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29 June 2018 3,701 views 13 Comments


Announcing the forthcoming publication of …

Evenings With Led Zeppelin – The Complete Concert Chronicle by Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio

At last we have reached the finishing line – the book myself and Mike Tremaglio, along with TBL designer Mick Lowe have been working on for the past four and a half years is finally a wrap…

On Thursday, June 14, 2018 we did the last corrections and the book files are now with Omnibus Press to begin printing.

Planned publication via Omnibus Press is September.

So firstly, here are some facts and figures about the book:

576 pages

260,000 word text

2,500+ images

170 rarely seen colour and black and white photos

Large hardback size 267 x 204mm

Price: £40

Written by Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio

Edited by Chris Charlesworth

Designed by Mick Lowe at StudioMix Bedford

Foreword by former Led Zeppelin Tour Manager Richard Cole

Here’s the basic overview of what the book projects:

“When Led Zeppelin played a concert, it wasn’t just a concert – it was an event.” – Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin’s manager, 1993

Evenings With Led Zeppelin chronicles in consummate detail the 500-plus concerts that Led Zeppelin performed throughout their career.

From their earliest gig in a Denmark school gymnasium on September 7, 1968, through to the last gig that Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones ever performed with John Bonham, in Berlin on July 7, 1980, this is the Led Zeppelin story told from where their legend was forged – live on stage.

Deploying impeccable research spread over many years, Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio bring clarity, authority and perspective to their unique story.

Evenings With Led Zeppelin is a show-by-show narrative of every known Led Zeppelin performance that portrays with pinpoint accuracy the group’s rapid ascent from playing to a few hundred at London’s Marquee Club to selling out the 20,000 capacity Madison Square Garden in New York – all in a mere eighteen months.

Supplemented by historical reviews, facts and figures and expert commentary that capture the spirit of the times, Evenings With Led Zeppelin is illustrated throughout with rarely seen concert adverts, posters, venue images, ticket stubs and photos, all of which offer matchless insight into each and every concert. This is the on-stage heritage of Led Zeppelin as never before chronicled in one volume.

Fifty years on from their formation, Led Zeppelin’s potency as a live band remains unsurpassed – Evenings With Led Zeppelin vividly explains why.


That’s the basic overview of it all –  so how has it all come to fruition?

The book initially came out of an idea to funnel Mike’s amazing Led Zeppelin research in some way. As many reading this will know, Mike and I have been collaborating for some years –in fact, Mike’s tour logs began to be a cornerstone of every TBL magazine from around 2007. I was always incredibly impressed at his level of detail and archive research.

We had the initial idea back in 2010. By then Mike had been plugging away for some years on forming a definitive tour itinerary. He had sent me many pages of an early format of what we would later develop in book form. Chris Charlesworth then the Managing Editor at Omnibus came on-board and eventually it was agreed that Omnibus Press would publish the book.

From late 2013 we began formulating the concept of the book. It’s been very full on for the past four years. We did initially plan for it to be completed by 2016, but it soon became quite evident that such a deadline would be wholly unrealistic.

In approaching the task of logging every known Led Zeppelin concert appearance, we’ve wiped the slate clean and started afresh. Deploying hours of impeccable research spread over many years, we’ve sought to bring clarity, objectivity, authority and insight to this unique story. We’ve also strived to offer a perspective on it all.

To achieve those objectives – as mentioned, we document the setlists, provide context with insightful performance background information, and include press reaction from the times to capture the true essence and heritage of Led Zeppelin in concert.

It is worth mentioning that we also took inspiration from previous scholarly Zep chronicling by the likes of Howard Mylett, Luis Rey, Andy Adams,Robert Godwin, Hugh Jones, Eddie Edwards, Julian Walker, Paul Sheppard, Nick Anderson, Andy Crofts, to name but a few.

David Barraclough and Imogen Clark at Omnibus Press have also been very supportive in their co-ordination of everything.

Along the way, in collating the book we would like to acknowledge the tremendous support we received from Scott Baker, Cliff Hilliard, Sam Rapallo, and Chris Selby. Their generosity in sharing both their expertise and memorabilia cannot be overstated.

Chris Charlesworth (now in a consultancy capacity with Omnibus Press) has also played a key part in editing all the text.

Richard Cole, Led Zeppelin’s former Tour Manager has very kindly contributed a Foreword for the book. It’s an illuminating 1,000-word-plus insight into Richard’s vital role and thoughts on the subject that superbly sets the tone of the whole book. I have had many an illuminating phone conversation with Richard on this – his integrity and sharing of personal memories has been a real inspiration.

Once we were all signed up to undertake this challenge, I brought in TBL designer Mick Lowe to work with us. I knew Mick would understand what we were looking for visually as he had designed Mike’s tour logs in the TBL magazine.

