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DAVE LEWIS DIARY: TBL 28 FEEDBACK/BRUCE/HOWARD/OVER EUROPE 80/HATS OFF TONIGHT

19 January 2011 5,296 views 5 Comments

Howard and DL with the original ”Bible to the Zeppelin legions” – Portslade Brighton January 18th 2011

Firstly the latest on TBL 28. I’m pleased to say I have had some amazing feedback comments concerning the latest Tight But Loose magazine.

Here’s a review of TBL 28 via Brian Gardiner’s Ramble On blog

http://www.briangardiner.ca/rambleon/?tag=bbc-proms

‘’The first words of the lead editorial in the latest edition of Tight But Loose, Dave Lewis says:

Well I have to say that year one of this new era of Tight But Loose has been a pretty eventful one.

Well, I have to say that year one &tc. has brought some excellent magazines to my door. The newest edition, Issue 28, is the third in the newly designed Tight But Loose (TBL) and easily the best of the bunch. It is full of good articles that are informative and easy to read. The great Ross Halfin picture of Jimmy Page on the cover, looking relaxed yet elegant (Tight but Loose?) gives a hint that the inside will be a Zeppelin fans treat. It is.

For the first time since I started receiving TBL last year, I read it cover to cover. There was no superfluous articles that didn’t really interest me, nothing seemed to fill, every article interesting and relevant.

That said, it’s been a good year to be writing about Led Zeppelin as all of their former members have been busy. The last four months no less than the rest of the year, so TBL 28 had a lot to write about. Jimmy Page’s book release, Robert Plant’s Band of Joy tour, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience and John Paul Jones doing a mini tour with the Dave Rawlings Machine. Much of what happened also happened in Dave Lewis’ backyard, including Robert Plant playing BBC at the Proms, the Robert Plant BBC night, Jimmy Page’s book launch, the Cassic Rock awards.

It was a good year, and the best thing you can say about a fan magazine is, they were there and they chronicled it all. TBL can make that claim for 2010, especially at the latter part of the year.

2011 promises to be another big year in the world of Led Zeppelin. I only hope Tight But Loose is able to keep the momentum going, and provide great reading for another year. You can order the magazine form www.tblweb.com it is , depending on where you live, from $10-$13 (Canadian) for the single issue, $30-$40 for a three issue subscription. Get the subscription, you’ll be glad you did.’’

Brian we will be doing our best …

Still with TBL 28. The Bill Curbishley interview has had one of the most unanimously positive reactions to any TBL article in recent years.

Here’s a selection of comments:

‘’Where to start…mag has arrived and I must say I’m knocked out. The Bill Curbishley interview…stupendous! The piece alone is worth the price of a yearly subscription!  Absolutely illuminating.  Bill’s straight talking is a refreshing counterpoint, bringing such a simply clarity to recent events. Easily the most revealing Plant-Page-Zep interview I’ve read in a long time. Revealing and compelling, this is a ‘must read’ for every Zep fan out there. Well done for an absolutely first class interview.’’  Krys Jantzen – UK

” Got the new TBL – the Bill Curbishley interview is outstanding and I’ve just finished reading Alec Plowman’s piece – very impressive, enjoyed his article immensely”  Gary Davies – UK

‘’Best article in TBL28! ……Bill Curbishley…. Brilliant stuff.’’  LC- UK

‘’Absolutely love the latest magazine. Looks brilliant, has some fantastic and very interesting articles – especially Bill Curbishley! – and almost read it from cover to cover on the first day I got it! Thank you once again for a great issue.’’ Mick Bulow – UK

‘’Just received the latest TBL 28. It is the best yet !!
The Bill Curbishley interview is a revelation…it really sheds light on the events of the last few years.’’

Tim Davies -Hannover

’’I settled down to read TBL in one sitting over the weekend and it was a great issue. In particular, the interview you did with Bill Curbishley was pure gold. Amazing details and revelations. Very honest and no bullshit from Mr. Curbishley. Liked the essay by the guy born too young for Zeppelin. The layout and design of the magazine has really gone up to a whole new level, too. More than ever, TBL is a very handsome and indispensable publication for any Led Zeppelin fan!’’  Stephen Humphries -US

‘’Check out the new issue of Tight But Loose, the world’s greatest Zeppelin fanzine. There’s a lot of cool new stuff in it about all three surviving members plus a really good Dave Lewis interview with Robert Plant’s manager Bill Curbishley.’’ Mick Wall’s blog

‘’Thanks for the new TBL. Fantastic Bill Curbishley interview’’  Mark Blake (Q magazine editor a tlarge)

So….if you are reading this and have yet to have indulge in TBL 28, well don’t just take my word for it – if you love the world Led Zeppelin you will love this magazine as can be detected from the above comments.

