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5 August 2016 2,852 views 2 Comments


37 years ago this week, Led Zeppelin performed their first show in the UK for four years when they made a triumphant comeback at Knebworth.


Think of Knebworth and the images remain vivid: The campsite, Tommy Vance’s Friday night rock show filling the air, chants of ‘’Zeppelin’’,’’Zeppelin’’ ,the early morning rush for the gates, the long wait during the day ,Skynyd’s Tuesdays Gone fading from the PA. the screen unfolding…and there performing The Song Remains The Same, Led Zeppelin live before our very eyes

Thousands of eyes that still hold thousands of memories.

The reasons are manifold. It was for a majority of fans, their first and ultimately only opportunity to see Led Zeppelin perform live. It was also many fans first experience of attending a major rock gathering. Many of them traveled long distances to be there, and suffered varying hardships to endure it all.

And as an event, from the build up, the tension, the speculation, the giant screen, the laser effects, it was pure Zeppelin theatre. And let us not forget that musically it was also a valiant renaissance. Not perfect by any means, but then Led Zeppelin live was never about perfection. There were undoubtedly some stunning moments that proved the 1979 Led Zeppelin was alive and well and still had new places to go. Examples?

Quite a few: The majestic opening double whammy of The Song Remains The Same and Celebration Day, the stop start dynamism of Nobody’s Fault But Mine, the emotion of Ten Years Gone, the swagger of Sick Again, the white heat and white light of Achilles, the drama of the violin bow solo into In The Evening, the ever reverent Stairway, the revamped Whole Lotta Love , and the pure adrenalin rush of Communication Breakdown the final ever track performed by Led Zeppelin on homesoil.

Some of the intensity of 1975 and 1977 may have been missing, but there was more than enough evidence at those shows to indicate that the muse was returning. It would all have come back given more road work. Over Europe assisted that process and the 1980’s touring campaign would have surely cemented it. Getting back to their audience in the UK with say a string of dates at London’s Rainbow, Newcastle City Hall, Manchester Apollo etc, would have been the beginning of yet another era.

Knebworth would then be viewed not as a glorious end but a glorious rebirth.

Somehow though like Michael Jackson’s ill fated O2 shows, it was never destined to be. Knebworth will forever remain in the heart and soul of Led Zeppelin fans as the last hurrah in the UK.

As the Then As it Was book reveals, the memories remain intact. From long coach journeys made from the north east and beyond causing much parental worry, mysterious cries of ‘’wally’’ on the campsite, the crush to gain entry, sleep and sanitary deprivation, the sheer wonder of seeing the band on stage, right through to the rather unfortunate story of a young lady who took a short cut coming out of the show and ended up quite literally in the s***.

All this for the love of Led Zeppelin

Writing the book was a cathartic experience for me. In these days of huge uncertainty there was strength to be gained in relieving the more innocent times of 37 years ago. Reading through the many recollections submitted had me laughing out loud and often moved to tears. They are a stark reminder of how events in our youth shape our thoughts for years to come. Yes back then we were mere kids and our sense of responsibility rarely wandered beyond the next pint, the next album, the next gig.

But events like Led Zeppelin at Knebworth defined who we were and what made us tick. Yes it’s just a band and some songs as I sometimes try and remind myself…. but in truth it’s so much more. Being at Knebworth in 1979 was a way into a world of empathy and communication. Empathy for the music of Led Zeppelin and communication with like minded souls who’se love for the band knew no bounds. Both those ethics are still very much intact.

Then As It Was is therefore a book about empathy and communication that occurred a long time ago. In a world that has changed beyond recognition.

But its subject matter is still so important to so any people.

Of all the many words written by fans about their experiences the final thoughts of Peter Anderson from Stockport stand out ‘’The journey back was a nightmare’’ he writes, ‘’with our first real hangovers kicking in but it didn’t matter. We were kicked out of the car at 6am and crawled to bed thinking we had witnessed history.’’

‘’Thinking we had witnessed history’’. That line says it all

That’s exactly how I, and thousands of others felt too.

What none of us were aware as we came away from the park that night, was the fact that there would be precious opportunity to be in Led Zeppelin’s company in the future. Of course in retrospect we now know we had witnessed history.

The recollections of fans who were inside that field, as retold in the book, are a lasting testament to that statement and the whole legacy of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth

Then as it was… sadly it can never be again.

The memories of those golden August days of an English summer 37 years ago grow ever precious with each passing year.

Dave Lewis

August 5, 2016



Phil Tattershall, Cockermouth

Freddy Bannister’s announcement that Led Zeppelin would play at his Knebworth festival in the summer of 1979 was greeted with some scepticism by those of us who had eagerly rushed to the post office for our postal orders in 1974. Would it really happen this time? Well, I had to make the effort, just in case.

