Email This Post Email This Post
Home » Dave Lewis Diary, Featured, TBL News


10 October 2013 20,629 views One Comment

lyceum 69


Robert Plant is on Wednesday’s  (October 16th) Radcliffe and Maconie’s BBC 6 music show from 1pm

Joining Mark and Stuart on Wednesday’s show, Led Zeppelin lead singer and all-round legend Robert Plant. He chats live about his new tour and album with The Sensational Space Shifters.

Here’s the link to the excellent very relaxed Robert Plant interview with the always entertaining Danny Baker…

Above is the very rare flyer from the Cliff Hilliard collection for Led Zeppelin’s  October 12th concert at London’s Lyceum back in 1969…

So this is another milestone anniversary as it’s nigh on 44 years to the day they played what at the time, was their most prestigious London gig to date. It also marked the last time the band performed this set in the UK – by the time of their next London date – the famous January 9th 1970 Royal Albert Hall show – their set would be overhauled.

Here’s how it all lined up on that October Sunday night via research from Mike Tremaglio:




Setlist (from 60 minute audience recording):

Good Times Bad Times Intro/ Communication Breakdown, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Heartbreaker, You Shook Me, What is and What Should Never Be, Dazed and Confused, How Many More Times Medley (incl. Boogie Chillun’)

Support from Frosty Moses and Audience.

The Lyceum show was the start of a series of Sunday night showcases, presented by promoter Tony Stratton-Smith. The original idea is for the headlining act to present an entire album in concert. They  declined that idea and only two numbers from the new album were subsequently premièred.

According to New Musical Express , promoter Tony Stratton-Smith was lining up a year-long series of concerts for Sunday evenings at the Lyceum.  The intention for the series was to have two star attractions plus an up-and-coming act.  Stratton-Smith mentioned that he wanted “to create the British equivalent of New York’s Fillmore East, with a free and easy atmosphere and a sense of community.”  The “Crab Nebula” light show accompanied the concert performers (in the spirit of the Fillmore East’s “Joshua” light show.   The concert was a 2,000 capacity sell out and the group were paid what is thought to be the highest fee for a one night performance in the that point. The deal with Stratton-Smith was for Led Zeppelin to receive the fee in cash the next day.

Nick Logan in New Musical Express reported: “It’s a pity that with such a large audience present, Led Zeppelin should turn in one of their less inspiring performances. Having seen them at both the Marquee and the Albert Hall it seems the larger the venue the better it suits the Zeppelin’s overpowering sound, although the Lyceum audience responded enthusiastically to everything they did. It was mainly the now familiar opening to their act – ‘Communication Breakdown’ etc. that suffered. Robert Plant’s voice being drowned by the sheer volume of sound. Jimmy Page’s guitar solo midway through was deservedly well received and when the group came in again on ‘You Shook Me’ and ‘What Is And What Should Never Be’ there was something of an improvement.”

Freddie Mercury, Queen’s legendary front man and Lyceum concert attendee, was a little bit more enthusiastic. In a letter mailed to his friend Celine Daly, Freddie wrote: “Just heard Zeppelin II LP and it’s a knockout.  Saw them at the Lyceum and they were really great.”  At the time, Mercury was still in his original band called “Ibex,” who included a cover version of Communication Breakdown in their setlist (as evidenced by a 9/9/69 bootleg recording).

 Bootleg CD References:

Ballroom Blitz (World Productions)

The Lyceum Ballroom U.K. 10/12/69 (Totonka)

Lyceum (Cobla Standard)

Triumphant UK Return (Empress Valley)


Led Zeppelin III  45th Anniversary TBL Archive Special Part Two:

In this second part of the TBL archive feature celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Led Zeppelin III album, the rehearsal tapes, related bootlegs and sleeve design come under the spotlight. 


