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MANCHESTER ARENA BOMB ATTACK/CELEBRATION DAYS CONVENTION 25 YEARS GONE/LED ZEP EARLS COURT 42 YEARS GONE/LZ NEWS/ CHRIS CORNELL RIP/ DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

23 May 2017 1,705 views 14 Comments

MANCHESTER ARENA BOMB ATTACK:

I watched the breaking news of the appalling terrorist bomb attack at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in the early hours of Tuesday morning and woke up yesterday to the stark reality of it all. That so many young people should endure these terrifying scenes  shown on the news after attending a concert is just beyond words… and that so many have lost their lives and been injured only enhances the bewilderment and hurt we all feel by this senseless action.

Thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected….

DL

…………………

Celebration Days Led Zeppelin UK Convention – 25 years gone:

25 years ago this week, on Saturday May 23 and Sunday May 24 1992, Andy Adams and myself co presented Celebration Days – the first ever UK Led Zeppelin Convention.

I had been thinking about such an event since the publication a year earlier of my book Led Zeppelin A Celebration.

As had Andy Adams – a massive UK Zep Collector who had helped me considerably with the book’s research. In 1990 on one of my visits to Andy in Canvey Island we talked about the idea of a UK Convention. The yardstick had been created by the staging of a US event in 1988 – this had been organised at the Meadowlands Hotel in New Jersey in Washington DC by Brian Knapp -another major Zep memorabilia collector who I had been in touch with for some years. I was also aware of a David Bowie event BowiCon that had been staged in the US.

Andy was at the time publishing his excellent Zep mag Early Days and Latter Days and was a regular stall holder at Record Fairs. Initially he was approached to stage a mini Zep Convention within a major London Record Fair. We both felt this would not fulfill the potential for the type of event we wanted to stage.

So in the autumn of 1991, Andy and I formulated a plan for what we felt was needed to stage a Led Zeppelin Convention. We both agreed it required two days and we aimed for a central London venue and the following January we made a visit to London to look at perspective venues. After looking at three potential venues we selected the Royal National Hotel in Euston. By then we had also enlisted the help of some key players in the UK Zep community. We set up the Celebration Days Executive made up of Gary Foy, Mark Harrison Tim Davies, Rikky Rooksby, Alan Cousins, Howard Mylett and Luis Rey. In early January, Andy and I set up an initial meeting at the hotel which was attended by most of the above.

I have to say that Andy’s enthusiasm during this period was absolutely inspirational – his vision of what we could achieve was right in line with mine and it was an absolute pleasure working with him. There were many ups and downs ahead and difficult moments that we faced together – it certainly wasn’t all plain sailing but Andy’s affable stance and belief always got us through.

The hotel, with it’s various exhibition rooms looked ideal and we put a deposit down to secure it for three days in May – Friday May 22, Saturday May 23 and Sunday 24. The Friday would be a setting up day and a press launch at night – the Saturday and Sunday the actual Convention days. Co-incidentally, the dates matched the second weekend of Earls Court shows of 17 previously – we used this as a tag on the advertising posters with the original ‘Zeppelin May Daze’ Melody Maker headline. We also coined the tag line ‘The Celebration Continues..’

It’s incredible to think back in these social media days, that most of the organising of the Convention was done by letter or phone – in fact I spent a considerable amount of time on the phone during the months leading up to it.

We set about working out who could we get on board as a guest speakers. I already had a couple in mind and one of them was Mick Hinton – John Bonham’s drum roadie.

In mid-September 1991, I went on a book tour of radio stations to promote the A Celebration book . The last station we went to was BBC Radio Nottingham. To my surprise, John Bonham’s legendary roadie Mick Hinton was at the station. He had heard a trailer for the show and as he lived locally, decided to come and meet me. I had not seen or heard from him since about 1981 when I saw him in the Swan Song office.

We did the interview together and afterwards, I told him of a plan I had to stage a Led Zeppelin Convention in London and invited him to be a guest speaker.

In February 1992 when I went to interview him for  inclusion in the then in progress TBL 7. By then I had decided to use the Convention platform to bring back the TBL magazine – yes issue 7 was going to appear after an eleven year absence.

I based much of the content on it being an update to the A Celebration book. Reaction to the book had been very encouraging. I had a lot of correspondence about the text and it was evident that more information was surfacing about a variety of topics I had presented in the book. So began the task to update each chapter with the additional material I had now amassed. It was this text that formed the bulk of the pages that would evolve during early 1992 as TBL issue 7.

The updated A Celebration chapter text for issue 7 was complemented by a couple of key interviews. One was with the aforementioned Mick. I travelled to Nottingham in Februarys to interview him. During my time with him a fair few cans of Tenants extra strong lager went down during that interview. So much so, that on the way back I slept though the Bedford stop and ended up in London!

I have to say though, that Mr Hinton gave very good copy – his interview was most illuminating and set the tone for many subsequent interviews I would conduct for the TBL magazine.

Mick had also put me back in touch with Phil Carlo – Phil had been road manager for Bad Company and had worked on Zep’s over Europe tour in 1980 where I first met him. He later worked with Jimmy in The Firm and Outrider era. I interviewed Phil on the phone in a lunch break at the Our Price record shop I managed – not the first or final instance of me using the shop as an additional TBL hub! Phil also gave an excellent interview and Andy and I also arranged for him to be another guest speaker at the LZ Convention. By and large, that arrangement worked well.

