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JIMMY PAGE BACK ON STAGE!/ ROBERT PLANT SAVING GRACE TOUR REPORTS – MY THOUGHTS ON THE BIRMINGHAM SHOW/LZ NEWS/ ORIGINAL ZEP IV COVER IMAGE DISCOVERED/ SONG REMAINS PREMIERE ’76/EMPIRE POOL ’78/ MORE BEATLES NOW AND THEN/ DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

8 November 2023 1,723 views 2 Comments

Jimmy back on stage!

Jimmy Page made a surprise on stage appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in New York last Friday. He initially appeared on a video link to induct Link Wray and then took to the stage to perform Link’s Rumble ..

Jimmy Page commenting on his appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame… 

I was asked to induct Link Wray into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame @rockhall; a guitarist, instrumentalist and songwriter that I’d admired from the very first taste of the Rumble.
I first heard it when I was 14, roaring from a jukebox in my hometown of Epsom. As a guitar instrumental the attitude of it was totally unique in its mystery, imagination and execution — it had a profound effect on me.
Link Wray and Rumble stand alone at the pinnacle in the world of instrumentals and I was thrilled to stand on stage in New York with drummer Anton Fig and bassist Tim Givens at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame last night to induct one of my heroes.

My Thoughts on Jimmy Page performing at the Rock And  Roll Hall of Fame ceremony…

What an absolute joy and utter surprise to see Jimmy Page back on stage last Friday night for the first time in eight years.
After giving a very dignified speech in inducting Link Wray, he walked on stage with the Gibson double neck in hand and proceeded to perform the Link Wray classic Rumble.
Back in 2008, he played air guitar to this on a clip for the It Might Get Loud movie filmed in his music room.
Now all those mannerisms displayed back then were being acted out in a live performance.
The classic leaning back pose – the thrusting arm motion familiar to millions who have watched the various film footage from the glory of Led Zeppelin days – notably performances of The Song Remains The Same.
As for his playing – fluent and delicate and suitably aggressive when required, scrubbing across the strings in the Link Wray tradition –occasionally duplicating Link’s moves. All through ithe really seemed to be reveling in the spotlight again..
By my reckoning, this was the first time he has used the Gibson double neck in a public performance since that night of nights back at the 02 in December 2007.
After watching the admirable Jimmy Sakurai do his thing in the Mr Jimmy film –this was a case of will the real Jimmy please stand up?
And he has over a few spell binding minutes that for me and no doubt countless others confirmed one thing …
Jimmy Page is still the Lord of the Strings…
Dave Lewis – November 4 2023.
Pics via YouTube
YouTube clips here…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00jt7_T5WoI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRrxrxyJvE4
Many thanks to Ken Winovitch
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Robert Plant Presents Saving Grace featuring Suzi Dian UK Tour…
Robert Plant presents Saving Grace Featuring Suzi Dian – second night of the UK tour – G Live Guildford November 2
Kry’s Jantzen pics and words…
Great gig in Guildford. Robert in superb voice and in great storyteller mode.
He signed off with ‘Thanks for coming out. We’re Saving Grace and we come from the land of the ice and snow’.

 

Robert Plant Presents Saving Grace featuring Suzi Dian…

Robert Plant presents Saving Grace Featuring Suzi Dian – second night of the UK tour – G Live Guildford November 2
Rob Titley pics and words…
What a night!
We were lucky enough to have second row seats.
Everyone On top form, both voices absolutely beautiful. Robert forgetting the name of the album Angel Dance was on & who wrote House of Cards – Suzi assisted with informing him it was Richard Thompson name!
Four Zeppelin covers, two RP album tracks & one Alison Krauss (It Don’t Bother Me) and what a performance by every musician on stage.
His between song stories were great. I would say the whole band is significantly more confident than when I saw them two years ago.
After 50 years of attending gigs, this was one of my absolute highlights of live music….

