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DEBORAH BONHAM NEW ALBUM AND TOUR DATES FOR 2020/PLANET ROCK SYMPHONIC ZEPPELIN /ROBERT PLANT DIGGING DEEP/LZ NEWS/ CODA /RADIO BROADCAST LP/DEC 4 1980/ROCK ICONS AND VINYL COUNTDOWN /DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

4 December 2019 1,156 views 2 Comments

Deborah Bonham new album and tour dates for 2020:Here’s the details…    

Deborah Bonham and her band have a new album lined up for 2020 and have announced the following tour dates for the new year as follows:

23 Jan WIMBORNE Tivoli Theatre UK
www.tivoliwimborne.co.uk
24 Jan LONDON BLUES FESTIVAL, Under The Bridge Chelsea, UK
www.underthebridge.co.uk/events/jbf-bernie-marsden/25 Jan GIANTS OF ROCK FESTIVAL, Minehead, UK
www.bigweekends.com/your-break/198457/ 28 Jan MILTON KEYNES The Stables
www.stables.org 07 Feb FRANCE L’Espace Culturel , 7 avenue de Villeroy Mennecy (91)
www.mennecy.fr/-Spectacles-
08 Feb TBC France

21 Feb BEWDLEY St George’s Hall, Worcs
www.thehall-bewdley.org.uk
22 Feb TBA23 Feb KINROSS The Green, Scotland
www.mundellmusic.com/upcoming-shows/ 03 Apr FRANCE La Puce a l’Oreille Riom (63)
www.lapucealoreille63.fr/
04 Apr FRANCE TBC
Carol Miller Q104.3 New York – Get the Led Out   ‘Deborah Bonham -The best female vocalist and tightest band we should have been hearing for the last 20 years —An arena- worthy show in a club- all hail the Royal Bonhams!!!’
Paul Rodgers  ‘I’m not surprised by Deborah Bonham’s’ brilliant reviews. I warned you, she’d blow you away! As a side note, her amazing voice is matched by her amazing heart.’
  TBL Led Zeppelin Magazine   ‘Guitarist Peter Bullick constantly showed why Paul Rodgers touted him as a replacement for Kossoff should Free ever reform. His bluesy but always economic fills and solos lit up the stage.’
Elmore Magazine USA – ‘Strong voiced, personable and quite the rock & roll singer. This woman, Deborah Bonham (the sister of the late Led Zeppelin drummer) earned a standing ovation at the end of her set, clearly a welcome addition to the tour.’  (Stars Align Tour, Paul Rodgers, Jeff Beck, Ann Wilson, Deborah Bonham, Holmdel New Jersey)
  BBC Radio 2 ‘The Rock Show with Johnnie Walker’  ‘Wow is all I got to say after that, and boy can Deborah Bonham sing’
Dennis Morgillo ‘The stars sure did align on this hot steamy night in NJ. Three Mega Stars sharing the same bill!? What could be better? To my surprise, Deborah Bonham, the sister of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, opened the show. Who knew he had a sister!? Who knew she could sing like an angel!? Bonham has a powerful voice, and put on a great set. She was well received by the crowd who gave her a standing ovation. Bonham then came and sat right in front of me to enjoy the Ann Wilson set. ‘Stars Align Tour, Jeff Beck, Paul Rodgers, Ann Wilson, Deborah Bonham at PNC Bank Arts Center, New Jersey Aug 12, 2018.
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Planet Rock to celebrate Led Zeppelin’s music with symphonic rock concert:

We’ve delighted to announce that on Saturday 18th April 2020, Planet Rock will be celebrating one of the greatest bands of all time, Led Zeppelin, with a very special concert at the London Palladium.

Zeppelin Symphonic, The Music of Led Zeppelin – a Rock Celebration is an epic rock and orchestral concert experience and will feature over 50 performers on stage playing some of Led Zeppelin’s greatest songs over a two-hour set.

Alongside the rock band and symphony orchestra, there will special guest performers on the night including Inglorious frontman Nathan James and blues rock powerhouse Kris Barras.

Tickets to the Zeppelin Symphonic show at the London Palladium are priced from £34.50 including fees. They go on sale from Planet Rock Tickets at 9am on Friday 29th November.

https://www.planetrock.com/news/rock-news/planet-rock-led-zeppelin-symphonic-rock-concert/

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Robert Plant Digging Deep Podcast:

The latest episode talking about the brilliant Carry Fire…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGv6ei2qlD0

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Led Zeppelin News Update:

In conjunction with the Led Zep news site, each week I will be re- producing highlights from their weekly email update news summary. This goes out every Sunday. Sign up details are below. Many thanks to James Cook.

