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KNEBWORTH SATURDAY AUGUST 11 1979 – 39 YEARS GONE/LZ NEWS/ UNCUT SPECIAL/JOHN BONHAM REDDITCH CELEBRATION FESTIVAL DETAILS/JIMMY PAGE DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY REVIEWED/DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

8 August 2018 1,869 views 4 Comments

 

TBL Archive Special – Knebworth August 11th 1979 – Then as it really was…39 years gone…

 

It’s that time of year again…

The anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth always resonates that little bit more when it falls on the actual days –as it does this year. Saturday August 11h 1979 – just writing that date sends a tingle of excitement because that is the day when it all occurred for a second time back in that field just outside Stevenage all of 39 years ago.

On Saturday  I, and thousands of other fans will no doubt be thinking back to that glorious second Zep gig day in the summer of 1979 when finally, after all the waiting, Led Zeppelin were back doing what they did best – performing live on stage. With each passing year, the Zep Knebworth legacy grows that little bit more important as they really were some of the days of our lives.

To mark the 39th anniversary of the Knebworth August 11th performance here are further extracts from the Led Zeppelin Then As It Was  -At Knebworth 1979 book:

Book Extracts:

This is the original text written for Tight But Loose, issue number 3.Whilst much of it bathes in a rose tinted glow, it certainly succeeds in capturing the pure wonderment of the event as seen through the eyes of a starry eyed twenty two year old fan eager to put pen to paper before it all became a blur.       

AUGUST 10TH 1979:

Thousands of fans have stayed on to camp out the week ready for the second concert…. By Friday night the familiar smell of campfire smoke once again fills the air…Unfortunately the night itself is wet and rainy…Morale at this point is not at its highest…

AUGUST 11TH 1979:

Early morning….morale is quite definitely not at its highest…The trek to the arena seems longer this week. Maybe it’s something to do with the sprinkling of rain that descends upon us….Inside the arena the rain gets heavier…For over an hour it pours, this is no fun…But miraculously by 9am the clouds begin to clear and by 10am the sun is shining…Thank you Lord….Chas and Dave open the live music to nil reaction…Commander Cody and his band follow and it’s loud…too loud, take a walk… The site is filling up but nowhere near as fast as last week… Southside Johnny And The Asbury Dukes arrive on stage and play (to these ears) a dull set…The sun is beating down strongly, it’s hot…Extremely hot….By mid afternoon most of the punters have settled in the arena, some eighty thousand this week…The atmosphere is not quite so vibrant and expectant as last week, but there’s still a lot of people here, many no doubt for their second week…A few clad in Stones T-shirts here for the Barbs…That’s a long way off though…

Todd Rundgren’s Utopia hit the stage, Todd, in a less wanger-showing outfit this week.  He performs an erratic but professional show marred again by his over-indulgence…Late afternoon, still very hot, The New Barbarians due at 6pm…6.30pm arrives and the stage set up is complete…still no sign of Ron and Keef though…Nicky Horne appeals to the crowd to cease the trading of cans by air, but he’s clearly talking to a frustrated audience….7.30pm still no Barbs…Makes me wonder if these stoned chaps are not knocking back barbs or something of their own….8pm.  At last they arrive on stage. Frankly it’s all a bit of an anti climax….Honest Ron proceeds to dominate the stage with his loony stage antics (boring after ten minutes), while Keef restrains himself to a low key power-chording.  ’Honky Tonk Women’, ‘Before They Make Me Run’ and an encore of ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ get the required response but really it was a fuss about a whole load of nothing as far as I saw it.  Nicky-the-H tells us we’ve got an hour and fifteen minutes to wait for the change over…Well we’ve already waited longer for less.  Nearly time, the stage is set, my heart skips a few beats in anticipation…After all, this is Zeppelin’s first gig anywhere for a whole week…and it’s not often you can utter that statement is it?…

It’s after 10.30pm when the canned music dies down and the lights flash on to the stage, the signal means they are ready.  Nicky Horne is the man who announces (not unlike the way he did at Earls Court) “Ladies and Gentlemen…Jones, Bonham, Page and Plant – Led Zeppelin.”  Once again, the sight of them on stage again performing ‘The Song Remains The Same’ is incredible.  They go on to perform practically the same set as the previous week.  Robert is quick to backlash the music press when he states early on:

“Well, it didn’t rain, but it rained on us in the week from one or two sources, and we’re just gonna stick it right where it really belongs.”

The general atmosphere is not quite so electric as last week, and the band encounter one or two technical hitches early into the proceedings.  During ‘Over The Hills And Far Away’ several speakers blow loudly’ just before the chorus and Robert is forced to swap mikes half way through.  To their credit they manage to plough on unaffected by this, but the last straw is when Jimmy breaks a guitar string during the closing bars.

The sound trouble continues through ‘Misty Mountain Hop’ but the band recovers well, and things are back to normal with the next track, a peerless ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’.  One other slight hitch occurs when the screen goes a bit crazy during ‘No Quarter’, but apart from that it’s all plain sailing.  Robert is in fantastic voice, Jimmy is sweating and grinning cheerfully – playing a feast, while Bonzo and Jonesy are keeping it rock steady behind them.  Incidentally, the entire band is wearing the same garb as last week.

Robert dedicated ‘Hot Dog’ to the Texas Road Crew, and makes a very interesting statement following that song, maybe hinting at something?

I’m never going to Texas anymore, but we will go to Manchester. Around Christmas should be good, and Nottingham, you’ve got a lot going for you already, and Worcestershire…, and Wolverhampton…yeah, I know…”

They leave out ‘Ten Years Gone’ (shame) this week but do a magnificent ‘Rain Song’, and as they hit the home straight the power of the performance just keeps on climaxing.

Kneb

‘Kashmir’, ‘Trampled Underfoot’, ‘Sick Again’, ‘Achilles…’, Jimmy’s violin bow episode and ‘In The Evening’) – still fantastic second time around – leap from the stage…and of course Robert’s introduction of ‘Stairway To Heaven is full of sentiment.

