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HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM ME TO YOU/ LEMMY 3 YEARS GONE / TBL 2018 SUMMARY/DL BEST OF THE YEAR LISTINGS /DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

28 December 2018 1,466 views 7 Comments

 

So that was the year that was….2018…

It was the 50th Anniversary of the formation of Led Zeppelin and there has plenty to celebrate – reissues for How The West Was Won and the Soundtrack From The Song Remains The Same, the Record Store Day Rock And Roll single, and the publication of the official Led Zeppelin By Led Zeppelin book

There was no shortage of other Zep related books with Chris Salewicz’ Jimmy Page The Definitive Biography and Mark Blake’s  truly excellent Peter Grant biography garnering much press coverage.

As for me, well it’s not been dull that is for sure. The compiling of the Led Zeppelin Live 1975 -1977 book, the completion of the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book with Mike Tremaglio, the pair of us working on the Record Collector 50 Greatest Led Zeppelin Gigs front cover feature, the Festival Of Sound book launch, the ‘It’s Been A Long Time’ TBL 50th Anniversary gathering at The Atlas pub, the launch of the John Bonham Memorial in Redditch – the wonderful John Bonham Celebration Day in the same area, The CAT Club Led Zeppelin IV event in Ponntefract plus work on the forthcoming TBL 44 and a couple of forthcoming features plus some great record acquired and gigs attended – well, it really has been some year.

The highlights of all that are re produced below in the 2018 TBL summary.

It now all leads into 2019 and the 50th anniversary celebrations look set to continue…

January will mark the 50th anniversary of the first Led Zeppelin US tour and the US release of the debut album – and as mentioned, look out for a couple of upcoming features Mike Tremaglio and I have worked on.

Going by recent quotes and interviews, Jimmy Page will be keen to keep the anniversary celebrations going and here’s hoping some reviously unreleased material surfaces officially

As for 2019 TBL plans – I will be completing TBL issue 44 for a planned spring publication and I am also looking at producing a Best Of TBL publication – Mike and I are very keen to keep the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book momentum flowing – our objective being that every self respecting Led Zeppelin has a copy of what has been an incredibly well received book.

Whatever is ahead in the world of Led Zeppelin this coming year, with the help of the excellent LZ News site, I will be doing my best to chronicle it all again through the various TBL channels of the website, Facebook, Twitter and the TBL magazine.

Dave Lewis – December 28 , 2018.

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Remembering Lemmy – three years gone:

I was privileged to be in his company a couple of times – notably at the Classic Rock awards at the Roundhouse in 2011. Lemmy was there that night to pick up an award. I had a few minutes with him (this pic was taken then) and asked him for a quote about Led Zeppelin IV for the then forthcoming TBL issue 30 which was celebrating the album’s 40th anniversary. This is what he told me:

”I can remember being down the Speakeasy club with Jimmy quite a few times and Bonzo would be around too. They were just the best musicians and that album is one of many of theirs that still sound amazing. They were a fucking amazing band”

The same could be said for his band -RIP Lemmy…

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TBL 2018 Summary:

Some selected TBL highlights of the year:

Beginning back in January…

12 Gold Bars…

Eric Clapton Life In 12 Bars – directed by Lili Fini Zanuck.

Vue Cinema -Bedford January 10, 2018:

Indeed as the film moves on, there is no stone unturned in unfolding the saga of Eric’s controversial drinking years, his on stage racist comment and the tragedy of Conor’s passing. Hearing Tears In Heaven left a giant lump in my throat.

Finally there’s redemption and rejuvenation as Eric cleans up his act, creates the Crossroads rehabilitation treatment centre in Antigua and finally finds deserved domestic peace. BB King’s on stage tribute is a fitting ending to a powerful and profoundly moving film.

The subsequent live Q and A which featured Jools Holland Interviewing Eric and director Lili was also very enlightening – Eric again demonstrating the humility that dominates the film.

Life In 12 Bars is a love story, an often a tragic story but ultimately a story of triumphant survival for a musician whos music has constantly been a cure for both his, and his audiences inner demons.

In a period where I’ve been battling some of mine, this film was an uplifting, inspiring life affirming cinematic experience…

Dave Lewis – January 11, 2018

Robert Plant receives Lifetime Achievement Award at the UK Americana Awards Show: On the spot TBL report:

Pics by Krys Jantzen for TBL.

The presenters of the awards included Chris Difford of Squeeze, Billy Bragg and actor Sir Patrick Stewart.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was introduced by Bob Harris and Robert Plant took to the stage to mass applause. In accepting the award, Robert spoke highly of  Alison Krauss, Patty Griffin and Buddy Miller. There was a second surprise award for Robert as Carry Fire took the accolade of Best Selling UK Americana Album. Martin Talbot of the Official Charts Company presented the award to Robert alongside  Steve Bull – the legendary Wolverhampton Wanderers footballer and long time friend of Robert. It was good to hear Steve bringing some Black Country tone to the proceedings.

The Sensational Space Shifters took to the stage and Justin Adams made a short speech – then it was time for more celebratory music. The dark brooding Satan Your Kingdome Must Come Down engulfed the theatre – a riveting delivery complete with In My Time Of Dying refrain. Seth Lakeman and Mumford & Sons joined them to aid the the vibrant stomp of Gallows Pole.

Finally, all the artists gathered on the stage to perform Tom Petty’s Wildflowers in tribute to the much missed American rocker.

There was a real warm hum around the theatre as we filed out. Robert Plant’s standing amongst the UK Americana community had been well and truly acknowledged. It was a pleasure and privilege to be in attendance at this latest achievement for the singer. Robert Plant’s relentless quest to continually delve deep into his musical roots knows no bounds.

As he put it during his speech ”I intend to keep moving on…”

Long may he do so.

Dave Lewis, February 2, 2018.

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‘Scuse me while I diss the sky?

Some mixed cloud gatherings on Both Sides of The Sky but much to admire…

Jimi Hendrix: Both Sides of The Sky (Experience Hendrix LLC)

Just three albums released in his lifetime and then a whole lot more since his premature passing in 1970.

As a fan from 1969, I’ve always been keen to hear more Jimi Hendrix – going back to the initial posthumous release of Cry Of Love in 1971..

The early subsequent efforts to scour the studio archives such as Rainbow Bridge and War Heroes, gathered some worthwhile leftovers but when producer Alan Douglas started adding fresh bass and guitar parts to the albums like Crash Landing and Midnight Lightening – I opted out and made do with the slew of dynamic live albums that surfaced such as Hendrix In The West and Live At Berkeley.

In recent years, there has been an admirable overhauling of the Hendrix archive overseen by his sister Janie and the Experience Hendrix LLC team of John McDermott and original engineer Eddie Kramer.

Both Sides Of The Sky is the final part of a trilogy that commenced with Valley of Neptune and continued with People, Hell And Angels. This is clearly no mere barrel scraping exercise – but more a genuine effort to bring as much Hendrix material to the surface – with his reputation intact.

Like its predecessors, it offers up a mixed bag of goodies, or in this case a mixed gathering of clouds amongst the thirteen tracks (ten previously unreleased and three for the first time in this format)  –mostly recorded at the Record Plant in New York .

 

 

The real surprise and highlight of this album is a pair of contributions from a September 30, 1969 session with Stephen Stills. Equally surprising is that they attempted a version of Joni Mitchell’s recently penned Woodstock. It’s in the urgent up-tempo arrangement that Stills would later offer to his band mates Crosby,Nash & Young for the Déjà Vu album. This is clearly Stills show with Hendrix in a supporting role on bass –Stills excels with a dominant vocal and powerful organ accompaniment. As impressive as this is – and the subsequent version on Déjà vu, it took Mathews Southern Comfort to slow the song down and apply the wistful approach that best suited Joni’s festival lament – scoring a UK number one in late 1970 in the process.

The previously unheard Stills composition $20 Fine from the same days session has Hendrix back on guitar. It has a delightful riding on the freeway groove and would certainly not have been out of place on Déjà Vu.


There’s one final guest to add to the proceedings and it’s a big hello to John Dawson Winter III. He applies some riveting trademark slide guitar to a version of Eddie ‘Guitar Slim’ Jones Things I Used To Do cut at the Record Plant, New York in May 1969 – a right old 12 bar romp with Dallas Taylor from the C,S,N &Y stable on drums. This is full of the type of blues swagger that lit up those Bloomfield, Stills & Cooper Super Session album – and Jimi cooks up a storm as does Winter/Stills

In summary:

As with previous Hendrix albums of this nature, it’s often a case of being prepared to wade through some slightly uninspired material to get to the real deals. Overall though, the Experience Hendrix team have unearthed some very worthy unreleased material.

Like a lot of his work, I have a feeling there’s more to be uncovered with subsequent plays of this album – and one thing it has done is prompted me to go back to some of the earlier Experience Hendrix releases such as First Rays Of The New Rising Sun and People, Hell and Angels.

In effect, Both Sides Of The Sky has thoroughly rebooted my fascination for the unsurpassed genius of one James Marshall Hendrix. You can expect it to be doing the same if you similarly invest…

Dave Lewis – March 11, 2018

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Still Sweet: Judy Blue Eyes…

Stills & Collins – Everybody Knows (Sony)

In 1968, Stephen Stills penned one of the most affecting songs of unrequited love. It concerned his ill-fated affair with the folk singer Judy Collins – a year later the song cycle known as Suite: Judy Blues Eyes introduced the world to Crosby, Stills & Nash – and in the words of the song, so began the task….

Through the years there were further star crossed songs written by both parties about each other but they remained good friends.

That fact is more than evident on their first ever full musical collaboration and it’s a clear case of better late than never.

For Everybody Knows, issued in the US late last year and now available in the UK, is a delightful musical reunion.

Tales of first loves being reunited via social media/Facebook search are ripe –but this must be the first occasion past lovers have met to reconcile in song.

It works beautifully thanks to some affectionate reworking of their past material and some very choice covers. It helps of course that Stephen Stills is one of my favourite musicians..

It’s also good to hear Dylan’s perennial Girl From The North Country – note here some modal tunings – Stills has always been such a consummate guitarist and  he plays with real style throughout this album. Quick aside: Robert Plant did a great live version of this song during the Priory Of Brion era.

Judy Collins was the first artist to cover Sandy Denny’s wonderful Who Knows Where The Time Goes so it’s no surprise that her understanding of the song is second to none. This is a piano led arrangement slightly slower than the original. Judy’s slight re -phrasing only goes to emphasis the heartfelt longing of the song’s eternal theme. In short this is breathtakingly beautiful.

So to the final song and it’s another throwback. Stills Questions dates back to his Buffalo Springfield days and the song was famously interwoven into Carry On, the opening track to C S N and Y’s Déjà vu album in 1970.Here it rolls around at a mid-tempo pace over which is Stills applies a suitably sensitive solo.

This Stills and Collins collaboration is another fine example of how to mature musically with grace and style. It’s themes of reflection and redemption resonates in the same way that some of the more introspective parts of Robert Plant’s Carry Fire album does. Graham Nash’s last album This Path Tonight hit the same mark.

Records such as the above mentioned, successfully merge familiarity and melancholy in equal measures and for me act as a comforting musical blanket in my advancing years.

Nobody is getting any younger, and Stephen Stills and Judy Collins wise decision to share and ponder that fact together in song, is a much welcomed one – and  will inspire many plays of this album ahead.

