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5 November 2020 1,459 views 2 Comments


The London International Festival of Early Music (LIFEM) staged the world premiere performance of ‘The Tudor Pull’, a newly commissioned work by John, written for acclaimed viol consort Fretwork.

The world premiere of the newly composed piece was broadcast at 7.00pm on Thursday 5th November from the LIFEM website -link below:

This isn’t the first time that John’s music has been performed at LIFEM, his hauntingly beautiful Amores Pasados, settings of three Spanish poems were performed by tenor John Potter at the 2018 festival, but this new work breaks new ground for an annual event that is a unique celebration of past musical genius and contemporary talent. Commenting on his new work Jones said:‘I’ve been an admirer of Fretwork for some time, and was thrilled at the commission to write a piece for them to premiere at the London International Festival of Early Music.

More details at:

John Paul Jones interview about The Tudor Pull:

Here’s an interview with John about the new piece…


TBL Archive: The Song Remains the Same London premiere – it was 44 years ago today…

After the excitement of The Song Remains The Same soundtrack double album release, 44 years ago this week saw the premiere of the accompanying movie. This occurred at the Warner West End cinema in London’s Leicester Square although such was the demand the film was also screened at the nearby Shaftesbury Avenue ABC Theatre.

My girlfriend Fiona and I  got tickets by queuing overnight in early October. Sleep was at a minimum that night as the disco next to the Warner West End cinema blasted out a diet of Barry White and the like until the early hours. All worth it of course.
Two nights before the premiere The Old Grey Whistle Test screened the famous river boat interview with Peter Grant and Robert Plant and the violin bow segment of Dazed And Confused leading up to the coloured swords being brandished . ‘’That’s an amazing piece of film’’ murmured the legendary Bob Harris -and indeed it was. Incidentally BBC’s Film Night aired a clip the following Sunday for which the long running presenter Barry Norman in his familiar style commented ‘’Let’s all go down like a Led Zeppelin…and why not.’’
The premiere on the night of Thursday November 4 1976 was another unforgettable occasion with many memories ingrained on my brain:

song premiere

Here’s a few: Jimmy being ushered up the stairs of the cinema on arrival by John Bindon right next to me….shaking hands with Peter Grant and Bonzo as they waited for the photo call….standing up to allow Roy Wood and Billy Connolly to get to his seat two along from where we sat….a standing ovation as Jimmy, Robert, John and Bonzo took their seats…..spontaneous applause after every song performance -it was almost like attending a gig…. Bonzo and Jonesy with families gathering in the foyer afterwards…passing Paul McCartney on the way into the toilet. Robert eyeing the cardboard obeleisk/object card board cut out that I wore around my neck entwined with my scarf for the occasion as we chatted in the foyer.

Let me explain this interesting fashion look. Basically I took one of the cardboard obelisks that made up the hanging Presence mobile I had and swung it around my neck in a unique (plainly odd!) fashion statement – I cant it say it’s a look that caught on but hey it was for a special occasion!….The aforementioned Billy Connolly telling me the film had been ‘’A wee bit brilliant’’ in his famous Scottish brogue…watching them all get into limos as they sped off for the aftershow party in Covent Garden. A simply unforgettable night in their company.
Fiona and I were back for the screening at the Warner West End the next night and on the Saturday. I went on to see the film over 30 times in various cinemas over the next 18 months – along with those first three nights it played in London, I saw it in Cambridge a couple of times the next week, every night (twice on Friday) of its seven day residency at Bedford’s Granada the following January , at a run down cinema in Western Favell in Northampton on a snow bound night that involved catching two busses to find the place…at a midnight night showing along with a couple of porn films in Luton and then there were periodical trips to a small picture house in London’s Wardour Street I think called the Electric Cinema that showed seasons of rock films in rotation (anyone else remember that tiny place?).
In early 1981 I brought it on a dreadful quality VHS bootleg copy in a shop off Tottenham Court Road – all colour drop out but hey any time I wanted I could rewind to Jimmy climbing that mountain so who cared!

