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Home » Dave Lewis Diary, TBL News


20 December 2010 5,462 views 10 Comments


Aside from battling the adverse weather conditions, the last two weeks have been taken up with completing and signing off the new issue of the TBL magazine. Once again designer Mick Lowe has done a great job in bringing the text alive. We spent many an hour correcting and adjusting the content and then it all went to the printers. Big thanks to Roger at Parrot Print and my good friend Dec Hickey for his input and text checking.

With the weather playing havoc, the first finished copies have been delivered here by the printers with more to follow. As with everything at the moment, distribution of this new issue will be in the lap of the gods – given the Christmas post backlog, ongoing snow problems (that word again!) it won’t be an easy process. Getting to the post office today has been very difficult and the current weather conditions will make for a somewhat staggered stategy in getting the magazines out there. Realistically, given all the current conditions, I would hope all UK subscribers will receive their copies by the end of the first week of January. Europe, USA and the rest of the world will follow soon after with expected delivery by mid January.

The good news is that whenever you receive it, get ready to indulge yourself in some essential Zep reading as there is some seriously enlightening content to soak up. Here’s a round up of what’s instore in this issue:

Jimmy Page:

A full report of the London reception for the Jimmy By Jimmy Page book together with an exclusive interview with Genesis publisher and art director Catherine Roylance on working with Jimmy on the book. There’s also details of Jimmy’s appearance at the Classic Rock Awards.

John Paul Jones:

All the latest JPJ news – including the Classic Rock Outstanding Contribution Award, Gold Badge Award, on the road report with Dave Rawlings & Gillian Welch, Anna Nicola opera details and more.

Robert Plant & The Band Of Joy -A Mighty Autumn Rumble:

First hand reviews of the autumn Band of Joy UK dates, including the Radio 2 Electric Proms showcase and Later with Jools Holland appearances, plus BBC archive producer Andy Neill on the making of the Robert Plant By Myself documentary.

Bill Curbishley: The TBL Interview- The Managing of Manic Nirvana:

An exclusive insight into 25 years of managing Robert Plant – Bill Curbishley’s thoughts on the Priory Of Brion, Strange Sensation, the 02 reunion, Raising Sand, Band Of Joy and much more.

Unseen Marquee ’69 photos discovered!

Rare newly discovered black & white photos from Led Zeppelin’s appearance at the Marquee club on March 28th 1969.

Undocumented 1969 gig revealed!

Mike Tremaglio reveals details of a previously undocumented Led Zeppelin appearance in early 1969.

Led Zeppelin Flying High in 1970:

Mike Tremaglio tracks the sixth Zep US tour from September 1970, including that legendary night live on Blueberry Hill and two shows at Madison Square Garden.

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience:

On the spot report from Graeme Hutchinson of the triumphant JBLZ show  at the Merriam Theatre Philadelphia.

In Search of Led Zeppelin:

Student Alec Plowman loves Led Zeppelin – he is 21 years old, therein lies the problem. A young person’s dilemma explained.

Plus Black Country Communion London album launch and latest news, John Bonham remembered 30 years on, Zep Fest 2011, CD reviews and more.

With the Christmas and new year holiday upon us, I am sure you will all be pretty busy with seasonal activities. The imminent arrival of TBL 28 will therefore be a something to look forward to as the new year unfolds. So have a little patience and then get ready for a big TBL reading blow out. Given the hive of recent Zep related activity this issue is a bit of a corker.

If you have yet to subscribe – well this really is the perfect issue for you to see what this magazine is all about. Believe me you will not be disappointed. Ordering details are on the TBL home page.

Current 2010 subscribers please note: Issue 28 is the final issue of your 2010 subscription – and you will need to re subscribe for the 2011 subscription to receive issues TBL 29, 30 and 31 to be published in 2011. More good news – I have made this incredibly easy as every copy sent out of TBL 28 will include a 2011 TBL Subscription flyer with all the info you need to subscribe in 2011. This includes a tear off form to fill in – this will make it very easy for UK subscribers to send a cheque and return the slip. It’s worth mentioning in the UK cheque payment is the preferred method of payment. Pay Pal is of course also acceptable – whichever way you pay, the flyer is a prompt for you to sign back up as soon as possible. Many thanks as ever for all your continued support.

