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PAGE & PLANT TEENAGE CANCER CHARITY GIG 18 YEARS GONE/LZ NEWS/ROBERT PLANT COVER OF NEW UNCUT/ DEBORAH BONHAM LATEST NEWS/PHYSICAL GRAFFITI 45 YEARS GONE/ DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

21 February 2020 1,302 views One Comment

TBL Archive Special: 

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant – Teenage Cancer gig – Royal Albert Hall, February 9, 2002: 18 Years Gone…

It’s amazing to think that it’s all of 18 years today (Feb 9th) that Jimmy and Robert appeared separately on the Teenage Cancer gig at the Royal Albert Hall headlined by Paul Weller.

I remember the TBL meet in the pub beforehand as if it was yesterday –in fact I still have the LZ Club Italia membership card that the visiting Italian fans handed me. And of course it all occurred on Gary Foy’s birthday

Before the gig, at short notice I had a call from Bill Curbishley’s office (then managing Jimmy and Robert) with a request to supply a programme note for Jimmy. It was of course a priviledge to do so. My words duly appeared in the official programme to the event.

Overall, it was a somewhat beguiling night but very memorable for Jimmy’s one off instrumental version of Dazed And Confused performed with the Paul Weller band – the only time I saw a bassist paly that intro link wearing a fishtail parker coat (I did see one version performed by a bassist with onions on the shoulder of his jacket in 1975 but that’s another story!).

This night was duly acknowledged on Jimmy’s On This Day slot on his web site today. It was good to see Jimmy paying dues to Paul Weller

‘’ I was a guest of Teenage Cancer Trust with Paul Weller’s band. I played Dazed and Confused as an instrumental and had a short rehearsal slot with his band a few days prior. I wanted to do the version from Led Zeppelin I, I took a deep intake of breath when I realized that they had never ever heard it before, let alone played it. I taught them the structure as best I could and we finished the rehearsal with them promising to listen to the album. They did a really good job on the night. I have great admiration for Paul Weller and especially his solo work. He is a powerful performer and one of England’s treasures.’’

The latter statement is one I am in total agreement with –I have long since admired Weller’s songwriting and performing prowess and have a bulk of his work on vinyl and CD going back to The Jam and through The Style Council and his solo work.

One quick aside to this night..one of the things I remember is coming out of the show the good lady Janet had a text from our Sam (then aged 12) informing Janet Will Young had won the Pop Iidol TV contest beating Gareth Gates. These things were important back then – sort of! Many years later Sam would meet Gareth Gates and review his pantomime appearance when she was working for the local St Albans newspaper.

Too mark the 18th anniversary of this most memorable of nights, I’ve rounded up a variety of retrospective views. These are taken from the original TBL tour watch reports from the time that appeared on the TBL website – plus the feature that I wrote about the gig that first appeared in TBL 16.

So let’s go back to the early noughties…and a cold early February Saturday…

To kick off here’s the then TBL webman Dave Linwood’s views:

Pre-Gig:

Great to see so many faces in the pub. Lots of old and new friends, places such as Toronto, LA, Italy and Scotland were represented. Gossip centered on the possible appearance of Jimmy Page; Dazed & Confused with Paul Weller’s band?? “You sure?” said the doubters..”Trust Me” said the smug TBL Webman..!!

The Royal Albert Hall
Needs a lick of paint – and is in fact getting one at last! It’s a great venue – if you are in the boxes, or the stalls. The stage is quite low so you need to be tall to enjoy sitting/standing on the arena area. Up in the Gods you are, err up in the Gods, a long way away. The sound is not the best either. However, there is definitely something about the place that always makes events there special. I tried to estimate how many people it holds, around the 4000-5000 mark.
There is a funny ticket numbering system so I was gobsmacked to find that our seats were dead centre of the 8th row. As we waited for the show to start I was amazed at the amount of American voices we heard, striking up conversation with some of them, it was obvious it was not Weller that they had come to see…

This was always going to be a weird billing. Word on the streets is that Weller hates Zeppelin and that rehearsals with Jimmy Page have been tense. The audience is spit between aging rockers and aging mods. During the show, allegiances became apparent as some rise to acclaim some numbers – and the remaining seated sections of the audience rise to acclaim numbers elsewhere. This did deaden the atmosphere somewhat. I was at the previous night’s gig for the Who and the audience reaction had been great. Despite that fact that the tickets said the event would be filmed I saw no cameras anywhere..

7.30 lights down, on strolls Harvey Goldsmith (he’s lost a few pounds and looks better for it). He explains the purpose of the Teenage Cancer Trust and mentions that the proceeds from the five shows at the Albert Hall will pay for a complete hospital ward. He also explains that this makes nine dedicated wards in the country – and that we need 20. Still work to be done then. Finally, onto the music:

Gary Moore
The venue was pretty full as Gary played a compact and I have to say excellent “stratocaster-blues” 25 minute set. Moore seems to have his detractors and I agree that the faces he pulls whilst he plays can be off-putting, but despite this he is a fine guitarist. He managed to pass my brother’s “my hair’s-standing-on-end-test” after nailing yet another particularly fine guitar solo. I’ll be keeping a lookout for moore (cough) appearances in the future.

Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation
The hall empties out after Gary Moore’s set and people are caught in the bar as at 8.12pm, with the smell of Josh sticks comes wafting out across the first dozen or so rows, Mr Plant resplendent in a golden coat drifts onto stage. The audience is still seated much to some of the Americans disgust. The stage has a lob-sided look, the drums of off centre-left. Porl now has hair! and is wearing jeans! (Carpet spotters upstairs – was he still playing on his magic carpet?), Charlie Jones grasping his double bass occupies a stage-centre position. The sound is slightly odd; sound from the instruments radiates from the stage, Plant’s voice comes from the PA hung high above, slightly disconcerting.
I can’t remember the name of the first song, (I’ve heard it on the CD-Rs) but it includes a “That’s Alright Mama” vocal reference.
Morning Dew follows, this is the first time I’ve seen the Sensations do it live. It’s a driving, powerful version, very different from the introspective PoB version. It’s well received by the audience (which is now filling out).
Plant explains to the audience that it is a priviledge to play together with so many artists and thanks us for our support.
Next up is Four Sticks – and this is one of the best arrangements I’ve ever heard. I loved the contrast between the full-on, blistering chaos of the verse compared to the peaceful pause of the chorus with Jones playing well on the double bass. Looking at my notes from the show I wrote down “bloody marvellous” and “AAAHHHH”! It was that good. Sections of the crowd rise to their feet to acclaim the band.
Hey Joe recieved its “usual” treatment (Usual? You Sure!!). Unlike the CD-Rs the soundstage is totally widescreen – a really rich sonic pallette which delights Plant fans in the audience. Contrast the acid, jarring guitar on stage-left to the sinister plucking from the Gimre (spelling?) on stage-right. As Porl sets his guitar upon the torture table, I am drawn to the word “Quiet” stencilled on his fender cab… Plant’s voice is now warmed up – and the wails that graced this venue over 30 years ago return. More people on their feet at the end of this song.
Most of you are aware that I consider Song To The Siren to be over-long, but there are some magic moments – such as the beginning of the song. There was no noise from the audience – no whistles, no whoops, nothing. From where I was you could hear the PA hum. Plant’s gentle vocals caught the famous Albert Hall echo – and just seem to hang there for a split second. The song then proceeds its course but only receives polite applause – it was long for an audience which is unfamiliar (or unreceptive) to the arrangement.
The final song was described by Plant as “being in my back pocket since ’67” and was “A House Is Not A Motel”. I groaned inwardly when I realised this was their last song. Yet, it built well with thrashing guitars at the end. I would have preferred another Zeppelin number – and I suspect the audience would have done too. It would have been nice to have ended with the audience on their feet and I think the opportunity to win more people over was lost. BIGLY would have been nice – and people would have responded to a familiar song.
And that’s it. The intelligence proved correct. A short 50 minute set and they’re off. Personally, the best songs came first in my opinion. Plant looked well and sung well. I look forward to giving the Sensation experience more scrutiny in the future..

Paul Weller
I loved the Jam, never got on with The Style Council – and don’t mind his solo stuff. Alas for me, Weller seems to be going through a Plant-1980s like denial of his older material – so we only got an excellent version of “Town Called Malice” from the vaults. Again, the fragmented audience meant that the atmosphere never really got going until the encores. This seem to affect Weller. Guests rolled out included Noel Gallagher and Kelly Jones, Stereophonics (avec silly hat). At one point he scowled “this is for the Zeppelin fans” in the audience. We rose and scowled back..! Gossip in the pub had included the amusing story that Weller had refused to be on the same stage as Jimmy Page. Remember folks, its all for char-idee!! Weller finished his main set and left the stage mentioning “more special guests”…OK…Let’s Go!

Jimmy Page
No annoucement over the PA at all. At 10.58 the familiar site of a sunburst Les Paul being handed to a gentleman who strolls onto the stage. The mods sit down. Up get the rockers….JIMMY!
As expected, the familiar bass intro of Dazed & Confused wafts from the stage. What we get is an 8 minute abridged instrumental version complete with violin bow solo!
It will be interesting to see what others make of it. I have to say I wasn’t that impressed. Weller’s backing band obviously weren’t interested. They had bored expressions on their faces and their playing and body movements were very mechanical – the sort of body lanuage you see on kids as they are being lead into the dentist! At one point whilst Page was scraping away with the violin bow, the bassist and the guitarist were standing stock still next to each other having a conversation!
The problem with this song is that it worked in the 70’s with the framework of 4 talented and dedicated musicians. To attempt to “cut and paste” “best bit” segments into Albert Hall was brave, very brave . But for me, it was a hollow experience. I look forward to more courageous displays from Page this year – perhaps in less of a ambushed do-it-for-charity-or-else environment

And finally the last song of the night, Roger Daltrey strides on and delivers probably the best song of the night – a stunning rendition of the Who’s “I can see for miles”. Having witnessed the previous night’s Who show I can only say that the Who are on fire at the moment – and yet we dwell on the fragmented pieces of the Zeppelin legacy…

This From Aidan Naughton
A friend bought me a box seat on the strength of the advertised bill. I didn’t expect Robert and Jimmy to play together given the speculation over the preceeding weeks. Following Tuesday’s poor showing, I’d come to the conclusion that the evening’s entertainment would come from Paul Weller. I wasn’t wrong.
I’m not a Gary Moore fan and arrived just in time to watch the last 2 minutes of his closing number, a rendition of “Fire” which confirmed that I was better placed in the bar. Robert’s set was less of the same from Tuesday although his voice was in much better form. I think I enjoyed it marginally more, perhaps because my expectations were lower. “Hey Joe” was just as bad though (this was the consensus over both night from 11 different people).
I can only agreed with Dave Linwood on his appraisal of Paul Weller’s set and Jimmy’s appearance. I’ve seen Weller a few times before and always enjoyed him. What he shares with Zep live outings is feel and passion and we got that in abundance. Come the encores and the roadies start setting up a hefty fx board. My friends are unconvinced that Jimmy is going to make an appearance and frankly I’m not sure that he should. But he’s on the advertising and in the concert programmes.
When he strolls on, the some shudder of excitment appears as I get every time he and Robert hit the stage. It’s all a bit incongrous, though, when Ocean Colour Scene’s Steve Craddock strolls on in a fishtail parka to join him on guitar. Other than the opening notes of Dazed and Confused when you think maybe, maybe…, I wished he’d just get it over with. It was apparent that this was to be the only appearance of Jimmy Page and No Friends. Paul Weller sensibly chose to sit this number out. I also felt for the crowd somewhat. The first 10 rows seemed to be largely made up of Zep fans waiting for something to happen, standing for portions of Robert’s slot but sitting impassively for most of Weller’s set and the same seemed true in reverse for other portions of the Albert Hall who’d come to see Weller. Weller’s closing number of “I can see for miles” was definitely the set’s highlight (I was also pleased, because the Who excluded it from their set in Portsmouth a couple of weeks earlier). I end up, like Dave, comparing the power of the recent Who shows to the seeming state of disarray that Jimmy and Robert find themselves in.
Would I have gone, if it had been billed as just Paul Weller? Almost certainly not. Was I glad I went ? Definitely. I just wish Robert and Jimmy hadn’t appeared in their respective forms.

