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21 May 2020 1,929 views 2 Comments



It’s that time of year again…

TBL Celebrates the 45th anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Earls Court:






Turning the clock back 45 years..

ticket 23

Friday May 23, 1975

Ticket Price £1.00

Setlist: 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/Tangerine/Going To California/That’s The Way/Bron-Y-Aur Stomp/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/Dazed And Confused (inc. San Francisco)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – The Crunge – Black Dog.

So imagine waking up on a Friday morning with the prospect of over nine hours of live Led Zeppelin in store over the next three days.

Talk about the weekend starts here!

But that was the treat in store as I went to catch the train on Friday May 23rd for EC gig 3. Earlier I’d had a passport photo taken in a booth in town suitably dressed in Earls Court T shirt and looking dazed and confused at the prospect of nine hours of live Led Zep ahead. (see pic here) I was due to fly out with Dec, Tom Phil etc for our first holiday abroad to sunny Loret De Mar at the end of the month.

The days in between the first two gigs had been pretty non stop. Tuesday at short notice I went to see Swan Song artists The Pretty Things support Status Quo in Ipswich with the Atlantic rep who called on the WH Smith record department I worked in. A truly great gig it was too. Next day he brought in to the shop 30 copies of the limited edition UK Trampled Underfoot single – yet another bonus!. Thursday was spent soaking up the music press with the arrival of the NME and Melody Maker front covers (those cover pics were just awesome!) – The excitement just didn’t stop.

After the frantic pace of attending the two first gigs, Friday seemed a much more relaxed affair and I took much more in. The weather was good too and beforehand my then girlfriend Fiona and I drank a bottle of wine in Hyde Park. Then it was to SW8. The view this time was the opposite side to last week and we scrambled down a few tiers taking some empty seats. A full on if slightly distant but clear view on Jonesy’s side. From the moment Plant gave out an excited Immigrant Song ”Aha ah” squeal as Bonzo and Jimmy did the usual warm up, well it was so evident they were up for it. Fashion note: For this night only Robert wore the cherry wrap around shirt he’d favoured on most of the ’75 American tour.

Following Rock And Roll and Sick Again Plant attracted huge cheers when he explained: “Last week we did a couple of warm up dates for these three nights, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We believe that these were the first three gigs to be sold out so these must be the ones with the most energy stored up because you’ve been waiting…”

The had fared pretty well in the press, garnering memorable front page cover stories in both the Melody Maker and NME. However Charles Shaar Murray’s slightly less than complimentary review irritated Plant enough for him to throw in a couple of press digs on stage.


The freewheeling on-stage energy was evident throughout, with Plant at his most gymnastic vocally, throwing in verses from You Shook Me at the close of a thrilling In My time Of Dying, and keeping up his Healey references with a “bye bye Denis” during the song’s close. Before Kashmir Plant explained he’d just had a vaccination in preparation for their impending exile… “‘Ready for when we go hunting in the jungle for new words and new songs for a new album.” He and wife Maureen were due to leave the country on Monday.

It’s worth mentioning that tonight’s version of Kashmir did not go entirely to plan – they missed the cue after Robert’s “Woman talkin’ to ya” ad lib, coming in a few bars late – an illustration that these shows, like many others, had their fair share of musical mishaps born of tendency to leap before they looked – but Led Zeppelin live on stage was never about perfection. It was that air of unpredictability that made them such an engrossing live experience.

Other highlights: Another truly scintillating Page solo in Over The Hills (one of the very best ever), , the image of Page swathed in blue light up on the screen delicately picking out The Rain Song with such lyrical finesse, Tangerine yet again so moving and the intimacy of the acoustic set.

During Dazed And Confused they brought back a revival of the previously much deployed ‘San Francisco’ insert. Stairway To Heaven was introduced with the cryptic shot at NME scribe Shaar Murray: ‘’I believe there’s a psychiatrist on the way, Charles. Just hang on!” They left the stage to the hum of feedback and the swirling lighting effects provided by the mirror balls suspended above the stage – another nightly Earls Court ritual.

“Thank you very much England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland… and may the best team win!”

This time we did miss the train ( a trend that would continue) and we hung around Kings Cross finally getting back to Bedford at 4.30am. It was now Saturday May 24th and this one was going to be the big one. Second row seats beckoned. Who needed sleep with that prospect ahead

TBL Celebrates the 45th anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Earls Court:

nicky horne intro

Turning the clock back 45 years..



Ticket Price £2.50

Setlist: 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/Tangerine/Going To California/That’s The Way/Bron-Y-Aur Stomp/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/Dazed And Confused (inc. Woodstock)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – The Crunge – Black Dog.

My friend Dec had queued up for these tickets for this one over night when they went on sale in March. Seven of us went from Bedford (Hi Dec,Tom and Phil!) We went shopping in Oxford Street where I brought a pair of hip mirror shades for the Lorret holiday to follow. Then it was over to Earls Court in the afternoon – one of our crew Gary Felts had made a top hat ala Slade’s Noddy Holder with Zep photos around it which got plenty of attention in the pub beforehand.

So into the arena – walking along the aisles and up to the front of the stage, well you can imagine the feeling. We were just so close to Bonzo’s drum kit-and the amp set up. It was so amazing. I was second row to the right of the stage – Jimmy was literally a few yard way. We posed for a photo in front of the stage before the show.


The Bedford Crew in front of the Earls Court stage May 24th 1975 – DL with mirror shades and patchwork jeans, Dec with his school scarve (I kid you not), Phil H with denim coat as advertised in NME and Gary Felts with custom made Zep top hat. Having (one of )the time (s) of our lives….

So what can I say – being in such close proximity to one of the highest profile gigs Led Zeppelin ever performed, well it was beyond compare really.

