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12 November 2010 4,797 views 10 Comments

DL with the Classic Rock’s Oustanding Contributor – Photo by Lisa Bardsley

Well it’s been an eventful three weeks.  Crikey ..where to start?

Apologies in advance for all the name dropping here which must look like I’m on some huge liggers ego trip but it’s just the way things have been these past few days.

Well firstly the Classic Rock Awards on Wednesday night. Going back to the Roundhouse was another memorable night out. Not surprising with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones both in the house . My good friend Jerry was along with me fresh from his role of handling the merchandising on Glenn Hughes tour. Glenn was in attendance too picking up the Childline award. It was good to catch up with Glenn and his manager Carl. Glenn feeding me the night’s football results just as Cheap Trick were stomping through I Want You To Want Me. Wolves 2-0 home defeat to Arsenal not going down well with the man from the Black Country who I have to say has been one of the inspirations of the year for me.

Equally inspirational was of course John Paul Jones. His witty acceptance  speech went down a storm. No navel contemplating for this officially recognised Outstanding Contributor. Oh no… after the Vultures it’s time for some opera – and you just know that given the JPJ slant this will be another compelling episode to track. More on that in the next TBL.

Also good to see a fair few industry folk I knew including Tim Jones from Record Collector, Peter Noble, Lisa Bardsley of Mascot Records (thanks for the pic!), and also had a nice chat with Ross’s son Oliver about internships and University life allied to our Sam’s activities. Jimmy also did a cool job of inducting Killing Joke though I didn’t see him around after the awards had finished.

I had been lucky enough to be in his company at the Genesis Publications book launch on Thursday November 4th.(coincidentally 34 years ago to the night I saw them all at The Song Remains The Same premiere)

What a night that was – it was great to see Billy McCue over from NYC and Eddie Edwards – and Howard Mylett and wife Anita. Old Zep sparers Richard Cole and Benji Lefevre plus Chris Charlesworth, Rod Wyatt, Jorgen Angel, Mark Blake at Q Mojo’s Phil Alexander, Lisa from Planet Rock, ex Our Price colleague and author Darrell Eastleigh. Dave Brolan, Ross, Pete Hall Jimena, Graeme, Catherine and Robby from Genesis. A really special atmosphere prevailed as we looked at the amazing images from the genesis book that adorned the walls.

During the course of the evening I asked Ronnie Wood about that jam he took part with Zep on Communication Breakdown ‘in Nassau ’75. ‘’’Oh the one that went on for fuckin’ ages!’’ He laughed. Jimmy himself was utterly gracious – I asked him about The 1966 Yardbirds colour photos in the book and he said this was one of the amazing finds of the book. ‘’This is you life surrounding you’’ I said as we looked around the gallery at the end of the launch.  ‘’Yes that about sums it up’’ he replied.

Before all that, there was Robert Plant and The Band Of Joy. Birmingham was another blast. I did actually feel less than a 100% going into it all, though the Lemsip seemed to ward off potential flue symptoms. . Great again to see so many TBL friends including the wonderful Gary and Debbie Davies, Krys Jantzen, Ian Gould,Steve J, Dave and Cindy Roberts from Canada Richard from Wales, Emily and Alan J an old friend from Bedford (who once rang me up from France to blag an entry to a Strange Sensation festival gig!), Michael and Jez etc etc plus Pete Gozzard – a lovely man not in the best of health – it was amazing to see him for the first time in years. He was the man behind all the TBL soundbites compilation cassette tapes I used to do. Also nice to bump into Kevyn Gammond, Justin Adams  and meet Juldeh -a really nice man. And not least Lorraine and Michael Robertson who kept it going with Gary and I  into the early hours.

As for the gig – superb venue and third row seat. As I reported it was a bit of a life affirming occasion – one of those gigs where it all comes together  and you have a real glow throughout it.  It was slightly odd but quite appropriate to sit throughout the show which gave me a real opportunity to visually soak up the on stage empathy and watch the singer sing his songs at close quarters.

Electric Proms at the London Roundhouse was of course in stark contrast. Very busy in the pub beforehand where we saw Graeme and Pam, Cliff the ticket man , Graham Glover, Mick Bulow, Dave Marsh, the Wallbanger crew Tom and Phil etc. Bit edgy for me as I was due live on BBC Radio 2 at 7pm. Kept the Fosters intake at a low level, although when Gary and I hooked up with the BBC guys we found the recording was to be done in an open plan bar area. A free bar at that!.

DL addresses the nation 7.45 pm Friday October 29th 2010 BBC Radio 2 Simon Mayo show -photo by Gary Foy

Hearing Lizzie’s version of Stairway To Heaven will always remind me of the immense nervousness (which was on a par to that of waiting for Janet to turn up at the alter on our wedding day!) I was experiencing before it was my turn to wax lyrical to the nation. Hats off here to Simon Mayo who quickly put me at relative ease.  As for the show, well it was a very special one with an event type feeling not that far away from how it felt at the 02.

