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JOHN PAUL JONES RESONANCE FM 100 CLUB GIG -TBL MEET/LED ZEPPELIN I – IT WAS 50 YEARS AGO/ ROY HARPER REVIEW /PAGE & PLANT MAD MONTH OF MARCH 1998/STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN LZ MASTERS INTERVIEW/SCOTT WALKER RIP/ TBL 45/DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

26 March 2019 1,649 views 6 Comments

This Thursday…

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

To re-iterate the details of this gig taking place on Thursday at the 100 Club in London:

A unique musical meeting of three of the most inventive performers of our time – for perhaps the only time – all to benefit Resonance FM! As co-founder and legendary multi-instrumentalist with Led Zeppelin, John Paul Jones needs no introduction. A restless and radical musical innovator for over half a century – as composer, arranger, and producer across genres ranging from pop to opera to electronica – he is joined for this intimate performance at the iconic The 100 Club by like minds in the form of Thurston Moore and Steve Noble. Thurston’s ground-breaking use of extended techniques as guitarist in Sonic Youth, the most enduring of America’s experimental rock bands, is matched here by the extraordinary dexterity of improvising drummer Steve Noble, collaborator of choice of free jazz iconoclasts including Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee and Matthew Shipp. The three come together for an unforgettable evening to raise funds for Resonance FM – the most inventive radio station in the world. The gig is the culmination of Resonance’s Annual Fundraiser which is aiming to raise funds to maintain and extend its unique community broadcast facilities.

Above photo from TBL

John Paul Jones 100 Club gig TBL Meet Details:

I am coming in for this one in the late afternoon and the TBL meeting place is The Green Man pub 5.30 to 6 pm at 57 Berwick Street W1F 8SR – just across the road from the Oxford Street 100 Club location. I look forward to seeing all that can make it along.

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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

Jimmy Page

Robert Plant

Upcoming events:

March 28 – John Paul Jones will perform in London with Thurston Moore and Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in support of Seth Lakeman.
April 8 – The “Play It Loud: Instruments Of Rock And Roll” exhibition, featuring Led Zeppelin items, will open at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
April 13 – Robert Plant will release a remastered edition of “Fate of Nations” on vinyl for Record Store Day.
April 16 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Carmarthen, Wales.
April 22 – Robert Plant will release a remastered edition of “Fate of Nations” on vinyl for Earth Day.
June 13 – Robert Plant will perform in Stockholm, Sweden.
June 15 – Robert Plant will perform at Bergenfest in Norway.
June 17 – Robert Plant will perform at The Big Challenge festival in Norway.
June 19 – Robert Plant will perform in Harstad, Norway.
June 21 – Robert Plant will perform in Bodø, Norway.
June 23 – Robert Plant will perform at the Secret Solstice music festival in Iceland.
June 25 – Robert Plant will perform in Tromsø, Norway.
June 27 – Robert Plant will perform in Svalbard, Norway.
June 29 – Robert Plant will perform in Svalbard, Norway.
July 2 – Robert Plant will perform in Halden, Norway.
July 4 – Robert Plant will perform at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark.
August 16 – Robert Plant will perform at the Woodstock 50 festival in New York.
September 20-21 – The 2019 John Bonham memorial concert is scheduled to be held in Redditch.
September 21 – Robert Plant will perform at the Bourbon & Beyond music festival in Louisville, Kentucky.
November – The “Play It Loud: Instruments Of Rock And Roll” exhibition will move to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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/

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The UK release of Led Zeppelin I – it was 50 years ago:

debut review

50 years ago this week saw the UK release of the Led Zeppelin debut album –  to mark the anniversary  – here’s some DL thoughts logged at the time of the reissue in 2014:

THEN:

Led Zeppelin in the white heat of technology in October 1968 – in the listening booths of Braggins department store Bedford and on a reel to reel tape recorder…

Though I had been a Zep fan since the end of 1969, I did not hear Led Zeppelin 1 until early in 1971. My Zep running order took in Led Zeppelin III on the day of release and then Led Zep II soon after that. Before then, pocket money did not stretch to shelling out the required 39 shillings and 11 as was the asking price back then.

However, I did know the opening track quite well as I had frequently requested it to be played on the listening booth in Braggins,our local department store that sold records.

Their ruling however for any youngsters requesting a listen to an album, was that they would only play the opening track on side one – thus I knew all about Good Times Bad Times but nothing else…I therefore would gaze at live gig reviews of the time and dream in wonderment of what Communication Breakdown and Dazed And Confused actually sounded like!

That situation is quite hard to believe when you consider today’s modern world of all accessibility le downloads/YouTube/ etc. Back in those days, access to the world of Led Zep was like entering a secret society.

All was eventually revealed by a recording I acquired on my reel to reel tape recorder in early 1971- less a remaster more a case of a hissmaster….but hey I had the entire 45 minute contents and was now in command of their complete catalogue.

My affinity for the first Zep album was perhaps always less than Zep II and III. One of the major reasons was that I soon began to accumulate a large collection of bootleg LPs and cassettes and this of course took me into the cave of Zep live recordings. That is when I realised that the studio albums were only the starting point.  Thus I soon became obsessed with searching out the marathon live performances of Dazed And Confused, the medley filled How Many More Times, the sparky Communication Breakdown with it’s improvised middle section – as for You Shook Me and I Can’t Quite You Baby – the extended BBC session versions quickly became the template for those particular bluesy romps.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Zep 1 with a passion but over the years it has not been as high of the playlist as the latter creations such as Houses of The Holy, Presence and Physical Graffiti.

Come the CD age, there was a resurgence of interest in my playing of all the Zep albums and it was back in the forefront again. As for the Zep 1 pressings, I have a fair few – the turquoise sleeve pressing I acquired through my good friend Dec around 1977 – for just £10. I have a very nice South African pressing with a brown lettering and an original US pressing with an impressively sturdy sleeve.

Over the years I have analysed the Zep 1 album in print for my various books and magazines – notably a major feature that ran in Record Collector in early 2009. I love the whole scenario surrounding it, such as the contribution to the PJ Proby Three Week Hero album during the making of it and the fact that Sandie Shaw recorded the first ever Zep cover version with her take on Your Gonna Come, appearing on her excellent Reviewing The Situation album in late 1969.

As for the known outtakes – when I met up with Andy Adams recently, we reminisced about the impact of the emergence of the unofficial Olympic Gold CD in the early 90s with the Tribute To Bert Burns/Baby Come On Home sequence , You Shook Me take 1 and two startling versions of Babe I’m Gonna Leave You – the latter indicating the creative process that went into developing that track with Plant’s vocals at that point harsh and driven – in total contrast to the more controlled official version.

