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11 October 2018 3,448 views 8 Comments

Evenings With Led Zeppelin latest:

It was an absolute pleasure on Wednesday to visit Richard Cole and personally hand over a copy of the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book . It was also a real thrill to wade through the various dates and tours in the book with him and hear first hand Richard’s views on it all in his role as Led Zeppelin’s Tour Manager.

Richard contributed the superb Foreword to the book and it really sets the scene for the following 500 plus pages.

He commented that in producing this book Mike Tremaglio and myself have brought back many wonderful memories of those epic days on the road with the biggest band in the land…

Richard also reiterated something he wrote in the Foreword ’They were the last of the giants, and they still loom ever large” he said to me. ”In fact they still seem bigger than anyone else -they blazed a trail that so many have followed’’ – and he should know – because he was there…. Thanks Richard…

Here are a couple of initial reviews of the book

Evenings With Led Zeppelin – The Complete Concert Chronicle by Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio (Omnibus Press)

Feedback 1:

I thought I knew a bit about Led Zeppelin until I met Andy Adams…

Hhis knowledge and enthusiasm has been an inspiration to me (and countless other fans) for over 30 years. In 1992 we staged the first Led Zep UK Convention together – see pic of our much younger selves. So to receive such a positive review from Andy via his blog for the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book is the highest accolade… Andy’s endorsement really does count for a lot…this is his review

Now the 50th is upon us, celebrations for fans old and new are now reaching a fair pace. Already I’ve added two exceptional publications to an increasingly creaking book shelves, and this mighty tome completes something of a holy trinity. I have known Dave Lewis for 30 years now, from when I collaborated on his ‘A Celebration’ book. Fast forward to today and the amazing growth of knowledge, memorabilia, recordings and film – and the volume of official releases – is astounding.

First impressions are simply this – stunning. Weighing in at a hefty 576 pages, it really is special. From the incisive foreword by Zeppelin tour manager Richard Cole, it immediately becomes compelling. Two prologues follow, the first covering the years 1958 to 1967 and focusing on the individual members activities. The second is a fascinating and excellently detailed history of 1968, with tour dates from The Yardbirds, Band Of Joy, Obs-Tweedle and best of all more than 20 shows Bonzo played with Tim Rose during the spring and summer of 1968.

The detail and the passion is what sets this book apart. There are 516 confirmed shows, 6 unconfirmed, 11 sessions and TV appearances and 86 cancelled shows all given a microscopic analysis, to the point where almost 400 – including 19 cancelled shows – have ticket stubs illustrated here. Just confirming the detail and unending search we’ve all been on for (much of) the last half century.

Photo’s of venues, both outside and inside, flyers and programmes illuminate the evocative text for every entry. Some wonderful pictures – the four pictures from the Kinetic Playground, Chicago on May 23/24 from the late, great Howard Mylett collection on page 103 spring to mind – help to bring the story, the journey to life.

Cross referencing the audience, radio and soundboard recordings brings a direct link for those that focus their collecting on the audio side of Zeppelin, aided by reference to the various 8mm cine film and broadcast visual clips that have surfaced in the last half century.

Alongside Luis Rey’s recent 5th addition ‘Evenings With…’ makes you want to reach for that LP, that CD, that tape and delve and relive the power, mystery and the hammer of the gods. And one of the biggest compliments I can make is inside all of this the text is not dry and unerring. Dave and Mike have made it interesting, alive and beguiling. Unlike so many reference books that leave me cold and read like a phone book, this is bright and sparkles.

Drawing from so many sources of inspiration over this long and never ending Led Zeppelin journey, they’ve strived to and achieved a fantastic database (for want of a better word) of those wonderful Evenings with Led Zeppelin. Taking a step back you can only marvel at their inexorable rise from unbilled opening act to stadium headliners, from hungry young men knocking at the door of the late 60’s headliners to the biggest band in the World.

There are some contentious dates and venues, which some of us will debate long into many a long night with a beer and a quizzical look, but Dave and Mike know more than enough to explain and elucidate their reasons for placing of shows such as Boston 25/1/69 from 28/5/69 and their argument is both understandable and compelling.

Evenings with Led Zeppelin works on so many levels. In 2018 we’ve heard, seen and learnt so much since those halcyon days of Howard’s first book, the at the time ground breaking A Celebration and the next level compendium The Concert File. As with every Zeppelin publication it’s almost immediately outdated the moment it goes to print, as it is with Luis’ Tape Documentary, as just one newly surfaced recording or ticket stub gives us new information or questions old truths.

This book is an utter triumph, a vast pool of knowledge and amongst the finest publications on ANY band, let alone those myriad of tomes about Led Zeppelin. Very few books are completely essential. This is…

Andy Adams

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Feedback 2:

I have known Chris Charlesworth for nigh on 30 years – and it’s fair to say he has been a bit of a mentor to me. Back in 1989 in his role as their Editor in Chief as their he commissioned my first book for Omnibus Press – Led Zeppelin A Celebration. He did actually turn it down two years earlier but eventually saw the light!

