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TBL ARCHIVE – BATH FESTIVAL 1970/ LZ NEWS/ LED ZEPPELIN OVER EUROPE 1980/KNEBWORTH1990/ STORY OF HIPGNOSIS FILM SCREENINGS/GAZ MORRIS CD/GLASTONBURY THOUGHTS 2023/DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

29 June 2023 1,362 views 2 Comments

TBL Archive Special 1: It was 53 years ago…

Wednesday marked the 53nd anniversary of one of the most famous Led Zeppelin performances -their bill topping appearance at the 1970 Bath Festival.

Too mark that event here’s the details of that performance as chronicled in the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book

June 28, 1970 – Bath Festival of Blues & Progressive Music ‘70 – Bath & West Showground – Shepton Mallet, England

Setlist:

Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Dazed And Confused, Bring It On Home, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Organ Solo/ Thank You, That’s The Way (introduced as ‘The Boy Next Door’), What Is And What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, How Many More Times Medley (inc. Rice Pudding, Mr. Soul, Beck’s Bolero, Down By The River, The Hunter, Think You Need A Shot (The Needle), Honey Bee, Long Distance Call, Boogie Chillun’, Hideaway, El Paso Blues, The Lemon Song, I Need Your Love Tonight, That’s All Right, etc.), Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown (inc. Sing A Simple Song, It’s Your Thing, etc.), Long Tall Sally (inc. Say Mama, Johnny B. Goode, That’s All Right

 Background Info:

Much has been said and written about Led Zeppelin’s historic performance at the 1970 Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music. It was certainly a key turning point in the band’s career, especially in their homeland. Just over two months earlier, The Beatles had officially called it quits, and by the time the Bath Festival had wrapped up, it was clear that Led Zeppelin was now the most popular band in the world. “Official” declaration of this fact came in the form of the Melody Maker Poll Awards in September, when Zeppelin had seized the mantle from The Beatles and were named the World’s Top Group.

Unlike the 1969 Bath Festival which was held at the Recreation Ground in Bath, the 1970 Bath Festival was held at the Bath & West Showground in Shepton Mallet, 15 miles south west of Bath. The attendance at the 1970 Festival was significantly higher than the previous year, with over 150,000 fans in attendance (the 1969 Festival was considerably smaller, with Zeppelin performing to approximately 12,000 fans).

The band played on the second day of the festival, June 28, and started their performance at 8:30 pm. The set opener was the newly-penned Immigrant Song, which bore little resemblance to the LP track as Robert had ad-libbed much of the lyrics. For the next two hours and twenty minutes, the band put on one of the greatest performances of their storied career.

Press Reaction:

Melody Maker (July 4, 1970) – Cover Story: Five Encores for Zeppelin!

by Chris Welch & Chris Charlesworth:

 “Led Zeppelin stormed to huge success at the Bath Festival. As about 150,000 fans rose to give them an ovation, lead singer Robert Plant told them: “We’ve been away a lot in America and we thought it might be a bit dodgy coming back. It’s great to be home!”

            “They played for over three hours – blues, rock and roll and pure Zeppelin. Jimmy Page, in a yokel hat to suit the Somerset scene, screamed into attack on guitar. John Paul Jones came into his own on organ as well as bass, and John Bonham exploded his drums in a sensational solo. And the crowd went wild demanding encore after encore… a total of five!”

           “They kicked off with a new riff from their next album called ‘Immigration Song’ (sic). They actually took some time to warm up the crowd, but this may have been intentional as they built up to a fantastic climax with an act lasting over three hours… They had made all the hang-ups worthwhile and given the crowd a night to remember – whatever else happened. In their final minutes, they paid tribute to the Masters of Rock and Roll with the songs of Little Richard, Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry.”

 Bootleg Recordings – 2 audience sources (129 & 119 minutes):

For years, the only bootleg recording available of Zeppelin’s set was a barely listenable audience recording. Fortunately, a major upgrade of the recording appeared in 2010 from a second generation tape. The taper recorded the performance on a Sony tape deck with a stereo microphone attached to a pole twelve feet in the air, 200 yards from center stage. While certainly not perfect, the recording captures the festival atmosphere and gives the listener more of an appreciation for the outstanding gig.

Beginning with a different lyrical arrangement of the recently written ‘Immigrant Song’ as the show opener, the band started strong and never let up in delivering one of their all-time greatest performances.