Images ingrained on my brain for the past 45 years: Watching Jimmy slither across the stage as they hit Sick Again, Plant seemingly lost in a trance right in front of us as Page did the solo in Over The Hills, dry ice seeping above us over the front rows in No Quarter (should have bottled it –imagine that on ebay!), Jimmy holding the Gibson double neck aloft during the Song Remains intro, the stand up microphones being brought out for the four part harmony of Tangerine, being so close to them clustered together for the acoustic set (incidentally listen to the various soundboard bootlegs – just before Going To California Robert introduces the song saying ‘’This is a song about the would be hope for the ultimate…for the ultimate’’ – after which you can hear a distant yelled squeal just before somebody starts whistling – that’s my squeal folks), Trampled Underfoot and the revolving lighting creating a real sense of speed, the normally reserved Dec next to me going crazy in a manner I’ve not seen since, Page’s violin bow and going ”Ahhh’! as the lasers spiralled above us. The last few moments of Stairway as the mirrorball created that swirling spinning effect and thinking I must have died and gone to heaven!

A combination of my familiarity with the much bootlegged soundboard tape – not to mention the fact that I was lucky enough to be in the second row – has elevated this show to a night I will never forget. It remains one of the greatest gigs the band ever played, certainly the most accomplished I ever witnessed.

At the helm was Plant’s rapport and enthusiasm, and Page’s joyously deranged playing. Witness Plant’s heartfelt “This is for our family and friends and the people who’ve been with us through the lot” speech before a particularly melodic and caressing version of Tangerine, and superb phrasing during That’s The Way. Witness Page’s absolutely out-there-and-who-knows-where-it’s-heading solo on a ferocious Trampled Underfoot, the ending of which somehow collided with lines from Gallows Pole.

And then there was ‘No Quarter’. If the May 18th version stands as the definitive JPJ exercise, this May 24th version saw Page staking his own claim on the proceedings, emerging from the dry ice to layer on a series of solos, each quite exquisite in their delivery and command.

After That’s The Way, Plant sings a few lines from Neil Young’s ‘Old Man’ and jests: “This is all a preview for the talking shows we’re gonna do in the Fall… when we’ve really made it!”

Trampled Underfoot was another stand out performance after which Plant ad-libbed lines from Little Richard’s Rip It Up. “I’m not upstaging anybody, am I?”

Add on a truly memorable Dazed And Confused with the best version of Woodstock ever played live, plus an affecting Stairway To Heaven and a galvanic Whole Lotta Love/Black Dog encore and you have the definitive Zeppelin in-concert experience.

Hey anEarls Ct-03d add England beating Scotland 5-1 into the bargain! Not that Bonzo cared that much: “I think football’s a load of bollocks,” he bellowed, ambling up to the mic as they came back for the encore. Plant retorts: “I’d like to say that soccer’s a wonderful sport, the best sport!”

The Whole Lotta Love encore included James Brown’s Sex Machine ad-libs and Let Your Love Light Shine On Me.

The encores with the neon sign lighting up…Plant strutting over to our side in Black Dog and looking straight at us and smiling.

It was just too much. We left in a dazed state -how could we not – we had just seen Led Zeppelin at the ultimate vantage point. Nothing else mattered right then.

Certainly not rushing for the train. We predictably missed the last one back and slept on the station amongst several disgruntled Scotsman –sore at the 5-1 England defeat.

Finally it was back to Bedford at 8am. The party was drawing to an end, but there was a final memorable date with Earls Court remaining…and one that really would cement for all time my addiction for this band.

Above pic by Stuart Whitehead.


There were other events going on aside from Zep at Earls Court on that epic Saturday. In the afternoon England beat Scotland 5-1 at Wembley – a result that made for quite a few depleted and drunken Scots as we made our way to Earls Court. For the record England’s scorers were Beattie, Bell, Johnson and two from Gerry Francis. (Sorry Billy F!)

The England line up that afternoon read: Clemence,Whitworth,Beattie,Bell,Watson,Todd,Bell,Channon,Johnson,Francis,,Keegan,sub Thomas.

Can’t say Bonzo would have been too excited over this result. ”I think football’s a load of bollocks” was his no nonsense summary as they came back on for the encore.- a retort to the numerous soccer references Plant had made on stage during the gigs.

Some 24 years later history would repeat itself when I watched England triumph 2-0 over Scotland at Hampden in the Euro 2000 play offs before setting off to see Robert perform with the Priory at the Red Lion Birmingham. In stark contrast to Earls Court’s 17,000 ,there were just 300 were in the pub that night.

fluff 25

TBL Celebrates the 45th anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Earls Court:

Turning the clock back 45 years..

SUNDAY MAY 25 ,1975:

Setlist: 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/Tangerine/Going To California/That’s The Way/Bron-Y-Aur Stomp/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/Dazed And Confused (inc. San Francisco)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – The Crunge – Black Dog/Heartbreaker/Communication Breakdown (inc. D’yer Mak’er).

So the party was nearly over. Got up at 1pm and on the train at 5. Very busy around Earls Court – the unofficial programmes and posters were doing brisk business.

We had an excellent view for this last swan song – a straight face on view on the back tier front stalls. I remember vividly Alan Freeman’s introduction ”We are here today because you and I have great taste…”.

There was a sense amongst us all of this show being the last as Plant put it in his opening speech for ”A considerable time”. ”Still there are always the 1980’s” – what an ironic statement that was to prove.

The arrival of that soundboard tape of this performance a few years ago revealed that the band were completely at ease that final night. Free from the pressure of the opening gigs, clearly looking forward to their summer break and respective tax exile travels and content in the knowledge that their public acclaim at home was at a new height, well they could just lay back and enjoy it.

