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OVER EUROPE 1980 -35 YEARS GONE/ FIVE GLORIOUS NIGHTS VIDEO TRAILER/ SUGAR MAMA/TFI FRIDAY/DL DIARY UPDATE

11 June 2015 3,258 views 14 Comments

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Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980 – 35 years Gone

Next week marks the 35th anniversary of the first dates of the final Led Zeppelin tour – a low key 14 date trek taking in Germany, Belgium, Holland, Austria and Switzerland. To begin a month long celebration of that final tour, I have reduced the price of the Feather In the Wind book for a limited period to just £8 including postage and packing.

This is a fantastic opportunity to invest in the definitive account of the tour at a bargain price – yet more Led Zep summer 2015 reading.

For those who have yet to indulge, to give you a flavour of the contents – here is an extract of chapter three – my on the road account written at the time and first featured in TBL issue 5.

 Extract – Chapter Three: Rejuvenation Over Europe 1980 – Up close and personal: 

The magnificent city of Cologne, a mixture of hustling German efficiency and enthusiastic tourism, looks dull and hazy as our train rolls into the station on a June, Wednesday morning. It’s in the vicinity of the square that surrounds the impressive Cologne cathedral that the reality of what I’m actually doing here really hits home. Along a side street adjoining the square are a row of blue and red bill posters, each proclaiming the same message. “Lippman, Rau and Scheller present Led Zeppelin Concert 80.” The slogan spells out clearly that Led Zeppelin are once again fully operational as a working rock ‘n’ roll band.

Yes it’s true. Led Zeppelin are coming over to meet the 80s. Their first tour in three years is finally happening.

The decision to return to the European community after a seven year absence had been taken as far back as April.   The group booked in extensive rehearsals at London’s Rainbow and New Victoria Theatre, then switched to Shepperton in readiness for a number of German concerts, set up through Harvey Goldsmith’s Umbrella operation scheduled for late May. However, the itinerary went through a series of revisions (in usual Zep style) before the final plans were laid for the groups return to touring with fourteen mid June and early July gigs across Germany, Holland, Switzerland and Belgium. Following a further spate of rehearsals at Shepperton, the Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980 tour carnage was ready to roll.

So cut back to Cologne, June 18th, 1980. The second day of the tour. The previous night the band had done the ritual, rust stripping in Dortmund, except this time around there hadn’t been a lot of rust to strip. In Cologne’s plush Inter-Continental Hotel, Robert Plant is telling me that the first gig had been, in his words “brilliant!”, which for a Zep first night is nothing short of incredible. “I don’t know about tonight being so good but yes, it’s great to be back” adds Mr Plant, clad in a good looking Brazil yellow soccer shirt, jeans and tennis shoes, looking a little tired but pretty much full of life.

Harvey Goldsmith, the man responsible for bringing the group over, is booking everybody into the hotel. A very down to earth true blue Englishman, he’s probably the most powerful promoter in Britain. He’s done them all – Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, The Who, I mean he even got Bob Dylan over. And now Led Zeppelin. This is one tour he personally wants to witness blow by blow. With him is Martin Goldsmith, responsible for the tour merchandise. He’s wearing the official, “Zeppelin Over Europe ‘80” T-shirt which depicts one of those war time lookout guards anxiously peering skywards awaiting the blitz to happen. Over Europe – geddit? “Hope the Germans see the joke” laughs Martin.

John Paul Jones has short hair again. Similar to the 1975 model, making him look slightly younger maybe. John Bonham looks as bold as brass in his “All Right Now” sweat shirt, his thick Midlands accent warm and familiar. Jimmy Page looks weary in white. Unshaven, unsteady and sweaty. Any doubts about his fitness though are going to be completely dispelled a few hours from now. The huge figure of Peter Grant, commanding respect, follows in with the rest of the security personnel. They’ve got Phil Carson over from WEA too, a familiar figure of past Zeppelin tours. It really is beginning to look like old times again.

About three miles away from the hotel, across the Rhine, is the Cologne Sportshalle. Usually reserved for the local cycling club, tonight it’s accommodating the radically cut-down Zeppelin P.A. Just a basic stage layout with a black backcloth, there has been little hassle in setting the gear as security chief, Dave Moulder, tells me emphatically, “This is the best crew in the world” and you know he’s talking about the Showco team from Dallas, Texas, as much a part of the Zeppelin legacy as the Gibson double neck and Benji Lefevre himself.

