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11 June 2010 3,358 views 3 Comments

Above: DL points to where the England goals need to go -World Cup 2002 Totnes Close Arena

The morning after the night before…and that Sunday morning feeling.  Not the start we were looking for. It all  looked so positive after four minutes.. but that optimism soon fell away –  Robert Green’s goalkeeping error was almost beyond belief.  But it happpaned  and we needed to recover. There were chances in the second half but they were not taken. Full marks to the USA who made it very difficult.

Yes, we’ve seen it all before, slow starts in 1966, 1986 and 1990, but we really need to step it up and Friday’s match against Algeria is now crucial.  Football, it’s a cruel master…right now that morning after feeling is not good… but we need to look ahead and get the belief back. (DL 13/06/10)

The World Cup – what a glorious thing.  In a similar way to many a Zep event, I can instantly remember what I was doing and where I was at, against the eleven World Cup tournaments I’ve been privileged to watch.

It all started in ’66 for me with Moore, Hurst and Peters…you know the rest.  Unsurprisingly that inspired my obsession with football – it was mainly James Bond and The Man From Uncle that was high on my agenda back then. Incidentally last night I watched the excellent Bobby Moore film Hero – now there was a hero…

Four years later Mexico 70, and music was now right on my radar. Alongside marvelling at that magical Brazil side of Pele, Carlos Alberto, Rivelino etc, and suffering the first of 30+ years of hurt as England squandered that 2-0 lead to Germany, I was busy scanning the NME each week for news of Zeppelin as they were about to perform at the Bath Festival.

1974 and Munich stadium was the scene of Holland’s total football which unfortunately was not enough to fend off the stoic Germans with Muller and Beckenbauer. Zep wise that all coincided with the news they would be not playing Knebworth or a proposed offer to headline a date at the Munich Stadium.  I remember looking at the ground imagining how that might have turned out as Germany and Holland walked on for the final. Little did I realise that six years later I’d be in the very vicinity watching Zep perform at the nearby Olympiahalle.

Scotland of course was the standard bearers of these isles both then and four years later in Argentina. At that time I was busy handwriting the chronology and discography for Sounds four part Led Zeppelin ten year commemorative feature. I think I did look up from scribing away to see Archie Gemmill make mincemeat of Holland’s defence to score the greatest goal in Scottish history. Not that was enough to save Ally’s Tartan army. (Sorry Billy!)

Thankfully England were back in it for Spain in 1982 –I’d just rushed in from work to watch the opening match against France as Bryan Robson netted  inside the first minute. Zep related wise that World Cup was soundtracked by the arrival of Robert’s debut album Pictures At Eleven and my good friend Tom and I ventured out to see him at the Princes Trust show at the Dominion London. I also remember during that World Cup investing in a new drum kit as our band Roughmix were about to take on the world. Alas, that idea went a bit pear as did England’s bid for glory as they struggled without the injured Keegan.

Four years later and Maradona’s outrageous hand of god goal was occurring during  a bit of down time in the Zep world –The Firm having just completed their last tour. Things were well busy though in Italia 90 with Robert out promoting Manic Nirvana and Robert and Jimmy reuniting at Knebworth the night the Irish went out to Italy. I was also immersed in the writing of the A Celebration book and of course we had the newly born Sam at home. That was the only World Cup I watched in a pub –and yes there were tears when Waddle sent that ball rocketing to the moon.

1994 and did we not like that. No England after the disastrous Taylor era ,not much to cheer really as Brazil triumphed in the US on penalties. The only real memory of that one is Diana Ross missing her penalty in the opening ceremony. Zep wise that was the summer we were gearing up for Jimmy and Robert’s MTV filming – I recall a couple of meets with programme associates who told me P and P were rehearsing The Rain Song, Gallows Pole, Kashmir etc. An unbelievable turn of events for sure.

At this point we ought to mention Euro 96 –Tel’s boys did us proud as football came home. There was that glorious drubbing of Holland and another oh so near against Germany. Me and my good friend Max revelled in that tournament where the Fosters beer cans count went up with each successive game.

Above – What blokes do on these occasions! -DL and Max celebrate England’s win against Holland in Euro ’96-Totnes Close Arena

1998 – Page & Plant were now on a second US tour. Here we watched one of the most dramatic games ever: England 2 Argentina 2 –that wonder goal from Owen, Beckham’s sending off and then the penalty heartbreak.

