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2 January 2019 1,920 views 2 Comments

John Paul Jones on the occasion of his 73rd Birthday:

John Paul Jones is 73 today (January 3)…

John’s activity over the past 12 months included attending the Festival of Writing and Ideas at Borris House in Ireland on June 8 and 9, performing with Julie Felix at her 80th birthday concert in London on June 17 and with his a new line up Snoweye at the Varangerfestivalen in Norway on August 11. Commenting on his long awaited opera The Ghost Sonata John said “My background has been in classic and in rock music but it’s also in electronic music,” Jones said. “But I’ve decided not to use electronics or samples. If you have a full orchestra, you know, it’s a huge synthesiser, basically. And if you’re clever with the writing you can get pretty much anything you can do with electronics, I think.”

To celebrate his Birthday here is the John Paul Jones 73 at 73  TBL Playlist as follows:

John Paul Jones 73 at 73 – The TBL Playlist:

1    Foggy Day In Vietnam – Available on: Your Time is Gonna Come –The Roots Of Led Zeppelin (1964)

2    Baja – Available on: Your Time is Gonna Come –The Roots Of Led Zeppelin (1964)

3    Little Games (The Yardbirds)  –  Available on: The Yardbirds Little Games (1967)

4    She’s A Rainbow (The Rolling Stones) Available on The Rolling Stones Satanic Majesties Request (1967)

5     Bus Stop (Graham Gouldman)   Available on the Graham Gouldman Thing (1968)

6     Baby Come On Home (Led Zeppelin) – Available on Boxed Set 2 (1968)

7     You Shook Me  – Available on: Led Zeppelin I (1969)  

8     Dazed And Confused  – Available on: Led Zeppelin I (1969)

9      Your Time Is Gonna Come –  Available on: Led Zeppelin I (1969)

10    How Many More Times – Available on: Led Zeppelin I (1969)

11     What Is And What Should Never Be –  Available on: Led Zeppelin II (1969)

12     The Lemon Song –  Available on: Led Zeppelin II (1969)

13     Thank You  –  Available on: Led Zeppelin II (1969)

14     Ramble On –  Available on: Led Zeppelin II (1969)

15     Immigrant Song –  Available on: Led Zeppelin III (1970)

16     Since I’ve Been Loving You –   Available on: Led Zeppelin III (1970)

17      That’s The Way  – Available on: Led Zeppelin III (1970)

18      St Tristens Sword – Available on Coda Companion Disc (1970)

19      Black Dog –  Available on: Led Zeppelin IV (1971)

20     Rock And Roll – Available on: Led Zeppelin IV (1971)

21      The Battle Of Evermore   –  Available on: Led Zeppelin IV (1971)

22      Stairway to Heaven –  Available on: Led Zeppelin IV (1971)

23      When The Levee Breaks Alternate UK Mix In Progress   Available on: Led Zeppelin IV Deluxe Edition (1971)

2        The Rain Song – Available on: Houses Of The Holy (1973)

25      The Crunge –  Available on: Houses Of The Holy (1973)

26      No Quarter –   Available on: Houses Of The Holy (1973)

27     No Quarter (Live Madison Square Garden) –  Available on: The Song Remains The Same (1973)

28      Comin Atcha (Madeline Bell) – Available on Madeline Bell  Comin’ Atcha (1973)

29      In My Time Of Dying   – Available on: Physical Graffiti (1975)

30      Trampled Underfoot –  Available on: Physical Graffiti (1975)

31     Kashmir –   Available on: Physical Graffiti (1975)

32      In The Light – Available on: Physical Graffiti (1975)

33     Going To California (Live Earls Court May 1975) –  Available on: Led Zeppelin DVD (1975)

34     Trampled Underfoot (Live Earls Court May 1975) –  Available on: Led Zeppelin DVD (1976)

35    Achilles Last Stand –  Available on: Presence (1976)

36    Royal Orleans –  Available on: Presence (1976)

37    Pod – Available on: Presence Companion Disc (1976)

38   Rockestra Theme  –   Available on: Wings Back To The Egg (1979)

39   South Bound Suarez –   Available on: In Through The Out Door (1979)

40    Carouselambra – Available on: In Through The Out Door (1979)

41   All My Love  –  Available on: In Through The Out Door (1979)

42   Kashmir (Knebworth)  –  Available on: Led Zeppelin DVD (1979)

43:  In The Evening (Knebworth) –  Available on: Led Zeppelin DVD (1979)

