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4 September 2018 2,435 views 22 Comments


62…how did that happen!

62 is the new 22!

As usual when a birthday rolls around , it’s a good time to quantify what I do, what I like and take stock…

So firstly some timelines:

I was 7 years old when I first saw a live concert (The Dave Clark Five show at the Granada Cinema Bedford)

9 when I first saw Tottenham Hotspur play

13 when I first heard Led Zeppelin

15 when I first started work at British Home Stores (sadly now gone)

15 when I first saw Led Zeppelin live at the Empire Pool Wembley

16 when I saw Led Zeppelin perform at Alexandra Palace

18 when I first started selling records at WH Smith – a career in retail that would last 35 years

18 when I saw Led Zeppelin perform five times at Earls Court

19 when I attended The Song Remains The Same London premiere

21 when I jumped on stage with The Who at Shepperton

22 when I wrote the first Tight But Loose magazine

22 when I saw Led Zeppelin at Knebworth

23 when I travelled over Europe to see Led Zeppelin on what would be there final tour

24 when my first book Led Zeppelin -The Final Acclaim was published

25 when I started going out with the good lady Janet

27 when we married

29 when Led Zeppelin reformed for Live Aid

34 when Sam was born

34 when I watched England reach the semi finals of the World Cup

35 when my book Led Zeppelin A Celebration was published

36 when I co organised the first UK Led Zeppelin with Andy Adams

37 when I saw Jimmy page and Robert Plant reunite for the Unledded MTV performances

38 when Adam was born

40 when I co wrote the Led Zeppelin Concert File book with Simon Pallett

41 when I intervened John PaulJjones for the TBL magazine

46 when the Led Zeppelin DVD was premiered

50 when I contributed to the research on Robert Plant’s Nine Lives box set

51 when Led Zeppelin reunited at the 02 Arena,

53 when I was made redundant at Virgin Retail and created TBL Publishing and went self- employed

54 when I published the Feather In the Wind Over Euope 1980 book

56 when I signed off the From A Whisper To A Scream book for publication

57 when I published the revised Then As It Was Led Zeppelin at Knebworth book,

58 when I compiled the Five Glorious Nights -Led Zeppelin at Earls Court 1975 book…

59 when I interviewed Jimmy Page for the TBL magazine

59 when I wrote the liner notes for the official Complete BBC Sessions

60 when the Complete BBC Sessions set was released.

61 when I watched England reach the semi finals of the World Cup

61 when I completed the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book with Mike Tremaglio

So once again, forgive me the indulgence but here are some DL birthday at 62 reflections:

Some things I’ve learned at 62…

Life sounds better to music…

It’s a great life this life of music – to paraphrase the late great Ahmet…

Records are very good for the soul…

Darren’s Vinyl Barn is a very good place to be on Friday mornings

Record Store Day is  a wonderful event

The CD is still a great format – particularly box sets

It’s best to lock your bike up at all times

Spurs might not win the league but hey, they play some very good football

Led Zeppelin got it right with the title of track two side one of Led Zeppelin III – I am blessed with many…

Passion is infectious….

Heritage is a great thing…

British Pubs are great places and are to be coveted…

My hometown is a comforting place to be…

Laughter is a very good for the soul

Not taking things too seriously and being able to laugh at yourself at times is a very good thing

Laughter and humour make the world go round…

You can’t please all the people all the time and boy, I do try…

Some people will just not get you…but those that really count will..

When it comes to the love of a wife and family – I’m a multi millionaire…

DL AT 62

Once again, forgive me the indulgence but here are some DL birthday at 62 reflections:

At 62, the usual passions remain undimmed.

As ever here music remains all encompassing. Listening to it, writing about it, reading about it. That folks is my DNA.

Right at the centre of my world is of course Led Zeppelin and all its many offshoots. It remains an absolute privilege to be able to relay the world of Led Zep through the various TBL mediums, be it this web site, Facebook, the magazine or the books.

It’s also how I make a living.

Yes it’s a fantastic job but one that does come with it’s own set of challenges. To pursue the various projects, generate business and sell the TBL product is a non stop 24/7 task –  and a somewhat isolating one at times. I do have some amazing support and I’d like to once again single out Mike Tremaglio and TBL designer Mick Lowe for all they have done this past year working with me on the various TBL initiatives to fruition.

At this point I’d also like to offer sincere thanks to  every subscriber and buyer of TBL product this past year. Your support is very much appreciated.

This year has been a very busy one – in the space of the 12 months from September 5 last year, I have achieved the following:

Distributed TBL issue 43 to over 30 countries across the globe.

Contributed a piece to the Bob Dylan Picnic At Blackbushe book published by Wymer Publishing.

Completed work on and finally signed off  the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book with Mike Tremaglio  – without doubt the biggest challenge of my writing career.

Edited the Led Zeppelin Live 1975 – 1977 book for Iconic Images – I’m really pleased how this one turned out.

Written and collated the Led Zeppelin Their 50 Greatest Gigs with Mike Tremaglio for the 14 page feature that ran in the recent issue of Record Collector  – another one I am very proud of.

Hey I was also on News At Ten albeit for a mere ten seconds!

Add to that the ongoing the weekly distribution of TBL book and magazine orders…well there’s no sign of retirement in sight!

My job demands a lot of self motivation and the ability to make things happen. At 62 my zest for life is as strong as ever  -aided considerably by the many people close to me who remain an inspiration…

Then there is the love of football –and following the erratic fortunes of Tottenham Hotspur and England  both of whom provided some amazing highs during the year – not least Gareth’s boys in the World Cup,  the daily bike rides (my favoured mode of transport ) and socialising in the pub with friends.

Pubs oh yes…I have a great affinity for the great British pub. Whilst I don’t drink much of it, I love the affinity people have with real ale. I do seem to be pictured many times with a pint of Fosters in my hand – but it’s not just that they serve alcohol – I love the differing atmosphere, the lay out –the sheer tradition of the British pub. Too many are closing of course which is a terrible shame. Those that remain should be coveted. Last Saturday I visited ten of them!

As the years roll on  – the fact is though, none of us are getting any younger  – with a continuous stream of high profile passing’s, the thoughts of mortality are more prevalent than ever.

So the days really are to cherish and with health issues to contend with ( I have my diabetes 2 condition t keep an eye on )  and the usual daily grind, it isn’t always easy – it isn’t all smiles and there are often tears behind the smiles. As I have previously documented here ( and like many others) I have had and continue to have issues with the black dog of depression. Coping with that can be tricky but luckily I am blessed with many precious friends.

In fact, track two side one of Led Zeppelin III is a big mantra of mine ….Friends….like I said I am blessed with so many.I count myself a very lucky man indeed.

