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18 August 2021 1,701 views One Comment

Jimmy Page: The Anthology. Jimmy Page Joins Cheltenham Literature Festival Line-Up to Discuss Jimmy Page: The Anthology

This one via the Genesis Publications website:

It was announced this morning (12 August) that Jimmy Page will be in conversation live on stage at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival to discuss his 2020 book, Jimmy Page: The Anthology.

Last year, the festival showcased its first digital line-up due to the pandemic, after being held in Cheltenham for the previous five years. Now, it’ll once again be held at a number of locations around the town, showcasing the best in publishing with speakers and authors from around the world.

The rare interview with Jimmy Page is set to be held over the ten-day event from 8-17 October 2021. It will cover his spectacular life in music, from his colossal body of session work in the Sixties, through to the Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin and beyond. Page will also discuss the contents of the book, including the impressive archive of guitars, costumes and memorabilia that he has amassed throughout his career, all of which was published for the first time in the anthology.

Speaking about the book last year, Page said: “I wanted to include items from my personal archive that have played a part in my overall story, to give the detail behind the detail.”

The Anthology contains a new text of over 70,000 words, in which Jimmy Page guides the reader through hundreds of rare items, many of which are previously unseen, and others of mythic status, such as the Gibson double neck guitar, his dragon-emblazoned suit, his white embroidered poppy suit, and the outfit worn in the concert film The Song Remains the Same.

Also included are handwritten diaries, correspondence, rare vinyl pressings, previously unpublished photographs and much more. Page personally selected each piece shown in the book to create the most comprehensive and revealing account of his life to date.

Tickets will be available on the festival’s website from Friday 3 September for Cheltenham Festival Members and 10 September for general booking.

Jimmy is confirmed for Wednesday October 13 – 8.30 to 9.30

From his early days as a session musician, through his years on the world stage with Led Zeppelin, to his solo work and collaborations, Jimmy Page has lived a spectacular life in music. Throughout it all, he has amassed an archive of guitars, costumes and memorabilia now being published in Jimmy Page: The Anthology. Join Jimmy in a rare interview as he opens his archives, telling the inside story of his phenomenal career

See links at:

More much welcomed news…

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss Reunite for Raise The Roof

Out November 19 on Warner Music

The Follow-Up to Their Six-Time Grammy-Winning Platinum Debut Raising Sand (2007)

Nashville/London, August 12, 2021 – Today, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss have announced the forthcoming release of their new album Raise The Roof, out November 19 on Warner Music. The surprise announcement finds Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Plant and 27-time Grammy-winner Krauss, reunited after some fourteen years, following the historic success of their first collaboration Raising Sand (2007), which reached #2 on the Official UK Chart, generated multi-platinum sales, and earned six Grammy Awards including Album and Record of the Year.

Like its predecessor, Raise The Roof was produced by T Bone Burnett, who worked with Plant and Krauss to expand their collaboration in thrilling new directions, accompanied by drummer Jay Bellerose, guitarists Marc Ribot, David Hidalgo, Bill Frisell, and Buddy Miller, bassists Dennis Crouch and Viktor Krauss, along with pedal steel guitarist Russ Pahl among others.

The album features twelve new recordings of songs by legends and unsung heroes including Merle Haggard, Allen Toussaint, The Everly Brothers, Anne Briggs, Geeshie Wiley, Bert Jansch and more. Other highlights include a Plant-Burnett original, “High and Lonesome,” and the classic “Can’t Let Go,” written by Randy Weeks and first recorded by Lucinda Williams.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have shared their new recording “Can’t Let Go” today.

The songs selected for Raise The Roof alternately reflect deep-rooted influences and new revelations. For his part, Robert Plant was keen to introduce the English folk traditions he has loved since adolescence, while Krauss cites hearing “Quattro (World Drift In)” by the American group Calexico, as “the moment I knew we’d make another album.”

“We wanted it to move,” Krauss continues. “We brought other people in, other personalities within the band, and coming back together again in the studio brought a new intimacy to the harmonies.”

Adds Plant: “You hear something and you go ‘Man, listen to that song, we got to sing that song!’ It’s a vacation, really–the perfect place to go that you least expected to find.”

Released in 2007, Raising Sand is one of the most beloved and acclaimed albums of the 21st century. In addition to winning all six Grammy Awards for which it was nominated it was also certified double platinum in the UK.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will tour together in 2022, with dates to be announced soon.

Album pre-ordering details at this link:

Raise The Roof Tracklist

  1. Quattro (World Drifts In)
  2. The Price of Love
  3. Go Your Way
  4. Trouble With My Lover
  5. Searching for My Love
  6. Can’t Let Go
  7. It Don’t Bother Me
  8. You Led Me to The Wrong
  9. Last Kind Words Blues
  10. High and Lonesome
  11. Going Where the Lonely Go
  12. Somebody Was Watching Over Me….

    LZ New- here’s the latest round up from LZ News – many thanks to James Cook:

  13. LZ Newsround up

  14. …Led Zeppelin

    • Photographer Ross Halfin’s latest book about rare Led Zeppelin records, titled “Led Zeppelin Vinyl,” was released this month and he gave an insightful interview to The Vinyl Guide podcast to promote it. In the interview, the close friend of Jimmy Page discussed Led Zeppelin’s archive of unreleased live music and strongly suggested that Robert Plant was blocking live releases. He also hinted that Plant blocked plans for 30 Led Zeppelin performances around the world following the band’s 2007 reunion show.

    Jimmy Page

    Robert Plant

    Upcoming events:

    September 1-11 – “Becoming Led Zeppelin” will be screened at the Venice International Film Festival.
    September 7 – “Beast: John Bonham and the Rise of Led Zeppelin” by C.M. Kushins will be published.
    September 9 – The revised and expanded edition of “Evenings With Led Zeppelin” will be published.
    September 25 – The 2021 John Bonham celebration event will be held in Redditch.
    October 13 – Jimmy Page will be interviewed on stage at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
    November 9 – “Led Zeppelin: The Biography” by Bob Spitz will be published.
    November 19 – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ second album “Raise the Roof” will be released.
    2022 – Robert Plant will go on tour with Alison Krauss and “Robert Plant: A Life In Vision,” a photo book edited by Dave Lewis, will be published.
    Early 2023 – “A Whole Lotta Music: Life To My Ears,” the memoirs of Tight But Loose editor Dave Lewis, will be published.
    2023 – A remastered and expanded 30th anniversary edition of “Coverdale–Page” will be released.

  15. For all the latest Zep and related news check out the Led Zeppelin news website at:


Robert Plant on the occasion of his 73rd Birthday:

Robert Plant is 73 years old on Friday, August 20…

From his initial forays in the Midlands scene in the mid 60’s leading to his first record being released in 1966, through to his vital contribution to Led Zeppelin and on to an always compelling solo career, Robert Plant has occupied a unique position at the forefront of the music world for over five decades…

With his recent gigs with Saving Grace  and the Alison Krauss album ahead, he continues to enthrall and delight…

Happy Birthday Robert from all of us to you…

To mark the occasion – here’s a couple of playlists

Playlist 1:

Firstly the top ten I compiled for the Classic Rock website in 2016– an impossible task of course to get it down to just ten – apologies in advance if your fave is missing!

