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8 October 2015 3,778 views 4 Comments

bob rood pic

Bob Rood  – January 27, 1959 – September 30, 2015:

The Led Zeppelin community has been saddened by the news of the passing of Bob Rood.

For many years Bob hosted the pioneering For Badgeholders Only forum – here are some fitting tributes to a man who will be much missed. RIP Bob. 

I’ve known Bob since FBO’s inception and took great pride in the fact that eventually he entrusted me to be sole co-admin of the server for close to the past 10 years. Bob never asked anyone for any donations to keep it up and running, the domain name costs, isp costs, anything. He just loved being able to provide this service to all the loyal Zeppelin fans out there that cared to join in on our discussions. He turned down all invites to events that got offered up to me & others ( DVD premiere, O2 amongst others ) and let others in the group enjoy them. Always giving.

He has been in declining health since suffering a debilitating stroke in July 2014. It was at that time that he handed over the domain name and the full reigns of FBO to myself and Bruce “The Buckeye” Deerhake. Unfortunately plans to re-locate the server never came thru and FBO is currently running in a real time mode only until I can recreate the digest mode so many people enjoyed. We will continue to run with it and in Bob;\’s honor I have sworn myself to recreate it and all archives

He had a great love of his family and especially of his dogs. Or his wolves as he called them. From some old pics, I do believe they were actually wolves! He was a highly skilled programmer and for awhile worked for Microsoft were no doubt he honed alot of the skills he used to keep FBO running. It pretty much rarely skipped a heartbeat. Up until his health prevented him from riding, he was also an avid biker. Always cracked me up when he’d send me a pic and I’d find it hard to believe this bearded biker dude could work his away around a Unix prompt like it was nobody’s business. As Bruce described him, the sweetest badass you’d ever know.

I am in shock over his sudden passing. He will be greatly missed by those that got to know him beyond that benevolent crumrudgeon admin guy. I owe so much of my Zep experiences to him and the list, cause truly without me finding a home on FBO, the powers that be would never have come to know me, Nech Zep lover for life

One of the originals for sure.

Nech Tytla


bob rood

Another one gone….

I heard via Facebook from Nech Tytla that Bob Rood has passed after several years of health problems. I grieve for his family but I am at peace knowing he will suffer no longer.
I never met Bob, but he was a big part (the most important part) of helping me and a few others start a Zeppelin IRC channel ‪#‎swansong‬. A few years later he established, which ended up hosting the “For Badgeholders Only” Zep discussion group, which at one time was the largest organized Led Zeppelin discussion group on the internet. Bob ran the group using his own money and never asked anything from anyone. He truly loved his gift to the Zep community and was too humble when people recognized how much time, dedication and money he put in to keep the group going since about 1998.
 He was from Rochester, NY. Not sure when he went to Seattle, but he made his living there as mechanic for many years. His true passion was computers though, and was a guru when it came to UNIX and Linux. For a period of time, he even worked for Microsoft.

He was a big, burly, intimidating looking biker guy with long hair and a full beard, but was a teddy bear at heart.

I consider him one of the most important people when it comes to people who bring together fans of Led Zeppelin.

 Bob- thanks for EVERYTHING man… I will miss you. You were truly one of a kind. You made an important impact for the fans of Led Zeppelin, and you were one of the best! I will miss you my friend!
Jeremy Mixer

Today, I am mourning the loss of a dear friend, Bob Rood, who I met on Facebook. He was a kind, gentle giant. He invited me into the world of Led Zeppelin via an internet based group called FBO, which he developed. Away from FBO, we became friends on so many levels, and his wife, Nadine, referred to me as his internet wife! Ha! Oh, the laughs we had. Bob was a big animal rights supporter and a lover of life, motorcycles, family, and friends. Nadine told me he thought of me as a very close friend and family member, which I was honoured to hear. I spoke to him when he was first hospitalized in Seattle just to hear his voice, and know he was okay. He waged a hard battle to survive, but in the end, the heaven’s angels took him away. I will miss him terribly. On your journey to the Stairway to Heaven, be at peace, Bob

 Dawn Godfree


I really can’t add anything to what has already been said, except to say that if anyone wants to join our FBO email list, they can send an email
to with the word “subscribe” in the subject line.

Thanks for paying tribute to a man who sets a great example for us all.

Bruce ”Buckeye”Deerhake


TBL Offers Round Up:


With the TBL website undergoing an update in the past few weeks – here’s a round up of the offers that are now highlighted on the site.

 TBL 40 Latest:

Coming soon – TBL Issue 40 due for publication late November/early December

The landmark 40th issue!

Chris Dreja on photographing Led Zep

Paul Sheppard compiles the all time Top 40 CD Bootleg sets listing

Rikky Rooksby dissects Achilles Last Stand,

TBL at 40 – The early days of the TBL magazine

Dave Lewis on the final three reissues Then And Now

Chris Charlesworth on the 1970 Bath Festival

Nick Anderson Collectors Column


And much more…

Pre order via this link:


TBL Magazine Back Issue Bundle Offer – TBL Issues 34, 35 and 36 for just £5 plus postage and packing!

This is a great way of catching up on previous TBL magazines – issues 36, 37 and 38 at a bargain price of just £5 plus postage and packing!