I also knew Mike’s diligence in researching the concert history of Led Zeppelin was second to none. So our collective objective was to formulate a book that would chronicle the entire concert performance history of Led Zeppelin in greater detail and accuracy than ever before. We also wanted to achieve all this with the utmost  integrity such a project demanded.

We also shared the vision of illuminating the performances with summaries, reviews and comments from the time, and as much relevant detail as we could come up with. Mike also made it his quest to find as many photos of the venues they played at to provide the visual setting of as many gigs as possible. We mined a whole host of vintage music papers, magazines and provincial newspapers to set the record straight.

All of us shared the workload. As Mike collated the concert to concert logs, I worked closely with Mick Lowe at his StudioMix location in Bedford overseeing every stage of the design. I have made countless journeys on my bike to and from Mick’s place in town wearing down many a tyre tread in the process!

The actual design was very much based on Mike’s personal vison of how it should look with the various images integrated. Mick and I worked on Mike’s proto layout ideas and then developed each page from there. The designed pages were then diligently checked by Mike. We went through many revisions of text and layout – particularly in the latter stages.

Right up to signing it all off, we were still discovering new facts and new photos.

We have also been responsible for the photo research – Mike again has done an amazing job in securing some rarely seen photos and we had much support in this area from the likes of Larry Ratner, Stuart Whitehead and Dan Cuny to name but three of many.

I have to put on record that it has been Mike Tremaglio’s constant intensive research that has really driven this book to be what it finally has become. Without his relentless pursuits it just would not have happened. There is no way I could have undertook this task without him. This book really is a triumph for Mike in particular – his commitment, attention to detail and sheer diligence has been awe-inspiring to say the least. He also been a joy to work with. We were always singing from the same hymn sheet…

Designer Mick Lowe has also been a tower of strength – constantly moving his busy schedule to accommodate our requirements. As can be seen in this pic taken last week , by the end of it all Mick and I felt like World Cup winners!


One thing we are keen to address is how the book differs from the 1997 publication The Concert File book which is based on a similar gig to gig log

Firstly, this book concentrates solely on the concerts Led Zeppelin performed between 1968 and 1980 plus the main reunions. Unlike The Concert File there are no studio details, guest appearances of solo activity chronicled. We wanted it all to live and breath the live history of Zep and nothing else.

The large, full colour format of Evenings With Led Zeppelin has also allowed us to present concert memorabilia and images in all their glory. Also, the greatly expanded page count (exactly 400 more pages than the original, full-sized Concert File book) allows for an expanded presentation of all the images and text.

Looking back, I am extremely proud of what myself and co-author Simon Pallet achieved with The Concert File book. Simon did a great job of assessing all the tapes and bootlegs – which assisted greatly in coming up with an accurate concert itinerary for the time.

However, much of the research was done for that book in the pre-internet days – in fact, it’s over 20 years ago that we initially worked on that. Many of the individual concert entries were derived from Robert’s in concert comments or “plantations,” in the absence of available press at the time.

Since then, there’s been so much more to discover and through Mike’s exhaustive research, so much more information has come to the table.

This really is the Led Zeppelin story from the place they functioned best – live on stage

There’s also a major emphasis on unravelling the story in real time – and by that I mean through deploying countless reviews from the newspapers of the day, particularly the provincial ones in the US. This builds up a real perspective of how Zep were perceived at the time by the journalists of the day.

The early pages commence with a Prologue section that details the early performing days of the four band members. Particular emphasis is placed on each musician’s month-by-month activities in 1968, just before Jimmy Page recruited them for his new Yardbirds line up. It also focuses on the dissolution of The Yardbirds and the circumstances behind how Page selected his new bandmates – culminating in their first rehearsal together in London in August 1968.

The next 500-plus pages chronicle the 516 confirmed gigs Led Zeppelin performed between 1968 and 1980 – all with drummer John Bonham. Also included in those pages are the 90 or so shows that were either cancelled or unconfirmed.

Finally, a Postscript section covers the four post-1980 appearances without John Bonham: at Live Aid in 1985; the Atlantic 40th anniversary show in 1988; the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction in 1995; and the O2 reunion in memory of Ahmet Ertegun in 2007.

All of the band’s tours are represented with a cover page summary with the specifics of each given tour outlined and what it represented to their touring history. In terms of the individual concert entries we note the following:

Support acts – who were also on the bill for each concert (or festival).

Setlists – provided only where they can be verified with either recordings or press reviews.

Background Info – historical context is given to each gig.

Press Reaction – features masses of reviews from the time. For this section, we have drawn upon countless daily newspapers plus many music papers and magazines published during the 1960s and 1970s.