Who does know where the time goes?

But it goes and all too soon. 40 minutes and 50 seconds in the company of Everybody Knows is proving to be time very well spent…

Dave Lewis – March 15 2018

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How The West Was Won: the grand unveiling:

I don’t know about you but I had a fantastic time getting intimate again with the contents of How The West Was Won last weekend.

I was in London for a meeting last Friday – the day of the release and it was a chance to see some How The West Was Won in store presence and there was plenty of it. As you can see via the pic it was trending in HMV Oxford Street.

It’s also been very encouraging to read so many positive comments on my Facebook page for the sound quality and general thumps up for this release all round. Many fans who were reticent about this remastered How The West Was Won release wisely changed their minds and took the plunge. As I stated shortly after this release was officially announced in January:

”It’s a brilliant live Led Zeppelin album due to be released on new formats – and call me a fool, but that to me is something to be celebrated.”

Plenty of fans across the globe have been doing just that these past few days


Here’s an excellent review of the How The West Was Won album that appeared in Classic Rock magazine when it was originally released in 2003…it sounds even better now…

Dave Lewis – March 20, 2018  

 

 

 

 

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Led Zeppelin Record Store Day Release – Rock And Roll (Sunset Sound Mix)/Friends (Olympic Studios Mix) TBL PREVIEW:

Since we’ve been loving them….again…

Just had a listen to this promo copy I’ve received – here’s how it sounds to these ears..

Rock And Roll the Sunset Sound Studios Mix – slightly punchier in the rhythm department and slightly more shrill in the vocal. The guitar solo is more prominent and up front. It’s Rock And Roll…and it’s brilliant…

Friends Olympic Studios Mix – this is an absolute gem. Basically a mix without the string arrangement which allows the stark beauty of Robert’s vocals to shine through – sometimes double tracked to great effect. Behind all that, there’s Jimmy’s relentless Harmony acoustic guitar swirl set against John Bonham’s precise bongo accompaniment. It all speeds up to a clean acoustic chord ending.

‘’It’s very easy’’ repeats the singer…and it is very easy …very easy to love Led Zeppelin in 2018 just as we did when these two cuts first surfaced in 1970 and 1971.

You need this record in your life….simple as that…and ’ll be in the queue early tomorrow hoping to obtain this momentous Record Store Day release …

Record Store Day:

So it was at approximately  5.50am on the morning of April 21,2018, we found ourselves at place number 34, 35, 36 and 37 in the queue at Black Circle Records. We knew we were that many in line as the very helpful staff provided us with a ticket to confirm our status.  Thus we were able to swan off to the local Witherspoons pub for a coffee. At 7.45 we were back in the queue ready for the 8am opening. As ever, it was great to strike up fellow record collecting banter with those in the queue and local lady Lisa Walsh who was in line to purchase a few RSD goodies herself  provided us with a bit of a tour of the area while we were waiting to return to the queue.

Black Circle Records had a different strategy to that of David’s and the Rough Trade stores we had previously queued in. In those stores you had your list and requested the items at the counter – where upon they were fulfilled behind the counter. At Black Circle all the stock was racked out in the store in alphabetical order.

This made it something of a scrum once inside. Upon opening, the store let in twenty customers at a time and we were in the store around 8.45. Nervously I approached the singles racking and there was the holy grail – a fair few Led Zep RSD singles all lined up ready for picking.

The deal was done…I had the latest and greatest Led Zeppelin single in my hands – and boy life was good…

Dave Lewis – April 20, 2018.

Visiting the John Bonham Memorial Statue on May 31, 2018…

It’s easy to get lost in reflective thoughts as you look at this magnificent tribute – I certainly did.

There were fragments of songs going through my head as I gazed and remembered…

To think of us again and I do’’

Then as it was then again it will be, though the course may change sometimes rivers always reach the sea

All of my love to you, and you and you’’

Another one that came in to my head as I stood by the John Bonham statue was When I Was A Child by Jimmy Page & Robert Plant…

‘’I was reaching for the future

Slowly floating in the blue

When I was a boy

I dreamed a dream of you’’

Those lines seem to capture the quiet reflection of the moment…

It was time to say fond farewells with Deb and Pete.

“I am so glad you like it Dave and so pleased you could be here today.’’

Pleased to be here…it was an undoubted privilege and a day I will never forget…

Suffice to say it was a profoundly moving day… a day I feel so privileged to have experienced.

Being in the vicinity of the John Bonham stature on his 70th birthday was a humbling emotional experience and hearing the reaction to it from local residents as they got their first view was simply life affirming…

The communal spirit prevalent around the statue was very special and something every visitor will tap in to.

It’s no understatement to say that this Mercian Square location will become a tourist attraction for the town of Redditch in the same way Abbey Road has become for The Beatles.

So to summarise:

This John Bonham memorial statue will be a central focal point for fans from all parts of the globe to visit in celebration of his lasting legacy…

A legacy that will go on and on…

Dave Lewis – June 3, 2018

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The Rolling Stones at Twickenham:

So when the UK tour dates were announced earlier in the year we were on a mission to secure tickets. After hours of waiting in the online ticket system queues, we struck lucky and Twickenham Stadium here we come…

…and Twickenham Stadium there we are…

 

The Rolling Stones at Twickenham Stadium June 19, 2018:

‘’When we started it all off down the road we never though it would come to this’’

A truly great performance last night – they looked and sounded right on it from the start. Early set highlights included a compelling Tumbling Dice, a riveting Paint It Black and an authentic blues groove on Ride ‘Em on Down The fans online vote choice winner on the night was a very welcomed Bitch from the Sticky Fingers album performed with a real swagger and probably my fave number of the night.

James Bay guested on vocals for Beast Of Burden and Mick led the crowd in a community singalong of You Can’t Always Get What You Want . Following Honky Tonk Women, Mick introduced the players of which Charlie Watts received the possibly the best reception. Keith’s spotlight featured a plaintive You Got The Sliver and a rousing Before They Make Me Run

From there the hits just kept on coming – Sympathy For the Devil, Miss You (brilliant lighting effects here) a dramatic Midnight Rambler, and then a formidable finale of pure raw power – step up Start Me Up, Jumping Jack Flash and Brown Sugar plus encores of Gimme Shelter and Satisfaction.

Throughout it all, the band played with a real joyful strut – and they were clearly enjoying themselves. Charlie Watt’s lightening quick snare drum shots driving it all and Ronnie and Keith lapping it up with some deft guitar inter-changes – Keith seemed really on the money.

As for Michael Philip Jagger…what can you say? 37 days short of his 75th birthday, he danced, pranced and preened at a level of intensity that was just breathtaking to watch.

‘’When we started it all off down the road we never though it would come to this’’ commented Mick at one point but come to this it has and what a glorious heritage they project – and the magnitude of their following really has to be seen to be believed.

At Twickenham last night, the good lady Janet and I were proud to be among so many like minded believers of what The Rolling Stones can deliver – and deliver they certainly did.

They remain the planet’s pre eminent live attraction. ..and they really are just phenomenal…

Dave Lewis – June 20, 2018

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Announcing the forthcoming publication of …

Evenings With Led Zeppelin – The Complete Concert Chronicle by Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio

At last we have reached the finishing line – the book myself and Mike Tremaglio, along with TBL designer Mick Lowe have been working on for the past four and a half years is finally a wrap…

On Thursday, June 14, 2018 we did the last corrections and the book files are now with Omnibus Press to begin printing.

Planned publication via Omnibus Press is September.

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DL Diary Blog Update: World Cup special..

At the always excellent Vinyl Barn last Friday morning, I was well pleased to find this Richie Havens compilation on the Polydor Special label – perfect summer listening… thanks Darren ! Plenty of great stock at the Vinyl Barn at Bedford Market just across from WH Smith ..be sure to check it out if you are in the area….

What a start to The World Cup – the incredible Spain v Portugal 3-3 draw, Mexico beating Germany 1-0 – and then England – putting us through the usual torture but what a result against Tunisia with Harry Kane stepping up to the mark with that last minute header. What relief! it’s now Panama on Sunday and here’s hoping Gareth’s boys can continue the wining form.

Watching all the action unfold re affirms the fact that this really is the greatest sporting event -after all the negativity surrounding Russia’s choice of host nation – well it’s been a real eye opener  and on the first week’s showing, the beautiful game has just got more beautiful. As the excellent Oliver Holt commented in his Mail on Sunday column: ”Great sporting events bring out the best of us. It’s about people -not governments . It let’s us see each other not as enemies but as brothers

DL Diary Blog Update:

The World Cup…phew…

Saturday was another day of momentous expectation as England took on Sweden in the Quarter Final – and what a result. A fairly emphatic 2-0 victory which put England into the World Cup Semi Final for the first time in 28 years. On Tuesday night, France booked their place in the final with a 1-0 win over Belgium

So to Wednesday and the World Cup Semi Final between Croatia and England…

Here’s a wonderful piece by Tom Fordyce of BBC Sport that was on the BBC Sport website the morning of the match – the right words at the right moment. Thanks to Max Harris for flagging this brilliant piece of writing…it brought a lump to my throat…

Croatia v England: Maybe, just maybe  this time it will be different

Football is sold to the world as fun. As colour, as sunshine, as joy. Football is sold as winning.

Football is experienced as doubt. Football is watched feeling sick. It is wishing matches finished, wanting to walk out of a stadium even as you’ve been desperate to be there, being convinced that the most heartbreaking possible scenario is the most likely thing to pass.

And usually it does. Football is about losing. Only one team can win a league. Thirty-two teams went to the World Cup; 31 will go home wondering what if.

The idea England might be the exception both to that rule and to a torturous history of defeat, pain and regrets still feels extraordinary. It also feels dangerous, because while football is also about being powerless to prevent something awful happening to something that matters to you so much, it is equally about being convinced that even a thought or stray sentence could instantly summon disaster.

Any neutral watching England 2-0 up against Sweden could tell they were not going to lose. Many England fans were convinced that remarking “we’re the better team here” to the person next to them would be to guarantee an immediate Swedish goal.

It is why being 1-0 down can often be more relaxing than being 1-0 up. What’s the worst that can happen now the worst thing is already happening?

And so you lie to yourself. We’re just going to enjoy the occasion. It’s only sport. I didn’t expect us to win anyway.

You tuck yourself behind established beliefs. England are an embarrassment at big tournaments. England don’t win penalty shootouts. English footballers are spoiled, selfish and out of touch with those who help fund their crazy wages.

Hope is a delusion. Dreaming is for night-time. Football is disappointment.

You know all this is true. You also know what football can do for you. It makes you leap around and grab your friends around the neck and roar at each other’s faces from inches away. It makes you jump on the back of strangers. It makes you feel the same way at exactly the same time as millions of people you will never meet.

You stay with football because of the possibility of all this. You keep daydreaming because of the little part of you that doesn’t consider this a dream at all. You tell other people not to look beyond the next game and then do exactly that.

Because football can change. You miss a penalty and then the other team miss two. You go further into a tournament than you have in more than a quarter of a century and look up to see the big boys all gone. You listen to the players and read their social media and you find yourself seeing shared characteristics and people you like.