That’s exactly what they did, performing with a great sense of camaraderie. Given that freedom, this performance easily rivalled the previous night and often exceeded it. May 24 remains my personal Earls Court favourite, but May 25 was the best group performance of the five nights.

There were still many great moments to savour before the final exit: Page’s free form solo on Over The Hills – right out there as he closed his eyes and drifted off – thoughts maybe of life in far off places the next week; another refrain of You Shook Me during In My Time Of Dying; Plant playfully scat singing ad-lib lines of Friends and Mystery Train before ‘Bron–Y-Aur Stomp’; the San Franciso insert returning during what would be the final live complete version of Dazed And Confused with John Bonham; and then on into the home straight with an emotional ‘Stairway’ preceded by Plant’s moving reference to his daughter Carmen:

“Well Carmen, here it is – this song’s to a little girl who sits there probably wondering what it’s all about… So, where is the bridge? So Carmen, here’s your chance to find out where the bridge is… and if you know, please let me know after the show.”

Fittingly, they added some extras for this final flurry: after the usual ‘Whole Lotta Love’/’Black Dog’ they returned to the stage again to perform Heartbreaker, Plant shouting out “Any requests” in a manner he would repeat at Live Aid ten years hence. They stayed on stage to decide what to do next, and at the suggestion of a cameramen pulled out ‘Communication Breakdown’. It said everything about the spirit of Earls Court that this final statement carried a final twist, Plant ad-libbing lines from the never before played live D’yer Mak’er, aping the reggae style of the then emerging Bob Marley. The extended middle section featured a spontaneous series of instrumental stops and starts between Page, Jones and Bonham.

“Well it’s been about three hours and forty-five minutes. It’s time we went back to listen to some Bob Marley & The Wailers. Thank you very much for showing us we’re still alive and well. And it’s goodnight from me and goodnight from you. Good night and watch out for the holy grail.”

There was a party inside Earls Court after the final show attended by all the group and various guests including Jeff Beck, Chris Squire from Yes, Alan Freeman and Bob Harris. Music was supplied by Gonzalez and Dr Feelgood. The next day Plant left England for Agadir with his wife Maureen, subsequently meeting up with Jimmy in Marakesh for a spate of travelling that would inspire the song Achilles Last Stand. The plan was for the group to reconvene in Paris in August to prepare for a series of outdoor dates in America due to commence in San Francisco later that month.

The events of August 4 would change all that. On that day, holidaying in Rhodes, Robert and his wife were seriously injured when their rented car spun off the road.

It was the first of a series of misfortunes that would dog the band for the rest of their career. The glory days were over.

In retrospect, those glory days ended as the four of them left the Earls Court stage for the final time late on the evening of May 25, 1975.

More DL personal thoughts:

Great moments on the final run in: Page’s free form solo on over The Hills – right out there as he closed his eyes and drifted off – thoughts maybe of life in the Agadir the next week…Another refrain of You Shook Me at the end of In My Time…the San Francisco insert back in for what would be the final full version of Dazed And Confused ever played. An emotional Stairway with Plant’s moving reference to his daughter Carmen ”A song to a little girl who sits there and who wonders what it’s all about”…and then the encores.

When it was apparent they were coming back again after Black Dog we rushed down to the side of the stage and had a great view of Heartbreaker and Communication Breakdown. The latter with its stop start reggae scat signing middle section was just utterly sensational.

I’ve just watched the DVD of that encore segment – for pure out and out Zeppelin in their own world and nothing else mattered vibe – it may be the best footage of them ever captured.

”And its goodnight from him….”

Anxious not to let this Earls Court experience end, we hung around the front of the stage. Going home was not an option. We had spent some considerable hours in this building over the past week and we did not want to let it go..and there was a vague notion just maybe… well surely it can’t possibly happen but maybe we could get a glimpse of our heroes…

Incredibly, as the arena emptied we were able to walk through the black curtain at the side of the stage –with no security guards around we were able to walk unchallenged through to the backstage area which comprised of various luxery caravans.

There sitting on a limo was Robert Plant – blue sparkled jacket (the same one he wore on the Midnight Special TV show interview  appearance in March 1975), white scarf and draped in bracelets and rings looking for all the world like a Greek god. Being right in front of Robert at that moment was just incredible. An unforgettable image. After getting over the sheer shock of seeing him, I asked the rather dumb question when would they be playing in England again. ”There’s a lot of traveling to do first” was his reply. We walked across to the entrance where the aftershow party was taking place with Plant and his wife Maureen and Rusty from Showco . Robert sang a few lines from Kashmir as he scuttled through the entrance. We also saw Bonzo, Jonesy and Jimmy arrived along with Chris Squire from Yes, Bob Harris and Jeff Beck.

party ec

Robert at the Earls Court Swan Song party:

Knowing they would have to come out at some point we waited outside the party entrance. There was no way we were going anywhere until then!

About 3am I took a walk around the building and with no one around I was able to slip back into the arena –the entrance I took brought me direct onto the stage – yes incredibly I found myself on the Earls Court stage – now deserted except for some PA gear and Jonesy’s grand piano. It was an amazing feeling looking out from the actual focal point from where hours earlier Led Zeppelin had performed from. Standing where they had stood…

Eventually we saw them all leave the party at around 4am. Jimmy looking frail in white suit but keen to acknowledge the remaining fans – one of them asked how his finger was – ”oh fine now it’s so nice you all care”. Jonesy and Bonzo signed autographs and Robert looking rather out of it, was ushered through to the limos. That was our final view of Led Zeppelin at well after 4am on the morning of May 26th 1975.

…and coming down wasn’t easy!

