A fitting Swan song.

‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ is next up (dedicated to JJ Jackson, the US DJ), with Bonzo providing another colossal climax. Then it’s to the acoustic set. And not just any old acoustic set. A skit through ‘I Just Can’t Be Satisfied’ sets the scene for the unorthodox nature of the proceedings. “Here’s a song that’s very reminiscent of somewhere we’re going to be in about 24 hours time, it’s a place called England” Plant tells the audience before “The Battle Of Evermore”. Following a delicate ‘Going To California’ (complete with supporting bird whistle from the crowd – “Who’s got that fucking whistle – I think we’ve had enough of that now thanks”, says Plant), we hear one of the most remarkable moments of the tour. The medley of ‘Black Country Woman’/’Bron Y Aur Stomp’ is extended to some 14 minutes to take in a lengthy acoustic solo that develops into ‘Dancing Days’. Yep ‘Dancing Days’ a long deleted live chestnut from the 72/73 era. This version has Bonzo beefing up Jimmy’s acoustic lead and Plant merging the lines of the opening verses to create a spontaneous delivery unique to but a handful of dates on this tour. “How about that. We ain’t done ‘Dancing Days’ for five years. I don’t think we will again” he jokes.

An edited Achilles’ (inspiring visions of that great ’77 cine film excerpt of the track), and a tremendous ‘Stairway To Heaven’ closes the main proceedings. Before that Plant offers up a closing speech. “It’s most peculiar to walk away from the microphone one minute and come back and find it covered in honey. Obviously it’s the last night of the tour! It’s been great. 6 days, 6 nights in LA. It’s been a mindbender”. This particular version of ‘Stairway’ reminds me of the majesty the piece carried back then. The whole Rolf Harris syndrome has rendered the song into laughable parody these days … In 1977 it really did still mean something with Robert’s impassioned delivery (“Bonzo’s got some good news”), and Jimmy performing a meandering solo to match.

We then experience all the craziness of the LA wind up as the band return amidst firecrackers and chaos for one final surge – and Robert gets in another speech. “Before we continue we’d like to thank you for being a great audience. Sincerely, no bullshit. Bunch of geriatrics like us. It’s really hard work, yer know. We’d like to thank all the members of the full supporting cast … the sound and light crew, Showco, a very good sound system as you know. Every night the acoustic set’s no good but the rest has been great. Benji Lefevre, the man from England, for all the funny noises, Ray Thomas from Scotland who can’t tune guitars, Mick Hinton who was a bus conductor in Cambridge and can’t tune the drums, Brian, who’s covered in 7-Up and all the people in the wings who’ve been making rude gestures for 6 days. And most of all the badge holders of California!” Cue ‘Whole Lotta Love’ in to ‘Rock And Roll1 and it’s all over.

And just as they usher themselves offstage and into the limos, there’s one final telling and now poignant comment from Robert to the LA faithful. “Thank you very very much. Never thought we’d come back but we did. And we shall come back again … I think . . . we should all know you all by first names by now but we don’t. . . maybe next time.” Then it was off into the limos into the night and a return to the English sanity. Nobody knew it at the time, of course, but Led Zeppelin’s 8 year old love affair with Los Angeles was at an end.

Reliving the 1977 live experience courtesy of these very enjoyable CD sets, demonstrates how inventive and exciting the band could still be, despite the madness of the touring charade that surrounded their status as the biggest draw in the world.

The plan of course was to hit the major US stadiums in the late summer, culminating in an appearance in front of 95,000 at the JKF Stadium in Philadelphia (ironically the scene of the first public Plant/Page/Jones reunion some 8 years later at Live Aid). Unfortunately they never got that far. In late July at the Oakland Stadium, violent off-stage Incidents would vastly overshadow the on-stage action and those events in turn were rendered almost inconsequential when the tour was promptly halted with the news ot Robert’s family tragedy.

