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JOHN BONHAM CELEBRATION FESTIVAL LATEST/EVENINGS WITH LAUNCH LATEST/LZ NEWS/ ROBERT PLANT AND SSS LIVE REPORTS/JIMI AND MARC REMEMBERED/MARTIN ALLCOCK 1957-2018/ TBL PROJECT UPDATE AND ARCHIVE REFLECTIONS /DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

20 September 2018 2,715 views 6 Comments

JOHN BONHAM A CELEBRATION FESTIVAL – ALL ROADS LEAD TO REDDITCH THIS WEEKEND…

Following the installation of a permanent bronze memorial sculpture in his hometown of Redditch, Worcestershire, a very special music event is taking place in the area this Saturday to celebrate his 70th Birthday, life and legacy.

Organised by The John Bonham Memorial Friends and in partnership with Heart of Worcestershire College, the celebration festival will take place at Peakman Street, Redditch on Saturday 22nd September 2018.

A stellar line-up of Rock/Blues artists and Special Guests, all with a connection to John and the Bonham family, will take to the stage as part of a full day of live music, commencing at 13.00 until 23.00. Some acts will be revealed via www.johnbonhammemorial.com but others will be saved and revealed on the day.

This memorable event will host a mix of well-known stars and upcoming musicians, all donating their time to remember John Bonham and to raise vital funds for Teenage Cancer Trust and their outreach nurse programme across the West Midlands.

Tickets are priced at £25 each (plus £1.50 booking fee) and will go on sale at 12 noon on Friday 29th June 2018 via www.johnbonhammemorial.com.

Proceeds in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust West Midlands to support vital services in memory of John. Ticket numbers are strictly limited to just 1000 on a first come first served basis. Over 18s only.

Latest Update:

This via Pete Bullick’s Facebook Page:

Next Saturday 22 Sept, Redditch West Midlands, Deborah Bonham and the band with some special guests will perform some of John’s favourite tunes at the John Bonham ‘A Celebration’ event. At around noon, Deborah will present Redditch council ownership of the wonderful John Bonham Bronze Memorial Sculpture on Mercian Square by St Stephens Church. The all day music event will start at 1pm, just a short walk from John’s statue. All proceeds to John Bonham’s Teenage Cancer Trust West Midlands. Looks like it will be a sell out so grab your tickets in advance. Lots of great music all day, and the night will finish off with a fabulous Led Zeppelin flavour.

Also lined up to appear:

LETZ ZEP, QUARTZ, BEV BEVAN, STEVE GIBBONS BAND, REBECCA DOWNES, VINCENT FLATTS EASILY LED, ARCADIA ROOTS,   BIG WOLF BAND, LENNY JAMES & THE GATOR SQUAD, LED HENDRIX, YOU DIRTY BLUE RITCHIE DAVE PORTER

I am aiming to be there and look forward to seeing all that can make it along.

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Some reminders from last week…

Evenings With Led Zeppelin – The Complete Concert Chronicle – Official Omnibus Press Launch at the Festival Of Sound Event:

The forthcoming Evenings With Led Zeppelin book will be officially launched by Omnibus Press at the Festival of Sound event in Hammersmith London on Friday September 28.

Mike Tremaglio and myself will be staging an hour long presentation of the book from 11am to 12.

Copies of the book will be available at the event and we will be on hand to sign them throughout the day.

We look forward to seeing all that can make it along. Here’s the info

Friday September, 28:

Festival of Sound – The Music And Audio Show:

Novotel London West
1 Shortlands,
Hammersmith,
London,
W6 8DR

“When Led Zeppelin played a concert, it wasn’t just a concert – it was an event.” – Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin’s manager, 1993

Authors Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio explain how they researched in detail the 500 plus concerts Led Zeppelin performed to produce the book Evenings With Led Zeppelin – The Complete Concert Chronicle (Omnibus Press)

Including:

The evolution of the group in 1968

The intensive touring schedule in their early years

How Led Zeppelin and manager Peter Grant changed the art of rock presentation in the late 60s/early70s

The group’s speedy elevation to being the world’s greatest live attraction of the rock era

The importance of the visual element of the book

Why this book is much more than a log of concerts

Led Zeppelin’s importance in rock history

Fifty years on from their formation, Led Zeppelin’s potency as a live band remains unsurpassed – Evenings With Led Zeppelin vividly explains why.