Monday May 26th was thankfully a Bank Holiday and after arriving back home at 7.30am I then slept all day. The real cream on the whole week had been the fact I’d met them all and got their autographs – there was no plan of action to do that, it had just all slotted into place. Relaying it all to everyone back in Bedford was quite strange as it all appeared quite dream like. But it really did happen and I have the autographs to prove it!

Days later I was in the heat of Lorret De Mar on a the Wallbanger lad’s holiday. My fellow Earls Court attendees Phil, Tom and Dec were with me and Phil brought along the tape he’d made of the May 24th show he recorded next to me at Earls Court on a primitive cassette portable. It rained once in Loret and we all piled into his room to hear the tape. A bizarre experience as Earls Court came alive again in foreign surroundings. Incidentally alongside reveling in the late night discos (one of them was called Moby Dick!), the highlight of the holiday was the batch of Zep Spanish pressing singles I uncovered in the local record shop- it just never stopped!


Once back home I began scribbling down some notes on my Earls Court experiences. -this would eventually form the basis of the Earls Court feature in the first issue of Tight But Loose. Inspired by the likes of Nick Kent I started to formulate a feature I dubbed Earls Court Relived.

So that was the week that was – Led Zeppelin five times in the space of seven days. To say it has had a lasting effect on me is an absolute understatement. It really was the moment my life switched into colour.

There would be many dazzling episodes ahead, but perhaps nothing with the sheer uncomplicated joy and optimism of that week in May 1975 all of 45 years ago.

They were, are and always will be the glory days of Led Zeppelin…

Dave Lewis – May 21, 2020.

LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:
Latest news via the excellent LZ News website…

 Led Zeppelin

Jimmy Page

Robert Plant

  • Robert Plant’s US shows with Saving Grace have all been postponed until 2021. A message on his website says that “all tickets for these shows will be honoured.” Additionally, the Platform Festival in Yorkshire, where Plant was scheduled to perform with Saving Grace on July 10, has also been postponed until 2021.

John Paul Jones

  • Former Butthole Surfers bass player Jeff Pinkus talked about his experience working with John Paul Jones in a new interview.

Upcoming events (subject to lockdown restrictions):

June 2-18 – The original artwork for Led Zeppelin’s debut album will be auctioned at Christie’s.
July 12 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace in the Isle of Man.
July 14 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace in Edinburgh.
July 19 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace in Inverness.
July 21 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace in Aberdeen.
July 23 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace in Fort William.
July 24 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace in Perth.
July 26 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace in Glasgow.
September 25-26 – The next John Bonham celebration event will be held in Redditch.
October 8 – The affordable version of Jimmy Page’s Anthology book will be released.
June 18-20 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace at the Black Deer festival in Kent.

Many thanks to James Cook.

Sign up for the regular LZ News email here:

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


Jimmy Page Anthology  Book Review:

Review of the Jimmy Page ‘Anthology’ book by Ken Winovich – May 15, 2020
[Signed & Numbered Limited Edition book (now sold out) & photos provided by Pittsburgh Guitars]

This book’s pages are a very thorough virtual tour through a Jimmy Page Museum just like what you’d expect from only the finest museums around the globe! It’s chock-full of all kinds of goodies like photos of his stage outfits, guitars, effects pedals, gear and more. No stone is left un-turned. He even reveals some guitar player trade secrets (such as using different individual gauge strings to enable easier string bends). There’s a walk-thru year-by-year from when he started playing at the age of twelve right up to the recent Metropolitan Museum of Art’s ‘Play It Loud’ exhibition from last year (2019). Includes some of the key components of his development as a guitar player plus his experimentation with sounds and gear all in a running story format as if Page had a historian over his shoulder documenting it all over his entire career!
Includes daily planner pocket diary extracts, product catalog pages, loan agreements, letters and record company documents and much much more. The layout and design of the book are phenomenal with no pages too cluttered. It’s crammed full of eye candy, graphics, color, sharp photos, concert ads, artifacts, memorabilia, record company logs and detail for about as up-close and personal a tour in the life of this gifted musician as you’re ever gonna get! This is the one we’ve all been waiting for! Includes a bunch of revelations – like whether the white satin ’77 U S Tour dragon suit back-of-the-jacket was a 3-headed or 2-headed dragon! Even includes a Page guitar & equipment glossary in the back. An absolute MUST-HAVE for any Pageophile-Yardbirds-Led Zeppelin-post-Zeppelin Page fan. A fine supplement to the ‘Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page’ photo biography book, the official ‘Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin’ book and the ‘It Might Get Loud’ film. This one is spot-on! Bravo Jimmy!
Rating: * * * * *
Many thanks Ken

Mark McFall’s Zepfan Podcast:

Mark McFall of the excellent collectors website has been in touch to announce the launch of his Zepfan podcast – here’s the details:

Zepfan (episode #1) – Most Desirable Picture Sleeve Singles

Link is here:

Visit the website at :


TBL product Update:

Just a quick round up of what is currently available via the TBL website to order:

Tight But Loose – issue 44

I have a few copies left of the 850 limited edition run

Full colour – 32 pages – 40,000 words of text – not so much a magazine – more a mini book …

This is at a bargain price of £3.00 plus postage

Order from the link below:

All other back issues are now sold out including issue 45.


I have a few copies left of the following book:

Led Zeppelin Live – 1975 – 1977  ACC Editions/Iconic Images

Featuring the Led Zeppelin photographs of Terry O Neill, Michael Brennan and Baron Wolman

Text, captions and editing by Dave Lewis

190 pages

140 approx. black and white photos – 32 approx. colour photos

Large format Hardback – Embossed cover – each book personally signed by the book’s editor Dave Lewis

Now at a bargain price of £18 plus postage  – order at the link below:

All other books are sold out

Note all TBL orders are despatched as soon as possible though there may be slight postal delays due to the current situation.