Plus every back issue bundle offer includes a  free 10×8 individually numbered print of a unique Led Zeppelin image – perfect for framing! Tom-Locke-print-2014

This is the exclusive 10x 8 art print – It’s a classic Jimmy Page shot taken from the Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind Over Europe 1980 book. It was taken at the Frankfurt Festhalle gig on June 30th 1980 by Tom Locke



Order via this link:





Single issue back issues – TBL Back issues 34,35 36, 38 and Collectors Edition 38: Now at £2 plus postage!

All of these back issues are now available at just £2 each plus postage and packing. Again all orders will receive the exclusive 10 x 8 art print


Led Zeppelin Then As It Was – At Knebworth 1979 and Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind Bundle offer:

Buy both books for just £18 plus postage!

For a limited period, I am offering both the Led Zeppelin Then As It Was – At Knebworth 1979 and Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind Over Europe 1980 books at a bargain bundle offer price of both books for just £18 plus postage and packing.

Suffice to say, this offer will also make the perfect Christmas present – so prompt your loved ones now to ensure seasonal delight!

Order via this link:bookbundle



Five Glorious Nights – Led Zeppelin at Earls Court May 1975:

The much acclaimed pictorial record of the legendary Earls Court Concerts

All orders for this book are being handled by the publishers Rufus Stone Limited Editions

Another book that will make for an ideal Christmas present 




Visit the Rufus Stone Limited Editions site at


TBL Archive Special:
Here’s a look back to the second Japanese tour Led Zeppelin undertook 43 years ago this month.
Japan Tour 1972: Tour log by Mike Tremaglio
Monday, October 2nd, 1972 Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan

Setlist (131 minutes from five different audience recordings):

Rock and Roll, Over the Hills and Far Away, Out on the Tiles (Intro)/ Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains the Same (introduced as “Zep”), The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused (incl. The Crunge instrumental), Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love Medley (incl. Boogie Chillun’, My Baby Left Me, Killing Floor, I Can’t Quit You Baby), Heartbreaker, Immigrant Song, Communication Breakdown

 For the second year in a row, Led Zeppelin’s Japan tour commenced with two concerts at Tokyo’s legendary Budokan Hall. Beginning with the first concert, the band unveiled a new standard setlist which included several tracks off their unreleased LP (Over the Hills and Far Away, Dancing Days, The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, and The Crunge instrumental). Rock and Roll was inserted for the first time as the concert opener, and it would remain in this esteemed position until their last Earl’s Court, London gig on May 25th, 1975. Misty Mountain Hop was played for the second time ever (only previously played in Copenhagen on May 3rd, 1971) and would remain in the setlist throughout the 1972 & 1973 tours. Unfortunately, beginning with this tour, the acoustic set was stripped all the way down to just one song – Bron-Y-Aur Stomp. The Song Remains the Same (introduced as “Zep”) and The Rain Song were both performed for the very first time (with Jonesy introducing his mellotron on the latter). Jimmy’s trusty Les Paul custom double neck allowed him to perform these two tracks successively throughout the 1972, 1973, and 1975 tours.

The Whole Lotta Love medley included a few surprises with Elvis Presley’s My Baby Left Me being performed for the first time since September 14th, 1971 in Berkeley, California (and the last time ever). Killing Floor was also performed for the first time since September 7th, 1971 in Boston, Massachusetts. Heartbreaker was performed for the first of two times on the Japan tour, while the Immigrant Song was shifted from the concert opener to an encore position. Finally, Communication Breakdown was played as a final encore for the only performance of the Japan tour.

Tuesday, October 3rd, 1972 Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan

Setlist (136 minutes from eight different audience recordings):

japan 72

Rock and Roll, Out on the Tiles (Intro)/ Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains the Same (introduced as “The Overture”), The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused (incl. The Crunge instrumental), Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love Medley (incl. Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, Boogie Chillun’, Let’s Have a Party, You Shook Me), Immigrant Song, The Ocean

The setlist for the second Tokyo was similar to the first night, with the only changes being the second and third songs being switched in order; Heartbreaker and Communication Breakdown being dropped; and The Ocean being performed for the one and only time on the Japan tour. The Whole Lotta Love medley was also different, with Everybody Needs Somebody to Love (now including vocals), Let’s Have a Party, and You Shook Me being performed.

Wednesday, October 4th, 1972 Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan

Setlist (from 122, 108, & 35 minute audience recordings):

Rock and Roll, Out on the Tiles (Intro)/ Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused (incl. The Crunge instrumental), Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love Medley (incl. Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, Boogie Chillun’, Got a Lot O’ Livin’ to Do, Let’s Have a Party, You Shook Me, The Lemon Song), Heartbreaker (incl. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)), Immigrant Song

Key changes to the setlist included the addition of Elvis Presley’s Got a Lot O’ Livin’ to Do (only performed one other time, on August 21st, 1971 in Inglewood, California) and The Lemon Song to the Whole Lotta Love medley. Heartbreaker was also added back to the setlist for the second and last time of the Japan tour.

Thursday, October 5th, 1972 Nagoyashi Kokaido (Civic Assembly Hall),

Nagoya, Japan

japan 1972

Setlist (from 115 & 111 minute audience recordings):

Rock and Roll, Out on the Tiles (Intro)/ Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains the Same (introduced as “The Overture”), The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused (incl. The Crunge instrumental), Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love Medley (incl. Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, Boogie Chillun’, I Feel So Good, Let’s Have a Party, You Shook Me), Mellotron Solo (incl. Sakura Sakura), Thank You

The band performed their one and only show ever in Nagoya. Over the Hills and Far Away, Heartbreaker, and Immigrant Song were all dropped from the setlist. The Whole Lotta Love medley included Big Bill Broonzy’s I Feel So Good (the only other time this song was performed was at the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut on August 15th, 1970). For the encores, John Paul Jones performed a mellotron solo which included the traditional Japanese song, Sakura Sakura, before the band segued into Thank You (the only time they played it on the Japan tour).

