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BILL WYMAN 80TH BIRTHDAY GIG/THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME FILM AT 40/REMASTERS AT 26/JIMMY PAGE BIOGRAPHY/LZ NEWS/DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

2 November 2016 1,875 views 3 Comments

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Bill Wyman 80th Birthday Gig – this from Krys Jantzen for TBL :

Last Friday I was lucky enough to catch Robert Plant make a special guest appearance at Bill Wyman’s 80th birthday celebration at The O2 Indigo in London.

Robert arrived on stage to huge applause and fondly told a story of Bill from the early Sixties which created much laughter from the crowd once Bill revealed the true motive of his bass playing technique! Robert then guested for three songs and sang ‘I Feel So Bad’, ‘Let The Boogie Woogie Roll’ and ‘I Need Your Loving’ on which he clearly loved duetting with Imelda May. Plant was in outrageously superb voice throughout belting out the jump blues he loves so dearly.

A total joy to watch. Robert Plant playing to 1500 fans on a Friday night in London? I’ll have some of that. Thank you, Robert and Happy 80th Mr.Wyman! – Krys Jantzen – pics by Krys.

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This via the Telegraph:

Bill Wyman (L) and Sir Bob Geldof perform at Bill Wyman’s 80th Birthday Gala as part of Bluesfest London at Indigo at The O2 Arena

To celebrate Bill Wyman’s birthday, fellow Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards sent messages while Van Morrison, Robert Plant, Mick Hucknall and Bob Geldof came to jam

The Rolling Stones sent a video message to celebrate Bill Wyman’s birthday; the skinny old rockers leaning up against one another as Keith Richards chortled, “Bill’s 80? It’s not our fault!” and Mick Jagger offered sincere but slightly incredulous congratulations on achieving a milestone they “hope to get to in time”. Bob Geldof, true to form, seemed personally affronted by the message. “Lovely to see the Stones so bemused at Bill being 80. Next week, it’s your turn, lads,” snorted Geldof in his customary derisory style.

The gangly Irishman then led Wyman’s Rhythm Kings on a snarling, sleazy crawl through the slow-burn blues of Willie Dixon’s Little Red Rooster, which the Stones memorably made their own in 1964. Geldof, 64, wailed magnificently on harmonica, Andy Fairweather-Low, 64, ripped out dirty guitar licks and the birthday boy himself remained inscrutable behind a bass held erect in front of his face.

The stage may have been filled by bald heads, grey hair and wrinkles, but close your eyes and that dirty blues remained as thrilling as ever. Great music is not just timeless, it effectively suspends time. And this was a night of really great music, played with love and style by masters of the art.

The vintage stars came out for Wyman’s 80th Birthday Gala at the O2 Indigo in London, as part of the Bluesfest. Robert Plant, Van Morrison, Mark Knopfler, Mick Hucknall, Imelda May and Joe Brown all joined the Rhythm Kings for slick, rich, heartfelt runs through blues and soul classics.

Knopfler, 67, joked with Joe Brown, 75, that he was enjoying himself because it was so rare to be one of the youngest people on stage. Knopfler fired off almost supernaturally free-flying licks as Morrison kicked up a storm on Ray Charles’s I Believe To My Soul. Bruce Springsteen sideman Little Steven, 65, joined Geldof for a rip through Route 66, Wyman driving it along with little more than a blurred right thumb.

Mick Hucknall, a spring chicken at 56, swaggered through Slim Harpo’s I’m A King Bee and spoke about how the Stones had provided a soundtrack to all of our lives. Sensational Irish rockabilly belter Imelda May, at 42, she would have been just a twinkle in her parents eyes when the Stones were at the very height of their rocking power, absolutely tore up a version of I’m Crying by The Animals. May spoke with joy about the atmosphere back stage, where musicians were sitting around telling tales. “It’s true,” said a magnificently hirsute Robert Plant. “We’ve been talking about horn parts on Ray Charles songs. That’s how progressive we are.”

Ever the orator, it was Geldof who gave the most heartfelt speech about the vital part Wyman, with his glowering visage and nimble bass lines, played in the story of a band that genuinely shook the world. Wyman left the Stones in 1993 but has continued to perform the music he loves with the Rhythm Kings, effectively enjoying an active retirement with some of Britain’s finest old players, doing the thing they enjoy the most. It was a pleasure that was evident throughout the evening.