44    Spaghetti Junction – Available on Scream For Help soundtrack (1985)

45    Crackback – Available on: Scream For Help soundtrack  (1985)

46    Are You Gonna Go My Way with Lenny Kravitz (1993)  –  Available on: You Tube

47     Do You Take This Man (with Diamanda Galas) –  Available on: The Sporting Life (1994)

48     Skotoseme  (with Diamanda Galas)  –  Available on: The Sporting Life (1994)

49     Zooma – Available on: Zooma (1999)

50     Smile Of Your Shadow –  Available on: Zooma (1999)

51      Bass ‘n’ Drums –  Available on :Zooma (1999)

52      Snake Eyes –   Available on: Zooma (1999)

53      Leafy Meadows –  Available on: The Thunderthief (2001)

54      Hoediddle –  Available on: The Thunderthief (2001)

55      Ice Fishing At Night –  Available on: The Thunderthief (2001)

56     Down To The River To Pray   –   Available on: The Thunderthief (2001)

57     Dazed And Confused (with Ben Harper and Questlove – Bonaroo 2007) – Available on: You Tube

58     In My Time Of Dying (Live O2 2007) –  Available on: Celebration Day (2007)

59     No Quarter (Live O2 2007) – Available on: Celebration Day (2007)

60      For Your Life (Live O2 2007)  – Available on: Celebration Day (2007)

61      Trampled Underfoot (Live O2 2007)  Available on: Celebration Day (2007)

62    The Pretender (Foo Fighters – 50th Grammy Awards 2008) Orchestration –  Available on: You Tube

63    No One Loves Me & Neither Do I – Available on: Them Crooked Vultures (2009)

64     New Fang –   Available on: Them Crooked Vultures (2009)

65     Walkin’ Man (with Seasick Steve iTunes Festival 2011) –  Available on YouTube

66     Over You (with Seasick Steve) – Available on: Hubcap Music (2013)

67     Improvisation (Supersilent)  Live in Oslo 2013 – Available on YouTube (2013) 

68:   Going To California (with Dave Rawlings Machine live at Georgia Theatre 2013) – Available on YouTube (2013)

69    Superbolt (Minibus Pimps) –  Available on: Cloud To Ground (2014)

70     When The Levee Breaks (with Mike Mills and friends  Ice Station Vadsø,  Norway) – Available on YouTube (2015)

71:    I’m With Her (with Sara Watkins Union Chapel 2016) – Available on YouTube

72:   Présences éléctroniques  –  Minibus Pimps  Paris, 2017 – Available on YouTube

73: Improvisations – Elle-Marja Eira and John Paul Jones @Vårbrudd, Vadsø, Norway 2018 – Available on YouTube

Compiled by Richard Grubb and Dave Lewis 



Happy Birthday Richard Cole:

It was a Happy Birthday to Richard Cole yesterday – the man who always got Led Zeppelin from A to B…

Happy belated Birthday Richard pictured here with the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book that he contributed the Foreword to.







Mark Blake – Peter Grant Book Author Event:

Walthamstow Rock’n’Roll Book Club

Date and Time

Thu, January 24, 2019

7:30 PM – 11:30 PM

The Victoria

186 Hoe Street


E17 4QH

Led Zeppelin. Rock bands don’t come bigger do they? And big rock bands have big managers. The biggest of them all Peter Grant.

Peter Grant managed Led Zeppelin to global stardom. But his life story was every bit as extraordinary and dramatic as the musicians he looked after. For the first time ever, the Grant family have allowed an author access to previously unseen correspondence and photographs to help build the most complete and revealing story yet of a man who was a pioneer of rock music management, but also a son, a husband and a father.

Published to coincide with Led Zeppelin’s 50th anniversary, Bring It On Home charts Peter Grant’s rise from wartime poverty through his time as a nightclub doorman, wrestler and bit-part actor to the birth of rock’n’roll in the 1950s. From here, it explores his pivotal role in the formation of Led Zeppelin and charts the impossible highs and lows of life on the road with rock’s most outrageous band.