I have worked with him on many a Zep project since –including the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book which he edited. I have immense respect for his vast journalistic knowledge and skill –indeed his advice benefitted this book greatly throughout the five years we were bringing it to together – so he is another man who’s word counts for such a lot.

Therefore his endorsement is very inspiring – here is what Chris has to say about the book via his always excellent Just Backdated blog:

First I must declare an interest, and quite a big one at that. I commissioned this book for Omnibus Press four years ago, contributed a bit of new text here and there and also edited it, reading every word and doing my best to render what is essentially a list of gigs as entertaining as possible. My name appears at the top of a long list of acknowledgements on page nine, and elsewhere I am quoted about Led Zeppelin gigs I saw, mostly extracts from what I wrote about them for Melody Maker at the time.

‘Essentially a list of gigs’, of course, does the book a great disservice. It is 576 pages long, weighs exactly 5lbs and the RRP printed on the back is £40, making it far and away the most ambitious reference book on Led Zeppelin that Dave Lewis, now officially the world’s most prolific Led Zep author, has thus far produced, with or without assistance. His co-author Mike Tremaglio, based in Connecticut, is another Zep collector and historian and I’d wager a decent sum that both their wives are badgering them for extensions to be built on their homes purely to house all the memorabilia that clutters up every available space.

By and large volumes like this are labours of love. Evenings With is just that, Lewis and Tremaglio’s bid to be judged alongside Mark Lewisohn’s Complete Beatles Chronicle and Andy Neill and Matt Kent’s Anyway Anyhow Anywhere on The Who from 1958 to 1978, both of which I turn to before anything else if I need to check up on a Beatle or Who fact. Evenings With… now sits proudly beside them on my bookshelves.

Although the meat of Evenings With is the Led Zeppelin on the road story from that first Scandinavian tour in September 1968 to the ‘Over Europe’ tour in 1980, the book’s extensive prologues follow Jimmy Page’s Yardbirds to their dissolution in 1968, Robert Plant’s adventures with his Band of Joy and Obs-Tweedle – surely the worst band name ever – and even John Bonham’s gig with Tim Rose that he was reluctant to jettison because, initially, Jimmy Page and Peter Grant’s offer was insufficiently remunerative and he had a family to feed.

Once we’re into the main course, virtually every one of the 516 Led Zeppelin concerts the authors have been able to confirm is covered in as much detail they can muster, and that includes photos of the venue, inside and out, Zep on stage at that venue, ticket stubs, posters, press reports and, of course, set lists, followed where appropriate with details of any available bootleg recordings. The latter enables the authors to comment on the shows.The reviews are amongst the most interesting elements of the book and it is to Lewis and Tremaglio’s credit that these haven’t been censored by omission in any way. Although both are obviously fans up to their eyeballs, they haven’t flinched at including negative reviews by rock critics ill-disposed towards Led Zeppelin, most notably Robert Hilburn of the LA Times who seems to be the only person at the Forum ever to be unmoved by them. Then again, I wasn’t exactly overflowing with praise for them myself at London’s Marquee on March 23, 1971, when in MM I questioned the wisdom of putting them on in such a small venue, or at Alexandra Palace on December 22, 1972, when I was derisive about a venue I described as “cold and forbidding”. “There was a diminishing sound that flew up into the rafters and returned as a disjointed series of echoes,” I wrote. “My guess is that only about half the fans heard the music as it should have been heard.”

Still, I obviously enjoyed myself at The Pavillon in Montreux on October 28 and 29, 1972, especially ‘Whole Lotta Love’ at the close of the set: “Here the climax comes, because here Zeppelin are doing what they revel in,” I wrote. “They’ve proved themselves with complicated, sophisticated numbers and here the fun starts. ‘Whole Lotta Love’ moves through a brief history of rock and roll, with Robert Plant taking his audience through the inspiration of Zeppelin and amateurs alike: Elvis Presley. Remember ‘Let’s Have A Party’? Zeppelin haven’t forgotten, their version sounds remarkably like the original. Remember ‘I Need Your Love Tonight’? Zep do. Each number flows at the drop of a hat, and you get the impression that this medley will go on forever. Remember ‘Heartbreak Hotel’? Jimmy Page hasn’t forgotten those licks and he can reproduce them as easily as Robert Plant remembers the words. Eventually it has to end and the closing ‘Lotta Love’ riff is still echoing around the hall as the exhausted band leave the stage. Ten minutes of clapping provokes an encore – ‘Heartbreaker’ with that inimitable little guitar solo in the middle that Page throws at the audience using his left hand only.”

Reading that again reminds me that in the afternoon I watched them rehearse a bunch of Elvis songs during a soundcheck, after which I asked them if they’d play at my wedding. They declined.