Under a mop of thick grey hair, behind huge glasses, and wearing what looked suspiciously like a cardigan, Wyman at 80 no longer comports himself with the leering menace that once made him and the Stones appear so dangerously reprehensible. The usually poker-faced old Stone became genuinely misty-eyed every time he tried to thank the rock royalty paying tribute to his lifetime in music.

“They’re not even getting paid,” he noted, before adding (as if slightly affronted by the realisation) “But neither am I.”

A reminder of his less savoury reputation, however, was mischievously offered after Plant spoke in praise of Wyman’s distinctive upright bass playing style. Wyman, who unabashedly claims to have slept with over a thousand women during his rock star pomp, explained that he held the bass that way to cast a shadow over his eyes, all the better to communicate with women in the front row. “It’s not all art,” he joked.

Neil McCormick

See link at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/artists/van-morrison-robert-plant-and-bob-geldof-jam-with-bill-wyman-at/

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LZ News:

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

Phil Collins has spoken about his performance with Led Zeppelin at their first reunion at Live Aid in 1985. “Robert on his own: a lovely bloke. Robert and anything to do with Zeppelin: a strange chemistry happens,” Collins told The Telegraph. “It’s like a nasty strain of alchemy. Everything becomes very dark – sulphurous even.” He describes Jimmy Page as “jumpy” and staggering “like a baby giraffe”. He went on to say “it wasn’t pleasant. If you watch the video, you can see Jimmy dribbling onstage, Robert not hitting the notes, and you can see me miming, playing the air, just to get out of the way”. Finally, Collins said that “Robert is still my friend. And being the kind of person he is, I think he’ll say I’m right. When Zeppelin get together, something happens. Bad karma”.

Collins discusses the 1985 performance in his new book, “Not Dead Yet: The Autobiography”. He said that he chose to talk about the performance because “I felt I had been made the scapegoat for what happened at Live Aid and so it was a chance to set the record straight”.

Jimmy Page

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The top of the poster for the Classic Rock Awards 2016 (Classic Rock Magazine) •Will Jimmy Page perform at the Classic Rock Awards in Tokyo on November 11? No, probably not, but the Japanese poster promoting the event seems to suggest he will, and that has kickstarted speculation online over what will happen at the event. Page is given top billing alongside Jeff Beck, who definitely will perform, and the poster has “live performance” at the top. But Page hasn’t performed in years, not counting an impromptu performance on French television in 2014 and an on-stage jam at the Founders Award in Seattle last year. There are two likely outcomes here: The poster and speculation has all been a mix-up caused by promoters looking to maximise the appeal of the event, or Page will join in as part of an on-stage jam at the event.

Robert Plant

Robert Plant performed at Bill Wyman’s 80th birthday gala in London on October 28. Plant came on stage and talked with Wyman (watch part of that exchange here) and then performed three songs: “I Feel So Bad”, “Let The Boogie Woogie Roll” and “I Need Your Loving”. He was joined on the final song by Imelda May.

Upcoming events:

November 11 – Jimmy Page will attend the Classic Rock Awards in Tokyo.

The Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here: http://tinyletter.com/LedZepNews

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TBL Archive:

The Song Remains The Same Film at 40:

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After the excitement of The Song Remains The Same soundtrack double album release, 40 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.

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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 with my good friend Dec 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 it’s now all over YouTube – 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.

DL

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Led Zeppelin Remasters at 26:

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It’s amazing to think that there was a time back in the day, that the only way of hearing Led Zeppelin’s music was via the ten original albums – ie the eight original studio albums, The Song Remains The Same soundtrack and the posthumous collection Coda.

There were no greatest hits albums, no BBC sessions, no 1972 live albums and certainly no i-tunes or HD downloads..
True the Led Zeppelin catalogue had been released on CD – alebit not from the original masters and transferred via analogue tapes.

The results were mixed. I did a feature in Record Collector in early 1990 reviewing the original CD’s (I’ll need to dig that one out) ,blisterfully unaware that Jimmy was about to overhaul the entire catalogue for CD.

Thus the arrival in October of 1990 of the five LP CD box set and double Remasters compilations was a very big deal indeed.
I wasn’t the only one I am sure, who had not paid much attention to the studio albums in recent years. My Zep listening time was taken up analysing the many Zep shows that were appearing on CD sets and the fresh outtakes that had surfaced.

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The arrival of the Remasters was a revelation. Suddenly we all realised just exactly what it was that had made this band so special.
Lapsed fans got back on the wagon –a whole new generation of younger enthusiasts also jumped aboard. Overnight Led Zep’s stock shot up…and it never looked back.