Musically, there can be little doubt that had the tour continued on the wave of optimism that surrounded the June dates, new peaks of creativity would have been scaled that would have led to an equally creative bout of recording for the next studio album (tentatively titled Tight But Loose’), which was scheduled for the end of the year. There was every indication following the cancellation of the tour that the final chapter in the Led Zeppelin story had been written. Despite Page’s autumn round of interviews to dispel the split stories, for a long period Robert had confided to close friends that he would not perform with the group again. Slowly a period of rehabilitation did take place. Initially, they got together at Clearwell in May 1978 and from there it was to Sweden’s Polar Studios, and on into the grand comeback at Knebworth and the rejuvenation attempt in Europe in 1980 before the ultimate tragedy would dictate the final end.

la forum 1977 could be

And that’s exactly the reason the music preserved on these LA CD’s is so vital. Along with soon to be issued June 23 ‘Badge holders Only’ set, ‘Listen To This Eddie’ and ‘LA Forum The Last 2 Days’ offer an invaluable record of a series of concerts that alongside the early Fillmore stands and the Earls Court season, rank as some of the most outstanding of the band’s entire career. They really do document, to paraphrase an old Yardbirds’ bootleg, the last hurrah. An era when Led Zeppelin, like the gods of antiquity, still seemed so utterly immortal.

1977 and all that. . . and evenings with Led Zeppelin. Relive them at your earliest convenience.

Dave Lewis 1993. First published in TBL issue 9

Dedicated to all who used to frequent the Saturday Camden and Victoria Record Fairs in London during the early 1990s (Hi Julian, Eddie, Gary, Dave Linwood , Nigel, ,Simon, Tony, Keith, Mark Phil T, etc) where we used to eagerly snap up the latest Zep CD’s in abundance and then swap stories, compare recordings, read Phil T’s excellent Led Boots guide and drink a beer or two in the nearby pub. Great days…

…and of course remembering  the late much missed Andy Adams…

Dave Lewis

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It was 38 years ago …

 

Led Zeppelin at Live Aid – July 13, 1985:

Live Aid  – 38 Years Gone:

For all its ragged missed cues, hoarse vocals and cod drumming, I have great affinity for the ramshackle Zep Live Aid appearance. There’s little doubt that those 15 minutes on stage had a massive impact. Suddenly Led Zeppelin’s name was back in the frame and it was safe to own up to being a fan again.

Before all that, incredible as it sounds now, that early 80’s period had rendered them somewhat forgotten.

Not so after July 13th 1985. After that, all manner of bands were sighting them as an influence , the three of them even tried a reunion the following January and within two years both Plant and Page were recreating Zep songs on stage…and the rest is history…

We watched it here all unfold on TV in some wonderment with our very good friends Alan, Steve and Coral – Coral sadly passed away in 2020.

I vividly finally recall going to bed in the early hours of July 14th with renewed faith – Zep still meant so much to so many people and the very next day I began collating material for a reference work to their music that would eventual form the A Celebration book published in 1991.

The whole Live Aid extravaganza did feel like we were watching something very special and memorable back then and I’m glad it’s recognised that way all these years later. I wrote a quite prophetic piece for the local paper The Bedfordshire Times on Live Aid at the time which said it would be a day to tell your children about. I wasn’t far wrong. here’s the review as published on July 18 ,1985.

live aid review

While we are on the Live Aid anniversaries –the tenth one back in 1995 occurred on the night Page & Plant played an exhilarating set at the Sheffield Arena – all of 27 years ago . That was the night they merged Since I’ve Been Loving You into Tea For One in a glorious amalgamation. It was a moment of true magic which I’m proud to have been a few feet from.

Here’s TBL contributor Larry Bergmann Jr on Live Aid:

Live Aid…it’s oft been discussed in derogatory fashion over the years, but in fact it is an unforgettable part of the legacy, and perhaps not quite as bad as its reputation suggests.