Presentation followed by Question and Answer session

Dave Lewis

Dave Lewis first heard the music of Led Zeppelin in 1969 at the age of 13. The effect has been a lasting one. He is acknowledged and respected throughout the world as a leading chronicler of the group and its individual members.   Dave is the editor and founder of the acclaimed magazine, Tight But Loose,which is currently in its 40th year and reaches out to over 30 countires worldwide.

Mike Tremaglio

Mike Tremaglio is one of the foremost Led Zeppelin researchers and has chronicled their work over many years in print and on the web. For many years, he wrote popular tour retrospectives for the highly regarded Tight But Loose magazine. He has also contributed significantly to several of co-author Dave Lewis’s books and magazine features.

The full Friday line up reads as follow:

Special Event (Evenings With Led Zeppelin: Dave Lewis & Mike Tremaglio)

Special Event (Peter Aylett: The Future Of Technology)

Special Event (Chris Difford)

Special Event (Russ Andrews: Discovering Better Sound)

Special Event (Meet The Editor: Noel Keywood)

Special Event (Let The Good Times Roll: Kenney Jones & Chris Kimsey)

Special Event (Dre, King Kofi, Margin Kings, Peaky)

Special Event (Jeczalic/Langan (Art Of Noise): Deconstructed For Your Listening Pleasure)

Entry to the event in advance is £10 and £15 on the day

More details at:

https://festivalofsound.co.uk/

https://festivalofsound.co.uk/sessions/tony-cousins-2-2-2-2/

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Evenings With Led Zeppelin – The Complete Concert Chronicle Update:

 

Many thanks for the great feedback on the forthcoming book due out September 27

576 pages

260,000 word text

2,500+ images

170 rarely seen colour and black and white photos

Large hardback size 267 x 204mm

Price: £40

Written by Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio

Edited by Chris Charlesworth

Designed by Mick Lowe at StudioMix Bedford

Foreword by former Led Zeppelin Tour Manager Richard Cole

Publication Date: September 27, 2018

 

“When Led Zeppelin played a concert, it wasn’t just a concert – it was an event.” – Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin’s manager, 1993

Evenings With Led Zeppelin chronicles in consummate detail the 500-plus concerts that Led Zeppelin performed throughout their career.

From their earliest gig in a Denmark school gymnasium on September 7, 1968, through to the last gig that Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones ever performed with John Bonham, in Berlin on July 7, 1980, this is the Led Zeppelin story told from where their legend was forged – live on stage.

Deploying impeccable research spread over many years, Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio bring clarity, authority and perspective to their unique story.

Evenings With Led Zeppelin is a show-by-show narrative of every known Led Zeppelin performance that portrays with pinpoint accuracy the group’s rapid ascent from playing to a few hundred at London’s Marquee Club to selling out the 20,000 capacity Madison Square Garden in New York – all in a mere eighteen months.

Supplemented by historical reviews, facts and figures and expert commentary that capture the spirit of the times, Evenings With Led Zeppelin is illustrated throughout with rarely seen concert adverts, posters, venue images, ticket stubs and photos, all of which offer matchless insight into each and every concert. This is the on-stage heritage of Led Zeppelin as never before chronicled in one volume.

Fifty years on from their formation, Led Zeppelin’s potency as a live band remains unsurpassed – Evenings With Led Zeppelin vividly explains why.

Ordering details:

In the UK the book can be pre ordered via Amazon at this link:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Evenings-Led-Zeppelin-Chronicle-1968-1980/dp/1783057017/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536760790&sr=8-1&keywords=evenings+with+led+zeppelin

Overseas orders:

A US Amazon link for US orders will follow shortly  

I will not be selling the book via the TBL site – however, I am aiming to produce a special TBL limited edition insert signed by the authors which will be available separately – more details on this to follow. Evenings With Led Zeppelin is on the way  – get ready to soak up the story from the place they functioned best – live on stage…

Planet Rock Zep-tember Top Ten Led Zeppelin Gigs:

 

On Tuesday September 11, I recorded an interview for Planet Rock with DJ Ian Danter ( see pic) in which we discussed the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book and ten of the greatest Led Zeppelin gigs. This will air as a special programme as part of Planet Rock’s Zep-tember series – it airs next Wednesday September 26 at 7pm

 

 

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Another update:

Dave Lewis and Julian Walker Present..

