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19 May 2023 779 views 2 Comments

With one week to go here’s the latest info…



SATURDAY 27th MAY 2023

Celebrating the 75th Birthday of John Henry Bonham in Redditch town centre on Saturday 27th May 2023 with a day/evening of live blues/rock music from top artists and bands.

Led Into Zeppelin

Eric Bell Band (co-founder & original Thin Lizzy guitarist)
Vincent Flatts Final Drive

CODA- A Tribute to Led Zeppelin

Taxi For Jesus

Ceri Justice Band


Ritchie Dave Porter & Debra Susan

PLUS Special Guests – all with links to Bonzo and/or Led Zeppelin.

*Led Into Zeppelin  

With a reputation as one of the UK’s premier tributes to the mighty Zeppelin, and featuring the amazing vocals of Damian White and blistering guitar of Chris Preston, the powerful rhythm section of Damon Waite on drums, Pete Betts on bass &Jason Scott Wilkinson on keys. This band are sure to bring the show to a rocking close.

*Eric Bell Band
Eric Bell, best known as a founder member and the original guitarist of the rock group Thin Lizzy, is coming to Redditch with his blues-based trio, the Eric Bell Band.

His signature guitar sound can be heard on the first three albums Thin Lizzy released and on the #1 British chart hit Whiskey in the Jar. After his time in Thin Lizzy, he briefly fronted his own group before joining the Noel Redding Band in the mid-1970s. He has since released several solo albums and performs regularly with his band.

*Vincent Flatts Final Drive

The original and authentic “Whisky Swiggin’, Bad Ass Kickin’, Go Anywhere Giggin’, Boogie Band”. Featuring legendary frontman Steve Burton, Vincent Flatts will take you on a musical journey from southern-infused country rock to fast and exciting boogie. Whether or not you have seen this Birmingham band ‘live’, you are in for a real treat!

*CODA – A Tribute to Led Zeppelin are Europe’s most authentic and exciting Led Zeppelin tribute band, replicating the power,excitement and magic of a Led Zeppelin show like no other. Arguably, they are the only proper four-piece Zep tribute band in Europe that looks and sounds as close to the real thing as possible, featuring authentic-looking and sounding instruments as well as incredible, hand-made replica costumes that will take you back to the time when the Gods of Rock ruled the world!

*Ceri Justice Band

With her Irish roots and powerful, bluesy vocals, West Midlands singer songwriter, Ceri Justice, is now realising her childhood dreams.  

Accompanied by her band of seasoned professional musicians – John Caswell, guitar & vocals (Steve Gibbons Band), Simon Smith, bass (recording credits include Stevie Nicks, Sarah McLachlan, Wilson Phillips, Glen Ballard and Dave Stewart), Nigel Darville, keyboards (Ruby Turner, Fine Young Cannibals , Rebecca Downes), Mickey Barker, drums (Magnum, 1985)

  *Taxi For Jesus

Taxi for Jesus are made up of four past members of the Trevor Burton Band; Maz Mitrenko, Bill Jefferson, Pez Connor and Stuart Ford, all of whom are well respected and seasoned musicians in their own right and have more than earned the credentials to pay homage to and perform some of the repertoire associated with the Trevor Burton Band.  That said TFJ are no tribute band and are rapidly establishing their own unique brand & style and are further enhancing their set as they embark on this new and exciting project.

*Sundance Classic Rock Band

Classic Rock Band recently reformed by John Lynam (Vocals & Guitar), with Gary Bennett (Bass) and Heath Laight (Drums).John began his career in the early 1970s with the Daniel Boone Band, who supported Free, Family and Manfred Mann. He played with Life, which emigrated to Scandinavia and became the biggest band in Denmark.On his return to the UK, he formed Sundance with Pete Oliver, Bob Bowman, Alan Moore, Steph Griffin, and Phil Savage, and recorded 2 albums that were released worldwide. and toured with Thin Lizzy, Caravan and Moody Blues. John also wrote the group’s chart single Coming Down which entered the UK Top 40. John later worked as a session player with many different artists including Led Zeppelin, blues legend Johnny Winter, Rory Gallagher and Buddy Miles, drummer with Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies before joining Birmingham Folk Rock group, Quill.

*Ritchie Dave Porter & Debra Susan

Birmingham-based Blues and Rock duo who have released 13 popular singles with airplay on the very best Blues and Rock Radio stations in the UK, USA, Europe, Australia, Canada and Brazil all to critical acclaim. The duo’s debut single ‘One Hell Of A Ride hit #1 within Australia and four number 2 chart positions in Australian top ten for Banks Radio Australia, Valley FM and Sweet Sunday Sounds.