As we now know In approaching the companion disc for the Led Zeppelin 1 reissue, Jimmy felt there was not enough material – incidentally the studio logs featured in the accompanying Zep 1 book reveals that the bootlegged Sugar Mama was recorded at Olympic in October – I’d previously had this as a Zep II recording. We also know he was keen not to replicate too much material that was already out there -so the Zep I outtakes (said to be salvaged from being thrown out during a studio clear out) remain an illicit thrill.

So to the contents of Led Zeppelin I

The formula was simple but striking:

A a case of something old – Dazed And Confused and How Many More Times being leftover ideas from Jimmy’s last days with The Yardbirds, something new -Good Times Bad Times and Communication Breakdown were born out of their initial rehearsals together.

Something borrowed – Back Mountain Side being based on Bert Jansch’s arrangement of an old traditional tune titled Black Waterside, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You derived from folkie Anne Bredon and had been heard by Page on a Joan Baez album -Dazed now being attributed on the new remaster as being ”inspired by Jake Holmes”.

And something blue – their versions of Willie Dixons’ You Shook Me and the Otis Rush showcase I Can’t Quit You Baby was in keeping with the British blues boom of the time and also displaying both Page and Plant’s affinity for the blues.

Add in the immense musicianship of JPJ’s keyboard and bass playing, the discovery of the greatest drummer of all time in John Bonham and Plant’s unique howling at the moon  – well the chemistry was complete – Jimmy Page had found his niche and musically this really would be the only way to fly.

One final point – though this album (and indeed Led Zep II) may have been derivative in both style and material, it was always performed by Led Zeppelin in such a convincing manner as to make it totally distinctive.

NOW:

unbox 3

Led Zeppelin in the white heat of studio technology in October 1968….on remastered vinyl and sounding better than ever before….

So to the Led Zeppelin 1 on remastered vinyl – this is how it sounded to these ears yesterday…

From the off…there’s just so much new sonic clarity to marvel at…

Good Times Bad Times – the echo on the opening riffs and Robert’s vocal – John Bonham’s bass drum patterns sounding more impressive than ever…just awe inspiring…and the first of what Jimmy described as ”heavy chorus’s” and it reminded me of how effective that tactic works.

Babe I’m Gonna Leave You – when the thrust of John’s drumming comes in – what a moment…Jimmy’s acoustic overlays so precise…

You Shook Me – that laugh in the vocal early on at around one minute 24, is now more prominent and the moment Jimmy’s guitars cascade across the speakers in the solo…phew…

Dazed And Confused – everything about this is sonic perfection –Jonesy’s bass on the intro, the return to the riff after the solo –all quite breathtaking.

JPJ’s organ intro to Your Time Is Gonna Come –this has never sounded so grand and regal like…then there’s the subtly of Jimmy’s pedal steel guitar parts and that rush of bass drum patterns as the song cross fades into Black Mountain Side – that first chord – oh yes..… the tabla drums throughout Black Mountain Side more pronounced than before..

Communication Breakdown – more great chording and oh the moment Robert squeals ‘Suck!’ as they hit the guitar solo. Lordy mama we’re gonna groove!

I Can’t Quite You Baby – this the real revelation for me – this has never really been high on my Zep radar but wow this is such a blast – you can hear John’s tympani and snare sound with a real crisp ‘right there live in the studio’ clarity and the whole ‘just having a blow quality’ is presented with a crystal clarity.

How Many More Times – the entry of the wah wah –just exhilarating and overall Robert Plant’s vocal depth again captured with renewed verve and swagger.

Summary: The vinyl has an incredibly expansive sound – all widescreen and clear but with an empathic boost at all the right times – best ever sound on this album I’ve ever heard -simple as that

Now I’m no audiophile but I know what I hear and this is just stunning.

As for the CD version – again a superb job, not quite with the expansiveness of the vinyl version but not compressed in any way and with a sonic thrust that more than does justice to the album’s dynamics. Jimmy and John Davis have done an incredibly admirable job.

In fact listening to it from start to finish, I was reminded what a total assault this debut Led Zeppelin album is on one’s musical senses.

This then is Led Zeppelin in the white heat of studio technology in October 1968 as presented as never before . Until the arrival of these new reissues I thought I could not love this album any more than I have done for the past 40 plus years

I was wrong – I’ve just fallen in love with it all over again – as you will too…

DL – 3.30 pm June 2nd, 2014.

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Roy Harper Edinburgh Review:

Roy Harper: the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, March 24
On the spot report for TBL by Hiroshi

“I’m white...male...heterosexual...and tired,” the old troubadour talked to the audience in the half-filled Usher Hall. They laughed. And he went on, “But the crowning glory is…I’m English.” Jeering voices were raised from the floor here and there, “Ooh…”

Being a non-native speaker of English, I’m not a 100% right person to submit a review for a concert by Roy Harper, whose on stage banter offers a good deal of the charm of his show. Forgive me to put that aside for now. Like many music fans, it was the closing track of the Led Zeppelin lll album for me to recognize his name the first time around. Some forty-five years later, I am sitting inside the venue of the Scottish capital, watching the performance of Messrs. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant’s spiritual mentor who is reaching the age of seventy-eight in coming June.

The special feature touted for Harper’s current tour is a rare performance of McGoohan’s Blues, a seventeen-minute magnum opus from his 1969 third album, Forkjokeopus. The track is a passionate social commentary on what was (and still is) going on around us, and inspired by the controversial and enigmatic cult sf/spy tv thriller of the late 60’s, The Prisoner, which is a brainchild of the actor, the late Patrick McGoohan who played the protagonist, the resigned and abducted secret agent called by the non-name No.6. I am an enthusiastic fan of the series myself.
Come to think of the performer’s ripe age, I had a little concern if he could remember all the intricate lyrics, verses and everything, carrying it along to the end. Sure enough, a couple of false starts arose and Harper made it up with (supposedly) witty comments. Then he tackled it a third time, and somehow nailed it this time, aided by his six-piece band. A brilliant delivery that lasted twenty minutes. The end of show part one. Hats off!

After an interval, Harper and the band took the stage again and gave another half a dozen songs including a stomping rendition of Highway Blues (enter Jimmy Page…not). As they finished a graceful When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease, Harper stood up and came forward, clapping his hands to the crowd who showered him with cheer and applause. With him back on the chair, the combo looked like proceeding into the encore without leaving the stage. My seat in close proximity to the performers, I requested in loud voice, “Referendum!” — a favorite of mine among his songs which kind of reminds me of Led Zeppelin for its dramatic “light and shade” type of a composition. However, despite the song’s fitting theme and title under the country’s ongoing political climate, it was left not performed.

