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23 January 2019 2,327 views 3 Comments

Led Zeppelin 1 – it was 50 years ago this week.. to mark the 50th anniversary of the debut Led Zeppelin here’s some facts, figures and thoughts on it all…

January 20, 1969 – Led Zeppelin debut album released:

Despite often being attributed to either Sunday, January 12, 1969 or Friday, January 17, 1969, the correct “official” release date of the debut album might well have been Monday, January 20, 1969. As Mike Tremaglio flagged to me – this release date was referenced in an Atlantic Records memo accompanying white label advance LPs issued to radio stations by June Harris on December 30, 1968.

The album debuted on the Billboard charts at #99 on February 15, 1969 and peaked at #10 on May 17, 1969. It managed to stay in the top twenty LPs for 30 consecutive weeks, from March 8, 1969 through September 27, 1969

Many thanks Mike for that info.

Here’s one of the first reviews of the album:

January 25, 1969 – Press Review:

Go magazine (first album review):

Led Zeppelin (Atlantic): This is the new group that Jimmy Page has formed after the demise of The Yardbirds. Their first album is a blockbuster. The sound centers around hard, tough blues. You can’t help getting caught up in its excitement and drive. The one track on the album which really spotlights the group and what it’s going to do is Babe I’m Gonna Leave You. It’s a beautiful hard blues piece which has a mesmerizing quality. Led Zeppelin is something you shouldn’t miss.

Here’s my thoughts on how the album sounded a few months back on National Album Day. I selected this album as my choice to paly at 3.33pm on Saturday October 13 2018 as part of BBC’s National Album Day:



On on the player…

It of course has to be Led Zeppelin…and as it was being recorded and mixed 50 years ago this month the first Led Zeppelin album seems the most appropriate choice.

I am going to listen to the entire contents (the1969 original UK pressing) focused on that and nothing else…I will report back my 50 years on findings…take it away chaps…

National Album Day: The DL Choice…thoughts on listening to Led Zeppelin I

At two minutes, 43 seconds, this is a perfectly compact overture to set the scene. Bonham and Jones hold down a powerful and inventive rhythm section, and when the time comes, Jimmy flexes the Telecaster (played through a Leslie speaker to create that soaring effect) in a late Yardbirds-era fashion. From the onset though, it’s Robert Plant’s vocal that strikes home instantly. He executes all manner of vocal somersaults with the lyric but never loses control. Bonham’s intricate bass drum patterns, the rolling bass lines from Jones and Page’s fluttering guitar solo were all applied with a gusto that still completely overwhelms. Memories of the 02…

Within three minutes of this album playing we have an acoustic guitar – proof that this band were not going to be all about Marshall amplifiers. The tension here is tangible – the first flowering of light and shade – there would be much more to come…


Willie Dixon’s’ blues played with what was then a new found dynamism. The expansiveness of the whole sound here is still incredible. An early example of Jimmy’s mastery of the studio. From Jones’ swirling organ through Plant’s harmonica wailing to the point where Jimmy’s solo cascades around Bonzo’s stereo panned tom-tom attack, this is prime vintage Zeppelin. And the final incessant by-play between Page and Plant that leads out of the track is a another masterful production technique, and one that would be further emphasized on stage.

Straight into Dazed…based on Jake Holmes original composition. As we all know Jimmy and co were not adverse to borrowing a few licks here and there as much as they were often derivative it always came out sounding completely fresh. Again the interplay amongst them all is just breathtakingly….flippin heck they were good….

Turn over…side two…


Electric guitars, acoustic guitars and then church like Hammond organ and what an intro…

This showcases how important John Paul Jones was going to be – beautiful acoustic guitar overtones, incredible vocal, John Bonham so inventive in his playing…and that heavy chorus – not to mention some sublime pedal steel guitar – they just had everything….


The fade into this is another stunning moment. The melody on this Page virtuoso acoustic guitar instrumental owes more than a passing nod to a traditional folk song sung in the folk clubs by Anne Briggs. It was recorded by both John Renbourn, and Bert Jansch, The piece also featured a rare cameo appearance from tabla player Viram Jasani.

Bang….Communication Breakdown – the energy is just phenomenal – come on! Punk Rock before it was invented..
I will never ever forget them performing this in front of my very eyes as a surprise encore on the final night at Earls Court….