“…and when it comes to the time now when we really gotta thank you for hanging about for four years, you English folk, and you French people, for hanging about since – Oh, I don’t know how long.  And I’d like to thank everybody who’s come from everywhere to create part of the atmosphere we’ve had. The other bands that we’ve had with us – Commander Cody, good, good, good, good. Todd, Keef and Ronnie… Peter Grant (come on!). Thanks everybody.”

‘Stairway to Heaven’ is an incredible finish tinged with sadness (this weeks ad-libs – “I’d like to say I hope so…Our stairway lies on the whispering wind…Sometimes that’s all you’ve got…”).  They encore with ‘Rock And Roll’, (“Good evening! Can you do the dinosaur rock?!”), and return a second time to perform the re-vamped ‘Whole Lotta Love’, that this week segues into ‘Let That Boy Boogie’.

Finally, an old chestnut is re- roasted…. …’Communication Breakdown’ crushes everyone.  It’s that sort of performance and it’s a fitting end.

With that Robert turns and with the rest of the band leaves the stage.  Led Zeppelin at Knebworth is over.

“It’s been great, thank you very much indeed…We’ll see ya soon…very soon. I dunno about the Marquee but somewhere soon – Goodnight – Bye.”

A triumphant return – no doubt about it.  Of course the majority of the critics slammed it, but Led Zeppelin don’t play for critics…they play for their fans.  It was all about the hundreds of thousands who came to see them at Knebworth, and it’s their reaction that mattered. Everyone who I saw loved it.

Led Zeppelin returned to the stage with a performance that didn’t rest on their laurels and this was no exercise in going through the motions.  They set their own standards and pushed themselves to the limits with a display of dynamic emotional rock and roll energy.  The very nature of the material they chose to play made it a joy to listen to.  Gone was the excess and self indulgence of the past.  I for one was not sorry to see the omissions of marathons like ‘Moby Dick’ and ‘Dazed and Confused’.  What we did get was a balanced programme that included just a little spice of everything that is Led Zeppelin.  A performance that took you to the highest high, at its mightiest able to rock you ’till your bones trembled, while on the other side of the spectrum also move you near to tears.  And all this talk of being old and dormant…I just fail to see it.  Zeppelin more than lived up to their reputation and not only that…actually bettered it.  One of their best performances ‘In The Evening’, being a track previously unheard… proof that it was not a case of trading on former glories.

Enough of this though.  I don’t have to justify Led Zeppelin’s performance at Knebworth.  They did that themselves, and in doing so created a little bit of heaven for everyone to share, and after four years they can still do that…give thanks.

Dave Lewis, August 16th 1979.

Extract from the book Led Zeppelin Then As It Was -At Knebworth 1979  -written and compiled by Dave Lewis.

To mark the 39th anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth , the book is on offer at a special discounted price of £8 – you can order the book from this link:

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/books-t-shirts/knebworth-book/

Here are some more comments, recollections and memories from the out in that field…as featured in the book:

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“This is a small little up-tempo ditty that we’ve been asked by some people in Vancouver – It’s all there in the end baby….  It’s called Trampled Underfoot’’ 

‘Robert Plant from the Knebworth stage August 4th  1979 

“Some people from Vancouver’’

My friend Roger Grais won the radio station competition on CFOX-FM our Vancouver rock music radio station.  Although we had only got to know each other that summer, he told me I was going with him as I met the two requirements – I was over eighteen and I liked Led Zeppelin.  His girlfriend met neither requirement.

So two weeks later we head to London for a week, airfare, hotel and two concert tickets in hand.  Roger even got a passport on three days turnaround.  We arrived on August 1st probably, and spent two days doing the tourist thing and visiting as many pubs as possible.  We lost count of the number of Green Man pubs in the environs of our hotel – The Whitehouse near Regent’s Park.

On the Friday afternoon we took the tube to the train station and headed out to Stevenage station where we got off ( I think).  We were loaded with three dozen beers, food, binoculars, a blanket and a crummy portable cassette recorder.  Grabbing bootleg t-shirts we headed into one of the massive campgrounds.  We wandered about chatting with people who couldn’t believe how we made it to Knebworth from Vancouver, Canada.  As darkness fell we guzzled beers and chatted with two lovely girls from Leeds.  After midnight we discovered that people were already gathering near some huge wrought iron gates.  Around 4:00am the gate came down and the mad rush along dirt paths began to the main concert site.  I lost a shoe and nearly lost Roger in the scrabble and charge but we made it and survived the jostling for what seemed like hours before we got in around 6:30 am.  Roger refused to surrender his ticket stub and retains his complete ticket to this day.

We charged down the hill and found a good spot, we thought, slightly stage right and well in front of the mixing board.

The cool day (who said it was warm?) passed quickly as we absorbed the building tension.  Hopes of a mid afternoon acoustic set sadly evaporated.  Fairport were excellent especially Swarbrick’s violin playing and Rundgren in his yellow jump suit was quite good we thought.  And then dusk came on, the gradual darkness engulfed the area illuminated by torches, matches and camera flashes.

Our anticipation was so tense as we watched the myriad of stage hands finalize the stage prep and the light and video crew ascended the ladders to the upper light trusses.

9:30pm and the cheers and applause kept building as we awaited the event.  I had seen Zeppelin in Seattle on the 1977 US Tour but this would be even more special.

9:40pm and the hand held torches signalled stage activity.  Guitar notes and drum rolls sent us into a frenzy and then the opening sustained note of ‘The Song Remains the Same’ began and what seemed like every light came on and bang there they were, our four heroes on stage again at last and sounding awesome.  Plant dressed in black and Page in slacks and the soon to be sweat-drenched shirt.

The massive backstage screen was amazing as close ups of Page, Plant Bonham and Jones flashed across.

Plant’s quip about Jimmy doubting people would come at all was warmly received.

Many others have gone through the set list song by song but for us the early highlights of ‘Over The Hills And Far Away’, ‘Black Dog’ and ‘The Rain Song’ were special indeed.

‘Hot Dog’ was well received as the first new number but when they brought out the stool and Jonesy’s triple-neck I knew what was next.  ‘Ten Years Gone’ was amazing and Jimmy’s phrasing on the overlays was sublime.

Regardless of the beer cans and wine jugs flying in our area we were all riveted to the stage and the stunning audio and visual spectacle before us.  Roger snapped pictures frequently, and I tried my best to keep the lousy mike in the air to record it all.