Tickets for the show were easily secured from Harlequin Records in Oxford Street and I wished away the rest of the summer to make August 4th come more quickly. As it happened, my friend ‘Charlie’ (not his real name, the reason for which will become clear later) and I wasted a couple of weeks in the Lake District and North Wales to kill time and while in Bron-Yr-Aur country, stumbled across a bunch of lads who were doing much the same thing. The pub conversation soon gravitated towards Led Zeppelin (as it does – you know how it is) and it transpired that one of them already had a ticket. ‘’See you at Knebworth’’, we said as we left for home, knowing there was little chance of our paths crossing in such a huge crowd. ‘‘Look out for the biggest flag on the tallest flagpole in the arena, and we’ll be underneath it’’, I yelled as an afterthought.

Back home, the aforementioned flag was fabricated from a bed sheet ‘borrowed’ from my mum (no, she never got it back) and the raw material for the flagpole, in the form of forty feet of angle iron, was acquired by ‘Charlie’ from work.

As the great day approached, transport was arranged (easy, because Knebworth was only 20 miles from home and one of our gang had a big car) and a list of supplies was compiled. Being young and foolish, the list of essentials included the flag and its pole, string, tent pegs and a hammer to keep the pole upright, a ghetto blaster, two blank cassettes, a camera and a few sleeping bags. The non-essentials that didn’t make the list were things like food, drink and a tent.

We left for Knebworth on Friday evening and arrived in plenty of time to make ourselves as comfortable as we could in the holding area some distance from the arena. I remember it as being a deeply unpleasant experience, with noisy drunks and choking bonfire smoke. This, combined with the noise of every radio tuned to Tommy Vance’s Friday Rock Show made sleep impossible. Resigned to the fact that the gates weren’t due to open until the following morning, we looked forward to a night filled with curious mixture of boredom, discomfort, excitement and anticipation.

The night was mild and dry, much to the annoyance of ‘Uncle Stevie’ a guy walking round the site trying to convince everybody of imminent torrential rain, so they would buy a ‘waterproof’ (actually a plastic refuse sack) from him for 20p. In the middle of the night, word went round that the gates were opening early and the battle for positions began. It became apparent that forty feet of angle iron wasn’t going to hasten our group’s progress and it seemed as if half the crowd had overtaken us by the time we reached the turnstiles.

Resigned to the fact that we would be a long way from the stage, we raised our flag with pride, and shortly afterwards, one of the guys we’d met in Wales turned up as promised. With our tiny patch of ground secured, I took the opportunity to go walkabout and inspect the facilities, which were primitive but yet to become disgusting. On the way back, I noticed that two sections of the 4” yellow hose carrying water across the top of the site had come apart. A high pressure jet of water was spurting out and a small river was already flowing down the field towards the stage. I looked for volunteers to help me wade in and effect a repair, but, strangely, none of the other festival-goers were interested in an early morning cold bath. Heroically, I braved the torrent, steamed in and managed to join the two hoses. When I got back to our flag, the rest of the gang seemed less than enthusiastic about sharing their
groundsheet with a soaked and bedraggled (self proclaiming) ‘saviour of the festival’.

As the opening bars of Supertramp’s ‘Take the long way home’ echoed across the site ‘Charlie’ and ‘Kenny’ (not their real names) spied a transaction of questionable legitimacy taking place nearby between a couple of black guys and two Hell’s Angels. The deal done, the Angels walked away, but ‘Charlie’ and ‘Kenny’ caught the black guys and asked with some xcitement ‘‘Them Angels dealing?’’ The response was positive, but the uncontained delight of my two friends brought about a swift change of mind on the part of the black guys. ‘‘No, wait, it’s us’’, they yelled as C&K turned in pursuit of the grease and leather. ‘‘We said it was the Angels because we thought you were the filth man.’’ It was the first time I’d heard Authority described in this manner. ‘Pigs’, ‘Fuzz’, ‘Old Bill’ were familiar, but ‘Filth’ was a new one on me and I was a little shocked at the lack of respect afforded to the guardians
of the law by the drug-dealing community. Ah, the innocence of youth! ‘Charlie’ and ‘Kenny’ subsequently settled down to pass the time in a zonked out and relaxed way .

The day was filled with a succession of tedious performances from bands who were of little or no interest to 95% of the crowd. In different circumstances, I’m sure that some of the sets would have been hugely entertaining, but this really wasn’t the time or place for the likes of Chas and Dave to blossom into festival mega-stars. I remember thinking at the timethat most of the punters would be far happier listening to Zeppelin albums over the PA. Eventually, our four lads appeared and did their two-and-a-bit hours that are too well documented to warrant further description here. (But if anyone’s interested, I thought it was fantastic. No Quarter’ was a real high point for me.)

