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31 December 2011 6,241 views 10 Comments

And so we come to the end of 2011. Another eventful 12 months of TBL activity laced with a measure ups and downs. Here are some overall reflections on the year about to go by.

As for the three ex members of Led Zeppelin, it’s been a fairly productive period albeit in differing ways.

Robert Plant consolidated on the success of 2010 with further touring periods in the US and then in Europe during the summer. The accolades received at the American Music awards were due acknowledgement for the effort that has gone in to providing a consistent level of quality performances. Along the way, he looks to have found a peace of mind both professionally and personally. Now ensconced with partner Patti Griffin in Austin Texas, curently the schedule ahead for 2012 is something of a blank canvas. It’s likely that he will take a break from The Band Of Joy as other band members pursue their own commitments. He could, if he so wished rekindle his association with producer Daniel Lanois with whom he recorded some demos with alongside Black Dub vocalist Trixie Whitley back in 2009. Further ad hoc appearances with Patti are also likely.

John Paul Jones has continued to flit between a variety of projects – from appearing on stage as part of the supporting musical cast of the Anna Nicole opera to jazz appearances with Spin marvel and on to the well received link up with Seasick Steve. On December 9th he was awarded an honorary fellowship from Deptford’s Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in South London. In November John appeared at the Punkt Festival held at the Alte Feuerwache in Mannheim in Germany under the banner Minibus Pimps – performing an “ambient noise collaboration project”. His most likely project ahead would seem to be the opera project that he first mentioned in late 2010. This is an opera work based on the Isabel Allende short story The Judges Wife with Gerald Thomas directing and Stuart Stratford conducting.

As for Jimmy Page – there have been three much welcomed high profile guest appearances with Donovan, The Black Crowes and more recently at Roy Harper’s 70th birthday concert. The launch of his long awaited web site has provided through the ‘’On this day’’ feature a revealing insight into his vast archive of memories and anecdotes – indeed the daily trawl of discovering the fruits of each days reflection has become an essential ritual for all fans as we learn much mor than w already know about his distinguished 50 year career.
Ahead of course a more full on return to writing and performing is what we all crave and it would be wonderful if that were to unfold in 2012 – but as far as I am concerned the man owes us nothing – it’s a real delight to see Jimmy doing what he wants to do at his pace with a contentment and pride in all that he has achieved.

Black Country Communion continued on their quest to bring all that is classic in rock into a contemporary setting – their UK tour dates in the summer culminating in the appearance at the High Voltage Festival was a huge success. Jason meanwhile performed more gigs under the Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience banner and to further acclaim.

Looking back over the year for me personally there were two events that stand out and not for the best reasons – the abrupt cancellation of the much launded Zep Fest 2011 caused a negative fallout that is still having an adverse effect many months later. It left a bitter taste – we have all had to move on from that but here’s hoping we won’t get fooled in such a way again.
The passing of Howard Mylett on June 19th brought much sadness and reflection. I had known Howard as a fellow Zep aficionado through all the ups and downs for nigh on 37 years and for his light to fade away as it did was a stark indication that we are all getting older and as my friend Dec observes, a lot of us are on the final nine holes. I have spent the past few days transcribing the second part of Howard’s interview that I conducted with him on the last time I would see him last January. It’s a fascinating and moving chronicle of one man’s often unfeasible love and passion for his subject – a subject that is of course close to all who are reading this – if for no other reason (and there are actually a fair few others in my view!) you really should invest in the forthcoming issue of TBL (issue 31) to read this remarkable last outpouring from a truly remarkable Led Zeppelin fan. He will be sorely missed but always remembered. The passing of Joan Bonham in February was also a sad loss to report.

On a much brighter note, I am proud to have produced another trio of TBL magazines along with the input and help of many of you reading this. The collation and publication of my book Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind – Over Europe 1980 has also been an immensely fulfilling achievement. There are still a fair few of you out there yet to invest in this mighty tome –kick start your 2012 with some inspirational reading.

Talking of which – the forthcoming issue of the TBL magazine is close to a wrap and this will signify the end of the 2011 subscription and current subscribers will need to re-subscribe for 2012. Subscriptions are the lifeblood of the whole TBL operation – by investing in the TBL magazine you are ensuring the future of the TBL website –and hey 32 pages of essential Zep reading –what’s not to like!  I thank you in advance for your ongoing support.

The TBL magazine remains a true tangible collectable to be stored and re –read and it is my continued objective to ensure it’s an essential read for all fans of the band. To that end along with invaluable help from Mike Tremaglio, Gary Foy, Nick Anderson, Gerard Sparaco, Alex Plowman and other valued contributors, I intend to make the next batch of issues to as higher standard as possible –putting in the leg work and research that will make the Tight But Loose magazine worthy of your support and investment.