And music – always music…

This is the ingredient that has forged so many like minded friendships over the past five decades.


As is plainly evident, my tastes were formulated in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s and have remained pretty constant ever since.

For me it’s about albums, songs, vocalists, emotion, composition, dynamics, light and shade…and the usual suspects continue to fill that premise and inspire so step forward in no particular order the likes of:

Led Zeppelin and related artists/Crosby Stills Nash and Young/The Who/The Beatles/The Rolling Stones/David Bowie/Rod Stewart/The Faces/Bob Dylan/Nick Drake/Elvis Presley/Frank Sinatra/Miles Davis/Free/Bad Company/Yes/Fairport Convention/Sandy Denny/Joni Mitchell/Dusty Springfield//T. Rex/Pete Townshend

Alice Cooper/Humble Pie/Peter Frampton/The Yardbirds/The Allman Brothers/Little Feat/The James Gang/Credence Clearwater Revival/The Byrds/Pink Floyd/Jethro Tull/Cat Stevens/John Lennon/George Harrison/Paul McCartney & Wings/Queen, Traffic/Eric Clapton/Blind Faith/Derek & The Dominoes/Donovan/Family/Ronnie Wood/Mott The Hoople/ELP/Burt Bacharach/Paul Weller/The Jam and many more.

You could say it’s a whole lotta retro but that’s the way I like it. There is always a fair few CDs and LP’s in the ”To listen to’’ pile and more to unravel and enjoy.

Then there is vinyl…lovely long playing vinyl – the LP – the record… the seven inch single…the 45 RPM

Whilst I still collect CD’s –in fact as mentioned above I’ve had a bit of renaissance with that format in recent months –  it’s vinyl that tends to dominate here…

But let us not forget the good old CD:

As is well known, Vinyl Records are the music carrying format of my choice and whilst it’s vinyl I invest more in – I still love CD’s and I am always on the lookout for interesting stuff. It’s a shame how devalued CD’s have become – any charity shop will have a rack full for under 2 pounds – at the recent Harpenden Record Fair there were plenty of tired looking CDs for a similar low price.

What I really find worth collecting are the extend double CDs and box sets such as Universal’s Deluxe Editions and Sony’s Legacy series and well packaged Led Zep bootlegs (of which I also have a fair few!) and I also own a variety of box set packages -David Bowie, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones etc.

Also well worth searching out are the CD’s produced via the Castle/Sanctuary/RPM labels – these invariably have fold out covers with extensive notes and rare record sleeve images.

A recent addition here has been Juicy Lucy – Who Do You Love/The Anthology.

Juicy Lucy featured ex Misunderstood pedal steel guitarist Glenn Ross Campbell –they scored a top 20 UK hit with a cover of Bo Diddley’s Who Do You Love and recorded two albums on the Vertigo label –Juicy Lucy (with a very distinctive album cover featured a burlesque dancer named Zelda Plum, covered in fruit) and Lie Back and Enjoy It – various line up changes ensured and they later recorded on the Bronze label. All this is superbly explained and illustrated in the fold out booklet that accompanies this excellent overview of their work.

I do have one of their Vertigo albums and a Bronze label compilation on vinyl –but this is a great one CD catch all collection of their work

So vinyl may rule but CD’s can still be brilliant…

Meanwhile back to vinyl – the collecting of vinyl albums and singles continues to be a real passion – ever increasingly so!

As my good friend Dec notes, I seem to be on a quest to invest in every rock album released since 1968 –it’s not quite as bad as that but boy do I love re connecting with the long playing format. Big time.

So what is the attraction?

Well for me in an ever changing technological social media driven world,the LP and single record is a true bastion of past values – values to be held on to and cherished.  Vinyl is the true everlasting music carrying format.The sleeve art work, the size, the tangible feel, the smell..and the sound – living breathing vinyl grooves…and of course that most comforting of sounds…the initial surface noise as the needle hits the vinyl…sheer bliss in my world…and countless others  – note least of course one James Patrick Page – I have been fortunate enough to see his own passion for record buying at close quarters.

For me every vinyl album or single I acquire tells a story – the historical significance of the label and pressing, of course the music itself and the memories it inspires.

In fact, I can tell a story surrounding every record I have.

Most of my collecting  concentrates on the golden age of the 1960s and 70s –when I was growing up and discovering music for myself.  Indeed part of my vinyl quest is to buy back LP’s I either foolishly sold or lost along the way.

I am also a sucker for great artwork and label designs. I love collecting anything on the Atlantic UK plum and orange label with it’s Zep heritage, and labels such as Apple, Vertigo, Immediate and Island. To me these label designs are pure works of art.

Of course anything on Swan Song Records is eagerly snapped up too.

I have acquired some great Swan Song promo pressings in the past year as well as various foreign Led Zep pressings. I would have actually had one or two more Zep foreign rarities but knowing of Jimmy’s passion for the same area of collecting, I have occasionally bought to his attention some  Zep rarities I’ve seen at record fairs we have both been at. Rather than invest myself, I have graciously passed them over to the guitarist. Well, after all he did create the music on them!

Oh and add to that the seven inch single…

In recent years I have got right back into collecting singles -I have over 2,500 of the little gems. The quest originally being to snap up the singles I would have purchased in the years 1969 to 1972 had I had the required cash to do so. That has by and large been achieved but I still love snapping up odd couplings and obscure labels,orgotten gems etc.

In the collecting of vinyl there are many bargains to be had – with a keen eye for a bargain I rarely pay over £20 and mostly under £10. I have something of a deft touch at searching out gems in local charity shops .

In London, there’s Fopp in Cambridge Circus, Sister Ray and Reckless Records in Berwick Street and the nearby Sounds of The Universe, continue to come up with some great stuff. Then there’s the London Olympia and Victoria  record fairs and Spitalfields market. The nearby Hitchin market is another good source as is Empire Records in St Albans and Wax Factor and Across the Tracks in Brighton. In Cambridge there’s Black Barn Records and Leighton Buzzard’s Black Circle Records is also excellent.

As everybody reading this knows,  in Bedford, Darren Harte’s Vinyl Barn stall on Bedford market on Friday’s as something of a weekly vinyl haven. I am there most Friday mornings checking the new arrivals – and Darren continues to come up with interesting fresh retro stuff. The Slide Record shop in Bedford which opened last September has also been a regular source of interesting LPs and singles.

Amongst my gang, Tom, Phil and Dec are also vinyl enthusiasts particularly Tom who like me is also an avid vinyl collector and we can often be heard discussing the fascinating minutiae of rare vinyl pressings on the Vertigo label etc etc – or ‘’talking bollocks’’ as some of our ladies are prone to comment on –  but hey it’s what we do!