Mick proved to be a very colourful character at the Convention and went down a storm at the Guest Speaker forum we staged on the Saturday afternoon. However, he was very difficult to deal with – without going into detail (it will all be in the memoirs!), he did cause us some considerable stress with some very unreasonable demands. I can laugh about it now ( though I did anything but on the Saturday morning of the event when he was being particularly aggressive) and in a lot of ways, he did bring the excessive on the road aspect of Zep right to the forefront of the Convention – there’s no doubt a lot of fans found him wonderfully entertaining.

Less controversial, though equally as enlightening were the additions of Melody Maker writers Chris Welch and Chris Charlesworth as guest speakers.

Andy did a great job in co-ordinating the stall holders and we had Brian Knapp and Rick Barrett over from the States – both their stalls were a magnet for fans with a host of rare items on offer. Bob Walker publisher of the Hot Wacks and publications also came over as did author Robert Godwin.

Other stalls included Mark Archer with his excellent UK Zep mag Wearing And Tearing , Andy’s Early Days and Latter Days mag, the TBL stall selling the newly published issue 7, Luis Rey selling his Led Zeppelin Live book, Howard Mylett who had just self published a new Zep photo book From the Archives,  Tim Tirelli’s Oh Jimmy fanzine, Omnibus Press with a selection of their Zep titles including my A Celebration book , Diane Bettle’s Nirvana Robert Plant fanzine  Richard MacKay’s Yardbirds World, Pink Floyd’s The Amazing Pudding mag and the late Mick Burnett’s Spirit Of Rush mag.

We launched the event at the Victoria Record Fair in March and an advert in Record Collector, initial ticket sales were brisk. It was evident we were attracting fans from around the globe and it was all getting very exciting.

I did keep all the respective management of the former members up to date with what we were doing. I was also in touch with Peter Grant on the phone and there was a possibility that he would make an appearance at some point. In the end this fell through – however he did agree to an interview with me, which took place at his Eastbourne home the next year.

We had some great media support from the likes of Kerrang, Q plus radio coverage on LBC and a fair few other stations.

There was also an official programme written and compiled by Andy and myself and designed and printed by Chris Loydall. I also managed to get the legendary DJ and big Zep supporter Alan Freeman – yes old Fluff himself, to write the intro. He actually rang our house the night before the event to check everything was going well -I was already in London so the good lady Janet answered the phone and we still laugh about how Fluff chatted in his usual over the top manner introducing himself with the classic ”Hello M’Darling” line.

On the merchandising front, we also decided to have a souvenir T shirt which Tim Davies helped design. A bold design white on back – it looked great though we did over order somewhat. After the Convention a fair few lined my loft though eventually we sold them all – notably in Belfast at Simply Led’s 30th anniversary concert at the Ulster Hall. Over the Convention weekend two delightful volunteers helped us man the stall.

It’s worth noting that after some fallow years in the 1980s, Led Zep’s stock at the time was well on the increase. This had been considerably boosted by the 1990 Remasters releases. It wasn’t quite like the level it is now but we knew they were popular enough to create a lot of interest. We were quietly confident we would present something that did justice to their legacy. Andy and I did consider having a tribute band though there were was not many on the circuit then. The issue of a live attraction was duly fulfilled when Deborah Bonham’s management got in touch to say her and her band would love to appear.

This proved to be a crucial addition to the weekend as it brought with it a real credibility to the event. The fact that Deb bought a host of family members along too gave the two days a real Bonham aura – more on that later.

One thing we really wanted to showcase was rare Led Zep film footage. At considerable expense, Andy and I hired a huge screen – all worth it as the rolling footage we showed over the weekend was a huge hit with attendees.

We also premiered some then unseen footage notably the then little seen Tous En Scene 1969 TV appearance and the clip of Jimmy Page performing White Summer in 1970 on the Julie Felix BBC TV show.

Of course these days clips such as these are readily viewed at the click of a YouTube link online, back then they were considered the holy grail amongst fans. We also had a very good cut of the Knebworth August 11 footage,some amazing footage of Jimmy Page performing at the ARMS concert at Cow Palace in 1983 and plenty of cine film – all of which proved to be hugely popular over the two days.

We also decided to stage something of a Zep museum in one of the rooms and Andy and I brought a bulk of our memorabilia to put on show . Gary hired a van to take my stuff down and on the Thursday night and Andy and his mate Laurence plus Gary and myself with help from one or two others set it all up finally finishing around 3am. We also had items donated by Brian Knapp and a few others including a shirt Jimmy wore on the Over Europe 1980 tour and various tour jackets and T.shirts.

I am still immensely proud of how that museum looked – years before any V and A Pink Floyd type exhibition existed, we created something really special in that room as can be seen via the pics. Perhaps naively we did not have any security in the room but happily not a single thing went missing. A testament to the all round peace and love vibe of the weekend.

The Friday launch night went very well with Deb giving a moving speech and a host of radio and TV media types in attendance. Gary Foy will tell the tale oh how a rather lively Mick H threw up behind one of the stalls during the night but hey – it was in the name of the hammer of the gods! We also had the rock DJ’s the late Chris Tetley from Piccadilly Radio and Brian Pithers from Radio 210 to help us out on the PA and with the announcements. An MTV film crew turned up and filmed various interviews for a news piece they ran. There’s some interview clips from this filming on the YouTube clips below.

