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23 December 2012 8,702 views 15 Comments


So this is Christmas…

Like everyone the last few day here have found us scurrying around trying to sort everything before tomorrow. In between Christmas shopping, ordering the turkey etc, there’s been work on the forthcoming TBL issue 34. In particular Mike Tremaglio’s superb tour log that covers the Japan, Monteux and 1972 /3 UK tour. Here’s a pic with designer Mick Lowe at Studio Mix in Bedford last week  – Mick has done another fantastic job in supporting all the design needs of the mag etc throughout the year.

Above – with Mick Lowe at Studio Mix Bedford – December 19th, 2012


When I was in retail the Christmas number one was always a big deal –I therefore watched with interest the BBC 2 programme on 60 years Of Christmas Number Ones. One of my party pieces (which Janet has heard far too many times! ) is that I am pretty good at reciting what was the Christmas number one single in the charts over the past 50 years on anyy given year – actually I’m good up until the late 90s because that’s when interest trailed off as in recent years the winning single from the X Factor has usually been number one (aside from the Rage Against The Machine campaign of 2009). There was respite again last year when The Military Wives moving Wherever You Are made a proper traditional song at number one as it should be and as it used to be. It’s pleasing to report that  the admirable Justice Collective version of He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother (to aid  the campaign for justice for the 96 innocent victims of the Hillsborough disaster) is this year’s Christmas number one single.

Last Friday I thoroughly enjoyed the showcase night of programmes on BBC4 dedicated to Slade –in particular the Slade at the BBC segment which had some classic clips. Aside from the rousing anthems they made some awesome ballads such as Everyday and Far Far Away. Classic stuff.

The past week has seen an influx of TBL orders and I hope a fair few of you out there will opening TBL products purchased as presents on Christmas Day. Alongside work on TBL 34 and packing up and posting books etc, the good lady Janet and I did get to do some Christmas shopping in the very quaint city of St Albans (where our Sam works). As can be seen from the pic above, I  also took on the Santa role and handed out the presents at the local pre school Janet is deputy leader at – just another part of  the TBL service!

Above – with the good lady Janet in St Albans Saturday December 15th

I also caught up with fellow author/publisher Jerry Bloom late last week who filled me in on his latest projects which has included the publishing of 80’s singer Hazel O’ Connor’s autobiography. Jerry had also just taken receipt of the deluxe Deep Purple book which profiles in magnificent detail their famous 1974 California Jam Festival appearance. More details on this at

Jerry’s book titles are at

Gary and I did not get time to venture out for a pre Christmas meet but we aim to hook up in the new year. A big thanks is of course due to him once again for his sterling contribution to the TBL cause…

Above – with Gary Foy -the TBL 2

Today I’ll be dispatching the final pre Christmas TBL post and there’s an important early morning rendezvous at the local butchers to pick up our turkey. We’ll be catching up with a few friends throughout the day.

As is traditional on Christmas Eve here – I’ll be wearing my Led Zeppelin Winterland tie brought for me by Larry Ratner  in 1992.

Last Christmas with the fabled Christmas Eve tie!

Christmas Eve always has that air of expectancy around it as we all get ready to bring the draw bridge up and retreat for Christmas Day.We will all be all here on Christmas Day with Janet’s Mum Betty who has not been too well.

Christmas is always a time for reflection and I am sure like me, you’ll be remembering loved ones not around to share the Christmas season. I am sure all our thoughts will also be with the people of Newtown Connecticut after the appalling Sandy Hook atrocity that has caused so much grief.

That’s the real message of Christmas. As I always observe at this time of year, amongst all the commercial hype this is the seasons true meaning. Reflecting on those no longer around for whatever reason and seeing and thinking of family, friends and people who make our respective lives revolve in the way they do.

For me that includes many of the friends often mentioned here and a whole host of people from far and wide, who over this past year have given time and support to make TBL what it is –and of course the subscribers and purchasers of the TBL magazines and books these past twelve months.

