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EARLS COURT IT WAS 48 YEARS AGO – PRELUDE TO MAY 17 & 18 1975 /FIVE GLORIOUS NIGHTS REVISED & UPDATED BOOK/HONEYDRIPPERS 1981/LZ NEWS/LET IT BE AND ME/ DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

11 May 2023 733 views No Comment


It’s that time of year again…

TBL Celebrates the 48th Anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Earls Court:

With the 48h anniversary of the first two Led Zeppelin appearances at Earls Court upon us – to get you right in the zone here is a feature that first ran in TBL issue 15. It focuses on some of the key performances on the US tour of early 1975 that provided something of an indicator to the five glorious nights that would follow in May 1975…

PRELUDE TO EARLS COURT:

Led Zeppelin’s tenth American tour kicked off in Minnesota on January 18 1975 and initially their performances were hampered due to Plant’s bout of flu and Page’s injury to his finger. The situation began to improve when they reached New York some ten gigs into the tour. For the Feb 3 Madison Square Garden date Page felt sufficiently recovered to re instate Dazed And Confused to the set. Just over a week later, Plant’s relief at finally shrugging off his flu bug was evident in a very loose and informal Valentine’s Day performance at the Nassau Coliseum. As their newly released double set Physical Graffiti hit the stores they moved up another gear. March saw they really hit their stride with outstanding performances at Long Beach, Vancouver and Seattle -eventually culminating in a memorable three day stint at the LA Forum.

Throughout those February /March dates they began to further develop the set clearly displaying points of reference in their playing that would be further explored when they returned to London to play the Earls Court shows.

So having evaluated the ’75 tour tapes, I’ve highlighted the key moments from seven performances that in hindsight, clearly provided a prelude to those five glorious nights that would follow in May 1975…

Date: FEBRUARY 14, 1975:

Venue: NASSAU COLISEUM UNIONDALE NEW YORK

Performances: KASHMIR/TANGERINE (snippet)

Bootleg Reference: NASSAU ’75 (TDOLZ)

zep 75 31

”This is one that regulars that come here know quite well…but you’ve still yet to hear the recorded version…this is a track about another of life’s journeys that never end..this time in Kashmir”

Kashmir was a new number that they were obviously itching to play live and with Plant’s voice suitably recovered they turned in a majestic Valentines’ Day performance in Nassau. Page strumming down relentlessly on the Gibson behind Bonham’s castinet like drumming.

Plant showing renewed confidence to throw in the echoed vocal naunces that became such an Earls Court trademark. Listening to this delivery re -emphasis my opinion that the best live versions of Kashmir  were all played in the year it was released on record.

Tangerine was of course a surprise inclusion at the Earls Court shows performed as a four part harmony. However perhaps they were already toying with the idea of bringing it back during the American tour. For on this night prior to Stairway To Heaven Plant let out a few lines from the long deleted Zep III stage fave. ”Measuring a summers day”…adding ”I’ve forgotten the words”. It was a brief teaser for a song that would again light up those memorable May days.

Date: FEBRUARY 28 ,1975

Venue: LOUISANA STATE UNIVERSITY BATON ROUGE

Performance: NO QUARTER

Bootleg Reference: FREEZE (TARANTURA) LED ASTRAY (SILVER RARITIES)

The May 18 and 24 Earls Court versions of the JPJ opus are amongst the very best they performed. The highlight being JP’s lengthy piano concerto that led to the loose jamming amalgamation with Page and Bonham. During the ’75 US that arrangement underwent much construction as it expanded in length. On this night in Baton Rouge Jonesy began applying for the first time that pleasing neo classical solo before Jimmy waded in with a long rambling solo. The improvisation of No Quarter would further develop later in the tour when Page and Bonham introduced an uptempo jazz tempo to the piece. This Feb 28 delivery was an early example of how the track would evolve to such huge effect a little under two months hence in London.

Date: MARCH 12,1975

Venue: CIVIC ARENA LONG BEACH CALIFORNIA

Perfomance: THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME (false start)/THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME

Bootleg Reference: TRAMPLED UNDER JIMMY’S FOOT (SILVER RARITIES)

Just to illustrate that not all went according to plan every night…. on this cooking performance in Long Beach their sheer enthusiasm got the better of them as they opened The Song Remains The Same….. only to bring it to a close some one minute in.

”Just a minute that’s it ….see you again Long Beach! Yes it happened for the first time in six and a half years…does anybody remember laugher?…. the first time we came here ..er we never seem to  get things together in Los Angeles.

OK, as I was saying. Nevertheless The Song Remains …..nevertheless,ad infinitum to the power of three re occuring..The Same!’’

They did not get it wrong a second time.

What happened next was simply the business. A speed ride through the opening track of Houses and  as Plant might put it a reoccurring anthem. It sounded great here ,it sounded great in Earls Court and it still sounded great 20 years later when Page and Plant deployed it so effectively on their 95/96 world tour. This is a Zeppelin anthem that gets less acclaim than the more overplayed Whole Lotta Love, Stairway and Kashmir -but on stage it always burnt and smouldered its way into the set. Pull it out and try it for yourselves on any night…the effect as those Houses ads read is still shattering.