My thoughts on the Birmingham Symphony Hall  gig – November 5 2023

My thoughts on the Robert Plant Presents Saving Grace featuring Suzi Dian gig at the Birmingham Symphony Hall – November 5 2023
Thanks to Richard Grubb for the above photos.
To Birmingham and the excellent Symphony Hall venue (I was last here 13 years ago for the Band of Joy gig.)
This occasion was for the Robert Plant Presents Saving Grace Featuring Suzi Dain experience…and what an experience it was…
I last caught up with Saving Grace a year ago in Wexford. It was evident from the off that they have welded into a compelling musical unit.
The drama began with Robert and Suzi walking on from either end of the stage and meeting in vocal harmony for the opening Gospel Plow.
Robert looked relaxed with mic off in familiar pose as they moved into The Cuckoo. An intensive delivery highlighting the instrumental prowess of every player – Oli Jefferson (drums and percussion, Tony Kelsey (guitars, mandolin) and Matt Worley (banjo, guitars, cuatro) – a chemistry that works wonderfully well.
Let The Four Winds Blow from the Mighty ReArranger album was an early highlight – Robert applying some time honoured ‘Aha ah Aha ’ phrasing in the ‘Achilles’ mode.
Friends was the first of the Zep interpretations. This is the major set interjection from the previous times I’ve seen the band.
Let me tell you this is not some mere trading of former glories, this is a singer at ease with his past and this delivery of the Zep III standard was suitably hypnotic.
Suzi is just the perfect foil for Robert and the way they locked in to the cover of Low’s Everybody’s Song was just masterful.
Robert had one or two Midlands tales to tell including how he worked on tarmacking the Birmingham roads prior to his break into the big league with Zep – and how he admired the psychedelic bands of the era and that led to a compelling cover of Moby Grape’s It’s a Beautiful Day.
So what can I say about The Rain Song?
Sharing the same room as the former singer with Led Zeppelin as he performed one of their most celebrated compositions was simply life affirming.
It was made all the more delicate by Suzi’s accordion playing.
Like the recent Stairway To Heaven performance, this airing of The Rain Song prompted a stream o instant memories of past performances of this epic – Earls Court, Knebworth, Over Europe and Unledded among them.
It Don’t Brother me heralded the unusual sight of Robert on bass (‘’Ill try not to dribble’’) and Four Sticks was another joyous Zep throwback – performed in the arrangement of the Page & Plant era. His delivery of lines such as ‘’Ooh yeah, brave I endure -ooh yeah, strong shields and lore’’ was a vocal tour de force.
A spirited stomp through Angel Dance closed the main show. They were back for one of the highlights of the night – a stupendous version of Richard & Linda Thompson’s House of Cards. Here Robert And Suzi caressed each line of the song in total harmony.
A playful Gallows Pole followed with a few ad-libs from Black Dog throw in for good measure. The all around the mic finale of And We Bid You Goodnight signaled the end of a quite magical gig.
‘’Keep a coolin’ – all the hits in 90 minutes’’ were the last quips from the singer as the band exited the stage.
Unlike the 90 minutes of a football match, there was no VAR required to sum up this one.
The decision was never in doubt…
Saving Grace with Robert Plant and Suzi Dian were utterly brilliant.
Dave Lewis – November 6 2023

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LZ News:

Here’s the latest Led ZepNews Update:

Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page performed at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Jimmy Page made a surprise appearance at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in New York on November 3, taking to the stage to perform “Rumble” by Link Wray following a pre-recorded induction speech.

The surprise appearance was Page’s first time performing on stage since joining a jam session at the Founders Award ceremony on November 19, 2015.

Yesterday, LedZepNews spoke to musicians Tim Givens and Anton Fig hours after they performed with Page to find out how the unique performance came to be.

Details of Page’s performance at the ceremony leaked in a Led Zeppelin email discussion group last week, as we mentioned in last weekend’s LedZepNews email. Sure enough, our analysis that Page was most likely to be involved in honouring Link Wray proved correct.

The show was broadcast live on Disney+ while audio of it was broadcast on Apple Music. ABC will broadcast highlights of the ceremony at 8pm EST on January 1.

