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21 June 2023 772 views No Comment
TBL Archive Special: Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980 – 43 years gone…

This week marks the 43rd anniversary of the first dates of the final Led Zeppelin tour – a low key 14 date trek taking in Germany, Belgium, Holland, Austria and Switzerland. I was lucky enough to attend five of those gigs. This is all chronicled in my Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind Over Europe 1980 book

Here’s is an extract of chapter three, my on the road account written at the time and first featured in TBL issue 5.

 Extract – Chapter Three: Rejuvenation Over Europe 1980 – Up close and personal: Cologne, June 18, 1980.

Raymondo straps on Jimmy’s Gibson. The audience are already in near frenzy as he steps on the wah-wah pedal and tunes up. Robert, straight to the right of the stage with both arms held aloft, is holding the microphone lead in that usual outstretched pose. Jimmy Page continues tuning up and eventually this becomes the chords for the opening bars of Train Kept A Rollin’, an old Yardbirds number and a track that was used as the set opener on the first Zeppelin US tours all those years ago.

As Jonesy and Bonzo crash in on cue, Robert, at once, is alive and totally immersed in the song. Let me tell you, it was a moment that crystallised the essence of rejuvenation this band has obviously undergone. The power, even for them, is awesome.   Train Kept A Rollin’ stops and Nobody’s Fault But Mine starts. Minus the sonic intro but including some marvellous Plant phrasing (“Nobody’s fault but maahyyne….”) and harmonica wailings and with the now expected cry of “Oh Jimmy….Oh Jimmy…”, before a shuffling, twirling, twanging solo from James Patrick.

Two songs in and a further shock. Jimmy Page speaks! Yes folks, it’s true. For the first time I can recall, Jimmy greets an audience. A bit muffled, but it’s there alright – “Good Evening! Gonna do an old one, it’s called Black Dog.”

Yes Jimmy, an oldie but goodie. Robert is outstanding on this one. All the old poses – my it’s loud. It’s obscene, it’s beautiful. But Jimmy too, more than I’ve seen, wants to share the spotlight. No longer content to confine himself to the left of Bonzo’s kit – no – he’s everywhere.

I’ve never seen him move so much. Playing up to the crowd, cringing, grinning – you know the stuff. I mean, we’ve already got one amazing front man, but this time around Jimmy is almost playing off him. The spectacle of the two is something else. Hey, John Paul Jones too, seems to be more upfront these days. No longer slipping into the shadows next to Bonzo. No, he’s more prominent, nearer the front of the stage, not moving too much of course, but jigging a merry dance up there with those amazing fluid bass runs that undercut Jimmy’s slippery guitar work.

“Since we came here last, many things have happened, one of the most important being the album called In Through The Out Door.”

In The Evening is played next, with exceptional intensity. The drama of the intro itself is masterful. Spotlight on Bonzo as he rolls on the tympani, Jimmy crouched over his blue Strat clawing at the tremolo arm to achieve that drone and Robert, arms upheld, slowly walking up to the microphone and holding the opening line for several bars until the moment all four crash down collectively on that cascading riff. Taken at a slightly slower tempo than last year’s gigs, it still rates as a classic in the Zep stakes and as a testament to the power of the new Zeppelin sound. Another magic moment is, of course, the point where the song slips into the slower passage, guided by Robert’s outstretched arm in the direction of John Paul Jones, who plays a beautiful keyboard passage (not featured on the studio version) over Jimmy’s jangling out-stretched tremolo chording.

“This is one from the Houses Of The Holy period” Robert tells the audience and a blue spotlight picks out Jimmy playing the opening chords to The Rain Song – a song that has some of Robert’s best lyrics (“you are the sunlight in my growing”) and also features some controlled tympani from Bonzo.

“That was a song about a love that went right, this is one about a love that went wrong.”

Cue for the hillbilly cat workout of Hot Dog for which Jimmy switches to red Telecaster. Funny old track this. As much as I find it undistinguished on record, on stage it always delights as a fun clapalong. It also gives Robert the opportunity to hoedown with some delightful foot stepping.

