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ROCK IS LIT PODCAST WITH DAVE LEWIS INTERVIEW/LZ NEWS/PHYSICAL GRAFFITI 48 YEARS GONE – SNAPSHOT REVIEWS AND MORE/ DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

2 March 2023 959 views 2 Comments

Rock is Lit Podcast:

Here’s all the gen on an interview I contributed to for the Rock is Lit podcast. It’s a 30 minute segment in conversation with Christy Alexander Hallberg -author of the book Searching For Jimmy Page. My segment kicks off at 00.33 minutes.

New Episode of the Rock is Lit Podcast, Featuring Dave Lewis

Episode 20 of Rock is Lit celebrates the release of the audiobook of host Christy Alexander Hallberg’s novel, ‘Searching for Jimmy Page’, with special guests Melissa Connell and Dave Lewis.

In the episode, you’ll hear a chapter of the audiobook, then Christy talks with the audiobook’s narrator, Melissa Connell.

In the main segment, Christy is joined by Dave Lewis, who is a Led Zeppelin expert, super fan, founder and editor of the Led Zeppelin fan magazine ‘Tight But Loose’, and guru to all diehard Zep fans everywhere. Dave shares his memories of the band and the magazine that has chronicled their music and honored their legacy since 1978.

‘Searching for Jimmy Page’, the first literary novel to feature Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page, was published in paperback, hardback, and Kindle by Livingston Press on October 20, 2021. You can still find the Kindle version on Amazon, and the paperback is available on Amazon and wherever you buy books.

The audiobook is available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.

Listen to Episode 20 of Rock is Lit wherever you get your podcasts, or find it, along with show notes and photos, at christyalexanderhallberg.com.

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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, an expanded edition of the Honeydrippers album “The Honeydrippers: Volume One” will be released and the remastered and expanded thirtieth anniversary edition of “Coverdale–Page” may be released.
April 25 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Shreveport, Louisiana.
April 26 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in The Woodlands, Texas.
April 28 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana.
April 29 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Pelham, Alabama.
April 30 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Huntsville, Alabama.
May 2 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Louisville, Kentucky.
May 3 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Huber Heights, Ohio.
May 5 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Kansas City, Missouri.
May 9 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Asheville, North Carolina.
May 10 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Wilmington, North Carolina.
May 11/12 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform at the Echoland Music Festival in Live Oak, Florida.
May 13 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
May 15 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Charlotte, North Carolina.
May 18 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Bonner, Montana.
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.

Many thanks to James Cook

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

http://ledzepnews.com/

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Physical Graffiti – It was 48 years ago…

 TBL ’75 Snapshot Retro Review 1:

Jaan Uhelszki, Creem, 1975

ROCK’S BIGGEST bruisers, Led Zeppelin, have got another album. In rock chronology this is an Event, since the defending champions of the world’s biggest rock ‘n’ roll draw have released only six albums in the past seven years. In fact, we’ve spent eighteen excruciating months between products, pacifying ourselves with heavy rock’s second prizes – Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, and BTO. And these heavy metal hitmen couldn’t begin to plug up the leaks Led Zep left when they took on an extended, self-imposed exile to some musicians’ netherworld.

Now, just as cold turkey has begun to lose its chill. Zep are back with a package deal: a double album and an American tour. The announcement provoked unchecked carnage in the under-eighteen age group, primarily directed at long black limousines, uniformed adults, and popcorn sellers. Throngs of potential ticket-buyers foamed with anticipation, their palms growing sweaty, their eyes glassy.

Days passed without the appearance of Physical Graffiti. Then the first shipment arrived late one Thursday. The fans descended on Marty’s Records downstairs from CREEM like dragonflies, clustered around the cash register, furtively clutching the album to their heaving bosoms, slobbering and drooling down the shrinkwrap. Worried parents contemplated a vaccine, but once Physical Graffiti touched the turntables the mysterious malady subsided. The stricken nodules were lulled into a state of tympanic euphoria.

Physical Graffiti can stand on its own historically without the support of Zep’s five other million sellers, but inevitably the cuts on this album will be scrutinized with Nancy Drew-like precision in search of a successor to ‘Stairway’ or an equal to ‘Rock and Roll.’ Graffiti is, in fact, a better album than the other five offerings, the band being more confident, more arrogant in fact, and more consistent. The choice of material is varied, giving the audience a chance to see all sides of the band. Equal time is given to the cosmic and the terrestrial, the subtle and the passionate.

