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2 July 2020 1,633 views 7 Comments

It was 40 years ago – Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980: 

This month marks the 40th 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. I was lucky enough to attend five of those gigs. This is all chronicled in my Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind Over Europe 1980 book



Here’s is a further extract – my on the road account written at the time and first featured in TBL issue 5…

TBL Retro Archive: Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980: it was 37 years ago…

Concluding the TBL retro archive features on the final Led Zeppelin tour as chronicled in the Feather In The Wind Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980 book.

This is my overview of the gigs that I caught – this extract picks up the on stage action in Munich on July 5, 1980 for what would be their penultimate show with John Bonham…

When the house lights dim some 15 minutes later, I get the most incredible buzz from hearing the Wembley-like roar that echoes around the Olympic Hall. And there they are, walking the 30 yard stretch from the dressing room area up on to the stairs that lead to the stage. Ushered by torchlight and led as ever by manager Peter Grant. Bonzo is flanked by the ever present Rex. He’s shaved his beard (“I always do for the summer” he tells me later) and looks very much like he does in the concert part of the movie. He also looks nervous, and at this moment I can’t blame him.

Jimmy is stumbling his way through, once again wearing that baggy suit I first saw in Cologne. Robert strides forward head aloft, a bottle of orange juice in his hand, smiling. John Paul Jones does an Ali-like shuffle up to the stairs.

Seconds later Munich sees Led Zeppelin and the roar is frightening.

So too is the awesome power of the opening numbers Train Kept A Rollin’ (“And it kept on rollin’ ”) and Nobody’s Fault But Mine. It’s when they crunch down on numbers like these that you get into perspective the power that they can create.

Something like Nobody’s Fault with all its stop-gap acappella and soloing, has to be punctuated by the rhythm section at just the right moments. If Bonzo or Jonesy drop one or stitch one it would totally throw out the up-front euphoria of Jimmy and Robert… but they get it right every time and it makes me gasp in amazement. That power, which so easily could weigh them down, is manipulated with effortless ease, and it sounds so right. “No-no-no-no-no-no-no-no body’s fault.” Crunch! Jimmy winds it up, but then Jimmy winds it up every night.

Of course, one of their great assets is the ability to balance that power and shift into passionate, emotion-filled diversity. After Black Dog and In the Evening, they display this perfectly when performing Rain Song with all its shimmering double neck virtuoso playing from Jimmy, and on All My Love too, probably the best received song throughout the tour. You can actually hear the audience singing along on the chorus tonight. Of course, they’ve all got the album, and the dream of it being performed live is turning to reality with every movement of Robert’s outstretched arms, Jonesy’s string symphony, Jimmy’s emotive solo and Bonzo’s anchor man drumming.

“Eye thank yew” says Robert, taking this particular crowd through an unfamiliar sketch. Hot Dog has the boy doing his barn dance speciality and John Paul Jones adds some accurate piano work. During Trampled Underfoot Jimmy really lets loose. Pulling the most incredible notes from the Gibson, steely solos, juicy wah wah effects, you know, the whole works, and Robert loves it. Dancing his two-step across the stage, grinning and looning. “Push” indeed. Since I’ve Been Loving You is another Jimmy showpiece and it’s apparent how well this song has matured over the years, having been written something like a decade ago.

“James Patrick Page guitar! This is the first tour we’ve done in three years and it’s been quite an interesting sketch actually.” (Roars from the audience) “One more night then… who knows; maybe we’ll do this again very quickly; maybe not.”

munich live 2

Achilles Last Stand follows that speech. I close my eyes and it’s like being in a 1976 time warp. It’s got that sort of atmosphere having been recorded here in forced circumstances, and it still retains a sense of melodrama (right down to the point Robert echoes the “Atlas” line and leaves Jimmy to stalk the stage in time with the revolving, closing chord passage, flanked by a blue spotlight). After Jimmy’s White Summer/Black Mountain Side interlude, Kashmir explodes forth and Robert unleashes every ounce of drama from within the lyrics. Other highlights include that marvellous “Woman talkin’ to ya” ad lib; the combination of the two front men’s visual tactics; and finally Bonzo’s drumming – “Moby Dick, Dick, Dick, Dick” Robert teases.