But back to Evenings With. My old friend tour manager Richard Cole, a man who has undergone a conversion comparable only to St Paul on the road to Damascus, has written an introduction, and at the close, as you would expect, there’s a rundown of post Zep get-togethers by Page, Plant and John Paul Jones. One final point – almost all the pictures of Led Zeppelin will be new to most fans. This is because Lewis and Tremaglio, together with designer Mick Lowe, have gone out of their way to find pictures, often not taken by professionals, that are either unseen or unusual. This is perhaps best exemplified by the shot on the cover – taken at the Boston Tea Party in May, 1969 – which I certainly hadn’t seen until the book was in development.

This picture is particular appropriate for a book that documents Led Zeppelin live for a gig at this particular venue was, by all accounts, a pivotal moment at the start of their American journey. Cole cites it in his introduction. “It was encore after encore. They literally ran out of things to play.” Jones puts it even better: “As far as I’m concerned, the key Led Zeppelin gig – the one that just put everything into focus – was one that we played on our first American tour at the Boston Tea Party. We’d played our usual one hour set, using all the material from the first album and Page’s ‘White Summer’ guitar piece and, by the end, the audience just wouldn’t let us off the stage. It was in such a state that we had to start throwing ideas around – just thinking of songs that we might all know or that some of us knew a part of, and work it from there. So we’d go back on and play things like ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ and ‘Please Please Me’ – old Beatles favourites. I mean, just anything that would come in our head, and the response was quite amazing. There were kids actually bashing their heads against the stage – I’ve never seen that at a gig before or since, and when we finally left the stage we’d played for four plus hours. Peter [Grant] was absolutely ecstatic. He was crying – if you can imagine that – and hugging us all. You know with this huge grizzly bear hug. I suppose it was then that we realised just what Led Zeppelin was going to become.”

It’s quotes like this that make Evenings With… not only the definitive reference book on Led Zeppelin but also one of the most entertaining.

Chris Charlesworth

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Evenings With Led Zeppelin book distribution latest:

The book is now on sale in the UK – these ones were spotted in Foyles in Charring Cross Road by Darren Harte last Saturday

Amazon pre-orders should be going out this week

US pre release orders vis Amazon and Barnes And Noble should be up by the end of the month.

When you copy arrives  – let me know what you think…



I now have ordering details of the TBL special limited edition run of book

Each book is personally numbered and signed by me – this is in a run of 100 only.

As previously mentioned, the postage costs do make this an expensive item but I am keen for there to be a TBL limited edition offer -and once it’s’s gone.

To order go to this link:


Ramble On Podcast:

The latest Ramble On podcast features an interview with me with Brian Gardiner about a variety of Zep topics including the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book:

Check it out at:


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

Jimmy Page

  • Jimmy Page has been interviewed by “CBS This Morning” about Led Zeppelin’s upcoming official photo book. The interview will air between 7am and 9am EDT tomorrow. See a clip of the interview here.

Robert Plant

  • On Monday, Robert Plant ended the US leg of his tour with a show in Austin, Texas. It was the final night of a three-night residency in the city. See the setlist below:

October 1 – Austin, Texas
Ramble On
Turn It Up
The May Queen
Black Dog
The Rain Song
Gallows Pole
Carry Fire
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Little Maggie
Fixin’ to Die
In the Mood
Bring It On Home / Whole Lotta Love

Upcoming events:

October 8 – An interview with Jimmy Page will air on “CBS This Morning” between 7am and 9am EDT.
October 9 – The official Led Zeppelin photo book will be released and free posters will stop being given out for orders placed after this date.
October 11 – The “Evenings With Led Zeppelin” 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


Jimmy Page on CBS This Morning:

This report via LZ News:

Led Zeppelin By Led Zeppelin (Reel Art Press)

I’ve just receive my copy of the official book – and on an initial look through it’s most impressive – more on this new time.





TBL Archive 1: 1970 

Here’s a couple of timely TBL Archive pieces…

48 years ago this week the Led Zeppelin III album was issued in the US, to be followed by a UK release later in the month. To mark the occasion here’s the first of a two part  TBL archive special focusing on what remains a pivotal part of the Led Zeppelin catalogue.   

Led Zeppelin III was  released in the US on October 5th. It entered the Billboard chart at number three and by the end of the month had toppled Santana’s Abraxas album to take the top spot. In the UK it was released issued on October 23rd -the distinctive circle wheel sleeve qualified it for Atlantic’s Deluxe series with an expensive price tag of £47 shillings and 6d . This did little to deter the record buying public of the day and it entered the UK chart at number one.

Unlike the previous year, Zeppelin did not support the album with any session appearances on   BBC radio, however the album did garner some surprise pre release airplay from Alan Freeman. There had been talk of issuing Immigrant Song as a single and prior the album’s release Freeman played that track plus  Out On The Tiles and Celebration Day on his weekly Radio One Sunday afternoon Pick Of The Pops programme – usually dedicated to the run down of the nation’s best selling singles.

Atlantic again made provisions for a UK single and Immigrant Song did make it onto a UK acetate but a full release was once again shelved.

