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5 November 2019 1,639 views 4 Comments

David ”Front Row Dave” Beesmer RIP:

Like so many of us, I was very sad to hear the news of the sudden passing of David ”Front Row Dave”Beesmer aged 54.

Dave was well known in the Zep fan community as ‘’Front Row Dave’’, so called for his knack of always being there or thereabouts at concerts – notably the Led Zeppelin reunion show at the 02 in 2007. Dave was interviewed on BBC Breakfast the day after the show. I was lucky enough to meet him before the Celebration Days London premiere on October 12 ,2012 – the photo here was taken that day. He was fantastic company.

Dave’s passion for music was infectious – alongside his Zep interest, he was a key chronicler of his local music scene. He will be sorely missed by family, friends, and the entire Led Zeppelin fan community.

There will always be one front row seat empty now….RIP David Beesmer…

Dave Lewis, November 4 ,2019


ZepFan – new Led Zeppelin Collectors website:

An excellent new Led Zeppelin collectors website has just gone live.

”The Gathering Place For Led Zeppelin Collectors”

Here’s the intro details:

Welcome!  Zepfan is a comprehensive database of Led Zeppelin memorabilia that spans the past 50 years. 

This site is a collaboration of Led Zeppelin collectors who have shared memorabilia from their private collection.

If you are interested in showcasing your Led Zeppelin memorabilia, please let us know what you have. You will be fully credited and featured on the most comprehensive Led Zeppelin memorabilia database on the web.

Please let us know if you have anything for sale or trade.

Mark McFall

Here’s the link:


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.

Hello! Welcome to the 195th Led Zeppelin News email. We email out a summary of the week’s news every weekend so that you don’t miss anything.

Led Zeppelin

  • Japanese bootleg label Wendy claimed last week to have released a new snippet of a previously unheard soundboard recording of Led Zeppelin’s September 4, 1971 performance in Toronto, Canada. However, following the release of the bootleg, it has been claimed that there isn’t any new soundboard snippet at all and the release actually uses Led Zeppelin’s April 1, 1971 performance in London which was recorded for the BBC.
  • The next John Bonham celebration event will be held in his home town of Redditch on September 25-26 2020. Find out more here.

Robert Plant

Upcoming events:

November 22 – The “Play It Loud: Instruments Of Rock And Roll” exhibition will move to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
December – Jimmy Page’s new book, “Jimmy Page: The Anthology,” will be released.
December 9 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Devon, UK.
December 10 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Salisbury, UK.
December 11 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Bristol, UK and a guitar signed by Plant and Jimmy Page will be auctioned.
December 13 – Robert Plant’s vinyl singles box set “Digging Deep” will be released.
December 16 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Lancashire, UK.
December 17 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Blackpool, UK.
December 19 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Powys, Wales.
December 20 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Stourbridge, UK.
December 22 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Birmingham, UK.
March 26-29, 2020 – John Paul Jones will perform as Sons Of Chipotle at the Big Ears music festival in Knoxville, Tennessee.
September 25-26, 2020 – The next John Bonham celebration event will be held in Redditch, UK.

Many thanks to James Cook.

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


TBL Archive – November 1976 and 1978:

After the excitement of The Song Remains The Same soundtrack double album release, 43 years ago this week saw the premiere of the accompanying movie. This occurred at the Warner West End cinema in London’s Leicester Square although such was the demand the film was also screened at the nearby Shaftesbury Avenue ABC theatre.

We got tickets by queuing overnight in early October. Sleep was at a minimum that night as the disco next to the Warner West End cinema blasted out a diet of Barry White and the like until the early hours. All worth it of course.
Two nights before the premiere The Old Grey Whistle Test screened the famous river boat interview with Peter Grant and Robert Plant and the violin bow segment of Dazed And Confused leading up to the coloured swords being brandished . ‘’That’s an amazing piece of film’’ murmured the legendary Bob Harris -and indeed it was. Incidentally BBC’s Film Night aired a clip the following Sunday for which the long running presenter Barry Norman in his familiar style commented ‘’Let’s all go down like a Led Zeppelin…and why not.’’
The premiere on the night of Thursday November 4 1976 was another unforgettable occasion with many memories ingrained on my brain:

song premiere

Here’s a few: Jimmy being ushered up the stairs of the cinema on arrival by John Bindon right next to me….shaking hands with Peter Grant and Bonzo as they waited for the photo call….standing up to allow Roy Wood and Billy Connolly to get to his seat two along from where we sat….a standing ovation as Jimmy, Robert, John and Bonzo took their seats…..spontaneous applause after every song performance -it was almost like attending a gig…. Bonzo and Jonesy with families gathering in the foyer afterwards…passing Paul McCartney on the way into the toilet  (no jokes at the back!)…..Robert eyeing the cardboard obeleisk/object card board cut out that I wore around my neck entwined with my scarf for the occasion as we chatted in the foyer.

