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30 October 2019 1,224 views 2 Comments

Led Zeppelin CAT Club 50th anniversary Led Zeppelin II event at the Tap & Barrel Pontefract:

Last Tuesday I travelled up to Ponterfract to present the Led Zeppelin II 50th anniversary celebration at the CAT Club at the excellent Tap & Barrel pub.

On the night it was a great turn out and what I can say – listening to Led Zeppelin II on record uninterrupted in like-minded company was like hearing it for the first time all over again. Side One – from the cough and riff entry of Whole Lotta Love through to the final organ refrain of Thank You –and then Side Two and the entry of that angular Heartbreaker riff through to the last harmonica gasp of Bring It On Home – 42 minutes of aural excellence.

We sat in stunned silence marvelling at the energy, the invention, the startling musicianship. As I sat listening intensely it prompted an endless stream of memories these songs have inspired over the past 50 years. Hearing it afresh in this way, well my appreciation of this album has increased manifold – it really is right up there with their finest recorded statements.

Many thanks to everyone who made me feel so welcome – to Chris Madden for conducting the Q and A and the irrepressible Kevin ‘Rev’ Reynolds and Dean for staging it all.

As the late great Ahmet Ertegun put it ‘’It’s a great life – this life of music’’. Last Tuesday night’s Led Zeppelin II experience at the CAT Club was a testament to that statement – and then some….
Dave Lewis – October 23, 2019

Pics here by Tony Walsh with Rev and Chris


At the Led Zep II CAT club event at the Tap & Barrel last week, It was great to catch up with long time TBL supporter Gary Holroyd for the first time in many years -photo here by Tony Walsh. We fondly remembered the TBL pub meet before the amazing Page & Plant Sheffield gig in 1995. The CAT Club (Classic Album Thursdays) hold regular album playback events – they are well recommended –it’s a great venue – more details here:

Led Zeppelin II Survey:

While at the CAT Club event I conducted a survey amongst those in attendance to determine their favourite Led Zeppelin II track.

The top three lined up as follows:

1: Ramble On

2: Whole Lotta Love

3: Bring it On Home

All in all, it was a fantastic night and a fitting testament to the lasting affection fans have for the second Led Zeppelin album on its 50th anniversary.

Dave Lewis, October 24,2019




Friday 25th & Saturday 26th September 2020

The Official

International John Bonham A Celebration II


 Organised by John Bonham Memorial Friends in partnership with Palace Drum Clinic, and in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust West Midlands, John Bonham A Celebration II marks the 40th anniversary of the untimely passing of John Henry Bonham on 25th September 1980. He was just 32 years old.

The two –day, up-scaled event is intended to be more inclusive for both local residents and fans that have travelled to Redditch from around the UK and overseas, and provide an economic boost for the town’s hospitality and retail businesses.

The inaugural festival in September 2018, celebrating the Led Zeppelin drummer’s 70th Birthday and the installation of a bronze memorial in the heart of the town centre, attracted fans from around the world, including the US, Mexico, Australia, France, Italy, Ireland, and from all over the UK.

“The line-up will be revealed over the next few weeks along with other special announcements!” says Ros Sidaway, Event Director. “Fans of Led Zeppelin and rock- blues music will not want to miss out on what will be another terrific occasion”

Tickets are due to go on sale mid-November.

Meanwhile, businesses interested in sponsoring the 2020 event should contact Ros Sidaway on 07887 525107 or email


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.

Upcoming events:

November 22 – The “Play It Loud: Instruments Of Rock And Roll” exhibition will move to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
December – Jimmy Page’s new book, “Jimmy Page: The Anthology,” will be released.
December 9 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Devon, UK.
December 10 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Salisbury, UK.
December 11 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Bristol, UK and a guitar signed by Plant and Jimmy Page will be auctioned.
December 13 – Robert Plant’s vinyl singles box set “Digging Deep” will be released.
December 16 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Lancashire, UK.
December 17 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Blackpool, UK.
December 19 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Powys, Wales.
December 20 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Stourbridge, UK.
December 22 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Birmingham, UK.
March 26-29, 2020 – John Paul Jones will perform as Sons Of Chipotle at the Big Ears music festival in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Many thanks to James Cook.

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


Robert Plant Digging Deep latest podcast:

The latest Robert Plant podcast features Robert talking about The Battle Of Evermore…here’s the link-


Paul Barrere RIP:

It was very sad to hear the passing of longtime Little Feat guitarist Paul Barrere aged 71. Paul contributed to many great Little Feat records my particular favourite being The Last Record Album in 1975. RIP



The Song Remains The Same Soundtrack at 43:

43 years ago,on the afternoon of Thursday October 21 1976, I anxiously tore open the box marked Warner/ Elektra/ Atlantic Records at the WH Smith record shop where I worked to reveal for the first time the gatefold sleeve of, as the label spine gloriously put it ‘’The Soundtrack To The Film The Song Remains The Same‘’.