All that endeavour seems a bit crazy now considering it’s all on YouTube …but back then it was the thrill of the search and as they couldn’t play live during that period, then the film was definitely the next best thing -and 44 years ago this week it was all happening at the Warner West End cinema. Being there in the cinema with the members of Led Zeppelin to see it unfold for the first time is an unforgettable memory…

Dave Lewis – November 4,2020.


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More November Archives..

More Wembley Empire Pool magic….in 1978..

When I first witnessed Led Zeppelin live on stage back in November 1971 at the Empire Pool Wembley, this then 15 year old could neve have imagined the events ahead and that I might one day actually meet and speak to Robert Plant in this very same venue.

But that is what came to pass as seven years later on November 4, 1978 I did just that.

By then my enthusiasm for all things Led Zep was pretty off the scale. I had met them all backstage at Earls Court and The Song Remains The Ssame premiere in London and at Heathrow Airport in May 1977.

The tragic passing of Robert’s son Karac had rendered the band inactive for many months –though there had been some stirrings in the spring of 1978 with a get together at Clearwell Castle. I had kept in contact with the Swan Song office and I knew that the recording of a new album was on the cards.

That year was a very memorable one for me – not least for leaping on stage at The Who Shepperton filming gig on May 25. Around the same time I was commissioned by Geoff Barton a journalist on Sounds music paper to work with him on an extensive feature they were running in September to mark the tenth anniversary of Led Zeppelin. Over the summer I collated a Zep career timeline plus an extensive discography that duly ran over four issues in September. It was an incredible thrill to see my work in print and it further fuelled my ambition to produce a Led Zeppelin magazine. This was an idea I had first mooted in late 1977 – I had already designed a few proto type pages and I had a name for it – ‘Tight But Loose’ – a phrase Jimmy and Robert had coined to describe the ban’s music in separate interviews during their 1977 US tour.

In early November 1978 as a fervent reader of the NME I spotted in a small news item that on Sunday, November 5 Robert would be appearing in the Goaldiggers five a side football tournament. The venue was the Empire Pool Wembley – scene of my first Led Zep live experience. I knew I had to be there again – simple as that.

I had been back to the esteemed venue a few of time since 1971. I saw The Rolling Stones afternoon show on September 8 1973 and two years later I was at a scintillating Who performance on October 23 1975. I was also at Elton John’s show there in November 1977.

Back to the story. I was playing football for the Wallbangers team on the Sunday morning but reckoned I could get away after the game and get on a train to London for the 4pm start of the tournament.

So after playing in a 4-3 defeat, I zipped over to Bedford railway station and headed for London. At this point I had no ticket for the tournament but hoped I could get one at the venue. With time running out at vast expense, I took a taxi direct to Wembley from St Pancreas station. Once outside the venue I scored a ticket from a tout. I found myself up the side behind one of the goals. Not a bad view –not that I was going to settle for that for too long. I had already made up my mind that I needed to talk to Robert Plant himself to find out the state of play. The mission was on…

This Goaldiggers football tournament was Robert’s first public appearance since the curtailed US tour. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to re -connect with the singer – as I had done previously – notably at Heathrow Airport.

Robert’s named Geriatric Rowdies comprised of singer Jess Conrad, singer turned WEA Record exec Dave Dee, comedian Jasper Carrot, then West Bromwich Albion manager Ron Atkinson and in the number 8 shirt the man himself. They met LBC in their first match and drew 2-2 the equalizer coming from Robert. The next encounter was with The Stranglers team and ended in another 2-2 draw.

This was not enough to see them through to the next phrase and from where I was up behind the goal, I could see Robert had now changed out of his kit watching by the sidelines

It was then I made my move – I made my way down to the sideline enclosure and with a confident ‘I’m with the players’ strut glided through to the side of the pitch and there I was right next to the man.

What a moment it was. He looked really well if radically different in a smart cut jacket and jeans – the hair cut back to pre 1969 length. A stark contrast to the ‘golden god’ figure I had approached at Heathrow Airport some 18 months ago. Here’s pic I took at that first sighting.

I introduced myself and he recognized me from Heathrow. He duly introduced me to his wife Maureen and daughter Carmen. I reminded him of the last time he was here with Zep and we laughed about the performing pigs that didn’t quite get it right on the night.

During our conversations, Robert told  me he was going to Stockholm the next week with the group to commence recording a new album at Abba’s studios.