TBL Product update ahead:

TBL designer Mick Lowe is currently working from home and we have been discussing future projects ahead as follows:

Feather In The Wind Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980 – 40th Anniversary Limited Edition

We will be revamping the final copies of the book I have available.

As with my  Knebworth book last year this 40th anniversary limited edition will have a glossy newly designed book jacket plus a new 3,000 word interview insert with the author. Each insert will individually numbered and signed by the author -a s will the books. This will be in a strictly limited edition and when they are gone they are gone…more on this to follow soon.

TBL issue 46:

The plan here is to reprint in full a complete replica of Tight But Loose issue 5 from October 1980. This was an Over Europe 1980 tour special and again will mark the 40th anniversary. The centre piece of the magazine as it was for issue 45 will be the 40 pages of the reprint plus various other features clocking in a total page count of 65. This is a way off yet but I’ll keep you all up to date on the progress as we get to it.

On a non TBL publication note…

Evenings With Led Zeppelin by Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio (Omnibus Press)

The original run published by Omnibus Press in 2018 has now sold out. Mike and I are now hoping Omnibus Press will sanction a reprint of the book in a fully updated new edition. More news on this as it hopefully unfolds…


Ten years of Mick Lowe Design at StudioMix:

This month marks the tenth anniversary of the first TBL publication working with Mick Lowe at StudioMix in Bedford. It was May 2010 when TBL issue 26 kicked off a working relationship and friendship that has so enriched my life.

I had actually known Mick for a number of years – not least for his association with my very good friend Dec Hickey in creating the record label Rorschach Testing in the mid 1980s. When Dec began working with Mick on his new Order book From Heaven To Heaven in late 2009 I suddenly had a light bulb moment – here was the ideal designer right in my own back yard. We had a swift meeting in a local Italian coffee house just before Christmas and in the first week of January 2010 we began working together. Mick produced a new TBL flyer and then off we set on producing the 32 page TBL 26.

Since then we have enjoyed many highs and one or two tricky lows in the quest to produce the best product we could – and it’s been mostly highs – and amazing highs at that.

Mick has gone on to design a further 18 TBL magazines -a total of 19 in all -the forthcoming TBL 46 will be the 20th…

Along side all that we have also created the following books

2011: Feather In The Wind Led Zeppelin over Europe 1980 (TBL Publishing)

22013: Then As It Was Led Zeppelin At Knebworth 1979 (TBL Publishing)

2015: Five Glorious Nights Led Zeppelin At Earls Court May 1975 (Rufus Stone Limited Editions)

2018: Evenings With Led Zeppelin – Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio (Omnibus Press)

Add in countless flyers, promo items,re -sleeve designs and more…that is a whole lotta product – and class product every time.

Given that Mick has completed all this in between all his other design work, it’s a quite astonishing achievement.

I can also say throughout all these accomplishments, Mick has been and continues to be a joy to work with. He has also been incredibly supportive to me lending an ear on countless occasions helping me though my personal problems.

I really can never ever thank him enough for what he has done for me.

I’ve just been on the phone to him discussing some new TBL design initiatives and even though he is working from home -his enthusiasm and commitment to produce something the TBL readership will be proud to own continues to be such an inspiration.

In 2015, Jimmy Page himself acknowledged Mick’s achievements when he signed a photo from the Feather In The wind book to pass to Mick.

It’s inscribed ”Mick – Great Designs! Jimmy Page”


Here’s a pic of Mick and I at StudioMix after the completion of TBL issue 35 in 2015 -you can see Jimmy’s framed and signed photo in the background.

Great designs indeed…

Thanks Mick for ten years of design excellence – amazingly fulfilling times, great fun and much cherished friendship…long may you keep those designs tight but loose…

Dave Lewis – May 21,2020


More archive fun…

And then three years after Earls Court this happened…

who four

On stage with The Who 42 years ago this week…

The Whole Story:

42 years ago this week on May 25 1978, I was lucky enough to attend a secret filming of The Who at Shepperton Studios. This was arranged to capture footage for their film the Kids Are Alright. Little did I know back then that a rather excited spontaneous leap on to the stage by me at the close of their performance of Won’t Get Fooled Again would be captured for all time – and featured in the film – and subsequently on DVD and YouTube.

So how did all this happen?

Well firstly I was a big Who fan for sure – and had been since 1969. Pinball Wizard was one of the first singles I’d owned. I’d seen them at the Empire Pool Wembley in October 1975 and at Charlton on a very rainy bank Holiday in May 1976 – on both occasions they were absolutely brilliant. I loved all the albums – particularly Quadrophenia, Who’s Next and The Who By Numbers – albums that spoke to me, were my guiding light and packed power and emotion – next to Led Zeppelin during this era, they were my second favourite band without a doubt.

In 1977, The Who began making a film to be titled the Kids Are Alright – a career spanning documentary. For that purpose in December 1977 they decided to perform a low key gig at Kilburn State Theatre in London. My very good friend Dec through the then boyfriend of his sister Yvonne, managed to get in on this gig. A guy named Steve Margo was the link – he was a massive Who fan – along with another high profile Who fan ‘Irish’ Jack Lyons and one or two others, later staged a Who Exhibition at London’s ICA in August 1978.

Back to the story – the gig was arranged at short notice and due to the fact I had no phone at home at that point (how ridiculous that seems now!), Dec was unable to inform me that this gig was on – so I missed out. However, all was not lost

The Who were unhappy with the footage they got that day and decided to have another go at capturing footage for the film. In early May we heard through Steve Margo that The Who would soon be staging a gig in London to be filmed for the documentary. Plans were all veiled in secrecy – eventually word came though and we were instructed to meet at Hyde Park Corner on the morning of May 25, 1978.