Looking back, the time and effort to organise everything was just vast – and this was a time where I was managing the Our Price Record shop in Bedford working a good 50 hours a week and at home we had the baby Sam not quite two years old. Somehow, I conjured up the relentless energy, passion and drive to make Celebration Days happen – as did Andy and a few others involved notably Gary Foy. Oh, and I wrote and edited a new TBL magazine to be on sale for May. Mind you I was only 35 years old then!

As for the two days – Saturday was a bit of a blur for me -there was so much to contend with and we were often making snap decisions about things that needed to happen. The attendance was very good with about a 1,000 through the doors. The Guest Speaker forum went down really well – Mick Hinton emotionally declaring ”The spirit of John is here today…Bonzo is here…” This had the audience totally captivated.

One thing that was clearly evident was the shared love and passion so many people from all walks of life had for this great band. Celebration Days was the first time I witnessed first hand, the communal spirit to be had amongst like minded enthusiasts – it was not to be the last. It was the point where I realised we did not have to stay confined in our respective Zep dens, getting out and meeting fellow fans and talking about this great passion of ours could make for a great social occasion and as it was usually in a pub, well that made it even better!

Debbie and her band played a great upbeat set on Saturday night and we also had live entertainment from The Force. This was a duo of a guitarist and drummer aged all of 14  performing Zep numbers and they went down a storm – the guitarist Graham Clews was talented beyond his years – I would imagine he is still playing somewhere. His Dad Roger was also a great support over the weekend. Quick update on Graham – he has been in touch after reading this and is indeed still playing and is based around the Birmingham area. Sadly his Dad Roger passed away last year.

Another popular attraction was the staging of an Ultimate Zep Quiz formulated by Mark Harrison and Phil Tattershall. The winner took home the rare 1969 hard backed US tour programme now worth quite a lot on the collectors market. Author and writer Colin Harper presented a ‘Folk Root of Jimmy Page’ forum.

I was absolutely exhausted by the evening and the drinks in the nearby bar (we dubbed it the Bron Yr Aur bar!) were much needed. I have to say Debbie was wonderfully supportive that night keeping Mick Hinton in check and assuring us we were all doing a fantastic job.

Sunday was calmer and more enjoyable for me  I did begin to relax and take it all in and spent time with the good lady Janet who had arrived the previous day alongside other friends who had turned up to support the event

Friends -oh yes, track two side one of Led Zep III says it all – like I said, the camaraderie amongst those in attendance was simply joyous. Leading on from that, there’s no doubt many lasting friendships were cemented at that first UK Convention.

I personally met so many people over that weekend who I have kept in touch ever since – I know there will be names I’ve missed here but they included Mark Harrison, Phil Tattershall, Julian Walker, Billy Fletcher and Alison Fletcher , Mark Archer, Graham Glover, Dave Fox, Dave Marsh, Nick Carruthers, Chris Loydall, Peter Mulder, Jan  Zondag, Richard Mackay, John Munro, Liz Hames, Robert Godwin, Diane Bettle, Susan Hedrick, Henry Nicholls, David Clayton,  Alan Cousins, Steve  Way and Peter Chow – to name but a few.

From America, I met Brian Knapp, Rick Barrett, Larry Bergmann jr, Keith Dubrovin, Bonnie Sturgess ,Susan and the late base Hedrick, Jay O Toole and the late Bob Walker.

Working closely with Gary Foy over that weekend also created a real bond between us that 25 years on, shows no sign of waning.

Most of the photos here were taken by Jan and Peter Mulder-Zondag. Back in 1992 they were celebrating their recent marriage and chose to honeymoon in the UK taking in the Convention and many Zep landmarks – so it’s a happy 25tth anniversary to them!

Another aspect of the Convention was the raising of money for charity – this we did via an auction superbly presented by Alan Cousins (black and white pic below via Peter Chow). Amongst the items that went for  song was an ordinal felt hat Bonzo wore which if I recall Rick Barrett snapped up. All all proceeds went  to the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Centre. A presentation was made to the charity’s Willie Robertson to Andy and myself on the Sunday afternoon.

Talking of which…the event closed with a final set from the Deborah Bonham Band. With Mum Joan and Mick’s son James watching from the side, John’s daughter Zoe guesting on stage and brother Mick on congas this was a real Bonham family affair. When Debbie performed The Old Hyde Farm, the song about the place John had lived at – well what can I say…

Something very spiritual happened in that room – which is quite hard to explain unless you were there. There was not a dry eye amongst us – it was truly one of the most emotional music performances I’ve ever witnessed – 25 years on Deb feels exactly the same as she explained recently when I did an interview with her for TBL.  I asked her for her memories of that weekend all of 25 years ago:

”Oh my goodness – where has that gone? Oh gosh, If I think back too much, I well up a bit because something special happened in that room when we played on the Sunday afternoon. Something really special happened and I would like to think that it was the spirt of my brother John. There was something incredibly moving that occurred then. Every single person who was in that room felt it, including my late brother Michael , Zoe, my Mum, Pete – we all left with an incredible feeling.

I look back and I see the photos and Michael on conga drums – he didn’t  know I was going to do that do you remember? We just set the congas up and then called him up on stage. It was just an incredible occasion to be amongst so many fans – there was this real spirit of Led Zeppelin being so alive again.” 