The exotic and musky ‘Kashmir’ is intriguing in its otherworldliness. Jimmy Page’s grinding, staccato guitar work sounds like a cosmic travelog to spiritual regeneration, swelling around the lyrics, which are heavily laden with mystical allusions and Hessean imagery. Although ‘Kashmir’ is certainly the best cut on the album, it could be trimmed without losing any of its mesmeric effect, because at some point the incense grows a little murky, and the slow burning guitar degenerates into opulent cliches, causing the instrumental interludes to echo an Exodus soundtrack.

Not all of the cuts are exercises in advanced audial basketweaving, but trace a musical cycle running from Page’s grandiose productions to basic drunken boogie. ‘Trampled Underfoot’ is seemingly effortless funk that is rescued from mediocrity by the elaborate punctuation of Page’s guitar. His fingers traverse the neck of his instrument with a velocity so violent that only a machine could improve upon it. Each batch of notes he pulls from his guitar is uniquely his own, personal as a thumbprint. Just as unique are Plant’s laments and his sexual heaves and sighs that turn the lyrics of a simplistic rocker like ‘Wanton Song’ into an introspective, personal statement. ‘Custard Pie’ and ‘Boogie With Stu’ are macho masterpieces in the tradition of the strutting, swaggering English flash blues formula pioneered on Zeppelin’s early albums. ‘Night Flight’, ‘Sick Again’ and ‘Ten Years Gone’ smack of pop picaresque, much in the manner of Rod Stewart’s ‘Every Picture Tells a Story’ – vignettes and transient insights, slices of a popstar’s life.

Led Zeppelin moves in strange ways. Sure they’re gutsy, ballsy, and flamboyantly aggressive, always spiked with a lot of eroticism, but they’re also cerebral…by way of the glands. They have this unique ability to wind you up and prime you for a full-throttled tilt. You rocked, you rolled, and oh mama those juices flowed – but you also listened to the words.

Surprisingly, in an era where disposable bands and itinerant musicians constantly play a game of musical chairs, Led Zeppelin is a unit – the same four members for the past seven years. Their longevity is due to a kind of magnetism, magic if you will. That rare chemistry was evident even at their first rehearsal, where they fit together like jigsaw pieces, transcending their common R&B backgrounds to achieve a gut-wrenching new synthesis. Lisa Robinson describes it as a case in which “the Beatles battled the Stones in a parking lot and Led Zeppelin won.” Zeppelin make more noise, has more guitar gimmickry, more sexuality, more flash, and generates more violence than any of their competitors, so that they are more than mere musicians, simple superstars. They have become the longest-lasting model for those culturally bankrupt ‘trendies’ to follow. Underage masses walk, talk, dress and dope like Zep. They have become a necessary trapping for the terminally hip, as well as providing the audial backdrop for any social gathering.

A Led Zeppelin album is like a select invitation to a key club of rock ‘n’ roll, where the kohl eyed gypsy Jimmy Page is finally accessible through his smoky guitar solos. Robert Plant preens and moans, lusts and longs for lost memories…and takes you along. Like a sonic vortex, Zeppelin draws you into their private caprice, spiraling, coaxing your willing psyche into a suprasensory haven where you can taste and savor this dream stuff that superstars thrive on. This is not pop music, but a harder stuff, more heady and potent, like a round of whiskeys and coke. Zeppelin are avatars in a cultural vacuum.

© Jaan Uhelszki, 1975

 TBL ’75 Snapshot Retro Review 2:

Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti

John Tobler, ZigZag magazine March 1975.

NOW I SHOULD make clear in this context that I’m not by nature a fan of this band in the same way that I like Van Morrison or Love. My position is one of deep respect, mind you, and while I was heard to say some harsh things about Beck copyists, etc, when the first album came out, such notions no longer seem to apply. I feel that I would have to perform a masterpiece of justification if I wanted to put L.Z. down, and in all honesty, there’s no fuel for that particular fire.

