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23 May 2014 2,636 views 5 Comments


Led Zeppelin Playback Listening Party Wednesday May 21st, 2014:  

On Wednesday, Jimmy Page went back to the original site of the 1969 performance that will be featured on the Led Zeppelin 1 companion audio disc. The Olympia in Paris was the location for a special playback listening party attended by media and fans to mark the forthcoming release of the first three Led Zeppelin reissues. Gary Foy and myself arrived at a rain lashed Olympia in the early evening.

The venue was brilliantly decked out with all manner of Led Zeppelin reissue images. It was great to see many French fans including Christophe Le Pabic, Philippe and  Diddier plus Michaela and Dan from nearby MK. I also had had a word with John Davis the man responsible for remastering the reissue programme with Jimmy. He was most enthusiastic as to what had been achieved and what lies ahead in the subsequent releases. Inside a packed arena, the evening kicked off with the various promos. Jimmy came on to introduce the proceedings and from there the eight previews were  played back – namely Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown and You Shook Me from the Paris 1969 show , then Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker, Gallows Pole, Since I’ve Been Loving You, The Immigrant Song and Key To The Highway/Trouble In Mind. Each track was accompanied by a superb montage of relevant visuals.

olympia 10

Jimmy was back on for the Q and A – it was pleasing to hear that three of the questions chosen came from long time TBL subscribers Michaela Finegan, Geoff Adamson and John Webster. Jimmy as he has been throughout all this media blitz, was perceptive and informative in his answers – hinting at what delights lay ahead. A new montage of Whole Lotta Love brought a very memorable evening to a close. Once again it was an absolute privilege to be in attendance..


Here’s the you tube clip

Latest News Updates:

Team Rock Radio/ HMV Led Zeppelin Reissue Listening Party:

Tonight in at the HMV store in Oxford Street London, Classic Rock Radio DJ Nicky Horne will be hosting  a Led Zeppelin Reissues playback/listening party staged by Team Rock Radio. I aim to be at that one and look forward to all that are making it along.



Here’s the first of the exclusive TBL Led Zeppelin Reissues previews. This is my view of the Led Zeppelin 1 Companion Disc:

Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin I

The Companion Audio Disc: Live at the Olympia, Paris, October 10th 1969

Good Times Bad Times / Communication Breakdown (4.05)

I Can’t Quit You Baby (6.41)

Heartbreaker (3.49)

Dazed and Confused (15.01)

White Summer / Black Mountain Side (9.19)

You Shook Me (11.55)

Moby Dick (9.21)

How Many More Times (11.14)

zep one reissue

The debut Led Zeppelin album was the recorded statement of their first few weeks together. The material selected had been well rehearsed and pre-arranged by the four, one of the primary reasons it took a mere 36 hours to record the album at Olympic Studios, in Barnes, West London.

It’s evident there was very little left over from the album sessions, though back in 1992 Page did salvage Baby Come On Home (aka Tribute To Burt Burns), an outtake from this era that appeared on the Boxed Set 2 compilation. It’s been reported over the years that Zep rehearsed cover versions of The Band’s Chest Fever, Bobby Parker’s Watch Your Step and Elmer Gantry’s Flames but it would appear they were never recorded, as Jimmy has not come up with any alternate versions or outtakes from the first album’s sessions.

Instead he has used the companion disc platform for the first album to present a fully fledged 1969 live on stage recording. There may have been a case for an earlier representation of the band being made available- notably the early Fillmore 1969 appearances (and who knows maybe that situation will be addressed in the future).

However, Jimmy has opted for a later 1969 performance. The source is a radio broadcast of the band’s performance at the Olympia in Paris on October 10th 1969, recorded by Europe 1 radio for the Musicorama programme and part of a short European tour Zep were undertaking during that autumn. A 78 minute edit of the show was first aired on November 2nd 1969. Left to languish in the radio station’s archives for some 38 years, it was re broadcast on December 7th 2007, just three days before the band’s reunion concert at the O2 in London. The recording was subsequently bootlegged, most versions with the French DJ introductions left in and unevenly mixed.

So here’s a preview of what is in store:

Overall this is a much punchier mix than the bootleg version. To accommodate the formatting , there are some edits and the whole presentation clocks in at just under 70 minutes.

There is no band introduction and much of Robert’s between song chat is edited. As for the actual songs themselves, Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown ,I Can’t Quit You Baby, Dazed And Confused ,White Summer/Black Mountain Side ( missing the ‘wanking dog’ Plant reference !) are relatively uncut from the original broadcast. The previously unheard Moby Dick clocks in at 9.21 – it can assumed that there has been some editing on this as Bonzo’s showpiece of the time was clocking in at around 15 minutes. There’s a slightly unorthodox intro to the piece as Jimmy comes in slightly later with the riff, behind Bonzo’s tympani playing. After the riff comes back in at the end, Bonzo undertakes a final percussive flurry with a boisterous shout and then a 50s riff from Jimmy brings it all to a close.