Debbie’s set ended wth rousing versions of You Shook Me (with Zoe on harmonica) Communication Breakdown and Rock And Roll – the latter had Mick Bonham leading the ”lonely lonely, lonely’ finale. Deb and all her family were up onstage to thank everybody and I remember she took a pic of all the crowd.

When it was time to finally wind down, the feeling was absolutely euphoric. There was lot’s of backslapping, man hugs and hand shakes as we all really felt we had achieved something.  The camaraderie amongst fans throughout the weekend is what really made it so incredible.

After that amazing Sunday, we eventually packed everything up. this took into the early hours – Gary, Janet and I  and a few others who helped us, all slept underneath the tables. We finally returned to Bedford on the Bank Holiday Monday. It had been a simply exhilarating weekend with many highs and some lows – but overall, I felt a deep sense of fulfilment in what we had achieved.

The following week’s Kerrang issue had a good report of the event – including a pic of me with members of Little Angels. Larry Bergmann did a great piece for the US Zoso Zep mag as did Mark Archer in his Wearing and Tearing mag. I’ve just read Mark’s piece and had to laugh when he noted a pint at the hotel bar was just £1.80!

Financially it was all a bit of a disaster and Andy and I we were both well out of pocket. On a business level, we were somewhat naïve in some of the decisions we took- not least putting up dear old Mick H for the weekend in the hotel. We had a bill for his phone calls that topped £50, though I’m not sure we ever paid it! Of course we were certainly not in it for a pay day but it would have been nice to break even or somewhere near. We did have a plan to make available a Convention video to sell but that idea fell through.

Above everything, what really mattered was that we had created something special and the reaction we had more than confirmed that.

A few days after the Convention, Debbie wrote a very moving thank you note to us on behalf of the Bonham family..

”The Convention was the best! You, Andy and Gary and many others who dedicated so much time to this made a lot of people very happy. For us it seemed that for 48 hours John was alive again I can’t tell you how proud it made my mother and the rest of the family feel For us John has never gone but for me to make a tribute to acknowledge he was the best something I never got to tell him when he was alive was a sheer honour. it has been a pleasure being with and working with such lovely people and to all the many fans that were there who have supported and followed Led Zeppelin to the end..not that there will ever be one, 

US attendee and long time TBL contributor in his piece for Zoso magazine summarised it as follows:

”Celebration Days turned out to be a celebration of John Bonham. An event that began with very high hopes and ended in an emotional family celebration that far exceeded anything one could have hoped for or imagined as the proceedings got underway.

The feeling of family unity and sport exemplified by the Bonham’s touched everyone who was in attendance. meeting the Bonham family and seeing their pride and happiness brought me a little closer to the while thing. And it made me even prouder to call myself a Led Zeppelin fan.

 

Dave and Andy congratulations. You got it right. May 22,23 and 24 truly were Celebration Days. I shall never forget them”

Those words from Deb and Larry really did make it all worthwhile.

Once I was back in the groove at work, I realised that organising this event had taken it’s toll and I needed a bit of a break from it all. In July we had a family holiday in Norfolk with Janet’s Mum and Dad . That break however proved to be short lived because by the autumn, I was planning the next TBL magazine and the introduction of a subscription based TBL offer. 1993 would prove to be full on with the release of the excellent Coverdale Page album, Robert’s superb Fate Of Nations album and tour plus the release of the Zep Boxed Set 2. Ahead, was the reuniting of Jimmy and Robert for the Unledded film and tour – it’s never really stopped since!

In early 1994, Andy informed me he was going to run another Convention at the same venue over two days in May. With a heavy workload of both my job and TBL, I decided not to co- organise it this time. I was involved in the organising alongside an organising party that included Janet Smith, Simon Pallett, Paul Sheppard, Dave Fox, Phil Tattershall and Alan Cousins. I was pretty full on with it all going into the final weeks. Andy did a great job organising it and ‘Dancing Days’ as it was dubbed was another splendid two days. Debbie and Mick Bonham came along again to perform and Jason also made an appearance. In some ways, I enjoyed myself more at this one with not being so full on with the organising and being much freer over the two days.

After that, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Andy ran a fair few Anniversary Daze one day events at the Eastern Monk pub in the centre of London aided by Eddie Edwards and Julian Walker -all very enjoyable and in 2005 Graeme Hutchinson and Gary Davies staged the excellent Zep Express Convention at the Roadmender venue in Northampton. There were also memorable Zep fan gathering events in Crewe, Stourbridge and Liverpool.

As good as these gatherings were, there was something uniquely special about that first UK Convention of 25 years ago.

Could it be done again? That’s something I’ve often been asked – I think a two day event would be very ambitious. A one day event? Well yes, that could happen. I’m not sure that I have the time to lead it (I’m 60 you know!) but I would certainly be happy to a part of it.

Over that weekend back in 1992, it felt like we were in unchartered waters – there had never been a coming together of like minded fans quite like this before and certainly not in the UK. I look back on it with immense pride –  I know Andy does too and looking at the photos always brings a smile.

They were the first Celebration Days – and very precious ones indeed with lasting memories and friendships. The celebration really did continue.

Sadly, some of those who were celebrating with us on that glorious weekend back in May 1992 are now departed…

I’d therefore like to dedicate this piece to Howard Mylett, Mick Hinton, Bob Walker, Base Hedrick, Paul Kelvie, Mick Burnett, Chris Tetley, Roger Clews and Joan and Michael Bonham.

Dave Lewis – May 23, 2017

Andy’s words.. .