In the early 1980s a series of Zeppelin rehearsal tapes began circulating on various bootleg CD’s. These tapes contained material prepared for their third and fourth albums plus Physical Graffiti, Presence and In Through The Out Door. Rumoured  to have been sourced from Page’s own archive, they offered key insight into the way the band developed ideas from initial rehearsals to studio perfection. The extracts form from the Led Zeppelin III era were drawn from rehearsal sessions at Headley Grange and possibly the Bron Yr- Aur cottage itself.

The tapes included the following:

An initial acoustic attempt at The Rover. This has Page running through the basic instrumental chord structure of a song later to be electrified for the Stargroves sessions in 1972. There’s a primitive run through Poor Tom subsequently left off Zep III  but later to emerge on Coda. It’s performed in a bluesy jug band arrangement and skips along at a faster pace than the official Olympic Studio take. “That’s about it,” exclaims Plant at the finish.

Another sequence features Page and Plant wading through five takes of That’s The Way. Take one is similar in feel to Poor Tom with ad-libbed unfinished lyrics. Take two is an incomplete extract, this time with more familiar lyrical content. Take three commences with the fade out refrain guitar coda used on the finished version. To add to the location atmosphere, a dog can be clearly heard barking in the background. For take five, Jimmy’s refrain guitar coda is now slotted between each verse. This arrangement is taken at a faster tempo and Robert sings the choruses slightly differently. Listening to these embryonic versions of one of the most successful cuts on the third album perfectly illustrates the transitional process that many of Led Zeppelin’s songs underwent during rehearsal.

A brief extract of Friends has Bonham on bongos and backing vocals from possibly Jones. Page can be heard working on the skeleton framework of his solo acoustic instrumental Bron-Y-Aur. A second take has Bonzo on bongos and Robert scat-singing against Page’s acoustic playing. In the background a child  (possibly Plant’s daughter Carmen) can be heard giggling throughout the song. There’s another attempt at Poor Tom, with Bonzo tapping out that shuffling intro on bongos and an improvised vocal. Hey Hey What Can I Do, another Zep III leftover, is tried in an all-acoustic arrangement with chorus only structures. Backing vocals supplement Plant’s countryish singing.

An unreleased song in progress, I’m Gonna Be Her Man, in which Plant sings the aforementioned lyric in a vaguely Neil Young fashion closes with Plant commenting ‘’Sounds like the Martian Hop’’ -a reference to the 1963 US novelty hit by The Ran-Dells. On the tape Page then goes into an acoustic chord pattern. “Nice that, perhaps it needs four chords,” suggests Plant. Jimmy acknowledges that by creating the melody of Down By The Seaside. A lengthy period of acoustic jamming follows, with Page pulling out a few Hats Off To Harper slide runs, and picking in the best Bert Jansch tradition.

“How’s it begin?” Robert asks Jimmy, and the guitarist duly obliges by returning to the melody of Down By The Seaside. This lilting song of nature was originally conceived at Bron-Yr-Aur, and then recorded at Island studios for the fourth album. It eventually surfaced on Physical Graffiti. This early rehearsal try out finds Plant singing a slightly amended set of lyrics (‘The people turn and go’), and making two attempts to return to the main verses after the speeded up middle section. It all adds up to another fascinating glimpse of a future Zeppelin standard undergoing transition. Following Robert’s final crying vocal line on Down By The Seaside, Jimmy sows the seed of another future Zeppelin creation. During a spontaneous acoustic ramble, he can be clearly heard running through the jerky chord sequence of The Crunge, a full year before its proper studio recording and subsequent appearance on Houses Of The Holy.

Aside from the acoustic material there’s an early stab at  Immigrant Song with Plant ad-libs the lyrics. A second attempt at Immigrant Song segues into a verse less ‘Out On The Tiles’. Bonzo’s forceful drumming is ample evidence of the major part he played in this song’s construction.

These fascinating rehearsal tapes have surfaced on various bootlegs notably Another Way To Wales on the Black Swan label, Tribute To Johnny Kidd And The Pirates on Scorpio and in the Studio Sessions Ultimate box set, also on Scorpio.


led forumm

‘’Led Zeppelin hammer Bootlegs!’’ proclaimed the headline on the front pages of the Melody Maker’s October 3rd 1970 issue. The story went on to reveal that certain London record shops were stocking Led Zeppelin bootleg albums –much to the disgust of Zep manager Peter Grant.