And when football changes, we change with it. From shouting at defenders to get rid of it, to lump it long when the press comes on, to contentedly watching them keep hold and play it out. From worrying which unheralded opposition player will be the bogeyman this time to relishing the world waking up to Kieran Trippier and Harry Maguire. From avoiding deathless England friendlies and their endless substitutions and meaningless results to wishing the next game was here now and being able to name Gareth Southgate’s first-choice team in a single breath.

One of the few lasting bequests of London 2012, a sporting carnival where too many big races now have asterisks next to them, was that sense – for a nation that spends so much time reflexively looking backwards – of a vision of modern Britain that felt simultaneously new and familiar to every one of us.

It was there in the stories of the three stars of Super Saturday: Jessica Ennis-Hill, a mixed-race girl from Sheffield; Greg Rutherford, a lad whose great-grandfather played football for England over a century ago; Mo Farah, a boy who arrived in west London aged eight from east Africa to make the capital his home.

This is an England team that represents the England of 2018. The pale kid from Sunderland in goal, a midfielder from Milton Keynes with a Nigerian dad and English mum. Three big lads from south Yorkshire in defence, a striker born in Jamaica and raised in the scruffy part of west London. Another midfielder schooled in Lisbon, a superstar captain who learned on loan at Orient and Millwall.

There is an unreality to it all. A frozen, sodden winter when the rain never stopped, a summer that started early and lit up everything for weeks. Sunlit mornings, evenings watching football with the windows and doors open and daylight in the sky until all the celebrating is done. A team beaten by a nation of 330,000 at their last big tournament, gone after the group stages at the previous World Cup, careering into the semi-finals and enjoying every moment of it.

There are limitless reasons to fall out of love with football. The idiots you know even in the home end at your own club, the jingoism that snarls in the slipstream of national success. The price of shirts, the price of tickets, the booking fee for something bought in a microsecond from an automated page. The multiple satellite packages, the kick-offs before lunch and after Sunday tea-time, the money going to middlemen in a deal that didn’t need them.

Then you think of the adrenalised peaks and emotional releases of the past three weeks, the scenes in front of big screens around the country, the pleasure of seeing your happiness reflected in the faces and moods of people you have almost nothing else in common with.

Only football can do this. England winning the rugby union World Cup brought enormous pleasure to vast numbers, the home Ashes triumph of 2005 giddy disbelief to those who had long grown used to Australian domination.

Yet neither touched as many distant corners as this World Cup. The peak television audience for the deeds of Michael Vaughan’s team was 8.4 million; 15 million saw Jonny Wilkinson drop his goal. Andy Murray’s first Wimbledon victory brought in 17.3m, and that was a win for Great Britain.

England’s last-16 win over Colombia peaked at 23.6 million. Wednesday night’s semi-final is likely to draw in yet more.

And you don’t want any of it to end. Football is going to revert to type for two of the teams still left in this World Cup. It will go back to being about regret and dejection and what might have been.

For one team it will be something else. Colour, sunshine, joy.

Maybe it will all end here. Maybe, this once, it will not.

As we all know it did end there last night…

Tom Fordyce wrote more words of wisdom this morning concluding his piece as follows..

And so it is over. Another generation is introduced to the distinctive pleasure and pain of supporting England. Those who remember a World Cup final win grow older still.

My ageing father is one of them. I had been looking forward to sharing his memories of 1966, when as a young man living in London he had bought a block of tickets for all the games at Wembley at a quite reasonable cost and without any great rush or competition.

So long has the wait now been that the July afternoon when England really did go all the way has taken on an almost mythical status. His own memories of being there when history was made are more amusingly prosaic: the squash getting into Wembley for the final, the traffic trying to get back to Whetstone afterwards.

Like a lot of dads around the country, he tried to cheer up his kids late on Wednesday. All five of us received the same text.

“You youngsters will have lots of chances to watch England in future World Cups. May you have the joy that I felt in 1966, sometime in the near future.”

Something to make you smile and melancholic at exactly the same time. Just like England’s World Cup adventure, just like another floodlit night of promise and pain.

So it is over – and like millions of others, we watched it all unfold last night – the euphoria of that early goal giving way in the second half to heartbreak as Croatia pulled it back and went on to win 2-1 in extra time.

In the end they were just not quite good enough…

It’s been some journey – a wonderful month of sunshine and football and Gareth’s boys doing themselves – us and the country proud….we won’t forget this summer of World Cup joy…even if it did not end the way we all wanted…

Take a bow Gareth Southgate and the magnificence England squad – you made us feel united again and it felt so good…

Robert Plant – The Principle of Moments LP

Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water – reissued CD

Paul & Linda McCartney – Ram -reissued CD

Busy here on a variety of projects – including more prep on TBL use 44, a major feature ongoing and promotion of the Evenings With and Led Zeppelin Live 1975 – 1977 book. Here’s a pic with the advance copy I have – I put a lot of thought and effort into the whole concept of this book and I am really pleased with the end result.

Dave Lewis – July 12, 2018

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An Evening With Graham Nash: Bridge Theatre London – July 22, 2018:

There was a gap of some 27 years between me seeing Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones on stage together again at the 02 in 2007. The recent Rolling Stones gig at Twickenham ended a 15 year hiatus of seeing Mick and co.

That’s nothing compared to the total of intervening years in my experience of seeing Graham Nash on stage.

It’s some 54 years since I saw the young Nash with The Hollies on stage at the Granada Cinema in Bedford when I was aged 7. So it was high time I was back in his company

The Bridge Theatre was the venue for this memorable Evening With Graham Nash – and a splendid venue it is – very modern and the gallery seats are all raised to ensure a clear sightline to the stage.

A shoeless Graham wandered on looking like some 60s troubadour who had thrown his sandals in the air during Country Joe’s Fish Cheer at Woodstock and never retrieved them.

Flanked by the excellent Shane Fontayne on guitar and Todd Caldwell on keyboards, early highlights included a delicate delivery of The Hollies Bus Stop, a majestic I Used To Be A King and a thrilling Military Madness.

His in between song banter was warm and engaging – lots of mentions of David Crosby – and some moving words about Joni Mitchell ‘’Joni will be back’’ he said emphatically to huge cheers before a glorious Our House. Elsewhere there were tributes to both The Beatles – a stirring A Day In The Life and Buddy Holly, a sweet close harmony delivery of Everyday. Throughout the night we were subject to a delightful meandering through Nash’s back pages. Marrakesh Express, Golden Days, Sleep Song, Just A Song Before I Go and a beautiful take on Stephen Stills’ 4 and 20 among them. The voice, with that soaring falsetto was remarkably strong as demonstrated by a vibrant Chicago/We Can Change The World. A reverent Teach Your Children was a suitably feelgood send off.

”Everyone knows I’ve sung each song a thousand times” he said in a recent interview ”But I want them to believe that this is the first time they’ve heard it. I want to show the same passion as when I wrote them”

In the intimate surroundings of the Bridge Theatre, Graham Nash certainly succeeded in that – for what were once songs for beginners are clearly now songs for the converted. Sharing this evening with one of the true singer/songwriting greats was an absolute pleasure.

Dave Lewis – July 23, 2018.

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DL on News At Ten…

While I was in Sister Ray Records on Monday August 13, I noticed a film crew in there – I was duly asked to do a piece to camera as they say, on the subject of Ticketmaster and the closing of secondary sites Get me In and Seat Wave. A few seconds of this was aired on Monday’s edition of news At Ten. Here’s the link – I am on at about 25 seconds –

http://www.itv.com/news/2018-08-13/ticketmaster-to-shut-resale-sites-get-me-in-and-seatwave-in-touts-crackdown/

I then went on to meet my very good friend John Parkin in the Spice of Life. John had been at the Cropredy Festival at the weekend and had passed a copy of TBL 43 to Fairport’s Dave Pegg. Here’s a great pic of Dave and Rick Sanders wading though TBl 43 – with the various Zep/Fairport connections I hope they found something of interest in there!

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Record Collector New issue: Led Zeppelin Their 50 Greatest Gigs…

Record Collector New issue: Led Zeppelin Their 50 Greatest Gigs…


While in the Sister Ray record shop in London on Monday I was well pleased to find the new issue of Record Collector on sale.

The new issue of Record Collector magazine has an extensive 14 page feature written and collated by Mike Tremaglio and myself. It presents a listing of what we consider to be the 50 Greatest Led Zeppelin Gigs – plus collector side bars.

I’d had been talking with the new editor of Record Collector Paul Lester for a few months how we might celebrate the Led Zeppelin 50th anniversary with an extensive feature. informing Paul of the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book, he suggested we collate the 50 greatest Led Zeppelin gigs. I set to work on this as soon as we signed off the book in mid June. Working with Mike Tremaglio we developed an initial listing of about 75 gigs – this was this reduced down to 50.

The criteria we based this on was as follows:
Legendary fan favourites such as Texas international Pop Festival Aug 31, 1969, LA Forum Sept 4 1970, Osaka Sept 29, 1971, LA Forum June 21, 1977.

High profile performances such as the 1969 and 1970 Bath Festival appearances, Royal Albert Hall 1970, Earls Court 1975, Oakland 1977 and Knebworth 1979

The history making gigs such as Tampa May 5, 1973, Pontiac April 30, 1977, Berlin July 7 1980, the 02 Reunion etc.

In effect, we wanted to present a broad sweep of the history of the band live. Each entry has background detail to add perspective and some have press reaction comments. Much of the info is based on the material we collated for the forthcoming Evenings With Led Zeppelin -The Complete Concert Chronicle to be published on September 27.

All lists are subjective of course but we worked hard to try and cover all aspects of their live history. I am sure readers will enjoy wading through it all – some of course may feel we have missed a particular fave out but that is all part of the fun.

The feature also includes an overview by David Stubbs, and side bars I came up with on the official live albums, the bootlegs and collecting concert programmes, posters, flyers tickets and T shirts. I’d like to thank Paul Sheppard, Chris Maley, Nick Anderson , Cliff Hilliard for their help on these collector guides.

I’ve been contributing to Record Collector since 1980 and this is probably the most ambitious feature I’ve been involved in. I liaised closely with editor Paul Lester on all this who was great to work with and he had a real vison of what we wanted to achieve. I went to the Record Collector office to assist with the layout and design which again turned out really well. The photos and images add to the retrospective feel of it all. Mike Tremaglio cast his ever diligent eye over it once it was in place.

I am really pleased with the end result. I am sure there is going to be many a magazine feature in the coming months –

I think this Record Collector 50 Greatest Gigs presentation offers something a little different and will add to the enjoyment of this special period. Be sure to check it out.

Ordering info via the Record Collector website.

Dave Lewis – August 14,2018

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Record Collector New issue: Led Zeppelin Their 50 Greatest Gigs…

Many thanks for the  many great comments that have come in about the Record Collector Led Zeppelin Their 50 Greatest Gigs feature…

Here’s one from Paul Sheppard:

An excellent read and in my totally biased opinion, one of the best ever articles to appear in RC. I could disagree with one or two of the gig choices (but I won’t) and a couple of the bootleg choices but overall, an excellent presentation and if we get expanded entries of what is featured here in the forthcoming ‘Evenings with…’ book the the world will feel a slightly better place all round. Thanks Mr L.and T!

The pic here with the good lady Janet was taken in the fair city of St. Albans last Saturday as we checked out the essential weekend reading…

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My thoughts on…

The Soundtrack From The Film The Song Remains The Same Remastered:

So it’s back in a multitude of formats and for all the comments on what it’s not….what it is has much to commend it.

