Email This Post Email This Post
Home » Dave Lewis Diary, Featured, TBL News

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM US TO YOU/ LEMMY FOUR YEARS GONE / TBL 2019 SUMMARY/DL BEST OF THE YEAR LISTINGS /DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

30 December 2019 1,610 views 10 Comments

 

So that was the year that was….2019…

On the Zep related front, Jimmy’s display of guitars and amps at the Play It Loud Instruments Of Rock’n Roll Exhibition in New York  was very well received by all that viewed. Robert Plant alternated between projects providing many UK fans an up close and personal experience with Saving Grace. His Digging Deep podcast has been an enlightening listen. John Paul Jones wowed the 100 Club audience in London in early March with a stunning collaboration with Thurston Moore and Steve Noble. JPJ went on to perform with Tres Coyotes at the Torino Jazz Festival and Sons Of Chipotle in Japan in September..

As for for me, well it’s not been dull that is for sure. Mike Tremaglio and I formulated the Led Zeppelin The First 100 Days for Rock Candy magazine. I interviewed photographer Jorgen Angel about his Zep Denmark book for a feature in Record Collector. I also contributed to Classic Rock’s 50th annviersay feature on Led Zeppelin II. On the same subject it was great to go back up to the CAT Club in Pontefract for a special Led Zeppelin II presentation 50 years to the day of the original release of the album. Another undoubted highlight of my year was my appearance in August on the David Hepworth and Mark Ellen The word podcast. I also wrote the foreword to the recently released Led Zeppelin Rock Icons book and contributed to the Led Zeppelin The Day I Was There book. A phone interview with John Paul Jones in June made for another TBL world exclusive.

On the TBL front, TBL 44 appeared early in the year and was followed by the ambitious TBL 45 in the summer – at 64 pages, the biggest ever issue featuring a complete reprint of TBL issue 3 the Knebworth special. Continuing on that theme, I produced a limited run of a repackage of my Knebworth book with a new cover and interview insert. On the 40th anniversary it was a joy to stage a TBL fan gathering with Julian Walker at the Atlas Pub in Fulham. In September the Coda gig in Redditch was a superb celebration..

The highlights of all that activity and more of my 2019 writing’s are re- produced below in the 2019 TBL summary.

It now all leads into 2020 and a new decade:

The new Genesis publication Jimmy Page The Anthology is due to be published in the early part of the year as is the Robert Plant seen inch vinyl package Digging Deep.

In March John Paul Jones is lined up to perform with his Sons Of Chipotle project at the Big Ears music festival in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Looking ahead the John Bonham Celebration II event is scheduled for September 25/26 2020 and is shaping up to be an exciting occasion.

The official Led Zeppelin documentary should surface in 2019 and what I have heard about this project, it promises to be a mouth watering prospect

As for 2020 TBL plans – I am sure you can understand that due to Janet’s accident and my mental health issues, my main focus will be on her recovery in the coming months.

I have therefore had to put on hold the collation of TBL 46 and one or two other projects. I plan to return to them when the time is right.

Whatever is ahead in the world of Led Zeppelin this coming year, with the help of the excellent LZ News site and within the home priorities mentioned above, I will continue to do my best to chronicle it through the various TBL channels of the website, Facebook, Twitter and the TBL magazine.

As the decade closes I would like to single out three people who have done much to keep TBL in the forefront during these past  ten years. Namely Julian Walker for his assistance in staging the TBL fan gatherings at the Atlas pub in Fulham, Mike Tremaglio for all his incredible research work not only for the TBL magazine but for his astonishing eye for Zep detail that led to the artistic success of our Evenings With Led Zeppelin book. Finally to Mick Lowe at StudioMix – his outstanding design work has been the glue that has connected with every Led Zeppelin/TBL project I have undertaken in the last ten years. Take a bow you guys…I owe you all so much…

Dave Lewis – December 31, 2019..

…………………………

DL Diary Blog Update:

Another roller coaster week here relayed by my Facebook posts:

December 25 Post:

On Christmas Eve we had an uplifting visit from my life long very good friend Dec Hickey. I first spent Christmas Eve with Dec 45 years ago in 1974 when I was 18 and he was 17 – and we’ve spent many a December 24 together since. For him to be with us after all the stress of the last few weeks was very special – and he brought with him a couple of bottles of champagne for us –thanks Dec!
As for the amazing good lady Janet – looking at this pic it’s not that evident she has broken her leg at the femur bone and had it pinned though the crutches to the right are a bit of a giveaway and she cannot put full weight on her right leg for three months.

 

 

We had a really lovely Christmas Day here. Early in the morning I ventured out on the bike ride and was well pleased to capture this beautiful image of Bedford Embankment – after all the stress of recent weeks it was a glorious sight to behold.

Goodies under the Christmas tree here included the Led Zeppelin Japanese photo book (thank you Hiroshi).The Glastonbury 50th Anniversary book (thank you Andrew R), The Beatles Brazilian pressing of A Hard Days Night (thank you Mark A) the Wings Over America triple LP (thank you Andrew R), Frank Zappa Hot Rats 50th Anniversary release (thank you Richrd G) SQ 4Channel Sounds CBS quadraphonic  sampler double album (thank you John P) and To The Moon 6 LP Time Life chronicle of the 1969 Moon landing (thank you John P). Some fantastic stuff there to wade through.

December 26 Post:

Sadly I had a bad day on Boxing Day here. I gave myself too much time to think and let all the anxiety and insecurities take over. I felt like I was letting everyone down again and slipped into a black hole for too long. Thankfully the wonderful Janet, Sam and Adam got me out of it – their love is immeasurable. Hopefully better days ahead. The John Lennon song How? from the Imagine album summed up how I felt …”How can I go forward when I don’t know which way I’m facing? How can I go forward when I don’t know which way to turn? How can I go forward into something I’m not sure of?”

December 27 post:

Continued sincere thanks to everyone for the support and kind words we’ve received in this difficult time here. I struggled badly again yesterday.

One of the worst things about this feeling is that it obscures all the good things I normally enjoy. Janet is doing well all things considered but has real trouble sleeping and It’s distressing seeing the lady you love so much in such discomfort.
I need to start getting back and making an effort to see some light here as I’ve allowed myself to sink deeper into a bad place.

I need to find inspiration from the things I love – music, people and the everyday things I’m losing sight of and be stronger for myself and Janet – who is and continues to be amazing in dealing with all this. This one from Paul McCartney and Wings is the weekend mantra I need to think on…thanks again for listening and all your kind words which mean so much to us here …..

”With a little luck we can help it out, we can make this whole damn thing work out, with a little love we can lay it down’’

December 28 Post:

There was some much needed normality this afternoon watching Adam’s team Bedford Albion against Marsden. The pic shows Adam in the number 10 shirt trying a long range shot that just went over the bar. He did score a penalty in a very fine 2-0 win – the second goal coming from Adam’s mate Josh. it felt very good to be there and be out in the fresh air on my bike… a real tonic all round …

December 29 Post:

There was more inspiration on December 29 when I met up for an hour with my lifelong friend Fiona DeBoltz and her husband Tony who were visiting Bedford from their home in North Yorkshire.. They have been particularly supportive to us here in recent weeks. Having not seen them for over ten years ,there was plenty to catch up on and look back on – not least a fair few Zep experiences Fiona and I shared including attending the five Led Zeppelin concerts at Earls Court together in 1975 and managing to get backstage to meet the group plus queuing overnight to obtain get tickets to attend the London premiere of The Song Remains The Same film -another occasion when we were in close proximity to Jimmy, Robert, JPJ and John. We also saw The Who at Charlton in 1976 together and Bob Dylan at Blackbush in 1978. So many memories from our late teenage years – all of which seems a lifetime ago but a second. It was a heart warming meeting and another tonic in a roller coaster week. Thanks Fiona and Tony you lovely people…

December 30 post:

It was one small step for the good lady Janet and one giant leap for a bit of normality here this afternoon when we ventured out for the first time since Janet broke her right leg at the neck of her femur bone three weeks ago.

A meal out at the nearby Marina was another much needed tonic in a roller coaster week. For a first time out on crutches, Janet did very well and I’m so proud of her yet again in how she is dealing with all this. There is a long road ahead in her recovery and her leg is sore, painful and uncomfortable but this was another small step forward – it really is a case of taking things one day at a time. She is one amazing lady…but then again I’ve known that for 37 years…

…………………..

December 31 post:

So where are we at now here on New Years Eve…as you can see by the above posts, it’s been a roller coaster week with much emotion. All things considered Janet is doing well – sleeping is a real problem and we all tired here. We  need to find some strength for the many challenges we will face in the first few months of 2020. As for my mental health situation – I have felt very strong at times…not so strong at others. I have a doctor’s appointment in a few days and hopefully some support and guidance will come out of that. If I thought about it and I sometimes do too much of that, 2020 is a daunting prospect and like I said it’s one day at a time…

I’m feeling a bit tearful writing this reflecting on recent events here daunted by 2020 and never has the sentiment of this song written by John Lennon and performed by Elton John meant so much..

‘’ One day at a time is all we do – one day at a time is good for’’

It’s Sam’s last day before she returns to London tomorrow so we will be together on this final day of the year.

Tonight  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 have been an absolute inspiration to us in 2019.

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

Dave Lewis – December ,2019.

DL Best Of Year LP/CD releases:

These are my favourite vinyl LP and CD acquisitions of 2019 in no particular order:

Robert Plant -Fate Of Nations – Record Store Day Release

Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks New York version – Record Store Day Release LP

Led Zeppelin – Rare Broadcasts Vol 1 LP

Elvis Presley -American Sound 1969 Highlights – (Black Friday Record Store Day Release)

David Bowie -David Bowie  – Paul Smith Limited Edition ‘Space Vinyl’

Miles Davis -Early Minor -Rare Miles from the Complete In a Silent Way Sessions (Black Friday Record Store Day Release)

The Rolling Stones – Rock’n’Roll Circus reissue 3 LP

The Beatles – Abbey Road 50th anniversary box set

Brue Springsteen – Western Stars LP

Frank Zappa – Hot Rats -50th Anniversary reissue

P.P. Arnold -The New Adventures of P.P. Arnold CD

David Bowie Zion Tapes 1970 – 1973 bootleg LP

Mott The Hoople -The Golden Age of Rock’n’Roll 2LP compilation

Led Zeppelin   The Night Stalker – 2 LP bootleg

Bob Dylan – Travellin” Thru – The Bootleg Series Vol 15 – 2CD

Eric Clapton – Genius Amplified Life In 12 Bars  4LP

Laure Nyro – Christmas and the Beads of Sweat LP

Graham Bond Organization – The Sound of 65 reissue

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Live At Woodstock

Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs present English Weather compilation 2 LP

Gary Crowley’s Lost 80s compilation 3 LP

Gene Clark – No Other LP reissue

Stax Does The Beatles – Various Artists (Record Store Day Release)

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – 4 Way Street (Expanded Edition) (Record Store Day Release)

Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac Alternate Fleetwood Mac (RSD Release)

Elton John – Live From Moscow (RSD Release)

John Lennon – Imagine (Raw Studio Mixes) (RSD Release)

Ronnie Lane And The Band Slim Chance – At The BBC

Roxy Music – Debut Album Remixes(RSD Release)

Various – Woodstock – Woodstock (PA Mono Version) (RSD Release)

Marc Bolan & T. Rex  – Bump’n’Grind (RSD Release)

Thanks again to all the great suppliers of my record passion -notably Darren at the Vinyl Barn, Warren at Slide Records Bedford, Pete Burridge for hosting the monthly Castle Record Club, Nick Carruthers for all his TBL help, Steve Livesley for his fellow LP record passion and all at Empire Records St Albans, Black Circle Records Leighton Buzzard, Fopp in Soho, Reckless Records and Sister Ray in London’s Berwick Street and the VIP Victoria Record Fair, and last but not least the TBL office also known as The Spice Of Life off Charring Cross Road.

Favourite books of the year:

David Hepworth – A Fabulous Creation – How The LP Saved Our Lives

Kris Needs – Just A Shot Away  -1969 Revisited Part One January to June

Patrick Humphries – Rolling Stones 69

Mark Sinker(Editor)  A Hidden Landscape Once A Week – The Unruly Curiosity of The Music Press 1960s -80s

Graham Sharpe – Vinyl Countdown

Richard Houghton – Led Zeppelin – The Day I Was There

Best Gigs of  the year:

Robert Plant with Saving Grace – Alban Arena February 22,2019

John Paul Jones with Thurston Moore and  100 Club March 2019

I’ve also enjoyed some excellent tribute band gigs notably Coda at the Esquires club in Bedford and at the Redditch  and T.Rextasy at the Islington 02 Academy with special guest Marc Almond.

……………………

Remembering Lemmy – four 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…

………………………………….

TBL 2019 Summary:

Some selected TBL highlights of the year:

Beginning back in January 2019…

…………….

Led Zeppelin newly surfaced live recording – Green’s Playhouse Glasgow December 3,1972:

I’ve just having a listen to the newly discovered Led Zeppelin Green’s Playhouse December 3,1972 tape. A typically vibrant performance from that tour. The recording is a slightly muddy audience tape but very listenable.

Setlist as follows: Rock and Roll, Over the Hills and Far Away, Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love (medley including: Boogie Chillun’, Let’s Have a Party, That’s Alright Mama, Heartbreak Hotel, Going Down Slow), Encores: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker (incl. Mona), Mellotron Solo ~ Thank You.

Highlights include an Immigrant Song encore complete with closing vocal adlibs from Robert Plant – and a storming Heartbreaker. This is a very unique version as during Jimmy’s solo they break into a version of Bo Diddley’s Mona.

For that reason alone, this is a significant find and much welcomed addition to the expansive unoffcial Led Zep tape library. Hats off to everyone involved in bringing this one to the surface.

Many thanks to Julian Walker and Michel “Mitch” Duterck for bringing it to my attention.

You can listen to the tape on YouTube via Led Zeppelin Boots at this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-6MDkBkRV8


Saving Grace featuring Robert Plant-  The Alban Arena Friday February 22, 2019…

TBL on the spot report:

Saving Grace – Back To The Future…

Dateline : September 25,1999:

The Priory of Brion – The Boardwalk, Sheffield.

From backstage right Robert strides on as Kevyn Gammond strikes up the moody intro of Season of the witch

‘’When I look out my window

Many sights to see’’

Those are the words Robert Plant utters as he walks up to the mic

It sounds so right Simple as that it’s evident from the first note that Robert’s voice is as powerful an instrument as ever and for the next hour he employs it with the utmost effect making these sons sound his own. It was an immensely uplifting exep1experience to hear his voice sounding so good.

27 February 2019

Dateline: February 22,2019

Saving Grace – The Alban Arena, St. Albans

‘’When I look out my window

Many sights to see’’

Those are the words Suzi Dain utters as she walks up to the mic

Behind her Robert Plant adds a suitably harmony and It still sounds so right.

For history is repeating itself somewhat because here I am nearly 20 years on and 50 more Plant gigs logged in between, watching Robert Plant in close proximity in similar circumstances to that Priory Of Brion appearance back in 1999. On that occasion he was performing the songs ‘’he has kept in his back pocket’’ as he put it with an unfamiliar line up in a series of low key appearances.

20 years on, he is again performing in an unfamiliar line up in a low key setting. Saving Grace as they are known, are performing the third support slot to Fairport Convention. This is the new unit Robert is amongst to perform more of those songs ”from his back pocket.” A welcome diversion before he goes back on tour with the Sensational Space Shifters in the summer.