I am aiming to be in attendance at this event and look forward to seeing all that can make it along…



LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:

Here’s the latest round up from LZ News:

Led Zeppelin

Inside the making of ‘Becoming Led Zeppelin’

“Becoming Led Zeppelin”, the feature-length documentary on the origins of Led Zeppelin, has become somewhat of a mystery for fans of the band. Announced in 2019, the film remains unreleased and there has been no word of any upcoming screenings, despite the fact that the film premiered at two film festivals in 2021.

We decided to investigate the production and are able to take readers inside the making of the film thanks to a cache of 69 pages of emails and documents released to LedZepNews following a Freedom of Information request. The contents of the documents include emails from the film’s director as he hunts down a rare 1972 radio interview with John Bonham.

But the files end with a surprise: The deal to include the radio interview in “Becoming Led Zeppelin” collapsed in 2022 after the filmmakers failed to pay the full licence fee to the Australian archives.

The film’s producer told LedZepNews on Friday that another deal was made with the archives and the interview remains in the film, rare communication from the secretive filmmakers behind one of the most-anticipated documentary films in years.

Release dates for ‘Squaring The Circle’

We’ve also been in touch with the producers of another Led Zeppelin-related documentary, this time the film “Squaring The Circle” about the design group Hipgnosis which was responsible for some of Led Zeppelin’s most iconic album covers. The documentary features new interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

There has been confusion online on when the film will be released, so here’s our schedule that comes straight from the horse’s mouth:

  • June 7, 8, 9 – Special Q&A screenings in New York with director Anton Corbijn and Hipgnosis co-founder Aubrey Powell
  • June 20 – Advance screenings in the US
  • June 23 – Nationwide release in the US
  • July 7 – UK premiere at Sundance London
  • July 14 – Nationwide release in the UK

Tickets for the film can be purchased from its website

Testing, testing, 123

Some Led Zeppelin fans were intrigued on May 11 when the band posted a mysterious image to its official Instagram page captioned “TEST”. Was the band making a cryptic announcement? No, is the short answer. The image, of two Emmy awards, genuinely seems to have been a test post which was quickly deleted.

Robert Plant

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’s tour was hit with postponements and a cancellation

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ tour was hit by a mystery issue this week that caused the short-notice postponement of two shows and the cancellation of another.

It’s still unclear what the problem was, although Plant has been posting regular snapshots of his sightseeing online, seemingly ruling out any illness that affected him.

A post shared by Robert Plant (@robertplantofficial)

The pair performed as planned at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee on May 7. But hours before they were due to take to the stage in Asheville, North Carolina on May 9, the show was postponed “due to circumstances beyond our control,” according to a post on Krauss’ Facebook page.

On May 10, Plant and Krauss also postponed their show that was due to take place in Wilmington, North Carolina that evening.

The planned May 9 show in Asheville, North Carolina has been rescheduled to June 27. The planned May 10 show in Wilmington, North Carolina has been rescheduled to May 15. That meant that the previously scheduled show on May 15 in Charlotte, North Carolina has been cancelled entirely.

The tour resumed on May 12 in St. Augustine, Florida and that date went ahead as planned. The changes introduced to the setlist on May 5, namely adding “In the Mood” to the show and switching “Gone Gone Gone” to the final song and moving “Can’t Let Go” earlier in the show, seem to be permanent.

You can watch Plant and Krauss’ full show at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee on May 7 here:

Meanwhile, photographs of Plant and Krauss performing in Kansas City, Missouri on May 5 were published by The Pitch and photos of the pair performing at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee on May 7 were published by The Commercial Appeal.

Plant was also photographed visiting Mills Record Company in Kansas City, Missouri on May 5.

A post shared by Mills Record Company (@millsrecords)

May 7 – Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee

May 12 – St. Augustine, Florida

May 13 – Chattanooga, Tennessee

  • 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
  • In the Mood
  • Can’t Let Go
  • The Battle of Evermore
  • When the Levee Breaks
  • — Encore —
  • Leave My Woman Alone
  • Gone Gone Gone

Robert Plant is in talks to perform in Wolverhampton

Robert Plant is reportedly in talks to perform at The Halls Wolverhampton, according to the head of the venue’s new owner. Steve Homer, the chief executive officer of AEG Presents, told the Express & Star that “we’ve had discussions with Robert Plant, because of his history with the city and the venue, but he wasn’t available at the time, but that’s one for later on.”

Plant last performed at the venue, previously known as Wolverhampton Civic Hall, on November 20, 2017.

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 15 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • May 17 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Portsmouth, Virginia.
  • 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 7 – An advance screening of “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will be held in New York.
  • June 8 – An advance screening of “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will be held in New York.
  • June 9 – An advance screening of “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will be held in New York.
  • 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 – Advance screenings of “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will take place across the US. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Bonner, Montana.
  • June 23 – “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will be released in the US. 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 27 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Asheville, North Carolina.
  • 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 – “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will have its UK premiere at Sundance London. 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.
  • July 14 – “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will be released in the UK.
  • 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.