The Top Ten Robert Plant Solo Songs:
By Dave Lewis

Outside of his Led Zep legacy, Robert Plant has enjoyed a highly successful solo career – encompassing synth pop, blues, folk and African influences along the way. All performed with a vocal conviction that ranges from delicate fragility to full on rock power. Here are ten of his best solo moments…

10. Tye Die on the Highway (1990)

This is Plant’s nod to the peace and love generation he was a part of in the 60s. For extra authenticity, it includes samples direct from the Woodstock stage of the legendary hippie peace activist Wavy Gravy (‘’we must be in heaven!’’). An uplifting throwback to his hippie flower kid days.

9. In The Mood (1983)

Early on in his post Zep career, Plant was more than keen to step outside his comfort zone. This very 80s sounding synth led piece is one such example. Plant cleverly works around the hypnotic quality of the song with a vocal performance of deft agility. It also made for a great opening live number on his early solo tours.

8. Song To The Siren (2002)

For the mainly covers led Dreamland album, Plant took on several of the songs he had as he put it, been keeping in his back pocket. This stunning arrangement of the Tim Buckley classic, tests Plant’s’ vocal control to the max. To his absolute credit, he never wavers once.

7: Calling To You (1993)

Opens with some minor key strumming before this exhilarating rocker really kicks in. Plant stamps his authority with a relentless vocal attack. At the fade Nigel Kennedy enters proceedings to add a quite manic violin solo and is that a cry of ‘’Oh Jimmy!’’ from Plant right at the close?

6. Big Log (1983)

Robbie Blunt’s precise guitar work, a lilting drum machine rhythm and an assured Plant vocal were the ingredients that took Big Log into the UK top 20 in 1993 and on to Top of The Pops. Its mellow radio friendly qualities have made it an evergreen staple of the airways ever since.

5. Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down (2010)

This compelling spiritual croon from the 2010 Band of Joy album unfolds in a sparse traditional setting. Plant builds the tension verse by verse while behind him a plaintive banjo offers a jaunty counterpoint to the dark theme of the lyrics. The final lines are delivered with daunting menace.

4. Slow Dancer (1983)

This track marks one of the few occasions in the early 80s that Plant stared right in the face of his Zeppelin past. Built on an exotic loping churning riff, Plant’s full on vocal attack measures up to the Olympian grandeur of his former band. The late great Cozy Powell adds the percussive kick that drives it along.

3. Embrace Another Fall (2014)

A truly epic work from his last album Lullaby…and the Ceaselss Roar. There’s an African undercurrent throughout the arrangement and even a touch of Celtic tradition with Welsh Julie Murphy reciting a 14th century poem. Proof that musically, Plant still has new places to go.

2. Come Into My Life (1993)

The Fate Of Nations album saw Plant drawing on a variety of influences and inspirations. Folk rock of the highest order is the agenda here. Enter Fairport legend Richard Thompson who contributes some achingly beautiful guitar lines while Marie Brennan from Clannad supplements Plant’s deft turn of phrase. An outstanding performance.

1 Ship of Fools (1988)

1988’s Now And Zen album was something of a watershed for Plant. It was the point he was able to successfully reconcile his past with the present. This dynamic ballad is a masterclass of vocal restrain. Guitarist Doug Boyle’s sublime intro paves the way for Plant to vocally twist and turn the song at will. Masterful.

Photos by Krys Jantzen  for TBL.


Playlist 2:

Here are 73 vivid examples of his vocal supremacy accompanied by memorable key lyrics and relevant comments:

From 48 to 2021– he remains the definitive rock vocalist – make sure you play some of these and your own Plant faves this weekend in celebration:


Our Song, (‘’It made us fall in looooove’’)

Laughing Crying Laughing (‘’Jack loves Jill she don’t care’’)

For What it’s Worth (Something’s happening here..’’)

Good Times Bad Times (‘’I know what it means to be alooone’’)

Babe Im Gonna Leave You (‘’I ain’t jokin’ woman you gotta ramble’’)

Whole Lotta Love (‘’Shake for me girl!’’)

What Is And What Should Never Be (‘’And if I say to you tomorrow’’ – that gorgeous opening line…)

Thank You (‘’And so today my world it smiles’’)

Ramble On (‘’Gotta find the queen of all my dreams’’)

Immigrant Song (-‘’Ahhhhhh…Ahhh!!)

Since I’ve Been Loving You (‘’Said I been crying..’’)

That’s The Way (‘’And so I say to you that nothing really matters…’’)

Black Dog (‘’I gotta roll can’t stand still’’)

Battle of Evermore (‘’Bring it back..’’)

The Song Remains The Same (‘’I had a dream’’)

The Rain Song (‘’Upon us all..’’)

Over the Hills And Far Away (Live anytime in 1975 – ‘’Acapulco gold!’’)

In My Time of Dying (‘’Doncha make it my dying…dying…’’)

Kashmir (’ Trying to find, trying to find where I’ve beeeeeeen’’.)

In The Light (‘’Eveybody needs the light’’)

Down By The Seaside (‘’ Do you still do the twist’’)

Ten Years Gone (‘’Holding on…’’ pure emotion)

Night Flight (‘’ I received a message – that opening line is vocal bliss)

Tangerine ( Earl’s Court May 24 1975 – ”To think of us again….”)

Going To California (Earls Court official DVD version ‘’Oh she sings’’)

Dazed And Confused (Earls Court May 24 1975 ‘’We’ve got to get ourselves…back to the garden’’)

Stairway To Heaven (Earls Court May 24 1975 ‘’That’s all we got’’)

Achilles Last Stand (‘’the devils in his ho-o- o-o -le’’)

For Your Life (‘’When you blow it, babe, you got to blow it right’’)

In The Evening (Knebworth August 4 1979 – ‘’It’s gotta stop it’s gotta stop!’’)

All My Love (Outtake with full ending – ‘’Sometimes…sometimes…sometimes oh oh ’’)

I’m Gonna Crawl (‘’She give me good lovin’’ and that final scream…)

Moonlight In Samosa (‘’Time and again I see you walking down the street’’)

Slow Dancer (‘’To the heights… to the heights’’ – the point he knew he could do it all again)

Far Post (‘’Sure as winter follows fall, sure as maybe I will call’’)

Pledge Pin (Live in Dallas 83 ‘’As the cavalcade begins to thin, do you stop and look around’’)

Big Log (Live Dallas 1983 ‘’Oh my love oh my love oh my love…is in league with the freeway’’)

Sea of Love (‘’Come with me’’)

Sixes And Sevens (‘’Am I at six ,am I at six, am Ieeeee!’’)

Ship of Fools (‘’Crazy crazy fool’’ – absolutely stunning vocal)

Tie Dye On The Highway (‘‘With the messengers of peace and the company of love’’)

Anniversary (‘’What is this land that I have found’’)

Calling To You (‘’Oh Jiimmmy!’’)

