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9 February 2012 8,104 views 8 Comments

Jimmy Page on stage at the Royal Albert Hall ten years ago today -photo by Freda Hyatt

The snow arrived at the weekend and coupled with some intense listening to the Zep BBC sessions  –it revived memories for me of this period in  February 1979.

Back in the early weeks of that year, I vividly remember trudging through the snow carrying a box of freshly photocopied TBL issue number one from town.

The first ads for the Tight But Loose magazine had appeared in Autumn 1978 off the back of the four part feature in Sounds that I had been involved with via Geoff Barton. The positive reaction to the five part series that had run in September and kick started me into action to produce a magazine/fanzine about the band –something I’d had in mind for nigh on a year.

Adverts were duly placed in the NME and Sounds and I can still recall the thrill and wonderment of the first letters that came through the door requesting information on this new Zep ‘platform of communication’ as I described it.

We were off and running…

That February also provided a massive Zep tonic in the form of rare Radio One exposure for Led Zeppelin.

News within the Zep camp over the past 18 months had been somewhat scarce  to say the least –  but that was all about to change. A new album recently recorded at Abba’s Polar Studios in Sweden was now being mixed by Jimmy Page at his Plumpton home and with it there would surely be a return to the stage.

Here in the UK the band’s profile was upped considerably by the re-broadcast on the February 2nd edition of Radio One’s Tommy Vance’s Friday Rock Show of the March and June 1969 BBC Session tracks. The first time they had been heard for a decade and in excellent FM quality. Hearing those early versions of Dazed And Confused, Communication Breakdown and Whole Lotta Love etc was an absolute revelation.

The reaction to this broadcast was considerable. In the weeks after the broadcast I had many letters from fans proclaiming how great they sounded. Stuart Whitehead a massive fan from Derby, even began a petition via the TBL magazine to get the 1969 One Night Stand BBC In Concert show rebroadcast – his efforts paying off when it was duly aired on the Tommy Vance show at the end of the year.

Led Zeppelin had been out of the public eye for too long…this vintage radio airing was a reminder of what had gone before and gave hope of what might (and did) emerge again.
It was reason enough for me to pen a lengthy overview of the Tommy Vance broadcast for the second edition of Tight But Loose -an edited version of which was in my first book The Final Acclaim.

In the piece I transcribed the late great Tommy’s epic introductions. One of them following the first broadcast segment went like this:

‘’Magic! Way back in 1969 produced by Bernie Andrews, that was the first ever Radio One Session. Heard that Jimmy Page got back from Sweden last Sunday. He’d been over in Sweden doing some final mixing on their new album which is due out I believe in March.

And Mr. Plant if you’re listening, and I hope you are, let me say Logan (then just born) will have a lot to be proud of when he grows up – Stay tuned more Zep to come!”

Logan indeed has a lot to be proud of. Incidentally Logan’s latest activity is an involvement in the new Mr Porter fashion advertising campaign.

See link at

It’s amazing to think that it’s all of ten years today (Feb 9th) that Jimmy and Robert appeared separately on the Teenage Cancer gig at the Royal Albert Hall headlined by Paul Weller.

I remember the TBL meet in the pub beforehand as if it was yesterday –in fact I still carry around the LZ Club Italia membership card that the visiting Italian fans handed me. And of course it all occurred on Gary Foy’s birthday

And happy birthday to Mr Foy ten years older today!

I was honoured to be asked to write the programme notes for Jimmy that appeared in the official programme to the event.

It was a somewhat beguiling night but very memorable for Jimmy’s one off instrumental version of Dazed And Confused performed with the Paul Weller band – the only time I saw a bassist paly that intro link wearing a fishtail parker coat (I did see one version performed by a bassist with onions on the shoulder of his jacket in 1975 but that’s another story!).

Here’s the link to the TBL Archive report of that night

This night was duly acknowledged on Jimmy’s On This Day slot on his web site today. It was good to see Jimmy paying dues to Paul Weller

‘’ I was a guest of Teenage Cancer Trust with Paul Weller’s band. I played Dazed and Confused as an instrumental and had a short rehearsal slot with his band a few days prior. I wanted to do the version from Led Zeppelin I, I took a deep intake of breath when I realized that they had never ever heard it before, let alone played it. I taught them the structure as best I could and we finished the rehearsal with them promising to listen to the album. They did a really good job on the night. I have great admiration for Paul Weller and especially his solo work. He is a powerful performer and one of England’s treasures.’’

The latter statement is one I am in total agreement with –I have long since admired Weller’s songwriting and performing prowess and have a bulk of his work on vinyl and CD going back to The Jam and through The Style Council and his solo work.

Coincidentally I had planned to catch the Jam tribute band From The Jam which features original Jam bassist Bruce Foxton. They are playing at Bedford’s Corn Exchange tomorrow night (Friday)  but I am double booked and my allegiances are in the direction of Zep tribute band Hats Off To Led Zeppelin who are playing the Bedford Esquires venue on the same night. I’m hoping to hook up with Warren Grant -their new manager who is planning to be in attendance.

Here’s the gen for tickets to the Hats Off gig – we look forward to seeing all that can make it

My good friend Barry (who I worked with at WH Smiths back in the 70s) will be at the Jam tribute gig. I’ve been in touch with him constantly in the last few weeks as we shared the duties of reading out the eulogies for Alan Johnston at his funeral.