As the tournament progressed I was with him as he cheered on the ELO team, Spurs player Ralph Coates spirited display with the team made up of The Darts group good naturedly jeering Rod Stewart and Elton john’s team

It was when watching the all ladies match featuring a team made up of page 3 models that a photographer captured the photo of us both laughing at the action.

Here’s another shot from that moment and rarely seen. I am wearing the Zep US tour t shirt that are commonplace now but at the time were very scares promotional t shirts – I and got mine from the lovely Unity Maclean at the Swan Song office.

Fond farewells were said and I told him I would be at the next gig whenever and wherever that would be. ”It’s all in the wind” he said enigmatically.

I floated back to Bedford on a pure high. I had been in the company of Robert Plant again and for this particular Led Zeppelin fan the future was bright ahead – I knew that because I had heard it from the man himself.

Robert’s Goaldiggers appearance attracted a few column inches in the press and there were more later in the week when it was announced Led Zeppelin would indeed be going to Abba’s Polar Studios to record what would become the In Through The Out Door album.

As for me, this meet with my hero was more than enough inspiration to get down to producing the first issue of Tight But Loose. I worked on it for the rest of the year booking ads for it in late 1978 in Sounds and NME. A further round of ads followed in January 1978 and on February 10,1979 the first issues went out from my Dents Road bedroom.

It would kick start an incredibly exiting year that would include the Knebworth comeback shows, another Goaldiggers rendezvous with Robert and a very exciting afternoon watching Robert, JPJ and Bonzo picking up seven Melody Maker awards at a reception at the Waldorf hotel in London.  More on all that soon.

It would be another six years before I saw Robert at the Empire Pool Wembley then renamed Wembley Arena – a memorable solo show on September 10,1985. Pic from outside the venue on that day here by Krys Jantzen.


One more footnote – little did I realize that many years hence on the night of December 10 2007 the pic of me and Robert laughing would be featured on the BBC Six O Clock News in their coverage of the Led Zeppelin 02 reunion which included a few words form me before the gig..

This incredibly memorable 1978 Robert Plant rendezvous all of 42 years ago today occurred when I was just 22 years old..I’m now 64 – as he once put it, it’s been a lifetime -but a second…

Dave Lewis – November 4,2020


Baron Wolman -RIP…

I was very sad to hear the passing of the legendary rock photographer Baron Wolman aged 83.

In November 2011 .I was lucky enough to meet Baron at the Fopp music store in Charring Cross. Baron was signing copies of his book The Rolling Stone Years. It includes that iconic photo taken by Baron of Jimmy’s guitars lined up at the side of the stage at their Oakland gig on July 23 1977. I was able to conduct a quick interview with Baron for the TBL magazine. He was very affable and illuminating and a joy to talk with – he told me the only rock star he was ever fazed at meeting was George Harrison ‘’a session I did up at at Apple Core” said Baron ‘’I mean I was in the presence of a Beatle…!’’
Baron took quite a time to sign the book I purchased and the thoughtful inscription read ‘’To Dave – We are still here relaying tales of Led Zeppelin and more – wishing you a whole lotta love -Baron. Those words are now very poignant – I of course treasure that book very much…

In 2o18 I was privileged to be involved in the Led Zeppelin Live 1975 – 1977 photo book published by ACC Editions/Iconic Images which profiled Baron’s Led Zeppelin Oakland 1977 photos alongside the work of Terry O’Neil and Michael Brennan.

Baron’s photos from an historic rock era will ensure his legacy lives on…

Dave Lewis – November 4, 2020.


Chris Charlesworth blog Just Backdated hits a million:

Chris Charlesworth has been something of a mentor to me for over 30 years. I owe Chris a lot as he gave me my first major publishing break when as Omnibus Press editor in chief, he commissioned my book Led Zeppelin A Celebration in 1990 (not before a couple of rejections but I convinced him in the end!)

