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4 June 2010 4,610 views 6 Comments

Twenty years ago today on Monday June 4th 1990 I awoke with the prospect of a couple of Robert Plant gigs ahead over the next two nights. These were the London dates Robert was playing in support of the Manic Nirvana album.

Tickets were sorted, arrangements made – I was going with my good friend Terry and a couple of the boys I worked with and planned to hook up with Gary Foy and the TBL crew in Hammersmith..

The good lady Janet was pregnant and our first born was due in July.  Well it didn’t quite work out like that. On that morning of June 4th twenty years ago , Janet informed there were stirrings… and sure enough there were. Off we went to Bedford North Wing hospital where we were informed that our forthcoming bundle of joy was ready to enter the world.

With all notions of the gig ahead banished (honest!) I steeled myself for a lengthy labour (well not me as it were!)  Things moved quickly and at 2.30 pm with impeccable timing our daughter Samantha Elizabeth was born.   A lot of you out there know the rest… Sam is tiny and beautiful….mother and baby are doing well…anxious new father will only be in the way and heads for…yes you guessed it Hammersmith Odeon arriving to the shock of Terry, Gary etc just in time for the gig. It was the only time I’ve ever seen  R. Plant upstaged – as good as he was he didn’t quite match the afternoon proceedings!

I was back the next night for gig number two with Terry celebrating Sam’s birth with a skinful of Directors ale. Later in the month I was at Knebworth with Mr Foy for Robert & Jimmy’s reunion. What with the World Cup Italia 90, World in Motion at number one (Cue the John Barnes rap : ‘’You’ve got to hold and give – but do it at the right time – You can be slow or fast but you must get to the line’’) – that June of twenty years ago  was some month.

I was writing a weekly music column for the local newspaper at that time and above was how I reported the events of June 4th back then – note that ‘’Led Zeppelin for the 90s’’ quote – hey  I was a decade ahead!

Twenty years later, today  Sam is ending her teens – she will be in Norwich partying today and we will be skyping her later to speak to her.  I’m glad to say the rather fraught entry to the world has not affected her too much – or the intervening years of having to put up with Dad’s passion (as the pic above shows,  she had no interest in my Celebration book signing in 1991!).  Sam has developed her own he passion for the written word and hopes to use that skill after another year at Norwich UEA.  Happy 20th birthday Sam from all here and have a great night tonight!

Been well full on recently. I’d forgotten what a task it is to stamp, label and cart to the post office the initial fulfilment of TBL subscriber orders.  Got to be pleased with the reaction to this issue and many thanks for all the encouraging comments that have come down the line.

No sooner is one issue out on the streets than we are planning the next. There’s initial work on the Over Europe book to get underway and a whole lot more. I also signed off the proofs of The Who Live at Leeds feature for Record Collector which is due out next week. The pure time limitations of being a one man operation here has become most apparent recently and there are a lot of plates to be spun in the coming months.  I have also at long last sorted out the TBL Earls Court T. Shirt for printing. These exclusive TBL Earls Court commemorative T. Shirts should be ready to distribute in about a week or so – hold on, the ideal sartorial alternative for when your England World Cup shirt is being washed is on the way. More on this on the TBL site soon.

It was great to see John Bonham’s birthday marked so admirably by BBC 6 Music with some perceptive and often moving input from Jimmy, Robert, JPJ etc.  Robert’s forthcoming album details reveal another fascinating set of song’s and influences that are sure to make his upcoming tour a mouth watering prospect.

The lovely sunny weather of the last day or so brings out the appropriate soundtrack – so cue my Houses Of The Holy playlist that omits the darker No Quarter with the substitute light ’n’ bright Houses Of The Holy track from PG – The Rolling Stones Black & Blue and Exile On Main Street , Fleetwood Mac Rumours, Rod Stewart Every Picture Tells A Story, Joni Mitchell Hissing of Summer Lawns, The Beatles Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (in glorious mono) amongst others, will be echoing out into the hopefully sunny garden this weekend in between watching the final of Britain’s Got Talent and the I’m In A Rock’ n’Roll Band’ finale on BBC2 tomorrow night.  Obviously our fingers will be on redial to vote for Led Zeppelin as Best band.

We will also be cheering on our friends Boot Led Zeppelin as they appear live on the show.  If the voting brings a Zep victory it will be a definite case of Britain’s got taste…

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  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Great memories – 18 hour labour -blimey if Janet and Sam had not got a move on I’d have only seen gig number 2!
    (Gary and his good lady Carolyn lived in Bedford at the time and were in the same hospital ward as Janet as their son josh was born a day after Sam)

  • Gary Wade said:

    Great article and pics Dave, inver tire of hearing that story of your devotion to duty. Up here we celebrated Josh’s 20th on the 5th with a pub meal and a pint of Adnams – he’s inherited the old mans love of real ale. Unlike yourself i had an 18 hour labour to endure (okay Carolyn had to endure a bit as well!) but i made sure i got the episode of Miami Vice in the night before when she started having pains, that would be when you were at the gig. The following morning we went in but it was just before midnight when out he popped and he’s been doing things in his own time ever since!Memories come back of walking back from that maternity wing, down Howbury Street at 0200 to find next doors light still on, so we wet the baby’s head.

    Hoping to get down for the Windsor gathering and there is a chance i might be running a training course in Bedford round about the same time so maybe take you out for a pint on my massive civil service expenses ha ha!

    Keep keeping it tight but loose Dave, love the mag articles with the guitarists.


  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Glad I got the old fires burning again with the old Cel 1 book – there may never have been a TBL web had you not got right back into it!
    Keep rockin Web founder

  • Dave Linwood said:

    Ahh, recognise that “A Celebration” book that you’re holding with Sam there. That was the book that got me back into Zep (after a few years wandering elsewhere..!).
    Gulp – it even talked about Zep bootlegs released on er…CD??!!!
    Best Wishes to Sam on her birthday.

  • paul aspey said:

    I was also in attendance at the shows, Which coincided with our get together at Zomba music,(back in the days of record shops and reps)
    After the show back at our hotel The Thistle Tower bridge in the bar i spotte like minded Robert Fans or so i thought ,The road crew were also staying here so i offer a celebration drink allround cheeky beggars had a vintage port each @ 6.50 per shot you live and learn
    Years later i bought Robert a drink alon with Maureen at the kidderminster charity show he only wanted Water
    good man

  • Gary Foy said:

    Happy Birthday Sam….have a great night…..

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