Crystal clear ambient sound here – John Bonham right upfront in the mix… Jimmy is just incredible …


That jazz intro is another moment as is Jimmy’s slashing wah wah – and then it’s off into all manner of fun…Oh Rosie ,The Hunter..phew!.


50 years on this album has lost none of its unique power. Led Zeppelin would go on to make more inventive and adventurous records but this first recorded statement is a blueprint for what would follow.

Playing it loud and proud this afternoon has been a cathartic experience – it re-emphasises why I spend so much time listening and writing about this musical phenomenon. The were,are and always will be the best. Playing Led Zeppelin I uninterrupted has been a joy and not a little moving- and that is what music can do to you..

Thank you National Album Day….it’s made me determined to listen to more records focused and uninterrupted…not easy of course in this mad busy old world …but as experienced in the last 45 minutes..something that is very good for the soul

Dave Lewis – October 13, 2018

On the player again…

It still sounded very bit as good as it did that afternoon when I played it today on an original US pressing…

You can never have too much of a great thing:

Some of the Led Zeppelin I pressings I’ve accumulated over the years.

A truly iconic sleeve design and a truly iconic album – now all of 50 years old and sounding as fresh as ever…go and play it now and I think you will agree….

Dave Lewis – January 20, 2019. 



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:

January – The four new models of Jimmy Page’s recreated Fender Dragon Telecaster will be revealed.
January 31 – The UK Americana Awards will be held in London. Robert Plant has been nominated for artist of the year.
February 24 – The Tate Britain’s Edward Burne-Jones exhibition, which features two tapestries owned by Jimmy Page, closes.
March 7 – Robert Plant will perform at the Love Rocks NYC benefit concert in New York.
March 8 – Patty Griffin’s self-titled new album, which features Robert Plant on two tracks, will be released.
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.
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 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 10 – Robert Plant will perform at the Kunst!Rasen Bonn festival in Germany.
September 20-21 – The 2019 John Bonham memorial concert is scheduled to be held in Redditch.
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:

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


TBL Archive 1975 Snapshot:

It’s always great to look back to this era – so here’s the TBL Led Zep 1975 US tour snapshot from four years  back:

chicago trampeld 2

TBL Led Zep 1975 Snapshot:

With the 40th anniversary of Led Zeppelin’s activities in 1975 upon us -I will be celebrating this era with a series of TBL Led Zep 1975    Snapshots – these will take the form of postings covering specific gigs and events from the era, with particular spotlight on the period January to May 1975. They will run periodically on the TBL Facebook pages and on the TBL website.

This is designed to track the progress of the year as it unfolded. I will also be listening to the relevant bootleg of the chosen gig on the day to add a perspective of how it sounds 40 years on.

TBL Led Zep 1975 Snapshot: Number Two

Snapshot Notes:

Set: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/When The Levee Breaks/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/The Wanton Song/No Quarter/In My Time Of Dying/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/How Many More Times/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – Black Dog/Communication Breakdown.

Robert ‘s flue is now in full effect and Jimmy is struggling with an injured finger. How Many More Times’ was recalled to the set to allow space for guitar improvisation. As Page told Chris Charlesworth of Melody Maker: “We’ve had to cut ‘Dazed And Confused’ from the set and substitute ‘How Many More Times’ which we haven’t played for four years. I’m still doing the violin bow routine but we’ve had to alter even that and I can’t do it as well as I’d like to. I can tell it’s not as good as it usually is but the audience don’t seem to notice.

In addition to these problems, the sound system was a little defective, ensuring that press reviews were not all entirely favourable.
“Led Zeppelin: malfunctions reduce power,” reported Al Rudis: “Led Zeppelin is alive, but not well. Robert Plant’s ‘flu-ridden voice hurt the British band in its concert Monday. Jimmy Page was nursing a broken finger too. What was worst of all was the old bugaboo of rock and roll: defective sound equipment. In Zeppelin’s case, it’s understandable that the group wouldn’t want to be burdened with maintaining its own sound system if it only tours every year and a half; but they’re the ones who rented the system used Monday night, so they must be held responsible.”