Then our special moment arrived.  Plant said this next song is for “some people from Vancouver”.  We were ecstatic – our request had gotten through.  The radio station had given us Danny Urweider of Atlantic Records as a contact if we needed help.  We phoned him as a courtesy and he asked what he could do.  So as Zeppelin had not played ‘Trampled Underfoot’ in Seattle, I asked if he could ask them to play it for us.  Special thanks forever to Danny for getting the request passed on and to Robert who remembered us – some people from Vancouver.

So with, “a ready Mr. Jones”, it began and Page’s solos on ‘Trampled’ were amazing indeed.

‘White Summer’ segued into ‘Kashmir’ as every light came on as that opening ‘Kashmir’ note was struck and there was the sway back from the audience and ‘Kashmir’ just blew us over.

Page’s violin bow solo heading to the drum intro for ‘In The Evening’ was another highlight.  And then probably the best song of the show, a truly unbelievable ‘Achilles Last Stand’.  Bonzo’s drums on that one were in a different class, and Page by that time was joyous but exhausted, just kept pushing it on.  There is a smile from him mid point on that song that just exemplifies for me Page at his best.

And then ‘Stairway’ with the clock now well after midnight.

To get three encores was astounding and as Plant said over 100,000 people in a chorus of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is was spine-tingling.

So after a final bow from a clearly very satisfied band, the stage lights changed, ‘Communication Breakdown’ came over the sound system.  We gathered our stuff, and bid farewell to the people we shared the day and the experience with and headed toward the exits.  Surprisingly we met up with the two girls from Leeds who somehow had ended up a short distance from us.  They invited us back to their tent but we thought it best to head to the train station – big mistake in hindsight.

After train delays we headed back to London and talked about the show with everyone.  Roger, a drummer raving about Bonham’s powerhouse effort and me revelling in Page’s guitar genius.  Into London late Sunday morning, we then staggered into our hotel – dishevelled, lacking sleep, and me hobbling on one foot as the other lacked a shoe.

We slept and then phoned the radio station to report on the best concert ever.

We enjoyed our last few days in London talking through highlights and listening to our terrible recording.  On knowing we were going, we promised ourselves a visit to the Marquee Club to see some band – any band.  Luckily it turned out that that Monday August 6th was Simple Minds first London gig.  Our music tastes have always been very broad and to see the best band ever – Led Zeppelin, and a very good up and coming band was great.

We returned to Vancouver with great memories of a great time.  Roger and I remain steadfast friends and music compadres.  We have been to hundreds of shows since (from the Grateful Dead to Dream Theater), but nothing has come close to that wonderful August night in a field in England.

It was special indeed, and to see video of it today brings back so many good memories.  With a special “thanks again” to Danny Urweider and to Jimmy, Robert, John Paul and John (so sadly missed) thank you thank you.

By the way, who were all those lucky people on the stage riser to the left of Jimmy’s amplifiers? They must have been deaf by the end of the night!

Joseph Whiteside and Roger Grais

 “Some people from Vancouver”

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“It was an April morning when they told us we should go…”

In late April 1979 the air crackled with an electric expectation; whispers grew to a muted roar and, as the supercharged clouds of rumour gathered, finally the news broke.  Full page ads in that familiar long-legged typeface bestrode the music press: Led Zeppelin would play Knebworth Park in August.

Pandemonium.  Tickets were sold out almost instantly and clutching ours, we were overwhelmed with anticipation and pride.  It was to be a day-long festival, not that anyone cared about any other of the bands playing.  We would see Led Zeppelin play on English soil, the first time they had done so since the Earls Court 1975 concerts.

This was it, but, nearly two hundred miles north and without personal transport, this would also be a bit of a problem.  Trains were out of the question.  There was no way we’d get back in the early hours.  Hitching was not really a possibility, as there would be four of us and none were blonde and good looking.  We’d go by coach.  But no. After ringing around none of the coach operators had a clue what we were talking about. Hmmm?. After a bit of head scratching an idea broke.  We would hire our own coach and, as well as getting ourselves to the gig, we’d fill up the remaining seats with Zeppelin fans from the North East.  We rang the local coach hire company and a 44-seater was booked. To advertise the trip we stuck an ad in the local paper The Evening Gazette. You had to have your own concert ticket, which by now were gold dust, and for £5 you’d be taken from Guisborough to Knebworth and back.

It seems we were not the only ones who had been stuck for travel to the gig.  Just over a week after the ad had appeared the seats were sold.  Still enquiries came.  We rang the coach company.  Yes, we could have a bigger coach; were we sure we could fill it?  Yes, not a problem.  The extra seats sold the next day.  We were to travel overnight to be there for the whole of the day.

The weeks to the concert soon passed and come August 10th, the coach was parked and ready in Guisborough.  Everyone had been asked to meet up at the coach park.  A few late comers from out of the area arrived at my parents’ house.  This involved my mum dispensing tea and biscuits to various bemused put polite leather and denim clad blokes and their girlfriends as we waited for the departure time to draw nearer.  Then, after a short walk down the lane to the coach we could see the result of our bit of private enterprise as a few dozen disparate souls bound by a common desire to see their favourite band assembled to board the coach.  Names were ticked off and everyone climbed aboard.

Myself and my good friend and Zeppelin nut, Graeme Hutchinson, sat near the front of the coach.  My other friend Graham and my very lucky twelve year old brother Kenny, sat in the seats in front of us.  It seemed hours before Kenny settled and he was the target of largely good-natured encouragement to ‘pipe down’ as he knelt, hanging over the back of his seat chatting to us about everything and nothing.  A watering stop en route was uneventful as tired looking eyes blinked in the alien light at a quiet service station.  On we drove through the night.

We arrived to a bright morning and thousands of fans.  A village of tents and sweet smoke; a gathering of the clans.  We took a place in the grassy amphitheatre and ate and drank through the day.  Trips for more provisions or to answer nature’s call required bearings to be taken from flagpoles dotted throughout the vast crowd; proclamations from the attendant tribes.

