Email This Post Email This Post
Home » Dave Lewis Diary, Featured

DAVE LEWIS DIARY: THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME AT 35 PART 2 -THE LONDON PREMIERE/TOOTHACHE/THE FACES BOOK LAUNCH/QUADROPHENIA/JIMMY SAVILE/TOP OF THE POPS/AIRSHIP OVER BEDFORD/LED ZEP IV/TBL PRODUCT UPDATE

3 November 2011 1,305 views 9 Comments

The Song Still Remains At 35 Part 2: After the excitement of The Song Remains The Same soundtrack double album release, 35 years ago this week saw the premiere of the accompanying movie. This occurred at the Warner West End cinema in London’s Leicester Square although such was the demand the film was also screened at the nearby Shaftesbury Avenue ABC theatre.

We got tickets by queuing overnight in early October. Sleep was at a minimum that night as the disco next to the Warner West End cinema blasted out a diet of Barry White and the like until the early hours. All worth it of course.
Two nights before the premiere The Old Grey Whistle Test screened the famous river boat interview with Peter Grant and Robert Plant and the violin bow segment of Dazed And Confused leading up to the coloured swords being brandished . ‘’That’s an amazing piece of film’’ murmured the legendary Bob Harris -and indeed it was. Incidentally BBC’s Film Night aired a clip the following Sunday for which the long running presenter Barry Norman in his familiar style commented ‘’Let’s all go down like a Led Zeppelin…and why not.’’
The premiere on the night of Thursday November 4 1976 was another unforgettable occasion with many memories ingrained on my brain:

Here’s a few: Jimmy being ushered up the stairs of the cinema on arrival by John Bindon right next to me….shaking hands with Peter Grant and Bonzo as they waited for the photo call….standing up to allow Roy Wood and Billy Connolly to get to his seat two along from where we sat….a standing ovation as Jimmy, Robert, John and Bonzo took their seats…..spontaneous applause after every song performance -it was almost like attending a gig…. Bonzo and Jonesy with families gathering in the foyer afterwards…passing Paul McCartney on the way into the toliet  (no jokes at the back!)…..Robert eyeing the cardboard obeleisk/object card board cut out that I wore around my neck entwined with my scarf for the occasion as we chatted in the foyer.

Let me explain this interesting fashion look. Basically I took one of the cardboard obelisks that made up the hanging Presence mobile I had and swung it around my neck in a unique (plainly odd!) fashion statement – I cant it say it’s a look that caught on but hey it was for a special occasion!….The aforementioned Billy Connolly telling me the film had been ‘’A wee bit brilliant’’ in his famous Scottish brogue…watching them all get into limos as they sped off for the aftershow party in Covent Garden. A simply unforgettable night in their company.


My then girlfriend and I were back for the screening at the Warner West End the next night and on the Saturday. I went on to see the film over 30 times in various cinemas over the next 18 months – along with those first three nights it played in London, I saw it in Cambridge a couple of times the next week, every night (twice on Friday) of its seven day residency at Bedford’s Granada the following January , at a run down cinema in Western Favell in Northampton on a snow bound night that involved catching two busses to find the place…at a midnight night showing along with a couple of porn skin flicks in Luton (ooer!) and then there were periodical trips to a small picture house in London’s Wardour Street that showed seasons of rock films in rotation (anyone else remember that tiny place?).
In early 1981 I brought it on a dreadful quality VHS bootleg copy in a shop off Tottenham Court Road – all colour drop out but hey any time I wanted I could rewind to Jimmy climbing that mountain so who cared!

