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1 February 2013 6,060 views 11 Comments

Led Zeppelin To Receive International Lifetime Achievement Award At Germany’s ECHO Awards

In the latest of a long line of accolades, Led Zeppelin will receive the inaugural International Lifetime Achievement Award, at the ECHO awards in Berlin, Germany on March 21st. Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones will accept the award on behalf of the band. Unfortunately, Robert Plant is unable to attend due to a pre-existing concert on the same night in Singapore.

Deborah Bonham  Exclusive TBL Interview:

Photo Tony Terot.

Deborah Bonham has her first album in five years ready for release in March and a string of tour dates lined up for the Spring. There’s an exclusive interview with Deb in the forthcoming TBL in which she talks about the making of the excellent Spirit album and her thoughts on the recent Led Zep Celebration Day/Kennedy Honors activity.

Here’s some excerpts:

DL: First of all how – how are you following your fall? (Deb suffered a broken eye socket following a fall late last year)

DB: I’m still getting physio but I am on the mend for sure. I had some tests to make sure my eyes are working properly, they are amazed how well I’ve done actually. Luckily there was no brain bleed or anything. It could have been much worse. It’s been a rough time but I’m singing again. It hasn’t affected my voice., I’ve had to let Pete do the horse and dogs and he’s been great. I’ve had some lovely get well messages from so many people.

DL: How did Band Of Joy drummer Marco Giovini get to play on the new ?

DB:Well, when Robert played Birmingham back in 2010 I took my Mum along and we had such a lovely night. Robert’s drummer Marco Giovino had said he wanted  to meet and I thought ‘great.’ So, backstage Robert was fantastic. My mum held court telling all these stories of when Robert and John were young. Marco and I got talking and he said he really loved the Duchess album and he agreed to play on the album and he was fantastic.

Marco emailed me and we booked the studio for Feb 19. We were all set to go then sadly my mum passed away and it sort of went out of the window. But at the funeral Robert said to me ‘’Don’t cancel” because Marco was due to arrive in two days time, “Your mum would want you to do it.” I thought about it and Pete said “Robert’s right” so we started as we had agreed on Feb 19th. Marco arrived – he was devastated about my mum of course – but we got into the studio and it just worked.

DL: There’s a bit of a country feel to some of the tracks notably the single Take Me Down – where did that inspiration come from?

 DB: Actually that song I wrote years and years ago. It’s a very old song from when I first did my demos at Robert’s place. Jason used to help out after school. That led to my first album but the record company took over really and I had little input. Then I sort of went more into rock which is really difficult because I’m not really a rock singer. I like rock, I love blues, I like country and I like folk so I’ve developed all those styles and brought that all together for this record, and Marco gives it a lilt with his drumming. I knew that he was going to be perfect because I wanted it to be different to the other records. It’s turned out exactly as I wanted it to.

DL: The video for the Take Me Down single has a lovely feel good vibe about it –where was it filmed?

DB: That was a bit of fun really. It was done very cheaply as a promo thing as we had been recording the album. We were looking at who to put this album out with and the record industry is not what it was, of course. Anyway, we did a deal with INgrooves/Fontana for the distribution, so we did that video just to test the water really. Since then we’ve actually been offered a great record deal with Universal Nashville which I am thrilled about, and it’s that song in particular they really like, so the video succeeded in getting us seen again.

 DL: Tell me how Robert got to appear on one track?

 DB: He plays harmonica on the track What It Feels. He did it in Austin. It’s a total thrill that Robert did that. Marco initially asked him and then I spoke to Robert and he said he’d love to do it. I was just knocked out when I heard. It’s got that Nobody’s Fault But Mine feel – you can notice it as soon as it comes in, and you know it’s Robert. It’s so cool the way he played it right off the wall. When it came back I was jumping around the studio screaming – we were so excited. To have that is fantastic, that’s just made it for me that he’s playing on the album.

 DL: You have your charity gig with Paul Rodgers coming up in Chichester on March 30th.

 DB: Yes we are really excited about it. Paul and his wife are so generous with this. For Pete it’s really special, as his hero is Paul Kossoff. In fact I’ve got to say my band were sensational with Paul last time. I stood in the audience and watched, just screaming. They are so good and for Pete, well, it’s a dream come true to be doing Free numbers with Paul. Getting the chance to do it again is fantastic. It’s all going to a great cause, every single penny goes to the Willows Animal Sanctuary. We’ve also got Paul’s son Steve on tour with us and he is really fantastic too.