Bootleg Recordings – lists the various original recording sources with associated running times for each. While we have mentioned some of the key bootleg album/CD titles, this is neither a bootleg guide nor a performance review guide. Rather, this section focuses on what makes a particular concert unique in terms of either song selection, rare features, or a “fan favourite.”

Also included for concert entries are countless images relevant to a particular gig – all with the intent to provide the reader with a feel for the concert as an “event.” Venue pics are extensively used to provide a visual setting for the gigs, along with accompanying ticket stubs, handbills, concert ads, press reviews, concert memorabilia, etc. – all designed to make each concert come alive.

There are a few of the band’s guest appearances during 1968-1980 that are included, but we have only chronicled key performances that we felt were particularly relevant – such as Jimmy Page’s appearance on the Julie Felix show in 1970. The focus of the book is firmly on Led Zeppelin concerts only.

We have also included details of a handful of unconfirmed shows, notably the infamous January 20, 1969 Wheaton Youth Center debated appearance – plus known details of the 85 or so cancelled gigs.

We also note the crucial contributions of Peter Grant and Richard Cole and present an Appendix that collates all the facts and figures of the Led Zeppelin concert itinerary.

We think the depth of information gathered offers a real perspective on what Led Zeppelin was really all about – which was playing live for as many people as possible. As I’ve said before, I’d like to think it reads as more than a mere list of dates. Within the format we adopted, it does clearly illustrate all the peaks and troughs of their career: the great nights, the not so great nights, all the craziness of their travels across America and beyond.

This is no mere train spotters guide. We view the book as a result of a thirst for knowledge that paints as complete a picture as possible on the subject.

Obviously the main appeal is to Led Zeppelin fans – those that were lucky enough to see them can relive it all, while those who didn’t have the opportunity could gain a greater appreciation for what it was all about.

We also think for anyone interested in the heritage of rock music and it’s development during the 1960s and 1970s this book reveals much about how the touring scene evolved. As Richard Cole, Zep’s tour manager notes in the Foreword, single-act stadium concerts were a rarity back then – not until Led Zeppelin made the bold move into performing to masses of fans – and with no support act. ”We did stadiums when it was unheard of and what you have to remember is that there was no one else on the bill – it was 50,000 or more just to see Led Zeppelin”  observes Richard.

This intensive documenting of their live appearances also reveals much about the evolution of the entertainment touring industry in the late 1960s and 1970s. It reveals that Led Zeppelin shared billing with a diverse list of acts such as The Who, Alice Cooper, Isaac Hayes, Jethro Tull, Jose Feliciano, Taj Mahal, Three Dog Night, Santana, Joe Cocker, Dr. John, Sun Ra, Grand Funk Railroad, and Johnny Winter. On festival bills they appeared alongside a virtual who’s who of historical musical artists: Janis Joplin, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Chuck Berry, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Ten Years After, Chicago, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Jefferson Airplane, Jeff Beck, Blind Faith, The Guess Who, The Byrds, The Doors, Moody Blues, Bo Diddley, Steppenwolf, Miles Davis, Buddy Rich, Mothers of Invention, Sly & the Family Stone, John Mayall, Sam & Dave, Ike and Tina Turner Revue, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and many, many others.

And as we know by the many advert images we found that are reproduced – an eclectic line up of fellow artists were always swinging by in the same time frame – names such as Dusty Springfield, Liberace, Tom Jones, Glen Campbell, Richie Havens, Burt Bacharach, The Temptations, The Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, etc.

As the band moved from gig to gig, there’s a vivid sense of progression and momentum. Their performances carried energy, speed and vitality, leaving stunned audiences in their wake. Following the story gig to gig, that energy and speed is more than evident as they elevate from performing to a few thousand people at the Fillmore East in New York to selling out the 20,000-capacity Madison Square Garden in the space of a mere nineteen months.

Led Zeppelin worked incredibly hard to achieve their success – particularly in their first year together. During 1969 alone, they played 150 or so concerts – roughly the same number of shows they performed in the subsequent 33 months combined.

Amongst all the detail, the sense of drama and creativity that surrounded Led Zeppelin shines through. Even the most casual fan will have come into contact with their unofficial catalogue on some level and cross referencing the music to the text will certainly add to the enjoyment of the book. There are of course many bootlegs out there to draw from if you want to hear how this all sounded.

It is worth mentioning that this is not a critique of Led Zeppelin’s performances. That format has already been very successfully employed by Luis Rey in his Tape Documentary book.

Whilst we do offer an overview and perspective of each touring period, the story really unfolds via the historical reviews of the time.

So that is what is in store.

I can say categorically that this has been the hardest challenge of my long Led Zeppelin chronicling career.