In the US and many other territories Immigrant Song was released as a single coupled with a left over from the Led Zeppelin 3 sessions – a semi acoustic number titled Hey Hey What Can I Do. The track was later featured on the 1972 New Age of Atlantic sampler.

The press reaction to the album was decidedly mixed. Disc and Music Echoes headline of ‘’1,11,111- Zep weaken’’ was typical of the stance taken by many journalists who could not get their head around the fact that Zep had avoided the trap of recreating Zep 2. An indigent Robert Plant went on record in the following week’s Record Mirror and under the headline ‘’  . “Plant Slams Zep 3 Critics” he vehemently defended the album.

“You can just see the headlines, cant you?” Robert remarked. “Led Zeppelin  go soft on their fans’ or some crap like that. The point is that when you begin a new album you don’t know how it’s going to come out. When we conceived those numbers at Bron Yr Aur we started to see what we wanted to do with this album. It was obvious it was going to work and it just grew from there’. Now we’ve done Led Zeppelin III the sky’s the limit. It shows we can change and .it means there are endless possibilities and directions for us to go in. We wont go stale and this proves it’’’

Mixed critical reaction or not, Led Zeppelin III was a very strong seller throughout the next six months but perhaps a combination of it’s eclectic content and the lack of a massive US hit single prevented it from repeating the sales longevity of their second album either in the UK or US. Not that it bothered the principal players too much. As a creative exercise the album had been a unanimous success.

‘There is another side to us’’ Page said soon after the album’s release. ‘’Everyone in the band is going through changes. There are changes in the playing and the lyrics. Robert is really getting involved in his lyric writing. This album was to get across more versatility and use combinations of instruments. I haven’t read any reviews yet but people have got to give the LP a reasonable hearing.’’

Page’s subsequent response to the criticism was simple. They needed to further expand their musical vision. ‘’The next one will be one long track with these combinations of instruments, mandolin, banjo and so on It would last about 25 minutes with instrumental sections. It’s still in the planning stages’’

He had long since harboured the opportunity to create a lengthy track that went from acoustic to electric and speeded up in the process. In November Page and Plant made another return to Bron Yr Aur. In December 1970 he began recording initial ideas at Island Studios for their fourth album. It didn’t quite last 25 minutes, but one song which began slowly with an air of tranquility and building to a crescendo was, at eight minutes one of their longest tracks to date. They would name it Stairway To Heaven.

It’s more than evident had they not undertaken the period of transition that mirrored the diverse contents of their third album, such achievements would not have been possible.

Whilst never attaining the sales success of Zep II or the critical acclaim of Zep IV, Led Zeppelin III remains perhaps their most important work. It was the album that proved that Led Zeppelin could encompass many different styles within their rock mode foundations.

Over the intervening 43 years its influence on them has constantly been felt.

In August 1994  when Page & Plant reunited for the MTV Unledded filming ,Friends, Since I’ve Been Loving You  and That’s The Way were part of the set. In revisiting the Snowdonia area to record some of their MTV Unledded tracks in, Page & Plant repeated the sleeve credit that had adorned the Led Zeppelin III album for the accompanying No Quarter Unledded  album. Before introducing a version at the MTV filming of That’s The Way Plant told the audience ‘’This was written on the side of a Welsh mountain in a cottage about half an hour before the young lady furiously taking pictures in front of me was conceived.’’ He was referring to Jimmy’s daughter Scarlet now a photographer and another precious remnant for that trip to Bron Yr Aur

Page & Plant They also performed Hey Hey What Can I Do on their subsequent 1995 US tour. In 1999 John Paul Jones sang a version of That’s The Way on his solo dates supporting King Crimson. Since I’ve Been Loving You was performed at the 02 reunion concert and Tangerine and Gallows Pole were staple parts of Robert Plant’s  Band Of Joy tour.

Plant has also drawn a parallel between his eclectic Band of Joy album and the mood captured on Led Zeppelin III.   ’’I think of the Led Zeppelin III era. ’There was a dynamic about the Zeppelin III period where we could go from reflective acoustic stuff to some heavy shit … “Hats Off To Harper, Gallows Pole … I’m not interested in doing late-middle-age cabaret. I want it heavy and spooky. There should be some mystery, big and deep, that makes people’s skin tingle.’’

The affinity for the third Led Zeppelin record is a lasting one. It’s a trip that has had a massive impact on both artists and listeners alike.  It was the true turning point in their career and four decades on Led Zeppelin III can rightly take its place lines up as one of the pivotal albums of the era.

Dave Lewis


Led Zeppelin enjoyed a strong alliance with the folk/rock legends Fairport Convention. Both Robert Plant and Jimmy Page were admirers of their work and there’s little doubt that albums such as What We Did On Our Holidays and Liege and Lief were a huge influence on them both and in turn the Zep III album. Sandy Denny would go on to famously duet with Plant on Battle of Evermore on the led Zeppelin 4 album. Fairport were also the opening act for their penultimate UK appearance at Knebworth on August 4th 1979.