DL: You must have also been very proud, as we all were, when Led Zeppelin were awarded the accolade of the Kennedy Center Honors recently.

 DB: Yes, it’s a shame we could not go over there. I put all the photos of John together for the Kennedy Center and they sent me the book and everything, which was very nice of them. Stairway was just fantastic. I am a big Heart fan, I love the early stuff like the Little Queen album. To go out there when you’ve got Robert and Jimmy and Jonesy sat watching… and you are going to play that song… well, that’s a tall order. But Anne and Nancy absolutely nailed it and they had Jason on drums and the guitarist was excellent too, he did it so sympathetically. And then the bowler hats, what a moment, oh my god!

They don’t do posthumous awards so they could not award John one of the medals, which is a bit sad, but that’s how it’s always been. But just to see the other three guys… I was looking at the President’s speech and thinking about that little boy John Henry Bonham bashing all those pots back home. Who would have known it would have come to this with Led Zeppelin honoured at the White House… it was a very proud moment.

 DL: Final thoughts as we enter a new year?

DB: I’m feeling really positive and excited, and I’m really glad Universal are getting behind the album in America. I’d love to tour the States  and of course I am looking forward to seeing everyone on the forthcoming UK tour.

Deborah’s single Take me Down is currently  No 1 on the Reverbnation UK weekly Rock chart.

For tour details and album info, visit

The complete interview with Deborah Bonham is one of the many highlights of the forthcoming TBL issue 34.

Pre order now –selling fast

Here’s the Take Me Down video…

DL Diary Update:

25 years ago this weekend on the afternoon of February 3rd 1988, Gary Foy uttered the immortal words to me “Are You Dave Lewis?”

The place was the famous Marquee Club when it was at 90 Wardour Street. The occasion Robert Plant’s Now And Zen press gig . Had I lied and said ”No that’s not me mate”‘, well fate would have dictated many things. Not least the fact that our respective bank balances would have been more intact over the years and we might have had a whole lot less hangovers!

As it was, the result of that first meet led on to many things, not least GF’s marriage to the good lady Carol (and indeed a son in Jimmy) a relationship borne out of a subsequent TBL meet up before a Robert Plant gig at Brixton in 1993.

The celebrated boy Foy has been a constant companion and inspiration on many a Zep related sketch since that day in 1988. His duties as integral member of the TBL crew have included everything from clearing up the vomit of a renowned Led Zep roadie, buying three fan belts to fix his car on our way back from a Plant gig in Warwick, wearing a silly Turkish hat at a time of particular stress for the TBL editor in Istanbul, giving me a rib crunching bear hug when Jimmy and Robert struck up Wearing And Tearing at Knebworth in 1990 – to name but a few of many hilarious/perilous encounters we have shared all in the name of Led Zep.

In all seriousness, his contribution to keeping this website and the TBL magazine on track is and has been immense.

The fact that I answered ‘’Yes that’s me’’ to his question on that fateful afternoon in the Marquee has led to a friendship graced with immeasurable generosity and loyalty on his part that has considerably enriched my life and enjoyment of this thing that first bound us together.

So tomorrow, in advance of Gary’s 50th birthday next Saturday (Feb 9th), we are going to meet in London for a belated TBL Christmas drink, 25th anniversary reunion meet and 50th birthday prelude.

Beers will be drunk, a curry consummed and many a memory recalled and a few record shops visited (if we can find them!). And we will walks down that landmark of 90 Wardour Street (the Marquee has of course long been gone) and recall that day of a quarter of a century ago and have a wry old smile.

I have great affection for that Now And Zen period – in fact the Robert Plant Leicester University gig of January 23rd is one of my all time great gigs – it was the first time I witnessed him performing Led Zeppelin material and the effect at the time was simply astonishing.  The Marquee was also a superb night – I particularly recall an inspired romp through The Doors Break On Through. Gary and I went on to see the shows in Warwick and London in the spring which culminated in Jimmy’s appearance on the Hammersmith Odeon –another golden memory.

25 years gone… paraphrase Robert’s words at Earls Court “It’s been a lifetime and yet a second”



February is upon us and there’s a lot to do. Here’s the usual mantra for this first day of Feb:

‘’January is a 31 day hangover but February brings lambs, daffodils and the air fills with a magical quickening that tells you spring is on the way.
February is short so whatever you’re trying to stretch, whether it’s your salary, your calorie intake or your booze units, February’s unique compactness helps you spread it just that little bit thicker. A good enough reason to raise a glass”.