All that endeavour seems faintly ridiculous now considering the fact I can look to the right of me in the TBL workstation I can lean over and pull out the DVD. But hey it was the thrill of the search and as they couldn’t play live during that period, then the film was definitely the next best thing.
There are of course many highlights in the film not least the amazing Since Ive Been Loving You – one of my other favourite clips is the opening sequence of The Song Remains The Same – as the camera blurs slightly then captures the action face on with Jimmy slaying around the Gibson double neck in between Robert’s struts. Watch it below and expect a shiver up your spine…this is what they were all about and why they remain so special…
Somewhere over the next week I’m going to find a couple of hours to wallow in the pure nostalgia of the DVD and recall those heady days of November 1976

Back in 1976 my teeth were probably slightly more robust than they are now – because following the old Manful I’ve been suffering severe toothache for the first time in ages. My left side was really painful last weekend which led to an emergency trip to the dentist – he couldn’t find quite what the reason was so prescribed antibiotics – it has calmed down a bit now but it’s been another worry – this 55 lark is proving a bit of a slog two months in!

I bravely fought off the raging of toothache to travel to Guildford in darkest Surrey last week – killing two birds with one stone I took in some key research for a feature in the next TBL (more on that soon) and in the evening hooked up with Graeme Hutchinson to attend the launch of the new Genesis Publications book on The Faces held at the Genesis Gallery. It was a packed affair with Ronnie Wood and Kenney Jones holding court alongside Mick Hucknall who filled in as the vocalist on the recent Faces reunion shows. Omnibus editor Chris Charlesworth was there with wife Lisa who did the design on the A Celebration 20 years ago. It was also good to catch up with Ross Halfin.
The book itself is the usual mega expensive production but simply amazing with a host of on stage and off stage photos.

See link at http://www.genesis-publications.com/book/faces-1969-75/collector

It illustrates just how much ground The Faces covered in their short six year life span. It also acts as a reminder as to how successful they were in the US at the time and of course the good time bravado that surrounded them. In the 1970s the Faces music was an inspirational antidote to the drab economic times being experienced in the UK. I kick started many a Friday and Saturday night out by getting in the mood by playing faces albums such as Nods As Good As A Wink and Ooh La La –their songs of partying and wine women and song struck a chord in me and countless others. Equally their wistful thought provoking reflective morning after refrains such as Love Loved Here, If I’m On The Late Side, As Long As You Tell Him etc carried equal empathy. One of the stand out moments in the book launch was when the sound of Ronnie Lane’s wonderful composition Debris drifted out over the speakers. For all The Faces bravado, they knew how to wear their heart on their sleeves more effectively and sensitively than most. Here is an utterly awesome cip of Rod & The Faces  performing their version of The Temptations I’m Losing You as recorded for the BBC in late 1971.

The Faces – I’m Losing You

Which brings me nicely to Quadrophenia. The Who of course were another band that spoke to their audience though Pete Townshend’s monumental songwriting talent. That talent was and is again on offer in droves on the concept album Qudrophenia. It’s not my favourite Who album but it’s one of their most powerful and intensive (in fact by any group anytime).
I brought it on Saturday November 3rd 973 the day after it come out at Harlequin Records in Bedford’s Hgh Street.
Strangely for all it’s mod era throwbacks, it’s an album for me that mirrors the early 1970s and indeed how I felt at the time. I was 17 years old and I was at the time working as a stockroom assistant at British Home Stores. I was at a period of having left school and lost contact with friends id known there. It was also before my social awakening of going to pubs –that would follow the next year along with a fools paradise job of working in the record department of WH Smith. Many new friendships would be forged (four of which remain 37 years on, as strong and fervent as ever (hello Tom, Dec, Phil and Max –happy birthday to the latter for Friday).
1973 was a year of being somewhat isolated. Quadrophenia’s themes of isolation, and identity therefore resonated greatly with me. I vividly recall wading through the entire four sides with headphones in my bedroom in Dents Road taking in the enormity of the music and that feeling of being on the outside looking in. Though the story is rooted in mod culture for me it’s an album that mirrors the early 70s in the UK –the bleakness of the three day week, Edward Heath’s government, TV switching off at 10. 30pm, three hour power cuts, hooliganism on the football terraces. etc. That point is touched on in a superb new interview with Pete in this months Mojo.
Some 36 years later when I saw the Who perform Quadrophenia at the Royal Albert Hall in late March of 2010, those themes were still prevalent and still impactful.

