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27 March 2024 1,119 views No Comment
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John Paul Jones back on stage…
These reports via Led Zep News…

John Paul Jones played a rare solo show on March 22 in Knoxville, Tennessee as part of the Big Ears music festival.

Jones began the performance by playing a Wurlitzer pipe organ, rising from the organ’s pit wearing a pair of metallic silver shoes and performing “Your Time Is Gonna Come” from Led Zeppelin’s debut album on the instrument that was originally installed in the theatre in 1928.

“It was such fun, I couldn’t resist it,” Jones said of playing the organ later in the show.

Here’s the setlist for the performance:

  • Your Time Is Gonna Come (on Wurlitzer pipe organ)
  • No Quarter (on grand piano)
  • Down To The River To Pray (on triple neck electric mandolin)
  • Ramble On (on bass guitar)
  • Nosumi Blues (on lap steel guitar)
  • When The Levee Breaks (on lap steel guitar with a snippet of In My Time Of Dying at the end)
  • Since I’ve Been Loving You (on piano)
  • Improvisation (on piano)
  • Going To California (on mandolin)
  • Bass solo
  • No Quarter

The show began with Jones rising from the organ’s pit:

Jones then performed “Ramble On” playing a Fender Jazz Bass guitar. “I remember how this one works,” he quipped as he switched to the bass guitar.

“I was rabbit holing down the internet one day, as you do, and I see a thing that says John Paul Jones isolated bass. Isolated bass?! And it turns out that people use this software … it gets rid of all the less important things,” he said as he introduced the song. “So I listened to that … I thought, do you know? I’m sure nobody else has played an isolated bass part live.”

“Maybe the other parts were more important than I was letting on,” he joked afterwards.

Later in the show, Jones played “Nosumi Blues” from his 1999 album Zooma and then “When The Levee Breaks” on a lap steel guitar:

Jones also played “Going To California” on a mandolin. “This is what we used to call in Led Zeppelin ‘the acoustic set’,” he said. “I used to have 30 guys to do this stuff,” he said as he adjusted the microphone.

“Here’s a little number again, I used to do with other people. But here I am and here it is,” he said before the song.

Photographs posted online by attendees of the performance show Jones’ custom Manson triple neck guitar on stage along with a Fender Jazz Bass guitar, a Steinway grand piano and a laptop.

John Paul Jones performed with Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth in Knoxville, Tennessee on March 24 as part of the Big Ears music festival.

The performance was the final show Jones played during the festival after playing a rare solo show on March 22 and then performing as part of Sons Of Chipotle on March 23.

Jones and Moore played instrumental songs on stage together with Jones playing a Manson bass guitar featuring his symbol from Led Zeppelin’s fourth album and then a grand piano, according to videos and photos of the performance posted online.

Many thanks to Mike Tully for sending through the first reports and clips last Friday. 

My thoughts on Ovation celebrating 24 years of Teenage Cancer Trust concerts..
Sunday March 24 2024:
I’ve been lucky enough to catch a few  Teenage Cancer Trust concerts over the years notably  the remarkable night in 2002 when Jimmy Page and Robert Plant performed separately on a bill that included Gary Moore and Paul Weller headlining, Robert Plant & Strange Sensation in 2005, Them Crooked Vultures in 2010 , The Who performing Quadrophenia in 2011…
This Ovation night was scheduled to mark Roger Daltrey’s bowing out of curating the Teenage Cancer Trust shows and to acknowledge his remarkable 24 years at the helm of it all.
With a line up that included Paul Weller,Kelly Jones,Eddie vVdder and Robert Plant with Saving Grace,tickets were hard to come by but Richard Grubb and I secured a couple in the upper circle on the day they went on sale.
When Robert then announced a string of UK dates this period became very busy. So this Sunday date at the Albert became the third occasion of witnessing the brilliant Saving Grace in the space of a seven day period.
Given the prestige aspect of this  last night of the Teenage Cancer Trust shows, I knew it was one that was not to be missed.
However, getting in to London last Sunday was not easy. With work on the railway lines this meant there were no direct trains into London from Bedford. Instead a bus replacement service was laid on. So it was I found myself on a bus bound for Hitchin on a fairly bright Sunday afternoon. Throughout the journey the driver, obviously a reggae fan had the likes of Bob Marley & The Wailers playing. There was a certain irony when I identified this to be the 1979 live Marley album Babylon By Bus!
A quick zip over to Soho and there was another omen that indicated this was going to be a good day. Upon walking into the Sister Ray record shop I was greeted by the plaintive tones of Robert Plant singing If I Ever Got Lucky coming out of the overhead speakers. It sounded superb.
So to the magnificent Royal Albert Hall. Despite being high up in the circle area we had a clear sightline to the action and the sound was excellent throughout.
Paul Weller, Kelly Jones and Eddie Vedder all performed in an acoustic or semi acoustic set up. First up was Paul Weller as he put it caustically ”I’m the warm up act”.
I am a big Weller fan of many years standing so it was a joy to see him relaxed and in the zone with a mainly laid back set. His vocals were particularly strong and well suited to the material. Gratify and May Fly were early highlights and it was a delight to hear a run through of the Style Council’s Man of Great Promise. Rockets from the 2020 On Sunrise album was also excellent. Following a well received Wild Wood Roger Daltrey was brought on to duet on a lovely rendering of The Who’s So Sad About Us. A stomp through That’s Entertainment one of the finest songs ever written in my book sealed the deal.