Come Into My Life (‘’ Oh when you get there, well you know ‘’- another of his very best…)

The Greatest Gift (‘’ Everything I do, yes I do for my love’’ Peerless delivery)

In The Mood (Live at Paradiso club Amsterdam 93 –stunning medley)

Wonderful One (MTV Unledded – ‘’The queen of love has flown again’’)

That’s The Way (MTV Unledded ’’I can’t believe what people saying’’)

Blue Train (I been waiting on a corner’’- the best recorded moment of the Page and Plant re-alliance)

Little Hands (‘’Come let us meet them’’ – birth of a new style)

Life Begins Again (‘’This is the day and the hour’’ – at his most exotic)

Flames (Brilliant Priory Of Brion psych fest )

If I Ever Get Lucky (‘’Win my train fare home’’ Live in the desert)

Skips Song (‘’If you’d seen the naked dream I had of you… would you care’’- another vocal masterclass)

Dirt In The Hole (‘’Pretty flowers in sweet array, picked to die and fade away’’ Brilliant)

Seven And Seven Is ( ’When I was a boy I thought about the times I’d be a man’’ Live anywhere – a magnificent SS tribute to Love and the late Arthur)

Tin Pan Valley (‘’Like this!’’)

Freedom Fries (‘’They were moving fast –they were raising sand’’)

Stick With Me Baby (‘’Everybody’s been talkin’ ‘’ – in perfect harmony with Alison)

Kashmir ( Live at the 02 Arena – the whole event could never have worked so well without such total vocal commitment )

Angel Dance (‘’Yeah yeah yeah – Dance!’’ –Ushering in another new dawn)

Monkey ( ‘’Tonight you will be mine…’’ Masterful Band Of Joy performance)

Embrace Another Fall (”You walked into my life, Awoke my spirit soul, You saved me from my deep….”)

Turn It Up (‘I’m lost inside America, I’m turning inside out, I’m turning into someone else”)

A Stolen Kiss (”I am drawn to the western shore, Where the light moves bright upon the tide, To the lullaby and the ceaseless roar, And the songs that never die”)

Somebody There (”The road calls to my heart, Your love will warm my blood, The sun will shine down evermore”)

Season’s Song (”Crazy love..ah ah ah seasons song”)

New World (Escape the old world…embrace the new world”)

Dance With You Tonight (”If there’s one more time I can dance with you, let me dance with you tonight”)

Carry Fire (”I’ll carry fire for you – here in my naked hands”)

Your Long Journey  -Saving Grace in perfect harmony with Suzi Dian

Charlie Patton Highway (Turn It Up Part 1)

Charlie Patton Highway (Turn It Up Part 1) from the Digging Deep Subterrania compilation is a delightful slow burn version of the track that featured on Robert’s Lullaby and the ceaseless roar album with the Sensational Space Shifters released in 2014.

This is an early arrangement cut before the recording of that album. It stems from a post Band Of Joy tour session in 2012 with Buddy Miller recorded in Buddy’s studio in Nashville along with drummer Marco Giovino – one of what Robert revealed was about 13 songs ‘’I had hidden away in my cupboard’’- which are now likely to form part of the planned Band Of Joy 2 album ahead.

This delivery comes in at a Stick With Me Baby/ Raising Sand stripped back tempo with Dick Dale styled echoed guitar. Robert applies the vocal in that now familiar breathy style before literally turning it up for the title refrain. He quickly lays back again never losing the essence or intention of the groove – a masterclass of vocal control.

And finally…

Cant Let Go:

Can’t Let Go,” written by Randy Weeks and first recorded by Lucinda Williams.

The first preview from the forthcoming album with Alison Krauss RaiseThe Roof – that effortless melting of vocal styles, subtle shuffle and class arrangement – you could say the song remains the same…for this particular collaboration the future is bright ahead…make that very bright…


This next overview via TBL issue 43:

‘’Carry me back, Carry me back… ‘’

Dave Lewis reflects on the 35 year solo career of Robert Plant and assesses the merits of his new album Carry Fire…

So, to the eleventh Robert Plant solo album – in fact his twelfth if you include The Honeydrippers set from 1984.

Once I started assessing where it all stood in the scheme of things, it led me on to elaborate not just on the content of this new album but also reminisce about this musician who has loomed large in my life and many others for many a year.

As an ardent fan and long-time chronicler of his work, I’ve been with him on every step of this journey – right from the tentative beginnings of a solo career mapped out around the highways and byways of the north of England during The Honeydrippers’ ad hoc gigs in the Spring of 1981, of which I was lucky enough to attended five.

The thrill of placing a white label advance copy of Pictures At Eleven on my turn table on a balmy Friday evening in early June, 1982 remains a very memorable listening experience. It signalled there was life for this particular singer after Zep and we could all prepare ourselves for some very interesting musical times ahead.

From then on there have been many twists and turns. To give it an appropriate football analogy, following Robert Plant’s solo ventures is a little like supporting Tottenham Hotspur, as I resolutely do. Like Plant, the North London club is steeped in tradition and talk of past glory days is always prevalent. The fortunes of the team, however, are somewhat mixed, offering moments of brilliance with the mediocre but within all that, the entertainment value on the pitch is always high.

You could say the same for Robert’s output over these past 35 years. Plenty of highs, a few lows, some marking of time, occasional strange curve ball moments but ever entertaining along the way – and of course, always within the shadow of his work between 1968 and 1980. It’s something of a challenge being a Robert Plant fan – but I am always a little surprised when keen Zep supporters claim no interest in following his solo work – to me, this is still the man and musician who proclaimed ‘’Are you cold?” in front of my very ears as Led Zeppelin kicked into Immigrant Song at Wembley in 1971, held the audience in the palm of his hand at the Forum, the Garden and in Earls Court and thanked us for turning up on a blind date in that field just outside Knebworth all of 34 years ago. His heritage is ever present and ever lasting.

He carries that legacy pretty well I’d say and although his flippancy in interviews often obscures his pride for Led Zeppelin, be assured, for all the one liners, that pride is there deep in his psyche. While we are on that subject, such flippant comments are often, in my view, taken out of context to look much worse than they really are, or were intended. I still believe he cares much more than is portrayed. In interviews, he is never one for much deep reflection. ‘’I do the gig and move on’’ I remember him once telling me with matter of fact intent.

Back to the story: Eleven albums – that’s now more than Led Zeppelin clocked up. From that initial, naive blast of Pictures At Eleven (which still sounds great) with the erstwhile Robbie Blunt as the song writing foil, Robert quickly recorded The Principle Of Moments, a heady mix of 80s synths and riffs. After a weekend of rockabilly fun with Jimmy, Jeff and Nile for the Honeydrippers’ Vol One album in 1984, there was the somewhat difficult third album – the totally offbeat Shaken ‘n’ Stirred which confused audience and band mates alike. Around that time, performing on a stage that looked like a block of cheese only added to the confusion. Too Loud live anyone?

In 1987 he made the first of many a clean band sweep, bringing in Phil Johnstone, Doug Boyle, Chris Blackwell and co for Now And Zen, a refreshing blend of chorus-led songs that reconciled his past with the present in confident manner. At the same time, he hit the Zep legacy head on ensuring more bums on seats on the live circuit by inserting Zep numbers into his set.

Manic Nirvana hit the racks as the early 90s hair metal phenomenon got into its stride. Some of it has not stood the test of time too well but he could still turn a retro trick or two – witness Tie Dye On the Highway and the acoustic Liars Dance. Elsewhere the content was more blatantly big love than big log.

Three years on, there was further reinvention with Fate Of Nations – aided by Francis Dunnery and the late Kevin Scott MacMichael, providing a melodic platform for Robert to present his most pure and organic work to date. Come Into My Life and I Believe are just two examples of a refreshing maturity and depth he was now bringing to his craft.