Our trips out for the annual Record Store Day is always one of the highlights of the year. This year on Record Store Day we visited the excellent Black Circle Records in Leighton Buzzard and Bedford’s Slide Records. It was one of the best Record Store Day’s to date.

Local collectors Pete Burridge, Mat Roberts Steve Livesley and Dave Crane are fellow local vinyl enthusiasts who have the vinyl buzz and our finds are often on our respective Facebook pages.

Rarely if ever, does a week goes by where I do not pick up one or two items – the downside is of course they do take up some considerable room as the good lady Janet often reminds me!

However I do have to report that saturation point has just about been been reached.

Oh yes the time has come – and let’s face it, it was always coming…

The first thing to note is that I am running out of albums to buy -simply because I have virtually everything I’ve been searching for. It’s got to the stage where wading through rack upon rack I find myself saying ”I’ve got that’….I’ve got that too.’

I do still have an ongoing wants list  but it is shrinking.

I do still invest in a fair few singles -after all they take up less space (well that’s what I keep telling the good lady Janet!)

There well may be something of a down sizing  in the albums at some point ahead – of course that wont stop me adding one or two where required!

So to the Birthday list – there’s always lists…

On the occasion of my 62nd birthday:

This year’s list is all about B Sides..

Yes B sides.. .the flip side to those 45RPM singles – the track that would be placed as the B side to the A side of a single. In the formative days of the 45 RPM single, this often took the format of a throwaway song to make up the record. Sometimes these songs were concocted to extend the publishing royalty’s whereby the group would take credit for the hastily written number to gain financially.

Eventually B sides were deemed more important than that and unsurprisingly The Beatles were the catalyst for change. Such was the quality of their songwriting their B sides became almost as well known as their A sides. This led to them taking the bold step of occasionally prompting their singles ”Double A Sides” – notably Day Tripper/We Can Work it Out, Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby and Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever.

My own affection for B sides began back in 1969 – I regularly went to a couple of local cafes that had juke boxes on the promises. Rather than keep paying to hear the A side, our gang often experimented by putting on the B side. Soon the likes of The Rolling Stones Child of the Moon, The Beatles Old Brown Shoe and Deep Purple’s Speed King became our own secret record club. Yes we were well aware of Jumping Jack Flash, The Ballad of John And Yoko and Black Night but by the wonder of the B side we could enjoy twice the value of such singles. This was a juke box trend that I would enjoy well into the early 1970s

Of course, in the UK Led Zeppelin did not play the official singles game – but they certainly did in America and I was lucky enough to get hold of import copies of their singles – the most revealing B side being Hey Hey What Can I Do – a leftover from the Led Zeppelin III sessions that would eventually be added to the New Age of Atlantic compilation. That gem remains my favourite B side of all time.

Having been weaned on the juke box delights of the B side, I always made a big effort to play the B side of any single I purchased – and later working in record shops gave me easy access to finding out the flip side of many a 45. I quickly built up a whole host of B side favourites. Often these would be one off tracks not available on an album or a unique live performance. Others would offer quality album tracks on the B side prompting further investigation of the album in question.

Some acts made the B side into something of an art form – The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Jam were prime exponents. Latterly and heavily influenced by the previous three acts, Oasis took it upon themselves to issue unique not available anywhere else one off tracks on their singles. Enough for a whole album of their B side to be collated as The Masterplan album in 1998.

So…as my penchant for collecting singles continues unabated and B sides are something that add to the collectability and enjoyment of those 45 RPM delights.

I therefore felt it was high time to wade through the countless singles I have at my disposal to come up with a list of my all time fave B sides. On the occasion of my 62nd birthday appropriately enough – 62 of them.

No apologies for the inclusion of a fair few Beatles, Stones and Jam selections amongst them – and Robert Plant has served up a few flip side faves himself. In condensing them to 62, I’ve left out a number of other esteemed B sides – I will therefore be regularly flagging up more of these B side beauties on the TBL website postings ahead.

Of course in this age of Downloads the B side is something of a dying art – which is even more reason to celebrate the sheer beauty of the seven inch B side.

Vinyl Juke Box’s are also something of a relic now and rarely seen in pubs. However, on our recent visit to Brighton I was well pleased to find a genuine vinyl juke box – in a pub in the Lanes area – and as can be seen in this pic, it was stacked with seven inch vinyl gold. We were only in there briefly but given more time the B sides I would have put on from this lot would have included Jimi Hendrix 51st Anniversary, Dusty’s Just A Little Lovin’, The Beatles The Inner Light and The Rolling Stones Child Of The Moon.

So to the list:

There’s some utterly amazing musical performances amongst the following and I will be playing through every one of them in the next few days. Let that stylus hit the vinyl because these really are…

….Killer B Sides – 62 at 62

The B side selection followed by the artist and the A side and the year of release – presented in chronological order…

This Boy – The Beatles (I Want To Hold Your Hand 1963)

Stoned – The Rolling Stones (I Wanna be Your Man 1963)

Keep Moving – Jimmy Page (She Just Satisfies 1965)

Play With Fire – The Rolling Stones (The Last Time 1965)

Circles -The Who (Substitute 1966)

God Only Knows –  The Beach Boys (Wouldn’t It Be Nice 1966)




Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues (live) Bob Dylan (I Want You 1966)

Rain – The Beatles (Paperback Writer 1966)

Laughin’ Crying Laughin’  – Robert Plant (Our Song 1967)

Puzzles – The Yardbirds (Little Games 1967)

Beck’s Bolero – Jeff Beck (Hi Ho Silver Lining 1967)

The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam’s Dice –Jimi Hendrix Experience (The Wind Cries Mary 1967)

Baby You’re a Rich Man – The Beatles (1967)

Dandelion – The Rolling Stones (We Love You 1967)

Amen Corner – Satisnek the Job’s Worth – (Bend Me, Shape Me 1968)

Child Of The Moon – The Rolling Stones (Jumping Jack Flash 1968)

Revolution – The Beatles (Hey Jude 1968)

Just A Little Lovin’ – Dusty Springfield (Son Of a Preacher Man 1968)

A ‘B’ Side – Manfred Mann (Ragamuffin Man 1969)

Any Day Now – Elvis Presley (In The Ghetto 1969)

Oh Well Part 2 – Fleetwood Mac (Oh Well Part 1 1969)

Teacher – Jethro Tull (Witches Promise 1970)

Old Brown Shoe – The Beatles (Ballad of John and Yoko 1969)

Livin’ Lovin’ Maid (She’s a Woman ) Led Zeppelin (Whole Lotta Love 1969)