Within the TBL 28 signing off, I did have a night out last Wednesday. Bedford is poorly served with big name live rock attractions, so it was good to see the announcement of Hawkwind stopping off at the Bedford Corn Exchange as part of current UK tour.

My good friends Terry, Kam and Tom were in attendance. Aside from Terry,we are not big Hawkwind fans on any level. Tom was hoping they would perform their rare 1970 single Hurry On Sundown. Sadly that didn’t make it and neither did Silver Machine, which must have the same status for Hawkwind as Stairway To Heaven might for Robert. Of course we did all have visions of their famous 1970s exotic dancer Stacia appearing though she has long since hung up her g-string.

As it was Hawkwind turned in a highly enjoyable set – with a suitably migraine inducing lightshow and hey, a pair of exotic dancers adding to the presentation.

Good to see the appearance of a trusty old theremin on several numbers. The turn out was very good and there is hope of maybe more big rock names to be lined up at the Bedford venue next year. Conveniently and co- incidentally, the aspiring promoter was already handing out flyers for the appearance of popular UK Zep tribute band Whole Lotta Led at the nearby Civic Theatre for next June.

Afterwards,Tom,Terry and I soaked  up the obligatory curry where as it’s Christmas, I risked a madras which was er.. hotter than July for sure. I walked home with Terry well after midnight and we bantered all the way on the merits of Band Of Joy, Whitesnake Purple, Zep Rush. Stones etc. This would have made for a pretty hilarious you tube clip had anyone filmed it but hey… It’s what blokes do around these parts after a night of Space ritual, beer and curry…

So to the snow.. yes the snow. Lots of it. The weekend plan was for us to drive to Norwich to pick up our Sam who has been away at UEA for three months and stay over night. After a lot of debate and worry over travelling conditions, we had to abandon that idea. Instead, Sam braved the train and we picked her up at the snowbound town of nearby Hitchin. The snow got heavier as we trawled back to Bedford. By 6pm were outside our house joyously cavorting in the snow after the biggest snowfall here in many a year.

Suffice to say it’s fantastic to have Sam back for Christmas. Yesterday the good lady and I walked down to the snowbound embankment here before meeting up with Terry and Marian for a beer or two. Wellie boots being the fashion of the day. Terry enquired if my jack booted attire was in tribute to Jimmy’s famous 1977 US tour stormtrooper outfit. Pure co-incidence of course.

Sad to hear of the death of Captain Beefheart.
Robert Plant is noted as being a massive Captain Beefheart fan. Kevyn Gammond once told me the tale of how Beefeart played an unlikely gig at local promoter Frank Freeman’s Dancing Club in Kidderminster on May 19th 1968. It was the opening night of their tour and the Captain was driven there by John Peel. A bootleg tape of that night found its way on to the Grow Fins Beefheart box set. In 2006 Robert attended the unveiling of blue heritage plaque at the Mill street location in Kidderminster to mark Fran Freeman’s Dancing Club – the plaque proclaims the famous acts that played there including Fleetwood Mac,Tyrannosaurus Rex and Captain Beefheart.

During my teenage musical discovery years I was quite partial to a bit of Don Van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart. The Strictly Personal album was a John Peel fave and I remember taping the track Beatle Bones ‘n’ Smokin’ Stones off the radio on my old reel to reel machine. I also loved and still love Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats album which I purchased in the summer of 1972 – side one closes with the epic Wille The Pimp with Beefheart on vocals. I’ll be digging that one out in tribute in the next day or so.

Just read a great piece by GQ editor and columnist Dylan Jones (author of one of the very best books on being a music aficionado ‘’iPod, Therefore I Am’’ –treat yourself to it this for Christmas. It’s Dylan Jones’ personal journey through music accompanied by an appendix of brilliant playlists covering rock, folk jazz etrc. perfect for ipods – I refer to it often.)

