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Out of Are Dens For Bonzo’s 60th / Sam’s arrival / Working from June 6 1972

7 June 2008 1,980 views No Comment

To London for the TBL meet – our very own mini Bonzo’s Birthday Party.

Started suffering from a bit of a head cold on Friday and thought I might have to resort to a whiskey or two to get me through the day but managed to shrug it off. The Chandos pub serves some fine real ales and for us lager drinkers the Alpine went down well.

A good turn out and great to see some old faces including legendary Live Tapes  author Luis Rey, TBL web creator Dave Linwood, long time no see Led Boots collator Phil Tattershall, Eddie ever the analyst Edwards, Mick B, the Foys,Graeme, Russell (apologies for the John Terry jokes!) Krys J, Jez (did you see much of Spamalot or was it Sickalot!?) Michaela, etc.

Amongst the debate there was quite a bit of mixed reaction to the Robert/Alison

Shows, the John Bonham Greatest Beats Poll prompted more than one toast to  dear Bonzo on what would have been his 60th birthday. One of the undoubted highlights of the day was the Zep ticket collection brought along by Cliff Hilliard.

Cliff is nigh on a par with Brian Knapp on this area of memorabilia. It was incredible to be looking at and handling so much Zep history from original Fillmore stubs, complete Bath 70,Alley  Pally  Kenbworth tickets,to the fabled last ticket for the last gig in Berlin 1980. Also got into a great rap with Eddie and Phil   

nostalgically recalling the days of the Victoria and Camden record fairs during the Zep bootleg CD explosion of the early ‘90’s.  

All in all it was fantastic to be out of dens in a pub on a Saturday discussing the topic that binds us all and continues to inspire. A delightfully hot curry (always good for fending off the common cold!) rounded off the day.

Then it was a back to reality and a hectic week at work where it’s been a round of 4am starts to get there early as we are relaying the store this week to accommodate an extended new book offer (you don’t need Waterstones now –Zavvi is your one stop shop!).

Wednesday was of course Sam’s 18th birthday and inevitably had me thinking back to that incredible day in 1990 and wondering again just how I managed to  catch Robert’s gig at the Hammersmith Odeon hours after the wonderful Samantha Elizabeth came into the world. It’s still the only time I’ve seen him upstaged. In the evening Sam did indeed buy her first alcoholic drink – funny how she knew the taste already…

Some great stuff came in this week from Gary Davies and Stephen Humphries for inclusion in TBL 21. Book some time in mid to late August for your next TBL magazine fix as you lounge on your summer hols.

On the player and iPod loads of stuff: Paul Weller’s expansive new set 22 Dreams – his white album. An artist with the same adventurous muse as Robert Plant (good story in Q this month where Weller talks of speaking to Plant about ageing and hair loss and how the Zep reunion could not have happened had they been bald!),

Bonzo’s Birthday Party (naturally), Jethro Tull This Was (new collectors edition with the rare mono album),Crosby Stills, Nash & Young Live 2006 (excellent Uncut magazine feature this month), Chet Baker and Strings (jazz always sounds soothing on a summers day) , Led Zeppelin Hey Hey What Can I Do and Ronnie Lane’s The Poacher tracks (both have that warm summer glow), Sandy Denny Dream Weaver, Rod Stewart Mercury Years, John Coltrane Blue Train, Rolling Stones Exile On Main Street (what an album)

And finally …Frank Zappa Hot Rats original album on Reprise – reviving memories of it being one of the first LP’s I brought with my £11.50 first weeks wages when I started work in the big wide world age 15 and 9 months at British Home Stores on June 6 1972 – 36 years ago today – the same day Zep were kicking off their US tour in Detroit.

“It’s been like a lifetime and yet a second” as the singer once said.        

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