Fairport Bassist Dave Pegg who took over from Ashley Hutchins in 1969 hailed from the Black country area and had played with John Bonham in the band Way Of Life in the mid 60s.

Just prior to the release of Led Zeppelin III, a memorable jam between both bands took place. It occurred after the famous Zeppelin performance at the Los Angles Forum that was captured n the bootleg Live On Blueberry Hill

After making one of their most successful appearances at the Forum,the band moved on to an after gig meet with Fairport Convention. Fairport were recording a live album at the Troubadour Club and Robert, Jimmy, John Paul and Bonzo all agreed to jam during their second set. Fairport’s Dave Pegg remembers Page borrowing Simon Nicol’s Gibson L5 and having trouble with it as it had a wound third string. Nichol recalls: “Dave Mattack’s bass drum had been totally solid the whole night but I saw it jump forward three or four inches on Bonzo’s first strike!”

Mattacks recalls, “When John played my drums there was very little distinction between my three toms. And although he was playing very hard, which does make a difference; my drums were tuned way too low. The drums just sounded soggy. I remember getting off stage, hearing him play and thinking, ‘Oh, they don’t sound very good.’ He was beating the shit out of them; he played great but the drums didn’t sound too hot. I got back up and it was my lovely Super Classics-heads all dented!”

The set list of this historic jam included the traditional folk tune Banks Of The Sweet Primroses, plus covers of Hey Joe, Morning Dew, Mystery Train and That’s Alright Mama.  John Wood and Joe Boyd were supervising the recording of the show on Wally Hieder’s mobile studio and the tapes were rolling throughout the jam. Pegg recalls: “It was obvious there was a sound recording truck and I was just waiting for Peter Grant to go and break my legs or something, but he never said a dicky bird!”  The tape of the jam allegedly ended up in the hands of Peter Grant. Fairport’s set was later released as a live album in 1977 as Live At The L.A. Troubadour. The album was revamped and reissued in 1986 as House Full – Fairport Convention Live At The LA Troubadour 1970. Sadly, the Fairport/Zeppelin live jam tapes have never surfaced.


In mining the songs for their third album, Led Zeppelin looked to a wide range of sources.

Folk guitarist Bert Jansch had long since been admired by Jimmy Page – ‘’Bert tied up the acoustic guitar in the same way Hendrix did the electric’’ he once commented. There’s little doubt that Page derived his Led Zep 1 Black Mountain Side acoustic showpiece from Janch’s arrangement of the traditional Irish Black Waterside from his 1966 LP Jack Irion. Page’s acoustic work on the likes of Bron -Y Aur- Stomp yielded the influence of Jansch and another folk guitarist Davy Graham. It was Graham who pioneered the altered tuning style DADGAD – a tuning Page would incorporate on his early Zep live show piece White Summer and later Kashmir.

Another English folkie Roy Harper was of course afforded an affectionate back handed compliment when they named the album’s closing track after him. Jimmy and Robert had seen him appear at the Bath Festival in 1970 and had long admired his unique singer songwriter talent. He would continue to loom large as a trusted confidante within the Zep camp. Both Page and John Paul Jones went on to contribute to Harper albums and perform on stage with him. Page played at his 1974 St Valentines Day gig and post Zep collaborated with Roy on the Whatever Happened To Jugular album. Back in 1970 ,when it came to a title for the bottleneck blues skit they had recorded for Led Zeppelin III they affectionately nodded in Roy’s direction and named him in the title.- Hats Off To (Roy) Harper. Plant’s vocals on this track were also influenced by delta blues guitarist Bukka White’s 1937 recording Shake ‘Em On Down. A source he would use again on the Physical Graffiti opening tack Custard Pie

The tradition blues tale Gallows Pole that opened side 2, was discovered by Page on an album titled 12 String Guitar released in 1962 by American acoustic performer Fred Gerlach. The track was originally recorded in 1939 by iconic blueman Leadbelly as Gallis Pole. Other recordings include a version by mid 60’s jazz and blues singe Odetta who recorded it under the title Gallows Tree. It can be found on her album At The Gate Of Horn. It was also covered under the title Hangman by an African American singer Dorris Henderson who performed on the UK folk circuit in the mid 60s. Henderson collaborated  with another acclaimed folk guitarist John Renbourn and it appeared on the B side of her 1965 debut single, a cover of Paul Simon’s The Leaves That Are Green.