The encores were especially epic, with many rarities played during the ‘How Many More Times’ medley (with the total number of available concert recordings of each song in parentheses): Buffalo Springfield’s ‘Mr. Soul’ (1); Muddy Waters’ ‘Long Distance Call’ (6); Big Joe Williams’ ‘El Paso Blues’ (2); Elvis Presley’s ‘I Need Your Love Tonight’ (3). Little Richard’s ‘Long Tall Sally’ included Gene Vincent’s ‘Say Mama’ (2); Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny B. Goode’ (1).

Many thanks to Mike Tremaglio  

Extract from the book Evenings With Led Zeppelin by Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio (Omnibus Press)



Staying with the Bath Festival…a report of the existence of film footage of the Bath appearance from 2017:

Icons of The Hall Event – Led Zeppelin Royal Albert Hall footage screened – Led Zeppelin at Bath 1970 film discussed…

  Before proceedings had got under way I studied the contents of a special display case that had various memorabilia on show – part of that was a vintage film label marked Led Zeppelin at Bath. I have previously been aware that Peter Whitehead had shot film of the band at the Bath Festival in 1970 but here was tangible evidence.

This was backed up by Professor Steve Chibnall during the forum when I asked a question about the Bath film. Steve revealed he had viewed the 20 to 30 minute silent colour footage (the label says B and W but Steve says it is colour ) and though it was rather dark in places it was usable and he hoped one day it could be restored and see the light of day.

Here’s the full transcript of the question I asked via the LZ News site:

Tight But Loose editor Dave Lewis: Hi there, my name’s Dave Lewis, I’m from the Led Zeppelin magazine, so all this has been fascinating. I’m very intrigued to hear you tell me that the Bath Festival was filmed and so you’re saying that the Led Zeppelin show was filmed?
SC: Indeed, yes.
DL: Can you tell me how much of that was filmed and still remains?
Steve Chibnall: There’s 20 to 30 minutes and a lot of it is backstage. I’ve only seen the footage, I haven’t seen it with sound. The problem, according to Peter Whitehead, was that A. He was stuck in traffic and had trouble getting to Bath so he arrived late. He was supposed to film the band arriving by helicopter and he missed that.
And then when Led Zeppelin played, they played in the dark and there was insufficient stage lighting for his cameras. So he reckoned that the footage, the live footage, was not usable. It is usable because, I mean, it can be, it can be restored now. So you can raise those lighting levels, you can see more digitally.
It looks beautiful to me and I think it was recorded, the band probably have a recording of it, I would think. So there is a possibility. He was supposed to do interviews with the band members as well, which I don’t think that ever happened. But certainly there is 20 or 30 minutes of footage from Bath. And if you look in the display case there you can see what was once a label attached to a can of film which says precisely that.
DL: That immediately made me think ‘wow.’ So, is it colour film?
SC: Yes.
DL: And who actually owns it?
SC: Peter Whitehead owns the film but Led Zeppelin, no doubt, will own the music.
DL: So could you see that coming out at some point?
SC: I’d love to see it come out, I think it would be a really good project for 2020, don’t you? The fiftieth anniversary of the Bath Festival.
DL: 2018?
SC: No, it was 1970.
DL: Oh, sorry, it would be, yeah. It would probably take that long to work it out.
SC: It would, but it would be lovely to have that, wouldn’t it?
DL: Superb, thank you very much.

Like I said, I had previously been aware that Peter Whitehead had shot the Bath Festival in 1970 but this was real tangible evidence it exists and it was great to chat to Steve afterwards and hear first hand from someone who has actually viewed it. Quite weather it will ever see the light of day officially only time will tell. It was incredibly exciting to be right there as this revelation news was unfolding.

Sadly there ahs been no updated information on weather the film will surface – it’s surely on every Zep fans wish list…

And finally on Bath 1970:

There’s some great Bath 70 pics and stories on this website link:

http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/ZEP2.html

 

And more…this all surfaced last September…

BATH FESTIVAL 1970 FOOTAGE!
Now here is something to behold…

Newly surfaced – incredibly clear and close up 16mm colour silent footage of Led Zeppelin performing at the Bath Festival June 28 1970 – what a find – truly sensational…

