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6 December 2007 2,030 views No Comment

Ten thousand days…ten thousand three hundred and forty eight to be precise as Mr Foy informed me this week. That’s the exact amount of days that will have passed between Led Zeppelin walking off stage in the early hours of August 12 1979 at Knebworth and returning back into the glare of the spotlight at the 02 Arena London on Monday December 10 2007.

 28 years…a zillion memories.

 And it will be those memories that flash across my mind in the moments leading up to their arrival. I’m sure at one point amongst it all there will be tears in the eyes…and I’m sure I wont be the only one.

 Yes there has been a lot of tears spilled over the years. Tears of sadness and frustration on days like September 25 and December 4 1980.

 Tears of joy for occasions such as the time Jimmy joined Robert for that half hour jam at the Hammersmith in ‘88….Wearing And Tearing at Knebworth ’90… the filming for Unledded…Page and Plant a few feet from me in Meadowlands Arena striking up Thank you….that remarkable weekend in  the mad month of March 1998 when we flitted from Shepherds Bush to the studios of Top Of The Pops and TF1 Friday…Night Flight and Trampled at the ULU…

Then there’s the solo moments: From the windows of a rented limousine to the side door of a rented Hertz van with The Honeydrippers…Robert at theTube….that stage that looked like a block of cheese in 1985…In The Evening at Leicester Uni in ’88…down the front at Hammersmith hours after the birth of my daughter Sam in 1990…nine years later watching the singer in the lounge bar of a west midlands pub with the Priory…      

Jimmy alone in the spotlight playing Stairway at the Arms show in 1983…JPJ providing me with a Zep medley on mandolin in Borders books shop before appearing with Julie Felix…

Then there’s all the many fans I’ve come into contact with and shared this unflagging passion…dear Howard M who’s packages of cuttings so inspired me when I was a mere teenager…long off the radar 70’s fans such as Claudia Chapman,Russ Rees and Stuart Whithead and more recently Andy A…Hugh Jones Proximity chronicles,Sam Rapallo and Mark Archer’s early ’90’s zines, Robert Godwin for showing every collector just what was out there…Luis Rey’s live tapes books, Brian Knapp diligently searching for it all (love that new coat!) Steve Jones likewise…Mr Linwood extending the TBL message online…Gary F who has supported and shared all the up’s and downs like no other often beyond the cause of duty (laugh? we’ve had to!)- and quite a few others who remain so supportive like Gary Davies,Graham Hutchinson, Mark Harrison,Pete Gozzard,KrysJ,Mike Warry,Rikky R,Eddie E, Julian, Billy and Alison, Bedford boys Kam,Terry and Tom,Tim D, Steve and Jan,Jose,Larry Bergmann etc- far too many to mention but you know who you are and eye thank yew…and Chris C at Omnibus for faith in Celebration and Concert File…Ross H for all the photos..vivid memories of  the many conventions and fan gatherings I’ve been part of from the Bonham family fest that was the 1992 London Celebration Days event to sparsely attended meetings in back street pubs (where were the one million applicants then!)…The many TBL interviews chewing the Zep related fat with Mick Hinton,Phil Carlo,Simon Kirke,Kevyn Gammond,Neal Preston etc and in particular the time spent with Peter Grant as he explained to me how he took them to Saturn and JPJ as he put the record straight once and for all….The good family Lewis – my late Mum and Dad and sister who always knew it was something special in my life….JL for taking me that night of Electric Magic in 1971 and being there ever since…senior bruv Merv for bunging me twenty quid for the Earls Court tickets…Martyn for carrying on the TBL design torch with such vision and style…and Janet, Sam and Adam in the middle of it all and who have endured an often exhausted father and husband all in the name of maintaining this platform of communication that began nigh on 30 year ago.  

Yes it’s been a mighty long road that has led to the 02 Arena…and when that beautiful, beautiful catalogue of music comes alive before my eyes on Monday night, ten thousand memories and recollections will match the ten thousand days that have elapsed since their last live UK show.

And then the magic of Led Zeppelin will take over….lending their power to their audience as only they can.   

That prospect is just awesome.  

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