At the aftershow it was good to catch up with former Plant tour manager Rex King, soundman Roy Williams, DJ’s Bob Harris, Johnnie Walker and Jeff Dexter, BBC consultant Andy Neil who I’ve been liaising with over the Robert Plant documentary during the past month. Also spoke to Buddy and Patty – talking about the Zep arrangements, Patty told me she would be keen to do Going To California. Robert looked on great form relaxed and happy – had a quick word about the show with him.

In the space of two weeks I have had conversations with all three ex members of Led Zeppelin. A quite remarkable situation.

Last Saturday there was the opportunity to re- live it all on the BBC2’s Robert Plant night. Janet and Adam wisely went to watch the X Factor etc round Marian’s, releasing her husband Terry to come over and join the boys for a night of Plant/Zep indulgence. Cliff, Kam, Phil and Tom were all over for the viewing – the latter pair spotting themselves in the Roundhouse crowd on more than one occasion. It was nice to get an end credit on the documentary for my input. Proceedings here eventually wound down around 3am. A very good night indeed with laughter and music the perfect mix.

In between all that… there’s been a couple of significant one on one interviews conducted for TBL 28 in Camden (one that provided an illuminating slant on Robert Plant’s career) and on Tuesday I whizzed into London to participate in a documentary series titled Metal Evolution which will air next year on VH1 Classic. This was done in a London hotel –on entry I had a job finding their set up and inadvertently walked in on a TV shoot for Head And Shoulders hair care. They must have taken one look at my lack of thatch and realised I was not the man for the job…

Graeme H has also been over to Philadelphia to report for TBL on the Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience show last Saturday and a few other things so  I’m looking forward to hearing a full report of his travels.

It was while waiting in the pub in Camden to do one of the interviews when I heard a lovely laid back tune coming out of the speakers. I hardly ever do this but I actually bothered to ask what it was. The helpful barman informed me it was Such A Shame by Nouvelle Vague. A check on i tunes the next day revealed its full delights. They are a French collective who have specialised in recreating version of new wave classics etc in a bossa- nova 60s style.

Another addition to the autumn playlist has been November November by Auto Da Fe produced by Phil Lynott. This I have on a single purchased in 1982  (which reminds me of the time I first got together with the good lady).A lilting tune that sings of ‘’Preparation and creation’’. Via you tube this has now landed onto my ipod and very good it is too.

Sam has been on a work experience week with the Eastern Daily Press newspaper in Norwich and was reporting in London and the Westminster area on Wednesday when the student demo rioting kicked off. Luckily she was away from the ugly scenes.

Yesterday I signed off the proofs of the major Making of Led Zeppelin 111 feature I have written for Record Collector – this is due to be published in the next edition due at the end of the month.

So it’s all been pretty hectic –make that very hectic. I now need to knuckle down big time and chronicle all this activity into the next TBL magazine due at the end of the year- which isn’t far off. Chipping away at the Over Europe book too though that will need to push on in the new year. Also need to catch up on all the family stuff here with a lot going on.

So that was the week that was – well two really. Two remarkable weeks that can line up with a few others destined for the memoirs. Electric Proms, the Plant documentary, Jimmy’s book launch, JPJ’s Outstanding Contribution – events that firmly put the world of Led Zeppelin right there in the present tense. As ever it’s been an absolute  privilege to report on it all.

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  • Steve Bunyan said:

    What with everything going on you forgot to mention Spurs/Bale’s victory over Inter!

  • Steve Bunyan said:

    Oh and I forgot – Did you speak to Geddy at the awards? He’s a legend too!

  • Steve Bunyan said:

    You’re a bloody legend Lewis and a thoroughly nice chap too! Do you get invited to all this stuff or do you gatecrash – amazing!

  • Hunt said:

    Leaving something out, DL? When one-on-one with Jimmy Page, we must assume you asked about his new website and the implication of a new album and tour coming soon. The lack of mention leads us to imagine that he said something to the effect of, “It’s still under wraps for now. Sit tight… not much longer,” etc.

  • Billy McCue said:

    Cheers for the mention, DL. Truly was a great night. Pints afterwards with the all star crew of yourself, Jorgen, Rod and Eddie E. was a great way to round out the evening. And as for all the other activity – not bad for a band that ceased to exist 30 years ago this coming December. Not bad at all. Let’s hope for even more Zep-related adventures in the months and years ahead.


  • Kathy Urich said:

    Dave as always well done, looking forward to the VH1 special. I’m thrilled with all of the activity in the Zep camp its fantastic. Speaking of Led III, I happen to be cleaning out some things in my Husbands band room and found my old albums, among them Slade Nobody’s Fool, Neal Young, etc. then my Zeppelin albums in pristine condition. I thought I had lost them in a move “so mote it be”. Also enjoyed all the coverage of JPJ’s award and Jimmy’s book. I was surprised by the size of the book, in a recent photo of Jimmy holding it, the scale was apparent. I can’t wait. Regards

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Mr Linwood
    Yes had a check of that and it’s an excellent version for sure

  • Dave Linwood said:

    Novelle Vague? Check out their terrific version of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”

  • jonny b said:

    Blimey-what a hectic couple of Zep related weeks it has been. Keep up the good work Dave.

  • Dardo said:

    Always a pleasure reading your writing Dave. Very exciting times for all the Zeppelin camp!

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