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Welcome Bonham Company / Out of Our Dens / Happy Birthday Sam

29 May 2008 1,841 views No Comment

On the week of what would have been John’s 60th birthday, it was good to in the company of one of the Bonham family.

It’s been far too long since I caught up with Debbie Bonham and her band, so it was great to be in attendance at her showcase gig at the 100 Club on Tuesday. This date was delayed from March due to guitarist Pete Bullick’s illness so it was also great to see the man on very good form. The band was excellent –showcasing the new album plus a few old faves.  Debbie throwing in versions of Black Coffee which I remember Humble Pie doing on the Whistle Test years back, and an encore of Loraine Ellison’s 60’s hit Stay With  Me Baby.  Debbie also performed the Bonham lament Old Hyde . The very personal song written about the place where she grew up with her family.

Have to say I had a big lump in my throat throughout this – it brought back vivid memories of when she sang it at the first Led Zep Celebration Days London Convention in 1992 ( 16 years gone ago..- where’s it gone?)

On that May Sunday afternoon there was not a dry eye in the house (or hotel ) as in the company of the late Mick, Mum Joan,  Zoe etc, Debbie delivered one of the most emotional pieces of live music I’ve ever heard. I was personally absolutely exhausted by then after a weekend of trials, tribulations, highs, lows, you name it I’d experienced it at the helm of the organizing (one such trial: one of the roadies trying to reenact the Oakland incident using me as the guy in the trailer – not fun!).  It was all worth it though it for that amazing performance and the aftermath celebration is something I’ll never forget (remember that one Mark H !- you had that daft blue and white Man U away shirt on! ).

It was fitting that on Tuesday there were some Celebration Days Convention veterans in the club namely Steve and Jan Way and Pat Lyons – one of the most celebrated Welsh Zep fans and a true character. He did not have the Zoso/Welsh dragon knitted jersey he paraded on that weekend in 1992 (and again last December in The Torch) but did have the jean jacket he wore at Knebworth. It was also great to see Lorraine and Michael from Aberdeen and Classic Rock newsman Dave Ling who’s  blog is always entertaining ( Luckily I was on a decent train home and in by 12.30am.

There’s one more trip out on Saturday as we come out of our dens for the TBL Meet before its back to the retail grind next week. Nothing too grand here for the meet …just a chance to get in a pub and chew the Zep fat , drink more than one toast to Bonzo of course and reveal the results of the John Bonham Greatest Beats TBL Poll. Also up for discussion – The Song Remains The Same reworked reissue –good or bad? (come in Eddie!), Alison – the Yoko Ono of the moment or not? Presence – under rated or short on ideas (actually that’s not up for discussion in my book!), In Through the Out Door – fitting finale or last gasp?…Coda – fine postscript or missed opportunity?…football a load of old bollocks or not? Etc etc.

I’ll report back these findings and more next week- by which time our Samantha will be old enough to buy an alcoholic drink . Mines a pint of Fosters then Sam –  Happy Birthday for next Wednesday!    

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