Date: MARCH 19, 1975

Venue: PACIFIC ARENA VANCOUVER

Performance: WOODSTOCK (insert)

Bootleg Reference: PLEEASE (SILVER RARITIES)

”By the end of the tour I felt I could sing anything”.

Proof of that statement came nightly within Dazed And Confused. The San Francisco excerpt had long been a feature of the early part of the piece, but on this tour they began experimenting even further. Plant introducing another hippie anthem to proceedings -the Joni Mitchell pean to Max Yasgur’s farm and a hit for Crosby Stills, Nash & Young. The Zep arrangement was still built loosely on the melody employed for San Francisco-Plant bending the words to fit the structure. Against Page’s eerie minor chord strumming it became one of the most atmospheric parts of their performance. Plant’s repeated ”Back to the garden” refrain merging into the violin bow episode amongst the dry ice. The Vancouver performance was a blueprint for the equally dramatic versions performed at Earls Court run. During this part of the tour Plant also took to singing The Eagles Take It Easy and during the final LA stint he crooned a 50’s like To Be Loving  before moving into Bob Marley’s I Shot The Sheriff. As he put it -he could sing anything…

Date: MARCH 21, 1975

Venue: SEATTLE CENTER COLISEUM

Performances:ROCK AND ROLL/SICK AGAIN/OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY

Bootleg Reference:SEATTLE SUPERSONIC (GEMA) 207.19 & 214 (COBLA STANDARD)

This Seattle show was simply one of the best gigs of their latter era.

Proximity editor Hugh Jones was there and relayed the events in a superb feature titled ”At The top of their game” in issue Vol 6 no17.

If proof was needed then this opening segment brings it all alive – as it epitomises what a potent three pronged entrance these songs really were. Rock And Roll segueing into the new sheer brutality of Sick Again with Plant teasing ”Do I look the same”, and then the opening speech followed by the ”Beginning of a dream and it starts here (R.Plant -Earls Court May*17) or on this occasion .”What we intend to do is to relive our pent uppedness on stage, and then to relieve it later on after the gig elsewhere. Now the thing is what we intend to do is to give you a cross section of what we’ve been trying to produce and write over the last six and a half years.

As you know the material varies greatly and so you will appreciate that we take it from one extreme to the other….and what better way to start than to gaze out onto the horizon and see what tomorrow may bring”

To quote Hugh Jones ”in those last few sentences Robert Plant may well have encapsulated Led Zeppelin as well as anyone ever has. The physical, the musical, the pretension and the arrogance-all backed up with music as varied and as good as his word for the next four hours”.

So the the regal intro of  Over The Hills And Far Away -the Page solo as always flickering and twisting into previously un investigated territory. Then a swirling finale with Plant crying out ”Samantha Samantha” perhaps a reference to the fun they were about to enjoy offstage as he put it And on this night in Seattle it all just burst forth with that knowing arrogance .To use that old Zep’75 maxim it all underlined the fact that it wasn’t just a case of them being the number one band on the planet…the real point in question was just how far whoever was at number two lagged behind.

Date: MARCH 25 1975

Venue: THE FORUM INGLEWOOD LOS ANGELES

Performance: TRAMPLED UNDERFOOT

Bootleg Reference: THE SEX MACHINE (LEMON SONG)

The May 24 ’75 delivery of Trampled was an incredible Page tour de force and again one of the most potent performances of their latter era. All through the US tour though, they were stretching the limits of the improvisational possibilities of this piece rendering the album version almost redundant. On this penultimate night of the tour Page, Jones and Bonham locked horns to produce a frightening barrage of noise over which Plant ad-libbed in required style. ”Give it to me, give it to me”

Nobody described the live delivery of this track better than noted US scribe Lisa Robinson when she astutely observed that ”Trampled with its Come Together like rhythm sounds as if The Beatles battled the Stones in a parking lot – and Led Zeppelin won”

Date: MARCH 27 1975

Venue: THE FORUM INGLEWOOD LOS ANGELES

Peformances: IN MY TIME OF DYING/SINCE IV’E BEEN LOVING YOU/STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN/WHOLE LOTTA LOVE/BLACK DOG

Bootleg Reference: TOUR DE FORCE (RABBITT)

The final riot night of the US tour was a mass celebratory affair with the band fully aware that with this tour they had turned adversity into triumph. From the moment Linda Lovelace cutely introduced them onstage to Plant’s parting ”We’re coming back baby” comment, this was a true prelude to what the UK was about to be served.

They even gave a hint of Earls Court fashion by introducing his Miss Selfridge cut off shirt and Page wearing the Dragon suit trousers that would become such a visual imprint of May ’75.

Their confidence was subsequently overflowing as they attacked the new In My Time Of Dying, Plant throwing in a few lines of You Shook Me.

”Anybody remember?” he asks at the end as he would a month later in SW5.

