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9 September 2021 1,835 views 4 Comments

Becoming Led Zeppelin:

This via LZ News:

Jimmy Page was in Venice to promote “Becoming Led Zeppelin,” the feature-length authorised documentary charting the beginning of the band.

Page took part in a press conference with director Bernard MacMahon and producer and screenwriter Allison McGourty to promote the film the day after its first screening.

Here’s Jimmy’s reply to one of the questions in the press conference…

Can you talk about the independence you had with Led Zeppelin? What most concerned you with the legacy of Led Zeppelin? How do you see Led Zeppelin’s place in music history today?

Jimmy: Right, OK. So the very first part of this was I was in a band called The Yardbirds that was really known on the underground scene and the underground venues in America. By this time, there had been five members of The Yardbirds and Jeff Beck and I had been in the band as the two guitarists but then Jeff went on to do a solo career and so that left me with putting my ideas into the band.

Basically, then that band split up. However, during the … the Boston Tea Party was one of the gigs that we used to do and Thee Image Club in Miami and … let’s see. There are many, many, many, I’m not going to try and list them all because you’ve got other questions you want to ask.

But basically when the band folded, the four-member band folded, I had a choice of what to do next and the thing that I wanted to do next was form a group. I knew exactly what was going on with underground radio in America, that they played stereo records and they were starting to play full sides of records as opposed to just three-minute singles. It was two different markets altogether.

So there was an underground radio, there was underground concerts, but in England nobody knew what we were doing but we were really quite a cult band.

So here comes the second part of the story then, is are you going to go to a record company and say ‘well I was in a band called The Yardbirds that has now split.’ ‘Were you on any of the hit records?’ ‘No I wasn’t on any of the hit records but we’ve got a really big following in America, it’s a guitar-based band.’

The best way to do that was not to say ‘can we have an advance to make an album?’ The way to do it was to actually make the album and then present it.

So as far as Led Zeppelin today, I think the whole of the work of Led Zeppelin is an incredible textbook for musicians, that’s what I do believe and I’m really happy that it is so.

I’m a self-taught musician as well, it’s not something that I learned in an academy. I would like to encourage all musicians, whether they do go to an academy, classically trained or whatever or self taught. Because to play an instrument, it’s such a wonderful thing to have a connection with an instrument.

The full transcript of the press conference can be seen at LZ News  – see links below – many thanks to James Cook for some excellent reporting and Ken Winovitch for further info.


LZ New- here’s the latest round up from LZ News – many thanks to James Cook:

Led Zeppelin

  • The first screenings of “Becoming Led Zeppelin,” the authorised, feature-length documentary film about the origins of Led Zeppelin, took place this week at film festivals in Venice and Colorado. Jimmy Page attended the Venice International Film Festival to promote the film, taking part in a press conference yesterday which we transcribed in full here. Elsewhere, we’ve rounded up all of the reviews of the film published so far. Most critics have criticised the film for being too long, although many reviews have noted that the film seems to appeal mainly to Led Zeppelin fans. There’s no word yet on when the general public will be able to see “Becoming Led Zeppelin.”

Robert Plant

Upcoming events:

September 3-7 – “Becoming Led Zeppelin” will be screened at the Venice International Film Festival.
September 7 – “Beast: John Bonham and the Rise of Led Zeppelin” by C.M. Kushins will be published.
September 9 – The revised and expanded edition of “Evenings With Led Zeppelin” will be published.
September 25 – The 2021 John Bonham celebration event will be held in Redditch.
October 13 – Jimmy Page will be interviewed on stage at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
November 9 – “Led Zeppelin: The Biography” by Bob Spitz will be published.
November 19 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ second album “Raise the Roof” will be released.
2022 – Robert Plant will go on tour with Alison Krauss and “Robert Plant: A Life In Vision,” a photo book edited by Dave Lewis, will be published.
Early 2023 – “A Whole Lotta Music: Life To My Ears,” the memoirs of Tight But Loose editor Dave Lewis, will be published.
2023 – A remastered and expanded 30th anniversary edition of “Coverdale–Page” will be released.

For all the latest Zep and related news check out the Led Zeppelin news website at:

Andy Adams:

Many thanks for  many tributes that came in following Andy’s very sad passing.

Andy’s brother Simon has been in touch and hopes to have more details of the funeral arrangements soon -I will of course pass that info on via my Facebook page and on the TBL website.  Andy’s Celebration Days Facebook group will also have any further news.






Evenings With Led Zeppelin Revised & Expanded edition – update:




The book is now readily available in the UK  via Amazon and in selected book shops  – if you receive your copy be sure to let us know what you think…


As can be seen I have been a very busy man this past few days packing the pre orders for the TBL editon of the Evenings With Led Zeppelin Revised & Expanded edition.

Ably assisted by the good lady Janet we have made a fair few trips to the post office and all pre orders are now in transit via Royal Mail. I have some copies left of the 100 run (which due to postage costs has had to be restricted to the UK) but get in quick – these copies are signed by me and include an exclusive 4 page insert with an interview with Mike Tremaglio and I conducted by Andy Adams – now a poignant last project that I worked with him on.