Heartbreaker is edited to a very compact 3 minutes.49 – during the solo just as the recording goes into that weird echo effect of the radio broadcast. Jimmy avoids that sequence and cuts it straight into the up-tempo solo – it all clocks in at a compact  3 minutes 49.

How Many More Times is scaled down from the 22 minute original performance to 11 minutes 14. There is some chat from Robert prior to the track – it then omits the onstage band member’s introductions during the intro as was custom at the time and cuts straight to the riff.

There’s therefore no room for Aynsley Dunbar reference or the Lemon Song/Boogie Chillun’ sequence featured on the broadcast  – however the Oh Rosie/Steal Away (backed by a distinctive Whole Lotta Love riff) and The Hunter is in there  – in effect this version is in a similar arrangement to that of its studio counterpart. A final goodbye and namecheck for the players brings proceedings to a close.

The Paris Olympia show vividly demonstrates Led Zeppelin’s progression as a unit during their first year together, in particular the growing confidence of Robert Plant, his shrill vocal attack adds real vitality and spark to the proceedings.

Highlights: The opening Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown salvo with John Bonham doubling up the bass patterns to whip them into shape. The pure blues attack of I Can’t Quite You Baby and You Shook Me – the latter providing a loose framework for a lengthy improvisation –and the How Many More Times finale which carries the listener along on an irresistible adrenalin rush.

After completing another US tour in the fall of 1969, they would go on to revise the act for the opening gigs of 1970. This Paris performance is therefore a welcomed official representation of the band at this point – with a set list still full of Zep I vitality nurtured during the countless gigs they performed that year – and now maturing with the introduction of new material from the about to be released Led Zeppelin II.

This then is an energetic snapshot of the often wild abandonment performances of this era. Whilst the bootlegs serve their purpose, when it comes to the officially sanctioned live album releases (of which How The West Was Won would be a template), I feel there’s a real sense that we are hearing Led Zeppelin as its original founder perceives it. That is reason enough to welcome Led Zeppelin Live at the Olympia 1969 into your homes and onto your deck at the earliest opportunity…

Dave Lewis  – May 20th, 2014


Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck at the Ivor Novello awards:

Jimmy was back in London yesterday and on hand to present Jeff Beck with an Ivor Novello award:—Jeff-Beck–Jimmy-Page-on-award-history-playing-style-friendship-and-guitars-at-the-Ivor-Novello-Awards-2014-at-The-Grosvenor-House-Hotel-on-May-22-2014-in-London-England

 And some interesting comments here…


Jimmy Page on the Jimmy Fallon show:

A clip of his appearance on the Jimmy Fallon show:

Jimmy Page interview – an excellent interview here via Radio.Com

News Catch Up:

Led Zeppelin To Be Sued over Stairway: Plenty of coverage for this story…this one via Classic Rock:

Led Zeppelin are to be sued by Spirit bassist Mark Andes over iconic track Stairway To Heaven’s similarity to a piece released by his band three years earlier.

They launched a composition called Taurus in 1968, and soon afterwards Led Zep supported them on their first-ever US tour. Stairway was released in 1971 on Led Zeppelin IV – but members of Spirit always claimed the opening acoustic guitar phrase was lifted from Taurus.

Late guitarist Randy California, who died in 1997, once commented: “I’d say it was a rip-off. The guys made millions of bucks on it and never said, ‘Thank you’ – never said, ‘Can we pay you some money?’ It’s a sore point with me.”

Now Andes is gearing up to file papers in an attempt to stop the re-release of the track as part of Led Zep’s remaster series, unless California gets a co-writing credit and appropriate payment.

He says Jimmy Page and co heard the song on the road in 1968, and tells Business Week: “It was such a pretty moment, and it would typically come after a big forceful number. They would have seen it in that context. We did quite a few shows with those guys – not to say they might have heard it from the record.”

More at:


Bron Yr Aur :

This one via the Daily Mail

A family who moved to a picturesque cottage halfway up a Welsh mountain is having their peace and quiet ruined – by Led Zeppelin fans.

Ecologist Scott Roe, 42, thought the tiny house would be an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

But Led Zeppelin used it as a country hideaway to write Stairway To Heaven – and Scott’s family get besieged by hairy rock fans on a pilgrimage.