It really was a great day and it was wonderful to see those guys together again…although I recall the MTV folks raving about how PHIL COLLINS was on the stage with Zeppelin and when they put the names of the musicians on the screen like they used to do, at one point COLLINS was listed first, and Jimmy became “Jimmy Paige”…without question one of the top handful of legendary musicians to perform on the day and they didn’t even know how to spell his name.  Ridiculous.  Not to mention the superimposed photo of Collins’ latest album of the time plastered all over the screen at one point…how nice of Paige, Jones and Plant to help Collins play a couple of Led Zeppelin songs!
The performance was ragged because they were obviously winging it, Page’s guitars were out of tune (I will never understand how his guitar tech of this era constantly handed Jimmy Page guitars that were not ready to played onstage!), and Plant, who was in the middle of a solo tour and no longer used to singing Zeppelin music, sounded poorly.  The ever solid Mr. Jones didn’t seem to be suffering any maladies.
But it was still undoubtedly THE moment of the day for many viewers, and the excitement of seeing them together and the magnetism of the boys carried the day…and it was definitely what the crowd at JFK Stadium had been waiting for!  It was an absolute THRILL, unforgettable despite the mishaps…I videotaped it on my old Betamax and I watched that tape a million times.  It still holds a spot in my heart to this day, and I seemed to rekindle something within the boys themselves…there would go on to be the infamous aborted sessions with Tony Thompson, and then Plant and Page both began playing Zeppelin music in their subsequent solo tours.  The veil had been lifted.  And in that sense, Live Aid was absolutely vital.
Some years back, an FM broadcast of Live Aid re-surfaced which did not have all of the feedback issues that were coming thru the PA…someone married it to the footage and it puts the performance in a little better light.
Many thanks Larry.
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More Robert Plant Pictures at Eleven memories… 

Following on from last week’s Pictures at Eleven 40th anniversary feature here’s a really great overview from Joe Cranford…

What a night in June 1982… 

WRIF in Detroit was going to premier the first solo record of Robert Plant since the end of Led Zeppelin. I was ready, fresh Maxell cassette duly loaded in the tape deck of my (ahem) SoundDesign all-in-one audio fortress of a stereo system. (Bonus: It could record 8-track tapes, too).
The program began. The record lever was pressed. And the strains of Robert and his new cadre played into my suburban bedroom that summertime evening in 1982. No computers or devices in those days to distract. Instead, I likely sat on my bed perusing comic books or simply staring out my upstairs window to the west. I do recall it was dark, but in that latitude, twilights linger well past 9PM that time of year.
I don’t recall much of the evening, but I knew I liked what I heard… and what I felt, too. Especially the unexpected tracks like Fat Lip, Moonlight in Samosa, and Like I’ve Never Been Gone. And, as something of a sax player myself, Pledge Pin was quite a snazzy curve ball to revel in. (Especially humorous was learning that one track’s title was “Worse Than Detroit” and realizing Plant was also a fan of the movie, “Airplane!”) Mystery Title’s vibrance and reckless abandon, culminating in that full-on stop, seemed to perfect the entire experience; it’s attitude and gumption arousing the same spirits of WKRP in Cincinnati’s silly but fitting end-credits song.
Granted, in those years I had but a nodding acquaintance with Led Zeppelin, having peers more attuned to Rush, Yes, Van Halen, and others. Journey’s Escape album (and title track) was the first to grace the SoundDesign’s turntable the prior autumn to christen this 16th birthday gift (with the ambiance of that particular song proving quite immersive).
To record Plant, then – this singer of great renown’s new work – was intended to impress my two older brothers. The soundtrack of their teens radiated Bowie, Edgar Winter, Trower, Nugent, Alice Cooper, The Who and – of course – Led Zep. Apart from Bowie, I wasn’t as aligned with them, deferring a bit more to my sister’s tastes, ranging from The Carpenters to The Babys and – of course – Journey.
Suddenly, though, there was this: Pictures at Eleven. I felt like I’d found something for me, a sound that I related to and one I didn’t quite inherit. Sure, it emerged from the 70s bombast of my brother’s vinyls but unapologetically danced with some of the sonic sentiment from my sister’s (much more elegant) Phillips turntable. It didn’t matter that my brothers were unimpressed or that my sister gave little more than a nodding smile upon hearing it. I liked what I heard and felt. And it was mine.
It served as a soundtrack to the summer and fall, meeting up with Rush’s Signals in September on mix tapes. Like Plant, Rush were moving past their past and embracing what comes next. Unlike the legacy bands and artists my older siblings followed, Plant and Rush frequently accompanied me as I began to drive and explore the roads that lie ahead through the 80s.
As the soundtracks of the past year faded from newness as the summer of 1983 settled in, I found myself sitting in our church’s parking lot one Saturday afternoon. I was a bit early for a youth activity. The other Detroit rock station, WLLZ, kept me company in the hot July sun. To my delight, the DJ announced three tracks from the forthcoming album by Robert Plant. As only the first single had been released I was suddenly glued to my seat…
When Open Arms began to fade from the speakers of my dad’s 1976 Oldsmobile 98, a gentle crescendo of strings and bass drifted along as In The Mood began. The song simply made me happy. As Woodroofe’s personal symphony reprised to fade the song away, the open tones of a pensive Strat sauntered into the passenger seats as Robbie’s signature work, Big Log, set the compass for Robert’s voice to drive onward.
I liked what I heard… and what I felt, too. All over again.
It was mine.
And a generation later, it’s all still very true.
Thank you, Dave for keeping it all aloft and alive with such keen insights and stories from the other side of our own experiences!