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

Led Zeppelin 50th Anniversary TBL Celebration Day Event

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Atlas Pub

16 Seagrave Road,Fulham, London, SW6 1RX

Following on from last December’s hugely enjoyable ‘Ahmet We Did It’ 02 Ten Years Gone event at this venue, we are going back to the pub on Sunday September 30 for a day of Led Zeppelin 50th Anniversary Celebrations.

 

Julian and I checked out the venue on Monday and our test of footage from Earls Court looked and sounded very good.

This event is now fully subscribed and tickets are now sold out -however, there may be one or two late places available – for details on that email me at

davelewis.tbl1@ntlworld.com .

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Led Zeppelin News Update:

In conjunction with the Led Zep news site, each week I will be re- producing highlights from their weekly email update news summary. This goes out every Sunday. Sign up details are below. Many thanks to James Cook

Led Zeppelin

  • Customers who pre-ordered Led Zeppelin’s official photo book have started receiving their orders this week. The book officially goes on sale on October 9.

Robert Plant

  • Robert Plant kicked off the latest leg of his tour last Sunday, and he has performed several shows this week. See the setlists below:

September 9 – St. Louis, Missouri
New World…
Turn It Up
The May Queen
Black Dog
Going to California
Please Read the Letter
Gallows Pole
Carry Fire
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Little Maggie
Funny In My Mind (I Believe I’m Fixin’ to Die)
Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down / In My Time of Dying
Bring It On Home / Whole Lotta Love

September 10 – Kansas City, Missouri
New World…
Turn It Up
The May Queen
Black Dog
Going to California
Please Read the Letter
Gallows Pole
Carry Fire
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Little Maggie
Funny In My Mind (I Believe I’m Fixin’ to Die)
——-
In the Mood
Bring It On Home / Whole Lotta Love

September 13 – Santa Fe, New Mexico
Good Times Bad Times
The May Queen
Poor Howard
Black Dog
Going to California
Please Read the Letter
Gallows Pole
I Can’t Quit You
Down to the Sea
Carry Fire
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Fixin’ to Die
Whole Lotta Love

September 15 – Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, Colorado
Good Times Bad Times
The Lemon Song
Turn It Up
Poor Howard
Going to California
Gallows Pole
Carry Fire
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Fixin’ to Die
Black Dog
Bring It On Home / Whole Lotta Love

Upcoming events:

September 16 – Robert Plant will perform at the KAABOO festival in California.
September 18 – “Scream For Help,” which features a soundtrack by John Paul Jones, will be released on Blu-ray.
September 19 – Robert Plant will perform in Tucson, Arizona.
September 21 – Robert Plant will perform in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
September 22 – The John Bonham Celebration Festival will take place in Redditch.
September 23 – Robert Plant will perform at the Bourbon & Beyond festival in Louisville, Kentucky.
September 25 – Robert Plant will perform in Irving, Texas.
September 27 – The “Evenings With Led Zeppelin” book will be released and Robert Plant will perform in Lubbock, Texas.
September 28 – Dave Lewis will launch his “Evenings With Led Zeppelin” book at the Festival of Sound event in Hammersmith London.
September 29 – Empress Valley will release the soundboard recording of Led Zeppelin’s September 29, 1971 show and Robert Plant will perform in Austin, Texas.
September 30 – The TBL 50th Anniversary Celebration Day event will take place at The Atlas Pub in Fulham, London and Robert Plant will perform in Austin, Texas.
October 1 – Robert Plant will perform in Austin, Texas.
October 9 – The official Led Zeppelin photo book will be released.
October 16 – “Bring it on Home,” a new biography of Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant, will be released.
October 25 – Robert Plant will perform in Cardiff, Wales.
October 26 – Robert Plant will perform in London, UK.
October 28 – Robert Plant will perform in Dublin, Ireland.
November 20 – The Japanese edition of the official Led Zeppelin photo book will be released.
November 29 – “Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Book of Bass”, which features an interview with John Paul Jones, will be released.

Many thanks to James Cook.