In one of the few niave statements of his career, Grant was quoted in the Melody Maker as saying.

”As far as I know there can be no Led Zeppelin tapes available.After hearing some time ago that there was going to be an attempt to bootleg some tapes of the band,I flew to America. We’ve managed to retreive all the tapes and we know nothing in existence that can be issued”.

When Grant heard that Zeppelin bootlegs were being sold from a shop in Chancery Lane in London, Grant and Richard Cole along with RAK management partner Mickie Most paid the proprietor Jeffrey Collins a visit.  He questioned Collins on the Zeppelin album and with a little not so gentle persuasion made sure that said albums were quickly withdrawn.

Bootlegs though were here to stay and though the market would quickly go underground and exist mainly on mail order, Led Zeppelin titles began appearing at a rapid rate. The most famous of these was the product of two separate recordings made on the night of September 4th 1970 at live at the Los Angeles Forum.

The source that would became known as the album Led Zeppelin Live On Blueberry Hill was captured by a pair of West Coast bootleggers who’s previous credits included Dylan’s Great White Wonder set and The Rolling Stones LiveR Than You’ll Ever Be. The latter had been recorded on a Uher 4000 reel to reel tape recorder with 71/2ips  inch reels and a Sennheiser 805 shotgun microphone. Unbeknown to them, a separate bootlegger known as Rubber Dubber also recorded the show and quickly issued it as a double bootleg album stamped Led Zeppelin Live Los Angeles Fourm 9-4-70.

The more common Blimp label version titled Live On Blueberry Hill (later to appear on the high profile bootleg label Trade Mark Of  Quality) with a distinctive surreal cover insert came out within weeks of  the LA show.

This scintillating Zeppelin performance, featured Immigrant Song, Since I’ve Been Loving You and Out On The Tiles from the yet to be released Led Zep 3. The Rubber Dubber version captured the acoustic performances of Bron Yr Aur and That’s The Way. Original vinyl copies of these titles are well sought after. The LA Forum show has subsequently appeared on countless on unauthorised double CD’s notably on the Sanctuary label and as a nine CD set via the Tarantura label representing all known tape sources. It remains one of the quintessential bootleg recordings.

Other Zep 3 related era bootlegs of note: Their celebrated performance at the Bath Festival in 1970 has long since been available on a poor sounding tape source. Recently a much clearer near complete audience recording has surfaced and distributed under the title The Boy Next Door . There also several recordings from their August/September US tour notably both the matinee and evening September 19th performances at Madison Square Garden. The afternoon show came out under the title American Woman (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin Vol. 8). The evening show appeared in 2004 on One More For the Road on the Boogie mama label. This is another key Zep performance. It features a rare live delivery of Gallows Pole within a medley of Communication Breakdown.

Studio outtakes of That’s The Way, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Hats Of To (Roy Harper) and a studio jam known as Blues Medley have been much bootlegged on CD initially on the Scorpio label as Studio Daze. That label was also the first to issue the Jennings Farm Blues outtake on the CD of the same name. Backing track only outtakes of Celebration Day, Out On The Tiles and Hey Hey What Can I Do have also surfaced on titles such as The Lost Sessions Volume 6 (Empress Valley).


led front

Aside from their musical success, by 1970 Led Zeppelin had also earned a credible reputation for how they presented their work. Concert posters for the group were diligently designed with the art schooled Page keeping a controlling eye over proceedings. In an era of iconic album cover art work, Zepelin reigned supreme. The striking black and white Hindenburg image designed by George Hardie was followed by the equally distinctive so called ‘’Brown bomber’’ gatefold sleeve put together by David Juniper for Led Zeppelin 2.