And what a vintage year in Zep terms it has been. There really has never been a period quite like this – the glorious days that spanned announcement of the Celebration Day film on September 13th through to the official release of the DVD on November 19th has been absolutely joyous. No event in their long history has united Led Zeppelin fans more effectively than the simultaneous screening of the Celebration Day film on October 17th

I’ll be raising a glass or two in the coming days in acknowledgment of the amazing and inspiring community that surrounds the Tight But Loose magazine, books and web site.

On behalf of Gary and all here, I wish you all a hopeful, peaceful and merry Christmas.

Dave Lewis – December 24th, 2012


40 years ago on Saturday December 23rd  1972, I was lucky enough to be in attendance at the closest gig Led Zeppelin ever played to Christmas in the UK. It was a cold  dank day and the walk up Muswell Hill to the Alexandra Palace was a bit of a trek. All worth it of course as this very impressionable 16 year old was again in the company of musical giants.

The venue itself had not been used for a gig for years and was a little cold and impersonal – the sound also suffered a fair bit swirling around the high ceiling. Zep of course were brilliant – I had already read they were playing new tracks off of what was still being described as Led Zeppelin V (what would emerge as Houses Of the Holy the following March.) Hearing Over The Hills And Far Away,The Song Remains The Same,The Rain Song and Dancing Days was an immense thrill. The Jesus character who frequented many London gigs at the time stripped naked in front of me (ooerr!) and played a tin whistle during Jimmy’s Dazed violin bow solo and the Whole Lotta Love medley was memorable for a great Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Let’s Have A Party and a scintillating  I Can’t Quit You Baby. Zep gig number two was ticked and I wanted more…much more… though that opportunity would not come around for another two years. By then I had a new mantra..if Led Zeppelin were playing in the UK I wanted to be there…


Long time TBL contributor Phil Tattershall was also at the December 23rd show – here are his memories of his first Led Zeppelin concert…

The announcement of Led Zeppelin’s 72/73 UK tour was incredibly exciting.  I’d had a copy of the double LP, Live On Blueberry Hill for a while and I’d captured their 1971 BBC radio performance as it was broadcast using our family reel-to-reel tape recorder.  Both had been played to death.

I was 18 in 1972 and I’d recently started work, but my old schoolmate Dave* was still job hunting.  He had a bit of spare time, also a motorbike, which meant he was just the man to journey into London in the vain hope of securing tickets for one of the Alexandra Palace shows from Harlequin Records.  Unbelievably, he was successful and managed to buy three tickets, the third being for another schoolmate, Neil**.

I proudly announced to my colleagues in the office that I was going to see Led Zeppelin, but being much older than me, they didn’t share my excitement.  I was shocked to learn that none of them had even heard of Led Zeppelin!

My first wage packet had been spent on a battery-powered cassette recorder and I thought that it would be a perfect opportunity to try concert recording for the first time.  Dave was a keen photographer and thought he’d try to take some pictures to complement my efforts.

The week before the show, we went for a ride on Dave’s motorbike to Alexandra Palace, to make sure that the ancient machine was capable of completing the 45 mile round trip.  It was a curious hybrid vehicle, self assembled from parts of two other bikes dating from 1936 and 1948.  It would need to transport three of us on December 23rd, so Dave had bolted an old sidecar to it.  I remember that reconnaissance expedition well; it was freezing cold and I sat in the sidecar listening to a cassette of ELP’s Trilogy album on both legs of the journey.  (I learned later that the sidecar was attached to the motorbike by a single bolt.  Dave was a bit of a slapdash mechanic!)

Come the 23rd, Dave, Neil and I undertook that intrepid journey from Hertfordshire to north London.  It was as cold as it had been the previous week, but the bike and sidecar served us well.  Outside the venue, I bought a show programme for 25p, which I later learned was unofficial (and is now very collectable!) and chatted to a guy from New York who had bought a ticket from a tout and was fearful that it might be a forgery.  It looked the same as mine though and I think he managed to get in OK.  My voluminous police-service surplus great coat served a dual purpose: it kept out the worst of the cold and effectively concealed my rather large cassette machine.  I gained access without hindrance.