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

Led Zeppelin News Website: Check out the Led Zeppelin news website at

http://ledzepnews.com/

One more from LZ News just in:

http://ledzepnews.com/2018/09/19/exclusive-led-zeppelin-may-be-working-on-an-online-streaming-service-for-its-live-recordings/

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Robert Plant performing Good Times Bad Times…

Age does not define him…his performances do…Robert Plant still the master vocalist…

I very much looking forward to catching him on the Blue Fest line up at the 02 next month…

https://www.jambase.com/article/robert-plant-adds-good-times-bad-times-to-solo-repertoire

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Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters in Tucson, Arizona – September 19: on the spot reports…

This report and pic via Greg Frazho

Tonight’s set list, Dave. Awesome show! Drove almost 400 miles, the last several in heavy rain. That’s probably what precipitated, no pun intended, the songs…

1. When The Levee Breaks
2. Turn It Up
3. In The Mood
4. The Rain Song
5. Please Read the Letter
6. Gallows Pole (Led Belly and tour buses story)
7. Carry Fire
8. Tyson Guitar Solo Intro/Babe I’m Gonna Leave You/Guitar Solo Outro
9. Pretty Girl / Red Dress (Little Maggie?)
10. Fixin’ To Die? / Drum Solo
11. Ramble On
Encores:
Robert’s intro about the tribute in Worcestershire for John Bonham: “I couldn’t be there because I keep doing this shit!”
12. Good Times, Bad Times
13. Black Dog Improvisation
“Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen of Tuscon, Arizona.”
“Thanks for coming out. Keep smiling!”
Show length: about 89 minutes. Began: 8:30. Ended: 9:58.
Opening Act: Seth Lakeman

Many thanks to Greg for that report.

Good morning to you Dave,
I just got back from Robert’s Tucson show, and had to write. First time seeing Robert since 2013. I missed the Phoenix show in February this year, but drove down to catch this show, and am glad I did. The heavy desert rains we had today inspired Robert to go with a much different set list than what I have been reading since the start of the tour in St. Louis 10 days ago:
  1. When the Levee Breaks – perfect opener, much in the same vein as the 2005 live versions during the Mighty Rearranger era
  2. Turn It Up – Good one live, new for me since it’s been 5 years seeing Robert live
  3. In The Mood – didn’t expect this, always nice to hear
  4. The Rain Song – beautiful, crowd went crazy and Robert said the Tucson weather was in sync with this song
  5. Please Read The Letter – interesting Plantations on Alison which basically hinted at everyone driving their own busses and how he missed his English mates he’s playing with. Funny comment that “this song was written by two up and coming young English songwriters”
  6. Gallows Pole – still prefer Unledded era version…too much Seth and Nashville twang for me
  7. Carry Fire – what a powerhouse! So sad this was the only song from tonight’s show off the new album!
  8. Babe I’m Gonna Leave You – strong version, the Skin show, but Robert too with powerful vocals he showcases for this one
  9. Poor Howard – another new one for me, pretty good song live
  10. Fixin’ To Die – Extended version where everyone gets to showcase a mini solo. Really works well. Thinking I haven’t heard this live since seeing Robert during the Dreamland era in ’02
  11. Ramble On – pretty good, a bit too much Seth on fiddle, which really doesn’t fit, but overall satisfying
Robert comes out for the encore, and speaks passionately about his friend John Bonham, mentions how he’s sad he’ll miss John’s Memorial celebration in Bonzo’s hometown this weekend but will be there in spirit, and dedicates this next song to Bonzo. Also note: Robert’s tour merchandise included the John Bonham Memorial t shirt you could purchase and was marked as charity, so nice of Robert to take these official t shirts on the road with him this leg of the tour, and sell more shirts for the Memorial’s support of the Teenage Cancer Trust
  1. Good Times Bad Times – think this is the 3rd or 4th attempt at this live since this start of this leg of the US tour. Pretty good, Robert vocally out of sync with the sound during 2nd verse, still working through it but a nice surprise
  2. Long instrumental to close the show, no Whole Lotta Love. Will have to see what others claim this instrumental to be

Many thanks to Franchise for that one

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Jimi Hendrix Remembered – 48 years gone… 

I can remember exactly where I was when the news of Jimi Hendrix death came through on September 18, 1970 – 48 years ago on Tuesday. I was listening to the Tommy Vance Friday What’s New programme as I did most Fridays back then eager to hear the latest single releases. Around 5pm the announcement was made on the BBC Radio One news and Tommy went on to provide a fitting tribute to the guitar legend noting the inconsistencies of his performances over the past year.

Across the water the next day Led Zeppelin were performing two shows at Madison Square Garden and Robert Plant paid his respects in the evening show.

