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PHYSICAL GRAFFITI TBL ARCHIVE SPECIAL – 43 YEARS GONE/1975 US TOUR SNAPSHOT/LZ NEWS/ ROBERT PLANT REVIEW/WHISTLE TEST/ MOJO & PLANET ROCK MAG/DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

21 February 2018 1,753 views 14 Comments

daily zep

Physical Graffiti Covers City! New Led Zeppelin album released…

Physical Graffiti 43 Years Gone:

To mark the 43rd anniversary of the release of Physical Graffiti, here’s a round up of thoughts and views from the TBL archives – commencing with a look back to the 40th anniversary re issue of three years ago:

The Reissued Graffiti: Physical Sequencing with no cherry picking required……

To backtrack 40 years: In the scheme of things the timing on the recording of this album was just so right.

There was nothing like the pressure they had in following Zep IV with Houses Of The Holy. The lukewarm press reaction to Houses would only spur the four  to greater on stage heights. The touring period from March in Europe through to the lengthy US jaunt in the summer of ’73 saw Led Zeppelin perform to overflowing audiences with increasing confidence.

There may have been a period of burn out following the US tour – the initial sixth album sessions were scrapped due to John Paul Jones having some issues, but it can be clear that the vigour and vitality they displayed during that US tour was more than in evidence when they came to park Ronnie Lane’s mobile studio outside Headley Grange in early 1974.

The decision to work at their own space with no pressure of a tour to prepare was a crucial one. Jimmy’s wry comment that ‘’1974 didn’t really happen’’ was a something of a smokescreen – as creatively, it very much did happen and it would set the seal on a six month period in 1975 that would see them conquer America yet again and present five shows at London’s Earls Court that really did capture them at the peak of their powers.

All this and Physical Graffiti too. A double album idea that Page had been eying for some time :

” I hoped it was going to be a double album because other people had put out double albums and I thought it would be good to do that-  see how much material we’ve got when we got in there. I knew that we already had material left over the material was coming out and it was clear that we were working towards a dou.The there was no doubt about that. I did want to do a double album that would really show a working band at a really creative process.”

The eight recordings honed at Headley Grange were merged within seven older tracks held over from previous albums. We now know that had been the clear intention with Houses Of The Holy as Page recently revealed: ‘’ It was left off the Houses Of The Holy album on purpose. It was saved for whatever the next album was going to be which turned out to be Physical Graffiti’’.

The rest…they were never mere leftovers as such a thing did not exist. These were quality ideas ready to be unleashed. All that was required was a final mix and a song selection and sequencing. This is where Physical Graffiti really triumphs

You could just never envisage Physical Graffiti not being played in the sequence that Jimmy Page prepared back in 1974. It’s akin to a whole symphony greater than the sum of its parts – take any song away and it loses it’s thread.

So let’s be under no illusion the arrival of this new remastered reissue is principally all about those 15 tracks – the Companion Disc is of course a very  welcomed dessert – but the main course kicks right off with track one side with a chew of the Custard Pie and closes some with the brutal last gasp salute of Sick Again.

And that my friends, is the way to listen to Physical Graffiti – there’s no cherry picking required. It’s the whole first course in one sitting and no messing.

This is no mere 40 year nostalgia trip. Physical Graffiti could be no mere anything. It’s a living breathing beautiful sounding testament to the sheer greatness of Led Zeppelin

Every facet of the spectrum beautifully detailed – every moment wonderfully sequenced.

physical ad 3

Now sounding better than ever via the dutiful care taken to represent this landmark album by Jimmy with engineer John Davis at the helm. Weather you are listening to a top of the range Hi Fi lounge quilt turntable or on a Dansette , well the effect will be shattering…

Put simply -the paintwork on this particular piece of graffiti remains as fresh as ever…

Let me know what you think when it comes your way…

Dave Lewis February 23, 2015.

To Be continued….

…………………………..

 

DL thoughts:

The Reissued Graffiti: Physical Sequencing with no cherry picking required……

So this is it…the big one – an embarrassment of riches –

I played the vinyl version yesterday all in one sitting – as it should be and I have to say I was totally overwhelmed..… totally beyond expectation …so many moments of unparalleled greatness now heard in more clarity than ever before…absolutely incredible…they are, were and always be the best – this reissue of Physical Graffiti is yet further proof.

