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17 August 2011 4,765 views 5 Comments

It was an indictment of the recent unsavoury state of affairs in the UK that when I appeared on the Californian based rock station Used Bin Pure Rock Radio last Wednesday at the unearthly hour of 5am,the first topic was not Led Zeppelin, but the situation with the riots that had spread over the UK –images of which had shocked the world. We did soon settle in for a lengthy early morning ramble on the Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind Over Europe 1980 book, the state of play with Zep at the time as they toured Europe back then ,the aftermath and much more. Hosts Brad Hirsch and Joe Carona were well clued in on the subject and it was a most enjoyable hour -Here’s their links -I’m on at around 2.05

There’s also a TBL You Tube clip via Gary Davies of the 49 minute interview which can be viewed at the end of this posting.

On Monday I did another interview for the book  -this one was with Marilyn Michaels for Clasic Rock Radio Eu .

More on that one soon.

I am well engrossed here at the moment in the writing and assembling of the forthcoming issue of Tight But Loose which is due out next month. There’s some great stuff lined up including part 2 of Rikky Rooksby’s intensive study of Stairway To Heaven and Mike Tremaglio’s log of their seventh US tour that was taking place 40 years ago this very month. The
latter feature has inspired a trawl through the summer of 1971 bootlegs which inevitably included pulling out the classic September 14th Berkeley recording captured for all time on the mighty Going To California double album. This inspired a side bar of add on text for TBL 30 of which the following is a preview…

By comment consensus, the go-to recording for evidence of the Zep prowess on their seventh US tour is the aforementioned Going To California. Alongside that undoubted gem, I also have great affinity for the less profiled audience sourced tape that captures part of their set live at the Tarrent County Convention Center Fort Worth in Texas on August 23rd 1971. This surfaced around the late 1990’s on a two CD set titled Hot August Night via the Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin label).  I’ve had this little beauty heavy rotation over the past few days.

The taper caught the action from the a vantage point of being in the fifth row right in line with Jimmy – the sound quality of the guitar resonates loud and clear. As an example of the aggressive virtuosity the guitarist effortlessly achieved that night–this is a riveting recording. In fact the taper is so close to the action you can her several off mic comments from Plant and Bonham. ‘’Can I have a cup of tea’’ says Robert before a perfect delivery of What Is And What Should Never Be. The version of That’s The Way is thrilling in it’s intimacy with JPJ’s
mandolin shining brightly. An edit of Moby Dick showcases the usual Bonzo stampede.

Whole Lotta Love opens with one of those improvised muscular choppy riff exercises that Jimmy often slotted in eventually forming the riff that ate the world. It’s a shame this Fort Worth recording only exists in a series of set list highlights. However, what is here in my view, is at times as good as anything captured from the entire 1971 era.  With Robert’s vocals being slightly low in the mix, this is an absolute primer in illustrating the instrumental side of the band. Page, Jones and Bonzo are on fire here locking in to some incredible musicianship time and time again. Put simply, as a live band Led Zeppelin at this period were just breathtaking in their ambition.

There are certain audience recordings that genuinely capture the pure authenticity and intimacy of Zeppelin in full flight. Hot August Night is one of them. It’s a scintillating Zep audio experience right up there with Going To California. It’s what the term ‘Electric Magic’ was invented for.

So there you have it  a  litle preview of TBL 30 . More – in fact much more in this forthcoming issue of the TBL magazine including all the latest Page, Plant and Jones news, BCC, and a tribute to Howard Mylett

You can subscribe right here –right now

On Friday Tom Locke and I will be hooking up with legendary ticket man Cliff Hilliard plus Mark Harrison, Phil Harris, Michaela and Dan Firth, Geoff and Linda Bridges  for the Friday August 19th appearance of the up and coming tribute band Hats Off To Led Zeppelin at The Stables in Milton Keynes. A day earlier on Thursday August 18th ahead of the Stables appearance, the band are playing a promotional concert at 11am on the Marshall stage at Marshall Amplification PLC, Denbigh Road, Milton Keynes MK1 1DQ to celebrate their official endorsement from Marshall Amplifiers as they kick off their 2011 tour of the UK.  For further info visit The TBL crew will be pitching up at the Stables for the Milton Keynes gig and we look forward to all that can make it.

The boy Adam was 16 years old last week and celebrated by having his hair (which was previously at ‘at 68 Plant length) considerably cut. He went away a boy and came back a man- Here he is with his new image.

The new issue of Record Collector magazine is out now – this issue has my lengthy 16 page feature on The Who’s Next album – I’m very pleased with the way it turned out. This issue also includes a full page colour shot of Jimmy and Robert at Oakland taken by legendary photographer Baron Wolman, a review of the Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind Over Europe 1980 book (4 stars – ”Brilliant description of the tour that time forgot”) plus an obituary for Howard Mylett written by yours truly. Here’s a link for more details

What with the riots, the news that legendary Deep Purple keyboardist is fighting cancer and further worrying news of a friend’s serious illness it’s been a bit of a slog these past few days.