Hey Hey What Can I Do – Led Zeppelin (Immigrant Song 1970)

Speed King – Deep Purple (Black Night 1970)

Strange Band/Hung Up Down – Family (Weavers Answer 1970)

Into the Old Man’s Shoes – Elton John (Your Song 1971)

Sunrise In The Morning – Frank Sinatra (I Will Drink The Wine 1971)

Early 1970 – Ringo Starr (It Don’t Come Easy 1971)

My People Were Fair/Raw Ramp – T Rex ( Get It On 1971)

Only My Soul – Free (My Brother Jake 1971)

Reason To Believe – Rod Stewart (Maggie May 1971)

Cadillac/Baby Strange – T Rex (Telegram Sam 1972)

Bell Bottom Blues – Derek & The Dominos (Layla 1972)

Wings – The Mess (live) (My Love 1973)

Miss O’ Dell – George Harrison (Give Me Love 1973)

Jodie – Rod Stewart /Faces (Oh No Not My Baby 1973)

David Bowie – Round And Round (Drive In Saturday 1973)

OK Yesterday Was Yesterday – Slade (Far Far Away 1974)

Through The Lonely Nights – The Rolling Stones ( It’s Only Rock’ n’Roll 1974)

Panic In Detroit (live) David Bowie (Knock On Wood 1974)

As Long As You Tell Him – The Faces (You Can Make Me Dance Sing or Anything 1974)

Black Country Woman – Led Zeppelin (Trampled Underfoot 1975)

I’m In Love With My Car – Queen (Bohemian Rhapsody 1975)

Snow Queen – Elton John & Kiki Dee (Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 1976)

Did You No Wrong – Sex Pistols (God Save The Queen 1977)

I Shall Be Released – Tom Robinson Band (2-4- 6- 8 Motorway 1977)

Armagideon Time – The Clash (London Calling 1979)

Dreams Of Children – The Jam (Going Underground 1980)

Lisa Radley –The Jam (Start! 1980)

Dr Luther’s Assistant – Elvis Costello (New Amsterdam 1980)

Be True – Bruce Springsteen (Fade Away 1981)

Shopping – The Jam (Beat Surrender 1982)

Far Post – Robert Plant (Burning Down One Side 12 inch 1982)

Party Chambers – The Style Council (Speak Like A Child 1983)

Pledge Pin (live) – Robert Plant (In The Mood 1983)

Walking Towards Paradise – Robert Plant (Heaven Knows 1988)

Acquiesce  – Oasis (Roll With It 1995)

Stay Young – Oasis (Do You Know What I Mean 1996)

The Window – Jimmy Page & Robert Plant ( Most High 1998)

All The Money In The World – Robert Plant (Shine It All Around 2005)

So there you have it…

It’s a B side world…we just live in it..

I’d welcome your own suggestion of your fave B sides – send them along on the comments page below

So bring on 62 as there is a lot to do …

September is already well packed with the John Bonham Celebration concert in Redditch, the publication and launch of the Evenings With Led Zeppelin and the TBL ”It’s Been A Long Time 1968 -2018” Event at the Atlas pub Fulham on September 30.

The forthcoming TBL issue 44 is also well underway – I am aiming at a late Autumn publication and it’s shaping up to be another epic outpuring…

As for other future objectives, as ever I have many ideas under consideration – including a possible reissue programme of the early TBL magazines, a possible best of TBL compendium and my own memoirs somewhere along the line.

As we arrive at the landmark 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin’s formation there is much to celebrate. Whether it be online or though social media and the TBL website ,via the magazine, future book projects etc, I will continue to endeavour to ensure TBL has a platform and voice that enhances the enjoyment of this very special band of musicians…

In short, chronicling the world of Led Zeppelin is in my DNA and it continues to be an absolute privilege to do so…and I am ready for more of the same at 62…

David Francis Lewis aged 62

September 5. 2018


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.

Led Zeppelin

Upcoming events:

September 7 – Led Zeppelin will release the remastered edition of “The Song Remains The Same” and new merchandise.
September 9 – Robert Plant will perform at LouFest in Missouri.
September 10 – Robert Plant will perform in Kansas City, Missouri.
September 13 – Robert Plant will perform in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
September 15 – Pre-orders of Led Zeppelin’s photo book will no longer include the limited edition poster after this date and Robert Plant will perform at the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival in Colorado.
September 16 – Robert Plant will perform at the KAABOO festival in California.
September 18 – “Scream For Help,” which features a soundtrack by John Paul Jones, will be released on Blu-ray.
September 19 – Robert Plant will perform in Tucson, Arizona.
September 21 – Robert Plant will perform in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
September 22 – The John Bonham Celebration Festival will take place in Redditch.
September 23 – Robert Plant will perform at the Bourbon & Beyond festival in Louisville, Kentucky.
September 25 – Robert Plant will perform in Irving, Texas.
September 27 – The “Evenings With Led Zeppelin” book will be released and Robert Plant will perform in Lubbock, Texas.
September 29 – Empress Valley will release the soundboard recording of Led Zeppelin’s September 29, 1971 show and Robert Plant will perform in Austin, Texas.
September 30 – The TBL 50th Anniversary Celebration Day event will take place at The Atlas Pub in Fulham, London and Robert Plant will perform in Austin, Texas.
October 1 – Robert Plant will perform in Austin, Texas.
October 9 – The official Led Zeppelin photo book will be released.
October 16 – “Bring it on Home,” a new biography of Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant, will be released.
October 25 – Robert Plant will perform in Cardiff, Wales.
October 26 – Robert Plant will perform in London, UK.
October 28 – Robert Plant will perform in Dublin, Ireland.
November 20 – The Japanese edition of the official Led Zeppelin photo book will be released.
November 29 – “Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Book of Bass”, which features an interview with John Paul Jones, will be released.

Many thanks to James Cook.

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

Led Zeppelin News Website: Check out the Led Zeppelin news website at


TBL Archive Special: If it’s September…it must be time for Live On Blueberry Hill…

Led Zeppelin Live On Blueberry Hill – the pioneering bootleg album …still a thrill…47 years gone…

48 years ago on September 4 1970, Led Zeppelin performed a memorable show at the Los Angles Forum – it was captured by more than one enterprising fan and subsequently released on a variety of bootlegs. It remains for me and countless others one of THE essential Led Zeppelin recordings.

To mark the 48th anniversary of what we know and love as Live On Blueberry Hill, here is an TBL archive special this is one of the chapters in the Celebration II – The Tight But Loose Files book published by Omnibus Press in 2003.