The Remasters releases were absolute game changers in the way Led Zeppelin were viewed and appreciated.

I have very fond memories of this period 26 years ago – it was the point where I realised their legacy was intact. It was fantastic to follow all the media buzz that went with it including Jimmy’s appearances on MTV and the promo videos for Travellin’ Riverside Blues and Over The Hills And Far Away.

remasters-discs

In the Our Price record store I managed Bedford we really went to town – with pre release build up and in store displays. This activity resulted in the store racking up £10,000 worth of business on the box sets and double albums. I was later awarded a triple gold disc award by Warners in the UK. Here’s a pic of the shop window back in October 1990.

At the time, I was about to produce a book that emphatically chronicled the band’s music. The book Led Zeppelin – A Celebration published the next summer was very well received…and it set me on a mission to totally commit myself to chronicling the world of Led Zeppelin that has not let up for the past quarter of a century.

I’ll be bringing out the Remasters box set vinyl and CDs to enjoy over the next few days revelling in Jimmy’s vision of – as he put it ”The same picture with a different frame”
And what vivid pictures they are….

DL

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Jimmy Page Biography:

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I’ve been wading through the new Jimmy Page biography by Martin Power – and it’s a good read- Martin has a strong empathy for the music that shines through and it makes for an authorative account.

Here’s a piece written by Chris Charlesworth for his blog during the editing of the book. it gives a flavour of Martin’s affinity for his subject.

Chris Charlesworth on the forthcoming Jimmy Page biography by Martin Power:

While editing the early chapters of a forthcoming biography of Jimmy Page this week, three of which are devoted to his work as a session player between 1963 and 1966, my attention was drawn to the guitar playing on ‘My Baby Left Me’ by Dave Berry and ‘Leave My Kitten Alone’ by First Gear, just two examples of the casual brilliance Jimmy brought to records that weren’t even hits. Guitar playing like this certainly hadn’t appeared on records by The Beatles or Rolling Stones up to this point.

Of ‘My Baby Left Me’, author Martin Power writes: “Alongside the likes of drummer Bobby Graham, bassist Alan Niven and, on occasion, legendary big band trombonist Don Lusher, Jimmy Page and Big Jim Sullivan helped form the crack team that Dave Berry had dreamed of. By the autumn of 1963, some of them had also cut Berry’s own favourite of all his studio recordings, a sterling cover of Elvis’ ‘My Baby Left Me’. ‘Yep, that’s the one I’d like to be known for,’ he said ‘Nothing like the Arthur Crudup original, nothing like Elvis, just our own version of the song. Jimmy Page on lead guitar, Alan Niven on slap bass – there were actually two basses on that, you know. But yes, a good song. I’m happy with that and really glad Jimmy was on it.’ Page was actually all over it. Providing a master class in snappy riffs and clattering chords throughout the verse and chorus before letting fly with a quite superb solo, Jimmy took Berry’s already spirited reading of ‘My Baby Left Me’ to another level.  ‘I remember the great solo that Jimmy did on that session,’ Sullivan later recalled. ‘It’s one of the best constructed rock solos on record.’”

Of ‘Leave My Kitten Alone’, Martin writes: “Page’s performance on First Gear’s ‘Leave My Kitten Alone’ must surely rank as one of the finer guitar solos of the sixties. Signed to Pye records and managed/produced by Shel Talmy, First Gear were at the time tipped for big things, their North eastern cocktail of Elvis-style rock’n’roll and Mersey-approved beat pop as gritty, energetic and potentially promising as Van Morrison’s Them. With Talmy at the helm, the band entered the studio in the autumn of 1964 to record a single version of Ernie K-Doe’s ‘A Certain Girl’. In itself no slouch, ‘A Certain Girl’ motored along nicely on the back of lead singer Dave Walton’s behind-the-beat falsetto, some pleasing female backing vocals and Jimmy’s countrified string bends.
“But it was when First Gear and Page ran through the B-side, a cover of Little Willie John’s ‘Leave My Kitten Alone’ that Shel Talmy’s interest was truly peaked.  ‘Jimmy was about 18, 19 at the time, with bushy black hair, and very quiet,’ Dave Wilton recalled to the BBC. ‘But then he did this off the cuff, lightning guitar break on ‘Leave My Kitten…’. Well, Shel came racing down from the control room and said, ‘What did just you do to get that!’ So, he (told) Jimmy he was going to take it again. First take, Jimmy played it note-for-note perfectly.’ The resultant solo really was a thing of beauty. All twists, turns and racing speed pick work, Page’s contribution to ‘… Alone’ distilled all he had learnt from James Burton, Scotty Moore and Buddy Guy into just 23 seconds. Yet, there was also something else that was utterly distinctive and unique. At the start of his solo intrusion, Page’s guitar actually sounded like it was riding a wave of electricity. No distinct notes per se, more a wash of undulating sound. Quite unlike anything else Jimmy (or anybody else) had.