Many thanks to James Cook

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



It’s that time of year again…

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

Turning the clock back 48 years..

ticket 23

Friday May 23, 1975

Ticket Price £1.00

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. San Francisco)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – The Crunge – Black Dog.

So imagine waking up on a Friday morning with the prospect of over nine hours of live Led Zeppelin in store over the next three days.

Talk about the weekend starts here!

But that was the treat in store as I went to catch the train on Friday May 23rd for EC gig 3. Earlier I’d had a passport photo taken in a booth in town suitably dressed in Earls Court T shirt and looking dazed and confused at the prospect of nine hours of live Led Zep ahead. (see pic here) I was due to fly out with Dec etc for our first holiday abroad to sunny Loret De Mar at the end of the month.

The days in between the first two gigs had been pretty non stop. Tuesday at short notice Fiona and I went to see Swan Song artists The Pretty Things support Status Quo in Ipswich with the Atlantic rep who called on the WH Smith record department I worked in. A truly great gig it was too. Next day he brought in to the shop 30 copies of the limited edition UK Trampled Underfoot single – yet another bonus!. Thursday was spent soaking up the music press with the arrival of the NME and Melody Maker front covers (those cover pics were just awesome!) – The excitement just didn’t stop.

After the frantic pace of attending the two first gigs, Friday seemed a much more relaxed affair and I took much more in. The weather was good too and beforehand Fiona and I drank a bottle of wine in Hyde Park. Then it was to SW8. The view this time was the opposite side to last week and we scrambled down a few tiers taking some empty seats. A full on if slightly distant but clear view on Jonesy’s side. From the moment Plant gave out an excited Immigrant Song ”Aha ah” squeal as Bonzo and Jimmy did the usual warm up, well it was so evident they were up for it. Fashion note: For this night only Robert wore the cherry wrap around shirt he’d favoured on most of the ’75 American tour.

Following Rock And Roll and Sick Again Plant attracted huge cheers when he explained: “Last week we did a couple of warm up dates for these three nights, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We believe that these were the first three gigs to be sold out so these must be the ones with the most energy stored up because you’ve been waiting…”

They had fared pretty well in the press, garnering memorable front page cover stories in both the Melody Maker and NME. However Charles Shaar Murray’s slightly less than complimentary review irritated Plant enough for him to throw in a couple of press digs on stage.


The freewheeling on-stage energy was evident throughout, with Plant at his most gymnastic vocally, throwing in verses from You Shook Me at the close of a thrilling In My time Of Dying, and keeping up his Healey references with a “bye bye Denis” during the song’s close. Before Kashmir Plant explained he’d just had a vaccination in preparation for their impending exile… “‘Ready for when we go hunting in the jungle for new words and new songs for a new album.” He and wife Maureen were due to leave the country on Monday.

It’s worth mentioning that tonight’s version of Kashmir did not go entirely to plan – they missed the cue after Robert’s “Woman talkin’ to ya” ad lib, coming in a few bars late – an illustration that these shows, like many others, had their fair share of musical mishaps born of tendency to leap before they looked – but Led Zeppelin live on stage was never about perfection. It was that air of unpredictability that made them such an engrossing live experience.

Other highlights: Another truly scintillating Page solo in Over The Hills (one of the very best ever), , the image of Page swathed in blue light up on the screen delicately picking out The Rain Song with such lyrical finesse, Tangerine yet again so moving and the intimacy of the acoustic set.

During Dazed And Confused they brought back a revival of the previously much deployed ‘San Francisco’ insert. Stairway To Heaven was introduced with the cryptic shot at NME scribe Shaar Murray: ‘’I believe there’s a psychiatrist on the way, Charles. Just hang on!” They left the stage to the hum of feedback and the swirling lighting effects provided by the mirror balls suspended above the stage – another nightly Earls Court ritual.

“Thank you very much England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland… and may the best team win!”

This time we did miss the train ( a trend that would continue) and we hung around Kings Cross finally getting back to Bedford at 4.30am. It was now Saturday May 24th and this one was going to be the big one. Second row seats beckoned. Who needed sleep with that prospect ahead

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

nicky horne intro

Turning the clock back 48 years..



Ticket Price £2.50

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.

My friend Dec had queued up for these tickets for this one over night when they went on sale in March. Seven of us went from Bedford ) We went shopping in Oxford Street where I brought a pair of hip mirror shades for the Lorret holiday to follow. Then it was over to Earls Court in the afternoon – one of our crew Gary Felts had made a top hat ala Slade’s Noddy Holder with Zep photos around it which got plenty of attention in the pub beforehand.