The book is also available on both Amazon UK and Amazon US –and will be in various bookshops.

Just to re iterate what this new revised updated and expanded edition consists of here’s some statistics:

The book now consists of over 300,000 words and 3,100 images and has been extended by 48 pages

– 55 concert entries have been expanded in length with new text, images and information

– 55 concert entries include new press concert previews & reviews (many with images)

– 100 concert tickets added

– 75 concert adverts added

– 25 concert photos added

– 20 handbills/posters images added

– 20 miscellaneous images (programs/membership cards/press releases/contracts/venue pics, etc.) added

– 11 new unconfirmed or cancelled Led Zeppelin gigs added

– 11 pre-Zep 1968 concert listings added

– 10-page concert Bootleg CD discography added to the Appendix section.

Here’s the ordering links:

TBL limited Edition UK only: Some copies remaining  but get in quick

Amazon UK:

The book is now readily available in the UK

Amazon US:

US publication has gone back slightly to the end of September

So get ready for yet more Evenings With Led Zeppelin….

Dave Lewis – September 9 2021.

TBL Archive Special 1: September 7, 1968 – the on stage debut 52 years gone:

52 years ago on September 7th 1968, the line soon to be known as Led Zeppelin performed their very first concert in Gladsaxe Denmark. – the first of two appearances that day… 

teen club 2





DATE:                         September 7, 1968 (1st show)

VENUE:                     Teen Club, Egegård Skole

LOCATION:              Gladsaxe, Denmark

Billed as: “Yardbirds”

Support Acts: Fourways; Bodies

With The New Yardbirds line-up complete, there was an outstanding engagement to fulfil that was left over from the old Yardbirds’ date sheet ­- a ten-date tour of Scandinavia. Billed as ‘The New Yardbirds’, the group that would become Led Zeppelin made their stage début on September 7 in Denmark.

They would not perform as ‘Led Zeppelin’ until six weeks later – at Surrey University on October 25, 1968.

The venue for their first ever performance was the Teen Club in Gladsaxe, Denmark, a Copenhagen suburb. The Teen Club was actually a gymnasium at Egegård Skole (School), which was converted into a rock club on Saturday nights.

The band was fulfilling an old Yardbirds commitment to perform at the club. In New Musical Express (July 13, 1968), it was noted that the Scandinavian tour would start on September 14th; in fact, for many years this date was generally acknowledged as the date of their very first gig. The following week’s Record Mirror (July 20, 1968), correctly mentioned that the tour would start on September 7th.

Among the 1,200 – 1,400 youngsters who witnessed rock and roll history was a 17-year old student, Jørgen Angel, the photographer for the club’s in-house magazine, Teen Club Nyt (News). Thankfully, Angel took plenty of outstanding photos of the new band with his mother’s camera.

Angel recalled the historic concert for Jaideep V.G. of Rave magazine: “I was pretty disappointed because The Yardbirds were supposed to play that night. It was sometime in the evening that I heard a band called The New Yardbirds would perform. I thought maybe that has nothing to do with The Yardbirds. Maybe there’s just one person left from The Yardbirds, which turned out to be right, it was only Jimmy Page from The Yardbirds who played that night. And the others I had never seen or heard of. But when they went on stage it was something very special and different and spectacular. They were full of energy and they were different. I had no idea they were going to be big.”

“Standing by the side of the stage it was obvious that there was a chemistry,” said Peter Grant. Robert recalls: “We were very green – it was a tentative start but we knew we had something.”

The stage act for the début tour was based loosely on the set The Yardbirds had been performing on their final US tour. ‘Train Kept A Rollin’ was the opener and ‘Dazed & Confused’ the centrepiece, with Page using the violin bow. Old blues chestnuts ‘I Can’t Quit You’ and ‘You Shook Me’ were also delivered in the arrangements that would later appear on their first album. Early self penned numbers included ‘Communication Breakdown’ and ‘How Many More Times’ – the latter built around Howlin’ Wolf’s ‘How Many More Years’.

The act was fleshed out with a variety of covers – something that would remain a feature of their sets for many years to come. Elmore Gantry’s ‘Flames’ and Garnett Mimm’s ‘As Long As I Have You’ were early staples at this point. They also came up with a dynamic arrangement for the folk standard ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’. Page had played the Joan Baez version to Plant on their initial meeting. “I want to do a version of this but with a certain dynamic edge,” he told his new singer.

It was obvious to them all that even on this début tour the line-up had an identity all of its own. Page: “We realised we were working under false pretences, the thing had quickly gone beyond where The Yardbirds had left off. We all agreed there was no point in retaining the New Yardbirds tag so when we got back from Scandinavia we decided to change the name. It was a fresh beginning for us all.”

jorgen 1

Photographer Jorgen Angel also revealed to told Huge Jones’ Proximity magazine ”I took a number of photographs There wern’t many actual lights on stage in those days -at least nothing you could use, so I used a flash. I used my mother’s holiday camera and my father’s old flash and I just snapped away. When I first knew of the gig I was disappointed even before the concert because I was looking forward to seeing The Yardbirds again and what we were getting was one Yardbirds member and three totally unknown guys. My disappointment was only up until they started performing because it was a great concert”.




