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KNEBWORTH AND CHICAGO SPEEDY CINE FILMS/ OHIO ’75 FOOTAGE/LZ NEWS/TBL ARCHIVE SPECIAL PAGE & PLANT IN BUXTON 30 YEARS GONE/ WALKING INTO CLARKSDALE/DALLAS AND CODA TAPES BOOTLEG REVIEWS/YARDBIRDS/ RSD 2024/DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

19 April 2024 819 views 3 Comments
My thoughts on the Speedy 8mm cine film of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth August 4 1979 premiered last Sunday on YouTube…
Let’s cut to the chase – this is right up there with the the likes of the Bath Festival and LA Forum 1970 finds as one of the most important pieces of Led Zeppelin footage to emerge in recent years…
It’s important as from the ultimate fan vantage point, it vividly illustrates that for all the layoffs, the tragedies, the negative press, the punk and new wave movement, Led Zeppelin were still very relevant within a changing musical landscape.
Not only relevant but still magnificent…
That is fabulously evident from the moment Speedy’s cine camera tracks them blasting in to The Song Remains The Same.
His positioning looking up at the front of the stage slightly to the left, exposes a whole new viewpoint of this performance.
The massive screen behind them, the vastness of the stage, the video cameras – this cine film captures the entire Knebworth spectacle.
It’s a viewpoint I was incredibly lucky to share as I was more central and just a little way back as the action unfolded.
Speedy’s film offers an overview of the majority of the set albeit in fleeting clips but oh the memories it inspires…
So we see excellent film of The Song Remains The Same Celebration Day, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Over The Hills And Far Away, Ten Years Gone, Hot Dog, The Rain Song, Kashmir, Trampled Underfoot, Sick Again Achilles Last Stand (oh that white light engulfing the stage), Jimmy’s sensational violin bow episode, In The Evening, Stairway To Heaven.
I had shivers down the spine watching this and a great big lump in my throat by the end.
For a few fleeting minutes I was back in that field just outside Stevenage sharing a communal experience that few gigs before or since have matched.
Led Zeppelin had a lot to lose that day back in August 1979 – the reputations of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham were right on the line.
Thousands of us came as Plant observed ‘’On a blind date’.
They more than delivered. I remember coming away that night totally exhilarated and with a clear perspective that Led Zeppelin still had new places to go and Knebworth was a first step back to the glory days.
It remains a sad fact that a little over twelve months on John Bonham’s untimely passing would bring the curtain down – although as I always say so much remains and Led Zeppelin is always in the present tense.
This footage is therefore a wonderful remnant of an incredibly important moment in their history.
A moment that can be relived time and time again via this amazing footage.
Once again huge kudos to the late Speedy for capturing it all, and to the Led Zep film guys and everyone else who has brought this incredible footage to light.
Take a bow: 8mm film transfer by: The Genesis Museum @GenesisMuseum
Production by: Ikhnaton @ikhnaton
Audio Sync by: LedZepFilm @ledzepfilme abo:
And of course the late great Jim Kelly Speedy.
One final thing that occurred to me watching all this.
For it to really work at Knebworth that unique chemistry had to be in place and central to all that, was the notion that after all he had been through, Robert Plant needed to be totally feeling it.
Just as he was at the 02 many years later, he needed to really want to be the front man in Led Zeppelin again and it’s so evident he put his whole heart and soul in – he is so animated and on it
Of course they all were…Led Zeppelin at Knebworth was a triumph and Speedy’s cine film confirms that fact emphatically.
They were, are and always will be the best and nigh on 45 years on from that performance on August 4 1979, it remains an utter privilege to call myself a Led Zeppelin fan…and tonight anyone watching this magnificent film will surely be feeling the same…
Dave Lewis – April 14 ,2024

View the clip here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbBLgsuRfkM

And there’s more – Led Zeppelin Chicago  April 9th, 1977.

This cine film shot at the Led Zeppelin performance at the Chicago on April 1977 was premiered on YouTube on Saturday.

It’s another illuminating find – some 23 minutes again shot by Speedy from quite close to the stage. This again highlights the magnitude of the stage presentation for the 1977 US tour.

This is an infamous show at the beginning of the tour as they had to abandoned the performance at the end of Ten Years Gone due to Jimmy feeling ill.

it all starts impressively enough and there’s some scintillating shots of the interplay between the four – John Bonham can be clearly seen in view flailing across the Ludwig kit. Jonesy in smart shirt and using an Alembic bass. Jimmy in the white poppy top and trousers. Robert has a spotted wraparound top – one that was only worn for these dates.