Since then, I have been privileged to work with Chris in his editorial role on the following books I’ve written or co-written…

Led Zeppelin In Their Own Words updated edition

The Complete Guide To The Music of Led Zeppelin CD sized edition

Led Zeppelin The Concert File (with Simon Pallett)

Led Zeppelin A Celebration compact edition

Led Zeppelin Celebration II the Tight But Loose Files

Led Zeppelin The Concert File compact edition (with Simon Pallet)

Led Zeppelin Talkin’

Led Zeppelin From a Whisper To A Scream

Evenings With Led Zeppelin with Mike Tremaglio

Every one of the above books benefited greatly from Chris’ overview and editing skills.

Before all that, I was an avid reader of his journalistic contributions to Melody Maker in particular his scribing’s on Zep – he built up a trusting relationship with Peter Grant that gave him insider access notably on their 1975 US tour. His interview with Robert Plant in New York in early 1976 was also one of the most illuminating of the era.

Chris has also been a constant supporter of the TBL mag and his many delightful anecdotes have also lit up a fair few Zep conventions and fan meets which Chris has attended and I’ve been involved in.

Since retiring from Omnibus Press Chris has written a great Elvis book Caught In A Trap and in 2013 developed an insightful blog for his many music related musings. I personally devour every word of this blog be it his recalling from his days on MM or his views on various artists new albums or books. Many of his reviews have led me to check out what he has been documenting –the most recent being his post on the just published Jimi Hendrix biography by Philip Norman – Chris summarised it in such a way that made me want to seek it out and his comments were as usual spot on –it’s an excellent read.

Chris is compelling writer and alongside Charles Shaar Murray and one or two others, my favourite. He write with authority and the knowledge of someone who was right there living it all -and can be with very moving too. I have badgered him to produce his own book of memoirs but as yet he has not relented – thankfully he deploys the Just Backdated blog to unlock many of his amazing I stories of being right where the action was in the halcyon 1970s world of rock’n’roll

The reason I am bringing all this to light is that Chris has just noted that he has notched up the one millionth visitor to the Just Backdated site – an achievement worth noting which he has done in another enlightening story.

I look forward to every update of Just Backdated -just as I looked forward to Chris’ writings in Melody Maker all those years ago.

Long may these inspirational blogs continue – when it comes to musical observations, Chris Charlesworth’s are always essential reading…

Be sure to check it out at:

Dave Lewis – November 4,2020


My thoughts on the new Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band album Letter To You…

My association with the music of Bruce Springsteen goes back to October 1975 and the release of his Born To Run album. I had read all the CBS hype about Bruce being the future of rock’n’roll and when the album arrived at the WH Smith record department I worked at, I was very eager to give it a spin.

It did not disappoint – the widescreen sound, the passionate lyrics, the amazing E Street band – it all connected. Here was an artist who told it like it was right from his soul. Very quickly I invested in Born To Run and his previous two albums Greetings From Asbury Park NJ and The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle.

From there I enjoyed many a Bruce moment – his 1980 The River album spoke to me in a way few albums had before or since – his show the next year I caught at Stafford Bingley Hall was a total tour de force as was the performance I was lucky enough to witness at Aston Villa football ground in 1988. 187’s Tunnel of Love album is another of his albums that I much admired.

I have to say in recent years Bruce has dropped off my musical radar although I still occasionally revisited the classic albums. This decrease in interest said more about me than it did Bruce. Like a fair few of my fave artists, my all-consuming Zep interest often made it hard to keep up as there were only so many hours to listen to the abundance of Zep related albums and CDs I waded through.

I still very much admired Bruce from a far and was pleased he was still out there lending his power to all –in 2009 I watched his Glastonbury performance on TV in total awe. In 2015 I invested in the superb box set The Ties That Bind – The River Collection. The River is right up there in my all time fave albums.

Last year I finally made an effort to get back on the Bruce wagon. The reviews of his Western Stars album drew me right back in and I invested in a new Bruce album for the first time in many a year. I loved the stark string arrangements and around it was great to be back in his musical company.

So the news that he had a new album ready was a very welcomed prospect – even more so knowing he had the E Street back in tow. So say hello once again to Roy Bittan, Nils Lofgren, Patti Scialfa, Garry Tallent, Stevie Van Zandt, Max Weinberg, Charlie Giordano and Jake Clemons. Letter To You was recorded in a matter of days  in his  studio last November.