Teen Club Nyt (October 1968) by Bent Larsen:

“The English group YARDBIRDS had been rehearsing their new set most of the afternoon. So when they entered the scene they were really hot to get started and give it all. Their performance and their music were absolutely flawless, and the music continued to ring nicely in the ears for some time after the curtains were drawn after their show. Let me in particular give my praise to JIMMY PAGE who has made a great job with the 3 new men. They really succeeded and in particular the guitar solo by Jimmy Page created huge applause. We can therefore conclude that the new YARDBIRDS are at least as good as the old ones were.”

DATE:                         September 7, 1968 (2nd show)

VENUE:                     Brondby Pop Club, Nørregårdshallen

LOCATION:              Brondby, Denmark

 Billed as: “The Yardbirds with Jimmy Page”

Support Acts: The Day of Phoenix;

The Eyes; Ham


The band wasted little time in getting the next concert under their belt, performing a second show of the day in another Copenhagen suburb. The Brondby Pop Club was very similar to the Gladsaxe Teen Club, in that it was a rock club located in a school gymnasium.


Glostrup Handelsblat (Sept. 11, 1968):

                “When you start a new season you always try to make the opening night a little better than you need to. The ‘little better’ this time was the fantastic Yardbirds in a whole new lineup…The Yardbirds however, requires a closer examination. Jimmy Page has again put a new band together. The music is the same, only better than ever.”

                “Robert Planto (sic) should face some small criticism and a lot of praise for an excellent performance. There is no doubt that he is a good singer but he doesn’t have to twisht his body like he’s having a ruptured appendix, or does he? Musically the band is super-great. Their hard disciplined beat is amazing. Of course it was foremost Jimmy Page that was responsible for this but the drummer should also be mentioned; a drum solo so wild and good is hard to find. It was so good that one almost wished that John Bonham wouldn’t stop.”

Thanks to Mike Tremaglio for the above info as researched for the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book.

In 2013 this historic occasion was marked by the unveiling of a plaque at the original school they performed that first show at

Jerry Ritz who was there back in September 1968 reminded me of this great  website –


TBL Archive Special 2: If it’s September…it must be time for Live On Blueberry Hill…

Led Zeppelin Live On Blueberry Hill – the pioneering bootleg album …still a thrill…it was 51 years ago…

51 years ago on September 4 1970, Led Zeppelin performed a memorable show at the Los Angles Forum – it was captured by more than one enterprising fan and subsequently released on a variety of bootlegs. It remains for me and countless others one of THE essential Led Zeppelin recordings.

To mark the 51st anniversary of what we know and love as Live On Blueberry Hill, here is an TBL archive special this is one of the chapters in the Celebration II – The Tight But Loose Files book published by Omnibus Press in 2003.

Bootlegs and Led Zeppelin have been synonymous for over three decades. Despite manager Peter Grant’s heavy-handedness when dealing with those he caught taping their shows, the band are the most bootlegged act of all time, outstripping even The Beatles, Dylan, Springsteen and the Stones. Their final seven shows in the UK alone (five at Earls Court and two at Knebworth) account for over 100 different releases between them. Just about every known amateur recording of the band’s live gigs has made it on to CD. Given the length of their stage shows, the CD format, with its 75-minute playing time, is tailor made for presenting Zeppelin in concert, but even before the flood of digital compact format titles that emerged in the early Nineties there was no shortage of vinyl Led Zeppelin bootlegs.

Tight But Loose has carried reports on Zeppelin bootlegs since its inception. As far back as the hand written first edition I was enthusiastically reviewing the then recently issued vinyl bootleg Ballcrusher which documented their BBC In Concert show. Issue number two carried an extensive report on what was already a legendary bootleg album, Led Zeppelin Live On Blueberry Hill. In 1995 I returned to that 1970 recording to laud its 25th anniversary for TBL 11.

Whatever the legal niceties of such releases, searching out their bootleg recordings is a necessity of every serious Zep fan. Their studio albums only hinted at the creativity the group were capable of. It was on stage in live action that Zeppelin really excelled.

During the Seventies ample proof of that fact arrived with each new bootleg record, none more so than the remarkable recordings made at the Los Angles Forum from the audience on the night of September 4, 1970, during Led Zeppelin’s sixth American tour. This chapter reflects on the lasting impact of that memorable bootleg recording and rounds up twelve other illicit evenings with Led Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin’s impact on their initial American tours made them a prime target for the emerging bootleg recording business. The bands’ skill at extending and improvising on their studio record repertoire elevated their live shows to something very different from playing their albums.