So into the arena – walking along the aisles and up to the front of the stage, well you can imagine the feeling. We were just so close to Bonzo’s drum kit-and the amp set up. It was so amazing. I was second row to the right of the stage – Jimmy was literally a few yard way. We posed for a photo in front of the stage before the show.


Four of the Bedford Crew in front of the Earls Court stage May 24th 1975 – DL with mirror shades and patchwork jeans, Dec with his school scarve (I kid you not), Phil H with denim coat as advertised in NME and Gary Felts with custom made Zep top hat. Having (one of )the time (s) of our lives….

So what can I say – being in such close proximity to one of the highest profile gigs Led Zeppelin ever performed, well it was beyond compare really.

Images ingrained on my brain for the past 45 years: Watching Jimmy slither across the stage as they hit Sick Again, Plant seemingly lost in a trance right in front of us as Page did the solo in Over The Hills, dry ice seeping above us over the front rows in No Quarter (should have bottled it –imagine that on ebay!), Jimmy holding the Gibson double neck aloft during the Song Remains intro, the stand up microphones being brought out for the four part harmony of Tangerine, being so close to them clustered together for the acoustic set (incidentally listen to the various soundboard bootlegs – just before Going To California Robert introduces the song saying ‘’This is a song about the would be hope for the ultimate…for the ultimate’’ – after which you can hear a distant yelled squeal just before somebody starts whistling – that’s my squeal folks), Trampled Underfoot and the revolving lighting creating a real sense of speed, the normally reserved Dec next to me going crazy in a manner I’ve not seen since, Page’s violin bow and going ”Ahhh’! as the lasers spiralled above us. The last few moments of Stairway as the mirrorball created that swirling spinning effect and thinking I must have died and gone to heaven!

A combination of my familiarity with the much bootlegged soundboard tape – not to mention the fact that I was lucky enough to be in the second row – has elevated this show to a night I will never forget. It remains one of the greatest gigs the band ever played, certainly the most accomplished I ever witnessed.

At the helm was Plant’s rapport and enthusiasm, and Page’s joyously deranged playing. Witness Plant’s heartfelt “This is for our family and friends and the people who’ve been with us through the lot” speech before a particularly melodic and caressing version of Tangerine, and superb phrasing during That’s The Way. Witness Page’s absolutely out-there-and-who-knows-where-it’s-heading solo on a ferocious Trampled Underfoot, the ending of which somehow collided with lines from Gallows Pole.

And then there was ‘No Quarter’. If the May 18th version stands as the definitive JPJ exercise, this May 24th version saw Page staking his own claim on the proceedings, emerging from the dry ice to layer on a series of solos, each quite exquisite in their delivery and command.

After That’s The Way, Plant sings a few lines from Neil Young’s ‘Old Man’ and jests: “This is all a preview for the talking shows we’re gonna do in the Fall… when we’ve really made it!”

Trampled Underfoot was another stand out performance after which Plant ad-libbed lines from Little Richard’s Rip It Up. “I’m not upstaging anybody, am I?”

Add on a truly memorable Dazed And Confused with the best version of Woodstock ever played live, plus an affecting Stairway To Heaven and a galvanic Whole Lotta Love/Black Dog encore and you have the definitive Zeppelin in-concert experience.

Hey anEarls Ct-03d add England beating Scotland 5-1 into the bargain! Not that Bonzo cared that much: “I think football’s a load of bollocks,” he bellowed, ambling up to the mic as they came back for the encore. Plant retorts: “I’d like to say that soccer’s a wonderful sport, the best sport!”

The Whole Lotta Love encore included James Brown’s Sex Machine ad-libs and Let Your Love Light Shine On Me.

The encores with the neon sign lighting up…Plant strutting over to our side in Black Dog and looking straight at us and smiling.

It was just too much. We left in a dazed state -how could we not – we had just seen Led Zeppelin at the ultimate vantage point. Nothing else mattered right then.

Certainly not rushing for the train. We predictably missed the last one back and slept on the station amongst several disgruntled Scotsman –sore at the 5-1 England defeat.

Finally it was back to Bedford at 8am. The party was drawing to an end, but there was a final memorable date with Earls Court remaining…and one that really would cement for all time my addiction for this band.

Above pic by Stuart Whitehead.


There were other events going on aside from Zep at Earls Court on that epic Saturday. In the afternoon England beat Scotland 5-1 at Wembley – a result that made for quite a few depleted and drunken Scots as we made our way to Earls Court. For the record England’s scorers were Beattie, Bell, Johnson and two from Gerry Francis. (Sorry Billy F!)