The version of Since I’ve Been Loving You was a real bonus and something sadly that Earls Court did not receive.

”A change in the programme- we were gonna do…..but this is a blues and I think this is where we first came in”. An impromptu set revision that delighted the LA audience.

A rare latter day stand alone delivery (in 1972/73 it had been segued with Misty Mountain)) recalling the majesty of Blueberry Hill at this very venue five years back. Rarely played in ’75 they ached their way through the old Zep III standard -Page’s solo as precise and inventive as that night back in September ’70.

On the home straight it was nothing less than a victory stomp. Stairway played as was the case as Earls Court as though Plant believed every word, and the final incendiary Whole Lotta Love/Black Dog medley with the added visual spectacle of that neon lit sign. Images and sounds that London would soon delight in.

Acknowledging their enthusiasm,  Plant told the final LA audience ”It’s really nice to know that we’re giving you what you are giving us because after tonight I think we’ve got three gigs in England. I don’t believe well work again for quite a long time, so this has got to be good”.

That last night in  LA  was indeed good…very good ….and Earls Court would be even better.

Dave Lewis – first published in TBL issue 15


And then… Note below the NME’s May 17 issue centre spread below compiled by the late Roy Carr and the late legendary Howard Mylett. I thought I knew a bit about Led Zeppelin until I met dear Howard…

may 17

TBL Celebrates the 48th anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Earls Court:

Turning the clock back 48 years:  Saturday May 17th 1975:

Setlist: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/No Quarter/Tangerine/Going To California/That’s The Way/Bron-Y-Aur Stomp/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/Dazed And Confused (inc. Woodstock)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – Black Dog.

May 17th a dull rainy Saturday. Left Bedford around 4pm on the train and met then girlfriend Fiona (we are still in touch all these years later) in London for the long awaited return. I’d been counting the days down since March and now here we were hours from seeing and believing. We were inside the arena from around 7pm and the next hour was a slow one – I’d brought a programme and t.shirt. The programme with the illuminating text from Tony Palmer really whetted the appetite and had some amazing photos.

Finally when the stage burst into action following Bob Harris’s intro just after 8pm, well it was the moment my life switched into colour after the previous 18 years had been viewed in grainy black and white.

We had a good view high up to the right looking down towards Jimmy’s side. They were a little nervous and it was evident Jimmy was having lead trouble in Rock And Roll, but once they settled in it was all and more I’d hoped for. The video screen high above the stage was something I’d never seen at a gig before and I found myself gazing in awe at the memorable images flashing on screen- and wishing it was being broadcast on TV.  I’d played Physical Graffiti non stop since it had come out so seeing In My Time, Kashmir and Trampled played live was just awe inspiring. Tangerine was an unexpected treat as was the whole acoustic interlude. Having no idea what the set list would be  only added to the pure wonderment of seeing Led Zeppelin live before my very eyes.

Initial opening night impressions:

John Bonham’s incredible drum sound, Robert’s warm rapport with the crowd and the way he totally dominated the stage.. After this somewhat shaky start they quickly regained confidence and the new numbers from Physical Graffiti, In My Time Of Dying and Kashmir set the standard. The latter’s Eastern-sounding riff rose into a thick, booming sound that reverberated throughout the entire arena. As the tapes of the shows so vividly reveal, that booming sound was very much an Earls Court characteristic, a sound so solid that when Page laid down a chord you could practically lean on it.

EC jr2

The marathon Dazed and the laser lights shooting through Jimmy’s violin bow. By the evening’s end the early nerves had all but evaporated, to be replaced by a relaxed atmosphere which found JPJ playfully offering a few bars of The Teddy Bear’s Picnic as Robert introduced ‘Stairway To Heaven. Plant was now regularly adding the line “That’s all we got” to the final verse prior to Page’s solo. Whole Lotta Love  featured a few riffs from The Crunge prior to Jimmy’s theremin battle. An unsurprisingly nervous start but with plenty to build on.

We got back to Bedford at 2am and I was already counting down the hours to when we would be back in their company again.  There were just 18 hours to tick off.

The Led Zeppelin Earls Court experience was underway…and boy life was good…

Dave Lewis – May  11 2023

“Apart from The Who and The Stones I can’t think of many bands who could have put on anything like it. During moments like Trampled Underfoot it seemed the whole stage was just going to fall forward and crush everybody in the hall.” Charles Shaar Murray, New Musical Express.

may 18

TBL Celebrates the 48th anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Earls Court:

Turning the clock back 48 years..

Sunday May 18, 1975

Setlist: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/No Quarter/Tangerine/Going To California/That’s The Way/Bron-Y-Aur Stomp/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/Dazed And Confused (inc. Woodstock)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – The Crunge – Black Dog.

In the morning I’d got the Sunday Observer with the colour suppelment magazine with that Tony Palmer feature in.

”Led Zeppelin bigger than The Beatles?” proclaimed the front cover. What a compliment…and a rightful accolade.

On the train at 5pm in the afternoon with fellow fan Nic and his girlfriend.

