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11 November 2021 1,696 views One Comment

Evenings With Led Zeppelin – The Complete Concert Chronicle Revised & Expanded Edition by Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio:

Update – feedback – the promo interview…

The Evenings With Led Zeppelin book is now readily available in both the US and UK .

Here’s some reaction from some satisfied readers…

The book arrived today. It is a thing of beauty!  I’ve just had a glance through – and it looks wonderful.  I can’t wait to immerse myself in this incredible piece of work, with all my unofficial Zep recordings, and just chill out to the live history of the greatest rock band ever. Dave and Mike should be very proud indeed of this incredible tome.  

John McBride

Congratulations on making the best book on Led Zeppelin even better.

Tom Cory

 Another great work.

Gary Holroyd

This revised edition has landed and it’s an amazing read . Well worth the cost considering the amount of detail , knowledge and many hours that must have been dedicated towards its publication. It’s by far the best ever Zeppelin book on the market.

Chris Richardson

I am absolutely floored by the amount of research you must have done. It exceeds my (already high) expectations in every way.

Craig Noble

Anything and everything about the history of this band and all of the key people, are in this well-researched, brilliant book. Richard Cole has a wonderful foreword in this edition as well. This is so very, very fine. A reasonable price for all of the tremendous hard work that was put into this work of art!

David Freshman

This is the ultimate reference book, of Led  Zeppelin’s  live activities. I don’t believe there can be a publication which is more reliable and compelling than this.

Koki Mizutani

Just got the book today. WOW! Fantastic in every way. Love the attention to detail and especially the memorabilia. Highly recommended! 

Tony Leon

Here’s a summary of what this new revised and expanded version offers…

This new expanded edition is extended by 48 pages bringing the total to 624 – including a brand new 10-page concert bootleg CD discography appendix

Dozens of additional concert ads, handbills, ticket stubs, press reviews, venue photos have been added – many images updated and improved.

More on stage photos have been added, including many never published before.

If you bought the first edition you already know that it is a thorough and complete chronicle of Led Zeppelin’s concert history – it achieved a 95% five star rating on Amazon reviews.

This new updated edition is a major upgrade over that highly acclaimed first edition – and even if you have the first book – this new edition adds so much more -and will be a very worthwhile re investment…

Here are some statistics on the additions to the revised & expanded edition:

Now includes over 300,000 words and 3,100 images!

55 Concert entries have been expanded in length with new text, images, and information

55 Concert entries include new press concert previews & reviews (many with images)

100 Concert tickets added

75 Concert adverts added

25 Concert photos added

22 New Led Zeppelin (11 unconfirmed or cancelled gigs) & pre-Zep 1968 concert listings (11)

20  Handbills/Posters images added

20  Miscellaneous images (Programs/Membership cards/press releases/contracts/venue pics, etc.) added

10  Page concert bootleg CD discography added to the Appendix section.

If you have yet to invest, be prepared to be amazed – this is essential reading for every Led Zeppelin fan…

How to buy the book:

Evenings With Led Zeppelin – Revised & Expanded Edition – Signed by Dave Lewis Limited Edition – for UK buyers:

Evenings With Led Zeppelin Revised & Expanded Edition – personally signed copy by Dave Lewis plus four page insert with an interview conducted by the late Andy Adams with Mike Tremaglio and Dave about how this revised edition came to fruition

This is a limited edition of 100 books  – I have a few remaining but hurry as when they are gone they are gone…

Note this offer is only open to UK buyers.

This will make a great Christmas gift  

Here’s the ordering link:

The book is available in the US via Amazon – ordering link below:

And via Barnes & Noble website at this link:

Walmart link:

UK Amazon  – here’s the ordering link for Amazon in the UK:

The promo Interview:

Earlier this year we liaised with the late Andy Adams on a promo interview for the book. Andy as ever was right on the ball coming through with some perceptive questioning that allowed Mike and I to explain our intentions with this revised and extended edition. This is the interview featured on the four page printed insert included in my 100 copies of the book.

As a tribute to Andy I am presenting the whole interview here:

Evenings With Led Zeppelin – The Complete Concert Chronicle -Revised & Expanded Edition – making a good thing even better…

An Interview with the authors Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio

In this exclusive interview with the renowned Zep chronicler Andy Adams, Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio explain how they have made a good thing even better with the publication of a revised and expanded edition of their much acclaimed book Evenings With Led Zeppelin – The Complete Concert Chronicle.

Andy Adams: So the obvious question is why an expanded version – wasn’t the first edition the last word on the live history of Led Zeppelin?