I’m looking forward to getting acquainted with the reissued version due soon. I’ve already searched out the CD of Quadrophenia demos that surfaced on bootleg that I have to get me in the Quad mood. Here’s an amzing clip of The Who from October 1973. It was recorded for the 500th edition of Top of The Pops – they are doing a mime against a live vocal and it all ends up in typical onstage chaos for which The Who were duly banned from the programme. The DJ introducing them is Noel Edmonds -now the presenter of the popular Deal Or No Deal gameshow.

A trip to Hitchin market last week brought forth a few new vinyl goodies – one of the stalls had a £2 sale –much of it very good stuff all in excellent condition.
Here’s the latest DL Playlist run down – new Hitchin acquisitions marked H

DL TOP TEN VINYL PLAYLIST

1:   Led Zeppelin IV (second Polydor pressing)- Led Zeppelin  – 40 years of greatness…
2:   Nods As Good As A Wink…To A Blind Horse – The Faces  – pure 70s rock’n’roll
3:   Winwood – Steve Winwood – career spanning compilation purchased last week at the mighty fine JB’s store in London
4:   Marriott – Steve Marriott (H) – 1976 stormer with UK and US backing
5:   Living In The Past -Jethro Tull – superb 1972 compilation -great sleeve too
6:   Valentine -Roy Harper – 1974 beauty dedicated on the sleeve to JB, JP, JPJ & RP
7:   The Flock – The Flock  (H) -CBS US rock act with ace violin player – they were on the same bill at Bath as Zep in 1970
8:   Yesshows – Yes (H) -1979 live double -indulgent? but of course…
9:   Still Crazy After All These Years -Paul Simon -wisful Atumnal affair from 1975
10:  A Man Alone -Frank Sinatra – ushering in the dark nights – your’re never alone with Frank

DL TOP TEN CD PLAYLIST

1:  Five Guys Go Into A Bar (box set)) – The Faces – the whole story
2:  Ipswich 1971 – Led Zeppelin – Led Zep IV comes alive
3:  The Song Remains The Same – Led Zeppelin – it was 35 years ago you know…

4:  Kilburn State 74 -Ronnie Wood & Friends – loosely tight with Keef and Rod
5:  And So It Goes – Crosby Stills Nash & Young  – outtakes and live from 1974
6:  Quadrophenia Demos – Pete Townshend – beginnings of the saga
7:   Beware Of Abkco – George Harrison – plaintive intimate All Things Must Pass demos – the not so quiet one ten years gone…
8:  Court Orders/Toronto 79 – Keith Richards/Rolling Stones -the gig that got Keef out of the slammer

9:   A’s & B’s -Family – captivating early 70s British rock
10:  Breaking The Rules at the BBC -Led Zeppelin – breaking and making records at a frantic pace…

With thanks to John P. and Larry B.

And on the theme of chart run downs – I was genuinely sad to hear of the death of the eccentric DJ/broadcaster Jimmy Savile. For all his flamboyancy he was a superb broadcaster. His weekly radio shows, the Double Top Ten show and Savile’s Travels were the sound of Sunday lunchtimes when I was growing up. As for Top of The Pops (for which a big band version of Whole Lotta Love was sued as the theme tune), I watched it religiously evey week from 1964 well into the 1980s and Jimmy Saville was simply an iconic presence. Another part of British 1960s/70s culture passes on… Here is wonderfully nostalgic clip of the Top of The Pops TV show from early 1973 – incidentally some of The Sweet’s B sides were very Zeppelinesque..honest!