The acoustic feel and deployment of singer Suzi Dian has provided the opportunity to revisit the hugely successful Raising Sand album and let it be said that the lady does an admirable job in creating the vocal foil that worked so well  for Alison Krauss

The full line up on The Alban stage reads Robert Plant on lead vocals and maracas, Suzi Dian on vocals, Tony Kelsey on mandolin, baritone and acoustic guitars, Matt Worley playing the banjo, acoustic and baritone guitars and cuatro and Oli Jefferson on percussion.

The aforementioned delivery of Donavan’s Season of the Witch is the fourth number in the set. By that time, they have already impressed with the opener Standing and a quite startling version of Satan Your Kingdom Must Come down. A suitably sparse outing for the Great Depression-era blues/country gospel song was first recorded in 1931 by South Carolina evangelist Blind Joe Taggart – and revived by Robert on the Band Of Joy album. Complete with In My Time of Dying insert.

‘’Meet me Jesus meet me’’

Watching Robert Plant sing those familiar lines in close proximity, some 44 years almost to the day I first heard them on Physical Graffiti was simply life affirming. It can take its place right up there in the most thrilling moments I have had in the company of the singer amongst the 123 occasions I’ve been lucky enough to see him perform live over these past 47 years

Oh my Jesus indeed…

Robert’s vocals throughout were absolutely exquisite – the resonance of his voice echoing out of the PA was truly something to behold. Suzi Dian provided the perfect foil for this material taking on the likes of Raising Sand’s Stick With Me Baby.

Robert’s solo delivery of Nature Boy the Nat King Cole standard was utterly mesmerising. It reminded me of  the sparseness of Stolen Kiss from the lullaby album and The Ceaseless Roar album. He made every note and syllable count…

A haunting version of Patty Griffin’s Ohio was another highlight. This was the song Robert contributed to on her ‘American Kid’ album. Incidentally Robert mentioned he had been listening to Patty’s  new album on which he sings harmonies on the tracks What Now and Coins.

It was back to Raising Sand with Your Long Journey Doc and Rosa Lee Watson early 60s The pair drifted in and out of the song supplementing each other with subtly and charm.

Robert used the maracas quite frequently (they look to be the same ones he can be seen holding in a pic in the 02 reunion programme). His on stage banter was relaxed and humorous – at one point he sang a few words of Hi Ho Silver Lining.

A sparkling slightly re-worked take on The Everly Brothers Gone, Gone, Gone raised the tempo. Quick aside – Fairport themselves cut a version fo this one on a BBC session in 1968 and can be heard on the Fairport at the BBC set

It all led into the group finale – the entire band gathered around the mics for I Bid You Goodnight the set closer during the Band of Joy era circa 2011.

So it was in the confines of this lovely venue, I witnessed another Robert Plant diversion – it was an absolute privilege to do so – a very special night when there really was magic in the air…

Fairport were great too –Robert introduced them on stage and highlights of their set include Walk Awhile, Matty Groves and a rousing finale of Meet On The Ledge

Coming away from the arena some words Robert Plant once said came to mind ‘’The past can look after itself –I go on undaunted’.

He certainly does and long may he continue to do so….

Dave Lewis, February 23, 2019

All pics by Krys Jantzen

 

 


Dave Laing 1947 – 2019:

I was recently catching up with Mojo magazine and saw the very sad news that the pioneering rock journalist Dave Laing had passed away on January 7 at the age of 71

Dave Laing came to my notice in 1972 when I saw the first issue of a new rock magazine titled Let it Rock in our local newsagents. Let It Rock was a forerunner of the monthly mags such as Q, Mojo and Uncut – it was way ahead of its time.

I was already an avid reader of the NME, Melody Maker, Disc Record Mirror and Sounds but this was something altogether more specialist. It was edited by Dave Laing and featured the work of esteemed writers such as Charlie Gillett ,Phil Hardy, Pete Fowler, Simon Frith, Richard Williams and John Tobler to name a few  Alongside profiles of all the current acts (Bowie was the first cover subject) it was very good on exploring the heritage of rock –which at that time was a mere 16 years old – the age I was when I first bought Let It Rock.

So impressed with the magazine, I that I took out a monthly subscription. The sound of that mag dropping through the letter box was a highlight of any month – and that thrill of something tangible coming into my world was definitely an influence on my intention to produce my own Led Zeppelin magazine

Along with the work of the likes of Nick Kent, Charlie Shaar Murray and Roy Carr, Let it Rock greatly inspired me to put pen to paper and write about this thing called rock music. In my Dents Road bedroom, I began writing my own reviews – early ones included a review of Led Zeppelin’s Alexandra Palace appearance, the Paul McCartney and Wings album Red Rose Speedway, Zep’s Houses Of The Holy and The Rolling Stones Goats Head Soup. I also wrote a few Top Ten columns – one of the highlights of any issue of Let It Rock was the Top Ten column where a particular the writer would draw attention to ten tracks he was digging every month. The column featured Charlie Gillett, Stephen Barnard and later ex Melody Maker writer Richard Williams.

In the November 1972 issue, they ran a superb six page feature dissecting the Bob Dylan bootleg catalogue. It motivated me to search out these illicit rare recordings and within a month of that amazing feature ,via an advert in Sounds the first two I purchased were Led Zeppelin Live on Blueberry Hill and Boy Dylan Royal Albert hall 1966. It set me off on a quest to invest in as many bootleg LPs as I could.

The subject of bootlegs would form the content of a letter I wrote in to the Let It Rock letters page in late 1973. Imagine my delight early in February 1974 when I scanned the current issue and discovered I had secured the featured letter on the letters page.

My impassioned words stated:

‘’Over the past year there have been manty fine features in Let It Rock but by far the most interesting were the rare and unreleased articles. It’s about time these recordings were given more space in the music press. Who cares if record company and artists lose out Just let it rock regardless

David Lewis, Bedford.

This was the first time I had ever had anything in print and it was a massive thrill. It led me to continue writing my own reviews at that time still for an audience of one. Some five years later the platform of a journal all about my greatest musical love Led Zeppelin would finally get my words read far and wide.

Let it Rock covered a wide spectrum of artists and they opened my ears to the likes of The Allman Brothers, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder and many others. The also did superb overviews on the likes of Slade, Rod Stewart and The Who. Led Zeppelin appeared in a major cover feature May 1975 issue. A fantastic shot of Robert Plant from the recent 1975 US tour adorned the cover – it remains one of my all time fave covers of the band. The feature written by future Jimmy Page biographer Chris Salewicz  begged the question – ”Led Zeppelin are they good, bad or just enormously rich?”.

I have most of my original Let It Rock magazines and they are still a source of much journalist inspiration.

Dave went on to write various books notably The Encyclopdia Of Rock which I purchased – he later worked on the trade paper Music Week which I also avidly read when I was working in the record retailing business.

Dave Laing’s skill at editing and presenting compelling analysis and comment on music of a variety of styles in that wonderful Let It Rock magazine that came my way every month from late 1972 to 1975, did so much to shape my own vision of how enlightening a music magazine could be. A vision that would lead me to creating the Tight But Loose magazine.

His magazine and writing team really did let it rock in print …

For that I have much to thank him for – RIP Dave.

Here’s Dave’s obituary in The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/jan/14/dave-laing-obituary

Dave Lewis, March 11,2019


12 March 2019

My thoughts on…

Coda – A Tribute To Led Zeppelin Esquires Bedford –March 9, 2019:

Set List: First half: Good Times Bad Times, Ramble On, Custard Pie, Wanton Song, Going To California, That’s The Way, Thank You, Heartbreaker ,Living loving Maid, Whole Lotta Love

Second half: The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, When the Levee Breaks, The Ocean, Over the Hills And Far Away, Kashmir, Stairway To Heaven, – encores Rock And Roll, Black Dog

One look at the above set lists tells the story really. Coda nailed the Zep legacy to the walls of Esquires and they did so with a verve and swagger that sent the crowd into delirium – the good lady Janet and me included!

First half highlights included the crunching side by side assault of Custard Pie and the Wanton Song and a similar effective pairing of Heartbreaker and Living Loving Maid as they appear on Zep II.

The second half opened with The Song Remains The Same/Rain Song -another nod to the masterful Zep sequencing on Houses Of The Holy. A compelling When The Levee Breaks was followed by joyous deliveries of The Ocean and Over The Hills And Far Away and Kashmir, This all led to a fitting Stairway To Heaven finale and celebratory encores of Rock And Roll and Black Dog .

44 years ago this week my good friend Dec was about to queue for tickets for Phil Harris (who was with me tonight) and I to see the real thing at Earls Court. The notion that four decades on,their music would be celebrated on a stage in our home town by musicians not even born then would have been a fairly farfetched one.

But such is the remarkable lasting legacy of Led Zeppelin that is exactly the way it is.

It’s a legacy that Adam Rose-Alison, Peter Byrne, Simon Wicker and Rob Deery more than do justice to. Coda brought the spirit of Led Zeppelin well and truly alive again at Esquires last night and it was an absolute joy to witness it…

Dave Lewis, March 10,2019.


DL Diary Blog Update:

 

Coda at Esquires…

A simply fantastic night.Beforehand, there was a big TBL crew turn out at the Foresters pub across the road from Esquires.

It was an absolute pleasure to be in the company of Andy Adams who travelled up with the band. Andy and I go back a long way and the spirit and bond that we created at the 1992 Led Zeppelin UK Convention shines ever brighter.

Also in attendance Cliff ‘the ticket man’ Hilliard with news of some new record acquisitions , Ian Avey, Jez Firth, Steve and Anne Marie, Jenny, Graham, Nick, DC, Roy and Phil Harris.

The good lady Janet and I also caught up with our nephew Simon Conway -it was fantastic to see him and he was, as we were, mighty impressed with the Coda performance.

I did get a little over excited and as can be seen in the pic, I made a bit of stage invader comeback some 42 years after leaping on stage with The Who. I also managed to fall our of the taxi outside our house into a puddle of mud – I think I thought I was 21 again!

 

 

All in all, a fabulous night one that emphasised the love we have for this lasting legacy of music and the fun that can be had enjoying it with like minded people – it was indeed a TBL comes alive occasion.

It’s been back to the TBL hub here this week to crack on with promoting TBL issue 44 and packing mags – and prep on projects ahead.

 

 

 


Robert Plant at  Love Rocks NYC, The Beacon Theatre, New York City, March 7th, 2019:

TBL on the spot report from Dave Roberts…

Back in January, tickets went on sale for the 3rd annual Love Rocks NYC. This is an organization that prepares and delivers meals to residents of New York City that are very ill, and can not prepare meals for themselves.

When I saw that Robert Plant was headlining, partnered with my wife Cindy’s birthday, I immediately headed to Ticketmaster . Much to my surprise, I was able to purchase 2 tickets in the 1st row, of the lower balcony. Great for taking pictures, no one standing in front of you.
The 2019 version of Love Rocks NYC would again be held at the incredible Beacon Theatre. The venue is breathtaking inside, and has been the sight of many milestone events since 1929. The capacity is 2,894 seated. Two events that come to mind are Martin Scorsese’s movie ‘Shine A Light’ with the Rolling Stones, and Joe Bonamassa’s Beacon Theatre, Live from New York.As we landed in New York the morning of the show, I couldn’t help but wonder with all the artists on the bill, how is this going to work. I would soon find out.One of the hosts for the evening, Whoopi Goldberg, was known to be not well for the last month. Upon arriving at the venue, we were informed that actor / comedian Bill Murray would be stepping in.

As I stood in line waiting for security to open the gates, I started to think about the relationship Led Zeppelin has with the city. From the filming of the movie ‘ The Song Remains The Same’ to the marathon shows in 1975 and 1977 at Madison Square Garden to the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert, their last North American concert. Although I never attended a Led Zeppelin concert in New York City, many of the people in line had, and were willing to share their memories.

Upon entering the theatre, I asked a hostess what time was the curfew. She said to me this is New York, it will be over when it’s over. That’s great perfect answer.
We went to our seats at 07:30 pm for the 08:00 pm start to take in the atmosphere. Very friendly people around us.

At 08:15 the lights darkened, and we were about to get underway. First up was Grace Potter who opened with the Jefferson Airplane song ‘White Rabbit’ . She then sang Credence Clear Water Revival’s ‘Proud Mary’ This would be the template for the evening with most artists performing one or two songs.

Between artists, Martin Short, Bill Murray, Kevin Bacon, and Chevy Chase would entertain the crowd, and remind us to continue to support the charity.
The following is the order the artists performed prior to Robert Plant: Jimmie Vaughan with Doyle Bramhall II, Larkin Poe, Lukas Nelson, Buddy Guy, Ivan Neville, Marcus King, Keb’ Mo’ , Taj Mahal, Hozier, Mavis Staples, Sheryl Crow, Billy F Gibbons, followed by Ann and Nancy Wilson, who had not performed together since 2016.By this time it was getting close to midnight, and barring any surprises, Robert Plant was up next.

 

With that, the six backing vocalists from the house band congregated at centre stage. Then Robert appeared and joined them.
The first song was an old Elvis Presley song called ‘Don’t’ . The harmonies were absolutely brilliant. As I was watching the song, based on what I have read, it has a very similar sound to Robert’s band Saving Grace.

Second song was another Elvis song called ‘A Mess Of Blues’ Jimmie Vaughan joined Robert on this one, and did an excellent job of recreating that old 1950’s sound on the guitar.

Third song was ‘Rich Woman’. For this one Robert invited Cheryl Crow to join him. The version they performed was very similar to the one Robert recorded with Alison Krauss on Raising Sand.

Fourth song was Led Zeppelin’s ‘Black Dog’. Robert asked Sheryl to stick around for one more, which she was thrilled to do. Again this version was in the style of the version with Alison Krauss.

Fifth song was Led Zeppelin’s ‘Thank You’. This was my personal favourite of the night. There is a excellent version on YouTube from the show.

The sixth song of the night was Shake, Rattle and Roll. For this song, Lukas Nelson, Jimmie Vaughan, Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Taj Mahal, and Grace Potter returned to the stage to help out. The vocals moved from musician to musician, and was extremely impressive given the first time they rehearsed the song was that afternoon.

The seventh and final song of the night was Traffic’s ‘Feelin’ Alright’. All the musicians that had contributed their talents to this glorious night returned to the stage. After the song the artists stayed on the stage to socialize with each other. There was a genuine level of admiration between the artists. Robert was clearly the number one priority for all of them to savour the moment.

I looked at my IPhone, and it was 12:30am Friday morning. I guess the hostess was right, this is New York.

Dave Roberts

Many thanks to Dave for that great report and superb photos


My thoughts on…

John Paul Jones, Thurston Moore & Steve Noble – a benefit concert for Resonance FM: 100 Club, London, March 28, 2019:

John Paul Jones was reunited with ex Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore for the first time in a decade last night – back in 2009 they collaborated on the score for the stage show Nearly Ninety to celebrate choreographer Merce Cunningham’s 90th birthday

They linked up again for special benefit performance to aid the annual fundraising efforts by community radio station Resonance FM. The non-profit station has been broadcasting since 1998 thanks to the efforts of the London Musicians’ Collective charity.

Joining them was jazz drummer Steve Noble – I had previously witnessed Steve’s experimental percussive style when he performed with Sebastian Lexer on piano as the support act to JPJ’s Minibus Pimps appearance at the Cafe OTO London back in July 2012.

They linked up again for special benefit performance to aid the annual fundraising efforts by community radio station Resonance FM. The non-profit station has been broadcasting since 1998 thanks to the efforts of the London Musicians’ Collective charity.