It’s an excellent 2 LP vinyl package with a 12 inch booklet with full lyrics

It kicks off pretty much where Western Stars left off. The short One Minute You’re Here. Bruce enters in a stark Nebraska fashion, his deep burr of a voice immediately resonating. The phasing of the verses reminded me of Sinatra at his most melancholy – in fact this opener would line up well alongside Frank’s One For My Baby. The lyrics portray that feeling of loneliness and the need for redemption.

‘’Baby, baby, baby,I’m so alone, Baby, baby, baby, I’m coming home’’

The entry of Letter to You is like switching TV channel.Here we have the familiar drive and uplifting spirit of a full blown band arrangement and hey, the E Street Band are in the house again. The effect is like pulling on a comforting winter coat and boy are we all going to need to wrap up warm in the coming weeks and months.

The urgent nagging Burnin’ Train” has some soaring duel guitars and a knockabout ending right out of The River era

The Power of Prayer opens with calming piano intro before it swaggers into action. This is something of a template for much of the album’s content – plaintive intros then a crescendo of E Street bombast. Love the final lines of this one;

‘’Last call, the bouncer shuts the door

This magic moment drifts across the floor

As Ben E. King’s voice fills the air

Baby, that’s the power of prayer’’

The delightfully titled House of a Thousand Guitars again kicks off with a sparse piano accompaniment that builds as the band enter – the repeated refrain of the title is a pure delight.

Rainmaker storms in on a surge of multi layered vocals. ‘’Sometimes folks need to believe in’’ the man sings with much intent.

There are three song s on the album that were written and demoed in the early 1970s – a couple for his CBS audition. All three clock in at the six minute mark are a throwback to the rambling Dylan like arrangements that lit up his first two albums.

Janey Needs a Shooter was covered by ex Hollie Allan Clarke on his 1974 solo album. This has an epic quality to it that reminded me of Backstreets with it’s cascading Blonde On Blonde organ and harmonica. If I Was The Priest starts with the line ‘’There’s a light’’ which reminded me of The Bee Gees To Love Somebody before the rolling thunder of the E Street Band take it all up a level. Song For Orphans is another slice of Dylanesque poetic rambling – the melody here recalls to mind Bob’s Is Your Love In Vein.

That leaves three songs that capture The Boss is a very reflective mode

Last Man Standing is a poignant lament to his late departed fellow band member Geirge Theiss of his first band The Castiles. As the title implies he is now the last man standing of that unit. Suitably wistful, there’s a timely arrival of a Clarence like soaring sax break. Keeping it right in the family it’s performed by his nephew Jake.

Ghosts is a wonderfully uplifting homage to former band bands and the process of performing live.The accompanying video with its cut in of live performances and crowd reactions is very moving. The whole atmosphere of the track is one of pure exhilaration. There’s even a nostalgic cry of ‘’1,2, 1,2,3,4’’ as Bruce counts them all back in for a final climax. This of course would make a great live number and here’s to the day that thousands of people can sing out the lyrics with hands held high -‘’ Meet your brother and sister on the other side.’’

The closing track I’ll See You in My Dreams has the same title as the much covered 1920s written song which Joe Brown has popularised, notably with his rendition at the George Harrison tribute concert in 2002.

This is an entirely different song but no less moving. Bruce signs off with heartfelt candour – and these words resonate greatly for love and loss.

The road is long and seeming without end.

The days go on, I remember you my friend

And though you’re gone

And my heart’s been emptied it seems

I’ll see you in my dreams’’

Summary:  In these unsettling and uncertain times, there’s immense inspiration to be had when our long trusted musical heroes still deliver – with Letter To You Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have more than delivered.

It’s one of those albums you just don’t want to end –and need to replay soon as possible.

The themes of camaraderie, reflection and redemption that echo throughout these 12 songs are themes that everyone will relate to – I certainly do…

Amongst his early band mates, Bruce Springsteen is, as he sings the last man standing – but there is no doubt he is still standing tall and proud and so he should be because Letter To You is an absolute triumph.

Dave Lewis – November 4,2020.


