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Frank Sinatra / Nick Drake / Bonzo / Zep 3

27 September 2008 1,974 views No Comment

Sometimes only Nick Drake and Frank Sinatra will do.

It’s been the forlorn melancholy tones of those late lamented singers that has soundtracked the last few days here. After the high emotion of Sam’s leaving at the weekend (and boy was it emotional) the more sensitive parts of the Zep catalogue would have been too much to take (Ten Years Gone? – not right now thanks)

So it’s been Way To Blue, Pink Moon, River Man,I Was Made To Love Magic, Northern Sky etc and Frank Sinatra’s desolate latter era album She Shot Me Down (‘’Sinatra grizzled and magnificent, both relishing and releasing the bleakness’’ –as Chris Ingram astutely notes in his re appraisal of the album in this month’s Mojo) that have made some sense this week.

There could be more melancholy as I tap this out on the morning of September 25 with work on TBL firmly on the agenda just the way it was back in my Dents Road bedroom on the exactly the same day back in 1980. On that fateful Thursday I spent the day wrapping TBL 5 and writing an editorial that would never be used after the news that came through that evening.

As I always say…so much has gone …and yet so much remains…

On a brighter note it was a late September Sunday back in 1970 that Radio One DJ Alan Freeman began previewing tracks from the soon to be released Led Zeppelin 3. What a thrill it was to hear the likes of Out On The Tiles and Immigrant Song and Celebration Day. Those were the tracks he played over two consecutive Sundays on the Top 30 Chart run down show I listened to intently every week. I actually taped those previews on my old reel to reel tape recorder at the time – I’d love to hear those tapes again but they are long gone. Listening to Robert’s distinctive vocal slotted in amongst chart fare of the day such as Freda Payne, Hot Chocolate etc was just bizarre back then.

In fact the memories of that first listen to Zep 3 has prompted me to dig out the vinyl and get it on the player fast.

Nick and Frank you’ve been firm friends these past few days, but it’s time to get back to the more raucous and invigorating sounds of the album with the catalogue number Atlantic 2401 002 and spinning wheel to match.

With TBL 22 to construct, another retail Christmas ahead, the Zep Croydon Convention to plan, numerous new Zep books to soak up (just got the Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin illustrated history coffee table book) and the Bedford Beer Festival due in a couple of weeks…life as John Lennon once put it, is just what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. The time for melancholy thoughts have passed.

The autumn’s here and suddenly there’s so much to do and today ’’a ray of sunshine melts the clouds and blows my blues away’’ as the closing song on the first side of the aforementioned Led Zeppelin 3 puts it.

I need to play that track now….

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