This from Tom Cory
Wow! What a night! I great night of quality of entertainment & although I was a little reluctant at paying £65 for a ticket, I now think it was money well spent! I tried to find the meet up pub but my mum, dad & I found ourselves looking at houses once owned by Winston Churchill etc. & so decided to go straight to the Royal Albert Hall. Sorry chaps!
Anyway, to Led Zep matter….. Robert’s Strange Sensation set was very interesting & I’m most certainly looking forward to hearing the album when it is released in April. I think Robert presented a pretty strong set & I very much welcome back the ever growing influences of Eastern influences which continues to push its way into Percy’s vocabulary. For me, the highlight was the Tim Buckley number, Song To The Sireni, I think it highlighted the reason why I for one am such a huge fan of the man. Every single word was drawn from his heart instead of it being blurted out like so many other vocalists which are now ten a penny. I could have cried a couple of tears I know that for a fact!
I think Robert has a great band, but in all due respect I feel everyone is just waiting for the interplay between guitar & voice or a seering solo, when more times than not we were left with thinking just what might have been…..
Jimmy’s set – Well, mixed feelings on this one really! With him being billed so heavily as one of the ‘headliners’ & the huge prints on sale at the merchandise stall (mine’s number 1556, btw! Oh, & are they actually signed?), I though we might have a bit more action to assess, rather than just a revamp of ‘Dazed & Confused’. However, what we did see was also a bit mixed. The band wasn’t brilliantly tight & were pretty lathargic during something which could have been spectacular. (I think that comment is also true to Jimmy’s performance, with the half hearted bow solo etc.). After the show I heard so many people playing up Jimmy’s slightly less than ripened performance, I think Pagey is one of those artists who can go and p**s in the wind and people will praise him for it at times! I mentioned to my dad when Jimmy came on ‘wouldn’t it be funny if someone came on now’, unfortunately it wasn’t to be. But all in all, that same ol’ sound that we’ve come to love & adore so much over the years rang all around the Royal Albert Hall, and thats was what we came for. I personally believe that playing here for your main return to the live circuit isn’t really a great place for doing it, but Jimmy’s never been a person to do things in halves & if we can take any message from Jimmy’s performance its ‘I’m back’. A message that ssooo many of us would welcome with open arms. Tom Cory, aged 17 – Carrying the Zeppelin vibe forward into the future!

This From Paul
Robert started off with If I ever get lucky, it seemed that his voice was in good nick from the off. He sounded really good from up in the area of the Gods. I feel that he should have added another rockier number to leave us with seeing that many people there would have been unfamiliar with what he is playing at present. I am looking forward to a tour soon ( I hope)All the same he was in good form, he looked fit and well from even up in the roof. Porl did have his carpet to stand on.
As for Jimmy he looked lean and fit too, he has lost some weight by the look of him. To come on and just do a short spot like that was something and to go straight into D&C was for me very special, he played so well. I agree that the bass and guitarist looked like they were doing someone a favour, the drummer played well though. A great reaction from the majority of the crowd though to Jimmy, even the Weller fans around me seemed to react positively. Some not even born when Zep ended..
It was all just too short however. For me a 350 mile round trip needed a little more. I’m sure some of the others who came from even further afield would agree.I’m not a big Weller fan as such but I did enjoy his set. Interesting crowd reaction to a drum solo. A few years back weren’t they one of the reasons bands like the Jam came along and sought to nail the so called ‘rock dinosaurs’ ,drum solos were scorned upon were they not? The feel of his set reminded me of a 70’s type, with some extended guitar work too. Whatever happened to the 3 minute pop or protest songs? Perhaps one day Changesman will stretch out to 20 minutes?
An enjoyable evening however.

This From Craig Borda
Althogh I am an admitted Zep/Plant/Page fan from the earliest days of ’68, I still feel justified in giving my biased, if not accurate, view of what is going on with the Boys. After reading last years reviews of Plants shows, Jonses shows and most recently this “thing” at Royal Albert………..
I am left feeling somewhat drained of all my interest in any one of these fine performers. I do realize that with the kind of money they have , none of them have to do anything that the general public would want. But I would probably feel better (can’t explain it) if none of them would even bother to produce their little mini ego projects (dumb cd’s & lackluster tours) !
I personally wouldn’t walk down two blocks from my house to see The Who , but I will give them credit for the fact that they are willing to (and realize who they are) tour and even take a crack at a new cd. I’m sure Townshend and Daltrey and whoever aren’t soulmates or buddies or whatever anymore, but the demand and respect from their audience begs for it. So does Zeps audience. Yes, we want to see their best songs played live again with all three members present. We could care less about what inspires any one of them. Somehow Page seems the most normal minded of the three of them, in terms of his reverence for what was done as Zep in terms of getting excited about playing it live (why else would he have bothered with the Crowes thingy?) Sometimes it all sounds so crazy (the unwillingness particularly of Plant to reunite) that one has to wonder how much they ever enjoyed touring together in the first place. The Houses of the Holy were a seperate entity from the recordings and from any other band in modern history.
Perhaps Plant thought (and continues to think) it was a joke then and now as well. Doing old stuff is living in the past Plant says. Guess what? Timeless stuff has no past………. It was….. It is…….. and It will be…… Wonderfull…….

This From Mark Williams
On Saturday night, my brother & I as dedicated Jimmy & Robert fans took our seats at the Albert Hall with the usual hightened level of expectation whenever those guys are playing under the same roof. Post-Zep, having seen them on stage together at the Hammy Odeon on Plant’s ‘Now & Zen’ Tour, numerous times on their ’95 & ’98 outings together (best was ‘Clarksdale’ premiere show at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire), it seemed incongruous that the two greats would not ‘lay down their arms’ (!) and run with the spirit of the evening by at least recognising each other’s presence at this Charity event.
However,we knew that nothing was likely to happen and that basically we’d have to make do with Plant’s current musical vehicle of choice (not the new Cadillac Sports utility vehicle advertisement that the boys have been recently handsomely rewarded for by Cadillac for the rights to use ‘Rock and Roll’ !).
Anyway, Robert & the boys take to the stage after what I thought was an excellent crowd warming- up mini-session from Gary Moore . Great to see that ‘ The Mane remains the Same’ with Robert, not bad for a 53 year old ! Stand out tracks for me were : Song to the Siren,Morning Dew & Hey Joe…..Porl Thompson really acting as good foil for Robert,some great guitar work and worthy of inclusion in Plant’s future band line-up should he ever ditch his Stange Sensations ! HOWEVER, WHY DOES ROBERT PERSIST IN IGNORING HIS OWN SOLO BACK CATALOGUE, WHEN HE HAS SOOOO MUCH TO DRAW ON…. ‘Little by Little, Six’s and Seven’s,The Greatest Gift etc’ would not go down badly with real fans I’m sure. Priory of Brion were interesting to see, a little ‘throw-back’ to an earlier rock n’ roll time but I think the Strange Sensations hold promise for taking things forward, something Robert strived to do in the earlier part of his Post-Zep solo days.
10.55 p.m and still no Jimmy ? We were beginning to think maybe he & Paul Weller hadn’t seen eye-to-eye during rehersals. Jimmy strolls on stage to tumultuous applause, and looks great – slimmer, more upright,less hunched (compared the the Crowes shows)….however, in my view seeing Jimmy out there on his own,(albeit kicking up a great rendition of ‘Dazed & Confused’),is rather sad. It reminded me of when he played ‘Stairway’ solo on the ‘Arms’ benefit concerts, also at this same venue. The weird thing is that there are millions of vocalists & musicians the world over who’d give their right arm to be on that stage supporting their idol, but poor old Jimmy ends up with a bunch of ageing mods,( fishtail parka!) whilst Planty is somewhere back stage or elsewhere maintaining his distance from the guy who discovered him in the first place ! Shame on you Robert……Anyway, musn’t be too negative, it was a good night but of course could have been better…..