In between the change over the brilliant version of Mark Knopfler’s Going Home (Theme From Local Hero)  and a cast of many was aired on the video screen. This new recording features  everyone from David Gilmour to Ronnie Wood, Slash to Eric Clapton, Sting to Joan Armatrading, Bruce Springsteen to Pete Townshend, Nile Rodgers to Joan Jett, Brian May to Tony Iommi, Joe Walsh, Sam Fender and many more The track opens with Jeff Beck’s final recording. This has been made available to aid the Teenage Cancer Trust and Teen Cancer America. it was a real thrill to hear it on this special night.

Enter Kelly Jones. I’ve been an admirer from a distance of his work with Stereophonics but seeing him in this context was a revelation. Opener Local Boy In The Photograph was packed with emotion. There was a nice touch when he spoke of his awe at being in such illustrious company tonight and referenced originally buying a copy of Led Zeppelin II. Maybe Tomorrow inspired mass audience participation as did Dakota.
Roger Daltrey received a deserved standing ovation when he came on to explain the impact the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts have had. This was further emphasised by the appearance of several young people who have benefitted first hand from the care they received via the Trust. Roger requested we all get are phone torches out which duly produced a stunning visual display across the hall. There a method in this too as he then told us to now text £10 via the text message link – -”If we all do that another 60,000 will come in”
The second half began with Eddie Vedder. I am not much of a Pearl Jam fan myself although again, I admire them from a distance. Elderly Woman Behind the Counter and a poignant My Father’s Daughter with his daughter Olivia were the stand out moments. He was joined by Simon Townshend for a version of brother Pete’s She Asked Me. Glenn Hansard was another guest vocalist. Porch from the Ten album was the set closer.
Then it was time for Robert Plant and Saving Grace featuring Suzi Dian. They were introduced by Roger and Robert mentioned seeing The Who on stage at the Stourbridge Town Hall way back when.
Of course I’m biased but Saving Grace really did take it all up to another level. Oli Jefferson’s full drum kit ( the first of the night) provided a welcome kick and the chemistry this band weaves transferred to the big stage with effortless ease. Although Robert made a wry comment that by playing the Royal Albert Hall they may be punching above their weight, this was entirely not the case. It was a captivating and compelling performance from the off.
Gospal Plow, As I Roved Out, Too Far From You – these songs have been regular companions  of the past few days. As has the brilliant Low cover Everybody’s Song. Angel Dance ramped up the tempo. Friends was a welcomed Zep throwback and there was just enough time for And I Bid You Goodnight.
As the singer stated ”It’s never too late to start again”
Leading into the grand finale there were video tributes to Roger from the likes of Dave Gilmour, Paul McCartney and Nile Rodgers.
And then there he was centre stage the man of the night. Roger’s vocals were incredibly powerful throughout. There was a nod to Pete T with a run through Let My Love Open the door, a jaunty Squeeze  Box (inspiring memories for me of The Who at Charlton in 1976) and then one of the highlights of the night – a peerless delivery of Giving It All A Way the Leo Sayer composition from Roger’s 1973 debut album.
The Way It Is was performed with Simon Townshend. After the Fire was another welcomed inclusion. Taj Mahal’s Freedom Ride followed – a deep dive into the funky blues. A shout out from the crowd for Substitute was duly addressed by Roger ‘ We don’t do Substitute -thats the other band.” Another surprise was the sweet ballad from the McVicar soundtrack Without You Love.
Finally Baba O Riley – a suitable celebratory ending with Robert, Eddie and Kelly back on stage to help out. Violinist Katie Jackoby ran riot across the stage for manic speeded up outro.
It was great to see the ex Robert Plant band guitarist Doug Boyle up on stage as part of Roger’s line up -there was a nice moment too when he and Robert shook hands.
Of course this was Roger’s night and it was a fitting musical tribute to all his work in generating millions for the Teenage Cancer Trust over the past 24 years.
Though he wont be curating things anymore, Roger will still be a part of it – his name is synonymous with the charity and always will be. He might  baulk at the idea and offer up some colourful language should the subject come up but isn’t it time for Roger Daltrey to receive a much deserved knighthood?
Whatever happens ahead – on Sunday he was our Sir Roger of Albert and we loved him for it…
Dave Lewis – March 27 2024
Beforehand it was great to hook up with Richard Grubb, Dave and Cindy Roberts, Jonathan Tayler and Owen, Mick and Berni Bulow, Kris Jantzen and Melvyn Billingham over from Italy and his nephew Tom. In the venue it was great to bump in to Debbie Bonham and Pete Bullick.

LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:

Here’s the latest round up from LZ News:

Jimmy Page

Genesis Publications has been selling rare Jimmy Page posters

Genesis Publications, the business Page worked with on his photographic autobiography and his anthology book, announced a deluxe poster set this week that contains a rare poster advertising the book “Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page”, according to an email sent by the publisher to subscribers on March 21.

The poster for the Los Angeles launch of Page’s book on November 11, 2014 was only sold in a deluxe box set that was limited to five copies that have now sold out. It will be release in June.

Robert Plant

Robert Plant has been touring with Saving Grace

Robert Plant’s UK tour with Saving Grace continued this week, with the band performing in Tunbridge Wells on March 18, Peterborough on March 20, Nottingham on March 21 and Hastings on March 23.

The band’s setlist for this tour continues to include “I Never Will Marry” which hasn’t been present in previous Saving Grace outings. Starting last year, Plant played a white bass guitar on the song “It Don’t Bother Me”, something he has continued this year.

John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones has been performing in the US

John Paul Jones began his first solo show in years on March 22 by surprising the crowd in Knoxville, Tennessee and rising out of the ground playing “Your Time Is Gonna Come” on an ancient Wurlitzer pipe organ while wearing bright silver shoes. Yes, really. We have video evidence. Here’s our article on the show which is filled with videos and photos.

Yesterday, Jones played at the Big Ears music festival again as part of Sons Of Chipotle. Later today he’ll perform for a third and final time at the festival with Thurston Moore.

Upcoming events:

  • March 24 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace at the Teenage Cancer Trust “Ovation” event in London, UK and John Paul Jones will perform with Thurston Moore at the Big Ears music festival in Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • March 26 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Liverpool, UK.
  • March 27 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Sheffield, UK.
  • March 29 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Blackburn, UK.
  • April 2 – “The Beach Boys” by The Beach Boys, including a contribution by Jimmy Page, will be published.
  • April 5 – “Led Zeppelin: A Visual Biography” by Martin Popoff will be published.
  • April 6 – The exhibition “The Wiltshire Thatcher – a Photographic Journey through Victorian Wessex” featuring the original photograph from the cover of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album will open at Wiltshire Museum.
  • April 20 – Jimmy Page is featured on the Yardbirds album Psycho Daisies that will be released on Record Store Day.
  • April 30 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Harrogate, UK.
  • May 1 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Stockton, UK.
  • May 3 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Coventry, UK.
  • May 4 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace at Cheltenham Jazz Festival in Cheltenham, UK.
  • June – Genesis Publications will release its deluxe poster set that includes a poster advertising Jimmy Page’s photographic autobiography.
  • June 2 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • June 4 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Camdenton, Missouri.
  • June 5 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Lincoln, Nebraska.
  • June 7 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Prior Lake, Minnesota.
  • June 8 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • June 11 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • June 12 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Highland Park, Illinois.
  • June 14 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Toledo, Ohio.
  • June 15 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania.
  • June 18 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Vienna, Virginia.
  • June 19 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Vienna, Virginia.
  • June 21 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss at the Outlaw Music Festival in Alpharetta, Georgia.
  • June 22 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss at the Outlaw Music Festival in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • June 23 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss at the Outlaw Music Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • June 26 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss at the Outlaw Music Festival in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
  • June 28 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss at the Outlaw Music Festival in Syracuse, New York.
  • June 29 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss at the Outlaw Music Festival in Wantagh, New York.
  • June 30 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss at the Outlaw Music Festival in Holmdel, New Jersey.
  • July 2 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss at the Outlaw Music Festival in Mansfield, Massachusetts.
  • July 6 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss at the Outlaw Music Festival in Bethel, New York.
  • July 7 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss at the Outlaw Music Festival in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
  • July 23 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Southend, UK.
  • July 24 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Woking, UK.
  • July 25-28 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace at the Cambridge Folk Festival in Cambridge, UK.
  • August 8 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Missoula, Montana.
  • August 9 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Missoula, Montana.
  • August 11 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Edmonton, Alberta.
  • August 13 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • August 14 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • August 16 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Seattle, Washington State.
  • August 17 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Seattle, Washington State.
  • August 19 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Eugene, Oregon.
  • August 21 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Murphy’s, California.
  • August 22 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Stanford, California.
  • August 24 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Paso Robles, California.
  • August 25 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Highland, California.
  • August 26 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Flagstaff, Arizona.
  • August 28 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • August 29 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • August 31 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • September 1 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Vail, Colorado.
  • September 15 – The exhibition “The Wiltshire Thatcher – a Photographic Journey through Victorian Wessex” featuring the original photograph from the cover of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album will close at Wiltshire Museum.
  • October 8 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Bari, Italy.
  • October 9 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Naples, Italy.
  • October 11 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Rome, Italy.
  • October 12 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Florence, Italy.
  • October 14 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Bologna, Italy.
  • October 15 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Turin, Italy.
  • October 17 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Como, Italy.
  • October 18 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Bolzano, Italy.
  • October 20 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Padua, Italy.
  • October 21 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Trieste, Italy.
  • October 23 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Brescia, Italy.
  • Follow Led Zeppelin News on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on news as it happens, and check for the latest news.
Many thanks to James Cook

Led Zeppelin Houses Of The Holy  – TBL 51st Anniversary Special:

51 years ago this week Led Zeppelin released their long awaited fifth album, Houses Of The Holy.