I suspect that someone somewhere will go into that old thing about making one great album out of two flawed same, as used with the Beatles’ White Album and so on, but again, I can’t subscribe, and this is where the review really starts. There are fifteen tracks on display here, and three of them, accounting for about a third of the playing time, appeal to me so much that were they on one side of the record, I would find it difficult to play anything else until I knew them from every direction. Specifically, these are ‘In My Time Of Dying’, ‘Houses Of The Holy’, and best of all, in a class shared with only a dozen or so tracks in my entire musical existence, ‘In The Light’.

That’s not to write the rest off in a terse few words but for my part, the record would be breaking down fresh barriers if it was all as good. It’s a question of stand-outs, and if you can imagine putting ‘She Loves You’ on the first Beatles album, you’ll see what I mean. Without my three choice cuts, the album would be of very good quality. Perhaps a little routine, but certainly to be among the critics’ choices at the end of the year. With the tracks included, it gets a distinct lift off, and while it’s just as certain to figure similarly in critical and public polls, we’re all getting a bonus for which we should be grateful. I would say with certainty that prolonged playing will produce several more tracks which will become highly pleasing, but it all comes down to what makes the biggest initial impact. And that’s not to say that the three I’ve mentioned have a singalong chorus.

Beyond saying “Get it if you’re even vaguely into this type of confection,” there’s not much to add. Jimmy Page as producer has to be one of the most tasteful people there is, and he continually rejects the temptation to fall into Black Sabbath traps, He also plays the guitar with consummate brilliance, and perhaps that’s part of the key to Led Zeppelin. They are all musicians of the highest calibre, and the length of time taken to produce this package is a testimony to the fact that second best for them is as bad as nowhere. One for your lists.

© John Tobler via rocksbackpages.com

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Facts Behind The Tracks:

To aide your listening enjoyment – as taken from the Led Zeppelin From A Whisper To A Scream book…

Custard Pie Page, Plant

As well as tapping the Bukka White songbook for the ‘shake  ‘em on down’ refrain, other sources of inspiration can be traced to Sonny Boy Fuller’s ‘Custard Pie Blues’, Blind Boy Fuller’s ‘I Want Some Of Your Custard Pie’ and Big Joe Williams’ version of the song, ‘Drop Down Mama’. This was the song’s working title.

Jimmy Page’s guitar solo is filtered through a then recently acquired ARP guitar synthesizer.

The Rover Page, Plant

This dates back to 1970, when it ’ was rehearsed as an acoustic blues piece before being recorded at Stargroves with Eddie Kramer for the fifth album. When it didn’t make the final ‘Houses Of The Holy’ selection, Page returned to it in 1974, overdubbing and re-mixing the basic track with Keith Harwood.

The curious “Guitar lost courtesy Nevison… Salvaged by the grace of Harwood” sleeve credit would appear to be a reference to certain mixing difficulties they may have had here – Nevison being engineer Ron Nevison.

In My Time of Dying  Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant

This was a traditional song totally reworked. A version can be found on Bob Dylan’s first album,. The lyrics include reference to Blind Willie Johnson’s Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed.

A stunning live delivery of this track drawn from their May 1975 Earl’s Court shows can be seen on the 2003 Led Zeppelin DVD

One the Companion Disc  there is a spacey initial rough mix of In My Time Of Dying.

Houses of The Holy Page, Plant

Left off the album of the same name  but  recalled for the double set. It retired no further re-mixing, having been tied up by Eddie Kramer as far back as the Electric Lady sessions in June 1972.  In order to create the layered guitar intro and fade, Jimmy used a Delta T digital delay unit.

The Companion Audio Disc  presents the Houses Of The Holy Rough Mix With Overdubs version.

Trampled Underfoot Jones, Page, Plant

This has a lyrical theme that highlight the workings of motor car and its relation with the sexual act, a theme explored by Robert Johnson in his 1936 recording ‘Terraplane Blues’. The working title for Trampled Under Foot was Brandy And Coke .

John Paul Jones’ clavinet contribution was inspired by  the use of the instrument  on Stevie Wonder’s Superstitious and Billy Preston’s ‘Outta Space’.

A special limited edition single coupling Trampled Underfoot with Black Country Woman was issued as a promotional tool in the UK at the time of their five Earls Court shows in May 1975.

In the US, Trampled Underfoot was released as a single reaching number 38 on the Billboard chart.

An initial rough mix of Trampled Underfoot under the working title of Brandy & Coke can be heard on the Companion Disc.

Olympic 10

Kashmir Bonham, Page, Plant

This was initially demoed in instrumentals form with John Bonham in late in 1973.