Yes the only official live album released during the band’s life time is 43 years old.
I have much affection for that original double live album – it captures a certain era of innocence when we knew a lot less about the actual construction of such things and just enjoyed it for what it as – four sides of live Zep to accompany the release of their long awaited film The Song Remains The Same. Whilst the on stage experimentation of their 1972 US tour had levelled out, these New York ‘73 concerts a year later capture all the swagger and verve of a band in the throes of conquering the world.

In those innocent days I was completely immune to any criticism of the boy’s work. I was therefore absolutely incensed with Nick Kent’s less than complimentary review of the film in the  NME. So much so that I wrote a letter to the paper the next week pointing out an inaccuracy on his part. This was duly printed – I used the pseudonym ‘Ace Wallbanger’, a reference to the soccer team I played in, the infamous and much feared in a keystone cops sort of way Wallbangers FC. Years later when I interviewed Nick we both had a good laugh over this.


Left: Angry Ace Wallbanger of Bedford has the right of reply…

Thanks to the esteemed Eddie Edwards we now know a whole lot more of how the live set was assembled via Eddie’s amazing Garden Tapes analysis.
of a few years back

See link at
I know Eddie was far from happy with the revised version of the album that was issued in 2007. It cooked up a lot healthy debate at the time.

I was actually ok with Kevin Shirley’s 2007 mix .He kept the excitable crowd reaction high in the mix which adds a real ‘right there’ front row authenticity heard to great effect on the opening blast of Rock And Roll, Celebration Day and Black Dog. In extending the original double album, the six previously unreleased performances included a very fluent Over The Hills And Far Away, the riotous The Ocean and of course it finally gave a home to the brilliantly sublime recording of Since I’ve Been Loving You –always a stand out performance in the film and one of their best ever live moments.

I’ll be playing  through both versions of the album over the coming days –and there is much to admire. Pull them out yourselves for a nostalgic blast of prime era Zep on this 43rd anniversary.



It was 45 years ago this week…my music retail journey commenced..

It was 45 years ago today…

45 years ago today on Monday October 28th 1974, aged 18, I commenced working at WH Smith at 86 High Street Bedford as a record department sales assistant. Thus began a career in music and entertainment retailing that would span the next 35 years.

I had left school at 15 and worked in the stock room at British Home Stores which I enjoyed – but music was the passion – I really wanted a job like my very good friend Phil Harris who worked in the local Carlow’s record shop. When the opportunity came up in Smiths I got right in there – and soon found my niche – selling records, talking about records – it was a dream job…From 1974 to 2009 I loved every minute of it. 11 years at WH Smith (where I met and married the good lady Janet!) ,17 managing the Our Price/V Shop store in Bedford and another 7 managing areas of the Virgin Megastore/Zavvi in Milton Keynes

Throughout that period I witnessed countless changes in the industry –from LP to 8 track and cassette and onto VHS video, the CD and DVD revolution and into widespread entertainment and lifestyle retailing that took in Games and mobile phones. Had it all not gone pear in early 2009 with the collapse of Zavvi, I would still probably be doing the job today…but it was not to be…

During that retail era, I had the pleasure of working with many amazing people, many of whom I am still in touch with today. Hello Robert Titley,Hayley Martin, Robert Owen Jones,David Brett,Pam Broom,Jason Foster, Dave Crane, Chris Eden, Matt Ricketts, Ian Webster to name but a few.

I count myself a very lucky man to have worked with so many great people and met so many great people in sharing this wonderful passion over so many years – something that goes on in my life every single day.

Indeed, my ongoing passion for music and record collecting is shared by many valued friends including Pete Burridge,Phil Harris,Steve Livesley,Mat Roberts,Darren Harte,Dec Hickey,Adam Tidd, Alan Stutz, Barry Farnsworth, Lee Abrahams,Michael Herd,Kevin Bailey Alan Sewell,Jerry Bloom, Tom Locke, Jenny Fisk- again to name but a few. Not to mention the many Facebook friends who regularly share my musings and readers of the TBL website postings.

The Zep writing and TBL mag had always been my other job, so after a brief spell at Borders (2 weeks!) when I realised the retail game was up, I established the TBL publishing business and freelance journalist role and it’s been ever onward since then. Being self-employed is a whole different ball game of course and I do miss the camaraderie of the shop atmosphere – because boy, did we have some fun.

It does seem something of a bygone era and with the TBL books and magazines, I now have a whole different set of challenges – although fundamentally it’s still about providing the products that people desire (in the latest case the recent biggest ever 64 page TBL issue 45) – just as it was when I sold my first record (which incidentally was How Long by Ace) in WH Smith’s record department in Bedford all of 45 years ago.

I’m incredibly proud of my publishing output during the past decade – in particular last year’s Evenings With Led Zeppelin book co-authored by Mike Tremaglio and brilliantly designed by TBL designer Mick Lowe at StudioMix.