Unannounced as usual, Jimmy plays two chords and as those two chords echo around the Olympic complex they’re soaked up by the Munich people and thrown back with a most volcanic-like roar that signals the anthem. “Does anybody remember laughter?” asks Robert on cue and, judging by the reaction, I think they do. Soon after, he’s thrown the tambourine and stands there arm outstretched in classic pose. Behind him Jimmy rips out that solo. By the end of Stairway to Heaven, Zeppelin receive an ovation that sounded like they’d scooped gold, silver and bronze in every event going.

“München… Goodnight!”

The band leave the stage, and Phil from Bad Co. and Mick Hinton proceed to set up Simon’s drum kit to the side of the stage near John Paul Jones’ keyboards. The audience look puzzled. Back come the group for the obligatory encore of Rock And Roll which crushes the hall.

After this, Robert announces to the crowd: “Please welcome an old friend of ours from Bad Company, Simon Kirke!” Simon walks on, takes to the kit, does a few snare beats and before we know it the five man Led Zep are into Whole Lotta Love. This, I haven’t seen before. Incredibly though, it works! Even though this jam had been totally unrehearsed, Simon gets all the breaks right, with eyes fixed on Bonzo, and the sound is sizzling hot. Jimmy joins in on the vocals for the chorus, and then proceeds to fiddle about on theremin, battling with Robert’s vocal interplay. The famous five grind on into the Let That Boy Boogie segment and then it’s on to the home straight, Simon filling in, complimenting Bonzo’s hammerings.

At the close they all take a bow – “Thank you… oh, and welcome back on stage Simon!” Finally they leave the stage, grinning, sweating and satisfied. While the Munich mania continues, the band are already speeding towards the Hilton hotel.

A couple of hours later, the Hilton’s plush bar is doing hectic business in trying to satisfy the thirst of the Zeppelin entourage. Everyone’s here tonight. Bonzo, Robert and Jonesy are already propping up the bar, and not long after, Jimmy completes the line up. “Where’s Robert?” exclaims James, ambling down the stairs anxious to find his buddy.

Robert is holding court. His energy is phenomenal. Even after tonight’s exhausting show he’s still full of life. He holds up his hand to me forming a circle with his thumb and finger, signifying that the evening had been spot on. “Great tonight wasn’t it?… and Simon, well it was such a driving rock ‘n’ roll, I couldn’t believe it. Two drummers, I mean really!”

John Bonham is also well pleased. “Overall, everyone has been dead chuffed with the way the tour’s gone. There were so many things that could have gone wrong. It was a bit of a gamble this one, but it’s worked really well.” I enquire what the next move will be. “A holiday!” replies the beardless Bonzo. “We wanna keep working. There’s lots of possibilities and of course we want to do England. It’s down to a management decision really and we will have to talk about that when we get back.”

As the night progresses, the booze continues to flow, and everything gets a little hazy. Before I crawl back to my room, I can dimly recall Robert singing along to the chorus of Walking On The Moon, cries of “Eye Thank Yew” at regular intervals, and rapping with him about time, the wheel that rolls on… long into the night.

Sunday: the tour is winding to a close. Just one more gig in Berlin tomorrow and then it’ll be back down to the Golden Lion and a bit of English sanity. For me, today is a leaving day. The Spirit of Albion is calling once again. Down in the lobby just as I’m checking out, I literally bump into Jimmy Page as he’s trying to open a loo door! Last words, then James: “Yeah last night was the nearest feeling to that of the big American shows. Just so much energy there – How long did we play for? I tell him 2 ½ hours. “That’s about right isn’t it? We had to get rid of some of the effects really, I mean, it was difficult trying to get a leak in during Dazed And Confused!. I thought it was really exciting last night, really exciting.”

So that’s it. Fond farewells have been exchanged, luggage packed and the taxi ordered. Just as I’m about to leave I notice Fritz Rau again. He’s greeting the Santana crew who are booking in for their gig. For Fritz it’s just another rock ‘n’ roll band from where-ever… I’ll tell you one thing though; I bet he never thought Led Zeppelin were just another rock ‘n’ roll band, during their tour. Led Zeppelin are never just… anything. That’s why they’re special. That’s why they’re here still.