During their first 18 months on the road they cleverly interwove the basic recorded material from the first two albums with additional impromptu jams. Early examples of this included the long jam on Garnet Mimms ‘As Long As I Have You’, employed on many of their 1969 shows, the medley of numbers to be found within ‘How Many More Times’ and an improvised jam session in the middle of ‘Communication Breakdown’. Then there was ‘Dazed And Confused’, Page’s late Yardbird remnant that by 1970 was developing into a marathon 20-minute opus with differing sections, including the violin bow episode and a call and response battle between Page and Plant.

‘Whole Lotta Love’, the Zep II opener, soon became another forum for exploration, usually a platform to playfully improvise a selection of Fifties rock’n’roll classics. During 1970 they also began previewing songs from the yet to be released third album – initially an embryonic ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ and then, in a bold move, the acoustic ‘That’s The Way’, a performance that helped break the myth that Zep relied entirely on Marshall amplifiers.

Two separate teams of fans were intent on recording the Zeppelin gig at the Inglewood Forum in Los Angeles on the night of September 4, 1970, but it’s unlikely they knew what Zeppelin had in store that night. Both came away with lengthy representations of the band’s current state of play, recorded on reel-to- reel recorders close to the stage.

The recording that would became known as the album Led Zeppelin Live On Blueberry Hill was captured by a pair of west coast bootleggers whose previous credits included Dylan’s Great White Wonder set and The Rolling Stones’ LiveR Than You’ll Ever Be. The latter had been recorded on a Uher 4000 reel-to-reel tape recorder with 71/2ips inch reels and a Sennheiser 805 shotgun microphone. They took this set up into the Forum to record in stereo the Zeppelin September 4 performance. Unbeknown to them, a separate bootlegger known as Rubber Dubber also recorded the show and quickly issued it as a double bootleg album stamped Led Zeppelin Live Los Angeles Forum 9-4-70.

The more common Blimp label version (later to appear on the high profile bootleg label Trade Mark Of Quality) with a distinctive surreal cover insert came out within weeks of the LA show. It’s worth noting, however, that it was not the first Led Zeppelin bootleg to be released. That distinction fell to a vinyl album known as PB (the title derived from the chemical symbol for lead). This came packaged in a brown sleeve with the words P.B. Live on side one and Recorded Live – Pure Blues on side two, and was pressed in limited quantities around the Seattle area. Pure Blues subsequently reached a wider market when it was picked up by the Trade Mark Of Quality label and pressed as Mudslide. The actual source was a soundboard recording from Zeppelin’s opening night of their fifth US tour on March 21, 1970, at the Pacific Coliseum Vancouver. The 40-minute tape was notable for capturing a rare version of ‘We’re Gonna Groove’, the Ben E King/James Beatha cover which the band used as a set opener during their early 1970 appearances. They also recorded a studio version the previous summer for possible inclusion on Led Zeppelin II which would eventually surface on the posthumous Coda album.

The UK music press of the time chronicled the constant stream of bootleg titles from the likes of Bob Dylan, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones that were being imported into the country. When reports of Zeppelin titles came to the attention of Peter Grant he was predictably angry.

In one of the few naïve statements of his career, Grant was quoted in the Melody Maker as saying: “As far as I know there can be no Led Zeppelin tapes available. After hearing some time ago that there was going to be an attempt to bootleg some tapes of the band, I flew to America. We’ve managed to retrieve all the tapes and we know nothing in existence that can be issued.”

When Grant heard that copies of Live On Blueberry Hill were being sold from a shop in Chancery Lane in London, Grant and Richard Cole, along with RAK management partner Mickie Most, paid the shop a visit. He questioned the proprietor on the Zeppelin album and with some not so gentle persuasion made sure he knew that this was one bootleg album it would be best to leave alone. In a separate incident a year later fearing another case of bootlegging, Grant smashed the equipment being used by a team of anti-pollution scientists set up to measure noise levels at a Zeppelin show in Vancouver.

For all his muscle Grant was ultimately powerless to stop the proliferation of Zeppelin underground records of which Blueberry Hill was the forerunner. If you knew where to look, such artefacts were possible to come by.

For this particular enchanted Zep obsessed teenager Blueberry Hill represented the forbidden fruit and back in 1972 I was determined to track it down. Luckily the then relative newcomer to the pop press Sounds offered a free service for readers’ classified advertisements. I scoured these columns religiously for many weeks and finally struck gold when I spotted an ad that ran along the lines: “Live albums for sale: Stones, Dylan, Zeppelin etc”. The list came back and amongst the many Dylan and Beatles titles there it was – Live On Blueberry Hill, a double album on the TMQ label, catalogue number TMQ 72002, and pressed on coloured vinyl, asking price £6. Back then six quid was a small fortune but it was more than worth it.

About three weeks later the postman dropped an LP size package on the doorstep. I anxiously ripped it open and there in all its glory was the genuine article: “106 minutes and fifty-three seconds of pure and alive rock” as the sleeve insert put it. Was it ever.


The excitement of playing that double album, on blue and red vinyl, remains an unforgettable musical memory for me. It was a novelty that never wore off. Indeed, the various incarnations I’ve obtained since – the Rubber Dubber vinyl set, the various re-issues, the various bootleg CD packages – all these have only heightened the listening pleasure of that celebrated Los Angeles stop-off during Led Zeppelin’s sixth American tour.

