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OVER EUROPE 1980/FINAL REISSUES UPDATE/ROBERT PLANT MORE US DATES/HOWARD MYLETT FOUR YEARS GONE/DL DIARY UPDATE

21 June 2015 2,627 views 10 Comments

Over Europe 10

Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980 – 35 years Gone

This 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: Cologne, June 18 1980.

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.   Train Kept A Rollin’ stops and Nobody’s Fault But Mine starts. Minus the sonic intro but including some marvellous Plant phrasing (“Nobody’s fault but maahyyne….”) and harmonica wailings and with the now expected cry of “Oh Jimmy….Oh Jimmy…”, before a shuffling, twirling, twanging solo from James Patrick.

Two songs in and a further shock. Jimmy Page speaks! Yes folks, it’s true. For the first time I can recall, Jimmy greets an audience. A bit muffled, but it’s there alright – “Good Evening! Gonna do an old one, it’s called Black Dog.”

Yes Jimmy, an oldie but goodie. Robert is outstanding on this one. All the old poses – my it’s loud. It’s obscene, it’s beautiful. But Jimmy too, more than I’ve seen, wants to share the spotlight. No longer content to confine himself to the left of Bonzo’s kit – no – he’s everywhere.

I’ve never seen him move so much. Playing up to the crowd, cringing, grinning – you know the stuff. I mean, we’ve already got one amazing front man, but this time around Jimmy is almost playing off him. The spectacle of the two is something else. Hey, John Paul Jones too, seems to be more upfront these days. No longer slipping into the shadows next to Bonzo. No, he’s more prominent, nearer the front of the stage, not moving too much of course, but jigging a merry dance up there with those amazing fluid bass runs that undercut Jimmy’s slippery guitar work.

“Since we came here last, many things have happened, one of the most important being the album called In Through The Out Door.”

In The Evening is played next, with exceptional intensity. The drama of the intro itself is masterful. Spotlight on Bonzo as he rolls on the tympani, Jimmy crouched over his blue Strat clawing at the tremolo arm to achieve that drone and Robert, arms upheld, slowly walking up to the microphone and holding the opening line for several bars until the moment all four crash down collectively on that cascading riff. Taken at a slightly slower tempo than last year’s gigs, it still rates as a classic in the Zep stakes and as a testament to the power of the new Zeppelin sound. Another magic moment is, of course, the point where the song slips into the slower passage, guided by Robert’s outstretched arm in the direction of John Paul Jones, who plays a beautiful keyboard passage (not featured on the studio version) over Jimmy’s jangling out-stretched tremolo chording.

“This is one from the Houses Of The Holy period” Robert tells the audience and a blue spotlight picks out Jimmy playing the opening chords to The Rain Song – a song that has some of Robert’s best lyrics (“you are the sunlight in my growing”) and also features some controlled tympani from Bonzo.

“That was a song about a love that went right, this is one about a love that went wrong.”

Cue for the hillbilly cat workout of Hot Dog for which Jimmy switches to red Telecaster. Funny old track this. As much as I find it undistinguished on record, on stage it always delights as a fun clapalong. It also gives Robert the opportunity to hoedown with some delightful foot stepping.

The next song is also from the last album. Unannounced, it still gets one of the best receptions of the night, the moment Jonesy plays the opening string symphony notes of All My Love. As on record, this is beautiful. Jimmy plays some memorable chords on the Telecaster and Robert’s singing is full of sincerity. When John Paul Jones gets the middle classical solo off to a tee, Robert looks over and gives him a knowing smile. It was just perfect, and the outro too, with Robert extending the “ I get a bit lonely, just a little bit, oh just a little bit lonely” lines to maximum effect.

“That song featured J.P. Jones on keyboards, so does this track,Trampled Underfoot.”

Complete with sidestage revolving beacons, this remains a definitive high energy Zeppelin improvisation number. On that extended solo Jimmy seems to reap forth the most incredible guitar lines and Robert does a delightful two step strut across the stage shaking his head back and forth until he swings round and screams “Push!”, “Push”, “Push yeah.” Vibrant stuff indeed. (“Eye Thank Yew”).