There’s lips of The Song Remains The Same, Sick Again, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, No Quarter and Ten Years Gone. The latter footage captures John Paul Jones using an acoustic guitar -he would later deploy the Andy Manson three necked model for this track. During the closing solo Jimmy sits down and it’s evident something is not right.

The footage then captures Robert Plant making the announcement that they were taking a small break.   Jimmy is very lucky to be playing tonight”

View the Chicago footage here…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0e_BU894YY

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And yet more!

Led Zeppelin Ohio January 24 1975 footage!

This from Eric at LZFilm..

Here is some unseen footage from the band’s fifth show of the 1975 American tour, filmed by Don Andree. Don donated copies of his concert films to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s archives in 2018. Recently, after being in touch with the archive, LedZepNews reached out to Don, who was gracious enough to provide us with an unwatermarked copy and full permission to share the footage.

This footage is a large improvement over the other source we have and captures some incredible segments of How Many More Times. Note that 9:27 is silent as the existing recording cuts off the ending of the song.

Full story here via Led Zep news…

https://ledzepnews.com/2024/04/18/exclusive-a-previously-unseen-video-of-led-zeppelin-performing-in-ohio-in-1975-has-been-released/?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR056C-mmttF6px0uaogwVxpEuTW4ltqozvVEymZ6SjbsaGjn3jN7X5E8Vc_aem_AZtP3wywmr6gX602-RRMJiyfPpOmOlXMbDdQ94YmuNUjiUHo3dPxE20UGdGCp_RriMncnCNT54xwNj6WqXSs_7WH

Here’s the clip…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5htQ9xh_3-w&t=5s

Classic Rock news story here…

https://www.loudersound.com/news/led-zeppelin-ohio-1975

This is another enlightening clip and great to see a live How Many More Times only performed on the early part of the tour – and Jimmy throughout this performance is simply right on it

Thanks to Eric at  LZFilm, James at LZNews, and Don Andree for the share. Incredible stuff!

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LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:

Led Zeppelin

Two more videos from Speedy were posted on YouTube

Last week, we reported on the release of a previously unseen 51-minute 8mm video of Led Zeppelin performing in Montreal, Canada on February 6, 1975.

This weekend, two more videos shot by Jim Kelly, known as Speedy, were released.

The first video is a significantly upgraded video of Led Zeppelin performing in Chicago on April 9, 1977. This show is the band’s infamous third night in Chicago on its 1977 US tour which was cut short due to Jimmy Page falling ill.

The second video is a previously unreleased 8mm film of Led Zeppelin performing at Knebworth Festival in the UK on August 4, 1979:

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A rare test pressing of Houses of the Holy seemingly showed up in a record shop in Pennsylvania this week.

Siren Records posted on Facbook on April 8 showing what appears to be a test pressing for the album with white Sterling Sound labels that list the original title of “Overture” instead of “The Song Remains the Same” as the first song and “Many, Many Times” as the title of the third song instead of “Over the Hills and Far Away”.

Those original song names match a photograph of a box containing the album’s rough mixes posted on Led Zeppelin’s official forum by its administrator in 2017.

The test pressing had an asking price of $2,000 and the Facebook post was updated one day later on April 9 to state that it had been sold.

Showco website posts Led Zeppelin 1977 US tour requirements

The recently launched website Showco.co, run by the daughter of a veteran employee of the touring equipment business that worked with Led Zeppelin, has published a previously unseen document detailing the band’s requirements for its 1977 US tour.

The document is available on this page under the heading “In 1977”. It shows that in January 1977, Led Zeppelin asked Showco for stage equipment such as a smoke machine, a fog machine, a motorised drum riser and a mirror ball. Amusingly, planning item 17 for Showco is listed as “Find Method of Creating Flaming Gong”.

John Paul Jones

A new video surfaced of John Paul Jones’ recent show with Thurston Moore

Earlier this week, a 25-minute video was posted to YouTube showing a significant part of John Paul Jones’ March 24 performance with Thurston Moore at the Big Ears music festival in Knoxville, Tennessee. You can read our article on the performance with more photos and videos here.