Upcoming events:

December 9 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Devon, UK and Genesis Publications will send out greeting cards to customers who ordered “Jimmy Page: The Anthology.”
December 10 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Salisbury, UK.
December 11 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Bristol, UK and a guitar signed by Plant and Jimmy Page will be auctioned.
December 16 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Lancashire, UK.
December 17 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Blackpool, UK.
December 19 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Powys, Wales.
December 20 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Stourbridge, UK.
December 22 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Birmingham, UK.
February-March 2020 – Jimmy Page’s new book, “Jimmy Page: The Anthology,” will be released.
February 28, 2020 – Robert Plant’s vinyl singles box set “Digging Deep” will be released.
March 26-29, 2020 – John Paul Jones will perform as Sons Of Chipotle at the Big Ears music festival in Knoxville, Tennessee.
September 25-26, 2020 – The next John Bonham celebration event will be held in Redditch, UK.

Many thanks to James Cook.

The complete Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here:http://tinyletter.com/LedZepNews

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TBL ARCHIVE SPECIAL: CODA 37 YEARS GONE:

November 23 heralded another key Zep anniversary as it was all of 37 years ago that the final Led Zeppelin studio album was released. Here’s a ”Then and now” summary of my thoughts on the release of the orginal album and last year’s expansive reissue:

My Coda Then:

coda-retro-6

Phone calls, a meeting, the mock up sleeve, a retail competition, raffle and romance…

It was a Monday night – February 22, 1982 to be precise – when my phone rang in my bedroom. ”Hi Dave, this is Robert Plant – we’d like you to bring in some photos for a project we are doing… ”

So began the Coda saga.

Since the release of their In Through The Out Door album, for me personally, many things had happened. The TBL magazine had established itself from a crudely written and printed A5 format into an A4 glossy proper typeset magazine. There was the absolute high of having close proximity on the Over Europe tour in 1980 to the absolute low of the devastating news of September 25th and the statement that signalled it was over on December 4. I still regularly went into the Swan Song office but it had a very strange vibe. Nobody quite knew what to do.

In 1981, Robert began picking up the pieces with a return to the stage in the ad hoc band The Honeydrippers. I attended a fair few of those spring ’81 gigs and it was a great thrill to see him enjoying himself again. TBL issue 6 came out in the August but to be honest, by then my heart wasn’t really in it as it once had been. Without the buzz of the band itself and with their reputation at an all time low, it was difficult to maintain the enthusiasm. It may be hard to believe now but admitting to liking Led Zep was very unhip around these times. The musical climate had moved on, the new wave of British Heavy metal was flowering and elsewhere, electronic music from acts such New Order, Human League, OMD, Gary Numan etc was dominating the charts.

After issue 6, there was no big final decision not to do another issue – it just never happened. I was certainly no less a fervent fan – my energies at that time went into producing the best of TBL project, which became my first book, The Final Acclaim, published in late 1983.

I was aware that there was some unreleased material in the Zep archive, notably the tracks they did not use, recorded at Polar Studios for In Through The Out Door. Jimmy had mentioned this to me in Swan Song on September 18, 1980. I had no idea though, that there was a plan to release them.

Back to the phone call. It was with some shock and awe (this was not an everyday occurrence by any means!) that I took that February call from Robert. Basically, he wanted me to collate as many photos as I had of the group offstage for a project they were looking at. He did not mention at that point about an album. He asked if I was available to come into the Swan Song office that week and of course I replied I was. He made some arrangements and then called me back a couple of hours later to confirm that Thursday would be a good time to come in and meet with him and possibly Jimmy.

So it was, armed with a case full of cuttings and photos, I turned up on the afternoon of Thursday, February 24 at the Swan Song office. A buoyant Robert greeted me warmly and we got down to wading through the stuff. Jimmy duly arrived about 4pm. At one point, seeing a shot he liked backstage at Knebworth, Robert asked me who took the shot. When I replied Neal Preston, he was immediately on the phone to the US office of Swan Song to get his number. He then promptly called Neal to ask him to send over a batch of contact sheets. Robert also called John Paul Jones while I was there.