The England line up that afternoon read: Clemence,Whitworth,Beattie,Bell,Watson,Todd,Bell,Channon,Johnson,Francis,,Keegan,sub Thomas.

Can’t say Bonzo would have been too excited over this result. ”I think football’s a load of bollocks” was his no nonsense summary as they came back on for the encore.- a retort to the numerous soccer references Plant had made on stage during the gigs.

Some 24 years later history would repeat itself when I watched England triumph 2-0 over Scotland at Hampden in the Euro 2000 play offs before setting off to see Robert perform with the Priory at the Red Lion Birmingham. In stark contrast to Earls Court’s 17,000 ,there were just 300 were in the pub that night.

fluff 25

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

Turning the clock back 48 years..

SUNDAY MAY 25 ,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. San Francisco)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – The Crunge – Black Dog/Heartbreaker/Communication Breakdown (inc. D’yer Mak’er).

So the party was nearly over. Got up at 1pm and on the train at 5. Very busy around Earls Court – the unofficial programmes and posters were doing brisk business.

We had an excellent view for this last swan song – a straight face on view on the back tier front stalls. I remember vividly Alan Freeman’s introduction ”We are here today because you and I have great taste…”.

There was a sense amongst us all of this show being the last as Plant put it in his opening speech for ”A considerable time”. ”Still there are always the 1980’s” – what an ironic statement that was to prove.

The arrival of that soundboard tape of this performance a few years ago revealed that the band were completely at ease that final night. Free from the pressure of the opening gigs, clearly looking forward to their summer break and respective tax exile travels and content in the knowledge that their public acclaim at home was at a new height, well they could just lay back and enjoy it.

That’s exactly what they did, performing with a great sense of camaraderie. Given that freedom, this performance easily rivalled the previous night and often exceeded it. May 24 remains my personal Earls Court favourite, but May 25 was the best group performance of the five nights.

There were still many great moments to savour before the final exit: Page’s free form solo on Over The Hills – right out there as he closed his eyes and drifted off – thoughts maybe of life in far off places the next week; another refrain of You Shook Me during In My Time Of Dying; Plant playfully scat singing ad-lib lines of Friends and Mystery Train before ‘Bron–Y-Aur Stomp’; the San Franciso insert returning during what would be the final live complete version of Dazed And Confused with John Bonham; and then on into the home straight with an emotional ‘Stairway’ preceded by Plant’s moving reference to his daughter Carmen:

“Well Carmen, here it is – this song’s to a little girl who sits there probably wondering what it’s all about… So, where is the bridge? So Carmen, here’s your chance to find out where the bridge is… and if you know, please let me know after the show.”

Fittingly, they added some extras for this final flurry: after the usual ‘Whole Lotta Love’/’Black Dog’ they returned to the stage again to perform Heartbreaker, Plant shouting out “Any requests” in a manner he would repeat at Live Aid ten years hence. They stayed on stage to decide what to do next, and at the suggestion of a cameramen pulled out ‘Communication Breakdown’. It said everything about the spirit of Earls Court that this final statement carried a final twist, Plant ad-libbing lines from the never before played live D’yer Mak’er, aping the reggae style of the then emerging Bob Marley. The extended middle section featured a spontaneous series of instrumental stops and starts between Page, Jones and Bonham.

“Well it’s been about three hours and forty-five minutes. It’s time we went back to listen to some Bob Marley & The Wailers. Thank you very much for showing us we’re still alive and well. And it’s goodnight from me and goodnight from you. Good night and watch out for the holy grail.”

There was a party inside Earls Court after the final show attended by all the group and various guests including Jeff Beck, Chris Squire from Yes, Alan Freeman and Bob Harris. Music was supplied by Gonzalez and Dr Feelgood. The next day Plant left England for Agadir with his wife Maureen, subsequently meeting up with Jimmy in Marakesh for a spate of travelling that would inspire the song Achilles Last Stand. The plan was for the group to reconvene in Paris in August to prepare for a series of outdoor dates in America due to commence in San Francisco later that month.

The events of August 4 would change all that. On that day, holidaying in Rhodes, Robert and his wife were seriously injured when their rented car spun off the road.

It was the first of a series of misfortunes that would dog the band for the rest of their career. The glory days were over.

In retrospect, those glory days ended as the four of them left the Earls Court stage for the final time late on the evening of May 25, 1975.

More DL personal thoughts:

Great moments on the final run in: Page’s free form solo on over The Hills – right out there as he closed his eyes and drifted off – thoughts maybe of life in the Agadir the next week…Another refrain of You Shook Me at the end of In My Time…the San Francisco insert back in for what would be the final full version of Dazed And Confused ever played. An emotional Stairway with Plant’s moving reference to his daughter Carmen ”A song to a little girl who sits there and who wonders what it’s all about”…and then the encores.