Above the 1972 bootleg programme – the image is actually  Marc Bolan taken from a poster (thanks to Pete Burridge for that info).

Inside the hall it was apparent that there had been problems during the soundcheck and curtains had been hung from the ceiling in an attempt to tame the cavernous venue’s wallowing acoustic. It was an all-standing event and I was surprised that the hall was nowhere-near full, probably little over two-thirds of the floor space being occupied.  I later learned that fire regulations had limited the number allowed to attend.

There was no support act, just a children’s cartoon shown on a small screen above the stage.  I remember the cheer from the audience when one of the cartoon characters swallowed the contents of a bottle labelled ‘Super Speed Pills’.  Hmmm… that certainly wouldn’t be allowed in these days of political correctness and child protection.

The lights dimmed, I pressed the record and play keys of my cassette machine and hoped for the best.  As the band took to the stage, the bloke standing next to me was hit on the head by a beer can thrown from behind, prompting a stream of foul language from him and his companions.  The can’s impact and the subsequent profanities are perfectly captured on my tape.  Sadly the music, at the time the loudest noise I’d heard in my life, is less well preserved.  The poor cassette machine was overwhelmed by the volume and the recording is hopelessly overloaded.   The tape tangled 25 minutes into the show anyway, so it’s hardly an indespensible document.  Dave fared little better in his efforts to capture the visuals and his pictures were disappointing too.

The show itself was astonishing.  Of the songs from the yet-to-be-released Houses of the Holy LP, I remember being particularly impressed by Dancing Days, while friend Neil, a guitar player himself, was blown away by The Song Remains The Same.  The high point for me was the violin bow sequence in Dazed and Confused.  Thanks to my bootlegs, I was very familiar with the live version of the piece and always imagined each “da-da da-da” element being generated by a bow strike.  When I witnessed every other ‘da’ blasting out as the bow hit thin air, I genuinely thought some sort of sorcery was afoot.  (It wasn’t magic, of course, but an Echoplex unit.  I was so disappointed when I found out.  Jimmy was a mere human after all!)

Luckily, another amateur recordist was on duty that night and his results were infinitely better than mine.  My first experience of Led Zeppelin live was preserved for posterity and for that I’ll be eternally grateful.  One thing the taper missed as he flipped tapes was Robert’s “Goodnight – we’ll see you next year”.  I remember it well, because I was thrilled that it wouldn’t be too long before I could see them again.  As it turned out, I had to wait until May 1975, but I’m sure Robert’s intentions were honourable when he gave me what seemed a personal assurance.  I also recall narrowly missing out in the scramble to grab the tambourine he threw into the crowd at the end of the Whole Lotta Love medley.

The motorbike journey home in cold rain was deeply unpleasant, but we didn’t care; we’d seen the greatest band in the world.

When safely home, I extracted the tangled mess of tape from my recorder and reassembled it into a spare cassette shell.  As already described, the sonic results were disastrous, but, forty years hence, I still have that souvenir.

A couple of days later, back at work, the office manager, who was ten years my senior at 28, asked, “How did your pop thing go Phil?”  “Pop thing!??!!”, I thought to myself.  This wasn’t a “pop thing”: this was Led Zeppelin.  But there was no point in entering into lengthy discussion on the topic.  The older generation would never understand.

*Dave had another go at photographing Led Zeppelin in 1975 and was rather more successful.  The photos can be seen in TBL issue 15.

**Those familiar with one of the better audience recordings of the first Knebworth show will have heard a voice loudly proclaiming  “I can’t hear the bass, can you?” during The Song Remains the Same. That’s Neil.

Phil Tattershall.


Here’s the Alexandra Palace low down via Mike Tremaglio’s concert logs  which appear in the forthcoming issue of the TBL magazine.