Dave Lewis: While we were both very happy with the end result of the first book, it became evident that there was scope to improve it. Like any volume of this detail there were one or two typos and errors that crept in that we wanted to put right. More importantly, Mike’s quest to find yet more information, add new facts and significant findings was relentless.

By the end of 2019 Mike already had a substantial amount of new info.

For various reasons that first edition did not have the availability in the US that it deserved – we were both hugely frustrated by this. When the first print run ran out we went back to Omnibus to seek out their plans for a reprint.

The standard practice is to merely reprint the book as it was in the first edition. Given the amount of material Mike had built up, we emphatically did not want that to be the case. So the task was to convince them to extend the book and produce a revised and expanded version. After a fair bit of deliberation, thankfully they saw the scope and agreed to extend the book by 48 pages.  Mike had a very clear vision of how this all might look and then undertook the mighty task of revisiting every page of the book to improve upon it.

Mike Tremaglio: It’s been three years since the first edition was released. While that may not seem like a very long time, quite a number of additional archives have since become available to add to the Zeppelin story. Also, several audio and video bootlegs have also surfaced to add to this new edition.

The additional page count along with some tweaks to the design not only allowed us to expand many concert entries, but was essential in being able to enlarge the size of countless images throughout the entire book.

AA: So can you explain what exactly has been expanded and revised?

DL: Some of the key statistics are as follows: The book now consists of over 300,000 words and 3,100 images and has been extended by 48 pages. 55 Concert entries have been expanded in length with new text, images and information,55 Concert entries include new press concert previews & reviews (many with images),100 Concert tickets added,75 Concert adverts added,25 Concert photos added,22 New Led Zeppelin (11 unconfirmed or cancelled gigs) & pre-Zep 1968 concert listings (11),20  Handbills/Posters images added,20  Miscellaneous images (Programs/Membership cards/press releases/contracts/venue pics, etc.) added,10  Page concert bootleg CD discography added to the Appendix section.

AA: Can you elaborate  on some of these updates and revisions – Firstly tell me about the bootleg appendix pages?

MT: A 10-page bootleg silver CD ( i.e. factory pressed) discography has been added to the appendix. Since bootleg recordings are such an important part of Led Zeppelin’s legacy, I thought a discography would be a much welcomed addition. For each concert recording there is an associated bootleg title, label name, and running time (for each source). It’s basically a handy reference to see what bootleg silver CD titles are available for a specific concert date.

For the particularly maniacal fans out there, there are approximately 568 unique recordings covering 296 shows (of the confirmed 516 concerts). It would take 45 straight 24-hour days to listen to all 1,071 hours of recorded Zeppelin bootlegs in a row!

AA: In terms of additional gigs and information what have been the significant finds?

DL: Firstly, it’s worth noting how many new sources of film footage and tapes have come to light in the last few months alone. From 1969 there emerged a superb audience recording of their July 5 Atlanta Pop Festival appearance, a more complete and higher quality tape source of their Winterland November 7 appearance (which includes the first known live performance of Bring it On Home). There’s been a shorter, but complementary version of their April 9 1970 Tampa show, providing previously unheard songs from the show.

From the 1972 Australian tour some excellent close up 8mm cine film of their February 25 show at Western Springs Stadium in Auckland  – this had been found in the shed of the guy that took it and was transferred and synced up Live in Auckland, New Zealand February 25th, 1972. From the same tour a new and more complete tape source emerged for the February 27 Sydney Showground appearance.

Then there are various finds form the 1975 US tour – a new audience and partial soundboard recordings of their January 18, 1975 performance in Bloomington, Minnesota, a short 8mm film clip from the Indianapolis, IN January 25 show, plus some previously unseen cine footage from the Detroit January 31 show – this material owes much to the diligence of the Dogs of Doom and LedZep film online guys.

Other key additions include the new July 12 & 13, 1973 Detroit bootleg recordings, March 24, 1975 LA Forum soundboard, and April 27 & 28, 1977 new video and audio sources.

What it illustrates is that the quest to log fresh information goes on – once again Mike has been right on the ball here and all these new finds have been duly logged in the revised book. No doubt more snippets will come through – this journey goes on.

MT: Even though the first edition was released in 2018, that did not mean the quest to continually document the band was over. There was always the hope that we would have the opportunity to go back and release another edition. As a result, close attention was always paid to anything and everything that could possibly be added to the Zeppelin concert story. In particular, keeping a close eye on all bootleg releases was important, especially since a bootleg appendix was something we’d hoped to work into an updated edition.

AA: In what way have some of the previous gig entries been extended upon?

MT: In a number of different ways. The additional page count allowed for expanding entries that may have been edited in the first edition due to space constraints. Additional background information, press concert reviews, bootleg information, and especially images were all expanded where applicable. Also, many of the images in the first edition were increased in size.