Thanks to Joe Cranford for that superb piece


The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park – it was 54 years ago: 

The Rolling Stones and me and a week in July 54 years ago…

I can remember quite a lot about the days that led up to The Rolling Stones performing that famous free concert in Hyde Park all of 53 years ago on Saturday July 5 1969.

On Tuesday, July 1 all our school converged on the main hall to watch the Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales in Caernarfon Castle in Wales. Later in the week on Friday July 4 I awoke to see the headlines in the newspapers that Brian Jones, the recently departed Rolling Stones founder member, had been found dead in somewhat mysterious circumstances in the swimming pool of Cotchford Farm home.

The Stones were due to play that massive concert just two days later. On that Friday afternoon of July 4, I walked from school into town – my destination was the WH Smith book shop in the High Street, then known as FR Hockliffe.

A quick aside – little did I know that afternoon in 1969 that in a mere five years, I would be working at this shop behind the record department counter commencing a 35 year career in music retail.

The reason for the visit was for me to select a book of my own choice as a school prize. I had done pretty well that first year in the Silver Jubilee secondary modern school and had been awarded the merit prize. I spent some time wading through the books settling on a Billy Bunter book by Frank Richards. I loved the Bunter books – whilst there I also bought a copy of Tom Brown’s Schooldays. Reading was already a big passion – my regular other choice reading was the New Musical Express – aka NME – the huge selling weekly music paper.

As mentioned in a previous post, back in the spring of 1969 aged 12, I had got right back into music after hearing The Beatles’ Get Back single.

I was now immersed in the world of pop and rock and I knew from reading the NME that The Rolling Stones Hyde Park free concert was going to be a very big deal.

After buying my books at FW Hockliffe I returned home to watch the TV coverage of the Wimbledon Ladies singles final. Our own Anne Jones making it are British triumph by beating Billie Jean King 3-6,6-3 6-2. This piece of sporting history was also enjoyed by The Beatles. The July 4 entry in Mark Lewisohn’s remarkable book The Beatles At Abbey Road reveals that on that same afternoon, The Beatles were at work in Abbey Road Studios recording Golden Slumbers/ Carry That Weight. The studio engineers has been listening to the live BBC Radio 2  coverage of the Anne Jones -Billie Jean King final and had relayed it to the three Beatles, Paul, George and Ringo through the mixing console.