When it was first released back in October 1976, The Song Remains The Same it wasn’t by any means the first live album of Led Zeppelin music I’d heard – by then I had a fair stack of bootleg LPs – and it wasn’t the first live recordings of the fabled 1973 tour that I had heard- Bonzo’s Birthday Party and Three Days After had been on my playlist for over two years.

However, it was the first official live recording of the band and back then I remember being amazed at the uniqueness of the sound – the original still holds a certain resonance and for many people it remains the go to album for their Song Remains The Same film soundtrack fix.

The 2007 mix handled by Kevin Shirley added six new previously unreleased recordings. It came in for a fair amount of criticism for a few untidy edits that for some spoiled the party.

Essentially this new version superbly packed over four LPs is the Kevin Shirley mix and sequencing remastered by Jimmy Page with John Davis also mastering. The best way to approach it all again is to play though the eight sides non stop – just as I did the four sides some 42 years ago on a cold Friday on the evening of October 22 1976…and yes then as now, it still holds the magic.

Now I am no audiophile but I know what I like. This is an incredibly sprightly mix that leaps out the speakers.

Whilst the on stage experimentation of their 1972 US tour had levelled out, these New York ‘73 concerts a year later capture all the swagger and verve of a band in the throes of conquering the world.

Side One ramps up the excitement from the off with that breathless Rock And Roll into Celebration Day into Black Dog sequence. I had forgotten how impressive Over The Hills And Far Away is from these shows and here it just oozes inventiveness and class.

Side Two kicks off with a fluent Misty Mountain Hop that as was the norm at the time, dovetails seamlessly into Since I’ve Been Loving You. This, as we all now know was a glaring omission in the original 1976 package – there’s something quite magical about this version. It’s one of those tight but loose moments when everything ebbs and flows with unbridled passion. ”Jimmy Page guitar” proclaims Robert at the close to mass crowd hysteria. It’s a wonderful moment. From there it’s straight into The Ocean. Out of sequence to the actual concert as it was an encore but hey what’s not to like? Brilliant dynamics between Page, Bonzo and Jonesy and Robert at his preening best – and the do wop ending is a pure delight.

Side Three: It’s a shame Robert’s spoken introduction is missing but there’s absolutely no complaints about the performance here. The Song Remains The Same /The Rain Song – performed side by side as they were on the studio album and as they were on every concert from late 1972 up to 1975. Another glorious amalgamation of controlled dynamics and yes, the chemistry remains the same.

Side Four: No Quarter – this is the often maligned 2007 version – call me a fool but I find much to admire here – the drama of the opening, Jonesy’s immaculate solo and the prominent wah wah effect back into the final verse. The fact is, any version of No Quarter from 1973 is absolutely fine by me.

Side Five: Dazed And Confused – the big one now presented in full over one side as opposed to the jarring part one and two line up on the  2007 vinyl set. This is a  familiar marathon and before getting to the finish line, Jimmy unveils a veritable  box of tricks. ”Jimmy Page – electric guitar.” Oh yes…

Side Six:  Moby Dick – across a complete side the John Henry Bonham stickfest – and that closing sequence is such a riot. ”John Bonham!”

Side Seven: Stairway To Heaven – let’s dock a point for the no show of the ”This is a song of hope” introduction – however the rest is pretty much perfection.

Side Eight: Heartbreaker/Whole Lotta Love – a crunching Heartbreaker ticks all the boxes but the Whole Lotta Love has always sounded a bit laboured.

Then there’s the film…

It‘s fair to say this film was a major part of my life circa 1976-78.

I ventured out to see it in cinemas across the home counties over 30 times in all, from the opening night premiere with the entire band a few rows behind,s even nights in succession when it came to Bedford – through to a snowbound journey to see it in a tiny cinema in Western Favell near Northampton one early January night in 1978.

I bought it on a dreadful quality VHS bootleg copy in 1981 -all colour drop out but hey any time I wanted I could rewind to Jimmy climbing that mountian so who cared!

I haven’t watched it for a good few years – overall I think it stands up very well. The fantasy sequences now carry a real ‘we did it because we could’ 1970’s quaintness, the live footage is often better than I remembered – even if 1973 isn’t my fave live period – as for me the bigger stage setting and song repertoire of 75/77/79 captured Zep in real splendour. That said, Since I’ve Been L oving You, The Song Remains the Same and Dazed And Confused really stand out in terms of sheer musical thrust.

Yes Jimmy’s trousers look faintly ridiculous (but it was 1973!) and that JPJ ‘’Tour dates ….this is tomorow’’ line is no Gone With The Wind in Oscar winning acting performance but all in all, The Song Remains The Same movie has a real warm glow about it throughout.

The DVD second disc extras are most welcome – and I’d forgotten how good they are. The Tampa and Drake Hotel news footage is much longer than I remember. The Peter Grant and Robert Plant TV interview on the River Thames screened on The Old Grey Whistle Test is an absolute timepiece. Note Robert’s very flamboyant earring and his humorous rapport with the G man says much about the affinity they had for each other. As for the live cuts – Over The Hills And Far Away and The Ocean are as good as it gets as live representations of what this band was all about.

In Summary:

The Super Deluxe box set is  a beautiful thing for sure though as Graeme Hutchinson noted, I am surprised it does not include the Blue- ray version of the film. This is a very expensive set and will not be for everyone.

The Four album box set is also superbly packaged and I would recommend it highly – the clarity of sound on this is quite striking.

The two CD version is superb value and a great package and provides the opportunity  anyone to join the party.

Like countless other fans, the Soundtrack To the Film The Song Remains The Same is ingrained on my brain – it’s a nostalgic throwback to an innocent era.

Any version is therefore very welcome around these parts, and in something of a crazy week, these new arrivals of an old favourite have been an absolute inspiration.

The song really does remain the same…and it stills sounds brilliant…

Dave Lewis – September 12,2018.

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Reflections on the simply amazing John Bonham A Celebration concert in Redditch last Saturday September 22:

Photo by Jonathan Barry

Brilliantly organised, there was a real feeling of warmth throughout the day – the outside rain did nothing to dampen spirits.

It was great to catch up with so many friends and TBL people including Gary Davies, Chris Maley, Ian Avey and Sue ,Graeme Hutchinson and Pam, Steve Way, Paul Aspey, David Cunningham, Mark Halliwell, Clem and Sam Dellaway to name but a few.

I arrived around 11am. I had my own early morning moment next to the Memorial -and quickly found myself welling up again – it just does that to you. The sheer  enormity of it all…John being back here by the church and green he would have passed so many times…and of course with September 25, looming, it was hard not to think back 38 years to that fateful day and replay it all…

 

I swallowed the big lump in my throat, cleared my eyes and for the next 12 hours went on to celebrate John Bonham’s life and legacy…

And what a celebration it was…

Around 12ish Deborah made her way to the John Bonham Memorial to officially hand over the sculpture to the people of Redditch. This was done with the deputy mayor of Redditch – Deb made a short speech to large applause from those gathered around. Later Johns wife Pat and daughter Zoe made an appearance by the Memorial.

Back inside the venue, there was an interesting and varied line up of acts throughout the day – I particularly liked the Rebecca Downes Band and Deborah’s set was simply outstanding.

Rather than her standard set,  Deb presented  a personal John Bonham greatest hits line up – in effect his favourite songs and  all  brilliantly delivered by Deb,Pete and co and special friends – the performance of Bad Co’s Shooting Star was right up there on the all time emotional count.

The filmed inserts from Roger Daltrey, Robert Plant ,Paul Rodgers and Mick Fleetwood were very touching.

The set list included:

Nutbush City Limits

Hey Joe

The Everly Brothers Bye Bye Love – with Johnny Bryant and Antonia Burt

Stephen Stills Love The One Your With – one of my all time fave songs!

I’d Rather Go Blind – featuring original Chicken Shack guitarist Andy Sylvester

The Chain – preceded by a story of how John would be playing Fleetwood Mmac’s Rumours in the car on eight track when John used to pick up Deb from school (Kidderminster Convent)

Wishing Well – with a nod to Maggie Bell

Can’t Get Enough

My Brother Jake  – just fantastic!

Ready For Love – this was an amazing delivery of the Bad Co song – Deb really going for it on an extended finish. Deb later told me she based this on the final part of Robert’s vocal delivery of the live Zep No Quarter.

Shooting Star -preceded by a filmed insert from Paul Rodgers in which he strummed the intro to the song

Oldy Hyde Farm (with Ian Hatton)…so moving as it always is

With A Little Help From My Friends – with Zoe and Pat and Bev Bevan on drums. A glorious rendering of the perfect anthem for the day.

Rock And Roll – with a young fan joining them on percussion.

It was very heartwarming to see Pat and Zoe Bonham up on stage. Pat told me later she had rarely sung on stage before but did remember a Zep boat party years back when Robert had asked to get up and sing with singer songwriter Labi Sifre (‘’I was too scared!”). Pat wore a very fetching led Zeppelin Electric Magic t shirt.

There were a number of notable musicians of the Midlands in attendance too including Steve Gibbons, Bev Beven, Andy Sylvester, Wayne Terry,Ian Hatton etc.

Above photos by Jonathan Barry.

I had a chat with Bev Bevan – he was on great form

It was also amazing too to see so many fans from afar including the US, France and Italy. Letz Zep closed the show – and then a final filmed message from Jason Bonham sent us all home feeling that uniquely warm Bonham magic in the air.

Big thanks to Ros, Gemma for all there organising skills and the whole Memorial team – and Clem and Sam for the original idea. As Steve Way said to me, what has been achieved in the four years since he and I attended the fiirst fund raising concert at the nearby St. Stephen’s church in August 2014 is simply monumental. Seeing so many fans admiring the nearby sculpture was also very moving.

All this of course to aid of Teenage Cancer Trust and their vital services in the West Midlands. As Deb said to me as we were saying fond farewells ‘’John would be so proud that we are giving something back in his memory’

Giving something back and inspiring a whole community – not to mention fans across the globe – the John Bonham Memorial has developed into a fitting tribute and this all day concert was a tangible outpouring of love and admiration in the name of the whole Bonham family.

Once again being in the company of this very special family was an honour and a privilege…and it would fantastic if this wonderful celebration of a much missed and loved musician could become an annual event. the pic here includes Zoe, Deb myself and Pat.

Dave Lewis – September 23,2018.

Here’s some words from Ros Sidaway the campaign leader and events manager of the Celebration Concert and one of the main drivers of the whole John Bonham Memorial fund:

Thank you so much Dave and I am only sorry that I only had chance for the briefest of hellos. So pleased you enjoyed the day and I’m over the moon by the atmosphere and outpouring of love for John.