But earlier in the year, even I was beginning to wonder if they were ever going to get back on the road after the silence that followed Knebworth. This tour though, has taken them into the 1980s. Things may change for Zeppelin, but it’s their ability to retain the essence of their existence (ie. their roots), that helps keep it fresh.

Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980 has been a return to the people. It’s a period of intense activity they all desperately needed. It’s been a rejuvenation, and above all it’s been fun.

It leaves Led Zeppelin in a very healthy position. They’ve still got it and they still care.

Boys… ”Eye Thank Yew… ”

Dave Lewis, July, 1980.


One more Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980 post:

It was 40 years ago…the only UK review of the Led Zeppelin Over Europe tour – filed by Steve Gett for the Melody Maker from the Munich gig on July 5. I was with him at the gig and he said he would get a plug in for Tight But Loose which he duly did.

‘’Quite often the playing was short of perfection but there was such a raw energy feeling to the concert that one never worried about the odd bum note from Page –‘’Tight but Loose’’ (the name of Zeppelin’s number one fanzine incidentally) summed it up’’

I was well pleased when I read that in the next week’s issue of Melody Maker – the review took up the entire back page – I showed it to all and sundry here as I was so proud to see them receiving such positive coverage – I can still recite whole chunks of it.



Knebworth 90 – It was 30 years ago:

June 30 marked the 30th anniversary of Knebworth 90 – the Silver Clef award winners show that saw Robert Plant reunite with Jimmy Page. I was lucky enough to be there that day with Gary Foy and it brought back a host of memories. The performance of Wearing And Tearing is one of my all time gig going moments – it was a very special moment as anyone reading this who was there will know.

Here’s the details of that performance…




Guest Appearance: Jimmy joins Robert’s band for a three song jam. The occasion is the much publicised Silver Clef winners charity concert. Robert is the latest recipient of the award. The bill includes Cliff Richard, Genesis, Phil Collins, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and Paul McCartney. It’s widely tipped in the week leading up to the show that all three ex-members will appear to re-form Zeppelin. This doesn’t happen. Plant is introduced by Radio One’s Gary Davies (the event is broadcast live) as “A singer who is no stranger to big crowds – he played to 380,000 on his last visit here eleven year ago”. Plant strides onto the windswept stage at 4.45p.m. His set proceeds with ‘Hurting Kind’, ‘Immigrant Song’, ‘Tie Dye On The Highway’, ‘Liars Dance’, ‘Going To California’, and ‘Tall Cool One’.

Before bringing on his guest he states: “Well, this little award given to me last week, not particularly for anything I’ve done but for what has happened between 1966 when I made my first record and today. I’ve been working for the last four years with these guys and it’s been a wonderful time and I owe a good portion of this to these chaps behind me. I also owe a major proportion to my good friend who has just joined me on stage… Jimmy Page.” With cherry red Gibson in hand, Page proceeds to add vast influence to enthusiastic work outs of ‘Misty Mountain Hop’, a superb ‘Wearing And Tearing’ (never before played live) and a rousing ‘Rock And Roll’. They leave the stage arm in arm.

Jimmy Page: “We were having a really good time. We’d had a rehearsal before we did it and that was great fun. It’s really good playing all the old numbers… especially ‘Wearing And Tearing’… it really was on a wing and a prayer that we went on with that at Knebworth. We were back to living dangerously again.”

Rumours of a reunion abounded. It looked as though Plant was ready to relent. Much to Jimmy’s surprise it didn’t happen – at least for another four years.

Dave Lewis  – June 30 2020.