It was a measure of the love and affection for Alan that so many family and friends travelled to Stamford for the service from all  parts of the country on Monday –despite the snow bound conditions. It was a day filled with love, tears and laughter –just as he would have wanted it

Here’s a then and now pair of pics of myself and Barry spanning 31 years…

DL and Barry – Winkles night club Bedford July 1981 -to the left is Maurice the popular doorman of the club who could often be heard to utter the immortal phrase ”Members only!

DL and Barry at Alan J’s funeral reception Stamford Feb 6th 2012 – to the left is Jerry Bloom of Wymer Publishing who has books out on Steve Hackett, Frank Zappa and more. Visit

And here’s some pics of the snow in Bedford as captured on my early morning walk on Sunday

As Robert Plant said during his opening spiel at the Feb 12 1975 Led Zep Madison Square gig:
‘’We came four blocks in the snow to get here, and isn’t it good when it snows, doesn’t it change the whole vibe of the city – we’ll dedicate this to the keeper of the seasons, the man who gives us snow when we need it”

Back to Jimmy’s site – his On This Day on Feb 4th  featured a rare version of White Summer deploying the Tanpura and Table drums purchased in Bombay on the way back from the Yardbirds Australian tour in early 1967   – fascinating stuff – it struck me that the scope for a 4 or more CD Jimmy Page career overview box set covering 1963 to now with such rarities and outtakes etc is pretty vast. There appears to be many a rarity tucked away and one hopes they will see the light of day at some point.

Mark Harrison shoud be going back home in the next few days after his fall that resulted in a stay in Milton Keynes hospitial – good luck to you mate and hope the progress is good from all of us here.

Health report here: My cough has cleared up thankfully and the tooth extraction is set for the week after next. I’m nervous already.

There’s plenty going on with on going writing projects/TBL planning etc etc and it’s the school half term next week.  The esteemed TBL news editor Mr Foy is looking catch JPJ’s appearance with Robyn Hitchcock in Warwick this weekend so we look forward to a report on that one.

Next Tuesday Valentine’s Day beckons – I notice Paul McCartney has indulged into retro romantic mode with his new album the rather unromantically titled Kisses On The Bottom.

In the light of all that here’s the DL Valentines  playlist –  some of the most romantic and deeply touching love songs ever written in your TBL editors view:

Ten Years Gone – Led Zeppelin

Full Moon –Sandy Denny

Lay Lady Lay – Bob Dylan

Northern Sky –Nick Drake

Oh My Love –John Lennon

Come In To My Life – Robert Plant

Our House – Crosby Stills Nash & Young

Tangerine –Led Zeppelin

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You – Rod Stewart

Do What You Gotta Do – The Four Tops

Nobody Loves You Like I Do – Greg Lake

Ship Of Fools – Robert Plant

The Rain Song – Led Zeppelin

Here, There And Everywhere – The Beatles

Angie – The Rolling Stones

I’m Gonna Crawl – Led Zeppelin

Word On A Wing – David Bowie

The Greatest Gift – Robert Plant

Something – The Beatles

Wonderful One – Page & Plant

Headstart To Happiness – The Style Council

Tiny Dancer – Elton John

Thank You – Led Zeppelin

Little Wing – Jimi Hendrix

Lets Get It On -Marvin Gaye

Still In Love With You – Thin Lizzy

Help Me – Joni Mitchell

One For My Baby –Frank Sinatra

The Look of Love – Dusty Springfield

Stick With Me Baby – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

You Do Something To Me -Paul Weller

All My Love – Led Zeppelin

Anymore for anymore?

Let me know the songs that strike a particular Valentine chord in your heart……

DL – February 9th 2012

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  • Ian D said:

    Stunning photo of Bedford – makes me feel homesick

    More love songs for the mix tape (showing my age again)

    My Love – Wings
    Dirty Ol Town – Pogues
    You Do Something To Me (Cole Porter) Bryan Ferry

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    I’d go along with that choice – great version!

  • kevin curry said:

    Hi Dave

    My choice is Thank You (live Unledded) I absolutely love this song especially with the added words Thank You added in the song it gives the song a new meaning

  • Alessandro Borri said:

    Thanks Dave as usual ! Nice place to stay Bedford ! I really like a lot your pictures !
    Good luck for yout tooth extraction !
    Next St.Valentine’s Evening I’ll be with my girlfriend here in Italy to see a Led Zeppelin tribute band in a contest with a John lennon tribute band !
    Please check out The Tangerines (Italian Led Zeppelin Tribute band based in Bologna) on their website for music video samples

    All The Best,
    Alessandro Borri

  • Ian said:

    Some great songs on that list Dave;

    Can I add a couple?

    I’m Not In Love – 10cc
    Keep On Lovin’ You – REO Speedwagon

  • russell ritchin said:




  • Paul Lawrence said:

    I was there on the night and as well as Zep I’m a fan of Weller and Ocean Colour Scene who featured in his backing band….I do not believe for one moment that Steve Craddock of Ocean Colour Scene would never have heard of Dazed and Confused….

  • Michael, Melbourne said:

    Happy Birthday Gary! Best wishes, Michael

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