”Before we go any further …yesterday a rather uncomfortable thing happened for everybody and a great loss for the music world…and we’d like to think that you as well as us are very sorry that Jimi Hendrix went. I spoke to a close friend of his about half an hour ago and he said probably he would have preferred everybody to get on and have a good time rather than talk about it. So we’d like to get on and try and make everybody happy”.

I’m just listening to that extract of that speech on the bootleg of the evening show I have titled Shout That Loud. They go on to do an absolute steller version of That’s The Way with Plant’s vocals sounding absolutely incredible.  ‘’I wonder how we’re gonna tell you’’ he sings slightly changing the lyrics. Behind him Jimmy strums away sweetly and JPJ adds mandolin totally complimenting the mood. That’s The Way performed by  Led Zeppelin one day after the death of Jimi Hendrix is an awesome performance.

I also know exactly where I was on the sixth anniversary of Jimi Hendrix  death in 1976. That was the day we were pitched up in Hyde Park ready to watch the free concert featuring Queen. One of the flags in the crowd that day proclaimed ‘’Jimi Hendrix lives.’’

His music certainly does. I had a real Hendrix fascination around 1972-3 and brought a fair few of his albums. I went to see the Joe Boyd documentary film in London and loved the soundtrack. I also love the Hendrix In The West live album and that one was on the player on Tuesday and sounding superb.

Marc Bolan remembered – 41 years gone…

Bolan 2

Sunday marked the 41st anniversary of the death of Marc Bolan. Another of my all time heroes and one of the naturally great looking rock stars. There was plenty of T.Rex on the player here today the weekend  – every Marc/T.Rex  single of the early 70s was an event and they still sound so fresh. Here’s a pic of Marc with Robert Plant circa 1976 -taken  I think at the Cardiff Rock Festival.

Marc Bolan was the epitome of the word STAR – when I was a great coat wearing Zep head age 15, amongst all the teenyboppers Marc Bolan and T. Rex were still cool. His album Electric Warrior is amongst my all time favourites and his singles such as Telegram Sam, Metal Guru,Children Of The Revolution, 20th Century Boy etc always inspire great 1970s  memories.

Marc Bolan remains a Wizard and a True Star and he always will be…

 

 

 

 

 

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Martin Allcock 1957 – 2018 RIP: 

Very sad to hear the passing of Martin Allcock

Here’s some words via the Jethro Tull website:

We learned today of the sad news that Maartin Allcock had passed away after several months of battling the final stages of liver cancer. Maart’s work with Tull starting in the late 80s was memorable for his joy and exuberant commitment to music of all kinds – even ours. His time with the Fairports and his various collaborations with artists too numerous to mention here were marked by his skills in mastering several instruments and tackling many genres. He leaves behind a treasure trove of recordings and a feast of memories.

Martin had a long line of musical collaborations to his name including stints with Jethro Tull and Fairport Convention. He contributed mandolin to the tracks Colour Of A Shade and  If I Were A Carpenter on Robert Plant’s Fate Of Nations album. Martin is pictured above with Robert in 2010. He will be much missed…RIP

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TBL Product/Projects Updates:

Led Zeppelin Live 1975 – 1977:

Many thanks for all the support on this one. The TBL Limited Edition signed by the Editor with interview insert is selling well – if you have recently ordered I am just awaiting fresh stock and books should be going out over the next ten days.

TBL issue 44:

Still a fair bit to do on this – and with the current full on workload it’s looking more likely that I will hold this issue over to publish early in 2019. With so many led Zep related books already scheduled, I feel it might be as well to wait until the new year – that way there will be something to look forward to after all the 50th anniversary celebrations. More on all this soon.

Projects Ahead:   

Led Zeppelin Concert Chronicle

The publication of the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book will be a massive relief for me. It really has been one of the biggest challenges of my long writing career. Mike Tremaglio and I are now very keen to promote it and get the message out as to why we think this book is a very significant addition to the ever creaking Zep bookshelf.

With that one completed, I am already looking at the next projects and there are a couple in mind – one is to compile a TBL Greatest Hits  – this would take the form of a 40 year overview extracting the best features from the magazine’s 40 plus issues. This is all a long way off yet but I am already amassing a fair bit of TBL visual history that would compliment the text.

I am also slowly chipping away at the DL memoirs. I’ve mentioned this idea before – I am very keen to gather my memories of the past 50 plus years of being involved in music – listening, watching, selling and writing about it. Much of this would of course encompass my chronicling of Led Zeppelin. Again, this is a way off yet but I am already logging various episodes and reminisces.