Whilst in town earlier that afternoon had I ventured to the popular local record shop Carousel ( which I often did), I may well have seen copies of the new Rolling Stones single Honky Tonk Women on sale as it was released that same day. I may also have seen the new John Lennon/ Plastic Ono Band single Give Peace A Chance which also came out that day. At the time the eight shillings and sixpence asking price for a single was way out of my league. However in the coming weeks I would subsequently hear them both many times on the radio and on the local juke box at our local café.

On Saturday July 5, Radio One broadcast regular updates of the gathering crowds in Hyde Park to which I avidly listened to. Oh to be there but I was far too young. Seven years later I did make it to the free concert Queen gave in Hyde Park.

I read all about the Hyde Prk concert in the following weeks issue of  NME and gazed in wonder at all those amazing photos – Jagger looked incredible. In September, I watched the Granada TV documentary Stones In The Park when it was screened on ITV.

By then, I had deemed The Rolling Stones as my favourite group – just edging it over The Beatles. That would all change of course in a few months when I heard Whole Lotta Love by a group called Led Zeppelin.

I loved the Honky Tonk Women single – with its dramatic intro and bluesy chorus. I also loved the B side You Can’t Always Get What You Want. This was often played on the local café juke box. The B sides of popular singles would often get an airing on that juke box. Actually there was an exception to that. There wasn’t much call for the B side of Give Peace A Chance – Remember Love sung rather softly but not that sweetly by Yoko Ono.

Around 1973, I acquired an audience recording of the Stones Hyde Park show on a bootleg LP. Years later, when it received an official release on DVD I eagerly snapped it up. It’s a superb documentary and very much of its time and takes me right back all of 53 years to that memorable week in July when in much schoolboy wonderment, I soaked up all the remarkable events that were unfolding on the music scene.

Later in the month there would be more awe inspiring events to take in when Neil Armstrong made that first step on the Moon.

Ahead lay Woodstock and the Isle of Wight festival’s, the release of Abbey Road and an album titled Led Zeppelin II

It was 54 years ago and my musical landscape was being broadened by the week…oh for a time machine to relive it all again…

The above thoughts are based on text for the work in progress DL Memoirs

Dave Lewis 


DL Diary Blog Update:

Thursday July 6:

Great to meet up with my very good friend Mr Alan Stutz who I have known for well over 40 years and was one of the first to buy a copy of the first TBL mag – cheers Alan!

Friday July 7:

It was 43 years ago today…the final Led Zeppelin gig with John Bonham…
On the player marking the final Led Zeppelin gig with John Bonham on this day in 1980 – the 3 LP bootleg A Memory Frozen In Time as
recorded at the Berlin Eissporthalle on July 7 1980..
Here’s my thoughts about this performance as presented on this 3 LP set released on the Casino Record label in a limited run of 300 in 2020 (the run as I know it is long since sold out)…
Overall, it’s an upbeat and interesting swan song performance. Robert Plant is on excellent form and in a jovial mood. At times they do seem to rush proceedings and there are moments of sloppiness – there is also a bit too much reliance on the vocal harmoniser effect which sometimes clouds the clarity of Plant’s voice. However, there is much to enjoy about this final performance because when it’s good, it’s very good indeed.
Being lucky enough to attend five of the shows (though sadly not this final one) I have much affection for this tour and I personally love the set list. Highlights here include the opening burst of Train Kept a Rollin and Nobody’s Fault But Mine, the stand alone Rain Song and All My Love with that gorgeous extended outro.
Despite Achilles Last Stand being strangely dropped from the set, this was still the longest performance of the tour notably due to some lengthy extended work outs – Trampled Underfoot is a prime example as Page, Jones and Bonham lock into an incessant groove.
Listening now to what would be there last moments together as a band is a moving experience, not least because of the striking content of the final performances of Stairway To Heaven and Whole Lotta Love -both of which are worth the price of admission alone – because both are delivered in unique arrangements.
Stairway To Heaven clocks in at over fourteen minutes, half of which is given over to a rambling and totally mesmerising Page solo. It was easily the longest on the tour.
Similarly unusual is the version of Whole Lotta Love, somewhat appropriately the last ever song the original Led Zeppelin quartet performed live as a band.
It begins with Page aping the intro of The Who’s Anyway, Anyhow Anywhere and leads on to a rare, totally medley- less arrangement that clocks in at 17 minutes. A mid-section jam has JPJ beefing up a funk riff over which Page teases with the Theremin and then opens up the wah-wah effects. Plant keeps up the pace with suitable primal screams and John Bonham pounds away relentlessly.
These final moments sees them drifting off into their own little world, almost oblivious of the audience. It was as if some sixth sense intuition was telling them that this would be the very last chance to play together and they didn’t want it to end. The camaraderie of recent weeks seems to will them to keep the flame burning for as long as they can on this tour. It triggers a nostalgic throwback to the experimental Zeppelin of the early 70s.
These impromptu performances are clear indications that far from being washed up, the 1980 Led Zeppelin still had that unique creative spark to improvise at will -and to make that improvisation a development rather than an indulgence – something that had been in their make up right from the start.
Sadly it all had to end.
“Eye thank yew. Thank you very much Berlin. Thank you very much everyone who’s worked for us and put up with us and all those sort of things, and er… goodnight!”
Summary:
It strikes me had they have had the energy for it (and they clearly didn’t) this would have made a very welcome final live official album perhaps for release on the first anniversary in 1981.
As it stands, this is an equally welcome unofficial release that captures on record for the first time a very significant and historic performance.
This final night in Berlin is a timely reminder on this 43rd anniversary that Led Zeppelin still had new ground to cover and places to go…
Dave Lewis – July 7 2023