More at:

Robert Plant on stage for charity gig:

Robert gave another impromptu appearance  on May 16th when he performed Rock n Roll and Whole Lotta Love with Rick Parfitt Jnr and The RPJ Band, at the Morgan Foundation Charity Dinner at Carden Park, Chester, Cheshire.

Joe Jammer updated website: Joe Jammer –the ex Zep tech and guitarist/performer in his own right has recently updated his website:

My interview with Joe is one of the highlights of the new TBL issue 37


DL Diary Update:

Olympia 21

A whirlwind week here with TBL 37 distribution on going and then the trip to Paris with Gary – an incredibly exciting stay – despite the rain…what we saw of it and we did do some cultural stuff honest! Paris looked very fine indeed – we did find one CD/book/record shop record shop – I abstained on a copy of Iron Butterfly’s debut album on Atco  (it was a hardly mint!). As for the Olympia event…just tremendous and a fabulous occasion – just seeing all the relevant images adorning the venue was enough to set the pulse running high just so exciting. It was great to chat to John Davis  and on stage Jimmy was just brilliant. Afterwards we had a bite to eat at the Hard Rock Café and in the morning a little bit more sightseeing before the rain returned – it was back in the late afternoon to catch up on the news here and log updates on facebook and here. Tonight there’s more…as I am zipping into London for the HMV Team Rock playback event – I look forward to seeing all that can make that one.

All this activity mirrors the similar running around I was doing 39 years ago to see Led Zeppelin at Earls Court…then as now…they still hold the magic…it really is remarkable.

Playlist wise..well it’s been Led Zeppelin pure and simple – and more on all that next week…

Just got the new issue of Classic Rock which has major coverage of the Led Zeppelin reussues ,including a preview piece I contributed. Nice to see TBL subscriber Nigel Paling’s pic of the Bron Yr Aur cottage used too Finally I just want to extend a massive thanks for the many heart-warming  comments regarding TBL 37  I have received on here and on Facebook which really is such an inspiration. Sincere thanks..

Ten days to go and counting….not just a band …more a way of life and how that phrase has rung true many times these past few days and will surely do again in the days ahead…

And finally some clips:: Jimmy Page Berklee interview: 


Jimmy Page Interview with Jim Kerr Q104.3


Here’s my interview with Vic Morgan on BBC Radio Devon:

Until next time…

Have a great weekend

Keep listening, keep reading… Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – May 23rd, 2014.

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  • Simon Cox said:

    Hi Dave

    TBL remains as ever the focal point for news, exciting times indeed

    just a quick query and observation on Plants Spanish tour cancellation (gutted because I had tickets – but I have subsequently managed to get a ticket to the Glastonbury Abbey gig)

    Cancellation due to poor ticket sales? Or a genuine scheduling issue

    the only other time that has happened to me was tickets to see Steve Miller – shortly after The Joker was re-issued and a hit again in the 80s after being used in a TV ad. Eventually Steve Miller toured in the UK for the first time in many years – and to my wild delight I bumped into Jimmy literally just before the show was about to start – he dutifully said hello, shake of the hands. Unlike Dave Gilmour – who much earlier was entering the event before the crowds gathered – and flat refused to stop for an autograph or selfie

  • Graham Rodger said:

    Nice interview with Jimmy in today’s TIMES newspaper.

  • Matt O'Kane said:

    Dave – have you checked out the “Led Zep song catalogue as periodic table” graphic in Q Magazine yet? Essential reading and inspired . Would have made GCSE chemistry a whole lot more fun!

  • Byron Lewis said:

    Managed to see Leonard Cohen at the Olympia a couple of years back, aware of some Zep significance to the venue. An inspirational couple of days, also the Musee D’Orsay I have to say, was exceptional.
    These talking events that Jimmy appears comfortable with could well be the future. As his autobiography is out again soon, appearances at literary festivals such as Hay would be most welcome: 20 minutes of chat, 20 minutes of guitar playing to illustrate the talk followed by 20 minutes of answering questions from the audience. I’d gladly queue up to pay.
    Bron y Aur should be a holiday home to let, surely the landlord needs to know there is a market for such.
    TBL 37 received with thanks, feet up with a couple of cool ones this bank holiday to digest. Thanks Dave


    Hoping that this round of PR exposure is adding to Jimmy’s confidence to be out there playing live again sooner rather than later. As he says, he’s not devoid of ideas nor options such as (in no particluar order) : Paul Rodgers,Tony Franklin,Jason Bonham,David Coverdale,Chris Slade,Pino Palladino etc.

    Come on Jimmy, ignore Planty’s games and let the rubber hit the road !

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