For their third release Page searched out the eccentric Zacron a former student of Kings Collage of Art who he had first met in the early 60s. Zacron had produced a variety of art work including A Window On London a painting with multi layered collaged panels. Graduating to the Royal Academy one of his designs experimented in a ‘‘volvelle’’ wheel rotation –the idea he would later develop for the Led Zeppelin 3 sleeve. In early 1970 Page commissioned Zacron to come up with a sleeve for their third album. Now a fine arts lecturer at Leeds University, on January 24th Zacron met with the band at their gig at the venue . In the early spring he spent time at each of the respective homes of the four members. He took a series of photos of each of them eventually selecting four individual images that would make up the back cover black and white group image. I was careful to get all the images of the band members right’ ’Zacron said years alter ‘’It was important to set up images which showed them as the giant force they were in music’’

The elaborate gatefold design employed a rotating wheel enabling the purchaser to circle through the various images of the group as they appeared in the relevant holes in the sleeves. This was based on his previous rotating wheel design. Other random images, ranging from off beat photos of Page, Plant Jones and Bonham to airships, butterflies, and planes with a predominant connecting theme of flight, adorned the white background of the sleeve. A meeting with Atlantic Records execs to determine the positing of the then all important Atlantic logo led him to gain freedom for it to be placed where he deemed it most appropriate within the design.

Page was initially unsure about the finished work. ‘’The sleeve was intended to be something like one of those garden calendars or zoo wheel things that tell you when to plant cauliflowers or how long whales are pregnant’’ he commented at the time. ‘’We ended up on top of a deadline and I think it was a compromise.’’  Deadline or not, the Led Zeppelin III cover has gone on to become one of the most iconic album sleeve designs of all time. Zacron sadly died in January 2012.

Written and compiled by Dave Lewis


Robert Plant on Danny Baker BBC Five Live show:

Danny Baker’s Saturday BBC Five Live show features an interview with Robert Plant this week -it’s aired on Saturday October 12th. Amongst other things Danny tweeted that Robert would be telling him the worst record he ever bought. Should be a good one…


Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are among the nominees for the 2014 Songwriters Hall of Fame

Madonna, John Mellencamp and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are among the nominees for the 2014 Songwriters Hall of Fame.

They are joined by a number of top acts, including Ray Davies, Sade, Cyndi Lauper and Linda Perry.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame gave The Associated Press a list of nominees in advance of the official announcement, set for Thursday. The gala will be held June 12 at the New York Marriott Marquis.

Also nominated are Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson, Vince Gill, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, Donovan, Cat Stevens and Harry Wayne Casey.

Nonperforming songwriter nominees include “Midnight Train to Georgia” writer Jim Weatherly, Motown songwriter William “Mickey” Stevenson and country music songwriters Bobby Braddock and Bill Anderson.

Mark James, the writer behind “Always on My Mind” — covered by Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson — is also nominated alongside Don Robertson, Graham Gouldman and Tony Macaulay. Writing duos Hugo & Luigi, Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell, and Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham will also compete.

Eligible voters can select two nominees from the list of songwriter-performers and three nonperforming songwriters. Voting ends Dec. 16.


Jimmy Page/Black Crowes Live at the Greek due on vinyl:


The 1999 Jimmy Page/Black Crowes Live at the Greek live album is due out on vinyl as a 3 disc set. Pre order link here at a very reasonable price (thanks Richard Grubb for this heads up)


Fleecing Led Zeppelin film project:

This one has done the rounds recently:

Two filmmakers are seeking funding to complete work on a short film titled Fleecing Led Zeppelin, exploring the aftermath of the theft of $200,000 from the band in 1973. View the trailer below.

The cash disappeared from a hotel bank vault while Robert Plant and co. were playing at Madison Square Garden. No trace of the swag – worth $1.1m today – has ever been found.

“The Drake Hotel is long gone,” say screenwriter Jackie May Tolliver and director Gabe Tolliver. “There’s no sign of the money. But somebody took it. Was it manager Peter Grant? Road manager Richard Cole? Housekeeping?

