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DAVE LEWIS DIARY: REUNION OVER OXFORD/THE BOOK/ SUNDAY TIMES/BOB HARRIS/SPURS OVER EUROPE/ROBERT PLANT OVER LONDON/BIRTHDAYS

27 August 2010 7,184 views One Comment

The above photo was taken by Tom Locke outside the Mannheim hotel Led Zeppelin were staying at during their two night stint at the Mannheim Eisstadion on July 2nd and 3rd 1980.  To the far left is John Paul Jones and you can see Robert in the centre. The man to the right of  JPJ is Michael Kirschner then the tour co-ordinator for WEA Records in Germany. It was his job to make sure everything went smoothly on the road and he acted as interpreter for the band and in this case went out shopping with them. We built up a good rapport with Michael during our time on the tour and over the years I’ve kept in touch with him.

A couple of weeks back Michael was over from California and staying near Oxford. It was a pleasure to met up with him in Oxford for the first time in 30 years. It was an illuminating few hours as we chewed the Zep Over Europe fat and much more. This updated conversation will feature in the Over Europe book. Twice during our lucid talk we were interpreted by people in the pub who came over and said comments like ‘’I can’t help over hearing…’’Led Zeppelin …oh how interesting etc’’. Mention that word and they come a swarming.

Reunited Over Oxford 30 years gone…Michael Kirschner and DL August 12th 2010

Whilst in Oxford I ventured to the open air market and snapped up a couple of vinyl pieces – a near mint UK original Physical Graffiti (can never resist that one) and Over The Rainbow a compilation capturing live performances recorded at the venue during the last week it was open before it first closed its doors in March 1975 – amongst others it features Procol Harum, John Martyn, Richard & Linda Thompson and Sassafras (the latter I saw in Bedford a few times at our local collage) I was at one of the gigs at the venue a week previous to that watching Black Oak Arkansas. A lovely long playing record find that pays tribute to a great venue.

The lack of recent diary entries indicates how totally full on it’s been here. Robert’s Band Of Joy album to soak up (an utter delight that has been resounding regularly round these parts), TBL 27 to power on with, Led Zeppelin 3 40th anniversary feature for Record Collector and then there was the arrival of THE BOOK. You will have seen my preview – even in an unbound state it’s a stunning volume. Living breathing history. Looking at it repeatedly over the past few days what has also occurred to me is that it accurately portrays the humility and vulnerability of Jimmy Page in a way that no other book has attained. It’s a very special book indeed and is without doubt the biggest Zep related event since the 02.

It was also exciting to see him trailed on the cover of the Sunday Times – and in the magazine though the interview was a disappointment.  By a strange co-incidence The Sunday Times is a newspaper we are hearing a lot about right now as our Sam is on a two week stint of work experience at the esteemed paper right now.

Really enjoyed Robert’s interview on the Bob Harris 40th anniversary radio show. Robert was particularly perceptive on his comments on the 02 show (I was co incidentally sat a few seat from Bob on that esteemed night) and the point where they programmed in Kashmir in after Robert was talking about Zep ,was one of those shiver down the spine moments that knocks you off your tracks.  I’ve had a long association with Bob through TBL – he contributed the programme notes to the 1994 Zep convention programme and I appeared on his GLC radio show a few years back, and I interviewed him for TBL 16. He has been a great supporter of TBL and of course remains a passionate broadcaster. A great man – Happy anniversary Bob.

In between some serious scribing, did get out for a rare Sunday night out in town night a couple of weeks back with my good friend Terry, when we attended the wedding party of an old friend Pete who books the bands at the local Esquires venue here and used to manage the Andy’s Record shop in town. It was good to see some old faces and Terry and I rounded it off with a curry. Had a whistle stop visit from Mr Foy on Tuesday and it was great to catch up his news and wax lyrical on the usual subjects.

Watching the Football on TV on Wednesday night, it was strange to hear that familiar Champions League music they play on the ad beak and then realise for the first time Tottenham Hotspur were the featured team. Oh yes! I was fairly confident we could overcome the Young Boys of Berne and good old Crouchie did the business (on the pitch rather than elsewhere as has been wildly reported – the Sun could not resist the headline Crouch has A 3-Some!) and we sailed through to the group stages. Bring on Inter Milan!

The good lady and I enjoyed our HoliDAY (yes that’s one day!) when we ventured to Brighton last Saturday. Weather was a bit dull but it was good to get some sea air and wade through the Lanes etc. of course there was a vinyl purchase – a nice mint Frank Sinatra Songs For Swinging Lovers EP for £2 yes it’s the little things. August Bank Holiday beckons and on Tuesday it’s Janet’s birthday and we’ll be celebrating that somewhere though hopefully not in the rain.

Busy days ahead with Robert’s London gig next Thursday which will kick start  my own birthday weekend celebrations. On Friday I’m back in London again to celebrate with the Wallbanger Bedford Earls Court /Knebworth boys (Tom,Dec,Phil & Max) where we plan to seek out a  record fair, invest in some dodgy vinyl and drink a beer or two. The boy Adam has a football tournament on the Saturday (hope my hangover isn’t too bad) and then my actual birthday is on Sunday Sept 5th. With a load of deadlines looming in September, I could do with someone like Michael Kirschner to co- ordinate me though the next few days as it’s going to be something of an ‘Over London and beyond ’’ whirlwind.

I look forward to seeing all that can make it in the Assembly House pub and gig at the Forum next Thursday for a bit of the old Angel Dance and more.  I’m producing a special TBL Band Of Joy  Newsletter (Limited edition individually numbered -two sided A4 size)) to mark the event, which has a Band Of Joy diary of recent events plus the TBL guide to the album. This I’ll have with me on the day – be sure to search me out and request one. For those that can’t make the gig I can post them out on request (email davelewis.tbl1@ntlworld.com) but hurry theres a limited run on this.

Judging by the US tour reaction, this new Band of Joy is going to usher in the autumn with some style. If you hear a deranged cry of ‘’Monkey’’(one of the stand out performances on the new album)  somewhere in the crowd that could well be me….

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One Comment »

  • Mark Harrison said:

    I had a dream, a crazy dream – I saw Tottenham Hotspur score FOUR!
    No I too thoroughly enjoyed your performance – Young Boys never got anywhere near you all night!
    Lucky for you, you couldn’t get us!

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