Andy and I have kept in touch over the years – he is still very active on the Zep scene and his enthusiasm remains an inspiration to me and many other Zep fans. Here’s a pic of Andy and I with Eddie Edwards at the HMV Led Zeppelin first three reissues launch in London May 24, 2014.

Andy has a fantastic blog – check it out at:

http://tobear0ck.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/led-zeppelin-heartbreaker.html?spref=fb

I was in touch with him this week and asked him for his views on it all 25 years on…over to Andy..

CELEBRATION DAYS

25 years. It seems a moment ago, yet also a lifetime. As this particular anniversary of that special anniversary is upon us, so many memories and moments come into my mind.

The kernel of the idea became serious in 1991. After deciding against an offer from Phil of P & J Fairs to hold an ‘event’ in a side room at his London Victoria Record Fair, it was obvious something much bigger and dare I say it grander. It was at that point I spoke to Dave and we hatched our plans. The Royal National was the third such venue to be looked at, and despite being way over what budget we were originally thinking, was the one. We knew straight away.

As we hit 1992, everything became more frenzied, and really was a blur. After getting our initial framework and some incredible feedback and offers of help from so many of our friends in the Zeppelin ‘community’, we launched in March with a half page advert in Record Collector, mailshots and a stand at the Victoria Record Fair where ticket sales began. From then on it was all systems go, we knew there was no turning back!

And now I just think of those magical moments. Collecting some incredible vinyl and memorabilia for our ‘museum’ room. We arrived two days before and began the set up. Watching the museum take shape was mind boggling, seeing all these wonderful items together was a bit surreal – Jimmy’s Over Europe 80 black shirt, The Final option, 1st album US White Label, UK 7” promo’s, acetates, a wall of live CD’s, Tour Programmes, Physical Graffiti alternative artwork, pressings from Turkey, Angola, eight tracks, T Shirts…… The road goes ever on!

I’ll always remember my pride in fans young and old, new and ‘vintage’ staring in wonder as they wandered through, suddenly stopping and focusing on something that they’d never seen. Never forget shooting the breeze on the Friday with a very excited Howard Mylett. They’re the moments that made it unique.

We launched to the media on Friday, and stunned one and all with the recently surfaced film of Paris ’69 and our own ‘trump card’ the Julie Felix Show BBC clip. It set the tone perfectly and I remember feeling a mixture of excitement, exhaustion (we’d all been up for over 60 hurs by then!) and joy.

But the ‘things’ aren’t the real memories for me. It’s the fans. Us. It was – as Robert said back in ’79 – ‘a communion with the English folk’, and much more besides. Meeting friends old and new, people who were just names on an envelope or voices over the phone. The Zeppelin Community indeed.

We had wonderful guest speakers, Mick Hinton was a character and more than a handful. Chris Charlesworth was a gentleman, and wonderfully erudite too. Dear old Phil Tattershall and Mark Harrison devised a quiz ‘A Question of Zep’ for some light relief and gentle competition. Dave and Gary recreated the Jimmy-Robert twin neck/tambourine poster pose. Dardo! Peter & Jan. And perhaps most of all the Bonham family. Mick was a wonderful raconteur, regaling tales of playing the whistle on Fool In The Rain and many ‘at home’ stories about John ‘our kid’ as he affectionately called him. Debbie and Zoe were lovely too, and so full of pride and as amazed at the atmosphere as we all were. Joan, John’s Mum was terrific, and again so proud. The moment when Joan watched  from the side of  the stage as Debbie sang ‘Old Hyde Farm’ to a packed house was electric.

There are so many more memories that keep jumping into my head as I write this. All of the friends, co-conspirators as Luis Rey would say, who helped so much and helped bring it all together. And all of the new friends we all made that are with us to this day, even those that are sadly no longer here. It was a beautiful time, almost a religious experience, and I’m so proud of everything Dave and I achieved 25 years ago, with MORE than a little help from our friends. Whatever has happened in the last 25 years and whatever happens over the next, there’ll always be a little piece of Celebration Days in my heart and mind.

Thank YOU ALL for making it happen

Andy Adams

May 23rd, 2017.

25 Years Gone

Thanks Andy for those final thoughts of a memorable time a quarter of a century ago…I really wish we could go through it all again because it really was one of the most amazing experiences of my life…

DL

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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

  • Previously unseen photos of Led Zeppelin in Bangkok, Thailand in 1972 have been published online. See the photos here.

Jimmy Page

Robert Plant

Robert Plant performing with Paul Rodgers and Brian Johnson on May 14 (Twitter/Beanofire)

Upcoming events:

May 23 – A photo of Jimmy Page appears in the new photo book by Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, which will be released today.
May 27 – Unrestored footage of Led Zeppelin performing at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970 will be screened there as part of an event about the director Peter Whitehead.
June 2 – Robert Plant will be interviewed on “Brian Johnson’s Life On The Road” on Sky Arts.
Mid-June – The March 21, 1975 Seattle soundboard bootleg “Deus Ex Machina” is rumoured to be released around this time.
June 23 – John Paul Jones will perform at the Sun Station Vadsø festival in Norway.
June 24 – John Paul Jones will perform at the Sun Station Vadsø festival in Norway.
Mid-September – The new Black Country Communion album, which will feature Jason Bonham, is due to be released.

Many thanks to James Cook.