Hung outside Earls Court amongst the the programme sellers and poster stalls before the show -bought a bootleg badge which was as big as a dinner plate. Wore it with pride for years!

The second night saw them settled into the run. Over The Hills And Far Away developed into an early set template on each successive night. Loaded with rock steady authority, with Page at his most spontaneous, supplemented by  Bonham and Jones holding down the bottom line, and hinting at the rhythmic tempos they would develop for Candy Store Rock on the Presence album. Page’s double-neck guitar poses during The Song Remains The Same and would give the attendant photographers plenty of famous images while The Rain Song saw the guitarist draped in blue light, casting another memorable portrait, a solitary figure in the spotlight ringing out some sweet familiar notes. Add to that an intensive and incessant In My Time Of Dying (Plant’s ”I must have done somebody good” line resounded in my ears all the way home).

ec no quirter

The outstanding performance of May 18, though, was No Quarter as immortalised on the subsequent Red Devil vinyl bootleg. Never before had JPJ immersed himself in this showpiece with such subtlety and grace, the defining moment being the point where he came out of the classical sequence, at around 3mins 45, to play a cluster of descending notes that rippled from the grand piano and into the Earls Court air.

The acoustic section found Plant at his loquacious best, unfolding tales of the origins of Going To California (“So we went to Wales and when we got there we wrote songs about California”) and That’s The Way (“So we were sitting on a grassy bank looking across the unspoiled countryside”). Dazed And Confused was also developing its own unique Earls Court quality. Page’s delicate, melodic guitar passages leading into Woodstock remain an evocative reminder of the times that still brings on the chill every time I hear the tape 41 years on.

During Whole Lotta Love they kicked into the rhythm of The Crunge as they had done briefly the previous night but now further developed Plant’s echoed “I’m just trying to find the bridge” lines. A crunching Black Dog brought show number two to a close after some 195 minutes on stage.

We just managed to get the last train back and in for 2.30am. Two down and incredibly…three still to go!

Dave Lewis – May 11 2023

“In six and a half years Led Zeppelin have grown to be the biggest band in the land and judging by the excellence of their performance at Earls Court, one of, if not THE most exiting live act in the world. I guess I came on the right night. It’s difficult to describe the magic or atmosphere of that Sunday. It was one of those gigs that will remain scarred on my brain forever.”

The late Pete Makowski, Sounds.

More Earls Court Archive next time…


And sticking with Earls Court…the book…

Readily available now…

Five Glorious Nights – Led Zeppelin At Earls Court May 1975

A photographic record compiled by Dave Lewis (Rufus Publishing)

In May 1975, Led Zeppelin performed five momentous concerts at the Earls Court Arena in London to a combined audience of 85,000 fans. This was a band  at the peak of their powers slaying the sold out audiences with a nightly marathon three and a half hour presentation of light, sound, power and energy.

There’s no doubt that Led Zeppelin’s Earls Court appearances represented a career high for the band and four decades on, are still held in the highest esteem by the vast following.

Five Glorious Nights –Led Zeppelin at Earls Court May 1975 captures the sheer visual magnificence of the band though the images of some of the finest rock photographers of the era who were right there on the spot to capture rock history.

Compiled by renowned Zep authority Dave Lewis, this new 320-page revised and expanded edition offers a permanent visual record of a band at their absolute zenith – in a setting that truly justified their status as the world’s greatest live attraction. The book features over 250 black and white and colour photos plus over a 100 memorabilia images.

It comes in two versions – the standard edition is a 230mm square hardback format in a printed sleeve with slip case and four prints and is on sale on the day for a bargain £50.

There’s also an exclusive Leather and Metal Edition, measuring a huge 375mm square, bound in recycled burgundy leather and supplied in a hand-made aluminum slipcase with a reproduction show poster. Only 100 of these are available and includes the standard edition.

More details at:

https://www.rufuspublications.com/rufusbooks/Led-Zeppelin/

Some feedback from satisfied readers:

This is a magnificent celebration of Led Zeppelin’s stratospheric five evenings at Earls Court in May 1975. The different size format works superbly and takes us on a fantastic journey across nights seldom seen and the additional Adrian Boot photos from 23 May are sensational.

Ian Saikia – UK 

Led Zeppelin functioned on a different level in their live performances, that level reached a pinnacle in May 1975 with five nights at London’s Earls Court arena. Dave Lewis has put together a beautiful photographic chronicle of those nights. Packed full of rare photographs, memorabilia and more. Five  Glorious Nights Revised and Expanded perfectly preserves those legendary evenings with Led Zeppelin.

Ed Ortiz – US

Led Zeppelin Five Glorious Nights – Revised & Expanded Edition- is a complete privilege to have received. The book drives me directly into Earl’s Court. A  riveting and a compelling account of the legendary Led Zeppelin shows. The images and descriptions create a vision of the prestigious evenings that took place in 1975. “Just a little world to get lost in occasionally” as Robert Plant stated.