This from Andy Adams
Been reading the various comments, thoughts & words of wisdom on the Tour Watch bit, & my own impression of it all is this:-

1. It was great to see the Ol’ Dark One treading the boards with such aplomb and venom. Maybe all the trauma & arguements leading up to the event left him with a sense of sticking up his middle finger (musically speaking) and just going for it. Certainly he pulled out some vintage moves and for the first time in a while the guitar became just an extension of him.

2. What does anyone expect from a backing band that doesn’t know/like Zep very much and has only had a couple of brief rehearsals of the song? Far from being safe, it was a pretty bold move, especially coming after a Weller set that had a large number of the audience on their feet (until the slower and badly jammed numbers). Jimmy’s sound, attitude and performance was fantastic to us, ‘cos he went for it and really came over – above Robert & Daisy Daltrey – as a LEGEND, not just a star. That’s not my opinion, but that of many younger people around us – many of whom had come to enjoy all the music on the bill and not just sit in the Weller or Zep camps.

3. I know I’m a bit long in the tooth, but why does there have to be this ‘he did the best bits from that arrangement’ and ‘he left out that section’ kind of attitude. After all, it’s supposed to be Rock ‘n’ Roll which should be enjoyed and not analysed too much. Save that for the reviews of the Bootlegs! Maybe sitting with someone who’d never seen Jimmy onstage before was a big help – a fresh pair of eyes & ears not dragged down by the ‘seen/heard it all before’ syndrome but actually looking forward to it with an open mind. Whatever anyone says, the hairs on the back of my neck (what few are left….) certainly stood up!!

4. Yes, it’s a damn shame him & Bob couldn’t have done something together, but the thing that struck us the most was the end of the evening should have been an all-star jam of ALL the participants on the night to round it off.

5. Yes, Bob was his usual self to me. Vocally as good as he has been for many a year, but with a frustrating selection of numbers. Were we alone in thinking ‘Hey Joe’ woz awful?(especially coming after a monumental ‘Four Sticks’!). Maybe a bit of ‘Heaven Knows’, ‘Slow Dancer’ or ‘Easily Led’ would have been an idea, eh?

This from Freda Hyatt
I have had my ticket for the gig at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust for less than a week, hoping for the best. Then, on Saturday morning I pick up the paper and read my stars: ‘Don’t expect tonight’s events to go as planned…’ and groan. Then I read the rest: ‘but you will be pleased and not disappointed with the alternative’ and decide all is not lost.

When I arrive at the RAH I appear to be the only person on my own. My ticket appears to be for the 7th row off to one side, but that’s not where it is. Actually, I am in the second row. Dead centre. Is this the event not going as planned?!

I have heard on the grapevine that Robert will be on second and play for about 45 minutes. Jimmy is due to do one number – an accoustic one – during the finale. On the dot at 7.30 the show begins with a tight little set from Gary Moore. Not my style in guitar players but enjoyable none the less. Then, after a short break to shift off some equipment – and to tape some joss sticks to the monitor! – on comes Robert. He’s dressed the same as at Bristol in midweek: dark red shirt, brocade waistcoat, tapered black pants and what appear to be black canvas boots with zips on the side .I have my camera with me, but since the use of
them is stated on the ticket to be prohibited – and I don’t want to get thrown out before Jimmy comes on – I don’t take any photos. I can’t remember the name of the first track, but then its ‘Morning Dew’, ‘Four Sticks’, ‘Hey Joe’, a beautiful version of ‘Song to the Siren’ and ends with ‘A House is not a Motel’. It doesn’t seem to get the audience on hits collective feet, and we don’t get an encore. There is now a longer break before The Paul Weller band take the stage. I am not impressed. I liked him when he was with The Jam, but this new stuff does nothing for me. He invites on several guests, including Noel Gallagher of Oasis, and Kelly Jones of The Stereophonics. At least we are spared Emma Bunton (ex-Baby Spice) who it was rumoured would be there. Then there is another couple of minutes break before a Les Paul and – gulp – THE BOW are brought out onto the stage. And then there he is.

Jimmy looks good. He’s in an open-necked, long-sleeved dark lilac shirt and black pants, and looks lean and healthy, grinning at the reaction he is getting. And here comes the second ‘evenings plans not going as expected…’ as we get an 8 minute version of ‘Dazed and Confused’ and not an acoustic number. Its all over far too quickly, but I am determined to capture something of it so risk being thrown out by taking a few photos. Dunno if they will come out! Then he’s gone with a mumbled thanks, a grin and a wave.

The last special guest is Roger Daltrey who gives us a version of ‘I Can See For Miles’, then after a word from the charity organisers, we file out into the night. Okay, it was just one number from Jimmy – but at least he was back on stage and he saw – FELT – how much he was missed, so hopefully he will be back doing something with someone before long. And I intend to be there too……

DL Views:

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant – Royal Albert Hall, February 9, 2002:

This piece first appeared in TBL 16. It’s my account of one of the most beguiling nights spent in the company of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

This was the occasion they chose to appear separately on the same bill at one of the series of Teenage Cancer Fund shows in 2002. Looking back I think there was a sense amongst fans that they could still easily pick up their collaboration of the mid to late 1990’s – but by then things had moved on, particularly for Robert. It’s interesting to read again my analogy concerning The Who. Back then they were celebrating their catalogue with commendable unpretentiousness and eight years on they are still doing just that, witness their wonderfully effective ‘’give the audience what they want’’ medley at last week’s half time performance at the SuperBowl.

Things have never been that simple over in the Zep camp. Back then Robert moved on to the Dreamland album and tour which would cement his relationship with the Strange Sensation line up. Jimmy meanwhile undertook the massive challenge of trawling the achieves to come up with the five hour DVD and How The West Was Won album. This did reunite the three former members as they (and us) saw and heard at first hand just exactly what had made Led Zeppelin so special.