AA: What about pictorial images and photos that you have unearthed this time around –what can readers except to see?

MT: As previously mentioned, there are so many more concert memorabilia images added such as tickets, handbills, posters, programmes, and newspaper pics. Fortunately, we were also able to source another 25 more concert photos, including several that have never been published before. Marshall Bohlin, Richard Borg, and Sam Rapallo provided some of these outstanding concert photos.

We’ve also managed to track down several excellent photos from their concert at the Oakdale Music Theatre from August 17, 1969, courtesy of Trevor Davis. A two-page spread is devoted to these unpublished photos, which have particular meaning for me since I attended my very first “concert” at the venue – an appearance by Tom Jones (!)  a month before that Zep gig. I had been searching for any pics from that show for ages and I’m excited to include them in the book. At the time my cousin Angela actually attended the Zep concert as a “consolation prize,” as my uncle refused to let her travel to the Woodstock Festival!

DL: Of the new photo finds there are a couple of fantastic additional photos from their August 2, 1969 appearance at the Civic Auditorium Albuquerque in New Mexico  – these feature John Bonham using a double bass drum set up. Another great shot is a full page black and white photo of Jimmy with the violin bow taken on September 6, 1970 at the International Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

AA: Has the overall design of the book changed that much ?

MT: The overall design of the book is generally the same; however, there are some subtle differences which opened up a significant amount of additional space. This, in turn, not only allowed for increasing the size of existing images, but also provided room for more images to be added.

For example, by modifying the design of the concert setlists, more room for images was opened up. Also, individual song titles are mainly contained together on one line wherever possible, rather than splitting them over two lines. This greatly improves the readability of the setlists.

AA: What have been your primary sources in revising and extending the book  ?

MT: One of the key sources this time around was Brian Knapp and his incredible collection. He provided countless rare ticket stub images, handbills, posters, concert pics, etc. His generosity in providing all of this material has significantly improved this edition of the book.

DL: I’ve known Brian for many years and have been aware of the depth of his collection. I think Mike and I would both agree that Brian has amassed the largest collection of Zep memorabilia in the world – so to have Brian on board with us is a fantastic coup. His contributions from his incredible archive have greatly benefited the visual look of this revised edition.

It is also worth mentioning that in the first edition we also took inspiration from previous scholarly Zep chronicling by the likes of Howard Mylett, Luis Rey, Robert Godwin, Hugh Jones,  Eddie Edwards and of course yourself Andy. Along the way, in collating the book we would like to acknowledge the tremendous support we received from Scott Baker, Cliff Hilliard and Chris Selby.  Their generosity in sharing both their expertise and memorabilia cannot be overstated. All their contributions are retained from the first book – as is Richard Cole’s enlightening Foreword. We would also like to acknowledge again Chris Charlesworth for editing the original text and allowing us to do this book in the first place when he commissioned it for Omnibus when he was editor in chief back in 2014.

AA: What criteria were used for being absolutely sure of your information concerning uncertain dates?

MT: Any uncertain dates were thoroughly researched to determine if the gig was actually played. If tangible, hard evidence was found (newspaper ads, articles, etc.), along with supporting anecdotal fan accounts, it allowed us to nail down certain dates.

AA: How important was it to confirm the gigs they were billed to play but for one reason or another were cancelled?

MT: Very important, as it is a vital part of the Zeppelin story. For this second edition, we were able to identify another 11 cancelled or unconfirmed gigs. Over 100 hundred concerts have now been identified as either being cancelled or unconfirmed. Not only were most of these announced or promoted in the press via concert ads/handbills/listings, but tickets were actually sold for many of these shows (such as the cancelled 1975 US summer tour, curtailed 1977 US summer tour, and cancelled 1980 US fall tour).

What we typically avoided including were the proposed gigs that were talked about, but never officially announced  for one reason or another. For example, in some spring 1969 music periodicals it was announced that Zeppelin would play Woodstock (which was never a part of any plans). There are actually quite a number of such tentative gig plans during their career, but since they were never nailed down they were not included.

While it was not included as a concert entry due to lack of any documentation, we did include an anecdote about Led Zeppelin potentially playing a gig in Oslo, Norway during September 1968 (as The Yardbirds). Despite the lack of evidence, four Norwegian fans insist that they saw them perform.

AA: Just remind me where does the title originate from?

DL: We had been looking for a title for a while –  I remembered something Peter Grant had said to me when I interviewed him in 1993. He explained to me how he had come up with the tag line ‘Evenings With Led Zeppelin’ – it was a throwback to how they billed the old music hall acts he remembered from seeing in his youth.  When we saw how many of the gig adverts and flyers carried that name it seemed a really obvious title for the book – these are the ‘Evenings With Led Zeppelin’ over 500 of them – oh and a few afternoons too…

AA: Has the cover art work changed in any way?