LZ News:

For all the latest Led Zeppelin News check out the LZ News website at:


Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters at Glastonbury 2014:

On Saturday I watched the truly excellent Robert Plant appearance at Glastonbury in 2014 on the BBC iPlayer.- this was part of the BBC’s superb Glastonbury retrospective coverage over the weekend. It prompted me to search out these original reviews from the time:

Robert Plant – Glastonbury Appearance Feedback:

Here’s a couple of reviews from Robert’s very well received Glastonbury appearance:

‘A whole lotta love for Robert Plant’ On the evidence of Glastonbury 2014 –

Robert Plant’s still got the vocal chops as well as the stadium charisma. By Neil McCormick

There was a whole lotta love for Robert Plant earlier on Saturday evening, although I suspect more than a few were secretly wishing he’d turned up with former compatriots Led Zeppelin, who never played Glastonbury.

His new band, the Sensational Space Shifters, concoct a fascinating hybrid of dub, jazz, afrobeat and blues well suited to such an eclectic festival, and an appreciative audience swayed in the setting sun to blissful world grooves. Still, it’s when they hit those familiar power chords and Jimmy Page riffs at the end of the set that everyone got to their feet.

It may have been a long, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time since he rock and rolled, but on this evidence Plant’s still got the vocal chops and stadium charisma, even with Gambian musician Juldeh Camara unconventionally soloing on a single string African fiddle.

Robert Plant at Glastonbury 2014 review – no Stairway, but storm-summoning moods from rock hero

Plant balances his own swampy blues with a handful of Zep classics for an affecting set from a man remoulding his history by mark Beaumont

glasto pic 1

Where and when: Pyramid stage, 5.30pm, Saturday.

Dress code: Guru shirts and wizardly beards

What happened: For a second, it really feels like he might do it. As the opening flamenco flurries of Joan Baez’s Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You – covered by Led Zeppelin on their 1969 debut – give way to a burst of pastoral arpeggios, a field full of blues-rock space cadets psychically will it as one: “make it Stairway …” Even Robert Plant himself, staring reverently at the whirling fingers of Liam “Skin” Tyson – a man with a beard James Hetfield might hunt – seems to want it to happen so he can forget all the mystical world-blues guff and pile into a full-throttle Zep-only set that would upend the Tor.

Instead, Plant grabs a shallow drum and announces “a jam of country and eastern music”, but one with enough twists to stop it being banished forthwith to the West Holts stage. On exotic instruments strung, bowed, plucked and thumped, Plant and his Sensational Space Shifters build storm-summoning moods on Tin Pan Valley, carve out affecting Afrobeat pop on the new track Rainbow and tinker with a handful of Zep classics. Black Dog becomes a dark, hippy vision of Glastos of yore, Going to California a mandolin meander, and What Is and What Should Never Be fracks directly into the ley line and syphons off the stone circle’s elemental charge. And just as the swampy blues numbers, played on guitars encrusted in actual moss, are getting to be too much, Plant ploughs into Whole Lotta Love – mashed into an Afrobeat Who Do You Love? – like a man at one with remoulding his own history to suit his whims. Hero.

High point: The crowd chant Plant back onstage for “One! Last! Song!” only for him to announce they’ll do an “old English folk song”. It’s Rock and Roll. The cad.

Low point: When Plant launches into a precise and pretentious handclap solo, as if his palms were hand-carved by Stradivarius.

In a tweet: No Stairway!


TBL Market Place:

Welcome to the TBL Market Place – this is a forum I’ll be using to offer one off items from the DL Led Zep and related collection.

Each item will be listed for ten days –during which interested buyers can log their bid for the item via emailing me at – after the closing date I will email the successful bidder and arrange payment and distribution.

So to kick off with:

Led Zeppelin The Concert File book by Dave Lewis & Simon Pallett  – original 1997 full size edition in very good condition – this  I can personally dedicate and sign.

The Combined Led Zeppelin 1 and II original songbook in good condition -some wear.








Record Collector issue 383 Christmas 2010 with my Led Zeppelin the making of their third album feature

Record Collector issue 413 April 2013 with my making of the Houses of The Holy album feature

Record Collector 452 with my Jimmy Page, The Yardbirds and the birth of Led Zeppelin feature

The above Record Collector issues in very good condition

You can bid for an individual item or multiple items at once.

Interested buyers should log their maximum bid(s) by sending an email headlined TBL Market Place to

Closing date for all bids is July 17, 2020.

I will inform the winner(s) soon after that date.


