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25 May 2023 1,163 views 4 Comments
My thoughts on…
A Tribute To Jeff Beck – Eric Clapton & Friends – Royal Albert Hall May 23, 2013:
48 years to the day that I was in on a mission for musical greatness with Zep at Earls Court (and boy did I find it) here I am all these years later on a train out of Bedford in search again but this time the mission is tinged with sadness.
For this is A Tribute To Jeff Beck -the second of two nights at the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate the life and music of a musician who has dominated the rock and fusion circuit for decades.
Jeff first appeared on my radar over 54 years ago during my quest to find every Led Zep influence I could.
Being a member of The Yardbirds more than qualified him for that status and I had great fun searching out The Yardbirds catalogue, the Jeff Beck Group, and his 1970s outfit Beck, Bogart and Appice and his masterful jazz fusion work on the likes of Blow By Blow. I remember paying £5 in 1974 ( a hefty price at the time) to own a copy of the seminal Yardbirds single Happening Ten Years Time Again /Psycho Daises which features Beck and Page.
So the opportunity to pay homage to his much missed talent was too good to miss and though tickets were hard to come by, I managed to score a single ticket for the second concert.
Before we go on I need to address the Jimmy Page issue. The first thing to state was that he was never billed to appear. Of course there was much speculation that he might make some sort of cameo role but that really was pure speculation.
Yes of course it would have been incredible to see him stroll on to join in on The Train Kept a Rollin’ etc and no doubt it would have taken the roof off.
But it was not to be.
Jimmy no doubt has his own personal reasons for not taking part and we should respect his wishes not to do so. As I have said before, Jimmy owes us nothing – over a 60 year career he has given us everything.
There’s been plenty of negativity about his non appearance which I find unjust. Jimmy has already paid a heartfelt eulogy tribute to Jeff at his funeral
It’s Jimmy’s decision and I for one trust his integrity to not be a part of this – this night was not about him but all about Jeff Beck – and rather than focus on what didn’t happen let’s celebrate what did, because let me tell you, my it was some occasion…
In the nearby Queens Arms pub it was great to see many a fellow comrade including Dave Fox, Guy D’Angelo, Hiroshi, and Steve Bombaci -the latter flew over with friends from Fort Lauderdale to attend both shows. It was also great to chat to the world renowned Beatles historian Mark Lewishon.
It was of course a thrill to be in the confines of the magnificent Royal Albert Hall. It’s my favourite London venue and I think this was my 16th occasion of being down at Albert’s place going back to the two memorable Arms concerts in 1983. It’s a venue seeped in musical history and tonight there was more history to be made…
The stalls were doing very brisk business on the selling of souvenir T-shirts and posters – though I was surprised there was no official programme.
I had a very good overview of the stage in my seat in the rausing circle.
So deep sigh…this is how this marathon evening unfolded.
Eric and his band were first up acknowledging Jeff’s Yardbirds era with a reggae paced Shapes Of Things and an authentic Heart Full of Soul.
Derek Trucks was on hand to add some truly inspiring blues guitar to a segment that included Little Brown Bird( Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, EC Band) Done Somebody Wrong (Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, EC Band) and The Sky Is Crying ( Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, EC Band.)
Next up Elergy For Dunkirk sung with passion by Olivia Safe with support from Robert Randolph.
Enter Mr Ronnie Wood for an invigorating Becks Bolero ( Eric Clapton, Doyle Bramhall, Ronnie Wood, EC Band.)
Johnny Depp then took centre stage for an intense delivery of John Lennon’s Isolation aided by the introduction of Billy Gibbons and Kirk Hammett.
Imelda May made the first of two appearances for a dramatic rendering of The Shangri-Las Remember Walkin’ In The Sand.
Goodbye Porkpie Hat brought Derek Trucks back in the spotlight with Chris Stainton on keyboards and the Jeff Beck Band.
The arrival of the 81 year old John McLaughlin garnered huge applause. He proceeded to weave his guitar magic performing You Know You Know and Stratus with the Jeff Beck Band. Guitar strapped high and played with stunning dexterity. We were in the presence of greatness…
Yet more highlights – Billy Gibbons centre stage for a compelling delivery of the Afterburner track Rough Boy. It was then a joy to see Ronnie Wood replicating his bass role for a stomp through the old Jeff Beck Group number Rice Pudding.
Imelda May was back on to share vocal with Billy Gibbons on another Yardbirds throwback and one time Zep set opener The Train Kept A Rollin’ with Johnny Depp, Kirk Hammett, Ronnie Wood and the Jeff Beck Band.
During the interval various video clips were shown including a brief snatch of Jeff and Jimmy Page performing Immigrant Song at Jeff’s induction to the Hall of Fame. Earlier there had been various interview clips shown from the likes of Jimmy, Dave Gilmour,Sir George Martin and Slash.
Freeway Jam with Eric Clapton, Robert Randolph, Doyle Bramhall and the EC Band kicked off the second half. Josh Stone wrenched every piece of emotion out of a stunning delivery of I Put A Spell On You.
Gary Clark Jr entered proceedings for Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers and Let me Love You.
Then for me the arrival of the star of the show – Rod Stewart and this was not a case of do you think he’s sexy but more a case of do you think he’s brilliant because he was.
Rod owned the stage from the off and to see him sparring with Ronnie Wood again in a manner that made The Faces such a great band was awe inspiring to say the least and worth the price of admission alone.
They romped though Infatuation from Rod’s 1984 Camouflage album ( a track Jeff played on), Rock My Plimsoul (Rock Me Baby), I Ain’t Superstitious and then slowed it down for a tender and touching delivery of The Impressions People Get Ready – a number Jeff and Rod covered on his 1985 Flash album.
The finale was a rousing Going Down the Don Nix original Jeff recorded on his 1972 Beck Group album tonight performed with everyone back on stage.
This was a fitting tribute to the late great Jeff Beck performed by some of the finest purveyors of the electric guitar – and superb vocalists to match.
Peers of a much missed guitar genius who collectively and indivually did his legacy proud.
I felt very priviledged to be in attendance on this memorable night at Albert’s place…
Dave Lewis – May 24, 2023