They slow the pace with the next track, Since I’ve Been Loving You, where naturally Jimmy leads the way with some amazing smooth lead guitar. Robert’s vocals too, soar out this painful tale, holding and bending the notes in all the right places. John Paul Jones aids the mix on electric piano.   Towards the finish Robert really excels, “Ah I get down on my knees for you, fill my heart with pain, don’t make me lose, don’t make me lose…..” We got the booze, they got the blues remember?

From there it’s another high-spot. White light and smoke (one of the few effects employed) greet the intro of the epic Achilles Last Stand. Jimmy uses feedback to great effect, throwing his arm out in tune with the sound. Robert, meanwhile, is at his preening best unleashing the tale of where it all meets. “Where the mighty arms of Atlas hold the heavens from the earth.” For the “Ah-ah ah ah” repeat refrain, Robert and Jimmy cluster together in classic rock ‘n’ roll pose, swinging their heads back and forth showering in each others sweat.

Raymondo brings on a chair for Jimmy’s White Summer/Black Mountain Side segment, where he sits down with the Dan Electro. He gets so carried away that at one point he even drops his pick. On cue, the last refrain of Black Mountain Side is the moment when the band collectively leap back into action via a couple of flash explosions stage front and we are into Kashmir.

This is glorious. Robert does some incredible spontaneous choreography with Jimmy who is crouched menacingly over the Dan Electro guitar. Towards the end Bonzo leads the way out with a series of unbelievable drum fills, each one just a little more frenzied that the last, beating up to an incredible climax.

Just about the only song that could follow that is our anthem. Unannounced the opening chords of Stairway to Heaven get the expected response. Robert’s phrasing is, as ever, spot on and the tempo of the song is just slightly more speeded up than usual. He sings “Do you remember laughter, laughter,” and takes up a classic tambourine pose for Jimmy to weave the way out with a soaring double neck solo.

“Goodnight – It’s nice to be back on the road again.”

With that they’re gone. Ten minutes later they’re back with a rousing encore. “Good Evening! Never fails does it?” smiles Robert, adding the statement – “So this is what it’s like to be in a rock ‘n’ roll band! Then Bonzo thrashes the intro of Rock And Roll, which has Robert doing his pogo bit, and Jimmy leaping around the stage firing the Gibson at the audience.

After that, there is more than enough response to require a second encore, which they get. A compact, no nonsense Communication Breakdown remains faithful to the version on the debut LP, clocking in at no more than three minutes of energetic action.

“Not bad for a bunch of dinosaurs!… Goodnight Cologne… ”

That’s Robert’s final statement. That’s the second night of the tour. That was hot.

So how do you sum that one up? Folks – I’d say Led Zeppelin have gone full circle. Tonight in every aspect of their performance it was almost a ‘back to the roots’ approach. From the use of an old Yardbirds number to open with, right through to the choice of a twelve year old cut that still sounds good, to close with. In between was what I would consider to be just about the best set I’ve ever witnessed Zeppelin play.

There was a definite lack of self indulgence. A lack of excessiveness too. Five years ago it was exciting and relevant to include marathon numbers, the bow episode, the lasers, the effects, etc, but really they took that trip as far as it could go. The pendulum has swing in the other direction now. The throwback of the compact set Zeppelin performed tonight still had enough spice and vitality to satisfy and I applaud their conviction to do it that way.

It’s also a much needed return to feeling audiences again. By reducing the scale of the whole operation, Zeppelin have once again regained contact with the people. With the stage only six feet away from the nearest punter, it was a true platform of communication.

Another point – Knebworth was a magic event last year, there is no doubting that, but the size, grandeur and emotional experience of them appearing on a stage again, maybe glossed over the true spirit of their musical presence a little. Judging by the smiles on the faces of Robert, Jimmy, Jonesy and Bonzo all through the Cologne gig, that spirit is well in evidence on this tour and that’s an important aspect. The fact that they’re really enjoying playing together again. I mean, I’ve never seen Robert sweat so much on stage! They really want to please and it’s a great feeling to witness that.

Led Zeppelin have impressed me in many different ways over the years. As musicians, as performers, as writers, as people. Tonight they impressed me as a working rock ‘n’ roll band – above everything. That’s important.

Tight but loose? – you ain’t joking… And this is only the second night of the tour.