‘’Led Zeppelin III is here after a year of eager expectation and it’s disappointing. Perhaps it’s because we have waited so long and expected too much. Perhaps we’ve associated the group with Led Zeppelin II –so that anything different is non- acceptable.  Perhaps Led Zeppelin II was their unapproachable Sgt Pepper. Anyway Led Zeppelin III is different. It’s more acoustic and the overall effect lacks that funky exciting live feeling they captured before. Even with the Michael taken out of Roy Harper with Page on bottle neck (Hat’s off To (Roy) Harper),the album seems to lack sparkle. Don’t Zeppelin care anymore?’’ Reviewing Panel, Disc and Music Echo

‘’I listened to Led Zeppelin III and wondered weather I had the same record as Disc’s anonymous reviewer. It would have been very easy for Planty and co to whip out another LP of heavy repetitive riffy music. With Led Zeppelin II and bits of Led Zeppelin I , they were the innovators of a speedy manic music that has spawned a mass of lesser and endlessly tedious imitators – some of whom have been very successful with it. Led Zeppelin III could have been the same too and sadly many people would have preferred that. It’s safer if it’s familiar I suppose because no judgement is required of the listener. Led Zeppelin III seems to me to be the best Zeppelin LP by far. It required courage to do acoustic things and add strings’’

John Peel, Disc and Music Echo

There was a brief spate of almost exclusively electric Zeppelin on their second LP. This excellent return to the quality displayed on the first record happily brands their third as a satisfying masterpiece of original strategy. The award for re discovering melody and achieving perfection goes to the bearded bravados. Lon Goddard, Record Mirror

‘’One can only applaud them for side stepping what might be the obvious course, although it remains to be seen how far Zeppelin lovers will go along with what is a pretty drastic switch in direction. This is a subtle album, the grab you by the lemon Zeppelin having seemingly disappeared up the final feedback of Led Zeppelin II. From what may prove to be an important turning point in the groups career, I am left with several memories – high amongst them being the nuances that have crept into Robert Plant’s vocals, the delicate artistry of Jimmy Page’s acoustic work and the textural quality of the new style arrangements.’’  Roy Carr, New Musical Express

‘’ I keep nursing this love–hate attitude towards Led Zeppelin. Partly from genuine interest and most indefensible hopes in part from the conviction that nobody that crass could be all that bad. Their third album deviates little from the track laid by the fist two, even though they go acoustic on several numbers. In fact when I first heard the album my main impression was the constant anonymity of most of the songs – no one could mistake the band but no gimmicks stand out with any special outrageousness as did the great gleefully absurd orangutang Plant cum wheezing guitar freak out that made Whole Lotta Love such a pulp classic. Immigrant Song comes closest with it’s bull-dozer rhythms and Bobby Plant’s double tracked wordless vocal crooning echoing behind the main vocal like some cannibal chorus wailing in the infernal light of a savage fertility rite.’’ Lester Bangs, Rolling Stone

Written and compiled by Dave Lewis

Led Zeppelin III TBL Archive Part Two to follow…

TBL Archive 2: 1969

Above is the very rare flyer from the Cliff Hilliard collection for Led Zeppelin’s  October 12th concert at London’s Lyceum back in 1969…

So this is another milestone anniversary as it’s nigh on 49 years to the day they played what at the time, was their most prestigious London gig to date. It also marked the last time the band performed this set in the UK – by the time of their next London date – the famous January 9th 1970 Royal Albert Hall show – their set would be overhauled.

Here’s how it all lined up on that October Sunday night via research from Mike Tremaglio:




Setlist (from 60 minute audience recording):

Good Times Bad Times Intro/ Communication Breakdown, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Heartbreaker, You Shook Me, What is and What Should Never Be, Dazed and Confused, How Many More Times Medley (incl. Boogie Chillun’)

Support from Frosty Moses and Audience.

The Lyceum show was the start of a series of Sunday night showcases, presented by promoter Tony Stratton-Smith. The original idea is for the headlining act to present an entire album in concert. They  declined that idea and only two numbers from the new album were subsequently premièred.

According to New Musical Express , promoter Tony Stratton-Smith was lining up a year-long series of concerts for Sunday evenings at the Lyceum.  The intention for the series was to have two star attractions plus an up-and-coming act.  Stratton-Smith mentioned that he wanted “to create the British equivalent of New York’s Fillmore East, with a free and easy atmosphere and a sense of community.”  The “Crab Nebula” light show accompanied the concert performers (in the spirit of the Fillmore East’s “Joshua” light show.   The concert was a 2,000 capacity sell out and the group were paid what is thought to be the highest fee for a one night performance in the that point. The deal with Stratton-Smith was for Led Zeppelin to receive the fee in cash the next day.

Nick Logan in New Musical Express reported: “It’s a pity that with such a large audience present, Led Zeppelin should turn in one of their less inspiring performances. Having seen them at both the Marquee and the Albert Hall it seems the larger the venue the better it suits the Zeppelin’s overpowering sound, although the Lyceum audience responded enthusiastically to everything they did. It was mainly the now familiar opening to their act – ‘Communication Breakdown’ etc. that suffered. Robert Plant’s voice being drowned by the sheer volume of sound. Jimmy Page’s guitar solo midway through was deservedly well received and when the group came in again on ‘You Shook Me’ and ‘What Is And What Should Never Be’ there was something of an improvement.”