Wanda Wooten – US

And the press view…

Noted Zeppelin archivist Dave Lewis has compiled a lavish mostly chronological photographic record of their 1975 shows. Revamped with a host of new photographs. What shouldn’t surprise but actually does, is just how beautiful page and Plant were. 

John Azlewood – Classic Rock 

 

…………………………………………………………………..

It was 42 years ago today:

Robert Plant and The Honeydrippers at Nottingham Boat Club…

42 years ago today on Tuesday May 12 1981, I took the train from Bedford to Nottingham for a very special gig.

In prospect was a night with The Honeydrippers at the famous Nottingham Boat Club venue.

The Honeydrippers was the ad hoc band Robert Plant formed in early 1981 with some of his Midlands musician pals. This was his way of finding a pathway out of the demise of Led Zeppelin.

Anyone who was lucky enough to see these very low key shows in the spring of 1981, will know how incredibly exciting it was to see the former lead singer in the biggest band in the world in such small surroundings – going back to his roots.

For there was, as he put it ‘’No led anything’ in this era – just a whole lot of rhythm and blues and an attempt to re- establish contact with an audience – on his terms.

This short lived venture would provide the inspiration for him to hook up with Robbie Blunt on a more serious mission of song writing that would have all roads leading to Rockfield Studios in Monmouth for the recording of his first solo album Pictures At Eleven.

Before all that, there were sweaty nights on the road and this night at the Nottingham Boat Club was just that. This was the second occasion I had seen this line up – a week back I had been at the Porterhouse in Retford and ahead in the next two weeks I would catch further shows in Pontypridd, Sheffield and Bradford. In those days if Robert or indeed Jimmy and JPJ were playing anywhere, I would do my best to be there…oh and I also saw Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at Bingley Hall Stafford that month.

On this day, I was lucky enough to be in attendance at the afternoon soundcheck – it was a huge thrill to be inside the venue where Zep had performed in March 1971. Robert and the band were on great form and the gig itself was a stormer. I didn’t take any photos of this gig but I took some of the other gigs which I’ll try and dig out.

After the soundcheck, the band, crew and myself strolled on to the balcony of the Boat Club to view the gathering crowds below. In this photo taken by a fan in the crowd (I cannot recall who sent me this) the line up is:

Far left just above the parked van, long time Zep/Plant soundman and friend Benji Le-fevre, then Robert Plant in the red jacket, saxophonist Keith Evans, guitarist Robbie Blunt, drummer Kevin J O’Neal, behind him that’s me (note short lived moustache!) and to the right future Plant tour manager Rex King.

An amazing day when I was a mere 24 years old and it all happened 41 years ago today… what a memory…

Looking back, I feel very blessed to have these special moments to cherish. One of my TBL projects ahead is to produce a memoir style book to log experiences like these and many others I’ve been lucky to be involved in … more on this as it unfolds…

Dave Lewis – May 11 2023

———————————————————————————————————————————————

LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:

Here’s the latest round up from LZ News:

Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant appear in a new film about Hipgnosis

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have given interviews for a new, feature-length documentary about design group Hipgnosis. They were interviewed separately for “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which will open in cinemas across the US on June 20. Segments of both of their interviews are shown in the latest trailer for the film.

For those interested in Hipgnosis, we recently interviewed Mark Blake, the author of the design group’s authorised history. Paying subscribers to this email can listen to the audio interview and read the full interview transcript below:

Full audio interview: Author Mark Blake on his new Hipgnosis book, Led Zeppelin and the life of Peter Grant

·
APR 22
Full audio interview: Author Mark Blake on his new Hipgnosis book, Led Zeppelin and the life of Peter Grant

Listen now (34 min) | Mark Blake is the author of “Us and Them: The Authorised Story of Hipgnosis”, the newly published history of legendary British design group Hipgnosis who were responsible for creating some of the most legendary album covers of all time for bands including Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.

 

Read full story

Robert Plant

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss continued their world tour

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss continued their tour this week, playing four shows with a festival appearance due to take place in the next few hours. CityBeat published a slideshow of photos of their May 3 show in Dayton, Ohio which took place in cold temperatures in an outdoor venue.

Before playing “Rock and Roll” on May 3, Plant addressed the crowd, telling them that he is the same age as King Charles. “My mother always used to say to me ‘Why don’t you be like him?’ Well I am,” he joked, shortly before noting that the venue was “really fucking cold”.

“What a great waste of money,” Plant later said, holding up a heater, as he left the stage.

Their May 5 show in Kansas City, Missouri had a different setlist to previous shows on the tour, with Plant and Krauss’ first joint performance of “In the Mood” since May 16, 2009, this time including a snippet of “Matty Groves” by Fairport Convention, and “Gone Gone Gone” was moved to the final song of the night. Almost all of the show is available to watch on YouTube here.

