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DAVE LEWIS DIARY: A MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM ME TO YOU

23 December 2009 5,100 views One Comment

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Well that was the week that was -‘’It’s over let it go’’ as Millicent Martin used to sing on the iconic 60’s show of the same name. It may be over, but this one will be difficult to let go as it was a quite remarkable week.

 

After all it’s not every week one find’s oneself in close proximity to two of the ex members of Led Zeppelin. On Tuesday the It Might Get Loud film premiere was everything and more than we expected. Jimmy looked very relaxed and full of pride for a project that has put him right back in the spotlight. There are some spine tingling moments throughout the film – moments that really make you realise how much we have missed him. The heartwarming comments Jimmy made to Sky News regarding his intention to be active in 2010, was the icing on the cake of an inspiring re- acquaintance with the man who really still is lord of the strings.

 

Then to Friday – Gary F and I battled the snow to reach Hammersmith again, via a detour to the Spitfield Market where I checked out a few of the record stalls I’d seen the previous Saturday in Norwich (more on that later).     

Once in the Hammersmith area it was again good to be in the company of TBL people such as Mick Bulow, Cliff H. and Graeme H. before the gig. A Never Mind The Buzzcocks intro round of TCV tunes between the Foy boy and me caused much merriment in the pub.

 

In the Apollo we had second row circle seats that offered a perfect overview of the players.

No more so than Dave Grohl who’s every Bonham fuelled percussive flurry could be seen vividly. As for JPJ – he is just the consummate musician. Be it on Alembic, keytar or keyboards, he blended in with the at times ferocious noise forthcoming, with a deftness and skill that defined the years.

The audience loved it – we could view in the comfort of our chairs (my old knees are too creaky now for any crowd surfing) the moshing down the front to the likes of Bandoliers, Reptiles and Warsaw. Above everything Them Crooked Vultures projected a real sense of fun in their performance. Knowing grins when it came off, smiles when it threatened to go out of control. With JPJ at the helm of course it rarely did.  

 

Afterwards there was time for a quick chat with the man and then something of a journey from hell on a reveler packed train back to a freezing Bedford that got me home for about 2.30am.

 

Before all that, the good lady and I spent a lovely weekend in Norwich to pick up Sam. Visited a couple of vinyl shops and by sheer luck stumpled on a record fair. It was one of the VIP organized ones and the guy on the entrance instantly recognized me and filled me in on Jimmy’s recent all day visit to the VIP record fair in Olympia. Came away with a very nice Stan Kenton vinyl album on the Capitol label , a nicely packaged obscure Jake Holmes CD A Letter To Katherine December(the man who might lay claim to writing Dazed And Confused), and Joe Walsh’s So What album on vinyl which happens to have a credit for J.Page on the inner sleeve. Looked in Borders which had the ‘’empty racks and we are out of here soon’’ syndrome that took me back to dark Zavvi days. In stark contrast the Apple shop was a more optimistic example of cutting edge retail with all the tech to match.

 

Christmas is nigh on upon us and today’s date takes me back to that hill in Muswell North London. For it was 37 years ago today I climbed said hill to witness Led Zeppelin live at Alexandra Palace. Though this night did not quite match the Empire Pool extravaganza, for this 16 year old who’d never been kissed, it was still pretty amazing. Memories: Hearing Over The Hills And Far Away, The Song Remains The Same and The Rain Song long before the album was out, the freaky guy known as Jesus who was a regular on the London gig circuit stripping naked and playing a tin whistle during Dazed, a stirring Quit You Babe in the WLL medley, and then the long trek down the hill in the freezing cold. It was another rites of passage occasion that increased my dedication manifold. It led to me tracking their every move even more religiously and in 1973 there would be a lot to track. 

 

Just got back from the town and the snow as RP once put it changes the whole vibe. Can’t recall the last time it snowed so close to Christmas.

Had to laugh at Rage Against The Machine toppling the X Factor via that facebook campaign (which reminds me, I really need to update my Facebook

page). For once it wasn’t the predictability of the X Factor winner topping the charts. The run in to the Christmas number one used to be a genuinely exciting event and I recall once putting a fiver on Bruce Springsteen’s Santa Claus is Coming To Town to be the 1985 winner. It turned out to be Shakin’ Merry Christmas Everyone so what did I know!

Tuned in to Terry Wogan’s final Radio 2 breakfast show – his final speech to the nation was a wonderful piece of oratory and his final record The Party’s Over (a line I’ve been known to utter on occasions) by Tony Newley was absolutely perfect. Chris Evans has massive shoes to fill.

Spoke to Howard Mylett this week – he has really appreciated all the good wishes that came his way and is bearing up best as he can with his ailments. 

We of course wish him all the best. (email Howard at howardz1@hotmail.co.uk)

 

On the Christmas TBL deck: The Beatles Christmas album which has the flexi discs they used to record for fan club members – nostalgic, innocent and hilarious. Bob Dylan’s rather bizarre Christmas album, a bit of Stones (Let It Bleed) and Led Zeppelin Complete BBC Sessions –warming up for Jimmy’s Christmas Day interview on BBC 6 music, that’ll make a change from the Queen’s speech

 

It’s all been a bit of a rush these past few days with the arrival of TBL 25 and Christmas stuff to organise. I’m really pleased with this issue (thanks Martyn for the great design) which has extensive Them Crooked Vultures coverage including an exclusive John Paul Jones interview, Mike Tremaglio’s  Zep Fall 1969 log and Nick Anderson’s Zep 2 rarities guide and much more. All guaranteed to take you back to the music with renewed enthusiasm.

Order now to enjoy some essential post Christmas reading.

 

Big thanks for all the Christmas cards received here from far and wide – did try and get as many out from here but if I missed you out, no offence intended ,it would have been a case of lost address be assured.

Has been a bit weird being out of the retail loop this month, but with so much going on this past couple of weeks and TBL full on, it’s felt as hectic as ever –in a different way. Trying to catch up with various friends etc this week and then the draw bridge will go up for Christmas. It will be fantastic to be with Sam and Adam and the good lady of course and looking forward to us all being at Janet’s Mum and Dad’s on Christmas Day.

All that’s left is to thank you all for your continued support of all things TBL,

and wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

            

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One Comment »

  • Mark Harrison said:

    I remember that bloke “Jesus” – he seemed to be at EVERY concert I ever went to!! Nice one Dave!

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