Three clips:
More crowd and backstage footage:
Wow!
 Phew – history!
Led Zeppelin Bath Festival 1970 footage…
This one from last September…
The sudden emergence of clips from Led Zeppelin’s bill topping appearance at the Bath Festival on June 28,1970 has left fans awestruck across the globe – long rumoured to exist to see vivid moving colour images of this legendary Zep appearance has been truly astonishing.
The synced clip which has snippets of Immigrant Song, Dazed And Confused, Bring It On Home and Thank You has been sound-tracked via the bootleg tape – again the effect of seeing visual imagery to a tape I’ve been playing for many years is a revelation.
The backstage footage with Robert and john Bonham outside and in the group’s caravan – clips of tour manager Richard Cole and soundman Clive Coulson plus other clips of Jimmy walking backstage with Charlotte and John Paul Jones with Julie Felix capture the feel of the event so brilliantly.
So where has all this come from and why now?
The original label of a can of film of the Bath Festival on display at the Icons of the Hall event (see more below) clearly states Lorrimer Films Limited.
This YouTube footage has been made available by the Kinolibrary film archive company. By presenting silent footage they will have avoided any copyright issues with the music of Led Zeppelin which is owned by Warners. The synced footage matched to the clip that surfaced was quickly taken down.
I don’ really know why this has all surfaced – one thing I do know is that this footage was filmed by the late Peter Whitehead – famous for his films of The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd and the January 9 1970 Led Zeppelin Royal Albert Hall film
Dave Lewis 

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LZ News:

Here’s the latest round up from LZ News

Upcoming Events:

June 29 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Vienna, Virginia.

July 1 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Bethel, New York.

July 2 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Lenox, Massachusetts.

July 3 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Portland, Maine.

July 5 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Toronto, Ontario.

July 7 – “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will have its UK premiere at Sundance London. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform at the Montreal Jazz Festival in Montreal, Canada.

July 8 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform at RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa, Ontario.

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 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 Barce

Many thanks to James Cook

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

http://ledzepnews.com/

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TBL Archive  Special 2: It was 43 years ago – Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980: 

This month marks the 43rd anniversary of the first dates of the final Led Zeppelin tour – a low key 14 date trek taking in Germany, Belgium, Holland, Austria and Switzerland. I was lucky enough to attend five of those gigs. This is all chronicled in my Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind Over Europe 1980 book

Here’s is a further extract – my on the road account written at the time and first featured in TBL issue 5…

Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980:

Frankfurt Festhalle – It was 42 years ago …

Flashback to the Frankfurt Festhalle, Germany – on the evening of June 30th, 1980 around 8pm:

I am in the confines of the grand Festhalle venue in the heart of Frankfurt and I am standing no more than ten feet away from the four members of Led Zeppelin. The occasion is the tenth gig on the current tour of the band who have reigned supreme as the world’s greatest live rock attraction for much of the past decade. However the 1980s are upon us, and many things have happened since Led Zeppelin undertook their last full scale tour some three years ago.

The musical landscape they one stood over like a colossus, has changed radically. The onset of punk rock and new wave has challenged the status quo of the mega-bands – the so called dinosaur acts.
In fact, Robert Plant will make reference to the dinosaur tag on more than one occasion on this tour. Aside from the new wave of bands who rely on sharp, incisive three minute blasts of power pop, a new movement of rock outfits, spawned on the hard and heavy riffs that powered Zeppelin to the top, are in the wings ready to take dislodge their crown.
Within the next twelve months, the likes of Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Diamond Head, etc., will begin to dominate the music press in a similar manner in which Zeppelin were once courted, ushering in a movement that will be termed ‘’The new wave of British heavy metal.’’

Led Zeppelin are performing in Europe in an attempt to thwart such challenges and re-establish themselves as a working band. That aforementioned last tour, a gargantuous trek across America in the summer of 1977, attracted a combined audience of nearly one million. Last August over 200,000 came to pay homage to them over two Saturday gigs at Knebworth.
Things, though, have moved on considerably, even since then. This tour has garnered little publicity back home, and though a hardcore of UK followers have made the trip over, by their standard this is a very low key affair.

Tonight, though, they are playing one of the larger venues on the tour. The 13,500 capacity Festhalle . Ten years ago, Zeppelin became the first band ever to play this venue and their return is much anticipated by the German audience. Tonight’s crowd is also boosted by the presence of a number of US servicemen based at the nearby US Army base where Elvis Presley did some of his time for Uncle Sam way back when.