The concert passed too quickly, but my memory is punctuated by vivid moments.  Most memorable for me was Jimmy threading his way through the intro to ‘Achilles Last Stand’ and John Bonham tripping his bass pedal and detonating hurtingly bright lights, blinding and white into the night.

And the return home?  Well,…… I counted them all out and I counted them all back.  A very successful campaign.

Mike Robinson, Guisborough UK.

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By the time the Knebworth concerts were announced in May 1979 I had developed into a real “Zep head”. I discovered Zep in 1975 when a lad at school was selling off his “old” rock albums to concentrate on new bands like The Ramones (he soon became the school’s number one punk rocker). Having initially bought Led Zep 1, II, IV and Physical Graffiti for £1 each I now had the complete Zep album catalogue plus the US singles and even a few vinyl bootlegs and live cassette tape recordings. At the tender age of sixteen and still with a half decent paper round, I spent every penny I earned on all things rock music related and most of it on Led Zeppelin.

So when I heard on The Old Grey Whistle Test that Led Zeppelin were to play Knebworth my heart starting racing with the possibility of seeing Zep live for the first time.

I was desperate to go but £7.50 was a lot of money and I had no idea how the hell I was going to get to Knebworth and back – the furthest I’d been on my own was Newcastle. By the time I’d got my act together tickets to the first (and at the time only) concert were sold out. My good mate Mike Robinson and I were devastated as we were addicted to Zep and just couldn’t miss this opportunity to see our band. But the gods were on our side and in early July a second Knebworth date was announced and we made sure we got tickets to the  August 11th event.

Soon after Mike came up with a cunning plan to hire a coach and sell seats though advertising in the local newspaper. This went so well that we ended up hiring an even bigger coach that took our merry men (and even some women) from the North East of England on a magical mystery tour to Hertfordshire to see the “power, glory and the hammer of the gods” that is Led Zeppelin.

We set off late Friday night and arrived at Knebworth in the early morn’. As I recall it was a relatively damp morning though it soon cleared up and the afternoon was beautiful and sunny. As we entered the Knebworth natural amphitheatre I remember my disappointment when the people at the gate took BOTH halves of my ticket. I’m not sure what the reason for this was but it meant no ticket memento from the most important gig of my life.

I was with a group of about half a dozen and we found a good spot centre stage and about 80 yards back to park ourselves for the day. Even this far back the stage was amazing and the PA looked massive.

The excitement and anticipation was palpable. There was terrific banter and tomfoolery throughout the afternoon. I remember smoking a packet of Marlboro red tops. I’d previously been an Embassy Regal smoker until I’d read somewhere the Jimmy Page smoked Marlboro’s and so I switched brands. It’s pathetic when you think about it but I was a kid and in total awe of Led Zeppelin and so you did these kind of things.

I wasn’t particularly interested in the supporting acts though I tried to get into The New Barbarians given Keef and Woody were involved but they were a bit too loose for my liking.

As it got darker the anticipation grew and grew. We had a good idea what to expect in terms of the set list from the reviews from the Copenhagen concerts and first night and this just added to our hunger. At about 10.30pm (I can’t recall exactly) the band came on stage and the crowd went beserk. A strum of the guitar, a roll of the snare drum and then the opening chords and sheer power that is ‘The Song Remains The Same.’ Thirty years on I can’t remember lots of detail but I do remember the butterflies in my stomach and the total euphoria I felt when I saw Led Zeppelin live for the first time – even at a late stage in their career.

It’s hard to pick highlights as the entire performance was my ultimate concert highlight however a few things stand out; the opening with ‘The Song Remains The Same’, Jimmy breaking a string break at the end of ‘Over The Hills And Far Away’, everything about ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’, the power of ‘Kashmir’ , the intensity and bright white lights of ‘Achilles Last Stand’ (and another broken string), Jimmy’s bow solo and the revolving green laser pyramid and the finale of ‘Communication Breakdown.’ What a night. What a day. What a fucking band!

I know it is generally understood that the first night was better and  also featured ‘Ten Years Gone’ but it doesn’t matter to me. Led Zeppelin at Knebworth on the  August 11th 1979 was and forever will be the greatest rock performance I have seen and heard.  I’ve listened to and watched a number of recordings of the concert, so I know that there were mistakes made by the band. But on the night it all sounded perfect – I didn’t hear a single fluff other than a guitar string break. The sound was great, the band looked the part and the sheer power from the stage and 100,000 watt PA could have launched a Saturn V rocket.

I will forever remember my Knebworth with the best of memories and as my best concert ever. No one could touch Led Zeppelin then, nor since.

Graeme Hutchinson, Middlesbrough UK.

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Knebworth was the first and only time I saw (the original) Led Zeppelin live. The first album I got was ‘Physical Graffitti’ in 1976, and so I therefore missed out on the magic of Earls Court.  It is also now hard to believe that Led Zeppelin played in what was my home town of Edmonton at the ‘Cooks Ferry’ Inn in March 1969, although I was only 8 at the time and more interested in Football..

I went with two friends – Colin and Tony to Harlequin Records in Barnet to buy our tickets for Knebworth.  We had just missed out on tickets for the first show, and so ended up with 3 tickets for the second show on 11th August.

We all had motorbikes at the time, but Tony had recently got a rusty old Ford Cortina MKII.  We all piled into his car on the Friday evening and headed towards Knebworth.  Tony unfortunately thought that Knebworth was on the M1, so we ended up having to take a detour at J12, and eventually ended up at the site entrance just off the A1(M) J7 at around 10pm. The site entrance was gridlocked due to thousands of pedestrians and cars arriving.  I had never been to any concert before and was only 18 at the time, so this was a whole new experience!

We eventually were allowed to drive onto the site.  This was after being diverted around the roundabout three times by the Police, who were tightly controlling access to the site.  We then parked up and pitched our tent next to the car, and tried to get some sleep.  I couldn’t sleep with the excitement though, and went for a walk at around 3am to buy souvenirs, such as badges, Knebworth scarf (which I still have), and the essential program.  I was disappointed at the time, as I unwittingly bought the red ‘bootleg’ program which at £1 was more expensive than the official program.  I hadn’t realized there were 2 versions.  (NB: That bootleg programme is now worth around £80!).