It is worth noting that, of the twelve songs selected to play for the show, three were new, unreleased titles — The Man In The Glass Cage, The Wolf At The Door and I Loved My Life. That is literally one fourth of the setlist, quite a percentage for a near seventy-eight year old. Ever onward, Mr. Harper!

And…whatever happened to Jimmy?

Thanks Hiroshi for the report and pics.

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TBL MARCH RETRO ARCHIVE:

PAGE & PLANT AND THE MAD MONTH OF MARCH 1998:

It’s 21 years ago this week – so here’s the Mad Month of March text from TBL 13 that chronicles this intensive period that saw them stage the showpiece Shepherds Bush gig plus appearances of Top of The Pops and TFI Friday.

1998 really was a fantastic year for Page and Plant activity – for some of  us in the TBL crew perhaps the last carefree period before we got a bit older and a bit more responsible (not!).

Personally looking back over this text it almost seems like another age – it was the age for me of balancing a frantic music retail job along with all the TBL capers – my I must have had some energy back then –or maybe it was the pints of fosters! I was running on adrenalin that’s for sure but it was incredibly exciting at the time…amazing to think that back then that our Sam was only 7 years old and Adam just over 2.

As for Jimmy and Robert …you forget how good they were together at this point – and the late Michael Lee was integral in making their performances so enjoyable – he really kicked the whole thing along…

Hello to the many TBL crew members who shared all this back then – prepare to get most nostalgic and most high in recalling the time when we were walking into everywhere with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant back in March 1998:

The DL/TBL  retro diary picks up the events as they announce the Shepherds Bush gig.

Wednesday March 11 1998

There have been rumours of a special Page Plant launch gig for the album happening in London for some time. They did attempt to book the Shepherds Bush Empire back in January. Locations in Islington and Kilburn have also been checked out in recent weeks. An early morning fax from the PP PR office confirms that on March 25 they will be playing a special gig at a London venue.

Tickets will be made available on a first come first served basis from 8am on Saturday at the Virgin Megastore in London – limited to just two per person. The London Forum (formerly known as the Town And Country Club where Plant played in the late ’80’s/ early ’90’s) is named as the venue – but this is quickly retracted by mid day when it becomes official that the gig will now take place at the popular Shepherds Bush Empire. Jimmy and Robert announce the fact during an excellent early afternoon live interview on the alternative rock London radio station XFM. For me this kick-starts a hive of TBL activity as I speedily mail out a stop gap Newsletter Extra and inform many others by phone. It’s soon becomes apparent that to ensure entry it’s going to mean an early morning trip to London to buy tickets. Fellow TBL crew member Gary Foy and I plan our strategy. Only 1,000 tickets are going to be sold and as the news spreads it’s evident that many fans are making a big effort to get in line.

Saturday March 14 1998:

Well I really thought my queuing days were over! Overnight stays for tickets for Earls  Court, Song Remains Premiere, Knebworth etc. were all part of the game, way back. (Trivia note: It’s 23 years, almost to the day, that tickets went on sale for Earls   Court; and 3 years since the tickets were released for the ’95 UK tour.) The advent of credit card bookings had rendered that method all but redundant. Not today. Luckily it’s a very mild mid-March morning as I leave Bedford on the train at 5.30am I must admit my heart was beating pretty fast as I ventured up the tube steps at Tottenham Court Road – just how long was this queue going to be and were we in with a chance? Well the queue was certainly long, with about 150 already in line, but it looked as though we would be OK. Many at the front of the queue had camped out all night

The atmosphere is really excellent – something of a Led Zepp Convention reunion as many TBL subscribers and faces come over to say “Hi”. Many have travelled overnight form far and wide: Pat Lyons is here from Wales; Gary Woollard from the West Country; Anne Marsden from Stockport. By 8am the queue is moving forward into the Virgin Megastore. (Incidentally this is a place I know well as I’ve attended many meetings here for work – though I never thought I’d end up queuing to get in!)

It’s a funny old feeling to shuffle by a display of Zeppelin titles CD’s and books including Concert File and Celebration. Finally at 9.15 we get served and the tickets are in our hands. The tickets themselves sport the new Page and Plant logo script writing. Myself and Gary celebrate with a McDonald’s breakfast, a quick look around the record stores and a couple of lunch-time pints. Then it’s home to watch the Most High video which has been aired that morning on the Chart show. The job is done. Next stop Shepherds Bush.

Wednesday March 25 1998:

As usual before a period of PP activity the days leading up to the events had been a little fraught.

In fact I have to say for me personally it was a real strain that often had me wondering if all this was worth it. (at least for two minutes anyway).

Trying to arrange everything at work so I could get away was a constant pressure – the previous week I’d put in a 66 hour week (I kid you not -this retail manager lark is hard work!) .Then there were the many arrangements to make for the next three days and the repeated phone calls for tickets info etc. The night before the show I took 14 calls in two hours including one when I was in bed!

There’s no doubt that this particular show has spurred a huge wave of interest and the desire to get tickets is quite staggering. I do my best to help all those I can which does begin to cause concern when one or two options don’t go as planned As well as the gig, other events have unfolded: they are recording a Top Of The Pops segment at Elstree tomorrow night; and a live appearance will follow Friday on the popular Channel 4 show TFI Friday. Days of worry over gaining entry to the latter (and ensuring as many other key fans could gain entry as well) have ensured – not least being the little problem that TFI’s regulations adopt an 18 to 30 age limit! A call from their office asks me just how old those wanting to attend really are. I manage to convince them that we are young thinking thirty something’s (nearly).

But first there is the little matter of the first proper Page Plant show in London for three years. The gig itself is being used by Mercury as something of launch for the new album – with over 800 tickets being made available for European press and media. In the delightfully titled Moon On The Green on a grey March afternoon, it’s very apparent that this is a real hot ticket. Touts are asking, and it would seem selling tickets for up to £200. or two late arrangements see old TBL stager Tom Locke in        There’s a real buzz in the air, this one really does feel like an event.

I’ve already seen Luis Rey and Howard Mylett, but to complete the Zep author line up it’s great to bump into Robert Godwin, coupling some London business to catch the show. The venue itself is excellent – a real theatre (it was formerly owned by the BBC and used for countless TV variety and music shows) – while the downstairs area is very intimate and in close proximity to the stage where-ever you are. The TBL crew decide on a down the front strategy and within minutes I’m in a superb vantage point in front of the stage to the left by the PA.

This is going to be very exciting indeed. And sure enough the excitement mounts as the lights go down ,the spotlights flash on the assembled and that Egyptian music (boy how I love than tune!) signifies the beginning of the Page Plant return to London.