Author Mark Blake will be in conversation with joiurnalist Julian Marszalek. It seems fitting to test the foundations of our well-loved home, The Victoria with some slabs of classic rock too.

Mark Blake is a long-time contributor to Q and Mojo, and has also been published in The Times, Classic Rock, Daily Telegraph and Rolling Stone. He is the author of three previous books, including the bestselling Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd

Bring It On Home has appeared in all the end of year best of lists…




A TIMES MUSIC BOOK OF THE YEAR (‘Of the many Led Zeppelin biographies marking the band’s 50th anniversary, this is the most illuminating’)

‘An enthralling and rigorously researched book’ Sunday Times

‘Blake has talked to everyone, and the stories are both lurid and melancholy’ Mail on Sunday

‘A juicy saga of excess all areas, Mark Blake’s biography of Led Zeppelin’s notoriously combative manager, Peter Grant, reads at times like an all-you-can-eat buffet of guilty pleasures . . . a riotous roller coaster’ The Times

‘A tale as expansive and complex as the man himself’ Mojo

‘To say Bring It On Home is a rambunctious page-turner is an understatement; but despite all the violence and weirdness, you can’t help liking the “real” Peter Grant who emerges here’ Planet Rock




December 26, 1968 – Auditorium Arena – Denver, Colorado, USA

First Show Ever Performed in the United States:

 Co-headliners: Vanilla Fudge & Spirit

Support Act: Led Zeppelin (unbilled)

Background Info:

Led Zeppelin’s first ever US concert could not have been more low profile for the band, as they were not even listed in any of the advertisements! A Denver Post ad featured Spirit as the headline act while the Mountain Press underground newspaper ad featured a co-billing of Vanilla Fudge and Spirit. The concert was performed “in-the-round” on a revolving stage. Jimmy Page used his “psychedelic” Fender Telecaster guitar from his Yardbirds days for the first US tour; he also used a Danelectro guitar for his ‘White Summer’ solo.

Fifteen months later, Robert Plant made reference to this gig when the band returned to Denver: “About 18 months

ago we played our very first gig in the United States in this Coliseum. We’d like to say that we really are pleased to be back.” While Robert had the correct city, he was obviously mistaken as the band actually performed at a different venue (Denver Coliseum) on March 25, 1970.

Press Reaction:     

A review of Led Zeppelin’s first ever US show was published in the Rocky Mountain News (December 27, 1968) by

Thomas MacCluskey. In his review titled “‘Rock’ Concert is Real Groovy,” he wrote: “The concert was cranked off by another heavy, the Led Zeppelin, a British group making its first U.S. tour. Blues oriented (although not a blues band), hyped electric, the full routine in mainstream rock – done powerfully, gutsily, unifiedly, inventively and swingingly (by the end of their set).

Singer Robert Plant – a cut above average in style, but no special appeal in sound. Guitarist Jimmy Page, of Yardbirds fame – exceptionally fine. Bassist, John Paul Jones – solid, involved, contributing. John Bonham – a very effective group drummer, but uninventive, unsubtle and unclimactic in an uneventful solo.”

Renowned concert promoter Barry Fey recalled the show in his 2011 autobiography, Backstage Past: Fey introduced the band to a “smattering of polite applause, then Robert Plant let it rip and everybody in the audience was stunned. Frankly, I don’t know how Spirit went on after that. You didn’t have to be a genius to know Zeppelin was going to be a smash. Oh, my God. People were going crazy!”

December 27, 1968 – Seattle Center Arena – Seattle, Washington, USA

Headliner: Vanilla Fudge

Support Acts: Led Zeppelin; Floating Bridge

Background Info:

While most of the concert ads still omitted Zeppelin, a few included the band, most notably an ad in the underground newspaper, Helix (December 26, 1968). Not only did it mention Led Zeppelin, but it actually spelled their name correctly! The same ad also included the other act on the bill, Floating Bridge, a Seattle-based blues rock band.