To backtrack 43 years: My Physical Graffiti:

Physical Graffiti. The very title indicated something mysterious and special when I first saw it announced in the NME in late ’74. Then there was the waiting. Ah yes the waiting. Initially it was set for November 29th 1974. That date passed and nothing. Then it was going to be January 10th 1975 and so it went on until finally on a grey February morning, I took receipt of the record boxes delivered that day at WH Smith where I worked. And there in a parcel marked WEA/CBS Distribution was a box full of that beautiful double album. Had it out of the box immediately –took it down the pub lunchtime to show Dec, Phil, Tom and co…oh yes this was the big one – a massive outpouring of new Zeppelin music.

It ushered in a memorable year that would peak with those five glorious days in May. Since then Physical Graffiti has been a constant in my life. Not long after its release, the WEA rep kindly gave me the original sleeve artwork mock up which still takes pride of place in my collection. On holiday in Spain that year I could not resist handing over a pocket full of pesetas for the Spanish pressing. I have it on cassette and 8 track cartridge. When I first got a CD player in 1988 it was the first CD I purchased.  The emergence of the Tangible Vandalism rehearsals bootleg in the early 80’s was a shot in the arm in a less than vibrant Zep period, and the first time I heard the 33 minutes of outtakes that surfaced in 1997 remains one of my most memorable listening experiences.

Then there have been the numerous live Graffiti moments -selections from Physical Graffiti played live over the years have also provided some of my all time fave gig going moments.

Ten Years Gone and Sick Again at Knebworth, Trampled Underfoot at Leicester University in ’88, Kashmir at MTV Unledded, The Wanton Song at Later With Jools, Night Flight at the ULU in ’98 , In My Time of Dying at the 02 Reunion.

Last Saturday was the same sort of cold sunny afternoon to that of 40 years – for back on Saturday February 22nd 1975  Alan Freeman previewed five tracks from the album. The previous night I’d had the Old Grey Whistle Test taped on a cassette to hear the previews of Houses Of The Holy and Trampled Underfoot. I was out at the Rainbow grooving to Black Oak Arkansas at the time.

On that Saturday Alan aired Custard Pie, Night Flight, The Wanton Song, Down By The Seaside and Sick Again in that sequence with no break. As Robert uttered the opening line ‘’I received a message from my brother across the water he sat laughin’ as he wrote the ends in sight’’ I remember exclaiming ‘’Oh that voice!’’ in excited wonderment.

In today’s internet driven world of instantly accessible everything, it’s easy to forget the impact a mere record could have.

A mere record? Physical Graffiti was and could never be a mere anything.

It’s a living breathing, masterpiece.

So happy 40th birthday Custard Pie, The Rover, In My Time Of Dying, Houses Of The Holy, Trampled  Underfoot, Kashmir, In The Light, Bron Yr Aur, Down By The Seaside, Ten Years Gone, Night Flight, The Wanton Song, Boogie With Stu, Black Country Woman and Sick Again.

These 15 performances continue to enrich my life and thousands of others across the globe. Even more so in this new reissue…

To backtrack 43 years: Their Physical Graffiti:

FEB 26 FIVE

 

The eight recordings honed at Headley Grange were merged within seven older tracks held over from previous albums. We now know that had been the clear intention with Houses Of The Holy as Page recently revealed ‘’ It was left off the Houses Of The Holy album on purpose. It was saved for whatever the next album was going to be which turned out to be Physical Graffiti’’. The rest…they were never mere leftovers as such a thing did not exist. These were quality ideas ready to be unleashed

All that was required was a final mix and a song selection and sequencing. This is where Physical Graffiti really triumphs

You could just never envisage Physical Graffiti not being played in the sequence that Jimmy Page prepared back in 1974. .

It’s akin to a whole symphony greater than the sum of its parts – take any song away and it loses its thread.

So let’s be under no illusion, the arrival of this new remastered reissue is principally all about those 15 tracks – the Companion Disc is of course a very  welcomed dessert but the main course kicks right off with track one side with a chew of the Custard Pie and closes with the brutal last gasp salute of Sick Again.

And that my friends, is the way to listen to Physical Graffiti – there’s no cherry picking required. It’s the whole first course in one sitting and no messing. That is the way it should be.

This is no mere 40 year nostalgia trip. Physical Graffiti could be no mere anything. It’s a living breathing beautiful sounding testament to the sheer greatness of Led Zeppelin.

Every facet of the spectrum beautifully detailed – every moment wonderfully sequenced.