The overriding factor of the September 4 recording, regardless of which version you hear, is that it remains one of the greatest audience recordings of the era. The sheer dynamic thrust of Bonzo’s drum sound, the sinewy grind of Page’s guitar, Jonesy’s resonant bass lines and piecing keyboards and the outstanding clarity of Plant’s siren shrieks (suitably enhanced by the echo unit employed at the time), all merge into a ferocious mix that magically recreates the electricity of the occasion.

For anyone weaned the original TMQ long players, there’s an authenticity in their performances ingrained in the grooves that has rarely been captured so effectively. Alongside the 1975 Madison Sqaure Garden soundboard, the Earls Court shows and the LA 1977 gigs, there are few finer unofficial examples of the complete Led Zeppelin concert experience. The September 4, 1970, concert as captured on the TMQ double set was just choc full of off-the-wall surprises. There was no sign of any set list sterility back then – they just did as they pleased.

Moments to relish include:

The aural assault of ‘Immigrant Song’ (listed on the insert as ‘From The Midnight Sun’ as it had yet to be announced under its official title) exploding into ‘Heartbreaker’.

The slightly menacing tone of a relatively compact ‘Dazed And Confused’ with Plant bursting in mid way through screaming, “I don’t care what people say, rock’n’roll is here to stay”

Page and Bonham linked in glorious tandem for that solo exercise on ‘Bring It On Home’

The electric finale of ‘Moby Dick’ (“The big B!” exclaims Plant)

The unpredictability of ‘Communication Breakdown’ as Zep play The Buffalo Springfield and Beatles songbooks and throw in the rarely played live Zep I opener ‘Good Times Bad Times’.

Freshly minted nuggets from the yet to be heard Zep III on record such as ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ and the rarely played ‘Out On the Tiles’.

The tentative introduction of the acoustic material, a stark and sensitive ‘That’s The Way’ and the rare try out of Page’s instrumental solo ‘Bron Yr Aur’, a clear five years before it was officially released

‘Thank You’ preceded by the meandering organ solo from John Paul Jones and finishing with a drawn out ending featuring Page’s delicate strumming.

‘Whole Lotta Love’ and the ensuing Zep 50’s revival show and finally the breathless rendition of Fats Domino’s ‘Blueberry Hill’

“Goodnight and thank you for everything,” utters a breathless Plant at the close, followed by “Did ya dig it?” by the evening’s MC.

Yes we did and still do

The greatest live album of all time? It’s certainly up there with the best, official or otherwise.

The reason is simple. It captures a group of musicians brimming with confidence. On stage that night in September 1970 Led Zeppelin were truly coming of age.

Live On Blueberry is also something of a yardstick for the bootlegs industry. Back then Zeppelin’s recorded output was just the tip of the iceberg. On stage live was where the real action occurred and, indeed, where they really built their reputation. Peter Grant summing it all up when he told me: “Led Zeppelin was primarily an in-person band… that’s what it was really about.”

Bootleg recordings of the band offered a whole new level of appreciation and Blueberry Hill was the watershed for the subsequent flood of live Zep bootlegs that would emerge throughout the next three decades.

The whole bootleg CD market may be well out of control now, beyond any reasonable realm of quality control, but there was a time when bootlegs like Blueberry Hill were considered almost as important as the group’s official output by fans and chroniclers alike and, if they were honest, probably the group themselves.

Maybe that’s the greatest compliment that can be paid to this iconic bootleg recording. It remains as essential a part of their discography as any of their official albums.

51 years on Live On Blueberry Hill is still an absolute thrill.

Dave Lewis  -September 9,2021. 

See more at this link:

TBL Archive Special 3: Little By Little…

Robert Plant Wembley Arena – Tuesday, September 10 1985 – it was 36 years Ago today…

shaken wemb

Krys Jantzen flagged this one by sending an excellent pic taken by him outside the Wembley Arena venue on the night.

36 years ago -that is just incredible because it does seem like a second…or a lifetime ago.

Robert only performed two proper UK gigs in 1985 on this night and two days earlier at the Birmingham NEC.

This was the Shaken’ N’ Stirred tour – in support of the rather difficult third album released in May. Robert had toured the US that summer and bang in the middle of all that came the call to perform at Live Aid. The axis was well and truly spun because despite the chaotic nature of it all – it had ignited the flame again.

Shaken’ N’ Stirred – yes a difficult album and very left field in a Plant experimentation sort of way. At times the time signatures did go all over the place (Kallalou, Kallalou anyone?). But when it was good as on Little By Little, Easily Led  and the superb Sixes And Sevens, it was very good indeed. I remember playing the quasi- rap Too Loud to all sundry in proclaiming Robert’s contemporary status.  I also remember getting very excited about the 12inch single and double pack seven inch release of the second single from the album Little By Little. We were on holiday in Weymouth when it came out and purchased it from the local branch of the long gone John Menzies chain.