Boy Dylan… 

My thoughts on the new Bob Dylan album Rough And Rowdy Ways…

Bob Dylan

Rough And Rowdy Ways (Columbia)

The first Bob Dylan album I bought with hard earned cash was Self Portrait. The 1970 covers based double album mish mash that confused his audience and critics alike. It prompted the writer Greil Marcus to open his review of the album in Rolling Stone magazine with the immortal line ‘’What’s this shit?’’

Maybe I was easily pleased aged 16 but I actually loved it so you could say I am used to Bob Dylan’s artistic quirks. I might add the second Bob Dylan I purchased not long after, was the legendary bootleg Live at the Royal Albert Hall 1966 so that put my particular credibility way back up.

The fact is the career of Bob Dylan has been fascinating me for the past 50 years and it continues to do so.

In recent years my appreciation of Bob Dylan’s studio work has centered on the superb Bootleg Series of retrospective releases – the last of which was the magnificent Blood On The Tracks set.

I very much enjoyed his Sinatra’s covers album Shadows n the Night and I always follow his career – I am glad he still out there performing though I have long since experienced that for myself – I checked out around 1992 on that score not before experiencing some concert highs the 1978 Blackbushe appearance being the most memorable.

He is the greatest living poet and he is right up there in my favourite artists of all time – and always will be.

Now comes a new album Rough And Rowdy Ways – his 39th studio album of which I am proud to say I own a bulk of.

Like so many aspects of this pandemic world, this one comes with its own set of circumstances. It was preceded by the unexpected arrival on Friday March 27 of the streaming of an extract from it. I say extract more an epic. For Murder Most Foul is the longest ever studio track he has composed.

Along with The Rolling Stones’ Living In A Ghost Town, for me it’s been the defining musical moments of the past three months. The shock, bewilderment and sheer awe which I experienced when listening to it for the first time – a mere three days after the announcement of the UK lockdown, will long live in my memory. We will return to that subject presently.

Any appreciation of the modern Bob Dylan now comes with the added challenge of dealing with the quality of his voice. Once a delightful distinctive nasal whine, in recent times it has often been reduced to a frog in the throat falter. Age does wither us all, so the first question in approaching this new set of songs has to be – how is the voice shaping up Bob?

The answer?

Pretty well..

I am very pleased to say throughout the album he applies a seasoned deep toned burr with, as Chris Charlesworth noted in his Just backdated review, a similar texture to Tom Waits.

The sparse backing on the album fits the mood with this line up of players:

Charlie Sexton – guitar

Bob Britt – guitar

Donnie Herron – steel guitar, violin and, accordion

Tony Garnier – bass

Matt Chamberlain – drums

So to the album…

I Contain Multitudes sets the plaintive mood , all serene and reflective and like Murder Most Foul, stock full of cultural references – The Rolling Stones , David Bowie and Indiana Jones among them.

The line ”Keep your mouth away from me ‘’ carries a certain poignancy given these modern times. Overall it’s a comforting opener that caresses you in to this latest Dylan planet wave.

False Prophet carries that timeless R and B chug and groove Dylan is such a master at conjuring up. It recalls the relentless stomp of New Pony from the Street Legal album which is no bad thing.

My Own Version Of You is another low key affair taken at a slow walking pace. Now here’s a thing –the descending melody line is very similar to Dazed And Confused – not the Page led Zep arrangement but Jake Holmes folksy original.

I’ve Made Up My Mind To Give Myself To You…

Never one to write a straight love song this one has a slow wistful feel that draws you right in from the start. The vocal is slightly treated in a manner that took me back to Oh Mercy’s Most Of The time. The tender nature of his vocal is just achingly beautiful – so fragile and delicate in its delivery.

Brush stroked drums and a crooning backing adds to what could be described as a Lay Lady Lay for the modern era. The title really speaks to me as this is a mantra I have found myself relating to the good lady here given her circumstances here in recent months. I am in no way ashamed to say  playing this for the first time It moved me near to tears. it’s as good as anything he has done in the last 40 years.

Black Rider is another melancholy crooned affair in the style of Sinatra’s One For My Baby –the influences on those covers albums has obviously not been wasted on him.

