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7 August 2010 6,368 views 8 Comments

Above:  The Knebworth 31st Anniversary Revellers  – TBL Totnes HQ Wednesday August 4th 2010 – DL, Cliff Hilliard, Tom Locke, Terry Boud and Mark Harrison.  Photo by Adam Lewis

The last few days have been dominated by a wave of nostalgia for the 31st anniversary Knebworth. I’d intended to mark the occasion on the site and with a few Facebook postings but it all became a bit more than that.  The response to the postings has been quite amazing – maybe I should not be too surprised about this reaction, as in compiling the Knebworth book last year it was strikingly apparent the esteem and affection these final UK Led Zeppelin appearances are held in.

With the good lady Janet and Sam going out with our friend Marian for a pizza night, there occurred a window to do some celebrating here. So at short notice I scrambled into action like usual mined souls close at hand to come over and indulge in some Zep/Knebworth retro action.

Tom ‘’They are on the fuckin’ stage! ‘’Locke of course ,Terry whose wife was going our with my ladies was more than pleased to walk round, and then from Milton Keynes came the ‘’Ticket man’’ as we know him ace collector Cliff Hilliard who also brought over Mark Harrison –’Lil Pagey himself, a veteran of so many Zep sketches. Another member of the original Bedford Knebworth crew Phil Harris could not make it – in a repeat of the events of 31 years ago when he failed to hook up with us in the field and ended up in the company of some spliff smoking Welsh fans, Phil informed me he was on an early morning trip to Wales –  maybe for his own reunion.

I warned next door it might get loud and oh yes it did. We kicked off with that ’95 Hall Of Fame composite film, reflected on Live Aid,  glossed over Atlantic ‘88 and then cut to the chase with Kashmir from the 02 (I disagree slightly with Robert’s Mojo quotes – it was Led Zeppelin that night – certainly in spirit) and then watched the greatest encore sequence in the history of recorded music. That’s Heartbreaker and Communication Breakdown from Earls Court May 25th 1975.

Then at 9.40 the screen echoed to the sound of the fading Skynrd’s Tuesday’s Gone and in the light was Led Zeppelin performing The Song Remains The Same at Knebworth 31 years on. What a beautiful site.

We rang the other member of the Bedford Knebworth crew Dec in London to let him hear the revelry and also Gary Foy as well.

We duly watched the Knebworth footage in awe, particularly the Jimmy violin bow episode with the laser pyramid – although Tom’s curt one liner of ‘’You can get those in Toys R Us now’’ broke the mood somewhat!  So we laughed, we drank a few beers and toasted this thing that still means so much to so many people. It was loud, it was nostalgic,it was legendary and not a little emotional. I certainly wasn’t the only one I’m sure who commented on Bonzo’s amazing performance – maybe the true star of the whole event.

Of course the wonder of the internet also allowed access for fans worldwide to share similar reflections via the site and Facebook. Chris Wright, Nech, Dardo, Jose, Lorraine Robertson ( Here’s hoping Michael’s improving soon), Lee Henley, Steve Way, Mick Scullion, John West, Russell Ritchin, Paul Webber, Steve Jennings, Paul Harper, Dan Firth, Jim Sloane, Doctorski, Robert Panico, Kevin Courtwright, Bill McCue, Terry Stephenson, Graeme Hutchinson and Gary Davies are just some of the many fans who have been in touch over the past few days to comment and wallow in the Knebworth aura.

I created Tight But Loose 32 years ago to form a platform of communication amongst like minded fans. In celebrating the 31st anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth this week, that ethic has felt stronger than ever.

It’s a very good feeling.

The Knebworth retros keep on coming.  It’s one year ago this weekend that the Knebworth book was launched at the Lytton Arms TBL gathering. A very memorable occasion that took us back to the historic scene.  Here’s a pic of the visiting Larry Bergmann Jr with the good lady Janet and myself in the Totnes kitchen exactly one year ago.

DL, Larry Bergmann jr and the good lady Janet – TBL Totnes HQ Kitchen Sunday August 9th 2009. Then As It Was – one year gone.