Freddie Mercury, Queen’s legendary front man and Lyceum concert attendee, was a little bit more enthusiastic. In a letter mailed to his friend Celine Daly, Freddie wrote: “Just heard Zeppelin II LP and it’s a knockout.  Saw them at the Lyceum and they were really great.”  At the time, Mercury was still in his original band called “Ibex,” who included a cover version of Communication Breakdown in their setlist (as evidenced by a 9/9/69 bootleg recording).

 Bootleg CD References:

Ballroom Blitz (World Productions)

The Lyceum Ballroom U.K. 10/12/69 (Totonka)

Lyceum (Cobla Standard)

Triumphant UK Return (Empress Valley)



Coda tribute band Octobers 18 London gig:

The Coda tribute band are performing a special 50th Anniversary gig in London on Thursday October 18. The venue is the O’Neill’s bar in London’s Wardour Street – just along from where Led Zep performed at the Marquee Club 50 years to the day. I am aiming to be at this one with a pre TBL meet in the Spice Of Life pub before hand.

More details here:



National Album Day – Saturday October 13,2018:

Plenty of activity going on around this including…

BBC Music plans to celebrate the first ever National Album Day on Saturday 13 October with programming on Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, 6 Music, and BBC Four across the week and on the day itself.  Highlights include Radio 2’s Pick of the Pops with Paul Gambaccini revealing the Top 40 biggest studio albums ever, a three-hour special on The Beatles’ The White Album presented by Martin Freeman on Radio 6 Music with never-heard-before material from the album, and a Radio 4 Mastertapes with Elvis Costello.

James Stirling, Head of Content, BBC Music, said:  “BBC Music supports artists and their albums on a daily basis across our programming.  We are very proud to support the inaugural National Album Day, where we will shine the spotlight on an incredible range of music and artists.”

On Radio 2, Pick of the Pops (13 October, 1-3pm) will feature the Top 40 countdown of the biggest studio albums of all time – the all-time Official Studio Albums Chart, as compiled by the Official Charts Company and based on sales and streams dating back to 1956.  Listeners will discover where such artists as ABBA, Adele, The Beatles, Coldplay, Fleetwood Mac, Madonna, Oasis, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, Dire Straits and Take That will feature on the list.

Paul Gambaccini, said:  “PICK OF THE POPS reveals Britain’s all-time Top 40 biggest albums.  There are classics and hits of the moment, predictable favourites and surprises, and they are all worth hearing.   It was in 1967 that Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles became the first album to sell over ten million copies worldwide, a figure that was frequently topped in the following forty years.  Only last month Adele’s manager predicted that her 25 album would be the last to sell twenty-five million.”

More details at:

DL Diary Blog Update:

In amongst all the Evenings With book publication activity there was a Monday night out in St Albans…

My thoughts on…

Danny Baker
Good Time Charlie’s Back!
Alban Arena , St Albans Monday- October 8, 2018.

I have long since admired the broadcaster, DJ and writer Danny Baker – his trilogy of autobiographies Going To Sea On a Sieve, Going off Alarming and Going On The Turn are compelling and hilarious in equal measures. I also greatly enjoyed the TV series From The Cradle To The Grave based on his early life.

So the opportunity to see his one man show was one to grab – and my very good friend Max and I duly found ourselves in the excellent Alban Arena in St. Albans on what was anything but a dull Monday night.

The word motor-mouth has been much banded around when it comes to describing Danny Baker – but that is an entirely appropriate one as was evident the moment he bounded on stage. His pace and delivery was unrelenting –the content never less than interesting as he waxed lyrical about his very colourful life.

The presentation is a simple one with Danny pointing to a series of photos on the screen with a snooker cue. Each photo of course carried a story – invariably an elongated one with many a self-deprecating laugh along the way..

Max and I may have been at a slight disadvantage as we were both well versed with his books – and many of the sketches were familiar – but that did not detract too much as being reminded of so many great stories was a joy. Much of the first half centered on his early life in Deptford and tales of his outspoken Dad known to all as Spud. His rapid ascent to record shop employee and punk writer were duly discussed.

Danny helped produce the iconic punk fanzine Sniffin Glue – the do it yourself publishing ethics of which was a huge influence on the early issues of my Tight But Loose mag.

Two hours down and we were only in 1977..

The second half centered on his time writing for the NME interviewing the likes of John Lennon, Michael Jackson and Paul Weller and his TV work on ITV London’s the Six O Clock Show. Never one for a script, he often veered of on various tangents –with tales of romancing his wife Wendy, visits from Paul Gascoigne and handling his dog Twizzle. There were also a few passing references to Jimmy Page and Robert Plant and Zep.

Another two hours gone and we had reached 1990…some four hours spent in the company of the life of Danny Baker that never dragged once.

He closed the show with a poignant tribute to the late Chas Hodges another so called ‘’professional cockney’’. Danny Baker is much more than that – a natural raconteur who has made the most of his breaks but has never strayed too far from his roots. It’s that sense of strong family ideals that he kept returning to throughout this marathon show that for me, is the core of Danny’s appeal.