Upcoming events:

  • 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 4 – Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss at Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic in Camden, New Jersey.
  • 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.
  • 2025 – An expanded version of Live at the Greek, the live album featuring Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes, is due to be released.That was our 336th email. Have any questions or feedback? Reply to this email and we’ll get back to you.Follow Led Zeppelin News on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on news as it happens, and check ledzepnews.com for the latest news.
  • Many thanks to James Cook

 

TBL Archive Special – Jimmy Page & Robert Plant at the Alexis Korner benefit show in Buxton – 30 years gone… 

30 years ago on Sunday April 17th 1994, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant performed together for the first time in four years at a special memorial concert for Alexis Korner. This was the first sighting of the newly reunited Page & Plant on stage -they were already rehearsing  for their MTV Unledded project which would eventually see them perform two special shows at the London TV Studios on August 25th and 26th. Robert Plant had initially been billed to appear but the rumour mill was soon in overdrive that he would be joined by Jimmy.

alexis 1

I had already cleared the way to attend when it was announced in early March Robert would be performing. Even up to the day it was uncertain to what was actually going to happen but when the TBL crew of Gary, Kam and I we arrived at the venue in the late afternoon there was no doubt that Jimmy Page was going to be in the house.

So it was in the unlikely setting of the Buxton Opera House we watched in some wonderment as Bob Harris introduced the pair and the long awaited reunion of the pair was on. They kicked off with a cover of Them’s Baby Please Don’t Go and then on to a very authentic I Can’t Quite You Baby ably assisted by Charlie Jones on bass and the late great Michael Lee on drums – my review of the time noting that he ‘’crashed and clattered in all the right places’’ –something he would do throughout the P & P re-alliance between now and 1998.

Ah the review…Alongside feeding back for TBL, I was reporting in it for Kerrang !then the main rock music paper and  given the low key nature of the event I was billed as an ‘’undercover Big K! reporter’ – ooerr!

My review went on to reveal they then played an up-tempo blues jam built around Don’t Stop Me Talkin’ and then a loose instrumental work out with definite Crunge like leanings.

Here’s some extracts from my review:

alexsis 3

And finally ’’At least two people haven’t played this song before’’joked Plant as Jimmy stepped on the wah wah pedal and teased out the intro to the classic Train Kept A Rollin’, a track Jimmy used to play with The Yardbirds before he formed Zeppelin and the same number that Zep used to open their set on their last tour in Europe 1980. Inevitably this one was met with a huge roar of appreciation and was performed with an irrepressible swagger that recalled so many past glories. And with that Page and Plant were gone..

This comeback proved conclusively that Page and Plant are more than happy to be back in each other’s company rekindling a partnership that was responsible for so much great music in the past. And judging from a delightful telling moment when Jimmy skipped around the stage chugging out a fierce blues riff against Robert’s incessant scat singing – the potential for this new alliance is awesome. Buxton might just have signalled a whole new beginning for the post –Zep era’.

Pleasingly that latter statement proved to be somewhat prophetic. By the end of August the pair had recorded in various locations and performed the memorable Unledded concerts which formed the contents of the No Quarter Unledded film aired on MTV in October and accompanied by the release of the soundtrack album.  The next year they hooked up with the Egyptian Ensemble and orchestra for an ambitious world tour that delighted audiences across the globe.

The initial spark of all this reunion activity occurred on this remarkable Sunday evening in the Derbyshire countryside all of 29 years ago.

Dave Lewis – April  2024

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TBL Archive 2:

TBL Archive – it was 36  years ago this week…
SUNDAY APRIL 17 1988
LONDON, ENGLAND
HAMMERSMITH ODEON

36 years ago this week I was very lucky to attend this Robert Plant gig during his Now And Zen UK tour
Jimmy Page joined Robert and his band for an extended cameo appearance – it was an unexpected delight for all those lucky enough to be in attendance. Originally scheduled to play on three encore numbers, Jimmy stayed on stage for half an hour, performing a stunning ‘Tramped Underfoot’, ‘Gamblers Blues’ (including snippets of ‘I Can’t Quit You’ and ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’) and ‘Rock And Roll’. It was absolutely sensational. ..an unforgettable night when the Page & Plant on stage chemistry was right before my eyes all over again …something I did not expect to see…

DL – April 17 2023


TBL Archive 3:

TBL Archive  – Jimmy Page & Robert Plant – Walking Into Clarksdale – 26 Years Gone:

To mark the release of the Walking into Clarksdale album 26 years ago this week, here’s a TBL archive piece that looks back to the release of the album.

On the back of the Shepherds Bush gig and all the media coverage, it was such a great time to be a Page & Plant fan. Here’s my original and very optimistic review of the Walking Into Clarksdale album written for TBL issue 13 in 1998.