Joining them was jazz drummer Steve Noble – I had previously witnessed Steve’s experimental percussive style when he performed with Sebastian Lexer on piano as the support act to JPJ’s Minibus Pimps appearance at the Cafe OTO London back in July 2012.

Tonight all three joined forces for a unique performance = and as power trio’s go, well this one can be classified as utterly relentless.

John had told me beforehand there was no set list – this was all pure improvisation and the intensity between the three was totally compelling. Improvisation number one ran for some 38 minutes. This was JPJ in full on bass mode created a growling undercurrent for Thurston to weave between.

We all know that John likes to play off the drummer and his rapport with Steve Noble allowed the piece to veer off into various directions as he strummed picked and slapped at the bass. This rhythmic pairing of the two echoed the glory days of Zep – indeed several times during the set I felt I was in the midst of a Dazed And Confused Zep circa Europe 1973 extravaganza.

During it all there were some mellow moments where Steve switched to rim shot playing – some of the soundscapes achieved reminded me of Berlin period Bowie

They then took a break – there was a great moment when I saw John leaving the stage jigging around to the sound of a reggae track DJ the legendary Jerrry Dammers began spinning.

Improvisation number 2 continued the momentum –highlights here included a section where Thurston scrubbed the strings with a pointed instrument in a violin bow way. Steve Noble’s percussion through this was just right out there – from Buddy Rich style syncopation to using the maracas as sticks – amongst it all JPJ and Thurston repeatedly changed direction of the piece with ambitious twists and turns. Thurston’s shrill guitar sound piecing through sometimes in a Tom Verlaine manner.

They were back for a shorter encore piece that again saw JPJ play off Steve in time honoured Zep fashion.

Summary: So LivingLoving Maid it wasn’t… but what it was – was in turns explosive, unpredictable and wildly exciting. Radical but easy to embrace – and that is exactly what the audience did, soaking up a truly compelling performance.

Right in the middle of it all was John Paul jones – on stage again and applying his vast musical intelligence with two likeminded seekers of something unique.

It was an absolute privilege to witness them achieving their objective.

Dave Lewis, March 29, 2019.

It was also an absolute pleasure and a privilege to personally hand over the Evenings With Led Zeppelin to John Paul Jones last Thursday prior to his 100 Club performance. John was very impressed with Mike and I’s diligence in producing this complete on stage chronicle – as I said to him it’s the opportunity for him to relive his evenings with Led Zeppelin from 1968 onwards – ‘’I shall enjoy doing so!” he laughed.

 

Amazingly, Thurston Moore who was in the dressing room looked over and said ‘’That’s a great book I already have if I’d known I would have brought it along for you to sign!’’

All in all it was quite a night…..

Above on stage photos by Dave Lewis, Peter Chow and Krys Jantzen


25 April 2019

It was 50 years ago – 50 years of DL music passion 1969 – 2019:

I ran this piece last week to celebrate this personal music milestone  – here it is again with some additional content.

It all acts as prelude to a series of DL Celebrates 5o Years of Music Passion postings that will appear throughout the year. The first of which, The sampler Albums – The Rock Machine Turns You On follows this introducionary piece

50 years ago around the Easter period, The Beatles released their first single of 1969. Get Back coupled with Don’t Let Me Down – these tracks had been recorded in January during the infamous Get Back sessions.

This is a significant release for me as this is the record that attracted me back to music – an attraction that has grown manifold over the past 50 years.
I say ‘back to’ as aged 7, I did have a brief flirtation with music mainly focused on The Dave Clark Five. I was pretty obsessed with Dave Clark’s drumming skills and replicated his drum kit in our back garden using old paint tin cans. Glad All Over remains one of my all time fave singles.

The first live gig I ever attended was the Dave Clark 5 package that came to the Bedford Granada in April 1964. In some wonderment I watched a line up of acts that included The Mojos, The Hollies, The Kinks and the aforementioned DC5.

However, this passion was eroded somewhat by childhood distractions such as Thunderbirds, Doctor Who and the Daleks, The Man From Uncle, James Bond and from 1966 -the year that England won the World Cup, my attention turned to playing football, watching it and following of Tottenham Hotspur. I also spent many an hour playing Subbuteo table football (anyone else remember that?)

My initial love of music took a back seat and remained somewhat dormant until that Easter of 1969.
Back then when I was aged 12, in the local café near our street there was a juke box – sixpence for two goes. My gang were often in there and one of the records that was played constantly from the moment it was released was Get Back. Now this I loved – really loved I loved its driving rhythm, bustling drumming,cool vocal with talk of ‘’Sweet Loretta Martin (who) thought she was a woman’’ and Billy Preston’s rolling keyboards.

I also loved the B side Don’t Let Me Down which was also often played on the juke box. The pleading vocal of John Lennon hit the mark every time.
I was well aware who The Beatles were of course. I had been to see both the Hard Days Night and Help films at the cinema. Anyone growing up in the 60s could not really avoid them – they were everywhere. I certainly knew they were very important I was playing the aforementioned Subbuteo table football at a friends house when his elder brother came in with a copy of the just released Sgt Pepper album.

My interest in them though had been from afar.

That all changed when I heard Get Back. A little over a month after this release, The Beatles had another single in the charts titled The Ballad of John And Yoko. I loved this one too.

One of the distinctive aspects of these Beatles records was that the label depicted a green apple, while the B side was the core of an apple. I quickly learned that the Beatles now released records on their own Apple label. I thought this design was a deft touch – it ignited something in me that would lead to a deep fasciation for actual record labels, designs and sleeves. It all went hand in hand with the affinity I developed for the long playing record and 45 RPM single. An affinity that remains as strong as ever.

I could not get enough of all this. As the song goes, music was now my first love – big time. I wanted to hear it, read about it, watch it and talk about it. Remarkably, in a matter of five years I would be selling it. Eventually – even more remarkably, my writing about it would reach fellow music fans across the globe.

From that moment of hearing and admiring Get Back grew an intense passion. I avidly read the NME and other music papers, I listened to Alan Freeman’s Pick of the Pops chart show every week on Radio One. I kept right up to date with all the weekly chart happenings and my appreciation of so much music grew and grew – The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, The Who, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Free, Family, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, Jethro Tull to name but a few, all appeared on my musical radar during the next few months – and stayed there.

Of course, there was one other act of much importance as all this would lead me to the biggest passion of all – Led Zeppelin. And anyone reading this will realise the immense consequences of all that.

Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham came into my life in late 1969 when I heard Alan Freeman play Whole Lotta Love. Throughout the next 12 months my enthusiasm for this band grew ever more intense – leading up to the release of Led Zeppelin III. By then I was well and truly hooked.

Whilst I enjoyed so much other music, my love of Led Zeppelin was on an altogether different level. This was not just a band…it became a way of life. I saw them live for the first of 15 occasions the following November at the Empire Pool Wembley. It was an illuminating night of electric (and acoustic )magic – many more magic nights would follow.

By the time I had clocked up that 15th appearance at the 02 reunion in December 2007, I had created a magazine about them, met them, interviewed them and written several books about them. From that small acorn in 1969 grew a mighty oak tree…the many branches of which continue to resonate…

Back to the story: when I could afford it I began buying singles and albums – The Who’s Pinball Wizard and the Island Records sampler LP You Can All Join In being amongst my first purchases in this new era. Many more would follow.

The Beatles Get Back single was announced via a very clever press advert. It described this new record with a series of incisive phrases.

It carried the headline The Beatles as nature intended. It read as follows:

‘’Get Back’’ is The Beatles new single. It’s the first Beatles record which is as live as can be in this electronic age.

There’s no electric watchamaclit.

‘’Get Back’’ is a pure springtime number.

On the other side there’s an equally live number ‘’Don’t let me down.’’

Paul’s got this to say about Get Back…

‘’we were sitting in the studio and we made it up out of thin air. We started to write words there and then …when we finished it we recorded it at Apple Studios and made it into a song to roller coast by’’.

P.S. John adds its john playing the fab live guitar solo.

An now John on Don’t Let Me Down.

John says don’t let me down about ‘’Don’t let me down’’

In ‘’Get Back’’ and’’ Don’t let me down’’ you’ll find The Beatles as nature intended

I could easily apply my then new found enthusiasm with the same statement because it really did feel like I had found total redemption in music – as nature intended.

50 years on now aged 62, nothing has changed – music is the DNA that defines who I am and what I do. In sharing it over the years, it has built lasting friendships and created much camaraderie. I am in touch with fellow music enthusiasts from Ecuador (hi Jose!),Japan, Brazil and many other countries.

The good lady Janet and I would meet when we worked at WH Smith selling records.

As of now, I am officially celebrating 50 years of music passion.

So thank you dear Beatles for opening the music floodgates for me that Easter all of 50 years ago.

Oh and John Lennon …I did not let you down about Don’t let me down – and you never let me down either….

Dave Lewis – April 25, 2019.


DL celebrating 50 years of music passion 1969 – 2019 – post number one:

The Sampler Albums… 

 

In 1968 The CBS Rock Machine Turned You On – Including Jimmy Page and Robert Plant?

The Rock Machine Turns You On – Various Artists (CBS PR2)

In the 1968 chapter of the excellent new David Hepworth book A Fabulous Creation, David relays the importance of the rock sampler album, notably the CBS release of that year The Rock Machine Turns You On

Ah yes, the sampler album, those of us of a certain age will recall the deluge of budget priced sampler albums that surfaced around the late ’60s and early ’70s. Their attraction was that they normally sold for around 19 shillings and 11 pence (the equivalent of a quid) or 14shillings and 6. This provided the opportunity for teenagers like me, to climb on board the hip and trendy world of the underground.

Due to the more affordable price, one of my first albums I purchased aged 13, was the Island sampler You Can All Join In. This opened my ears to a host of inspiring tracks from the likes of Jethro Tull, Free ,Fairport Convention, Traffic, Spooky Tooth ,Tramline and the exotically named Wynder K Frog.

The purpose of these samplers was to draw attention to the variety of performances on offer and perhaps lead you on to the equivalent album. That worked for me later on in the pursuit of albums by Free, Jethro Tull and Fairport Convention

David Hepworth’s entry in the sampler world came a little earlier in June 1968 with the release of The Rock Machine Turns You On. The CBS label (Columbia in the US) were the pioneers of such releases and in the book, the compiler of this set David Howells recalls how Columbia in the US suddenly found them with a breadth of emerging rock talent. This from a label that was more associated with the likes of easy listening artists such as Ray Conniff, Andy Williams and Tony Bennett.

Inspired by a cheap sampler set on RCA titled Pop Shopper and issued in the early 60s, Howells saw the potential of compiling tracks from the CBS stable to promote their catalogue in the UK. The Rock machine Turns You On was stickered 15 tracks for 15 shillings. The 15 artists featured lined up as follows: Bob Dylan, Moby Grape, Spirit, The United States of America, The Zombies, The Peanut Butter Conspiracy, Leonard Cohen, Blood Sweat And Tears, The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel ,Taj Mahal, The Electric Flag featuring Mike Bloomfield, Roy Harper, Tom Rose and Elmore Gantry’s Velvet Opera.

On the back cover it featured some heady words of wisdom extracted by Howells from a US Columbia advertising campaign for this hip new emerging era. It read as follows:

THE ROCK MACHINE IS A MACHINE WITH SOUL.

The Rock Machine isn’t a grind-you-up. It’s a wind-you-up. The sound is driving. It’s your bag. So it’s ours. It’s the Super Stars. And the Poets. It’s the innovators and the underground. It’s the Loners and the lovers. And It’s more. Much more…

This all worked a treat and led on to many major labels following suit – the aforementioned Island Records with You Can All Join In and Nice Enough To Eat  plus the pleasingly titled El Pea and Bumpers . Polydor waded in with the double set Bombers – Harvest with Picnic, a Breath of Fresh Air and the Harvest Bag, Atlantic with the Age of Atlantic and New Age of Atlantic , Liberty with Gutbucket. Probe with Handle With Care. CBS extended the Rock Machine Turns You On into a second volume Rock Machine I Love You and then issued the superb double album samplers Fill Your Head With Rock and Rockbuster. There were many others.

At the time I loved looking at these samplers in the local record shops – the line-up of tracks providing a gateway into a brave new musical world – and I invested in a few too.

Unsurprisingly, I am still a big collector of such items and the David Hepworth book reminded me of the importance of the original The Rock Machine Turns You On sampler.

This a remarkable collection – not least because it has various Led Zep references amongst the 15 tracks. Alongside the more well established CBS artists of the era (Dylan/ The Byrds/Zombies/ Leonard Cohen etc.) there are no less than six that have Zep connections.

In the influences department, there’s Moby Grape’s Can’t Be So Bad – very much a part of the young Robert Plant’s musical heritage. Then it’s hats off to one Roy Harper, represented by a quaint busk through Nobody’s Got Any Money In The Summer, taken from his Come Out Fighting Genghis Smith album.

A further connection comes via Tim Rose presenting in dynamic style Come Away Melinda from his 1968 album. That was the year Tim Rose was supported by The Band of Joy where he spotted the young John Bonham and later offered him the drum stool for his summer UK tour. It was during that particular Tim Rose tour at the Hampstead Country Club on July 31 ,1968 that Page witnessed the Bonham phenomenon for himself when he was assembling a new Yardbirds line up that would eventually emerge as Led Zeppelin. Page immediately offered him the job.

Then there are three tracks on this album that were covered by the early Led Zeppelin. Spirit’s Fresh Garbage was incorporated into the As Long As I Have You medley during the debut Zep American tour. As is plainly evident on the original, its strident riff was tailor-made for interpretation on that Page painted Fender Telecaster. Of course the ‘Taurus versus Zep Stairway To Heaven ‘ high profile court case would go on to become their more notorious association with Spirit.

The Electric Flag with Mike Bloomfield on guitar attack Chester Burnett’s Killing Floor. It was this arrangement (also used by Jimi Hendrix) that Page and co loosely based their Led Zep 2 staple The Lemon Song upon. Bloomfield’s fluid guitar dominates this slightly faster work out that features some jazz rock like sax towards its climax. Back in 1969, it did not take long for publisher Jewel Music to claim a cut of the Zep publishing fee which would lead to The Lemon Song appearing under the title Killing Floor on later copies of the second Zep opus.

And finally Elmore Gantry’s Velvet Opera tune in with their most famous offering Flames. Elmore who? you may ask, and what’s it got to do with the Zep?

Well, although there is no surviving taped evidence, both Page and Plant have stated that this was one of the numbers The New Yardbirds/early Zeppelin fleshed out their initial sets with. It may have also been considered as a possible studio contender for the first album sessions. The Elmore Gantry original is certainly typical of the aggressive psych rock stance that Page brought to The Yardbirds in their final days and its soulful refrain “You’ve been burning me up” would have been perfect fodder for the raw vocal technique of the young Plant. Indeed, the singer would perform his own version of the song during his Priory of Brion touring era circa 2000.

As for Elmore Gantry’s Velvet Opera, two of their members, Richard Hudson and John Ford, went on to join The Strawbs and later formed their own Hudson Ford group scoring a top ten UK hit with Pick Up The Pieces. Elmore himself went on to form the bogus Fleetwood Mac that went out in the mid-70s when the real Mac was off the road. He later, formed Stretch, and enjoyed a hit in the mid-70s with Why Did You Do It.

So here’s the thing:

David Hepworth notes This Rock Machine Turns You On sampler was originally released in early 1968.

With this thread of Zep influences revolving amongst the grooves, could it possibly have been one of the albums Robert Plant took along to spin to Jimmy Page at that first meeting of minds in Pangbourne in the summer of 1968?

Or that Jimmy Page already had a copy lying around?

There’s enough evidence in their early repertoire to make that claim fairly plausible.