What was it like to be in the room when Page made his surprise appearance? LedZepNews spoke to Rob Pistella who was there in New York

 

“I reached out to a mutual friend of Jimmy Page and mine, who secretly told me ‘yes he’s playing’,” Pistella says. “So I purchased three tickets for the show, for myself and my Zeppelin-loving sons.”

“No one at the show had any inkling of his pending appearance, it seemed,” Pistella adds. “I spoke to several fans around me and mentioned the possibility that he would play and no one had heard anything, though they all said that would be an awesome thing!”

When the video of Page paying tribute to Wray was shown, Pistella knew that a surprise performance on its way. “Unbeknownst to the audience because the stage was pitch black, Jimmy and a stand up bass player and drummer quietly set up, and when the video was over, the lights came up and the band launched into ‘Rumble’. Jimmy brought his iconic doubleneck redwood guitar so here he was, the guitar hero and his famous axe, dressed in black and looking as cool as ever, one of the world’s greatest guitar heroes.”

“Elton [John] was waiting to speak next and if you watch the video it seems like Elton is waiting for the applause to die down for himself, but it was for Jimmy, who blew a heartfelt air kiss to Elton, no doubt a sign of his affection for not only Elton but also his tremendous contribution to music,” Pistella says.

Much online discussion has now turned to asking what, if anything, Page’s performance means. Is it a sign that he’s going to perform more often? And does Robert Plant’s surprise performance of “Stairway To Heaven” last month combined with this hint at a possible reunion?

Sadly, LedZepNews has to inject a dose of skepticism. There doesn’t seem to be any link between Page and Plant’s recent performances. And Page put this band together as a temporary project. This doesn’t seem to be a sign of any re-emergence of Page.

Robert Plant

Robert Plant is back on tour with Saving Grace … and playing bass

Robert Plant playing bass during the song “It Don’t Bother Me” during a performance by Saving Grace as part of an 80th birthday tribute concert for Bert Jansch at the Royal Festival Hall in London on November 4. (Photo credit: Peter Chow)

Robert Plant kicked off his latest tour with Saving Grace in the UK this week, beginning with a show in Brighton on November 1 before going on to perform in Guildford on November 2 and then performing in London last night as part of an 80th birthday concert for Bert Jansch.

The band have made some changes for this latest tour, the most nostable of which is Plant playing bass for part of the show – seemingly during the song “It Don’t Bother Me”. Plant has previously discussed playing bass, telling Rolling Stone in 2005: “I was an occasional bass player.”

Robert Plant performing as part of Saving Grace in Brighton in the UK on November 1. (Picture credit: Stewart Gunn)

And has Saving Grace added new songs into its setlist for this tour? That’s the claim made by Stewart Gunn in his account of the tour opener in Brighton on November 1 with two or more new songs claimed.

One potential new song, “The Dimming Of My Light”, seems to actually be “The May Queen” from Plant’s 2017 solo album “Carry Fire”. And another mysterious new song listed as “Is That You?” on Setlist FM for the next night’s show may actually be a cover of “Out In The Woods” by Leon Russell, judging from the setlist for the previous night.

As Plant left the stage in Brighton on November 1, he apparently said “We’re just a band, no merch, no website and no recorded music to sell to you.” It’s a fitting mantra for Saving Grace, a band without an album, merchandise or any official online presence.

terry666king

A post shared by @terry666king

A video of Robert Plant rehearsing ‘Stairway To Heaven’ emerged

Guitarist Kenwyn House who performed with Robert Plant at the charity concert on October 21 and who spoke to LedZepNews about the experience, has shared a video of Plant rehearsing “Stairway To Heaven” with the band last month.

goldrayband

A post shared by @goldrayband

There are also two new videos of that performance for fans to enjoy: The official livestream of the night is now available to watch in better quality than the ripped version on Facebook. And a video of the full show from a static camera in the front row is on YouTube below:

And the winning bidder is…

One of the most common questions LedZepNews has had about the October 21 charity event is how much money the sales award for Led Zeppelin’s fourth album sold for in the charity auction. Plant donated the award and signed the back of it, but the livestream on Facebook cut out before the winning bidder was revealed.