 Walking Into Clarksdale: Another Walk With Walter

Q: When is a Led Zeppelin album not a Led Zeppelin album?

A: When it’s Walking Into Clarksdale.

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant : Walking Into Clarksdale (Mercury)

Well it’s certainly not ‘Led Zeppelin II as if anyone would have been daft to enough to think it would be! And initially, it may leave the listener slightly confused, but eventually this long awaited new studio album continues in the grand Page Plant tradition of moving ever onwards. In doing so they constantly refuse to merely retread the formulas of old and instead opt for innovation and surprise.

If anything, it’s something of another walk with Walter. I would draw parallel to the overall feel of the album with that of their spring 1972 Stargroves composition Walter’s Walk, which finally saw the light of day on Coda. That track has a monolithic feel that takes some plays to rise to the surface, and contains an intensity that initially may cloud it’s impressive content. But when it’s quality becomes apparent then it really hits home. So it is with Walking Into Clarksdale.

Whilst there are no blatant Zeppelin re-spray jobs, the album is littered with subtle elements of their past. One of the joys of the album is searching them out. One thing’s for sure though, this is an album that has to be worked at. However, given repeated listening, it does begin to fall into place, and the full fruits of their labour (all 35 days, if the press release is to be believed!) begins to unfold.

Much of the album carries a melancholic and wistful feel – presenting songs that carry a reflective lyrical theme. In tracks such as When The World Was Young, When I Was A Child and Heart In Your Hand, Robert seems to be pensively re-assessing events that have gone before (‘’Do your lips still call my name, would your mouth still taste the same’’). It makes for some of his most personal lyrical statements in song for a very long time. ‘’A bit of emotional debris,’’ is how he described the theme of some of the song’s to Mojo’s Matt Snow.

I’ve had many a memorable premier of their work in the past – I can recall vividly exactly where I was the first time I heard Physical Graffiti, Presence, Pictures At Eleven etc. – and this new Page Plant album was always going to be an epic initial playback. So there I was, holed up in the TBL office around 9pm on a cold early ’98 Wednesday night faced with the huge expectation of this new album, knowing that over the coming months these songs would be the soundtrack to my life and countless other like-minded fans across the world.

As the semi acoustic groove of Shining In The Light swung in it was a huge relief to finally be listening to new Page & Plant music. As that familiar guitar style oozed from the speakers and that voice opened up… well I knew I was in the best company again. Subsequently some of the content did seem to wash over on that initial hearing.

Having lived with it for a while now, well, it’s excellence is more than evident. It carries so much vitality and most importantly it carries a totally contemporary feel. This isn’t a museum piece as Jimmy stated recently, this is new music that can line up with any of the best of today’s modern outfits such as The Verve. Lets face it, there are few other songwriters of 30 years standing who can rival that feat.

In terms of the musical performance and production, Steve Albini’s role seems to have been more about capturing a clear sound than bringing in the rough edge that has been the focus of his work with The Pixies and PJ Harvey. Robert’s vocals throughout are a sheer delight, singing with clarity and conviction and aided by a very up-front vocal mix. Jimmy, meantime, appears to be concentrating on his strength as a craftsman of guitar sound rather than churning out endless solos.

Some may bemoan the lack of guitar army tactics but by adopting this method there is a subtlety and surprise element (that swift guitar change in the title track for instance) in his performance that is a joy to hear. Michael Lee once again more than  proves his worth to the set up ably supported by Charlie’s bass work. Aside from the odd cameo from Ed Shearmer and Tim Whelan, it’s the basic ‘four-man, live-in-the-studio’ format that has worked so well on stage in recent weeks.

Outstanding moments? Quite a few. The way they kick in relentlessly on the chorus of When The World Was Young, with all the spark of on the road spirit of ’72 Zeppelin. The way the string arrangement comes seeping in on Upon A Golden Horse – the whole track has the bizarre lyrical content that has lit up many a Plant prose in the past- and carries a great swirling sound reminiscent of Four Sticks.

Please Read The Letter opens with Sick Again like riffing from Page before settling into a very West Coast repetitive romp that echoes the work of Moby Grape and vocally, finds Plant aping the style of Roy Orbison. Most High comes over as almost a separate entity from the rest of the album with it’s Arabic tendencies offering a last glance back to the world of Unledded. I felt this sound-ed a little perfunctory as a studio track, however, it’s elevation as a live piece seems to have rectified those initial shortcomings.