Just as he appeared in his solo career stride, the call of the past and MTV put him back on the road with Jimmy Page – the ensuing No Quarter Unledded and Walking Into Clarksdale albums providing their own set of anomalies, ripe for discussion another time.

By the time he was back in solo career mode, the song writing muse was, by his own admission, at something of a low – so he took the opportunity to revisit his pre Zep era with the Priory of Brion, working with old pal Kevyn Gammond before forming Strange Sensation with Justin Adams. It was around this time Robert began to develop a much deeper resonance to his voice, leading to the breathy style first deployed on the Skip Spence tribute, Little Hands.

The 2002 Dreamland album was an intelligent blend of covers and new forays –later to expand more fully on the well received Mighty ReArranger. I initially struggled with that album’s over inventiveness but time has been kind to many of the tracks – the likes of Tin Pan Valley and Freedom Fries still hit the mark whenever I return to it.

Career retrospectives Sixty Six To Timbuktu and the expansive Nine Lives box set, conveniently brought together his achievements to date, with the singer noting that the ‘’future was bright ahead’’.

2007 and another curve ball. This time it was into the bluegrass world of Alison Krauss for the enormously successful Raising Sand, an admirable marriage of vocal styling that subsequently swept the Grammys and in doing so helped scupper any plans for a long term Zep reunion after that one night of glory at the 02 on December 10th of that year.

I actually found the ensuing tour with Alison a little disconcerting – the sharing of the stage did not work for me and the Raising Sand album is never high on the playlist.

Given this sidestep into Americana, I’m therefore surprised how much I loved (and still do) the Band Of Joy album and tour that grew out of his penchant for all things Nashville and his working with the great Buddy Griffin. There were some life affirming moments viewing that line up in 2010 and the album retains a warm glow all of its own. As I noted at the time, it was hard to define exactly what it was about the Band Of Joy set up that worked so well but it was undeniable that something did. As I passed my 100 nights of being in front of that Shure microphone with Robert Plant on vocals, gig number 103 at the Birmingham Symphony Hall in November 2010 was up there with the best.

Being around the likes of Buddy Miller certainly bought the best out in him. There was yet more side-stepping in 2012 – or in this case, shape shifting. Off we all piled to the Gloucester Guildhall in May of that year to view another ad- hoc line up debut that saw former Strange Sensations members mix with the African influence of Juldeh Camara. The gig was a heap of fun, although at the more high profile London Forum gig in the summer, the inclusion of now partner, Patty Griffin in the set confused his audience somewhat.

Seemingly happily ensconced with Patty, one expected another Band Of Joy set and there was talk of a project with noted producer, Daniel Lanois. Instead, Robert took the Space Shifters on a tour – one to the far corners of the world, stretching from Australia to Argentina via the US. His wry comment to an Australian journalist that he had ‘’nothing on his calendar in 2014’’ foolishly fuelled the Zep reformation rumours. The wiser amongst us, however, guessed it was a suitable smokescreen, as he ventured into the studio with the Space Shifters unit. The result was the 2013 release of the album lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar.

As we know from the various interviews Robert has conducted, the album found him in a reflective state of mind. After his split with Patty Griffin, he has returned to the UK and principally to the Black Country and Welsh border area – the influence of which was more than apparent. The call of home was strong and there really was a feeling he gets when he looks to the west… Lyrically, it was Robert’s most deep and meaningful album since Fate Of Nations. Such was the confessional nature of songs such as Embrace Another Fall and A Stolen Kiss, one could almost dub this a break up album in the grand tradition of Dylan’s Blood On the Tracks.

It’s worth noting that arrangements combining African roots and ethnic rhythms do not go down favourably with certain sections of Robert’s past audience. He also receives a fair bit of criticism for his live interpretations of Zep numbers – Black Dog coming in for the lion’s share of the stick.

In fact, like a number of fellow fans I’ve spoken to, I would much prefer solo numbers from his past rather than some of the Zep resprays – Pledge Pin, Life Begins Again, Come Into My Life, Skip’s Song and Ship of Fools being on my wish list of tracks I’d like to see Robert and the SSS perform live.

Lullaby and… the Ceaseless Roar found Robert Plant reflecting on his past, seemingly content with the present and excited about the future. Like all his best work, it looks back to look forward. Often eclectic but with a strong sense of consistency, it was his most significant work on record for some considerable time. There’s a refreshing openness and honesty in the songs that basically tells us that even rock gods need love… and lots of it. He touches on universal themes of ageing, loneliness, longing and hope.

So to the new album Carry Fire:

’‘All that’s worth the doing is seldom easily done, all that‘s worth the winning is seldom easily won’’

First things first.

Carry Fire pretty much carries on from where Robert Plant’s previous album left off. In fact, it might be a good idea to reacquaint yourself with the last album, lullaby and… the Ceaseless Roar to remind yourself where Robert’s head is at.

Those that enjoyed the previous album will find much to enjoy here. As for anyone who has fallen by the wayside and has not subscribed to his recent work – well, there’s nothing here that will influence a change of mind.

Let’s face it, Robert has long since denounced any notions of keeping up with his fellow ‘voice of rock’ veterans His is an entirely different plan of his own making.

On Carry Fire there’s hardly a riff or a vocal histrionic in sight. Those that are looking for that kind of fix would be better off in the direction of the new Black Country Communion album.

However, the good news for anyone checking out this new album is that, vocally, he is singing with mature authority deploying that close-to-the-mic, breathy vocals style that he first perfected on Little Hands, his contribution to the Skip Spence tribute album More Oar.

Having listened to the tracks on Carry Fire, in reviewing the album , I’ve purposely listed songs from the Plant back catalogue that hint at the mood of these new offerings.

The album opener and first single, The May Queen sets the tone for much of the album. Semi acapella vocals over a slight Another Tribish with bendir/ tambourine back beat – drowning out any snare drum presence. As more than one listener to the preview has commented, the opening segment on this track has a passing resemblance to Factory Girl from The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet.

New World is a slightly grittier stomp with a mid tempo riff that sounds like a descendent from the Page & Plant arrangement of Please Read The Letter. A melodic cascading vocal refrain brightens the mood.

The folksy Seasons Song benefits from lush multi layered vocals that reminded me of I Cried For You (off Manic Nirvana). Also, there’s a nicely crooned ‘’crazy crazy fool’’ vocal line in the style of the live arrangement of Ship of Fools. All The Kings Horses (from the Mighty ReArranger album) is a further reference point here.

The oddly titled Carving Up The World Again… A Wall And Not A Fence is another in the vein of Another Tribe – a jumpy urgent nagging affair with some neat bluesy guitar lines.

Bones Of Saints has an effective echo added to the vocal, coupled with some guitar licks in the syle of The Enchanter from Mighty ReArrnanger

A vibey John Baggott keyboard synth sustains throughout Keep it Hid, which could be described as a Tin Pan Valley without the bombast. “Silver key in a golden cup’’ repeats Plant over the incessant synth pattern.

The title track, Carry Fire lends itself to the oft favoured North African influence. Mid tempo, with exotic sounding guitar from Justin Adams, it’s a haunted, tension building affair, not unlike the Unledded track, City Don’t Cry.

The cover of Ersel Hickey’s Bluebirds Over The Mountains (also recorded by The Beach Boys and Richie Havens, amongst others) is, as Robert commented, ‘’put through the Bristol sonic mill’’. This makes for a trip hop, grungy affair that renders Chrissie Hynde’s vocal contribution somewhat understated in the mix. Personally, I’d have rather heard a more simplistic approach.