Before all that there was a date down at Albert’s place. A confused and often frustrating night as you will read on. If you were there, let me know your thoughts on it now 15 years on. This is how it was for me on that night back in February 2002…

Photos: Freda Hyatt

ROYAL ALBERT HALL FEBRUARY 9 2002:

WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN?

albert hall 2002

Right from the start this one was always going to be a bizarre one. The saga commenced on a Friday morning back in early December when a week of shows in aid of the very admirable Teenage Cancer Trust were announced via The Sun.

They were to feature Marti Pellow, Oasis, The Who over two nights and Paul Weller and guests on the final Saturday night. The story broke in The Sun and mentioned that Robert Plant and Jimmy Page would be appearing on the Weller bill.

I was due in London that day on the annual Wallbanger reunion drink so I couldn’t really check the story. Confirmation though arrived once I got to the capital as the early editions of the Evening Standard carried a full page ad for the shows and there emblazoned for Saturday February 9 was The Paul Weller Band with guests Jimmy Page, Gary Moore, plus Robert Plant & Strange Sensation.

Ticket prices were hefty -very hefty ,but it was for an excellent cause and if this was to be the next sighting of the pair then it was a matter of course to get it sorted which I was able to do (at vast expense!) at the near by Stargreen box office.

This Albert Hall benefit would herald the UK debut of Plant’s new line up and a separate appearance by Jimmy. You had to be there…simple as that. Tickets for the date sold out within a day.

Curiously the Weller, Page and Plant night was deemed the most expensive of the week of shows.

Christmas came and went as it does and Feb 9 soon loomed large. Leading up to the gig it was evident Page and Plant would not be appearing together. Plant was set for a 50 minute support slot for which he warmed for with a low key date the previous Wednesday at Bristol University. Page’s involvement was still uncertain – a few numbers jamming with the Weller band? A solo acoustic spot? Stairway live instrumental? The rumours abounded

So it was with much anticipation I approached the first few days of Feb. The whole event was compounded for me with a call from Bill Curbishley’s office to office to supply the programme notes for Jimmy’s insert in the official programme. This I was more than happy to do, though the turn around to get it polished off in time brought forth the usual early morning and late night schedules in between the usual work/family demands.

There then occurred something of a diversion that indirectly put me at a distinct disadvantage in assessing the February 9 gig. A ticket came my way (thanks Phil T.) for The Who’s warm up date at the Watford Coliseum on January 31.

Now I haven’t seen the Who for 22 years. Back in their peak years as a live band they were second only in my book to Zep. A lasting example of my enthusiasm for The Who at that time can be viewed by checking the closing scenes of their Kids Are Alright movie, that’s me leaping on to the stage at the end of their Shepperton filming gig I was lucky enough to attend in May1978, hugging Pete Townshend and accidentally cuffing Daltrey in the eye. Yes there some great days with The Who during the 1970s. Their appearance at a rain soaked Charlton football ground in 1976 was another memorable encounter.

After Keith Moon died it was never the same and I avoided all The Who and friends arena tour reunions opting to keep my memories of them unscathed. However the opportunity to pay homage to them from the 8th row in a small theatre now stripped to the basic four piece with Rabbit on keyboards was just too mouth watering to pass up. Their appearance on a cold late January night in Watford was a revelation. They looked great, Daltrey defying his 57 years incredibly well and Townshend playing with venom and panache. They played for over two hours and played every song you could possibly want to hear and more. (On a sad note it would be the last time I would witness the startling bass playing of John Entwhistle who died later that year)

Coming away from the gig left me focusing on one underlining thought.

Page’s quote in that Classic Rock interview last year was so spot on ”Led Zeppelin should be out there” he said and looking at how The Who have maintained their credibility you have to agree.

THIS is exactly what Page, Plant and Jones should be doing. With no pretension and no damage to their legacy. Possibly with Michael Lee on drums – no Egyptians, no big light show, just a two hour set focusing on the more potent side of their catalogue Wanton Song/Night Flight/Royal Orleans/Quite You/Immigrant Song/Ramble On/Four Sticks/The Ocean/……need I go on. They could still concentrate on their individual projects – and come together periodically like The Who in a mass celebration and execution of the greatest rock back catalogue of all time.

But that’s all too easy. The stumbling block is that for one particular ex member such notion is not on the agenda.

You know it’s not going to happen.

It certainly wasn’t going to happen in any shape or form on Saturday February 9. But we knew that and grudgingly accepted it. The opportunity to be in the presence of Plant and Page however fragmented, was more than enough to put the old TBL road show back out in force.

So it was a good feeling to be in the company of like minded souls from all over Europe and some from a far afield as the US at the pre gig pub meet in Kensington in the late afternoon.

The usual attendees on such occasions, Billy and Alison from Scotland, Steve and Gary from the west country, Guy St John, Mr Linwood, the TBL crew with the good lady Janet, Tom Locke and Den, the Foys, Michael from Sweden, the French and Italian crews, Christophe, Ellio etc etc. It’s been a long time since we have all had reason to convene in this manner and surveying the packed pub it’s a familiar case of TBL comes alive. It’s a warm feeling that we can all still do this.

.In the pub speculation is rife of how proceedings might go. The word is that Page will perform one number probably Dazed And Confused. That might seem like short change for those who have travelled across the Atlantic such as the young lady near me -however she did have the consolation of bumping into Robert in the Helter Skelter bookshop yesterday.

Before show time let’s study the facts:

This is Plant’s first London appearance for three years and three months. Page’s first for two and a half years. It’s Page’s first appearance at the Albert Hall for 17 years (his last being the Arms shows in September 1983.) Incredibly It’s Plant’s first appearance on the Albert Hall stage for some 32 years – you have to go back to the night of Friday January 9 1970 at the famous filmed Zeppelin Albert Hall show for the last time Plant greeted an audience at this historic venue.

Walking into the grand old building it’s hard not to be overawed by the sheer history of the venue. In fact no other venue in the UK holds such esteem. Looking around the seated circular structure it’s easy to think of the ghosts of concerts past that are ingrained on memory and on film. The Rolling Stones in ’66, Cream’s final show in ’68, Zeppelin in ’69 and ’70 and that emotion filled night back in September 1983 when the fragile Page re interpreted his most famous composition. How welcome that would be tonight…

But you know it’s not going to happen.

The audience is a curious mix of old rockers (that’s us) and old mods (that’s them) weighted probably 60 -40 in favour of Paul Weller. Again this makes for an uneven reception to what follows.