Here’s a quote from a 1990 Robert Plant interview:

“On stage the song’s opened up so much. We’d do As Long As I Have You, the old Garnett Mimms track, Fresh Garbage by Spirit, Flames by Elmore Gantry and his Velvet Opera. All these things would come creeping out the woodwork. That was the beauty of Led Zeppelin.”

 

On a final note – my copy of The Rock Machine Turns You On has the original CBS inner sleeve and it’s a beauty.

One side comprises of eight reasons to buy records under the title ‘’Here’s how records give you more of what you want’’.

It’s a fascinating snapshot of the way records were perceived and 50 years on, much of it still rings true

Here’s the full text:

HERES HOW RECORDS GIVE YOU MORE OF WHAT YOU WANT:

1: THEY’RE THE BEST ENTERTAINMENT BUY: Records give you top quality for less money than any other recorded form. Every album is a show in itself. And once you’ve paid the price of admission you can hear it over and over again.

2: THEY ALLOW SELECTIVITY OF SONGS AND TRACKS: With records it’s easy to pick out the songs you want to play, or to play again a particular song or side. All you have to do is lift the pick-up arm and place it where you want it. You can’t do this easily with anything by a long-playing record.

3: THEY’RE CONVENIENT AND EASY TO HANDLE: With the long playing record you get what you want to hear when you want to hear it. Everybody’s familiar with records too. And you can go anywhere with them because they’re light and don’t take up space.

4: THEYRE ATTRACTIVE , INFORMATIVE AND EASY TO STORE: Record albums are never out of place. Because of the aesthetic appeal of the jacket design, they’re beautifully at home in the living room and library. They’ve also got important information on the backs – about the artist, about the performance or about the programme. And because they are flat and not bulky. You can store hundreds in a minimum of space and still see every title.

5: THEY’LL GIVE YOU HOURS OF CONTINUOUS AND UNINTERUPPTED LISTEING PLEASURE. Just stack them up on your automatic changer and relax.

6: THEY’RE THE PROVEN MEDIUM. Long -playing record look the same now as they did when they were introduced in 1948 but there’s a world of difference. Countless refinements and development s have been made to perfect the long playing records technical excellence and ensure the best in sound reproduction and quality

7: IF IT’S AVAILABLE IN RECORDED FORM, YOU KNOW IT’LL BE AVAILABLE ON RECORDS. Everything’s on long playing records these days…your favourite artists, shows ,comedy, movie soundtracks, concerts, drama, documented history, educational material…you name it. This is not so with any other recording.

8: THEY MAKE A GREAT GIFT because everybody you know loves music. And everybody owns a record player because it’s the musical instrument everyone knows how to play. Records are gifts that say a lot about to the person you’re giving them to. And they keep on remembering

AND REMEMBER..IT ALWAYS HAPPENS FIRST ON RECORDS

The reverse of the inner bag lists 25 CBS label albums with sleeve illustrations. This mirrors the changing tide of tastes as the likes of Leonard Cohen, Chicken Shack, Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper, Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, Taj Mahal, Tim Hardin, Gun and, Blood Sweat and Tears rub shoulders with Tony Bennett, Ray Conniff, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, Funny Girl and West Side Story.

The musical times they were a changing and The Rock Machine Turns You On was a tangible testament to that statement.

In summary: The Rock Machine Turns You On is a vinyl gem. I would advise any Led Zep fan to check it out at their earliest convenience.

Dave Lewis – April 25, 2019

 


When all you needed was ears…and 40 minutes of your time…

My thoughts on…

A Fabulous Creation: How the LP Saved Our Lives by David Hepworth

Following on from his previous books – notably 1971 – Never a Dull Moment, David Hepworth has produced an engaging account of the story of how the role recorded music, principally the LP record, has shaped our lives over five decades.

He does it in an informative and opinionated manner that as a long time connoisseur of such things, kept me entertained throughout.

Unsurprisingly, A Fabulous Creation – How The LP Saved Our Lives (the title of the book comes from one of opening lines in the Roxy Music song Do The Strand) speaks my language on  a subject very close to my heart. Hepworth starts the LP journey by initially honing in on the importance of the release of The Beatles Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band  – which signalled the arrival of the album as an art form. Hepworth goes on to chart the development of the LP format from both a musical and cultural stand point.

Early on, he sets the scene with vivid descriptions of the role the radiogram and record player had in the late 50s and early 60s as a key part of the furniture in any household – and how soundtracks and comedy albums established the LP as the favoured form of in home entertainment.

Then it’s headlong into the rock era. As the years unfold, he stops off at several milestone releases – notably the emergence in 1968 of the sampler album The Rock Machine Turns You On, King Crimson’s In the Court of The Crimson King, the debut Roxy Music album and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side if the Moon. This 1970s vinyl heyday was as he explains, the era when being seen out with the right album under your arm was as important then as is the strategic placing of images on your Instagram account is now.

His understanding of the business and retail side plus the media influence of the LP market is impressive. I can stand up and be counted as one of those who read Nick Kent’s review of Television’s Marquee Moon in the NME and immediately went out and bought it – a tale he is again pinpoint sharp on. Later he summarises Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk as an industry deal breaker and lauds Elvis Costello’s Armed Forces and the Joy Division Closer album. These excellent periodical album dissections prompted me to go back to these albums and check them out again. Pleasingly, Hepworth has a measured approach on the effect of punk, revealing that Peter Cook was something of a surprise trend setter in that department.

He also throw in a few personal experiences – I particularly liked his tale of a flat mate who religiously played ZZ Top’s La Grange from their Tres Hobres album, every night as a way of unwinding from his mundane daily work slog. A few more of these wry observations would have been welcome. Maybe that’s being kept for another book.

Mostly, Hepworth sticks to the detail and as the golden age of the LP peaks, he is in there with telling revelations of the impact of the Sony Walkman and subsequent cassette explosion. He also explains the rise of MTV and how the aforementioned ZZ Top and Springsteen tailed their output for the station accordingly. All this is told with a fair few arrows pointed directly at an often misguided and greedy music industry. ‘’Hope taping is killing music’’ it claimed in 1981, as Hepworth notes, it was doing nothing of the sort.

He sites Michael Jackson’s Thriller as the last great vinyl record album statement and given its phenomenal sales he is not far wrong. Then there’s the introduction of the CD and he hits the nail on the head stating ‘’the problem was and nobody thought about this at the time – the CD as a medium never had any charisma about it.’’ Put simply, CDs were never as lovable as the good old LP record.

His assumptions about the limited appeal of the CD format struck a chord with me – the extended playing time offered by the CD eventually proving that more was actually less. There was no more finer example to back that statement than the 1997 release of the thoroughly bloated Oasis album Be Here Now.

What did kill the LP or at least lead it to a premature death, was the advent of the iPod, downloading and streaming – all of which led to the closure of the big record stores of which I had first hand experience of. All dutifully reported here with much insight, though one omission I was surprised at was the Napster file sharing controversy.

Hepworth is never sanctimoniously in the battle for the LP’s survival – in fact, in his final summary he comes up with the very astute observation that one of the LP’s modern day drawbacks is that few of us can take 40 minutes out of a day to play one without distraction.

The book closes with Hepworth’s Shelf Life Appendix – his own thoughts as he puts it ”on a bunch of records that I happen to share some personal history’. He chooses ten albums for every year covered by the book. Hepworth attempts to sum up how he felt about them then and how he feels about them now. A fitting way to bring his long running affinity for the LP record into final focus.

A Fabulous Creation is easily the best book about the development of recorded music I’ve read since Dylan Jones iPod Therefore I Am chronicled a similar musical obsession with the then merging iPod phenomenon some 15 years back.

That he has told it with wit, reverence and perception, is a credit to David Hepworth’s total empathy for the subject. It’s a fascinating study of an era when all you needed was ears and 40 minutes of your time to go with it.

Dave Lewis –   May 11, 2019


Dave Lewis – Celebrating 50 years of music passion 1969 – 2019: Post number 2

Let It Be and me…

I’ve had something of a 49 year love affair with The Beatles’ Let It Be album.

It all began way back in April 1969 when The Beatles released a new single titled Get Back. As previously chronicled, this was the inspiration for me to  get right back into music after a brief infatuation with The Dave Clark Five when I was seven years old.

James Bond,Thunderbirds,The Daleks and football took over for a while but aged 12 I was ready to tune in once again

It was Get Back that really attracted me back to music. I had heard it on Tony Blackburn’s Radio One breakfast show and repeatedly on the juke box in our local café.

I recall an advert in the NME that proclaimed it as ‘’The Beatles as nature intended.’’ What also attracted me to the record was the distinctive green Apple label design – and the B side that displayed the core of an Apple. Having been drawn to that beautiful image I was forever asking older friends to put The Beatles’ B sides on the Juke box – this is how I came to be very familiar with Don’t Let Me Down, Old Brown Shoe and Come Together –the flip sides of Get Back, The Ballad of John And Yoko and Something, the trio of singles released by The Beatles in 1969.

In September of that year The Beatles issued their Abbey Road album. An older friend bought it and I listened at his house in wonder at it’s amazing contents – not least the medley on side two.

The NME had already flagged that The Beatles next album would be titled Get Back and comprise of recordings made in early 1969 to accompany a film of the same name. This was planned to be released in 1970.

During the early months of 1970 I eagerly scanned the news pages of the NME for more news. It transpired the album and film would now be titled Let It Be and in early March 1970 the Let It Be single was issued backed with the quirky You Know My Name (Look Up the Number). The single came in an eye catching picture sleeve. I of course loved the single and the accompanying film clip of it shown on Top of the Pops.

On April 10, the Daily Mirror broke the story that Paul had quit The Beatles. The acrimonious reasons behind the split dominated the pop headlines over the next12 months. The Beatles had out grown The Beatles and as Lennon would put it – the dream was over.

However, there was one more Beatles album release and it came on May 8, 1970. Let It Be was packaged in an outer cardboard box that contained a deluxe book and the actual record catalogue number PX1. It sold for a penny less than £3.

Far too much for my pocket money but the same older friend did buy it and we marveled at that package, the book and the album’s contests. Let It Be for me sounded like a great album -with it’s off mic comments and raw playing, tender moments, jams and quirky singalongs –the informality of it all touched a chord – this was The Beatles presented in a unique way as never before.

However, not everyone was enamored with this final chapter. The NME called it a cheap cardboard epitaph. To this day I disagree with such a notion.

On Thursday June 18, 1970 I went to the Granada cinema in Bedford to see the Let It Be film. We had the day off school as Britain was going to the polls to vote in a general election that saw Edward Heath gain a shock Conservative win over Labour’s Harold Wilson.

It was also Paul McCartney’s 28th birthday.

The film was a poignant farewell – the highlight being the final footage of them performing live on the on the rooftop. I loved the film for its illuminating inside look at The Beatles at work.

Over the next few years, The Beatles Let It Be era was never far off my radar.

When I started buying bootlegs in 1972, alongside the Zep titles, I eagerly invested in The Beatles Get Back Sessions and the curiously titled Renaissance Minstrels Vol 1 , Both these albums contained various outtakes and unreleased material from the Let It Be/Get Back period.

They provided key insight to this captivating last gasp. The likes of The Walk and Teddy Boy sounding like lost jewels.

Fast forward to Christmas 1975 –the BBC screened the entire film on Boxing Day and it looked fantastic.

During that first TV showing I even listed down for my own reference all the songs that appeared during the film – I still have that hand written note as can been seen here.

The BBC screened it again four years later on Boxing Day 1979. On that occasion  my very good friend Dec taped it all on his newly acquired video recorder. When I got my own video recorder rented in 1981, Dec made me a copy of the Let It Be film – I now had all that marvelous footage at the flick of a button.

The bootleg CD explosion in the early 90s led me to many more recordings of the Get Back/Let It Be period as title after title appeared – notably a complete version of the fabled January 30,1969 rooftop gig – and the Let It Be film on DVD. I also have a bootleg of the original Get Back album as first proposed by producer Glyn Johns – complete with the intended cover of that photo of them in early 1969 at EMI in Manchester Square -re creating the Please Please Me cover shot. The 1969 image was later used for The Beatles red and blue compilations issued in 1973 (I bought both of those on the release date).

Mark Lewishon’s astonishingly detailed The Beatles at Abbey Road and The Beatles Chronicle books offered up vital accurate information of the 1969 sessions. I was lucky enough to meet Mark and attend two launches of his books inside the hallowed walls of Abbey Road Studios itself. In 1983 I also attended EMI’s The Beatles at Abbey Road presentation inside studio number two where so much of the Beatle magic had been created.

Over the years, The Get Back saga has continued to fascinate me and I’ve invested in a fair few books and magazines about the subject. The official Beatles Anthology made available some of those unreleased recordings I had craved on those bootlegs. Paul McCartney then re-invented the album by releasing Let It Be Naked – a fresh pre Phil Spector mix of the stark original versions of the Get Back/Let It Be project. I avidly soaked up that one with it’s 20 minutes of bonus recordings.

In the October 2010 issue of Mojo, they covered the final Beatles era in a superb feature. This issue was made available with an accompanying and CD vinyl album -Let It Be Revisited. This was a re imagining of the original album by a variety of artists including Beth Horton, Wilko Johnson and Judy Collins. The vinyl run came in a limited edition of 1,000 and I eagerly snapped that one up – I am always a sucker for Beatles cover versions.

This month’s Record Collector focused in on the Get Back/Let It Be story – yet more thoroughly enjoyable reading matter on the subject.

I of course have various pressings of the album – notably a French pressing and the US pressing with the gatefold sleeve.Until just recently one has remained elusive.

That is the original UK release in the box set package. Very good condition copies go for over £400. Due to the flimsy nature of the cardboard and book binding, most copies are somewhat flawed. There was a very good conditioned copy sold at the local Bedford Slide record shop last year for £200.

A few weeks back I had a big result.

Flawed or not, I could not pass up an original Let It Be box set I came across at a recent Victoria Record Fair. Though nowhere near mint it wasn’t too bad. The outer cardboard box is somewhat trashed but acceptable. The Get Back book is in surprisingly good condition with no loose pages and the record is very good. This was on offer for what I consider a bargain price of £30. I managed to knock the guy down slightly and secured it for a mere £25.

Now that’s bargain and in Beatles collecting terms, one of the very best I’ve had.

So, at long last I have the original package that all those years back I marvelled and have been obsessed with throughout my 50 years of music passion.

To own it  as The Beatles put it ”as nature intended” is an absolute thrill.

It inspires so many memories of those halcyon days of 1969/1970.

Those memories are ignited every time the needle touches down and John Lennon’s plaintive cry of ‘’I did a pygmy by Charles Hawtry and the deaf aids – phase one in which Doris gets her oats’’ signals the entry of The Beatles performing Two of Us – on our way home.

For me, the Let It Be box set has finally come home – and it, and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead…

Dave Lewis – May 14, 2019


My thoughts on the Elton John biopic Rocketman

To the Vue Cinema in Bedford with the good lady Janet

I once witnessed at very close quarters, the extent of Elton John’s shopping addiction.

Around 1989, I spent a few days working at the Our Price record shop in the Kings Road Chelsea. I was told that being in that vicinity, they often had celebrities in. It was a Monday morning – new release day and I was on the end of the counter and who should come in but Elton John accompanied with a male friend. He was dressed fairly conservatively. I immediately noticed he had a pile of CDs – and many of them about three of each title. One of the regular staff told me he purchased multiple copies to have one for each of the houses he resided in. I had been briefed not to make any fuss of any celebrity visits –to the regular staff it was a common occurrence for the likes of Michael Caine or Kylie to be in the shop. I looked over and nodded acknowledgment of him and Elton smiled as the assistant wrapped his vast purchase.