On stage, it was still very much a Zep free zone  – though at times he relented slightly. I’ve just played In The Mood from the bootleg CD of the Wembley Arena gig and it reminded me that a cry of Hot Dog during that number was the nearest we got to getting hot under the collar for the days of yore. That, and a few lines from Since I’ve Been Loving You during the close of Slow Dancer and a Boogie Cillun insert in Young Boy Blues – but that was yer lot back then – it was still a case of ”No led anything”.

This was the mid 80s and the order was changing.

I too was actually in something of a new era. Newly married the year before, my writing energies had transferred into writing two weekly music columns for the local newspaper – I did get the odd Zep mention in and did review this gig. I was also well ensconced in the music retail world and was about to embark on an exciting challenge that would see WH Smith open their own stand alone record stores called Sound FX – I was to be the manager of the Bedford store.

Zep related wise ,I was still as keen as ever to follow the respective careers so when these dates were announced it was a must see situation.  The Birmingham gig on the Sunday had been a little under par due to some sound problems but for London we had a right result.

The set list lined up as follows:

Intro music – Song To The Siren by This Mortal Coil – this is a stunning version of the Tim Buckley number with vocals by Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins – I remember buying this the next week. Robert would later cover this track himself, performing it live with the Priory Of Brion and Strange Sensation and recording it for the 2002 Dreamland album.

In The Mood/Pledge Pin/Pink and Black/Little By Little/Burning Down One Side/Too Loud/Thru With the Two Step/Messin’With the Mekon/Slow Dancer/Good Rockin’At Midnight/Young Boy Bluies (including Boogie Chillun insert/Sea Of Love/Honey Hush/Encores: Like I’ve Never Been Gone/Big Log/Easily Led.

The good lady Janet was next to me in our fourth row tickets – and backstage before the gig, we had seen and spoken to Robert as well as Jimmy Page who was in attendance. This one felt like an event being a major London gig – amongst others backstage I also recall seeing Slade’s Noddy Holder.

One of the other things that spring to mind from that night is the merchandise. Alongside the usual t shirts that was a high quality though rather garish Shaken’ N’ Stirred pink and black sweat shirt. it was on sale for a then extortionate £20 – twice the rice of admission of the gig – our good friend Kam invested in one and every time he wore it, we ribbed him for years as being the most expensively dressed man in the house!

The gig itself was a hugely enjoyable one. This presentation featured the Honeydrippers segment where, aided by the Upton Horns and The Queen Bees, Robert donned a sparkle T shirt to zip through Good Rockin’ Tonight, Young Boy Blues which included a Boogie Chillun interlude, Sea of Love and Honey Hush. Overall it was a high energy performance on a large stage that did look slightly like a block of cheese.

Little did we know that this gig would be a very significant one. Overall, I remember it as being a really good performance – the good lady Janet rates this as one her fave gigs.

For this would be the last live performance of this line up that had carried Robert from 1983. So it was goodbye to Robbie Blunt, Phil Martinez, Jezz Woodroffe  and Richie Hayward. As Robert stated in 1988. ”A little light came above my head at Wembley. It happened half way through the set. I might’ve been singing ‘squeeze my lemon until the juice runs down my leg’or ‘I’m a fool for a cigarette’. No seriously, It could have been anything but I realised that I’d taken this little journey round and round in circles ever decreasing and dumbfounding everybody by showing how to waste a perfectly good career’.

Judging by the tone of that statement this was a man at a definite career crossroads. Live Aid had put the Zep spark back in his mind. There was a plan to meet with Jimmy and John Paul Jones in Bath for a get together to see what might happen.

As it turned out nothing much did. This re- grouping at a village hall near Peter Gabriel’s studio in early 1986 did show some promise but ultimately came to nothing. ”Two or three things sounded promising, a sort of cross between David Byrne and Husker Du” commented Plant later adding ”For it to have succeed in bath I would have had to have been far more patient than I had been for years”. The rehearsals fell apart when drummer Tony Thompson was injured in a car smash.

What happened next? Well Jimmy went off to make the Outrider album and Robert gathered a new set of musicians around him – come in Phil Johnstone, Chris Blackwell, Doug Boyle and Charlie Jones which led to the excellent Now And Zen album.

When I turned up at Leicester University to see a low key warm up date of his new band in January 1988, It was evident that Robert Plant was at last more than comfortable with his past. For the first time in his solo career, Robert performed Led Zep numbers. In The Evening and Trampled Underfoot felt like a rebirth that night and it remains one of my favourite all time ever gigs.

As for me, well Sound FX proved not to be the future of music retail (the writing was in the wall when I saw the design of the counter which was made to look like a beat box cassette player complete with hand rail – most embarrassing!). WH Smith sold the chain to Our Price in 1986 -a wise move as we were now part of a very successful chain and with the CD boom about to hit, there would be great retail days were ahead.