To give you a flavour of the type of thing I’ll be presenting – here are a couple of DL/TBL Archive Reflections

DL/TBL Archive Reflections 1:

Led Zeppelin A Celebration book launch 27 years gone…

27 years ago this week, I was on a whirlwind tour of UK radio stations promoting my then just published Led Zeppelin A Celebration book. Publishers Omnibus Press arranged for me to be driven by their PR company rep to visit a host of UK radio stations in a four day span. It included stop-offs in Sheffield, Manchester, Shrewsbury, Bristol, Coventry, Northampton and  finally Nottingham. I also conducted a couple of interviews on something that was called a mobile phone. Oh yes from the comfort of the passenger seat I could relay my enthusiasm for the book to the radio interviewer. A wondrous device – this mobile phone was brick like in size – it was my first associationwith the world of the cell. It would not be my last…

Led Zeppelin A Celebration sitting proudly at number one – The author at the Virgin Megastore Oxford Street London, September 1991

The book tour had been delayed from early September as sadly my Dad had passed away in the late August so it was a difficult time, but once on the road it was a hugely enjoyable week- and on the Thursday there was a very memorable last stop off at  BBC RadioNottingham. On arrival lo and behold, lying in wait was the late Mick Hinton, loyal drum roadie of John Bonham – a man I had last seen on the Over Europe tour. Now residing in Nottingham, Mick had heard a trailer of my appearance and decided to ring up and get in on the act. Unsurprisingly this was a very lively of the interview as Mick relayed his tales of yore (or as clean a version as could be aired at 5pm). It was the beginning of several significant encounters with the former Zep insider – notably at the 1992 London Led Zeppelin Convention I co organised with Andy Adams and a trip to interview him for the TBL mag in Nottingham. Many of these stories I’m saving for my memoirs. By way of a preview I can reveal that Gary Foy’s first association with Mick was clearing up behind one of the Convention stalls after Mick had politely thrown up.

Oh yes that trip to interview Mick in Nottingham. This included drinking a few cans of Tenant’s Extra strong lager at his place that ensured rather than stop off at Bedford on the train back, I found myself in St Pancras station London. Yes in my rather inebriated state I had slept right through!

Ahh sweet memories of 27 years back. By the way the A Celebration book is now long out of print though it does turn up frequently on eBay.

And before all that….

DL/TBL Reflections 2

(Extracts from Music Is Life To My Ears –The Dave Lewis Memoirs (TBL Publishing – work in progress for future publication) 

Back in 1972/3 , I was absolutely obsessed with reading the weekly music press ie NME/Melody Maker, Disc etc – and the regular monthly mag the brilliant Let It Rock. I devoured every word of these publications – soaking up these vital sources of info greatly enhanced my appreciation and knowledge of music – central to which was of course Led Zeppelin.

I’m reminded here of something Brad Tolinski astutely noted in an issue of Guitar World – ”Led Zeppelin music was designed to stimulate the imagination, to encourage kids to dream ,to see an open space beyond the grind of daily existence.”

Along with my affinity for the music of Led Zep, The Beatles, Stones Who etc, my weekly intake of these publications did open up a world of possibility and encourage me to dream.

Massively inspired  by the NME writers  Charles Shaar Murray and Nick Kent,  I began writing my own reviews  in my bedroom basically as an outlet for my opinions and thoughts  – this from a young man with no formal qualifications whatsoever having left school at 15 to work as a storeman at the local British Home Stores. Deep down, I harboured a strong desire to write about the music I liked – I was always fairly good at English so undaunted, I wrote these reviews for an audience of one for the time being….the one being me.

The first thing I wrote was a review of the Led Zep Alexandra Palace gig I attended in December 1972. I also wrote reviews of the Wings albums Red Rose Speedway and Wildlife and started compiling top tens with written commentary of tracks I liked inspired by a popular column in Let It Rock. I then wrote a review of the Rolling Stones Wembley Empire Pool gig. More reviews would follow over the next couple of years including the Television, The Who, and Bowie gigs I attended in 1977/78.

Most significantly and unsurprisingly, I began logging lots of my own personal Zep scribing’s including an extensive  feature on Jimmy’s solo sessions and work with The Yardbirds (wish I still had that). My first ever printed work in the music press was an impassioned letter to Let It Rock about the merits of bootlegs of which I was already an avid collector – duly published (under the rather grand byline David Lewis) in their February 1974 issue.