So, I am very much aware of Elton’s shopping addiction which is one of a number of addictions that Elton John played brilliantly by Taron Egerton admits to in the opening scene of Rocketman, the much anticipated new biopic of his life.

First things first -this is a vastly different proposition to that of Bohemian Rhapsody – last years mega successful Freddie Mercury bio pic. I found the Freddie film to be something of an emotional roller coaster and loved it for it’s celebratory telling of the story.

Rocket man is altogether a much darker film. There are very few lighter moments – instead we are faced with a tale that deals in Elton’s many personal issues – the fundamental themes of which are of rejection and recognition (themes I can well relate to) As his career goes from strength to strength, Elton’s personal life spirals out of control. Fuelled by drugs and booze, his insecurities increase when he meets John Reid portrayed here by Richard Maddon as a manipulative manager and lover. Elton’s sexual preference is another re- occurring theme – admirably the short lived 1984 marriage to Renate is treated with the integrity and respect it deserves.

So far, so expected. Unlike the Bohemian Rhapsody film though –the musical numbers are given a strictly come dancing feel and that means big musical productions. This gives the film the feel of Mamma Mia meets Billy Elliot meets Stardust (the 1970s David Essex film).

Now, I am not a big fan of musicals and feared the worst from this tactic – however, once I got my head around it I found much to admire in the set pieces. It’s worth noting at this point that any semblance of chronology to the story goes right out of the window from the off.

Therefore do not be surprised when Daniel(1973) and That’s Why They Call it The Blues (1983) turn up early in the story at Elton’s audition with the man who gave him a record deal Dick James

James is portrayed as a boorish foul mouthed bully – and his son has already lambasted this perception of his father who by all accounts was actually a gentlemanly old school music man who of also helped The Beatles early career. Don Arden he was not.

Such artistic licence is rife in Rocketman. Elton’s mother and father both appear as unfeeling parents which must have been hard for the real Elton to watch. His song writing partner Bernie Taupin is treated much more sensitively and emerges as the real hero of the story – staying loyal through all the many trials and tribulations of the former Reg Dwight.

I’ve been loving Elton’s music since 1970 when I first heard Border Song – big set pieces or not, the songs sound absolutely superb in this big screen setting and as mentioned, Egerton is incredibly good as Elton. Lyrically, the songs are astutely dropped in to match the mood – particularly affecting is a delivery of I Want Love sung by the young Reg and his mother and father. Tiny Dancer and Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word are further highlights. Some of the scenes bordered on the fantasy and as a veteran of seeing such visual delights in Zep’s The Song Remains The Same film, I was ready for the crowd levitating during the brilliant live at the Troubadour club delivery of Crocodile Rock and a surreal underwater sequence to Rocket Man as Elton makes one of his suicide bids.

There does seem to have been a missed opportunity at incorporating some lighter moments – something like Philadelphia Freedom might have been played out with an uplifting scene involving Billy Jean King –an example of Elton’s love of tennis and there is surprisingly no mention of Elton’s beloved Watford FC.

The finale, as the main characters return to haunt Elton in a rehab scene, does bring some reconciliation to proceedings and it all ends on a high with I’m Still Standing. The closing sequence of Elton’s achievements since his 1990 sobriety is a heart-warming testament to the fact that that he finally found deserved salvation.

For much of this film though there’s a distinct lack of joy, periodically lifted by the startling set pieces. The good lady Janet felt much sadness for Elton’s plight as portrayed here.

Rocketman is a suitably complex, flamboyant if dark adventure into the mind of an often troubled superstar. It might lack the feel good factor appeal of Bohemian Rhapsody but it makes up for it with a far more challenging script. I might make for uneasy viewing but it’s an ultimately fulfilling and entertaining experience – though I don’t think either of us would want to sit through it again…

Dave Lewis – May 31, 2019


26 June 2019

 

Dave Lewis – Celebrating 50 years of music passion 1969 – 2019: Post number 3:

In praise of the cassette…

In his recent excellent book A Fabulous Creation, author David Hepworth notes the rise of the popularity in the cassette format during the late 70s/early 80s. This was inspired by the launching of the Sony Walkman and the fact that many music lovers (this writer very much included) took ownership of their listening habits by taping albums and creating compilations and mix tapes.

The earlier tape format the Eight Track Cartridge never really took off being more of an in car entertainment fix – and prone to unreliability. I do have a few of these – mainly Zep ones.

I have great affection for cassettes –indeed I still have boxes of them – a bulk of them with Led Zeppelin lives concerts on because back in the day, the cassette was the currency Led Zep tape collectors dealt in. And boy did I do some dealing…

The first Zep live cassettes I received arrived in early 1973. I replied to an advert in Sounds for rare live tapes – back came an extensive list of many artists. I had already made a contact for bootleg albums and invested in a few – this tape list though was something else.

Very quickly I built up a library of recorded Zep gigs – the Wembley 1971 show, Glasgow Playhouse and Newcastle 72 – many more would follow as I made contact with fellow Zep tape collectors and began trading with fellow fans – notably Russ Rees and Andrew Strauss. I also invested in a fair few Beatles, Stones and Dylan titles too.

The quality varied of course but that never really bothered me – as long as I could decipher what they were playing – all was good. I diligently made plain covers for these cassettes and numbered them – the first LZC001 being a recording of the BBC 1971 John Peel In Concert that I acquired in 1973.

Later there would be copious tapes of the 1975 US tour, Earls Court and the 1977 and 1980 tours. Many a gem lit up my cassette player – the 1969 BBC radio sessions, the Cleveland mixing desk tape soon to be on record as The Destroyer, outtakes from the fourth album sessions – all revealing insights into the process of how this very special band performed onstage and recorded in the studio. All this considerably aided my ever growing Zep cassette obsession.

I might state at this point I was never one for taping gigs myself. I did attempt to record the Knebworth August 4 date on my trusty and bulky Phillips recorder – however I only got an hour of it as the batteries ran out. A similar attempt a year previously at the Bob Dylan Blackbushe concert went the same way. I did tape a lot of stuff off the TV and radio – however, the TV was always a problem with back ground noise. When I taped BBC’s Film Night programme in November 1976 when they aired a clip from the just released The Song Remains The Same film, I ended up with a unique version of the Dazed And Confused extract they screened. Throughout it you can hear our budgerigar chirping away in the background!

Post Zep, the tapes kept on coming – not least from Robert Plant solo gigs and The Firm. Meeting Andy Adams in the late 1980s opened my ears to yet more rarities on this well-worn format. Andy’s sources for searching out unreleased Zep stuff were second to none.

He and I have often talk in reverential terms about the magical moment around 1989 when we sat in his place in Canvey island listening to a tape he had acquired of outtakes from Olympic Studios and Polar studios – most notably All My Love with that gorgeous extended ending. We sat there in total awe…

When Jimmy Page and Robert Plant undertook a world tour in 1995, It was still the cassette format that was used to captured much of the shows. Indeed the opening US leg even had a tapers section. Many a collector helped me with that particular cause notably Simon Pallett and Dave Fox.

However, by then the CD revolution had well and truly kicked in. With its extended playing time the CD was a perfect vehicle to present the lengthy Zep gigs such as Earls Court and Knebworth.

The market was soon saturated with Zep CD titles and record fairs in Camden and Victoria were the destination points to soak up the latest bootleg CD releases – not least the expensive and brilliantly packaged Tarantura label releases. Unsurprisingly, I invested in a stack of these underground releases. I can recall many a record fair during that era when I would leave with my pockets bulging with newly purchased bootleg CDs – and devising a way of making sure the good lady Janet did not see them as I breezed through the door!

From there, the introduction of DAT audio players and recordable CD players made it very convenient to record gigs and put them on straight on to CD.

Alas, the trusty cassette was no longer the medium by which we shared our collecting passion.

The cassette was gone…but never to be forgotten. Certainly not by me. I still have a cassette player and I still dig out cassettes to play – and they still sound great.

Some of my pivotal musical enlightenment came via the trusty cassette. Yes they were often over hissy and prone to spooling problems – but there was something uniquely compact about the cassette. Small but in its own way quite beautiful.

And this passion for cassettes was not just resigned for my Zep collecting.

Like many reading this – I made many a lovingly compiled cassette compilation. This was long before the days of iPods, iTunes playlists, Spotify etc. There was an art to getting the right join of a track via the pressing of the record and play button – I recall a very cool segue I created between Roxy Music’s Sentimental Fool straight into Elvis Costello’s Watching The Detectives and The Sex Pistols Pretty Vacant into Did You Know Wrong -the B side of God Save The Queen. Like I said, before iTunes, Spotify  etc we could be out own producers.As David Hepworth notes in his book, during the 80s sales of blank tapes went through the roof. A worried music industry set about a rather futile campaign that declared ‘’Home Taping is Killing Music. ..and it’s illegal. It was doing nothing of the sort as real music fans were formulating compilations by recording albums they had already purchased. For a brief period Island Records even abated the home taping cause by introducing a controversial 1+1 series – this cheekily put a full album on one side of the cassette while the other was left blank for the purchaser to record on it as they saw fit. Even as far back as the mid 70s, the record companies were keen to exploit the tape market. I found an EMI in house magazine recently from March 1975. It details their plans for a ‘Beatles For Sale’ campaign to promote The Beatles catalogue on cassette and eight track cartridge. As it quaintly  puts in in the opening blurb:

 

 As the cassette and cartridge market has developed considerably over the years, more and more people have  accepted this relatively new medium as the ‘Sounds Software of the Seventies’ we are sure that people will want to hear their favourite sounds on their new cassette and cartridge equipment. Therefore the Tape Department are proud to present their ”Beatles For Sale” campaign”

On the Zep front, in the 1990s, I lovingly produced a series of custom home made cassette compilation under the banner TBL Soundbites. These custom made tapes gathered various bits and pieces together of rare Zep and Page & Plant performances. I had a few of these made up each time to give out to TBL contributors and friends – long time TBL contributor Pete Gozzard was a massive help in putting these together – oh what fun we had in doing that. It reached six volumes and gathered together some unique content – For some of them I had full sleeve notes and track details printed. I am very proud of them.

 

 

The NME got in on the cassette compilation game by creating a series of their own –which were made available through the paper. Superbly compiled by the late great NME journalist Roy Carr, I still have and play the Dept Of Enjoyment 1984 tape and a superb jazz compilation Night People. In 1985, my very good friend Dec kicked off his record label Rorschach Testing by producing a very attractively packaged cassette compilation titled Discreet Campaigns, designed by future TBL designer Mick Lowe – this featured exclusive and rare material by the likes of New Order and the Cocteau Twins.

Back in the mid 80s, when I was writing a weekly pop column for the local paper, many local bands gave me demo tapes on cassette to review – some of which I still have. Keeping with the demo tape theme, I remember there was a cupboard full of demo cassette tapes in the Zep Swan Song offices – on one of my visits I remember coming across a demo cassette of The Q Tips, the band that featured soon to be solo star Paul Young .

Finally, it’s worth mentioning the impact cassettes had on the music business during the late 70s and 80s. Managing a record shop I saw first-hand how the trend particularly for the more middle of the road artist such as Abba and The Carpenters, switched from vinyl to cassette – boosted by the convenience of the format for in car play and Sony Walkmans. As David Hepworth points out in his book, in 1989 the cassette was the most popular music carrier in the USA with 65 percent of the market, CD was second with 26 percent and vinyl a poor 9 percent. It was a similar story here in the UK. Cassettes and then CD’s accelerated the premature killing off of vinyl. I vividly recall respacing the Our Price shop floor in 1991 to accommodate more CD room at the expense of vinyl.

Technology eventual deemed the cassette format all but redundant. Like I said, gone but not completely forgotten. In recent times there’s been something of a minor cassette revival There is an annual Cassette Store Day event to celebrate the format – a limited edition Prince cassette was made available for this year’s Record Store Day. They are still out there…

As is well known, I love LP’s and singles – I also still love CDs and I still love cassettes – all of these formats have and continue to bring me great listening joy.

I may be in a minority in sticking with cassettes but there’s a deep sense of pleasing nostalgia to be had by playing an old fave on what was once such a tried and trusted format. Indeed many of the cassettes I have hold exclusive music I have nowhere else to source from.

One example of this is while I have multiple copies of  the Led Zeppelin’s Presence on vinyl album and CD, there is still something very special still about the cassette recording I made of the album as it was aired in advance of it’s release on the Alan Freeman show on the afternoon of Saturday April 3, 1976.

There’s a unique authenticity about that cassette as it reels its way around the deck. It recalls simpler days when music came to us in a simpler method.

Right, I’m off to snap in that TDK cassette one more time with feeling. It’s only the compact cassette – but I like it…like it…yes I do…

Dave Lewis  – June 18, 2019


Brian Jones 1942 – 1969:

Last Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of the passing of Brian Jones, the founder member of The Rolling Stones. Long time TBL contributor Paul Sheppard visited his grave on the day – here is Pul’s poignant post from his Facebook page:

Brian Jones 28th Feb, 1942-3rd July, 1969.
Given it’s the 50th Anniversary of his passing, given that he was born in Cheltenham and spent his younger years here and given that I live in Cheltenham, I thought it appropriate to visit his grave today and pay my respects. The graveside was packed with fans including one guy from Manchester and another from Cincinnati, both of whom had made special journeys to be there. Funnily enough the American from Cincinnati was also there with his daughter, who is an undertaker by profession. Kinda weird, that one! Anyway, they were good to chat to and to share memories alike. Brian Jones’ daughter was there today though I didn’t join the scramble for photographs. Also, both Donovan and Bill Wyman have stopped by this week too. My pic shows my favourite Rolling Stones book propped up to be part of the pic. I avoided selfies as I wanted the remembrance to be about Brian; a selfie would have been more about me, which I didn’t think was right.

Paul Sheppard

Many thanks to Paul for that report. The Brian Jones anniversary prompted me to reflect on my own experiences of that week in July of 50 years ago –  so in another in the series…

Dave Lewis – Celebrating 50 years of music passion 1969 – 2019: Post number 4:

The Rolling Stones and me and a week in July 50 years ago…

I can remember quite a lot about the days that led up to The Rolling Stones performing that famous free concert in Hyde Park all of 50 years ago on Saturday July 5.

On Tuesday, July 1 all our school converged on the main hall to watch the Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales in Caernarfon Castle in Wales. Later in the week on Friday July 4 I awoke to see the headlines in the newspapers that Brian Jones, the recently departed Rolling Stones founder member, had been found dead in somewhat mysterious circumstances in the swimming pool of Cotchford Farm home.

The Stones were due to play that massive concert just two days later. On that Friday afternoon of July 4, I walked from school into town – my destination was the WH Smith book shop in the High Street, then known as FR Hockliffe.

A quick aside – little did I know that afternoon in 1969 that in a mere five years, I would be working at this shop behind the record department counter commencing a 35 year career in music retail.

The reason for the visit was for me to select a book of my own choice as a school prize. I had done pretty well that first year in the Silver Jubilee secondary modern school and had been awarded the merit prize. I spent some time wading through the books settling on a Billy Bunter book by Frank Richards. I loved the Bunter books – whilst there I also bought a copy of Tom Brown’s Schooldays. Reading was already a big passion – my regular other choice reading was the New Musical Express – aka NME – the huge selling weekly music paper.

As mentioned in a previous post, back in the spring of 1969 aged 12, I had got right back into music after hearing The Beatles’ Get Back single.

I was now immersed in the world of pop and rock and I knew from reading the NME that The Rolling Stones Hyde Park free concert was going to be a very big deal.