At that time Led Zeppelin were somewhat inactive following the curtailing of their 1977 US tour due to the tragic death of Robert Plant’s son. In May there were reports in the press that they had re grouped at Clearwell Castle for some rehearsing. Later in the year they would travel to Abba’s studio in Stockholm to record The In Through The Out Door album.  In early May, I was contacted by Sounds writer Geoff Barton. He had seen I had replied to a couple of Zep queries in their Wax Fax column. Sounds were planning a special three week feature to run in September to mark the tenth anniversary of Led Zeppelin’s formation.

I was commissioned to produce a ten year timeline history alongside an extensive discography covering official releases and bootlegs. I had a fair few meetings at the Sounds office in Long Acre and took in a large collection of memorabilia and albums for them to photograph – no scanning of images back then of course. Subsequently, my summer of 1978 was dominated by this work which had to be in for early August. I hand wrote the entire contents of the feature and by and large when it was all published as a four week part work it was a big success . It was my first time in print and I also got paid for it. More on all this later in the year. I also attended two amazing gig in July of that summer – David Bowie at Earls Court and Bob Dylan at Blackbushe.

Back to the story – so it was against this backdrop of Zep writing that I turned my attention to this very exciting prospect of witnessing The Who live on stage again.

So come the day – Thursday May 25 , we were duly ferried out of London by coaches to the Shepperton studio complex – wined and dined in the canteen where we mixed with 18th century costume drama actors and actress’s and then led into the Studio 2 soundstage for a mini performance by The Who.

The filming had been set up by director Jeff Stein to make up for the rather lucklustre footage he had garnered from the aforementioned Kilburn Theatre the previous December. It was to be the contemporary insert of a career spanning documentary that would emerge as The Kids Are Alright released to theatres on both sides of the Atlantic the next year.

So it was in a state of some considerable awe that we were ushered into the studio where a specially constructed stage aimed at replicating any night on the road for The Who had been assembled. The audience of around 200 consisted of a mixture of Who fanatics, liggers, journalists and musicians – amongst the latter was a young Chrissie Hynde. Also in attendance shooting one of his first gigs was the soon to become world renowned photographer Ross Halfin.

The last time I had seen The Who live was amongst 65,000 rain sodden fans at The Who Put the Boot In show at Charlton Athletic football ground in May 1976. Now I was just a few feet away as Pete Townshend power chorded his way through a riveting Baba O Reily -one of my all time fave numbers not just by The Who, but anyone. Thrilling deliveries of John Entwhistle’s  My Wife and Won’t Get Fooled Again followed.

The initial plan had been to perform just those three numbers. Impressed by the by the relaxed of nature of the whole affair, Townshend signalled to Daltrey, Moon and Entwhistle to stay on stage – and spontaneously they kicked in to Substitute and then instantly into I Can’t Explain.

We had come under the guise of seeing The Who shoot a handful of numbers for their film – we were now privvy to a mini greatest hits concert as they ran through Summertime Blues, Magic Bus My Generation and My Wife (again). It was another blast through Won’t Get Fooled Again that brought this extraordinary performance to a close. Watching it all unfold in such close proximity was truly the stuff of rock’n’roll dreams – it was just utterly sensational.

And that’s when it happened…

Fulled by a combination of beer and wine, and a surge of adrenalin from the sheer wonder of what I was witnessing, as Won’t Get Fooled Again ended and the band warmly took the applause, I took it upon myself to climb on the camera tracking and make one giant leap towards Pete Townshend and then one small step towards Roger Daltrey accidentally cuffing him in the eye in the process. On any regular gig this spontaneous stage rush may well have resulted in the stinging sensation of a swinging Gibson Les Paul crushing against flesh. I was aware of Abbie Hoffman’s treatment by Pete when he walked on to the Woodstock stage during their performance in 1969 – I really did not have time to think of any consequences as I made that leap. Luckily for me Townshend hugged me warmly and Daltrey good humouredly shrugged off my enthusiastic arm waving. it’s worth noting I was not alone in this stage invasion – though I was not aware of it at the time. In the film just before my entry you can see a young lady more calmly approach and hug Roger.

Behind all this action, a permanently devilish grin was spread across the face of Kith Moon. Physically showing the strains of his LA lifestyle he was at last back where he functioned best… on stage with the ‘Orrible ‘Oo.

As we waded out into the bright late afternoon sunshine little did we realise we had just witnessed Keith Moon’s final public performance with The Who. And little did I realise that my leap of faith would be subsequently retained in the film’s final cut.

Outside in the grounds of Shepperton there was one more task for the lucky few in attendance to perform. We were asked to line up in four rows behind each member of The Who. This was for a potential album cover design for The Who’s forthcoming Who Are You album – the concept being that we would act as clones  for the band to illustrate the album title. So we were all asked to line up – I was in the queue behind Keith Moon. As it turned out this cover idea was scrapped. However, years later a couple of outtake photos from this session appeared in the Ross Halfin complied Who Genesis Publications photo book. These photos  reveals that for some reason, I had stepped out of line and you can see me in my blue bomber jacket to the right – another remnant of the day.

And then there was more.

Incredibly this was not the end of the Shepperton saga. Steve Margo informed us that he had been invited to attend another filming session the next day – and did we want to tag along? Did we ever!

So it was on Friday May 26 Dec and I met along with Dec’s sister’s boyfriend Jack we met  Steve in St. John’s Wood who then drove us to the Shepperton Studio complex. We were were allowed in to the Studio 2 soundstage again  and there before us onstage were The Who. This time in front of a camera crew and a few technicians, road crew and Who personnel including soundman  Bob Pridden, lighting expert John Wolff  and Who manager Bill Curbishley. I could never have envisaged  back then that one day I would interview Bill in his office discussing The Who, Led Zeppelin , Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Irish jack was also there.

