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18 June 2013 8,838 views 7 Comments

hm 6

Two years ago on June 19th 2011, Howard Mylett, the legendary Led Zeppelin collector and original author sadly passed way.

I would therefore like to take the opportunity to pay tribute to Howard by reproducing his ”I was There” contribution to the Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind -Over Europe 1980 book

When I think of Howard, I think of that wry wit, his incredible enthusiasm for collecting all things Zep, and above all, his generosity in sharing that passion and those packages postmarked Brighton that so fuelled my own enthused for our shared love of this band, some 40 years ago.

For it was back in 1973 when I first began corresponding with Howard  after seeing a ‘’Zep Photos wanted/for sale’’ ad in the NME.  My collection of photos and cuttings improved manifold thanks to Howard’s generosity. For a mere few pence he would send me batches of cuttings. I can still recall the thrill of seeing a package postmarked from Brighton landing on my doormat. I knew it would bring forth more unseen Zep images and foreign and overseas cuttings from the likes of the US Circus and Creem magazines and French magazines such as Rock And Folk. Howard also had unimpeachable Japanese contacts and it was through him that I first obtained the series of rare Japanese photo books.

Howard’s enthusiasm was infectious. He was a massive influence on my desire to put words into print about Led Zeppelin.

Since his passing, it has become even more evident how important Howard’s pioneering work was to me as a young impressionable fan.

There were several moments during last year’s 68 days of Celebration Day mania, when I so wished Howard was still around to share it all…he would have loved all that..

He will always be a much missed part of the Zep fan fraternity.. but never forgotten and there will be countless fans across the world today thinking of him on the second anniversary of his passing…

Here are Howard’s words on the his experiences of seeing Led Zeppelin on stage in 1980…

I was there in Brussels and Zurich…

Howard Mylett, Brighton, UK.

I decided to go see the band on the Over Europe 1980 tour because the previous occasion I had tried to do that ended in disaster.  In early 1975 I had planned to see the warm up show they were performing in Rotterdam.  Unfortunately, when I got there my wallet was stolen and I had to come back having not seen the gig.    So, I decided if they played in Europe again I would do everything I could to get there.  The Brussels gig seemed the easiest to get to and we flew over.  I also attended the Zurich gig – I had an old school friend who lived in Berne. So, my wife Anita and I stayed there for two days.

The thing I remember about the performances most is the whole speeded up nature of the set and their playing.  The atmosphere at the shows was really good.  For me, the highlight of the shows was the opening track, Train Kept A Rollin’.  I felt that was their best set opener since Immigrant Song – it was so powerful.

The last time I had seen them at Knebworth was not that great for me personally.  It was such a massive show and I had a really poor view.  The friend I was with taped it and all we could hear when we played it back back was the crushing of beer cans and people shouting ‘Sit down!’ – all the usual jeers of a festival crowd.   I think that’s another reason I wanted to make the effort to go to Europe, as the view and seating were going to be so much better than at a big open air show.

I felt the whole band on those shows were so full of life and for me there seemed to be a whole resurgence of energy, especially the urgency and speed of the show.  It seemed to me they had experienced a recharge of the batteries.

I was totally shocked when John Bonham died a few months later.  I actually did think they may have continued – someone like Carmine Appice as a replacement did have some credence but as time went by all these other drummers names were being mentioned, such as Aynsley Dunbar.  It became a non starter.  I did sob my heart out when I realised it was at an end, as I had devoted eleven years of my life to the band – Led Zeppelin provided the soundtrack to my life.

Earls Court were the best shows, as far as seeing them at their peak goes, but looking back, there was a real spark about watching them in Europe in 1980.  I felt they could have gone on to America and even greater success.  The power was still evident in everything they did.

Howard Mylett  – renowned authority and collector of Led Zeppelin photography. He published the first ever book on the band titled Led Zeppelin (Panther books) in 1976. His other books on Led Zeppelin include Jimmy Page – Tangents Within A Framework (Omnibus Press),Led Zeppelin In The Light Proteus/Savoy)) and Led Zeppelin On Tour (Mitchell Beazley)


hm 2

Above -Howard wth his wife Anita in Brussels for the Led Zeppelin performance on June 20th 1980.


We can shed tears that Howard has gone – or we can smile because he has lived… You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left…

hm 7

Dave Lewis

June 18th, 2013

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  • Rajinder Jutlla said:

    I also remember the post landing on the door mat and running down to collect the brown parcels and then opening them in the comfort of my bedroom. Cuttings from US and French magazines were swiftly added to my growing Led Zeppelin scrap books. Howard once sent me the Japanese edition of his book autographed on the inside, it had the most amazing colour pictures inside.

  • jim farmer said:

    Yes howard was a great guy and he had an incredible sarcastic sense of humour.I spent an evening with him and anita in 1983 and had a great time.Yes, his book was the first and i remember devouring it as i couldnt believe there was actually a book out there on the band.Regards to anita

  • Graeme said:

    Fine words about a fine man. I think a lot of people, myself included, gabbed Howard’s book when it came first out to find out more about the majestic and mysterious Led Zeppelin. Since then a whole industry has emerged around the history and mystery of the band. Howard was the pioneer and should be celebrated and remembered for his significant contribution. Dave, thanks for keeping us memory going. He was a top bloke as are you 🙂

  • Mark Harrison said:

    He did me the honour of quoting me in the reprint of his book re-printed after Bonzo had passed away. As you say Dave he will never be forgotten and always will be identified with the band.

  • Mark Harrison said:

    Howard Mylett was the first. That can never be taken away from him. These days there are a plethora of books on Zeppelin encompassing every aspect of them. When I was exploring the local major dealer back in the late seventies, there were NO Zeppelin books until my eyes were caught by Howard’s first small paperback. I was so taken aback I did a double take but bought it immediately such as the drought of books was back then. It literally was the ONLY book on the band available. Howard achieved the feat of being the original author. Over the next few years I got to know him well with frequent trips to Brighton. He often spoke of his love for the band and the music. Something which I could identify with then and still do now. I echo all of your words Dave

  • John said:

    Nice words Dave. Howard was a good friend to me and was always very generous in sharing tapes with me which started my own love of Zepp live recordings. I was always made welcome when I visited him at his home with Anita. I like to think that I helped him attend some of the TBL conventions from the 90,s onwards usually as a bag carrier for his enormous collection of Zepp related goodies. Sadly missed.

  • chris zangara said:

    I have each and every one of those books. “Archives” and Tangents” being signed copies. I can’t believe it’s been two years. Thank you Howard. Thank you.

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