During previous twenty six hours, I’d suffered sleep deprivation, asphyxiation, sunburn, dehydration, been soaked to the skin and trodden on (Trampled Underfoot?) and towards the end of the set, I remember thinking that although this was a great show, I’d never do it again….. well, not for anyone other than Led Zeppelin anyway.


We gathered our belongings (minus the angle iron which nobody had the energy to carry) and trudged our way back to the car, which took hours to find. Worse still, it was blocked in by hundreds of other cars, so another night under the stars without food or drink was enjoyed. I eventually arrived home at 7:30 on Sunday morning, proudly clutching the flag, the ghetto blaster, two (no longer blank) cassette tapes, the camera and a roll of exposed film.


Dave Linwood, Potters Bar

I was pissed off. Sitting on the back of the bus on the way home from school. I was a victim of parental logic. Although acquaintances of mine were going to the Zeppelin show, my parents said that if I was to be allowed to go it had to be with someone they knew. After all, how would I, a 15 year old cope on his own amidst the naked drugs and debauchery that was the Knebworth Festival. (I had my own ideas!)

The bus trundled on. I was aware of a sullen face behind me. His name was Dan and he was in the school year below – a mere baby! How uncool. I knew him mainly as a face on the bus, nothing more. In a depressed mood I asked him what his problem was. “Can’t go and see Zeppelin” he said. “Can’t afford it”.

Alarm bells rang. I had a Saturday job, so I had the cash – in fact enough for two tickets. I thought to myself “If I put up with this uncool kid from the year below. I could see Zeppelin live!” Perhaps I could swing it with my parents.

I proposed the solution to my new found friend – the collective mists of depression began to clear. After arriving home, a few phone calls from mission control (my mum) confirmed we were clear for take off. An hour later courtesy of Harlequin Records Brent Cross a Knebworth ticket for Aug 4 was mine!

To the big day. I remember being outside the main entrance gates at Knebworth. There was a police van parked surrounded by hundreds of fans waiting for the gates to be opened. The police got out and could be seen wandering around. As they did a line of blokes appeared, kneeling, trousers down, waddling up to the police van – as a lookout peered around the corner of the van, each took it in turn to piss down the side of the police van. Hilarious!.

About 3am on August 4th the main gates “opened” – in fact they were pushed down. We were off, marching towards the main arena. Obviously when we got there, all the turnstiles were closed. People began to push and shove. As more people from the back arrived the pushing got worse, I remember a girl in front stumbling and before you know it, she was covered by feet. I remember her screaming and then being pulled up and carried over the crowd to safety – she had a badly hurt arm.People were angry and frightened, the shoving and swaying continued. By now I was very hot – I remember things going very fuzzy and hearing a ringing in my ears – my mate grabbed me as I slipped down.

Suddenly, slits of light appeared in the fences, Thank God! the turnstiles were being opened. I handed the two halves of the Zep ticket over. Once inside we didn’t make a rush to the front, we were too shell-shocked. There were many people just wandering around – trying to get some air, cooling out. Looking back it was a dangerous situation.Thankfully we all survived to see a memorable show.

Postscript: 13 years later on May 16 1992 I got married. To my right at the alter was my best man Dan – that’s right, the boy from the bus. He even joked in his best man’s speech that he couldn’t remember whether he had paid me back for that Zeppelin Knebworth ticket. A year later I returned the favour at his wedding. And I still don’t think he ever paid me!


Phil Harris, Milton Keynes

After a day’s work at HMV in Bedford, I drove down to Knebworth on the Friday evening of Aug 3 with the niave idea that I could meet up with my friends Dave Lewis,Tom Locke,and Dec Hickey. (just like that in a crowd of thousands and before mobile phones)!

I was directed to a car park about a mile away so had to carry a large hold all of beer all the way back. Needless to say, the planned meeting did not take place and as the beer bag was getting heavy I decided to start drinking it! I did bump into a few guy’s from Bedford but decided to return to my car for a nights sleep.

I was woken early the next morning by a guy tapping on the window offering a joint for breakfast ( I think I might have taken a drag or two).The long walk back to arena started with only two cans of beer for the day. As I walked past the main car park almost the first car I saw was the Princess of the aforementioned Mr Locke (so near and yet so far in the dark of the previous evening)

Once inside, I found a strategic seating place for the day as ‘Billy No Mates’ pretty much dead centre to the stage but quite a way back.A bunch of guy’s from Wales were sat in front of me and one of them knocked over a pint of milk on their ground sheet. When they saw my large sheet of bubble wrap they suggested I joined them and covered their sheet with mine and very generously they said they would look after the drink supply for the day(result). I remember them making numerous trips back to their van and returning with back packs of beer and cider. After a storming gig these guys left before the end to make their way home (sacrilege, surely like walking out before the end of a cup final!).