I can remember what seemed to be a very long walk to the field where the stage was set up.  We found a place dead centre, around two thirds  of the way back.  I had taken a (primitive) camera and took a few pictures throughout the day.  The day itself seemed to be extremely long as there was only 1 band we had come to see!.  There was plenty going on to help get through it though. I can remember hippies wandering around shouting ‘pot for sale, hash for sale’.  The food was not like at the well organised events these days.  The toilets were worse, and were no more than an open pit over which wooden cubicles had been constructed.  The vile smell wafted over us whenever the wind blew from that direction.

Then it finally happened.  It was absolutely pitch black…, the anticipation, and then those wonderful opening chords to ‘The Song Remains the Same’ ringing out from Page’s double neck.  It was like being hit by a sledgehammer! I still remember the excitement whenever I see the bootleg video, although it took me around 13 years before I eventually tracked down a copy.  It is so easy these days on the Internet!

I can remember on the screen seeing Jimmy smile when his guitar string broke at the end of ‘Over The Hills and Far Away’. I can also remember the new songs that I had never heard before – ‘In The Evening’ and ‘Hot Dog’.  ‘White Summer’ was also unknown to me, as I did not possess any bootlegs at that time.

Tony also swears that he can remember John Bonham taking a running jump and literally jumping over the drum kit, which I have no recollection of at all.

Sadly, we never got to see the encores.  Tony decided we all needed to leave just after the end of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ as he wanted to avoid the rush leaving the car park.  We tried to change his mind, but were in no position to argue as home was a 35 mile walk away.  We therefore could only listen to the encores gradually getting quieter as we made the long walk back to the car park, where we found the car was wedged in with no chance of going anywhere for hours!

For this 18 year old, it was a truly magical evening that will never be forgotten.

Ian Avey Hitchin, UK.

Pic above of Ian with Colin

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I went to the August 11th show.  I was fifteen, and it was my very first gig – some debut!  At that age it was a huge adventure.  My mate Andrew Dillon got the tickets and his dad took us down in the car the night before.  I’d spent the previous month on a crash course of Zeppelin albums being a Genesis fan first and foremost at that time.  It was a real eye-opener camping out alongside all the hippie-types on the Friday night.

Inside the arena we found a spot on a raised mound.  It was a strange support act line up, and as the day went on the arena kept filling up. The toilets were dreadful, and finding your way back to your own spot was also very difficult.  I had my first (and last) joint which I have to confess did nothing for me at all.

Then there was the long wait for The New Barbarians who proved to be a real disappointment.  As the stage was set up for Zeppelin the adrenaline kicked in and any tiredness disappeared.  I’d seen The Song Remains The Same movie but this at last was the real thing.

The roar of the crowd when they came on was just unbelievable and the combination of that and the lights and the sound inspired a rush of tears through the sheer emotion of it all.  To be honest the gig was a bit of a blur.  Jimmy’s laser bow being the most vivid memory.

Over thirty years on the critical view is that they were great but a little rusty but I prefer to remember it just as an incredible emotional experience that has stayed with me ever since and has led me to many more fantastic Zeppelin related experiences.

Gary Wade, Cheadle UK.

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Kneb 8

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My story starts a few days prior to the gig.  I am a cousin of Ronnie Wood, and as a result of him playing support together with Keith Richards in the New Barbarians, I knew that I had a good chance of getting a ticket for the show. I contacted another cousin of mine who happened to be Ronnie’s PA in the UK and politely asked her for a ticket.  She told me that Ronnie would be over at his mother’s house the Friday before the show and that I should pop over and that he would give me a pass. I was an 18 year old long haired kid who loved my rock music ever since I had been blown away by Hawkwind’s In Search Of Space and Sabbath’s Master of Reality some years before. And now being a total rock convert, I wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity to see the greatest rock band that will ever be. So suffice to say I was at my Aunt’s house nice an early that Friday awaiting Ronnie’s arrival. Sure enough he showed up. I asked him if he had a ticket for me. To my delight, Ronnie produced for me a rather superb back stage pass. It was beautifully coloured and was of a woven material with a sticky back.  I think it had all the bands that were to play on it. It was very cool. I took it, and right at that moment in time it was probably my most treasured possession.

I remember Ronnie saying he had a bit of a panic on because up to that moment the New Barbarians hadn’t gotten a bass guitarist for the show. Ronnie said to me “You can’t play bass guitar can you?” Regretfully I could not!

I often wonder what would have happened if I could.

The next thing that I really recall after all these years is actually going into Knebworth itself.  I remember waiting my turn in a long line of people hoping to God that the pass that I had now stuck to my shirt would get me in. You can imagine my delight when the guy checking tickets looked at it and waved me through. At that point I knew for sure that I was going to get to see Zeppelin. I kind of milled around for a while amongst the crowd and then I got to wondering where the pass I had would allow me to go. I approached the front of the stage area which I believe was fenced off with only a couple of heavily guarded access points.  I thought I’d try my luck, and hey presto I was waved straight through no questions asked whatsoever.  I suddenly found myself behind the scenes…an awesome experience!

I remember seeing Lemmy walking about.  He is a good mate of Ronnie. Many years ago before, Ronnie showed up at his mum’s house with Lemmy and asked her if she could put him (Lemmy) up for a few days as he had nowhere to go. Not sure exactly about the time scales but I believe he ended up staying with Ronnie’s mum for a couple of years. There’s quite a few “soon to be Rock stars” that she did that for, bless her.

Anyway, I remember going up to Lemmy and introducing myself. We walked off towards a load of cars talking about Hawkwind and how he got thrown out of the band. We made our way over to a makeshift grassed car park. We headed over to an old beat up burgundy coloured “Maxi.”  It containing Fast Eddie Clarke and Filthy Animal Taylor. Both of them were totally wasted… I left Lemmy with the other two members of Motorhead and headed back off towards the back stage area to see what I could find.