“It’s a fan movie, for lovers of history, or for folks who just want to know what happened to that money.

“We need your help to finish the film – we need $35,000 for editing, sound design, music rights, DVD, advertising and film festivals, which ain’t cheap.”

The pair aim to use the short to pursue industry funding and turn Fleecing Led Zeppelin into a full-length film. A range of perks are on offer via their Indiegogo campaign, which closes on November 3. Pledge points start at $5 and go up to $10,000.


More screenings for Led Zeppelin Played Here:

This one from Jeff Krulik…

NY Premiere at CBGB Festival October  11 and 12!programmation=participant$led-zeppelin-played-here/1254

I’ll be there, as will co-producer John Heyn.

If you can’t make it, I hope to have more New York area screenings in the future.

Jeff Krulik

Led Zeppelin Played Here is a feature-length documentary about the emergence of the rock concert industry, framed around a suburban Maryland mystery: whether or not Led Zeppelin’s first DC-area concert was played at a modest youth center gymnasium on January 20, 1969, in front of 50 confused teenagers, on the same day that Richard Nixon was inaugurated as President.  Featuring interviews with rock journalists and historians, as well as collectors, promoters, musicians and fans who claim they were there witnessing history that night. Plus rare archival footage and photos, and some surprise guests.

Zeppelin-in-Wheaton is Washington’s own rock-and-roll Loch Ness Monster. Could it possibly be real? Yes. No way. Depends whom you ask.

David Montgomery, Washington Post


DL Diary Update:

An important week here with the Knebworth book proofs to check. I spent all day Monday having a thorough look over it (yet again!) and there were a few more tweaks required which have now gone back to the printers to review before a final proof comes back here to be signed off.

Having finally seen it as a complete printed item – once we get it to where it needs to be with the final checks….well, it’s looking pretty awesome.

This really is one of most fulfilling projects I’ve ever attempted.

When the first edition sold out the plan was to get it back out again as soon as possible – that proved to be a much bigger task than I envisaged. There did seem a sense of unfinished business about the way I had told the Knebworth story and it’s a story I passionately wanted to present in the best way possible.

With the forthcoming publication of volume Led Zeppelin Then As It Was At Knebworth 1979, I think I will have succeeded in the task –aided considerably by many who offered input and of course not least designer Mick Lowe who has brought it all alive at Studio Mix.

It certainly provides the platform to tell and project my own rites of passage story and the many others who proudly told there tale of ‘’Being there’’.  Ultimately, what this book also  does is capture that shared moment in time for everyone who underwent this unique experience -and the opportunity for those who were not to understand what it was all about.

Led Zeppelin at Knebworth was a life changing moment for many reasons and in producing this book, for me the whole Knebworth saga has come full circle – the journey is nearly complete…get ready to share it with me soon.

Looking over the proofs I felt a real connection to this book – and I think you will too.

I am planning to launch the book at the next Olympia Record Fair in London which runs over the weekend of November 16th and 17th. Make a date in your diary for that one – more details to follow.

Meanwhile –you can pre order the book at this link:


dave gary

It was good to see Gary Foy who came over on Wednesday to discuss various TBL admin matters and have a look over the book proofs etc. During the day we had a wade through my poster collection which I’ve meaning to shift through for ages. Some very nice pieces were rediscovered including this very fine poster advertising the screening of the Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Unledded film on MTV – by a quirk of fate some 19 years ago tomorrow…another milestone…


It’s also been well full on with TBL 36 text and there’s a lot of it. In particular, Mike Tremaglio’s log of the final leg  of the 1973 US tour which captures those jubilant July days and nights quite brilliantly.  More on all of this soon.

I may have mentioned this before, I’ve been reading the NME (New Musical Express) weekly music paper since 1964. I have a great affinity for its heritage. There was a time back in the 1970s when it was absolutely essential reading –not least for its coverage of Led Zep and the writings of Charles Shaar Murray, Nick Kent, Roy Carr etc. It was simply the place to find out what was going on where and when and why in the crazy world of rock’n’roll. I have a fair few back issues dating back to 1964 stored in the loft -as can be seen below.