April 30 – Huntsville, Alabama

  • Rich Woman
  • Quattro (World Drifts In)
  • Fortune Teller
  • The Price of Love
  • Rock and Roll
  • Please Read the Letter
  • High and Lonesome
  • Last Kind Words Blues
  • You Led Me to the Wrong
  • Trouble With My Lover
  • Go Your Way
  • It Don’t Bother Me
  • Leave My Woman Alone
  • The Battle of Evermore
  • When the Levee Breaks
  • Gone Gone Gone
  • — Encore —
  • Can’t Let Go

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May 2 – Louisville, Kentucky

  • Rich Woman
  • Quattro (World Drifts In)
  • Fortune Teller
  • The Price of Love
  • Rock and Roll
  • Please Read the Letter
  • High and Lonesome
  • Last Kind Words Blues
  • You Led Me to the Wrong
  • Trouble With My Lover
  • Go Your Way
  • It Don’t Bother Me
  • Leave My Woman Alone
  • The Battle of Evermore
  • When the Levee Breaks
  • Gone Gone Gone
  • — Encore —
  • Can’t Let Go

May 3 – Huber Heights, Ohio

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May 5 – Kansas City, Missouri

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New Saving Grace tour dates added

Two new dates have been announced that extend the scheduled Saving Grace tour further into September: September 10 in Donostia / San Sebastián, Spain and September 12 in Barcelona, Spain.

Robert Plant will return to playing live with that band in August following the end of his tour with Alison Krauss in July. Saving Grace will play in Slovenia, Italy and Spain.

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.
  • May 7 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • May 9 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Asheville, North Carolina.
  • May 10 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • May 12 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in St. Augustine, Florida.
  • May 13 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
  • May 15 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • May 18 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • May 27 – The latest John Bonham celebration event will be held in Redditch.
  • June 14 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • June 15 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Tucson, Arizona.
  • June 17 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Taos, New Mexico.
  • June 18 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, Colorado.
  • June 20 – The film “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” will be released in the US, containing new interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Bonner, Montana.
  • June 23 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform on Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour in Somerset, Wisconsin.
  • June 24 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform on Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour in East Troy, Wisconsin.
  • June 25 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform on Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • June 28 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
  • 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 – 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.
  • 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.it

Many thanks to James Cook

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

http://ledzepnews.com/

————————————————————————————————————————————————

Let It Be at 53:

The Beatles’ final studio album Let It Be celebrated its 53rd anniversary on May 8 – here’s my thoughts on one of favourite albums and what it means to me…

Let It Be and me…

I’ve had something of a 53 year love affair with The Beatles’ Let It Be album.

It all began way back in April 1969 when The Beatles released a new single titled Get Back. As previously chronicled, this was the inspiration for me to  get right back into music after a brief infatuation with The Dave Clark Five when I was seven years old.

James Bond, Thunderbirds, The Daleks and football took over for a while but aged 12 I was ready to tune in once again

It was Get Back that really attracted me back to music. I had heard it on Tony Blackburn’s Radio One breakfast show and repeatedly on the juke box in our local café.

I recall an advert in the NME that proclaimed it as ‘’The Beatles as nature intended.’’ What also attracted me to the record was the distinctive green Apple label design – and the B side that displayed the core of an Apple. Having been drawn to that beautiful image I was forever asking older friends to put The Beatles’ B sides on the Juke box – this is how I came to be very familiar with Don’t Let Me Down, Old Brown Shoe and Come Together –the flip sides of Get Back, The Ballad of John And Yoko and Something, the trio of singles released by The Beatles in 1969.

In September of that year The Beatles issued their Abbey Road album. An older friend bought it and I listened at his house in wonder at it’s amazing contents – not least the medley on side two.

The NME had already flagged that The Beatles next album would be titled Get Back and comprise of recordings made in early 1969 to accompany a film of the same name. This was planned to be released in 1970.

During the early months of 1970 I eagerly scanned the news pages of the NME for more news. It transpired the album and film would now be titled Let It Be and in early March 1970 the Let It Be single was issued backed with the quirky You Know My Name (Look Up the Number). The single came in an eye catching picture sleeve. I of course loved the single and the accompanying film clip of it shown on Top of the Pops.

On April 10, the Daily Mirror broke the story that Paul had quit The Beatles. The acrimonious reasons behind the split dominated the pop headlines over the next12 months. The Beatles had out grown The Beatles and as Lennon would put it – the dream was over.

However, there was one more Beatles album release and it came on May 8, 1970. Let It Be was packaged in an outer cardboard box that contained a deluxe book and the actual record catalogue number PX1. It sold for a penny less than £3.

Far too much for my pocket money but the same older friend did buy it and we marveled at that package, the book and the album’s contests. Let It Be for me sounded like a great album -with it’s off mic comments and raw playing, tender moments, jams and quirky singalongs –the informality of it all touched a chord – this was The Beatles presented in a unique way as never before.

However, not everyone was enamored with this final chapter. The NME called it a cheap cardboard epitaph. To this day I disagree with such a notion.

On Thursday June 18, 1970 I went to the Granada cinema in Bedford to see the Let It Be film. We had the day off school as Britain was going to the polls to vote in a general election that saw Edward Heath gain a shock Conservative win over Labour’s Harold Wilson.

It was also Paul McCartney’s 28th birthday.