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

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

http://ledzepnews.com/

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Chris Cornell 1964 – 2017:

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 12: Musicians Chris Cornell (L) and Jimmy Page speak onstage at “An Evening With Jimmy Page And Chris Cornell In Conversation” at the Ace Hotel on November 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Like everyone reading this, I was totally shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Chris Cornell aged 52. A terrible loss.

Jimmy Page’s words say it all…

RIP Chris Cornell

Incredibly Talented

Incredibly Young

Incredibly Missed.

 

 

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Sir Roger Moore 1927 – 2017 – Nobody did it better….RIP

Sad also to hear the passing of the legendary actor Sir Roger Moore nobody did it better…

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TBL Archive: It’s that time of year again so…

TBL Celebrates the 42nd anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Earls Court:

Turning the clock back 42 years..

ticket 23

Friday May 23, 1975

Ticket Price £1.00

Setlist: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/No Quarter/Tangerine/Going To California/That’s The Way/Bron-Y-Aur Stomp/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/Dazed And Confused (inc. San Francisco)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – The Crunge – Black Dog.

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

Talk about the weekend starts here!


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

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

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

And they were just so up for it, as evident right from the moment when Plant gave out an excited Immigrant Song-style “Ah ah” squeal as Bonzo and Jimmy did the usual pre-song warm up. Following Rock And Roll and Sick Again Plant attracted huge cheers when he explained: “Last week we did a couple of warm up dates for these three nights, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We believe that these were the first three gigs to be sold out so these must be the ones with the most energy stored up because you’ve been waiting…”

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

NME EC

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

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

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

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

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

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

…………………………

TBL Celebrates the 42nd anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Earls Court:

nicky horne intro

Turning the clock back 42 years..

SATURDAY MAY 24 1975

TICKET BLOCK AA ROW B SEAT 8

Ticket Price £2.50

Setlist: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/No Quarter/Tangerine/Going To California/That’s The Way/Bron-Y-Aur Stomp/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/Dazed And Confused (inc. Woodstock)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – The Crunge – Black Dog.

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

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

boys-EC

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

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

Images ingrained on my brain for 35 years: Watching Jimmy slither across the stage as they hit Sick Again, Plant seemingly lost in a trance right in front of us as Page did the solo in Over The Hills, dry ice seeping above us over the front rows in No Quarter (should have bottled it –imagine that on ebay!), Jimmy holding the Gibson double neck aloft during the Song Remains intro, the stand up microphones being brought out for the four part harmony of Tangerine, being so close to them clustered together for the acoustic set (incidentally listen to the various soundboard bootlegs – just before Going To California Robert introduces the song saying ‘’This is a song about the would be hope for the ultimate…for the ultimate’’ – after which you can hear a distant yelled squeal just before somebody starts whistling – that’s my squeal folks), Trampled Underfoot and the revolving lighting creating a real sense of speed, the normally reserved Dec next to me going crazy in a manner I’ve not seen since, Page’s violin bow and going ”Ahhh’! as the lasers spiralled above us. The last few moments of Stairway as the mirrorball created that swirling spinning effect and thinking I must have died and gone to heaven!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Above pic by Stuart Whitehead.

ENGLAND 5 SCOTLAND 1

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

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

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

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

…………………………..

fluff 25

TBL Celebrates the 42nd anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Earls Court:

Turning the clock back 42 years..

SUNDAY MAY 25 ,1975:

Setlist: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/No Quarter/Tangerine/Going To California/That’s The Way/Bron-Y-Aur Stomp/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/Dazed And Confused (inc. San Francisco)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – The Crunge – Black Dog/Heartbreaker/Communication Breakdown (inc. D’yer Mak’er).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More DL personal thoughts:

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

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

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

”And its goodnight from him….”

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

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

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

party ec

Robert at the Earls Court Swan Song party:

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

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

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

…and coming down wasn’t easy!

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

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

tickets

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

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

There would be many dazzling episodes ahead, but perhaps nothing with the sheer uncomplicated joy and optimism of that week in May 1975 all of 40 years ago.

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

Dave Lewis May  2017

…………………….

Five Glorious Nights – Led Zeppelin at Earls Court May 1975:


SPECIAL LIMITED OFFER!

With the 42nd anniversary upon us, may I take this opportunity to mention that this limited edition deluxe book published by Rufus Stone Limited Editions is still available.

If you have yet to invest…now is the perfect time..

For a limited period, the book is available at the discounted price of just £80 including postage to anywhere in the world! A saving of some £30 on the normal price!

The Format:

30 x 30 album size de-luxe hardback book

288 pages  – including approximately 62 colour photos, 155 black & white photos – 229 in all – plus 165 colour memorabilia images including Earls Court bootleg LP, CD and DVD sleeves etc.

Drawn from over 350 images sourced from various contact sheets provided by publisher Mark Smith, and with the assistance of Ross Halfin as associate picture editor, the best photos possible have been selected.

Much more than a mere book of photos, the intention is to capture the atmosphere of the five Earls Court shows through these startling images – sequenced and presented in a way that unfolds the whole saga of this remarkable series of concerts – to be viewed and enjoyed time and time again.

HOW TO ORDER THE BOOK AT THIS SPECIAL OFFER PRICE :

Visit the Rufus Stone Limited Editions site at

http://www.rufuspublications.com/rufusbooks/Led-Zeppelin/Led-Zeppelin-Earls-Court

Five Glorious Nights at Earls Court in May 1975 is a superbly presented unique visual record of Led Zeppelin in their absolute prime – and unitl June 1 on offer for a bargain price! 