…………

OVER EUROPE PIC 1

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

 SPECIAL 35TH ANNIVERSARY BARGAIN LOW PRICE!

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Over Europe tour this summer – for a limited period the price of the Feather In The Wind book has been massively reduced – the book price is now just £8 plus postage and packing – a massive saving of £17 on the cover price.

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

…………

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

The books should be arriving with Rufus Stone early next week – I will be heading down there to sign the books early next week. The distribution will then commence. More on this to follow.

………………

Presence, In Through The Out Door, Coda – the final three Led Zeppelin reissues track by track preview update: 

june 16 gary two

Correction:

I was wrong about the Royal Orleans reference mix version on the Presence Companion Disc – it is not a John Paul Jones vocal as I first thought – here’s the revised view:

Royal Orleans (Reference Mix) 3.01

A‘3-4’ count in and hi-hat from Bonzo and we are off for a reference mix that features a very different vocal delivery to the officially released version.

Contrary to what I initially thought, this is NOT a John Paul Jones vocal but Robert Plant applying the lyrics in a harsh bluesy manner which reminded me of Dr John. The final gruff snarl at 2.52 of ‘Oh whiskers’’ brings to a close a very unorthodox Plant vocal performance.

Summary: Robert taking on the role of the New Orleans night tripper…

……….

Jimmy Page is undertaking another intense promotional media campaign for the final three issues. Look out for UK radio appearances on the Nicky Horne Classic Rock Radio show and Johnnie Walker’s BBC radio Two show. He is also undertaking launches in Paris, America, Canada and Japan in the coming weeks. A launch event is confirmed for Toronto on July 21.

…………………………….

Robert Plant adds US Tour dates:

This update:

Robert Plant is staying on the road a little longer. After touring throughout May and June, most recently playing Bonnaroo, the Led Zeppelin alum will extend his live shows in support of lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar into the fall.

Plant and his band the Sensational Space Shifters will be heading east to Lock’n Music Festival in Rochester Hills, Mich., before performing in Arrington, Va., New York and Boston. In between those cities, Plant will also be making up for missed shows in Toronto, Detroit and Chicago, which he had to postpone after coming down with laryngitis.

Revised Dates:

Sept. 10 – Rochester Hills, MI – Meadowbrook Music Festival

Sept. 12 – 13 – Arrington, VA – Lockn’ Music Festival

Sept. 15 – Toronto, ONT – Molson Amphitheatre

Sept. 18 – New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom

Sept. 20 – Boston, MA – Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

Sept. 23 – Chicago, IL – FirstMerit Bank Pavilion

The Rain Song (performed live for the first time since the Japan leg of the Page & Plant tour in early 1996) and Trampled Underfoot have been new additions to the Sensational Space Shifter set list. See YouTube clips below.

Reviews of the Philadelphia date by Scott Heck:

The Mann center in Philadelphia hosted Robert Plant on the 17th of June.  It must be said initially that the sound at this outdoor theater was absolutely tremendous.  Out of perhaps 10 to 15 outdoor venues I have heard shows at, this was the best.  The mix was clean and even.  Adams and Tyson’s guitars crisp; Plant’s tambourine could be heard as if it was right next to you; the bass driving right down your spine.  Whatever they are doing at the Mann with the sound system and whoever is doing it should be promoted and than promoted again. It was that good.

As for the show, the set list lined up as follows:

Wanton song
Turn it up
Black Dog
Rainbow
Spoonful
Rain Song
Trampled
How Many More Years/Dazed And Confused
Little Maggie
Lemon song
Crawling King Snake
Whole Lotta Love

Encore
Rock n’ roll

Rainbow was brilliant, as usual, and thankfully this one remains in the set list.  This track was the main reason I saw this show for three nights in Brooklyn in late 2014.   It remains a favorite.  Black dog was surprisingly good as I was expecting a bit less from this one as it has been played and reconfigured to its max. Plant commented about his recent illness and that he was back to normal…and this was very true.  The band seemed even more energized than in recent years and Plant was in a better than fine mood.  It was clear he was glad to be back and healthy.