Friday, December 22nd, 1972 Alexandra Palace, London, England

Setlist (from 130 & 58 minute audience recordings):

Rock and Roll, Over the Hills and Far Away, Out on the Tiles (Intro)/ Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused (incl. San Francisco),  Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love Medley (incl. Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, Boogie Chillun’, Let’s Have a Party, Heartbreak Hotel, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Going Down Slow), Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Mellotron Solo/Thank You

 Once again, Chris Charlesworth of Melody Maker reviewed the concert in the “Caught in the Act” section of Melody Maker (January 6, 1973).  Charlesworth praised the group as “about as perfect a band as you could hope to hear.”  He wasn’t nearly as enthusiastic about the venue, saying it was “never built to rock” and that the “atmosphere inside this giant hall seemed cold and forbidding…there was a diminishing sound that flew up into the rafters and returned as a disjointed series of echoes.  My guess is that only about half the fans heard the music as it should have been heard.”

Saturday, December 23rd, 1972 Alexandra Palace, London, England

Setlist (from 131 & 28 minute audience recordings):

Rock and Roll, Over the Hills and Far Away, Out on the Tiles (Intro)/ Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused (incl. San Francisco),  Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love Medley (incl. The Crunge, Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, Boogie Chillun’, Let’s Have a Party, Heartbreak Hotel, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Going Down Slow), Heartbreaker

 The band played the second of two shows at the “Ally Pally.” The setlist is virtually identical to the prior evening, except the Immigrant Song, mellotron solo, and Thank You were all dropped from the set.  The Crunge, which had typically been played during Dazed and Confused, was incorporated into the Whole Lotta Love medley.

Taken from  Led Zeppelin Popularity not on the wane…The TBL Retrospective – 40 Years Gone The 1972/73 TOUR LOG by Mike Tremaglio – The Japan, Montreux, & U.K. Tours. One of the highligts of the forthcoming issue of TBl issue 34 –

Order at:



Mark Harrison has been in touch to relay this very sad news:

Dave I have the sad duty to report the death of a friend and long time Zeppelin fan Syndi Moreno of Denver Colarado. She saw them in Dallas 1975. One of the original Feathers in the wind” and author of the very early fanzine “Runes”.

I was in touch with Syndi and the Runes folks in the early 80s and their enthuisasm was infectious. Our thoughts and condolences go out to all Syndi’s family and friends.



More details of the BBC World Service interview with Jimmy to be broadcast on Christmas Day – see link at:

BBc World Service schedules:

(thanks Steve Jennings)



Here’s the link to view the interview with Jimmy,Robert and John Paul conducted with Charlie Rose for the CBS This Morning show.…


The Kennedy Center Honours Gala will be broadcasted on December 26th on CBS in the US at 9 -11. It features performances by among others, The Foo Fighters, Kid Rock and Anne and Nancy Wilson with Jason Bonham interpreting Zep clasics in the presence of the newly honoured Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones

Here’ a preview clip –get ready to be very moved by Robert Plant’s reaction at the end of the clip….

Until next time… keep reading -keep listening

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy

December 24th, 2012.

Don’t forget that you can follow Dave Lewis/TBL on Twitter – LedzeppelinTBL

and view additional photos etc at the Tight But Loose Facebook page (add us as a friend) at!/profile.php?id=1611296783



1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)


  • Anniec said:

    Robert plant official website is reporting that he and patty have married

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Once again I am humbled by these fantastic comments – which are of much inspiration –
    many thanks

  • Philip Tattershall said:

    A mild and good-natured ticking off to Pete Leigh for not buying the mag regularly. 🙂

    Everyone who visits the TBL website really should subscribe. Magazine and book sales are the lifeblood of TBL and unless we all do our bit to support Dave, we risk losing the wonderful service he provides.

    Best wishes to Dave, Gary and everyone else out there in the Zeppelin community.


  • Dave from Southern Maryland said:

    First of all, Merry Christmas Dave Leiws to you and yours.

    2012 was quite a Zeppelin year, culminating in the extraordinary Kennedy Center Honors, for which I still cannot get my mind around. Very proud and delighted on their behalf.

    And as befitting a Zeppelin year as it was, Mayan calendar notwithstanding, it ended with a treat.

    My youngest daughter announced that there was a package on the front porch, all the way from “Aaang-land”, which she knew from the stamp bearing the Queen’s image. Not everyday we get a parcel dropped from the UK.