Then it was the long walk back to the car and even longer escape from the car park, but even without the company of Mr Lewis and Locke etc it had one hell of a day and a half.


Mark Harrison – Leighton Buzzard

The run of shows at Earls Court in 1975 were a watershed in my life and the first times I got to see the band live. Unfortunately, I had to wait over four years before my path would cross with the best band in the world.

Knebworth was certainly a bigger event in every sense of the word. Anticipation, for me, seemed even greater this time – having experienced it at Earls court I wanted it again! The first show was on the Saturday the fourth; I arrived on Friday night to find…bedlam.

What can only be described as a medieval village spread before us. The gates were already straining under the pressure – gates that were a mile away from the main arena entrance! There was a long queue running around the perimeter fence, intended to keep people out. We found a hole in this fence, and crawled through it only to be faced with a massive cornfield with a path running through it, which was there for the crowd to use.

Men with dogs were patrolling this field, and searchlights from the main arena shone like a POW camp! We had to make sure that we had a good view for the show, so we crawled on our hands and knees through the stalks. We would bump into people coming the other way, all with the same idea. It struck me that it was like a prison escape, only we were trying to get in, not out! We’d share strategies and game plans, and sometimes we had to stay deathly quiet as a man and dog approached – it was nerve-wracking, I can tell you!

At around 3:00am we figured that we were near enough to the actual entrance of the main arena and settled down for the night as the gates, some 1200 metres behind us, weren’t due to open until 9.00am. At 4.00am we woke with a start – they had opened the gates early and tens of thousands of people were streaming towards the arena entrance! We panicked and ran across the field in fear of losing our advantage. In doing so I lost track of all the people I was with, and did not see them again until early Sunday morning.

So there I was at 5.30am on Saturday 4th August in a field. Zeppelin did not appear until 9.40pm that night. Can you imagine the torture? The Hell? It took one hour just to get to the toilets. All the support acts were superfluous to the main event. What did break the ice was at about 1.00pm the DJ saying “in about 8 hours time we will hear this”, and
putting on “Rock and Roll”. The whole field erupted!

By 9.30pm the atmosphere was like a thunderstorm. At 9.40pm those familiar chords from “The Song Remains The Same” rang out, the curtain went back and instantaneously we
had a picture of Jimmy on the huge video screen.The rest is history. Most of the show is a blur to me, though I remember at one point during “No Quarter” where everyone wanted to sit down, and I refused – I couldn’t see. I turned around and shouted “If you lot think I waited four years to see Led Zeppelin and now I’m going to “sit down”, you can fucking forget it!!”. On hearing this 1,000 people promptly stood up – what a moment! During the actual show it was hard to know what to actually look at – the Band or the screen behind them.
The set washed over me. They were magnificently loud. No one wanted them to leave. The end was very emotional after a revamped “Whole Lotta Love” and the crowd breaking into football chanting.


Gary Davies, Birmingham

I went to both the August 4 and 11 shows. I remember a whole load of us went down to Stevenage by coach and we were extremely drunk by the time we arrived. Consequently one chap who was with us got off the coach at Stevenage and promptly got himself knocked down by a passing car when he crossed the road. The ambulance arrived and he was quickly taken off to hospital with a broken leg – missing the whole event.

On the night before the first show, some of us set up a camp fire next to the perimeter fence. We were listening to Tommy Vance’s Friday Rock Show and a huge cheer went up every time he mentioned or played Zeppelin. Very early in the morning we tried to climb over the fence but were chased out by a couple of dogs.

The next week I decided to proceed more cautiously. By that time I felt like a festival regular. When we got to the main area we positioned ourselves by one of the lighting rigs to the right of the stage. Much drinking and merriment was had throughout the day and it didn’t seem to matter that we were quite a way from the stage. It was just a privilege to be there. As night fell the tension mounted. I got talking to one of the guys up the lighting rig and he allowed me to go up and watch one of the bands from there. I remember he traded one of the light blue security T-shirts with Artist services on the front for a swig of my whiskey. I thought maybe I would be able to get backstage with that shirt on. Some hope!

A friend of mine brought along an 8mm cine camera (colour sound) and shot Zeppelin when they came on. He was in a bit of a state and I thought it would be a waste of time filming them amongst the bedlam. Luckily two of the 3-minute films survived and to this day I still see it on collectors lists. It was good to get a rough copy of the pro-shot Aug 11 all those years later. I still think I was the one who started the crowd singing “You’ll never walk alone” on the first gig.