DL: When we formulated the cover for the first edition we went through various proto cover designs. What we really wanted was a photo of all four on stage that projected their connection with an audience – an audience evidently enjoying this particular evening with Led Zeppelin at the Boston Tea Party in May 1969. We have retained this for the revised and expanded version. To differentiate from the first book the colour has been changed from a sepia toned tint to a sharp black cover with a b&w photo, red typeface, and a “Revised & Expanded Edition” splash.

AA: There are a number of Zep books due out this autumn  – how does this book differ and what does this book tell us that other Zep books don’t.

DL: I think the depth of information gathered offers a real perspective on what Led Zeppelin was really all about – which was playing live for as many people as possible. As I’ve said before, I’d like to think it reads as more than a mere list of dates. Within the format we adopted it does clearly illustrate all the peaks and troughs of their career: the great nights, the not so great nights, all the craziness of their travels across America and beyond.

MT: Since our book is focused on Led Zeppelin’s concert history in great detail, it’s different than many other Zeppelin books. It’s a book that’s not necessarily designed to be read from cover to cover, rather it’s a reference book to be enjoyed time and time again.

Whether it’s to check out a specific concert date on a landmark anniversary, or enjoy while listening to your favourite bootlegs, it’s geared towards repeated viewings – rather than reading once from cover to cover and having it banished to the bookshelf for good.

All that being said, my bookshelf is loaded with Led Zeppelin books and I welcome any new Zeppelin books that add something more to their incredible story.

AA: Being a major reference work, is this book just for the Zep die-hards or has it got a broader appeal?

DL: While the main appeal is obviously Led Zeppelin fans, I’d say it definitely has a broader appeal. For anyone interested in the heritage of rock music and its development during the 1960s and 1970s, this book reveals much about how the touring scene evolved. As Richard Cole, Zep’s tour manager notes in the Foreword, single-act stadium concerts were a rarity back then – until Led Zeppelin made the bold move into performing to masses of fans – and with no support act.

MT: I’d like to believe that it could be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates rock and roll history. The photographs of all the venues along with associated memorabilia, background information, and press reviews from specific concerts provides the reader with a virtual time machine to experience the shows. With over 3,100 images, there’s certainly plenty of material to review. Also, since Led Zeppelin performed on the bill with so many of their contemporaries, particularly during 1969, fans of others acts could appreciate the historical nature of the gigs.

DL: That is a very good point – my friend Dec is a massive Jose Feliciano fan and a world authority on the subject. He was fascinated and very impressed to see what we unearthed about the one occasion Zep supported Jose at a junior prom concert at Ohio University on May 17 1969. Mike searched out some rare images for that one and was able to include additional material for that gig in this edition.

AA: Which shows during their career stand out for you personally?

DL: Obviously the ones that I was lucky enough to be in attendance at – Empire Pool Wembley in 1971, Ally Pally ’72, Earls Court, Knebworth, five in Europe in 1980 – and the magnificent O2 reunion show which exceeded all expectations.  One thing I did not see that I wish I had was a US concert – which Mike did in 1977.

MT: From a personal standpoint, the answer to this question is quite obvious to me – it’s the one and only time I was able to experience the magic first hand at Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 7, 1977. The memories of this show are permanently embedded into my brain, as I was finally able to see them in the flesh. After the disappointment of missing them on the 1975 US tour, as I was unable to secure tickets, being able to acquire tickets via a New York Times ad for the 1977 gig was beyond exciting.  Listening to bootlegs of the show is one thing, but being able to experience and remember that opening night at the Garden so vividly, so many years later, is another thing entirely. Just the anticipation and excitement of Zeppelin’s return to New York was something to behold. It was truly magical.

AA: In going back and revising the book has it prompted you to reappraise certain performances and touring eras?

DL: Yes, it certainly has. For me the intensity of their early touring days has prompted a return to listening to some of the key 1969 concerts again – the recent Atlanta July 5 and Winterland November 7 tape finds highlighted the momentum they had during that period.  Any Zep fan reading the book will I’m sure want to revisit some of their bootlegs again as they wade through the book. In fact, that is another enjoyable aspect of the book – readers can dip back into it at will to reinvestigate certain touring periods.

MT: Led Zeppelin is rightly known and respected for their remarkable studio album output, but their live music has really kept the legacy alive for me. Because of the breadth and diversity of their live material – even from night to night – in terms of improvisation and approach, the music is still “fresh” after all these years.