After a standard blues wailing set from Gary Moore, Harvey Goldsmith takes the stage and gives the background to the charity intentions before introducing Robert Plant. With the hall still filling up the Strange Sensation line up takes it place. Drummer Clive Deamer to the left…keyboard man John Baggott to the right, Justin Adams and Porl (still with carpet) flanking the singer and the more familiar Charlie Jones stationed at the back. The singer strides on up to the mic for the long drawn out moanings of If I Ever Get Lucky.

Initial impressions. The voice is good – better I’m informed later by those who had witnessed the Bristol warm up when he was recovering from a virus.

Morning Dew is next more free form (as most of the number are) than the Priory version, full of jazzy keyboard runs effective if perfunctory. The introduction of Four Sticks raises the required cheer and it’s this point it should all take off.

Except it doesn’t.

The arrangement is excellent with that slowed down reflective section (A Strange Sensation trait) but Robert seems less than animated opting to hug the mic rather than strut in a manner that this classic piece of Zep 4 history demands. The other minor distraction is the fact that the original composer of this Zep standard is somewhere in the vicinity of the building. At any moment you hope of hopes that he will glide on stage, Gibson at the ready and rock out on one of the most durable riffs from the golden era…

But you know it’s not going to happen.

I knew what to expect with Hey Joe having heard and seen some of the SS tapes and videos from last years US tour- the most left field of arrangements with some atmospheric guitar and keyboard motifs that work well and Plant effectively interpreting the traditional lyric. If you work at it there’s some fine stuff going on here – trouble was on this night, it was all a little too early to concentrate on doing so.

Song To the Siren is next -expertly sung but somehow at odds with the less than intimate surroundings and completely lost of course on the Weller audience. Love’s A House Is Not A Motel follows and this pin points the shortcomings of the SS ethic. With the Priory Plant delivered this with the urgency and flair of the original. Not so tonight. The edgy opening verses kick off in the right direction but it all moves on into a spacey improvisation that quickly strips the song of its impetus -the guitar and organ creating a wash of sound.

Unfortunately there is no time to recover – no final blast of say Misty Mountain or Babe I’m Gonna Leave You which had been performed at Bristol. No encore, no nothing…lights up Plant and co off. All decidedly unfulfilling. Which is a great shame because the Strange Sensation does have new ideas and places to go musically. It just never lent itself to tonight’s occasion. In it’s own right and with far increased set list length this latest Plant venture could prove enlightening. On the other hand it may be his most off centre project since Shaken’ N’ Stirred. Until the album appears the jury is out on this one.

What we can’t hide is a collective thumbs down for what we have experienced so far tonight. Much of that disappointment maybe down to the circumstances of the evening, but it’s still a frustrating state of play.

Still…there is the silver lining of Jimmy to come but quite how and when remains a mystery.

Now I’ve long admired Paul Weller as an artist. I may even be in the minority of people here tonight that can boast alongside the countless Zep CD’s I own, I also have much of Weller’s work crossing The Jam, Style Council and solo. In many ways his career parallels that of Plant. He is another artist who has found it hard living in the shadow of his past work and like Plant he tends to please himself artistically. Like Plant he finds his past catalogue of little attraction.

Tonight there will be no greatest hits set -instead we get an overlong and often overwrought trawl through his solo work. There are recognisable songs, Wildwood, Changing Man and You Do Something To Me amongst them but there are also many indulgences -trips to the piano to perform obscure album tracks and introduction to guests such as Carleen Anderson, Noel Gallagher and The Stereophonic’s Kelly Jones.

The celebrated Gallagher could have course delivered one of the several noteworthy compositions he has conjured up over the past decade. Wonderwall, Live Forever, Don’t Look Back In Anger…instead we get the nonscript B side One Way Road.

Likewise Jones who has written some fine tunes with The Stereophonics, indeed his cover and current hit Handbags And Gladrags (as used on the brilliant The Office TV show ) would have probably gone down very well…instead we get Woodcutters Son. Weller does relent for a version of The Jam classic Town Called Malice but even this is performed as a semi acoustic romp – when surely his ardent supporters were just crying out for the Motown bass line driven pace of the original.

And so it goes on, and all the time we await the appearance of James Patrick Page. ”Got some special guests coming on soon” is Weller’s only hint after the Jam revival of a change in the menu. Then as if someone had picked up the remote and switched the TV over everything changes.

You can see the Gibson…Weller goes off, his band mates mill around, lights flash down…and there on stage is Jimmy Page.

Cherubic smile, well cut shirt, slimmer than in very long time, low slung Gibson Les Paul and sure enough it’s Dazed And Confused the instrumental…… Right at the back of ones mind …there’s a tiny hope that the singer who first lit the fire of this particular Zep gem will walk on and take the mic and…

But you know it’s not going to happen.

albert hall 2002 pics 2

Jimmy though is on form. The place erupts and throughout the eight minute performance there is no doubt that we are in the presence of a living legend -if that sounds corny well….you had to be there, because it was just so evident that Page still carries that indefinable something that makes him what he is. Musically it’s also probably more than we could have expected given the Weller band’s unfamiliarity with the song, and the fact the guitarist behind Page was wearing a fish tail parker that even beats some of Jonesy’s Spanish epics in the bad fashion day stakes.

The violin bow is wielded to huge cheers,the middle solo spun off as if he was back in 1970 and we were all a lot younger…and the crescendo ending signals mass applause, smiles, hand shakes…and then he’s gone.

That’s it and as quickly as we’ve switched to Channel 4 we are back to BBC 2 and yet more later with Paul Weller .

‘Gonna do Walk On Gilded Splinters’’

This was a hit for Marsha Hunt back in the days when Zep played this venue and maybe a possible Priory contender had they still been up and running.

There is no acknowledgement of Jimmy at all which was frankly insulting.

How the whole event would have been lifted had Jimmy stayed on, brought out the double neck, and gone into an instrumental Song Remains The Same supported ala 1995 by Porl Thompson…rounding it off with Stairway.

That really would have made it…

But you knew it’s not going to happen.

Instead we are left for Weller to bring on Roger Daltrey for a spirited finale of the rarely played Who 1960’s hit I Can See For Miles.

Personally I was still getting over the adrenalin rush of seeing Page – and the nervy Mr Foy was still struggling to find his glasses that had sped off his nose in the excitement to greet Page.

So we shuffle out the evening over. Dazed…yes…confused…yes …frustrated yes…but perhaps thankful for small mercies. The train back is long and weary. The next two days are spent coming down after all the build up and no getting away from it, there is a definite feeling of what might have been.. what should have been…..and what never was….