Here’s a round up of  House Of The Holy coverage collated eight years ago for the 40th anniversary:

March 2013 TBL Archive:

The sleeve…

Yesterday in London I  conducted an exclusive interview for TBL with one of the designers of the Houses  Of  The Holy sleeve.

Aubrey Powell aka Po, co-founded the album cover design company Hipgnosis with Storm Thorgerson in 1967. Hipgnosis created some of the most innovative and surreal record cover art of the 1960s, 70s and 80s for many of the big name rock bands of the era including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, Yes, Genesis, 10cc, Peter Gabriel, Bad Company, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Scorpions, Styx, Syd Barrett and Black Sabbath.

Hipgnosis were responsible for the Houses, Presence, The Song Remains The Same, In Through The Out Door and Coda sleeves. Po later moved into films and directed various Robert Plant and Firm videos –he also directed the No Quarter Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded film. He is currently working on a book of photographic portraits.

I met with him yesterday nigh on 40 years to the day of the releases of what he considers one of very best designs they created. This exclusive interview with Aubrey Powell, in which he discusses his working association with Led Zeppelin over the years will be one of the highlights of the next TBL magazine.

On this 40th anniversary I asked Po to summarise what the Houses Of The Holy sleeve means to him…

aubrey powell

Above -Aubrey Powell London – March 27th 2013.

”40 years on from completing this album cover, I’m still very proud of it. It’s one of the best works that Hipgnosis ever produced and it’s stood the test of time. Everybody still talks about it. You see in those polls of top ten album cover of all time , where Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon is always jockeying for a top three position with Houses Of The Holy.

 I think the reason why it’s stood the test of time is that not only are Led Zeppelin the greatest rock band in the world but because the image is stirring.

People look at it and really wonder what it’s about. There’s a narrative in there …what are these children doing? Where are they going? What’s caused this? What’s this huge glow on the horizon? What’s the story with this? Then the inner cover the image of the guy holding the girl above his head – that also has that sort of fairy tale quality about it. It just grabs people’s imagination and it’s very unusual for an album cover. It’s very different and people seem to admire that image.

At Hipgnosis, we never felt that the work we did would go beyond the year that we did it, possibly because we were always so busy – we were probably doing three album covers a week for various different bands for 15 years. During the time I didn’t really have an opportunity to say ‘oh isn’t that great, you know in 40 years time people will look it and say gosh that was an extraordinary piece of work.’ All I know is that I just worked very hard and loved what I was doing and I enjoyed the people I worked for.  I thank Led Zeppelin for giving us the opportunity to do these designs, because without them we would not have been able to so.

In my heart of heart of hearts, it very much represents that vinyl period of time – those 15 years of top quality vinyl graphics that we produced.

So yes…Houses Of The Holy all these years on, is a piece I’m particularly proud of’”

Aubrey Powell – March 27th, 2013.


Houses Of The Holy will certainly be on the player here today to mark its original release 50 years ago tis week. I purchased it on the day from Carlows record shop in Bedford. The sleeve of my original copy was signed by co- designer Aubrey (Po) Powell when he came here to film some Robert Plant memorabilia in 2005 – it says ‘’My favourite sleeve from the Hipgnosis stable’’

Back to the story….

Like countless fans across the globe on that spring Wednesday back in March 1973 ,as a 16 year old Zep obsessive I eagerly snapped up the album . I had been touring the record shops of Bedford daily for the arrival of this opus. This was in the years before I began working in a record shop myself.

At lunchtime I walked the short distance from British Home Stores where I worked to Carlows one of the seven record outlets in the town and laid down my £2.59 (it was an expensive album in the Atlantic deluxe price rang) took it out of the bag and simply gawped in teenage wonderment at the oh so remarkable sleeve.

What was all that about…?!

For me the sleeve sums up the pure mystery and evocative atmosphere of No Quarter.

My diary reveals that once home that night, I gave the album an initial blast before venturing out to play football in the local park (the clocks had just gone forward that week so it was now getting light at night). I was back in my Zep bedroom den straight after to get lost on their world in the album with the catalogue number (which I’d already memorised) K50014.