During all this, it was explained exactly what all this was about. They were going to release a final album made up of unreleased tracks. The sleeve design was to include a collage of off stage photos – hence the reason I was asked to bring in the pics. During the meeting – which also included Robert’s soundman, Benji Lefevre – I heard them discuss a track titled Walters Walk. Jimmy also told me they were considering calling the album Early Days and Latter Days. Ultimately, they went for Coda, though that original title would be deployed for the 1999 and 2000 compilation albums.

Robert also informed me he had completed work on his first solo album and in his words it was ‘’A new step forward.’’ Robert and Jimmy waded through my pics and cuttings and pulled a few out (the Bath Festival backstage pic I showed them made the final cut) and then they were off in search of rare rockabilly records in Camden. It was another afternoon for the memoirs…

Things went quiet on the project after that meeting. I did pop in to Swan Song a few times over the next few months but no news of a release for the intended album was forthcoming. The summer was taken up with the release of Robert’s debut Pictures At Eleven, and I also attended the Princes Trust charity gig at London’s Dominion Theatre, where Robert performed Worse Than Detroit. Tom and I attended the aftershow reception at which all the artists were duly acknowledged for their contributions and we were introduced to Prince Charles. Yet another very memorable occasion.

The next I heard about the Coda album was in October when the Warner Records sales rep came in to WH Smith with the full details of the album, ready to sell it in for a November release. The mock up presenter sleeve the rep carried (and later gave me, see pic above) listed the track details and promotional campaign. It was all beginning to get a little bit exciting.

coda-retro-2

I ordered 100 copies for the shop and also booked a full in store display. I was also able to acquire a batch of posters from Swan Song which were part of a raffle prize I concocted for the store in conjunction with the local newspaper. Gary Foy was one of the winners, though I did not know him at the time!

coda-retro

The in store display looked fantastic and I wish I had taken a photo of that at the time.

Tuesday November 22, 1982. A grey November morning, and the day Coda emerged into our lives. It was also just around the time the good lady Janet and I first got together – oh yes – couple fell in love to the plaintive strains of We’re Gonna Groove. It may not have been quite like that but when I invested in every conceivable format of said album (LP, cassette, US LP, white label promo) I think Janet had an indication of how things might be ahead when it came to such matters!

I also have a copy of the album signed by Hipgnosis designer, Aubrey Powell when he came here to film some of my memorabilia for a Robert Plant video in early 2005. As he put it, ‘The End,’ or at least the end of another beginning.

coda-retro-4

In stark contrast to the way it has been with the recent reissues, the Coda album seeped out with little fanfare. As I said earlier, the fact is (mad as it now sounds) at that point Led Zeppelin were hardly held in reverential terms. Their influence would of course become evident in the years to come. It did enjoy some good reviews and entered the chart at number 4 but compared to past glories, it had a definite feeling of unfinished business. That grey melancholy front cover seemed to mirror the whole mood back then. Whilst the release of those eight cuts did spell something of a closure on the story for now, it was all a little low key.

1983 would be dominated by the return to active duty of Robert Plant with the Principal of Moments album and tour, and thus Coda was consigned to the Zep catalogue as the final part of the recorded story for now. Ahead of course, would be the re grouping at Live Aid that put them right back in the spotlight and then the Remasters 1990 releases that would seal their rejuvenation. By then for me, I was right back on it all with the writing and collating of the A Celebration book and the return in 1992 of the TBL magazine. It’s been ever onward since then…

82-11-20-billboard

As for the contents of the original album there is much to enjoy and at the time it seemed like a bona fide collectors item – something rare and unreleased to cherish. The whole of side one is an absolute joy, moving from 1970 to 1972. On side two the Polar material is pure fun and the John Bonham tribute was a testament to what had been lost. If I had a complaint, it was the short running time – we now know Sugar Mama was dropped in the final selection.

 

My Coda Now:

The original album itself sounds as impressive as ever – the vinyl pressing sparkling and full of vitality. It may be short in length but for me it’s long on quality.

The real fun with this reissue is of course the Companion Audio Discs. Jimmy has used this platform to create what he has described as a celebration of the band’s career and music, and as it zips across the years, that is

82-11-20-billboard-b

exactly how it sounds. In doing so it sparks many a Zep memory. This in effect is a Boxed Set 3, packed full of Zep idiosyncrasies.