POSTSCRIPT:

Predictably the TBL web site is alive with tour watch comments – perhaps the most debate of any gig ever covered on the web. The consensus is an absolute thumbs up for Page …but less positive for Plant.

The question of the actual billing, Paul Weller’s domination and Jimmy’s minor role within the night prompts major disappointment.

So where did it all go wrong? Certainly given his billing on the adverts, Page should surely have had a more decisive role. In hindsight was this the right night for them to perform anyway? Weller and co having no association with them previously and as we saw on the night, the line up appealed to distinctly differing musical audiences. Surely it would have been far better for them to be supporting The Who as will be the case for Plant on the summer 2002 tour.

As for the matter of Page and Plant appearing separately- word was that there was no animosity. Plant apparently viewed Page’s stint from the side of the stage and there had been a suggestion to perform Thank you together but the strict schedule of the night thwarted any such plans -in fact Robert was forced to drop one number on the night due to the tight schedule.

Confusion, Frustration.

We’ve endured plenty of it. And that all said it’s still with immense pride that I will boast in years to come that I was there when Jimmy Page stripped the years away and proved once again that he is the quintessential guitar hero and eternal keeper of the Zeppelin flame.

But there again, as I explained, I was at a distinct disadvantage alongside anyone else who saw The Who over the proceeding week. Watching them in action, well they made it all seem so uncomplicated. No obscurities, no elongated 60’s freak outs – just great rock’n’ roll played right from the heart.

The whole month turned out to be a bit of a so near and yet so far in more ways than one, culminating in Spurs dismal defeat in the Worthington Cup Final.

Football….maybe that’s the final analogy. The Who plug on like some sleeping giant ala Newcastle United while P and P while still holding the attention and striving to be attractive and innovative, are shrouded in their glorious past ala Tottenham Hotspur.

So this Albert Hall gig will go down as one of most bizarre nights in the long concert history of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

Those of us in attendance to use yet another Who-ism, will probably hope we won’t get fooled again…

But of course it won’t stop us coming back for more.

Dave Lewis Feb 26, 2002

Postscript February 9, 2017:

It didn’t!

……………….

Led Zeppelin News Update:

In conjunction with the Led Zep news site, each week I will be re- producing highlights from their weekly email update news summary. This goes out every Sunday. Sign up details are below. Many thanks to James Cook.

Many thanks to James Cook.

John Paul Jones is featured on Mark Lanegan’s new album “Straight Songs Of Sorrow” which will be released on May 8

https://www.facebook.com/HeavenlyRecordings/photos/a.278680750390/10162857886590391/?type=3&theater

February-March – Jimmy Page’s new book, “Jimmy Page: The Anthology,” will be released.
February 11 – Jimmy Page and Scarlett Sabet will be interviewed in London.
February 28 – Robert Plant’s vinyl singles box set “Digging Deep” will be released and he will be interviewed in London to celebrate its release.
March – The standard edition of Jimmy Page’s Sundragon amps will be released.
March 6 – Danny Barnes’ new album “Man On Fire,” which features John Paul Jones, will be released.
March 9 – Jimmy Page and Scarlett Sabet will be interviewed at the Groucho Club in London.
March 26-29 – John Paul Jones will perform a solo set as well as a second set as part of Sons Of Chipotle at the Big Ears music festival in Knoxville, Tennessee.
June 19-21 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace at the Black Deer festival in Kent.
September 25-26 – The next John Bonham celebration event will be held in Redditch, UK.

The complete Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here:http://tinyletter.com/LedZepNews

Led Zeppelin News Website: Check out the Led Zeppelin news website at

http://ledzepnews.com/

The complete Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here:http://tinyletter.com/LedZepNews

Led Zeppelin News Website: Check out the Led Zeppelin news website at

http://ledzepnews.com/

……………………

Robert Plant front cover of Uncut:

Robert Plant is the cover story and feature in the new issue of Uncut magazine…

https://www.uncut.co.uk/features/blogs/introducing-the-new-uncut-robert-plant-exclusive-plus-iggy-malkmus-elton-and-more-123266/?fbclid=IwAR1qYUvJuf36kV0ATdxA0E9J8XnnWglGDO34XEaIUGWRzueskMhD_yk8qWs

Deborah Bonham Latest News:     

Deborah Bonham Band shows are off to a wonderful start in 2020 with great reviews (see below), sold out shows, and surprise guests.
We’ve really been feelin’ the Love…
Next week’s Bewdley show has Sold Out, so please come see us in Scotland Kinross 23/2, Tavistock The Wharf 14/3 or a Sunday afternoon in Wales at The Patriot near Newport 15/3 (Sunday early afternoon show).
The new album is set for a late Spring Release on USA label
Quarto Valley Records  ‘QVR’.
21 Feb BEWDLEY St George’s Hall SOLD OUT
http://www.thehall-bewdley.org.uk23 Feb KINROSS Green Hotel, Scotland UK
http://www.mundellmusic.com/upcoming-shows/14 Mar TAVISTOCK The Wharf, Devon UK
Special Guest Jo Burt
https://tavistockwharf.com15 Mar NEWPORT The Patriot, Crumlin S.Wales UK
2pm Sunday Afternoon Concert with Special Guest Jo Burt
http://www.patriotrocks.co.uk/03 Apr RIOM La Puce a l’Oreille France (63)
https://www.lapucealoreille63.fr/04 Apr BIARRITZ l’Atabal, France (64)
http://www.atabal-biarritz.fr/index.php/fr/05 Apr BEAUMONT En VERON Le temps des Crises, France (37)
http://www.letempsdescrises.fr/22 Aug ASTONBURY FESTIVAL Aston, Oxfordshire UK
www.astonbury-festival.co.uk3 Oct CARLISLE BLUES FESTIVAL Carlisle UK
https://carlislebluesfestival.com/
Further Dates To be Confirmed
…………………………

Physical Graffiti  45th Anniversary:TBL ’75 Snapshot Retro Review :

Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti

John Tobler, ZigZag magazine March 1975.

NOW I SHOULD make clear in this context that I’m not by nature a fan of this band in the same way that I like Van Morrison or Love. My position is one of deep respect, mind you, and while I was heard to say some harsh things about Beck copyists, etc, when the first album came out, such notions no longer seem to apply. I feel that I would have to perform a masterpiece of justification if I wanted to put L.Z. down, and in all honesty, there’s no fuel for that particular fire.