Let me explain this interesting fashion look. Basically I took one of the cardboard obelisks that made up the hanging Presence mobile I had and swung it around my neck in a unique (plainly odd!) fashion statement – I cant it say it’s a look that caught on but hey it was for a special occasion!….The aforementioned Billy Connolly telling me the film had been ‘’A wee bit brilliant’’ in his famous Scottish brogue…watching them all get into limos as they sped off for the aftershow party in Covent Garden. A simply unforgettable night in their company.
My then girlfriend Fiona and I were back for the screening at the Warner West End the next night and on the Saturday. I went on to see the film over 30 times in various cinemas over the next 18 months – along with those first three nights it played in London, I saw it in Cambridge a couple of times the next week, every night (twice on Friday) of its seven day residency at Bedford’s Granada the following January , at a run down cinema in Western Favell in Northampton on a snow bound night that involved catching two busses to find the place…at a midnight night showing along with a couple of porn skin flicks in Luton (ooer!) and then there were periodical trips to a small picture house in London’s Wardour Street that showed seasons of rock films in rotation (anyone else remember that tiny place?).
In early 1981 I brought it on a dreadful quality VHS bootleg copy in a shop off Tottenham Court Road – all colour drop out but hey any time I wanted I could rewind to Jimmy climbing that mountain so who cared!

All that endeavour seems faintly ridiculous now considering the fact I can look to the right of me in the TBL workstation I can lean over and pull out the DVD. But hey it was the thrill of the search and as they couldn’t play live during that period, then the film was definitely the next best thing.
There are of course many highlights in the film not least the amazing Since Ive Been Loving You – one of my other favourite clips is the opening sequence of The Song Remains The Same – as the camera blurs slightly then captures the action face on with Jimmy slaying around the Gibson double neck in between Robert’s struts. Watch it below and expect a shiver up your spine…this is what they were all about and why they remain so special…
Somewhere over the next week I’m going to find a couple of hours to wallow in the pure nostalgia of the DVD and recall those heady days of November 1976 – all of 43 years ago.

More November Archives..

More Wembley Empire Pool magic….in 1978..

On that night of nights back in November 1971, this 15 year old could neve have imagined the events ahead and that I might one day actually meet and speak to Robert Plant in this very same venue.

But that is what came to pass as seven years later on November 4, 1978 I did just that.

By then my enthusiasm for all things Led Zep was pretty off the scale. I had met them all backstage at Earls Court and The Song Remains The Ssame premiere in London and at Heathrow Airport in May 1977.

The tragic passing of Robert’s son Karac had rendered the band inactive for many months –though there had been some stirrings in the spring of 1978 with a get together at Clearwell Castle. I had kept in contact with the Swan Song office and I knew that the recording of a new album was on the cards.

That year was a very memorable one for me – not least for leaping on stage at The Who Shepperton filming gig on May 25. Around the same time I was commissioned by Geoff Barton a journalist on Sounds music paper to work with him on an extensive feature they were running in September to mark the tenth anniversary of Led Zeppelin. Over the summer I collated a Zep career timeline plus an extensive discography that duly ran over four issues in September. It was an incredible thrill to see my work in print and it further fuelled my ambition to produce a Led Zeppelin magazine. This was an idea I had first mooted in late 1977 – I had already designed a few proto type pages and I had a name for it – ‘Tight But Loose’ – a phrase Jimmy and Robert had coined to describe the ban’s music in separate interviews during their 1977 US tour.

In early November 1978 as a fervent reader of the NME I spotted in a small news item that on Sunday, November 5 Robert would be appearing in the Goaldiggers five a side football tournament. The venue was the Empire Pool Wembley – scene of my first Led Zep live experience. I knew I had to be there again – simple as that.

I had been back to the esteemed venue a few of time since 1971. I saw The Rolling Stones afternoon show on September 8 1973 and two years later I was at a scintillating Who performance on October 23 1975. I was also at Elton John’s show there in November 1977.

Back to the story. I was playing football for the Wallbangers team on the Sunday morning but reckoned I could get away after the game and get on a train to London for the 4pm start of the tournament.