I’ll drink to that little notion

Busy here with the imminent arrival of TBL 34 – more on that soon and I’m currently ensconced in the world of Houses Of The Holy, which is of course no bad place to be as I get down to collating and writing a feature celebrating the 40th anniversary of the iconic fifth Led Zep album – I need to sign this off for early Feb so it’s full on…and what a great period that was too. Subsequently the playlist here has been full of that era including the remarkable Seattle June 19th 1972 show, How the West Was Won and the January 22nd Southampton University soundboard.

Above: The Houses of The Holy research commences…

I really should have sorted out something to go and see the Family reunion shows at Shepherds Bush this weekend (Hiroshi have a great time!) but it’s just been too busy. Hope they fit some more shows in. I will try and catch BBC4s Ravi Shanker documentary and the Concert For Bangla Desh feature tonight –I brought that three LP box set the day it came out back in 1972 –in fact I still have it and it’s a fantastic live record of that event in August 1971 with George, Ravi,  Ringo, Bob and many friends

Finally…some completely indulgent Robert Plant 1988 nostalgia…it was these sort of performances that formed the ties that bind between the boy Foy and me….oh what fun we had back in the day when we all had considerably more hair…well I did!

Take it on boys…

In The Evening Toronto

Break on Through Toronoto 88

Have a great weekend…..

until next time

Keep listening, keep reading…

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy

February 1st 2013.

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  • Jodeo said:

    Thanks for sharing the memories, Dave. I recall a drought after Shaken N Stirred was released in ’85. When I first heard Heaven Knows in my college dorm room in Searcy, Arkansas, I was blown away at the richness of the mix and the depth, whereas Plant’s first two solo outings had mixes that were rather flat. And then the mention by the DJ that it was Pagey on the guitar – our jaws hit the floor!

    Now and Zen was a key piece of the soundtrack to my college days and I have great affection for it. The Way I Feel is perhaps my favorite track (and Plant performed it once, apparently, in Toronto – but I haven’t heard it or seen a video). It was sad to see Robbie Blunt and Jezz Woodruff leave, but Now and Zen was truly a remarkably enjoyable record.

  • Graham Rodger said:

    HEADS UP. Eddie Kramer was talking to Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie on BBC 6 Music this afternoon. I missed the show but you can listen again on the BBC iPlayer.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Actually they were from C and A’s!

  • paul aspey said:

    Had you and Gary just bought those old school blazers from the graffiti shop , A pair of proper dandies

  • Rob Whitmarsh said:

    Got to love your opening picture at he the Hammersmith premiere. Jonesey is dancing an Irish jig, and Jimmy’s trying his hardest to keep a straight face.

  • Hiroshi said:

    Although not touted as highly as the Cream and Led Zeppelin reunions, for those who gathered at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire on the 1st and 2nd of February, Family’s playing together for the first time in forty years was no less magical, emotional and memorable. Another Celebration Day indeed. Not one but two, to be correct.

    Long live Family!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks for great comments!

    Did not know you were at Leicester mate! Gary and I do recall you outside the Astoria!

  • Shaun Flanagan said:

    Great stuff as usual Dave! Looking forward to my new TBL dropping in through the front door very soon!
    I’ve recently been to New York and i too couldn’t let the opportunity to visit St.Marks Place in the East Village pass me by! So i stood in the very same spot where,all those years ago,the photographer took that iconic album cover photo. It was quite an awesome feeling actually and,if i can fathom out how to,i’ll show you my humble results!! The shop in the basement is now called ‘PHYSICAL GRAFFITEA’ and is a cafe! Meanwhile,to all the TBL crew,keep up the great work and superb quality that never fails to impress,inform and entertain!!!

  • Mark Harrison said:

    Well Dave amongst other things I have to say I didn’t know that you were at Leicester Uni on that tour! I was there as well!! I vividly remember that tour taking in many shows – seems like yesterday!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Andre many thanks to your for all your enthusiasm and support!

  • André Cruz said:

    What a zep experts double ! Thank you again and again for everything you did and have been doing for the zep fans around the world ! Long Live TBL, Lewis and Foy !!!

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