The German people like their rock, no mistake about that. The arena, one of the smallest on the tour, holds about 4,000, certainly not much bigger than our Hammersmith Odeon, and fills up pretty quickly. There are a sprinkling of American servicemen present, but nowhere near as many as would attend some of the later gigs on the tour.

So, it’s just after 8pm, 170 days into the eighties, when Led Zeppelin collectively come out to face them. The lights dim, the canned music fades and I get that familiar (but not experienced since last August) below the belt surge that travels through the whole body. No-one introduces the group, but then again no-one needs to.

Bonzo is the first man to be seen, moving up to the rostrum followed by John Paul Jones, dressed in white crochet patterned shirt and jeans. He picks up the Alembic bass and strides stage left. Robert Plant and Jimmy Page walk to the front of the stage to greet the mass applause. Robert’s hair looks shorter than Knebworth and probably more like pre ’69 length than at any time since. He’s clad in a non flashy cap sleeve silk T-shirt, straight legged denims and Rod Laver tennis sneakers – his uniform throughout the tour. Jimmy Page, his hair nearer the length of the ’77 tour than last year, is wearing the most incredible blue/grey pin striped baggy suit. On anyone else it would look like an Oxfam reject. On the frame of James Patrick Page it just looks so right. Black shirt, white scarf and blue slip-ons complete the attire. There is an air of non excessiveness and lack of self indulgence about the appearance and from the first number it is apparent that this transcribes itself into the music.

Over Europe for tbl

Raymondo straps on Jimmy’s Gibson. The audience are already in near frenzy as he steps on the wah-wah pedal and tunes up. Robert, straight to the right of the stage with both arms held aloft, is holding the microphone lead in that usual outstretched pose. Jimmy Page continues tuning up and eventually this becomes the chords for the opening bars of Train Kept A Rollin’, an old Yardbirds number and a track that was used as the set opener on the first Zeppelin US tours all those years ago.

As Jonesy and Bonzo crash in on cue, Robert, at once, is alive and totally immersed in the song. Let me tell you, it was a moment that crystallised the essence of rejuvenation this band has obviously undergone. The power, even for them, is awesome ….

Extract from the book Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind – Over Europe 1980 by Dave Lewis  

Book ordering Details:   http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/books-t-shirts/led-zeppelin-feather-in-the-wind-over-europe-1980-book/

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Five Glorious Nights Led Zeppelin at Earls Court May 1975 preview video Trailer:

Mark Smith at Rufus Stone Limited Editions has produced a video clip for the Five Glorious Nights book – it previews shows some of the contents of the book  – see the YouTube clip below.

Latest news on the book distribution – printed and bound books should be at Rufus Stone very soon for the distribution to commence next week.

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Robert Plant Cancels US gigs:

Robert was forced to cancel gigs last week in the US due to about of laryngitis – they have been re scheduled for September.

Here’s the info:

The Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters concert scheduled for Sunday, June 7th at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre is being postponed due to illness according to Live Nation. Tickets will be honoured for the new date of Tuesday, September 15th and refunds will be made available at point of purchase until June 19th in the event ticket holders are unable to make the new date. Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts, The Pixies will not be appearing on the rescheduled date of September 15th. A replacement support artist will be named at a future date.

Plant says: “I woke up this morning and found that I had more of a similarity with a crooning Kermit than my normal Golden self, so heaps of apologies. It’s not my idea of fun to miss a gig.”

Live Nation regrets to announce that the Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters concert scheduled for Tuesday, June 9th at the Meadow Brook Music Festival is being postponed due to illness. Tickets will be honored for the new date of Thursday, September 10, 2015 at Meadow Brook Music Festival, and refunds will be made available at point of purchase until June 19, 2015 in the event ticket holders are unable to make the new date. Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts, The Pixies will not be appearing on the rescheduled date of September 10th. A replacement support artist will be named at a future date.