Well, LedZepNews can reveal that the winning bidder was Professor Sir Chris Evans who paid £70,000 for the award.

Upcoming events:

  • November 5– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Birmingham, UK.
  • November 7– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Bournemouth, UK.
  • November 8– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Southampton, UK.
  • November 11– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Salford, UK.
  • November 13– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Oxford, UK.
  • November 15– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Cardiff, UK.
  • November 16– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Basingstoke, UK.
  • November 17– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Cambridge, UK.
  • November 19– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Grimsby, UK.
  • November 20– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Gateshead, UK.
  • November 22– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Bradford, UK.
  • November 23– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Stoke-on-Trent, UK.
  • November 25– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Wolverhampton, UK.
  • 2024– Robert Plant will tour with Alison Krauss.
  • January 1– ABC will broadcast highlights of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony at 8pm EST
  • March 21-24– John Paul Jones will perform at the Big Ears music festival in Knoxville, Tennessee both as a solo act and as part of Sons Of Chipotle.

Summer 2024 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Vienna, Virginia.

Many thanks to James Cook 

The complete Led ZepNews email goes out periodically. To receive it sign up here:http://tinyletter.com/LedZepNews

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

http://ledzepnews.com/


Here’s a great story and what a find…

This via The Guardian website:

Fifty-year mystery solved as research suggests picture shows Lot Long, a widower from Mere

For Led Zeppelin fans it is an instantly recognisable image: that of a grey-bearded figure stooping, his leathery hands grasping the pole supporting a bundle of hazel on his back.

But the origin of the image, which forms the centrepiece of the eye-catching front cover of Led Zeppelin IV, has remained a mystery for more than half a century.

Now it has been revealed that it is a late-Victorian black and white photograph of a Wiltshire thatcher.

Brian Edwards, a visiting research fellow with the regional history centre at the University of the West of England, said he came across the image in a photograph album during continuing research extending from an exhibition he curated with Wiltshire Museum in 2021.

Edwards’s research involved monitoring everyday sources that stimulate public engagement with Wiltshire’s past, from paintings and photographs to artefacts and memories. It was while following up on some early photographs of Stonehenge that he came across the one made famous by the English rock band.

“Led Zeppelin created the soundtrack that has accompanied me since my teenage years, so I really hope the discovery of this Victorian photograph pleases and entertains Robert, Jimmy and John Paul,” Edwards said.

Released 52 years ago, on 8 November 1971, Led Zeppelin IV has sold more than 37m copies worldwide, and includes one of the group’s most popular songs, Stairway to Heaven.

The album’s cover artwork was radically absent of any indication of the band name or a title. The framed, coloured image of the stooped man, which has often been referred to as a painting, was juxtaposed and affixed to the internal, papered wall of a partly demolished suburban house. The back cover of the album was a block of flats, thought to be Salisbury Tower in Ladywood, Birmingham.

It is understood that the Led Zeppelin lead singer, Robert Plant, discovered a framed, coloured photograph of the original image of the Wiltshire thatcher in an antique shop near guitarist Jimmy Page’s house in Pangbourne, Berkshire.

The original image was discovered in a Victorian photograph album titled: “Reminiscences of a visit to Shaftesbury. Whitsuntide 1892. A present to Auntie from Ernest.” It contained more than 100 architectural views and street scenes together with a few portraits of rural workers from Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset.

Beneath the stooped man’s image, the photographer wrote: “A Wiltshire thatcher.” Further research suggests the thatcher is Lot Long (sometimes Longyear), who was born in Mere in 1823 and died in 1893. At the time the photograph was taken, Long was a widower living in a small cottage in Shaftesbury Road, Mere.

Meanwhile, a part-signature matching the writing in the album suggests the photographer is Ernest Howard Farmer (1856-1944), the first head of the school of photography at the then newly renamed Regent Street Polytechnic, now part of the University of Westminster.

Farmer’s photograph is now in Wiltshire Museum in Devizes, and an exhibition featuring the image, along with others taken in the west of England during the Victorian era, is scheduled to be held at the museum in spring 2024.