Robert Plant wrote the lyrics on the road to Tan Tan while holidaying in South Morocco immediately after the 1973 US tour, it was initially titled ‘Driving To Kashmir’

It enjoyed further success in 1998 when Page utilized the basic riff of ‘Kashmir’ for collaboration with rapper Puff Daddy. This new version used on the Godzilla soundtrack reached number 2 in the UK singles chart.

This arrangement has been much deployed as TV and radio background link music notably on the UK X Factor TV show.

Kashmir was the grand finale at the Led Zeppelin reunion staged in tribute to the late Ahmet Ertegun on December 10th, 2007.

Jimmy Page can be seen performing and explaining how the song came together in 2008 on a soundstage in front of Jack White and The Edge for the It Might Get Loud documentary film.

A rough orchestra mix  under the working title of Driving Through Kashmir can be hard on the Companion Audio Disc.

In The Light Jones, Page, Plant

Another creation that was honed down from various ideas. Rehearsal versions offer alternate lyrics such as ‘ In The morning’ while another rehearsal take leads with the refrain ‘Take Me Home.’ A work in progress version titled  Everybody Makes It Through  (In The Light Early Version/In Transit) can be  heard on the Companion Audio Disc.

Bron Y Aur Page

A short winsome acoustic solo, was written by Jimmy Page at the cottage in South Snowdonia in 1970 during the preparation for Led Zeppelin III’  It was recorded at Island Stusios. This was used as a background soundtrack in the sequence in The Song Remains The Same movie in a sequence as they traveled in limos to the Madison Square Garden.

It was briefly part of their acoustic set on the sixth American tour in August/September 1970.

Down By The Seaside Page, Plant

Another song written at Bron-Y-Aur in the Spring of 1970. Originally conceived as a Neil Young-influenced acoustic strum – this electric arrangement was recorded at the time of the fourth album sessions.

Robert Plant’s lasting affinity for the song led him to record a new version in 1994 with Tori Amos for inclusion on the official Led Zeppelin tribute album Encomium.

Ten Years Gone Page, Plant

Jimmy page had initially honed the guitar orchestration at his Plumpton home studio ready to record. Robert Plant added the moving narrative about an age old love affair..

It was performed live on stage on their 1977 US tour and at Knebworth in 1979 – the arrangement featured John Paul Jones on a three necked guitar designed by guitar maker Andy Manson.

Night Flight Jones, Page, Plant

This was recorded during sessions at Headley Grange for the fourth album. Lyrically it reflected Plant’s thoughts on the threat of nuclear war.

Never played live during the Zep era, some 23 years after its release Jimmy Page & Robert Plant finally performed it live at their ULU London show on October 30th, 1998 and a few other shows on their European tour of that time.

A version by the late Jeff Buckley can be heard on the expanded edition of his Live At Sin-e album.

 The Wanton Song Page, Plant

Original tape boxes have this track listed as being titled Desiree – possibly a namecheck for Desiree Serino, the future spouse of fellow Swan Song act Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke.

Page’s guitar effects include the use of backwards echo during the solo and refrain, and also playing through a Leslie speaker to create the organ effect.

Boogie With Stu Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant, Stewart, Mrs Valens

A loose jam recorded at the same sessions which produced ‘Rock And Roll’ for the fourth album. The Stu was  Ian Stewart, the Rolling Stones’ tour manager and resident boogie-woogie keyboard player, playing barrel-house piano. Heavily based on Richie Valens’ Fifties hit ‘Ooh My Head’ (check out the La Bamba movie), hence the credit to his widow. The slapping guitar came from an overdub session with the ARP guitar synth. Robert came up with the working title ‘Sloppy Drunk’. The song was credited to all the band plus Mrs. Valens and Ian Stewart. Allegedly, the credit to Valen’s mother Connie Valenzuela was due to the fact they had heard she had never received a royalty for her son’s hits.

An alternate mix of Boogie With Stu from the Led Zeppelin IV Sunset Sound Studios Mixing sessions can be heard on the Companion Audio Disc.

Black Country Woman Page, Plant

Ever on the look-out for off-the-wall recording locations they took to the garden at Stargroves for this session in the spring of 1972. The resulting take was nearly shelved when a plane cruised overhead, but as the opening dialogue reveals, it was all captured for posterity.