From my view I can clearly see Jimmy Page with Gibson strapped on in the darkness at the far side of the stage waiting for the cue and for Robert to fly on as is the custom as they hit the intro of Wanton Song. And fly on he does, dressed in identical garb to the Istanbul second night, black leather trousers tucked in the boots, dark rimmed T-shirt. And we are off. Bring It On Home, Heartbreaker and Ramble On follow in quick fire succession. Plant may not be quite as immediately vibrant as he was in Istanbul, pacing himself maybe for what’s to come. Page though is already lighting up the stage – seemingly lost in the noise of his own creating.

“Well the old devils are back,” laughs Plant. Walking To Clarksdale featuring Page on the new PRS guitar with McCarty neck follows, complete with that supercharged tempo change and then it’s into No Quarter. Here Page drifts through the solo, eyes closed, slightly leaning back and oozing out that much missed solo.

So far so good. Then an early magic moment. It occurs when Page lets out a couple of heavily reverbed tremolo chords, and those in the know can tell what’s coming. It’s the world premier of the new ballad When I Was A Child. This is masterful as Plant unfolds the reflective tale with ease. It’s always a real privilege to witness a piece of Page Plant history unfolding and that’s how it feels as they delicately offer up this new one. There’s a great moment right at the close as Robert goes into the final lines “When I was… when I was a…’’ stepping back from the mic each time as Jimmy’s final chords echo around the theatre.

Robert has a humorous running banter with our own resident TBL barrack boy responding to a shout of “California’’ as they take to the chairs. “No it’s Birkhamstead actually!” Memories swim before us as they deliver a wonderfully melodic Tangerine, causing instant Earls Court retro lump in the throat for this particular viewer. An urgent stomp through Gallows Pole follows.

From there the on in they can really do no wrong. Babe I’m Gonna Leave You enjoys it’s first UK live airing by the pair for some 29 years. Burning Up is dominated by Page scrubbing out that repeated riff and How Many More Times is just outstanding. I have a perfect view of Page leaning back and step-ping on the wah wah for the intro – an image that I will retain and store alongside other great visual moments in their history (such as the same guitarist stepping on the wah wah for Trampled Underfoot down the road in Hammersmith ten years back). The violin bow episode is greeted by huge cheering and the moment it all speeds up is another great one with Michael Lee proving his worth yet again. Most High is next as we hit the home straight. This month’s signature tune as I stated before that really brings the best out in Plant. A cocksure Whole Lotta Love signals the end of the main proceedings.

Then they’re back on and it’s another premiere – an incessant drum track booms out and then Page holds down the most delightfully grunge like wah of wah of House Of Love. This one really swings live with Plant screech-ing out the chorus line “It’s just a little too much,’’ and Page hitting those descending chords. A Sick Again for the millennium.

“So this is the alternative to Radio Two,” laughs Robert. “It’s been great, thank you!’’

They’re back on again and Page begins pumping out some fast urgent lines. For one minute I thought this was going to swing into Sons Of Freedom from the new album, instead it heads into a blistering rendering of Crossroads performed · la the Cream version.

Finally we get an emotional (can it be anything else?) Thank You which has Page again taking on the solo in his own time and Plant commenting at the close “Just some silly old buggers singing some love songs!’’ Rock And Roll then proceeds to inspire the best reaction from a London crowd I’ve heard since… well you name it… They take a bow and exit right.

The aftermath glow as we slowly disperse soars through the atmosphere. By coincidence, or maybe not, a couple of long tern fans Dena and Nigel D joyously echo the same state-ent to me. “The best since Earls Court.’’ Now that is some accolade.

It’s easy to get carried away with the sheer presence of the occasion. But let’s not beat about the bush (no pun intended!), this really was a special occasion. A real intimate reconciliation with their audience. Let’s face it for the paying fan this was an audience that really wanted to be there, given the effort needed to get tickets.

For me personally it’s been a real revelation to be in such close proximity to it all. To experience once again that feeling that makes everything (including all the negativity and stress running this thing causes) worth-while. This has been a very memorable evening. Best since Earls Court? Well I have to say for pure out-and-out enjoyment this one will take some beating.

  Thursday March 26 1998:

A day of drizzling rain brightened up by several excited calls from those in attendance last night.

Then it’s to Elstree, which handily isn’t too far down the Bedford Thames link train line. A dull and wet Elstree 7pm on a Thursday night inspires the usual “What the hell are we doing here’’ cry amongst Mr and Mrs Foy and myself. What we are doing here is getting ready to line up in the queue to gain entry to the special recording of Page and Plant for BBC’s Top of The Pops. That’s right, Top Of The Pops, the programme Led Zeppelin stoutly refused to appear on, and by default the programme Whole Lotta Love (in a big band rock version) became the signature tune of throughout the ’70’s.

They are filming tonight for what will be an exclusive live performance insert in the coming weeks of their new single Most High. Radio One gave out a phone number to ring last Friday to ring for tickets. Luckily the TBL crew have been on the case (Thanks Rob D and Mr Linwood), and here we are in line. The regular Top Of The Pops has already been filmed earlier in the evening, we now wait to gain access to the studio. We are let in out of the rain at 8.30 and ushered into a cloak-room area. The crowd does seem to be an odd bunch. Around 20 or 30 are known to me – the rest seem to have jumped on the Radio One ticket bandwagon – I’d love to have asked a few of them the depth of their interest in Zeppelin/Page and Plant.

Anyway, after nearly 3 hours of waiting – at 10pm we are led into the small studio. A small stage set up with a cut down Page amp run (one Fender amp, two cabs and oddly, the Theremin set up) features a large Jimmy Page Robert Plant logo on the actual floor which will no doubt be captured by the overhead camera.

A pair of warm up announcers relay the instructions “We want you to make the most amazing noise possible when they come on.’’ To get us in the mood, the studio version of Rock And Roll is given a playback. The rent-a-crowd behind me push forward giving me a rather splendid vantage point right in front of Jimmy. Last night was close, but hey, how much closer can you get?

Rock And Roll fades and on they walk – Robert wearing the long sleeve shirt he had on at the first Istanbul concert. Jimmy has his first noticeable change of clothes on the tour – pin stripe trousers and a nice dark silk shirt sensibly worn outside the strides. They move forward shaking out stretched hands at the front. I had wondered if they were going to do a mime playback to Most High. From the moment Jimmy slugs out the opening chords I know I couldn’t have been more wrong. This is most definitely live and we are most definitely high!

From Istanbul via Shepherds Bush to Elstree. Most High has travelled a bit in the last few weeks and now, here at 10 past 10 on a Thursday evening, not far off the East Enders set, well it sounds a very British experience despite the ethnic feel. To the left Phil Andrews adds the oriental keyboard solo as Jimmy turns to Michael Lee to add some rough-shod rhythm. Its all over too soon, and what we want is a little bit more. Robert looks over to Jimmy and nods – a guitar change ensures as the familiar Gibson is brought on. A smiling Jimmy straps on – “Here’s a new one from our latest tablet of stone’’ laughs Robert. The backing drum track of House Of Love duly rolls out but hold it- Jimmy has a problem. He waves his arms “No hold it – I can’t see my cue!’’. It would seem the cameramen leaping in and out of them has covered the cue sheet that rolls on one of the monitors. Second take and they’re off. This is turning into a great live number with Robert’s “It’s just a little too much” refrain’ incessantly hitting home.

