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17 September 2010 3,934 views One Comment

I can remember exactly where I was when the news of Jimi Hendrix death came through 40 years ago tomorrow. I was listening to the Tommy Vance Friday What’s New programme as I did most Fridays back then eager to hear the latest single releases. Around 5pm the announcement was made on the BBC Radio One news and Tommy went on to provide a fitting tribute to the guitar legend noting the inconsistencies of his performances over the past year.

Across the water the next day Led Zeppelin were performing two shows at Madison Square Garden and Robert Plant paid his respects in the evening show.

”Before we go any further …yesterday a rather uncomfortable thing happened for everybody and a great loss for the music world…and we’d like to think that you as well as us are very sorry that Jimi Hendrix went. I spoke to a close friend of his about half an hour ago and he said probably he would have preferred everybody to get on and have a good time rather than talk about it. So we’d like to get on and try and make everybody happy”.

I’m just listening to that extract of that speech on the bootleg of the evening show I have titled Shout That Loud. They go on to do an absolute steller version of That’s The Way with Plant’s vocals sounding absolutely incredible.  ‘’I wonder how we’re gonna tell you’’ he sings slightly changing the lyrics. Behind him Jimmy strums away sweetly and JPJ adds mandolin totally complimenting the mood. That’s The Way performed by  Led Zeppelin one day after the death of Jimi Hendrix is an awesome performance. They were on fire during that sixth US tour – you can read Mike Tremaglio’s tour log of that exciting summer of ‘70 period in the forthcoming TBL.

I also know exactly where I was on the sixth anniversary of Jimi Hendrix  death in 1976. That was the day we were pitched up in Hyde Park ready to watch the free concert featuring Queen. One of the flags in the crowd that day proclaimed ‘’Jimi Hendrix lives.’’

His music certainly does. I had a real Hendrix fascination around 1972-3 and brought a fair few of his albums. I went to see the Joe Boyd documentary film in London and loved the soundtrack. Have to say haven’t really played much Hendrix for a good while but Ill be picking out a few choice Jimi faves,  including the excellent Hendrix In The West live album in tribute to this 40th anniversary of his passing.

September seems to be something of a month for rock star deaths –yesterday was the 33rd anniversary of the death of Marc Bolan. Another of my heroes and one of the naturally great looking rock stars. My good friend Terry Boud is a massive Bolan fan and when I went round to see him yesterday he was having something of a Bolan playlist – Telegram Sam still sounded as potent a three minute single as it did back in 1972. We nipped out for a quick beer round at the Gordon Arms –where the barman Joe proved to be very knowledgeable on a variety of music and duly had the likes of Achilles Last Stand and Battle Of Evermore playing on the pub sound system. A nice little bonus.

Of course with the end of September looming, thoughts will turn next week by that fateful day in September 1980. Gary Davies has written an incredibly moving account of his thoughts and reactions to the tragedy as a young Zeppelin fan growing up in the Midlands area Bonzo hailed from. It’s another reason to be sure to invest in the new TBL magazine.

Mick and I signed it all off on Wednesday and now it’s off to the printers and should be ready to ship out in a couple of weeks. Thank you Gary F, Jez Firth and Cliff Hilliard for you help with the proof reading of said volume – with over 40,000 words to wade through it was quite a task. Suffice to say if you are a Zep fan (and you would not be reading this if you weren’t!) you will love this magazine. This issue has turned into a bit of an epic with so much happening –as you can see by the new cover. The ordering link is on the TBL home page. My impassioned update on TBL 27 on the site yesterday explains more.

It’s been great soaking up the many Band Of Joy reviews that have come in plus all his media interviews on you Tube. As the TBL comments have reflected, this one has not been for everyone but I can’t get enough of it – I find myself waking up with first thing in the morning with one of the Band of Joy tunes in my head .Today it was Even This Shall Pass Away that incessant Plant rant that gets right under the skin. By the way Robert’s latest media interviews can be clocked on a new link on the TBL site – the Video Links tab will be the place to check out the latest You Tube clips etc.

The next few days will be taken up with preparing for the TBL 27 distribution and marketing of the magazine plus the Led Zep 3 Record Collector feature to get on top of and then it really will be time to focus again on the Over Europe book.

Sam goes back to Norwich UNI  this weekend and we will be driving her up there on Sunday morning. You can be assured I’ll have a job keeping it together when the time comes to say goodbye.  Her leaving officially signifies the end of summer and the onset of Autumn and winter.  It’s been fantastic having her around these past few months.  Sam’s two week work experience stint at the Sunday Times resulted in her having a byline piece in the paper two weeks back. As you can see her subject matter was a bit more profound than writing about ”a group and some songs” as somebody once described it!

Proud parents?  Oh yes – just a little bit. We were also proud of the boy Adam who appeared on the local Anglia news evening programme on Monday. He was interviewed about the sad death of one of the PE teachers at his school who died suddenly of a heart attack. The teacher Neil Tysoe was just a couple of years older than me. I remember him playing football for the youth teams when I was a school. This sad news was a real shock and another stark example of life’s fickleness. As the singer recently put it’’ It’s pointless wasting a single minute if you’ve got it’’.

With all that in mind it was probably not the best time to be watching the BBC’s repeat of their Bobby Moore documentary. Another of my all time heroes –the much missed England World Cup winning captain’s story always has me welling up – the way he was discarded by the FA was disgraceful. For all that, Bobby kept his dignity to the end. What a player…and what a man he was.

Then…. on the back of all that,  it was probably not the best day to go to the Doctors yesterday to have a check up on the old blood pressure and cholesterol levels etc. As usual when they start analysing all that you come out feeling a whole lot worse than you did going in. ‘’The fact is you are getting older Mr.Lewis’’ said the nurse curtly. As if I needed reminding….

It’ll be a lot quieter around here in the next few days as we kick in to our autumn routines and with Sam back in Norwich, a sense of melancholy will no doubt prevail –particularly with September 25th rolling around. It will therefore be good to be in the company of like minded souls a week on Saturday as we celebrate the life and legacy of John Bonham and Led Zeppelin with the informal pub meet in London. More on that next week.

Dec, Phil, DL, Max, Tom –   DL Vinyl Birthday Bonanza London Sept 3rd. Before I was  told ”You are getting older Mr Lewis”  -Now I feel it!  There would be no points from the nurse for the amount of beer being drunk that day…

The records being held up are : Led Zeppelin Whole Lotta Outtakes LP on Swinging Dog, The Faces  Ooh La La and a very rare Joy Divison French pressing single Dead Souls. Vinyl rules oh yes.

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One Comment »

  • Steve "The Lemon" Sauer said:

    Awesome, congrats to Sam!

    My song of the day is “Angel Dance.” I’d lie and say it was one of the deep tracks, but no, it’s the single and opening track that is my current ear worm.

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