David Dawson, the director of Wiltshire Museum, said: “The ‘Wiltshire Thatcher: a photographic journey through Victorian Wessex’ exhibition will celebrate the work of Ernest Farmer, who today is little known but was a leading figure in the development of photography as an art form.

“Through the exhibition, we will show how Farmer captured the spirit of people, villages and landscapes of Wiltshire and Dorset that were so much of a contrast to his life in London. It is fascinating to see how this theme of rural and urban contrasts was developed by Led Zeppelin and became the focus for this iconic album cover 70 years later.”

See more at this link

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/nov/08/led-zeppelin-iv-cover-photo-revealed-victorian-wiltshire-thatcher?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other&fbclid=IwAR1_5UhLZBPoS_84R_nvPBnpDBJHxai-b_i5AooGi5iVITsGcR9JyxFP7UY

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TBL Archive: The Song Remains The Same London premiere – it was 47 years ago…

After the excitement of The Song Remains The Same soundtrack double album release, 47 years ago this week saw the premiere of the accompanying movie. This occurred at the Warner West End cinema in London’s Leicester Square although such was the demand the film was also screened at the nearby Shaftesbury Avenue ABC Theatre.

My girlfriend Fiona and I  got tickets by queuing overnight in early October. Sleep was at a minimum that night as the disco next to the Warner West End cinema blasted out a diet of Barry White and the like until the early hours. All worth it of course…
Two nights before the premiere ,The Old Grey Whistle Test screened the famous river boat interview with Peter Grant and Robert Plant and the violin bow segment of Dazed And Confused leading up to the coloured swords being brandished . ‘’That’s an amazing piece of film’’ murmured the legendary Bob Harris -and indeed it was. Incidentally BBC’s Film Night aired a clip the following Sunday for which the long running presenter Barry Norman in his familiar style commented ‘’Let’s all go down like a Led Zeppelin…and why not.’’
The premiere on the night of Thursday November 4 1976 was another unforgettable occasion with many memories ingrained on my brain:

song premiere

Here’s a few: Jimmy being ushered up the stairs of the cinema on arrival by John Bindon right next to me….shaking hands with Peter Grant and Bonzo as they waited for the photo call….standing up to allow Roy Wood and Billy Connolly to get to his seat two along from where we sat….a standing ovation as Jimmy, Robert, John and Bonzo took their seats…..spontaneous applause after every song performance -it was almost like attending a gig…. Bonzo and Jonesy with families gathering in the foyer afterwards…passing Paul McCartney on the way into the toilet. Robert eyeing the cardboard obeleisk/object card board cut out that I wore around my neck entwined with my scarf for the occasion as we chatted in the foyer.

Let me explain this interesting fashion look. Basically I took one of the cardboard obelisks that made up the hanging Presence mobile I had and swung it around my neck in a unique (plainly odd!) fashion statement – I cant it say it’s a look that caught on but hey it was for a special occasion!….The aforementioned Billy Connolly telling me the film had been ‘’A wee bit brilliant’’ in his famous Scottish brogue…watching them all get into limos as they sped off for the aftershow party in Covent Garden. A simply unforgettable night in their company.
Fiona and I were back for the screening at the Warner West End the next night and on the Saturday. I went on to see the film over 30 times in various cinemas over the next 18 months – along with those first three nights it played in London, I saw it in Cambridge a couple of times the next week, every night (twice on Friday) of its seven day residency at Bedford’s Granada the following January , at a run down cinema in Western Favell in Northampton on a snow bound night that involved catching two busses to find the place…at a midnight night showing along with a couple of porn films in Luton and then there were periodical trips to a small picture house in London’s Wardour Street I think called the Electric Cinema that showed seasons of rock films in rotation (anyone else remember that tiny place?).
In early 1981 I brought it on a dreadful quality VHS bootleg copy in a shop off Tottenham Court Road – all colour drop out but hey any time I wanted I could rewind to Jimmy climbing that mountain so who cared!