Monday, October 9th, 1972 Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan

Setlist (from 145, 143, & 142 minute audience recordings):

Rock and Roll, Out on the Tiles (Intro)/ Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains the Same (introduced as “The Campaign”), The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused (incl. Down by the River, The Crunge instrumental), Stairway to Heaven, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love Medley (incl. Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, Something’s Got a Hold on Me, Milkcow Blues Boogie, Leave My Woman Alone, Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Heartbreak Hotel, Wear My Ring Around Your Neck, Going Down Slow), Stand by Me, Immigrant Song

Led Zeppelin turned in the best performance of their 1972 Japan tour in Osaka at the Festival Hall – the same venue where they performed their top Japan concert the previous year. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp was dropped from the setlist and the Immigrant Song returned after a one concert hiatus. Moby Dick was played for the one and only time on the 1972/73 Japan, Montreux, and U.K. tours. Other surprises of the evening included the final rendition of Neil Young’s Down by the River to Dazed and Confused and several additions to the Whole Lotta Love medley: Etta James’ Something’s Got a Hold on Me (first and only time); Ray Charles’ Leave My Woman Alone (first and only “extended” version); Elvis Presley’s Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Heartbreak Hotel, and Wear My Ring Around Your Neck (first and only time); and Howlin’ Wolf’s Going Down Slow. Finally, the biggest surprise was unquestionably the six and a half minute encore of Ben E. King’s Stand by Me, yet another song the band performed for the first and last time.

Tuesday, October 10th, 1972 Kyoto Kaikan #1, Kyoto, Japan

Setlist (from 100 & 90 minute audience recordings):

Rock and Roll, Out on the Tiles (Intro)/ Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, The Song Remains the Same (introduced as “The Campaign”), The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love Medley (incl. Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, Boogie Chillun’, That’s All Right Mama, Let’s Jump the Broomstick, Going Down Slow), Immigrant Song

The final concert ever performed in Japan was the band’s first at the Kyoto Kaikan. It was also the shortest concert they’d ever played there. Dancing Days was dropped from the set, joining Bron-Y-Aur Stomp and Heartbreaker which had previously been removed. Curiously, Over the Hills and Far Away was switched from the third song of the show to later in the concert.

 Boogie Chillun’ returned to the Whole Lotta Love medley, as did Elvis Presley’s That’s All Right Mama, which was played for the first time since their show at the Oude Rai in Amsterdam on May 27th, 1972 (the song would only be played two subsequent times – February 12th, 1975 at Madison Square Garden and June 26th, 1977 at the Inglewood Forum). Also played during the Whole Lotta Love medley was the final surprise of the tour – the one and only version of Brenda Lee’s Let’s Jump the Broomstick

Mike Tremaglio – compiled for TBL issue 34


Issue 34 is now available at the bargain price of just £2 including postage

Order via this link:




Led Zeppelin Final Three Reissues – more feedback:

Here’s some additional feedback on the final three Led Zeppelin Reissues – commencing with the thoughts of John Thompson from  Melbourne Australia.

final reissues

Two years ago, at my favourite Bootleg shop, I was about to purchase a very expensive “Studio Magik” box set of all alternative Led Zeppelin studio recordings. The shop keeper said to me “Do you think the new box sets, coming out, will have any different stuff to what’s on here?” – I certainly hoped so and while, in some ways, what was delivered in the end was slightly disappointing, over all I think Jimmy has done a marvellous job, and my comparison is the ‘other music god’s goods!’

My review is based on what other artists have done (with a bit of my take on some parts). To me, it all began in 1996 when “The Beatles” released the excellent Anthology collection. Imagine if Jimmy had done the same thing?… 6 CD’s of unreleased (well not officially released) material in a fairly short timeframe. It was well thought through, but there will still be fans saying, for example, “Where is the song ‘Carnival of Light’?” – ie. You can never make fans happy. They even had ‘out-fakes’ (not just outtakes but where they had combined different versions of outtake songs together such as “Yes it is”) which appealed a bit more to the general public but upset the fans. There were rumours at the time that Led Zep would follow suit with their own Anthology – but it wasn’t meant to be.

Considering, the whole Anthology video documentary (some 8 plus hours), fantastic book, 2 new(ish) songs… you have to say the whole Anthology project set the bench mark as far as giving what the fans wanted, as well as trying to appeal to the general market (which I don’t think really happened). It does have to be remembered, as John, Paul and George recorded any idea they had in the high amount of studio time (and had given up concerts half way through their career) that there were a lot more songs/variations to choose from then say Led Zeppelin. This project inspired other main artists in what they were going to do. But I will give the Anthology 7 out of 10 (minus points for not having remastered or produced on vinyl at the time).

Next, jumping ahead, was Pink Floyd. When it was announced 2011/12 that the mighty Pink Floyd would release the “big 3”albums in lavish box sets (Dark side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall) I was excited. On the plus side they all came with some good bonus material, including live concert songs (which Jimmy didn’t succumb to, bar the 1st album) and unheard studio material, a blue ray version of the album (again something Jimmy avoided), simple books, as well as what I will call gimmicks, some being cool ticket reproductions, and some being pointless like marbles.