“Sunday morning I woke up with a flu that’s developed into laryngitis. I’m really disappointed as I’ve only missed 1 gig in 15 years and now here’s two in a row. It’s heartbreaking. I’m furious, frustrated and silent.”- Robert Plant

The FirstMerit Bank Pavilion is being postponed.“I’m not used to this. I just want to keep on doing what I set out to do when I first came to America — give 140% every night and be the best I can be at every show. It’s maddening and frustrating to realize I can’t do that right now. But I’ll be back.” -Robert

Tickets will be honored for the new date of Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion,

See latest updates at Robert’s official site:

http://www.robertplant.com/#news

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Report from the Mountain Jam date by James Banolsky:

Just back from Mountain Jam in upstate New York. I took advantage of the crowd’s having been blown away by Grace Potter’s excellent set to snake my way up to the front for Robert. From that vantage point, I could see/hear that he was occasionally turning his back to the audience and coughing between songs, but he nevertheless delivered an excellent show that left the crowd buzzing (heard lots of people talking the next day about impressed they were with his set).

To me, Little Maggie, Spoonful and Fixin’ to Die (w/ fantastic solo by Justin) were the highlights.

I thought you might be interested in knowing that even though he was clearly under the weather (as I’ve come to learn from other posts on your page, he’s now cancelled two subsequent shows due to illness), his set was easily the longest of the three headliners of the festival.The much younger Black Keys and Alabama Shakes – both of whom put on fine shows – could learn from watching a veteran pro like Robert.

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Y Storm for Forest Live:

Here’s a lovely story:

A REAL life “School of Rock” will have an opportunity of a lifetime as they take to the stage in front of 10,000 fans of Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant.

Children from Ysgol OM Edwards in Llanuwchllyn have been asked to support the rock icon at the Forest Live festival in Staffordshire in July.

Their band, called Y Storm, has just returned from an award winning performance at the Urdd National Eisteddfod in Caerphilly.

Parent Liam Tyson, asked if the band could perform with his band in support of the Led Zeppelin frontman.

Mr Tyson is a former guitarist with Liverpool band Cast who now tours with Sensational Space Shifters supporting Robert Plant. His two sons Osian and Guto are members of Y Storm and last week the band won first prize for the rock and pop band at the eisteddfod for the third year running.

Headteacher, Dilys Jones, said their success was a great achievement.

She said: “The school had a tremendous eisteddfod, the children have worked very hard. Again this year have taken the first prize for the rock and pop band for the third year in a row.

“Quite an achievement to think that the composer is 11 year old Osian Daley Tyson who has written the song and the music.

“They will star alongside Robert Plant in July at the Cannock Forest gig where they will perform five or six songs.” But for the budding superstars the momentous nature of what they are about to do in July has not sunk in.

More at:

http://www.newsnorthwales.co.uk/news/148887/school-pupils-ready-to-rock-with-led-zeppelin-legend-robert-plant.aspx

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Zeppelin Express tribute band:

Mike from the Zeppelin Express tribute band has been in touch to inform that on Tuesday June 23 we will be playing a one off gig in the UK for a Birmingham TV show. Mike was formerly guitarist in the Led Zep Two tribute band. Now based in France the Zeppelin express line up features a French drummer and a vocalist form Los Angeles.

Full details here

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-zeppelin-express-tickets-17258230833

https://www.facebook.com/events/1590540497887879/

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James Last 1929 – 2015:

Sad to hear the news of the passing of the great German band leader James Last aged 86. When I worked at the WH Smith record department in the 1970s, we sold countless copies of his easy listening non stop dancing party albums – in fact on Non Stop Dancing Vol 12, his orchestra covers both Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song and Deep Purple’s Strange Kinda Woman – one of the all time great kitsch pieces of easy listening. Marvel at it on the YouTube clip below – Zep enter at 1.08…

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TFI Friday:

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The popular mid 90s UK TV show TFI Friday hosted by Chris Evans is back on screen on Friday night in a one off Channel 4 special. Chris Evans will be back behind the chair with guest appearances from the likes of Jeremy Clarkson, Noel Gallagher and Roger Daltrey. The pic here is Robert with Chris Evans on his Radio Two show in 2013.

Back in the day, it’s heady mix of interviews,music and quirky features hit the mark. Indeed in March 1998, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant graced the studios with their presence to promote the Walking Into Clarksdale album. At the time, via the TFI office I was tasked with supplying part of the audience with an amount of TBL subscribers and crew for their appearance. It came at the end of what had been a mad month of March ’98. This began with a trip to Istanbul to see the two Page & Plant shows and ended with a three day stint of  P & P activity which included the superb Shepherds Bush Empire gig on Weds March 25, the Top of The Pops filming the next night March 26 and finally the TFI filming. The latter was a hugely enjoyable afternoon as we soaked up two riveting P& P live performances and the Chris Evans interview. All in the surrounding of Riverside Studios in Hammersmith where the weekly dose of mildly anarchic TFI Friday was staged. It really did feel like we were part of something special that afternoon – the good lady Janet and I plus the TBL contingent are all grooving away somewhere in the audience on the YouTube clip of Rock And Roll below.