The objective of this days filming was to perfect the laser sequence during Keith Moon’s drum solo and into Roger’s scream before Pete and John come back in. We watched multiple takes of Keith performing his solo and Roger bathed in lasers marching on the spot as the camera panned in. We watched this repeated scene in absolute awe. 40 years on this close up experience of The Who filming this sequence remains right up there amongst the most thrilling live music moments I’ve been lucky enough to witness.

I was back behind the counter at my job in WH Smiths next day – and back on the Led Zep Sounds feature for the next few weeks. I did hastily hand write a couple of thousand words of a review of the May 25 Shepperton experience – I aim to search that out from the loft in the next week or so and get it into shape to put up here.

This was not quite the end of The Who 1978 story.

On August 1 1978, Dec and I attended the opening of the Who’s Who Exhibition at London’s ICA. Both Pete Townshend and Keith Moon were in attendance. The producer of the film Jeff Stein saw me and informed my I could be clearly seen in the final scenes of the film leaping on stage. The Who’s Who exhibition was superbly well done and way ahead of it’s time with stage clothes, instruments ,videos etc. I had a chat with both Pete and Keith – and had a photo taken with him. He seemed on great form proudly talking about the famous Pictures Of Lily drum kit that was on display. This pic shows me with Keith and Ian Dury with his back to us.

The Who Are You album came out in August and I purchased it on the day of release. An excellent album with some superb performances such as New Song, Sister Disco, Love Is Coming Down and the title track. It still sounds brilliant.

On the evening of Thursday September 7, I was watching the News at Ten on TV when they announced that Keith Moon had been found dead. It was no secret that Keith had carried a lot of demons around in recent years but it was still a terrible shock.

Unlike Zep, The Who decided to carry on – for them I’d say it was the right decision though it was never quite the same.

The following May  The Who played an unannounced show at London’s Rainbow Theatre – I missed out on that but Dec and I did have a vague plan to go to Frejus in France to see further gigs they were playing to launch the film – however, that plan did not come off

In June 1979 The Kids Are Alright film came to Bedford. Knowing I may appear in it, our gang of Dec, Tom, Phil etc all came along to view it at the Granada Cinema in Bedford (sadly long gone).  The film overall was excellent with some fantastic footage – no sighting of me of course until right at the close as the credits rolled… then on I leap into Pete Townshend’s’ arms (and nearly poking Roger Daltrey’s eye in the process!). In the cinema a huge cheer greeted my arrival – and of course I was well pleased I had made the final cut.

So there it was – my leap of faith captured for all time for all to see…

In August 1979 ,a week after the second Zep Knebworth show we went to Wembley Stadium to see The Who on a bill that included AC/DC (with Bon Scott), The Stranglers and Nils Lofgren. The Who were still great with Kenney Jones on drums but it was a somewhat challenging day – with lots of crowd trouble down the front.

I’ve seen The Who a fair few times since 1978 – notably at the Watford Town Hall in 2002, at the London Forum 2004, the Quadrophenia presentation at the Royal Albert Hall in 2010 and on March 23 2015 at the 02.

Even though they are now down to The Who Two , their catalogue of era defining music is still a crystal clear definition of what rock is all about – the last occasion I saw them at that 02 Arena was yet further testament to the lasting durability of The Who.

As for the Shepperton experience, well I’ve dined out on that clip many times since that leap of faith all of 40 years ago. I’m still in touch with the legendary Who fan Irish Jack who was there on those magic Shepperton afternoons – in fact I was in touch with him this week.

Looking back now, It was a moment that crystallised the impact a live performance can have.

It was a completely unplanned spontaneous action. If I had planned it, I would probably have worn a Who T- shirt rather than the McCartney/Wings London Town one I had on!

I was completely overwhelmed at The Who’s incredible performance and right then at that moment I needed to show my appreciation and where better to do it than on the actual stage with the band…

My Facebook friend Michael Starke described this photo (a still from the footage) of me hugging Pete  as ”The greatest fan interaction shot ever”.

That is some accolade…

It was some afternoon back in 1978 and 41 years on, the memory of it all looms ever large and pleasingly so…not least because it can be seen from several angles on the YouTube clip.

I was in the right place at the right time for it all to be captured on film –  and yes on the afternoon of May 25 1978, this 21 year old kid from Bedford was very much alright…

Dave Lewis – May 22,2020

More on Irish Jack here:


The Who At Shepperton Studios  May 25, 1978 – Won’t Get Fooled Again: Dave Lewis on stage with The Who – 41 years ago this week:

I arrive at 10mins 42

I arrive on multiple angles at 11mins 05

Genesis book:
Long time TBL contributor Alessandro Borri has been in touch to inform about a new genesis book he has been involved in. the author is
Mario Giammetti – more details at the link below:


DL Diary Blog Update:

More Who…

It was a Saturday of celebrating The Who Live At Leeds – released 50 years ago on May 16,1970 -here’s what went down…

Saturday is platterday and Who day… on the player the brilliant Odds And Sods collection from much great stuff on this –I am hoping I can still obtain a copy of the planned Record Store Day extended version of the album if it surfaces during the three Record Store Day dates planned for August, September and October…

Celebrating The Who Live At Leeds released 50 years ago today:

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the album back in 2010 I was commissioned to write a feature on the Live At Leeds album for Record Collector. It turned into a 15 page epic and was the cover story of the July 2010 issue issue 337 (back issues can be ordered via their website).