“Kinky Led Zeppelin still king of the funky,” wrote Jack Hafferkamp: “For its part, the band played a new variation on its standard heavy-heavy, super-loud, bare-chested, Victorian decadent, fingernail polish and lipstick, kiss-me-because-I’m-really-funky, cartoon performance. Two hours worth.
“Still there were a few surprises. My companion, for example, noted she owns a blouse just like the one Robert Plant was wearing. John Bonham played what must have been the longest drum solo in the history of mankind. And Plant revealed over, and over, and over again that he has the flu. He said that almost as many times as he mentioned the title of the band’s new record. In fact, I think the final score was New Record 8, Flu 5.”

chicago tick

Set: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/When The Levee Breaks/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/The Wanton Song/No Quarter/In My Time Of Dying/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/How Many More Times/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – Black Dog/Communication Breakdown.

The second night in Chicago was a marked improvement, as Lisa Robinson famously reported: “Fifteen seconds onstage and everyone knows it’s going to be HOT. They’ve been truly depressed and confused all day about the first Chicago show. No matter, tonight they’re playing with that old black Zeppelin magic again, and the audience go wild. It sounds as if The Beatles battled the Stones in a parking lot – and Zeppelin won!”

Snapshot Listen – how it sounded today:

Led Zeppelin Live On The Levee (Silver Rarities)

The January 21st Chicago show is available on various CD releases – It’s actually made up of mainly the 20th night with fourteen minutes from the 21st. I have it on the Silver Rarities purchased from the Victoria record fair in the early 90s. The tape is a fairly clear if noisy audience recording but suffers at times with tape drop out and fluctuations.
”I’ve got a touch of flue” admits Robert early on and his vocals are certainly suffering. For his part, Jimmy battles on regardless of the finger problem. Over The Hills is already extending in length with that wonderfully lyrical solo. Jimmy is also well animated for When the Levee Breaks and In My Time of Dying played back to back – instrumentally both are pretty awesome deliveries – what a thrill it must have been to witness this rare double dose of bottleneck bravado live on stage. Levee is particularly menacing.

Kashmir (”Jonesy on mellotron – saves all the bread for the orchestra people”) works well despite Robert struggling at times. The Wanton Song (”from the long awaited album even by us”) is a definite highlight, Page attacking the riff with strong intent. It’s a real shame they did not preserve with this and keep in the set. No Quarter is still in a state of transition before it became something of a marathon, Trampled Underfoot is a fairly standard delivery while Moby Dick is back with usual Bonham aplomb (”One man’s got the flu one man’s fit as a fiddle!”) and then to How Many More Times.

A compact eleven minute delivery that features the bow episode and then switches into the Oh Rosie segment and on to the home straight. Stairway To Heaven is an epic performance and from this point, Robert rallies well vocally. In fact, on any given night in 1975, Stairway was performed with immense dedication. Encores – something of a unique arrangement for Whole Lotta Love with Plant going straight into the ”keep a coolin’ baby, I wanna be your backdoor man” usual closing refrain and then they hit Black Dog head on and boy – after all the physical drawbacks, the power of Led Zeppelin in 1975 is clearly in evidence.

It would be awhile before they were back to 100% fitness on this tour but already there was indication of the onstage embellishments to come.
To be continued…

TBL Led Zep 1975 Snapshot: Number Three & Four

TBL Led Zep 1975 Snapshot Three:




Set: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains the Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/No Quarter/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/How Many More Times/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – Black Dog/Communication Breakdown.

Something of lacklustre performance. The strain was showing with Jimmy, John Paul and Bonzo having risen very early and flown coast to coast (against the time changes) from Los Angeles to reach Greensboro in time. Robert, who flew in from Chicago, would probably have benefited from another day in bed. The show is now condensed even further by the removal of ‘The Wanton Song’ from the set list. Levee has also been dropped.

Chris Charlesworth remembers the aftermath:  “About five hundred fans attempted to storm the rear of the building, throwing broken bottles, stones and pieces of scaffolding. Three of the group’s five limousines were severely damaged, and the drivers of the other two – which were parked inside the building – wanted to take their cars away. Peter Grant wasn’t having that… oh no! He actually offered to buy them on the spot for cash, but after a ‘discussion’ the drivers had no alternative but to let him have them.