Is that it?… More milling around on stage ensures… will they or won’t they? They will! Jimmy goes off to change his sweat soaked shirt. He returns wearing an Abbey Road T-shirt. Meantime, Robert enjoys some banter with the crowd. “Wolves for the cup’’ shouts one wag, “’You don’t mean that!’’ he laughs. “Where’s Pans People?” (a reference to the old all girl dance troupe the programme featured years back) is another cry that inspires a laugh on stage.

Jimmy appears and Robert explains the origins of the next number “OK here’s one that was written even before we were born’’. A compact run through Crossroads which is fast becoming the cover version standard of the ’98 tour follows.

Right at the close Jimmy holds the Gibson aloft, and even before he has had time to finish the song a member of the audience jumps on stage to shake his hand, to be followed (a little foolishly) by a handful of others who hug Robert and add to the on-stage chaos. Fearing “Zeppelin stars in stage riot at Top of the Pops” type headlines assorted roadies and road managers disperse the crowd and Jimmy and Robert lead off. It would seem the mini invasion might well have curtailed anything else they might have been planning.

“Well that was absolutely fucking brilliant!’’ shouts the announcer back on stage. Are they doing anymore… hold on, no, that’s if for tonight. Thanks for coming!’’

It’s all happened in under 20 minutes, and no sooner than being cut off in our prime we are walking along Elstree High Street in search of the nearest chippie. (We later hear Jimmy had gone off to eat at the local Wimpey!).

Well that was bizarre. Did it happen? Well it did but the whole night holds something of a dream like atmosphere. It all happened so quickly. But yes, they were there, on Top of the Pops on a Thursday night, just like it used to be when I religiously watched it each week hoping for a glimpse of something decent… perhaps Free, or the Stones doing their new single. But never surely Jimmy Page and Robert Plant together. Surely that would be a sell out.

How times have changed. And incredibly, there’s more TV fun to come tomorrow.

Friday March 27 1998:

And so it goes on. This week really is turning into one of, if not the most, memorable Zeppelin related since Earls Court and today it’s Friday so it must be TFI Friday. That’s right, the immensely popular music show hosted by the incredulous Chris Evans and scripted by big Zepp fan Danny Baker. Now I have much admiration for Evans – one of the most gifted broadcasters of the last 15 years. I also never miss the show – it’s brand of celebrity interviews, sketches and live music is never less than interesting. Page and Plant were announced for the show a couple of weeks back. Pleasingly the opportunity arose to ensure some TBL representation at the show (a situation that once again was not without it’s stress for me but I guess it was worth it in the end).

It’s nice to be taking along the good lady Janet today – it was 15 years ago in a similar TV studio setting such as today (The Tube in June ’83 – my word that seems a lifetime ago!)) that she first became acquainted with the live Robert Plant experience. So it’s fitting that we should be going back to a TV studio to see not just Robert but Jimmy too, an opportunity for her to enjoy the event and perhaps view at first hand the reason for all the endless phone calls that disrupt Coronation Street and many other things in the Totnes household.

Lunch time in Hammersmith. Unfortunately the TBL crew meet has gone a little off course. The pub we were advised to meet in has, er, well, been renamed! Luckily we all manage to catch each other in the Wetherspoons pub and from there it’s off to the near-by Riverside Studios.

Another queue begins but finally we are in (and no problems with the age situation, so Zimmer-frame rock rules after all!) Then it’s more excited waiting outside the studio and eventually we are moved in around 4pm. (Not before the strains of a Most High run-through have been heard earlier). Once in, we quickly gather around the stage that they will be performing on. Which is not too hard to decipher. Clues: Ludwig drum kit, Jimmy’s effects panel and one solitary microphone at the front (and we all know who that’s for).

A studio announcer runs us through pro-ceedings and gets the rules out of the way. We’ve got to keep smiling and dancing throughout whichever bands on. “I know a lot of you are here to see one special act’’ says the man to a huge cheer. Before long it’s ready to roll, red light on and cue the music.

Chris Evans is giving the programme run down… he’s already making a big thing of Page and Plant being on – and as he’s doing that, it all starts happening down the front. Tim, Charlie and Michael are in position, Jimmy climbs up to the stage and straps on the Gibson. Robert hugs the mic waiting for the cue. (Fashion notes: Jimmy retains the pin stripe trousers and reverts to the black T-shirt; Robert has a similar T-shirt on to Wednesday, but opts for the baggier trousers similar to those worn early on the Eastern Europe dates. “They sold 100 million albums… second only to The Beatles and Woolworths! They raised rock on high, they juggled both Led and Zeppelin… and they’re here now, and now with Rock And Roll here are Jimmy Page and Robert Plant!’’

tfi pic

And it bloody well is – right in front of our eyes. How close can it get! Bedlam follows as we rock it up with them – Jimmy looking supremely confident as he struts around – Robert mic off within a minute – all the old poses. It’s absolutely glorious.

Three and half sweat soaked minutes later and they finish to rapturous cheers. Phew now that was pretty exiting! “Led Zeppelin!’’ proclaims Evans. “Led Zeppelin’s Rock And Roll by Mr Jimmy Page and Mr Robert Plant!”

The rest of the show follows – we nod along to The Smiles and Divine Comedy, cheer to a montage of Gary Lineker’s goals that are shown during his interview and also get well excited everytime Evans mentions Page and Plant – everytime he does the riff of Whole Lotta Love is played, inspiring mass air guitar movements from Evans and those in the bar. After an interview with Full Monty star Paul Barber (who says he’s a fan) it’s time to welcome Page and Plant for their interview. We see them walk along the gantry into the bar. The interview is an excellent one. Plant has a Wolves scarf tied around his wrist and dryly comments that “Old men do it better!’’ in reply to Evan’s question on how they keep it up. Evans brings in Steve from Manchester, a fan who had rung into to his radio show in the morning. (The popular Virgin Radio show had turned into a 45 minute spontaneous Zeppelin showcase.) He asks about the chronological live album “Yeah it could happen in the future” replies Page. Jimmy is really good humoured throughout the interview, another example of the fun they seem to be having. Chris manages to get their names mixed up in his own excitement (Robert Page and Jimmy Plant) and asks a question faxed by Jeremy Clarkeson: “Is it true you once cancelled a tour due to the hose pipe ban,’’ gets a hoot of laughter from Plant, “That’s a good one!’’