The film was a poignant farewell – the highlight being the final footage of them performing live on the on the rooftop. I loved the film for its illuminating inside look at The Beatles at work.

Over the next few years, The Beatles Let It Be era was never far off my radar.

When I started buying bootlegs in 1972, alongside the Zep titles, I eagerly invested in The Beatles Get Back Sessions and the curiously titled Renaissance Minstrels Vol 1 , Both these albums contained various outtakes and unreleased material from the Let It Be/Get Back period.

They provided key insight to this captivating last gasp. The likes of The Walk and Teddy Boy sounding like lost jewels.

Fast forward to Christmas 1975 –the BBC screened the entire film on Boxing Day and it looked fantastic.

During that first TV showing I even listed down for my own reference all the songs that appeared during the film – I still have that hand written note as can been seen here.

The BBC screened it again four years later on Boxing Day 1979. On that occasion  my very good friend Dec taped it all on his newly acquired video recorder. When I got my own video recorder rented in 1981, Dec made me a copy of the Let It Be film – I now had all that marvelous footage at the flick of a button.

The bootleg CD explosion in the early 90s led me to many more recordings of the Get Back/Let It Be period as title after title appeared – notably a complete version of the fabled January 30,1969 rooftop gig – and the Let It Be film on DVD. I also have a bootleg of the original Get Back album as first proposed by producer Glyn Johns – complete with the intended cover of that photo of them in early 1969 at EMI in Manchester Square -re creating the Please Please Me cover shot. The 1969 image was later used for The Beatles red and blue compilations issued in 1973 (I bought both of those on the release date).

Mark Lewishon’s astonishingly detailed The Beatles at Abbey Road and The Beatles Chronicle books offered up vital accurate information of the 1969 sessions. I was lucky enough to meet Mark and attend two launches of his books inside the hallowed walls of Abbey Road Studios itself. In 1983 I also attended EMI’s The Beatles at Abbey Road presentation inside studio number two where so much of the Beatle magic had been created.

Over the years, The Get Back saga has continued to fascinate me and I’ve invested in a fair few books and magazines about the subject. The official Beatles Anthology made available some of those unreleased recordings I had craved on those bootlegs. Paul McCartney then re-invented the album by releasing Let It Be Naked – a fresh pre Phil Spector mix of the stark original versions of the Get Back/Let It Be project. I avidly soaked up that one with it’s 20 minutes of bonus recordings.

In the October 2010 issue of Mojo, they covered the final Beatles era in a superb feature. This issue was made available with an accompanying and CD vinyl album -Let It Be Revisited. This was a re imagining of the original album by a variety of artists including Beth Horton, Wilko Johnson and Judy Collins. The vinyl run came in a limited edition of 1,000 and I eagerly snapped that one up – I am always a sucker for Beatles cover versions.

Peter Jackson’s incredible Get Back film was of course another huge Let It be related thrill.

I of course have various pressings of the album – notably a French pressing and the US pressing with the gatefold sleeve. Until 2019 one had remained elusive.

That is the original UK release in the box set package. Very good condition copies go for over £400. Due to the flimsy nature of the cardboard and book binding, most copies are somewhat flawed. There was a very good conditioned copy sold at the local Bedford Slide Record Shop a while back  for £200.

In January 2019 I had a big result.

Flawed or not, I could not pass up an original Let It Be box set I came across at a Victoria Record Fair. Though nowhere near mint it wasn’t too bad. The outer cardboard box is somewhat trashed but acceptable. The Get Back book is in surprisingly good condition with no loose pages and the record is very good. This was on offer for what I consider a bargain price of £30. I managed to knock the guy down slightly and secured it for a mere £25.

Now that’s bargain and in Beatles collecting terms, one of the very best I’ve had.

So, at long last I have the original package that all those years back I marveled and have been obsessed with throughout my 53 years of music passion.

To own it as The Beatles put it ”as nature intended” is an absolute thrill.

It inspires so many memories of those halcyon days of 1969/1970.

Those memories are ignited every time the needle touches down and John Lennon’s plaintive cry of ‘’I did a pygmy by Charles Hawtry and the deaf aids – phase one in which Doris gets her oats’’ signals the entry of The Beatles performing Two of Us – on our way home.

In acquiring that Let It Be box set it felt like it had finally come home – and it, and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead…

Dave Lewis – May 8 2023


DL Diary Blog Update:

Thursday May 4:

On the player here marking news of her very sad passing – the superb 1972 Linda Lewis album Lark…
RIP Linda..