After buying my books at FW Hockliffe I returned home to watch the TV coverage of the Wimbledon Ladies singles final. Our own Anne Jones making it are British triumph by beating Billie Jean King 3-6,6-3 6-2. This piece of sporting history was also enjoyed by The Beatles. The July 4 entry in Mark Lewisohn’s remarkable book The Beatles At Abbey Road reveals that on that same afternoon, The Beatles were at work in Abbey Road Studios recording Golden Slumbers/ Carry That Weight. The studio engineers has been listening to the live BBC Radio 2  coverage of the Anne Jones -Billie Jean King final and had relayed it to the three Beatles, Paul, George and Ringo through the mixing console.

Whilst in town earlier that afternoon had I ventured to the popular local record shop Carousel ( which I often did), I may well have seen copies of the new Rolling Stones single Honky Tonk Women on sale as it was released that same day. I may also have seen the new John Lennon/ Plastic Ono Band single Give Peace A Chance which also came out that day. At the time the eight shillings and sixpence asking price for a single was way out of my league. However in the coming weeks I would subsequently hear them both many times on the radio and on the local juke box at our local café.

On Saturday July 5, Radio One broadcast regular updates of the gathering crowds in Hyde Park to which I avidly listened to. Oh to be there but I was far too young. Seven years later I did make it to the free concert Queen gave in Hyde Park.

I read all about the Hyde park concert in the following weeks issue of  NME and gazed in wonder at all those amazing photos – Jagger looked incredible. In September, I watched the Granada TV documentary Stones In The Park when it was screened on ITV.

By then, I had deemed The Rolling Stones as my favourite group – just edging it over The Beatles. That would all change of course in a few months when I heard Whole Lotta Love by a group called Led Zeppelin.

I loved the Honky Tonk Women single – with its dramatic intro and bluesy chorus. I also loved the B side You Can’t Always Get What You Want. This was often played on the local café juke box. The B sides of popular singles would often get an airing on that juke box. Actually there was an exception to that. There wasn’t much call for the B side of Give Peace A Chance – Remember Love sung rather softly but not that sweetly by Yoko Ono.

Around 1973, I acquired an audience recording of the Stones Hyde Park show on a bootleg LP. Years later, when it received an official release on DVD I eagerly snapped it up. It’s a superb documentary and very much of its time and takes me right back all of 50 years to that memorable week in July when in much schoolboy wonderment, I soaked up all the remarkable events that were unfolding on the music scene.

Later in the month there would be more awe inspiring events to take in when Neil Armstrong made that first step on the Moon.

Ahead lay Woodstock and the Isle of Wight fFstivals, the release of Abbey Road and an album titled Led Zeppelin II

It was 50 years ago and my musical landscape was being broadened by the week…oh for a time machine to relive it all again…

Dave Lewis, July 7, 2019

August  5 2019

Led Zeppelin at Knebworth 40 Years Gone:

No Sleeping Bag Required…

40th Anniversary TBL Celebration Day Event:

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Atlas Pub

16 Seagrave Road, Fulham, London, SW6 1RX

From 12.00 Midday to 8.00PM

A Day of Led Zep Celebration – Guest Speaker Forums, Video Playbacks, Led Zep Knebworth Quiz, Led Zeppelin at Knebworth 1979 on film and more.

Full report:

Following on from last September’s hugely enjoyable Led Zeppelin 50th Anniversary ‘It’s Been a Long Time’ TBL gathering, we went back to the excellent Atlas pub in Fulham, London to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Led Zeppelin performing those two memorable shows at Knebworth – and 40 years to the day of the first date, and this time around there was no sleeping bag required….

To backtrack:

Early in the year Julian and I singled out the August 4 date to do something to celebrate the 40th anniversary. I did look into going back to the Lytton Arms pub near Knebworth where we held the 30th anniversary celebration back in August 2009. Logistically it was a bridge too far and we quickly aimed our sights back to the excellent Atlas pub and duly booked the date –Sunday August 4 2019.

Tickets went on sale in May and I began formulating the day’s line up. Julian has been understandably limited to the time he could apply to assisting the organizing as he is caring for his elderly mother who has not been well.

As I wrapped the rather epic TBL issue 45, I was fairly on top of it all though as there always are with organizing these events, there were twists and turns along the way.  As we completed TBL 45, Mick and I worked on the Knebworth Atlas event producing the PDF tickets and then the various promo items including the programme for the day and posters.

At fairly short notice I did decide to produce a souvenir T- shirt in a low quantity limited edition run.

Much of this activity occurred as I was in the midst of the distribution of TBL 45, a not inconsiderable task. Mick and I were also working on the repackage of the Then As It Was – Led Zeppelin at Knebworth 1979 book. I have to say in the weeks leading up to the event I was feeling well under pressure with anxiety and black dog issues clouding my mind. Thankfully I did manage to shake that off.

Ticket sales were slightly slow off the mark and it was evident holding it in August some people would be away on holiday. That was the case for Richard Grubb, Eddie Edwards,Ian Saikia, Simon Cadman and Cliff Hilliard who would normally have been in attendance.

As the weeks rolled on, ticket sales picked up and all was looking a lot brighter. Jose announced he would be coming in from Ecuador and Joseph Whiteside from Vancouver. Joseph said he would be more than willing to tell his Knebworth story – as did Mick Bulow and Pat Mount.

Phil Tattershall had been readying a Confessions of a Led Zeppelin taper at Knwbworth presentation and a solid line up for the day began to emerge.

Andy Adams and Gary Davies came up with a variety of questions for the quiz –and Gary as ever was the man when it came to the Knebworth footage we had to show. Gary Foy said he would be on hand to check people in at the door.

I knew we needed the balanced views of Luis Rey and though he was coming back from Mexico the day before the event, he said he would be there.

I had a meeting at the Atlas pub with Julian on Saturday July 20 and we mapped out a final plan.

It was also evident I would need help to get the TBL stock to The Atlas and Adam Tidd who lives nearby in Shortstown, was very kindly able to assist on that score by taking along the large box of t-shirts and mags. I had secured an amount of copies of the University Of Kent magazine with a very nice colour cover and the Zep feature about them appearing there in 1971. They went along to be given out free.

I had enlisted the always captivating Chris Charlesworth as a guest speaker but with a few days to go, Chris informed me he would not be able to make it due to travel issues.

This meant a quick revision of the day’s line up

On Saturday evening Adam Tidd and his lady Lydia came over to pick up the boxes we needed him to transport.

I was up at 5am on Sunday to do the final preparations and Bedford Earls Court/Knebworth vet Tom met me at Bedford station for the train journey down at 8am. We were at The Atlas venue by 10 –pausing for a pic outside the former Earls Court site where we had both witnessed Zep on May 24,1975.

Phil T and Julian and Gary Foy met us and we began sorting out the room and setting up.

There was one mini crisis when Adam Tidd rang me saying he was having trouble getting access to Earls Court and The Atlas location. This was due to a cycling event leading to many roads being closed. I had the usual DL crisis face on for a bit but luckily and heroically, Adam navigated a way through and he was with us with all the gear by midday

We were now well and truly on..and from then on, well what can I tell you…for the next nigh on ten hours it was pure Zep heaven.

We welcomed fans from the UK, Italy US, Canada and as previously mentioned, even as far away as Ecuador – namely Jose Manuel Parada who we last met at the 02 reunion show back in 2007. We had over 50 in – a really good crowd and we were now ready for the celebrations to begin.

I did a bit of a scene setting intro acknowledging how important seeing Led Zeppelin at Knebworth had been.

I quited a segment from one of the many ‘I Was There’ stories in the Knebworth book:

Of all the many words written by fans about their experiences the final thoughts of Peter Anderson from Stockport stand out ‘’The journey back was a nightmare’’ he writes, ‘’with our first real hangovers kicking in but it didn’t matter. We were kicked out of the car at 6am and crawled to bed thinking we had witnessed history.’’

‘’Thinking we had witnessed history’’. That line says it all.

That’s exactly how I, and thousands of others felt too.

Here’s some quotes from my intro on the day:

The memories of those golden August days of an English summer 40 years ago grow ever precious with each passing year.

Today here at the Atlas and all around the globe, thousands of other fans will no doubt be thinking back to that glorious day in the summer of 1979 when finally, after all the waiting, Led Zeppelin were back doing what they did best – performing live on stage.

With each passing year, the Zep Knebworth legacy grows that little bit more important as they really were some of the days of our lives.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Led Zeppelin are not the only best band of all time –as far as I’m concerned we they have the best fans…

And it’s fantastic to see many of those fans here today

One of the things that following this great band has done over the past 50 year is connect like minded people to share in this thing that so inspires us

When I first started the Tight But Loos magazine nigh on 40 years I called it a platform of communication

And that platform of communication is as strong as ever…as can see by the turn out here today

Track two side one of Led Zeppelin of course says it all

Friends….that’s what this Led Zeppelin thing has led us too –there are people in this room I have known for 40 years and more

Our live have entwined with our passion for this band and the music…

Amongst us we have shared our respective lives –the ups and downs of it all ,the health worries now we are somewhat older…but central to it all is the inspiration we share between us of this love of the music and all that it entails

I want to single out a few people who greatly influenced my passion over the years and still do ..and it’s great see them here today..

Gary Foy – a long time supporter of all things TBL.

Gary Davies –when it comes to the visual side of Zep – Gary’s knowledge and sources are second to none Gary has put together the footage we will be watching today –so big thanks to him.

In 1988 I thought I knew a bit about Led Zeppelin…then I met Andy Adams… his knowledge and passion is immense and it led us to creating the first UK Convention in 1992 – 26 years on from that our passion for all this shines ever brightly – if ever I was pitched against Andy in a Mastermind completion I would switch my specialist subject to Mumford and Sons as there would be no contest with him on Zep!

I’d also like to welcome Dave Linwood creator of the TBL website in 1995 which changed everything in terms of establishing that platform of communication online.        

As have Graeme Hutchinson, Ian Avey, Phil Tattershall, Trev Butcher, Melvyn Billingham, Mark Harrison, Luis Rey and Krys Jantzen, Dave Fox and many other long time TBL supporters.  I’dalso like to thank Eddie Edwards, Cliff Hilliard, Simon Cadman, Chris Maley Richard Grubb, Paul Sheppard Simon Pallett, Rudi O’Keefe and Steve Livesley for their support over the years  –they can’t be here today

And to the good lady Janet..who of course would love to be here but the prospect of old men talking a load of Led Zep bollocks did not quite have much appeal…

However she does support everything I do concerning this and let’s face it is a bit of a saint all round!

Thank you Janet .   

So here’s to Friends of Led Zeppelin

And while we on the subject of friends let us not forgot those who have left us…

So I want you all to give a round of applause in memory of two of our most much missed friends here in the UK …

Howard Mylett 1947 – 2011– he was there driving our passion before any of us

And Paul Kelvie – 1961 – 2006 the much missed drummer with Simply Led and a man whose presence brightened many a convention and fan gathering

So it’s 40 years on since those two dates out in that field near Stevenage. Today we have a variety of guests who have their own opinions, thoughts and memories which we feel will provide a great day of celebration

If you were there back then all of 40 years ago – get ready to relive the memories..if you weren’t don’t worry because over the next few hours we ..as the song goes will take you there..and this time there is no sleeping back required…

Finally thanks to the Atlas pub – thanks to Julian for co organising all this

Here’s to a great day.

 

So first up was the legendary Zep Author Luis Rey and equally legendary Zep chronicler Andy Adams . They offered their thoughts their thought on Led Zeppelin’s performances at Knebworth and the subsequent bootleg recordings. Luis as ever, offering an honest and perceptive view which sparked some healthy debate.

Joseph Whiteside came all the way from Vancouver, Canada. Joe’s friend Roger won two tickets to attend the August 4 Knebworth show via his local radio station CFOX-FM and took Joseph along. Joseph relayed the story of how their contact at Atlantic Records got a message through to Robert Plant to request they play Trampled Underfoot. This was because when they had seen them in Seattle in 1977 that number was not played. Incredibly that plea was duly acknowledged on stage by Robert Plant himself…

 

The always amiable Mick Bulow took to the interview sofa to relay his tales of acquiring his ‘ special’ ticket for Knebworth from a noted drummer in the two tone band The Specials at Coventry’s Virgin Records plus the strange case of a certain ‘Wally’ at Knebworth…

Pat Mount elaborated on his lengthy Knebworth recollections featured in the recently published TBL issue 45 – this proved to be a humorous and also moving appraisal of the events as seen when he was just 20 years old.

Phil Tattershall, the well known UK Zep collector/authority presented ‘Confessions of a Led Zeppelin Taper at Knebworth. His story of the trials and tribulations of trying to record Led Zep at Knebworth under the tallest flagpole in the arena. Phil even brought along the actual flag which depicted an Austin Champ car which Phil drove at the time. His presentation was the absolute highlight of the day told with wit and sparkle via a series of visual images. It was just sensational.

We then staged the Led Zeppelin Knebworth Quiz:

40 Zep brainteasing Led Zep Knebworth related questions –as compiled by Andy Adams and Gary Davies. As we were running a bit behind schedule, we did this in a shout out fashion – the likes of ian Avey, Lee Matthews, Dave Linwood, Dave Fox,Phil T. and Mark Harrison amongst others, were right on it with the answers.

We did show various Knebworth related Led Zeppelin footage from both the August 4 and 11 performances as compiled by Gary Davies.

The only downside of the whole day was that being light and sunny the screen was not that vivisble. Next time around we need to do it when it’s darker!

 

From around 5.30 it became an open forum and interaction between those assembled. I was able to catch up with many people as we recalled those golden days of 40 years ago and more. The vibe was utterly fantastic. here’s a pic with Beth Brenner, Andy Adams and Tony Gassett. As usual there was a lot of laughs in the room throughout the day  – it’s always good not to take it all too seriously – the whole spirt of the day was very heart-warming indeed.

 

We tied it all around 8pm and fond farwells with everyone were exchanged.

Tom, myself,Gary Davies and his wife Deb, Beth,  Graeme Hutchinson and his son carried on the banter and memories until around 10.30. By then we had truly put the world to right and I pulled out my party piece of naming what was number one on their respective birthdays. I did pretty well!

Then it was across London where Tom and I just got the 11.36 back to Bedford. I got in around 1am so I spent an hour catching up on the many messages and Facebook posts finally calling a day (and night!) at 2am.

I was somehow up at just after 6am to pick it all back up and relay the story to the good lady Janet. Unexpectedly, we also had a visit from our Sam which was a real bonus. Sam had been at the Wilderness Festival in Cornbury and had not been too well. So instead of going back to London she stopped off for some TLC –and ended up staying a couple of more days.

I eventually put a few pics up on Facebook and found that many other had too. The reaction was incredible – everyone had really enjoyed it and the two Facebook Live segments we did also went down very well.

I hope I haven’t missed anyone out and if I have my apologies but I want to thank the following for coming far and wide to make this TBL 40th anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth so amazing:

Here goes:

Matthew Bridger,

Ian Avey ,

Sue Wilson

Pat Mount

Ty Williamson

Richard Lee

David Linwood

Trevor Butcher

Lidia Rosolia

Paul Webber and his friend

Lee Matthews

Gary nd Josh Wade

Ian Dixon

Nick Smithers

Joseph Whiteside and his wife

Adam Tidd, Lydia and Crystal (who worked with Queen during their heyday)

Eric Wood-Thompson

Richard Tiley

Beth Brenner

Stephen Harrison and wife

Gary Clark

Graeme Hutchinson and his son

Steve Priest

Alastair Chorlton

Ian Coleman and his lady

Tony Gassett

Dave Fox

Brian Hardie and his friend

Mick Bulow

Phil Tattershall

Andy Adams

Luis Rey

Gary and Deb Davies

Gary Foy

Melvyn Billingham

Mark Harrison

Tom Locke

Phil Harris

Krys Jantzen

Guy D’angelo and his lady

Jose Manuel Parada

 

…and Julian Walker

As I say apologies if I missed you out – it’s fatigue!