Along with a Nick Drake Five Leaves Left making of feature, this was one of the first major non Zep features I had written after going freelance after being made redundant after 35 years in music retailing.

It would lead to subsequent features on The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart and Paul McCartney and Wings. The Who Live At Leeds piece is one of my favourite and reading through it again today it brings back great memories of interviewing Chris Charlesworth and Ross Halfin and big Who collector and author Ed Hanel.

Celebrating The Who Live At Leeds released 50 years ago today…

I vividly remember reading this copy of the NME with it’s cover advert for The Who Live At Leeds album back on the weekend of May 23 1970 when I was a 13 year old schoolboy…

Never in my wildest dreams could I envisaged that in a mere eight years almost to the day I’d be sharing the stage with them but that incredibly is what happened on May 25 1978 at their filming session at Shepperton when I made a leap of faith into Pete Townshend’s arms…

That was the effect The Who had on this now 21 year old…my they were amazing that afternoon… what a memory…

Also last Saturday…

It’s a Happy Birthday to Mr Chris Charlesworth…

I have a lot to thank this man for as back in 1990 in his role as editor in chief at Omnibus Press, he commissioned my book idea Led Zeppelin A Celebration.It set me on my way and since then Chris has sanctioned and edited further Led Zeppelin books I’ve been involved with.

Always a great support to all things TBL, his illuminating on the road tales of his association with Led Zep when he was with Melody Maker has lit up a fair few of the Zep conventions and fan meets I’ve helped stage – as some of you reading this will know.

Chris has also been a great support to me personally over many years. Being a massive Who fan, I am sure he will enjoy the fact that his Birthday coincides with the original release date of The Who Live At Leeds album all of 50 years ago today. Long may you ride that magic bus Chris… have a great day…

And on Wednesday…

It’s a Happy Birthday to Mr Paul Sheppard…
His amazingly detailed Led Zep contributions have lit up many a TBL project and his knowledge on the Zep bootleg CD catalogue is awe inspiring.

We have also shared some great times together over many years and it’s always great to be in his company. This pic was taken at the Victoria Record Fair at the time of my 60th Birthday back in 2016 – Paul is handing over a couple of splendid retro record books he got for me.

Paul has also been a constant support to me personally. Have a great day Paul from all here… and on behalf of all the Zep community Happy Birthday.

Update here:

Many thanks for all the many kind comments I received. It’s still very up and down here…some days good  – some not. I have managed to fend off the depression better this week though it remains a big effort to do so. I am pleased that I have got over a couple of bad spells recently much quicker than of late and I have not let it beat me. The good lady Janet as ever has been amazingly understanding -as has Sam.

I am also into the third week of having a partially blocked ear. The doctor as informed me they are not doing syringing at the moment and to keep putting drops in my ear – so far it as done nothing to ease the problem. I know in the scheme of things it’s not much but it makes sleeping difficult at times and is really uncomfortable and Janet is probably fed up of repeating what she is saying to me – or asking me to do of course. Anyway, it will not stop me listening to a whole load of good stuff on the player even at slightly reduced hearing power.

I have been chipping away at some TBL text and in liaising  with Mick Lowe as mentioned above  -and also Mike Tremaglio has been in touch to discuss a few things. Janet and I have been having our daily short walk to help strengthen her leg – nearly six months since she broke her leg Janet is doing quite well using just one crutch now and undertaking her daily physio exercises  As ever, we hope the healing process is taking its course ongoing.

Some inspirations this past week…

Watching the brilliant Harry’s Heroes Euro Having A Laugh on TV with the good lady Janet

My copy of the new issue of Mojo dropping through the door…

Richard Grubb very kindly sending me a Frank Zappa CD…top stuff mate thank you…

A nigh on 90 minute chat on the phone with Andy Adams on Sunday morning. Andy had written some amazingly kind words on the TBL site and I wanted to thank him. We had quite an emotional time talking about so many moments we have shared over many years. It was truly heartwarming…oh and hi to Rachel too…

Celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Earls Court gigs with various albums and CDs on the player

Supportive words from Chris Maley, Gary Davies, Melvyn Billingham, Keith Cranfield, Sheldon Cole, Ian Dixon and Maniqe Baker to name but a few…

Word from long time TBL supporter and  very good friend Russ Rees on the occasion of his 65th Birthday. I first met Russ at Heathrow Airport on May 17,1977 as we watched the members of Led Zeppelin get ready to fly out for the second leg of their US tour. Happy Birthday mate…

A catch up with Hayley Martin – my esteemed former assistant manager at the Our Price record shop in the late 1990s…

Watching an interview with the newly knighted Sir Captain Tom Moore …his message was to quote the lyrics of You’ll Never Walk Alone –

”At the end of a storm….there’s a golden sky”

This remarkable man’s humility and dignity continues to be an absolute inspiration – and he has me welling up every time…

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

Dave Lewis – May 21, 2020

Until next time, stay safe and stay well…

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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  • Graham Craig Rodger said:

    Good news – The Jimmy Page & Roy Harper collaborative album Whatever Happened To… is now available to hear on Spotify. I really love this album and listen to it regularly since obtaining the vinyl album as a teenager in 1989. If you haven’t heard it, or haven’t given it a spin for a while then I would definitely recommend checking it out.

  • IanD said:

    I always find it interesting to compare the choices made by Zep and The Who after such tragic losses. Both made the right call IMHO. The Who’s post Moon output is ‘patchy’ but tracks like You Better You Bet, Old Red Wine, Real Good Looking Boy and Ball & Chain are right up there for me. While live they have kept their power, as being at that Forum show I can testify. Credit for this is partly down to Zak Starkey who’s talent, perception and own style took him from the shadow of his Dad to the drum stool of two pretty decent Rock and Roll bands.

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