Here’s the ordering link:

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/?page_id=8191

The all encompassing passion for all things Zeppelin has often been at the expense of following other acts. The plain fact is there is only so many hours in a day to listen music and over the years Led Zeppelin have taken up a sizable amount of mine. My good friend Terry Boud would site the likes of Thunder and Rush as two acts that have passed me by. There are also one or two bands and artists I once championed who now I have little interest in.

For instance, I had a brief flirtation with U2 in the 80’s – in fact their Joshua Tree album had the sort of expectation and response that was once common place with Zep. However I cannot remember the last time I played a U2 track. They seem something from a bygone age and have not stood the test of time too well.. I also had good affection for Queen up until the Jazz album.

Whilst my passion for The Beatles, Stones, Who, Elvis, Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Crosby Stills & Nash, Rod Stewart/Faces, Paul Weller, Bowie, T.Rex, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis etc never tires – the likes of U2 and Queen fell off the radar.

As did another mega seeling act. I was well into Bruce Springsteen in the late 70s and early 80s. I saw him on The River tour at Bingley Hall in May 1981 (passing up the chance to see The Honeydrippers the same night though I had already seen them 3 times that month!) and again on the Tunnel Of Love out at Aston Villa’s ground in 1988. The latter has to be one of the best outdoor gigs I ever attended. Bruce is also served by one of the best fan magazines ever Backstreets founded by occasional Zep author Charles Cross. I think my interest waned after Lucky Town/Human Touch albums.

Two of my good friends however, Alan Stutz and Phil Harris remain fervent followers.

Last Saturday night my Bruce interest was unexpectedly rekindled. BBC 4 screened the documentary about the making of the Darkness On The Edge Of Town album (it’s aired again tonight on BBC4). It was a brilliant affair mixing modern day Bruce comments with archive black & white footage shot in the studio at the time. Here we saw the construction of songs like Factory and Badlands, the laying down of off the cuff outtakes and the story of how he gave away one of the best rock songs ever written Because The Night to Patti Smith. (Her 1978 version is an all time fave of both myself and Gary Foy).

It told of the artist’s creative drive to make the best album he could. While viewing all this I could not help but wonder how incredible it would have been if Led Zeppelin had deployed a similar primitive video camera set up to film the recording sessions of say Physical Graffiti, Presence or In Through the Out Door. Now that would have been some documentary.

I’d had the CDrs of The Promise, the Bruce set issued last year containing  outtakes from the Darkness era (thanks John P) and had yet to play them. They sound stupendous from Racing In the Street through to the original versions of Fire and Because The Night. I can’t see me lining up amongst the multitudes in a football ground to see the Boss again, but back in 1978 he rocked.  It’s been a pleasure making a re association with his genius.

The rest of the playlist here has unsurprisingly been strictly Led Zeppelin over Europe 1980. And that’s the way it will be for many hours and days ahead as I get down in earnest to writing the Feather In The Wind book. There’s a long way to go yet, but if you want to know such minute detail as how the tour came to be booked via an unlikely phone conversation to Harvey Goldsmith, which gig included an arrangement of Heartbreaker sandwiched between Whole Lotta Love, why Jimmy had two guitar tecs in tow on the tour, which night they did not play Achilles Last Stand, which gig Robert talked about England’s failing in the European Championship then taking place in Italy, the night Stairway To Heaven clocked in at a meandering 14 minutes, why Ahmet Ertegun stomped his cane in time to Kashmir, the late night aftershow when John Bonham sang along to Simon Kirke’s delivery of Hey Jude, the time after one particular performance, Robert advised anyone bootlegging the gig that they would have to scrap that number because it wasn’t completely correct, how on one occasion Jimmy stopped playing White Summer mid way through, which gig John Bonham appeared clean shaven at, the night they had two drummers hammering away at Whole Lotta Love, and above all if there was a future for Led Zeppelin in the 1980s…. well I am hoping to provide those answers and much much more.