……………………………..

DL Diary Blog Update:

As mentioned above , I watched the breaking news of the appalling terrorist bomb attack  at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in the early hours of Tuesday. That so many young people should endure such horror and that so many have lost their lives and been injured is just beyond words.  It ‘s shocking, appalling and I know all our hearts go out to all those affected.

On a brighter note…

Friday treats at the Vinyl Barn 1: At a rather rainy Vinyl Barn last Friday morning amongst the acquisitions Be E. King Sings For Soulful Lovers 1966 mono album on UK Atlantic plum and orange label plus Bad Company 5 album CD pack on Swan Song, and The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society 3CD reissue – superb! That lot will brighten the weekend !

Friday treats at the Vinyl Barn 2: I also could not leave this pair in the racks –The Beatles A Hard Days Night and Beatles For Sale UK Parlophone original mono pressings condition – for authentic sound you gotta love’ em !

I’ve been catching up on some Record Store Day acquisitions – including the T.Rex Rock’n’ Roll EP – great picture cover too of Marc and then wife June at the Weely Festival in 1971

Another recent DL vinyl acquisition and a bit of an oddity – the Jeff Beck Hi Ho Silver Lining single with the brilliant Beck’s Bolero on the B side featuring Beck, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Nicky Hopkins and Keith Moon. – this Australian pressing on Columbia/Festival lists the track as just Bolero and has Beck as the composer – it’s usually credited to J. Page…

There was a whole lotta air guitar going down (or in this case umbrellas) at The Flowerpot in Bedford on Saturday night watching excellent local band F Sharp with  the good lady Janet and our good friends max and Julie…good job there was no stage I may well have lept up on it in a Who like frenzy! We work hard…we play hard!

The football season is nearly over and for us Tottenham fans, it’s been a very good one. Chelsea proved too strong to catch but second place is their best placing since 1963. – I very much enjoyed watching the last two games a 6-1 win over Leicester and the final 7-1 drubbing of Hull City. Here’s hoping they can hang on to this group of players and quickly adapt to playing at Wembley Stadium next season while their new stadium is being built.

Evenings With Led Zeppelin latest: Latest progress on the book project I am working on with co author Mike Tremaglio  is that we are now nearing the end of 1971. Designer Mick Lowe and I have been wading through the layout for 1971 Japanese tour  (this pic was taken on Monday at StudioMix) and what an amazing tour that was. Mike T has chronicled those incredible Japan ’71 set lists with his usual diligence.  On we go into 1972…

Five years before that on June 1 1967, The Beatles released Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band – the 50th anniversary of this iconic release is being marked with  a series of events and releases. I am very much looking forward to the new remastered and remixed Sgt Pepper release with previously unheard outtakes etc which is released on Friday. I am making the next month a bit of Beatles month and will be delving into the DL archives to revisit that unsurpassed Beatles catalogue that still sounds so fresh and vital.It’s the act we’ve known for all these years and I for one will be in celebratory mood as it was 50 years ago today (nearly!) that Sgt Pepper told the band to play…

A splendid time is guaranteed for all ..

Dave Lewis – May 23rd, 2017.

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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The TBL/DL Facebook page has regular updates and photos – be sure to check it out.

And follow TBL/DL on Twitter.

YouTube clips:

Dave Lewis interview -Led Zeppelin Convention May 23, 1992:

Howard Mylett and Brian Knapp interviews – Led Zeppelin Convention May 23, 1992:

Luis Rey interviews – Led Zeppelin Convention May 23, 1992:

Chris Cornell Thank You …RIP:

Led Zeppelin Stairway To Heaven – Earls Court May 1975  

 

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14 Comments »

  • Byron Lewis said:

    Robert Plant is at the Hay on Wye literture festival next weekend with Kent Nerbern to discuss the book “neither wolf nor dog”. It’s not a musical event, but most of the speakers usually do a signing after the event which might be a good opportunity to meet and bag a signature. It’s event 499, tix still available at £8.50

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Chris many thanks for those lovely comments!

  • Chris Wright said:

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading the reminiscences here. It was a simpler time and my memories of the weekend centre around the fantastic camaraderie of fans from around the country and indeed around the world. In truth, I had always been a bigger fan than any of my buddies, so it was great to be able to share the passion with like minded folk for once. Of course these days the internet has made that a daily occurence.

    The Tous En Scene clip just completely blew me away and counts as a very big highlight. I still think of the Celebration Days big screen whenever I play DVD.

    Like everyone else, it seems, I too had my “memorable”,and actually quitw lengthy, conversation with the somewhat over served Mr Hinton, but I agree with you Dave that for all the issues during the event he was an authentic throwback to the excesses of road life in the 60s and 70s. It was also very clear how much he loved and missed Bonzo.

    It seems to me that it was the perfect event for that moment. Zeppelin’s stock was in rapid ascendency after the difficult years leading up to Remasters and the time was right for a formal gathering to reaffirm their unrivaled position at the very summit of rock.

    That it was such a success is something that you and Andy should be very proud of. And here we are a quarter of a century later with undiminished enthusiasm and, yes, love for that incredible band that sounds better than ever and as relevant now as any time before.

    Quite simply, Thank You.

  • Julian Walker said:

    What a superb feature about the wonderful 1992 convention, I was there on both days and thoroughly enjoyed it all. Truly outstanding work by Dave and Andy, and others too. Many thanks for bringing back very happy memories Dave, so poignant after the hideous event of Monday night.