Plant does his own Midlands accent describing how the Wolves fans comment to him “Alright Planty, still doing a bit then!’’

Down on stage the cameras have been moved allowing us the ultimate vantage position right under Plant’s monitor. How close can you get! (again). Evans introduces the finale, “Page and Plant playing the new single Most High’’. Charlie and Michael kick into a riff as the boys climb down the stairs and up on to the stage.

Our signature tune kicks in yet again. Page’s guitar sound so pure and clear as he strikes the strings just feet away is just awe inspiring. Robert meanwhile wheels the mic stand around just avoiding the top of our heads. On the solo oriental part Jimmy crunges out the most amazing riffs leading where the oriental part usually leads. And then the finale – with Plant extending the lyrics (rolling up on the monitor in front of us incidentally) and it’s over. Huge cheers, big smiles. They’ve done it once again.

As we shuffle away from the stage I feel a real pride – the same pride I felt on the last night of Earls Court… at Knebworth when we sang You’ll Never Walk Alone… in front of the TV at 1 am in the morning as the camera panned away during Stairway at Live Aid… after they demolished Wearing And Tearing at the Silver Clef show… at Meadowlands Arena during the ovation they received after a stinging Song Remains The Same three years back… and now yet again in this little TV studio on a Friday night – 23 years to the day when they played that famous last night at LA in ’75.

It’s still valid and it still inspires and moves us. Even some of the younger fans here for The Divine Comedy picked up on the vibe. It feels so good to be part of it, knowing that a UK audience of four million are about to see it on the small screen themselves.

7pm Outside Riverside Studios. Robert comes out to applause and walks along with his five year old son Jesse. Eventually he straps into his Gold 500s Mercedes pausing to make a call on his mobile, and drives off with Jesse in the back. Bound for the Midlands and a Sunday rendezvous at Molineux for Wolves against Portsmouth. Jimmy is in an upstairs hospitality room behind Cedrics Cafe. A swelling crowd of well wishers, press photographers and autograph hunters await. Eventually he strolls out looking very relaxed happy to sign for all and sundry -posing with a small child and parents,

Then he’s driven off in a blacked out car.

The TBL crew head back to the Wetherspoon pub for some rousing aftermatch talk passing Hammersmith Odeon (or Apollo as it’s now known)on the way. Ten years ago almost to the month it was there that we witnessed one of the major reunions of the ’80’s when Jimmy joined Robert for that famous segment. They played Rock And Roll that night too. Back then in our wildest dreams we could not have predicted the remarkable series of events we’ve witnessed these past three days. Around the Hammersmith flyover railings there are already poster flyer boards advertising the new single (though not as many once Mr and Mrs Foy and Rob D have been passed). Once in the pub the ale flows. I feel a huge relief that the last three days have gone so well – and at last it’s a time to unwind. Many a beer is drunk in celebration. Luckily the good lady Janet is around to ensure the train doesn’t keep on rollin’ when we head back.

Saturday March 28 1998:

It’s back to work with a predictable hangover. However it looks as though TFI Friday has had the desired effect. “When’s the new Led Zeppelin album out?’’ asks a genuinely interested punter “Weren’t they great on TFI last night’’!

Page Plant, Led Zeppelin… I guess now it all blurs into one. Watching the video on Saturday night brings it all back. Catching ourselves on camera and many other familiar faces. One clear fact emerges from this very special TV appearance – it was a real Event with a capital E. To his credit Chris Evans played it up appropriately knowing he was in the presence of men with a legendary past – and a great future. Once again it was a real privilege to have been luckily enough to witness it all. It brings to a close a week that really does in hindsight rank alongside those heady days in SW5 23 years back.

 Final Reflections: Three days After:

Once again Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have exceeded my expectations. These past three days have produced so many highs, so many moments of absolute pure musical magic.

Can it ever be this good again? Has it been this good before in recent years? Who knows. Perhaps not, but the fact I was able to witness it all is a major triumph and relief. A triumph and relief that for me personally succeeded in successfully re-evaluating the reason why I devote so much time and passion to this thing, and put it all firmly back into focus.

The memories that I and all those that shared in it can now be stored- taking their rightful place in the category marked “Unforgettable’’. Because this mad month of March really was, and is, as good as it gets.

Dave Lewis, April 2nd 1998

So that is the way it was back in 1998…

Incredibly this was all of 21 years ago this week …and as Sandy sings ”Who knows where the time goes?” ……..but it goes and all too soon…

Dave Lewis – March , 201

………………….

Stairway To Heaven – Led Zeppelin Masters UK Tour:

Two years on from their last visit,  ‘Stairway To Heaven: Led Zeppelin Masters’ are back in the UK  for a ten date tour that kicks off next on April 2 in Liverpool and concludes with a London date at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo on April 14.

Fronted by vocalist Vince Contarino and bolstered by an impressive  thirty-five-piece The Black Dog Orchestra, Led Zeppelin Masters is an ambitious concert presentation. I was well impressed when I caught the show at the London Palladium back in April 2017 and I am aiming to be at the April 14 London show.

”Stairway To Heaven Led Zeppelin Masters offer a hugely entertaining proposition. This is the Zep catalogue performed with a grandeur that befits the big stage surroundings”

That was how I summed up their appearance two years ago – the venues they are appearing at this time out should replicate that sense of occasion.

Ticket details via their website see link at

https://www.ledzeppelinmasters.com/

Here’s an interview I recently  conducted with lead vocalist Vince Contarino:

Dave Lewis: I’m very much looking forward to your return to the UK – just fill me in what’s been happening for you since that 2017 visit- I take it you have performed consistently since then?

Vince Contarino: To say our profile as a live act has lifted a level after our tour of the UK in 2017 is an understatement. People over here in Australia have become fascinated and intrigued by our success. There is also a sense of pride that “one of their own” has been recognised overseas. Maybe I am too close to be objective, however I think I can confidently say that we have gone to the next level in terms of how people perceive us.

DL: Just remind me again of how long you have been doing this and how has it all evolved?

VC: We started as a band in 1986 and called ourselves the Zep Boys – that’s 33 years ago, before the terms ‘concept’, ‘tribute’ and ‘cover band’ were being bandied about. It was instantly successful and we sold out most of the venues we played in. Over the years we just kept evolving as a live act by introducing the acoustic and keyboard elements.

We took pride in the sound and lighting to give the compositions the respect they deserved, so as to create an intense show that was highly entertaining. For some acts, with corporate style management, this is quite easy, but for a bunch of lads from Adelaide it was a daunting proposition.