2002 – Dreamland and all that as you can read in the TBL Achive spot. 1-0 up against Brazil then came the inevitably heartbreak yet again.

More heartbreak in 2006 (is there a theme developing here!) – by which time Robert was playing festival dates off the back of the Mighty Rearranger album including Cornbury a special night for me amongst good friends. The exit against Portugal was more torture . That was the boy Adam’s initiation with football which has proved to be even more obsessive than his Dad –and he’s a far better player than I ever was!

So here we are in 2010 – who knows what’s in store in the coming weeks. Let’s hope it’s a feast of football that promotes all that is good about this beautiful game…As for England, please, please no penalties.

What a great night last Saturday was. We met up with our good friends Terry and Marian at the Bedford kite festival. A hot sunny afternoon which found us in the beer tent on more than one occasion. Then it was to back here  to watch Britain’s Got Talent final and more importunely the I’m in A Rock’n’Roll Band finale. How we laughed at Martin Kemp’s dismissive remarks about the Zep catalogue. Al Murray was excellent in his advocating of Zep and Bonzo and Boot Zep did themselves proud. Terry being a Deep Purple and Rush man, bemoaned the lack of inclusions from said bands and of course it’s all subjective but there was more than a sense of pride when Led Zeppelin were voted the nations favourite rock band. Watching the programme of DVD highlights was also an unexpected bonus. Royal Albert Hall – I’d forgotten how good that footage is.

Good to see the arrival of new issue of Record Collector with The Who Live At Leeds as the cover story and the 13 page feature written by yours truly inside. It includes some great photos taken at the Leeds gig. I’ll justify my claim as it being ‘’The greatest live rock and roll album ever made’’ – that’s official albums of course, so I couldn’t include the bootleg Led Zeppelin Live on Blueberry Hill which eclipses any other live recording (phew got out of that one!)

The week here has been taken up with more planning ahead on the next TBL and Over Europe book amongst other things. Also had an inspiring meet here to chat about a few things with the man from Rock’s Back Pages. We watched Four Your Life from the 02, those encores from Earls Court May 25 and The Song Remains The Same at Knebworth with the sound cranked up. Utterly incredible and I’ve seen those clips a zillion times before. There’ was no denying we were watching the nation’s favourite band – not just this nation – any nation you care to name. Great to hear Jimmy has been inducted into the Mojo Hall Of Fame as well.

Survived a trip to the dentist Thursday – I was a bag of nerves throughout the treatment (another World Cup flashback– in 1974 I had a load of dental stuff going on during that tournament) as that little experience is never a pleasant one. After the sunshine of the back end of last week it’s back to typical summer weather drizzly misty and dull – more like October than June.

Let’s hope there’s  some light shining in the direction of England’s dressing room come Saturday night…right I’m off to stack the fridge with beer and sort a soccer playlist. Cue former England ditties such as Back Home, This Time (more than any other time), Three Lions and of course World In Motion – Altogether now…

‘’You’ve got to hold and give
But do it at the right time
You can be slow or fast
But you must get to the line
They’ll always hit you and hurt you
Defend and attack
There’s only one way to beat them
Get round the back
Catch me if you can
Cos’ I’m the England man
And what you’re looking at
Is the master plan
We ain’t no hooligans
This ain’t a football song
Three lions on my chest
I know we can’t go wrong
We’re playing for England {En-ger-land}
We’re playing the song
We’re singing for England {En-ger-land}
Arrivederci its one one one’’

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  • Scott said:

    Sorry Dave, but as you said, we made it difficult for your team. We are all very pleased we made it out with a tie, frankly.

    I think our chances are good but we are one midfielder and a stopper away from the Cup I’m afraid….we dont have a F. Lampard and a J. Terry just yet….

  • John Parkin said:

    The dreaded penalty shoot outs!
    I watched the 2006 disappointment against Portugal on the big screen at Hyde Park where we waiting for Roger Waters to do “Dark Side Of The Moon”.I do seem to remember a couple of Scots celebrating the result though!
    Heres hoping for better this time, although on last nights performance we’re going to have to step it up a gear.

  • russell ritchin said:


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