The title track is a great throw back to the off-the-cuff rockabilly tradition of Candy Store Rock. With it’s jolting time change it could easily have taken it’s place on Presence, and that second solo is pure Telecaster heaven reminiscent of the fluttering style Page deployed on those final Yardbirds recordings (Think About It springs to mind).

Burning Up and House Of Love are where the guitarist steps up a gear. The former is embellished throughout by that crunching riff – a real slashing affair that jumps out of the speakers, propelled along by Lee’s tom tom barrage. It’s here that Page really steps on it, proving, if proof was needed, that he can pump those solos out in his sleep. The latter finds Page pressing down on the wah wah delightfully underpinning the incessant drum track in support of Plants “It’s just a little too much’’ pleadings.

Sons Of Freedom comes complete with a Prodigy like urgency aided by yet more impressive drumming – it’s vaguely in the style of Network News from Robert’s Fate Of Nations album, and jumps around feverishly before it all grinds to a percussive halt. It’s worth mentioning that after this track the Japanese version for the album carries the bonus Whiskey In The Glass, which is nothing more than a studio jam taped towards the end of the sessions. It’s set against a Bo Diddley Mona syncopated beat with Page playing that reverberated phased guitar style heard on Rude World, and Plant in his best ad-lib vocal, but fades prematurely at under three minutes just as it’s getting warmed up.

That leaves the trio of performances that best capture that aforementioned melancholy feel. Heart In Your Hand took a while to register, initially sounding like something from a Chris Isaac album. However this is one of the prime growers.Page plays some deft Dick Dale phrasing behind Plant’s reflective longing. Overall, the song captures a dark and brooding soundtrack feel.

When I Was A Child opens with a memorable reverberating tremolo. Then Robert comes in to deliver a haunting narrative that casts an oblique shadow over his past. Page adds a suitable restrained solo and at the finale Plant ad-libs the final lines with delicate finesse, “Oh you know, so I wander through your garden, grow, when I was a boy, I was a boy…” One of the stand-out tracks and one of Robert’s best vocal performances in years.

Then there is Blue Train. Opening with some slow moving bass and timpani before Robert’s mournful vocal seeps in. It then up-lifts via some strident Zeppelinish dynamics and features a beautifully plangent Byrds like jangling guitar solo constructed in a way that is just quintessential Jimmy Page. At the close Robert raises the tempo, “Hear the blue train, hear the blue train’’, before it all calms to a close. Lyrically, there’s a reflective longing that is as close to home for Robert as perhaps I Believe was.

For me When I Was a Child and Blue Train are performance’s to rank right up there with Ten Years Gone and Down By The Seaside, as they both display that unique emotional dynamism that has always characterised their best work.

So ends another walk with Walter. It’s not instant, and some of it takes a while to register but there can be no denying the sheer quality of this long awaited work. In the shadow of the Zeppelin, but essentially Page & Plant music of today, Walking Into Clarksdale may turn out to be one of the most durable and ultimately satisfying albums of their entire career.

Dave Lewis – April 17, 1998.

Postscript – April  2024:

Walking Into Clarksdale may turn out to be one of the most durable and ultimately satisfying albums of their entire career.

Looking back that was a bit of a bold statement – Walking Into Clarksdale has actually gone down as quite a low key album. There’s no doubt it still divides opinion amongst fans.

The rather thin production and lack of wide screen riffling -something so evident on Jimmy’s previous studio project – the Coverdale Page album, does reduce it’s overall impact. That said, much of it still sounds great – from the light and breezy opener Shining In the Light through to the still superb Blue Train (one of the best ever Page Plant alliances in or out of Zep) and wonderfully affecting When I Was A Child – it still has much to delight. Only the rather cumbersome Burning Up and Sons of Freedom have really paled that much.

It’s a discerningly strange album – it may not be high on the playlist but when I do play it  – it always hits the mark and like I said, this album is steeped in late 90s memories. Walking Into Clarksdale is therefore something of a durable minor league classic.

I’ve just played it through and aside from sounding really good – it inspired a wave of personal 1990s nostalgic memories of the time – Istanbul, Shepard’s Bush Empire, managing the Our Price Record shop, the big Victoria Record Fairs, meets at the Eastern Monk pub. This was the last opportunity we had to revel in a union of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant together. Great days indeed.

Have a listen to Walking Into Clarksdale again – I think you will be pleasantly surprised of the impact.