The next song is also from the last album. Unannounced, it still gets one of the best receptions of the night, the moment Jonesy plays the opening string symphony notes of All My Love. As on record, this is beautiful. Jimmy plays some memorable chords on the Telecaster and Robert’s singing is full of sincerity. When John Paul Jones gets the middle classical solo off to a tee, Robert looks over and gives him a knowing smile. It was just perfect, and the outro too, with Robert extending the “ I get a bit lonely, just a little bit, oh just a little bit lonely” lines to maximum effect.

“That song featured J.P. Jones on keyboards, so does this track, Trampled Underfoot.”

Complete with side stage revolving beacons, this remains a definitive high energy Zeppelin improvisation number. On that extended solo Jimmy seems to reap forth the most incredible guitar lines and Robert does a delightful two step strut across the stage shaking his head back and forth until he swings round and screams “Push!”, “Push”, “Push yeah.” Vibrant stuff indeed. (“Eye Thank Yew”).

They slow the pace with the next track, Since I’ve Been Loving You, where naturally Jimmy leads the way with some amazing smooth lead guitar. Robert’s vocals too, soar out this painful tale, holding and bending the notes in all the right places. John Paul Jones aids the mix on electric piano.   Towards the finish Robert really excels, “Ah I get down on my knees for you, fill my heart with pain, don’t make me lose, don’t make me lose…..” We got the booze, they got the blues remember?

From there it’s another high-spot. White light and smoke (one of the few effects employed) greet the intro of the epic Achilles Last Stand. Jimmy uses feedback to great effect, throwing his arm out in tune with the sound. Robert, meanwhile, is at his preening best unleashing the tale of where it all meets. “Where the mighty arms of Atlas hold the heavens from the earth.” For the “Ah-ah ah ah” repeat refrain, Robert and Jimmy cluster together in classic rock ‘n’ roll pose, swinging their heads back and forth showering in each others sweat.

Raymondo brings on a chair for Jimmy’s White Summer/Black Mountain Side segment, where he sits down with the Dan Electro. He gets so carried away that at one point he even drops his pick. On cue, the last refrain of Black Mountain Side is the moment when the band collectively leap back into action via a couple of flash explosions stage front and we are into Kashmir.

This is glorious. Robert does some incredible spontaneous choreography with Jimmy who is crouched menacingly over the Dan Electro guitar. Towards the end Bonzo leads the way out with a series of unbelievable drum fills, each one just a little more frenzied that the last, beating up to an incredible climax.

Just about the only song that could follow that is our anthem. Unannounced the opening chords of Stairway to Heaven get the expected response. Robert’s phrasing is, as ever, spot on and the tempo of the song is just slightly more speeded up than usual. He sings “Do you remember laughter, laughter,” and takes up a classic tambourine pose for Jimmy to weave the way out with a soaring double neck solo.

“Goodnight – It’s nice to be back on the road again.”

With that they’re gone. Ten minutes later they’re back with a rousing encore. “Good Evening! Never fails does it?” smiles Robert, adding the statement – “So this is what it’s like to be in a rock ‘n’ roll band! Then Bonzo thrashes the intro of Rock And Roll, which has Robert doing his pogo bit, and Jimmy leaping around the stage firing the Gibson at the audience.

After that, there is more than enough response to require a second encore, which they get. A compact, no nonsense Communication Breakdown remains faithful to the version on the debut LP, clocking in at no more than three minutes of energetic action.

“Not bad for a bunch of dinosaurs!… Goodnight Cologne… ”

That’s Robert’s final statement. That’s the second night of the tour. That was hot.

So how do you sum that one up? Folks – I’d say Led Zeppelin have gone full circle. Tonight in every aspect of their performance it was almost a ‘back to the roots’ approach. From the use of an old Yardbirds number to open with, right through to the choice of a twelve year old cut that still sounds good, to close with. In between was what I would consider to be just about the best set I’ve ever witnessed Zeppelin play.

There was a definite lack of self indulgence. A lack of excessiveness too. Five years ago it was exciting and relevant to include marathon numbers, the bow episode, the lasers, the effects, etc, but really they took that trip as far as it could go. The pendulum has swing in the other direction now. The throwback of the compact set Zeppelin performed tonight still had enough spice and vitality to satisfy and I applaud their conviction to do it that way.