Prior to release ‘Black Country Woman’ was sub-titled ‘Never Ending Doubting Woman Blues’. This was a reference to a final spoken tag left off the finished version which had Robert proclaiming, “What’s the matter with you mama, never-ending, nagging, doubting woman blues.”

Sick Again  Page, Plant

A mid tempo-rocker based on Plant’s lyrical observations of the 1973 US tour and the ladies that surrounded them. It’s powered by a series of Page runs and some ferocious Bonham percussion. The live performance of this track , drawn from their Knebworth 1979 shows is stand out moment of the 2003 DVD release.

A short instrumental run through of Sick Again (Early Version) can be heard on the new Companion Audio Disc.

Written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday February 24:

DL/TBL Physical Graffiti throwback…celebrating the release of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti 48 years ago today – you can never have too many copies of this masterpiece…

Saturday February 25:

Saturday is platterday – marking his Birthday on the player the excellent compilation The Best Of George Harrison…

 Saturday February 25:

Great day at the excellent VIP record fair at the Harpur Suite in Bedford – and great to see Steve Livesley, Ian Saikia and Cliff The ticket man Hilliard – records and CDs were purchased!

Sunday February 26:

Always great to see Keith Harlow at the VIP Record Fair in Bedford yesterday – Keith had just purchased the rather splendid Pink Floyd Another Side of the Moon – The Alternative Album picture disc ..all in all it was a great Fair…

Saturday February 25:

‘’What is life without music’’ states the sign behind myself Ian and Steve in the George & Dragon pub in town last night…
Having added a fair few musical selections on LP, single and CD to our respective collections at the VIP Record Fair earlier, it’s a statement we whole heartedly agree with…

Sunday February 26:  

Spurs 2 Chelsea 0 that will do nicely…

Sunday February 26:

Some very fine CD purchases at the excellent VIP Record Fair in Bedford yesterday…

Tuesday February 28:

Some Zep related acquisitions at the VIP Record Fair last Saturday…
Led Zeppelin The Lost Sessions BBC Broadcasts 1969 – cross section of familiar 1969 BBC broadcast tracks two LP bootleg on the Off The Shelf label – not quite lost sessions of course but good to have in a colour sleeve and different track listing.
Led Zeppelin – Texas International Pop Festival -1969 Broadcast 2 LP bootleg on the Off The Shelf label. The familiar soundboard recording of the brilliant August 31 1969 performance. The cover is actually from the BBC sessions.
Not seen the above two before though they are no doubt doing the rounds as so called semi official releases.
Led Zeppelin – Presence 1980s Europe/UK reissue in single sleeve with black lettering
Stephen Stills –Right By You 1984 album with Jimmy Page on twp tracks – US pressing with inner bag with lyrics
Lovely stuff!
Update here:
After a tough few weeks it was a real tonic to attend the VIP Record Fair in Bedford last Saturday and meet with so many like minded record collectors. As can be seen above, there were bargains to be had and a host of fascinating array of LPs, singles and CD’s to wade through – and naturally purchases were made. Thanks to all who came along and chatted.
March is here and as ever, there’s a lot going on with more promotion on the Five Glorious Nights Led Zeppelin at Earls Court book and the ongoing chipping away at the DL Memoires.
Thanks for listening

Until next time…

Dave  Lewis –  March 2  2023 

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

Follow TBL/DL on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/tightbutloose.loose

 

 

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2 Comments »

  • Lee Clarke said:

    Hi Dave–just a curious question, if there’s an answer. Seems like there is a lot of issue being made over Johnny Depp being Jeff Beck’s “best friend”, and being the only “mourner invited” to attend the actual burial of Beck. Not to get nosy, but I would have thought that Page and Clapton, not to mention Rod Stewart, would be considered close friends of Jeff Beck as well. I know they attended Beck’s funeral, but I’m wondering why they weren’t (or aren’t) included with more. I get it that Depp was living with Beck for a bit, but it still seems odd. Jimmy Page knew Jeff Beck for over 65 years or so, and seemed to be very close to Beck, Clapton also. Just thoughts…keep up the good website, always a pleasure to read

  • deanbriss@yahoo.ca said:

    Hi Dave

    Robert Plant and Alison Krauss are also playing on July 8th at the Ottawa Blusefest in Ottawa Ontario Canada

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