To mark the one off return of TFI Friday to our screens this week – I’ve dug out the feature about the filming that first appeared in TBL issue 13. Great memories indeed…

Friday March 27, 1998:

And so it goes on. This week really is turning into one of, if not the most, memorable Zeppelin related since Earls Court and today it’s Friday so it must be TFI Friday. That’s right, the immensely popular music show hosted by the incredulous Chris Evans and scripted by big Zepp fan Danny Baker. Now I have much admiration for Evans – one of the most gifted broadcasters of the last 15 years. I also never miss the show – it’s brand of celebrity interviews, sketches and live music is never less than interesting. Page and Plant were announced for the show a couple of weeks back. Pleasingly the opportunity arose to ensure some TBL representation at the show (a situation that once again was not without it’s stress for me but I guess it was worth it in the end).

It’s nice to be taking along Janet today – it was 15 years ago in a similar TV studio setting such as today (The Tube in June ’83 – my word that seems a lifetime ago!)) that she first became acquainted with the live Robert Plant experience. So it’s fitting that we should be going back to a TV studio to see not just Robert but Jimmy too, an opportunity for her to enjoy the event and perhaps view at first hand the reason for all the endless phone calls that disrupt Coronation Street and many other things in the Totnes household.

Lunch time in Hammersmith. Unfortunately the TBL crew meet has gone a little off course. The pub we were advised to meet in has, er, well, been renamed! Luckily we all manage to catch each other in the Wetherspoons pub and from there it’s off to the near-by Riverside Studios.

Another queue begins but finally we are in (and no problems with the age situation, so Zimmer-frame rock rules after all!) Then it’s more excited waiting outside the studio and eventually we are moved in around 4pm. (Not before the strains of a Most High run-through have been heard earlier). Once in, we quickly gather around the stage that they will be performing on. Which is not too hard to decipher. Clues: Ludwig drum kit, Jimmy’s effects panel and one solitary microphone at the front (and we all know who that’s for).

A studio announcer runs us through pro-ceedings and gets the rules out of the way. We’ve got to keep smiling and dancing thr-oughout whichever bands on. “I know a lot of you are here to see one special act’’ says the man to a huge cheer. Before long it’s ready to roll, red light on and cue the music.

Chris Evans is giving the programme run down… he’s already making a big thing of Page and Plant being on – and as he’s doing that, it all starts happening down the front. Tim, Charlie and Michael are in position, Jimmy climbs up to the stage and straps on the Gibson. Robert hugs the mic waiting for the cue. (Fashion notes: Jimmy retains the pin stripe trousers and reverts to the black T-shirt; Robert has a similar T-shirt on to Wednesday, but opts for the baggier trousers similar to those worn early on the Eastern Europe dates. “They sold 100 million albums… second only to The Beatles and Woolworths! They raised rock on high, they juggled both Led and Zeppelin… and they’re here now, and now with Rock And Roll here are Jimmy Page and Robert Plant!’’

And it bloody well is – right in front of our eyes. How close can it get! Bedlam follows as we rock it up with them – Jimmy looking supremely confident as he struts around – Robert mic off within a minute – all the old poses. It’s absolutely glorious.

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Three and half sweat soaked minutes later and they finish to rapturous cheers. Phew now that was pretty exiting! “Led Zeppelin!’’ proclaims Evans. “Led Zeppelin’s Rock And Roll by Mr Jimmy Page and Mr Robert Plant!”