The book, entitled No Quarter: The Three Lives Of Jimmy Page is out now.

Chris’s blog link:

http://www.justbackdated.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/jimmy-page-session-man.html

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DL Diary Blog Update:

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Friday Vinyl Treats at the Vinyl Barn – a variable feast of Led Zeppelin pressings last week  including Led Zep 1 Canadian pressing with unique black and white back cover , Coda UK promo pressing with back cover promo stamp and Houses Of The Holy US Atlantic pressing – and as it was  Hank Marvin’s birthday I could not leave the two Shadows original EPs that were in the racks now could I? Another right result – thanks Darren.

A bit up and down here these past few days – a lot of plate spinning going on what with Janet’s late mums property to sort ongoing and the usual TBL workload and I’ve not really felt in the zone with it all – and various recent irritations have got in the way and hindered progress on some things.

 

 

november-1Anyway, there have been some silver linings – not least the aforementioned visit to the Vinyl Barn and on Tuesday it was also an absolute tonic to be out early on the morning bike ride amongst the November mist. This pic I took showing ”leaves are falling all around” captured the sheer beauty of the moment.

It was also great to have Adam back for a few days from UNI – on Saturday he turned out for his team Bedford Albion and put in a fine performance in a 5-1 win. This pic shows him hammering a free kick against the wall. You gotta love grass roots football..adma-football-oct-29

 

On the player, Zep Remasters and The Song Remains The Same soundtrack plus The Hollies Rarities (what a great band), Bob Dylan The Cutting Edge 1965 – 1966 – I am looking forward to the forthcoming multi disc Dylan Live 1966 set, and Jose Feliciano’s Feliciano album. The latter was inspired by Jose’s appearance on Later With Jools Holland this week. My good friend Dec is a lifelong fan/friend of Jose and it was great to see the legendary singer perform Light My Fire in his inimitable way.

There’s been some solid work these past few days on the forthcoming TBL 42 – Nick Anderson has come up with a fascinating Top 100 Led Zeppelin Valubale pressings listing and I’ve been collalting various pieces including a summmary of The Complete BBC Sessions. More on all this soon.

November is quite a month for friends birthdays and Janet and I will be celebrating our good friend Max’s birthday this weekend.  There’s also Spurs encounter with Arsenal to endure on Sunday – here’s hoping for at least a draw though it won’t be easy.

Then it will be back full on with TBL 42 – there’s an interview with author Martin Power coming up, by which time I should have completed the 650 plus pages of his rather epic Jimmy Page biography.

Dave Lewis – November 2, 2016.

Until next time – have a great weekend…

TBL Website updates compiled by Dave Lewis
with thanks to Gary Foy and James Cook

Follow TBL/DL on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/tightbutloose
The TBL/DL Facebook page has regular updates and photos – be sure to check it out.
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And finally…

YouTube Clips:

This is pretty awesome….

The Led Zep catalogue on drums in six minutes:

Robert Plant – Bill Wyman 80th Birthday show audio:

 

 

 

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3 Comments »

  • Mark said:

    Hi Dave

    Nice piece on Remasters. That box set was what got me in to Zeppelin, and I’ve never looked back since either! Despite having invested in the recent re-reissue programme, I still revisit Remasters, because I really like the running order; each of the 4 discs has a great flow to them. I was so obsessed at one time that I knew the precise running time of each track by heart, as printed in the booklet! Keep up the great work.

  • VHP said:

    Dave,

    I have just read on Planet Rock that Mick Ralphs is in hospital recovering from a stroke. I am sure everyone connected with TBL would like to wish him a speedy and full recovery.

  • Bill said:

    Cheers Dave. The arrival of Remasters certainly was ‘a revelation!’
    Like for many others in the early 90’s, the Remasters 2-CD set was my point of entry into the enchanted world of Zep. As a young teenager, it was amazing to here one band traverse so many styles, genres, colours, feelings etc. It was then a joyous experience to discover how they got from Communication Breakdown to In the Evening. Much of this learned from Dave Lewis / TBL publications. At the time, I also expected that there would be more artists / groups of similar greatness however (of course) nothing else comes close!

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