Goodbye Jimmy Reed is an utterly delightful R and B stomp – up tempo and bluesy with a pleasing roller coasting Rainy Day Women strut to it.

Mother Of Muses follows – all stately and subtle with a deep dreamy vocal.

Crossing The Rubicon – back to the blues for a sometimes semi spoken drawl in the Tom Waits tradition (In the Neighbourhood springs to mind) with pleasing lyrical couplets.

Key West (Philosopher Pirate) – a warm pleasure with accordion accompaniment as the singer  goes in search for love and inspiration on ”that pirate radio station coming out of Luxemburg’’.

Then there is Disc Two…

Murder Most Foul –the already much heralded marathon that unfolds over a sparse piano and violin. At nearly 17 minutes long, his longest track ever .The main topic is the assassination of JFK and then it leads on to all manner of lyrical references with name check for The Beatles, Patsy Cline, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Tommy, The Acid Queen, Etta James and a host of others…Meanderingly beautiful and captivating.


In these ‘new normal’ days boy do I need this new Bob Dylan album. It speaks to me just as Blood On the Tracks and Slow Train Comin did all those years back when I was going through the pain of young love. I needed those albums so much back then and I need this one now to temper moments of delusion and mental seclusion.

Here’s an aside and a personal one. When Janet went into surgery to have her broken leg pinned on December 10 last year two days after her accident, I came home from the hospital and wrote a heartfelt letter to her. It’s something I felt I really needed to do. I wrote it with Blood On the Tracks on the player. Never did an album of music so fit the mood.

”So bleak outside I wrote ”and Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks on the player –‘’All because of a simple twist of fate’’ he sings on one song on that album and how that phrase resonates after what has happened in the last 72 hours.”

There’s something deeply connecting when listening intensely to Bob Dylan. I feel I know him and I know he knows us…and wants to guide us..

Here he is guiding us again. This is an album  that alternates between semi spoken shimmering croons and free falling R and B grooves. Lyrical references abound, the voice similar to Tom Waits  and as Charles Shaar Murray noted in his review shades of Dr John and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. lyrically there is much to analyse and I am sure the serious Bob cats out there will spend hours doing so. The total playing time clocks in at 70 minutes making it double album length,

The overall production echoes the sparseness that Daniel Lanois brought to Oh Mercy and Time Out Of Mind . The Johnny Cash Rick Rubin produced striped down American Recordings album is another reference point here.

In  these crazy uncertain times, there will be many occasions ahead when musical salvation will need to be at hand. I’ll therefore be looking repeatedly to Rough And Rowdy Ways to accompany me when I feel the need, as another Dylan (Thomas) put it, to ‘rage at the dying of the light’.

At 79 he may not be as he once sang, forever young but Bob Dylan remains forever compelling and this new album is a work of rare reflective beauty.

Dave Lewis – July 1, 2020


Let The Music Play campaign:

With the future of many grass roots venues under threat this is a very admirable campaign.  Our own excellent local venue Esquires is one of many facing uncertainty ahead…

Over 1500 artists, including The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Dua Lipa, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran and Skepta, have signed an open letter urging the Government to save the UK’s live music sector.

With hundreds of grassroots music venues facing closure and the much of the workforce facing redundancy, the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign is calling on prime minister Boris Johnson and culture secretary Oliver Dowden to take urgent action in order to prevent industry collapse following the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

See more at:—over-1500-artists-call-on-government-to-save-live-music/54995/

Get involved:

Today we support UK Music’s #LetTheMusicPlay campaign, which highlights the importance of the live music sector to the UK’s economy:

Today we’re joining forces with music makers and music lovers to call on the UK government to offer support to the live music industry.

Join the campaign by sharing pics & vids of your last gig using


Here’s mine:

Last gig attended – Thr3e with Steve Woodward on guitar The Brutalists with Luke Bossendorfer on bass and The Dirty Strangers with The Quireboys’ Guy Griffin on guitar at Esquires Bedford October 17,2019…brilliant night at our fantastic local venue…we need it…

#letthemusicplay #saveourvenues


Some Birthdays:

June 27:

It’s a Happy Birthday to the legendary scriber of great words Charles Shaar Murray – and the man responsible for one of the best TBL interviews I have ever conducted – back in 2013 we chatted for hours in a lovely West Hamstead pub garden on a hot July afternoon. A wonderful memory..