To bring this all to fruition has been a truly monumental task shared by Mike Tremaglio and Mick Lowe.

For me personally, it’s been a very difficult process – as in between all this, I’ve been spinning many other plates – namely the Five Glorious Nights – Led Zeppelin at Earls Court 1975 book, the production and distribution of a number of TBL magazines, the weekly collation of the TBL website updates and the forthcoming Led Zeppelin Live 1975 – 1977 Iconic Images book – not to mention organising the Ahmet We Did it fan gathering in London last December.

So, all of the above has come together as I kept a close eye on the ongoing development of the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book.

This book did bring with it a number of challenges that have caused frustration, worry  and stress – there were times when I felt we were never going to get through it all. In fact, I could write a book about the making of this book as there have been many twists and turns along the way. There’s no doubt that at times all this has driven our nearest and dearest to despair.

The last three months in particular, have been a real slog as we sought to perfect everything with various proofreads and corrections to make this book as good as it possibly can be.

As mentioned, right up to signing it all off, we were still discovering new facts and new photos.

It was therefore all a big relief when we eventually called it a wrap  a week or so back.

I can say we all share a huge sense of fulfilment at what we have achieved.

Again for me personally, this book feels like the culmination of many years dedication and passion to the cause. It feels like a book I really needed to be involved in and produce – because fundamentally it reminds me of the reason I believe in it all still – my memories of the 15 occasions I have been lucky enough to see Led Zeppelin live on stage – coupled with so many vivid listening experiences via the many bootleg  albums, cassettes and CD’s – this book has been an outlet for me to express my gratitude in print to the Led Zeppelin live legacy.

When we undertook this challenge, none of us could have envisaged the amount of hours it would need to complete. It seemed to take on a life of its own as it evolved into a much larger work than we initially planned in size, page count and content.

We are all immensely proud of Evenings With Led Zeppelin, especially since we have tackled such a difficult project and managed to pull it all off. Reviewing the final proofs made us realize that the book is exactly what we had intended in the first place – and that’s very rewarding.

Of course, this will not be the only book on the market place come the autumn – a fair few are planned not least the official Led Zeppelin By Led Zeppelin book.

There is no intention here to rival that publication – indeed the official book will be a must read and we are all going to revel in that one.

We see Evenings With Led Zeppelin as a book that complements the official Led Zeppelin By Led Zeppelin work.

We certainly view it as an important historical document – a very substantial volume at that. One that seeks to set the record straight on the story of their live in concert history – and in doing so enlightens and entertains every person that reads it.

It will retail in the UK at £40 – it’s a large format 576 page book – beautifully produced and designed.


You can pre-order the book now at the following links:

More news on additional pre- order links will follow.

I am also planning a special limited edition TBL version of the book – more details on that soon

Omnibus Press are aiming at a September publication and we will be launching it during the month and at the fan gathering Julian Walker and myself are organizing.

This is the TBL Celebrates Led Zeppelin at 50 – It’s Been A Long Time 1968 -2018 50th Anniversary TBL Celebration Day Event to take place on September 30, 2018 at the Atlas pub in Fulham – more on all that soon.

So to summarise:

We think we have created something very special with this book – a book that will appeal to anyone interested in the concert history of the greatest live attraction of their times – as Richard Cole astutely acknowledges in his Foreword “They were the last of the giants and they still loom ever large – in fact, even now they seem bigger than anyone else.’’

So get ready to relive these evenings with Led Zeppelin – and a few afternoons as well…

Led Zeppelin’s live legacy is unsurpassed. We have created this substantial book to explain why…

Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio  – June 29, 2018.


Led Zeppelin News Update:

In conjunction with the Led Zep news site, each week I will be re- producing highlights from their weekly email update news summary. This goes out every Sunday. Sign up details are below. Many thanks to James Cook.

Led Zeppelin

Jimmy Page

Robert Plant

Robert Plant played several live shows since our last weekly email. Check out the known setlists below and click through to see videos of the songs.

June 17 – Chicago, Illinois
The Lemon Song
Four Sticks
What Is and What Should Never Be
Turn It Up
The May Queen
Going to California
In the Mood
Gallows Pole
Carry Fire
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Little Maggie
Fixin’ to Die
Bring It On Home / Whole Lotta Love

June 19 – Vail, Colorado
When the Levee Breaks
Four Sticks
Turn It Up
The May Queen
Going to California
In the Mood
Gallows Pole
Carry Fire
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Little Maggie
Fixin’ to Die
Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down / In My Time of Dying
Whole Lotta Love