“The group and entourage had to make a very quick getaway within seconds of the final encore. Grant took the wheel of the first limo with the band and Richard Cole inside, and everybody else piled into the second. With a Police escort, sirens blazing, at speeds of up to 70 mph in a heavily built-up area, Grant led the way, driving through red lights and on the wrong side of the road.

“It was incredible to be involved in scenes like that… Peter was just unflappable. When we got to the plane he got out and kicked the car really hard. ‘Fucking useless pile of junk!’ he shouted. ‘Way off tune… my old Bently goes twice as fast!’ We all just stood there laughing… totally exhilerated by it all. Then we flew back to New York and the band checked in the Plaza. It was a very tiring day. Unforgettable!”

Snapshot Listen – how it sounded today: 

I have this recording on the Footstomping Graffiti double CD (No label). Noisy but fairly clear audience tape.

Lacklustre at times but still some inspired moments. Robert is clearly struggling which is evident in his between song patter -his voice is straining even when talking.  Jimmy takes a while to get in the swing but is well on it by No Quarter which now running at 16 minutes and heading for greatness (Jimmy’s finger is cool” says Plant defiantly at one point). The new material goes down well with Trampled particularly vibrant. At 18 minutes, Moby Dick provides a rest for Page and Plant (”John Bonham Moby Dick – Mr Physical Graffiti!” How Many More Times has a few elements of Dazed creeping in. Stairway again proves it’s worth and is something of a saving grace. Whole Lotta Love/Black Dog and Communication Breakdown ( the latter with Jimmy thrashing the hell out of the wah wah pedal) provide a valiant encore finale…and valiant is a good description overall for another challenging performance, given the physical drawbacks they were experiencing.

TBL Led Zep 1975 Snapshot Four:




Set: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/No Quarter/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/How Many More Times (inc. The Hunter – The Lemon Song)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – Black Dog.

“Good evening! It’s our great pleasure to be just about back!” Plant’s opening comment sums up the gig quite accurately. The band were slowly returning to form.

”Tonight we intend to cover the spectrum of a lot of the varying music that we’ve been doing for the last seven years. As we go though this spectrum we want to include some of the new stuff from Physical Graffiti, the LP that comes out soon” (love Robert’s use of the word LP – so quaint).

Plant explains the problem with Jimmy’s finger and joked that… “The bone on his wedding ring finger is bust and that’s a real drag because if he was to get married now, he couldn’t get a ring on”. Bonzo was introduced tonight, as he would be many times on the tour, as “Mr Ultraviolence!”, a reference to the Clockwork Orange style suits that both he and his assistant Mick Hinton wore throughout the tour. This is preceded by Plant’s claim that John is ”The man who made Led Zeppelin a legend.”

Snapshot Listen – how it sounded today: 

From the double CD Just About Back – a slightly muffled audience tape but good for the time. The title deriving from Plant’s opening comments ”It’s our great pleasure to be just about back”. Just about back they are with the similar problems from Greensboro in evidence. This though is an altogether livelier showing – Page is particularly inventive on Over The Hills and despite the vocal range shortcomings, Plant attacks In My Time Of Dying and Kashmir with much verve. How Many More Times has it’s final delivery and it’s a solid free flowing performance. All roads would now lead back to the Garden as New York was the next stop off – and when it came to New York, well they were all no doubt aware that they had a reputation to maintain…


Summary: I’m with TBL contributor Andy Crofts view that the January 1975  Zep shows, though far from perfect, offer some quirky unusual set lists and performances. Here’s what Andy said in his piece on the tour in TBL 36- plus his ten notable moments listing from this period:

In my opinion Led Zeppelin’s  January 1975 performances have had a lot if unfair bad press. Musically the band  are fine, and they show us the kind of gig the band had in mind before the reality of touring the US in 1975 got the better of them. If they are rusty, they are also working hard, to put on a professional show each night. To my ear, these shows ‘cut the crap’ in the same way that they band would do – and stick to – in 1980. It makes for a refreshing listen and a fine contrast to the grandstanding that begins to take over once they reach Madison Square Garden in February….of which more next time.

Meanwhile, my advice is that you search out some of these January 1975 performances and prepare to be surprised that far from being overly sick again…Led Zeppelin were often on a very favourable night flight

Ten Notable Moments from January 1975:

Here are ten notable performances from January 1975 that demonstrate the band striving to give it their all after a lengthy period away from the stage……and despite some physical restrictions.

greens one

January 12thh (Brussels): When The Levee Breaks.