Commencing with We’re Gonna Groove (Alternate Mix). This is an utterly awesome mix – the live drums and vocals from the Royal Albert Hall ’70 gig/show? now clearly applied. In between the Sol ’82 overdubs, the original live solo can be heard to greater effect. Additional Plant shout at 1 min 35 and Bonzo’s drums sounding incredible throughout. Alongside the rough mix take of In The Evening I would state that this version is the one they should have gone for on the official 1982 line up. It’s the definitive version – simple as.

If It Keeps On Raining When The Levee Breaks (Rough Mix) is yet another key revelation. I was expecting perhaps one of the other bootleg mixes that have seeped out over the years. How wrong could I be? This is a simply invigorating initial run through from November 1970 with a totally alternate laid back swampy feel, slightly faster in tempo to the original. Robert’s vocals have a sparse, low register, echoed scat singing element to them, adding to the almost soundcheck run through quality of the piece. It certainly has a total groove of its own, with pummelling bass line from JPJ, and Bonzo’s drumming as funky as hell, with a distinctive snare drum sound. It fades slightly and then reappears with Robert moaning a muted ‘’Going home’’ refrain. In fact, this fades far too early. You really want it to go on and on, such is the delightful jam like quality of it all. Phew! One of the key finds of the entire reissue programme.

The mix of Bonzo’s Montreux (Mix Construction In Progress) places the syn drums further upfront in a punchier mix. The hi-hat is very clear towards the finale. Less effects on the treated parts. A shout from Bonzo at the close. This is the art of the drummer as master percussionist… always welcome

Baby Come On Home was first released on Box Set 2 and the subsequent package of Coda in the Complete Studio Sessions box set. A lovely relaxed bluesy strut from the beginning of their time.

Sugar Mama (Mix) is a thrilling slice of embryonic Zep from October 3, 1968. Plant’s excited yelp setting the pace. Plenty of echoes of The Yardirds here, with the 1966 single Happenings Ten Years Time Ago a definite reference point. Slightly different to the version that surfaced in lo-fi quality on bootleg in the early 90s, this has an extra ‘Sugar Mama’ from Robert at 32 seconds. Marvel at the innocence and first time energetic blast of the embryonic early Zep…

Poor Tom (Instrumental Mix) is the previously bootlegged instrumental take that highlights John Bonham’s simply sensational New Orleans shuffle throughout. Bluesy acoustic overtones from Jimmy and the harmonica is in there at 1 min 38. Another opportunity to attend a John Bonham masterclass…

coda-sleeve-reissue

Travelling Riverside Blues (BBC Session) was first released on the first 1990 Remasters box set and the subsequent package of Coda in the Complete Studio Sessions box set plus the 1997 BBC Sessions set. It’s a welcome bottleneck affected swooping delight…

Hey, Hey, What Can I Do is another underrated beauty. As first, released as the B side to the US Immigrant Song single in late 1970. In the UK it initially appeared on the 1972 New Age Of Atlantic LP plus the first 1990 Remasters box set and the subsequent package of Coda in the Complete Studio Sessions box set. Light and shady, warm and friendly – joyous from beginning to end…

Companion Disc 2 kicks off with the much bootlegged and talked about Bombay sessions tracks.

Four Hands (Four Sticks – Bombay Orchestra) opens with a count in from an orchestra member. The stereo separation and precise quality is another revelation. Tabla drums and flute combine to add a suitably atmospheric quality to this unique instrumental version, cut in early 1972. A vivid example of their pioneering quest to push the musical envelope wherever it might take them.

On Friends (Bombay Orchestra) the stereo separation is again well in evidence. Robert’s vocals are crystal clear. The mystical vocal moanings, mixed with the ethnic rhythms, makes for an eerie and compelling listening experience.

The much rumoured to exist St. Tristan’s Sword (Rough Mix) turns out to be a three way instrumental work out from 1970 and is built around a totally invigorating bass and drum pattern – the bass and drum syncopation between JPJ and Bonzo is just outstanding. Bonzo putting to good use his best New Orleans shuffle, a la Poor Tom. Enter Jimmy for a Hendrix like feast, not unlike his rampant playing on Jennings Farm Blues. At 2 mins 18 it all breezes off in another direction with a clipped guitar effect, as it chugs on with yet more scintillating Page runs in the Jennings Farm Blues tradition. There’s also a bridge part that would later be employed on Over The Hills And Far Away. Like the instrumental La La on the Zep II companion disc, it’s hard to assess where this piece was going. Was it a warming up in the studio flexing of the musical muscle or a backing track being honed for the addition of Plant lyrics and vocals? It strikes me as being something of an initial pool of ideas – a Led Zep studio brain storm to see what they had and could build on. Whatever it was destined for, it’s a splendid example of them having a blow – and what a blow this is.