DL Diary Blog Update:

Wednesday November 4:

Wednesday treats at the Vinyl Barn…

Ahead of the lockdown there was a last chance to check out the always excellent Vinyl Barn this morning…

This morning’s pickings: As a collector of Burt Bacharach/Hal David and Bob Dylan material, I was well pleased to find a very quirky 4 Seasons album. The 4 Seasons Sing The Big Hits of Burt Bacharach/Hal David and Bob Dylan.

This has one side of Bacharach/David compositions including Walk On By and What’s New Pussycat and one side of Bob Dylan songs including Like A Rolling Stone and Mr Tambourine Man – a 1964 UK pressing on Phillips – very quirky indeed.

I also picked up a very nice Shadows Greatest Hits LP an Australian Columbia pressing with a great cover and sleeve notes plus the 1973 album Fathoms Deep by singer songwriter Linda Lewis – a UK pressing on the Raft. This was recorded at Apple Studios with her then husband the excellent guitarist Jim Cregan who later worked with Rod Stewart and Steve Harley. All good stuff to keep the playlist going…many thanks Darren…

Thursday November 5:

Today’s Led Zeppelin fix – on the player the Berkeley Daze 2nd Night bootleg 2 LP vinyl set on Casino Records issued in 2015 –this is the classic Berkeley Theatre September 14 1971 performance originally released as Going To California.

The Berkeley Daze 1st Night bootleg is imminently due on a 4 LP package and I am eagerly awaiting that one…




Thursday November 5:

I’ve just taken receipt of the new limited edition 4 LP bootleg box set Led Zeppelin Berkeley Daze 1st Night.

My copy is the Blue Aquamarine vinyl edition number 72 of 200 only

There’s also a crystal vinyl version again 200 only.

The package:

Packaged in a sturdy outer box set

Four page 12 inch size insert with two live 1971 live shots and a 1972 shot of Jimmy and Bonzo in a limo. Informative sleeve note and on the reverse the 1971 group promo shot and a repro of the Bill Graham presents advert for these shows and others.

An insert card with the famous Wm Stout artwork with a signed signature

This is the complete recording spread over eight sides as featured on the 2 CD sets that appeared on the Godfatherecords label.

The sound quality: Whilst not as clear as the stereo audience recorded second night immortalised on the Going To California bootleg and issued via this label in 2015 as a 2 LP vinyl set Berkeley Daze 2nd Night, this is still a very acceptable audience recording – slightly distant but with plenty of top end vitality -as used on previous CD releases.

The music: This night has always been overshadowed by the high profile availability of the second night. This new release will redress the balance as it’s an absolute stellar performance with plenty of set list delights including an encore of Communication Breakdown that has a Gallows Pole insert.

It’s Led Zeppelin live on stage in 1971 at the top of their game…it’s a complete show on 4 vinyl records…it’s brilliant…


Update here: The announcement of a second lockdown in the UK which runs from Thursday November 5 through to December 2 was not surprising but no less impactful. Once again we all have to do what we can to supress the virus infection.

With schools still opening, Janet works on at the pre- school. Her leg is continuing to be sore at times as she is now more active on it. We will be continuing our walks to strengthen it and the physio exercises on go.

I will not be going too far – supporting Janet when she goes shopping and to the post office for TBL distribution. I’ll also be heading out for the daily bike ride as I was this morning when I captured the rather beautiful scene below of Bedford Embankment in the early morning mist. I have various TBL projects ongoing  I am chipping away at and of course the music will be a constant inspiration.

Wherever you are, my thoughts are with you to stay safe and well…

Some particular inspirations this past week…

The new issue of the always excellent Shindig! magazine landing on the doormat…

The new issue of the always excellent Record Collector landing on the doormat…

A very nice email from Brian Knapp and Steve Sauer…

Taking receipt of the 4 LP box set Berkeley Daze 2nd Night – thanks NC

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

Dave  Lewis –  November 5, 2020

Until next time, stay safe and stay well…

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Many thanks Ed

  • Ed Dowling said:

    Been awhile since I’ve been here and I pulled the plug on facebook so it’s really great to get caught up with you and the family news (glad Janet is doing better!) and of course all the new TBL Zep news. Stay well Dave!

    Been visiting family in Jersey (the New one) and had a chance to go to Asbury Park recently – it’s been years. So your Springsteen review really is perfectly timed. Will need to check it out.


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