Looking back on it all in now they may not have played perfectly but it was still amazing. At the time I found myself clasping my hands together pleading with the man upstairs not to let Jimmy make any mistakes.Overall though it was an honour to share in the emotion of it all. It became a two-way thing between the band and the audience and that’s something
I’ll never forget as long as I live.


Chris Wright

Mesquite, Nevada, USA

My greatest moment as a rock-obsessed teenager has to be when I learned that Zep would be playing Knebworth on August 4th 1979. I think it was announced by Anne Nightingale on the Whistle Test.All I know is that my entire life focus shifted from whatever else was on my mind to getting THE TICKET – and clearly demand was going to outstrip supply.

Years spent watching The Song Remains The Same several times, every time it showed in my home town of Ipswich, had primed me for this moment – the return of the greatest band on the grandest of stages.

I think Sounds (again precise memory deserts me), listed where tickets would be sold and there were two designated locations in Ipswich, including the recently opened Virgin store
(not mega; quite small).So two of my friends and I purposed to queue overnight to be sure of getting on the bottom rung of that Stairway to Knebworth. No internet or phone
booking in those days (thank god, it actually meant that genuine fans got to see the band – no VIP enclosures or golden circles back then).

Actually we needn’t have bothered queuing. While there was huge demand in the major cities, dear old Ipswich only had about a dozen folk who could be bothered to sleep rough on a Sunday night. The other record shop – Harpers I think? – had absolutely no line at all.So that was easy enough. Then came the whole business of getting there. Thanks to my uncle who so kindly volunteered to drop us off on the Friday night and pick us up at a designated location in Stevenage after the gig was over (no he didn’t think it would end so late either, but I think he has forgiven me now).

So we set off hotfoot for the medieval siege re-enactment otherwise known as the official campsite, which to a wet behind the ears kid from rural Suffolk was quite an eye-opener to say the least! Like most everyone else, we then made our way to the inner sanctum of Knebworth, once the fences were inevitably breached at stupid o’clock in the morning.The wait for that concert was excruciating. Taken as a whole, it really was a hopeless support bill compared with other Knebworth’s and made the waiting all the worse. Chas and Dave – hmm… The only diversion being to occasionally visit the “lavatory” to see if alien life forms had been discovered yet – luckily my friends and I were never stuck in a downwind

But like all huge gigs, the boredom and fatigue was soon forgotten as the excitement grew while the sun began to sink. Thanks to Todd Rundgren’s Utopia for waking us all up and, actually, putting on an excellent set majoring on their most recent album release Adventures in Utopia – Last Of The New Wave Riders being a standout track on the night.

Then, as they had apparently done at Bath many years before, Zeppelin arrived on stage at sunset – no-one who was there will ever forget that dramatic first chord of The Song Remains The Same . A supremely exciting moment.Of course, the done thing with nostalgia is to remember how marvelous it all was. In some ways it exceeded expectations; the almost biblical size of the crowd, the anticipation, the drama of the lasers during Jimmy’s violin solo, the sheer enormity of the return of Zeppelin to a stage.

And yet, for me, this show fell short of what I had hoped for musically. I suppose I expected, no, wanted, the bombastic pomp and flash that I so loved in the film, but of course much had happened in the years since the ’75 tour, not least to poor Robert. And Jimmy had his own now well documented set of problems too.

As a concert, Led Zeppelin at Knebworth 1979 was very much a work in progress. Like Dave Lewis, I remember the brand new In the Evening as “a song of hope” as Percy might say. But I think all of the established songs had been performed better in the past and the two years since the 1977 tour had certainly taken their toll.

Of course, as someone once said, Zeppelin at their worst is still better than most groups at their very best, so there was still lots to admire in a set of songs that had become the soundtrack to our lives back then.

The live DVD that came out in 1993 gave us all a very long awaited opportunity to reassess what we had witnessed in that field just outside Stevenage. The weird thing is that the years have been so kind to the performance, especially the outstanding Bonzo/JPJ rhythm section. It all stands up quite well now. Maybe it’s good editing or maybe, as I think is more likely,
the band could never meet the ridiculously high expectations we all had for their comeback.

As it turned out, Knebworth was the final high point in the Zeppelin story – at least until the 02 gig – so the significance of having been there has only grown with time. We were very lucky people. Best £7.50 I ever spent!Looking back now, we can see the true significance of this concert. The quality of the music was, in fact, secondary to the event itself. The whole
business of being there!

Like thousands of others, it was the only time I would see them. Those memories are carried by me everywhere. Memories of a simpler time – perhaps the last great concert of the rock era.


The late Howard Mylett

My memories of Knebworth are of initial disappointment because when I rang the Swan Song office to ask her if there would be any video screens for such a major show they
informed me there were no such plans. On the day I therefore had to try and position myself to avoid seeing an atom sized Led Zeppelin from what seemed a mile away.