Now that is an important point –to get lost in their world…. because that is exactly what it was like as Brad Tolinski astutely noted in Guitar World

’Led Zeppelin were the best because they were the most exotic and imaginative of rock bands. And the fascination with the group continues because their music still sounds strange, wild and totally alien today as it did three  decades ago. Led Zeppelin music was designed to stimulate the imagination, to encourage kids to dream ,to see an open space beyond the grind of daily existence’’

That is exactly how I felt that March evening of 50 years ago. Given that my daily existence was spent in the stockroom of the aforementioned British Home Stores and that the UK at the time was a somewhat drab place to be with industrial unrest, the threat of IRA bombing,  to be transported to California sunshine and sweet Calcutta rain, as Robert Plant sang on the still riveting opening track The Song Remains The Same…well that was some ride for this particular 16 year old.

It’s incredible to think back at how important music was then in the pre download instantly accessible world.

There was no iTunes platform to preview the album, oh no – the only previews afforded was the screening of a very weird film to match No Quarter on the Old Grey Whistle Test the previous Tuesday and an airing of Dancing Days on Emperor Rosko’s Saturday morning radio show.

You coveted every word, you gazed at the sleeve, you memorised the lyrics (and for this album  every song lyric was printed on the inner sleeve). You lived these songs –they became part of your daily life, enhancing your mood, the soundtrack of falling in love and out…you lived and breathed them.

Like every other Led Zeppelin album, Houses Of The Holy more than fulfilled that premise in the coming months and years…

There were however some issues. By and large the press hated it – how shocked was I to read the Melody Maker review the next day that proclaimed ‘’Zep lose their way’’ accompanied by a very indifferent review by the usually supportive Chris Welch.

The problems? –well we all know that well enough:

The Crunge and D’yer Mak’er…two less than serious stabs at enjoying themselves at the expense of critics and perhaps fans alike- particularly the ones groomed on the hard rock of Zep 1 and II.

My learned friend Kevin Hewick in a summary of the album he has written for the next TBL magazine, notes as a 15 year old Zep fan back then being well confused.

‘’Then came ‘The Crunge’ !?!?! Were they joking? Well yes they were but this seemed like a somewhat lame joke.

Over on Side 2 ‘Dancing Days’ seemed a piece of poppy fluff and ‘D’Yer Maker’ was a ‘crunge too far’ for me, a somewhat limp novelty mickey-take of the Caribbean sound that was actually turning into a major force with The Wailers ‘Catch A Fire’ soon to reach our British ears.

This rather lightweight three track sequence did them a lot of damage in my eyes. They seemed to be merely mucking about, a cardinal sin in my pretentious chin stroking world of prog meaningfulness, yet it was also lacking the thrill of Bowie’s pop art glam razzamatazz.’’

Kevin does now have a high regard for the album noting that

‘Over The Hills And Far Away’ is everything you need to know about Led Zeppelin in one song, folk and rock rather than folk rock, their diverse strands united in the same song – more of his perceptive musings in TBL 35.

So Led Zep 11 it certainly wasn’t …

As for me… well need you ask – I loved it all!

But I have to say back in 1973 I was going through an intense period of musical discovery and not long after its release, my attention to Houses was somewhat diverted by other musical goings on…

The aforementioned David Bowie whose magnetic presence you could just not ignore that year…in April The Beatles double album retro sets 1962 -1966 and 1967 -1970 captivated me –as I’d just missed their golden period being too young. Other albums such as The Faces Oh La La, Paul McCartney’s & Wings Red Rose Speedway, Alice Cooper Billion Dollar Babies ,The Rolling Stones Goats Head Soup (I saw the latter at Wembley Empire Pool in the September) and in the autumn The Who’s Quadrophenia and Bob Dylan’s Planet Waves demanded my attention. I was at an age of discovering so much music…it was hard to fit it all in.

There was also an album called The Dark Side of The Moon released a week before Houses Of The Holy that would also make a bit of an impression on the record buying public.

Houses Of The Holy did not stay on the UK chart for more than a couple of months and was somewhat eclipsed (no pun intended!) at home by the abundance of fresh and vital music that year….

America as we know, had no such issues…

Overall though, Houses Of The Holy went on to become something of an underrated part of the Zep cannon.In hindsight, this was clearly a band that was pleasing themselves and their fans at the expense of what the critics expected.

The eclectic feel good content meandered from familiar hard rock through acoustic and orchestral arrangements, to brooding synth affairs and ’50s doo-wop/mock reggae  and funk pastiches.  It was all performed with a joyous abundance that mirrored the positivity that surrounded them at that stage of their career.

Back in Europe during the early spring on yet another tour, Robert Plant was quick to defend the album. In an interview at the George V hotel during their two-show residence in Paris in April 1973, he said “So there are some buggers who don’t like the album. Good luck to ’em. I like it and a few thousand other buggers too.  There’s only one way to function and that’s on stage. We’ve reached a high and we ain’t going to lose it. And no bad album review is going to change that.”

As it turned out, Led Zeppelin had the last laugh.

Following their UK and European dates that year, they embarked on  a two-legged assault on America for which No Quarter was a further Houses addition to their live set.

Zeppelin opened their US tour by playing two mammoth dates. In Atlanta they drew 49,000 on 4 May  while the next day a staggering 56,800 packed into the Tampa Stadium in Florida. This gave them the distinction of attracting the largest audience ever for a single act performance, beating the previous record held by The Beatles for their 1965 Shea Stadium show.