Bootlegs and Led Zeppelin have been synonymous for over three decades. Despite manager Peter Grant’s heavy-handedness when dealing with those he caught taping their shows, the band are the most bootlegged act of all time, outstripping even The Beatles, Dylan, Springsteen and the Stones. Their final seven shows in the UK alone (five at Earls Court and two at Knebworth) account for over 100 different releases between them. Just about every known amateur recording of the band’s live gigs has made it on to CD. Given the length of their stage shows, the CD format, with its 75-minute playing time, is tailor made for presenting Zeppelin in concert, but even before the flood of digital compact format titles that emerged in the early Nineties there was no shortage of vinyl Led Zeppelin bootlegs.

Tight But Loose has carried reports on Zeppelin bootlegs since its inception. As far back as the hand written first edition I was enthusiastically reviewing the then recently issued vinyl bootleg Ballcrusher which documented their BBC In Concert show. Issue number two carried an extensive report on what was already a legendary bootleg album, Led Zeppelin Live On Blueberry Hill. In 1995 I returned to that 1970 recording to laud its 25th anniversary for TBL 11.

Whatever the legal niceties of such releases, searching out their bootleg recordings is a necessity of every serious Zep fan. Their studio albums only hinted at the creativity the group were capable of. It was on stage in live action that Zeppelin really excelled.

During the Seventies ample proof of that fact arrived with each new bootleg record, none more so than the remarkable recordings made at the Los Angles Forum from the audience on the night of September 4, 1970, during Led Zeppelin’s sixth American tour. This chapter reflects on the lasting impact of that memorable bootleg recording and rounds up twelve other illicit evenings with Led Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin’s impact on their initial American tours made them a prime target for the emerging bootleg recording business. The bands’ skill at extending and improvising on their studio record repertoire elevated their live shows to something very different from playing their albums.

During their first 18 months on the road they cleverly interwove the basic recorded material from the first two albums with additional impromptu jams. Early examples of this included the long jam on Garnet Mimms ‘As Long As I Have You’, employed on many of their 1969 shows, the medley of numbers to be found within ‘How Many More Times’ and an improvised jam session in the middle of ‘Communication Breakdown’. Then there was ‘Dazed And Confused’, Page’s late Yardbird remnant that by 1970 was developing into a marathon 20-minute opus with differing sections, including the violin bow episode and a call and response battle between Page and Plant.

‘Whole Lotta Love’, the Zep II opener, soon became another forum for exploration, usually a platform to playfully improvise a selection of Fifties rock’n’roll classics. During 1970 they also began previewing songs from the yet to be released third album – initially an embryonic ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ and then, in a bold move, the acoustic ‘That’s The Way’, a performance that helped break the myth that Zep relied entirely on Marshall amplifiers.

Two separate teams of fans were intent on recording the Zeppelin gig at the Inglewood Forum in Los Angeles on the night of September 4, 1970, but it’s unlikely they knew what Zeppelin had in store that night. Both came away with lengthy representations of the band’s current state of play, recorded on reel-to- reel recorders close to the stage.

The recording that would became known as the album Led Zeppelin Live On Blueberry Hill was captured by a pair of west coast bootleggers whose previous credits included Dylan’s Great White Wonder set and The Rolling Stones’ LiveR Than You’ll Ever Be. The latter had been recorded on a Uher 4000 reel-to-reel tape recorder with 71/2ips inch reels and a Sennheiser 805 shotgun microphone. They took this set up into the Forum to record in stereo the Zeppelin September 4 performance. Unbeknown to them, a separate bootlegger known as Rubber Dubber also recorded the show and quickly issued it as a double bootleg album stamped Led Zeppelin Live Los Angeles Forum 9-4-70.

The more common Blimp label version (later to appear on the high profile bootleg label Trade Mark Of Quality) with a distinctive surreal cover insert came out within weeks of the LA show. It’s worth noting, however, that it was not the first Led Zeppelin bootleg to be released. That distinction fell to a vinyl album known as PB (the title derived from the chemical symbol for lead). This came packaged in a brown sleeve with the words P.B. Live on side one and Recorded Live – Pure Blues on side two, and was pressed in limited quantities around the Seattle area. Pure Blues subsequently reached a wider market when it was picked up by the Trade Mark Of Quality label and pressed as Mudslide. The actual source was a soundboard recording from Zeppelin’s opening night of their fifth US tour on March 21, 1970, at the Pacific Coliseum Vancouver. The 40-minute tape was notable for capturing a rare version of ‘We’re Gonna Groove’, the Ben E King/James Beatha cover which the band used as a set opener during their early 1970 appearances. They also recorded a studio version the previous summer for possible inclusion on Led Zeppelin II which would eventually surface on the posthumous Coda album.

The UK music press of the time chronicled the constant stream of bootleg titles from the likes of Bob Dylan, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones that were being imported into the country. When reports of Zeppelin titles came to the attention of Peter Grant he was predictably angry.

In one of the few naive statements of his career, Grant was quoted in the Melody Maker as saying: “As far as I know there can be no Led Zeppelin tapes available. After hearing some time ago that there was going to be an attempt to bootleg some tapes of the band, I flew to America. We’ve managed to retrieve all the tapes and we know nothing in existence that can be issued.”

When Grant heard that copies of Live On Blueberry Hill were being sold from a shop in Chancery Lane in London, Grant and Richard Cole, along with RAK management partner Mickie Most, paid the shop a visit. He questioned the proprietor on the Zeppelin album and with some not so gentle persuasion made sure he knew that this was one bootleg album it would be best to leave alone. In a separate incident a year later fearing another case of bootlegging, Grant smashed the equipment being used by a team of anti-pollution scientists set up to measure noise levels at a Zeppelin show in Vancouver.

For all his muscle Grant was ultimately powerless to stop the proliferation of Zeppelin underground records of which Blueberry Hill was the forerunner. If you knew where to look, such artefacts were possible to come by.

For this particular enchanted Zep obsessed teenager Blueberry Hill represented the forbidden fruit and back in 1972 I was determined to track it down. Luckily the then relative newcomer to the pop press Sounds offered a free service for readers’ classified advertisements. I scoured these columns religiously for many weeks and finally struck gold when I spotted an ad that ran along the lines: “Live albums for sale: Stones, Dylan, Zeppelin etc”. The list came back and amongst the many Dylan and Beatles titles there it was – Live On Blueberry Hill, a double album on the TMQ label, catalogue number TMQ 72002, and pressed on coloured vinyl, asking price £6. Back then six quid was a small fortune but it was more than worth it.

About three weeks later the postman dropped an LP size package on the doorstep. I anxiously ripped it open and there in all its glory was the genuine article: “106 minutes and fifty-three seconds of pure and alive rock” as the sleeve insert put it. Was it ever.