The rest of the show follows – we nod along to The Smiles and Divine Comedy, cheer to a montage of Gary Lineker’s goals that are shown during his interview and also get well excited everytime Evans mentions Page and Plant – everytime he does the riff of Whole Lotta Love is played, inspiring mass air guitar movements from Evans and those in the bar. After an interview with Full Monty star Paul Barber (who says he’s a fan) it’s time to welcome Page and Plant for their interview. We see them walk along the gantry into the bar. The interview is an excellent one. Plant has a Wolves scarf tied around his wrist and dryly comments that “Old men do it better!’’ in reply to Evan’s question on how they keep it up. Evans brings in Steve from Manchester, a fan who had rung into to his radio show in the morning. (The popular Virgin Radio show had turned into a 45 minute spontaneous Zeppelin showcase.) He asks about the chron-ological live album “Yeah it could happen in the futur” replies Page. Jimmy is really good humoured throughout the interview, another example of the fun they seem to be having. Chris manages to get their names mixed up in his own excitement (Robert Page and Jimmy Plant) and asks a question faxed by Jeremy Clarkeson: “Is it true you once cancelled a tour due to the hose pipe ban,’’ gets a hoot of laughter from Plant, “That’s a good one!’’

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Plant does his own Midlands accent desc-ribing how the Wolves fans comment to him “Alright Planty, still doing a bit then!’’

Down on stage the cameras have been moved allowing us the ultimate vantage position right under Plant’s monitor. How close can you get! (again). Evans introduces the finale, “Page and Plant playing the new single Most High’’. Charlie and Michael kick into a riff as the boys climb down the stairs and up on to the stage.

Our signature tune kicks in yet again. Page’s guitar sound so pure and clear as he strikes the strings just feet away is just awe inspiring. Robert meanwhile wheels the mic stand around just avoiding the top of our heads. On the solo oriental part Jimmy crunges out the most amazing riffs leading where the oriental part usually leads. And then the finale – with Plant extending the lyrics (rolling up on the monitor in front of us incidentally) and it’s over. Huge cheers, big smiles. They’ve done it once again.

As we shuffle away from the stage I feel a real pride – the same pride I felt on the last night of Earls Court… at Knebworth when we sang You’ll Never Walk Alone… in front of the TV at 1 am in the morning as the camera panned away during Stairway at Live Aid… after they demolished Wearing And Tearing at the Silver Clef show… at Meadowlands Arena during the ovation they received after a stinging Song Remains The Same three years back… and now yet again in this little TV studio on a Friday night – 23 years to the day when they played that famous last night at LA in ’75.

It’s still valid and it still inspires and moves us. Even some of the younger fans here for The Divine Comedy picked up on the vibe. It feels so good to be part of it, knowing that a UK audience of four million are about to see it on the small screen themselves.

7pm Outside Riverside Studios. Robert comes out to applause and walks along with his five year old son Jesse. Eventually he straps into his Gold 500s Mercedes pausing to make a call on his mobile, and drives off with Jesse in the back. Bound for the Midlands and a Sunday rendezvous at Molineux for Wolves against Portsmouth. Jimmy is in an upstairs hospitality room behind Cedrics Cafe. A swelling crowd of well wishers, press photographers and autograph hunters await. Eventually he strolls out looking very relaxed happy to sign for all and sundry -posing with a small child and parents,

Then he’s driven off in a blacked out car.

The TBL crew head back to the Wetherspoon pub for some rousing aftermatch talk passing Hammersmith Odeon (or Apollo as it’s now known)on the way. Ten years ago almost to the month it was there that we witnessed one of the major reunions of the ’80’s when Jimmy joined Robert for that famous segment. They played Rock And Roll that night too. Back then in our wildest dreams we could not have predicted the remarkable series of events we’ve witnessed these past three days. Around the Hammersmith flyover rail-ings there are already poster flyer boards advertising the new single (though not as many once Mr and Mrs Foy and Rob D have been passed). Once in the pub the ale flows. I feel a huge relief that the last three days have gone so well – and at last it’s a time to unwind. Many a beer is drunk in celebration. Luckily Janet is around to ensure the train doesn’t keep on rollin’ when we head back.

Saturday March 28 1998:

It’s back to work with a predictable hangover. However it looks as though TFI Friday has had the desired effect. “When’s the new Led Zeppelin album out?’’ asks a genuinely interested punter “Weren’t they great on TFI last night’’!

Page Plant, Led Zeppelin… I guess now it all blurs into one. Watching the video on Saturday night brings it all back. Catching ourselves on camera and many other familiar faces. One clear fact emerges from this very special TV appearance – it was a real Event with a capital E. To his credit Chris Evans played it up appropriately knowing he was in the presence of men with a legendary past – and a great future. Once again it was a real privilege to have been luckily enough to witness it all. It brings to a close a week that really does in hindsight rank alongside those heady days in SW5 23 years back.