So after playing in a 4-3 defeat, I zipped over to Bedford railway station and headed for London. At this point I had no ticket for the tournament but hoped I could get one at the venue. With time running out at vast expense, I took a taxi direct to Wembley from St Pancreas station. Once outside the venue I scored a ticket from a tout. I found myself up the side behind one of the goals. Not a bad view –not that I was going to settle for that for too long. I had already made up my mind that I needed to talk to Robert Plant himself to find out the state of play. The mission was on…

This Goaldiggers football tournament was Robert’s first public appearance since the curtailed US tour. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to re -connect with the singer – as I had done previously – notably at Heathrow Airport.

Robert’s named Geriatric Rowdies comprised of singer Jess Conrad, singer turned WEA Record exec Dave Dee, comedian Jasper Carrot, then West Bromwich Albion manager Ron Atkinson and in the number 8 shirt the man himself. They met LBC in their first match and drew 2-2 the equalizer coming from Robert. The next encounter was with The Stranglers team and ended in another 2-2 draw.

This was not enough to see them through to the next phrase and from where I was up behind the goal, I could see Robert had now changed out of his kit watching by the sidelines

It was then I made my move – I made my way down to the sideline enclosure and with a confident ‘I’m with the players’ strut glided through to the side of the pitch and there I was right next to the man.

What a moment it was. He looked really well if radically different in a smart cut jacket and jeans – the hair cut back to pre 1969 length. A stark contrast to the ‘golden god’ figure I had approached at Heathrow Airport some 18 months ago. Here’s pic I took at that first sighting.

I introduced myself and he recognized me from Heathrow. He duly introduced me to his wife Maureen and daughter Carmen. I reminded him of the last time he was here with Zep and we laughed about the performing pigs that didn’t quite get it right on the night.

During our conversations, Robert told  me he was going to Stockholm the next week with the group to commence recording a new album at Abba’s studios.

As the tournament progressed I was with him as he cheered on the ELO team, Spurs player Ralph Coates spirited display with the team made up of The Darts group good naturedly jeering Rod Stewart and Elton john’s team

It was when watching the all ladies match featuring a team made up of page 3 models that a photographer captured the photo of us both laughing at the action.

Here’s another shot from that moment and rarely seen. I am wearing the Zep US tour t shirt that are commonplace now but at the time were very scares promotional t shirts – I and got mine from the lovely Unity Maclean at the Swan Song office.

Fond farewells were said and I told him I would be at the next gig whenever and wherever that would be. ”It’s all in the wind” he said enigmatically.

I floated back to Bedford on a pure high. I had been in the company of Robert Plant again and for this particular Led Zeppelin fan the future was bright ahead – I knew that because I had heard it from the man himself.

Robert’s Goaldiggers appearance attracted a few column inches in the press and there were more later in the week when it was announced Led Zeppelin would indeed be going to Abba’s Polar Studios to record what would become the In Through The Out Door album.

As for me, this meet with my hero was more than enough inspiration to get down to producing the first issue of Tight But Loose. I worked on it for the rest of the year booking ads for it in late 1978 in Sounds and NME. A further round of ads followed in January 1978 and on February 10,1979 the first issues went out from my Dents Road bedroom.

It would kick start an incredibly exiting year that would include the Knebworth comeback shows, another Goaldiggers rendezvous with Robert and a very exciting afternoon watching Robert, JPJ and Bonzo picking up seven Melody Maker awards at a reception at the Waldorf hotel in London.  More on all that soon.

It would be another six years before I saw Robert at the Empire Pool Wembley then renamed Wembley Arena – a memorable solo show on September 10,1985. Pic from outside the venue on that day here by Krys Jantzen.

All these reflections from 1978 are taken from notes that will formulate the DL memoirs book which I’ve been chipping away on. 1971 and 1978 were without doubt pivotal years for your TBL editor…

One more footnote – little did I realize that many years hence on the night of December 10 2007 the pic of me and Robert laughing would be featured on the BBC Six O Clock News in their coverage of the Led Zeppelin 02 reunion.

This incredibly memorable 1978 Robert Plant rendezvous all of 41 years ago today occurred when I was just 22 years old..I’m now 63 – as he once put it, it’s been a lifetime -but a second…

Dave Lewis, November 5,2019.


Rock Candy-Coffee Table Rock Books:

Very pleasing to see two titles I was heavily involved in featured in the new issue of Rock Candy. This is a spread about Coffee Table Rock Books.

‘’When real care and presentation goes into their production these works become beautiful collectors items’’

Step forward:

Five Glorious Nights – Led Zeppelin at Earls Court May 1975 – a photographic record compiled by Dave Lewis (Rufus Stone)

Evenings With Led Zeppelin by Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio (Omnibus Books)

It makes all the effort that went in to those books all worth it..

I’m feeling quite proud about that….as Mike T will be..