Writing wise, I had formulated a plan for a major Led Zeppelin reference work. I’d already began looking for a publisher and I was initially turned down flat by Chris Charlesworth at Omnibus Press who in a classic rejection letter advised me that Omnibus and I quote ”only sold music books by bands that sold lots of concert tickets like Bon Jovi’. Sensibly he revised that view a year later and went with the idea – the result was the A Celebration book published in 1991.

36 years on, I am not too sure if Bon Jovi remain shaken’N’ stirred for their particular passion but I know Robert Plant does..

Little by little – the days pass by…

Dave Lewis – September 9, 2021.

TBL Archive 4:

The Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Reunion Concert at the 02 Arena  – press announcement 14 years gone…

14  years ago this week on September 12 2007, I was in attendance at the official press conference to announce the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Led Zeppelin reunion concert. It was the beginning of what would be an incredible few months. Here is the TBL posting that appeared on the evening of September 12, 2007 – one of the most important announcements in the history of this website…

Led Zeppelin to reform for Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert:

Just back from an incredibly exciting afternoon at the official press conference to announce the reunion of Led Zeppelin.

Staged at the O2 View Cinema at just after 4pm, promoter Harvey Goldsmith unfolded the events that has

made this momentous announcement possible. Central to that of course is the late Ahmet Ertegun. This concert is a tribute to the lasting legacy of the much loved music mogul. ‘’For us’’ commented Robert Plant in the press release ‘’He WAS Atlantic -this performance stands alone as our tribute to the work and the life of our long standing friend’’

By way of introduction a few clips on the giant screen from the newly released DVD of Ahmet’s life

were screened. As the interview clips segued into Jimmy ’s White Summer solo from the Albert Hall through How Many More Times from the Danish TV and onto Achilles at Knebworth, I had shivers down the spine. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.

This is what it was all about and it’s going to happen again.

Harvey went on to explain how he approached Jimmy, Robert and John earlier in the year to do this show. At first it was going to be a thirty minute slot but as Harvey explained ” They came back to me after the first rehearsals and said we don’t want to do thirty minutes…I thought ‘Oh no it’ll be one song’ – no they said… we want to do a full set…’’

Asked if this was the beginning of further reunion activity Harvey would not be drawn other that to say if they were happy within themselves then he would love to see it.

Other questions from the floor revealed that there were no plans as yet for the show to be filmed for a DVD release and that a ballot was felt to be the best way to give all fans a fair at obtaining tickets.

Throughout the proceedings, Harvey talked passionately and proudly of his past association with Zeppelin -and how honoured he was to be staging what he described as an unprecedented event.

I was able to remind Harvey Goldsmith the story of how he once asked me to take a pic with his camera of himself with Ahmet at the side of the stage before the Zep Frankfurt show in Europe 1980. He couldn’t recall if it came out (ah the curse of the Olympus Trip camera!) but hey it was a long time ago!.

Coming back across a sweltering London on the tube I could see the headline on one of the evening papers – It read ‘’Led Zep back with a whole lotta love‘’.

This is a day I and millions of others never thought possible.

Dave Lewis – September 12, 2007

So there it was – all of 14 years gone – the excitement was already mounting…and the end result on that night of nights would be magnificent..

Dave Lewis – September 9,2021.

John Bonham celebrations for Saturday September 25:

John Bonham Celebration Event Details…


A  one-day Rock and Blues event celebrating the life of John Henry Bonham takes place on Saturday 25th September in Redditch town centre, Bonzo’s hometown

Tickets for the shows are now on sale via the link below:

or the Palace Theatre Box Office on 01527 65203.



Black Dog Online Fanzine:

A new Led Zeppelin online fanzine has just been launched – here’s the links to access it…

Zepfan website redesigned:

Mark McFall has been in touch to inform that his excellent Zepfan website has been redesigned – here’s the info: has been redesigned and features more than 5200 memorabilia items.

This site is considered the most extensive website of its kind, and includes the world’s most comprehensive collection of vinyl records, including over 1000 singles and 500 LPs. In addition, it includes 1200 books and magazines, over 400 fanzines and has more than 600 concert-related items. All items featured with high quality images.

See link at:

65 at 65:

A Birthday list – a combination of some albums that have been on heavy rotation here recently alongside some of my all time faves…

So in no particular order here’s 65 at 65…


































































Dave Lewis September 5,2021

DL Diary Blog Update:

Tuesday August 31:

It’s a very Happy Birthday to the good lady Janet who is very pleased with her present purchased at Gallery 105 on our shopping trip to St Albans today – a rather splendid print by Ronnie Wood titled On Stage With The Stones – although she tells me she’s not quite sure of the frame and may ‘’want to paint it black…

Friday September 3:

After a very tough week it was good to get out to the Spitalfields Market Record Fair yesterday –here with my fellow record collecting comrades Steve Livesley, Alastair Chorlton and Cliff ”the ticket man” Hilliard.

There was of course much talk of Andy Adams and I relayed the sad news of his passing to a few of the stall holders who knew him and they were of course very shocked. The all had very fond memories of Andy which was heart-warming to hear

It was also great to meet up with Richard Grubb and Mick Bulow for the first time in over 18 months..