June 21 – Berkeley, California
When the Levee Breaks
Four Sticks
Turn It Up
The May Queen
Going to California
In the Mood
Gallows Pole
Carry Fire
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Little Maggie
Fixin’ to Die
Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down / In My Time of Dying
Bring It On Home / Whole Lotta Love

June 23 – Stateline, Nevada
The Lemon Song
Four Sticks
The May Queen
Going to California
Carry Fire
Little Maggie
Gallows Pole
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Turn It Up
Fixin’ to Die
Rock and Roll
When the Levee Breaks

John Paul Jones

Upcoming events:

June 24 – Robert Plant will perform in Pasadena, California.
June 26 – Robert Plant will perform in Troutdale, Oregon.
June 27 – Robert Plant will perform in Redmond, Washington.
June 29 – Robert Plant will perform at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival in Canada.
July 2 – The official John Bonham memorial T-shirt will be released.
July 17 – Robert Plant will perform at the Istanbul Jazz Festival in Turkey.
July 19 – Robert Plant will perform at the Black Sea Jazz Festival in Georgia.
July 22 – Robert Plant will perform at the Vielles Charrues Festival in Carhaix, France.
July 23 – Robert Plant will perform in Paris, France.
July 25 – “Led Zeppelin Live,” a photo book edited by Dave Lewis, will be released and Robert Plant will perform at the Festival de Carcassonne in France.
July 27 – Robert Plant will perform at the Milano Summer Festival 2018 in Milan, Italy.
July 29 – Robert Plant will perform at the Stimmen Festival in Lörrach, Germany.
July 31 – Robert Plant will perform in Pardubice, Czech Republic.
August 1 – Robert Plant will perform in Dresden, Germany.
August 11 – John Paul Jones will perform as part of Snoweye at the Varangerfestivalen in Norway.
September 7 – Led Zeppelin will released the remastered edition of “The Song Remains The Same” and new merchandise.
September 15 – Robert Plant will perform at the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival in Colorado.
September 16 – Robert Plant will perform at the KAABOO festival in California.
September 18 – “Scream For Help,” which features a soundtrack by John Paul Jones, will be released on Blu-ray.
September 23 – Robert Plant will perform at the Bourbon & Beyond festival in Louisville, Kentucky.
October – The official Led Zeppelin photo book will be released.
October 16 – “Bring it on Home,” a new biography of Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant, will be released.
October 26 – Robert Plant will perform in London, UK.
October 28 – Robert Plant will perform in Dublin, Ireland

Many thanks to James Cook.

The complete Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here:

Led Zeppelin News Website: Check out the Led Zeppelin news website at



 Following the installation of a permanent bronze memorial statue in his hometown of Redditch, Worcestershire, a very special music event has been organised to celebrate the legendary Led Zeppelin drummer’s 70th Birthday, life and legacy.

 Organised by The John Bonham Memorial Friends and in partnership with Heart of Worcestershire College, the celebration festival will take place at Peakman Street, Redditch on Saturday 22nd September 2018.

A stellar line-up of Rock/Blues artists and Special Guests, all with a connection to John and the Bonham family, will take to the stage as part of a full day of live music, commencing at 13.00 until 23.00. Some acts will be revealed via but others will be saved and revealed on the day.

This memorable event will host a mix of well-known stars and upcoming musicians, all donating their time to remember John Bonham and to raise vital funds for Teenage Cancer Trust and their outreach nurse programme across the West Midlands.

Tickets are priced at £25 each (plus £1.50 booking fee) and will go on sale at 12 noon on Friday 29th June 2018 via

Proceeds in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust West Midlands to support vital services in memory of John. Ticket numbers are strictly limited to just 1000 on a first come first served basis. Over 18s only.


Robert Plant for Silver Clef Award:

Artists including Roger Waters, Robert Plant, Ellie Goulding, George Ezra, Michael Ball & Alfie Boe, Sterophonics, Rudimental, Jorja Smith are among the winners of the 43rd O2 Silver Clef Awards.

Presenter Edith Bowman will host the event, which raises money for music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, on Friday, July 6 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, while coverage from the red carpet will be presented by Peter Andre.

Roger Waters and Robert Plant are being honoured for their contribution to music and will be presented with the Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef Award and the Integro Outstanding Award respectively. Stereophonics pick up the American Express Icon Award, while Ellie Goulding is awarded the Liz Hobbs Best Female Award and George Ezra will take home the AEG Presents Best Male Award.

Other acts receiving awards this year include The Script, who will be presented with the Raymond Weil International Award and Michael Ball & Alfie Boe, who will receive the PPL Classical Award. Rudimental will be awarded the Bose Innovation Award. Jorja Smith will collect the Amazon Music Best Newcomer Award and the Sky Best Group Award will be awarded to Bastille.