Final Reflections: Three days After:

Once again Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have exceeded my expectations. These past three days have produced so many highs, so many moments of absolute pure musical magic.

Can it ever be this good again? Has it been this good before in recent years? Who knows. Perhaps not, but the fact I was able to witness it all is a major triumph and relief. A triumph and relief that for me personally succeeded in successfully

re-evaluating the reason why I devote so much time and passion to this thing, and put it all firmly back into focus.

The memories that I and all those that shared in it can now be stored- taking their rightful place in the category marked “Unforgettable’’. Because this mad month of March really was, and is, as good as it gets.

Most high? Most definitely. And it’s a very high place to be. DL 2/4/98

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Sugar Mama:

The previously unreleased rather splendid Sugar Mama echoes Jimmy’s work in The Yardbirds as I explained in my TBL piece today…
‘’ Back to October 1968: Talking of The Yardbirds, there are plenty of echoes on Sugar Mama from Page’s playing in that particular band – the tonal Telecaster guitar effects in the solo and the closing riff work that replicates the style of Happenings Ten Years Time Ago – the brilliant Yardbirds single of late 1966 and one of the few recordings to feature both Page and Jeff Beck on record together. His contribution to Sugar Mama is an early example of the harmonic blend of subtly and brutality which will become his trademark’’
You can listen to the The Yardbirds brilliant single below – I remember paying £5 for this in 1974 – half my weekly wages then! All worth it of course!

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DL Diary Update:

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After a fair few days of full on TBL activity – last Sunday I enjoyed a splendid afternoon away from the TBL hub with the good lady Janet at the very sunny and warm Bedford Kite Festival. This week I’ve been right back on it and there’s been more work with designer Mick Lowe at StudioMix Bedford on the design and layout of the forthcoming TBL issue 39 -I am looking at late June as a wrap – see pic below taken last Saturday.

Friday treats at the excellent Vinyl Barn in Bedford – in between work on TBL 39 there was time to snap up a vinyl beauty last Friday – the Graham Nash/David Crosby album gatefold sleeve foreign pressing on Atco. In the quest to own all the singles I would have bought between 1969 and 1972  (if I could have afforded them) I snapped up Gilbert O Sullivan’s Nothing Rhymed and Bread’s Make It With You.

There’s a busy few days ahead with more work on TBL 39 – and at the weekend there will be a visit from Dec over from Ireland. Amongst the usual vinyl talk and a beer or two, along the way with our fellow Earls Court Bedford veterans Tom and Phil, we are going to have a look at the pics from our first holiday abroad all of 40 years ago this month.

This occurred just days after the last Earls Court show – we spent ten days in the heat of Lorret De Mar. I recall that 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!), one of the highlight of the holiday was the batch of Zep Spanish pressing singles I uncovered in the local record shop- it just never stopped…

Talking of which….

25 Years – a silver anniversary of non stop Led Zep chronicling…

It was most exciting to wake up on Monday with the prospect of the Sugar Mama track airing. It inspired me to concoct a 1,400 word overview of the track. The way the words tumbled out reminded me of writing the A Celebration book and compiling the TBL newsletters that I used to send out in the 90s in the pre Internet age. Back then, the words always flowed freely with passion and enthusiasm and it was great to be inspired on Monday to feel that same excitement. Noting Sam’s birthday last week and how her arrival came as I was deeply ensconced in the writing of the A Celebration book, it struck me that day in, day out, week and week out, I’ve been writing and chronicling the world of Led Zeppelin pretty much no stop for the past 25 years. Be it with the book projects, the magazine contributions to Record Collector, Mojo, Classic Rock etc – the TBL magazine and newsletters, the TBL website, Facebook. Oh not to mention the previous 12 years when there was also a lot of pen to paper on the same subject of with the early TBL mags etc.

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That’s a hefty chunk of anyone’s waking hours – I can honestly say when I eagerly logged my thoughts down on the Sugar Mama preview, I felt the same sense of wonderment and passion that I did when I wrote the very first words of the A Celebration book (it was the chapter Jimmy Page The Master And His Art by the way) 25 years ago this summer. The pic above was taken in 1991 when the book was published.