At the same time, the album ascended to the top of the Billboard US chart for a two week reign sandwiched between Elvis’s Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite and The Beatles 1967-1970 compilation. The US tour was an enormous success and by taking on PR Danny Goldberg this time around, they made sure the world knew about it.

By pleasing themselves, Led Zeppelin may not have pleased the critics, but they certainly pleased their ever faithful following.

After the release of Houses Of The Holy more fans than any other act in the world wanted to see Led Zeppelin play live.  It was the moment they stopped being a mere rock band and turned into a global phenomenon.

The  album that cemented that success is still held in high regard by the ex band members and fans alike. “There was a lot of imagination on that record.  I prefer it to the fourth album,’’ Plant remarked a few years back while Jimmy Page reflects “You can hear the fun we were having on and you can also hear the dedication and commitment.’’

Whilst their fourth album had been all about economy with everything in the correct place, Led Zeppelin’s fifth album was less about being perfect and more about letting loose and having fun.

Houses Of The Holy retains that pure feel good factor and all these  years on, stands as a pivotal album in the development of Led Zeppelin’s artistic growth.


I will certainly feel good when I spin this album today, just as I felt good back in my Zep bedroom den 50 years ago.

51 years has done nothing to diminish the love I have for this album and today it’s sounding as majestic as ever. I loved it at aged 16 and I love it aged 67 – 51 years on…

Dave Lewis  – March 28 2023

And there’s more…



Houses of The Holy

Companion Audio Disc

The Song Remains The Same (Guitar overdub reference mix) 5.30

All instrumental and you can plainly hear the guitar army unfolding and it’s total invigorating. The overdubs at 1min 03 and 5.02 are previously unheard. Listening to this epic opener in all its instrumental glory, it’s clear to detect that this was a forerunner for the similar guitar army assault on the senses delivery of Achilles Last Stand. A prime example of the guitar compositional skills of Jimmy Page. Just incredible.

The Rain Song (mix minus piano) 7.45

Slightly different vocal effect and the drums more prominent in mix at times. The piano is in there but buried deep within. John Bonham’s contribution – simply a revelation.

Over The Hills And Far Away (guitar mix) 4.22

Backing track instrumental. More echo on the guitar and JPJ bass is well up in mix. At 3mins 58 where the treated guitar section comes on the official album, there is a totally different acoustic guitar complete ending. The point where you expect the treated guitar part to come, in only for it to switch to an acoustic ending is wonderfully disorientating.

The Crunge (Rough mix) 3.16

Count in as on the album. Vocal and keyboards up in the mix

Dancing Days (Rough mix with vocal) 3.46

Noticeable for the a more heavy reverb on the vocals which reminded of Lennon’s work with Phil Spector’s on Instant Karma.

No Quarter (Rough mix with JPJ keyboards – no vocals) 7.03

Another standout highlight. Instrumental mix with JPJ piano prominent – theremin prominent and the drums crystal clear. At 4 mins 07 the Page solo has yet to appear and JPJ extends his keyboard input on grand piano sounding superb. His input here has the feel of the 1973 live versions. More keyboards overdubs as it fades. An enlightening mix that highlights John Paul Jones immense musicianship.

The Ocean (working mix) 4.28

No count in -cleaner solo at 1.45 leading into the -backing vocals down in mix. The ‘’la la la la la ‘’ vocal more pronounced in mix at 2.09. Robert’s addition ad-libs on the do-wop speeded up finale are slightly clearer.


One from last year…

Houses Of The Holy –  Happy  51st Anniversary…

Dave Lewis

March 28 2023 

his via LZ News:

Jimmy Page has released an early demo of “The Rain Song” to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the release of “Houses of the Holy”.

Page released the track, titled “The Seasons,” through his website on March 28 using the website’s “On This Day” section.

“On this day, 50 years ago to the day, ‘Houses of the Holy’ was released,” Page wrote. “My original idea for the opening tracks for ‘Houses of the Holy’ was that a short overture would be a rousing instrumental introduction with layered electric guitars that would segue in to ’The Seasons’, later to be titled ‘The Rain Song’. Again there would be a contrasting acoustic guitar instrumental movement with melotron that could lead to the first vocal of the album and the first verse of the song.”

“‘The Seasons’ was a memo to myself as a reminder of the sequence of the song and various ideas I’d had for it in its embryonic stage. I’d worked on it over one evening at home. During the routining of the overture now titled ‘The Plumpton and Worcester Races’, the half time section was born and the overture shaped in to the song, ‘The Song Remains The Same’. These rehearsals were done in Puddle Town on the River Piddle in Dorset, UK.”