Nordoff Robbins CEO Julie Whelan said: “The O2 Silver Clef Awards are one of the reasons why Nordoff Robbins is able to continue delivering life-changing music therapy to so many people facing some of the biggest challenges who desperately need our help. For 43 years this event has celebrated the best names in music, whilst raising over £10.5 million for our charity to date. We are forever grateful for the tremendous support it receives year on year.”


Bath Festival – it was 48 years ago…

Great piece here by Chris Charlesworth on the 1970 Bath Festival..


Feather In The Wind – Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980 book relaunch:

This week marks the 38th anniversary of the final dates of the final Led Zeppelin tour – a low key 14 date trek taking in Germany, Belgium, Holland, Austria and Switzerland.

Continuing the TBL  celebration of that final tour, I am relaunching the Feather In the Wind book – the price is a bargain £8 including postage and packing.

Note – stocks of the book is now running down so if you have yet to check out the book now is the time!

This is a fantastic opportunity to invest in the definitive account of the tour at a bargain price – essential  Led Zep summer 2017 reading.

80-07-02 Mannheim (8)

TBL Retro Archive: Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980: It was 38 years ago…

Continuing the TBL retro archive feature on the final Led Zeppelin tour as chronicled in the Feather In The Wind book… 

Mannheim, July 2nd, 1980. Hello July, hello Mannheim. It’s dull and raining. Zeppelin are due to play two gigs here.

The concerts are held at an extraordinary place called the Eisstadion. Normally an ice hockey arena, its roofing is partly canvas. The audience assembled tonight is every bit as crazy as in Frankfurt. A strong American showing, mixed in with the German fanatics and a few English representatives. The group are set for an early start but the proposed 7.30pm kick off passes. Jimmy hasn’t even arrived yet. However, I spot Bonzo backstage nervous but itching to play. Before 8.00 though, everyone is in and ready. Lights low and out of the backstage darkness comes the crew, headed by Peter Grant ushering his boys on to the stage once again. They walk into the glare of light… the audience crumble. This is getting to be a familiar ritual.

Tonight is hot and sticky. The group play as ever, like their very existence depended on it. In the Evening is a standout. It’s such a titanic arrangement. Jimmy swinging that tremolo arm like he’s some demented version of Hank Marvin. Robert strutting through the chorus, “Oh I need your love… I’ve gotta have… ” And, of course, that delicately slowed passage with Jonesy’s lilting additions. One other slight alteration comes when Robert gets to the line “One day soon it’s got to stop, gotta stop! Gotta stop!” and as he repeats the line, Bonzo emphasises the statement with a couple of bass drum hammerings. Powerful. I notice during All My Love that Robert has altered one of the lines slightly. He sings “Ours is the love of all the warmth we can find” instead of “ours is the fire.” That number too, is outstanding.

Jimmy is again moving around like some madman enthused by the wall of sound surrounding him. In Kashmir, Robert gets so carried away he almost sings one verse twice. Not that it detracts from the performance. That’s another aspect I haven’t touched on yet. As much as this set is together, it’s not flawless. Cues are sometimes missed, Jimmy drops his pick – I mean it ain’t perfect always, but then rock ‘n’ roll wasn’t meant to be note perfect and stereotyped. The rawness is there (and the mellowness too, if you look for it). Their playing is so adventurous; at times it walks a tightrope. One false step out of line and it will crumble. With the chemistry of the four blending together and peaking so often, it rarely fails.
Trampled Underfoot is an example of that tonight. Jimmy pushes everyone to the limit with a blistering run… and Robert… Robert just smiles. He knows…

Robert tells the people about his latest sketch.
“Just take yer hand, imagine you’ve a false nose and pull it back and forth, now say, ‘Aye thank yew.’ Let me tell you, it soon caught on!

80-07-02 Mannheim (5)

During Stairway Robert puts in another ad-lib. After the words “I hope so” he sings repeatedly, “I keep on choppin’ and changin’. Choppin’ and changin’, choppin’ and changin’.” I spot another magic moment here too. Just as Robert is about to throw away his tambourine after the solo, he glances over to the side of the stage. Spotting Peter Grant in the wings, Robert bows to him and Peter nods back his approval. A sensitive touch.
Two encores – Rock And Roll has Jimmy duck-walking the stage while on Whole Lotta Love he sings the chorus with Robert and later, during the Let That Boy Boogie finale, the old lemon squeeze kid throws in some lines from Elvis Presley’s (Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame.

“Mannheim – Thank you and good night.”

Dave Lewis

Extract from the book Feather In the Wind – Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980

To be continued…
All this is fully chronicled in my book Feather In the Wind- Led Zeppelin Over Europe -the book is readily available. Here’s the link to invest in the definitive account of the tour at a bargain price – yet more Led Zep summer 2018 reading.