Everyone played their part – the bands and special guests were fantastic, the audience so appreciative, technicians and backstage team enabled an amazing sound and light display.
Stewards, Cava security, adhoc helpers had so much stamina. But got to give special mention to Gemma Varnfield, Ellie Burden, Angela Bates, Giles Lees, Richard Sidaway, and last,but by no means least, my wonderful husband, David, who with Richard worked literally non-stop setting up/breaking down the site with fencing, hospitality set up, after clean up, and stewarding throughout the event. Not to mention all his support in the months leading up to Saturday.
Thank you again for helping to publicise to fans, and of course for your wonderful contribution to the souvenir programme. I will listen to those tracks as again with new found understanding of John’s drumming brilliance.
Thanks Ros…all in all it was an incredibly uplifting day…

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September 28 – 30, 2018:

TBL on the road report:

So that was the week that was – and what a week it was…

On Sunday it was over to Fulham for this event:

Dave Lewis and Julian Walker Present…

Led Zeppelin at 50 – It’s Been A Long Time 1968 -2018

Led Zeppelin 50th Anniversary TBL Celebration Day Event

Sunday, September 30, 2018

12 midday to 8.30pm

The Atlas Pub

16 Seagrave Road,Fulham, London, SW6 1RX

Following on from last December’s hugely enjoyable ‘Ahmet We Did It’ 02 Ten Years Gone event at this venue, we went back to the pub on Sunday for another day of Led Zeppelin 50th Anniversary Celebrations.

 And what a day it was.

Julian and I got there around 11am to set up – we did have a little bit of stress when the sound on the DVD player would not work properly – in fact we thought we might had blown the speakers! Luckily we hadn’t. Richard Grubb was also in early to assist and he also did a great job of manning the door for us

So here’s what went down:

Legendary Author Luis Rey and renowned Led Zep chronicler Andy Adams talked about the recently published 50th Anniversary updated edition of Luis’ Led Zeppelin Tape Documentary book. Andy helped edit this new edition which as we all know, is one of the essential Zep volumes to own. ever  Luis passionate prose made for some compelling chat – Andy was as perceptive as ever on the subject of bootlegs and more. As I always say being in this pair’s company inspires you to get back home and play Led Zeppelin as soon as possible…

Mike Tremaglio and I were on next the to unravel the story of how we researched and compiled the 280,00 words and 576 pages that make up the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book.

As mentioned last week with no books in the UK aside from the one we had to show, it was a bit frustrating to say the least. Julian did a great job keeping the interview flowing – it was captured on a YouTube clip that can be viewed below.

The always illuminating Chris Charlesworth talked about the recent Jimmy Page biography by Chris Salewic  and what makes what makes a good rock biography – or not…his wry comment that it had to be literate and the author should possess an A level in English had me shifting rather uncomfortably next to him. A level? I didn’t take O level so that’s me done for!

 

Chris also waxed lyrical and the relationship between Led Zeppelin and the rock press in the 70s. His revelation that the

combined sales of Melody Maker, NME, Sounds and Disc topped a quarter of a million each week in their 1970s heyday was a startling statistic. Away from Zep I could not resit asking about his experiences of interviewing John Lennon in the US in the mid 70s. As ever Chris brought an inside view to a fascinating subject – and not without poignancy. Don’t forget to visit Chris’  excellent blog at justbackdated.blogspot.com/

Next up – the renowned journalist, author and broadcaster Patrick Humphries revealed the links between Fairport Convention and Led Zeppelin and his experiences of interviewing Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Again like Chris, Patrick’s inside views made for a hugely enjoyable chat. Patrick has recently compiled  A Tree With Roots- Fairport Convention and Friends Song Of Bob Dylan CD on Universal.

Journalist and author Mark Blake then joined us to talk about his forthcoming biography of Peter Grant Bring it On Home Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin and beyond: The Story Of Rock’s Greatest Manager (Little Brown Books.) Written with full co-operation of the family, Mark’s portrayal of the fabled Zep manager will be the definitive account. That was more than evident during Mark’s revealing interview -which was utterly compelling all the way. Mark revealed more than enough to know that his forthcoming book on the life of Peter Grant will be an essential read…

Final guest speaker was Phil Tattershall – the well known UK Zep CD collector/authority who  presented ‘Confessions of a Led Zeppelin Taper’. This was a highly humorous and entertaining overview of Phil’s experiences in taping Led Zeppelin and the subsequent solo appearances of Jimmy ,Robert and Jonesy. His accompanying visuals were also great – it was really interesting to view the various tape machines Phil had used over the years.

Finally the Led Zeppelin Quiz -50 at 50 as compiled by Andy ,myself and Gary Davies. 50 Zep brainteasing questions – as we were running somewhat late ,we did this as a shout back – the usual suspects of Eddie Edwards, Phil Tattersall and Ian Avery fared the best.

To wrap the day we showed some Zep Earls Court May 24, 1975 footage.

 

It was fantastic to see so many friends and new and old faces in attendance including Mark Harrison Simon Pallett, Andy Adams ,Luis Rey, Eddie Edwards, Phil Tattershall, Trev Butcher, John Webster, Dieter from Germany, Andreas Stocker, Davide from Italy, Horace from the US, Andrew Doyle, TBL website creator Dave Linwood, Dave Fox, Rudi O’Keefe, Gerd from Germany, Melvyn Billingham, Jez Firth, Ian Dixon, Alan Stutz, Lee Matthews, Paul Sheppard, Brad Day, Sue Wilson, David Johnstone, Richard Schofield, Mark Windslade, Simon Cadmon, Tuhin Chowdhury, Cliff ‘The ticket man’Hilliard, Hiroshi, Richard Bedford, Ian Avey and many more.

 

Pics here with Mark Harrison plus  Julian, Luis and Mike T. Andy Adams and Simon Pallett, Melvyn Billingham, Dave Linwood and Dave Fox, Eddie Edwards and Phil Tattershall Thanks to Andreas Stocker for pics above.

 

Adam Tidd and his lady Lydia  came along with John ‘Crystal’ Taylor who was part of the road crew with Queen for 12 years…

So a fantastic day when once again we proved that Led Zeppelin are not just the greatest band- they have the greatest fans. Very special thanks to Julian for all his help in making this happen, Richard Grubb, Andy Adams, Gary Davies, Mike Lowe and Jen, Renee and Kate at The Atlas pub.

Next year? Sunday August 4, 2019 might be an appropriate date for another TBL gathering…

DL – October 4,2018

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YouTube clip from the TBL Event:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daLnFpEAm7w&feature=share

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Before all that, on Friday Mike and I presented we had been in attendance at the Omnibus Press Evenings With Led Zeppelin book launch at Festival of Sound – The Music And Audio Show staged at the Novotel  in Hammersmith. This was an excellent opportunity to promote the book. We had about 50 in – people all new to me so we were gaining new interest in the book. There was one very familiar face – it was great to see Gary Foy in attendance. Afterwards, we adjourned to the pub where Mike Tremaglio was able to get very involved with all the TBL talk that goes on – something he experienced throughout the weekend.

 

I had met Mike the previous day in The Spice Of Life with his wife Janet – his daughter Gina came in on Friday for the weekend. It was fantastic to finally meet him but I felt I knew him anyway -having had many a skype and email conversation. What a weekend we had…         

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Latest book review round up:

Firstly some reviews and feedback for the official Led Zeppelin By Led Zeppelin book:

LED ZEPPELIN BY LED ZEPPELIN

Reel Art Press, released October 9, 2018

Of all the things we’ve known were coming during this 50th anniversary celebration, this was (so far, anyway) the one I was most anticipating. Of course we’ve had many photo books across the years, and Led Zeppelin were nothing if not photogenic. Most of the previous photo books on the band hit the                                                               mark in their own way, but I had high hopes for this because the band were personally invested in putting it together, and of course they would have had access to the various photographers, as well as their own personal archives. When I received my copy, I anxiously but carefully unpackaged it as I used to do when one of their original LPs was released.

Larry M. Bergmann, Jr.

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.

Ed – Washington DC 

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Evenings With Led Zeppelin latest:

It was an absolute pleasure on Wednesday October 10 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…

His 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

First Thoughts About Evenings With Led Zeppelin

When I was growing up there were 2 kinds of music books; biographies, either salacious or sanitised, or tomes with lists of dry dates, catalogue numbers and chart positions. It was not until Mark Levisohn’s ground-breaking work about The Beatles that I saw it was possible to do both. Tell a band’s story through the data, but make it breath. Dave Lewis of course knew this before me, and from TBL mag to his chronicles of the 1980 Over Europe tour has kept the flame of Zep alive through the good and bad times. Now in conjunction with American aficionado Mike Tremaglio they have put together what is surely the last word on Zeppelin live, give or take a seismic shift in the Teutonic plates of the surviving band members.

Working together Elton and Bernie style across the Atlantic, this book traces every show, festival and happening Led Zeppelin were a part of; and a fair few that for one reason or another never went ahead. The dedication and detail to this labour of love is amazing, in short it’s a bit of an epic!

After a touching scene setting introduction from Tour Manager Richard Cole the first part of the book pieces together the jigsaw of the birth of Zeppelin from the ashes of the Yardbirds, detailing what is, and what will forever be speculation. Then it’s onto the meat of the book, Gig by gig a rundown of the venue, set list (where corroborated by audio) quotes from the band or their associates and contemporary press reaction, not all of it is complimentary. I particularly like the “then and now” thumbnails of venues, each supported by pictures of the buildings and many ticket stubs, courtesy of the legendary “Cliff the ticket man.”

Through this source material the story of the band on the road emerges, in direct reviews and between the lines. For example the review of Uppsala March 14 1969 reads more like a psychology essay than a gig appraisal. Two things are apparent to me. The sometimes chaotic nature of their meteoric rise, cancelled shows, missing equipment, shoddy journalism, and secondly how polarised the reaction to Zeppelin actually was. On the one hand a good many provincial US music writers could see the potential of Zep, that they were more than one trick ponies and would strike out in new and interesting directions, on the other, manly British hand, they were considered just too darn noisy. Perhaps it depended on the size of the venue, the mood the band was in, or indeed that of the reviewer, but when you ‘got ’ Zeppelin you really got it, and being on the inside of that circle made it feel extra special.

At this time of writing I’m only in mid 1969, somewhere in the US, but this is road trip I am going to enjoy. “Evenings With” is a must have for all Zep fans and a go to guide for any lover of music from that period. I still have a lot of reading to do, but I will not skip to Earls Court. I will not skip to Earls Court. I will not ski…

Ian Dixon

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National Album Day: Saturday October 13:

Here’s a round up of my input on National Album Day staged last Saturday – this info via my Facebook page. It was great fun sharing this event and reading people’s choices throughout the day. Here’s to next year’s event.

The countdown is on:  

Update1:

Don’t forget at 3.33pm on National Album Day everyone in the UK is being asked to stop what they’re doing, sit back, relax and play an album of choice in full, from start to finish.
So which album to choose?

Here are some of my contenders…in no particular order..