DL Diary Blog Update: 

Friday July 7:

On the player marking Ringo Starr’s Birthday today – the brilliant Beatles Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – the act we’ve known for all these years and this LP always sounds even better when the sun’s shining…

Friday July 7:

Very much looking forward to wading through this one which has just arrived via excellent service form Strip Joint Records. The Endless Coloured Ways The Songs Of Nick Drake – 23 Nick Drake songs covered by a variety of artists – superb package with a bonus single sided 7 inch single with Nick Drake covering Bob Dylan’s Tomorrow is a Long Time.
There’s a good interview with Guy Garvey about this project in today’s Sun.
All this keeps the Nick Drake momentum going as I soak up the final pages of Richard Morton Jack’s truly excellent Nick Drake The Life biography…
Monday July 10:
It was 50 years ago today…
Loading up the 2 CD Led Zeppelin Live In Milwaukee In The Bonanza on the Tarantura label, as recorded on this day July 10 1973, all of 50 years ago.
Though an audience tape and incomplete, it’s a very good representation of where they were at on the final leg of a lengthy and momentous US tour.
My, what a band they were…
Tuesday July 11:
Great to see Peter Chow for the first time in far too long – massive music fan his gig going adventures on his Facebook page are a joy to read and my does he cover some gigs…
Wednesday July 12:
It was 50 years ago today…
Loading up the 4 CD bootleg set Led Zeppelin Detroit 1973 as recorded at the Cobo Hall Detroit on this day in July 1973.
This is another good audience recording of a rather sizzling performance as they hit the final weeks of a US tour that did much to cement their reputation at the time…my, what a band…
Update here:
Some much needed musical inspirations as follows on the playlist here:
Led Zeppelin – Detroit 73 – 4CD
Love – Forever Changes – CD
Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon – LP
The Who – Who’s Next – LP
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Deja Vu – LP
Donald Fagen – The Nightfly -CD
Thanks for listening…   

Until next time…

Dave  Lewis –  July 13, 2023

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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3 Comments »

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Nothing on that Bob

  • Bob Flux said:

    Jersey Jam? Any news?

  • dean brisson said:

    It was nice to see Plant and Krauss on the RBC stage in Ottawa, it would have been also nice to see them perform more than an hour and fifteen minutes. In 2005 in Ottawa Plant played like an hour and twenty minutes.

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