The Lemon Song, Wanton Song and Dazed were also welcome additions to this recent mini-tour and were handled well by the band.  However, without any doubt, the highlight of the evening was the Rain Song.  This was a show stopper and I had no idea this was coming (I pray someone recorded it).  Baggot’s keyboards were nicely played and Plant was wondrous.  No other way to describe it.  In fact, I can’t really describe it completely because I was in shock and awe the entire time…not really believing it was happening.  Top three songs – since 2001, in my opinion, – that I have ever heard him sing live.  The outdoor air and the arrival of night combined with this incredible song made for a perfect combination.  Hopefully this will be a mainstay for the rest of the shows in 2015.  It deserves it!!!

Overall, we were very lucky to catch this show.  Hopes are high for Plant’s return to the NY area in September.

Thanks Scott – Scott will be contributing a new CD review column to the TBL mag commencing in the forthcoming TBL 39.

………………

 Howard Mylett 1947 – 2011: Four Years Gone:

Howard Mylett

Four years ago, on June 19th 2011, Howard Mylett, the legendary Led Zeppelin collector and original author sadly passed way.

I have dedicated the forthcoming Five Glorious Nights Led Zeppelin at Earls Court book to Howard, because I know he would have loved it.

When I think of Howard, I think of that wry wit, his incredible enthusiasm for collecting all things Zep, and above all, his generosity in sharing that passion and those packages postmarked Brighton that so fueled my own enthused for our shared love of this band, over 40 years ago.

It was back in 1973 when I first began corresponding with Howard after seeing a ‘’Zep Photos wanted/for sale’’ ad in the NME. My collection of photos and cuttings improved manifold thanks to Howard’s generosity. For a mere few pence he would send me batches of cuttings. I can still recall the thrill of seeing a package postmarked from Brighton landing on my doormat. I knew it would bring forth more unseen Zep images and foreign and overseas cuttings from the likes of the US Circus and Creem magazines and French magazines such as Rock And Folk. Howard also had unimpeachable Japanese contacts and it was through him that I first obtained the series of rare Japanese photo books.

Howard’s enthusiasm was infectious and his pioneering books became a massive influence on my own desire to put words into print about Led Zeppelin.

It was always a pleasure to visit him and his lovely wife Anita in Brighton. I will never forget the final time I saw him early in 2011. Gary Foy and I went down to see him and I conducted an interview with him for the TBL mag. Despite his failing health, Howard’s passion for the world of Zep was burning bright as ever. It was an incredibly emotional afternoon as I think deep down, Howard knew we would not get many more opportunities to discuss our favourite subject again – and sadly that was to be the case…

Since his passing, it has become even more evident how important Howard’s pioneering work was to me as a young impressionable teenage Led Zep fan.

He will always be a much missed part of the Zep fan fraternity – but never ever forgotten and there will be countless fans across the world today thinking of him on the fourth anniversary of his passing…

This pic above was taken in 2007 at a fan gathering in London – we are in front of the screen and appropriately have footage of Zep running though us.Howard would have smiled at that…

RIP…
Dave Lewis June 19th

……………..

DL Diary Update: 

sam on june 20 before fathers day

Yesterday (Saturday) we had a lovely pre Fathers Day meet with our Sam in St Albans – my card and pressie were handed over – a splendid new man bag. Same had done her homework to make sure it was vinyl album friendly size! Thanks Sam! This pic was taken in the excellent Boot pub and note the rather fetching Who poster behind us. In fact Won’t Get Fooled Again was on the juke box! Today on Fathers Day Adam’s prezzie was a copy of Ray Winstone’s autobiography Young Winstone. Top stuff -Cheers Adam! adam june 21

Whilst in St Albans, I ventured over to the excellent Empire Records and of course vinyl was purchased. The very quirky Portrait of Cat Stevens by the Mike Batt Orchestra on DJM. I have the Elton John one in the same series. At the Vinyl Barn on Friday I invested in a very nice copy of the 1973 Mott album with cut out sleeve, plus Nillson’s debut album Pandemonium Shadow show (this includes Ten Little Indians as covered by The Yardbirds with Jimmy Page) and The Dave Clark Five compilation 25 Thumping Hits – thumping indeed!

On the player, the above gems, plus the always essential Listen To This Eddie June 21 1977 LA show recorded all of 38 years ago today.