I went over to the New Barbarians mobile unit. There was a big guy standing at the door on security.  I thought to myself ‘this is the big test’ as I approached him. To my surprise, he opened the door, stepped aside and waved me in.  I stepped inside and to my amazement there was Keith Richards sitting all alone. He looked up at me and said something like “Hello mate, sit down.” Now bear in mind here… I am an 18 year old kid. Totally and completely out of my depth to say the least. I wouldn’t say boo to a goose in those days…..and suddenly here I am one to one with the legend that is Keith Richards!!!  I sat down and we spoke undisturbed for the best part of an hour I guess. I told Keith that Ronnie was my cousin and he kind of warmed to that and I think he ended up asking more about me than I ever did about him. I remember at one point some people outside who couldn’t get in the unit knocking on the window. Keith and I ended up feeding them fruit from a huge bowl. When I say feeding them, I mean we were throwing it through one of the windows at them!  It was all good fun and all very well-natured. Keith seemed a great guy. He is one of the easiest people I have ever met to talk to – just an awesome bloke… He is the kind of guy you could meet for the first time, go down the pub with and feel you’ve known your whole life.

The New Barbarians eventually came on and I stood at the side stage and watched the whole thing.

At one point during the Barbarians set I was aware of someone standing behind me. I turned around and standing there alone was Robert Plant. I said “Hi” and we shook hands. I remember thinking to myself “Ooh my God, I’ve got Planty standing just behind me !!!  Robert said to me “They were a little late on stage I believe,” I said “Yes they were,” and that was it. I turned around to face the stage really not knowing what else to say. It’s kind of weird. I mean, I love Zeppelin with a passion. I had spent many hours thinking about how talented these guys were, how I’d love to meet them. How I’d have so much to say if I ever did meet them. They were my hero’s then and still are today I guess, and  yet when it actually came down to it I couldn’t really think of anything to say! A couple of minutes later I turned around and Robert had gone. I had not seen him leave.

The Barbarians finished their show and I wanted a grandstand view of Led Zeppelin. The side stage was good but I wanted to see Zeppelin full on – to take it all in head on. I found out that there was a press enclosure which gave a brilliant view of proceedings. I got in there with my trusty pass and waited for Zeppelin.  I remember the anticipation from the crowd was electric.  It was infectious.  It was like having a ticket to the World Cup Final…only better. Better because you knew what was coming, better because the outcome wasn’t in doubt, better because you knew Zeppelin were gonna rock the foundations.

When Zeppelin came out on stage the excitement I felt was fantastic.  I wish I could have bottled the emotion and adrenalin that I felt. It was the best gig I have ever been to in my entire life.

After the event, I left the gig along with everyone else and having missed the last train spent the night crashed out on the concrete floor of the train station, but I didn’t care. I had just experienced an unforgettable day, one that I will always take with me.  I had seen Zeppelin and I felt privileged to have done so…still do, to be honest.

What happened to my beloved backstage pass ?… Now this bit still rankles with me to this day.  I remember tearing it off my shirt at the train station, screwing it up and throwing it away…What the hell was I thinking?!   But it’s a fact, that’s what I did with it.  I regret that more than you can know. But I thought to myself at the time, ‘’It’s not a problem I will see Led Zeppelin again…’’

None of us knew that John Bonham would pass away the following year and Led Zeppelin as a live act would be no more.

Mark Stanley, Stevenage, UK.

and finally…

The past 39 years and all of its ups and downs notwithstanding, there is no denying the awesome power of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth.  As we’ve touched on, the emergence of the official DVD as well as both full shows on bootleg leaves it all there for anyone who have an interest.  But forget the video footage for a moment…listen to the audio of the gig…at the beginning of the August 4th tape, the audio picks up before the stage lights have gone down, and the crowd is hearing ‘Tuesday’s Gone’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd being played over the PA.  As the song fades and the lights go down, the deafening, monstrous and passionately heartfelt roar of the fans as Led Zeppelin takes the stage tells the tale.

Those thousands of fans in that field, on that night in 1979 understood……  And all the fans, old and new, thirty  nine years on still do today. Tuesday may be gone…but Saturday remains the same…

Larry M. Bergmann Jr, Arlington USA

This feedback from Pat Mount who’s epic Knebworth tales were featured last week…

I’d like to thank Bill Cromwell, Hiroshi and Dave Linwood for their kind comments on my write up of August 4th. It was Dave Lewis who published it on receipt a couple of years back, unedited, warts and all. I sent him my story with no real hope of any feedback and was delighted when Dave emailed me to inform me he was posting it on the TBL website.
Frankly, it was such a rush to get a stamp of approval from Dave who I have admired from afar for many years for his unstinting faith in all things Zep. I was abroad when it was published and remember clearly having to drop a Euro into a coin operated PC at a hotel in Grand Canaria to see it on TBL in August 2017. Who was with me? My long suffering wife, Tina!
Being a Zeppelin fan can be a tough ride. We all carry a torch for each (living) member of the band and endure the ups and downs of their post Zep evolution but we keep rooting for them don’t we?
Knebworth was a great experience. I tried to to tell my truthful story and am delighted to see that it resonates with other fans.
Oh to be 20 years old again!

Indeed! Many thanks Pat!

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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

  • Robert Plant played the final two European shows of this leg of his “Carry Fire” tour this week. See the dates below and click through to watch videos of the performances.

July 31: Pardubice, Czech Republic
When the Levee Breaks
Turn It Up
The May Queen
Black Dog
The Rain Song
Rainbow
Gallows Pole
Carry Fire
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Little Maggie
Misty Mountain Hop
Fixin’ to Die
———–
New World…
Bring It On Home / Whole Lotta Love

August 1: Dresden, Germany
When the Levee Breaks
Turn It Up
The May Queen
Black Dog
The Rain Song
Rainbow
Gallows Pole
Carry Fire
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Little Maggie
Fixin’ to Die
Play Video
———
New World…
Bring It On Home / Whole Lotta Love

Upcoming events:

August 11 – John Paul Jones will perform as part of Snoweye at the Varangerfestivalen in Norway.
September 7 – Led Zeppelin will released the remastered edition of “The Song Remains The Same” and new merchandise.
September 10 – Robert Plant will perform in Kansas City, Missouri.
September 13 – Robert Plant will perform in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
September 15 – Robert Plant will perform at the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival in Colorado.
September 16 – Robert Plant will perform at the KAABOO festival in California.
September 18 – “Scream For Help,” which features a soundtrack by John Paul Jones, will be released on Blu-ray.
September 19 – Robert Plant will perform in Tucson, Arizona.
September 21 – Robert Plant will perform in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
September 23 – Robert Plant will perform at the Bourbon & Beyond festival in Louisville, Kentucky.
September 25 – Robert Plant will perform in Irving, Texas.
September 27 – The “Evenings With Led Zeppelin” book will be released and Robert Plant will perform in Lubbock, Texas.
September 29 – Robert Plant will perform in Austin, Texas.
September 30 – Robert Plant will perform in Austin, Texas.
October – The official Led Zeppelin photo book will be released.
October 16 – “Bring it on Home,” a new biography of Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant, will be released.
October 25 – Robert Plant will perform in Cardiff, Wales.
October 26 – Robert Plant will perform in London, UK.
October 28 – Robert Plant will perform in Dublin, Ireland.