Myself and Max will certainly not be the only ones in this packed Alban Arena that will be back to hear him pick up the story again on his next tour – where he might well tell the tale of how he became a member of Led Zeppelin for fifteen minutes, a story told in his third book Going On The Turn.

Catch him when and where you can – this is one captivating motor- mouth you can never tire of listening to…

Dave Lewis – October 9, 2018

On the playlist here – John Lennon – Imagine , Led Zeppelin Osaka September 29,1971 new soundboard, Paul Weller – True Meanings, Yes – Fragile, The Beatles 1967 – 1970.

Things are predictably hectic here with a variety of activity around the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book – so I had better get back to packing the TBL orders – I am aiming for a ten to fourteen day turnaround in the UK – three to four weeks USA …it will be coming your way soon…let me know what you think of it …

Dave Lewis –  October 11 , 2018

Until next time, have a great weekend

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy, Mike Tremaglio and James Cook

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


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


  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thank you Roger!

  • Rogerberlin said:

    Evenings with Led Zeppelin is the best book from the world.
    Thank you Dave and Mick.
    Roger Berlin

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Ed Many thanks!

  • Ed- Washington DC said:

    Evenings with Led Zeppelin has arrived, which according to Amazon, derived from someplace called Rugby in Warwickshire. This lends additional Zeppelin authenticity to my mind, having a UK place of origin. And what a hefty volume it is, landing as it did with a thud on the front porch.

    What a compendium this is! Such a wealth of material to pore over, so meticulously researched and with vibrant presentation. Whatever may lie ahead in your respective careers, Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio have created their legacy piece of work. What great satisfaction you must both have to place your names in authorship of this masterpiece. Is it any wonder that Richard Cole appears so delighted?

    I could go on with platitudes, but suffice it say that I don’t know even where to begin. I’ll briefly comment on the items of local interest. Zeppelin apparently made ten appearances here in Maryland (two Baltimore, one Laurel racetrack, five Capital Centre appearances in 75 and 77, the singular odd and extremely rare Merriweather Post appearance with The Who, and the phantom gig at Wheaton Youth Center which was apparently tantamount to a Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot sighting).

    A savage review is unearthed from the Washington Post, written by the poison pen of none other than Carl Bernstein regarding the Laurel Racetrack gig, mocking Zeppelin’s English Blues as vaudevillian “blackface”. He showed uncharacteristic humility in 2002 when confronted with it, sheepishly conceded that he didn’t “get” Led Zeppelin in 1969 but now he loves them like everyone else. So typically DC.

    Dragging these “reviewers” in the open light of 2018 with their own misguided words is one of the many treasures found in this book, which gives the many Zeppelin gigs their individuality and historical context.

    I simply can’t thank the both of you enough for this obvious labor of love, for the band that deserves nothing less.

    Well done, Gentlemen.

  • piero said:

    my signed copy of evenings with… landed today ,
    lost for words, Thank you

  • Ed- Washington DC said:

    Evenings has shipped from the UK, according to Amazon, so my comments on it are pending its arrival stateside.

    In the meantime, Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin arrived by post last evening and its an impressive volume. Large enough to make a nice coffee table book, but far nicer than any coffee table I’ve ever owned.

    As indicated by the publisher, this book is “printed on paper Condat matt Perigord, ECF, acid free and age resistant”. I don’t even remotely know what that means, but it sounds good. If only I myself had been acid free and age resistant, but that’s for another book.

    Beautifully bound, adorned with the classic emblems from VI, full of surprises and affirmations. The visual evolution of the band. The jarring visage of Peter Grant in a suit and tie meeting with Ahmet Ertegun, looking like a young Tony Soprano. The rarity of JPJ sporting a five string Fender bass in early 73. All the poignant images of John Bonham, on and offstage. And the sheer dynamism of Plant and Page, defining rock star visages.

    The quotes from each band member grace the period photos, many previously unseen, and are presented in what I would call the familiar Zeppelin font. Each personality shines through their written words. Such as this one from John Paul Jones:

    “I arrived by helicopter. A Hell’s Angel said: ‘We’re your transport”. I arrived at the gig on the back of a hog with a Cowboy hat. One of my better entrances”

    Or Robert Plant, with brutal honesty:

    “By the time of Oakland in 77, it wasn’t there. But it was there at the O2”

    Or perhaps this, in summation of his Zeppelin career:

    “There were no instructions in the box we opened. So rough and ragged, joyous and ecstatic, and….gone”

    Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin is truly by Led Zeppelin, a fine capstone to the greatest of rock bands.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks Gary!

  • Gary Davies said:

    Evenings With… what an utterly brilliant work of art, packed with tons of information from every angle. You’ll have a hard time topping this! Seriously well done to Dave, Mike and everyone else involved.

    The Danny Baker tour passed me by, what a shame. He’s such a fantastic, quick-witted character, with a brain the size of a planet. Long may he continue doing what he’s doing. He’s great.

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