The excitement of playing that double album, on blue and red vinyl, remains an unforgettable musical memory for me. It was a novelty that never wore off. Indeed, the various incarnations I’ve obtained since – the Rubber Dubber vinyl set, the various re-issues, the various bootleg CD packages – all these have only heightened the listening pleasure of that celebrated Los Angeles stop-off during Led Zeppelin’s sixth American tour.

The overriding factor of the September 4 recording, regardless of which version you hear, is that it remains one of the greatest audience recordings of the era. The sheer dynamic thrust of Bonzo’s drum sound, the sinewy grind of Page’s guitar, Jonesy’s resonant bass lines and piecing keyboards and the outstanding clarity of Plant’s siren shrieks (suitably enhanced by the echo unit employed at the time), all merge into a ferocious mix that magically recreates the electricity of the occasion.

For anyone weaned the original TMQ long players, there’s an authenticity in their performances ingrained in the grooves that has rarely been captured so effectively. Alongside the 1975 Madison Sqaure Garden soundboard, the Earls Court shows and the LA 1977 gigs, there are few finer unofficial examples of the complete Led Zeppelin concert experience. The September 4, 1970, concert as captured on the TMQ double set was just choc full of off-the-wall surprises. There was no sign of any set list sterility back then – they just did as they pleased.

Moments to relish include:

The aural assault of ‘Immigrant Song’ (listed on the insert as ‘From The Midnight Sun’ as it had yet to be announced under its official title) exploding into ‘Heartbreaker’.

The slightly menacing tone of a relatively compact ‘Dazed And Confused’ with Plant bursting in mid way through screaming, “I don’t care what people say, rock’n’roll is here to stay”

Page and Bonham linked in glorious tandem for that solo exercise on ‘Bring It On Home’

The electric finale of ‘Moby Dick’ (“The big B!” exclaims Plant)

The unpredictability of ‘Communication Breakdown’ as Zep play The Buffalo Springfield and Beatles songbooks and throw in the rarely played live Zep I opener ‘Good Times Bad Times’.

Freshly minted nuggets from the yet to be heard Zep III on record such as ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ and the rarely played ‘Out On the Tiles’.

The tentative introduction of the acoustic material, a stark and sensitive ‘That’s The Way’ and the rare try out of Page’s instrumental solo ‘Bron Yr Aur’, a clear five years before it was officially released

‘Thank You’ preceded by the meandering organ solo from John Paul Jones and finishing with a drawn out ending featuring Page’s delicate strumming.

‘Whole Lotta Love’ and the ensuing Zep 50’s revival show and finally the breathless rendition of Fats Domino’s ‘Blueberry Hill’

“Goodnight and thank you for everything,” utters a breathless Plant at the close, followed by “Did ya dig it?” by the evening’s MC.

Yes we did and still do

The greatest live album of all time? It’s certainly up there with the best, official or otherwise.

The reason is simple. It captures a group of musicians brimming with confidence. On stage that night in September 1970 Led Zeppelin were truly coming of age.

Live On Blueberry is also something of a yardstick for the bootlegs industry. Back then Zeppelin’s recorded output was just the tip of the iceberg. On stage live was where the real action occurred and, indeed, where they really built their reputation. Peter Grant summing it all up when he told me: “Led Zeppelin was primarily an in-person band… that’s what it was really about.”

Bootleg recordings of the band offered a whole new level of appreciation and Blueberry Hill was the watershed for the subsequent flood of live Zep bootlegs that would emerge throughout the next three decades.

The whole bootleg CD market may be well out of control now, beyond any reasonable realm of quality control, but there was a time when bootlegs like Blueberry Hill were considered almost as important as the group’s official output by fans and chroniclers alike and, if they were honest, probably the group themselves.

Maybe that’s the greatest compliment that can be paid to this iconic bootleg recording. It remains as essential a part of their discography as any of their official albums.

More than four decades on Live On Blueberry Hill is still an absolute thrill.

Dave Lewis.




This Friday will mark 50 years to the day that the four musicians who would become Led Zeppelin performed their first ever gig.

The tribute band Coda are celebrating  this momentous occasion by going back to the very location where this happened to perform a showcase gig.   

Here’s some words from drummer Simon Wicker on how this all came together:

On September 7th 1968, Led Zeppelin played their very first gig in a school hall in Gladsaxe, Copenhagen. They went on to become the biggest and most influential rock band of all time. On September 7th 2018 my band, CODA – a Tribute to Led Zeppelin will be paying homage to our favourite band by playing a special show at the same venue, exactly 50 years to the day!

Ever since I was given a copy of Led Zeppelin II by a school friend at the age of 17, I have been hooked on the music of Led Zeppelin. At that time I was teaching myself to play the drums, and what better mentor to have than John Bonham, with his powerful, inventive grooves, his incredible feel and fantastic musicality.

Several years later and I was trying to form my very first Led Zeppelin tribute band, and have been trying ever since then to form the ultimate tribute to the ultimate rock band, and I think I have finally achieved this with CODA. Four musicians who have the skill to pull off the music of Led Zeppelin, and the ability to reflect their on-stage personae and to create an atmosphere akin to being at a real Led Zeppelin show.

The journey to Copenhagen started in October 2017when I had a plan to celebrate 50 years of Led Zeppelin with three unique concerts, marking three key ‘firsts’ in Zep’s formative year. One: Their very first show, two: their UK debut and three: their debut in London.

With this in mind I contacted the head teacher, Camilla Hoffmann, of Gladsaxe Skole, formerly Egegard Skole, in whose hall the band had exploded onto the music scene to an audience of around 1300 Danish teenagers back in 1968. As luck would have it, she was very receptive to the idea and the die was cast! We hired the hall and started to make plans for our show, no mean feat considering we would be travelling around 800 miles to a different country.

Fast forward to the present day and we have now managed to finalise all the arrangements, thanks to the superb help of Jorgen Angel, the photographer who took the very first live pictures of Led Zeppelin. Thanks to Jorgen’s involvement, we have also managed to get Lars Abel involved with the gig. Lars was the president of the Gladsaxe Teen Club who booked Led Zeppelin for their debut show and he has also been very helpful and arranged some publicity for the show,, and helped us to book a very important part of the event, the bar!He signed the contract for the original booking of Led Zeppelin, and also introduced Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham to the expectant audience.

As well as this, we have also been in touch with Jerry Ritz, the promoter of their first tour, and he will also be at the show, with his wife who he met for the first time at that show 50 years ago and been with ever since. Jerry has also helped to promote our gig, and we are very grateful for all the people who have been helping us with the organisation of this show, including Christian Buch and all the other teachers and parents at the school. Both Jorgen and Lars will be talking about Led Zep’s historic debut, and will also be introducing CODA! We also hope to have a member of the band that supported Led Zeppelin there to talk about that night.