This seemed great at the time, but in hindsight, compared to the Led Zeppelin collection, fell short. Mainly, although the box sets were almost the same size they did not include the vinyl version of the album. Worst of all it was only 3 out of 14 (now 15 with ‘The Endless River’) studio albums that got this treatment. I would have been horrified if Jimmy only did the fourth album, Physical and Led Zep 2 for example. The books were also, mainly photos (as is Jimmy’s preference) but very thin ones at that and seemingly only a couple of photographers. I will give this rating 8 out of 10 for what was delivered but overall it is 5 out of 10 due to the other albums left on the shelf (I know Pink Floyd have changed publishers and hence why there have been no more – but it still hurts). Some could argue at least there has been a new(ish) Pink Floyd album and David Gilmore has just released another solo album – something Jimmy has promised and we have yet to see. What would I prefer? – What Jimmy has done, commit to a project and finish it.

Next we have Queen (I know Dave you’re not a big fan) (I do like the early stuff John a lot!- DL.)

Around 2010 Queen signed up to a new publishing company and said they too would remaster their back catalogue, and would release with bonus material. They would put them out in blocks of 5 albums at a time for all 15 albums. When they finally came out I must admit the sound was so much better – but that is where the excitement ended. There was a bonus disc released (aka companion disc) but the material was often so small it could have fitted in 1 disc, while most of it had been released before and it felt rushed. Queen did release 1 (pretty good) book after the releases were finished, and later also released some new songs (outside of the main releases – ie after all was bought) but it had no vinyl version (just been announced, if you have a spare 200 pounds) and somehow didn’t feel justified.

I haven’t included another artists that are doing it over time (such as Bob Dylans’ landmark ‘bootleg’ series, The Who’s selected impacting albums and The Rolling Stones) and there are probably others out there (Genesis?) but I just wanted to point these 3 other groups out so as to point out some perspective on what Jimmy has delivered.

The Remasters sound fantastic (esp Physical Graffiti). Tick

The Super Deluxe versions, feel like epic artistic merit (book and packaging). Tick

Comparing what was on the “Studio Magik””box set, most of these companion discs are full of material that has never seen the light of day. Tick

All 10 albums have been treated the same. Tick

Getting back to my comment of slightly disappointed was regards to the companion discs, looking at the releases – the first 3 were so exciting, and in fact were not typical of what was to come. The 1st album being live was never repeated. Led Zep 2’s having the bonus song “La la” (no further unreleased songs until Presences and Coda, although you could count “Everybody makes it through”) as well as a very different Whole Lotta Love and the 3rd companion release with not only the unreleased Keys to the Highway but the amazing “Since I’ve been loving you”. I was so looking forward to “The rest” but the ‘fourth’ and ‘Houses’ was too similar in sound with no new songs as well as alternatives that didn’t spark much interest.

‘Physical Graffiti’ somewhat recovered and then ‘Presence’ kept up the momentum, which crashed at ‘In Through The Outdoor’ – I mean ‘All My Love’ and ‘I’m Gonna Crawl’ are pointless to include (Coda being another exception as it always has done) …… so overall a great deal of extras (“double” as Jimmy loves to say in almost every interview)

If I had some small grips, it is that the fourth/5th album companion disc isn’t much to listen to (for example I really struggle to hear the difference to Misty Mountain Hop, Dancing Days) and maybe a 5.1 blue ray would be nice, but then again it has been hard enough awaiting these releases, so I would prefer to have them now all out. Some reproduction lyrics would also have been a nice touch.

But let’s not end on the off notes, as I think it was a triumph. It had surprises. It sounded so much better (surly the main point) and it is sad to think there will be nothing like it from a Zep perspective, again – but I was there to see/hear it unfold and feel it all!!

PS – What was the biggest impacting companion Disc? – (JT) Answer = Presence! – In 10 years’ time articles will always mention that the album was mainly Guitar/drums/bass except 1 track (being 10 Ribs & All/Carrot Pod Pod (Pod)“) which showed there was some attempt to give them a variant style they were renown for.

P.SS It seems odd that ‘In Through the Out Door’ companion disc had so much more guitar sounds to it but Jimmy opted for more murky, keyboard final mixes ?

John Thomson – Melbourne


Here is an extensive  review of the Presence reissue by Ken Winovich:


Review of the new Remastered Led Zeppelin ‘Presence’ album by Ken Winovich 10/01/15

Oh how I remember the day this album came out! I remember venturing out after we had another long cold snowy winter when warmer temps hit our area and my neighbor yelled out “WDVE is about to play a track off the new Zeppelin album!” ‘Fitty’ (a nickname that’s close in comparison to his last name) had me come up to his room to see his new stereo and that’s when they premiered it. And they kept talking on and on, building us up into a frenzy! “So, here it is…..brand spanking new…..fresh out of the box……and we’re the only ones who have it……this is brand new from Led Zeppelin…..(yeah, c’mon c’mon!)……and they recorded this album in…Munich Germany…..(c’mon! Cut the bull and let’s hear it!)…..brand new. This is Led Zeppelin….from their new album…’s called ‘Presence’…….and it will be out in just two weeks. (Come on!!!!) This is…..a track from it…..titled….’Nobody’s Fault But Mine’. Brand new from Led zeppelin. Right here on WDVE.” Silence for three seconds (after 10 minutes of teasing). Then POW! What a killer beginning! I didn’t know what to do with myself! I was stunned. It was so cool! I realized…had I been a fan from the very start in 1968, I would have went through this same emotion for “Good Times Bad Times”, “Whole Lotta Love”, “Heartbreaker” and “Black Dog” no matter which album side. It was just so powerful! That night, after dinner, I tuned in to WDVE again and they played “Achilles Last Stand”.