This Saturday –  here’s the latest info…



SATURDAY 27th MAY 2023

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

Led Into Zeppelin

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

CODA- A Tribute to Led Zeppelin

Taxi For Jesus

Ceri Justice Band


Ritchie Dave Porter & Debra Susan

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

*Led Into Zeppelin  

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

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

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

*Vincent Flatts Final Drive

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

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

*Ceri Justice Band

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

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

  *Taxi For Jesus

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

*Sundance Classic Rock Band

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

*Ritchie Dave Porter & Debra Susan

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

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



LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:

Here’s the latest round up from LZ News:

Upcoming events:

  • 2023 – The second Band Of Joy album titled “Band Of Joy Volume 2” will be released and an expanded edition of the Honeydrippers album “The Honeydrippers: Volume One” will be released.
  • May 15 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • May 17 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Portsmouth, Virginia.
  • May 18 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • May 27 – The latest John Bonham celebration event will be held in Redditch.
  • June 7 – An advance screening of “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will be held in New York.
  • June 8 – An advance screening of “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will be held in New York.
  • June 9 – An advance screening of “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will be held in New York.
  • June 14 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • June 15 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Tucson, Arizona.
  • June 17 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Taos, New Mexico.
  • June 18 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, Colorado.
  • June 20 – Advance screenings of “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will take place across the US. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Bonner, Montana.
  • June 23 – “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will be released in the US. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform on Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour in Somerset, Wisconsin.
  • June 24 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform on Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour in East Troy, Wisconsin.
  • June 25 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform on Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • June 27 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Asheville, North Carolina.
  • June 28 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
  • June 29 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Vienna, Virginia.
  • July 1 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Bethel, New York.
  • July 2 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Lenox, Massachusetts.
  • July 3 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Portland, Maine.
  • July 5 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Toronto, Ontario.
  • July 7 – “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will have its UK premiere at Sundance London. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform at the Montreal Jazz Festival in Montreal, Canada.
  • July 8 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform at RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa, Ontario.
  • July 14 – “Squaring The Circle (The Story Of Hipgnosis)” which features interviews with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will be released in the UK.
  • August 24 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Portorož, Slovenia.
  • August 26 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy.
  • August 28 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Macerata, Italy.
  • August 30 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Taormina, Sicily, Italy.
  • September 1 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace at the Locus Festival in Bari, Italy.
  • September 3 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Ostia, Italy.
  • September 5 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Milan, Italy.
  • September 6 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace at the Vicenza in Festival in Vicenza, Italy.
  • September 9 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Ourense, Spain.
  • September 10 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Donostia / San Sebastián, Spain.
  • September 12 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Barcelona, Spain.
Many thanks to James Cook