All that endeavour seems a bit crazy now considering it’s all on YouTube …but back then it was the thrill of the search and as they couldn’t play live during that period, then the film was definitely the next best thing -and 46 years ago this week it was all happening at the Warner West End cinema. Being there in the cinema with the members of Led Zeppelin to see it unfold for the first time is an unforgettable memory…

Dave Lewis – November 2022

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More TBL November Archives..

More Wembley Empire Pool magic….in 1978..

When I first witnessed Led Zeppelin live on stage back in November 1971 at the Empire Pool Wembley, this then 15 year old could neve have imagined the events ahead and that I might one day actually meet and speak to Robert Plant in this very same venue.

But that is what came to pass as seven years later on November 4, 1978 I did just that.

By then my enthusiasm for all things Led Zep was pretty off the scale. I had met them all backstage at Earls Court and The Song Remains The Ssame premiere in London and at Heathrow Airport in May 1977.

The tragic passing of Robert’s son Karac had rendered the band inactive for many months –though there had been some stirrings in the spring of 1978 with a get together at Clearwell Castle. I had kept in contact with the Swan Song office and I knew that the recording of a new album was on the cards.

That year was a very memorable one for me – not least for leaping on stage at The Who Shepperton filming gig on May 25. Around the same time I was commissioned by Geoff Barton a journalist on Sounds music paper to work with him on an extensive feature they were running in September to mark the tenth anniversary of Led Zeppelin. Over the summer I collated a Zep career timeline plus an extensive discography that duly ran over four issues in September. It was an incredible thrill to see my work in print and it further fuelled my ambition to produce a Led Zeppelin magazine. This was an idea I had first mooted in late 1977 – I had already designed a few proto type pages and I had a name for it – ‘Tight But Loose’ – a phrase Jimmy and Robert had coined to describe the ban’s music in separate interviews during their 1977 US tour.

In early November 1978 as a fervent reader of the NME I spotted in a small news item that on Sunday, November 5 Robert would be appearing in the Goaldiggers five a side football tournament. The venue was the Empire Pool Wembley – scene of my first Led Zep live experience. I knew I had to be there again – simple as that.

I had been back to the esteemed venue a few of time since 1971. I saw The Rolling Stones afternoon show on September 8 1973 and two years later I was at a scintillating Who performance on October 23 1975. I was also at Elton John’s show there in November 1977.

Back to the story. I was playing football for the Wallbangers team on the Sunday morning but reckoned I could get away after the game and get on a train to London for the 4pm start of the tournament.

So after playing in a 4-3 defeat, I zipped over to Bedford railway station and headed for London. At this point I had no ticket for the tournament but hoped I could get one at the venue. With time running out at vast expense, I took a taxi direct to Wembley from St Pancreas station. Once outside the venue I scored a ticket from a tout. I found myself up the side behind one of the goals. Not a bad view –not that I was going to settle for that for too long. I had already made up my mind that I needed to talk to Robert Plant himself to find out the state of play. The mission was on…

This Goaldiggers football tournament was Robert’s first public appearance since the curtailed US tour. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to re -connect with the singer – as I had done previously – notably at Heathrow Airport.

Robert’s named Geriatric Rowdies comprised of singer Jess Conrad, singer turned WEA Record exec Dave Dee, comedian Jasper Carrot, then West Bromwich Albion manager Ron Atkinson and in the number 8 shirt the man himself. They met LBC in their first match and drew 2-2 the equalizer coming from Robert. The next encounter was with The Stranglers team and ended in another 2-2 draw.

This was not enough to see them through to the next phrase and from where I was up behind the goal, I could see Robert had now changed out of his kit watching by the sidelines

It was then I made my move – I made my way down to the sideline enclosure and with a confident ‘I’m with the players’ strut glided through to the side of the pitch and there I was right next to the man.

What a moment it was. He looked really well if radically different in a smart cut jacket and jeans – the hair cut back to pre 1969 length. A stark contrast to the ‘golden god’ figure I had approached at Heathrow Airport some 18 months ago. Here’s pic I took at that first sighting.