THE WHO BY NUMBERS – THE WHO
TUSK – FLEETWOOD MAC
NO QUARTER UNLEDDED – JIMMY PAGE AND ROBERT PLANT
PICTURES AT ELEVEN – ROBERT PLANT
WHAT’S GOING ON – MARVIN GAYE
YOU CAN ALL JOIN IN – ISLAND RECORDS SAMPLER
OOH LA LA – THE FACES
HENDRIX IN THE WEST – JIMI HENDRIX
JONI MITCHELL –THE HISSING OF SUMMER LAWNS
STEVIE WONDER –TALKING BOOK
EASY RIDER SOUNDTRACK (1969)
LED ZEPPELIN 1 – LED ZEPPELIN
THE CONCERT FOR BANGLA DESH – GEORGE HARRISON & FREINDS
YOUNG AMERICANS – DAVID BOWIE
THE BEATLES – SGT PEPPERS LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND
BAD COMPANY STRAIGHT SHOOTER
CODA – LED ZEPPELIN (1982)
LET IT BE -THE BEATLES (1970)
FRANK SINATRA -SONGS FOR SWINGING LOVERS
SIREN – ROXY MUSIC (1974)
FATE OF NATIONS – ROBERT PLANT (1993)
IT’S ONLY ROCK’N’ROLL – THE ROLLING STONES
TUBULAR BELLS – MIKE ODLFIELD (1973)
BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER – SIMON & GARFUNKEL(1970)
FRAMPTON – PETER FRAMPTON (1975)
CARIBOU – ELTON JOHN (1974)
CROSBY STILLS & NASH – CROSBY STILLS & NASH (1969)
SOUND AFFECTS – THE JAM (1980)
IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR – LED ZEPPELIN (1979)
COSMOS FACTORY – CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVIAL (1970)
LED ZEPPELIN III – LED ZEPPELIN
THRILLER – MICHAEL JACKSON (1983)
WHITE ALBUM – THE BEATLES (1968)
BAND ON THE RUN – PAUL McCARTNEY & WINGS (1973)
PHYSICAL GRAFFITI – LED ZEPPELIN
ELECTRIC WARRIOR – T.REX (1971)
SPLIT – THE GROUNDHOGS (1971)
NEVER A DULL MOMENT – ROD STEWART (1972)
FILLMORE – THE LAST DAYS – VARIOUS ARTISTS (1972)
DUSTY IN MEMPHIS – DUSTY SPRINGFIELD (1968)
LED ZEPPELIN II – LED ZEPPELIN
IN A SILENT WAY – MILES DAVIS (1969)
BLIND FAITH – BLIND FAITH (1969)
THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON – PINK FLOYD (1973)
A DAY AT THE RACES – QUEEN (1976)
WOODSTOCK – MUSIC FROM THE SOUNDTRACK – VARIOUS ARTISTS (1971)
LIVE AND DANGEROUS – THIN LIZZY (1978)
THE WHO – WHO’S NEXT (1971)
LET IT BLEED – THE ROLLING STONES (1969)
GEORGE HARRISON – ALL THINGS MUST PASS (1970)
MARQUEE MOON – TELEVISION (1977)
BORN TO RUN – BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN (1975)
BOB DYLAN –DESIRE (1975)
FRANK ZAPPA – HOT RATS (1969)
MILES DAVIS – KIND OF BLUE (1959)
LED ZEPPLIN IV – LED ZEPPELIN
ELVIS PRESLEY – ELVIS IN THE 70S: (1973)
HIT MAKER! BURT BACHARACH AND HIS ORCHESTRA (1966)
LED ZEPPELIN – LIVE ON BLUEBERRY HILL (1970)
LED ZEPPELIN – BBC SESSIONS – TRADE MARK OF QUALITY BOOTLEG (1971)
FRUIT TREE – THE COMPLETE RECORDED WORKS -NICK DRAKE
THE YARDBIRDS – GOLDEN EGGS – TMQ BOOTLEG (1974)
GOING FOR THE ONE – YES (1977)
WILD WOOD -PAUL WELLER
DETECTIVE – DETECTIVE (1977)
UNHALFBRICKING – FAIRPORT CONVENTION (1969)
LAYLA AND OTHER ASSORTED LOVE SONGS – DEREK AND THE DOMINOES (1970)
NO SECRETS – CARLY SIMON (1975)
BORN TO RUN –BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN (1975)
BOB DYLAN – BLONDE ON BLONDE (1966)
STOP THE CLOCKS – OASIS (2006)
LED ZEPPELIN – SOUNDTRACK FROM THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME
REMASTERS – LED ZEPPELIN
PRESENCE – LED ZEPPELIN
EARLS COURT VOL 1 AND 2 – LED ZEPPELIN
AND MANY MORE!

Update 2:

National Album Day: The DL Choice…at 3.33pm..and on the player…

It of course has to be Led Zeppelin…and as it was being recorded and mixed 50 years ago this month the first Led Zeppelin album seems the most appropriate choice.

I am going to listen to the entire contents (the1969 original UK pressing) focused on that and nothing else…I will report back my 50 years on findings…take it away chaps…

Update 3:

National Album Day: The DL Choice…thoughts on listening to Led Zeppelin I

GOOD TIMES BAD TIMES
At two minutes, 43 seconds, this is a perfectly compact overture to set the scene. Bonham and Jones hold down a powerful and inventive rhythm section, and when the time comes, Jimmy flexes the Telecaster (played through a Leslie speaker to create that soaring effect) in a late Yardbirds-era fashion. From the onset though, it’s Robert Plant’s vocal that strikes home instantly. He executes all manner of vocal somersaults with the lyric but never loses control. Bonham’s intricate bass drum patterns, the rolling bass lines from Jones and Page’s fluttering guitar solo were all applied with a gusto that still completely overwhelms. Memories of the 02…

BABE I’M GONNA LEAVE YOU
Within three minutes of this album playing we have an acoustic guitar – proof that this band were not going to be all about Marshall amplifiers. The tension here is tangible – the first flowering of light and shade – there would be much more to come…

YOU SHOOK ME

Willie Dixon’s’ blues played with what was then a new found dynamism. The expansiveness of the whole sound here is still incredible. An early example of Jimmy’s mastery of the studio. From Jones’ swirling organ through Plant’s harmonica wailing to the point where Jimmy’s solo cascades around Bonzo’s stereo panned tom-tom attack, this is prime vintage Zeppelin. And the final incessant by-play between Page and Plant that leads out of the track is a another masterful production technique, and one that would be further emphasized on stage.

DAZED AND CONFUSED
Straight into Dazed…based on Jake Holmes original composition. As we all know Jimmy and co were not adverse to borrowing a few licks here and there as much as they were often derivative it always came out sounding completely fresh. Again the interplay amongst them all is just breathtakingly….flippin heck they were good….

Turn over…side two…

YOUR TIME IS GONNA COME

Electric guitars, acoustic guitars and then church like Hammond organ and what an intro…

This showcases how important John Paul Jones was going to be – beautiful acoustic guitar overtones, incredible vocal, John Bonham so inventive in his playing…and that heavy chorus – not to mention some sublime pedal steel guitar – they just had everything….

BLACK MOUNTAIN SIDE

The fade into this is another stunning moment. The melody on this Page virtuoso acoustic guitar instrumental owes more than a passing nod to a traditional folk song sung in the folk clubs by Anne Briggs. It was recorded by both John Renbourn, and Bert Jansch, The piece also featured a rare cameo appearance from tabla player Viram Jasani.

COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN
Bang….Communication Breakdown – the energy is just phenomenal – come on! Punk Rock before it was invented..
I will never ever forget them performing this in front of my very eyes as a surprise encore on the final night at Earls Court….

I CAN’T QUIT YOU BABY
Crystal clear ambient sound here – John Bonham right upfront in the mix… Jimmy is just incredible …

HOW MANY MORE TIMES

That jazz intro is another moment as is Jimmy’s slashing wah wah – and then it’s off into all manner of fun…Oh Rosie ,The Hunter..phew!.

SUMMARY:

50 years on this album has lost none of its unique power. Led Zeppelin would go on to make more inventive and adventurous records but this first recorded statement is a blueprint for what would follow.

Playing it loud and proud this afternoon has been a cathartic experience – it re-emphasises why I spend so much time listening and writing about this musical phenomenon. The were,are and always will be the best. Playing Led Zeppelin I uninterrupted has been a joy and not a little moving- and that is what music can do to you..

Thank you National Album Day….it’s made me determined to listen to more records focused and uninterrupted…not easy of course in this mad busy old world …but as experienced in the last 45 minutes..something that is very good for the soul

Dave Lewis – October 13, 2018

My thoughts on…

Coda:
O’Neill’s Wardour Street, London.
October 18, 2018

The 50th anniversary celebrations continue and what a fabulous night this was.

It was a real thrill to be in the vicinity of where history was made 50 years to the day – for it was at the old Marquee Club at 90 Wardour Street where the band that would become Led Zeppelin made their London debut. Further down the road, the renowned Led Zeppelin tribute band Coda played another timely anniversary gig.

Watching the set unfold at close quarters, it’s so evident that this group of players – Simon Wicker on drums, Adam Rose guitar, Rob Deery bass and keyboards and Peter Byrne on vocals are massive Zep fans themselves. There’s a real joy in how they perform and present this revered catalogue of music. The costume wear is respectful without being contrived – Royal Albert Hall 1970 garb for the first half, 1973 Song Remains The Same film for the second.

The opening numbers of Train Kept A Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You and Dazed And Confused were likely set list inclusions for the real thing all those years ago down the road. Other early highlights included an emotional Thank You, an urgent Ramble On  and a compact Whole Lotta Love. Simon’s delivery of Moby Dick only enhanced my view that this is one of the very best tribute band drummers around.

The second half was more of the same – a playful Bron -Y- Aur Stomp led the way for the big hitters – Kashmir, Stairway To Heaven, Rock And Roll and Celebration Day all performed with a verve and passion that ensured maximum audience reaction.

Coda’s fitting tribute was a vivid example of why Led Zeppelin’s music still means so much to so many. Long may they continue to shout it out loud and proud – as they did on this hugely enjoyable night at the excellent O’Neill’s venue. Catch them when and where you can because Coda bring Zep satisfaction guaranteed.

It was very pleasing to have the good lady Janet in attendance to at last share in the 50th anniversary fun –and great too to see Andy Adams, Martyn Keeble, Jez Firth and Michaela and Bob Tait. Before hand a nostalgic stroll past 39 Gerrard Street was yet another thrill on a night of thrills. Here’s Andy, Martyn Keeble and myself outside 39 Gerrard Street -and also Andy and myself with the good lady Janet.
Dave Lewis – October 19, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters – Blues Fest 2018 – Friday October 28 – The 02 London:  

Following a consummate set from Van Morrison, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters took to the stage and displayed their intent to delight the crowd from the off.
A welcomed set opener of Ramble On led into a tough and rocking Turn it Up. May Queen and Rainbow were both early crowd pleasers. It was good to hear Black Dog again inspiring memories of that night of night’s here in this venue eleven years back.

The undoubted highlight of the evening was a shimmering delivery of The Rain Song – much welcomed by this particular fan as I have not seen him sing this live since the Unledded era. Gallows Pole was the usual Seth Lakeman inspired hoe down and Carry Fire was just spectacular.

On the home straight, a dramatic Babe I’m Gonna Leave provided Skin with his moment in the spotlight. Little Maggie continued the momentum on into an urgent Fixin’ To Die. A crunching amalgamation of Bring It On Home/Whole Lotta Love rounded off a Friday night where the weekend started right here at the 02.

My thoughts on the Bohemian Rhapsody Freddie Mercury film…

To The Vue Cinema Bedford to see the Freddie Mercury film Bohemian Rhapsody with the good lady Janet.

Recreating recent history is never going to be easy especially when the viewing audience have lived through it. Back in the day, biopics honed in on ancient history or wartime subjects like Glenn Miller. Now we are faced with subjects of stories we shared – in the case of Queen by attending gigs and buying their albums. There’s a very thin line to be walked when dealing with such recent musical history that hovers between parody and authenticity – witness the Led Zep portrayal in the HBO Vinyl series which was plainly embarrassing.