Understandably, the four members look a little apprehensive as they mill around the short stairway that will soon usher them on to the stage. This is the second show of the tour that my friend Tom and I are taking in. Twelve days ago, we witnessed their vibrant second night in Cologne. Since then the tour has not been without it’s problems. Last Friday, John Bonham collapsed on stage in Nuremberg after just 16 minutes and the show was cancelled.
When we met with security man Dave Moulder earlier in the day, he was keen to play down the events saying John had merely suffered from nervous exhaustion. A show in Zurich last night appears to have gone well. The heavily bearded drummer seems his boisterous self as he banters with Robert Plant. Plant is again wearing the green cap sleeve top and jeans attire that has been his ever present uniform for the tour. He too looks upbeat, if a little bit nervous. John Paul Jones, with suave short hair and smart shirt, is interacting with them. Jimmy Page is dressed in a white suit with a green top and matching green sneakers. He looks slightly sweaty, but is smiling warmly as the imposing frame of manager Peter Grant points out the all important presence of Atlantic Records Ahmet Ertegun – the man who has guided their career at the label from the very beginning.

The lights are dimmed, and road manager Phil Carlo shines a torch through the dark and leads them up to the stage. Bonzo climbs the rostrum to the drums, Jonesy turns right where his tech assistant Andy Ledbetter straps on the Alembic bass, and Jimmy Page walks onto the stage to the left, followed by Robert Plant.

As they walk into the glare of the spotlights, those assembled in the Frankfurt Festhalle finally view all four members of Led Zeppelin and the place erupts.

Guitar tech Ray Thomas straps on the Gibson and Jimmy moves to the effects pedals. A few snare shots and bass shuffles from John Bonham is the signal for the guitarist to lean back and exhort a fierce moaning wail from the Gibson. Robert stakes a stance to his immediate right –the spotlights pick out the pair in regal splendour  and then BLAM!

They launch into Train Kept A Rollin’, the old Johnny Burnette barnstormer The Yardbirds used in their heyday, and indeed Zep played on their first US tours. Now it is being revived to kick start what will be two hours of full-on power and excitement.

Tom and I are extremely fortunate to be watching all this action unfold just a few mere feet from the stage. As the band begin their ascent to the stage, Peter Grant acknowledges us and nods approvingly as Dave Moulder ushers us to the side of the stage. In effect, we have been allowed into their tight-knit inner sanctum.

Watching Led Zeppelin live on stage from this ultimate vantage point is, unsurprisingly, an astonishing experience and one that I will repeat in Mannheim and Munich later in the week.

To be continued…

Extract from the book Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind – Over Europe 1980 by Dave Lewis.


 

 

TBL Archive Special 3:

Knebworth 90 – It was 33 years ago:

Thoughts on the Record Store Day Robert Plant Live At Knebworth 12 inch single…

The 2021 Record Store Day Robert Plant Live At Knebworth 12 inch single was a timely reminder of a remarkable performance and it brought back many warm memories of what was something of a golden summer all of 33 years ago.

To backtrack on it all – it was certainly memorable  for us here for a number of reasons – not least the arrival some six weeks early of our daughter Samantha Elizabeth Lewis on Monday June 4, 1990.

I was due to see Robert Plant at the Hammersmith Odeon that night and in something of an astonishing series of events, witnessed the birth of our daughter at 2.30pm and some five hours later made it on time to see Robert’s opening number -I also attended the second show the next night.

Looking back those were quite crazy decisions – however there was to be a reprise of this gig going activity when it was announced that Robert Plant would be joining an all star line up of Silver Clef award winners at Knebworth on Saturday June 30. Robert had just received the award – I was toying with the possibility of attending the show and my decision was swung when I had it on good authority that Jimmy Page would be appearing as a guest with Robert.

So once again I was on my travels. Gary Foy secured two tickets at late notice and we found ourselves back at Knebworth on a rather windy and dull Saturday.

The bill includeed Status Quo, Cliff Richard, Genesis, Phil Collins, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and Paul McCartney.

Robert Plant was introduced by Radio One’s Gary Davies (the event was broadcast live on Radio One) as “A singer who is no stranger to big crowds – he played to 380,000 on his last visit here eleven year ago”. Plant hit the rather  the windswept stage at 4.45p.m. The first part of the set  ran as follows:  ‘Hurting Kind’, ‘Immigrant Song’, ‘Tie Dye On The Highway’, ‘Liars Dance’, ‘Going To California’, and ‘Tall Cool One’.

Before bringing on his special guest Robert stated : “Well, this little award given to me last week, not particularly for anything I’ve done but for what has happened between 1966 when I made my first record and today. I’ve been working for the last four years with these guys and it’s been a wonderful time and I owe a good portion of this to these chaps behind me. I also owe a major proportion to my good friend who has just joined me on stage… Jimmy Page.” With cherry red Gibson in hand, Jimmy Page proceeded to add vast influence to enthusiastic work outs of ‘Misty Mountain Hop’, a superb ‘Wearing And Tearing’ (never before played live) and a rousing ‘Rock And Roll’.