Less than two years later we were touring Australia selling-out venues and breaking attendance records which were the domain of recording artists. Fast forward 15 years (to 2005) and we decided that we would like to work with an orchestra. We were curious to see how these masterpiece compositions of Led Zeppelin would sound.

We approached the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra with no real expectation, so you could have knocked me over with a feather when I got the call to come in and discuss with the ASO (Adelaide Symphony Orchestra) how to go about doing it. To cut a long story short, we put on a show called ‘Zeppelin Flies Again’ and, just as in 1986, it was an instant success.

We’ve kept doing it ever since and, just as before, we keep working on the sound because with an Orchestra everything changes; there are so many instruments that need to be heard in balance and harmony. We work on the lighting for the dramatics and, most importantly, we have changed and worked on arrangements of the songs to get the best possible dynamics between band and orchestra.

We have to acknowledge our Australian producers Tim Woods and Phil Bathols for the latter. They have been amazing to work with and given us artistic freedom, guidance and the funds to develop the show ‘STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: LED ZEPPELIN MASTERS’. This is the show we will be performing in Europe and the UK.

DL: Am I right in saying you also perform in other bands?

VC: Yes, that’s true. Tzan Niko (guitar) and Brad Polain (drums) are highly sort after musicians and work constantly. Warwick Cheadle (bass and musical director) often gets asked to put an entire program of bands and artists for musical events. I spend most of my time writing, which I find is a bit like panning for gold or mining for opal; you keep working at it and digging deep to find that elusive streak.

DL: How would you summarise your approach to recreating the Led Zep catalogue?

VC: Hmm, I don’t know if it is so much as recreating, although I suppose that is what the end result is perhaps? We just approach every song with complete respect and integrity. We want the compositions to be instantly recognizable. However, we don’t want them to sound like replicas or impersonations. It is a thin line we have walked for 33 years! If you approach this whole thing with honesty and energy then the persona of what we do live will appear all on its own. You cannot construct these things; you can only apply and feel and then see what happens.

DL: When it comes to the set list, do you purposely look towards numbers that will benefit from a big orchestral arrangement?

VC: Songs like Kashmir, Rain Song, All Of My Love and even The Song Remains The Same are just obvious to me. So those tunes picked themselves.

DL: How has the set list developed since your last UK visit?

VC: We have changed the dynamic of the set. Last time we opted for a theatrical build, but this time we are going for the rock presentation. In other words “smash it out from the get go”. We have added Dazed and Confused and Heartbreaker. Shit, I’m excited just saying those two tunes – haha!!!

DL: Once again you are playing some large UK venues –including the Hammersmith Apollo. That venue has quite a bit of Page and Plant heritage – you must be looking forward to that.

VC: I can’t speak for the rest boys in the band but, from my point of view, I really don’t try and think about anything at all other than concentrating on presenting myself in the best way possible mentally and physically, so as to deliver the best possible performance I can. I have always done this so as not to dilute my energy. Sometimes anticipation and excitement can tire you before the event and, just as you rightly said, these are iconic venues and it can be so easy to lose yourself in nostalgia and dissipate your energy along the way. Having said that, if we do what we are supposed to and give quality performances where we leave people happy and satisfied, then after the tour I will reflect and allow myself the luxury of having a drink or two and pat myself on the back!

DL: Why do you think Led Zeppelin’s music means so much to so many 50 years on from their inception?

VC: There are a myriad of reasons but perhaps a simple way to understand this is like this: when we hear music from our past we go back in time and relive thoughts and feelings of an era when we were younger and all the associated experiences that go with that transported reflection. Now, honestly, sometimes the songs that we loved as 12 to 18 year olds are pretty horrendous, but when we hear music from the past that is still valid and exciting, and retains meaning and purpose, then our own personal experiences are associated with all those validations as well. Led Zeppelin does that for us. God, we should be so grateful not only to Led Zeppelin but all those composers and artists that do that for us.

DL: Do you have a diverse age group attended your shows?

VC: We have teenagers to the elderly – just magnificent!

DL: Finally what sort of night in the company of ‘Stairway To Heaven: Led Zeppelin Masters’ can the UK audiences expect?

VC: Well, first the audience will hear masterpieces of music arranged and played by an orchestra with the full force of a rock band. The dynamic there alone is exhilarating. My wish is for the nights to be filled with joy and excitement. These are great elements for entertaining, but also great for healing and abating out daily woes.

Many thanks to Vince.

……………..

Scott Walker 1943 – 2019:

So sad to hear the passing of Scott Walker aged 76 – he took the art of vocal performance to a new level.

One of my all time fave Robert Plant live moments occurred in February 2010 when I was lucky enough to attend the Sound & Vision Event at Abbey Road in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Robert’s opening performance was a version of a Scott Walker song from his 1995 Tilt album (Robert name checked Phonogram/Fontana record company man Dave Bates beforehand for having faith with that album). Farmer In The City featured a compelling vocal performance backed by a choir. The repeated refrain of ‘’Do I hear twenty one, twenty one, I’ll give you twenty one, twenty one’’ sending shivers down the spine. It still does.

The clip is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeFJiRQlN3M&fbclid=IwAR2ewPYE7KEmCiTiuoHROHlCQD1ObID-TushndvQuI8auEpAt100MqjccyI

Scott Walker RIP….

Here’s some words from long time TBL supporter and renowned Leicester based musician Kevin Hewick:

The phenomenal legends who emerged from the 60s are now sadly checking out from their earthy tenure one by one – in recent years we have lost the likes of Lou Reed, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and now Scott Walker who sustained an on and off career of over 60 years. In his case the off was important as the on because his later period songs seemed to be born from silence, they explode from it. You are on your own with 90s to present day Scott as he was on his own to get such unnervingly beautiful results.

A nice nostalgia circuit life would have been easy and lucrative. Scott’s work with The Walker Brothers is much loved, ‘Make It Easy On Yourself’ ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’ and the imperial comeback of ‘No Regrets’ would be enough to ensure pop immortality. Many could also appreciate the artistic beauty of his five classic Phillips Records albums with their lavishly orchestrated originals and superb renditions of Jacques Brel, they are perfect and timeless. But the icy chords that open ‘Its Raining Today’ and close ‘Such A Small Love’, the massive discord’s of the unbearably tragic ‘Big Louise’ all imply the sound of Scott’s future.

‘The Amorous Humphrey Plugg’ and ‘Plastic Palace People’ gave ‘A Day In The Life’ a run for its money, with their masterful subversions of everyday imagery.

‘Angel Of Ashes’ and ‘Boy Child’ seem to be suspended in the heavens, divine and pure. ‘Scott 4’ and the hugely underrated ‘Til The Band Comes In’ peaked his first incarnation as his commercial fortunes cruelly faded.