Ok, it doesn’t quite work, but this is by far the best chance to hear this song live.

January 12th (Brussels): The Song Remains The Same

The drums are off at the beginning, but it soon settles down into a fast-paced and well-controlled version.

January 12th (Brussels): The Wanton Song

Another rare one. It’s a shame they dropped it. This version is strongly played and sung, and the solo – while varying from the album version – gets better the more I listen.

January 22nd (Chicago): How Many More Times

Probably the best version of this for 1975, and certainly the best sounding. Jimmy and Robert work together well here, just like the old days, a fact acknowledged by Robert at the end.

January 22nd (Chicago): Stairway To Heaven

The recording has a few glitches, but this is a fine version, with Plant making a big effort and a scorching guitar solo.

January 22nd (Chicago): Communication Breakdown

They didn’t play this much after January, replacing it with the more complex Heartbreaker. This is a strong, fun version with a funky Crunge-like middle section.

January 24th (Cleveland): No Quarter

I’ve picked this one because I really like the guitar solo; inventive and in places quite Floyd-like. The shorter versions of this song always pack more punch for me.

January 29th (Greesnboro): Whole Lotta Love/Black Dog

I couldn’t resist one from Greensboro. Whole Lotta Love is still a mere intro, but Black Dog is well sung, and Jimmy’s guitar is spot on.

January 31st (Detroit): Over The Hills And Far Away

Any version of this from 1975 is on the money, to be honest. I like this one for the solo; Jimmy isn’t flawless but he is energetic and inventive.

January 31st (Detroit): The Rain Song

A beautifully clear version, well played and sung.

Sources: these are the underground titles used as sources – note there are a fair few variations and differing versions of these dates on CD.

January 12th (Brussels) :  Belgian Triple

January 22nd (Chicago): Windy City Tapes Vol.3

January 24th (Cleveland): Ultravilence

January 29th (Greesnboro):. A Quick Getaway

January 31st (Detroit): Tune Up

Compiled by Andy Crofts –

TBL Led Zep ’75 Snapshot – To be continued…

DL – January 21st, 2015.


Evenings With Led Zeppelin – The Complete Concert Chronicle by Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio

Here’s a review of the book via the Louder Than war website blog:



Omnibus Press

“Forget the myths. It was all about the music.” Jimmy Page

Following on from several tomes on the Led Zeppelin bookshelf  which have documented the live Zep experience, comes  possibly the definitive live document  on Led Zeppelin.

The Beatles and The Zep – two of our most enduring bands, whose musical legacy lives on way beyond their brief careers. Drawing comparisons with the fab four, The Beatles’ relatively short career has been documented in almost microscopic detail by Mark Lewisohn. His chronicles  and meticulous attention to details are definitive works on the Liverpool quartet.

Zeppelin’s  similar short but sweet ten years (plus the odd ‘reunion’) with their  ten album legacy has similarly  been the focus of a lifetimes work for not only Jimmy Page, but also Zep chronicler Dave Lewis. Aside from his ongoing Tight But Loose magazine and associated books, he’s previously  examined their  live career in  the collaboration with Simon Pallett on The Concert File back in 1997. Building on that work, Evenings With… takes things into significantly more  depth and is the result of wider ranging research along with Mike Tremaglio.

While some might argue that the Led Zeppelin legend extends to their mystical and often threatening presence, the less savoury aspects tha began to surafce with their rise to world domination, the focus of the scrutiny is where the Zeppelin musical legend was forged– the stage. We follow the route of  their 1068-1980 (and ever so slightly beyond) live journey in minute detail. You can probably find the minutiae into the likes of John Paul Jones performance on bass at the 5 earls Court gigs in 1975 or the intricacies of Page solos elsewhere. What Evenings… does is follow the Led Zeppelin live chronology and provide a deep illustration of the shows with a series of details about the venues, press reports, images of the actual venues, ticket stubs, posters and ephemera that provide a rich visual wealth. Naturally there are accompanying references to  the myriad of recordings, audience and soundboard, that have appeared from the gigs.