Not so this brilliant film. The acting and screenplay are absolutely superb. Rami Malek as Freddie is just sensational and the supporting cast so spot on – Gwilym Lee as Brian May is so believable as is Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor and Joseph Mazolla as John Deacon. Lucy Boynton as Freddie’s long time lover and friend Mary Austin is particularly outstanding. Freddie’s relationship with Mary is the re-occurring love story throughout the film. Another repeated message is the ‘family’ bond within the four members of the group. We see this ethic tested to the limit on several occasions.

The story unfolds at a fairly frantic pace and never lets up -it’s also full of warmth and humour. There are so many terrific scenes – of which the recording of Bohemian Rhapsody at Rockfield Studios is a stand out. As Freddie’s life goes into freefall there are so many poignant and moving moments and I have no shame to say (or Janet next to me) that at times it was hard not to fill with tears. One scene in particular I completely lost it and you will too.

The Live Aid finale is just stupendous – Janet and I can both vividly recall that day as will many watching the film – in fact our very good lifelong friends Alan Stutz, Steve Moore and Coral Hay watched it with us at our house on the day and will likley to be reading this.

It’s that sense of our own lives being played out against this incredibly moving story that makes this film so real and vivid.

It’s a masterpiece of film making and a life affirming experience watching it – because this is our history played out to the life of a genius musician who we all still miss so much.

Throughout this utterly fantastic film Freddie Mercury lives again. Yes, it may be fantasy but this also felt like the real thing.

We both came out drained…but so thankful for witnessing this amazing film.

Dave Lewis, October 25,2018

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Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen Pop Up Shop:

..and while we are on the subject – well worth a visit – the Bohemian Rhapsody Queen Pop Up Shop in Carnaby Street London. I popped in last Friday before the Robert Plant  gig – there’s some amazing memorabilia on display.

 

My thoughts on…

Bring It On Home: Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin and Beyond: The Story of Rock’s Greatest Manager by Mark Blake

Firstly, I have a bit of a vested interest in this book as I’ve been in touch with Mark Blake a fair few times as he has been writing it. I was also one of the many people he interviewed for the book. Knowing of Mark’s past work with books on Pink Floyd and Queen, I was pretty certain he would make a very good job of documenting the life of Peter Grant. It helped considerably that he had the support of the Grant family in daughter Helen and son Warren. Mark was also determined to get out and speak to the principal characters in the story- a crucial element in attempting a definitive account.

There has been a previous book of Peter’s life –The Man Who Led Zeppelin by Chris Welch published back in 2001. An admirable work at the time – but since then many things have happened and much new information has come to light.

I had my own dealings with Peter Grant over they years – he was always very encompassing and supportive of my work with TBL. The fact that he did not boot me off the side of the stage on those Over Europe gigs indicated I was doing something right. Thankfully he had no issues in me being close to the action on that tour -in fact his consideration for me in Europe was very gratifying.  Years later in 1993 I spent two separate days in June and October of that year conducting a 10,000 word interview with him at his Eastbourne home. I was hoping to have another get together with him when he sadly died in November 1995 at just 60 years old. I eventually published the interview in my Celebration II book in 2003.

Whilst most of my dealings with Peter were very favourable, I did incur his wrath on the odd occasion – notably in 1990 when he was a bit miffed long time record excec associate Phil Carson knew about the book I was then writing (A Celebration) before he did. Clearly not a man who liked surprises, I was curtly requested to pass all text to him via Chris Charlesworth for him to sanction – which we duly did and all was sorted.

I found him a highly intelligent proud man – very proud of his achievements with Led Zeppelin and also very protective of them. He was a man who wanted things done in the correct way which mainly meant his way – and of course that is a running theme throughout this detailed book

The fact that his way normally got results one way or another, ensured he stamped his mark on the music business. Not entirely surprising as he learned the tricks of the trade from the likes of much feared mogul Don Arden.

For me, the pre and post Zep parts of the book are the most engaging chapters of this account. Mark paints a vivid picture of Grant’s struggle to establish himself in the entertainment business, hustling work as a wrestler and bit part actor – and then looking after the likes of Gene Vincent and Little Richard and working with Don Arden.

All those early experiences held him in good stead by the time he came to manage The Yardbirds and subsequently Led Zep. Mark weaves the story together with key input from the significant players who were there – such as Richard Cole, Phil Carson, Swan Song head Abe Hoch and many more. The book moves at a brisk pace and never lulls.

The Zep years are of course at the centre of the story and there’s a fair few new revelations – some very surprising ones too – not least the emergence of a shady character called Herb Atkin. As the story unfolds it’s more than evident that while Grant did indeed let them take care of the music, there was a constant undercurrent of intrigue and skull doggery in the way their business was conducted. Of course there are some unsavoury moments as the drugs kick in and Zep get bigger and bigger –and one John Bindon joins the gang. The quote by Phil Carson that ‘’He was a nice man when he wasn’t killing people ‘’ is a clear indication of how his involvement was viewed.

The final chapters deal with the group’s tragic ending with John Bonham’s passing and Peter’s subsequent fall out from it all. Pleasingly, there is salvation in the early 90s when Peter cleans his act up and begins to receive the recognition he deserves as a pioneering music business figure. It’s worth noting that throughout the book, Mark also highlights the humour that always existed between the group and it’s entourage. I loved hearing of Peter’s odd nicknames for fellow associates (he addressed Ahmet Ertegun as ”Omelette”) and the sense of camaraderie which helped drive them on – something I witnessed for myself when I was in the Swan Song office.  Being around Led Zeppelin could be a serious business but they always knew how to have fun and a laugh.

Mark’s final thoughts in the book are absolutely spot on and provide a melancholy and poignant ending.

Like all good biographies, Bring it On Home seeks to portray the man behind the myths. A tall order when it came to Peter Grant as he inspired so many myths himself – making the truth sometimes hard to attain.

In Bring it On Home, Mark Blake has produced a thought provoking, humorous and fascinating account of the man who indeed did lead Led Zeppelin and so much more. I feel much closer to the whole Peter Grant/Zep saga for having read it.

Dave Lewis, November 6,2018.

led-zeppelin-the-complete-concert-chronicle-book/

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The CAT Club Presents a Classic Album event at the Tap and Barrel pub Pontefract –  November 28, 2018:

Last Wednesday I travelled up to Pontefract to present a playback  of Led Zeppelin IV – for the CAT Club Presents a Classic Album event at the Tap and Barrel pub –  and what a night it was.

The man behind all this Kevin Reynolds known to all as Rev, initially asked me to get involved in this last Summer.  With a packed agenda and the Evenings With book to promote it took a while to sort out a date but we  finally decided I would make it up there in late November.

The CAT Club (Classic Album Tuesday as it was then) started with eight people gathering in Rev’s garage in 2001. From small acorns – it now runs at the excellent Tap & Barrel venue in Pontefract. It’s such a simple idea – a celebrated album is played in full in silence and a guest presenter talks about it – but what a brilliant one and Rev and co put a lot of work and thought into it. There a similar events such as the Classic Album Sundays. It got me thinking that it would be great to do something like that here locally – food for thought for sure.

Rev picked me up at Wakefield station and after a few minutes chat, it was evident this was a man who had witnessed so much great music and had such an appreciation of it all. Rev’s stories lit up my entire stay with his tales of seeing  Blind Faith and The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park, Dylan at Earls Court and Blackbushe, Bo Didley at a club in Leeds, Buddy Rich in Wakefield and so many more ….as he put it we were brothers in arms…

My interviewer on the night Chris Madden was another like minded enthusiast – he worked as a sales rep for Virgin Records back in the 1980s in the halcyon retail days that I was a part of.

The venue the Tap & Barrel pub was absolutely superb – an intimate side room with low lighting, it made for the perfect atmosphere. Main man at the pub Dean was very welcoming and did a great job operating the PA sound system – and what a sound system it was.

By show time the room was packed – it was a compete sell out. I kicked it off with an introduction and then it was straight into the playback of the Led Zeppelin IV album. Everybody listened to those familiar eight tracks in complete silence from start to finish. Even when Rev paused to turn the record over to side two all that could be heard was the delightful sound of the needle on the groove. What can I tell you? Hearing this esteemed fourth Led Zep album in this way was absolutely captivating – by the end all of us in the room were musically and emotionally drained from the experience. It was truly life affirming.

After a break it was time for part two a hugely enjoyable question and answer session conducted by Chris with me. I was also able to relay many a Zep DL story  – how the first TBL mag appeared, meeting them backstage at Earls Court, seeing them off at Heathrow in 1977, side of the stage in Europe in 1980 etc. etc. I could not resist of course relaying the tale of leaping on stage with The Who at Shepperton in 1978!

Asked to name my favourite Zep track I went for Achilles last Stand and Dean duly cued that one up for a grand finale. Boy did it sound good…

The audience were also fantastic – it was great to chat to plenty of younger fans in attendance and it was not all blokey either. I handed out a survey sheet to determine the attendees fave Zep album and track and it appropriately enough resulted in a win for Led Zeppelin IV and Stairway To Heaven.

Everybody there made me so welcome – and there was even a Tottenham fan in the audience! A big thanks to Dean at the Tap & Barrel – to Chris and the great Kevin ‘Rev’ Reynolds for making it all happen.If you are around that area be sure to check it out – see website details here.

https://www.tappontefract.uk/the-cat-club/

Here’s a pic with CAT Club main man Rev and interviewer Chris Madden after a fantastic night at the CAT Club Presents a Classic Album event at the Tap and Barrel and my presentation of Led Zeppelin IV

A truly heart warming evening when you realise the power and passion of music…

As Ahmet Ertegun so rightly put it ‘’It’s a great life – this life of music’’.

For all of us at the CAT Club in Pontefract last Wednesday night, that statement was more than appropriate…

Dave Lewis, November 30,2018.

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On Saturday December 1  it was great to see Ross Halfin at the Victoria Record Fair and hand over a copy of the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book – Ross has been very supportive of many a TBL project and my Zep books and mags over many years…

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Radio 2 Rock Show – Led Zeppelin Special:

BBC Radio 2 Monday December 17, 2018 – 9pm-10pm

Here’s the info:

Led Zeppelin is 50 years old this year! So what better way to celebrate than a special show featuring some of the biggest names in rock paying homage to Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and the late great John Bonham.

Hear Brian May, Roger Daltrey, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons all chat about their own appreciation of rock’s ultimate four-piece. Plus, singer Ann Wilson from Heart explains how her band has its origins in Led Zep’s back catalogue and how she managed to sing Led Zeppelin’s most famous song for the band themselves.

In autumn 1968, Led Zeppelin signed to Atlantic Records. Fifty years later, US rockers Rival Sons just signed to the same label. We hear from them to see what Zeppelin mean to the new generation. Plus, author Dave Lewis recounts his first Led Zeppelin experience and explains why he’s followed the band around the world for over forty years.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2018/51/rock-show

I recorded my piece a few weeks ago with producer Liz Barnes – here we are at the Wise Buddah studio in London. Liz has been a long time supporter of all things TBL and it was pleasure to be interviewed by her.