On the same day, Jorgen Angel is also releasing a brand new book that he has provided the pictures for, by local author Soren Vangsgaard. The book is about Led Zeppelin’s concerts in Denmark, 1968 – 1970. He will also be selling copies of this and his fantastic lithograph of pictures taken on 7th September 1968 at our gig.

This is an incredibly exciting gig for us, and we can’t wait to play on the same stage that Led Zeppelin played for the very first time, exactly 50 years ago, and we are looking forward to sharing our love of the music of Led Zeppelin to hundreds of Led Zeppelin fans.

If you can’t get to Copenhagen on Friday 7th September, then we are celebrating Led Zeppelin’s debut in the UK with a show at Trillians, Newcastle, on Thursday 4th October, and also their debut in London on Thursday 18th October at O’Neill’s, Wardour Street.

Many thanks to Simon and good luck to them for Friday…


Planet Rock: Zeptember:


This one via the Planet Rock website…

At 7pm each Sunday during Zeptember we’ll be playing a special show delving into the history and legacy of Led Zeppelin.

My thoughts on The Rolling Stones Now – Quarry Theatre Bedford August 31, 2018.

Rolling Stones tribute bands are always going to be on a bit of a tightrope in striking the right balance – the real band themselves have bordered on self parody at times during their long career. Last night, at the excellent Quarry Theatre in Bedford The Rolling Stones Now got it absolutely right.

The did so with two very balanced sets – the first mainly concentrating on the Brian Jones era. It was good to hear the likes of Route 66,Little Red Rooster and Midnight Rambler performed with total authenticity. The very affable lead singer moved like Jagger without looking pretentious – he’s certainly viewed the more recent Stones videos and has the past and present Jagger moves off pat.

The bulk of the second half showcased the latter Stones era and it really was a case of what’s not to like? Start Me Up, Miss You, Gimme Shelter, Brown Sugar ,Satisfaction and It’s Only Rock’n’Roll – the hits kept on coming.

Celebratory encores of You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Jumpin’ Jack Flash and Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone (which the Stones have performed themselves live in the past ) had the audience totally engaged.

Then and now, this is a tribute act that knows how to present the hits of The Rolling Stones with passion and panache. Catch them when you can…
Dave Lewis September 1, 2018

VIP Victoria Record Fair Saturday September 8,2018

The VIP Record Fair is staged at the Horticultural Halls, 80 Vincent Square, Victoria, London this Saturday, September 8 – always an excellent Fair, I am aiming to be in attendance and this will act as a bit of a post Birthday extended celebration -I will duly adjourn to the nearby pub The Royal Oak to toast my coming of age. I look forward to seeing all that can make it along.




DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday treats at the Vinyl Barn – before a day of Birthday celebrations for the good lady Janet, at the always excellent Vinyl Barn last Friday morning I was well pleased to find a copy of the 1986 Virginia Wolf album featuring Jason Bonham and produced by Roger Free All Right Now single picture sleeve Spanish pressing on the Phillips label very nice indeed– many thanks Darren Harte

We had a great day last Friday the good lady Janet’s Birthday – as seen above, the evening’s entertainment provided by The Rolling Stones Now tribute band made for a top night out. Here we are suited and booted ready to rock…

On Saturday it was time for the Annual pre Birthday Pub Crawl Bike Ride and with tyres pumped up and  chain oiled, I met with my very good friend Max. As we have for a good few years now we travelled the byways of Bedford stopping off at a fair few pubs along the way – ten in all as follows: The Park Hotel, The Burnaby Arms, The Kent Arms, The Balloons, The Wellington, The Bear, The Standard, The Rose, The Ship and  The Fox and Hounds. A steady half a pint in each quenched the thirst before we met with the ladies for an evening meal. 

It’s great to have my very good friend Dec over from Ireland this week – his daughter Alice is also over. Today we will be having an early morning breakfast and a public house or two will be visited…in the evening we will be converging on our local Fox and Hounds pub for a bit of a reunion for my Birthday with a fair few friends. It’s also fantastic to have the good lady Janet, Adam and Sam all here today. The pic below  is fellow Bedford musicologist Pete Burridge , Alice , Dec and myself yesterday afternoon – I have to say Pete beat me convincingly in the ad hoc music quiz we staged – his knowledge is vast!


On Saturday, the post Birthday celebrations will continue at the Victoria Fair.

In between all that, there’s a lot of work ongoing here – with LZ Live 1975 – 1977 books to a pack, TBL 44 to crack on with and various other projects to get moving.

62 has arrived and as ever, there is a lot to do…

Thanks for all your support and interest in making this happen.

Dave Lewis  – September 5, 2018

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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The TBL/DL Facebook page has regular updates and photos – be sure to check it out.

And follow TBL/DL on Twitter

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  • Hiroshi said:

    Belated but let me tell you, “Happy birthday, Dave!”
    On the 5th, I was so busy packing the stuff for my trip to Manchester (Arctic Monkeys at the Arena, 6th) and then Portmeirion (Festival No.6, 7th-9th). Back home, I’m posting this in a pretty knackered body state.

    A little trivia for you here. Robert Plant seems to like Arctic Monkeys. When he and the Shifters were fixed to the lineup for the Summer Sonic Festival in Japan, 2014, he was reported to make a comment, “It’s nice to play prior to a great band like Arctic Monkeys [the fest’s headliner]” And back stage on the show day, Alex Turner was interviewed by the media, looking fidgeting and impatient for fear of missing Robert and Co’s set that was to start soon. A mutual respect there.

  • Bob Flux said:

    Whatever happened to Rosie and the Originals?

  • Graham Rodger said:

    In other news… US rapper Eminem has broken a 36-year old record held jointly by Led Zeppelin and Abba for consecutively entering the UK album chart at No.1 with his new album “Kamikaze” which, ironically, was released the same day as the remastered TSRTS album reissue. It’s his ninth consecutive album chart-topper… but hey, we all know that the charts don’t mean anything any more… haha… I wonder how Eminem and Zeppelin compare on album sales by volume…. haha…

  • Paul Gross said:

    Hi Dave,
    A lot to comprehend here. First, hope you had a fantastic birthday!

    Just want to say how much I enjoy your timelines, particularly adding the addition of the completion of “Evenings with…” , I must say, I cannot wait to receive this!(Looking forward to this for a very long time….are there going to be any limited signed copies!?)
    Then your B-side listings is another very enjoyable read.

    Great to also hear your appreciation of CDs. Although I have some vinyl, CDs make up most of my collection.

    I also love the idea of reissuing the early TBL mags!