While I always return to the studio albums and still enjoy them immensely, there’s something to be said for putting on a bootleg and not necessarily remembering what’s going to happen next in a given song. Listening to live Led Zeppelin is always an adventure, compared to many bands who predictably replicate their albums note for note onstage.

I probably lean most to their 1971 recordings, as I feel they were at their performance peak, but I still listen to all the other years, with 1969 coming in a very close second.

AA: Final thoughts?

DL: To say that this is a case of making a good thing even better is something of an understatement. What Mike has achieved in updating and expanding upon the first book is truly absolutely monumental. His depth of research always amazes me but this time he really has gone to extraordinary lengths. His quest to present this information in the best possible way has also been relentless. For my part, I have been a sounding board in Mike’s quest to make this book as good as it could be. I’ve also kept up a constant dialogue with Omnibus Press to ensure they were aware of our objectives – and the need to extend the book by 48 pages.

It’s also worth noting that the revised book update has been developed within the shadow of the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic and all the personal challenges that this very worrying situation has presented to both Mike and I.

I was also going through a number of personal issues, not least looking after my wife Janet after she badly broke her leg in late 2019. I’ve also struggled with ongoing anxiety and depression. I know Mike also has had a lot to deal with.

MT: To say the last few years have been personally challenging for the both of us is quite an understatement. Between the release of the first edition and now, I lost my beloved dad, left my corporate career, moved, and like all of us, faced the challenges brought on by the pandemic. In fact, in the final few weeks of completing this book, I even contracted the virus. Still, I powered through it all, and in so many ways being focused on the book was very therapeutic. Now I’m just looking forward to having it released and enjoyed by everyone.

DL: Given all those very circumstances I am incredibly proud of what Mike and I have achieved with this expanded update. This is no mere reprint – it’s a whole new version. I would say we have achieved the same effect as the expanded Zep reissued CD sets. In adding companion discs, Jimmy was able to tell the development of those albums in even greater detail. With the work that has gone in to the revised book, we have been able to relay the story with increased accuracy. I cannot understate what an incredible job Mike has done in applying himself to such an intense level of research. He has spent countless hours on perfecting the text and look of the book – and the end result is his triumph – I feel very privileged to have my name line up with his. This is without doubt the best Led Zeppelin book project I have been involved in.

MT: I’ve approached the revised and expanded edition of Evenings With Led Zeppelin with the same passion and intensity as the first, perhaps even more so. It was important to the both of us that this edition was not just another example of hitting the “reset button.” In fact, far from it. Every page in the first edition was examined to see if there was anything we could do to improve it.

We’re very grateful that we were given another opportunity to present all the additional information and images accumulated over the past three years with an expanded edition. So many people have been incredibly generous in sharing their collection and knowledge – all to the benefit of this edition.

Thanks for all the positive feedback we’ve received on Evenings With Led Zeppelin – it’s really meant a lot to us. Your continued passion for the band has been one of the primary motivating forces in making this new edition that much more special.

DL: With this revised and expanded edition of Evenings With Led Zeppelin we are able to tell the story of the band in a way we knew we always could – bringing passion, enthusiasm and a sense of clarity to what is a complex saga. If you already have the first book I would strongly advise any previous reader to make another space on the bookshelf for this one – and if you have yet to indulge in this complete concert chronicle – prepare to be amazed as you climb aboard the incredible journey this Evenings With Led Zeppelin Revised & Expanded Edition.

Evenings With Led Zeppelin –The Complete Concert Chronicle is out now via Omnibus Press

Dedicated to the late Andy Adams who sadly passed away on August 27, 2021


Led Zeppelin

  • A major new biography of Led Zeppelin, titled “Led Zeppelin: The Biography,” will be published on November 9. We published our review of the book here, explaining that it’s a comprehensive volume but one that often dwells on the band’s off-stage antics. Diehard fans seeking major revelations about Led Zeppelin are likely to come away unsatisfied, but readers wanting a well-written journey through Led Zeppelin’s career will enjoy Bob Spitz’s book.
  • What happened to “Becoming Led Zeppelin,” the authorised documentary film about the origin of Led Zeppelin? The film was screened at two film festivals in September but since then there has been no word of an official release. We’ve heard that behind the scenes there’s some unease about the lukewarm reaction of critics to the film. So this post published by Hollywood Elsewhere on November 1 speculating that the film may not have been acquired or may have been withdrawn for editing makes sense – although we have no inside information on the current status of the film.
  • Malcolm Dome, the music journalist who was one of the authors of “Celebration Day: The Led Zeppelin Encyclopedia”, has died at 66.