When it was apparent they were coming back again after Black Dog we rushed down to the side of the stage and had a great view of Heartbreaker and Communication Breakdown. The latter with its stop start reggae scat signing middle section was just utterly sensational.

I’ve just watched the DVD of that encore segment – for pure out and out Zeppelin in their own world and nothing else mattered vibe – it may be the best footage of them ever captured.

”And its goodnight from him….”

Anxious not to let this Earls Court experience end, we hung around the front of the stage. Going home was not an option. We had spent some considerable hours in this building over the past week and we did not want to let it go..and there was a vague notion just maybe… well surely it can’t possibly happen but maybe we could get a glimpse of our heroes…

Incredibly, as the arena emptied we were able to walk through the black curtain at the side of the stage –with no security guards around we were able to walk unchallenged through to the backstage area which comprised of various luxery caravans.

There sitting on a limo was Robert Plant – blue sparkled jacket (the same one he wore on the Midnight Special TV show interview  appearance in March 1975), white scarf and draped in bracelets and rings looking for all the world like a Greek god. Being right in front of Robert at that moment was just incredible. An unforgettable image. After getting over the sheer shock of seeing him, I asked the rather dumb question when would they be playing in England again. ”There’s a lot of traveling to do first” was his reply. We walked across to the entrance where the aftershow party was taking place with Plant and his wife Maureen and Rusty from Showco . Robert sang a few lines from Kashmir as he scuttled through the entrance. We also saw Bonzo, Jonesy and Jimmy arrived along with Chris Squire from Yes, Bob Harris and Jeff Beck.

party ec

Robert at the Earls Court Swan Song party:

Knowing they would have to come out at some point we waited outside the party entrance. There was no way we were going anywhere until then!

About 3am I took a walk around the building and with no one around I was able to slip back into the arena –the entrance I took brought me direct onto the stage – yes incredibly I found myself on the Earls Court stage – now deserted except for some PA gear and Jonesy’s grand piano. It was an amazing feeling looking out from the actual focal point from where hours earlier Led Zeppelin had performed from. Standing where they had stood…

Eventually we saw them all leave the party at around 4am. Jimmy looking frail in white suit but keen to acknowledge the remaining fans – one of them asked how his finger was – ”oh fine now it’s so nice you all care”. Jonesy and Bonzo signed autographs and Robert looking rather out of it, was ushered through to the limos. That was our final view of Led Zeppelin at well after 4am on the morning of May 26th 1975.

…and coming down wasn’t easy!

Monday May 26th was thankfully a Bank Holiday and after arriving back home at 7.30am I then slept all day. The real cream on the whole week had been the fact I’d met them all and got their autographs – there was no plan of action to do that, it had just all slotted into place. Relaying it all to everyone back in Bedford was quite strange as it all appeared quite dream like. But it really did happen and I have the autographs to prove it!


Once back home I began scribbling down some notes on my Earls Court experiences. -this would eventually form the basis of the Earls Court feature in the first issue of Tight But Loose. Inspired by the likes of Nick Kent I started to formulate a feature I dubbed Earls Court Relived.

So that was the week that was – Led Zeppelin five times in the space of seven days. To say it has had a lasting effect on me is an absolute understatement. It really was the moment my life switched into colour.

There would be many dazzling episodes ahead, but perhaps nothing with the sheer uncomplicated joy and optimism of that week in May 1975 all of 48 years ago.

They were, are and always will be the glory days of Led Zeppelin…

Dave Lewis – May  17 2023

And then two years later this happened…

TBL Archive : Heathrow Airport – 45 years Gone:

46 years ago on Tuesday May 17,1977 , I awoke with the day’s mission being to hook up with the members of Led Zeppelin – and incredibly that is exactly what happened.

As this story that appeared in TBL issue 18 explains, any plans to actually go out and see them perform live in America had been thwarted by a serious lack of funds. My then wages of £22 per week earned working on the record and tapes department at WH Smith in Bedford was never going to get me to Madison Square Garden.

As a mad keen fan of just 20 years old, I knew there had to be another way to see them. With invaluable help from Unity McClean at the Swan Song office, I hatched a plan to go to Heathrow Airport to wave them off as they began the second leg of the tour.

I got the idea from all those newsreel films of The Beatles being waved off from airports by loads of screaming girls. I did not envisage too many screaming girls being there but I did think it was a relatively feasible way of seeing them.

Unity very kindly supplied me with the timings and so it was on Tuesday May 17, I set off from Bedford to achieve my quest. I stopped off at the Swan Song office to catch up with Unity. I even got involved in running a few errands – not uncommon whenever I visited. I was dispatched to the local Kings Road newsagent to buy copies of the first day’s edition of the Evening Standard. This was to check that they had carried an apology for a mistaken identity story involving a false Robert Plant story they had run with the previous day.

