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5 March 2010 4,143 views No Comment

At a special book signing event in London to launch his new book Apathy For The Devil, legendary 70s rock journalist Nick Kent reminisced about his days on the road with Led Zeppelin. ‘’When they got into their groove on things like Trampled Underfoot they were as good as it gets’’ he told Dave Lewis. ‘’I had some amazing times with them.’’

The book is a memoir of his life in the 70s as the most controversial journalist of the era – becoming as notorious as the stars he wrote about. ‘’I was hugely influenced by writers like Hunter S. Thompson. He really got under the skin of his subjects and it was my aim to get embedded with the bands I wrote about’’

‘’I first saw Zeppelin in 1970 at the Bath Festival. I was just a kid. I was really interested in seeing the West Coast bands on the bill like Hot Tuna and The Byrds and Dr.John.  Then Zeppelin came on and just blew everyone away that day.’’

Nick joined the then flailing NME in 1972. Within a year of recruiting the likes of Nick and notable underground writers such as Charles Shaar Murray, and the late Ian MacDonald, the papers circulation soared to 200,000 an issue.

‘’One of my early tour assignments was to see Led Zeppelin play at the Cardiff Capitol theatre . They were doing stuff from the yet to be released Houses Of The Holy album and it was really something seeing them just take over an audience. Later I built up a really good rapport with them. I remember attending a rehearsal for the 75 US tour at a theatre in Ealing for a major interview before the Physical Graffiti album came out and I also travelled with them on their private plane.’’

At the book launch Q and A session, Nick also discussed his associations with Syd Barrett,  Iggy Pop, Lou Reed Malcolm Mclaren and his role as one time guitarist in the fledging Sex Pistols.

The book Apathy For The Devil (Faber & Faber) is a compelling account with plenty of Zeppelin anecdotes and highly recommended.. See ordering Details here

* There’s more from Nick Kent on Zep in the forthcoming issue of Tight But Loose – subscription details above.

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