Very full on here with the final text pieces of the forthcoming TBL 39 in progress as we aim for a total wrap – Mike Tremaglio has been doing a great job overseeing the text proofing via Skype sessions – and Mick Lowe at StudioMix has also been right on it with the design. Also on the to-do list is the not inconsiderable task of signing the Five Glorious Nights Earls Court books.

So it’s an important few days ahead – look out for a detailed update of the all the current TBL initiatives towards the end of the week -and keep an eye on the TBL Facebook page for further announcements.

Dave Lewis – Sunday June 21, 2015.

 

YouTube Clips:

Presence unboxing:

The Rain Song:


Trampled Underfoot:

 

Until next time…

Keep listening, keep reading…

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy –  June 21, 2015 

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10 Comments »

  • Mark Williams said:

    Stephen,yep,agree with though would add that it’s also down to relationships ( not just ‘ the baggage’ of going out as Zeppelin ), and unfortunately those no longer remain positively intact.

    So, sad but true, but having watched The Who perform last night ( plus mighty Paul Weller),it does prove that history and class can overcome personal differences etc. I’ve been to every Plant solo tour over the last 32 years but for now, that’s it for me.

  • andrew r said:

    Enjoy The who Mark for according to a recent Pete interview
    that’s it for the Who, the 50th brings the curtain down for good!
    Just wish our heroes would go out in a similar year long fashion!

  • Lubos said:

    …lovely to hear The Rain Song after all these years 🙂

    Thanks Dave.

  • Stephen said:

    Regarding the Plant setlist, the percentage of Zep songs has also taken me by surprise. In my opinion, though, the decision to reunite is not based on his opposition to Zeppelin material, but all the baggage that goes with it. The press, the old relationships that have to be managed, and fact that he would have to play the songs in roughly the same arrangements as in the 70s. Here he can play the songs with some relatively younger guys, that gave him a cooler look and make him feel energised, and most importantly, he doesn’t have to compromise – he is the band leader. In a zep reunion all the egos and 40+ year relationships would have to be negotiated. Some compromise would be inevitable.

    As I’ve said before, what would have been interesting would have been a studio album straight after the o2. They were warmed up and ready to go and Jimmy was re-enthused with lots of ideas. But it wasn’t to be. I actually went back and listened to Walking into Clarksdale for the first time in ages, yesterday, and I was surprised how good it was. Especially Jimmy’s versatile and atmospheric guitar playing. The only thing I didn’t really like was Plant’s voice, which was never fully unleashed. When the album first came out I was bitterly disappointed. Just shows how your opinions can change with time.

  • Mark Williams said:

    Thanks, yes Andrew R,

    Tomorrow night ( Friday ) I’m going to see The Who, plus Paul Weller & band at Hyde Park.

    Paul Weller is similar to Robert in his search to progress,make new music, (and the new album ‘ Saturns Pattern’ by the way is truly superb) , but the difference is Weller sticks to his muse and only includes one song from The Jam, ( ‘ Town called Malice ‘ ) in any of his live shows over the last 20 years or so. Unfortunately, can’t say the same for my rock hero, Mr. Plant.

    Integrity & credibility to Mr. Weller I think.

    Ps; Looking forward to Roger,Pete,Pino,Zakk etc tomorrow night too !

  • andrew r said:

    Ihave to agree with Mark Williams.Plants current direction leaves me baffled
    More and more Zep content but he wont play with the original members?
    Don’t talk about his current band,i watched Celebration day on Sky Arts
    the other day, those other two old men and the slightly younger one on the drums
    would still blow them out of the water.Shame!

  • Mark Williams said:

    Dave, nice almost true rendition of the beautiful ‘ Rain Song ‘ there by Robert but even his current band must wonder why he’s doing all these LZ songs with them and not the 2 other remaining members of the band who deserve better so many of us believe.

  • Roger Berlin said:

    Thank you Dave for the You Tube Clips
    Roger

  • Roger Berlin said:

    June 19th 2011 🙁

  • Hunt Sidway said:

    Dave, you truly have such a great heart. Very moving to read your annual memorial to Howard Mylett (four years gone – where does the time go?), another big-hearted fellow who had time for everyone and never met a stranger. Thanks for always putting such earnest and sincere affection into all your beautiful work! — Best Always, Hunt Sidway

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