Over the next decade, Zeppelin would return to the Seattle area ten more times. Seattle was always a hotbed of Zeppelin fans, and they played some legendary shows there. The band would return shortly to play the Seattle area in both May & July 1969 (at the Green Lake Aqua Theater and Seattle Pop Festival, respectively). On March 23, 1970 the band returned to play the Seattle Center Arena (known as Mercer Arena since 1995) for the final time. The subsequent six Seattle performances were held at the much larger Seattle Center Coliseum (known as Key Arena since 1995) before their final trip to Seattle at the Kingdome on July 17, 1977.


Press Reaction:     

June Harris of the New Musical Express (January 11, 1969) reported on the tour in an article titled “Zeppelin beats blizzard”: “Jimmy Paige’s (sic) Led Zeppelin…opened their first US tour immediately after Christmas, playing some dates with the Vanilla Fudge. In Seattle, great big blizzards hit the city the same day they appeared there, bringing with them something like 8 inches of snow, but still, the reports are that the attendance was a good one.”

     In 2008, longtime Seattle Times music critic Patrick MacDonald looked back on the band’s first appearance in the city: “Opening for the now deservedly forgotten Vanilla Fudge, Led Zeppelin was unknown — its debut album had not yet been released in America — and the audience almost completely ignored them. The houselights were not even turned down during their set, because so many people were still finding their seats. People talked over the music. It’s one of the greatest shows I ever saw. The opening song, a cover of the blues classic ‘Train Kept A Rollin’,’ hit me so hard that I stood on my chair, waved my arms and yelled and screamed. Somebody behind me said, ‘Will you please sit down?’ I turned and loudly pleaded, ‘Didn’t you hear that? Don’t you get it? Shut up and listen!’ Everybody around looked at me like I was nuts.”

December 28, 1968 – Pacific Coliseum – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Headliner: Vanilla Fudge


Support Acts:

Led Zeppelin (unbilled); The Trials of Jayson Hoover


Background Info:

Led Zeppelin performed their first ever gig in Canada at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia. The city would be a regular stop on their North American tours, and the band would play there a total of eight times. The attendance for their first Vancouver appearance was a paltry 3,708 in the 17,000 capacity Pacific Coliseum.

Press Reaction:    

The concert was reviewed by Jim

Allan of The Colombian (December 28, 1968). He was hardly impressed with their performance: “Granted, Jimmy Page, ex-guitarist for the Yardbirds, had his flashes of greatness but they were too few and too far between. He did some nice stuff, however, with a violin blow on his guitar and some of his solos were charged with feeling. But he failed to be consistently good throughout the show. Likewise: The drummer. His long solo was extremely good in spots but he wasn’t consistent in his efforts.

     The singer was a farce. His Mick Jagger singing style, tossing his head from side to side and strutting about the stage, left me quite cold. In short, Led Zeppelin went over like a lead balloon.

In 2012, Jim Allan reassessed his 1968 review of Led Zeppelin: “I remember being a Vanilla Fudge fan, and liking them a lot, but Led Zeppelin weren’t the ones filled with hot air, it was me.”

December 29, 1968 – Civic Auditorium – Portland, Oregon, USA

Headliner: Vanilla Fudge

Support Act: Led Zeppelin (billed as “Led Zeppilen”)

Background Info:

The concert was held at the “new” Portland Civic Auditorium, as it had undergone major renovations and reopened just eight months earlier (May 3, 1968). The building, which originally opened on July 4, 1917 as the “Public Auditorium,” was once again renovated in 2000 and renamed the Keller Auditorium.

Press Reaction:     

Road manager Richard Cole recalled the Portland show in his Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin biography: ”Denver was only the beginning. For me, the most memorable concert was less than a week later in Portland, Oregon. Midway through Zeppelin’s set, Bonzo seemed possessed during his marathon drum solo, blasting through a powerful thunderbolt of rhythm. For ten minutes, the rest of the band was offstage, watching from the wings, stunned by Bonzo’s blinding, energetic performance. I turned to John Paul, who was standing beside me. ‘Jesus Christ,’ I said. ‘Bonzo is incredible! This whole band is incredible!’ A sly smile came over John Paul’s face. He winked at me, nodded, and then walked back onto the stage. He knew it, too. We all felt that Led Zeppelin was going to be monstrous.”

