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Croydon Rocks / Lost Weekend / Nearly Man

13 November 2008 2,020 views No Comment

Well Croydon duly rocked last Friday as we came out of our dens to celebrate 40 glorious years. The turn out was good and Boot Led  Zeppelin played for over three hours.

Unfortunately Mick Wall was unable to make it going down with a nasty gastric virus so I donned the number 12 shirt and waxed lyrical on his book and other topics. Graeme conducted the ABC raffle and auction and many hands went in pockets to support the trust.

As ever it was good to chew the Zep fat with familiar faces including all the way from Tatan from Indonesia, Ab Schuurmans from Holland, Eddie Edwards, Ian Avey and wife ,Greg Purling, Guy St John to name a few, Thanks to all that made it along to toast this auspicious anniversary.

Of course along the way beers were drunk and Gary F, Cliff Hilliard and myself ended the night with a curry.

The plan was for the boy Foy and I to drop off in London on Saturday, have a quick look around Fopp and a couple of beers and be home in the afternoon. Didn’t quite work out that way. After the Fopp raid (where I succumbed to the three CD Dylan deluxe Best Of at just £7 – a man’s gotta have his little treats!) we got ensconced in the very busy Charring Cross pub Spice Of Life.

So there we were Saturday afternoon, beers in hand, reflections on Croydon, the state of the Zep world etc and life was good. So good four pints became five, five became six, then six became seven. After another retail raid in Piccadilly Zavvi (where Gary succumbed to the new Weller At The BBC 4 CD set which I’ve also just invested in) it was to Leicester Square and yet more beer and another curry. Home on the train in a daze, in at midnight – up at 6 and in the shop at 7.30.

The Lost Weekend is an apt description. But hey you only celebrate 40 years of the finest band on the planet once…roll on the 40th anniversary of the release of Zep 1 next spring…and 30 years of Knebworth next year. More lost weekends might beckon…or not with the hangover I suffered…I’m too old to do this too often!

Back home it’s been full on with wrapping up TBL 22. Almost there now so watch the site for announcements of it’s impending availability. Appropriately working on the last text tonight to a backdrop of Led Zep 1.

Great to have Sam back today and until Sunday.

There is another night out for the Lewis clan on Saturday and as luck would have it only round the corner at the local Fox And Hounds. There our good friend Alan Stutz is launching his book Diary Of A Nearly Man. Published by Jerry Bloom who operates the Richie Blackmore mag, basically it’s Alan’s diaries circa mid 70’s to 1989. A Nick Hornbyish rites of passage tale with many a humorous tale.

I know as I was there for a lot of them.

Alan and I enjoyed many an escapade together in the pubs and clubs of Bedford including quite a few solo Zep sketches memorably at the 1988 warm up show in Leicester. I’m therefore much represented in the book usually under my nickname of that era (no sniggering at the back please) Dobber (and no don’t ask!).

As the book’s press blurb says ‘Alan Stutz haven’t heard of him? How many people had heard of Hitler before he invaded Poland?’

Sure to be a slightly bizarre evening with many a face form the past. And yup I’m sure some will be asking “What’s all this bollocks about Zep going on tour without Plant?”.

Might need a fair few Fosters to fend off all that – but two lost weekends in succession is more than a man can take. Surely.    

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