Letz Zep Live at the Paris Olympia album…

Billy Kluke was in touch recently to relay this information…

In January 2019, Letz Zep embarked on their biggest and most ambitious tour to date. Starting the year in France with 21 shows in 29 days. Including 2 nights at the prestigious Letz Zep returned for 2 Sold Nights at the Paris Olympia Theatre. A stage graced by Led Zeppelin themselves.

No tribute show had ever Sold Out 2 nights at this most prestigious of venues before. Letz Zep have now Sold Out The Olympia an incredible FIVE times!!

With only 45 minutes how do you fit in all the great Zeppelin classics everyone will want to hear? Some song approaching 10 minutes long! It’s to the Led Zeppelin bootlegs we turn to for the answers, particularly their legendary 5 nights at London’s Earls Court in 1975 where their shows touched on 4 hours long, even then Zeppelin morphed songs together. Surely this is the answer on how to remain true to the spirit of a Led Zeppelin concert, by following the example of Earls Court and the famous Madison Square Garden Shows of ’73.

So here it is, the set performed in Paris to critical acclaim, a dynamic set by a band at the top of their game, each musician a great talent in their own right, breath life once more into the music of the greatest rock band of all time: Led Zeppelin.

The artwork for the album is a homage to the fourth untitled Led Zeppelin album, with the Parisienne skyline with the Eifel Tower replacing the Birmingham vista of Zep IV. Brilliantly conceived by Silvia Perett at Volcanika,

The album is available worldwide from New World Music:

And all major download and streaming sites

Letz Zep:

Live at The Paris Olympia Theatre. January 10 and 11 January 2019

  1. Rock and Roll (Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham)                                              
  2. Black Dog (Page, Plant)                                                                                  
  3. Since I’ve Been Loving You (Page, Plant, Jones)                              
  4. Kashmir (Page, Plant, Bonham)                                                                        
  5. Stairway to Heaven (Page, Plant)                                                          
  6. Whole Lotta Love (feat. Bow Solo (Page, Plant)
  7. Immigrant Song (Page, Plant)                                                                  

All Songs © Warner music. Running time 41.17 minutes.

Release © 2019 SKA Music Ltd.


Houses Of The Holy Performance:

This one from John Dorhauer:

I direct the Chicago-based new music jazz big band Heisenberg Uncertainty Players. HUP is performing Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy” album in its entirety,

The performance will be at Fulton Street Collective (1821 W Hubbard, Chicago) on Thursday, November 14, at 9 PM. Details below…


Dave Lewis Diary Blog Update:

Recent DL vinyl record acquisition:

I’ve been on the lookout for this single –Tarot by Andrew Bown from 1970 –the theme to Ace Of Wands

So I was well pleased to find a copy at the Vinyl Barn a couple of weeks back.

It’s an absolute gem and anyone of my age group in the UK may well remember the children’s TV series that ran from 1970 – 1972. Andy Bown went on to be a member of Status Quo and still is.

Finds like this are why I love collecting records…

Check it out at:

Busy here on various projects ahead – one of which is beginning to shape up nicely – More on all this soon.
…And finally – the current DL Playlist
This is what is going down on the player…
1: Led Zeppelin – The Night Stalker (2LP) More on this next time
2: Bob Dylan Travelin’ Thru -The Bootleg Series Vol 15 -1967 -1969 (3CDs)
3: The Beatles -Abbey Road Sessions (2LP)
4: Robert Plant – Fate of Nations (RSD LP)
5: Creedence Clearwater Revival – Live at Woodstock (2Lp)
6: Yes – Fragile (LP)
7: Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water (LP)
8:Stephen Stills – Carry On (3CDset)
9: Arif Mardin – Glass Onion (LP)
10: Slade – Slade In Flame (LP)

Dave Lewis  –  November 5 ,2019

Until next time –  have a great  weekend…

TBL Website updates compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy and James Cook

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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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  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks Craig

  • Craig Borda said:

    Same age as you Dave ….. every once-in-awhile I visit TBL to visit the past . Congrats on the many years of your work with Zep memories. It’s not easy looking back sometimes because of how incredible the Zep years were… living here in the USA, my fav from shows here were the ones at MSG NY and the old Spectrum in Philly. The hardest thing for me in these last 15 years has been seeing nearly all of the other supergroups from the same era still doing tours in one form or another, with or without original band mates. Of course now it’s much too late.
    Or is it?
    Cheers from the Colonies! ,

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Sad news indeed Gary

  • Gary Davies said:

    Very sad news about Front Row Dave, that news was a shock. Young guy as well. R.I.P.

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