    In it I found my copy of “Feather in the Wind”, and I cannot say enough how impressive a volume it is. From the bond of the paper, to the color graphics, to the photography and of course, the insightful text, it simply exceeded my enormous expectations. What a masterwork.

    It is particularly fascinating because of its a first hand account, with Dave as not just a chronicler of history but as an actual wintess.

    This particular stage of the band’s epoch, their true Swan Song, was perhaps one of the least detailed and brushed over periods, falling as it did wedged between the Knebworth comeback, the final album and then the passing of John Bonham.

    I can tell you that on this side of the Atlantic, the summer of 80 jaunt through Europe drew scant attention in the music papers, other than the odd shot of Plant in green shirt on the pages of Hit Parader or perhaps Creem.

    But nothing of the order found here in “Feather in the Wind”, a tale that’s sure to become more poignant with each passing year, as the greatest band in the world presented itself for its final curtain call, and our intrepid correspondent Mr. Lewis was there to represent Zeppelin fans and complete the picture for those of us not able to attend.

    Clearly a labor of love, Dave Lewis and his staff have pulled together a superb souvenir of this mysterious and previously untold history of the Zeppelin saga, and I certainly recommend this book to anyone wishing to further their understanding into this wonderful group of musicians and the dedicated and talented people who followed them as those years ago.

  • Pete Leigh said:

    I dont often buy the mags but i check out your site most weeks.Just wanted you guys to know how important it is throughout the year.Happy xmas

  • rodney said:

    Just want to know if you will be Organizing a Zeppelin Fan Festival in the near future. Merry Christmas from a Zep head in Pacoima, California

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Gary, Mark, Vic, Paul and Simon -your comments mean a lot to us here….
    Have a great one!

  • Gary Davies said:

    Dave, great Xmas update. My added thanks to you and to Gary for bringing us the very best in Zeppelin and Zeppelin related news throughout 2012. The Celebration Day countdown was a highlight for me and certainly added to the sense of anticipation for the cinema screenings and DVD release. 2012 has probably been the last great year for Zeppelin in terms of landmark releases and media exposure worldwide. We will never experience these times again, but what an absolute blast it’s been. With TBL right at the heart of it all bringing us the very best in coverage these events will live longer in our memories than they would have otherwise. You guys (and Janet) are the best, have a wonderful Xmas and New Year.


  • Mark Williams said:

    Dave, o man, that was Robert from the heart.What a mark these guys have made – think it’s beginning to sink in finally after many years in denile. Good on ya Robert !

    Have a great Christmas Dave & to all Zepp-heads around the world.

    Our time is hopefully gonna come….

  • Vic Morgan said:

    A very merry Christmas Dave to you and yours and thanks so much for keeping Zep alive although the greatest band in the world is very much alive and what a few months this has been. I’ve a tingle just remembering the O2 experience. Now we can relive it again and again and it gets better each time. Thanks again Dave you truly ROCK!!!

  • paul aspey said:

    All the best for the season to you and yours, What a good interview from someone who is as much a fan as the rest of us, I think it was obvious Robert is feeling more at ease with the others and not ducking the questions anymore ,
    Keep the flag flying for all of us

    Peace and love to all of the TBL people worldwide

    Paul Aspey

  • Simon Partington said:

    Hi Dave, it has been a good year hasn’t it ? great meeting you and Simon Cadman, and hopefully again next year, I’ll have a lot more time on my hands, mixed blessings and all that. Keep up the good work.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Many thanks Colin and Rob -have a great one!

  • Rob Whitmarsh said:

    Happy Christmas to you and your family Dave, and all the best for 2013.

    As always, thank you for all your work and enthusiasm in keeping the Led Zep and TBL flag flying.

    Best wishes to TBLers everywhere,
    Rob Whitmarsh.

  • Colin Sheil said:

    Merry Christmas Dave to you and yours – thanks for all your great work in 2012 !! TBL enriches our lives so much – Have a great break and a splendid 2013

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