Sometime over the next few days I’m going to pause for thought and have a look through my copy of the A Celebration book – and reflect on the outpouring of enthusiasm and passion that pours from every page….25 years on,that same passion and enthusiasm will be pouring from every page of the forthcoming TBL 39….thanks for all your support over the last quarter of a century for my non stop go chronicling of the world of Led Zep…

Dave Lewis June 11,2015

 

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YouTube Clips:

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

Led Zeppelin – Sugar Mama clip:

The Yardbirds – Happening Ten Years Time Ago clip:

TFI Friday March 1998  – Jimmy Page & Robert Plant -Rock And Roll

TFI Friday March 1998 – Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Interview:

James Last – Immigrant Song and Strange Kinda Woman: RIP


Until next time…

Have a great weekend,

Keep listening, keep reading…

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy –  June 11, 2015 

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14 Comments »

  • Dave M said:

    Yes, lots of memories, Dave.

    Like people have mentioned, I too devoured Celebration when it came out in the pre-internet age.

    As a 17-year-old Zeppelin schoolboy zealot, I also must have read the Sounds’ “Zeppelin Uber Alles” concert review from the 1980 tour about 100 times and absorbed every word and nuance!

    That report from Munich, by Sounds’ Steve Gett, was the only one (to my knowledge at the time) that appeared in the British music press. And the picture was from Knebworth, a year earlier.

    Information was incredibly limited. The band may as well have been playing on Mars, not across the North Sea.

    It beggars belief how much the media has changed in the last 35 years.

    A Zeppelin tour of Europe today would probably break the internet!

  • Steve Phillips said:

    Each time I hear The Tube mentioned I remember the Robert Plant pre-record for the ‘Midsummers Night’ show, and the fact Robert pulled it from transmission the following night. I was part of the sound crew that night I though they played quite well-Robert didn’t think they did. 1983 seems ages ago now….

  • Mark Williams said:

    Those TFI performances (and interview) were epic ! Jimmy particularly on fire and just check out that drumming from the wonderful Michael ‘ animal’ Lee ( R.I.P) Michael was such a good foil for them both and brought a vitality at that period in their evolution.
    Robert Page & Jimmy Plant indeed as Chris noted !

  • Steve said:

    James Last, a man completely confident in what he did , musical boundaries just did not exist for him. Respect.

  • Patrick of Bournemouth said:

    Yep – Celebration book was amazing, I bought it again about ten years ago as my original started to fall apart having been consulted so many times…dare I say it was the Zep Bible at the time ?

    There was just so much information, was truly great….the follow-up was just as good. Must get them off the shelf and have a look soon.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Jez yes that was another of my all time greats!

  • Del said:

    Yep also bought the celebration book, and the second one actually both great reads and some fabulous pics some of which at the time I had never seen before, yea all in all great stuff from the main man as usual !!!

    Have to say as well remember really looking forward to the TFI episode when it was announced and it didn’t dissapoint really good humouruous interview and that performance of Rock N Roll is probably the best version I have seen or heard post Zepp

  • TfiSteve said:

    Always good to get a mention in your column – I’ll be glued to TFI tomorrow- tried to get on the show again – no such luck BUT will never forget my 1998 appearance

  • Chris Cook said:

    “A Celebration” was available at Harlington Library in West London back in the early nineties and I was very happy to borrow it at least once.

    I had that fantastic book, second hand vinyl copies of the albums and a tape of a documentary that must have been on Radio One around the time of Remasters.

    How did we live without the internet? How will we live without free public libraries?
    Thankyou Dave, tell us what’s next?!

  • Graham Rodger said:

    Hey Dave, as Indiana Jones once said – it’s not the years, it’s the mileage.

  • Jez Firth said:

    Cheers Dave just reminded me back in the day when you wrote the immortal you’ll never walk again.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Jez oops! It’s age -I’m 60 next year you know!

    Stephen many thanks for your kind comments

  • Jez Firth said:

    Great piece as ever Dave. Would be remiss of me however notti
    not to bring to your attention 2 genius typos. 1 passage and packing 2 defective account of the tour. Nothing defective about it at all.
    Keep rockin mate.

  • Stephen said:

    Dave,

    As a teenager I remember buying your Celebration book and reading it again and again. In the pre-internet days, there wasn’t much info available on Zep, and the book was a treasure trove. I especially remember the bootleg section, which I would consult before going to record fairs. And the section on live video of the band was literally the Holy Grail. Keep up the good work.

    Cheers,

    Stephen

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