Desire (The Wanton Song Rough Mix) has some hoarse alternate vocals from Robert – overall a different texture to the original, with less Leslie effects on guitar break. Playful and less rigid in structure – mainly guitar driven, though the clavinet can be heard rumbling in there. Robert’s last vocal cry is slightly extended. Different take to the bootlegged alternate take aired on the WPLJ radio station in 1975 with far superior vocal.

Bring It On Home (Rough Mix) 2.32. It’s back to one of those on the run sessions that made Led Zep II such a lively concoction. It’s straight into the riff part with Robert’s wailing harmonica – and then very much a live vocal with the singer freely expressing himself with complete abandonment – as he was doing nightly on stage in the US at the time. An excited ‘’Alright!’’ at 1 min 14. Bonzo tearing along with it all as the harmonica comes back in. Totally wild and chaotic, with an electric ending. Superb snapshot of their on the road, ad hoc studio recording, this is Led Zep unleashed in the studio with all the intensity of their mid 1969 barnstorming live performances. Simply blistering…

Walter’s Walk (Rough Mix) is a brash instrumental take – the jittery riffing exercise that would later be applied to Hots On For Nowhere is very apparent. It’s a great moment when the riff bursts in at 2 mins 20 – in fact, with Walter’s Walk it’s all about the riff, as you know.

Finally, Everybody Makes It Through (In The Light Rough Mix) Opens with the familiar drone of the original. What we have here is a mix that features the early ‘’Sunshine brings laughter’’ lyrics of the version on the Physical Graffiti companion disc, matched to Jonesy’s drone links – the Elizabethan intro keyboard part having been replaced. At 1 min 42 Jonesy applies an additional keyboard motif going into the chorus parts. No overdubs on the close. Another work in progress snapshot of one of their finest creations…

Summary: So, there it all is – a unique presentation collection that mirrors every facet of the Led Zeppelin cannon, and a fitting end to this reissue programme.

Conclusion:

I’ll paraphrase what I said at the beginning of the reissue programme. We all recall where we first heard these releases – and where we first purchased them. We have loved and cherished these albums for years and years. They really are like old very reliable friends. Rediscovering them again, in this new context, has inspired us all to fall in love with them all over again. It really has been like a renewal of our Zeppelin vows.

This music developed and presented by Led Zeppelin – be it the original albums or the companion discs – sounds as fresh and vital today as it did when it was recorded some four decades ago. There’s something uniquely eternal about these recordings that, in our minds at least, keeps us forever young.

Dave Lewis

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My thoughts on…

Led Zeppelin Radio Broadcast Vol 1 (Radio Broadcast Records RB05)

I had seen this listed on a couple of sites and was well pleased to find a copy recently in the excellent Sister Ray record shop in London’s Berwick Street.

What we have here is some sort of semi bootleg release via the label. The mysterious Radio Broadcasts Records label also have titles in this series featuring Black Sabbath, Bruce Springsteen and Soundgarden. Quite what legal loophole these releases have slipped though I know not. The fact that is is listed as being in a run of only 300 prompted me to snap this up at a very reasonable £16.99. It mayt not be around that long

Given it’s presumed unofficial status there is not much detail in the package or authenticity to the track listing on the label. A simple 12 inch single type cover with a headphones image –no source details or explanatory sleeve note (I’d have written one for a free copy fellas!) and inaccurate info on the labels as follows:

Side One lists Communication Breakdown and I Can’t Quite You Baby as being ‘London Paris Theatre 1969’. It’s actually from the Playhouse Theatre live BBC concert on June 27 1969. It then lists the next two tracks Immigrant Song and Heartbreaker as being ‘USA 1971’. In actual fact, they were recorded at the Paris Theatre for the live BBC concert on April 1, 1971. Confused? You could be because they don’t make it easy…

Performance wise here , there’s nothing to not like. The opening salvo from the June 27 1969 date are full of the almost effortless swagger they demonstrated at the time. Communication Breakdown includes the ‘It’s your thing do what you gotta do’’ line from The Isley Brothers hit of the time and the interplay between John Bonham’s bass drum triplets and Page’s wah wah guitar are just awe inspiring. This  take also captures the increasing confidence of the young R. Plant as he moans and groans through the bluesy Willie Dixon lament.