It’s also a much needed return to feeling audiences again. By reducing the scale of the whole operation, Zeppelin have once again regained contact with the people. With the stage only six feet away from the nearest punter, it was a true platform of communication.

Another point – Knebworth was a magic event last year, there is no doubting that, but the size, grandeur and emotional experience of them appearing on a stage again, maybe glossed over the true spirit of their musical presence a little. Judging by the smiles on the faces of Robert, Jimmy, Jonesy and Bonzo all through the Cologne gig, that spirit is well in evidence on this tour and that’s an important aspect. The fact that they’re really enjoying playing together again. I mean, I’ve never seen Robert sweat so much on stage! They really want to please and it’s a great feeling to witness that.

Led Zeppelin have impressed me in many different ways over the years. As musicians, as performers, as writers, as people. Tonight they impressed me as a working rock ‘n’ roll band – above everything. That’s important.

Tight but loose? – you ain’t joking… And this is only the second night of the tour…

Extract from the book Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind – Over Europe 1980 by Dave Lewis.


LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:

Here’s the latest round up from LZ News:

n 2017, the UK’s National Portrait Gallery considered holding an exhibition on Led Zeppelin the following year to mark the band’s fiftieth anniversary.

Thanks to a Freedom of Information request, LedZepNews obtained the gallery’s seven-page internal memo laying out the case for the exhibition. You can read our full report on the document on the LedZepNews website here.

Upcoming Events:

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 Barce

Many thanks to James Cook

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

It was 51 years ago today …
Loading up the 3 CD bootleg Led Zeppelin Sizzles In Seattle on the Lemon Song label – as recorded 51 years ago today on June 19 1972 at the Seattle Center Coliseum…
A distant audience tape but an absolutely stellar performance and one of my all time favourites – a very lengthy set list previewing material from their then in progress fifth album that would emerge as Houses of The Holy the next spring.
There’s The Ocean, Over The Hills And Far Away ,Dancing Days (played twice!) and a rare outing for Black Country Woman (the only known complete live airing the studio version of which would finally see the light of day on Physical Graffiti some three years later
All in all an amazing performance both in content and masterful playing…
Here’s some info via Mike Tremaglio as researched for the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book:
Setlist: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Out On The Tiles (Intro)/ Black Dog, The Ocean, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California, Black Country Woman, That’s The Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed And Confused (inc. Walter’s Walk, The Crunge), What Is And What Should Never Be, Dancing Days, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love Medley (inc. Sing A Simple Song, Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Boogie Chillun’, (Let’s Have A) Party, Hello Mary Lou, Only The Lonely (Know How I Feel), Heartbreak Hotel, Going Down Slow), Rock And Roll, Organ Solo (inc. Amazing Grace, Everyday People, Louie Louie, Let’s Dance), Thank You, Money (That’s What I Want), Over The Hills And Far Away, Dancing Days
The second consecutive show in Seattle, and the band turned in one of their all-time greatest performances, loaded with rarities and new additions to the setlist. Having just recorded the Houses of the Holy LP over the prior two months, for the first time the band debuted a track from it – The Ocean. Robert Plant’s introduction: “Well, we’d like to do something off ah, something we’ve never ever done before in fact, in front of people, and it’s not one of ah, one of the fables either. This is a thing called The Ocean.”
The biggest surprise of the evening may have been the performance of Black Country Woman. The Houses of the Holy outtake would not be released until Physical Graffiti (1975), and it would not be performed again until the 1977 tour. This rendition is actually the only time the full song was performed, as opposed to the truncated version performed during the 1977 acoustic set.
The next surprise was the debut performance of another track from their unreleased fifth album – Dancing Days. Plant’s introduction: “We got another new one we want to do, off the next album. Freshly rehearsed ah, about thirty minutes before you came here.
This is a song about summer. It’s called, it’s called Dancing Days.” After the song, Plant commented: “Well, that’s the first time. That’s the first time that we’ve ever done that. All being well, we’ve got to get this album out before the summer goes, otherwise it’s like the past tense. That was Dancing Days.”
The Whole Lotta Love medley also featured a surprise – the only recording of Roy Orbison’s ‘Only the Lonely (Know the Way If Feel)’. The band then played several encores, with one of the highlights being an extended John Paul Jones organ improvisation solo which included ‘Amazing Grace’ and Sly & the Family Stone’s ‘Everyday People’. The band then joined Jones to perform covers of The Kingmen’s ‘Louie Louie’, and Chris Montez’s ‘Let’s Dance’. ‘Louie Louie’ would also be played again in Denver and the Inglewood Forum, while this is the only recording of ‘Let’s Dance’.
After playing the Thank You encore, they pulled out another surprise, performing ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’ for just the second of four times (with the other recordings being from Toronto, February 2, 1969, Denver, June 21, 1972, and Frankfurt, Germany, June 30, 1980). Still not finished, the band came back and debuted another new track from Houses of the Holy – Over the Hills and Far Away (unfortunately, the first half of the song is cut on the bootleg recording).
Finally, the band played the last track of the evening – Dancing Days – for the second time of the night! Here’s Plant’s explanation prior to playing it again: “Because we were only contracted to do fifty minutes in the first place, and it’s now three hours twenty minutes since we’ve started, and because we only come here once every twelve months cause the rest of the time we’re stuck in the mountains, we’d like to do this song off the new album. This is one that you might have heard about two hours ago. This is called Dancing Days. We like it so much, we’re gonna do it again.”
Mike Tremaglio/Dave Lewis
It was Eight years ago today:
Eight years ago today on June 18 2015, I was lucky enough to interview Jimmy Page at Olympic Studios in Barnes (where Led Zep I was recorded and more) to discuss the final three Led Zeppelin reissues for a feature in TBL issue 39.
Jimmy was on great form – he talked me though the contents of the the final three reissues including the Coda companion audio disc.
Less structured and informal, our conversation turned into something of a mutual Led Zep love- in, as we both praised the likes of Two Ones Are Won (Achilles Last Stand), For You Life, Pod, If It Keeps On Raining, the Bombay tracks friends and Four Hands , Bonzo’s Montreux and Sugar Mama etc.
Here’s a couple of excerpts from the interview: Discussing the reference mix of For Your Life Jimmy told me:
”For Your Life really goes into something of a different vein. If people go ‘oh Led Zeppelin is heavy metal’’ well quite clearly it isn’t. The whole time signature of it, the whole layering of guitars. The way that the riff changes, the overlays of it, the textures. I mean, no one’s got anywhere near things like that”