Also to Horace Austin, Keith Creek and Pete Harris who could not make it along. Thanks also to James Cook at LZ News for promoting it all.

So 40 years on we recreated a little bit of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth magic -and it felt like something special.

Thanks to everyone at The Atlas pub who made us so welcome.

Will we do it again?

Julian and I have already talked about doing something at The Atlas again in maybe October or November 2020. Watch this space.

For now, we bask in the afterglow of achieving our objective – to share with like minded people the incredible passion we feel for this band – on the 40th anniversary of Led Zeppelin’s appearances at Knebworth..

Thanks for all your support that makes these TBL gatherings so worthwhile…it’s an absolute pleasure to stage them…

Dave Lewis, August 6,2019.     


Comments

The Word – Word In Your Ear Podcast with David Hepworth and Mark Ellen:

The Islington pub, Tuesday August 20,2019:

I’ve long admired David Hepworth and Mark Ellen as music journalists and broadcasters. I watched them during their Old Grey Whistle Test years and have avidly read their books and writings, notable in the much missed Word magazine.

When The Word magazine folded, the pair developed the Word In Your Ear podcast – this has proved to be a very popular forum for them to feature guest writers, performers etc. Given my long standing interest in their work it, was a big thrill to be invited to be a guest on the Word In Your Ear podcast.

This came about after I had interviewed David Hepworth for the recent TBL issue 45. He was very impressed with the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book written by Mike Tremaglio and I , and was keen to discuss this further.

So on Tuesday night I ventured to the excellent Islington pub in London for the recording of my guest spot.

First on was journalist Ian Penman talking about his new book It Gets Me Home, This Curving Track: Objects & Essays 2012-2018

Then was time for the TBL editor. The presentation took the format of Mark and David asking me various questions about my enduring fascination with all things Led Zep. The conversation was built around a series of images on the backdrop screen. Commencing with the 1971 Electric Magic show,moving through the early history of the TBL mag and 45 minutes later, coming full circle to discuss the 02 reunion and the likelihood or otherwise, of such an event happening again.

The packed sold out audience lapped it all up and it all went down very well. This Word In Your Ear podcast is available on the link below.

Many thanks to David and Mark for being such great hosts for what was as a very special night for me. I was more than humbled to receive an email from Mark Ellen this morning that read as follows:

”Thanks for being a wonderful guest, Dave, and what a fascinating relationship you’ve had with the band and their music. Unique and extraordinary stories told with such wit, boundless energy and enthusiasm!”

What a fantastic accolade that is from a man I’ve admired for many years…

So like I said, it was some night – many thanks to Krys Jantzen for his support and pics.

…………………………

Here’s the Word In Your Ear podcast:

When Dave Lewis first went to see Led Zeppelin at the Empire Pool, Wembley in 1971 it cost him 75p. When they played their final show at the O2 in 2007 he was on Robert Plant’s guest list. From the germ of his teenage scrapbook he built a small empire, based on his fanzine “Tight But Loose”, which has produced a staggering range of titles dedicated to every aspect of Led Zeppelin’s career. His book “Evenings With Led Zeppelin” has the distinction of being literally the heaviest book ever to feature on “Word In Your Ear”. Dave came in to the Islington to talk about what got him excited in 1971 and, as you’ll hear, still excites him today…

Word podcast 305 – Dave Lewis on 40 years in the service of Led Zeppelin

………………………………………

At the Word In Your Ear podcast recording last night at the Islington pub, it was great to see long time TBL supporter Pat Crowther – Pat was over from Italy where he now lives – it was great to look back on the Zep Conventions of 1992 and 1994 Pat attended and much more…

Dave Lewis, August 21,2019


Redditch Rocked – September 21,2019:

I had a great time in Redditch last Saturday.

In the afternoon  I caught the Palace Drum Clinic competition

It was great to meet up with the John Bonham memorial crew including Rios Sidaway and Gemma

Ros informed me plans are underway to stage the John Bonham Celebration II event next September over the weekend of September 25/6. There are some exciting plans developing for this – more news will follow.

In the  evening I attended the superb Coda performance at the Queens Head pub. Coda never fail to hit the mark and their brand of class musicianship coupled with singer Pete’s wry between song observations made for a fantastic night with the crowd well engaged throughout. The highlight of the night for me was a a tremendous Song Remains The Same/Rain Song

As ever it, was great to meet up with so many like minded people, many I’ve known for years – Ian Avey, Chis Maley, his son John (Chris’s tales of collecting Robert Plant/Zep memorabilia were compelling!),  the legend that is Andy Adams and the man who made it all possible for me Mr Gary Davies – a cream of Zep knowledge there I’d say. As ever track, two side one of Led Zep III got it absolutely right. Friends – I’m blessed with many and seeing these guys yesterday and many others, was life quite affirming… Redditch rocked…here’s to next year and like i said more on that to follow soon.

Dave Lewis, September 2019


This is Abbey Road – and the songs we’ve known for all these years but not necessarily in the right order and all the better for it…

My thoughts on The Abbey Road Sessions from the new 50th anniversary vinyl three LP box set (also on the three CD set).

Perhaps fittingly on what is John Lennon’s 79th birthday today, I finally made time for a through listen to the session outtakes on the new Abbey Road vinyl box set ( the sound throughout is crisp and well separated) and what an array of delights.

Demos, instrumental versions, take breakdowns , no moog synthesiser, no orchestral overdubs, revealing off mic chat – this really is The Beatles as nature intended.

Far from the doom laded mood that was said to prevail at the time, there is so much joy in their performances. This is (for one last time) The Beatles loving being The Beatles again and it’s just fantastic to be able to eavesdrop on the creative process that made these 1969 recordings so special.

And what a creative process it was and is:

Sessions Record 1:
I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Trident Recording Session & Reduction Mix): This hints at Lennon’s increasingly loud and menacing approach to recording (previous reference points here: Yer Blues and Revolution)that would lead to the creation of the Plastic Ono band – and Billy Preston’s swirling organ embellishments dominate throughout. This track more than any other has grown in stature with this 50th anniversary release.

Goodbye (Home Demo): Quaint and sweet Macca as ace tunesmith and one that got given away to Mary Hopkin. Mark Lewishon’s Beatles meeting tape reveals that John was pushing for the more McCartney commercial songs to be given to others artists.

3. Something (Studio Demo): Marvel here at the fragility of George’s vocal -quite breathtaking and dig those vocal adlibs ‘’Oh I love that woman, I need her all the time’’

4. The Ballad Of John And Yoko (Take 7): John and Paul acoustic guitar and drums with no overdubs. Thrilling to hear the two of them ‘riding nowhere on their way home ‘– in total harmony like the day they met at that church fete in 1957. The single that preceded the album in May 1969.

5. Old Brown Shoe (Take 2): Wonderfully complex George song with Paul on drums again and John adding a rollicking piano solo. A classic Beatles B side.

6. Oh! Darling (Take 4): Utterly magnificent – Paul in his best Little Richard I’m Down voice – possibly even more impressive than the finished released version.

7. Octopus’s Garden (Take 9): There’s smiles all round when the take breaks down – Ringo being Ringo as only he could.

8. You Never Give Me Your Money (Take 36): Wonderful early version taped at Olympic Studios May 6 ,1969. The lyrical theme may have hinted at their business troubles but once again they sound united as a band.

9. Her Majesty (Takes 1-3): Closely miked, Paul does his simple short royal thing – in three takes for good measure.

10. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Takes 1-3 / Medley). Love Paul’s teasing ‘’Day after day’’line from The Fool On The Hill before this early attempt at the merging of these two songs.

11. Here Comes The Sun (Take 9): Moog-less, and orchestral less, the sheer beauty of the song shines through…

12. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Take 12): I may be in minority but I’ve always loved the lyrical theme of the much maligned Maxwell. Minus the anvil and moog here – simple but effective.

Sessions Record 2:

1. Come Together (Take 5): What a vocal performance…and only a guide one too but Lennon gives it his all ‘’I’m losing my cool’’ he blurts out at the end.

2. The End (Take 3): Great to hear Ringo’s drum solo in such clarity – not the best drummer in the Beatles? Think again – simply one of the best drummers of all time in my view.

3. Come And Get It (Studio Demo): Another one they gave away – superbly constructed in this demo version – Badfinger did not have much to add when they recorded their hit version of a song used on the Magic Christian film Ringo starred in with Peter Sellers.

4. Sun King (Take 20)into 5. Mean Mr Mustard (Take 20): Work in progress version of the Fleetwood Mac Albatross like Sun King and Mean Mister Mustard.

6. Polythene Pam (Take 27) into 7. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (Take 27). More medley moments in progress –love Lennon’s references to The Dave Clark Five and The who’s Tommy.

8. Because (Take 1 – Instrumental): breathtakingly beautiful in this instrumental version featuring George Martin on electric harpsichord.

9. The Long One (Trial Edit & Mix – 30 July 1969) (Medley: You Never Give Me Your Money, Sun King, Mean Mr Mustard, Her Majesty, Polythene Pam, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, The End): The experimental mix with her Majesty included. They made the right decision to strip it out. The mix itself is quite enlightening minus the finished overdubs.

11. Something (Take 39 – Instrumental – Strings Only)
12. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Take 17 – Instrumental – Strings & Brass Only)
Finally…the genius of George Martin laid bare…a moving testament to the importance he played in the sheer majesty of this album.

Summary: This double album of Abbey Road Sessions include some of the best Beatles outtakes yet to surface.

So this is Abbey Road – and the songs we’ve known for all these years but… (with a nod to Eric Morecambe) not necessarily in the right order.

Hearing them this way I feel all the better for it …and closer to The Beatles musical state of mind in 1969 than I ever have been these past 50 years…

Thank you Giles Martin, thank you Apple Records , thank you John, Paul, George and Ringo.

The Beatles – the act we’ve known for all these years, and through this incredible Abbey Road outpouring ,we now we know and understand them a whole lot more.. .

Dave Lewis, October 9, 2019


Led Zeppelin CAT Club 50th anniversary Led Zeppelin II event at the Tap & Barrel Pontefract:

Last Tuesday I travelled up to Ponterfract to present the Led Zeppelin II 50th anniversary celebration at the CAT Club at the excellent Tap & Barrel pub.

On the night it was a great turn out and what I can say – listening to Led Zeppelin II on record uninterrupted in like-minded company was like hearing it for the first time all over again. Side One – from the cough and riff entry of Whole Lotta Love through to the final organ refrain of Thank You –and then Side Two and the entry of that angular Heartbreaker riff through to the last harmonica gasp of Bring It On Home – 42 minutes of aural excellence.

We sat in stunned silence marvelling at the energy, the invention, the startling musicianship. As I sat listening intensely it prompted an endless stream of memories these songs have inspired over the past 50 years. Hearing it afresh in this way, well my appreciation of this album has increased manifold – it really is right up there with their finest recorded statements.

Many thanks to everyone who made me feel so welcome – to Chris Madden for conducting the Q and A and the irrepressible Kevin ‘Rev’ Reynolds and Dean for staging it all.

As the late great Ahmet Ertegun put it ‘’It’s a great life – this life of music’’. Last Tuesday night’s Led Zeppelin II experience at the CAT Club was a testament to that statement – and then some….
Dave Lewis – October 23, 2019

Pics here by Tony Walsh with Rev and Chris

………………..

At the Led Zep II CAT club event at the Tap & Barrel last week, It was great to catch up with long time TBL supporter Gary Holroyd for the first time in many years -photo here by Tony Walsh. We fondly remembered the TBL pub meet before the amazing Page & Plant Sheffield gig in 1995. The CAT Club (Classic Album Thursdays) hold regular album playback events – they are well recommended –it’s a great venue – more details here: https://www.tappontefract.uk/the-cat-club/

Led Zeppelin II Survey:

While at the CAT Club event I conducted a survey amongst those in attendance to determine their favourite Led Zeppelin II track.

The top three lined up as follows:

1: Ramble On

2: Whole Lotta Love

3: Bring it On Home

All in all, it was a fantastic night and a fitting testament to the lasting affection fans have for the second Led Zeppelin album on its 50th anniversary.

Dave Lewis, October 24,2019


David ”Front Row Dave” Beesmer RIP:

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

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

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

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

Dave Lewis, November 4 ,2019


My thoughts on…

LED ZEPPELIN “THE NIGHT STALKER” ( 2LP Casino Records)

Recorded Live At The Forum, Inglewood, Los Angeles, California, United States, March 24,25,27. 1975.

So here’s the latest vinyl release via the Casino label. This follows their excellent Berkeley Days Second Night package in alimited run of 400 and I Told You Baby Long Time Ago – Scandinavia March 1969 limited edition of 450 on clear splatter vinyl)

This latest comes in a run of 400 -1 to 200 on gold vinyl – 201 to 00 on clear vinyl.

The lowlights : Compared to the above pair, both of which had relevant photos and detailed sleeve info, The Night Stalker lacks any sleeve note and features a lacklustre series of photos on the gatefold sleeve – none of which are from the LA Forum 1975 gigs and that said, it doesn’t match the packaging standard of those previous Casino releases.

As for the music presented via a clearly mixed soundboard tape: D disappointingly, there’s a complete lack of Robert Plant onstage spiel, l not even a ‘’Good Evening’ or ‘’Goodnight’’. It’s all been edited out and that makes for a something of a flat atmosphere overall. Content wise, It opens with a delivery Rock And Roll that is marred by some poor Robert Plant vocals – it strikes me this may even be from earlier on the tour. Elsewhere, the performance of The Rain Song has a decidedly out of tune mellotron.

The highlights: A thunderous In My Time Of Dying with Robert on peak form. An absolute cooking Trampled Underfoot with a suitably right out there it- must- be- 1975 Jimmy Page solo. A gloriously regal Stairway To Heaven with all the ’75 era ad-libs intact (‘’That’s all we got’’) with Page applying all the wondrous twists and turns in the solo that would light up the Earls Court Arena in a couple of months time. Whole Lotta Love has a virtually complete rare vocal delivery of The Crunge and moves into James Brown’s Licking Stick-Licking Stick –Jonesy and John Bonham are magnificent on this..

Given the double album format The Night Stalker can only offer a snapshot of some monumental Los Angeles performances during that week of March 1975. Nit-picking aside, vinyl Led Zep record collectors will find much to enjoy on a limited edition that is sure to sell out very quickly – and when it’s gone it’s gone…

Dave Lewis, November 4, 2019.


Terry O’Neill…1938 – 2019…

Like countless others across the globe, I was very sad to hear the passing of Terry O’ Neill aged 81 – a truly  iconic photographer..
I was lucky enough to have access to his amazing Led Zeppelin photos taken in 1975 and 1977 when I edited the Led Zeppelin Live 1975 –1977 book for Iconic Images…including this brilliant Jimmy Page cover shot from the Led Zeppelin Earls Court performance on May 23 1975.

After I had completed editing the Led Zeppelin Live 1975 -1977 book for Iconic Images last year (which included Terry’s brilliant Led Zeppelin photos),I was surprised and thrilled when I received a finished copy of the book personally signed to me by Terry O’ Neill himself…

It’s inscribed ‘’ To Dave – thanks for doing such a great job!’