After Robert’s accident-with the rest of the 1975 U S Tour cancelled and Zep’s future uncertain, they came back with a vengeance! Like all their album releases, I was completely floored. And Mick Jagger once complained in the past of “too much emphasis on guitar” which was the reason Zep was eliminated from their ‘Rock And Roll Circus’ movie. It’s fine just the way it is, thank you! That comment was probably made by him to see if Jimmy Page was stupid enough to heed his advice in order to allow the Stones themselves to play catch up with their two or three guitarists. “Tea For One” was another treat and I always hoped that Zep would combine it into a medley with “Since I’ve Been Loving You” on the 1977 U S Tour but they never did. When “I’m Gonna Crawl” came out, I thought the same thing. Imagine a medley of all three! But I needn’t have to wait for cool medleys as they started “The Rover” and segued into “Sick Again” several months later on the 1977 tour anyway!

Although “Achilles Last Stand” gobbled up a lot of precious Zeppelin acetate, it was well worth it! Save for Pink Floyd, the only other band I have ever seen get away with a long track was Iron Butterfly with ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’. Jimmy just kicks ass on the track as does the rest of the band and that includes live. But it’s John Bonham who really lays it down and it was something to hear let alone behold. And I remember the excitement as Jimmy was just about to finish the guitar intro to “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” that I remember thinking “what’s gonna happen when the rest of the band come in?” All manner of thoughts entered my mind. Will it be like “Black Dog” after Plant’s vocal intro? “Heartbreaker”? “Since I’ve Been Loving You”? And then it happened after the last “Ahh…ah…ah..ah..ah..ah” from Plant and bang! They all joined in! I had a smile on my face for the rest of that song! “Holy f@!%!” What I did notice at that time was that I could not memorize the exact song orders beginning with ‘Physical Graffiti’ on-wards. I thought because they were all Swan Song releases that that might have something to do with it. But I finally have the answer. When bootlegs entered my world and all the Zep books, I was ‘overwhelmed’! And every serious Zep head’s been through this.

You start memorizing key Zeppelin bootleg titles, songs that were on them and the song orders on the official releases ‘neglect’ begins there. Important events in the band’s history like “Bath”, “Roundhouse”, “Wembley”, etc. and that’s why. With a plethora of Zeppelin books, imports, fanzines, live tapes, etc., I needed a computer! Only in the past ten years have I finally got the song orders for the entire Zep ‘Swan Song’ catalog down other than the double live soundtrack album and that’s only because I played that album so much I went through (10) ten (yes count ’em)….ten copies! The guitar tone on that movie soundtrack album is the holy grail of guitar tone! After the 1977 U S Tour was cut short on the death of Robert Plant’s son Karac, there was much talk about whether they would even continue. But seeing’s they bounced back after 1975, I had no doubt whatsoever. And no news was good news. As long as that memo from Peter Grant saying the band was over failed to come, it was still on! Why wouldn’t they have continued when what I was hearing coming out of my speakers was so powerful?

The real ‘bonus’ for me on the album was “Royal Orleans”. That high note on the high ‘E’ string at the 12th fret just floors me and is a fine example of Jimmy Page at his best!

And then there’s the ‘object’. Having seen Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001:A space oddyssey’ and it’s sequel, I immediately got it but many of my high school friends were lost so I had some explaining to do.

Onto the Super Deluxe Boxed set package design.:

The cover in any color other than white was a good move by the band because these Super Deluxe Box Sets are very hard to maintain in mint condition. The more you open and close the cover, the more it ‘whitens’. It will eventually become worn and tear off at the fold line so that you will have a separate ‘lid’ instead of a lid attached to the base. I noticed that starting with ‘Physical Graffiti’, the box sets were made sturdier than their predecessors. Various angles from a photo shoot for the front and back cover photos are included. These help fans get into the process by which Zeppelin worked with Hipgnosis on their album cover artwork. The real gems are the master tapes. Seeing each side in it’s own box with the final track listings, times and catalog numbers. The ‘object’ only added to the Zeppelin mystique.

If you don’t get it, watch the film 2001: A Space Oddyssey with the clip where a bunch of apes cautiously approach the black obelisk in the opening sequence which went back in time with the sun and moon alignments overhead. Zep showed us all that they had fully recovered from the first of several blows that fate delivered. Plant was now ‘recovered’ from his auto crash and the band were back with a vengeance.


Next was the 88-page hardback book. It starts off with early examples from Hipgnosis of the central theme of the ‘object’ appearing in old Time-Life photos. These books are great as they are about as ‘good-as-your’re-gonna-get’ scrapbooks which include nice little gems like receipts for 1,000 ‘Objects’, the ‘finalists’ for album covers which the band had to choose from and rare never before seen photos of the band from their hey day. What is readily apparent is the continuing rise in their popularity. Zep weren’t just selling out shows, they were now selling out entire weeks of shows in several cities! Unprecedented. I remember thinking “it’s really gonna get interesting” as cities tried to cope with a Zeppelin onslaught every time the band toured. They really were continuing to grow in size and reach around the world. The illustration captions, live show listings and detailed recording information in the back provides Zeppelin fans with years of enjoyment.