That leaves three tracks that all return to the reflective themes of ageing, loneliness and hope that featured strongly on the lullaby and… the Ceaseless Roar album. A Way With Words is very much in the Stolen Kiss vein, with stark piano and a mournful feel akin to Page & Plant’s BlueTrain, and Seth Lakeman’s fiddle work adds to the dreamlike atmosphere.

Dance With You Tonight harks back to the Raising Sand territory of Killing The Bues. For me, this is the outstanding track. Lyrically, the singer aspires to enjoy ‘’one more chance for the last dance”. He sings it with immense grace and majesty. Down To The Sea and Come Into My Life are reference points to the reflective nature of this superb outing.

The album closes in a downbeat manner with Heaven Sent – a bleak atmospheric piece that reminded me of a slowed down Sixes And Sevens from Manic Nirvana again without the bombast. Robert adds yet more words of wisdom repeating the lines “All that’s worth the doing is seldom easily done, all that‘s worth the winning is seldom easily won.’’ Before it all fades away.

Those lines are a pretty accurate appraisal of the album.

Like his previous album, this one needs working at and getting used to. Play it randomly a couple of times and it’s likely to pass over your head. Give it some dedicated listening time and there are some very rewarding performances.

As previously mentioned, some sections of his past audience will not find the inclination to do so and that will be their choice. As for comparison to his past works, aside from the last album, this new one stands on its own – and all a long way from the days of Fate Of Nations. That was a different era with different players.

In his advancing years, Robert’s muse has become more introverted, less flamboyant and increasingly dignified – all of which is reflected in the music he now produces.

So no, you won’t be dancing around the Christmas tree to this album. However, it will be something of a thought provoking warm pleasure as the winter nights kick in. In fact, for a man who has much empathy for the seasons, this feels like a Robert Plant winter album.

As can be seen by the virtual sell out of the forthcoming UK tour, the attraction to see this signer perform live on stage is plainly still fervent. I for one will be very keen to see, and hear how this new material integrates with his past work in a live setting.

So, to summarise: For all his idiosyncratic traits, being a Robert Plant fan remains a richly rewarding experience. He does everything an artist should do: he enchants, he intrigues, he frustrates, he confuses and above all… he inspires.

Carry Fire carries on that tradition.

Dave Lewis

September 12, 2017


Robert Plant is a musician who has made his vision real…and he continues to keep it real.

Long may he shine it all around…

Dave Lewis – August 18 2021

Bob Harris – 51 years of, broadcasting:

51 years ago this week  on August 19 1970, Bob Harris made his radio debut on BBC Radio One.

Through his long running stint on the Old Grey Whistle Test BBC2 TV show and his many radio programmes, Bob has been a constant pioneer of so much great music and of course a big supporter of Led Zeppelin and in particular Robert Plant.

I’ve been lucky enough to meet Bob and interview him on numerous occasions and over the years he has been a great help with all things TBL.

Bob contributed the notes to the 1994 Zep convention programme and I appeared on his GLC radio show a few years back. I also interviewed him for TBL 16 and 29 and sat in the same row as Bob at the Led Zeppelin 02 reunion show in 2007 (see pic above)He is an incredibly warm and affable personality with a music knowledge that crosses so many genres. The pic below of me with Bob was taken at the Band Of Joy launch gig at on September 1 2010.

Long may he reign behind the microphone….

Happy 51st Anniversary Bob…

Dave Lewis, August 18 2021.

To mark this milestone here’s a superb interview I conducted with Bob in 2011 that appeared in TBL issue 29…


The whispering DJ and broadcast legend as been a key supporter of Robert Plant‘s recent career moves – as he explains in this recent interview with Dave Lewis

The bearded man I am sat across from on a Tuesday lunchtime at the Heights bar in London, was directly responsible for enlightening myself and thousands of other Led Zeppelin fans, via his announcements from the TV screen on Tuesday and Friday nights back in the 1970s.

He was the man who introduced the stunning sequence that accompanied the premier of a new Led Zeppelin track on the evening of Tuesday, March 20th 1973. ‘’It’s the band’s use of dynamics’’, he said in that calm whispering tone, ‘’And their vision of mood and texture which to my mind along with their stunning musicianship, makes Led Zeppelin just about the best rock band in the world. Their fifth album is almost out and here is some music from it.

‘’This is Led Zeppelin and No Quarter.’’ Two years later on January 17th, 1975 he aired an interview he had conducted backstage in Brussels’s a week earlier with Robert Plant, closing the sequence with the words ‘’The singer in the best rock and roll band in the world.’’

He was equally enthusiastic when playing two tracks from Physical Graffiti on Friday February 21st, 1975 and again a year later on Tuesday April 6th, 1976 when he previewed Achilles Last Stand.  Six months later on November 2nd, 1976, the one they nicknamed Bomber got it spot on when he summarised the exclusive Whistle Test screening of Jimmy’s Song Remains the Same mountain sequence with the words ‘’That’s an incredible piece of film’’

Some 35 years on, his love of Led Zeppelin and in particular the recent work of Robert Plant was well in evidence when I conducted an interview with Bob Harris – the voice of the Old Grey Whistle Test and legendary radio DJ. Our conversation recalls those Whistle Test years and in particular his championing and empathy of the music of Nashville, Alison and Buddy, Patty etc which has had a direct influence on the singer in recent years.

DL: Were did you interest in country music originally stem from?

BH: It really kicked off with listening to albums such as Sweet Heart Of The Rodeo and Nashville Skyline. The Bryds and Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash with Bob Dylan on Nashville Skyline. I mean that the fact that Bob Dylan was exploring Country music and loved country at that time and then I kind of went with The Bryds, so that moved on to The Flying Burrito Brothers then eventually Gram Parsons, Gram and Emmylou Harris. In the early days of the Whistle Test we were actually pitching a lot of left field country because if you categorize country rock as being Poco, The New Riders Of The Purple Saga. Then there was Little Feat, Grateful Dead, it’s all melded in country, so there was that left field country which then lapsed somewhat during the late 70s and early 80s. Then Steve Earle emerged along with greatTexas singers, Townes Van Vant, Guy Clarke, all that stuff was pulling me back into country. This then moves onto alternate country stars such as Sun Bolton, Tudeo, The Jayhawks.. So that whole thing feeds into so many influences. That’s why I love country music so much.

DL: When did you first go to Nashville?

BH: In 1999. I loved it; the level of musicianship there is absolutely unbelievable.

DL: Can you remember the first meeting with Robert back in the Zeppelin era?

BH: I think we’d meet a few times before. I was over at the Swan Song office quite a bit, I remember Marianne Faithful arriving when I was there one afternoon. Dave Edmunds was always there and yeah I remember when we were on the side of the side-stage at Rotterdam (Brussels). That was probably the first interview we done together.

DL: Did you keep in touch with him during the immediate post Zeppelin years?

BH: I hadn’t seen enough of each other during the 1980s because I wasn’t n around that much. I spent quite a lot of time in Italy during the ‘80s but once I got back to Radio One we reconnected; I was doing programmes for the British Forces Broadcasting services and Robert came in to do a big interview with me there and that’s when we really reacquainted.