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

More archive fun…

And then three years after Earls Court this happened…

who four

On stage with The Who 45 years ago this week…

The Whole Story:

45 years ago this week on May 25 1978, I was lucky enough to attend a secret filming of The Who at Shepperton Studios. This was arranged to capture footage for their film the Kids Are Alright. Little did I know back then that a rather excited spontaneous leap on to the stage by me at the close of their performance of Won’t Get Fooled Again would be captured for all time – and featured in the film – and subsequently on DVD and YouTube.

So how did all this happen?

Well firstly I was a big Who fan for sure – and had been since 1969. Pinball Wizard was one of the first singles I’d owned. I’d seen them at the Empire Pool Wembley in October 1975 and at Charlton on a very rainy bank Holiday in May 1976 – on both occasions they were absolutely brilliant. I loved all the albums – particularly Quadrophenia, Who’s Next and The Who By Numbers – albums that spoke to me, were my guiding light and packed power and emotion – next to Led Zeppelin during this era, they were my second favourite band without a doubt.

In 1977, The Who began making a film to be titled the Kids Are Alright – a career spanning documentary. For that purpose in December 1977 they decided to perform a low key gig at Kilburn State Theatre in London. My very good friend Dec through the then boyfriend of his sister Yvonne, managed to get in on this gig. A guy named Steve Margo was the link – he was a massive Who fan – along with another high profile Who fan ‘Irish’ Jack Lyons and one or two others, later staged a Who Exhibition at London’s ICA in August 1978.

Back to the story – the gig was arranged at short notice and due to the fact I had no phone at home at that point (how ridiculous that seems now!), Dec was unable to inform me that this gig was on – so I missed out. However, all was not lost

The Who were unhappy with the footage they got that day and decided to have another go at capturing footage for the film. In early May we heard through Steve Margo that The Who would soon be staging a gig in London to be filmed for the documentary. Plans were all veiled in secrecy – eventually word came though and we were instructed to meet at Hyde Park Corner on the morning of May 25, 1978.

At that time Led Zeppelin were somewhat inactive following the curtailing of their 1977 US tour due to the tragic death of Robert Plant’s son. In May there were reports in the press that they had re grouped at Clearwell Castle for some rehearsing. Later in the year they would travel to Abba’s studio in Stockholm to record The In Through The Out Door album.  In early May, I was contacted by Sounds writer Geoff Barton. He had seen I had replied to a couple of Zep queries in their Wax Fax column. Sounds were planning a special three week feature to run in September to mark the tenth anniversary of Led Zeppelin’s formation.

I was commissioned to produce a ten year timeline history alongside an extensive discography covering official releases and bootlegs. I had a fair few meetings at the Sounds office in Long Acre and took in a large collection of memorabilia and albums for them to photograph – no scanning of images back then of course. Subsequently, my summer of 1978 was dominated by this work which had to be in for early August. I hand wrote the entire contents of the feature and by and large when it was all published as a four week part work it was a big success . It was my first time in print and I also got paid for it. More on all this later in the year. I also attended two amazing gig in July of that summer – David Bowie at Earls Court and Bob Dylan at Blackbushe.

Back to the story – so it was against this backdrop of Zep writing that I turned my attention to this very exciting prospect of witnessing The Who live on stage again.

So come the day – Thursday May 25 , we were duly ferried out of London by coaches to the Shepperton studio complex – wined and dined in the canteen where we mixed with 18th century costume drama actors and actress’s and then led into the Studio 2 soundstage for a mini performance by The Who.

The filming had been set up by director Jeff Stein to make up for the rather lucklustre footage he had garnered from the aforementioned Kilburn Theatre the previous December. It was to be the contemporary insert of a career spanning documentary that would emerge as The Kids Are Alright released to theatres on both sides of the Atlantic the next year.

So it was in a state of some considerable awe that we were ushered into the studio where a specially constructed stage aimed at replicating any night on the road for The Who had been assembled. The audience of around 200 consisted of a mixture of Who fanatics, liggers, journalists and musicians – amongst the latter was a young Chrissie Hynde. Also in attendance shooting one of his first gigs was the soon to become world renowned photographer Ross Halfin.