Here it is:

letitrock letter

At the time I was still working as a storeman in the stockroom at British Home Stores.  Alongside the desire to write about it, I also knew I wanted to work with music in some shape or form. The opportunity to do that came when I met up with the guys who would became my lifelong friends namely Dec, Phil and Tom. Phil worked at the local record shop Carlows. Inspired by Phil’s role as highly knowledgeable record shop salesman, I spotted a vacancy for a job in the record department of WH Smith in Bedford and in the late October I began working there as a junior salesman behind the record counter. It was an absolute dream job for me and for the next 35 years, I enjoyed every minute of a hugely fulfilling career in music and entertainment retail that unfortunately came to a somewhat abrupt end when I was made redundant in February 2009.

Back to the story:

By 1977 I had amassed a lot of my own writings on Zep including my extensive reviews of Earls Court and Presence plus a feature on the imaginary contents of the live chronological album that Jimmy had talked up a lot back then. Armed with all this, I set to work formulating a fanzine about Led Zeppelin – inspired by the do it yourself ethics of the punk fanzines Sniffin’ Glue and Ripped And Torn, hand writing the entire contents. The pages of a first proto type issue of a this Led Zeppelin fanzine I dubbed Tight But Loose (after an expression Jimmy and Robert had used to describe the band’s music in interviews on the 1977 tour) were duly photocopied around late 1977/early 1978.

The catalyst that would bring this idea onto the streets and create a platform of communication between like minded fans across the world was just around the corner – and it was to come in the form of the weekly music paper Sounds. I’ll explain more on in another of these DL Reflections.

Back to The Rolling Stones. During the research for the Goats Head Soup album feature I did for Record Collector , I found my original hand written review as compiled back in September 1973 after I had attended their afternoon show at Wembley Empire Pool.  It makes for incredibly quaint reading but the passion is all there….that same passion that has fuelled every written project I’ve undertaken on since.

Back in my bedroom age 17 in 1973 as I scrawled out my thoughts on that epic Stones gig, I knew I had ambitions and aspirations to write about rock music and share my enthusiasm with others –the problem back then was that I had no real idea of quite how I was going to achieve that objective. Many things have happened in between to make that dream a reality….but a reality it did become

Some 40 years on from my bedroom writings to an audience of one, my thoughts on The Rolling Stones of that era appeared in a cover story feature in Record Collector – focusing on their Goats Head Soup album.

goats dl 2

So It’s been a long and winding road – this music journalism lark, with many a twist and turn along the way –but I’m absolutely blessed to have been able to undertake it and to paraphrase the singer, writing and talking about music – be it Led Zeppelin at Knebworth, on the TBL website, in the TBL magazine, or features in Record Collector etc. totally defines who I am and gives me a reason for being…rather than having been.

More DL/TBL Reflections to follow.

……………………….

DL Diary Blog Update: 

Friday treats at the Vinyl Barn – at the always excellent Vinyl Barn last Friday I was well pleased to pick up the five LP Bob Dylan box set compilation Biograph – a superb overview of his1960s/70s output – many thanks Darren

So September …

To paraphrase the evocative sleeve notes of the Frank Sinatra September Of My Years LP ‘’September can be an attitude or an age or a wistful reality.’’

And suddenly the summer has gone. It’s already getting slightly colder and there’s an autumnal feeling in the air. I always feel a little reflective after my Birthday and this year is no exception. As mentioned  above, I have been wading through some past DL/TBL archive pieces. There’s also been a couple of very welcomed reflective musical selections to soak up.

Firstly the new Paul Weller album True Meanings.

I’ve often compared Paul Weller’s musical stance to that of Robert Plant. Resisting the call of the past while  being comfortable with it’s legacy, Paul Weller strides on making music that pleases him and ultimately his audiences. This latest album finds him at 60 in a wistful mood echoing Robert Plant’s reflections on the Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar album. Looking back to look forward in a series of personal songs performed in a sparse semi acoustic setting. Many of the songs are shrouded in sensitive string arrangements that hark back to the late Robert Kirby’s work with Nick Drake.

The plaintive mood  on True Meanings recalls earlier Weller wistful laments such as English Rose, Lisa Radley, Ghosts and Head Start To Happiness.