Unity was well pleased to find it in there and immediately biked over a copy to Peter Grant. Back in the office Unity gave me various photos to get signed. I then took the tube to Hatton Cross and boarded a bus from there to get to the terminal. Back then there was no direct tube line into Heathrow.

I arrived at Heathrow just after 4pm. A couple of Welsh fans Russ Rees and Peter Jones (who I am still in touch with) were also there. Outside the main doors John Bonham was holding court by one of the limos chatting to Richard Cole. John Paul Jones arrived wearing a union jack cardigan – it was the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year and patriotism was well high. Unity later told me Jonesy had laughed when he had seen the pics I took as the jacket had fallen to pieces soon after.

Robert kept up the royal theme wearing a badge of the Queen. Robert arrived soon after looking every inch the rock god. The first photo shows me following him across the road -Robert carrying his own luggage –  he only had to ask and I’ve gladly helped him out !

The mood was very upbeat and friendly. I talked to Robert about how the tour was going and he relayed how much they were enjoying it. A roadie came in on the conversation and Robert mentioned how much he liked Maria Muldaur’s Midnight At The Oasis song.

Robert and JPJ were more than happy to sign my photos and pose for a pic. I’m carrying the photos I took along and look at those badges – dinner plate size! I’m wearing the jacket I regularly wore for work.  I look as proud as a peacock and that’s exactly how I felt. It was just incredible to be in their company – my idols right next to me!

Robert kept on joking about Jimmy’s whereabouts as he was running late. ”Where’s Patti Page ”? he kept repeating. Jimmy arrived in a Range Rover driven by his driver Rick Hobbs. He looked a little unsteady in a white suit but soon began joking and chatting with the others. I chatted to him for a couple of minutes.

I finally left them as their flight was called around 6pm. it was an absolutely thrilling experience and I made my way back to Bedford in something of a daze. I was due to play in a Wallbangers football match that night but arrived too late -not that it mattered too much as we won 11-0!

The next day I relayed these tales to my Mum and Dad and then girlfriend Fiona. In the morning I was back behind the counter selling records at WH Smith while Led Zeppelin took to the stage in Birmingham Alabama. There’s some amazing cine film of that gig and when I watch it I always marvel at the fact that I was one of the last people to talk to them in England before they left for yet another trail blazing tour of America.

Exactly two years to the day of the first Earls Court concert, I had experienced yet another incredible occasion in their company. Like all these occasions, it enhanced my enthusiasm to follow this group and it’s music with increasing passion love and devotion.

46 years on from that remarkable experience, that passion love and devotion remains ever strong….and that afternoon in Heathrow Airport is a memory that shines ever brightly…and one of many that will be in my planned DL memories book for sure…

Dave Lewis – May 17 2023

Thanks to Russ Rees and Peter Jones for the photos.  


A Tribute to Jeff Beck Concerts…

The two Tribute To Jeff Beck concerts take place next Monday and Tuesday May 22/23.

I am aiming to be at the second concert on Tuesday May 23

I’ll be visiting the nearby Queens Arms pub beforehand and look forward to seeing fellow fans who are attending – here’s the pub info

The Queens Arms

30 Queens Gate Mews,




From The Albert Hall: Walk past the Albert Hall towards Kensington, turn right into Queens Gate, and take the next right onto Queens Gate Terrace the first right into Queens Gate Mews. The pub is in front of you.

From Gloucester Road Tube Station: Turn left, cross over Cromwell Road then take the 4th turning on the right (Queens Gate Terrace) approximately 150 yards on the left is Queens Gate Mews. The pub is in front of you.

Here’s more info:


Friday May 12:

The excellent new issue of Uncut is in the house – Nick Drake cover feature with a preview of the forthcoming new book Nick Drake The Life by Richard Morton Jack which I am very much looking forward to…this issue also has a great Stephen Stills piece on the recording of his debut album in 1970…

Friday May 12:

More great reading in the new issue of Mojo – Joni Mitchell, more on the forthcoming Nick Drake book , Colin Blunstone ,Teardrop Explodes and more – count me in…

Saturday May 13:

Saturday is platterday – marking the Birthday of the late great Peter Overand Watts of Mott The Hoople so on the player some early morning Mott…

Saturday May 13:

Saturday is platterday – and hoping to find a few at todays record fair in Ely…

Saturday May 13:

Well pleased to pick up a set of Free reissues remastered series from the excellent Ely record fair – top result!