Jimmy Page

  • Jimmy Page paid tribute to music journalist Pete Makowski who died on November 3 aged 65. “We have known each other for years and he helped me in the early stages of research for my first website in 2010, where some of the material we sourced became the foundation for the popular On This Day series of posts,” Page wrote.

Robert Plant

  • What is Plant working on with Duane Eddy and James Burton? He confirmed in his recent interview with The New York Times that he spent time recording with the guitarists at Sound Emporium in Nashville earlier this year. Plant also posted a photo of Burton in the studio on September 14.

John Paul Jones

Upcoming events:

Early November – The Carl Dunn photo book “They Ask No Quarter” will be published.
November – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will appear as musical guests on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”.
November 9 – “Led Zeppelin: The Biography” by Bob Spitz will be published.
November 15 – Bob Spitz and Ann Wilson will discuss “Led Zeppelin: The Biography” in a livestreamed talk.
November 19 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ second album “Raise the Roof” will be released.
December 14 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Chesterfield, England.
December 16 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Birmingham, England.
December 17 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Monmouth, Wales.
December 20 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Cheltenham, England.
December 21 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Aberystwyth, Wales.
2022 – Robert Plant will go on tour with Alison Krauss and “Robert Plant: A Life In Vision,” a photo book edited by Dave Lewis, will be published.
June 26 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform at BST Hyde Park in London, England.
Early 2023 – “A Whole Lotta Music: Life To My Ears,” the memoirs of Tight But Loose editor Dave Lewis, will be published.
2023 – A remastered and expanded 30th anniversary edition of “Coverdale–Page” will be released.

Many thanks to James Cook.

The complete Led Zeppelin News email goes out periodically. To receive it sign up here:

Led Zeppelin News Website: Check out the Led Zeppelin news website at


TBL Archive Special:

Led Zeppelin IV – 50 years gone…

November 1971 /Led Zeppelin IV 

50 years ago this month the fourth Led Zeppelin album emerged in a slightly mysterious manner with that enigmatic sleeve. I vividly remember the excitement and anticipation of the album in the music press that month. In fact the November 6 1971 issue of Melody Maker was something of an historic issue because it contained the first UK sighting the four individual symbols that would make up the title of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album. Each symbol was featured on the end of a page – a series of teaser adverts for the forthcoming album though nobody really knew it. Now I had read a recent interview with Jimmy Page in which he had explained the album title would be made up of four runes – I did notice those symbols in that issue thinking they looked very odd – but I did not realise these were the very symbols that would become such an integral and lasting image of the band.



It was about to get even more exciting for me with the prospect of attending the November 21 Wembley Empire Pool show. Tickets a mere 75p! It’s fair to say that this advert announcing the second date was something of a life changer for me – as things were never quite the same in our house after what I witnessed on that cold November Sunday evening all of 50 years ago.

This wasn’t just a band…

Led Zeppelin IV… 

Of all their records, Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, released in late 1971, remains their listened to and  admired work, and with sales of 38 million and counting it is also far and away their most successful. Featuring both the often maligned Stairway To Heaven and the widely admired ‘When The Levee Breaks’, the set is without question the most accessible of their catalogue and it continues to attract new listeners by the week. Few albums in the history of rock can rival its influence.

The fact that much of the album was made in a mysterious, run-down, 18th century workhouse in the middle of rural Hampshire only adds to its legacy. It’s the product of a band given absolute musical freedom to do as they wished in an environment that encouraged the development of their ability to blend acoustic and electric influences within a rock framework, which they did more successfully than any other act before or since.

As a complete work it remains their most focused statement. From Page’s unimpeachable riffs, through Jones musical invention and Plant’s clarity of vocal to that titanic John Bonham drum sound – Led Zeppelin IV still emits a freshness that belies its age.

Dave Lewis – November 11, 2021 

More Four at 50…


(aka Led Zeppelin IV)

Celebrates 50 Years

It’s Been A Long Time Since I Rock And Rolled…

Untitled, undeniable, and unstoppable. Led Zeppelin’s fourth studio album, better known as Led Zeppelin IV, arrived 50 years ago on November 8, 1971.

Led Zeppelin IV remains one of the most creatively influential and commercially successful albums in the history of music. As an artistic statement, the record struck a chord that continues to resonate globally among music fans while inspiring generations of musicians.

Commercially, Led Zeppelin IV is a juggernaut, selling more than 37 million copies worldwide. In the U.S., the album was recently certified 24x platinum by the RIAA, ranking as the fifth best-selling album of all time as well as the best-selling album by a British artist (tied with The Beatles aka The White Album). Outside America, the album is certified diamond in Canada (x2); multi-platinum in Australia (9x), the U.K. (6x), and France (2x); platinum in Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Norway, Poland, and Spain; and gold in Germany (3x).

