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Vultures / Football / Tennis / Cycling / Birthdays / 53 at 53

3 September 2009 3,120 views 2 Comments

DL aged 22 years and 350 daysWell Sam didn’t get to see Them Crooked Vultures as they performed on the Saturday at Reading. However, in a strange quirk of fate, long time TBL supporter Gary Wade’s son Josh did do as he attended The Leeds Festival on the Friday and rated TCV set as the highlight of the day. Co- incidentally both Sam and Josh were born within a day of each other at Bedford north wing hospital in 1990. Now they are off doing the festival thing just as their Dad’s did 30 years ago.

I watched the coverage on BBC 3 and Jonesy looked so good and well at home amongst the robust riffs – of the material I heard, Elephant really stands out – a hybrid Wearing And Tearing meets Zooma toxic mix. Their just announced tour dates are going to be hot tickets for sure. He wasn’t wrong when he told me in that TBL interview earlier in the year that he’d be ‘’Playing and it’ll be exciting’’. This project is shaping up to be one of the most exciting things JPJ has been involved with outside of Zep.

The birthday weekend beckons where a toast or two (or three or more ) will be made at surviving the last somewhat challenging 12 months. Sunday I’ll be at Adam’s team Brickhill Wanderers tournament that kicks off their season. Last Sunday morning, rather foolishly after cycling some three miles to get to the ground, I actually joined in their practice match – in truth it was a tonic to be running around the field though the groin strain (ooer missus!) I suffered was maybe a sign that my best days are over. Mind you I did get my own back on Adam in our final tennis match of the season a few days before winning convincingly.

Tennis, Football, Cycling – come on, not bad for 52 and 364 days old.

Though after tomorrow nights birthday celebrations (Saturday 5th), I’m pretty sure I won’t be feeling like any of those pursuits.

Elsewhere TBL 24 is taking shape with another deft design classic from Martyn. Apologies for the delay in this issue – hopefully the wait will be worth it. The Knebworth book has continued to garner some inspiring reaction which has made it all worthwhile. If you haven’t yet invested, hurry the limited edition is selling fast.

Can’t believe it’s September already and the summer is all but gone. Before the autumn kicks in there’s time for some quiet reflection, so as usual at this time of the year I’ve compiled the usual Birthday round up:

DL 53 At 53

The sights, sounds, events, reading matter and general inspirations that have lit up this past twelve months.

Well it’s been 12 months of ups and downs that’s for sure. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I still miss the Zavvi job each and every day, but I’ve had to try and move on. It ain’t easy, but thankfully there continues to be some fantastic support from many dear people both near and far – not least the good lady Janet.

There are indeed some mighty challenges ahead, but the phrase ‘Ever Onward’ has to be the mantra as a 53rd year rolls around.

Anyway as usual forgive the indulgence, but here’s my round up of the key sights, sounds, events, reading matter and general inspirations of the period September 2008 to September 2009:

‘Singing’ Ramble On:

An unexpected karaoke appearance in a town centre pub on the annual bike ride pub crawl with Max. It was a warm up for the Lytton. Will I repeat this feat in a couple of weeks? Watch this space…

Nick Drake/Frank Sinatra post September playlist:

Sometimes only the forlorn will do – records from the above matched the melancholy mood here after Sam’s departure to university.

Bedford Beer Festival:

Always a great night out – yes I’m a lager man but a drop of the old real stuff does go down well. The Zep related brews Black Dog and Nirvana hit the mark. Bumped into Jerry Bloom that night – little did I know he would be

an important ally in the months ahead.

Out on the floor at Max’s 50th:

An unexpected return to the dance floor during my lifelong friend Max’s 50th birthday night out. The Flowerpot pub in town rocked

If He Should Ever Leave by Tom Jones:

An inspiring tune as played at the above.

When Giants Walked The Earth by Mick Wall book:

Another angle on the story we’ve known so well – a captivating read.

Croydon Boot Led Zep Convention:

A great night out in the company of the Boot Led boys. The all day session with the boy Foy next day was also one of those times when you just didn’t want to it to end…

Paul Weller At The BBC CD set:

Expansive 4 CD set with a ton of great cover versions- Ronnie Lanes’ The Poacher being the best.

Alan Stutz Diary Of A Nearly Man Book Launch:

My old friend tells his life story – the launch in The Fox saw Janet and I reunited with lots of old faces from our past. Life seemed good but around the corner things were about to get tricky.