Weller has also adopted that close to mic breathy vocal delivery often favoured by Plant. This is heard to great effect on the slow and fragile Glide. Elsewhere, the lazy stroll of What Would He Say ? is supplemented by Chris Storr’s pleasing Penny Lane like flugel horn. The mournful Aspects feature the delicate string arrangements of Hannah Peel.

Bowie is an abstract tribute with lyrics by Erland Cooper. Various cameo players enter proceedings along the way. Folk legends Danny Thompson and Martin Cathy add credence to Come Along. Rod Argent adds a Zombies like Hammond organ to the opening track The Soul Searchers. Noel Gallagher plays harmonium on the mantra like Books.

Throughout the album Paul Weller displays a vulnerability in his playing and composing that is in keeping with his maturing of years. No longer the angry young mod punk of 1977 of course – but a man with the same reflections, fears and hopes of those of us of a similar age. It makes for some melancholy listening. True Meanings is therefore sure to be a repeated warm pleasure on the player here in the coming colder months ahead.

Then there’s A Tree Without Roots Fairport Convention & Friends and the Songs Of Bob Dylan. John Parkin came up with this one for my Birthday and I finally got around to checking it out this last few days. It’s been compiled by long time Fairport/Dylan fan writer and author Patrick Humphries ( who will be appearing at the TBL Atlas pub event on September 30 talking about the Fairport/Zep connections.)

Patrick has cleverly woven together 17 Bob Dylan compositions by Fairport and friends covering the years 1967 to 1977. The friends of course include the much missed Sandy Denny. Her live rendition of Tomorrow Is A Long Time is one of the stand out tracks. Sandy is also present and very correct on Fairport’s wonderful delivery of I’ll Keep It With Mine from the What We Did On Our Holidays album – and a 1974 version of Knocking On Heaven’s Door. All in all, this compilation is a sheer delight rounded off by some warmly affectionate and informative sleeve notes by Patrick.

Along with the aforementioned Paul Weller album, Robert Plant’s Fate Of Nations ( in memory of Martin Allcock) and the recently released remastered Song Remains The Same set, it’s been the perfect reflective soundtrack as I lead in to a very busy few weeks.

The celebrations commence in Redditch on Saturday and I look forward to seeing all that can make it along to was is sure to be a highly emotional gathering in the vicinity of that beautiful John Bonham memorial sculpture…

 

Dave Lewis – September 20, 2018

Until next time, have a great weekend

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy, Mike Tremaglio and James Cook

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6 Comments »

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks for those very kind comments Hunt

  • Hunt Sidway said:

    “Music Is Life To My Ears – The Dave Lewis Memoirs”

    Dave, this is a great project, which would be unique and much welcomed. You have such a huge, generous heart, which is so evident from all your writing, whether books, articles, reviews, or side notes, even RIP announcements, and brief comments. plus there is so much humor, and you self-deprecating stories! Always uplifting, encouraging, and never cynical or snarky. And even when you take issue with an artist or another writer or whoever, you are always very fair, stating your point or disagreement, and then getting on with it, never tearing anyone down.

    We all love being along with you for the ride, and this project sounds like an absolutely delightful companion volume for anyone who loves music. Looking forward to it!

    – Hunt

  • Ian D said:

    So sad to read of the premature passing and dignified battle of Martin Allcock. As part of the rebooted Fairport “Maart” combined multi-facected musicianship and humour, bridging rock and folk, tradition and contemporary. Check out Jewel in the Crown, or his contributions to the recent release of highlights from Cropredy 2017 – What We Did on our Saturday.

    Also the death has been announced of Chas Hodges, of Chas & Dave. Consummate musician and entertainer, who played Knebworth 79, sharing the first bill with a different incarnation of Fairport Convention.

  • Chris M said:

    Hi Dave. Still have my ‘photocopied’ TBL#1 – after seeing your ad in Sounds (I think) in 1978 – so been with you and your publications since the very beginning, which brings me around to today. Received my signed copy (#061) of ‘Led Zeppelin Live 1975-1977’ this morning. Thanks very much. Never a truer saying than ‘a picture paints a thousand words’!!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    many thanks yes More Blood On The Tracks will be on my radar for sure!

  • MOK said:

    Great read as always Dave. Biograph is GENIUS and how comps should be done (some known, some rare, some live, some demos, some long, some short – all styles welcome). More Blood More Tracks on your radar I might hope ?!? Matt

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