I’d spent the night before sleeping in a friend’s estate car, something I’d never recommend to anyone .On the night the music thumped and thundered across the fields

My American visitor Mark Arevalo’s copy of the tape he’d made at the show was to be my souvenir of the event long after the day. Even with its accompanying ring pulls of lager and cries of ‘sit down’ for anyone daring to block the view. On the way home he placed the cassette in the car player and we were instantly transported back to the show. I loved ‘In The Evening and ‘Kashmir’, overall it was an overwhelming performance and one I would not have missed for the world. I managed to see Zeppelin’s scaled down trimmed back shows at Zurich and Brussels and it was a new and streamlined group – that introductory burst of ‘Train Kept A Rollin’ packed a punch and had us all thumping the air as we always used to as Zeppelin returned triumphantly again.

Text Copyright Dave Lewis/Tight But Loose Publishing 2011 – not to be reproduced without prior permission.


Robert Plant signs limited edition records to support British Red Cross work with refugees:

auction one

The iconic vocalist Robert Plant has signed eight limited edition records of The Long Road to raise funds for the British Red Cross.

The limited edition red vinyls will be added to the auction site eBay from 7pm on Thursday 4 August for members of the public to bid on. Proceeds raised from the sale will go towards supporting the British Red Cross’s work with refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.

The Long Road, a ground-breaking concept record created with world renowned artists including Robert Plant, Grammy Award-winning group Tinariwen and Kindness, was released earlier this year.

Robert Plant, recorded a version of Elbow track’s ‘The Blanket Of Night’, which tells the tale of refugees attempting a treacherous journey to attain asylum in Europe.

He said: “We have a worldwide international catastrophe – talking about it is one thing, doing something about it is another. The position we are in, it’s paramount we all do our best one way or another to help.”

The artists were moved to create the album by the personal stories and numbers of those displaced by violence and conflict around the world, which has now reached more than 65 million people. The record reflects the real-life experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and across the world.

The British Red Cross is the biggest service provider to refugees and asylum seekers in the UK, reaching out to more than 13,000 people every year, in 60 towns and cities.

To bid on a signed copy of The Long Road from 7pm on Thursday 4 August visit the British Red Cross eBay shop

For more information about the project please visit:

Watch Robert Plant talk about his contribution to The Long Road in this new YouTube video


LZ News:

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:

A new track from the upcoming “The Complete BBC Sessions” album has been released online. This version of “Communication Breakdown” comes from the 4 April, 1971 Paris theatre show.
•The plaintiff in the “Stairway To Heaven” case has appealed the verdict.

Robert Plant
Robert Plant performed in the Czech Republic, Austria, and Croatia. The setlists are below.
July 27: Czech Republic
The Lemon Song
Turn It Up
Black Dog
What Is and What Should Never Be
The Enchanter
Going to California
No Place to Go
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Little Maggie
Fixin’ to Die
Whole Lotta Love
Rock And Roll

July 28: Austria
Poor Howard
Turn It Up
What Is and What Should Never Be
Going to California
The Enchanter
No Quarter
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
No Place to Go / Dazed and Confused
Fixin’ to Die
Whole Lotta Love
Little Maggie
Rock And Roll

July 30: Croatia
Poor Howard
Turn It Up
What Is and What Should Never Be
Black Dog
Little Maggie
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
The Lemon Song
Fixin’ to Die
Whole Lotta Love
Rock And Roll
Going To California •The full, HD video of Robert Plant’s show in Florida on March 6 has been posted online.

Upcoming events:
August 2 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Germany.
August 3 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Switzerland.
August 5 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Wilderness Festival in the UK.
September 16 – “The Complete BBC Sessions” will be released.
October 8/9 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Festival of Disruption in Los Angeles.

The Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here:


New Jimmy Page Biography:

Maritn power book

This one from Chris Charlesworth’s Just backdated Blog:

JIMMY PAGE – The Day Jimmy Met Robert
For the last few days I have been attending to final proofs of the forthcoming book No Quarter: The Three Lives Of Jimmy Page by Martin Power that Omnibus Press will publish in September. The book is nearing completion, all 704 pages of it, and I have referred to it before on Just Backdated in a post about two instances of Page’s impressive – but largely unheralded – work as a session musician before he joined the Yardbirds and subsequently assembled Led Zeppelin.
The extract below focuses on the first time Page and singer Robert Plant spent any time in each other’s company. It is July of 1968. Alerted to Plant’s talent by Terry Reid, Page and Zeppelin manager Peter Grant visit Birmingham to see him sing with a group called Obbstweedle and, suitably impressed, Page invites Plant down to spend a three days with him at his house in Pangbourne.