John Bonham discussed the beginning of the tour with GO (February 21, 1969): “Of course the Fudge got the billing, and we didn’t. We were an unknown quantity. The audiences that were turning out were mostly interested in pop music and we’re more into blues. From this comedy of errors you can imagine our press and response wasn’t anything to brag about.”

Jimmy Page reflected back on the beginning of their first US tour for Rock (October 11, 1970): “We seemed to pick up a lot of popularity when we were playing around on the first tour…we’d done some dates with the Vanilla Fudge, supporting them, which were our first dates, sort of. Seattle, Portland, Oregon and those places, where we weren’t even billed and nobody even knew who we were. They were quite warm receptions actually, but nothing like what happened later.”

Robert Plant (Circus, August 24, 1976): “Atlantic had done a good job with the white label copies of the first album, getting them out to the FM stations a couple of days before we got to town. The reaction was very good. We weren’t even billed the majority of the time…but the reception that we got was something else again, and that was especially

surprising because in some of those towns the albums had not yet reached the stores. Even so, after about the third number you could feel that the buzz coming back to us from the audience was different than what they’d given the other bands.”

December 30, 1968 – Gonzaga University, John F. Kennedy Pavilion – Spokane, WA, USA

Headliner: Vanilla Fudge

Support Act: Led Zeppelin (billed as “Len Zefflin”)


Train Kept A Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You Baby, As Long As I Have You Medley (inc. Fresh Garbage, Bags’ Groove, Mockingbird), Dazed And Confused, White Summer, How Many More Times, Pat’s Delight


Background Info:

The Spokesman-Review and Daily Chronicle ads both comically listed the support act for Vanilla Fudge as “Len Zefflin!” Despite the silly billing, one of the show’s organizers had the foresight to record their set, and Led Zeppelin’s very first bootlegged audience recording was born! The show was captured from the front row next to the mixing desk on a

small Norelco cassette recorder with a built-in mic.

The concert was performed at the John F. Kennedy Pavilion on the campus of Gonzaga University (whose most famous alumni include actor Bing Crosby and NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton). The JFK Pavilion had opened in December 1965 as the home of the Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball team. The venue was affectionately nicknamed “The Kennel” due to their rabid fans and ultimately would become known as the Charlotte Y. Martin Centre after major renovations in March 1987.

Press Reaction:     

In 2007, Jim Kershner of the Spokesman-Review reflected back on Zeppelin’s Spokane appearance with recollections from local fans who attended the show: Bob Gallagher (owner of 4,000 Holes Spokane record store today and teenager in 1968) recalled: We knew who Jimmy Page was, from the Yardbirds, and we heard it was his band. I was a big Vanilla Fudge fan because psychedelia was really happening then. But we were excited about seeing Jimmy Page. Bonham came out and started drumming on ‘Train Kept a-Rollin’, and everybody went, ‘Holy crap.’ There’s never been a drummer like him. He was awesome. Then they all started playing and they were totally amazing. Then when Vanilla Fudge came on, they were so sleepy. It was like, after that, psychedelia was dead and heavy metal was born, all in a three-hour show. We didn’t care about psychedelia anymore. We all just ran back to our Yardbirds records.”

     David Priano: “It took about a half a song before everybody was blown away. When Plant harmonized to Page’s pipe-wrench riffs, the audience went nuts. The other thing I remember was the drum solo (during ‘Pat’s Delight’). As a rule I don’t like them. This was the exception. When he threw away his drum sticks and finished with his bare hands – far out.”

     Kerry Whitsitt: “We were hoping that the first band wouldn’t stay on stage too long. Little did I know that by the end of Led Zeppelin’s set, I would be reeling in my seat, transfixed by Robert Plant’s voice, body language and raw sexuality (I just knew he was looking straight through me most of the night). It was electric in every sense of the word. We didn’t want them to leave the stage – ever! Vanilla Fudge paled in comparison, even though that band was riding high at the time with a hit version of ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’…We felt transformed. Those of us who experienced it together felt like we were in a special club.”


Bootleg Recording (58 minute audience source):

The first available bootleg recording has given fans insight into the band’s early concert set list. Surprisingly, they only played three songs off the new album, ‘I Can’t Quit You Baby’, ‘Dazed And Confused’ and ‘How Many More Times’. The opener, ‘Train Kept A Rollin’’, ‘Dazed And Confused’ and ‘White Summer’ were all songs The Yardbirds had performed in concert earlier in the year (though the lyrics to ‘Dazed’ were much different). ‘White Summer’ was performed without the inclusion of ‘Black Mountain Side’.