Saturday May 13:

I am always on the look out for interesting copies of The Beatles White Album so I was well pleased to find this direct metal master pressing on the Parlophone label at the excellent Record Fair in Ely today- you can never have too many copies of this epic double album…

Sunday May 14:

Great to see a big spread in the Daily Mail yesterday adapted from my good friend Patrick Humphries ‘ new book Cleopatra and the Undoing of Hollywood: How One Film Almost Sunk the Studios…
It’s published on May 25 via The History Press

Monday May 15:

Getting in the mood for the Brian Jones documentary on BBC 2 – on the player The Rolling Stones Out Of Our Heads…

The Stones and Brian Jones – Nick Broomfield’s BBC 2 documentary:

A very good telling of the life of Brian Jones – some amazing footage and Bill Wyman explaining Brian’s impact on their records was brilliant. He was a very complex character with a very complicated love life.

Have to say the mysterious circumstances of his death was all but ignored and the impression that the Hyde Park show was staged as a tribute to him was slightly misleading –they had announced that show weeks before he died.. oh and no mention of Jimmy Page’s contribution to Brian’s A Degree of Murder soundtrack…
Overall though, a compelling watch that put into perspective Brian’s crucial influence on the band in their early years – before it went sadly wrong for him.

Tuesday May 16:

It’s a Happy Birthday today to Mr Chris Charlesworth –  renowned rock journalist and book editor who was right there reporting on and interviewing the likes of The Who, Led Zep, Bowie, Lennon etc in the golden age…

I have a lot to thank this man for as back in 1990 in his role as editor in chief at Omnibus Press, he commissioned my book idea Led Zeppelin A Celebration. It set me on my way and since and then Chris has sanctioned and edited further Led Zeppelin books I’ve been involved with.

Always a great support to all things TBL, his illuminating on the road tales of his association with Led Zep when he was with Melody Maker has lit up a fair few of the Zep conventions and fan meets I’ve helped stage – as some of you reading this will know.

His musings on his Just Backdated blog also light up many a day.

Chris has also been a great support to us personally over many years.

Given his status as an authority on all things Who related, it’s rather fitting his Birthday coincides with the original release date of The Who Live At Leeds album all of 53 years ago yesterday.

Long may you ride that magic bus Chris… Happy Birthday from Janet and I – have a great day!

Tuesday May 16:

It was 53 years ago – The Who Live at Leeds…
On the player marking its original release 53 years ago today, the brilliant Who Live at Leeds – right up there with the very best live albums of all time.
I vividly remember reading the NME review by Roy Carr back in 1970 in total awe knowing how good this was going to sound…
I had great fun writing the front cover lead feature on the album for Record Collector back in 2010…

Wednesday May 17:

Latest DL charity shop CD finds…
Beatles Anthology 1 plus a whole lotta Elvis going on.…

Update here:

Busy on various things here – my back is still sore and achy but getting on with stuff. On the football front, good to see nearby Luton Town have made the Championship Play-Offs and here’s hoping they can overcome Coventry  a week on Saturday to reach the Premier League.

Latest playlist providing the musical inspiration as follows:

Led Zeppelin – No Quarter Earls Court May 18 1975 – Red Devil LP

Led Zeppelin – Earls Court Arena 2405 Evoluzione – 4 CD set

Led Zeppelin – When We Were Kings  Earls Court May 25 1975 – 4CD set

Yes – Live at Knoxville Civic Auditorium 1972 – 2LP Record Store Day release

The Rolling Stones – Aftermath LP

The Jeff Beck Group – Beck – Ola LP

Beck Bogart & Appice – Beck Bogart & Appice LP

Eric Clapton – There’s One in Every Crowd LP

Free – Fire and Water – expanded reissue CD

Joni Mitchell – Miles of Aisles CD

Crosby Stills & Nash – Crosby Stills & Nash – expanded reissue CD

Thanks for listening…   

Until next time…

Dave  Lewis –  May 19, 2023

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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  • Graham Rodger said:

    Re. Sundance Classic Rock Band and John Lynam:

    “John later worked as a session player with many different artists including Led Zeppelin…”

    Can you tell me in what capacity John Lynam played on Zeppelin material? Apart from Viram Jasani, Sandy Denny, Ian Stewart and a whole bunch of uncredited Bombay musicians, I never knew anybody else featured on a Zep track other than the members of the band. Many thanks.

  • Hiroshi said:

    To all who will attend the Tribute To Jeff Beck concert —
    Initially it was to start at 8:00 PM, and it is printed that way on the ticket, but the schedule was changed lately and now the show starts at 7:30 PM. Please be aware.

    Approximate schedule:
5:30pm Restaurants and bars open
    6:30pm Box door open
    6:45pm Auditorium doors open
    7:30pm Event starts
    9:30pm Interval (25 minutes)
    11pm Approximate end

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