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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Uncut Led Zeppelin Ultimate Music Guide:

This via the Uncut website – it’s due out this week…

Led Zeppelin’s remarkable journey from the Gladsaxe Teen Club to the stage of the O2 Arena and beyond is celebrated in the latest handsome special edition from the Uncut family: a deluxe and updated version of the Led Zeppelin Ultimate Music Guide.
See more at:
https://www.uncut.co.uk/blog/introducing-led-zeppelin-ultimate-music-guide-106755

 

………………………………………………..

Just a reminder of the details of the John Bonham Celebration Festival set for Redditch on September 22:  

JOHN BONHAM A CELEBRATION FESTIVAL IS READY TO ROCK REDDITCH

Following the installation of a permanent bronze memorial statue in his hometown of Redditch, Worcestershire, a very special music event has been organised to celebrate the legendary Led Zeppelin drummer’s 70th Birthday, life and legacy.

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

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

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

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

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

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Definitive…not….

My thoughts on…

Jimmy Page – The Definitive Biography by Chris Salewicz (Harper Collins)

Another extensive Jimmy Page biography – this follows the similar expansive career spanning overview Martin Power attempted with his No Quarter: The Three Loves of Jimmy Page bio published in 2016 by Omnibus Press. The Chris Salewicz book has already had a considerable amount of press coverage with a fairly complimentary full page review in Saturday’s Times and a two page spread in the Mail On Sunday Event magazine.

Back in 2016 when I reviewed the No Quarter 630 page book, I noted that Martin’s biography was relatively scandal free.

It’s pretty evident that this book is refreshingly scandal free. By his own admission, Martin has no axe to grind.   ‘It’s easy to be hagiographic about Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin’’ he notes on page 659, ‘’indeed this author probably has been.’’  This approach may disappoint anyone looking for a more spicy account of Page’s life and times. There may be darker forces to investigate but this is clearly not the place to find them. It’s likely that there is scope for a Page biography of that nature –in fact I’ve heard such a warts and all tale could be forthcoming ahead by another writer.

Be assured,that warts and all style is well in evidence here – as throughout the book Chris Salevitz pulls no punches in the sex and drugs department. The tone is set from the Preface with a graphic retelling of the Oakland 1977 backstage violence. The Alistair Crowley connections are also well documented.

There’s no doubt he’s a seasoned and experienced writer and there is some well-presented material here. Jimmy’s pre Zep days are diligently chronicled as is the session and Yardbirds eras. However, whilst he weaves the story quite skilfully, I do detect a lack of real empathy for the music – something that was a key strength in the Martin Power book. A clear example of this occurs on page 167:

And I quote…

That year Led Zeppelin played four live sessions – concerts more like for the BBC, beginning with a show at London’s Playhouse Theatre – essentially a BBC venue on 3 March . This was aimed at offering material for John Peel’s Top Gear show.

I hate to nit pick (but I will!). That paragraph is wholly inaccurate. The 3 March 1969 session was indeed at the Playhouse Theatre but was certainly not a live show – comprising of four tracks cut between 2.30 and 6pm on that afternoon. They actually did five sessions that year with only the final one recorded at the Playhouse Theatre on 27 June being before a live audience. All these details are faithfully documented in my sleeve notes for the Complete BBC Sessions CD release issued in 2016 had Chris bothered to look.

This misrepresentation of the recording of the BBC Sessions to me shows a distinct lack of understanding by the author for what was a key element in the growth of their popularity in the UK. Such inaccuracy did not fill me with confidence for the rest of the book.

As for sources, whilst there are some good contributions from early school friend Rod Wyatt, 60s DJ and scene setter Jeff Dexter and ex Detective singer Michael Des Barres,. there are very little first had accounts from the key players in the story. Instead, Salewicz relies on past interviews from the likes of previous chroniclers such as Chris Welch and Mick Wall etc. Indeed, three of my quotes are included from my own interviews with John Paul Jones and Peter Grant. This cut and paste method always makes me question the motives of a biographer.

It also makes for a definite lack of genuine new insight. On a recent Radio London interview Chris was at pains to sell up this book as a comprehensive Jimmy Page biography and not just Led Zep focused. Statistically that does not really add up. The pre Zep era accounts for 129 pages – the Zep years rolls in at 300 pages leaving a mere 68 pages to tell the post Zep Page story – all 38 years of it. By contrast, Martin Power took 200 pages to cover that same period in his book.

Of course, readers would expect the Zep story to be at the heart of any Page biography but deploying just 68 pages to tell what happened next makes for a rather slim account of episodes such as the Death Wish 2 recording, The Firm era, Outrider, Page and Plant Unledded, the 02 reunion and the recent Zep reissues..

I also would take to task the two occasions when Chris presents in full, the transcript question and answer interviews he conducted with Jimmy – firstly in early 1977 for Gig magazine and then more famously his pre Knebworth interview published in the NME in the week of the first Knebworth show. Good as these interviews are, they halt the flow of the story and at some 19 and 23 pages respectively, are a rather easy option of filling up pages. It’s a tactic I have not seen deployed before in a major biography before and for me, it just doesn’t work.

The eight pages of photo illustrations are also somewhat beguiling – with a single pic of the young Page on the Huw Weldon TV show, a couple of Yardbirds snaps, some Alistair Crowley images and 16 Led Zep shots. There is absolutely nothing after 1979. This again shows a distinct lack of focus on the post Zep years and the opportunity to illustrate the whole Page story.