Top Of The Pops 1973

Football: I watched the highlights of Spurs 3-1 over QPR with the mighty impressive Gareth Bale netting two goals (sorry Allessandro!) -plenty of mad scorelines in the premier league what with Man Utd going down 6-1 to City and Chelsea 5-3 to Arsenal. Match Of The Day is living up to it’s name. Here’s hoping Harry Redknapp  will be soon back in the frey after his heart op.

Busy here signing off a major feature on Led Zeppelin IV for a forthcoming issue of Record Collector. UK Zep vinyl collector Nick Anderson has been a fantastic help on throwing clear light on the minute details of the early Led Zeppelin IV UK LP pressings -of which there are 6 variations to be found. The actual very first vinyl pressing has a variety of errors on the labels that were corrected on later pressings and coammands a £300 price amongst collectors. I spoke to  Nick yesterday -the depth of his Zep vinyl collection and knowledge is absolutely awesome. The feature also includes the story of how one lucky fan’s job as an apprentice builder led him to being given a very rare Zep IV pressing by the guitarist himself.

Led Zeppelin IV on the Atlantic label as issued in November 1971 – but which pressing and how much is it worth ? All will be revealed…

On Tuesday afternoon, the good lady Janet noticed that there was a real live airship floating over our house -not quite the Hindenburg but a real live one nontheless. This one was the Goodyear airship that often takes to the air from the nearby Cardington Hangers. Said hangers are a bit of a Bedford landmark as they have also been used as a rehearsal venue for the likes of AC/DC,Paul McCartney and Take That -one of the Batman movies was also filmed there. Anyway here’s the airship over Totnes Close as seen on 01-01-11 3pm from our back garden …not such a Led Balloon. It must be an omen…follow that blimp …

Work and research on the next TBL magazine has been well  underway this week with some great stuff lined up and research on the Knebworth second edition is ongoing –all of which has necessitated frequent trips up to the loft.

TBL product update: Here’s a round up of the key TBL products currently on offer -perfect reading for the dark nights ahead…

The limited edition five issue TBL Starter Packs have been in much demand -this is a great value way to get acquainted with the TBL magazine – 160 pages of it for just £8 plus postage – a great Christmas gift too -even if you have them yourselves, why not pass them on as a great Christmas gift idea?  -here’s the ordering link:

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/?page_id=11348

Led Zeppelin Then As It Was -At Knebworth 1979 – revamped  second edition due out in 2012 – making a good thing even better – strictly limited edition – numbered and signed by the author . Pre order now – all pre orders will be logged to receive the lowest numbers possible.

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/?page_id=1962

Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind – Over Europe 1980 – there are plenty of you reading this now who have yet to invest in this lovingly crafted book -another perfect Christmas giftt and don’t just take my word for it:

‘’Dave Lewis is an incredible archivist andchronicler, and is an asset to rock journalism. He is a fan above all else, but  a shrewd and passionate one at that. Feather In The Wind is a hefty tome and a worthy addition to any rock library.’’ Neil Daniels Fireworks rock magazine

‘’A brilliant dissection of the tour that time forgot. What emerges is an intriguing chronicle of the biggest band in the world contemplating their own vastness and legacy. But this is no obituary; instead Dave Lewis has skilfully woven a passionate celebration of a group who may well have been on the verge of an altogether different kind of greatness.’’ Terry Staunton Record Collector

Order now at http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/?page_id=9965

TBL 2012 Subscriptions – all current subscriptions end with TBL 31 due Janaury A  new link will be set up shortly to resubscribe for the 3 issue 212 subscription. However if you want to re subscribe in advance you can use the 2011 link and just mark your order 2012 Subscription.