Soul and R&B singer Garnett Mimm’s ‘As Long As I Have You’ was certainly an unusual choice to include in the set list, though Robert Plant has been quoted as saying it was one of the first songs they’d rehearsed at their very first practice. The song was an extended medley that included ‘Fresh Garbage’ (by Spirit – who’d performed on the same bill with them four days earlier in Denver), ‘Bags’ Groove’ by Miles Davis, and ‘Mockingbird’ by Bo Diddley. The concert finished with a drum solo by John Bonham titled ‘Pat’s Delight’ (in reference to his wife, Pat), and a precursor to ‘Moby Dick’.

January 1, 1969 – Armory Auditorium – Salem, Oregon, USA

Cancelled Show:

 Headliner: Vanilla Fudge

Support Acts:

Led Zeppelin;

The King Biscuit Entertainers; Heavy Company

Background Info:  

The group cancelled out on this support gig for Vanilla Fudge. Given the travel conditions and illnesses within the band, this support slot was more than likely cancelled in order to get healthier for the higher profile Los Angeles gigs.

An original radio spot promoting the gig has surfaced on YouTube (with “The Led Zeppelin” appearing with Vanilla Fudge).


January 2, 3*, 4, & 5, 1969 – Whisky a Go Go – Los Angeles, California, USA

* January 3, 1969 is unconfirmed

 Co-headliner: Led Zeppelin & Alice Cooper

 Setlist (January 5, 1969):

As Long As I Have You Medley (inc. Fresh Garbage, Summertime Blues, Bags’ Groove, Mockingbird), I Can’t Quit You Baby, Train Kept A Rollin’, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, Dazed And Confused, Killing Floor (inc. Blues With A Feeling), For Your Love

 Background Info:  

After a week of touring with Vanilla Fudge, the bands went their separate ways and Led Zeppelin finally escaped the Northwest cold for sunny Los Angeles. Instead of being a support act, this time the band was a co-headliner with Alice Cooper at the famous Whisky a Go Go club in Hollywood.

Alice Cooper reflected on the Whisky gigs in a 2011 interview: “We were just local bands, as far as we were concerned. We didn’t even know Led Zeppelin – who they were. It was just another band, we figured they were just from the Valley or something until we got there, and of course, we saw Jimmy Page. Us, being Yardbirds fans, realized that he was in the Yardbirds and that was a big deal to us… So we got there and they had British accents which was kind of a surprise to us. We just sort of like said ‘well who goes on first?’ – it doesn’t matter to us. We flipped a coin. I think we went on first the first night, and they went on first the second night. We really got along, they were just a great band.”

The Whisky a Go Go club has a long and celebrated history. The building itself was originally a bank from its 1923 opening until it was converted into a night club some 40-plus years later. On January 16, 1964, the Whisky a Go Go opened with a performance by Johnny Rivers. The 300-capacity Sunset Strip club was home to the “go go” craze of the 1960s and even included dancers in cages above the crowd (which were gone by the time Zeppelin played there).

Through the years, the venue played an important role in the rise of many west coast bands (The Doors, Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, Van Halen, Motley Crue, Guns and Roses, and many others). On January 16, 2014, the Whisky celebrated its 50th anniversary with a show by The Doors’ guitarist Robbie Krieger and his band.

 Press Reaction:     

Jimmy Page told Ritchie Yorke of Toronto’s Globe and Mail (January 11, 1969): “Since I split from the Yardies, I’ve been searching around for some guys for a new group, the right group.” Yorke: “The standing ovations received by Led Zeppelin at Whisky a Go Go indicate that Page’s search may be over.” Yorke mentioned that Page was recovering from a bout of the Hong Kong flu, yet Page told him that “the reaction has been unbelievable so far. It’s even better than what we got with the Yardbirds. It’s really exciting to be back on the concert trail.”

This four-night engagement has always been somewhat of a mystery. Due to various illnesses within the band, it is unknown whether or not they actually performed all four nights. Through the years, Jimmy and Robert have had conflicting recollections. A month after the Whisky gigs Page told Boston After Dark (February 5, 1969): “We only did two nights (at Whisky a Go Go) because everyone got the flu.”