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Radio 2 Rock Show – Led Zeppelin Special:

BBC Radio 2 Monday December 17, 2018 – 9pm-10pm

40 years ago in December 1978, I was handwriting the first Led Zeppelin TBL magazine in my bedroom – the notion that 40 years on aged 62, I would be talking about them on national BBC radio would have been beyond my wildest dreams – but that is what happened as my contribution to the excellent Radio 2 Rock Show 50th anniversary Led Zeppelin special narrated by Johnnie Walker was aired….

Listening to it was therefore another ‘wonder of devotion’ moment for me… and I’m still reeling  from it …it was one of those occasions when I felt the enormity of what I have been very lucky to have been involved in over so many years.

What a band….

Many thanks to Liz Barnes for making it happen…

On this Listen Again my contribution kicks off around 36 mins32…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0001mwy?fbclid=IwAR0GMU__UR3RoWiaf_d9W3NS9ezf9R-jvnMen9zTQC3Z6zJKWNTEaGQCHYA

………

And that was the year that was…2018…

and finally…

DL Best Of The Year:

Here’s a round up of my fave vinyl record and CD acquisitions of 2018:

Best Releases of 2018:

In no particular order…

Led Zeppelin -How The West Was Won box set and CD

Led Zeppelin -How The West Was Won on 4LP vinyl box set

Led Zeppelin – The Song Remains The Same box sets x 2 and CD

Led Zeppelin – The Song Remains The Same 4 LP vinyl box set

Led Zeppelin – How The East Was Won – Osaka 1971  2CD

The Beatles White Album – 50th anniversary Giles Martin remaster

Bob Dylan – More Blood – More Tracks 2LP

Glen Campbell Sings For Elvis LP

The Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet LP – 50th anniversary remaster

When The Day is Done –The Orchestration of Robert Kirby CD

John Lennon – Imagine 2 CD remaster

Paul McCartney & Wings – Red Rose Speedway 2 CD remaster

Stills & Collins – Everybody Knows CD

Graham Nash – Over The Years 2 CD

David Crosby – Here If You Listen CD

Fairport Convention & Friends – A Tree With Roots – The Songs Of Bob Dylan CD

Paul Weller – True Meanings CD

Rod Stewart – Blood Red Roses CD

Mott The Hoople – Mental Train –The Island Years 1969 -1971 CD box set

From Record Store Day:

Beverley Martyn – Where The Good Times Are LP

Lulu – Heaven And Earth And The Stars

David Bowie – Welcome Back To the Blackout LP

Gordon Jackson – Thinking Back LP

Humble Pie – On 79th Street – RSD release for Pie & Vinyl

……………………..

Best LP’s I’ve acquired in 2018:

And more from the Vinyl Barn, Slide Records, VIP Victoria Record Fair and elsewhere:

In no particular order…

Elvis Presley –Elvis Is Back! 1960 mono RCA Victor gatefold sleeve

Sand y & Johnny – Sandy Denny & Johnny Silvo – on Saga Records 1967

Fairport Convention – Fairport Convention at 50

Nina Simone – ‘Nuff Said

Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Prayer

No Nukes – 3LP set for 50p from Reckless Records – one of the bargains of the year!

The Beatles – White album on the Odean label Spanish label (thanks Warren!)

King Crimson -In The Court Of The Crimson King – US Atlantic

King Crimson – Islands –  another Reckless Records bargain at two quid!

Led Zeppelin III -Venusalian pressing

Long John Baldry – It Ain’t Easy

Jimi Hendrix – War Heroes

Julie Driscoll /Brian Augur – The Very Best Of on US Polydor

Joe Cocker With A Little Help From My Friends UK Regal Zonophone

The Beatles – Anthology 2

The Bee Gees – In The Morning RSO Japanese with obie

The Bee Gees – Odessa

Hot Munue ’73 – The Best of Warner Reprise Atlantic – Japanese Warner Pioneer Compilation

Dave Clark Five –Session With The Dave Clark Five

Mary Wells – Love Songs To The Beatles on Stateside (thanks Pete B)

Junior Campbell- Second Time Around on Deram

Chris Farlowe – The Art of Chris Farlowe (thanks Pete B)

David Bowie Operation Moonbeam – Who Dialled The Wizard? (thanks Nick C)

John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers – Hard Road on Decca

Richie Havens – Portfolio

Bob Dylan – Biograph LP box set

Glen Campbell – Gentle On My Mind

Traffic – Traffic – original Island Records pressing

Ian Matthews – If You Saw Thur My Eyes vertigo

Blind Faith – Blind Faith Germany single sleeve

Free – Fire And Water Spanish Phillips

Laura Nyro –Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat

Clair Hammil – One House Left Standing on Island Records

Yardbirds Live – on US Epic

The Band Music From Big Pink US Capitol

Led Zeppelin II – US pressing with sticker on cover

Bob Dylan Biograph – 5 LPs box set

Jimi Hendrix – Valleys of Neptune 2 LP vinyl

Delaney and Bonnie – Accept No Substitute

Bumpers – Island Records compilation single LP version- Dutch pressing

Tom Rush – Late Night Radio

The Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed – original US London pressing

Jethro Tull – Stand Up – US Reprise label

The Beatles – Get Back To Toronto – original bootleg LP

Best CDs I’ve acquired in 2018:

In no particular order…

Paul Simon – The Complete Albums Collection box set

Thunderclap Newman – Hollywood Dream

Jimi Hendrix – First Rays Of The New Rising Sun

Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Soup

Juicy Lucy – Who Do You Love Anthology

Crosby & Nash – A Very Stoney Evening (thanks Richard S)

Best Singles acquired in 2018:

Too many to mention really as I have scooped up a fair few from the Vinyl Barn, VIP Record Fairs etc.

My collection of demo copy singles has increased – as has my singles enthusiasm for collecting Beatles cover versions. There’s been some real gems that have come my way in both these areas. Here’s some examples…

Best Gigs of 2018:

In no particular order…

Robert Plant & the Sensational Spaceshifters  Americana Awards Show- Hackney Empire -February 1, 2018

The Rolling Stones at Twickenham – June 19,2018

Graham Nash at the Bridge Theatre – July 22,2018

Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters – Blues Fest 02 Arena -October 26,2018

I’ve also enjoyed several excellent tribute band gigs notably Coda at the O’Neill’s bar in London , ELO Encounter and Pink Floyd Effect at the Bedford Corn Exchange  and The Rolling Stones Now at the Quarry Theatre in Bedford

……………..

DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday treats at the Viny Barn – at the always excellent Vinyl Barn last Friday, I was well pleased to find The Bee Gees 1969 album Odessa UK Polydor mono pressing with the rare red flock embossed sleeve with gold lettering – lovely! Here’s a pic with Darren Harte who continues to offer great value stock to record collectors in Bedford (especially me!) and the surrounding area. Darren have a great Christmas and New Year – cheers mate!

Later on Friday we met with our Sam in the fair city of St. Albans  -here’s a pic of your TBL editor photobombing a pic of the Lewis ladies – oh yes…!

 

 

It was great to catch Spurs most impressive 6-2 victory at Everton at the Fox on Sunday -and they then put five past Bournemouth on Boxing Day to go second above Man City. They really are playing with a real swagger at the moment and here’s hoping that trend continues into the new year.

On Christmas Eve, the Led Zep tie (courtesy Larry Ratner) and the Led Zep shirt (courtesy John Lodge ) were out as is traditional on this day – here’s a pic with the good lady Janet

Christmas came and went as it does – we had a fantastic Christmas Day here – early in the morning I ventured out on the bike ride and was well pleased to capture these to images of Bedford Embankment and the River Bride early on Christmas Day morning – with both looking rather beautiful.

Amongst the goodies under the tree the Bob Dylan book Lyrics 19 – 2012 (thank you Andrew R!), Fairport Convention at 50 LP (thank your John P!),

David Hepworth book (thanks Sam!) and this one…

Glen Campbell Sings For The King. UM 180 gram pressing with sleeve note insert.

I was well pleased to find this one under the Christmas tree here and it came via the boy Adam who unbeknown to me, had spotted I’d mentioned it on FB as an album I wanted a few weeks back.

It features 18 recently unearthed and unreleased tracks from the recordings that Glen Campbell made between 1964 and 1968 for Elvis Presley.Initially intended for Elvis’ ears only, these recordings were fully fleshed out studio versions of songs written by the team of Ben Weisman and Sid Wayne.

Glen Campbell was asked to bring his perfect pitch and ability to match Presley’s vocal pitch and style, so that the songs could be presented to ‘The King’ for his recording consideration.

Twelve of the 18 tracks on the album were indeed subsequently recorded by Elvis, including the title songs from his movie vehicles such as ‘Spinout,’ ‘Clambake’ and ‘Easy Come, Easy Go.

Glen sings expertly throughout and also brings his superb guitar virtuosity to the material. This is a lovely collection of songs – thank you Adam Lewis!

As usual, I have a fair few New Year resolutions as we move into 2019 – one of the familiar ones is to work smarter and spread out my workload – never an easy one to achieve but I’ll be trying again as we enter a new year

On Monday night when the clock strikes 12 midnight, I will raise a glass and take a cup of kindness for auld lang syne to the many people (and I’m sure they know who they are) who one way or another, have been an absolute inspiration to me in 2018.

Then it will be down to the serious business of getting on with the various TBL projects and the ongoing celebrating  of Led Zeppelin’s 50th anniversary….

So it’s ever onward…

Thank you for your continued support of all things TBL, may I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019.

Dave Lewis – December 28,2018.

Until 2019 – have a great new year…

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.

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7 Comments »

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    The missing letter is on all copies it was a printer error

  • VHP said:

    Hi Dave,

    Once again many thanks for everything you have done for the Zep community with your excellent web site & magazine etc.

    I too saw the Bohemian Rhapsody Freddie Mercury film. I remember watching Live Aid as it happened – including staying up to see Led Zep reform – well sort of!! As you say, the film is just excellent, better than I could have hoped for in my opinion.

    Lemmy, 3 years gone. I had the privilege of seeing Motorhead live in many times with different line ups, starting on the Ace Of Spades tour in 1980 and then finally around 2012 / 13 I think. They always did a great show.

    Happy New Year to you and everyone who helps you and also visits this web site. Here’s to a rocking 2019. I hope that someone saves HMV, I am old school in that department and love looking through the CD / LP racks, and I have never downloaded music. For me there is something nice about holding a CD / LP, something that a download just doesn’t have. I hope they survive.

  • Graham Rodger said:

    I really hope that HMV doesn’t vanish from the high street. I love waiting for my local store in Newcastle to open at 9am on New Release Friday whenever a new Zeppelin release is out. Don’t want all my music purchases in 2019 to be done online, I like physically handling and inspecting the actual package. Fingers crossed, we’ve been here before…!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Wools many thanks for your very kind comments

  • Wools said:

    Dave another year in the history book and all I can say after enjoying your posting today; WOW what a year you have had! Your energy level is amazing! I really just wanted to say thank you for keeping the mighty Led Zep alive for me and the many mega fans worldwide. I look forward to always visiting TBL every week for my fix and your fabulous writings. Happy New Year to you and yours and the Zep family around the world who still Ramble On! Wools

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Jez many thanks mate have a great one yourself!

  • Jez Firth said:

    Wonderful memories here, humbled to be mentioned. Saw Motorhead at the Cambridge Corn Exchange with a young Dan. Doormen gave him earplugs! Wishing you Janet, Sam and Adam a fantastic 2019.

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