Miles Davis Kind Of Blue 50th Anniversary box set:

I’d sorted this as a Christmas present and was ready to buy it as I was due to leave the shop on Christmas Eve morning. Then the administrators turned up to tell us the news the party was over. Zavvi was going under and with it my job. Nice timing. Got it anyway and it’s a record that remains the epitome of wistful.

Tight But Loose 22:

In the face of adversity the show went on. Another pleasing issue

Robert Plant CBE:

New Years Day good news amongst the bad.

Graham Nash Reflections CD set:

Lovely 4 CD overview with loads of pensive stuff to match the early year mood. Used To Be A King became my anthem as the Zavvi doors closed all

around us.

John Lennon A life by Philip Norman book:

A bulky and exhaustive tale of the man who really was a king.

Sonic Boom – The Impact of Led Zeppelin book:

Frank Reddon’s labour of love was the perfect kick start to the Zep 40th anniversary celebrations.

Led Zeppelin Fillmore West cine film

Another hidden gem surfaces – Dennis Dematteo’s cine film is a startling if brief colour remnant of the first US tour.

Out in the snow:

It snowed and out we went to the tune of Frank’s ‘’Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow’’. And it did. Momentarily the credit crunch was forgotten as snowballs were thrown and snowmen built.

Whole Lotta Led Bedford Corn Exchange:

Nice to see the boy Foy as the Whole Lotta boys rocked out convincingly.

A whole lotta curry followed.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss scooping the Grammy’s:

And the winners is… Raising Sand six times over. Remarkable.

Last day of Zavvi Milton Keynes Feb 20 ’09:

Football on the shop floor, tears and beers and the end of an era.

As the aforementioned John Lennon appropriately put it ‘’You don’t know what you got until you lose it’’. I still miss the buzz of it all and the people I worked with every day.

Bedford Peacocks Rock and Pop Auction:

A chance to forget the then trials for a while and admire those rock’n’roll artifacts going for a song. Picked up a few delightful Frank Sinatra EP’s on the day.

Gavin & Stacey on TV:

Only got into this wonderful series this year – the acting, the dialogue, the pathos are just perfect. Roll on series 3

Sandy Denny BBC Sessions CD:

Always a comfort as she sings like an angel.

A visit to Graeme Hutchinson’s abode:

An invigorating couple of days when it was much needed spent in pure Zep indulgence with GH. Hey he even showed me how Jimmy worked the Telecaster stringbender on Ten Years Gone…

It Might Get Loud preview clips:

Jimmy’s still got it. Simple as that

Jimmy and Jeff Beck performing Beck’s Bolero and Immigrant Song

At The Hall of Fame Induction:

See above

John Paul Jones TBL interview on the phone:

Trust JPJ to provide much needed inspiration. His familiar tones considerably brightened up a Wednesday evening when I was dealing with the Borders job issues.

Back to Earls Court for the London Book Fair:

It was good to be back in familiar territory on this networking mission.

And hats off to Jerry Bloom of Wymer UK and all things black and purple

for bringing me along to this event , and putting me on the road that would lead back to that field outside Stevenage.

TBL 23 and TBL web redesign:

Another great design job by Martyn on the mag as the 40th anniversary of the first US tour coverage proved they are still the only way to fly.

The site redesign that accompanied it was also a touch of xyz class.

With the sixth Zep:

A memorable afternoon in the company of Richard Cole – conducting this interview for US radio was like being inside Led Zep for four hours. Thanks to Simon Cadman for getting it all down and Steve S for instigating it.

Bob Dylan Revolution In The Air by Clinton Heylin book:

Scholarly study of the Zimmerman songbook up to 1973. I look forward to volume 2.

Under Their Thumb The Rolling Stones – Bill German:

Most enjoyable memoirs of the former Stones fanzine editor. A story right up my street and one I really should emulate one day.

Terry Boud’s 50th Birthday:

Another of my close friends reaches the milestone – this night led to one of the worst hangovers I’ve had in years. It was all worth it of course.

Adam scoring in Jubilee Park for Brickhill Wanderers:

Next day I was nearly roped into refereeing this match – would not have been good with my head. As it was, we watched Adam net a fine goal on my former Wallbanger FC stamping ground.