Fast forward to April 1971 and their final BBC performance. Immigrant Song and Heartbreaker both hurl along at a frantic pace – the latter easing up slightly for page’s virtuoso run – note this edits out the few lines of the Bourree section.

Over on Side Two they do get the track listing correct as’ Zurich Switzerland 1980.’ For this is the June 29 1980 performance at the Hallenstadion in Zurich – in soundboard quality. This was the source of one of the first ever CD bootlegs which came out around 1988 at Tour Over Europe on the Twin Eagle label. I cannot recall it being a so called ‘radio broadcast’

Of course, many things had happened in the intervening years Zep timeline and we know that the Over Europe tour was a a valiant attempt to rejuvenate themselves. The 14 dates that comprised the Over Europe tour were often erratic performances but on this particular stage of the tour they were on the up – particularly Jimmy who was right on it. I was lucky enough to see the following night’s show in Frankfurt and he and the whole band were similarly impressive.

Trampled Underfoot is a speedy and spirted run through – it may lack the thrilling improvisation of the Earls Court ’75 performances but instrumentally, there’s much to admire. I do take umbridge with that confounded vocal harmoniser effect Robert employed with Zep from 1977 onwards. For me it diluted the purity of his vocals.

Thankfully it’s not in evidence on the next track Since I’ve Been Loving You. A curt ‘’Thank You’’ from Plant in Italian and German leads into the familiar dramatic intro (this is sequenced as it occurred in the set list). Jonesy’s electric piano is well to the fore and John Bonham is rock steady throughout. Plant kicks in with those  ‘’Baby, baby, baby’’ vocal mannerisms though with nothing like the conviction of the early 70s deliveries. Jimmy’s solo is fairly fluid but overall, this take on the Led Zep II classic all sounds slightly laboured. There were better performances on that night in Zurich not least a rather stunning Heartbreaker.

There’s no room here for anything else and that’s where we leave them.

Radio Broadcast Vol I offers contrasting sides of Led Zeppelin. The first on Side One when it all seemed so effortless – the other over on Side Two when it was much more hard work.

I thoroughly enjoyed this look through the portal of Zep live in 1969 and 1980. I had not played anything from these particular eras for a while. It’s also good to have a couple of 1980 performances on vinyl. Radio Broadcast Vol 1 may not quite deliver what it says on the cover with too much accuracy but ardent vinyl record collectors of Zep will want to soak this up before the 300 copies sell out – and at under £20 it’s a very reasonable price. As for a Volume two…some highlights from Earls Court May 25 soundboard would be on my wish list…

Led Zeppelin Radio Broadcast Volume 1 is available on a variety of sites including this one:

https://www.juno.co.uk/products/led-zeppelin-radio-broadcast-vol-1/748269-01/

Dave Lewis – November 28,2019.

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From my Facebook page:

It was 39 years ago today…they could not continue as they were…

39 years ago this week I vividly remember taking a call from the Musician’s Only paper and being asked for a quote – these were sad times indeed – and it was about to get worse. The whole ‘Zep to split’ story would get buried somewhat when just four days later John Lennon was shot dead in New York…

Looking back at my diary entry for 39 years ago this very day it started off as a fairly ordinary Thursday.

The night before I’d been to see Rod Stewart at Wembley Arena with good my friends Max, Phil and James .

It was a pretty riotous night – the diary notes that I consumed 6 vodka and limes and a Harvey Wallbanger in the pub before the gig though we didn’t call it binge drinking back then, we just enjoyed having a good time.

Next morning December 4 1980, The postman woke me up as I shrugged off the inevitable hangover bringing an LP size package containing the latest Zep bootleg Flying High requirement – an excellent recording of the Fillmore West April 27th 19’69 date.

Later I phoned Swan Song and spoke to Sian for a while though there was seemingly no major news. I then took some of the some of the freshly printed TBL 5’s round to the post office to send off.

Around 4.30pm a story on Radio One’s Newsbeat stopped in my tracks. It announced Led Zeppelin had released made a statement to the effect that they could not continue as they were.

After Bonzo’s death It was pretty evident that they would be splitting – I’d been in Swan Song a few weeks back and the atmosphere was one of complete loss, but hearing they had officially announced something was still a major shock.