The pic here was taken in November 1983 in WH Smith – me aged 26 (just two years older than my son Adam is now!) The book on the counter is my first ever book publication Led Zeppelin The Final Acclaim and I’d say that’s a 12 inch single of Robert Plant’s In The Mood. Led Zep and related artists were never far away from the counter during those wonderful music retail years…and that music retail journey commenced 45 years ago today…

Dave Lewis, October 28,2019

It was 20 years Ago:

20  years ago on the afternoon of Sunday October 31st 1999, I found myself travelling in a taxi across the Leicestershire countryside seemingly lost. This was not a good situation as the prospect of seeing Robert Plant, who was performing in a tent in the vicinity in the next half hour was fast disappearing.


Earlier I had met the enigmatic and legendary Leicester based musician Kevin Hewick who was leading me with all good intentions on this wild goose chase(Hi Kevin!). He had heard that Robert and The Priory Of Brion were booked for an appearance at the Ashby Del La Zouch Folk Festival in a tent in Moira near Leicester. It sounded the perfect way to spend a Halloween afternoon.

This was an era when if Robert Plant was playing a gig, I would move heaven and earth to be there.

However our taxi driver host was finding said location very hard to locate. Where were sat navs when we needed them, or for that matter mobile phones?!

Anyway, thankfully it all came good – we found the venue and the tent with about fifteen minutes to spare…and on a pleasant Sunday afternoon Robert duly delivered one of the most captivating gigs I’ve ever seen. Witty, relaxed, reflective and singing with passion and verve the songs that as he put it, he’d had stored in his back pocket.

Robert Plant in a tent on a Sunday afternoon….whatever next? How about Robert Plant on a Saturday night in a pub lounge bar because bizarrely that’s what was in store two weeks later when we saw him play at the Red Lion in Birmingham .

The Ashby Del la Zouch and Red Lion shows remain right up there in my all time best gig going experiences.

Dave Lewis, October 31,2019


Dave Lewis Diary Blog Update:

Friday treats at the Vinyl Barn – at the always excellent Vinyl Barn last Friday I was well pleased to find a copy of Greg Lake’s 1981 solo album featuring the late Gary Moore on guitar and Ted McKenna on drums. Top stuff – – Thanks Darren !

VIP Music Mania Fair DL Acquisitions 1:

A couple of bargain Rolling Stones beauties purchased at the excellent VIP Music Mania Fair last Saturday:

Their Satanic Majesties Request – lavish fold out numbered box set with 3D sleeve Mono and Stereo LPs and CDs plus booklet – superb!

Honk –The Very Best of The Rolling Stones 4 LP set released earlier this year

Brand new copies – £15 each? I’ll take ‘em!

VIP Music Mania Fair – DL acquisitions 2:

I am a big collector of Beatles cover versions –particularly the latter era, so last Saturday I was well pleased to find this cover of The Beatles White Album track Goodnight by our very own forces sweetheart Vera Lynn, released in 1969.

The B side is a version of Fool On The Hill – both are authentic fine renditions. This copy is a demo on the Columbia label. What strikes me about this this single, is that however far out the Beatles career meandered, they were always ripe for a cover version by the more conventional artists of the day…and Vera did them proud with this one…

Trivia note: The arranger of this single was Zack Lawrence who recorded for the DJM label and scored a big UK hit in 1970 with Groovin’ With Mr Bloe under the name Mr Bloe. The producer Stephen James is the son of the late music publisher Dick James and was involved in launching Elton john’s career.


I have a new device to which to play records on – strictly retro of course…

It’s a vintage Dansette record player from the early 60s – this came my way recently via Darren Harte at the Vinyl Barn and it’s a beauty.
Complete with auto manual switch that drops the record on to the turntable – you cannot get more authentic than this.

For playing vintage original 45RPm records it’s absolutely perfect – and I have a lot of them to play. This is how records back then were made to sound – strictly mono. I’ve been testing it out with a variety of 1960s/70s classics – I can tell you that the likes of The Beatles’ Lady Madonna, The Rolling Stones’ Jumpin’ Jack Flash, The Who’s Substitute, Bob Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone, Small Faces Tin Soldier etc sound uniquely fresh and wonderfully nostalgic – as like I say, this is how they sounded when record players of this type ruled…

As a compliment to my LP records and CD’s played on my Denon turntable this Dansette device is going to provide the perfect outlet for that original 45 RPM experience…let the stylus hit the needle as it’s doing here for Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love….a top five US hit nearly 50 years ago…
45 RPM magic…

The newly acquired vintage Dansette record player via Darren Harte and 45 RPM selected playlist….

November is nigh on upon us and there’s a lot to do with more work on the latest project and TBL 46…more on all this as it unfolds.

Dave Lewis  –  October 30, 2019

Until next time –  have a great  weekend…

TBL Website updates compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy and James Cook

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  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Pete – that was some afternoon!

  • Pete leigh said:

    Dave, I too was there in that tent in Moira.a great experience. I managed to slip out as everyone was clapping for an encore and caught the great man getting in his car.a hand shake later and he was off into the night.

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