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Toasting TBL / Issue 19 thoughts / In The Evening 20 years on…

19 January 2008 1,811 views No Comment

The combined might of the xyz boys and their spouses enjoyed something of a rare night out last Saturday – after all the trials and tribulations of getting TBL19 on the streets we felt we owed ourselves at least that. Stories were told, beers drunk, fine wine and food was consumed and the toast to paraphrase dear Ahmet was “It’s a great life this life of music” which it certainly has been in recent months. To top it all, the xyz boys presented me with a framed award depicting the three TBL covers that have been produced over the past 12 months. A permanent reminder of what has been achieved with their invaluable assistance.  

Attention now turns to the next issue so it’s ever onward.

Before that a few words on TBL 19. The challenge of relaying the enormity of the O2 reunion was a huge one and we were up against a very difficult time frame to turn it around. Given the wave of interest that has happened since the O2 show, the plan is to follow up with more coverage in TBL 20 including many of the reviews of the show submitted and increased background info.

That aftermath goes on unabated what with Jonesy’s Rolling Stone interview and Robert’s shock appearance on This Morning. That certainly did a power of good for Raising Sand which went back into the UK top ten album chart. Then there’s all the reviews of the gig from the monthly magazines that have come in.

My underlining feeling about it all now is one of immense pride – no other band on earth could have pulled off that night of re-electric magic with such impact. As David Fricke put it in his Rolling Stone review “The message they left behind was ‘We were the best – we still are’”

Elsewhere in TBL 19, I’m pleased with Kevin Shirley’s interview text which was secured via several transatlantic phone calls to various Californian hotels in pursuit of the old Caveman. I must thank Mike Tremaglio again for his sterling work on the ’77 feature, and the two Gary‘s for much inspiration. Finally to Martyn for making it all come alive in print.

 20 years ago on January 23 1988 I attended what I would still consider to be one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen. It was a warm up show for Robert’s Now And Zen album and tour at Leicester University. It signified the first occasion I saw him turn the clock back to his former days and hearing the likes of In The Evening ,Trampled Underfoot and Misty Mountain Hop sung live by the original co composer was in it’s way at the time as unbelievable as expecting to hear Led Zep perform For Your Life live in 2007.  A memorable night not least for the crush down the front that had the good lady exiting left (I stayed put – someone had to report it all!) and that ended after the show with the singer and myself debating the lyrics of the aforementioned Trampled and the amount of Zep samples included on Tall Cool One. Quaint days indeed that seem like only yesterday.  (Kam and Julie I’m sure you’ll agree!)

 Those initial warm up gigs represented the first time Robert comfortably reconciled his past with the present. Thankfully it was not to be the last, and I’m sure there are a million plus fans out there right now who hope he can do the same again in the company of his fellow December 10 band mates.

As Jonesy put it “It could be fun to do more stuff…”

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