I introduced myself and he recognized me from Heathrow. He duly introduced me to his wife Maureen and daughter Carmen. I reminded him of the last time he was here with Zep and we laughed about the performing pigs that didn’t quite get it right on the night.

During our conversations, Robert told  me he was going to Stockholm the next week with the group to commence recording a new album at Abba’s studios.

As the tournament progressed I was with him as he cheered on the ELO team, Spurs player Ralph Coates spirited display with the team made up of The Darts group good naturedly jeering Rod Stewart and Elton john’s team

It was when watching the all ladies match featuring a team made up of page 3 models that a photographer captured the photo of us both laughing at the action.

Here’s another shot from that moment and rarely seen. I am wearing the Zep US tour t shirt that are commonplace now but at the time were very scares promotional t shirts – I and got mine from the lovely Unity Maclean at the Swan Song office.

Fond farewells were said and I told him I would be at the next gig whenever and wherever that would be. ”It’s all in the wind” he said enigmatically.

I floated back to Bedford on a pure high. I had been in the company of Robert Plant again and for this particular Led Zeppelin fan the future was bright ahead – I knew that because I had heard it from the man himself.

Robert’s Goaldiggers appearance attracted a few column inches in the press and there were more later in the week when it was announced Led Zeppelin would indeed be going to Abba’s Polar Studios to record what would become the In Through The Out Door album.

As for me, this meet with my hero was more than enough inspiration to get down to producing the first issue of Tight But Loose. I worked on it for the rest of the year booking ads for it in late 1978 in Sounds and NME. A further round of ads followed in January 1978 and on February 10,1979 the first issues went out from my Dents Road bedroom.

It would kick start an incredibly exiting year that would include the Knebworth comeback shows, another Goaldiggers rendezvous with Robert and a very exciting afternoon watching Robert, JPJ and Bonzo picking up seven Melody Maker awards at a reception at the Waldorf hotel in London.  More on all that soon.

It would be another six years before I saw Robert at the Empire Pool Wembley then renamed Wembley Arena – a memorable solo show on September 10,1985. Pic from outside the venue on that day here by Krys Jantzen.

 

One more footnote – little did I realize that many years hence on the night of December 10 2007 the pic of me and Robert laughing would be featured on the BBC Six O Clock News in their coverage of the Led Zeppelin 02 reunion which included a few words form me before the gig..

This incredibly memorable 1978 Robert Plant rendezvous all of 45 years ago today occurred when I was just 22 years old – I’m now 67 – as he once put it, it’s been a lifetime -but a second…

Dave Lewis – November  7 2023

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Some final thoughts on the release of the last Beatles song Now And Then…