A B side like ‘The Plague’ seems to have escaped from Bowie’s ‘Station To Station’ nearly a decade later and The Walkers 70s reunion culminated in the chill of ‘The Electrician’ and the dazzling ‘Nite Flights’, out Bowie-ing one of his most ardent disciples.

But such uncategorizable originality would cost Walker years in exile. There are stories of him working as a painter and decorator or was that to add to the myth along with the famous quote about years “sat in pubs watching guys play darts”?

Along with his vast unsettling film scores and the odd movie song played straight Scott did return to make once a decade definitive statements that were breathtaking in their musical and lyrical courage.

‘Climate Of Hunter’ disorientated the 80s stylisms of Joy Division and Simple Minds, stopping off for a tormented duet with Billy Ocean along the way.

‘Tilt’ was a masterpiece, immense, the uncompromiser splashing slabs of orchestral beauty and violence and unleashing his fearsome vocal power. Don’t die without hearing this album – or die a death or three while listening to 2006’s ‘The Drift’, Scott as duck and donkey and spitter and meat beater, literally. Now in a place that didn’t even exist the 30th Century Man had arrived in the screaming wastelands of 40th century. It’s to be played whole, in the dark, without your friends. ‘Jesse’ will keep you company.

Entering his 70s with the zany surreality of ‘Bish Bosch’ and the superlative drone metal collaboration of ‘Soused’ with Sunn O Scott was forging ahead, and the sad part of his death is that he was not a heritage/legacy artist, death could only be unfinished business for him.

Private but said to be a humorous and warm man to those he met it says it all that I didn’t even know he had a partner called Beverly until now. We were not to know about his cancer either.

The handsome besuited pop sensation and the baseball capped auteur are not so far apart and are both ends of a career unlike any other.

Born a year to the day before a very different music innovator Jimmy Page, Scott Walker was an immortal before he passed away and he is certainly an immortal now. Nobody will catch him up, few will dare to go there, but we can be eternally grateful that he did.

Many thanks Kevin for that very eloquent summary of a master musician…

…………………………

TBL 45…

No sooner has TBL 44 hit the streets, we are now looking ahead to TBL 45…

The pic here was taken at StudioMix last Friday where TBL designer Mick Lowe and I began initial work on the next TBL project which is TBL 45.

This issue will mark the 40th anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth by including a 40 page complete reprint of TBL issue 3, itself a Knebworth special originally published back in October 1979.

It’s an ambitious undertaking and all a long way off yet but we are both excited at the prospect of re -presenting an important part of the TBL publishing heritage…more on all this as it unfolds in the coming weeks…

………………………

DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday treats at the Vinyl Barn – at the always excellent Vinyl Barn last Friday, I was well pleased to find a copy of the 1971 Peter Noone Walnut Whirl single – this has been on my wants list for a good while – the reason is the B side is a David Bowie composition Right On Mother which he plays piano on – another one off the list –thanks Darren!

The single has Peter Noone singing the rather un PC Walnut Whirl (‘’she was just a very fat girl’) on the A side coupled with the B side Right On Mother written by David Bowie, who pays piano on it. It’s very much in the Hunky Dory era Oh You Pretty Thing mode which Noone recorded and scored a hit with earlier that year (1971). Right On Mother has the lyric refrain of ‘’Right On Mother, you know the way I feel, now you know I’m living with my girl and it’s real and now you’re telling me I’m a man ’’ – perhaps an early reference to his relationship with Angie. All in all a very quaint Bowie related timepiece on 45RPM.

Good to see that the new Tottenham stadium is ready to go at last and it looks amazing – this report managed to feature both of my passions in one headline!

Busy here on TBL 44 distribution and as mentioned above, initial work on the ambitious TBL 45. I am very much looking forward to the John Paul Jones 100 Club gig on Thursday and ahead, along with a couple of days in Brighton, the good lady Janet and I will be celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary – 1984 …it seems a second but a lifetime ago and we will be toasting the occasion on Sunday…

Dave Lewis – March 26, 2019

Until next time, have a great weekend

TBL Website updates compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy and James Cook

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6 Comments »

  • Larry said:

    Happy 35th Dave and Janet, and many more!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks for those comments Hiroshi

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Ed many thanks and congratulations to you!

  • Ed-Washington DC said:

    Congratulations on 35 years of marriage, no small feat in this day and age.

    Just posted the 29th with my bride on St. Patrick’s Day. 29 times I have managed not to forget that date. Maybe I should’ve given her a 29 Palms serenade, but that song deserves much better pipes.

    I guess I will focus my energies now on our 30th, God willing, when we will return to the site of our honeymoon in New Orleans. Perhaps after all these years she can finally understand why I insisted back then on having dinner at the Rib Room in the Royal Orleans hotel and a nightcap over at the Old Absinthe House bar, which has charmed the likes of Jimmy Page, Aubrey Powell and Jean Lafitte down through the ages.

    And so Anniversary Cheers are in order:

    Here’s to the perfect girl,
    I couldn’t ask for more.
    She’s deaf ‘n dumb, oversexed,
    and owns a liquor store.

    –Anonymous (for good reason)

  • Hiroshi said:

    Back in the day, The Walker Brothers’ popularity in Japan was simply phenomenal. In their peak days, it even eclipsed that of The Beatles. They officially broke up in May 1967, but such was their popularity in the country, and also because they had never performed in Japan at that point of time, that they made a periodical reunion and toured there one last time in January ‘68. It is worth mentioning that they were the second foreign pop music artists to play at the Budokan (on Jan 3) after The Beatles, Jun 30-Jul 2, ‘66 (FYI the third on the line was The Monkeys, Oct 3-4, ‘68).

    Going solo, Scot Walker embarked on an almost month-long Japan tour in March ‘70, playing 15 concerts in total — which was, probably, his last-high profile activity over there. As he released albums over the following years, the music went more and more esoteric, experimental and even avant-garde, and people almost forgot about the yesterday’s pop idol now turned to semi-recluse.

    His 1995 Tilt album was quite a shock to me in time of its release. Described in some quarters as “industrial goth opera”, the music he created there was so unique and unparalleled — Nine Inch Nails going opera indeed it was.

    His was a soul who followed his inner voice faithfully till the very end of life. RIP Scot (or should I say, “Long live the new flesh”?).

    [As an additional note to my Roy Harper show review…I checked the artist’s blog for the first time after I wrote and sent the article to the TBL website. Now I know he basically supports Brexit, more or less, although his stance to it is not that plain and simple or black and white, and he didn’t even vote on the day. That may explain why, if partly, he doesn’t pick up the song Referendum to play these days. Maybe not. I don’t know. https://www.royharper.co.uk/blog/ ]

  • Mike Wilkinson said:

    Nice review Hiroshi, I was at Gateshead and mesmerised as usual.

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