“The first set of recordings were done at Olympic Studios with George Chkiantz. We then came to record at Stargroves, Sir Mick Jagger’s country home, and, like Headley Grange, with the Rolling Stones recording truck. ‘The Song Remains The Same’ was played on a Fender 12 string, the same one used on Becks Bolero, with my trusty Les Paul number 1 on overdubs in a standard turning. The ‘Rain Song’ was an unorthodox tuning on acoustic and electric guitars. On live shows, it became a work-out feature for the double neck.”

My thoughts on The Seasons:

My thoughts on The Seasons – demo version of The Rain Song by Jimmy Page…
What a wonderful surprise to mark the 50th anniversary of the Houses of The Holy album.
For what Jimmy has so pleasingly revealed is a complete six and a half minute instrumental sequence that would be further developed as The Rain Song. This is a work in progress demo that Jimmy mentioned in an interview as being lost.
From a thread on the Steve Hoffman Forums website.
Back in 2014 this was what Jimmy said in an interview exchange:
Q: Has any of this kind of material been lost over the years?
JP: Yes. I had a home demo of The Rain Song (from Houses Of The Holy), but unfortunately the tapes have been lost. Which is a real bastard.
Q: Was this a fully formed version of the song?
JP: Yes. I literally had the full piece from beginning to end. I had the Mellotron idea and everything on it. But the version of The Rain Song on the new companion disc is a really cool one. It’s got less piano on it, so you get more of the guitar textures. I really liked the version that we did on (1976 live album) The Song Remains The Same. I thought we were working it really well. These songs, you see, they’re recorded and they come out on an album, and then they were included in the live set, and they would start to mutate. That was what was so good about it. So the live version on The Song Remains The Same is quite different to how it is on the studio version.
Thanks to Dave Snively for that thread piece.
It would appear on the strength of this new posting on his website that Jimmy has discovered the aforementioned demo – and what a find it is..
Titled The Seasons it carries that revolving guitar motiv we know so well and every time it comes around it inspires a rush of familiarity.
The acoustic themes further develop against a backdrop of soothing mellotron sounds. It all builds towards what would emerge as the vocal climax.
You can just picture Jimmy back then in his home studio totally lost in a world of musical creation
This is on a par if not better than anything on the official Houses of The Holy companion disc and as vital a find as anything in the entire reissue series.
It tells us so much more about the development one of the pivotal moments in the Zep catalogue.
It’s emergence shines a whole new light on The Rain Song and in a confused unsettled world, playing it though brings a tranquil calm that says everything about the genius of the guitarist.
The Seasons is quintessentially Jimmy Page – an album of his demos in the style of Pete Townshend’s Scoop releases would be very welcome indeed…
Meanwhile revel in the beauty of this awesome piece…
Dave Lewis – March 2024


Dave Lewis Diary Blog Update:

Saturday March 23:

Saturday is platterday…
With the prospect of seeing the great Roger Daltrey at the Royal Albert Hall Teenage Cancer Trust Ovation concert tomorrow – on the player the brilliant Who Odds & Sods 2 LP set –this one the extended 2020 Record Store Day release..

Saturday March 23:

Led Zeppelin – Marquee 1971 ad

It was 53 years ago today…
It was all happening at the Marquee 53 years ago today…wish I had been at this one – luckily I was to be in attendance at one of the next Led Zeppelin London shows later in the year…

Saturday March 23:

Latest DL CD acquisition – got this today…
A fabulous compilations and the latest in the series. I have the previous sets and this latest package is stock full of hits, misses and curios from a memorable year in music that I remember very well…
The latest instalment of Grapefruit’s popular year-by-year overview of the British rock/pop scenes of the 70s.
• Featuring big hits, intriguing misses and key album tracks from 1974 as well as a clutch of alternative versions and unissued-at-the-time gems.
Although 1974 was dominated by the country’s crippling economic woes, the British rock and pop scene continued to flourish. The more creative element of the glam rock spectrum inspired a
host of new bands, with Cockney Rebel, Be-Bop Deluxe and Sparks coming through to establish themselves alongside genre heavyweights Roxy Music, T. Rex and Slade.
London’s pub rock circuit saw stalwarts Brinsley Schwarz joined by early Ian Dury outfit Kilburn & The High Roads, Ace (who scored a hit single with the timeless ‘How Long’) and Dr. Feelgood, whose aggressive attitude and slashing, guitar-based brand of tough R&B influenced a whole new generation of musicians.
Ace and fellow classic one-hit wonders Brian Protheroe and Splinter took their place in the singles chart alongside Rod Stewart, Status Quo and Bryan Ferry, while there were inexplicable misses for Ronnie Lane and former Bowie sideman Mick Ronson.
Many rock bands eschewed the self-indulgences of early 70s prog-rock to adopt a more streamlined sound, exemplified by vital albums from Thin Lizzy, Man and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.
Established mavericks Peter Hammill and Kevin Coyne continued to attract a cult following, Lesley Duncan and Bridget St. John represented the distaff side of the singer/songwriter scene, while Richard And Linda Thompson released the classic folk-rock album ‘I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight’.
Housed in a clamshell box that includes a heavily annotated and illustrated 48-page booklet, ‘Patterns On The Window’ features all of the above as well as key tracks from such names as Medicine Head, Procol Harum, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Nazareth, Pretty Things and many others. The result is a fascinating overview of another hugely enjoyable, multi-faceted year in
British rock and pop.