Jimmy Page said afterwards : “We were having a really good time. We’d had a rehearsal before we did it and that was great fun. It’s really good playing all the old numbers… especially ‘Wearing And Tearing’… it really was on a wing and a prayer that we went on with that at Knebworth. We were back to living dangerously again.”

It was incredibly exciting to see the pair back on stage and the performance of Wearing And tearing remains one of my all time greatest gig going moments.

So to the Record Store Day 12 inch single. It comes packaged in a low key black sleeve with minimal artwork – a generic design also used for similar Live At Knebworth Record Store Day 12 inch singles featuring Status Quo and Genesis. and that

It’s pressed on vivid yellow vinyl – the credits are retained from its previous release as part of the multi artist LP and CD set Knebwortht 90 – this has Jimmy Page listed as being courtesy of Geffen Records –back in 1988 his solo album Outrider had been released on that label.

It kicks off with Hurting Kind (I’ve Got My Eyes On You) – the rockabilly flavoured up-tempo opening track of the Manic Nirvana album and also the first UK single. It’s a good representation of where Robert and the band were at during the turn of the 90s. Manic Nirvana released earlier in the year was an enjoyable romp – harder edged than Now And Zen – a full on production with some heavy choruses of which this track was one.

Live on stage it was always a crowd pleaser and here Robert’s echoed vocal soars above it all and there’s a panache and swagger throughout. This version of the Plant band were well melded now Chris Blackwell’s elaborate drumming and Charlie Jones steadfast bass holding it together over the flamboyant keyboards of Phil Johnstone and the delightful guitar playing of Doug Boyle. He really was such a quality player. As for the singer he was perhaps in the last throes of his full on golden god phase – with lots of Zep like vocal gymnastics in evidence – he would refine this style with the emergence of the Fate Of Nations era and beyond.

On stage at Knebworth in 1990 with the wind blowing he cut an impressive figure.

Next up Liars Dance preceded by some Plant words about the days of festivals of old. This was a brave set list choice on the day – to perform an acoustic duo between him and Doug could have gone right over the heads of many in attendance – on the day it certainly didn’t feel like that and on record here the intensity of the performance shines though. Doug is exquisite on this and lyrically it’s another throwback with that repeated ”lady who’s sure” refrain.

Over on Side Two Tall Call One arrives in a barrage of Led Zep samples. This was another on stage crown pleaser of the time delivered here with total conviction and complete with Phil Johnstone’s Kylie Minogue I Should Be So Lucky insert. The finale see’s them zip into a slice of Custard Pie and ends with a decisive blast of The Ocean riff.

There’s a burst of crown applause and Wearing And Tearing kicks in. What a delight this was and is with Jimmy in total full on speed riff mode. Again there’s a total conviction in the playing and for a brief moment we had a Led Zep for the 90s. Outside of the 02 reunion this has to be right up there as one of their finest post Zep moments. ”Robert Plant and Jimmy Page” says the announcer who if I recall was the late Dave Dee.

This Record Store Day 12 inch single is welcomed reminder of a truly great performance. However, it does feel a bit of a missed opportunity  – it would have been preferable to issue the whole Robert Plant Knebworth 90 set  as a fully fledged album. – Pink Floyd took that stance with their Live At Knebworth release covering their performance that day.

Finally I’d like to dedicate this piece to the late Phil Johnstone – RIP…

Dave Lewis June 23 2023

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Coming soon – Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis):
Celebrated photographer, creative director and filmmaker Anton Corbijn’s first feature documentary SQUARING THE CIRCLE (The Story Of Hipgnosis) tells the story of Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey “Po” Powell, the creative geniuses behind the iconic album art design studio, Hipgnosis, responsible for some of the most recognizable album covers of all time working with Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel and many more…
I saw this at a press screening a few weeks back – it’s a compelling watch with new interviews with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Nick Mason, David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Paul McCartney and more.
It’s highly recommended – ticket details for the initial preview screenings with Q and A’s are at this link:

https://releasing.dogwoof.com/squaring-the-circle?fbclid=IwAR08ki4u5yKQs5mXvYKkZ-tqLiqwbNTYu3IjQwajF1UcY82LIZkCmt1g1SA

Dave Lewis  – June 23 2023


Gaz Morris Love Burns…

Gaz Morris the guitarist with tribute band Rod and The Facez has just released a solo album.