On the Bombay sessions:
”I didn’t know what we were going to do really. it was entirely experimental. Because of the percussion – they had the tabla drums and everything, I realised we could approach Four Sticks and it would work.”
I asked Jimmy if he had a message for the fans at the end of this monumental reissue project – he replied as follows:
”Happy listening …you in for some amazing surprises! (laughs). They are what they intended to be – a companion to the master audio of the original catalogue. Here’s the bottom line – it has doubled the output of what the studio situation was in the first place. From the beginning, I knew that was possible and that it what it has been all about”
”Keep flying the flag” commented Jimmy to me at the end of the interview..
That is an absolute given…and still is of course…
Coincidentally, the interview took place on June 18 – 35 years on from the night I saw Jimmy performing on stage in Cologne on the second night of the Led Zeppelin Over Europe tour. I took in an A3 print of the photo of Jimmy on stage in Cologne from page 93 of the Feather In The Wind book. Jimmy and I are holding it up in the photo here.
This photo was taken in the interview room at Olympic which is adorned by a large framed Led Zep I cover – a turquoise one at that. The cover is signed by Jimmy, it’s a permanent reminder of the band’s presence in this famous building from 1968 to 1975.
Whilst there I asked Jimmy to sign the print which he was more than happy to do. He wrote ‘’Thirty five years to the day and we’re still speaking – Rock On!! Jimmy Page’’
The framed photo has pride of place here – a reminder of a very memorable day in the company of Jimmy Page…
Dave Lewis – June 18 2023
My thoughts on…
The Tom Robinson Band Esquires Bedford – June 15, 2023
I’ve long since been an admirer of Tom Robinson. Back in the late 70s he brought an intelligent edge to the punk and new wave movement – the TRB’s glorious power pop contained many a message of the times.
I bought all the early singles and loved his early 80s output too with the likes of War Baby.
He has since developed an admiral duel career with his radio presenting. The opportunity to see him perform live at our local venue was too good to miss – and what an opportunity it proved to be.
The Tom Robinson Band took to the stage in front of a very enthusiastic audience and set their stall out immediately with a romp through The Winter Of ’79. The sound was excellent with Tom’s bass upfront and a clear mix of the whole band.
Tom now a sprightly 73, looked great and sang with total conviction. Their punk inspired power pop has evidently lost none of its bite. Andy Treacey on drums and Jim Simmons organ and piano supplementing Adam Phillips lead guitar and Lee Forsyth Griffiths acoustic back up.
”How the devil are you?” he asked the assembled with an affability that would soon become very apparent.
For one of the continuing themes of the night was Tom’s engaging between song patter as he set the scene for the night. Often very humorous and full of self-deprecation, his friendly persona created an instant rapport with the audience.
Musically there was so much to enjoy – Grey Cortina was delivered at 1977 punk like pace and a cover version of Steely Dan’s Rikki Don’t Lose That Number was interpreted as Tom explained, in the style of Roxy Music as he loved both bands.
Tom made a very poignant statement about the pandemic and the difficulties it brought and those that have been lost. This had me thinking about the much missed late great Chris Robinson who was always part of the Esquires family here.
The call and response led Martin was eagerly soaked up and reciprocated. Tom then explained after the initial burst of TRB success, how his career and life hit the skids forcing him to move to Hamburg – the brilliant Atmospherics (Listen To The Radio?) was a remnant from that era and superbly performed.
Tom told a very funny tale about Eddie Grant buying his old equipment prior to a compelling run through of his 1983 comeback hit War Baby.
He also paid tribute to the original TRB band line up (‘’without them I wouldn’t be here’’) and the late departed guitarist Danny Kustow. A soaring Too Good To Be True had current guitarist Adam Phillips more than doing justice to the solo.
Fellow band mate Lee Forsyth Griffiths came into his own with an engaging solo song Silence is Death.
Another hilarious story preceded the anthemic (could it be anything else?) Glad To Be Gay. This involved Tom meeting the legendary gruff Scottish rocker Alex Harvey and how Alex at the time gave a surprising seal of approval to that controversial lament. A standing ovation followed this performance.
Whilst the themes of the above anthem may now seem slightly less relevant as Tom pointed out, many other issues remain in question. The Mighty Sword Of Justice, Still Loving You and Up Against The Wall were all performed with a rallying call stance.
Finally ‘’a medley of our greatest hit’’ as Tom put it, the rousing (could it be anything else?) 2-4-6-8 Motorway delivered in an extended arrangement that moved into a long fade and a chorus of Here Comes The Sun’’ .
They were back on for a two song encore – the poignant Only The Now contrasting with a suitably frantic Power In The Darkness, the lyrical content brought up to date with venomous effect.
On a hot Thursday night, The Tom Robinson Band uplifted every single member of the audience with a set packed with passion.
Often profound and constantly joyous, Tom Robinson’s on stage presence is an ongoing lesson in musical integrity. It was a truly fabulous gig.
Dave Lewis – June 16,2023
Thanks to the always excellent Esquires venue for a great presentation, to Kevin Bailey and Chris and Tina West.
My thoughts on:

Beatles/Evolver ’63 Mark Lewishon Beatles presentation at the Bloomsbury Theatre- with special guest the BBC journalist Samira Ahmed… 

It was back to the Bloomsbury Theater on Saturday afternoon for the third Mark Lewisohn Beatles presentation.

Previously, the eminent leading Beatles historian and author has covered the Abbey Road period in the 2019 Hornsey Road presentation and last October staged Beatles/Evolver ’62 – a summary of their pre fame year discussing 62 aspects of their rise.

Now comes Beatles/Evolver ’63 with the focus on The Beatles big breakthrough year. This time Mark has opted for a relatively simple format with a different guest for each of the five performances he is giving. For this Saturday afternoon he was joined by the BBC arts journalist Samira Ahmed.

The show quickly got into it’s stride with a discussion on the tape that has surfaced from an appearance The Beatles gave at Stowe School in April 1963. Samira has been involved in this story on her BBC radio programme. It was very enlightening to see photos of the afternoon show and hear a snippet of I Saw Her Standing There from the tape. Samira noted that an announcement is due imminently on exactly what is going to happen with the tape ahead.

Throughout the presentation, Mark’s accompanying visuals and interview extracts did much to illustrate the extraordinary impact John, Paul, George and Ringo had on the nation during this momentous year. It went far beyond just being a pop group writing amazingly infectious songs.

Amongst the brilliant photos shown was a  great shot of Paul McCartney being given the bumps by his fellow Beatles 60 years ago the day before his s 21st Birthday. The photo was taken outside the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios in Delaware Road on June 17 1963. Another one taken at the BBC Playhouse during a BBC session had Ringo presumably reading a humorous request with DJ Brian Matthews. Behind them Paul, John and George are laughing hysterically. This as Mark explained was yet another prime example of how the four of them so enjoyed each other’s company.

In the second half prompted by Samira, various subjects came under the radar including how important their hair styles were in making them stand out plus the popularity of the Cuban heeled boots they wore. The sheer likability of the four was also highlighted and it became so evident that they put a smile on the faces of countless people of all ages in a way no entertainer had done previously.

Several filmed interview clips were shown that really made that point including a lovely segment from the Ready Steady Go! TV show that had Dusty Springfield interviewing the four boys with hilarious results. It was this natural ability to be themselves in any given situation that so endeared them to so many. As mark and Samira commented The Beatles cultural impact was just extraordinary.

Letters from fans, contracts for appearances that year, rare colour cine film and famous photo shoots all came under the spotlight – the most famous photo shoot of that year being Robert Freeman’s iconic shot of the four of them in black polo neck jumpers as featured on the cover of The Beatles’ second album of that year With The Beatles.

This all led to a finale of a simply exhilarating  clip of The Beatles’ performing Twist And Shout (dressed in those black polo neck jumpers)  on Granada TV in August of 1963. Seeing the joyous chemistry of the four (particularly that of John Lennon and George Harrison) was both uplifting and poignant.


The Beatles saga remains the greatest story in entertainment history ever told – and the man to keep telling more compellingly than most is Mark Lewisohn – on the Bloomsbury stage he once again enlightened us with a presentation of immense detail told with wit and integrity with the articulate input of  Samira Ahmed

As with anything Mark Lewisohn says or writes about The Beatles, a splendid time is guaranteed for all – and it always inspires me to return to their music with a renewed perspective.

Thanks Mark -thanks Samira…

Here’s to Beatles/Evolver ’64 and hopefully ahead soon, the publication of the second volume in Mark’s Beatles Tune In book trilogy…

Dave Lewis – June 19 2023

Tickets are still on sale for the June 25 Sunday’s presentation at the Lowry Theatre Manchester with special guest Stuart Maconie -ticket details here –…/mark-lewisohn-beatles-evolver63/


DL Diary Blog Update:

Thursday June 15:

A truly fabulous gig last night – The Tom Robinson Band at the always excellent Esquires venue in Bedford….
Great to share it all with Chris and Tina West – we are pictured here with TRB member Lee Forsyth Griffiths…

Friday June 16:

Latest DL seven inch single acquisitions…
Pleased to pick up these three Robert Plant German label promo singles complete with WEA product facts info sheets…
Plus Bad Company Rock’n’Roll Fantasy single Japanese pressing on Swan Song…many thanks to my fellow record collecting comrade John Parkin for passing these my way..

Saturday June 17:

With my record collecting comrades Steve, Ian and Lee outside the always excellent Flashback Records in Islington yesterday morning.
We spent nigh on two hours in there and could have spent more (hours and cash!) had we not had to zip over to the Bloomsbury Theatre for the Evolver ’63 Mark Lewisohn Beatles presentation…
Saturday June 17: 
Saturday is platterday – you can never have too many copies of Led Zeppelin’s In Through The Out Door a South African pressing – thank you Flashback Records !