So to summarise – yes there’s more to the Jimmy Page story than the music but with this book Chris Salevicz fails to strike the right balance between the more colourful episodes and the importance of his life’s work as a musician. Ultimately, it makes for a rather confusing read.

Finally, the way the book was portrayed over two pages in the Mail On Sunday Event magazine did it absolutely no favours whatsoever. There is actually much more to this Chris Salewicz book than the unsavoury episodes highlighted in that spread.

Overall though, a lack empathy for the music and the subject matter makes for little of the ‘thrilling insight’ promised in the press blurb. Definitive it is not.

Dave Lewis, August 5, 2018

…………………….

DL Diary Blog Update:

A tricky few days here with some issues to deal with affecting various TBL related publishing projects ongoing. I won’t go into detail but suffice to say they have caused some worry and stress.

This has slowed down the progress on one or two things – although on a more positive note, the Record Collector feature Mike Tremaglio and I have been working on is a wrap. It will appear in the next issue of Record Collector due to be published on August 16. More on this soon.

During a week of facing some difficult TBL related publishing issues, a visit from Paul Sheppard and his wife Victoria who came over here last Friday, was much welcomed light relief. Paul has been a long time supporter of all things TBL – his knowledge of the CD collecting scene is second to none and he has contributed  some fantastic features to the TBL magazine. A variety of Zep topics were duly discussed. The main focus here now workload wise, is to crack on with the text, design and lay out of the forthcoming TBL issue 44. There’s some great contributions already in from the aforementioned Paul Sheppard, Nick Anderson, Stephen Humphries and Andy Crofts.

It was illuminating to see Jimmy Page open the doors of the Tower House for the Channel 4 news segment with Jon Snow screened last Saturday. What a building that is – I would imagine Jimmy is providing such access to what was formerly such a private bolthole, to garner support for the listed building in the light of his disapproval of neighbour Robbie Williams renovation plans. Quite right too as such gothic beauty needs to be preserved…

Madonna turns 60 next Thursday August 16. Madge and I had great retail times in the 1980s. When I was managing the WH Smith and Our Price record shops we stacked up masses of sales of Madonna records. I remember her being number one and two with Into The Groove and Holiday in the summer of 1985. The first airing of her Like A Prayer  video on Channel  Four in 1989 was a TV event – it prompted queues outside the shop to buy it on the first day of release. The pic here shows the Our Price Bedford shop window in 1989 full of the sleeves of the Like A Prayer 12 inch single. Today’s download generation would have no concept of that at all. The fact is Madonna has made consistently great pop records over many years. I would site the intro of her 1986 number one Papa Don’t Preach as one of the best of all time. The tension of those strings before the main song kicks in is totally sublime. Happy Birthday Madonna…

On the player here the following have been keeping morale up:

The Beatles – Revolver – original mono pressing LP (released 52 years ago on August 5 and still sounding so fresh)

Elton John – Tumbleweed Connection LP

The Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers LP

Led Zeppelin Knebworth August 4 and 11 1979 CDRs and Coliseum Richfield April 27 1977 CDR’s – sent to me last week by Russ Rees a long time collector who I have been in touch with over 40 years. Thank you once again Russ!

All TBL subscriptions expired with issue 43 – I am running the subscription on a one issue basis and I will be informing all past subscribers of the mag how to re subscribe very soon. I am aiming at a late October/early November publication for this 44th issue. It’s shaping up to take it’s place alongside previous illustrious company as seen in this pic all from the makers of…

Finally it’s a very Happy Birthday to Mr Adam Lewis all of 23 years old tomorrow (Thursday) – the age I nearly was ( bar a month) when I attended the Knebworth shows 39 years ago. One thing is for sure – he is a far better footballer than I ever was – Happy Birthday Adam!

 

 

Dave Lewis – August 8, 2018

Until next time, have a great weekend

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy, Mike Tremaglio and James Cook

Follow TBL/DL on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/tightbutloose.loose

The TBL/DL Facebook page has regular updates and photos – be sure to check it out

 

 

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4 Comments »

  • Edward said:

    Dear Dave,

    Thank you very much for your review on this new useless book on Jimmy. Your authoritative opinion is very useful, especially for those like myself who live abroad and buy English books without being able to have a look inside first.
    I think the book on Jimmy hasn’t been written yet; it will be interesting to know more about his interests in architecture, painting, litterature, and the influence of these on his music, his life, his way of thinking, etc … It’s obvious it hasn’t been only Crowley …

  • Graham Rodger said:

    1979 does seem like an absolute eternity ago, doesn’t it? A completely different era, and one that I miss dearly. I remember Monty Python’s “Life Of Brian” doing the rounds, and “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” closing the year at No. 1.

  • Mike Wilkinson said:

    Ok, so I picked up the Uncut and it looks as if it might be good (no reading glasses on at the time) and I get to the auto check-out and it’s £10.99 – is somebody having a laugh?
    I hope it’s not old stuff re-hashed just to make money?
    I thought The latest Song Remains the Same super deluxe box set was looking bad at £200 but even that seems like a bargain in comparison.
    How many people will just put it back down (or steal it) when they see the price?

  • Phil Richardson said:

    Great newsletter Dave. I enjoyed reading all the Knebworth anecdotes. I remember the toilets or should I say latrines that were the strangest I’ve ever had the displeasure of using. Prior to this, the worst toilets ever were those at the Reading Festival in ’77. I think the land they stand on is still dead and will be so for another century. Not even the memories of outstanding sets by the likes of SAHB, the Doobies and Lizzy can take away the horror of entering those so called toilets. I’m sure I’ve been ill ever since. Anyway, back to Knebworth and I recall on the 11th my friend and I decided to use the ‘facilities’ only to find on entering the cloth walled square of open cess pits, some poor man had actually fallen into one of the open pits. As he tried to climb out covered in the most awful foulness, he kept slipping back. Unfortunately, no one risked helping him including us, and along with me, people just stood and watched in abject horror at this poor man’s misfortune. We hurriedly scuttled back to where our group was sitting, slightly grimfaced and traumatised. Nevertheless, the mighty Zep soon pushed all that into oblivion.

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