During the interview we discussed his early writing career at the underground magazine Oz, how he got to play on the Oz benefit single in the company of John Lennon, his reviews of Led Zeppelin in the NME, Rolling Stones, Who, Beatles etc. He also added great insight into the times he saw Zep in LA in 1973 and at the Kezar stadium gig. All fascinating stuff and a huge thrill for me to meet and interview a writer whose work was such an inspiration to me in first wanting to put pen to paper and write about rock music myself when I was a mere teenager back in the 1970s.

As Robert Plant advised from the Earls Court stage in 1975 ‘’Charles Shaar Murray –keep taking the pills’’…have a great day CSM…

It’s a Happy Birthday to my very good friend, long time TBL supporter, massive Zep collector and all round top man Graeme Hutchinson – pictured here by me with Jason Bonham – have a great day mate!






July 2:

It’s a Happy Birthday to Mr Dave Ling, insightful music and football chronicler, long time supporter of all things TBL and all round top man – have a great day mate!








On the Player:

June 27:

Saturday is platterday: After watching Arthur Lee and Love’s 2003 Glastonbury performance last night on BBC 4 – on the player this morning Love Masters a superb 1973 compilation on the Elektra label…

It was 43 years ago today…
Saturday is platterday – on the player Led Zeppelin Stairway To LA Forum ten inch picture disc bootleg with 6 tracks – all cribbed from the official How The West Was Won official album as recorded at the LA Forum June 25 1972 and Long Beach Arena June 27 1972 . Limited edition of 250 and a very nice item. I got this at the VIP Record Fair four years back.


June 28:

It was 50 years ago today…

Sunday is silver CD day…so marking the 50th anniversary loading up the 2CD bootleg Led Zeppelin Bath 1970…an atmospheric audience tape that captures the essence of one of the pivotal Led Zeppelin performances…and what a performance it was ..and 50 years on it still sounds amazing.

My they were good that day –I was a bit too young to go but reading about in the music press only heightened my passion for this band and a year later at the Empire Pool Wembley I got to see for myself what all the fuss was about – oh and I still quite like them…




June 28:

Ziggy Played Guitar…
Watching David Bowie performing at Glastonbury in 2000 tonight on BBC 2 is ample proof again that for me he is the single most important solo artist of all time…

Four years gone and David Bowie can still unite the nation…what an inspiration watching his Glastonbury 2000 set on BBC 2 has been tonight…we miss you David…

There will always be a Starman waiting in the sky…



June 30:

On the player remembering that amazing Robert Plant/Jimmy Page Knebworth appearance of 30 years ago today…the brilliant 1988 Robert Plant album Now And Zen –every track on this album ignites a wonderful memory for me of that particular era when things were so much simpler…and I was so much younger…




On the player remembering that amazing Robert Plant/Jimmy Page Knebworth appearance of 30 years ago today…the original official multi artist UK double album of the event and bringing back many a memory of an incredible day all of 30 years ago today

July 1:

It was 42 years ago today…


I had hoped to see the Station To Station tour in 1976 but missed out – so when this date was announced in the February of 1978 I made it a mission to get tickets.I went to this with Dec Hickey Yvonne Salim and Barry Farnsworth. This was the tour that would be chronicled on the Stages album. All sparse tubed lighting and low …key spotlights. Of course he was fantastic – it was actually the first ever rock show that I attended that had an interval. And what a return to the stage for the second half. Six straight numbers from Ziggy Stardust…and an encore of TVC15, Stay and Rebel Rebel. A truly wonderful night…and an ambition completed. I had finally seen David Bowie live on stage… this is the set list notes I wrote out the next day to preserve the memory of the occasion…watching the Glastonbury 2000 set on BBC 2 on Sunday night was a vivid reminder of how much he is missed .but also how his music still unites us….