Split into manageable chapters that cover their touring schedule, the gigs are covered with odds and ends sticking in the memory as you take it all in – interesting how, for example, the 1973 Hard Rock gig in Manchester is accompanied by a photo of the B&Q that now stands in the same place. Some period shots of the venues are contrasted with how they look now as the authors have made the text as immersive as possible for the reader. To their credit, the authors don’t don the rose tinted glasses that may have influenced past works. Press reports don’t skimp, reporting the shows that range from the mundane and shambolic to the transcendent.

What is made plainly clear, which fans will appreciate, is simply how active the band were in the period  from 1968-73. Someone may do the maths on the  proportion of their gig count comes in that period from 1973 to their demise in 1980, despite the heavy American touring in 1975 and 1977. The impact of trappings  their successes although we’re not concerned here with the Hammer Of The Gods revelations shizzle.  What’s also fascinating is their immediate acceptance in the US – playing multiple nights at Madison Square Garden and the like yet by stark contrast, returning to the UK and  hitting the obscure clubs and theatres – Ipswich Baths, Nottingham Boat Club and The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield where”well over a thousand people were packed into the dance hall,” almost living a dual existence.

With a foreword  from notorious Zep tour manager and insider, Richard Cole that heads a mesmerising piece of research, it may be apt to pick out the Record Mirror’s quote that adorned the cover of the late Howard Mylett’s pioneering work in his Led Zep biographies:  “a bible for the Zeppelin legions.” Yes – this could be the final word. Hard to see anyone improving on it.


All words by Mike Ainscoe. You can find more of Mike’s writing on Louder Than War at his author’s archive. He can be found on Facebook and is currently revamping his website…

Part two of  Larry M.Bergmann, Jr.’s commentary on the book will follow soon.

To order the book:

Stock Availability Update:





Ted McKenna 1950 -2019 RIP:

Very sad to hear the passing of Ted McKenna aged 68. His drumming skills and persona have lit up many a band and artist including the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Rory Gallagher, Michael Schenker, Ian Gillan, Greg Lake etc – he was also a friend and supporter of the Deborah Bonham Band. He will be sorely missed. RIP.


Mark Blake Peter Grant book event:

A reminder of this event happening on Thursday January 24:

Mark Blake – Peter Grant Book Author Event:

Walthamstow Rock’n’Roll Book Club

Date and Time

Thu, January 24, 2019

7:30 PM – 11:30 PM

The Victoria

186 Hoe Street


E17 4QH

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

‘An enthralling and rigorously researched book’ Sunday Times

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

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

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

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


Great piece on the history of Led Zeppelin by Russell Clarke on his spot on the Robert Elms BBC Radio London show – very informative summary and some very nice comments about the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book


Russell Clarke on BBC Radio London Robert Elms show :

Great piece on the history of Led Zeppelin by Russell Clarke on his spot on the Robert Elms BBC Radio London show – very informative summary and some very nice comments about the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book

BBC Radio London – Robert Elms, 23/01/2019


VIP Record Fair Victoria Record Fair – Saturday, January 26,2019: 

Victoria Record Fair this Saturday:

I am aiming to be in attendance on Saturday –look forward to seeing all that can make it along.

Here’s all the details:

The number one fair in the UK.  Join buyers and sellers from around the world at the biggest and busiest Saturday Record Fair in the UK!

Saturday January 26,2019:

Horticultural Halls, 80 Vincent Square, Victoria, SW1P 2PB.
London’s very own Vinyl Fest. – the biggest and busiest Record Fair in the UK.

Public entry – Early entry at 10.00am Public entry 12 noon to 5pm.

Admission 12 noon £5. Early entry £10 at 10am. Doors close 5pm.

More info


It was 31 years ago

January 23 1988 Band of Joy – Leicester University:

One of my all time fave gigs – this was a secret warm up date for the Now & Zen tour. I had read a review of the Stourbridge show in Kerrang the previous week and looked in disbelief when it said he had performed In The Evening and Trampled Underfoot – I was sure it was a misprint. I heard about the Leicester show at very short notice and the good lady Janet and I travelled there with our good friends Kam Assi and Alan Stutz.