Now sounding better than ever via the dutiful care taken to represent this landmark album by Jimmy with John Davis at the helm. Weather you are listening to a top of the range Hi Fi lounge unit or on something a little more basic…the effect will be shattering…

Moments to marvel at on this new reissue:

Custard Pie

Just so much raunch to the riff and John Bonham’s jigging hi hat driving it all the way through… and the solo cuts in across the speakers with so much verve and swagger.

The Rover

Utterly fucking sensational. The drum sound – on first play it took my breath away simple as that.

In My Time Of Dying

The forcefulness of that opening drum part…it has to be heard to be believed. The clarity of the bottleneck parts – we are right there in that hall in Headley. The echo on the first solo…glorious.

Houses Of The Holy

So much brightness and colour in the lyrics and performance.

Trampled Under Foot

Jones’s clavinet all the way through – pure musical arranging brilliance.

Kashmir

The moment they come out of the middle sequence and that elongated Plant howl…oh yes!

In The Light

We now know how much work went itto n this with varying tempo changes. The closing two minutes with Page’s multi overdubbing cascading around Bonzo’s drumming might be the best two minutes of their recorded career – here it sounds utterly sensational. As does the opening drone.

Bron Yr Aur

Acoustic perfection…

 Down By The Seaside

Love the keyboard sound from JPJ, now even more accented.

 Ten Years Gone

The intro – totally stunning…

 Night Flight

”Oh mama well it must be time….”  what a vocal.

 The Wanton Song

The way they come back from the Leslied guitar effect solo back into the riff.. masterful.

 Boogie With Stu

The percussion at the beginning now more powerful than ever.

 Black Country Woman

The mandolin so precise.

Sick Again

The final onslaught from John Bonham ..oh yes!

The Companion Audio Disc:  

FEB 26 FOUR

Brandy & Coke (Trampled Under Foot – Initial Rough Mix) 5.39:

To me this has the feel of of a radio friendly single mix – and hearing Brandy & Coke aka Trampled Underfoot in this way makes  Zep sound like the greatest singles band ever. Imperious funk meets revved up riffing with refreshing clarity…

Sick Again (Early Version) 2.22:

There’s a also a delightful ‘’wooshing’’ effect on the riff at 0.55. Overall this flexing of the riff foundation brings out the melodic tendencies of Page’s plangent riffing. You really want this to go on for another ten minues. Wonderful work in progress riff exercise for a sometimes underrated part of the Graffiti wall..not anymore..

In My Time Of Dying (Initial Rough Mix) 10.48:

A cleaner intro – the vocal coming in with added clarity to the version we know. Double tracked at times. The delicacy of the bottleneck parts are more evident. Jonesy’s bass accentuated behind the bottleneck riff parts is also high in the mix. As it moves into it’s stride, Robert’s vocal are striking clear and crisper providing a real live in the studio atmosphere. Mesmerisingly spacey mix of a towering performance…

Houses Of The Holy (Rough Mix With Overdubs) 3.51:

What we have here is a rough mix with overdubs and it’s a fascinating listen – Robert’s initial vocals have less echo and are pleasingly upfront and clear. Bonzo’s cowbell is much more pronounced in this mix.  The backing vocal ”oooh oooh” is also higher in the mix and you can clearly hear a tambourine as additional percussion towards the close. Jimmy had yet to layer on his solo and it fades at 3.51. Bright and breezy mix of one of their most commercial outings…

Everybody Makes It Through (In The Light Early Version/In Transit) 6.29:

The complete alternate version that was previously bootlegged on the Physical Graffiti outtakes that surfaced in 1997.

A totally different work in progress arrangement with John Paul Jones’ Elizabethan harpsichord keyboard sequence being later replaced by the drone links.  The closing moments from 5.42 to 6.29  with John Bonham’s relentless drum fills are some of the very best applied to any Led Zeppelin track. Those that have heard it before already will know this is a phenomenal piece – those that haven’t… well the pleasure will be all yours -it’s just sensational. An unabashed joy from start to finish – this pleasingly inventive initial arrangement adds new colour to the canvas of one of their finest achievements …

Boogie With Stu (Sunset Sound Mix) 3.39:

The mandolin is well to the fore in this mix – you can hear the precise plucking right from the off while the piano and vocals are both further back in the mix. A barrelhouse of mandolin and piano led fun…

Driving Through Kashmir (Kashmir Rough Orchestra Mix) 8.41:

That intro is immediately grandiose -the vocal remains in the centre of the mix while in the riff parts and the  strings are more prominent. From 4.06 to .25 it sounds altogether crisper and chunkier and all beautifully dramatic and the closing orchestral overdubs are clearer going into the fade. Progressive rock in the true sense of the word and this mix is further confirmation of the fact that this composition remains the pride of Led Zeppelin…

Summary:

Put simply -the paintwork on this particular piece of graffiti remains as fresh as ever… now it’s been recoated to give it an even brighter sheen the end result is simply magnificent…

Dave Lewis – February 25th 2015

……………………

Physical Graffiti  Snapshot Retro Melody Maker Review:

No other top band in the world gets as much stick as Led Zeppelin.