Led Zeppelin IV also topped the album charts in the U.K., Canada, and the Netherlands, and peaked at #2 in Australia, Denmark, France, Sweden, as well as the U.S., where it remains the best-selling album of the band’s catalog.

Before the success and accolades of 1971, the band first spent the fall and winter of 1970 writing and recording Led Zeppelin IV, with early recording sessions beginning in London at Island Studios in December 1970. A month later, the band moved to Headley Grange, a country house in Hampshire, England. They converted the house into a recording studio and used the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio to record most of the album’s basic tracks with engineer Andy Johns, who also engineered some of Led Zeppelin II and III.

Jimmy Page, who also produced the album, says: “After the brief stay that Robert and I had at Bron-Yr-Aur cottage [while working on Led Zeppelin III], I could see a situation where we all resided at Headley Grange and had a recording truck. I was keen on this whole idea of using it as a workplace so you could concentrate totally on the effort of making the music, while residing at the location.”

“It was all a bit experimental,” John Paul Jones says. “But it was the first time we’d actually stayed together. Before, we were recording in studios…and it was always hotel, studio, hotel, studio. We’d never been in one place and had recording facilities there. So that was really a new way of working for us, and I think it was a really good way. We just had this huge old room with a big fireplace with all the equipment set up. And you could just wander down and start stuff up if nobody was there, or if somebody else would turn up, there would be a bit of jam. There was music making in some way all the time, which, as you can see by the result, worked out pretty well.”

This unconventional (for the time) approach gave the group more freedom to capture spontaneous performances and moments of inspiration. Of the writing of “Stairway To Heaven”, Robert Plant recalls:

“I was sitting next to Jimmy in front of the fire at Headley Grange. He’d written this chord sequence and was playing it to me. I was holding a pencil and paper and suddenly my hand is writing the words ‘There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold…’ I sat there, looked at the words and almost leaped out from my seat. Looking back, I suppose I sat down at the right moment.”

The band also found ways to use the acoustics of Headley Grange to their advantage. Most famously, drummer John Bonham was recorded playing “When The Levee Breaks” in the formal entrance hall of the house using microphones hanging nearby in a flight of stairs. Today, it is one of the most-famous drum sounds in the world and has been sampled countless times by artists across multiple genres including Beyoncé, Beastie Boys, Massive Attack, J. Cole, Björk, and Eminem.

When the basic tracks for the album were finished, the band returned to London to record “Stairway To Heaven” and added overdubs to the Headley material at Island Studios. Soon after, Page traveled to Los Angeles to work on the initial mix of the album at Sunset Sound studios before later returning to Island Studios for additional mixing. The final mix was then delayed until July to accommodate the band’s spring and summer tours.

One of the most memorable parts of the album artwork was the four symbols used on the inner sleeve and album label to represent the four band members.

“There was a really nice little book of signs and symbols,” John Paul Jones says. “So, we decided to choose our symbols from this book appropriate to each member. So, Bonzo [John Bonham] and I dutifully went away, and we actually chose symbols which were kind of the opposite of each other graphically, which was quite strange. And then, of course, Robert and Jimmy designed their own. They all had their own personal meanings.”

Famously, the untitled album was issued with no text on the front or back covers, including the band’s name or an album title – a radical idea at the time.

“After the release and success of the third album, we were still getting negative reviews about the albums and concerts in certain trade journals in America,” Page recalls. “And even after the third album, it was being said that we were ‘a hype’ and one thing and another. It was slightly aggravating. It seemed as though it would be an interesting proposition to actually put out an album with no information on it at all…and see how it would sell.”

“The cover means whatever people want to read into it.” said John Bonham around the album’s release. “For me it means: ‘I’d rather live in an old house than a block of flats.’ My personal view is that the album is the best thing we’ve ever done. I love it. It’s the fourth album and it’s the next stage we were in at the time of recording. All the albums have been different and to my mind this is the best and that’s not trying to be big-headed or flash.”


In 1968, Jimmy Page formed Led Zeppelin, one of the most influential, innovative and successful groups in modern music, having sold more than 300 million albums worldwide. The band rose from the ashes of The Yardbirds, when Page brought in Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones to tour as The New Yardbirds. In 1969, Led Zeppelin released its self-titled debut. It marked the beginning of a 12-year reign, during which the group was widely considered to be the biggest and most innovative rock band in the world.