As for the gig….It was a glorious moment when he kicked in to In The Evening right before my very eyes. The spirt of Led Zeppelin was alive and kicking and in very good hands. I was right down the front and had an amazing view. It was s imply amazing night that set up fantastic period to be a Robert Plant fan – I was back the next week to see him in Colchester and ahead there were memorable Now And Zen nights in Warwick, Oxford and three shows in London. Here’s what I had to say about the Leicester show in the weekly column I wrote for the local Beds Times newspaper…

It was 40 years ago – a piece of TBL history:


The ads page in Sounds issue dated January 20,1979 with my advert under Special Notices near the bottom of the page. This was the second advert for my newly created (and then still in progress) first issue of the Tight But Loose Led Zeppelin fanzine –I’m pleased to say this advert got a very good response and I was up and running – not sure if The Three Degrees fan club is still active but 40 years on I’m still going strong…


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 1980 compilation The Beatles Ballads – 20 Original Tracks UK Parlophone pressing – very nice indeed – thanks Darren!

Another recent DL 45RPM vinyl record acquisition:
Here’s a little beauty I picked up via Darren’s always excellent Vinyl Barn last Friday.

It’s the 1974 collaboration between Ramsey Lewis and Earth Wind & Fire Sun Goddess –taken from Ramsey Lewis ‘ album of the same name.

This is a CBS UK demo pressing single with a edit versions of the song in mono one side and stereo the other – a prime slice of 1970s funk – very nice indeed.

Hear it here

I took this this along to tonight’s Pete Burridge Record Club at The Castle in Bedford on Tuesday night – along with a copy of Led Zeppelin I – it was great to celebrate the 50th anniversary with it player loud and proud on the Record Club player…as can be seen in the pic – the Australian pressing on the green Atlantic Festival Records label.



Also at  the excellent Pete Burridge Record Club at The Castle  it was great to see my very good friend Tom Locke pictured here with his copy of the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book – of the 15 evenings I was lucky enough to spend in the company of Led Zeppelin, Tom was next to be for 8 of them…

Here’s a bit of Bedford record shop history that I posted on the You’re From Bedford Facebook group page: It concerns the Carousel record shop that was very popular in Bedford in the 1960s and early 1970s. I was a frequent visitor between 1969 and when it closed in 1971.

Regarding the Carousel record shop –I believe it was first situated in St. Marys near what was the County Hotel. It then moved to the Allhallows location on the corner of Thurlow Street in the 1960s.


Here’s a pic of Allhallows from the 1960s –you can see the corner of the Carousel record shop with the record sleeves in the window. The window was a wonder in itself as it stretched along the shop. Being a big rock fan, I can recall the likes of Free, Jethro Tull, Mott the Hoople and Led Zeppelin albums filling the window. I remember buying The Who single Pinball Wizard there and the Island Records compilation You Can All Join In a bargain at 14/6!

Shopping in Carousel Records and the nearby Carlows and Harlequin, made me think selling records might well be the job for me and that’s exactly how it turned out – I spent 11 years at WH Smith starting in 1974 at the old High Street FW Hockliffe site and then The Harpur Centre. I then managed the Our Price Record shop on the front of the Harpur Centre for 18 years from 1985 to 2003 and then spent 6 years at the Virgin Megastore in Milton Keynes,finally being made redundant in 2009 and ending a 35 year career in music retail.

Wonderful music selling retail days they were too…it was the likes of Carousel ,Carlows and Harlequin that initially inspired me to take that course – and along with the ones I worked in, and the likes of HMV, MVC and Andys Records, they were all great shops that Bedford could be proud of…

There’s been some intensive work going down on on the forthcoming TBL issue 44 with Mick Lowe at StudioMix . This pic was taken as we were laying in the excellent interview I did with Mark Blake about his Peter Grant book. Overall we have some 35,000 words of text lined up for this issue – not just a magazine –more a mini book. I am very excited about this long awaited new issue. Full ordering details for TBL 44  coming soon…

Dave Lewis – January 23, 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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  • Graham Rodger said:

    I see that David Gilmour is going to auction off 120 of his most prized and famous guitars – including THAT black Stratocaster. I wonder if JP will be bidding on any of them. Some real beauties included…..

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    MVC now added!

  • IanD said:

    Dave, “Great shops that Bedford can be proud of” and no mention of MVC??? I’ll forgive the oversight! Going even further back Weatherheads at the St Peters end of the High Street had an Epstein-esque record department in the late 50s. My mum worked in the offices there and would sometimes help out on the tills at lunchtime.

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