Dave Lewis – April 19 2024


My thoughts on the Led Zeppelin Live in Dallas March 4 1975 single LP bootleg…
I picked this one up at last week’s excellent Spitalfields market record fair.
Led Zeppelin – Live in Dallas March 4 1975
This is a single album bootleg on the DBOP label.
Track listing is as follows: Side One – Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over the Hills And Far Away, Kashmir
Side Two – The Song Remains the Same/The Rain Song ,No Quarter.
The source is the much bootlegged soundboard tape from the opening night of their two night stint at the Dallas Convention Center. It’s a performance I have great affection for as it was one of the first 1975 soundboards to appear on a bootleg – Trampled Underfoot on the Swinging Pig label emerging in the early 90s.
This single LP of extracts omits any between song Plant chat but there’s certainly nothing wrong with the performance capturing them as they went into a month of high intensity gigs to complete what had been a troubled US tour early on – Plant having contracted a flu virus and Jimmy injuring his finger.
On this March night they were on very good form – the outstanding example being a No Quarter that find John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and John Bonham improvising on the main themes at will.
Like a lot of these vinyl only unofficial releases, this won’t be for everyone and a much fuller performance of this gig is available across a fair few CDs including Chasing The Dragon on Empress Valley
However, for a mere tenner and being a long time collector of Zep bootleg LPs I could not refuse…
Dave Lewis – April 12 2024.

My thoughts on Led Zeppelin – The Coda Tapes 4 LP box bootleg set…

Led Zeppelin – The Coda Tapes (Hammer Falls Records – 4LP box set)

I have to say I was pretty intrigued when I saw the announcement of this set.

I have a great affection for the original Coda album released back in November 1982. Despite its meagre 33 minute length, it was a genuine last gasp effort to round up to summarise the 12 year Zep recording career with some very impressive stops along the way. The opening pair Were Gonna Groove and I Can’t Quite You Baby from the Royal Albert Hall 1970 with 1981 overdubs and mixing, Poor Tom from the summer of 1970 Zep III sessions r, Walter Walk from the spring of 1972 with more 1981 overdubs and Plant vocal. Ozone Baby Darlene and Wearing And Tearing from the Polar Studios  In Through The Out Door sessions of late 1978 outtakes and Bonzo’s Montreux from 1976.

Over the years the Coda album has had a couple of extensions. The 1992 box set The Complete Studio Recordings added Baby Come On Home, Travelling Riverside Blues, White Summer/Black Mountain Side and Hey Hey What Can I Do.

For the 2015 remastered reissue Jimmy Page took artistic license into his own hands adding a companion disc packed with excellent outtakes and alternate versions. With no limitation of being linked to a certain time period it criss crossed throughout their there career as the original album had. Thus there was room for the likes of Sugar Mama , If It Keeps On Raining, St. Tristan’s Sword, Desire and Everybody Make’s It Though.

I love this set and it’s often on the playlist and it was far and away the best release of the entire remastered series.

No comes this 4 LP bootleg package via the label. The cover art depicts the lookout air warden used on the Over Europe 1980 tour posters and the pics are all from the Over Europe gigs. Stylishly done but perhaps a bit miss leading as there are now 1980 live recordings included. The four LP’s are pressed on red blue and black heavy vinyl

There’s a four page insert with some background info to the Coda album –there’s a glaring error concerning Were Gonna Groove which is stated as being the set opener in 1969 – it was nothing of the sort –any self-respecting Zep fan knows it was the opening number for their UK ,European and US dates from January to April 1970.

So to the contents…

Side One and Two:

Side One Rough Mix Version One kicks off with Sugar Mama  and then replicates the previously released alternate Coda versions such as the instrumental takes of Poor Tom ,and Walters Walk. Side Two has similar outtakes and also drops in the alternate Night Flight featured on the 2014 companion disc.

Side Three and Four: Rough Mix Version Two. There’s a fair bit of repetition here as once again alternate mixes of the Coda material is the source. Darlene quoted as a bonus track is the longer jam version to be heard on bootlegs such as In Through The Outtakes and the Studio Magik CD box set.

Overall there’s nothing on this set that has not been available before.

Side Five and Six:

This side is dubbed Coda Live Tapes and features Were Gonna Groove,I Cant Quite You baby and Bring it One Home on side five while side six is taken up with the lengthy How Many More Times. All this is sourced from the excellent Royal Albert Hall January 9 1970 soundboard recording which again has been bootlegged on a fair few CDs and LPs.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the material here and it’s always a blast to hear what really was and is one of the magic nights in their concert history.