The last time I had seen The Who live was amongst 65,000 rain sodden fans at The Who Put the Boot In show at Charlton Athletic football ground in May 1976. Now I was just a few feet away as Pete Townshend power chorded his way through a riveting Baba O Reily -one of my all time fave numbers not just by The Who, but anyone. Thrilling deliveries of John Entwhistle’s  My Wife and Won’t Get Fooled Again followed.

The initial plan had been to perform just those three numbers. Impressed by the by the relaxed of nature of the whole affair, Townshend signalled to Daltrey, Moon and Entwhistle to stay on stage – and spontaneously they kicked in to Substitute and then instantly into I Can’t Explain.

We had come under the guise of seeing The Who shoot a handful of numbers for their film – we were now privvy to a mini greatest hits concert as they ran through Summertime Blues, Magic Bus My Generation and My Wife (again). It was another blast through Won’t Get Fooled Again that brought this extraordinary performance to a close. Watching it all unfold in such close proximity was truly the stuff of rock’n’roll dreams – it was just utterly sensational.

And that’s when it happened…

Fulled by a combination of beer and wine, and a surge of adrenalin from the sheer wonder of what I was witnessing, as Won’t Get Fooled Again ended and the band warmly took the applause, I took it upon myself to climb on the camera tracking and make one giant leap towards Pete Townshend and then one small step towards Roger Daltrey accidentally cuffing him in the eye in the process. On any regular gig this spontaneous stage rush may well have resulted in the stinging sensation of a swinging Gibson Les Paul crushing against flesh. I was aware of Abbie Hoffman’s treatment by Pete when he walked on to the Woodstock stage during their performance in 1969 – I really did not have time to think of any consequences as I made that leap. Luckily for me Townshend hugged me warmly and Daltrey good humouredly shrugged off my enthusiastic arm waving. it’s worth noting I was not alone in this stage invasion – though I was not aware of it at the time. In the film just before my entry you can see a young lady more calmly approach and hug Roger.

Behind all this action, a permanently devilish grin was spread across the face of Kith Moon. Physically showing the strains of his LA lifestyle he was at last back where he functioned best… on stage with the ‘Orrible ‘Oo.

As we waded out into the bright late afternoon sunshine little did we realise we had just witnessed Keith Moon’s final public performance with The Who. And little did I realise that my leap of faith would be subsequently retained in the film’s final cut.

Outside in the grounds of Shepperton there was one more task for the lucky few in attendance to perform. We were asked to line up in four rows behind each member of The Who. This was for a potential album cover design for The Who’s forthcoming Who Are You album – the concept being that we would act as clones  for the band to illustrate the album title. So we were all asked to line up – I was in the queue behind Keith Moon. As it turned out this cover idea was scrapped. However, years later a couple of outtake photos from this session appeared in the Ross Halfin complied Who Genesis Publications photo book. These photos  reveals that for some reason, I had stepped out of line and you can see me in my blue bomber jacket to the right – another remnant of the day.

And then there was more.

Incredibly this was not the end of the Shepperton saga. Steve Margo informed us that he had been invited to attend another filming session the next day – and did we want to tag along? Did we ever!

So it was on Friday May 26 Dec and I met along with Dec’s sister’s boyfriend Jack we met  Steve in St. John’s Wood who then drove us to the Shepperton Studio complex. We were were allowed in to the Studio 2 soundstage again  and there before us onstage were The Who. This time in front of a camera crew and a few technicians, road crew and Who personnel including soundman  Bob Pridden, lighting expert John Wolff  and Who manager Bill Curbishley. I could never have envisaged  back then that one day I would interview Bill in his office discussing The Who, Led Zeppelin , Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Irish jack was also there.

The objective of this days filming was to perfect the laser sequence during Keith Moon’s drum solo and into Roger’s scream before Pete and John come back in. We watched multiple takes of Keith performing his solo and Roger bathed in lasers marching on the spot as the camera panned in. We watched this repeated scene in absolute awe. 40 years on this close up experience of The Who filming this sequence remains right up there amongst the most thrilling live music moments I’ve been lucky enough to witness.

I was back behind the counter at my job in WH Smiths next day – and back on the Led Zep Sounds feature for the next few weeks. I did hastily hand write a couple of thousand words of a review of the May 25 Shepperton experience.