Almost two years later, Page told Rock (October 11, 1970): “Anyway we got here (Los Angeles) and did the Whisky and I was really, really ill. In fact, the doctor said I was insane to do the set. The first night I did it I had a temperature of 104, but he’d given me all the shots and things so I was able to make it. We managed to finish the whole engagement without letting the guy down, but of course he docked us money because we only did one long set each night, we couldn’t do two. It’s not the greatest paying job in the world anyway, and when he knocked money off, we were all really down about that, as you can imagine. That was our first set of dates.”

In concert at the Long Beach Arena on March 12, 1975, Plant made a reference to their first Los Angeles dates after a false start of The Song Remains the Same: “The first time we even came to this part of the world…was when we played at the Whisky in 1968 (sic) – we were going to do four gigs there right, we did one, and Jimmy got, what was it?”

Robert Plant had yet another recollection of the Whisky gigs, telling Circus (August 24, 1976): “The first gig was the day after Christmas in Denver and then we came back here to Whisky, where Jimmy and I were both chronically ill and only played one gig out of three we were supposed to have played.”

The 2006 bootleg release of Live at Whisky a Go Go on the Empress Valley label shed a little bit more light on what nights the band actually played. The recording starts with Plant telling the audience that it was the “last night” (January 5).   After Dazed And Confused, Plant asked the audience if there was “anyone here from last night?” and if they remembered him saying how well they’d gotten over the flu. He then continued: “Well, we’ve got it all back again. So we’re really pleased to be here – hmm, yeah?”

Based on these comments, it’s pretty safe to conclusively say that the band performed at the Whisky on January 4 & 5. Photographs of the Whisky gigs by Robert Knight and Norwood Price would also seem to support that the band played at least two nights (since the band wore two different sets of clothing). We’ll probably never know with 100% certainty whether or not all four nights were played.


Bootleg Recording:

January 5, 1969 (52 minute audience source):

The setlist for the January 5 show was quite a bit different than the Spokane show six days earlier. Eddie Cochrane’s ‘Summertime Blues’ was added to the ‘As Long As I Have You’ medley. Three tracks were played from the first album; ‘I Can’t Quit You Baby’ and ‘Dazed And Confused’ were played again, while ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’ was performed instead of ‘How Many More Times’. Bonzo’s ‘Pat’s Delight’ was omitted, and the concert finished with two songs not played in Spokane: ‘Killing Floor’, sans the “lemon” lyrics, but including a section of Little Walter’s ‘Blues with a Feeling’; and the closing number of the night, a dramatic, bluesy rearrangement of The Yardbirds’ ‘For Your Love’.

To be continued…

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Ray Sawyer and Dean Ford – RIP:  

Sad to hear the passing of Dr Hook vocalist Ray Sawyer aged 81 and Dean Ford aged 72 – the lead singer of The Marmalade. The Marmalade made some fabulous records -Reflections of My Mind and  Rainbow being amongst their finest…RIP


Which way now HMV?
My thoughts on the HMV going into administration news…

The much reported collapse of the HMV chain into administration comes exactly ten years ago to the week that the Zavvi/Virgin chain went on a similar path ending my own 35 year career in music retail.

It’s a sad situation – I have much affinity for the HMV brand though I never worked there (I did have a couple of opportunities to do so), they always seemed on the cutting edge of retail particularly during the glory 1980s era. Back then the stores were packed full of stock superbly presented.

Latterly it’s not been easy for them and having survived one administration in 2013, they find once again find themselves in major trouble.

So what went wrong? We know that downloads and streaming services are firmly at the crux of the matter but there’s more to it than that.

Now as is well known, I like being in record shops and whenever I am in an HMV town I check them out. They have embraced the vinyl revival and have a good selection of books but for me it ends there really. Much space has been given over to the Technology sections with headphones, iPad docs etc.

I did buy some of the Led Zep reissues in the London store and I’ve tried to stay loyal to the stores out of old times sake and the fact they are (were ?) the only major high street entertainment store left to visit.

Now here’s the thing – compare the HMV offer to the HMV owned Fopp Records chain.