A few days [after the Obstweedle gig in Birmingham], Robert Plant took up Jimmy’s invitation to visit him in Pangbourne, walking the last mile past elegant houses that bordered the River Thames, the bright blue summer sky reflected in its shimmering surface. The contrast with the noisy, crowded streets of Wolverhampton, with its traffic and multicultural mix of Indian, Pakistani and British families, was profound; this was Middle England at its most charmingly pastoral, the setting for Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men In A Boat, an idyll where geese sashayed across the water and garden birds twittered in the trees. This was a land where cows munched in fields and rabbits bustled in hedgerows as the endless river flowed gently past pubs with mock Tudor beams and names like The Swan or The Jolly Angler. Sadly, despite its verdant setting and chocolate box scenery, Pangbourne didn’t take well to hippies. Soon after Plant exited the train station, he was scolded by a pensioner about his scruffy appearance. “Desperation scene, man,” he later told writer Simon Godwin, “but I had nowhere else to go.”

Legend has it that Robert brought with him LPs by Robert Johnson, the Incredible String Band, Howlin’ Wolf and Joan Baez, the latter so as to make Jimmy aware of a traditional song he liked called ‘Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You’. Arriving at the house, his knock was answered by Jimmy’s girlfriend. “The door opened and suddenly I saw ‘America’,” he told Nigel Williamson of Uncut in 2005. “There was this beautiful woman clad in a 1920s shawl with the light behind her. She was very charming. Then Jimmy came back from somewhere and I realised that this guy had a lifestyle I could only imagine. He had quietness… a maturity. Then we sat down and talked about music.”

See more at


Top Ten Mick Jagger Rolling Stones Songs:

As compiled by yours truly – some great stuff on his one

He’s rock’s most durable frontman and he’s responsible for some of the finest songs ever made – here are Mick Jagger’s best Rolling Stones moments

As rock’s most durable front man, Mick Jagger has no equal. As a singer, Jagger has also constantly proved his worth adopting a variety of styles – encompassing rock, blues, soul and country. His diverse vocal delivery has been responsible for The Rolling Stones making some of the finest records ever made. Here are the ten best Mick Jagger Rolling Stones songs.

View the list at:


DL 60 at 60 Countdown:

I’ll have a catch up next week of my daily postings on Facebook of my favourite Albums, Singles and Gigs countdown – as my 60th birthday approaches. 31 days and counting.


DL Diary Blog Update:

venice this is the one to go up

Friday Treats at the Vinyl Barn…a couple of iconic 1950s items last Friday – Elvis Presley 1956 debut album, South African RCA Teal pressing original heavyweight vintage vinyl LP plus Frank Sinatra Songs For Swinging Lovers EP, Capitol/EMI UK pressing – very nice indeed –thanks Darren!

The lovely Lewis ladies are enjoying a much deserved few days away this week – here’s Sam and the good lady Janet on the cocktails in Venice…

With the Lewis ladies away, I took a trip over to Cambridge on Monday for a bit of record shopping. I visited the new Black Barn Records – this is the shop opened by Adrian Bayford who scooped 148 million on the Euromillions lottery.

It’s an impressive outlet stacked with LPs, singles and memorabilia – high value framed items adorn the walls and there’s a variety of Star Wars memorabilia. As for the records – some of the pricing is well high for the rare stuff but there are bargains to be had – and it stocks some wired and wonderful stuff – I got Zep 1 and Zep IV pressings from Venezuela and a Japanese pressing of Robert Plant’s Pictures at Eleven with obi plus a Pink Floyd Works import compilation. Well worth a visit if you are in the area – it’s near the Grafton Centre 15 Burleigh Street

Black barn one

At Black Barn Records on Monday – the original 1997 BBC Sessions vinyl set on offer at a hefty price – makes me feel good about the £80 I paid for one at the Olympia Fair a year or so back…


Now to a little story…


A Tale of a Black Barn Records bag…

You may recall my tale of a Record Collector bag – the one I foolishly left on a Reading train bound for Paddington – long story short, it ended up in Bristol and amazingly I got it back -thanks to the kindness of the GWR rail staff and Richard Grubb.

On Monday in Cambridge I pulled the same stunt…

After shopping in Back Beat Records I emerged triumphant with two bags. One of them had the Zep purchasers -the other the Pink Floyd Works album I had got plus a little treat I saw in the shop – this was a replica miniature Gibson Double Neck guitar -on offer for a tenner .I snapped it up, well pleased with myself as It can rest next to the Gibson Les Paul miniature my good friend Dec bought me a few years back.

I went and got a sandwich and eat it on a bench on the green putting the two bags beside me. Then I ventured into Cambridge city centre. it was after about five minutes when I realised I only had one bag… I had left one of them – the one with the replica guitar and Pink Floyd album by on the bench.