Every time they bring out an album there’s six months of carping because it’s not full of re-makes of ” Whole Lotta Love “; followed by an¬other six months of moaning because they haven’t played any live dates; finishing up with a final six months of complaints about the time it’s taken them to make the new album. Then, of course, it all starts over again.

Not this time, though, I suspect. By allowing themselves the luxury of a double album, they’ve managed to cram in a bit of everything and in enough quantity to keep that vocal minority of moan¬ers at bay.

For once they will have to admit that the wait since ” Houses Of The Holy ” has been worthwhile; some may even be moved enough to recognise “Physical Graffiti ” for what it is; a work of genius, a superbly performed mixture of styles and influences that encompasses not only all aspects of Led Zep’s record-ing career so far but also much of rock as a whole.

This is not just a collection of great tracks, but a perfectly balanced selection of music that weighs heavy rock with acoustic, ballad with out-and-out rocker in such a way that you can play the album non-stop day and night without ever needing to pause for a bit of peace.

And for one of the world’s heaviest bands, that’s some achievement.

“Physical Graffiti” has not just been “worth the wait”, it had to take a long time to produce music of this calibre.

Physical ad

Unlike so many bands today, who hurl out albums like they were frisbees in Hyde Park, Led Zep can be bothered to take the time and trouble to make this one even better than the last one.

They are, if you like, one of the few “progressive” bands left — you remember them, the groups who were always going to move for¬ward and keep exploring new

Zeppelin have, and still are doing just that. They estab¬lished their base with heavy blues/rock on “Led Zeppelin 1″, and have constantly sought to build on that, investigating new fields; from the folky “Battle Of Ever¬more” to the reggae in¬fluenced “The Crunge”.

Now they’ve taken electronic space rock for “In The Light”, one of the two most immediately striking cuts on “Physical Graffiti”.

It opens with eerie keyboards that sound like they belong to the Pink Floyd’s “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun”, before moving on to more familiar Zeppelin riffing.

What marks it as the work of true musical craftsmen, though, is the linking: those space sounds are not just a frill tagged on for the hell of it, but .properly joined to the core of the song, first led in by Robert Plant’s voice, then led out for a reprise in the middle by Jimmy Page’s acoustic guitar.

“Kashmir”, hits you just as immediately. It’s in a Completely different vein: heavily orchestrated, with a chopping string riff which builds up to a crescendo at the end of each verse. The nearest equivalent is the work of the classical composer Moondog, who uses the same richly- descriptive style.

So effectively is it used though on “Kashmir” that it actually sounds like you’re travelling on a caravanserai through the East.

And Plant is at his magnificent best, letting his voice be gradually enveloped in the rich orchestral text¬ures and then suddenly soaring through,, like the sun coming out from behind a cloud.

Certainly this is one of the most imaginative and out¬standing numbers Led Zeppelin have ever cut.

But the band’s strength does not always rest on the new. They take that old, old theme of the blues on “In My Time Of Dying” and came up with a fresh approach, by constantly changing the pace, veering from the breakneck to the dead slow.

The song is never fractured: Plant holds a note here, John Bonham continues a drum pattern there, and it joins together as tight as a clam.

And if it’s heavy rock you want, Zeppelin can drive a number along like no other band on earth. Listen to them roar through ” Custard Pie”, “Night Flight” and “Sick Again”, always giving that little bit extra that’s the sign of class — a bubbling keyboard here, a nifty riff there, an intricate pattern elsewhere.

They can be wistful (“Down By The Seaside”), fun (“Boogie With Stu”), acoustic (“Bron-Yr-Aur”), me¬lodic (“The Rover”) — just about anything in fact. They can take as long as they, like with the next album: “Physical Graffiti” will last 18 months or 18 years. And then some.

MICHAEL OLDFIELD MELODY MAKER FEBRUARY  1975

 Postscript  2018…..or 43 years. And then some.