Up next is the original album in 180g vinyl and these things feel much sturdier than what we had years ago. As I write this I myself am just about back with my vinyl setup and am in the process of ordering two new styluses for my stereo turntable. One will be used only with old, used records and the other will be reserved for the new albums. Zep embossed the cover with the band name and album title as well as an embossed Swan Song logo on the back of the cover. Fine tough of class then and now. The proof-of-purchase stickers are again slapped on crooked. When you open the albums gate-fold, the photos just leap out at you and that’s because the album is made on heavy card stock. If you didn’t get one of these 30,000 copies, you can expect cheaper cost-cut versions in the future. Readily apparent in the photos is the fact that the ‘object’ casts no shadows which only adds to the mystique! Instead of an inner album sleeve, the front and back were re-printed onto a piece of cardboard and the album was placed into a white sleeve. These white sleeves are lined with a poly-urethane liner to protect the album. Some of the white album sleeves have cut corners while some are completely square on previous reissues. One that I saw on the internet had cut corners on the original and no cut corners on the companion album. I again checked my album for ‘production plant issues’ regarding the central hole punch through 180g of vinyl. None on this one which results in a sigh of relief.

The serial numbered print is always a beauty and really helps you enjoy the cover artwork as it’s placed on fine card stock with a lovely white border. My serial numbered print is 15898 / 30000.

The companion album cover is also embossed but on the front only. I am not nuts about the dark charcoal gray on the front and the pale lime green on the back. I originally thought the cover photo was ‘larger’ than the original album one but it is not. What I found out was that my original U S pressing from 1976 has a photo that is slightly bigger than the new remaster. It’s less than a quarter inch. Now no Zeppelin Super Deluxe Box set is ‘complete’ without the official 45 rpm A & B single. A good place to place your 7-inch singles is in the back where the CD’s are as they can be pushed further down in their recess pockets to make room for the single. With that, your Zeppelin ‘Presence’ time capsule is complete!

Next I find my HD-Download card and this is what every Zep fan needs because it unlocks the 96 kHz hi-definition audio FLAC files which you can download from the official Zeppelin website. The unzipped files are the purest, cleanest, brightest Zeppelin your ears can possibly get in the entire cosmos! What struck me is the download codes. They are shorter for these last series of releases.

The original CD is just a fine piece. It’s also printed on heavy card stock and the fine attention to detail is what counts. I am most impressed with the CD’s with the albums a very close second. The CD’s come with a thin poly-urethane protector sleeve and the cut-corner production sleeve cardboard is also on heavy card stock.

They even embossed both the original CD and the companion CD!

On to the long awaited remastered ‘Presence’ music:

“Achilles Last Stand” – Bonham’s playing is just outstanding on this track. Listen to the fine detail of his snare drum. Page’s guitars sound ‘chimey’ which add to the mystique of the track. The drum bit at 02:32 is awesome as is the drum riff at 04:09. Page’s sustained guitar note at 05:01 sounds awesome. The drum cymbals flurry at 05:28 is especially a delight. The fade-out to the song really complimented the ending. If you are a drummer then this album will be a showcase for you! The ending fade-out reminds me more and more as if the listener is switching time dimensions. It’s got this sinister chime to it and you realize there’s nothing you can do about it so you just suck it all in. It’s got me smiling. I can see it as the soundtrack to the science fiction TV series ‘The Time Tunnel’ and I can easily picture Doug and Tony tumbling back or forward in time with that swirl of colors after they walked into the time tunnel to be transported ‘elsewhere’. This single opus off this album will for me forever be directly linked to the ‘object’ on the front cover by a simple ‘sonic/visual’ connection.

“For Your Life” – A classic rhythm section from hell opening and John Bonham adds to it like no other. Plant plays some interesting tambourine here. This track has that classic ‘wrist-to-snare-drum’ swagger that only Bonham has. It’s almost as if Bonham let’s his drum stick lazily bounce up & down a 2nd time on the snare but it doesn’t. It’s probably plate reverb. Make sure you don’t miss Bonham’s snare effect when the band stops playing at 04:08. Plant’s adenoid/snorkles at 05:30 are brought out much clearer. I like how Plant sings the last verse as ‘For……li-heef’.

“Royal Orleans” – A classic Zeppelin Bonham/Page drum-to-guitar connection. They follow each other. It’s on tracks like this that if you ever wondered whether another drummer could have ever filled John Bonham shoes after his death that you learn the answer is ‘no’. This is one song you could have picked to watch them fall apart. The snare drum is awesome at 00:57, 01:01 and 01:06. At 01:54 comes the remastered moment I have been waiting for in the Congas! What a palette of guitar tones and sounds Page employed throughout this album. This had to involve numerous amps and pedals.

“Nobody’s Fault But Mine” – The opening guitar on this track cuts through the sky like cracks of overhead lightening till they reach the other end of the sky with in thunder! The drum rolls like at 03:07 & 03:19 are why Bonham is ‘numero uno’. Plant’s harp playing on this track is outstanding and makes all of us step back to realize what a fine harmonica player he truly was like his predecessor in Keith Relf (Keith who? Zep were formed out of the remnants of the Yardbirds and Keith was their singer for those wondering). Notice that Bonham’s playing during Page’s guitar solos actually makes them sound even better because he lays down the perfect ‘finesse canvas’ for Page to smother it with blazing guitar notes.

“Candy Store Rock” – I’ve heard many say that there was no acoustic guitar on the ‘Presence’ album but sorry folks. It’s on here. Page strums away on an acoustic to give the track a wonderful rhythm. The break at 01:52 is awesome plus at 02:59. Bonham is tapping his sticks off the side of the snare rims.