Side Seven and Eight:

This final LP is dubbed Another Coda.

The compilers bring together a rather random collection of  various well known and not so well known material -again all previously released

From the BBC Sessions there’s The Girl I  Love, Travelling River side Blues  and Sunshine Woman, plus Baby Come On Home which surfaced officially on the 1992 Boxed Set 2. This  is the alternate version presented on the Olympic Gold bootleg CD. Hey Hey What Can I Do is the delightful alternate instrumental take.

I Gotta Move is the sparse performance of the Otis Rush number taken from the March 14 1969 Konserthuset Stockholm gig . This was slotted in to their set when Jimmy broke a string. Take Me Home is the rhythmic work in progress groove that surfaced during the Physical Graffiti sessions at Headley Grange in late 1974. This first came to light on the Tangible Vandalism bootleg.

The final track is the Key To The Highway/Trouble In Mind outtake that surfaced on the 2014 Led Zeppelin III companion Disc.

Summary:

it was evident at a cursory look over the track listing that there was not going to be anything too enlightening among the 4 LPs and that is certainly the case. The choice of material is quite random and at times superfluous.

So, the Coda Tapes can be firmly described as something of a luxury purchase – and it’s an expensive item. There are cheaper ways of obtaining the alternate Coda material -in fact it strikes me that this whole set might have been better presented as a two or three CD package.

That all said, I did enjoy delving into the Coda maze again and being a sucker for this type of multi LP bootleg set, I am glad I invested – and having number 6 of the 300 limited edition is a bonus.

Led Zeppelin The Coda Tapes clearly won’t be for everybody but for Zep vinyl LP collectors and completists it will be one for consideration. Just don’t expect a reinvention of the Coda wheel…

Dave Lewis – April 12 2024.


Most Blueswailing Futuristic Way-Out Heavy Beat Sound – The Yardbirds by Peter Stanfield…

Here’s an extract from a new work in progress book on The Yardbirds written by Peter Stanfield  it’s due out next year.

When, in October 1968,   Melody Maker  finally broke their silence around The Yardbirds’ extinction they had ready their own version of the now perennial question, ‘Whatever happened to the Yardbirds?’ – ‘One of the great mysteries of our time’, wrote Chris Welch, ‘ranking with the Devil’s footprints, the Marie Celeste and the Five Penny Post, is the disappearance of a group once hailed as the most progressive in Britain’. He put his question to the ‘good natured’ Jimmy Page (the piece was illustrated with a 1966 photographic portrait of the guitarist in his Civil War kepi).

Looking back across the past four years, Welch recognised that The Yardbirds were ‘trying experimental pop long before today’s Underground groups’, but they were either too early ‘or lacked the drive to carry their breakaway from the original blues formula through to the public’. Their trips to America, he explained, had kept them out of the public eye in Britain. He provided a potted history of the band and noted that now only the ‘new boy’,

Page, was left to form a ‘New Yardbirds’; a band, he wrote who threaten ‘to be a welcome piece of fire power to the armoury of British groups’. The split with the original members had been due to Keith Relf’s loss of enthusiasm, said Page, which was now made up for by the ‘new chaps’ in the band who he reckoned were all about 19-years-old. Their debut had been in Denmark, whether to keep The Yardbirds’ name was still uncertain, he said, but they would still be playing the blues: but not Fleetwood Mac style. I hate that phrase progressive blues. It sounds like a hype, but it is more or less what the Yardbirds were playing at the end, but nobody knew about it because nobody saw us. We’re starting work on an LP and we’re going to the States in early November. I’m hoping the Marquee will be a good scene.

Robert can get up and sing against anybody. He gets up and sings against Terry Reid! Those two are like brothers together. I thought I’d never get a band together. I’ve always shied off leadership in thepast because of all that ego thing. . . I didn’t want the Yardbirds to break up, but inthe end it was too much of a headache. I just wanted to play guitar basically, butKeith always had this thing of being overshadowed by Jeff and that, which wasnonsense. It was great when we had two lead guitars.

Page, reported Welch, was all smiles and had no ill-feelings . . . ‘he is far too excited about the future to worry about the past’.

***

Most Blueswailing . . .   is the story of The Yardbirds’ magnificent reverberations, those sonic truths made between 1963–68. The book moves the story on from the tired celebration of the band’s trio of guitarists – Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page – and puts The Yardbirds back into a history of the development of popular music during the Sixties.Avoiding over-subscribed secondary sources,    Most Blueswailing   draws in a vast range of primary materials that are used to produce an electric, engaging and wholly original account.