As can be seen, the release of The Beatles Now and Then single was a collectors delight…and yes, as a seasoned Beatles collector I invested…
There were an array of formats and pressings and I am pleased to have snapped up the following:
The black vinyl 7 inch pressing
The marble vinyl 7 inch pressing
The blue vinyl 7 inch pressing
The 12 inch black vinyl pressing
The cassette single
The CD single
There was also a very limited ten inch pressing via Spotify which is going for a fair bit on eBay and a 12 inch red vinyl via the HMV stores plus a clear vinyl 7 inch via independent record stores. Many of the formats above are now sold out.
The cover art work does leave a lot to be desired. Not to have a group image of some sort seems a very strange decision. The image used on the poster with the Now and Then cassette would have been much more preferable.
I have got used to the cover and I did read somewhere it was an arty attempt to replicate the famous looking over the edge of the EMI building photos used on the 1962 -1966 and 1967-1970 double albums. If that is the case, using the pics involved in some way would have enhanced it manifold.
It’s of course always great to see the Apple label on a record alongside the original red Parlophone label for Love Me Do. The 7 inch and 12 inch both come with an insert with track details and an informative background sleeve note by John Harries
As for the song itself, fundamentally this is a typical Lennon minor key piano piece in the tradition of Imagine, Oh My Love , Watching The Wheels etc. Given it’s 1978 vintage it might easily have ended up on the 1980 Double Fantasy album.
The skill in the enhancement of this stark demo has been to make it feel like a Beatles track –and in their own way Paul, Ringo and George have succeeded in that. The poignant lyrical theme is also a major factor in Now and Then’s status as a fitting Fab Four finale. The video is also brilliantly cut and it’s hats off again to director Peter Jackson.
One of the things Now and Then has inspired for me is to go back to Free as a Bird and Real Love with a fresh perspective.
They were both aired on the excellent The Beatles and the BBC documentary last weekend. Both these tracks would of course benefited greatly from the AI treatment applied to John’s vocal on Now and Then but they stand up well some 27 years on.
I can’t help feeling there was a missed trick in not adding both Free as a Bird and Real Love tracks to the Now and Then 12 inch single.
Overall, it’s been great fun and not a little emotional in getting caught up in all the Now and Then activity – a sort of Beatlemania for the 2020s.
It’s without doubt a fitting last song statement – but of course it won’t be the last word or anything like it.
The releases will keep coming (the blue and red sets this week (and of course I’ve invested!) and the books will keep being written –there’s a new biography of the right hand man Mal Evans due soon.
The Beatles eminent press officer and trusted aide Derek Taylor once rightly described The Beatles story as ”The 20th century’s greatest romance’.’
It’s a love affair that continues to keep fans across the globe enthralled and Now and Then has been another captivating chapter…
With an impressive 30,000 plus physical sales, here’s hoping it’s a deserved number one single.
Dave Lewis – November 7 2023
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DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday November 3:

Friday treat at the always excellent Slide Record Shop in Bedford…
The first Beatles single I owned was I Want To Hold Your Hand given to me for Christmas in 1963 when I was 7 years old.
Since then, I’ve added many a Beatles single and album to my collection and many a solo single and album – a lot of them purchased on the day of release.
So, it was fitting today nearly 60 years on from owning that first Beatles record, to call in to the Slide Record Shop and purchase the last Beatles song Now And Then on a seven inch single on the day of release…
Here with my fellow record collecting comrade Steve who of course also invested – and we got a very nice free poster too…
Thanks Nerys and Warren for supplying this piece of vinyl record history…

Saturday November 4:

It’s a Happy Birthday to our good friend, record collecting comrade and all round top man Mr Andrew Pepworth…
Happy Birthday mate from Janet and I – have a great day!

Saturday November 4:

Saturday is platterday –
On the player after a few days of fab Four frenzy, keeping it all going with the exuberant A Hard Days Night album from 1964 and brightening up a very wet day here…

Sunday November 5:

Before last night’s simply  amazing Robert Plant presents Saving Grace featuring Suzi Dain experience at the Birmingham  Symphony Hall it was great to meet up with various friends and fans in the nearby Prince of Wales pub – notably Richard Grubb, Sue Bewley Mazzone and her son Nathan plus Gez Harvey and his wife Jo both had great tales of seeing various bands at the Birmingham Town Hall back in the day including led Zep in 1969 and 70 plus Taste, Jethro Tull, Free etc. In the venue it was also great to see long time TBL supporter and top man Piero Baldassarra…

Update here…

An inspiring few days to say the least – what with Jimmy back on stage and Robert out in the UK with Saving Grace. The Birmingham Symphony Hall show really was something special – if you are attending one of the remaining UK dates you are in for an absolute treat…

Thanks for listening 

Until next time…

Dave  Lewis – November  8 2023

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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2 Comments »

  • Alastair said:

    Great to read – especially about the Xmas 1963 present as I received “She Loves You ” as a present,” I Wanna Hold Your Hand” being the single that knocked it off the top of the charts.

  • Michael Marshall said:

    Dave,

    Once again you have caught the essence of what Led Zeppelin means to the lives if us who were not only lucky enough to see them perform, but meet the band members as well.

    I’m looking forward to chatting with you about all things Led Zeppelin, when I return to England in the Summer of 2024.

    Until then I’ll be awaiting each release of Tight But Loose, to stay abreast of the latest happenings.

    Thanks for your insight!

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