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DAVE LEWIS DIARY: TBL 28/2011/GERRY RAFFERTY/MICK KARN/ROCK FOR KAMPUCHEA/LIFE WITH THE STARS THEN AND NOW

7 January 2011 5,546 views 4 Comments

After all the Christmas and new year festivities, it’s been good to catch up on everything in the past couple of days and get some focus on a new year.

We duly saw the new year in at our local The White Horse. The rock band on offer was proficient enough but their set list hardly pampered to a new year’s eve crowd. The Door’s LA Woman is a fine album track but not one for dancing consumption after a round of Auld Lang Syne. No matter – we got through it and after a lost new year’s day (what a depressing day that always is!) where mass fatigue kicked in, some semblance of normality did begin to emerge again this week.

I have spent the last couple of days catching up on emails and general post. TBL 28 orders are now all up to date and hopefully all UK subscribers should be in receipt of their copies with USA and overseas due to hit in the next couple of weeks. Initial reaction to this issue has been very encouraging which makes it all worthwhile.

I am already planning the next TBL issue content with a major TBL interview lined up for next week in London. The Over Europe book is the big priority now and will be a major focus of the next few weeks. I am also due to speak with the Zep Fest 2011 organisers and hopefully will be able to file an update on the plans ahead for the event shortly.

Sad to hear news of the deaths of Gerry Rafferty and Mick Karn. Gerry’s classic Baker Street inspires instant memories of spring 1978 for me – a wonderful track with that soaring sax work from Raf Ravenscroft. Three years later Raf’s sax lit up the third track on side one of Robert Plant’s debut solo album Pictures At Eleven. The outstanding sax solo that closes Pledge Pin is a pivotal contribution to one of my all time fave Plant tracks.

Mick Karn was the innovative bass player in early 80s electro pop outfit Japan. They were a big fave of my friend Dec and we went to see them twice in 1980 at the Venue club in London. In 1982 Mick was part of the house band that appeared at the Princes Trust benefit show at the Dominion Theatre and backed Robert on his one off performance of Worse Than Detroit that night. He was an excellent musician.

Adam and I watched the Match Of The Day TV highlights last night. We had purposely not seen the scores to add to our excitement. When Wolves triumphed over Chelsea 1-0 (bet that pleased R. Plant) we cheered loudly but alas Spurs could not hold off an on form Everton going down 2-1 – thus missing an opportunity to close the gap on the top three. The FA Cup third round beckons this weekend with Spurs taking on Charlton. I always love this round as it matches the minnows against the big boys. Was the day back in the 1960s that our own Bedford Town FC caused some shocks – notably in 1964 when they knocked out Newcastle at St James Park. The local paper today contained some nostalgic photos of those giant killing exploits. Great times.

While I was outside the BCC gig handing out flyers (it’s a dirty job but someone has to do it!) I got talking to Billy the bass gutarist in a Zeppelin inspired blues rock band Albany Down who recommended I check out their web site. They are a tight melodic unit with some good material. Check them out at

www.albanydown.com

While outside the venue Gary and I also bumped into Peter Chow, a big Zep fan and long time TBL reader  who is over from Hong Kong.  I last saw Peter at the 1992 Zep UK Convention – it can be a small old world this Zep community.

Anniversary Daze: There’s already been a notable 30th anniversary event this year of 2011. For it was back on Sunday January 4th 1981 that ITV screened a highlights show of the December 1979 Concert For Kampuchea staged at the Hammersmith Odeon. This of course featured Robert in a cameo performance with Dave Edmunds and Bonzo and Jonesy performing alongside Robert as part of the Paul McCartney Rockestra. This was a big deal back then and to see actual Zep members on the small screen caused much excitement. Gary Foy tells a lovely story of how he was out on that night but his dear late Mum took notes for him to log what he had missed.

The quirkiest thing about that TV showing was that as Robert strutted though Little Sister with Dave Edmunds, little did I realise that in a matter of months I’d be witnessing him sing this same song in a variety of small northern club venues as he took to the stage with The Honeydrippers. That’s another story for another day.

It was also 30 years ago yesterday that the local Bedford paper The Bedford Record published a centre page feature piece on the Tight But Loose magazine and my affinity for Led Zeppelin (the first of a number of such stories that would appear over the next three decades – I discovered that local newspaper editors love this stuff). This all grew out of some quotes I gave to then local journalist Andy Bull at the time about the sales hike experienced after John Lennon’s death. When I mentioned I published a magazine on Led Zeppelin he was very keen to interview me for the paper. A photographer was despatched to the Dents Road shrine (my bedroom) and next thing I knew my name was in lights (sort of). Coming home on my bike from working at WH Smiths (where the talk of the day had been my inclusion in the paper) that evening of January 6th 1981, I noticed the billboard outside the local newsagents shop previewing the papers content. It read (I kid you not!)  ‘’In the Bedford Record today: Bedford man’s life with the stars’’. I got off my bike, calmly walked in showed the shopkeeper the paper and my picture in it and asked  for said billboard. He kindly offered it to me and I still have it somewhere in the loft. I really should get it framed.

Bedford mans life with the stars then: The young DL in the Dents Road shrine with TBL 5 – as seen in the Bedford Record January 6th 1981.

30 years on, the Bedford man enjoyed another night with the stars at the truly excellent Black Country Communion gig last week. Jason was on great form after the show as was Glenn Hughes and it was good to catch up with the always immaculately dressed Richard Cole, Warren Grant, the larger than life JR, Steve Way with his lady Kathy and rock journo legends Mick Wall and Dave Ling, ex Midnight Blue and Rainbow singer Doogie White, and the TBL crew of  Gary and Terry.  Many thanks to Jerry Bloom for the lift home although I have to apologise for the fried chicken and burger packets that lined the back seat. I blame the shots I shared with said rock journo legends. Three decades have not dimmed this life with the stars…

Bedford mans life with the stars now : Jason, Richard Cole, DL and JR – Shepherds Bush Empire December 30th 2010. Dig that tie…

DL, Glenn and Terry Boud. Note Terry’s vintage Trapeze t.shirt. Glenn liked that!

When giants filled the bar. Rock journo legend and Zep author Mick Wall and DL

Rock royalty. Terry and DL offer the royal wave at the Shepherds Bush Empire. That’s JR far right.

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4 Comments »

  • Steve said:

    The Rock for Kampuchea album has a fantastic 3 track set by The Who with Behind Blue Eyes being a family fav for my brother and I air guitar & swinging mics . Oh the early 80’s when most of our friends loved Human League!!!
    The ‘Little Sister’ track get an airing quiet a bit and so great to see it mentioned on the site.

    You can now and again see the LP version of the concert on E-bay and for a pretty good price , it is well worth getting.

    keep up the good work Dave

  • Michel Vecchi said:

    Hello Dave, I wish you my very best for this new year. I hope Jimmy Page is coming back soon, tomorrow will be is birthday this will be a good hope for his new project.
    Take care my dear Dave and long live to your great “tigh but loose”,
    Best regards,
    Michel

  • Michael Brazee said:

    I remembered being thrilled when I bought the double album. Little Sister Won’t you Dance and Tattoo Love Boys (I shot my mouth off and he showed me what that hole was for – Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders). Some great stuff.

  • Kathy Urich said:

    That Rockpile video takes me back to the early days of MTV when this played on their rotation, thanks Dave, Gary for that clip.

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