DL: How did your influence on Roberts move into working in Nashville begin to take effect?

BH: By talking to Robert constantly about it, really that was the first thing. I started telling him about Buddy Miller and he knew a bit about Buddy Miller but he hadn’t really heard very much and so I was telling him about Nashville and how I loved it there. You’ve got all the musicians on tap and it’s such a musicians community.

So I was telling Robert all about this and then crucially Robert told me he was driving home from a gig one Saturday night and he was driving through country lanes and Alison Krauss came on, I played her on my show, and Robert had never heard her before and he loved her voice so much. He stopped the car, turned up the radio, stepped out of the car, and stood under the starlight and listening to her and that was it. That was his first introduction to Alison and that was about probably nine years ago. Then I was seeing Alison on one occasion in Nashville and I remember we talked about Robert because her older brother is a big Zep fan. Then Robert told me he was coming out to Nashville. That was when he first met T. Bone and Alison.

DL: So were you familiar with the players involved in the sessions for Raising Sand album?

BH: Yes I was. T Bone Burnett, Dennis Crouch who is a brilliant stand up bass player.I’d been telling Robert insistently about Buddy, because to me Buddy is the king of Nashville, I used that phrase to Robert as well. So then when Buddy joined the tour band and you could see he and Robert were getting on so well. When Buddy was on the Raising Sand tour with Robert, he was coming under increasing pressure to complete an album that he had started for New West, and he was beginning to fall behind with it because all the on the road stuff. And then he got ill. He got a some mobile recording equipment on the road and that’s where he and Robert, I think they were either in a backstage or in Buddy’s hotel room, that’s where Robert sang on a track on the album.

DL: Were you surprised at the massive success of The Raising Sand?

BH: I was surprised that it became as big as it did but I knew they had made a beautiful album from the first time I heard it. Alison also has a magic touch, there’s no doubt about that and with T Bone on board, the chemistry just worked so brilliantly.

DL: Were you disappointed they did not follow up that success with a second album together?

BH: Well there had a try at it and it didn’t really work. Then T Bones got so busy. I think the songs on Raising Sand represents the A list songs so when it came to bringing in other songs I don’t think anyone felt as strongly about it but there they had a go and just decided the time wasn’t right. They could well come to it again at some point.

DL: With the formation of The Band Of Joy line up again there must have been names in there that you were familiar with, even before they went out. Did you think the combination was right for Robert?

BH: Definitely yes. What clearly has taken root in Robert’s mind is this idea of layering voices. First of all he finds his voice matches so beautifully with that of Alison. Now he has Patty who like Alison has a voice of an angel and additionally you’ve got Buddy and Darrell, both of whom are great harmony singers. So you’ve suddenly got this wall of voices and Robert loves working within that. At certain times he’s not the lead singer anymore as he has all these voices around him that are so strong. Those voices become a texture as much as anything. It was an amazing feeling when I witnessed it. When they played in London I felt so proud.

DL: In adapting these Nashville influences, Robert has opened up a whole new avenue of music to his many fans. What other artist, albums of that genre would you recommend to lovers of the Band Of Joy album?

BH: Oh where to start? Ryan Bingham is really excellent – he sang The Hurting Kind in the film Crazy Heart and got an Oscar for that. The Willie Nelson Country Music album- that’s really good and the John Mellencamp new album. Going back to T Bone, he has this old time sensibility, the sort of analogue warm quite muddy sound, its real traditional American sound that T Bones got. So anything T Bone Burnett has produced in the last few years is worth checking out. He is now working with Steve Earle and that’s a combination I can’t wait to hear.

DL: Robert played at your 60th birthday party in 2005. That must have been quite a night?

BH: It was a completely spontaneous jam. My wife Trudie said to him about half way through the evening  ‘Are you going to do anything? He replied ‘’I need a guitarist’ and Trudy mentioned Bernie Marsden was up for it. So they disappeared for about ten minutes to see what they were going to do and they came out and did Fever backed by The Stories, the house band for the night. It was absolutely magic. I think Robert was surprised how good Bernie was actually.

DL: In 2009 you presented Robert with a Q Award, Outstanding Contribution, how did that come about?

BH: Robert phoned me up and asked me to do it. It was an absolute privilege. I’ve been with Robert every step of the way on this journey he’s taken and equally he’s been a huge source of encouragement and knowledge to me as well. Tianiwren were up on the stage with me to present the award and it was Robert who first told me about Tianiwren and it was so appropriate that they were in attendance. I’d been part of the panel that choose the Mojo Album of the year which Tianiwren won. They were doing a session with me that day on my show, so it was great how it all linked together.

DL: You were at the O2 reunion show, what was your overall opinion that occasion?

BH: It was one of the best Led Zeppelin gigs I’ve ever I ever seen and I was lucky to see quite a few in the seventies. The thing about the O2 was the clarity of it all, it was so clear. The playing was so good and they had obviously really rehearsed to make it work so well. It had to be a five star concert and it was.

DL: Can you see it happening again?

BH: No, I don’t think so. Unless it’s for a very good reason – maybe another special anniversary but no I can’t really see it happening.

DL: What have been the most memorable Robert Plant performances that you’ve seen over the years?

BH: The recent one with The Band Of Joy here in London at that little show case that they did at Mayfair One. Working backwards there was the Americana’s,…the New Orleans Jazz Festival in 2008 with Alison when they did Battle Of Evermore, that was really special. Obviously the 02 reunion concert and all those times in the 1970s. I mean he’s never been anything less than amazing any time I’ve seen him sing live, because he puts his whole heart and soul into it.

DL: You send a lot of times building your radio shows, how do go about searching out new music?

BH: Just listening to stuff that arrives basically; I mean I get loads of post through the letter box every day, so there’s that and recommendations from other people. For instance Robert and I call each other and recommend stuff. It’s funny actually because I got a call from him not long ago asking me about a couple of things and he said ‘What else are you listening to?’ and before he’d finished the question I said I’d just been playing this amazing record by this band called Cherry Ghost and as I saying it he said ‘Because Buddy’s given me a couple of tracks by this group Cherry Ghost!’.

So we are often on the same wavelength. I was in the studio recently having a little session copying the stuff off for him so I made him about three or four CD’s of tracks and things, Cherry Ghost, and some of Patty’s because there was certain areas in Patty’s collection he hadn’t got. In return Robert is definitely a source of knowledge about good music for me.

DL: What you been listening to recently. What recommendation have you come up with lately?

BH: The Decembrists new album is very lovely, Abigail Washburn, there’s a great single by a group called  Mother Mother that I’ve just started playing. The new REM album. Musa Mekconic who I love, a lovely new young band Ahab that were on my show today actually.

DL: On your radio shows is it east to blend in the new music with the heritage of the past?

BH: Yes because the engine to the programme is new music. The thing with that is you’re listening to something on an album and it reminders you of something else and you match them together and by matching them together it always works. It’s giving a sense of the history to something new and fresh.

DL: Your Whispering Bob Broadcasting Company has already won two Sony Awards for Sandy Denny and The Beatles, have you got any future projects in the pipe line?

BH: The next big project is a 16 part history of The Old Grey Whistle Test series, I’m producing and presenting that for the 40th Anniversary. We thought about a book for it but instead we are going for to a three CD set, that’s going to be the main focus together live performances as well.

DL: have you any plans to update your autobiography that came about ten years ago?