We were surrounded at the time by a fair few boxes of Knebworth books.  I’m pleased to report there’s a whole lot less boxes around now – thanks to everyone who indulged in the Knebworth book in the past year. If you have yet to do so, well  now is a timely moment – there are some copies of the hardback limited edition available, all individually numbered and personally signed by the author. I was touched by the feedback from Marcel Gootjes who purchased the book this week kindly commenting ‘’ What a joy –it’s not a book – it’s a work of art..’’   Now there’s a recommendation.

More potential works of art are in progress. TBL 27 which is beginning to come together – lots of features and news to pack in what with Robert’s tour and album, interviews with Jason Bonham, Joe Bonamassa, Glenn Hughes, part 2 of Nick Kent and more stuff evolving as we speak. That now now needs to be full on alongside the Zep 3 feature of which Nick Anderson has contributed an illuminating discography.

The soundtrack to the last week has been predictably a Zep Knebworth playlist, plus plenty of Rod & The Faces and a Wings best of. Macca’s post Beatle period is well underrated – both band’s epitomising the good time feel of the 1970s era that shaped my teenage years.

Talking of teenage years, the boy Adam reaches the grand age of 15 on Monday. With impeccable timing he entered the world 13 days after his Dad had spent a nervy previous month running around the country following Page & Plant-hoping history would not repeat itself in an early arrival as Sam had made five years before.

It’s amazing to think he is now the age that I was when I first saw Led Zeppelin live and also when I started work in the big wide world. He’s growing up fast with his Mother’s good looks and his Dad’s cheek. Not a bad combination. His soccer skills he has honed himself as he’s a far better player than I ever was. Here he is a few years ago  (he’s a bit taller now and has longer hip and trendy hair!) demonstrating his ball control in a rather fetching kit.(Come on you Spurs!)

Happy Birthday Adam James Trevor Lewis!

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  • Deb Jones-Phillips said:

    Hey, love the site, fanatical about Zep. Sadly didn’t make Kneboworth, but…. listened and watched the laser lights from my bedroom window in Welwyn Garden City when it was on. Fantastic. Not the same I know, but it had to do. Is your HQ Totnes, Totnes in S. Hams? Coincidentally 10 mins away from my home. Weird. Anyway, keep up the good work. Love Planty’s new album and would love 1 of your shirts.

  • Doctorski said:

    Watching Past present and future DVD 2.

    Ok a day early but I’m busy tomorrow 😉

    For all you lucky people …. happy anniversary

    Not tight but loose tonight. Could be worse

  • Billy McCue said:

    Happy birthday, Adam! But as usual, Mrs. Lewis steals the show.


  • shelfsidemark said:

    Great idea…..I’m in.
    Next years dates are the 2nd to 6th August,so….Thursday the 4th ?
    Maybe we can lobby CAMRA for a Zep tribute band ! Might seem a little fanciful but in the past there have been a few good ‘tribs’ including The Rolling Stoned and T-Rexstasy and quite a number of excellent ‘originals’ including Dr Feelgood,Otway,M3 Classic Whitesnake (Moody,Marsden,Murray),The Hamsters and also this year The Blockheads,who were fantastic.
    The closest we’ve got to Zep is by connection.A few years ago Oysterband were on (supported Robert),last year(?)Maggie Bell and a couple of times…Chas and Dave….who have attracted bigger crowds than anyone !
    So,as you say Phil,plenty of time to mull it over but what do people think ? What say you Dave ?

  • Philip Tattershall said:

    Ahhh! Earl’s Court 75, Knebworth 79 and the GBBF. All are events of monumental importance (to me, anyway). How about a semi-official gathering at next year’s GBBF to celebrate them? We have a year to sort out the details. See you there!


  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Mark -I think Mark H dreamt that Thai ladies bit!
    The Great British Beer Festival is a good Knebworth and EC connection – I’ll be lining up for my 30th consecutive appearance at the The Bedford Beer Fest in early October.

  • shelfsidemark said:

    Thai ladies !!?? You can’t leave that sentence hanging….
    For the last five years I’ve marked ‘Knebworth Day’ by a strange twist,at Earls Court as it falls on the same week as the Great British Beer Festival.
    Always wear one or other Zep shirt…though sadly not my original ’79 as although it’s still in quite good condition it has sadly got smaller over the years !

  • Mark Harrison said:

    Tremendous evening! – The Thai ladies rounded things off splendidly!

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