Extract from the book Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind – Over Europe 1980 by Dave Lewis.

 Book ordering Details – ORDER AT THIS LINK:



The Feather In the Wind book is also available as a bundle offer with the Then As It Was At Kenworth book for just £14 plus postage – order at the link below


Whitley Bay Film Festival – Led Zeppelin: ‘Celebration Day’ with Director Dick Caruthers. Exchange North Shields Saturday 18th August 2018:

Whitley Bay Film Festival 2018 brings you the ultimate celebration of era-defining Rock Music on film. It brings you an exclusive audience with icons both in front of and behind the camera on the world stage.

Led Zeppelin made their debut as The New Yardbirds in October 1968 not very far away at Newcastle’s Mayfair Suite. This enigmatic quartet drew on everything from English folk, classic blues, rock and roll and electronics and created a dynamic so extraordinarily their own. For the next decade, until the untimely death of their drummer, they were, in the words of biographer Mick Wall, “Gods Who Walked the Earth.”

“Celebration Day” 2017 does what it says on the film can. Our guest Dick Carruther’s movie captures the Led Zeppelin reunion, one of the most anticipated in history, at London’s O2 Arena in 2007. Already an award winning live concert and documentary director (Rolling Stones, The Who, Oasis), our guest had a unique provenance with Zeppelin who were legendary for their distrust of the media. Dick Carruthers had been entrusted with assembling the band’s archival history for DVD and also restoring their only previous concert movie “The Song Remains the Same.”

“Celebration Day” cements Carruther’s reputation as Zeppelin’s” fifth member”. He uniquely puts YOU the audience in the centre of the musical maelstrom that rages in light and shade on stage. One journalist describes the film as, “Showing rock and roll at its most magical and magnificent.” Hopefully, Dick Carruthers will unlock some of the secrets of his art in conversation with Chris Phipps.

Further details at:

Thanks to Carolyn Longstaff for details of that one.


Eric Clapton July 8 Hyde Park VIP Ticket for sale:

James Todd Miller has been in touch – he was due to come over from the US for the Eric Clapton Hyde Park show on July 8 but cannot make it. He has a VIP ticket for sale reduced to £250  Email James at or call 571-309-0931 if interested.


DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday treats at the Vinyl Barn – at the always excellent Vinyl Barn last Friday morning I was well pleased to find the 1974 Allan Clarke solo album – The ex Hollies singer covers songs by Lindsey Buckingham, Randy Newman and Bruce Springsteen. I also picked up a real quirky 1972 EMI orchestral easy listening sampler album ‘’A Souvenir of your visit to EMI Records Production and Distribution Centre’.

I remember visits being made there when I worked at WH Smith though I never went. The gatefold sleeve has some fascinating pics of the centre’s operation that had them turning out five million records and tapes a month – Darren and I were both mildly shocked at how high that figures was –but that was how large the market was back then. Appropriately enough Darren has a fresh selection of cassettes on sale right now today along with great stocks of albums and singles. If you are in the area sure to check it out…

It was great to hook up with Dec over from  Ireland  last week. On Saturday, along with our  very good friends Max and Julie and the good lady Janet we ventured into London stopping off at the Seven Dials festival in Covent Garden. here we all are outside the always excellent Spice Of Life pub…

Great to see Barry Gibb receive his Knighthood this week and talk movingly about his late brothers The Bee Gees disco never sucked and it never will and Night Fever still sounds like one of the greatest records ever made in my opinion…and hats off to James Corden for his extremely entertaining and moving Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke and visit to Liverpool – watching that 23 minutes of Carpool gold was feel good factor indeed.

Which brings me to the subject of the World Cup – and the beautiful game just keeps on getting more beautiful…

There really has not been a World Cup this good since the halcyon days of 1970…cliff hanging matches, great goals, the controversial VAR, Germany knocked out in that amazing match v South Korea…and England v Panoma – there really has never been a super Sunday like that one – 5-0 up at half time! That was the stuff of fantasy football. Last night’s 1-0 defeat was a disappointment and it feels like the momentum has faded somewhat. However, it’s on to the knock out stage against Columbia next Tuesday – that one certainly won’t be easy but here’s hoping Gareth’s boys can step it all up again and keep the flag flying…

As you have read above, at long last the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book is a wrap…and that is a big relief all round – however there is no let up here as I am straight into a 7,000 word piece that needs a fast turnaround, work on TBL 44, book promotion on the Led Zeppelin Live 1975 – 1977 and a few other things – it’s a busy summer for sure…

Dave Lewis – June 29, 2018

Until next time, have a great weekend

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy, Mike Tremaglio and James Cook

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The TBL/DL Facebook page has regular updates and photos – be sure to check it out.