This was not quite the end of The Who 1978 story.

On August 1 1978, Dec and I attended the opening of the Who’s Who Exhibition at London’s ICA. Both Pete Townshend and Keith Moon were in attendance. The producer of the film Jeff Stein saw me and informed my I could be clearly seen in the final scenes of the film leaping on stage. The Who’s Who exhibition was superbly well done and way ahead of it’s time with stage clothes, instruments ,videos etc. I had a chat with both Pete and Keith – and had a photo taken with him. He seemed on great form proudly talking about the famous Pictures Of Lily drum kit that was on display. This pic shows me with Keith and Ian Dury with his back to us.

The Who Are You album came out in August and I purchased it on the day of release. An excellent album with some superb performances such as New Song, Sister Disco, Love Is Coming Down and the title track. It still sounds brilliant.

On the evening of Thursday September 7, I was watching the News at Ten on TV when they announced that Keith Moon had been found dead. It was no secret that Keith had carried a lot of demons around in recent years but it was still a terrible shock.

Unlike Zep, The Who decided to carry on – for them I’d say it was the right decision though it was never quite the same.

The following May  The Who played an unannounced show at London’s Rainbow Theatre – I missed out on that but Dec and I did have a vague plan to go to Frejus in France to see further gigs they were playing to launch the film – however, that plan did not come off

In June 1979 The Kids Are Alright film came to Bedford. Knowing I may appear in it, our gang of Dec, Tom, Phil etc all came along to view it at the Granada Cinema in Bedford (sadly long gone).  The film overall was excellent with some fantastic footage – no sighting of me of course until right at the close as the credits rolled… then on I leap into Pete Townshend’s’ arms (and nearly poking Roger Daltrey’s eye in the process!). In the cinema a huge cheer greeted my arrival – and of course I was well pleased I had made the final cut.

So there it was – my leap of faith captured for all time for all to see…

In August 1979 ,a week after the second Zep Knebworth show we went to Wembley Stadium to see The Who on a bill that included AC/DC (with Bon Scott), The Stranglers and Nils Lofgren. The Who were still great with Kenney Jones on drums but it was a somewhat challenging day – with lots of crowd trouble down the front.

I’ve seen The Who a fair few times since 1978 – notably at the Watford Town Hall in 2002, at the London Forum 2004, the Quadrophenia presentation at the Royal Albert Hall in 2010 and on March 23 2015 at the 02.

Even though they are now down to The Who Two , their catalogue of era defining music is still a crystal clear definition of what rock is all about – the last occasion I saw them at that 02 Arena was yet further testament to the lasting durability of The Who.

As for the Shepperton experience, well I’ve dined out on that clip many times since that leap of faith all of 44 years ago. I’m still in touch with the legendary Who fan Irish Jack who was there on those magic Shepperton afternoons – in fact I was in touch with him this week.

Looking back now, It was a moment that crystallised the impact a live performance can have.

It was a completely unplanned spontaneous action. If I had planned it, I would probably have worn a Who T- shirt rather than the McCartney/Wings London Town one I had on!

I was completely overwhelmed at The Who’s incredible performance and right then at that moment I needed to show my appreciation and where better to do it than on the actual stage with the band…

My Facebook friend Michael Starke described this photo (a still from the footage) of me hugging Pete  as ”The greatest fan interaction shot ever”.

That is some accolade…

It was some afternoon back in 1978 and 45 years on, the memory of it all looms ever large and pleasingly so…not least because it can be seen from several angles on the YouTube clip.

I was in the right place at the right time for it all to be captured on film –  and yes on the afternoon of May 25 1978, this 21 year old kid from Bedford was very much alright…

Dave Lewis – May ,2023

YouTube clips:

The Who At Shepperton Studios  May 25, 1978 – Won’t Get Fooled Again: Dave Lewis on stage with The Who – 45 years ago this week:

I arrive at 10mins 42

I arrive on multiple angles at 11mins 05

It was 9 years ago May 21 2014…
A very memorable night…here’s my TBL report at the time
Led Zeppelin Playback Listening Party Wednesday May 21st, 2014:
On Wednesday, Jimmy Page went back to the original site of the 1969 performance that will be featured on the Led Zeppelin 1 companion audio disc. The Olympia in Paris was the location for a special playback listening party attended by media and fans to mark the forthcoming release of the first three Led Zeppelin reissues. Gary Foy and myself arrived at a rain lashed Olympia in the early evening.
The venue was brilliantly decked out with all manner of Led Zeppelin reissue images. It was great to see many French fans including Christophe Le Pabic, Philippe and Diddier plus Michaela and Dan from nearby MK. I also had had a word with John Davis the man responsible for remastering the reissue programme with Jimmy. He was most enthusiastic as to what had been achieved and what lies ahead in the subsequent releases. Inside a packed arena, the evening kicked off with the various promos.
Jimmy came on to introduce the proceedings and from there the eight previews were played back – namely Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown and You Shook Me from the Paris 1969 show , then Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker, Gallows Pole, Since I’ve Been Loving You, The Immigrant Song and Key To The Highway/Trouble In Mind. Each track was accompanied by a superb montage of relevant visuals.
Jimmy was back on for the Q and A – it was pleasing to hear that three of the questions chosen came from long time TBL subscribers Michaela Finegan, Geoff Adamson and John Webster.
Jimmy as he has been throughout all this media blitz, was perceptive and informative in his answers – hinting at what delights lay ahead. A new montage of Whole Lotta Love brought a very memorable evening to a close.
Once again it was an absolute privilege to be in attendance..
9 years gone – wow – another one for the memoirs
Dave Lewis May 22 2013
Tina Turner 1939 – 2023…
Like all of us I was deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of the great legendary Tina Turner…
This version of Whole Lotta Love is one of the very best ever Led Zeppelin cover versions – the tension she brings to the vocal is just immense…RIP Tina…


DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday May 19

Final score in the Centenary Cup Final at Kempston Rovers ground .
Bedford Albion 1 Cranfield 1 – Bedford Albion won on penalties…
The the winning penalty taker Adam Lewis receiving his medal- what a night…
Cup winner Adam with proud parents are we!
Saturday May 20:
It’s a Happy Birthday to Mr Paul Sheppard…long time TBL supporter, fountain of Zep recording knowledge and all round top man.
His amazingly detailed Led Zep contributions have lit up many a TBL project and his knowledge on the Zep bootleg CD catalogue is awe inspiring. Paul’s frequent posts on the late much missed Andy Adam’s Celebration Days Facebook group are a definitive guide to the best recordings and hugely enlightening.
We have also shared some great times together over many years and it’s always great to be in his company. Paul has also been a constant support to me personally.
Happy Birthday Paul from Janet and I and on behalf of all the Zep community – have a great day mate …

Saturday May 20:

Saturday is platterday – on the player the rather brilliant Beck-Ola album by The Jeff Beck Group…getting in the zone for the Tribute To Jeff Beck Royal Albert Hall show I am aiming to be at next Tuesday…

Sunday May 21:

Not here for the bingo but awaiting the opening of a record fair in Peterborough – you gotta love ‘em…

Sunday May 21:

Sunday treats at the Peterborough Record Fair – Led Zeppelin In Through The Out Door Portuguese pressing with laminated sleeve – these things matter to a record collector – £20 I’ll take it ! you can never have too many…

Sunday May 21:

More Sunday treats at the Peterborough Record Fair …well pleased to find a copy of the Led Zeppelin double album bootleg Swiss Made as recorded in Zurich on June 29 1980 – not one that turns up often so a top result…

Sunday May 21:

Excellent day at the Peterborough Record Fair with fellow record collecting comrades Ian, Steve and Chris…

Tuesday May 23:

On BBC Radio Two Vernon Kay is playing a Led Zeppelin track from their BBC Sessions in 1969 as part of his Vernon’s Vault feature

Playing now the version of Whole Lotta Love recorded on June 24 1969 at the BBC’s Maida Vale Studio 4 and transmitted on John Peel’s Top Gear on June 29 1969…you gotta love it!
Go Vernon!