TBL 2011 Subscription link is at   http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/?page_id=1469

Finally the current TBL issue 30 is available now – for an up to date summary of all the latest news and views -this is more great TBL reading for those dark nights ahead. Again don’t just take my word for it:

Dave Lewis’ magnificent TBL magazine reaches issue number 30. All the usual current affairs are here, looking at what Jimmy Page ,Robert Plant and John Paul Jones have been doing this Summer.On a more sombre note an important part of this issue is the tribute to the late, great Howard Mylett. Dave has, with his usual eloquence, summed up the tremendous contribution that Howard made to everything Led Zeppelin. Gerard Sparaco has his usual pertinent insights into the numerous underground CDs that have surfaced. And it being the 40th anniversary of “that” song, the second part of a very detailed examination ensues about it, with the musical analysis a pleasure for trainspotters everywhere. Finally Mike Tremaglio’s detailed coverage of Zep concerts from 1971 takes us up to their two concerts in Honolulu on the 16th and 17th September. Dave Lewis really is the Trade Mark of Quality on all matters relating to Led Zeppelin. Don’t miss out – order the magazine direct from the TBL website. (JM- Underground Uprising web site)

 TBL 30 arrived in my letterbox on Friday. Once again, it’s a fantastic effort. Congratulations! I’m an avid reader of Mojo, Q, Uncut, Record Collector and Rolling Stone but my subscription to TBL is far and away the best value for money. Michael Rae, Australia

Order TBL 30 from this link http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/?page_id=11354

November is upon us and looks to be pretty full on with various things occurring including the Led Zeppelin IV Exhibition on November 17th – in fact I’ve been living and breathing that aforementioned record in much the same way as I did all of 40 years ago which proves the song(s) very much remains the same which is where we came in…

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...

9 Comments »

  • andrew johnson said:

    pre video days about 79-80 , my brother and I would hire a 15-20 minute long highlights movie of SRTS which we’d play on a reel to reel projector and pull up screen. given its length and lack of a voiceover it didnt seem to be a promo to be played in cinemas. maybe it was a press pack? anyone else out there come across such a beast? PS…..Lord only knows how many times we hired it :-]

  • Simon Cadman said:

    Any pix of you wearing The Object, Dave? Don’t be shy!! As a fashion statement, I guess it was nobody’s fault but… yours…
    Simon (who used to wear a very dodgy Afghan)

  • Fiona de Boltz said:

    PS hope the toothache’s better now!

  • Fiona de Boltz said:

    Great to read. I remember that unusual obelisk necklace! Happy days! 🙂

  • Kathy Urich said:

    Awesome read Dave, Led Zeppelin IV, Untitled etc. to this day gives me chills when Robert sings out “Hey, Hey Momma…” black dog, then blasts in to rock ~n~ roll. This album and Led II are my favorite studio recordings, keep in mind they’re all my “favorites” but Led IV perfection, cut after cut, through light and shade….sigh to end with When the Levy Breaks, musical genuis.

  • Mark Harrison said:

    And of course the R-101 that crahed tragically killing all those people and ended up on the cover of tje first album took off from the same hanger at Cardington, Bedford!
    Mark

  • John C said:

    Mr Lewis
    A most enjoyable read on your memories of SRTS – there’s nothing like an eyewitness account on proceedings. Its good to hear little facts like the Film Night account, never knew it appeared on there. I’ve already mentioned my own experiences going to our local “Picture house” in Durham City – it was like going to a gig only more exciting!!
    Very much looking forward to the RC issue, Zeppelin 4 was such a monumental moment in music, from its unusual recording techniques, mix of styles – its pure organic evolvement is a testament in itself, and no name on the cover – madness!! Its great Mr Anderson has had input, I enjoy his attention to detail. Its difficult to say whether that Zep 4 copy is 1st. or 2nd issue. Depends if the feather is upside down on the B side – if it is that its the 1st issue and worth (EX) £300+ though one did sell for £908 in 2009!!

  • Tom Cory said:

    Funnily enough, that particular blimp ended up at White Hart Lane on Sunday!

  • Mark Harrison said:

    And after all that excitement in early November 1976 on Sunday the 7th my left lung collapsed!!
    Oh what days!
    Mark

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.