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  • Ian Saikia said:

    Dave – Huge congratulations to you, Mike T, Mick L and everyone else involved in getting “Evenings With Led Zeppelin” to the final finishing line. This masterpiece is a massive achievement that you all have every right to be proud of. I can’t wait to join you at The Atlas for the book’s launch this September – count me in for the special TBL version.
    Very Best Wishes, Ian

  • Gary Davies said:

    Not sure that Dick Carruthers should be described as the “fifth member” – we all know who really is #5, but nonetheless he is a raconteur and full of interesting technical facts about film mastering (although he totally butchered the 02 concert in my humble opinion).

    I note the he’ll be in conversation with Chris Phipps, noteworthy producer of Channel 4’s The Tube, and co-presenter with Toyah Wilcox on BBC Midlands TV show ‘Look Hear’ from the late 70’s early 80’s. Phipps was recently seen on BBC 1 ‘Antiques Roadshow’ displaying his collection of The Tube memorabilia.

    Cheque on its way Dave for ‘Evenings With…..’. You and Mike are Rock n Roll heroes.

    Cheers from the Black Country


  • Ron Negri said:

    Dave, Congratulations on the completion of this forthcoming book. This looks so exciting, so detailed and extremely accurate it should wind up being the most successful and biggest project TBL has ever undertaken. I am so excited and eager I cannot wait for it’s release. Just from past history and your reputation this looks to be extremely enjoyable. I wish you all the best for this forecoming release.

  • Wools said:

    Dave, congratulations on your completion of your latest project and I cannot tell how I look forward to the many years of enjoyment that Evenings with Led Zeppelin will bring me! I have made room for my purchase today on my bookshelf. Much success with your new addition!

  • Wools said:

    Dave, nothing but a great warm congratulations on the completion of your latest publication! This one not only sounds outstanding so I made room today for it on my bookshelf. I cannot wait to enjoy the many years that your book will provide me! Much success!

  • Hiroshi said:

    The new book looks really good and promising. Looking forward to its release.
    Untold in your story, I assume one of the major motivations that led you to produce yet another chronicle of their live performances is a rather disappointing result of the 2005 revamped, small-sized edition of The Concert File, that unfortunately turned out to be with some misinformation uncorrected and also suffered from inadequate proofreading. Special attention must have been paid to these for this new book, I believe.

    FYI sometime ago I came across on the internet a set of photos of the group’s Nagoya show — Nagoya-shi Kokaido (Nagoya Civic Assembly Hall), Oct. 5, 1972 — not in great quality but they are the only known pictures circulating from the said evening, as far as I can detect at least.

  • Robert Whitmarsh said:

    Big congratulations to all of you on finishing your book. I can’t wait to get my copy and I’m definitely intrigued by your special TBL edition.

  • Aris Roskam said:

    Hi Dave, sign me up for a copy please! I don’t need any further info ’cause I know it’ll be, as always, an outstanding, excellent book. My first one being “A Celebration” first edition, bought at Madame Tussauds’, London, in the early 90’s (1992 I think).
    I’ve got every other book you wrote: “Earls Court”, “From a whisper…”, “Feather…”, Then as it was…” and so on!
    I don’t own or didn’t read any books by you (and your co-writers) of which I have/had negative thoughts about.
    Not ever I’d thought: “…what a waste of money…”.
    So, keep on going the good work with and writing books that matter.

  • Tony/ZEP77 said:

    Dave – this new book sounds truly exciting! Looking forward to it. How soon do you plan on announcing the special TBL version?

  • Charles Gale said:

    Evenings with…

    What a mouth watering prelude/intro you have written above. Can’t wait and Sept is just around the corner.

    Thanks for addressing the “how does it differ from the Concert File”. With so many concerns about the amount of times fans have to pay for the same product re Zeppelin releases, it’s good to be re-assured on this.

    The page samples look fantastic too – clear, well layed out and easy on the eye.


  • Graeme said:

    Congrats Dave and Mike on completing this mammoth project. It really does look like a spectacular and important book. Put me down for a copy if every version 😉

  • James Rimmer said:

    “Evenings with Led Zeppelin” ordered Dave … and we’ve all been following your challenges over the last long while. Congratulations to you and your team on its imminent arrival … sounds like a child! Put your feet up … crank up some tunes … or take Janet to dinner. Looking forward to September way down in New Zealand.

  • Patrick Cullen said:

    Dave – Many many congratulations on ‘Evenings With…’ looks like you’ve produced the Ultimate LZ book ! I hope the release gets the coverage it deserves, it should do, and it’s read/bought all round the Zep world. My pre-order is IN….Great Work.

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