Similarly with assistance from the esteemed Gary Foy, we intend to maintain this web site as a central hub of TBL spreading the news, views and product offers that are central to the existence of this operation. In terms of appreciation I must also offer sincere thanks to the amazing Mick Lowe who has applied his immense design skills to so many TBL projects in 2011 –from the magazine to flyers, t- shirts, logos and of course the making of the Feather In The Wind Over Europe book.

Here’s some of my raving faves of 2011

Best live gig: Roy Harper 70th birthday gig at the Royal Festival Hall for the obvious reason – followed by:
Donovan Royal Albert Hall (again for the obvious reason), Paul Rodgers Royal Albert Hall, BCC at High Voltage, Glenn Hughes Leicester Square Theatre (massive big up to Glenn, his manager Carl Swann, Lisa Bardsley, Peter Noble and Will Taylor for all their support of all things TBL in 2011), Hats Off To Led Zeppelin Leighton Buzzard.

Best things I heard in 2011: Led Zeppelin Shepperton Rehearsals, Led Zeppelin Geisha Smoke Gets In Your Eyes , Led Zeppelin The Rites of Manhood Earls Court 75, Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here reissue, Quadrophenia deluxe version (as heard on headphones at the Pretty Green exhibition) – plus the various vinyl re discoveries searched out at wonderful outlets such as JB’s, Hitchin Market,Spitfields, Oylmpia Record Fair etc – the collecting of LP records remains an inspiration.

Lovely Long playing vinyl!

Gary’s year end review is to follow.

Christmas came and went as it does and we had a lovely Christmas Day and Boxing Day with all for us here and Janet’s mum Bet. There were some splendid little treats to unwrap under the tree – including The Beach Boys Smile album on vinyl (thank you Andrew R), Vintage Trouble (thank you John P), the Jimmy Page Death Wish album (I am number 148 …so if you are number 149 hello!) and the brilliant David Bowe book The Man Who Sold The World by former Record Collector editor Peter Doggett.

Didn’t get around to viewing much TV but the best thing I saw was the documentary on Ernie Wise –fascinating stuff that re apprised his part in the legendary comedy double act Morecombe & Wise – I was unaware that the duo appeared on the Ed Sullivan show in the mid 1960s –and of course the clips of their Christmas shows are endearingly brilliant – particularly the sketch with conductor Andre Previn when Eric reveals ‘’I am playing all the right notes..but not necessarily in the right order…’’.

On Thursday we had a real fantastic moment when a story sourced by Sam as part of her internship at the local paper the Beds Times & Citizen was run as the front page story.
I used to have a weekly rock/pop column in the paper that ran from 1984 to 1991 and indeed announced Sam’s arrival into the world in one of the columns in 1990. It’s therefore amazing to think she has followed in the footsteps – but make no mistake, Sam has done it with a determination and motivation that is all her own making – she is a far better writer than I’ll ever be (which may not be that difficult!) even at the age of 21. On yes proud parents are we!

The Citizen then… and below… like father like daughter – the Citizen now..



New Year’s Eve lays before us before we can all return to some sort of normality. Tonight the good lady Janet and I plan to be with our friends Terry and Marian at a local town pub where the retro soul/Motown disco will be playing the tunes to take us out of 2011 and into 2012. Beers will inevitably drunk and shapes may well be thrown and when the clock strikes 12 midnight there will be a number of people in my thoughts,  I will raise a glass and take a cup of kindness for auld lang syne to the many people (and I’m sure they know who they are) who one way or another, have been an inspiration to me in 2011.

As for new year resolutions – well there’s a fair few – some of which the good lady will be monitering such as keeping the top on the toothpastse – and while we are on the subject, I really need to get this dodgy tooth sorted…I also aim to subject myself to seeking out some new music (honest Terry!) – a progress report on all this will follow.

From next week  it really will be down to the serious business of kick starting the TBL 2012 campaign. There are some exciting plans ahead and this is how it is is shaping up over the next few months:

The imminent wrap and distribution of TBL 31 ( I looked over the proofs this morning and there really is much to soak up –I am really pleased with it)

An exclusive strictly limited collectors aside to this forthcoming issue which I’ll be unveiling details in the next couple of week.

The 2012 TBL subscription drive. We need you all back – and new additions to the fold – sign up now!

The revamped edition of the Led Zeppelin Then As It Was At Knebworth 1979 book to produce.

The ongoing promotion of the Feather In The Wind Over Europe 1980 book.