Watching the Earls Court DVD’s 34 years on:

After Adam’s football team presentation night, I showed team manager Dave this famous footage. We all agreed that Jimmy was a genius… a great way to celebrate the 34 anniversary.


A delightful facility that opened the doors to many a lost gem and still does. Thousands of albums direct to your PC for free. Can’t be bad.

Fathers Day with Sam behind the bar in the Fox:

In another bizarre twist in what we’ve termed here our ‘’Summer of weirdness’’, Sam got a summer job in my local the Fox And Hounds. On Fathers Day we all piled in for a Sunday roast. Very nice it was too.

Watching Glastonbury TV highlights (C, S and N/Bruce/Tom Jones/ Madness/Blur):

One of the best Glastonbury’s in years, and together with the good lady and Sam on a hot June weekend we chilled out to the above. One of the few hot spells of another dreadful summer weather wise.

Michael Jackson:

His death was a real shock – and though all the media hype that followed, the songs shone through even more dazzling than ever – as is often the case when an artist departs this mortal coil.


Again one of the best tournaments in years. Watching Andy Murray’s late night match against Wawrinka was edge of the seat stuff. The Federer/Roddick final wasn’t bad either.

Tennis with Adam on Saturday mornings:

Inspiration enough for Adam and I to get out on the court. I have to confess he had me running all over it and beat me quite convincingly. Although I evened it up a bit last week with a victory.

Bedford Kite Festival:

An all too rare sunny Sunday afternoon out with our friends Terry and Marian. Four swift Red stripes led to an early bedtime…

Led Zeppelin The Grand Levitation O2 Arena triple vinyl bootleg:

Been looking for this for ages and finally came by it a few weeks back (thank you GH). A wonderful souvenir of that night of nights and a great throwback to the old vinyl bootleg days.

Mott The Hoople DVD Collection:

Lots of vintage Top of The Pops clips (thanks JP) on this DVD collection from an excellent band of the time. Hope their reunion shows go well.

Sweeney, Minder and On The Buses TV Repeats:

Pure 70’s nostalgia from the more simple days of yore.

Then As It Was – Led Zeppelin At Knebworth 30 Years Gone book:

Talking of which….it started off as a bit of a whim but grew to something quite substantial with a little help from my friends (Martyn, Jerry, Lorraine, Gary D, Graeme, Jez, Michaela , Larry, Cliff, Brian, Nick and many more. It’s been a cathartic experience.

Planet Rock with ‘Your Mother Wouldn’t Like It’ DJ legend Nicky Horne:

Into London on a dull July Sunday evening to chew the Zep Knebworth fat live on the radio with the DJ who was right there in the peak years. A real thrill it was too.

Record Collector:

Earlier in the year it was great to celebrate Zep 1 within the RC pages and again for the Knebworth story – with a big thanks to Nick Anderson for his input.

Celebrating August 4th 30 years on at Totnes Close:

30 years to the day a spontaneous reunion for the Bedford Knebworth 3 and other welcomed guests such as Mark, Cliff, Terry, Kam, Jerry, Alan Perry, Michaela etc. The DVD was played at a level the ‘’people of Stevenage’’ might have heard.

Back to Knebworth/ Celebration Day Lytton Arms:

The sun shone, the field still held the memories and we celebrated 30 years in fine style on another blind date. It was great to be in the company of so many wonderful friends –Gary D, Gary F, Lorraine, Graeme, Mark, Cliff, Larry all the way from the US and the Bedford Knebworth 3 and many more. An unforgettable day for me.

Spurs 2 Liverpool 1:

It could all go pear shaped of course but it’s lovely to be wallowing in rare White Hart Lane success. Me and the boy Adam willed them on to win this opening game.

Them Crooked Vultures:

Fantastic to see JPJ up on the boards playing in a rock’n’roll band. There are very good times ahead with this project for sure.

TBL 24:

And finally amongst all the Knebworth activity, another magazine. More impressive input from Mike Tremaglio and Nick Anderson. Coming to your door shortly…

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  • Ray said:

    Happy Birthday Dave!

    Reading your diary reminds me of when I was stationed at RAF Chicksands and living in Flitwick…BTW you sold me my first copy of Physical Graffiti on CD back in 1988/89.

  • Thom said:

    Happy Birthday mate! We all miss Zavvi! VIVA ZAVVI! FLASHMOB AT THE OLD STORE IN FEB! BE THERE BOSS!

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