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England, Wally And Wembley Empire Pool 36 years on…

22 November 2007 2,031 views No Comment

“Wally with a brolly” is one of the more blatant back page headlines after England’s dismal failure last night. It’s a description of Steve McLaren holding off the rain as he watched his England team fall  apart. It’s another bitter pill to swallow but I guess we should be used to it. Oh well at least they’ll be no England Euro 08 games to juggle with if Zep should tour next summer …


The word Wally is actually a timely one to see for me as it was 36 years ago I first heard that expression shouted out across the Wembley Empire Pool Arena. It was a common expression amongst rock fans back then (see the next TBL2 for full story).

For yesterday, November 21, marked the 36th anniversary of me and the bruv first encountering the live Led Zeppelin experience.


Things were never the same in our house after that night.


Who could have believed that 36 years later Jimmy Page would be appearing on no lesser an institution than the BBC News talking about another London Led Zeppelin gig.

It’s been another week of media frenzy with Jimmy on BBC and then Robert on the Channel 4 news the next night.

It just rolls on and on.


One thing this period has done is taken me back to so much great Zep music. The only name on my i-pod lately has been Led Zeppelin and it‘s been a period of massive re discovery – for instance this week I’ve been awed by the following:

The whole of side three of Physical Graffiti surely their best ever sequence of songs … that 13 minute version of Thank You from LA Three Days After … That’s The Way aka The Boy Next Door from Bath ‘70 (“One of the really good ones especially for John Bonham”) … Walters Walk recalling another anniversary – for it’s 25 years since that riff first exploded out of the speakers via Coda and suddenly we all really knew what we’d lost … Since I’ve Been Loving You / No Quarter from the new Song Remains CD … Four Sticks and When the Levee – two of Plant’s best vocal performances … Night Flight another eternal delight … Bring It On Home from the Albert Hall ’70 … Heartbreaker from Vienna ‘73 with that intro … Immigrant Song from Blueberry Hill (“Good evening – nice to be back” … Blam!) … All My Love the last track on Mothership and indication that in 1979 they could be just as inspirational as they had been in 1969 … and For Your Life absolute vital Led Zeppelin music never played live and a number worthy of an 02 overhaul … yup it’s been strictly ZepFM around these parts and I’m sure yours too … and in 18 days time (about the time it took them to record the Presence album – now there’s a daunting thought), they will be onstage together again … lending their power once more as only they can.


Such notions make an England defeat a lot easier to take.          

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