Another updated book project – details to follow on this one

Plus also on my schedule a non related Zep Record Collector feature to produce

And finally there is a plan to celebrate what will be the 20th anniversary of the UK Celebration Days 1992 Led Zeppelin Convention. I have been in touch with co organizer Andy Adams and the idea is to stage a reunion in London on either Saturday May 19th or 26th. Not sure what that looks like yet in any shape or form but it’s something that I think would be a great thing to do. More on this in 2012.

So as much as I look back and chronicle the heritage of this great, great band, the usual mantra remains…as the singer once put it, the present and future are of paramount importance. It’s still today’s work and tomorrow’s plans that give all of us a reason for being…rather than a reason for having been. In effect it’s ever onward.

Thanks for your continued support of all things TBL and on behalf of Gary, may I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year.

Dave Lewis – December 31st 2011

And as 2011 slips away…some pictorial memories from the year

With designer Mick Lowe during the making of Feather In The Wind  – March 2011

The Lewis ladies Sam and Jan with the end result  -May 2011

Eddie Edwards, Julian Walker,Tom Locke,Dave Linwood,Gary,DL and a lady who’se sure Great British Beer Festival – August 2011

Gary,DL, Phil H and Tom – Outside Earls Court – Great British Beer Festival-  August 2011

DL, Simon Cadman and Gary Foy – High Voltage Festival – July 2011

Terry Boud and DL High Voltage Festival – July 2011

DL, Mark Harrison, Gary F in Brighton after Howard’s moving and uplifting funeral –  June 2011

DL with Lemmy Classic Rock Awards – November 2011

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  • Steve said:

    Awara best for 2012 Dave, the proposed Zep Convention sounds a great idea, I’ll defo come down for that 🙂

  • Ian D said:

    Is there a connection between being given ‘Smile’ and your teeth troubles? – Invest in a tube with a flip top lid.

    HNY to all

  • Michaela said:

    A very happy 2012 to you , Gary and all the TBL readers. Thanks for allowing Dan and I to share so much with you all . Here’s hoping to another year of great music , great friends and new experiences ….especially if Dan gets his way and we replace the lack of Glastonbury this year with Download……and possible chance to see the Led Zeppelin Experience in the US.
    See you soon , HOTLZ in Bedford could be the first of many gigs xx

  • Jim Sloane said:

    Happy New Year and of course looking forward to anything Zep related during 2012.

    Ramble On !!

  • André Cruz said:

    A Happy new year to you dave and to all TBL friends. Congratulations for the outstanding work done in 2011. I think you got a kind of official Zep news website. I visit 2 sites everyday: TBL and
    Just pre-order TBL 31 ! You can count on me supporting the cause.
    Wish a 2012 full of health to everybody and hope to see the news that Page will perform and/or release something new !


    A very Happy New Year Dave & to all devoted followers of what was….and still could be…the best band in the World. Happy birthday to Jimmy for January 9th – would love to see him as a unit (or acoustic small tour avec Roy) out there in 2012, blowing away Hayseed Dixie (sorry – Crown Vic) !

  • Richard G said:

    Hello Nr 148 from Nr 212!

    Happy New Year to everyone – hoping 2012 brings you all health, wealth and happiness… Congrats to young Sam on the scoop, just be wary if anyone offers to show her how to hack mobile phones (maybe)? Continued thanks to you and Gary for the ongoing sterling work on all fronts, can’t wait for TbL31…

    The 20th anniversary meet sounds like a splendid idea – it’s in the diary already…be good to catch up face to face once more. Please make it somewhere where the trains back to Cardiff run very late… 😉

    And for uncommitted, one word: “SUBSCRIBE”!!!!

    Happy 2012, “on we sweep, with threshing oar”!

  • Kam said:

    Happy New Year Dave, will hopefully catch up on a night out at some point soon.

    On the ‘listening to new music’ note, here’s three albums Ive loved this year you ought to checkout:

    Tracer: Spaces In Between
    Bruno Mars: Doo-Wops and Hooligans (great pop tunes)
    The Heavy: The House That Dirt Built (actually from 2009 but I discovered it this year, and my top listen in 2011)

    So that’s three ‘new ones’ to start you off and I’m sure Terry will recommend another three, although apparently he only likes ‘guitar music’!

  • Gerd Zaunig said:

    Dave, thank you for everything you’ve done for us (= the LZ Fan Community) in 2011. Wishing you and all @ TBL a good start into 2012.

  • Dave Linwood said:

    Another great year Dave – well done on keeping the TBL organisation afloat in what is difficult economic times for a lot of people.
    Great to see the Beer Fest pic above – look forward to the UK Convention (revisited) in the Spring. Does this mean those limited edition Convention T-Shirts will re-appear?! 😉

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