He embarked on this collaborative journey during lockdown. It’s an authentic slice of blues rock excellently played with a selection of guest vocalists.

Now The Lovin’ Has Gone sung by Stacy Green  has a  suitably over ought arrangement which reminded me of  Thin Lizzy’s classic Still In Love With You.

Elsewhere there’s plenty of other pleasing influences  – All or Nothing has a Hendrix like slant while Paul Bridgewater brings a touch of Franke Miller’s swagger to Woman.

Through the album Gaz handles all the guitar parts in an exemplary manner. Overall, Love Burns an enjoyable exercise in applying the blues with style and finesse.

For ordering details and more visit

http://www.gazmorrismusic.com

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Glastonbury 2023:
In the calm of the day after…
Some Glastonbury thoughts:
I think we can all agree that Elton John’s performance was right up there with the greatest headline appearances in the Festival’s long history and on a par with last year’s Paul McCartney appearance -if not even better.
In fact I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the greatest live performances I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch.
He was just sensational…
Highlights and there were so many included the opening blast of Pinball Wizard and The Bitch is Back, a magnificent Philadelphia Freedom, the gospel led Are You Ready For Love with Gabriels singer Jacob Lusk guesting, and a majestic Tiny Dancer with Brendon Flowers guesting. Add to that a touching tribute to George Michael who would have been 60 that day – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me has never sounded so poignant.
The finale, has he rocked the entire field with Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting and I’m Still Standing was breathtaking as was the extended delivery of Rocket Man (I Think it’s Gonna Be A Long Long Time.)
How fitting that as Elton traded licks with guitarist Davy Johnston, the sheer musicality of his playing came to the fore – as well as being an outstanding showman he has always been such a class musician too.
Elton take a bow and maybe a final one – but what a way to go…
Earlier Yusuf/ Cat Stevens had given an absolute masterclass in how to present a vast catalogue of songs with grace and finesse – highlights for me being the 1960s medley, Mathew And Son, his tributes to George Harrison (Here Comes The Sun) and Nina Simone (Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood) Remember The Days, Sitting, Peace Train and an emotional Father And Son.
You know your are on a winner when your new songs are well received and the three Cat performed went down well – note to self I need to invest in his new album King Of a Land.
 Blondie’s performance was slightly erratic though a big hats off to Debbie harry who at 77 can still command a stage – drummer Clem Burke was sensational as he always is.
Overall across the weekend there was just so much to enjoy:
The sheer energy of The Foo Fighters surprise set, Rick Astley’s delightful Saturday lunch time slot (Rick’s a big AC/DC fan who knw?) local Bedford lad Tom Grennan seizing his Glastonbury moment, the afternoon performance of Generation Sex providing a showcase for some of the best punk songs ever written including Pretty Vacant and Ready Steady Go!, Rock Astley’s quite brilliant presentation of The Smiths catalogue with the Blossoms (Rick’s a big Smiths fan – who knew?), more class from Texas, Sparks and The Pretenders with guest Johnny Marr, the very emotional response to Lewis Capaldi, a captivating set by Gabriel’s and the knockabout fun of Axl, Slash and co.
It helped of course that the sun shone brightly all weekend and the fact that some of my favourite heritage acts in the main, lived up to their reputations and in one or two cases exceeded them..
Fundamentally, what is also great about Glastonbury is through the BBC’s TV coverage we can all enjoy it wherever we are. It becomes something of a communal affair and certainly in Elton’s case, it felt you were watching history unfold.
Watching Glastonbury is a vivid illustration of the power of music to connect us, unite us, thrill us and inspire us.
Through my Facebook page and Led Zep TBL website for me personally, that’s something I strive to achieve – Facebook is a valuable platform to share in all this great music and the feedback and banter that comes from liaising and exchanging views.
We all have our own opinions and I fully respect alternate views and as I previously noted, it would be a dull old world if we all liked the same thing.
Sharing in the music I love has been in my DNA for well over 50 years and writing about it is something I’ve done right back to my early Led Zep chronicling in the 70s. I gain much inspiration and solace in doing so. It’s also great fun.
Be it marking rock star Birthdays and anniversaries and events, sharing my love of Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Nick Drake, Bob Dylan and many other bands and artists and so much other music, my weekly Throwback Thursday retro charts drawn from my archive, sharing my record collection passion and finds on LP and CD – reviewing gigs and events I’ve attended.
I am very grateful and blessed to have regained something of the zest and motivation to do this –  there was a time a while back when I found it very difficult to do so.
It all adds up to a deep connection with like minded enthusiasts, many who have become good friends over the years. Of course talking about all this in the pub is another joy and at the VIP record fairs, in record shops, at the Pete Burridge record club, gigs etc.
I may have retired my Led Zep Tight But Loose magazine but I am very much not retired in chronicling the music I love.
I am currently working on one or two writing projects ongoing including my memoirs, of which I am still in 1972 with 30,000 words up so I had better check back in on that…