The Fopp chain is full of interesting stock at a bargain price – racks of 3 to 5 pound CD’s and DVDs – well-presented vinyl sections – easy to find new release sections – masses of books. Whenever I am in a Fopp I always come out with something as do my fellow music buying friends.

So the question I ask is why cannot the HMV chain embrace the Fopp model and make it work in their stores?

It’s obviously easier said than done but if I was a potential buyer of the chain, I would be strongly pushing for the Fopp stock and lay out to be transferred to the stores. While we are on the Fopp subject i dearly hope they will not go down along with HMV.

I’d also encourage a range of quality second hand vinyl albums, CD’s and DVDs to be part of the stock policy. People will buy if the price is low –as can be seen by the increasing racks of CDs/DVDs in charity shops.

I think HMV have the space and environment to make such a proposition work. This would also bring a collector element to the stores – they need to make the stores almost like larger versions of the stand alone record shops such as Reckless Records, Sister Ray, Flashback etc

Of course such an offer is geared to the older demographic – buyers like me with taste rooted in the 60s and 70s. But could there be a new generation for buyers who were brought up in the 80s/90s who would be attracted to re-establishing their collections of say Prince and Madonna or the Brit Pop era titles?

All this is of course is a simplistic idea and I am sure there are many reasons why they seem unable to sustain in the current market place. They don’t seem to know quite who their customer is -and hearing some of the vox-pop interviews on the news yesterday, it does not seem to be that many under the 30 age mark.

Record shops still have a big part to play in modern retailing but it’s the niche ones well aware of their market and who their customer is such as Pie and Vinyl, Black Circle, Empire Records etc, that will survive and hopefully prosper.

The news of HMV’s collapse may well signal that the days of mainstream music shops are over.

It will be a sad day though, should the chain disappear after so many years trading.

Dave Lewis, December 29,2018


On the player…

Mott The Hoople – Mental Train –The Island Years 1969 – 1971

I’ve been wading through this absolutely superb set I invested in just before Christmas – and along with the Zep reissues and The White Album, for me this is the best box set release of 2018.

6 CDs, brilliantly reproduced artwork and a magnificent hard back book with rare photos and memorabilia and a highly informative essay from the great Kris Needs – 89 songs with 30 previously unreleased.

The definitive early years Mott The Hoople set… what a band they were..


Some TBL Dates for the 2019 Diary:

Friday January 18: Coda at MK 11 Milton Keynes

Saturday January 26: VIP Record Fair Victoria

February 9: VIP Record Fair Bedford

Saturday March 9: Coda at Esquires Bedford

Saturday April 13: Record Store Day

Saturday April 27: VIP Record Fair Victoria

Sunday August 4 : TBL Led Zeppelin at Knebworth 40th Anniversary Event – TBA

Saturday September 7 : VIP Record Fair Victoria

Friday September 21: John Bonham Celebration Event in Redditch

Saturday September 22: John Bonham Celebration Event in Redditch

Saturday October 26: Musicmania Record Fair Harrow

Sunday October 27: Musicmania Record Fair Harrow

Saturday November 30: VIP Record Fair Victoria


DL Diary Blog Update:

I was well pleased to receive this Christmas gift of a copy of Led Zeppelin III – a Brazilian pressing on the Atco label in a unique single sleeve. It came via long time Zep fan and TBL supporter Mark Archer. Mark worked in Brazil for a while and you may remember he published the excellent Wearing And Tearing Led Zep fanzine in the early 1990s. Thanks mate!

New Years Eve came and went as it does and now it’s down to kickstarting various projects here. That includes completion of the work in progress TBL issue 44 -more details on that to follow and keeping the momentum flowing on the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book. Julian Walker and myself are also eying Sunday August 4 for a  TBL event to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth. The Led Zeppelin 50th Anniversary of course continues into 2019 of which this month will mark the 50th Anniversary of the debut Led Zeppelin album.

So 50 years on, there’s a lot more celebrating to be done…so bring it on (home)..

Dave Lewis  – January 3,2019

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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  • Larry said:

    Happy Birthday JPJ!!!!

  • dean brisson said:

    HMV is so ridiculous on prices, it’s no wonder they went down.

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