BH: Yes I would like to so that at some point.We took the idea to BBC Worldwide with the idea of updating it but the book market has changed quite drastically now with the onset of other technology. But I’d love to do it again in the future as a lot of really exciting things have happened since then.

DL: Finally of all the musicians you’ve championed over the years, what makes Robert Plant standout amongst his peers, in your opinion?

BH: It’s another ‘Where do you start’ answer because there are some many aspects to Robert that I think are so amazing. He is one of the totally great voices of all time. He never stands still and he’s got an amazing mind which inspires him to explore new things. He’s a very exciting person to be around, on every level – things happen when you’re with Robert, it’s incredible. I’ve a huge amount of respect and affection for him, He is one of the big figures in my life.

Bob Harris was interviewed by Dave Lewis on February 1st, 2011. With thanks to Trudie Myerscough-Harris.

As the Ross Halfin book is now out here’s my thoughts on it…

Led Zeppelin Vinyl: The Essential Collection by Ross Halfin (Reel Art Press)

Some of the best ideas are the simple ones and the world renowned rock photographer Ross Halfin’s concept of photographing Led Zeppelin vinyl records and presenting them in book form is one such example. Simple but very effective…

First things first – this book is not intended to be a definitive guide to Led Zeppelin vinyl releases – it would take a volume of mammoth proportions to achieve that and as Ross mentions in his introduction, add in the solo years and it would end up being a 2,000 page book.

As the title implies, this is a snapshot of the essential Zep vinyl releases – the real stand outs of any collection –it’s been compiled from Ross’s own extensive collection aided by the input of a few select  key contributors.

Part of the book’s appeal is wading through and identifying what you might have in your own collection and marveling at what you haven’t – because unsurprisingly, there are many ultra-rare items featured.

It comes as an appropriately LP size format with a transparent outer cover. The size of the book offers ample scope to reproduce many of the LP covers to near full length. The paper quality and general presentation is of the usual high quality Reel Art Press standard.

The book is divided into the following categories:

Introduction by Ross Halfin, The Studio Albums, Live Recordings( i.e. bootleg LPs), Singles, Promos and Rarities, and finally Catalogue Details.

The introduction hones in on the idiosyncrasies of being a record collector and Ross’s declaration ‘’Do I still need six copies of Live On Blueberry Hill? Absolutely!’’ is one that will resonate with every reader. The intentions of the book are relayed in Ross’s familiar forthright, no nonsense style.

The Studio Albums section offers alternate rare pressings of each of the ten Zep original albums, featuring over 50 variations in all. There’s some mighty rarities here including a Led Zeppelin II pressing released in Turkey with a bizarre alternate front cover image, a Led Zeppelin IV released in India with an alternate front cover design, the Physical Graffiti promo sleeve with alternate lettering, the complete six different sleeve designs used for In Through The Out Door and plenty of Japanese pressings with the all-important obi strips.

At over 90 pages, the Live Recordings section takes up a fair bulk of the book in representing the countless Zep concerts that were issued on bootleg LPs. These strictly unauthorised illegal releases were seen at the time as a stain on the music industry but in truth they were a vital outlet for spreading an act’s reputation. Zep Bootlegs – and there were many of them, did much to cement their legacy, despite the heavy handed tactics manager Peter Grant employed to block any such recordings being made.

This world of Led Zeppelin bootlegs was a secret society that was incredibly thrilling to be a part of and like Ross, I was an avid bootleg collector from the early 1970s. I purchased a lot of my Zep bootlegs on mail order from a mysterious address in Kent – and boy did they come up with the goods. Looking over the sleeves of many of the releases presented in the book is a vivid reminder of the sheer thrill of a new package turning up on my doorstep.

I’ve just had a count up and over the years I have amassed a total of 83 different Zep vinyl LP bootlegs. The likes of fabled titles such as Mudslide, BBC Broadcast, Going To California, Bonzo’s Birthday Party, Earls Court Vol I, The Destroyer, Knebworth Fair, etc., boosted my Zep appreciation manifold and it’s fascinating to look at the many bootleg LP variations – over 150 of them, that are included in the book.

As mentioned, the book size provides the opportunity for full scale reproductions and it’s great to see the likes of the rare No Quarter album on the Red Devil album and the Beatles sleeve parodies featured on the Yellow Zeppelin and Fab 4 Liverpool releases in such rich detail. The reproduction of many of the original bootleg labels and coloured vinyl pressings is also a delight.

The next section takes in Singles, Promos & Rarities. There are over 70 examples of such items – including many of the picture sleeve releases of their singles that appeared in various foreign countries. There’s some mega rarities on view here including a Led Zeppelin I from Vietnam with unique artwork, the Dusty In Memphis/Led Zeppelin I US promo LP, the 1969 UK Flying High Atlantic compilation sampler album featuring Zep’s You Shook Me, only available via a coupon in a Japan Airlines in-flight magazine, the very rare Immigrant Song/Out On The Tiles picture sleeve promo single issued in Japan in 1970, the Turkish release of Immigrant Song with a picture sleeve illustration of migrants running and the three track Physical Graffiti EP issued in Thailand.

Finally, there’s the Catalogue Details section spread across 45 pages. This is a line by line extensive discography guide split as follows: Promo & Stock LPs (20 pages), Live Recordings ( i.e. bootleg releases) across 14 pages, a couple of pages of Outtakes & Sessions, and finally 10 pages of all known Singles releases drawn from 42 different countries. This has all been diligently compiled by Nick Anderson and Graeme Hutchinson, both massive Zep vinyl collectors – regular readers of the TBL mag and my books will know that when it comes to such matters, they know what they are talking about.

As much as this is a book about Led Zep vinyl releases, it’s also a statement about artistic presentation and design. Most of these records appeared during the glory era of record sleeve artwork. The official releases have of course long since acquired iconic sleeve design status. The various single releases from around the globe were often quirky in the extreme. When it came to the live recordings presented on bootlegs, initially these were simple designs often with a stamped title and insert, but as the market grew they became very elaborate affairs – no more so than in the hands of artist William Stout. His unique design caricatures on releases by The Who, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin are the stuff of bootleg legend – a prime example being his cover design for the Bonzo’s Birthday Party double album on the Trade Mark of Quality label which can be seen in all its glory on page 91.

To summarise:

Led Zeppelin Vinyl -The Essential Collection shines the spotlight on an aspect of Led Zeppelin’s appeal that continues to fascinate collectors across the globe – and it does so in a manner totally in keeping with Ross Halfin’s long established photographic visual flair and knowledge of the band.

If you’re like me and vinyl records and Led Zeppelin is your thing, this will be an essential addition to your ever creaking Zep bookshelf…

Dave Lewis –  August 11,2021

Led Zeppelin Vinyl –The Essential Collection by Ross Halfin is out now published by Reel Art Press on August 24.

More info and ordering details at:

The Vinyl Guide Podcast: Ross Halfin

Here’s an excellent interview with Ross Halfin discussing the new Led Zeppelin Vinyl -The Essential Collection book with the Sydney Australia based podcast The Vinyl Guide

Thanks to Peter Stathopoulos for pointing me to that one

It was 42 years ago …The Who at Wembley:

42 years ago on Saturday August 18, 1979 I was at Wembley Stadium for The Who and Friends Roar In event.