Dave Lewis – June 26 2023

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DL Diary Blog Update:

Thursday June 22:

It was fantastic to travel to Leighton Buzzard today and hook up for the first time in far too long with my very good friend Mr Mark Harrison…
Renowned Led Zep fan of many years and known to many a fellow fan, long time TBL supporter and all round top man.
Many will know of Mark’s health challenges in recent years and all things considered, I’m pleased to say he was on great form.
First stop was the excellent Black Circle Records where of course I could not help but invest in a Led Zeppelin Houses Of The Holy French pressing with the wraparound label all intact – top result and you can never have too many copies of that album!
Back at Mark’s, it was a pleasure to present him with a copy of the Five Glorious Nights Led Zeppelin at Earls Court May 1975 Revised & Expanded edition I compiled. Mark of course was at Earls Court back then and we chatted over many a Zep adventure including Mark’s various meetings with Jimmy Page back in the early 80s and the ten or so US dates Mark saw on Jimmy’s Outrider tour in 1988 -to name but a few…
We also had a Facetime chat with the esteemed Led Zep US memorabilia collector and great friend of ours Brian Knapp.
All in all a fantastic life affirming day with a very special Led Zep comrade….thanks Mark!

Friday June 23:

Recent DL LP bootleg record acquisition…
No here’s a recent delight that came my way via my Zep Robert Plant comrade Simon Partington and all very timely as it’s this celebrated 1977 Zep gig’s 46th anniversary.
I think I have seen it before way back but for some reason I never picked it up…
So what we have here on a double LP is, as the label states:.
Led Zeppelin For Badgeholders Only Part 2
Original masters Reissue Series
Los Angles Forum June 23 1977
An Oleg Kirov Presentation
OMRS5472G Stereo
She-Human Vinyloids Los Angles ,Ca 90028
1981 All rights reserved 91984) is coming)
Side 1:
No Quarter
Side 2:
No Quarter (cont.)
Black Country Woman
Side 3:
Out On The Tiles
Moby Dick (Keith Moon on drums)
Side 4:
Star Spangled Banner
Achilles Last Stand
For a piece of vintage vinyl it sounds very good –the source is an alternate to the Mike Millard audience tape.
The packing is the typically low key bootleg type of the era – a wraparound sleeve with a photo of Jimmy Page from the 1975 US tour. On the reverse a photocopied pic of Jimmy at Knebworth and rather bizarrely, a photo of Robert from 1982 during his promo interviews for his Pictures at Eleven solo album.
I do have a version on vinyl of the first volume so I’m well pleased to have this Part 2 addition – thanks Simon!
Friday June 23:
DL latest Charity shop acquisitions…
A splendid charity shop CD crop today including a whole lotta Robin Trower and more…50p each? I’ll take ‘em!
Thanks to my fellow record and CD collecting comrade Pete Burridge for pointing me in the direction of these finds earlier today…

 

Friday June 23:

Remembering my late sister Margaret on her Birthday…
Margaret passed away twenty years ago and far too soon…
Pictured here with me and my Mum and Dad in our garden in about 1964…such memories…
Saturday June 24:
Saturday is platterday – on the player rockin’ Reg on red vinyl…
The recent 2LP Record Store Day release of Elton John’s Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player and sounding mighty fine.
Very much look forward to watching Elton’s Sunday night appearance at Glastonbury…
Saturday June 24:
Saturday is platterday – on the player Jimmy Page & Robert Plant The Second Coming 2 LP package capturing their Glastonbury performance on Sunday June 25 1995 – they were absolutely magnificent…
I could not make this one but I watched it unfold at the time live on TV in total awe.
I have so many great Page & Plant memories of that period.
I saw shows in Glasgow, Sheffield, London x 2, Birmingham x 2, St Austell and Poole the next month. I was well pleased to acquire this 2 LP Glastonbury set recently…
Saturday June 24:
Great to watch local Bedford lad Tom Grennan totally rockin Glastonbury…

Saturday June 24:

Generation Sex at Glastonbury – thoroughly enjoyed that…Billy Idol, Tony James, Steve Jones and Paul Cook still rockin for sure…