Given all that’s gone down the feel good factor that surrounded the TBL meet at the Great British Beer Festival seems an age away. It was a fantastic afternoon where the hardships of recent months such as the Zep Fest debacle and Howard’s sad passing were put aside. It was great to be in the company of the school of the 1990’s TBL crew including the former Hertfordshire Led Boots chronicler Phil Tattershall, originator of the TBL web site Dave Linwood, Underground Uprising web site master Julian Walker and Simply Led and master Zep analyser Eddie Edwards – amongst many others ie Gary F ,Phil H,Tom, Ian A, Sue, Paul etc.. A few real ales went down, we reminisced about the glory days of the Victoria and Camden Record fairs of the early 90s (Phil and I tied for the most spent in one afternoon – over £300 on the occasion the Tarantura CD’s first surfaced!) and we toasted absent friends
including dear Howard.

Hey and there was even an ale on sale named John Paul Jones – you could not make it up! They knew we were coming…

Another highlight was the bar football table – we used to play on one of those for hours in our teens down at the Pilgrims Inn -the local trendy pub in town (long gone now of course). In the first match of the afternoon Phil and Tom triumphed over the TBL two of myself and Gary while the singles play off of me versus Tom saw us share the spoils and one game each – the excitement of the encounters prompting me to tear my t -shirt off – not a pretty site to behold.

Earls Court itself looked suitably regal as it did in 1975 and it will be a terrible shame if it does get demolished after next year’s Olympics. Phil T had his mp3 player loaded with both Knebworth 932 years gone to the day) and Earls Court video footage. Very bizarrely we were able to watch a clip of EC 75 in front of where the stage was all those years back. Sad? Maybe…proud?…Definitely!

It was good to be amongst friends  and share in the camaraderie of like minded good souls…in fact it strikes me that in these troubled times, values such as such friendship and camaraderie are becoming increasingly important……

Here are some photos from a great afternoon in SW5 –great British people celebrating a great British tradition and a great British rock band – all in a wonderful atmosphere where Led Zeppelin once reigned supreme and brought such joy and lasting memories.

For those overseas shocked by the recent images here in the UK , well let me tell you this is the REAL heart and soul of this great city and great country that has been blighted recently by a vile minority.

As the singer one said ‘’You gotta smile sometimes..’’

Keep smiling’…

Dave Linwood,Gary Foy,Julian Walker,Tom Locke,DL,Phil Tattershall,Eddie Edwards.

The Fab Four – Tom Locke, Phil Harris, DL, Gary Foy. Combined Earls Court gigs attended = 7

Eddie E ,Phil T and Julian

Outside the fabled Earls Court Arena

Tom and DL after battling on the bar football table -Final Score: One each…

Russell Ritchins and DL

DL+ TBL in Earls Court = Planet Rock

Knebworth footage in Earls Court 32 years to the day ..oh yes!

Relaying yer actual EC footage in front of the Earls Court stage – how cool is that!

Eddie, Julian, Tom, Dave, Gary and DL with a lady who’s sure…

Ian Avey, Sue and DL

Point me the in the direction of the way home…

This is where I spent one of the best weeks of my life  …36 years ago -it all happened here over five glorious days…

It’s been a lifetime..but a second

Farewell Earls Court….where Led Zeppelin reigned supreme in 1975…and the beer tasted pretty good in 2011..


Here’s the Used Bin radio conducted by Brad and Joe. It was recorded at 5am last Wednesday morning. Quite a long ramble but we got into some very good debate on the last days of the band and what the book is all about…Brad and Joe let the conversation flow and it felt a bit like me spouting about the usual subject down the pub – as those that know me well will recognise! Here we go…


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  • scott said:

    Pulled out a hot august night. great reminder of this gem!

  • Julian Walker said:

    Love the write up about the GBBF, hopefully the good readers of TBL are not too put off by all our ugly mugs beaming at them! It was a wonderful afternoon and a great time to see old friends and talk about the greatest group the World will ever see, Led Zeppelin!!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks for those inspiring comments

  • Steve Harrison said:

    Made me drag out hot august night for a play ,first time in a while ,bloody good show that `un.

  • Kathy Urich said:

    Dave I just finished having a listen to your great interview. How fantastic, you reminded me of the fact that my friend in Chicago who qued for Zep tickets had used the newspaper and was convinced we had them apparently he got the information early. I had forgotten all about that until now. Your comment that “…Led Zeppelin lives and breathes everyday…” gives my goose bumps; that rings so true for me.

    It highlights how wonderful this website is and how great it is to interact with others who “could talk about them all day.” I have to stop my self sometimes when the topic comes up as I realize I have bombared my friends with more facts then they ever wanted to know about Zeppelin, their eyes glossed over.(A great deal of that knowledge I’ve learned from you). Having the opportunity to connect with like minded fans is a great gift.

    Best Regards

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