Led Zeppelin continues to be honored for its pivotal role in music history. The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, received a Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, and a year later was awarded with the Polar Music Prize in Stockholm. Founding members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones – along with Jason Bonham, the son of John Bonham – took the stage at London’s O2 Arena in 2007 to headline a tribute concert for Ahmet Ertegun, a dear friend and Atlantic Records’ founder. The band was honored for its lifetime contribution to American culture at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2012. In January of 2014, the band won their first ever Grammy award as Celebration Day, which captured their live performance at the Ertegun tribute concert, was named Best Rock Album.



The third single from the forthcoming RP & Alison Krauss album ‘Raise The Roof’ is out now. ‘It Don’t Bother Me’ is the final preview of the album. RP and Alison Krauss transform Bert Jansch’s solo acoustic composition into an empowering arrangement, simmering with spectral flourishes of dolceola, marxophone and pedal steel, handclaps and percussion, and interplaying guitars of Marc Ribot and Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo.

On the inclusion of ‘It Don’t Bother Me’ on ‘Raise The Roof’, RP says, “I’ve been a big follower of Bert Jansch’s work since I was a teenager, and of that whole Irish, Scottish, English folk style that has a different lilt and different lyrical perspective. I was very keen to bring some of that into the picture.”

Alison Krauss adds “One of my favorite parts of this is the songs and songwriters that I had never heard of. Working with Robert, and with T Bone, is always a great education in music history.’’

Listen here:

The album Raising The Roof is released on November 19.

Pete Makowski RIP: 

I was very sad to hear the passing of Pete Makowski aged 65. Pete was a pioneering rock journalist and I was lucky to be in his company a fair few times. He was always so supportive of my TBL projects  and Zep books.

I used his fantastic quote from his brilliant review in Sounds of Led Zeppelin’s Earls Court show on May 18 1975 in the Five Glorious Nights – Led Zeppelin at Earls Court 1975 photo book.

Another giant of rock journalism has passed and he will be so sorely missed…

Thanks for all the amazing words that made the music we love come alive Pete…RIP…

More here on Pete’s passing via the Classic Rock website:

One from TBL long time supporter Robin Guise…

Hi Dave,

Saw your reference to the ‘small picture house on Wardour Street’ – it was called The Roxie and, you’re right, showed month by month rock movies – it’s where I first saw ‘TSRTS’ and cassette recorded it so I had the extra tracks that weren’t on the album (forgive any of my 15 year old inaccuracies  in the pic).Haven’t listened to it for quite some time but I must have done some live editing to get it on there also:

Looks like from this article that within a few months of me seeing this it switched to showing gay porn…

Thanks Robin for that one – it was a great place to see the film back then for sure…

DL Diary Blog Update: 

Saturday November 6:

Saturday is platterday…on the player the timelessly brilliant Bridge Over Troubled Water album…the rather splendid 50th anniversary release on gold vinyl…

Saturday November 6:

Saturday is platterday – on the player the brilliant Focus Singles Deep Cuts & BBC Live double album, the recent Record Store Day release… some truly great stuff on this…




Sunday November 7: 

Sunday sounds on CD…celebrating Joni’s Birthday with the superb 4 box set Joni Mitchell The Reprise Albums (1968 -1971) and first up the magnificent Blue…

Thursday November 11:

It’s a Happy Birthday to our very good friend Mr Billy Fletcher – Led Zep & Robert Plant connoisseur, long time TBL supporter, ardent Glasgow Rangers fan and all round top man – Happy Birthday from Janet and |I – have a great day mate!




Thursday November 11:

It’s a Happy Birthday today to the great Yardbirds member and photographer Chris Dreja.

Back in August 2015, I was lucky to meet and chat with Chris at the Led Zeppelin From The Beginning 1963 – 1975 Photo Exhibition at Proud Gallery in Gallery:

I interviewed Chris for the TBL mag about his group photo that adorns the back cover of the Led Zeppelin 1 sleeve. The pic here shows me with Chris admiring that iconic photo..

Update here: 

There’s been some preliminary work and preparation on the Robert Plant photo book project this week. I’ve also been wading through the Bob Spitz  Led Zeppelin biography – full review on that coming soon.

The following albums are currently providing  much needed inspiration:

David Crosby – If I Could Only Remember My Name

Carole King -Tapestry

Simon And Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water

The Beatles -Get Back (Glyn Johns mix)

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV

The Rolling Stones  – Tattoo You (particularly side two)

The Rolling Stones – Lost And Found – Tattoo You bonus LP

The Who – By Numbers

Thanks for listening – stay safe and well you very lovely people…

Dave  Lewis – November 11 , 2021.

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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One Comment »

  • Jeff D said:

    Hi. I received the new Bob Spitz book Tuesday and noticed some of the photo captions are wrong; i.e. Oakland show is captioned as 1979 when it’s 1977.

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