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8 January 2010 3,804 views One Comment


The young DL looks to the East-  Cologne June 18 1980 -pic Tom Locke

 It hadn’t occurred to me until Steve A. Jones noted it in the comments of the last Diary entry, that this is the commencement of my fifth decade of chronicling the world of Led Zeppelin.

The fifth decade has duly got off to a great start. The arrival of the new Mojo magazine with its inspiring Jimmy Page interview had me rushing to get some of that old Page magic back on the deck.

Cue everything from The Yardbirds Puzzles (check that closing solo), Outrider’s Blues Anthem, Coverdale Page Take Me For A Little While ,Page & Plant’s Blue Train and Led Zeppelin’s For Your Life, The Wanton Song and Ten Years Gone and a whole lot in between (Led Zep 3 from start to finish

is a good way to usher in that album in it’s 40th anniversary year). Oh yes in this fifth decade the enthusiasm remains the same.

Add to that the arrival of the Classic Album Cover stamps, further Page interviews in Uncut and the today in The Times, a look at some 02 footage (how good were they that night, come on!) excited calls with G. Foy as we discussed the latest happenings – well it’s been a full on ‘’It’s a Led Zep world, we just live in it’’ start to the year.


Getting back to the Mojo piece, Jimmy’s guide through his fave sounds spotlighted some very interesting albums. I’m well familiar with his first choice Missa Luba. We used get asked for this classical choral album a fair bit when I worked in WH Smith circa 1974/5. The Sanctus piece as Jimmy explains was used in the excellent Lindsey Anderson film If… with Malcolm McDowell. Another of his fave picks, the Walter Carlos soundtrack to A Clockwork Orange also resonated here – the controversial Stanley Kubrick film again starring Malcolm McDowell was the first x rated film I ever went to see around early 1973 and boy did it shock. The soundtrack with its mesmerising Beethoven touches always brings to mind images of the droogs out to do their worst. Incidentally the altogether lighter Switched On Bach album that Walter Carlos produced was an instore favourite of the ladies I worked with back in W H Smith. I brought the A Clockwork Orange soundtrack album after I’d seen the film and it’s good to know the guitarist felt the same way about that starling record. The breadth and scope of Jimmy’s choices in the Mojo piece was indeed quite striking – his vast knowledge and understanding of his influences were more than evident. As Phil Alexander noted, he is simply a music obsessive.


Before all the Mojo/Classic Album Cover stamps activity, I survived the New Year festivities. Actually felt well below par during New Years Eve (nothing to do with the fish pie Terry which was excellent!). Not quite sure what was wrong, but it was a bit of a low key entry into the first hours of 2010.

Then of course came the snow. Oh yes lots of snow. Couldn’t resist playing football in the thick of it outside our house for a few minutes with Adam yesterday and I’ve just got back from a bracing walk in the white stuff from the post office. While I was there I invested in the presentation pack of the Classic Album stamps and very nice they look too. The exclusive Bletchley Park limited edition first day covers are due next week.


Spoke to Howard Mylett yesterday and he was in good spirits. He even made one of his familiar black humour quips when we discussed the forthcoming Jimmy Page book. Noting the vast expense that will be required to shell out for a copy if you are one of the lucky ones to get in for it, I joked to Howard that I might need to sell something or other to raise such     

capital.  ‘Well you could always sell the wife’’ came back Howard quick as a flash. I won’t of course be telling the good lady that one!   


Elsewhere it’s been full on planning the next few weeks with lots to sort on the TBL front. Challenges ahead that look somewhat daunting in January.

Don’t forget the TBL 2010 subscription offer of £5 off the Over Europe due later in the year has been extended to Jan 31st. Re- subscribe as soon as you can to enjoy the chronicling of what is shaping up to be a busy year.


Other early year inspirations: the excellent BBC 2 documentary on Elvis Vegas years and showing of the 1973 Aloah From Hawaii concert to celebrate what would have been his 75th birthday. Some great footage from an often underrated era of The King.

Aside from a full blast of Page/ Led Zep, my other musical companion this past week has been Bob Dylan. A playlist that covers Planet Waves, Blood On The Tracks and Desire that makes for the perfect January accompaniment as each of those albums came out early in their respective years. Desire in particular revives memories of a similarly frozen start to the year back in 1976. It was an album I took much inspiration from back in what was a rather fraught period for this then 19 year old. (Blimey that’s Sam’s age now!)

I also vividly recall the sheer excitement and optimism when reading the Robert Plant interview that appeared in the NME of that month. It was the first post accident interview he had given and he waxed optimistically about Zeppelin’s future and their impending new album, which he stated contained a track called Achilles Last Stand that they were all very proud of. The very title conjured up something grandiose and majestic.  It of course did not disappoint.


Some 34 years on, this week I felt that same rush of excitement and optimism when I scanned the new issue of Mojo to read Jimmy’s similarly optimistic reflections.

 I loved them then – I love them now. Bring on the fifth decade.

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One Comment »

  • Ian Dixon said:

    Re Dylan – Desire! I’ve not played the full album in donkeys – Always go for Blood on the Tracks or Rolling Thunder takes, now I’ve a pang for Scarlet Rivera, One More Cup of Coffee and Romance in Durango. If anyone else wants to revisit in their ‘fraught’ teenage years then may I suggest Marillion ‘Misplaced Childhood’ but it must be the LP for that authenic touch. And from my twenties Levelers ‘Levelling the Land’ – always on a certain pub juke box at the top end of Bedford High Street.

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