Saturday June 17:

Great to see Chris Charlesworth at yesterday’s Evolver ’63 Mark Lewisohn Beatles presentation at the Bloomsbury Theatre.
Chris was the editor of many of my Led Zeppelin books in his role as Editor in chief at Omnibus Press and was a renowned journalist back in the 1970s working for Melody Maker as news editor and later their US correspondent.
During that time he became close to John Lennon having interviewed him on more than one occasion.
Chris told us a great story of attending one of the first Beatles conventions in 1974 in New York. John’s lady companion at the time May Pang passed on a request from John to buy some Beatle related goodies on his behalf and Chris bought up a batch of Beatles bootleg LPs for John.
Another timely story during the discussion of the afternoon’s Evolver ’63 presentation was the fact Chris had seen The Beatles perform on stage in his local town of Bradford that year. There cannot have been too many present yesterday who could claim to have experienced that…

Saturday June 17:

Great to see my good friend Paul Humbley at yesterday afternoon’s excellent Evolver ’63 Mark Lewisohn Beatles presentation at the Bloomsbury Theatre.
Paul is one of the most knowledgeable fans of The Beatles I know and easily got the questions correct to a Beatles quiz I relayed afterwards in the pub. Paul is working on a fascinating book on an aspect of Beatles collecting – more on this soon…

Sunday June 18:

Happy Birthday Paul McCartney…I quite like him…

Sunday June 18:

It was 43 years ago today…
On the player the 3 LP bootleg Led Zeppelin Cologne 80 –as recorded 43 years ago on June 18 1980 –a gig I was lucky enough to be at – my they were brilliant that night…

Sunday June 18:

A very nostalgic watch on BBC 4 tonight -they are repeating the early 1980s Pop Quiz with Mike Read series on Sunday evenings…
Robert Plant was on this series twice and I am sure an episode with him will be aired

Monday June 19:

Marking Nick Drake’s 75 Birthday today with an array of Nick inspired listening and reading that will be ongoing here in the next few days…
The new Richard Morton Jack biography Nick Drake The Life is exceeding all expectations – knowing of Richard’s past work I knew it would be good but his attention to every detail is opening up a whole new level of understanding about Nick’s complex personality and of course his wonderful music…
Wednesday June 21:
It was 46 years ago this week
The remarkable run of six Led Zeppelin concerts at the LA Forum – this will be my playlist for the next few days…
Wednesday June 21: 
It was 46 years ago today…
Loading up the incredible Led Zeppelin Listen To This Eddie 3 CD bootleg set on the Empress Valley Supreme label.
Recorded 46 years ago today at the LA Forum June 21 1977 –as captured by the late great taper Mike Millard – one of their truly great performances…

Update here:

As can be seen above it’s been a busy week – the Tom Robinson Band gig and the Beatles/Evolver ’63 presentation were both great fun – I feel blessed to have been in such wonderful company on both those occasions. Elsewhere it was good to see England’s excellent 7-0 win over North Macedonia.

It’s Glastonbury this weekend and Janet and I always like checking in on the TV coverage over the weekend and the appearances of The Pretenders, Cat Stevens, Blondie and Elton John will be must see performances – and reason enough to have all four high on the current playlist which lines up as follows…

Elton John – Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player – 2 LP Record Store Day release

Blondie – Against The Odds  1974 – 1982 – 3 CD box set

Cat Stevens -Mona Bone Jakon – LP

Nick Drake – Bryter Later – CD

The Pretenders – Greatest Hits – CD

Robert Plant/Jimmy Page – The Second Coming – Glastonbury 1995 – 2 LP bootleg

Led Zeppelin – For Badgeholders Only  LA Forum June 23 1977 – 2 LP bootleg

Led Zeppelin – For Badgeholders Only Part 2 – LA Forum June 23 1977  – 2 LP bootleg (Thanks Simon Partington!)

Led Zeppelin – Listen To This Eddie – 3 CD Tarantula bootleg

Led Zeppelin – Sizzles in Seattle – 3 CD bootleg

Led Zeppelin Cologne 80 – 3 LP bootleg

Tom Robinson – Only The Now – CD

Thanks for listening…   

Until next time…

Dave  Lewis –  June 21 , 2023

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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