Thursday May 4:

It was 52 years ago…
Loading up the superb Led Zeppelin The Sigils May 4 1971 Fyens Forum Odense Denmark – Tarantura 4 CD bootleg package as recorded on this day all of 52 years ago…and what a performance…
Thursday May 4:
Catching up with some recent LP record acquisitions here…
Blind Faith Gothenburg ’69 on the AVA label and what a package.
40 page hard back book –full colour poster and 4 postcard set.
Hand numbered edition – mine is 499.
The book pleasingly reproduces the rare Blind Faith 1969 US tour programme produces by The Visual Thing – they also produced a similar Led Zeppelin programme that year.
2LP recording of Blind Faith’s June 18 1969 Gothenburg Sweden appearance during their short Scandinavian tour following their debut at Hyde Park on June 7.
This taken from a clear Sveriges radio broadcast, Eric in particular is on top form as are the whole band.
Great set list with material from their then soon to be released debut (and only) album plus a great cover of The Rolling Stones Under My Thumb.
All in all a superb remnant of Blind Faith’s their short lived career. There’s even a few shouts of ‘ Led Zeppelin’’ from a heckler in the audience in between the first couple of numbers!
I got this for a bargain £15 from a recent VIP record fair at Victoria London. Result…

Friday May 5:

It was 50 years ago today…
On May 5, 1973 it was all going on in Tampa Florida…
Friday May 5:
Loading up the truly excellent Elton John Honky Chateau recently released reissue.
One of his finest albums complete with outtakes, demos and a live 1972 concert recording from the Royal Festival Hall..
Must also mentioned the accompanying sleeve notes by Daryl Easlea which perfectly capture the state of play in Elton’s camp at the time… superb release all round…

Saturday May 6:

Saturday is platterday…on the player one from the other King…the brilliant Elvis Presley double set From Memphis To Vegas….have a great Coronation weekend one and all…

Sunday May 7:

Recent charity shop finds…

Sunday May 7:

Great to see Steve Winwood at the Coronation Concert – Higher Love oh yes

Monday May 8:

The future of the monarchy is in safe hands….

Monday May 8:

It’s a Happy Birthday to the great Joe Bonamassa – here’s a pic from when I interviewed him for the TBL magazine in London in 2010….

Monday May 8

It was 11 years ago today…
May 8, 2012 – Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters at the Guildhall Gloucester – the first performance of that particular line up and what a night it was – one of my all time fave Robert Plant gigs….
Monday May 8:
I love collecting Beatles cover versions – every Beatles album would have an array of bands and artists mining them for a potential hit single. I was therefore well pleased to find this pair at the Bedford VIP Record Fair on Saturday.
1: Trifle covering All Together Now from the then just released Yellow Submarine album back in early 1969.
Founded in 1968 Trifle was a short-lived group that evolved out of the band George Bean and the Runners, an outfit fronted by vocalist George Bean. Bean had recorded a number of solo singles for Decca Records as far back as 1963 and had also made further solo recordings for CBS Records. He appeared in the film Privilege alongside singer Paul Jones. The original Trifle line-up featured vocalist George Bean, bassist Pat (Speedy) King, guitarist John Hitchen , drummer Rod Coombes, trumpeter John Pritchard, organist Alan Morris and saxophonist Barrie Martin. This line-up recorded one single for United Artists, a cover of the Beatles’ All Together Now. Other members passing through included drummer Robbie Ryan and trumpeter Hubert Grillberger.
This version was arranged by Mike Batt who went on to success with The Wombles and many others.
Coincidentally there is a feature on Trifle in the new issue of Shindig! magazine
2: Underground Sunshine covering Birthday from The Beatles White Album…
Underground Sunshine were an American psychedelic rock band from Montello, Wisconsin. The group scored a US hit single with this cover of The Beatles’ White Album track “Birthday” which hit #19 on the Cash Box charts and #26 on the Billboard Hot 100. It failed to chart in the UK when it was issued on the Fontana label in 1969.
As a bonus for me – this pair of singles are both demonstration advance promotion copies (demos) The copies sent to reviewers and radio station DJs ahead of their release – demos being another of my record collecting passions – Top result all round….

Tuesday May 9:

49 years ago this month in May 1974 my very good friend Dec Hickey and I first went record shopping both aged 17 to David’s book and record shop in Letchworth – I remember buying a copy of The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street – so here we are 49 years on record shopping still this time in Islington at the great Flashback records – although I did not need to buy the Stones record as I have a few copies already! Oh and this time we are now both 66 years old….and still record mad and still rockin- ish!

There was of course also time to pop into the TBL office….

Update here:

Bit of a mixed week – we enjoyed the Coronation TV coverage last weekend and it was great to meet up with Dec on Tuesday. I have been hampered by a very achy back pain in the last few days which I am trying to shrug off. There’s been work on various bits here and the ongoing projects. Here’s the  latest DL playlist providing much needed inspiration…

Led Zeppelin – Back in Dear Albion -Earls Court May 17 & 18 1975 – 4CD

David Crosby – Oh Yes I Can – LP

Dana Gillespie – London Social Degree – CD

John Mayall – Best Of John Mayall – LP

Thin Lizzy – Live & Dangerous at Hammersmith Odeon 14 Nov 1976 – 2LP Record Store Day release

Elton John – Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player – 2LP Record Store Day release

The Small Faces – Ultimate Collection 2 CD

10cc – Before, During, After – The Story Of 10cc – 4CD

Thanks for listening…   

Until next time…

Dave  Lewis –  May 11 , 2023

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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