This was my third consecutive Saturday gig coming off the back of the two Led Zeppelin Knebworth comebacks.

A bit of a strange day – some great performances including Nils Lofgren and Bon Scott with AC/DC . However, after the peace and love vibe of Knebworth this was an edgy aggressive crowd and there were a fair few scuffles breaking out where we were down the front notably during The Stranglers set.

As for The Who, this was their first major post Keith Moon gig (they had played a warm up here at The Rainbow in May) – some moments of true greatness but I couldn’t help feeling it wasn’t the same, which of course it couldn’t be. Kenney Jones was a great drummer but he wasn’t Keith.

I enjoyed Pete Townshend’s solo Rock Against Racism benefit gig at The Rainbow a month earlier far more, in fact that night is right up there in my all time fave gigs list.

It would be another 23 years when I next saw The Who again – a great gig at Watford Town Hall in 2002.

Here’s some nostalgic footage from a very memorable day all of 42 years ago…


Who Are You, Keith Moon and me…

On the player The Who – Who Are You album as I’ve been thinking of The Who gig at Wembley Stadium in 1979.

A year before I bought this new Who album on Saturday August 19 1978 at the then HMV shop in Bedford – there had been a delay in supply and we had not had it delivered at WH Smiths where I worked.

The fact is, I could not wait a day longer for this album – I needed it in my life simple as that and as usual they delivered. Townshend’s songs speaking to me in a way they always did and still do… John Entwistle‘s pair of compositions were also top class, namely 905 and Trick Of The Light.

The Pete song that really resonated most was Love Is Coming Down….

‘’ Surrounded by people, a real heavy crowd, but inside I still feel lonely now’’ sings Roger…I knew that feeling back then and have experienced it a fair few times since certainly in the last 18 months…

Three weeks before this album’s release I’d been lucky enough to meet Keith Moon briefly at the opening of The Who exhibition at London’s ICA when my very good friend Dec and I attended the launch.

‘’Not be taken away’’ it says on the chair Keith sits on as can be seen on the Who Are You album cover…sadly that was not the case and within a month he would be gone…

This pic of me with Keith on August 1 1978 is therefore a very treasured memory –Dec is just behind me, friend of The Who Richard Barnes to the right and that’s Ian Dury in front…

43 years ago this month – amazing times  that I was so lucky to experience…and more tales for the memoirs…

Dave Lewis, August 18,2021


Bedford Record Collecting delight: Bedford VIP Record Fair Saturday August 21 plus the return of the Vinyl Barn – and the Slide Record Shop to visit:

Saturday August 21 is shaping up to be a day of record collecting delight with two events lined up:

Firstly the VIP Record Fair at the Harpur Suite:

This is the first post Covid event at the popular Bedford venue and one of the test events by the VIP guys.

Here’s all the info via VIP:


The Harpur Suite, Harpur Street, Bedford MK40 1LE

A lovely, busy fair in the heart of this busy, music friendly, town centre.

Expect to see traders from all over the UK – specially handpicked from the VIP Music fairs circuit.

Big open air car park just up the road, lots of promotion, and easy unloading facilities for traders – giving sellers the best chance of an enjoyable and successful day out. This lovely hall is a land mark in the area – perfect for another VIP Music fair.

Free entry from 1.30 to 3.30

Our Bedford VIP Record Fair returns THIS SATURDAY 21st August to our great venue in Bedford – the Harpur Suite. All tables fully booked. All areas of collectable music genres are covered so you are in for a fantastic browsing treat.

More Info at

Please wear a face covering at our Record Fairs if you can.

Hand sanitizer will be provided on the door at our venues – next to our friendly cashier.

Social distancing rules have been relaxed but we do ask that you do not crowd around any particular stall – 2 or 3 at a table at any time please.

Visit for further info:

TBL Stall at the Bedford VIP Fair…

I aim to be in attendance at the Bedford VIP Fair with the TBL stall.

There will plenty of Zep rebated items on offer, TBL magazines, books and more  I’ll also have detailed info of the forthcoming Evenings With Led Zeppelin Revised & Expanded edition – in fact I am hoping to have an early copy to show – so come along and say hi if you can.

The Vinyl Barn is back…

Also on Saturday ,Darren will be back with the Vinyl Barn on Bedford Market .This will be situated to the left of the Harpur Suite building – a few yards from the VIP Record Fair

This is therefore a great opportunity to combine both events.

This Vinyl Barn appearance will be Darren’s first of his planned Saturday monthly visits and there will be plenty of bargain priced LP. singles, CDs etc on offer

The Slide Record Shop:

Just around the corner from all this activity is the excellent Slide Record Shop – another place or record collection sanction to check out on the day – the shop is situated at 9 The Arcade, Bedford MK40 1NS

More details here:

It all adds up to a great day for record collecting enthusiasts in Bedford – if you are in the area and can make it along we look forward to seeing you!

DL Diary Blog Update:

Wednesday August 11:

It was great to meet up with my fellow record collecting comrade Lee Abrahams at the always excellent Pete Burridge Record Club at The Castle last night – the George Harrison All Things Must Pass new reissued set was one record related topic of many we discussed…it’s a beauty and I am very much looking forward to wading through one of my all time fave albums now more extensively presented than ever before

Wednesday August 11:

It was 42 years ago today…

Saturday August 11,1979

At Knebworth 42 years ago today – taking a stroll and awaiting the second appearance of Led Zeppelin – I’m wearing the TBL Knebworth T shirt that I did a few of…great memories and all of 42 years ago today…

Thursday August 12:

It was 49 years ago this week…

49 years ago this week on August 11,1972 the Welsh rock band Man appeared at the Corn Exchange Bedford in a Friars presentation.

I missed this one but I did buy their budget priced album Live at the Padget Rooms, Penarth from the aforementioned Carlows record shop when it was released the next month…


Saturday August 14:

Saturday is platterday – celebrating the great David Crosby’s Birthday so on the player the rather brilliant Crosby, Stills ,Nash & Young live double album Four Way Street…

Sunday August 15:

Sunday sounds on CD – loading up the excellent Sand Blasters – A Raising Sand Companion CD compiled by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss and free with the new issue of Mojo…

Sunday August 15:

Sunday sounds on CD – loading up the magnificent George Harrison All Things Must Pass 50th Anniversary CD set…the reissue of the year for me…the new mix is superb


Sunday August 15:

Spurs 1 Man City 0 that will do nicely…

Some particular inspirations this past week…

Always a welcome sound –the new issue of Mojo dropping through the letterbox -and this one looks a bit special for sure…Robert Plant and Alison Krauss and the story behind the forthcoming album…

Spurs excellent performance against Man City…

The inspiring content of the George Harrison All Things Must Pass reissue…

A much welcomed visit from our Sam for a couple of days earlier this week …

Update here:

A busy week – there’s been more preparation for the Evenings With Led Zeppelin Revised & Expanded edition

I’ve also been busy collating stock for the TBL stall due for the Bedford VIP Record Fair this Saturday. It’s been a long time since such an event could be staged  – I look forward to seeing all that can make it along.

Thanks for listening – stay safe and well you very lovely people…

Dave  Lewis – August 18 ,2021

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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One Comment »

  • Lee said:

    August 1979, my first-ever Zeppelin & Who gigs. What a month!
    16 years old at the time…wish I had been a bit older, would have seen Keith Moon if I had been. Ah well…

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