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Planet Nicky / Knebworth (what else?) / The Moon

22 July 2009 2,769 views No Comment

Dave Lewis‘’For the next three hours your mother wouldn’t like it’’

Those words, uttered from the Earls Court stage a few feet away from me, around about 8 o clock on May 24th 1975 by an unassuming guy with a beard are ingrained on my brain – a similar announcement on the evening of August 11th 1979 made by the same person is equally as memorable. So it was very heart warming to be face to face last Sunday night with Nicky Horne the man responsible for that statement.

The occasion was the interview Nicky and I conducted at London’s Planet Rock studios to talk about the Knebworth book. You can here the interview on Planet Rock’s Listen Again facility on the link: http://planetrock.radica.com/listen-again.htm

The legendary veteran DJ and former Capital Radio ‘’Your Mother Wouldn’t Like It’’ presenter was on great form, and in between the links, we reminisced enthusiastically about old Zep related stories. Recalling Knebworth, Nicky told me how mortified he was to see a flag in the crowd with the rather unflattering message ‘’Nicky Horne is a c***’’. That was until he was told it was an affectionate festival tradition that the great John Peel had endured at the Reading Festival for years. Talking about the musical climate of the time, Nicky recalled how he was reviled in the music press for not liking punk and not being afraid to say it. There was lots of other stuff we hit on from that era, and I’m going to pin Nicky down in the next few days to log an interview for the next TBL. He was also the fourth of the DJ’s who introduced Zep at Earls Court to tell me about the personally inscribed silver goblet award Peter Grant had sent to him in appreciation of his involvement – Alan Freeman, Bob Harris and Johnnie Walker have all relayed how they too received a similar gesture when I’ve met them over the years. That must be a very coveted unique piece of Zep memorabilia.

The trip into London on Sunday night was a welcome opportunity to spread the word about the book. I’ve received some fantastic support over the past week in respect of that, notably from Steve Sauer’s Led Zeppelin news site (see www.ledzeppelinnews.com) and Julian Walker’s Underground Uprising (http://uuweb.led-zeppelin.us/). Terry Stephenson and Rick Barrett (www.zeppelincollectibles.com) have also been great.

For a preview of the book and insight into how it came together and my thoughts behind it

Click here

Pre orders are now being taken (see link)

This is a limited run, so be sure to order now to avoid disappointment.

The Knebworth August 8th Celebration Day Event is taking shape and the planned agenda is now up on the site – again if you want to attend there are still places available.

Last week I heard from long time American fan Larry Bergmann who contributes an extensive piece in the book. He told me he is coming over for the weekend of the event and will be staying in dear old Bedford. He previously visited the shores of Albion for the ‘92 Zep London Convention and the Page & Plant UK tour in ’98.

All my waking hours seem to be absorbed by the book and event in one way or another, and that’s the way it is right now as we lead in to the big 30th anniversary.

I have managed to clock a few of the Moon Landing 40th anniversary news bulletins. Back in 1969 when it was all happening, I was 12 years old and a few months away from being under the spell of the Zep. The boys themselves played a gig at the Cleveland Musicarnival, a summer tent theatre at Warrensville Heights the night Neil Armstrong made one small step for man. I do recall all the action unfolding on our tiny black and white TV though I went to bed before the epic 4am moon walk. I’d no doubt had a hard day at the local park playing cricket as we did back then, and putting my sixpence into the juke box at the local café to hear my three favourite records of the moment: Give Peace A Chance by The Plastic Ono Band, In the Ghetto by Elvis and Honky Tonk Women by The Rolling Stones.

A decade later the space race had slowed down somewhat, and when Robert Plant set foot on that Knebworth stage, it was one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for six nights at Madison Square Garden. The fact that they never did manage that feat again only adds to the mystique and aura of those two Knebworth nights.

It’s quite a story… and you can read my take on it all, and a fair few other Zep devotees in Then As It Was from August 8th.

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