Sunday March 24:

Putting in some Sunday overtime in the TBL office en route to the Royal Albert Hall for tonight’s Teenage Cancer Trust Ovation concert featuring Roger Daltrey Paul Weller Kelly Jones and Eddie Vedder plus Robert Plant with Saving Grace featuring Suzi Dian who I quite l like actually Absolutely love – third time in seven days and feeling pretty blessed…
Sunday March 24:
Outside one of the finest buildings in London – The magnificent Royal Albert Hall for tonight’s Teenage Cancer Trust Ovation concert

Monday March 25:

It was 26 years ago today…
On March 25 1998 I was lucky enough to be right in the front for the performance of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant at the Shepherds Bush Empire – this is right up there in my all time greatest gigs – they were just awesome – here’s a clip of Rock And Roll – the late great Michael Lee on drums is also outstanding…
Monday  March 25:

Saturday is platterday – on the player marking 26 years ago to the day they performed a fantastic show at the Shepherds Bush Empire, the Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Walking Into Clarksdale album – this album inspires so many great memories of that era…

Tuesday March 26:

It was 26 years ago today…
Day two of an incredible three days
Following the brilliant Shepherds Bush gig the night before, 26 years ago today I was lucky enough to be in the audience at Elstree Studios for the recording of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant performing three numbers for future inclusion on Top of The Pops…next stop on this amazing week – the TFI Friday recording at Hammersmith Studios the next day…

Tuesday March 26:

Great to meet up earlier today with my lifelong friend Dave Corp, where the talk was the respective fortunes of Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Luton Town, childhood memories of Dents Road, The Dave Clark Five, Roger Daltrey and pubs. It’s always inspiring to be in this mans company – cheers Dave!

Tuesday March 26:

I am a keen collector of the 2 originals Of double album series.
These vinyl record releases were popular in the 1970s.
Issued via the Warner Brothers and Atlantic labels, each set re packaged two popular artists single albums (often their debut and second albums) into a bargain double album.
For example in the case of The Faces the pairing is the First Step and Long Player albums.
The original artwork of each album was retained for the gatefold inner sleeve while the front had a distinct generic title design.
An often garish cartoon image depicting either the artist or part of the original sleeve design, these sleeve artwork illustrations were all designed by Patrick v. Spreckelsen.
This album series originated out of Germany often without the artists being aware. This policy created a much sought after Led Zeppelin rarity.
In 1974 WEA as it was then known, decided to repackage Led Zeppelin I and II for release in Germany only under the 2 Originals Of banner.
When Zep manager Peter Grant heard about this he immediately requested that it be withdrawn.
As is well known, Grant managed his clients with an iron fist control and he was not happy about a release by Zep he had not sanctioned.
However, a few copies did go on sale for a short period and these sets are now much sought after by collectors with an asking price of £100 plus.
I was well pleased a few years ago to come across a copy in the London VIP Victoria record fair for a bargain £20!
So far I’ve collected 2 Originals Of by the following: The aforementioned Led Zeppelin, The Faces, The Mothers of Invention, Herbie Mann, Iron Butterfly, Ted Nugent, Fleetwood Mac, Little Feat, Van Morrison, Jesse Winchester, Gordon Lightfoot, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Neil Young, Stephen Stills, David Crosby & Graham Nash and Frank Sinatra.
I’ll be bringing one of these along tonight to the always excellent Pete Burridge Record Club at the Castle – hey Pete which one do you reckon ?

Tuesday March 26:

As ever some great stuff going down at the Pete Burridge record club at the Castle including the 2 Originals of Little Feat set I took along – top stuff…

Wednesday  March 27:

It was 26 years ago today:
Day three of three incredible days…
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant performing live on Chris Evans TFI Channel 4 TV show March 27 1998 – that was some moment and myself and the good lady Janet were lucky enough to be rocking down the front along with many other TBL comrades…the final blast of an incredible three days…Shepherds Bush Empire, Top of the Pops in Elstree, TFI in Hammersmith – truly amazing days of 26 years ago…
Wednesday March 27: 
The new issue of Shindig magazine is in the house – a bit of a special one too celebrating 30 years and 150 issues – all looking very good with an Animals cover feature and more…

Tuesday March 28:

It was 51 years ago…
Marking the 51st anniversary of the release of the Led Zeppelin Houses Of The Holy album – here’s a few Houses of The Holy items from the DL collection…

Update here:

As can be seen another hectic week – the Teenage Cancer Trust concert at the Royal Albert Hall being another very special occasion – and once again great to see so many friends and like minded fans along the way

Easter is upon is and on behalf of the good lady Janet may I wish you all a happy and peaceful Easter…

Thanks for listening

Until next time…

Dave  Lewis –  March 27 2024 

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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