Friday September 3:

After a very tough week it was good to get out to the Spitalfields Market Record Fair in London yesterday.

I think Andy Adams would have approved of these two investments – reissues of the classic Led Zeppelin Going To California and Burn Like a Candle bootlegs… they were two of his favourites for sure…

Saturday September 4:

Very sad to hear the passing yesterday of long time friend Perry Izzard who lived in Fishguard in Wales.

He was a big music fan, his favourites being Bill Nelson and Be Bop Deluxe.

RIP Perry…





Saturday September 4:

DL recent LP and single record acquisitions…

Spitalfields Market Record Fair haul on Friday: the Detective Takes One To Know One Japanese pressing on Swan Song and the Supertracks compilation were Birthday presents via Cliff Hilliard and Richard Grubb –thanks fellas!


Sunday September 5:

Feeling very blessed on my Birthday with the good lady Janet…

September 5:

Feeling very blessed on my 65th Birthday… Some rather splendid Birthday presents from Steve Livesley and Anne Marie thank you folks






Wednesday September 8:

It was 48 years ago today…

48 years ago today on Saturday September 8 1973 I was lucky enough to witness The Rolling Stones at Empire Pool Wembley. Such was the demand to see them, they played both an afternoon and evening performance on this day. I attended the afternoon show which prompted Mick’s opening greeting ‘’How are you this afternoon, just give me a minute to wake up’’

Support acts were Kracker newly signed to the Rolling Stones label and the excellent Billy Preston who also appeared with the Stones.

For me , aged 17 and three days old it was an incredible thrill. Mick and co were amazing with Mick Taylor on peak form – amongst many highlights Dancing With Mr D and Star Star from the just released Goats Head Soup and and Rip This Joint and All Down The Line from Exile On Main Street.

I was already a massive Stones fan but this incredible afternoon cemented my passion for all time – a passion that continues to shine (a light) ever brightly – and though it’s sometimes a battle with The Beatles, they are my number two all- time fave band…

Note my arena ticket back in 1973 was all of £2.20 – when I saw them at Twickenham Stadium some 30 years later in 2003 my front block gold ticket was £150…but of course worth every penny…

Wednesday September 8:

Wednesday treats at the Slide Record Shop Bedford..

At the always excellent Slide Record Shop today, I was well pleased to find a couple of gems namely the Nina Simone album A Very Rare Evening back in print for the first time since 1979 –this copy a Canadian import complete with obi strip – plus the David Bowie tribute album Modern Love – a double album set which has 17 contemporary acts re working the classic Bowie Catalogue.

The likes of We Are King, Halado Negro and Mathew Tavares shine fresh light on Sound And Vison, Heroes Modern Love and more…

With the Indian summer drawing to a close, this pair will be on the autumn playlist for sure and will sound great come rain or shine…

Thanks Warren and Nerys..

Wednesday September 8

The good lady Janet and I would like to offer our heartfelt thanks for all the many Birthday messages we received on our respective Birthdays – it was truly overwhelming and we are both humbled and very blessed by your kindness.

Many thanks all you lovely people and stay safe and well – much love from us here.

Dave and Janet xx

Update here:

Unsurprisingly, there’s been many a mixed emotion in the past couple of weeks. Alongside Andy’s sad passing, on Friday I had the shock of hearing of the passing of our long time friend Perry Izzard.

In between all that, I’ve have been trying to put a brave face on to celebrate both the good lady Janet’s Birthday and mine. Considering all that has been going on, we did get to enjoy the days. I was determined to make sure Janet had a good day and we did get out to St Albans one of our favourite places. Unfortunately, Janet’s leg has continued to be troublesome and sore and we need to seek some medical advice as to the reasons why and what can be done. It’s a worry as it does not seem to be improving and has regressed in recent weeks.

All in all, it’s been a whirlwind of emotions to contend with. We are blessed of course to often be in the company of friends who provide a warm glow and make out world a better place. For that we are truly thankful.

There is a lot going on within the Zep and music world right now – and like everyone I am looking forward to the Becoming Led Zeppelin film.

It’s been back to work this week with Janet at the pre school and me full on with various projects to get started. Retirement at 65 years old was once the expected route – that is not something on my agenda as yet…

Thanks for listening – stay safe and well you very lovely people…

Dave  Lewis – September 9, 2021

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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  • Rick Key said:

    Agree with Janet, the frame should be painted black… or optionally some vibrant color that needs to be pulled out from the painting. Hard to tell but maybe a rust or red color? All the best and good luck!

  • Ralph Hunt Sidway said:

    Hi Dave! Wishing bELATED Birthday Greetings to both you and Janet! Thanks for another rich collection of updates and memories. I remember my first listen to Blueberry Hill, which opened the floodgates for several more bootlegs procured during the 1970s and early 80s, and another round in the mid-90s during the Page-Plant era. So much to look forward to in the months ahead. – Best Wishes!!!

  • antonio said:

    137 min! Is too short for me! 🙂

  • Ed Dowling said:

    Happy birthdays to you and your lovely lady Janet! Keep rocking for many more!

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