How could I have been so careless – AGAIN!

I sprinted back to the green and to the bench I was sat on – a guy was sitting there with some bags and for one minute I thought one of them was the bag I left.

It was not…

I asked him if he had seen a bag  – ”Yes” he replied ”A lady took it with her – she said she was going to take it to the police station”

My mind reeled – was she just saying that? Was she a Page and Pink Floyd fan and had stumbled on a right result?

Where’s the police station?!

I quickly got directions and luckily it was not too far away  – on I sprinted towards the police station. Once near I looked for the reception area..and there outside was a sweet elderly lady with her husband holding… my Black Barn Records bag!

back barn one

I quickly explained this was the bag I had left on the bench and showed here the one I already had.

”Oh I am so glad I found it” She said   – going onto explain that the only reason she had not handed in at that point is because the building had to be cleared due to a fire alarm.

I thanked the lady profusely for her kindness

For the second time I had been very lucky to get my mislaid items back.

One is careless – twice was plain stupid

On both occasions human kindness won the day for me and proved very heart warming

Whenever I will glance at my now prized possession of the Gibson Double neck miniature guitar – I will think of that lady’s kindness..

These experiences though rather stressful have proved that the world is still full of very nice people..

And I really do need to get my act together when it comes to carrying more than one bag…


Elsewhere there’s been work on various TBL projects – a skype catch up with Mike T re the Evenings With book is on the agenda later today.

I  watched two very moving events on TV – on Friday the David Bowie Proms tribute moved me to tears – the re-workings of his songs were so touchingly done.

The next afternoon Radio Five’s re telling of the England v West Germany World Cup Final success – 50 years to the day it occurred was brilliantly done – when the late great Bobby Moore’s daughter came on to speak some words of her late father that really did set me off -and Bobby Charlton’s’ presence was equally as moving.

Heroes… and not just for one day but  for the last 50 years and now beyond…

Which brings us nicely to the heroes of 37 years ago..

brick lane one

It’s been great to wallow in the Knebworth nostalgia as we do every year at this time. Yesterday I met with Gary Foy in London – at Spitalfields Market there were a few old NME’s on sale and it was rather fitting that the NME for August 4 1979 with Jimmy on the cover was one of them – of course I had to take that one away with me.

We also had a look around Brick Lane and the sign that said ”1,000’s Vinyl – Only £1” was like bees to a honey pot…so it was off to the rather excellent basement market record stall where yet more goodies were snapped up including a Honeydrippers Vol One all for a quid – Gary beat me to a rather nice In Through The Out Door Greek pressing – but hey, I think I’ve had a fair haul this week – and with the ladies due back tonight, there’s only so much you can keep hidden!

On the player – plenty of Knebworth naturally …and The Beatles Revolver…

Ah yes Revolver, released 50 years ago on Friday August 5.  Now what a week that was – England win the World Cup on Saturday and Revolver is released on the following Friday – they never had it so good!

It’s a great album – the last of what I would term The Beatles black and white albums – and not just because it is housed in the stark black and white cover – when they returned some ten months later with Sgt Pepper , The Beatles world switched to glorious technicolour.

Revolver is full of superbly crafted songs – Good Day Sunshine, For No One, Taxman, She Said, She Siad , etc etc – they were right on their game and it still sounds so fresh and vital. As TBL contributor Krys Jantzen  eloquently noted  ”Have 14 stories ever been told more gloriously in 34 min and 43 sec of black vinyl?

Play it today and you may well agree…


The boy now man Adam reaches the grand age of 21 on Tuesday .

Back in 1995, with impeccable timing he entered the world 13 days after his Dad had spent a nervy previous month running around the country following the Page & Plant UK tour -hoping history would not repeat itself in an early arrival as Sam had made five years before.
It’s amazing to think he is now nearly the age when I was when I was in that that field in Stevenage for the come back of Led Zeppelin.

Happy 21st Birthday Adam James Trevor Lewis!

Dave Lewis – August 5, 2016


Until next time…have a great weekend

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – August 5, 2016.

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  • Ian D said:

    How can Revolver be 50 years old? My fav fab four album cycles with my mood but Revolver is a constant top 3. One of Macca’s very finest in Here There and Everywhere, George getting his highest song quota, Lennon still mining a golden seam, and pushing the boundaries with Tomorrow Never Knows, and Ringo gets an A side. Pretty much the perfect pop album, and none of it played live on the final US tour.

    50 years or 5 days, great music is timeless and here to be celebrated

  • Bob Flux said:

    Wasn’t Norman Hale – he of the infamous “Jersey Jam” – one of the support acts at Greater Kneb, too? I heard that he blew the crowd away with a nice cover of “Rockin’ Robin”.

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