Up close and personal with Led Zeppelin: Frankfurt June 30th 1980 – photo by Tom Locke, taken from the forthcoming book  Led Zeppelin -Feather In the Wind -Over Europe 1980

The Over Europe ’80 quest took Gary and I on a train to to Brighton this week where from there, a ride on a number one bus directed us to the home of legendary Zep author Howard Mylett.

As many of you will know, Howard has not been in the best of health in recent years but I am happy to say he was in good spirits and his enthusiasm for all things photographic on the Zep scheme of things remains without parallel. And let us not forget Howard was right in there as the first chronicler of Led Zeppelin in print via his 1976 Panther paperback (‘’A bible to the Zep legions’’’as the back cover blurb put it and it still is). He was an undoubted influence and inspiration to me back when I was a Zep loving teenager then regularly sending me batches of cuttings – and not just the usual NME/Melody Maker fodder -there would be Circus magazine cuttings, French Rock & Folk photos, Spanish cuttings etc. Howard’s sources were unimpeachable.

We all owe him great debt for his pioneering collation of  Zep facts, photos and info across a range of books he was involved with including In The Light, Tangents Within A Framework, On Stage Action and Led Zeppelin on Tour.

We had a most enjoyable afternoon chewing the Zep cud and wading through a mass of Zep photos and stuff. Howard showed me a couple of photos from the Jimmy Page book launch that Jimmy had recently personally inscribed for him. I also conducted an interview with Howard while we were there – his stories from way back are quite remarkable and I intend to present them all in a future edition of the TBL magazine. I am happy to report that Howard’s dry wit is well intact and there were several laugh out loud moments. A joke about the singer Vic Damone may well have to stay between us three (don’t ask!)

It was fantastic to catch up – and his lovely wife Anita commented that it had really lifted his spirits. If you’ve enjoyed one of Howard’s books or have been in touch with him over the years I am sure he would be pleased to hear from you. His email is

howardz1@hotmail.co.uk

Elsewhere,well it’s been quite here after we took Sam back to University in Norwich last Sunday. The parting of the ways brought the usual emotions and this is her final term and we won’t see her until late April. I was in touch last week with the Zep Fest organizers and as you may have seen, we have linked up to offer a discount price on the tickets and hotel rates. Saw designer Mick Lowe at his studio today and we mocked up a first design on the Over Europe book cover – I just need to fill the contents now!

Off to see the tribute band Hats Off To Led Zeppelin tonight at the Wheatsheaf pub in Leighton Buzzard along with legendary ticket collector Cliff, aforementioned Bruce fan Phil and we are meeting up with another long time Zep fan Mark Harrison. Oh and Tom Locke, the man who shared the Over Europe experiences with me all those years back will be pitching up with us. Tom will be well pleased that a couple of his photos will be featured on the back cover of the book – if the Hats Off boys kick off with Train Kept A Rollin’, it could be Cologne 1980 all over again….

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5 Comments »

  • Kathy Urich said:

    TBL 28 was well worth the wait! I have been devouring it bit by bit. I think you guys may have out done yourselves with this issue. Love the Halfin photo of Jimmy on the cover he looks fantastic as always. Jimmy just oozes class, and that smile, well its grand.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Gary
    Thanks for the very nice comments –
    Howard was on great form
    Queens Honours -I think Bruce Forsyth is ahead of me!

    Kathy
    Apologies for delay – must be a prob and have resent a copy

  • Kathy Urich said:

    I can hardly wait to get my hands on this issue still waiting for my copy; it sounds amazing.

  • Gary Davies said:

    What tonic it must’ve been for Howard to see you both and to spend some quality time talking over all things Zep. I’ve always said it, and I’ll say it again, Howard Mylett is a legend. His original biography served to pull me ever deeper into the world of Led Zeppelin as a 1970’s teenager. Dave, I look forward immensely to reading your interview with Howard in a future TBL.

    Here’s some video of Howard being interviewed at the 1992 London convention: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_ch5zdz_-o

    Dave, I was disappointed not to see your name on the recent Queen’s New Years Honours list….you deserve national recognition for your continued efforts in keeping the Zeppelin flame alive and burning bright. Thanks again to you and the team for a superb TBL28.

    Gary

  • Jez said:

    See you all at the gig tonight

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