  • Janie said:

    Thank you, Dave, for the magnificent Celebration days. You grave us a treasure

  • Ed-Washington DC said:

    Much heartfelt sympathy to the young victims and their families of this wicked cowardice and I salute the British authorities for their swift response. I am hopeful that our countries will re-double their efforts to root out and eliminate this international death cult, as once again, it is learned that this operative was travelling abroad to God knows where and meeting with God knows whom. More must be done ahead of such carnage. Call it what it is, and identify who they are.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Great days indeed Larry and thanks for your very nice comments!

  • Larry said:

    Dave and Andy, thanks for those wonderful commentaries/reminisces. Celebration Days absolutely touched my heart and I will never forget that time. Meeting the Bonham family was simply a wonderful moment for me, and I was lucky enough to engage Joan and Mick in a lengthy conversation in which they expressed their gratitude and wonder that so many people still cared about the band and music of which John was such an invaluable part. They told me how proud he had been of the band, and how proud they were of him. Of all the tales one hears and reads about the band, meeting the Bonham family really brought home to me the humanity of the whole thing.

    And yes, when Debbie sang The Old Hyde, I was taking industrial sized hits from my pint and trying to keep it together! To no avail I must confess…

    Dave, you and Andy should once again take a bow, that weekend was sheer magic and once again my heartfelt thanks to you both and to everyone else who was there and made it so special.

    As to Mick Hinton, I know he caused no small consternation to you guys, but having him there (along with the other invitees you managed to enlist) was simply fantastic. He was who he was, but no one can say he wasn’t an original/authentic, and in speaking with him I believe he was touched by it all in his own way as well. Phil Carlo was also fantastic with his recollections he shared with the audience.

    It’s been a tough week in the news. The horror in Manchester is another example of something that has sadly become all too familiar. But that doesn’t mean that we should simply accept it as a regular happenstance. Chris Cornell’s death was a shocker.

    And Sir Roger Moore…the man who probably saved James Bond. Of course no one will ever match Connery (just my $.02), but he had moved on and the franchise could have simply faded away. Some Bond fans didn’t like Moore’s tendency for the old wink and a nod, but it fit in well with the times and he was very entertaining. In recent years I’ve read a couple of his books, and speaking of raconteurs, his tomes are a laugh a minute. Sir Roger was great friends with some of the legends of the entertainment industry (Gregory Peck and David Niven among others), and his tales of being Bond and his overall background in the film business are a wonderful read. And of course, he was a tireless worker for children in his role as an ambassador for UNICEF. He will be missed.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Steve
    Thanks mate!
    Yes many future events were kick started at the 1992 Convention – the Roof Gardens being one of many -another one for the memoirs!

  • Steve said:

    Wonderful piece on the convention and you both deserve massive heartfelt thanks
    It’s fair to say that from the fallout after the Sunday my life changed and the hammer of the gods
    was felt. Not least nights out in Soho with a certain guitarist, a friendship with the warmest of people Mick Bonham
    Tours in Australia and USA and a night at my house where the aforementioned Mick Hinton spent the whole night talking to my parrot
    and trying to feed it toast !!!! Talking of hammer of the gods and tight but loose in the same breath will never forget our jaunt at
    the roof gardens in Kensington…. what went on on that roof…..stays on that roof….
    We are all a lot older now…..but would be a great shout for just one more hurrah/convention

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Great words Andy!

  • Andy Adams said:

    Dave,that really does bring it all back! I think I’ve relived every moment over the last couple of days, every emotional high and low, and most of all every smile, every moment of camaraderie and so much laughter.

    Your comment about the pre-Social Media days is spot on. It would be so much easier now! And of course, we can now all communicate and share our thoughts and memories in seconds.

    Like you I miss those that have passed since those days, and the huge part of the Zeppelin community, family they were. It seems both a lifetime and a moment ago and while we’ve all trodden our own paths for the last quarter century, the thread of Zeppelin is one wonderful constant that keeps those paths crossing and weaving together.

    Could it happen again? Like you I keep getting asked that question. At this moment I’d just like to say it would be an absolute pleasure to gather together at some point to raise a glass to all of us and what we achieved and celebrated, and continue to celebrate. The road goes ever on and next year, of course, marks 50 years of Led Zeppelin history.

    To paraphrase Robert onstage a decade ago, just 9 miles from the Royal National Hotel at the O2 arena –

    Dave – We Did it!

  • Zoso said:

    Fantastic piece on organising the first Zep convention in London.
    Really gave us a sense of being there and dealing with the colourful Mick Hinton!
    He sounded like quite a handful (pain in the arse).
    It was also a great reminder of the Herculean effort you put into these sort of things in the early 90s, when the Zep “comeback” was in its infancy.
    There was no roadmap for these events back then and you had to come up with it all yourself.
    I was in 18 in 1992 and pre-Internet your Celebration book was the only real source of information for Zep fans in the UK.
    I must have read it cover to cover 1,000 times.
    So thanks again for all your efforts back then, and your continuing efforts, Dave.
    Keep flying the Zeppelin flag.

  • VHP said:

    Dave,

    I share your thoughts regarding what has happened in Manchester. All very sad, my heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones or who are injured. Thanks to the emergency services who did such a great job.

    Also, very sad also about Cris Cornell and Sir Roger Moore.

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