I immediately phoned Sian at Swan Song but she was making no comment.

The diary says ‘’Fuck sake it’s over…’’

The last thing I wrote in my diary that night was equally dramatic.

‘’Part of me died tonight’’

The next week the ‘Zep to split’ news story was buried somewhat under the barrage of press for John Lennon’s tragic murder which occurred on December 8.

These were strange days indeed.

They indeed could not continue as they were…but the legacy could and of course still does…

Since that fateful day of 39 years ago, so much has gone but so much remains and Led Zeppelin are very much in the present tense in all our lives every single day…

Dave Lewis – December 4, 2019 

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IT WAS 7 YEARS AGO TODAY…
Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, along with Jason Bonham, performing an absolutely stunning Stairway to Heaven in the presence of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones as they received the Kennedy Honors for Led Zeppelin from President Obama…
Emotional doesn’t even come close…simply one of the greatest moments in their history…

View it at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFxOaDeJmXk&fbclid=IwAR2pGgv2nr_IfBs1WzJaqvyJszG8eq3dXpETM_7hY0-HoUjyiklWAYvfRPo

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Led Zeppelin Rock Icons by Hugh Fielder – Foreword by Dave Lewis:

Just out via Flame Tree Publications I contributed the Foreword for this book – it’s written by veteran rock journalist Hugh Fielder. It’s an attractive hardback format with plenty of illustrations – priced £9.99.

Here’s the info:

Led Zeppelin’s blend of rock and other genres of music such as blues, soul, folk, pop, Indian and Celtic ranks them as one of the all-time greatest bands whose influence is still felt today. Taking a chronological look at their career, this book takes the reader from the heady days in 1968 when they first brought their unique sound to a worldwide audience, through the early 1970s when they were billed as the ‘biggest band in the world’ and to 1980s when they became household names on both sides of the Atlantic.

Led Zeppelin is part of Flame Tree’s successful ongoing series, Rock Icons. Other titles in the series include David Bowie, Queen, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and Elvis.

Product details
Author Hugh Fielder
Foreword by Dave Lewis
Hardback: 10,000 words, 128 pages, 60 illustrations
ISBN: 9781787557352
Series: Pop, Rock & Entertainment
Dimensions: 231 x 203 x 16 mm

https://www.flametreepublishing.com/Led-Zeppelin-ISBN-9781787557352.html

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My thoughts on…

Vinyl Countdown – Graham Sharpe (Oldcastle Books)

I came upon this book by chance when I saw Graham at the recent Music Mania Fair where he had a stall selling his book. I subsequently made contact with Graham and met and interviewed him in London about Vinyl Countdown. Unsurprisingly; the subject matter is right up my street

Graham, a high-profile veteran of the betting industry, is also a vinyl record veteran with well over 50 years service as a serious 45 and 33rpm collector. His previous books include a biography of Screaming Lord Sutch and many titles on the subject of horse racing. He was instrumental in creating the novelty betting on the Christmas number one single when he was the PR guru at William Hill bookmakers

Vinyl Countdown chronicles Graham’s quest to visit as many record shops as he can find and the record collecting adventures such a task involves. His record shop obsession takes him to all parts of the UK, Jersey,  Guernsey, Oslo, San Francisco, New Zealand and Australia. Along the way, there are many anecdotes relating to the range of stock or otherwise within the shops and of course the behaviour of shop owners and their customers. One customer comment Graham overhears on his travels that stands out: ‘’I think all record collectors might be slightly autistic’’

I know where he is coming from with that quote  but that may be a little bit harsh -perhaps eccentric may be a fairer assumption. Graham combines these record shop fables with his own autobiographical life experiences. How he first got the record collecting bug and his early role as a fresh out of school journalist on the local newspaper. This involved filing a weekly music column around 1969/1970 which is a period of incredible musical discovery for the author. Not that things always went smoothly here – as the young Sharpe turns down a phone interview with a fledgling Elton John and falls out with the paper over a free review copy of an Elvis album. Outside of music there are illuminating stories of his horse racing passion and love of Luton Town FC.

His own eclectic tastes that take in reggae and soul and his deep love of UK and UK psych rock, are dutifully explained. Graham’s affinity with his own favourite record shop Second Scene in Bushey near Watford is a heart warming constant as throughout the book he frequently chronicles his visits to hear the latest news and record collecting views of owners Julian and Helen Smith.