“Hots On For Nowhere” – Another spot-on bass and drums kickoff. Page has a nice bumble-bee rhythm guitar going on. At 00:42-00:45, There’s that nice laid-back Bonham swagger again! It’s hard to believe Bonham played outstanding power-house drums on this album which was recorded in just two weeks.

“Tea For One” – Nice Bonham start at 00:03. He plays a superb jazzy cymbal feel at 00:21 a-la the opening of ‘How Many More Times” which is why this track has a ‘Led Zeppelin I’ feel to it. It’s anchored in the blues. There is great ‘distance-makes-depth’ employment on this track by the master himself, Jimmy Page. The track stretches and breathes to ever corner of the Musicland Studios in Munich. There is a nice kick stomp from Bonham at 03:54 & 04:04 with that classic Bonham ‘knocking-at-your-front-door’ kick drum! At 09:23, the strike by Bonham closes out a rough but crucial album by Zeppelin. In conclusion, if you are a John Bonham fan, these remasters are especially for you and it’s through them that you realize you’ve got plenty of work to do! Just go back and have another listen again to ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’.

In conclusion, another fantastic long awaited remaster which is sure to provide decades of listening pleasure to Zep fans the world over!

[Please see my separate companion album review for ‘Presence’. Sorry for the delay after an ‘ear ache’ from hell disabled my listening pleasure for two months!]

Scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best:

Content: 4.9
Audio: 5.0
Satisfaction: 4.9


This one via Ros Sidaway at the John Bonham Memorial Fund:

Local Postman Goes On the Run In Aid Of Memorial Fund…

A Redditch postie will swap the roads of the town for those of the city later this month when he runs the Birmingham Half Marathon on Sunday 18th October in aid of a local campaign.

The Morrisons Great Birmingham Run is the biggest half marathon in the Midlands, attracting competitors from across the UK and around the world, and this year, expects around 20,000 people to tackle the new route. The Run is now second only in the UK to the Great North Run in size.

Father of three girls, Alan Whiting, 45, from Headless Cross, is no stranger to the 13.1 mile run and has raised several hundred pounds over previous years for Diabetes UK. However, this year he has chosen the John Bonham Memorial Fund to benefit from his latest effort.

Alan explained “I like to help out in the local community where I can, and as I live just a few doors from where John was born, I wanted to contribute to the fundraising effort.”

“John’s brother, the late Mick Bonham was also a keen runner and I’m sure he’d have competed on behalf of the Fund if he was still with us” added Alan, “So I’ll be running in memory of both of them.”

Wearing bib number 2900, Alan will set off in the Orange wave at 10.10am from Jennens Road (by Millennium Point). He hopes to cross the finishing line outside the Hyatt Hotel on Broad Street having beaten his 2014 personal best of 1:42:31.

His wife, Teresa, daughters Amy, Lucy and Ellie, family and friends will all be there on Sunday to cheer him on. If you would like to sponsor Alan, then you may do so via

The John Bonham Memorial Fund is working to raise funds for a permanent and fitting memorial to the legendary Led Zeppelin drummer, who was born and grew up in Redditch. Last month marked the 35th Anniversary of his death at the age of just 32. (See for more info)


DL Blog Diary Update:

Not been feeling too great this past couple of weeks – the old black dog has reared its head – the good lady Janet has also been under par with some dental problems and Janet’s mum Bet has also been unwell which is a constant source of worry.

Depression… the black dog as Sir Winston Churchill described it – it almost feels a weakness to own up to it – an inherent weakness in owning up to what is of course a very common condition. Indeed a condition from past feedback when I’ve mentioned this issue, that many of you reading this relate to – but I know the symptoms all too well now and I’ve been feeling them for the past few weeks.

There’s lethargy about everything, a lack of properly enjoying what I would normally revel in.  It’s hard to get motivated and sometimes there’s a distinct feeling of loneliness even amongst friends. Low self-esteem…uneven sleep patterns…often feeling irritable and stressed out. An anxiety when attempting simple everyday things, and any domestic problem seems insurmountable. In fact it feels like there are only problems- and no solutions.

This from a man who knows how to enjoy himself and never wants the party to end. Of course you try to keep smiling through it and fending it off and most of my friends may not have even noticed anything is wrong -but there can be tears behind the smiles…

It’s an intermittent feeling but when it comes -and it can arrive quite unexpectedly, it tends to dwarf my every positive thought. Most of the reasons for the above without going into too much personal detail, I can trace and identify.

But really what have I really got to moan about? I’ve mentioned it before, I am a millionaire many times over when it comes to the love of a wife and family. The job I do –  writing, about music and the world of Led Zeppelin…well what’s not to like…?

Something though isn’t feeling right…when I assess how I make a living, it has and does bring certain pressures. Not least of course financially where I need to keep it all on track and motivate the sales of the TBL products. Being self-employed and working from home can be very isolating. I do still miss the buzz and camaraderie that I enjoyed so much for so long working in music retail. Here at home we have the everyday family worries that we all contend with but recently they too have taken their toll. Health matters such as my diabetes 2 condition can also be adversely affected.

My way of dealing with it is to work it through and it does help to stop and own up to the problem and share it.  The aim is to rediscover the zest and energy I normally have for living my life and sharing that in so many ways with the people around me and the TBL followers around the globe whose support makes it all worthwhile.