Saturday June 24:

Rick Astley, Our Price Records, Glastonbury and me…
Back in the summer of 1987, I was in the Our Price record shop I managed in Bedford and took a call from Jerry Joel the manager of the Watford store – we often traded tips on new singles we thought might put some money in the tills and on this particular call Jerry told me to listen out for a new single by Rick Astley called Never Gonna Give You Up and told me it was going to be massive.
I’d never heard of Rick Astley and back then few had but lo and behold Jerry was correct. This infectious tune went on to spend five weeks at number one.
What a joy it was some 36 years later to watch the same Rick Astley performing an uplifting feel good set yesterday at Glastonbury. Yes, Never Gonna Give You Up was the grand finale and it sounded every bit as brilliant as it did all those years back.
Jerry was right, Never Gonna Give You Up was going to be massive and it still is – that’s the power of a great pop song for you and what fun we all had selling many a great single and album back then
Whenever I hear Never Gonna Give You Up it always reminds me of being back in the Our Price shop on a Saturday afternoon with queues of customers keen to hand over their hard earned cash for their music fix – of which It was our job to supply – what glory music retail days they were….it will all be in my memoirs…

Saturday June 24:

Watching Rick Astley performing The Smiths catalogue with The Blossoms at Glastonbury yesterday…
You’ve gotta absolutely love it – Rick can make a good claim to being man of the weekend…

Sunday June 25:

Watching one of the greatest songs ever written performed live at Glastonbury…awesome…

Sunday June 25:

Elton John first came on my radar when I saw him perform Border Song on Top of The Pops in 1970. Early in 1971 the brilliant Your Song became his first hit. Since then I’ve had many a musical high following his career.
I was actually at the gig in November 1977 at the old Empire Pool Wembley when he announced his retirement from the stage.
That of course didn’t happen but 46 years on from that announcement, tonight on the Glastonbury stage he will bow out of live performance touring.
Like so many, I am eagerly looking forward to Elton John’s Glastonbury debut and his final tour date – I’m sure his set list will contain many a musical memory for us all..
Thanks Elton for taking us on this amazing journey on the yellow brick road…

Sunday June 25:

Elton John what a performance….

Tuesday June 27:

It’s a Happy Birthday today to our very good friend Mr Graeme Hutchinson.
Long time TBL supporter and contributor, massive Zep collector, co organiser of the 2005 Zep Express UK convention and all round top man
Graeme is pictured here by me with Jason Bonham – Happy Birthday from Janet and I have a great day mate!
Tuesday June 27:
It’s a Happy Birthday today to the legendary music journalist Charles Shaar Murray.
I was lucky enough to interview him for the TBL magazine back in 2013. We chatted for hours in a lovely West Hampstead pub garden on a hot July afternoon. A wonderful memory and one of the best interviews I have ever conducted. Incredible to think it’s ten years ago…
During the interview we discussed his early writing career at the underground magazine Oz, how he got to play on the Oz benefit single in the company of John Lennon, his reviews of Led Zeppelin in the NME, The Rolling Stones, The Who, David Bowie, Beatles etc. He also added great insight into the times he saw Zep in LA in 1973 and at the Kezar stadium gig.
All fascinating stuff and a huge thrill for me to meet and interview a writer whose work was such an inspiration to me in first wanting to put pen to paper and write about rock music myself when I was a mere teenager back in the 1970s.
As Robert Plant advised from the Earls Court stage in 1975 ‘’Charles Shaar Murray – keep taking the pills’’…have a great day CSM…

Tuesday June 27: 

It was 51 years ago this week…
Loading up the simply awesome Led Zeppelin How The West Was One 3 CD live set originally issued in 2003. This has recordings from the LA Forum on June 25 1972 and Long Beach on this day June 27 1972
I always felt this got lost a bit when it was released alongside the five hour DVD – it really is another of their standout live performances…

Update here:

A very busy week – last Thursday it was great to catch up with Mark Harrison for the first time in far too long, Janet and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the weekend’s Glastonbury TV coverage and we’ve also been  checking out the new Ken Bruce Popmaster quiz series on the E4 channel. Ken’s popular quiz has transferred well to TV. Elsewhere, there’s been work on one or two writing projects including chipping away at the DL memoirs.

Thanks for listening…   

Until next time…

Dave  Lewis –  June 29 , 2023

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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2 Comments »

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks Ian!

  • Ian D said:

    Fabulous archive picture of the Our Price shop Dave, The Man… The Racking…. The Carpet

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