‘’My aim is to own every piece of music I know I like’’ states Graham in the book ‘’and every piece of music I don’t yet know I like, but feel I might do’’

Now that’s a mission statement I can wholly relate too – as will all readers of this hugely enjoyable romp through the backwaters of record racks across the land.

More details about the book’s availability here:

http://oldcastlebooks.co.uk/index1.php?imprint=5&isbn=9780857303141

Dave Lewis.   

………………………………

DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday treats at the Vinyl Barn – at the always excellent Vinyl Barn last Friday, I was well pleased to find a copy of The Best Of The Doors, a 1973 US quadraphonic pressing on the Quadra Disc /Elektra label…now all I need is 2 extra speakers to get the full effect!
Also well pleased to find a copy of Slade’s Tak Me Bak ‘Ome single in a picture sleeve. Top stuff thanks Darren!

Black Friday treat…at the always excellent Slide Records in Bedford last Friday I was there at opening time to bag a copy of the Black Friday Record Store Day release Miles Davis – Early Minor – Rare Miles from the Complete In A Silent Way Sessions.

I am a big fan of the 1969 In A Silent Way album and this Black Friday release has three pieces from the sessions – Splashdown, Early Minor and The Ghetto Walk – musicians featured here include Wayne Shorter, John McLaughlin, Chic Corea, Herbie Hancock and Joe Zawinul.

 

I got the Complete In A Silent Way CD set when it came out in 2001 and it’s great to finally have these performances on vinyl. Thanks Warren!

We had a great day out at the VIP Victoria Record Fair last Saturday.

It’s always great to see our friend Scottish Graham in his local The Royal Oak which the TBL crew always visits during the VIP Victoria Record Fair – here with Steve Livesley, Alastair Chorlton,Tom Locke,Phil Harris, Ian Saikia and James Bevis last Saturday …a top day it was…and vinyl records were purchased in quantity!

It was also great to see long time TBL supporters Keith Creek  and John Gunne at the VIP Victoria Record Fair yesterday. John is pictured here holding up one of the bargains of the day namely last year’s Roger Daltrey album As Long As I Have You reduced from £17.99 to a mere £2 – this was from a stall that had a crop of top notch albums (Beatles/Who/Rory Gallagher/Tom Petty/ Blondie etc) all reduced to similar prices – there was one catch – the sleeves were slightly marked but for £5 or under this was a top result all round and unsurprisingly, myself and the TBL crew were round it like bees to a honey pot,as were many others in attendance…I’ll round up what I got when I’ve waded through it all!

As seen at the VIP Victoria Record Fair on Saturday – the Led Zeppelin Road Case issued in 2006 by Classic Records comprising the original albums on 48 one sided 45rpm pressings – this set still sealed. Asking price was a cool £6,000…I would have had a job getting that passed the good lady!

In between all that, it’s been somewhat melancholy here over the past few days – and the dank and dreary weather doesn’t help. Meanwhile work has continued on the latest TBL projects ahead.

This Friday is the annual Wallbangers FC day out in London with my very good friends Dec, Phil, Tom and Max. This is the 26th year we have been – it all started in 1993 initially to keep in touch with Dec who had then moved to London.

I’ve known these guys since 1974 – over 45 years and we have shared many experiences together over the years and of course we all played for the Wallbangers FC team circa 1976 -1981. As for gigs we ‘ve seen together  amongst us – well we’ve packed a few in over the decades. It ranges from Led Zeppelin ,The Small Faces, The Who, Bad Company, Rod Stewart, Teardrop Explodes, Japan, Queen, New Order, Television, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross and many more…

Dec now resides in Ireland but he will be back tonight (we are catching the Man Utd v Spurs game in the Fox come on you Spurs!) ready for the big day on Friday. Beers will be drunk in the confines of more than one pub in central London and Islington where we will relay tales of former glories on the green and not so pleasant (football) fields of Bedfordshire. In an ever changing world, this long standing bond between us is a reassuring constant. Track two, side one of Led Zeppelin III had it right…Friends…I am immensely lucky to be blessed with many and being with four of my lifelong ones on Friday is a very heart warming prospect…

Dave Lewis  –  December 4, 2019

Until next time –  have a great  weekend…

TBL Website updates compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy and James Cook

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2 Comments »

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    David I have indeed -there is a plan

  • David Whyte said:

    Hi Dave,

    Have you given any thought to offering a book on the O2 concert?

    Take care.

    dw

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