What a lovely gesture that was and I will treasure it even more after the very sad news today of his passing…RIP…

I have a handful of copies remaining of the Led Zeppelin Live 1975 -1977 book for sale – now at a bargain price – order at this link:.

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/led-zeppelin-live-1975-1977-the-photographs-of-terry-oneill-michael-brennan-and-baron-wolman-edited-by-dave-lewis-special-tbl-limited-edtion-in-a-run-of-just-150-signed-by-the-editor-plus/


Michael Putland 1947 – 2019:

I was very sad to hear the passing of another iconic rock photographer Michael Putland aged 72. During the 1970s, his work was a staple feature in the UK music press. When I was editing the Five Glorious Nights Led Zeppelin at Earls Court 1975 book for Rufus Stone I had access to his amazing Led Zep Earls Court photos many of which were featured in the book – including the cover shot .

I was lucky enough to meet him at the Led Zeppelin From The Beginning 1963 – 1975 – Photo Exhibition at Proud Chelsea Gallery in August 20, 2015: The group image that appears on the cover of the book was one of the framed prints on show –as can be seen in the pic of myself with Michael. His work will live on in countless iconic images of a golden age…RIP

November 26 2019


My thoughts on…

Gene Clark – No Other (4AD Records):

Great American Music …lost and found…and found again…

I first read about Gene Clark’s 1974 album No Other on a train travelling from Milton Keynes to Watford. It was early February 2002 and I was bound for the Watford Town Hall to see a performance by The Who – a warm up for their Teenage charity show at the Royal Albert Hall. I would be at the esteemed venue for what was rather bizzare night on the evening of February 9. This was the occasion Robert Plant and his band Strange Sensation played a support slot to headliner Paul Weller Weller’s set included a cameo appearance by Jimmy Page who performed an instrumental version of Dazed And Confused. A beguiling evening.

Back to the story. So there I was on the train reading a book titled Unknown Pleasures- Great Lost Albums Rediscovered. Albums came under the spotlight by Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, ABC, The Specials and Led Zeppelin (Presence) and a fair few others. One that caught my eye was No Other by Gene Clark. The review by one David Bennun was itself told from the angle of a train ride. David’s experience of discovering this album on a cassette he had playing on his Sony Walkman on a slow early morning train trek to Brighton.

David Bennun’s unabashed enthusiasm for this record made me search it on my return from The Who gig (a splendid night I might add).

You can read that review at this link:

https://thequietus.com/articles/27354-gene-clark-the-byrds-no-other-review-reissue

The original album on Asylum was long deleted. I eventually obtained a copy on CD – a remastered version with bonus tracks.

I was aware of Gene Clark’s role in The Byrds but not his solo output. I was more than impressed. His solo credentials included having two compositions on the phenomenally successful Robert Plant & Alison Kraus Raising Sand album. They mined Gene’s Dillard & Clark collaboration Through the Morning, Through the Night to cover the title track and Polly Come Home.

No Other has gone on to become a lost classic. One of those albums that has seeped through on the reputation of reviews such as the above. It’s now about to much deserved wider acclaim.

To celebrate what would have been his 75th birthday and the 45th anniversary of it’s original release, No Other has recently been reissued in a multitude of formats via 4AD the re-mastered album on CD and LP, and also in a lavish box-set containing a myriad of alternate mixes and bonus tracks, a documentary film and extensive liner notes and essays.

My attraction is the LP vinyl album newly remastered at Abbey Road Studios as I have never sourced the original. It’s a brand new 180 gm LP pressing full of warmth and resonance.

Recorded at the Village Recorder in West Hollywood and produced by Thomas Jefferson Kaye, No Other was originally released in 1974 on Asylum Records, just a year after The Byrds short-lived reunion. Given little promotion at the time (Label boss David Geffen hated it as there were no potential hits to be found), No Other was a commercial failure and was subsequently deleted shortly after. Lost classic status ensured…

It opens with the fabulous Life’s Greatest Fool – a searing onslaught of country soul dominated by some uplifting slide guitar. Backing vocalists with the calibre of Clydie King, Ventta Fields and Claudia Lennear provide a glorious gospel like vocal support.

Silver Raven benefits from the contribution of then well in demand session guitarist Jesse Ed Davis. Instrumentally, the title track emerges as a lost Isaac Hayes film soundtrack with it’s upfront percussion, Fender Rhodes keyboards and funk wah wah.  Strength Of Strings with it’s multi voiced harmonies and scat singing recalls the mysterious beauty of David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name album.

Over on Side Two, From A Silver Phial  is a lilting piano led affair with pleasing wah wah and Al Kooper like organ.

Some Misunderstanding carries a similar reflective on the road stance to that of  The Rolling Stones Memory Motel off the Black And Blue album.  Equally epic and eight minutes in length with soaring slide guitar and Hammond organ. The True One is a more simple country lament that reminded me of the Only Sound That Matters from the Band Of Joy album.  Lady Of The North is a plaintive tale with violin accompaniment and is a suitably wistful ending to proceedings.

Listening to No Other afresh on LP record these past few days has perfectly captured the melancholic mood that has hung around these parts these past few weeks. On Life’s Greatest Fool, when Gene Clark sings the  line ”Do you believe deep in your soul that too much loneliness makes you grow old” I completely get that. Let me add that I won’t be the only one aware that a sense of loneliness can creep up on you even when you are in a crowd.

I also completely get exactly what Robert Plant was aiming for on the Raising Sand album with Alison Krauss and The Band Of Joy album with Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin and co. He wanted to make great American music in the grand tradition of No Other.

Making great American music was something that Gene Clark did with utter conviction. I am very glad I re- connected with this lost classic again and it will be a repeated warm pleasure in the winter months ahead.

Dave Lewis, November 26,2019.   


Led Zeppelin Rock Icons by Hugh Fielder – Foreword by Dave Lewis:

Just out via Flame Tree Publications I contributed the Foreword for this book – it’s written by veteran rock journalist Hugh Fielder. It’s an attractive hardback format with plenty of illustrations – priced £9.99.

Here’s the info:

Led Zeppelin’s blend of rock and other genres of music such as blues, soul, folk, pop, Indian and Celtic ranks them as one of the all-time greatest bands whose influence is still felt today. Taking a chronological look at their career, this book takes the reader from the heady days in 1968 when they first brought their unique sound to a worldwide audience, through the early 1970s when they were billed as the ‘biggest band in the world’ and to 1980s when they became household names on both sides of the Atlantic.

Led Zeppelin is part of Flame Tree’s successful ongoing series, Rock Icons. Other titles in the series include David Bowie, Queen, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and Elvis.

Product details
Author Hugh Fielder
Foreword by Dave Lewis
Hardback: 10,000 words, 128 pages, 60 illustrations
ISBN: 9781787557352
Series: Pop, Rock & Entertainment
Dimensions: 231 x 203 x 16 mm

https://www.flametreepublishing.com/Led-Zeppelin-ISBN-9781787557352.html


My thoughts on…

Vinyl Countdown – Graham Sharpe (Oldcastle Books)

I came upon this book by chance when I saw Graham at the recent Music Mania Fair where he had a stall selling his book. I subsequently made contact with Graham and met and interviewed him in London about Vinyl Countdown. Unsurprisingly; the subject matter is right up my street

Graham, a high-profile veteran of the betting industry, is also a vinyl record veteran with well over 50 years service as a serious 45 and 33rpm collector. His previous books include a biography of Screaming Lord Sutch and many titles on the subject of horse racing. He was instrumental in creating the novelty betting on the Christmas number one single when he was the PR guru at William Hill bookmakers

Vinyl Countdown chronicles Graham’s quest to visit as many record shops as he can find and the record collecting adventures such a task involves. His record shop obsession takes him to all parts of the UK, Jersey,  Guernsey, Oslo, San Francisco, New Zealand and Australia. Along the way, there are many anecdotes relating to the range of stock or otherwise within the shops and of course the behaviour of shop owners and their customers. One customer comment Graham overhears on his travels that stands out: ‘’I think all record collectors might be slightly autistic’’

I know where he is coming from with that quote  but that may be a little bit harsh -perhaps eccentric may be a fairer assumption. Graham combines these record shop fables with his own autobiographical life experiences. How he first got the record collecting bug and his early role as a fresh out of school journalist on the local newspaper. This involved filing a weekly music column around 1969/1970 which is a period of incredible musical discovery for the author. Not that things always went smoothly here – as the young Sharpe turns down a phone interview with a fledgling Elton John and falls out with the paper over a free review copy of an Elvis album. Outside of music there are illuminating stories of his horse racing passion and love of Luton Town FC.

His own eclectic tastes that take in reggae and soul and his deep love of UK and UK psych rock, are dutifully explained. Graham’s affinity with his own favourite record shop Second Scene in Bushey near Watford is a heart warming constant as throughout the book he frequently chronicles his visits to hear the latest news and record collecting views of owners Julian and Helen Smith.

‘’My aim is to own every piece of music I know I like’’ states Graham in the book ‘’and every piece of music I don’t yet know I like, but feel I might do’’

Now that’s a mission statement I can wholly relate too – as will all readers of this hugely enjoyable romp through the backwaters of record racks across the land.

More details about the book’s availability here:

http://oldcastlebooks.co.uk/index1.php?imprint=5&isbn=9780857303141

Dave Lewis.   


My thoughts on…

Led Zeppelin Radio Broadcast Vol 1 (Radio Broadcast Records RB05)

I had seen this listed on a couple of sites and was well pleased to find a copy recently in the excellent Sister Ray record shop in London’s Berwick Street.

What we have here is some sort of semi bootleg release via the label. The mysterious Radio Broadcasts Records label also have titles in this series featuring Black Sabbath, Bruce Springsteen and Soundgarden. Quite what legal loophole these releases have slipped though I know not. The fact that is is listed as being in a run of only 300 prompted me to snap this up at a very reasonable £16.99. It mayt not be around that long

Given it’s presumed unofficial status there is not much detail in the package or authenticity to the track listing on the label. A simple 12 inch single type cover with a headphones image –no source details or explanatory sleeve note (I’d have written one for a free copy fellas!) and inaccurate info on the labels as follows:

Side One lists Communication Breakdown and I Can’t Quite You Baby as being ‘London Paris Theatre 1969’. It’s actually from the Playhouse Theatre live BBC concert on June 27 1969. It then lists the next two tracks Immigrant Song and Heartbreaker as being ‘USA 1971’. In actual fact, they were recorded at the Paris Theatre for the live BBC concert on April 1, 1971. Confused? You could be because they don’t make it easy…

Performance wise here , there’s nothing to not like. The opening salvo from the June 27 1969 date are full of the almost effortless swagger they demonstrated at the time. Communication Breakdown includes the ‘It’s your thing do what you gotta do’’ line from The Isley Brothers hit of the time and the interplay between John Bonham’s bass drum triplets and Page’s wah wah guitar are just awe inspiring. This  take also captures the increasing confidence of the young R. Plant as he moans and groans through the bluesy Willie Dixon lament.

Fast forward to April 1971 and their final BBC performance. Immigrant Song and Heartbreaker both hurl along at a frantic pace – the latter easing up slightly for page’s virtuoso run – note this edits out the few lines of the Bourree section.

Over on Side Two they do get the track listing correct as’ Zurich Switzerland 1980.’ For this is the June 29 1980 performance at the Hallenstadion in Zurich – in soundboard quality. This was the source of one of the first ever CD bootlegs which came out around 1988 at Tour Over Europe on the Twin Eagle label. I cannot recall it being a so called ‘radio broadcast’

Of course, many things had happened in the intervening years Zep timeline and we know that the Over Europe tour was a a valiant attempt to rejuvenate themselves. The 14 dates that comprised the Over Europe tour were often erratic performances but on this particular stage of the tour they were on the up – particularly Jimmy who was right on it. I was lucky enough to see the following night’s show in Frankfurt and he and the whole band were similarly impressive.

Trampled Underfoot is a speedy and spirted run through – it may lack the thrilling improvisation of the Earls Court ’75 performances but instrumentally, there’s much to admire. I do take umbridge with that confounded vocal harmoniser effect Robert employed with Zep from 1977 onwards. For me it diluted the purity of his vocals.

Thankfully it’s not in evidence on the next track Since I’ve Been Loving You. A curt ‘’Thank You’’ from Plant in Italian and German leads into the familiar dramatic intro (this is sequenced as it occurred in the set list). Jonesy’s electric piano is well to the fore and John Bonham is rock steady throughout. Plant kicks in with those  ‘’Baby, baby, baby’’ vocal mannerisms though with nothing like the conviction of the early 70s deliveries. Jimmy’s solo is fairly fluid but overall, this take on the Led Zep II classic all sounds slightly laboured. There were better performances on that night in Zurich not least a rather stunning Heartbreaker.

There’s no room here for anything else and that’s where we leave them.

Radio Broadcast Vol I offers contrasting sides of Led Zeppelin. The first on Side One when it all seemed so effortless – the other over on Side Two when it was much more hard work.

I thoroughly enjoyed this look through the portal of Zep live in 1969 and 1980. I had not played anything from these particular eras for a while. It’s also good to have a couple of 1980 performances on vinyl. Radio Broadcast Vol 1 may not quite deliver what it says on the cover with too much accuracy but ardent vinyl record collectors of Zep will want to soak this up before the 300 copies sell out – and at under £20 it’s a very reasonable price. As for a Volume two…some highlights from Earls Court May 25 soundboard would be on my wish list…

Led Zeppelin Radio Broadcast Volume 1 is available on a variety of sites including this one:

https://www.juno.co.uk/products/led-zeppelin-radio-broadcast-vol-1/748269-01/

Dave Lewis – November 28,2019.


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

Until 2020 – have a great new year…

May I wish you all a hopeful, peaceful and Merry Christmas.

Dave Lewis  – December  31 2019

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy, Mike Tremaglio and James Cook

Follow TBL/DL on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/tightbutloose.loose

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

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

10 Comments »

  • Ian in NZ said:

    Happy New Year Dave – you touch the lives of so many. This is an amazing thing.

  • IanD said:

    Dave

    It has indeed been quite the year and I am proud to have shared some of those highlights with you, not to forget the odd record fair.

    May I be so bold as to complete the Fab Four quotes with a Ringo-ism John pinched – “It’s been a hard day’s night” and from the quiet one “All Things Must Pass?” Shout out too to the late, great Neil Innes as Rutle Ron Nasty – “Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Love is the meaning of life Life is the meaning of love.”

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Louis thank you so much

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Ralph thank you so much

  • Ralph Hunt Sidway said:

    What a phenomenal post for the New Year… really one for the ages, Dave! A real gift, and all the more for being so personal. Best wishes, love and good health to you and Janet in 2020 and beyond…

  • Louis said:

    Happy New Year to you Dave! Thank you for everything you do to keep the Led Zep community worldwide updated and together, your love of all that is good about music shines through. A lot of the recent challenges you’ve bravely described resonate with me and I’d just like to offer the thought that, to quote In the Light, you are never alone. Reaching out in the way that you have shows a true strength of character and I find your honesty and openness inspiring. Wishing you all a wonderful 2020, please do continue the work you do – it is appreciated.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    thanks Rick!

  • Rick Willis said:

    God bless Dave. The very best to you and Janet for the coming year.

    I can’t wait for the next thrilling instalment of TBL when you feel up to the work. We all appreciate the great work that goes into the magazine and the effort is fully enjoyed by all.

    Take good care and look after that lovely lady wife.

    Cheers

    Rick

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Many Thanks Jez…

  • Jez Firth said:

    A stunning piece of journalism. Many thanks for all you do. Much love to you all, keep fighting.

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.