His column in the Mail centered on the fortunes of the much maligned 80s band Duran Duran. I am in agreement with Dylan here as I have a soft spot for Duran however unfashionable that might sound – and I also rate as he does, their cover of Zep’s Thank You. Hearing any of their hits – Girls On Film, Rio, Save A Prayer, Is There Something I should Now etc instantly takes me back to the early days of courtship with the good lady Janet and also the glory days of music retail. We sold stacks of Duran Duran singles at WH Smith.

In fact it’s 28 years ago this very week the good lady and I started going out together – and the albums we would have been stacking up in the shop that Christmas included the aforementioned Duran Duran’s Rio album alongside the John Lennon Collection, Abba The First Ten Years (actually the only ten years) and the album by Led Zeppelin titled Coda. We had the most amazing instore display of the Zep album with a variety of posters and sleeves. I wish I had taken a photo of that display. We also ran a competition raffle at the shop to win the Coda posters and one of the winners was a certain G.Foy then of Rushden. Little did how I know how this man would loom large in the Zep/TBL scheme of things in years to come!

It still seems a little odd to be out of the old retail frenzy that was such a part and parcel of so many Christmas’s back then but it’s a bygone nostalgic age. Now there are other priorities and it’ll be full on in getting that new TBL magazine to you all that dominates the next couple of weeks and beyond.

One thing that always remains ever constant is the effect of the music of the era. Alongside various seasonal faves such as The Pogues Fairytale Of New York (the best Christmas record of all time) and Frank Sinatra’s Christmas album, I’ll be blasting out Wearing And Tearing from Coda this next few days recalling the heady days of 1982. It’s still one of the good lady’s fave Zep tracks. She had good taste back then and still does today.
The old Duran Greatest Hits CD might well make it’s way on the player this week along with their version of Thank You.
Altogether now… ‘’If the sun refused to shine…’’

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)


  • Andreas Stocker said:

    just got back from Austria and my first day at work certainly improved when TBL 28 arrived. It improved even further when i spotted my review from the DRM gig and 2 of my pictures….thanks Dave for the extra cd and all the best for 2011.

  • Nigel Shoesmith said:

    Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to you and yours Dave. Looking forward to receiving the new edition of TBL. Just read your piece on LZ III in RM – excellent!!

  • Gary Wade said:

    Merry Christma Dave, the magazine arrived today and thank you very much for the card and “gift” i’m listening to it now, terrific!


  • Tim Davies said:

    Looking at the cover of the latest TBL…I have 1 question…
    does Mr Page have a painting in the attic ??!
    He’s looking very good these days !

  • Lee Henley said:

    You cant beat a bit of Duran Duran Dave, played a bit the other day myself from the greatest hits album

    Wishing all a merry christmas


  • Jez said:

    Hi Dave.
    Took delivery of TBL 28 this am. Just finished my second run through and it just gets better. Well done to all of you.
    It would seem there is so much to look forward to in 2011.
    All the best from us to you for Christmas and the New Year. Here’s to a festive pint at the BCC London gig.


  • Kevin Tubby said:


    Keep up the good work in 2011.

    A merry xmas and a happy new year to you and your family.



  • Jim Sloane said:

    Have a great one everybody and a rockin 2011 !!

  • Michael Brazee said:

    Tho’ we can’t wait. Play it safe and go to the P.O. only when it’s safe to drive.
    Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.

  • Paul Humbley said:

    Hi Dave

    Funny you should mention the Blue Plaque outside the site of Frank Freemans dance studio in Kidderminster as I only walked passed it today during a trip to Sainsburys of all place. A journey which if it was not for the snow I would have done in the car an missed the plaque.

    Every time I see this plaque it makes me smile to think that Kidderminster of all places has been an important place when it it comes to the UK music scene. If you don’t believe me see the excellent books ‘Get Your Kicks On The A456’Volumes 1 & 2 by local author John Combe, which I see are still available through Amazon.

    Merry Christmas Dave to you and your family.



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