I suspect that someone somewhere will go into that old thing about making one great album out of two flawed same, as used with the Beatles’ White Album and so on, but again, I can’t subscribe, and this is where the review really starts. There are fifteen tracks on display here, and three of them, accounting for about a third of the playing time, appeal to me so much that were they on one side of the record, I would find it difficult to play anything else until I knew them from every direction. Specifically, these are ‘In My Time Of Dying’, ‘Houses Of The Holy’, and best of all, in a class shared with only a dozen or so tracks in my entire musical existence, ‘In The Light’.

That’s not to write the rest off in a terse few words but for my part, the record would be breaking down fresh barriers if it was all as good. It’s a question of stand-outs, and if you can imagine putting ‘She Loves You’ on the first Beatles album, you’ll see what I mean. Without my three choice cuts, the album would be of very good quality. Perhaps a little routine, but certainly to be among the critics’ choices at the end of the year. With the tracks included, it gets a distinct lift off, and while it’s just as certain to figure similarly in critical and public polls, we’re all getting a bonus for which we should be grateful. I would say with certainty that prolonged playing will produce several more tracks which will become highly pleasing, but it all comes down to what makes the biggest initial impact. And that’s not to say that the three I’ve mentioned have a singalong chorus.

Beyond saying “Get it if you’re even vaguely into this type of confection,” there’s not much to add. Jimmy Page as producer has to be one of the most tasteful people there is, and he continually rejects the temptation to fall into Black Sabbath traps, He also plays the guitar with consummate brilliance, and perhaps that’s part of the key to Led Zeppelin. They are all musicians of the highest calibre, and the length of time taken to produce this package is a testimony to the fact that second best for them is as bad as nowhere. One for your lists.

© John Tobler via rocksbackpages.com

……………………………..

DL Diary Blog Update:

Update here from my Facebook page:

Like countless others, we were very shocked about the passing of the TV Presenter Caroline Flack in such tragic circumstances.

The Caroline Flack story of her alleged assault on her boyfriend occurred on Thursday December 12 and was all over the papers – this was also the day I was experiencing a mental breakdown that resulted the next day in me in being sectioned at the Onyx psychiatric hospital in Luton for four days. I vividly recall reading about all the Caroline Flackstory in my tiny room in the hospital during my stay there.

Caroline’s quote at the time that this was ”The worst I’ve ever felt in my life” resonated with me – because that is exactly how I felt.

How an earth had it come to this? Here I was confined to a room under the Mental health Act some miles from Janet who was still in hospital herself with her broken leg – and of course away from Sam and Adam and everything else I held dear.

Somehow over that weekend, I did find the mental resolve to face up to a lot of issues. I spoke on the phone to a lot of people that weekend to seek assurance and advice –including some of you reading this. It was a cathartic experience on many levels – and I will never ever forget the kindness and support I received over that weekend –and indeed since.

On reflection, it was a very positive thing that I went to the Onyx ward as it gave me to time to think away from everything. The staff were also incredibly supportive. My stay was short and I was soon back home with Janet, Sam and Adam. I certainly don’t regret it and I am not ashamed of it – it was a stark example of how easy it is to let mental health issues become totally overwhelming.

I have suffered from anxiety and depression for a good few years now and I was aware of the triggers to all that but Janet’s accident was the point my pressure cooker exploded and it all elevated to a totally different level. The repercussions of which, I am still dealing with on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis.

I am not suggesting for one minute that I went to the depths of despair poor Caroline descended to and which resulted in her tragic death last Saturday – but her story highlighted so many issues of mental wellbeing and certainly resonated with my own set of circumstances. As I said, along with countless others , we were all so shocked here by Caroline’s sad passing.

I do know what it feels like to be desperate and in a very dark place. I continue to try and fight off this deep rooted anxiety and depression. Counselling sessions have helped. My session on Monday took a direction into my youth and childhood and highlighted a pattern of behavior that has been constant throughout my life and has clearly influenced how I feel now. It was tough stuff to open up to.

There are still days where anger, frustration and sadness influence my moods to the detriment of everyone and everything. I constantly hate myself for being like it. it can come on very quickly – my objective ahead is to reign it as soon as possible when it does.

The fact is, I have so much to be thankful for – but losing sight and perspective of that is a distressing aspect of what I am going through – and as Janet knows only too well, leads to me also losing sight of myself.

Who is this version of Dave Lewis? Who is this man who cannot face anyone, cannot face playing a record, cannot write a word of text, cannot face being in London without a deep anxiety that led to me fainting. Who is this man who cannot do all the things that define who he is and that he once took for granted?

Who is this man who gets so angry frustrated and sad? Who is this rather pathetic self-pitying wounded soul?

That version of Dave Lewis is not one I like at all…

So I continue to try and fend off that version of me and it’s an ongoing challenge…but one I am determined to conquer.

I am probably being a bit hard on myself because the good lady Janet would say that the Dave Lewis that cares for her is doing an amazing job and for the most part is the one she knows and loves and is very proud of.

I do feel the real Dave Lewis is emerging again – slowly and with small steps. The maintaining of the TBL website and my Facebook music updates are welcome inspirations – and there is always music and laughter attached to what Janet and I share here on a daily basis being together virtually 24/7.

This week is was good to attend the monthly Pete Burridge Record Club at The Castle for an hour and ahead I have a plan to do some TBL work soon with Mick Lowe. Within caring for Janet I am getting back into a groove of doing the regular things here. The good lady and I also got out for a drink and meal over the road at the local pub last night – see pic here.

Finally back to the Caroline Flack tragedy. Her much published Instagram message has such a poignancy…

‘’In a world where you can be anything – be kind’’

The good lady reminded me this week, I need to be kind to myself and to everyone around me. It costs nothing and means everything.

Janet continues to be incredibly supportive of all my issues and of course, needs my constant support to cope with her physical challenges of healing her broken leg ahead. She is my absolute priority and it’s a joy to be able to help her as much as possible. Within all this we try to keep smiling and we have fun.

Like I said, we both do know we have a lot to be thankful for – not least each other – these testing times are forging an incredible deep bond between us. Being with this beautiful lady for the past 37 years, I know I am a very blessed and lucky man –and continue to be so…

So we carry on together – we have come a long way in the past ten weeks  and we are both feeling proud of that.  There’s a long uncertain challenging journey ahead and we are both hoping and praying that the healing process takes its course ahead.

As Janet constantly reminds me in her wonderfully upbeat way…

‘’We can do this’’

Thanks for listening…

Thanks for all your support…

Much love from Dave and Janet xx

February 21,2020.

…………………………..

Until next time, have a great weekend

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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One Comment »

  • Chris said:

    Keeping hanging on in there Dave. I can read in the posts that the “real” Dave is coming back. All my thoughts and best wishes to you.

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