Tuesday May 23:

48 years ago today I left Bedford train station on a mission for musical greatness and boy did I find it with Zep at Earls Court – here I am all these years later to the day bound for the Royal Albert Hall for more musical greatness – this time tinged with sadness as the concert is a Tribute To Jeff Beck the much missed guitar genius – judging from the reports of last night’s show it’s going to be a true celebration of Jeff’s legacy – to quote The old Yardbirds/Zep stomper – The Train Kept a Rollin’…

Tuesday May 23:

Feeling very blessed to be back at Albert’s place – my favourite London venue of which I’ve seen about 16 previous gigs over the years – a place seeped in musical history and tonight it’s a tribute to the late great legendary Jeff Beck and what a privilege it is to be here…

Ready to celebrate the legacy of Jeff Beck…

Tuesday May 23:

Great to see the esteemed Beatles author and historian Mark Lewishon at the Queens pub prior to the amazing Tribute To Jeff Beck concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
I am very much looking forward to attending Mark’s Beatles Evolver ’63 presentation at the Bloomsbury Theatre next month…
Tuesday May 23:
Great to see Dave Fox and Guy D’Angelo at the Queens Arms pub prior to the amazing Tribute To Jeff Beck concert at the Royal Albert Hall…
Tuesday May 23:
With Steve Bombaci and his friends over from America  at the Queens Arms pub prior to the amazing Tribute To Jeff Beck concert at the Royal Albert Hall …

Update here:

Bit of a whirlwind few days with fantastic Adam’s cup final win, the Peterborough record fair and the amazing Tribute To Jeff Beck concert on Tuesday.

I am now gearing up for the trip to Redditch for the John Bonham Celebration III event on Saturday. I am on my own for this one staying over and relying on the train links to all go ok as I have three changes to make on the way via Kettering Leicester and Birmingham. It will hopefully be another case of the train kept a rollin’…I look forward to seeing all that can make it along…

Thanks for listening…   

Until next time…

Dave  Lewis –  May 25, 2023

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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  • Hiroshi said:

    As much as I am touched by Dave’s passionate defense of Jimmy’s decision to pull out of the Jeff Beck tribute, I’m afraid I have to disagree — Jimmy owes us something. Over the years, he has repeatedly teased the fans numerous times by dropping a hint that he would start musical activities any time soon, either playing a guitar on stage or creating new material rather than archival releases that he has been engaged in for a number of years, a promise that has never been fulfilled for whatever reason. And this event could have been a great chance for him to prove the credibility of such statements, especially considering his lifelong relationship with the late guitar-slinger. Now the opportunity is lost for ever.
    Sure enough, whether he can still play or not is another matter. But, for example, take “Beck’s Bolero” delivered at the Royal Albert Hall. Ronnie Wood, the focal guy of the performance, mostly played the rhythm guitar with a smattering of solo here and there, leaving the majority of the lead guitar work to Derek Trucks on his slide guitar. It would not be a far-fetched thought that Jimmy could have done the same. Ditto for Train Kept A-Rollin’.
    The missing of Jimmy Page is the biggest disappointment of this otherwise wholeheartedly memorable event, a non-happening that assured me that the man is done as an active musician, sad to say.

  • Tim C. said:

    My opinion on Jimmy is building/maintaining chops such that he can get out there and play in public is not a priority. And while that’s his decision and I ultimately respect it, it’s also disappointing. If we’re to be honest, his live chops started to deteriorate post-1973 and after that, he was inconsistent for the next 10-15 years. But to his credit, he rebounded starting in 1988 during the ‘Outrider’ tour, and his live work with Plant from 1994 to 1998 was excellent. In order to get to that level of proficiency on the instrument, you have to commit to it. And Jimmy doesn’t appear to want to. In the end, whenever I need to be reminded of what Page was able to do live in him prime, I throw on ‘Black Dog’ from ‘The Song Remains the Same’. His tone, his swagger, and the confidence he had in what he was doing was unmatched.

  • Ian D said:

    Great stuff as ever Dave. I agree The Who made the right choice to carry on. Kenny Jones was a fine choice on paper and comes over well enough in live clips. The studio material he played on was not their finest. But I mainly want to praise the (still underrated IMO) Zak Starky, who’s grabbed the drummer stool with two of the biggest bands on the planet and who was phenomenal when I saw The Who in 2004.

  • Bill said:

    Dave, I mostly agree with you re Jimmy, but I’d add this one thought: I’m not sure Jimmy can play anymore. It’s as simple as that. Generally, he does a good job of protecting his image and legacy. I wonder if he’s just not prepared to go on stage at this point in his life and potentially tarnish that legacy and embarrass himself.

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