    Thanks for everything you do!
    Take care

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Folks thanks for all the many best wishes and comments received which means a lot to me

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    thanks ian!

  • IanD said:

    2 and 60 and still rockin’ many congrats Dave. One more top tip for the list – always remember where your newly acquired bag of record goodies is when you leave a train. Other than that it only remains for me to add The Smiths How Soon Is Now to the list of B sides while pondering your decision to select Baby You’re a Rich Man over I am the Walrus, or indeed Cheese and Onions! Thanks, on behalf of the group and ourselves, for so much joy, born of passion and hard work – you’ve certainly passed the audition. Dirk Mc Quickly

  • Chris Cook said:

    Many Happy Returns Dave

    Thankyou for all your wonderful work.

    Three B side suggestions come from the UK, early 1990s…

    “Where Angels Play” (from “I Wanna Be Adored” by The Stone Roses)
    “Way Up There” (from “Over Rising” by The Charlatans)
    “Carry Me Home” (from “Dixie Narco EP by Primal Scream)

  • Pat Mount said:

    Happy Birthday Dave!
    You are a trooper.
    Thank you for carrying the torch for all things Zep.
    Hope you had a great day.
    Loved the B sides touch especially the early T.Rex ones. Could I throw ‘Thunderwing’ in? (B side of Metal Guru).



  • Gordon Brown said:

    Dave. Happy Birthday. Your work and insight to Led Zeppelin is insurmountable! If you ever require any support with design work I would be more than willing to help. A graphic design professional who had the pleasure of being taught by George Hardie at Newcastle Polytechnic from 83-86 and got a real insight to his work with Hypnosis and his work with Zeppelin. I would be more than happy to lighten any burden!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    great B sides there Larry!

  • Andy J said:

    Happy Birthday Dave, and thanks for your continuous outpouring of Zep information and product.

    Great article on ‘B’ sides. Can I just add to your list “Twilight Alehouse”, the B side of Genesis’ “I know what I Like” 1973 single – good enough to have been on Nursery Crime or Foxtrot IMHO.

    Cheer Andy

  • guy Van Geet said:

    Happy Birthday,

    Quite anonymous follower of your blog since many years.
    Heard LZ for the first time in 1969 when i was 9, single WLL but i preferred the b side living lovin maid. Became a die hard fan as of 1977 when i got the physical graffiti lp.

    Thanks for maintaining the LZ legacy vivid.

  • Gary Davies said:

    Hi Dave, happy birthday my dear friend, I hope you had a wonderful day. Gary & Deb xx

  • Garyj said:

    Happy Birthday Dave,

    Great reading. Have you ever done a spreadsheet or record of your music? What a collection you must have!

  • Larry said:

    Happy Birthday, Dave, and keep rockin’!!!

    Enjoyed your post and of course none of us are getting any younger and life brings its inevitable changes and challenges but we knock ’em down until they get set up again.

    B-sides…great topic…there’s so many exceptional ones…but a quick personal top 10 which could change 5 minutes from now when I remember a couple that haven’t currently come to mind…no particular order except of course the first one…

    Hey Hey What Can I Do (Immigrant Song), 1970 – surely the greatest b-side of all time!

    Rita May (Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again), 1976 – This release emanated from Bob Dylan’s excellent and rare Masterpieces set, but Rita May was recorded during the sessions for Desire, one of his greatest albums in my opinion. An up-tempo ditty with the great Emmylou Harris on backing vocals and the mesmerizing violinist Scarlet Rivera, who added so much to that LP.

    Silver Springs (Go Your Own Way), 1976 – from the Rumours era, one of Fleetwood Mac’s greatest songs that somehow didn’t wind up on the album.

    Incident on 57th Street (Fire), 1987 – a 10-minute live version (recorded at Nassau Coliseum in December 1980), b-side to a live single of Fire from Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band’s monumental Live 1975-85 box set. A Springsteen NYC set piece, what makes this remarkable is his passionate vocal delivery and one of his best (and longest) guitar solos on record.

    Rain (Paperback Writer), 1966 – I believe many refer to this as a “double a-side” and rightfully so. One of the great Beatles singles.

    Sick City (Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me), 1974 – Elton John beating Zep’s Sick Again by a year, this is also a sort of mean groupie song powered by a weird piano groove.

    Born On The Bayou (Proud Mary), 1968 – One of the great Credence Clearwater Revival songs, this would have sounded even heavier covered by a little rock combo with the initials LZ…

    Too Many People (Uncle Albert), 1971 – an interesting little Macca song from the Ram era, always loved this single and LP

    Suffragette City (Starman), 1972 – this classic Bowie track was released as a b-side twice, oddly enough, first on Starman in 1972 and later on another classic, Young Americans, in 1975. Another b which was a-side material

    Cocaine Eyes (Eldorado), 1989 – it might not be fair to call this rampaging Neil Young monster a b-side as it first appeared on the Eldorado EP in 1989, six months before the Freedom album, which used different mixes of 3 of the 5 tracks which initially appeared on this EP. The Eldorado EP interestingly only appeared in Japan and Australia. Cocaine Eyes did finally show up as a b-side on the classic Young track Rockin’ In The Free World from the Freedom LP.

  • Swin said:

    Best wishes Dave ,have a gud un.TBL is still the main outlet for all things Zep related,I’ve been subscribing for the last 25 years & have loved the magazine!Everonward,all the best Swin.

  • Ken Winovich said:

    Happy Birthday Dave! Might as well start the 50th a couple days early! Throw on the Beatles Birthday song and then ‘Hey Hey, What Can I Do’! ’62!

  • Paul MacFarlane said:

    Stellar (meaning typical) Dave Lewis prose passion.
    Here’s to the day we lift one in a pub together.
    Here’s to B Sides.

    Heres to thee. I’m so glad you were born. And thanks for all you think , feel, write and produce.

  • Rick Key said:

    Happy Birthday Dave! You have provided many of us with great reading about our favorite band for many many years. I subscribed to your very earliest TBL newsletters and did so for years. I was in the AF in Germany at the time and treasured every one of them. It kind of seemed like some kind of secret forbidden thing at the time although I am not sure why 🙂

  • Bill Cromwell said:

    Happy Birthday, Dave! All the best from the States on your big day. You do a great job on all things Zeppelin, and fans around the world thank you for it. I have to remember that you and I were both at the Knebworth gig on the first night, though seperated by tens of thousands of people! Small world, but connected by the mighty Led Zeppelin. Track up Celebration Day!



  • Michael Rae said:

    Re B sides: The “hot side” pays the bills, the “not side” that’s for thrills! An economics lesson contained in .”It’s Only a Flip Side” by Red Symons from 1977.

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