So I am pretty protective of the old rag and always have a quick look at in the local post office/newsagent. I have long since stopped buying it regularly –although I do pick up the odd edition here and there like the 60th anniversary one of last year, the time Them Crooked Vultures were on the cover, The Beatles’ specials they did and the Record Store day issues.

I did however shell out £2.40 this week as the NME has undergone yet another style change and design overhaul -and I felt the need to support it.

The days of it selling 300,000 copies a week are long gone, and like many printed journals it struggles to find a pitch and readership in this internet driven era.

nme 1

This new redesign finds it succumbing to the tablet format of Mojo and Q. This idea was the death knell for the Melody Maker in the 90s – I sincerely hope the NME does not go the same way.

It’s a pretty nifty design and content with the emphasis on a mix of new music and heritage coverage. Like Q, the NME is faced with the issue of who exactly their target audience is and what exactly they want to read about. Along with the new music coverage there’s some new features Anatomy of an Album looksat a classic album (Radiohead Kid A), Soundtrack Of My Life has Tinie Tempah listing his faves, there’s a weekly retro feature from NME’s past which this week spotlights Sid Vicious and the death of Nancy Spungen with a piece from the time by Nick Kent and an excellent lengthy focus on cover star David Bowie’s comeback where he is touted as being ‘The Man Who Owned The Year’.

Now the NME is hardly targeting the over 50s but I have to say by and large, I enjoyed it – a breezy bright read all round. Truth be told, it’s not something I’ll be investing in that often as Mojo and Uncut both speak to me and my tastes with far more empathy (ie they revel in the yesteryear of rock just as I do!). Weather this balancing act between new and heritage works for their readership only time will tell. I personally hope it does, as the NME has been integral in informing the UK music fan for six decades.


Elsewhere around these parts, another Beer Festival was clocked up and last Saturday the boy (man!)Adam and myself had a most successful day visiting the University Of Brighton campus in Eastbourne. This Saturday I am taking the train up to Nottingham to meet with friends of the late Alan Johnston our dear friend who sadly died in January 2012. We’ve been meaning to do this for a while and Nottingham is the most central for us to all get to. A record shop or two may be visited and a public house or two is also on the agenda. More than one toast will be made for the always much missed Alan J…

Football wise, Spurs came down with a bump against West Ham last week and attention now turns to the World Cup qualifiers for England against Montenegro tonight (Friday) and Poland on Tuesday. Now I can remember vividly that 1973 qualifier when England failed to beat Poland at Wembley thus missing out on the ’74 World Cup. Here’s hoping history will not repeat itself…

BBC 4 have a Mike Oldfield night on Friday and I’ll be trying to catch up with that – Tubular Bells remains in my book one of the most evocative pieces of music ever recorded. A few bars of the opening and it’s the sound of 1974 for me simple as…

On the playlist some Robert Plant live 2013 stuff notably Electric Picnic (thank you Gary!), Physical Graffiti on cassette on the morning car run, the first two Bad Company albums on Swan Song on vinyl, and the DVD of the 2006 Arthur Lee benefit with Robert Plant and Ian Hunter (thank you John P!).

Until next time…Keep listening, keep reading…

Have a great weekend 

Dave Lewis/Gary FoyOctober 11th, 2013.

if you are reading this and have yet to link with the Tight But Loose Facebook page be sure to request/add us.

The TBL Facebook is another key part of the TBL set up with updated stories/additional pics etc to keep you on top of the world of TBL.

To view additional photos and TBL info be sure to hook up with the Tight But Loose Facebook page (add us as a friend)


Also follow Dave Lewis/TBL on Twitter – LedzeppelinTBL


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

One Comment »

  • Greg Purling said:

    Just found out that the best looking girl in my works office (18yrs my junior) LOVES ZEPPELIN !! This life is great, this life of music . . . . . . . just remembered I’ve been married for 10yrs and have a family (doh !).

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.