The history of the band is told chronologically, tracking the shift from Trad Jazz to R&B to the emergence, five years later, of the progressive rock scene. The exponential growth of the London R&B scene in 1964 rivalled the provincial beat explosion, centred on Liverpool, that had begun the year previously. Both scenes were rapidly commercialised, producing hit records, television appearances and package tours.

This scenario brought to the fore a debate on popular music and authenticity – art and ​commerce, the real and the false, sincerity and pretence. This is not a posthumous theorisation, but the very heart of the matter as discussed by contemporary critics  and the artists themselves.

From mid-1965, The Yardbirds’ attention switched toward the American market and a year later it was their principal area of activity. This period saw them tour as part of such extravaganzas as Dick Clark Caravan of Stars, playing department stores, ice rinks and county fairs, mere cogs in the pop machine. By 1967 The Yardbirds would be part of the developing ballroom scene, participating in the psychedelic tumult of 1966 and, in 1967 –early ’68, acting as trailblazers for the underground movement. It was on these excursions that the groundwork was laid which Jimmy Page would build on when he formed Led Zeppelin.

Peter Stanfield

Peter has a cover story on The Yardbirds in the latest issue of Ugly Things magazine:

Our top cover story this issue: the Futuristic Sounds of the Yardbirds; writer Peter Stanfield explores their change of direction in 1965, their rivalry with The Who and lots more. Also featured: Detroit rock pioneers the Chosen Few, the band that spawned future members of SRC and the Stooges, the compelling story of UK ‘70s punk outsiders the Subway Sect as told by guitarist Rob Symmons; 

https://webstore.ugly-things.com/ugly-things-65-p519.php

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Record Store Day 2024:

The annual Record Store Day is upon us and this Saturday I will be venturing to our local store the Slide Record Shop. There’s one  Zep related interest this year which is The Yardbirds Psycho Daises The Complete B Sides LP  – Jimmy Page  is on a few of these tracks. I’ll be aiming to seek that one out along with releases by David Bowie  The Rolling Stones, The Faces and Elton John.

………………………………………..

DL Diary Blog Update:
Thursday April 11:
It’s a Happy Birthday to the great Bob Harris – I’ve been lucky enough to be in his company a fair few times and I’ve interviewed him twice for the TBL mag -one of the all time great radio broadcasters and such an inspiration over many years..
Friday April 12:
The new issue of Mojo is in the house – Kate Bush cover feature plus The Yardbirds, Scott Walker, Labi Siffre, Tangerine Dream, Neil Finn and more. Plenty of top notch reading The free cover mount CD, a compilation of 1960s UK R & B also looks great.
Saturday April 13:
Saturday is platterday – coming up 48 years since it was released this month in 1976…on the player the rather excellent Rolling Stones Black And Blue album…
Update here:
It’s been a very busy couple of weeks as I’ve been wading through my entire collection of LPs and CDs. The time has come to have something of a downsize and to that end, I’ve been sorting through the quite substantial amount of LP’s to select a fair few to move on. The new strategy  of ”Buy Less – Sell More” may be upon us. More on this soon.
During this sorting out process, it’s been great to reconnect with parts of the collection I haven’t looked at for a good while – particularly the Led Zep and related CDs (most of which I’ll be keeping).
Here’s some pics of the various boxes of CDs I have – many of these were sourced in the hey day of bootleg CDs in the 1990s. There’s many a memory of investing in these gems…
Having said all that, ironically Record Store Day beckons on Saturday and there’s a few things  I have my eye on  -my current ”Buy less – Play More” strategy is going to be tested yet again but hopefully once I get to offloading a few LPs, there’s going to be a bit more room for some new stock – all in moderation of course…
Thanks for listening

Until next time…

Dave  Lewis –  April 19 2024

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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3 Comments »

  • Gerd said:

    Hi Dave,
    I have send an email regarding your Dinosaur In Motion set in one of your CD storage cases to your tbl1.ntlworld address.
    Did you read it?
    Thanks,
    Gerd

  • Brian Ross said:

    Knebworth 8mm is indeed a great find – the new angle brings a great perspective. The boys still had a drive to carry on.

  • Roy JOHN Watson said:

    for me the walking into clarksdale album was a clumsy awkward sounding record it didnt flow like a zeppelin album page forgot to pick up is guitar its the weakest zep album shame john paul jones didnot have any in put on it page and plant never recorded together again says a lot on that subject

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