It won’t stop my commitment to producing TBL products of high quality and integrity and supplying the TBL products with maximum efficiently. That is what I do and continues to define who I am. May I thank you all for the support and commitment to the TBL magazine and products.

It’s by no means all doom and gloom here and I have more than a lot to be thankful for and there are always silver linings and insprations to take from and things to look forward to – ahead there’s the Olympia Musicmania Record Fair in November which I am having a stall for and the landmark TBL 40 to complete and publish.

It has felt like a slog getting things done recently and as always there’s been stuff to do but pleasingly, I’ve made strides with TBL 40 text – notably a major feature on the history of the early years of the TBL magazine. This has meant many a trip to the loft to access all the early magazines and archive material. It’s been very nostalgic wading through the various magazines/newsletters and documents that formulated the inception of TBL. It’s quite a story and it’s been something of a cathartic exercise in reliving it all.

We did have an excellent night out with the visiting James from Australia last Friday – he of course along with his wife Steph and son Toby, would have been one of the few happy fans in the locality the following night when England made that embarrassing Rugby World Cup exit.


On the player here some suitably melancholy stuff including Nick Drake’s Five Leaves Left and Pink Moon, John Martyn’s London Conversation, David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name album and on the Zep front –  Led Zeppelin III in celebration of it’s original release all of 45 years ago.

Plus a recent DL vinyl acquisition – the Led Zeppelin bootleg Ballcrusher – The 1972 London Show on the Takrl label –I had this years back but it got lost in the midst of time. In true bootleg confusion style it was not a 1972 London show but the BBC In Concert recording of April 1 1971. For a good while this was the only place to hear the superb unbroadcast takes of Black Dog and Since I’ve Been Loving You. I reviewed this album for the first issue of TBL in late 1978 – as I’ve been working on a History of the early years of TBL for the forthcoming TBL 40 issue this week, well it’s been like welcoming back an old friend….

There’s also been some John Lennon on – the Imagine album and plenty of early Beatles from The Beatles mono box set.

Tomorrow (October 9th) would have been John Lennon’s 75th birthday. The events of 35 years ago surrounding his comeback album Double Fantasy and his shocking death in December are intrinsically linked for me with the tragic events going inside the Zep camp this time back in 1980.

I can vividly remember Simon Bates airing the Starting Over single and there was a real optimism about his return to recording. I purchased the album in the Kings Road in November after a visit to the Swan Song offices. That optimism (as with the Zep events) turned to agony on the morning of December 9th when the news broke here that John Lennon had been shot dead in New York.

The Beatles are going to back in the media spotlight in the coming weeks with the release of The Beatles 1 DVD and blu-ray package which restores all those great promo clips to high res quality.

Playing the early Beatles albums this week  made me realise It’s easy to forget the sheer exuberant joy of his rasping vocal in those formative years. Performances such as I’ll Get You, Thank You Girl, Anna, Not A Second Time, It Won’t Be Long, Twist And Shout, Ill Be Back, Yes it Is, No Reply, I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party, Help, Norwegian Wood, Nowhere Man, Baby You’re a Rich Man etc etc are ample evidence of his genius leading to the conclusion that John Lennon just might be my second favourite vocalist of all time.

His post Beatle output has it’s moments for sure but what he achieved in those short eight years between 1962 and 1969 is awe inspiring. He packed more in those years alone than most do in a full lifetime Hearing those innocent upbeat anthems has been a tonic amongst the Autumn slog of recent days.


Within what has been a tricky time here, there’s the welcomed prospect of a visit to the annual Bedford Beer Festival planned for tomorrow night which is staged at the Bedford Corn Exchange venue. This building has housed a few celebrated gigs in the past – more recently Hawkwind, Marc Almond and Adam Ant have played there – further back we had Genesis in 1972 and in September 1966 both Cream and The Who performed there within the space of a week –The Who on Sept 10th, Cream on Sept 15th. Wish I’d been old enough to attend those gigs myself.

The Beatles also performed at the venue on the evening of December 13th 1962 supported by Robin Hall and Jimmie Macgregor. They were a late replacement for Joe Brown – their debut single Love Me Do had been issued in October.

So there’s musical history amongst those beer barrels for sure…and below there’s a couple of mash ups featuring both sets of Fab Four to enjoy…

Dave Lewis – October 8, 2015


YouTube Clips

Led Zeppelin /The Beatles Mash Up 1: Whole Lotta Love/Helter Skelter…

Led Zeppelin /The Beatles Mash Up 2: Rock And Roll/Rock’n’Roll Music…


Until next time…

Have a great  weekend

Keep listening, keep reading…

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy –  October 8 , 2015. 

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  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Many thanks Paul

  • Paul Gross said:

    Hi Dave,
    Paragraph 3 in your blog diary hits especially home with me.
    I know exactly how you feel. I’ve never heard it expressed better!

    I’m a simple Zep fan and have very little to say, but please keep doing what
    you’re doing because we all know and love you as our #1 Zep informer!

    Take Care,
    (type 2 diabetic)

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Hiroshi thanks – Family I do need to try and sort!

  • Hiroshi said:

    “Low self-esteem…uneven sleep patterns…often feeling irritable and stressed out. An anxiety when attempting simple everyday things, and any domestic problem seems insurmountable. In fact it feels like there are only problems- and no solutions.”

    I can relate to them all. You are not alone out there.

    Hey Dave, yet another Family reunion gig at Shepherd’s Bush in December is waiting for you, the band you’ve loved and admired for so long yet never seen live before…

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