Dave Lewis Diary Blog Update:

I came across this rather splendid CD in the DL collection doing some TBL research earlier this week….

The How The West Was Won promo CD issued in 2003. This copy is signed by legendary engineer/producer Eddie Kramer who worked on this album and Led Zeppelin II and Houses Of The Holy and of course did some pioneering work with Jimi Hendrix and many others..

Eddie kindly signed this for me when I interviewed him in London for Record Collector in September 2009.

Update here:

The familiar mix here  – some positive days – some not. It does not help that Bedford has been registering one of the highest rates of infection in England. That has made me feel very anxious and prevented me visiting the Vinyl Barn this week. I have only been going out if it’s been essential.


Some inspirations this past week:

Watching the amazing David Bowie Glastonbury 2000 performance on BBC 2 on Sunday night with the good lady Janet

Seeing an excellent review of the new album by my very good friend Rob Jones’ band The Hurricanes in the latest issue of Shindig! Magazine – well done Rob…

A lovely present from my fellow record collecting enthusiast John Parkin the 4 LP set Superstars of the 70s which included Whole Lotta Love……

Playing the new Dylan album…and boy I need it…

Thanks for listening – stay safe and well you very lovely people…

Dave Lewis –  July 2, 2020

Until next time, stay safe and stay well…

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks Andy!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks Larry!

  • Larry said:

    Dave just wanted to say job well done on the Sgt. Pepper commentaries by yourself and Paul Humbley that you re-posted on the site last month. I somehow missed them (I think) the first time a few years back, and then I had to circle back on them this time as they are well detailed and I wanted to read them when I had time to concentrate on it. Really great reading and of course I broke out the anniversary reissue for a spin, and up next is my treasured Dr Ebbetts CD of the Japanese mono red wax release.

    One could argue endlessly over which is the “greatest LP of all time”, and of course it’s all in the ear of the listener. But Pepper is certainly prominent in any discussion as far as I’m concerned, and if one wants to factor in the Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane double A-side single, well then why not?! It was the first music to spring from the Pepper sessions and easily fits in with that LP.

    The Fabs and the “Four Lads” (as Robert once dubbed the Zeps onstage) have definitely given this old lad a lot of musical joie de vivre across the decades…

  • Andy Adams said:

    It’s so fun to read the Tour Over Europe reports 40 years on. It motivated me to pull out Conquer Europe from the Zurich show this week. I agree that the 1980 sets were just fantastic. Zurich is my favorite performance from the tour. The soundboard breathes and you can really feel the energy from the concert. Robert is relaxed and silly and the performance is just aggressive, if far from perfect. I even enjoy the utter train wreck that is Kashmir. The unexpected highlight is the 2nd encore of Heartbreaker. Far from perfect but I love it. What a way to cap off the night. Thanks for reminding us all about how underrated this tour was.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Many thanks Steve all received!

  • Steve Hall said:

    Hi, Dave – great to see your reminisences of Knebworth 90, I remember taping the whole day because I couldn’t attend the actual event. I digitised them recently and uploaded to Traders Den to share with anyone who wanted them – a great set of performances on a great day!!

    By the way, I sent you a couple of Robert Plant cd’s about a month ago (Gloucester & Birmingham Town Hall) – did you receive them? I should have used registered post, so I hope they haven’t got lost!!

  • Graham Craig Rodger said:

    Wow – I can’t believe that the Silver Clef Award Winners concert at Knebworth was 30 years ago. I spent most of that day listening to the live BBC Radio 1 broadcast and I still have the cassettes I taped from the radio of the Plant and Floyd sets.

    The DJ chatter and backstage interviews are particularly good. Gary Davies is very complimentary about Robert’s set and mentions that Jimmy was obviously having the time of his life on stage. “Wouldn’t it be great if those two got back together, or even just wrote together again…” muses Davies… haha… roll on 1994.

    Later that afternoon, one interviewer catches up with David Gilmour backstage and after a brief interview asks him “What are your plans after this show, not thinking of flying to Berlin by any chance…?” which is a cheeky reference to the giant all-star Wall show Roger Waters would be performing at the Potzdamer Platz less than a month later.

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