……………………………………

TBL Led Zep 1975 US Tour Snapshot:

stloius

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 16,1975 ST LOUIS, MISSOURI –MISSOURI ARENA

Set Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/in My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain SongKashmir/No Quarter/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/Dazed And Confused (inc. San Francisco)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – Black Dog/Heartbreaker.

Background info: This date was re scheduled from January 27. Following this gig the band took a two week break. Jones and Bonham returned to the UK. Page and Plant holidayed on the caribbean island of Dominica

Snapshot Listen – how it sounded today:

I have this on the St Louis Blues 3 CD set that came out via Empress Valley in 200. It’s another well balanced soundboard that captures another high energy performance. Robert’s voice is now well on the way to recovery. There’s some great off the cuff moments –  prior to the violin bow sequence in Dazed Jimmy relays the chords to Train Kept A Rollin’ which Robert picks up on for a brief few bars. During Stairway To Heaven Robert now sings ”Dear people” and ”Our stairway” leading into the crescendo. There’s a brief snatch of Frank Sinatra’s My Way before they zip into Whole Lotta Love . During Heartbreaker they cut into an impromptu version of Jimmy Reed’s  Shame Shame Shame.

They were  right on it now and a after short break in the tour they would storm around the west coast in March with renewed vigour.

To be continued

Dave Lewis

 …………………………………….
 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.

Led Zeppelin

Robert Plant

This week Robert Plant performed four shows, with three in the US and one in Canada. Click through on the linked song names in the setlists below to see videos of them:

February 12: Norfolk, Virginia
New World…
Turn It Up
The May Queen
Rainbow
That’s the Way
All the King’s Horses
Please Read the Letter
Gallows Pole
Carry Fire
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Little Maggie
Fixin’ to Die
Misty Mountain Hop
———
What Is and What Should Never Be
In the Mood
Whole Lotta Love

February 14: New York City, New York
New World…
Turn It Up
The May Queen
Rainbow
That’s the Way
All the King’s Horses
Please Read the Letter
Gallows Pole
Carry Fire
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Little Maggie
Fixin’ to Die
Misty Mountain Hop
———
In the Mood
Whole Lotta Love

February 16: Boston, Massachusetts
New World…
Turn It Up
The May Queen
Rainbow
That’s the Way
All the King’s Horses
Please Read the Letter
Gallows Pole
Carry Fire
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Little Maggie
Fixin’ to Die
Misty Mountain Hop
———-
In the Mood
Whole Lotta Love

February 17: Toronto, Ontario
New World…
Turn It Up
The May Queen
Rainbow
That’s the Way
All the King’s Horses
Please Read the Letter
Gallows Pole
Carry Fire
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Little Maggie
Fixin’ to Die
Misty Mountain Hop
——–
In the Mood
Whole Lotta Love

Upcoming events:

Late February/early March – New Led Zeppelin photo book “Led Zeppelin Live Times” will be released.
February 20 – Robert Plant will perform in Chicago, Illinois.
February 22 – Robert Plant will perform in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
February 24 – Robert Plant will perform in Denver, Colorado.
February 26 – Robert Plant will perform in Phoenix, Arizona.
February 28 – Robert Plant will perform in Oakland, California.
March 2 – Robert Plant will perform in Los Angeles, California.
March 13 – Robert Plant will be interviewed on “The Big Interview with Dan Rather” on AXS TV at 9pm ET.
March 23 – The remaster of How The West Was Won will be released and Robert Plant will perform in Sydney, Australia.
March 26 – Robert Plant will perform in Sydney, Australia.
March 27 – Robert Plant will perform in Sydney, Australia.
March 30 – Robert Plant will perform at the Byron Bay Bluesfest in Australia.
April 1 – Robert Plant will perform in Melbourne, Australia.
April 2 – Robert Plant will perform in Melbourne, Australia.
April 5 – Robert Plant will perform in Adelaide, Australia.
April 8 – Robert Plant will perform in Perth, Australia.
May 17 – An updated version of Stephen Davis’ Led Zeppelin biography “Hammer of the Gods” will be released.
May 26 – Robert Plant will perform at the Bearded Theory Spring Gathering Festival in the UK.
May 27 – Robert Plant will perform at the Bath Festivals in Bath, UK.
May 31 – The statue of John Bonham in Redditch is planned to be unveiled.
June 27 – “Led Zeppelin Live,” a photo book edited by Dave Lewis, will be released.
July 22 – Robert Plant will perform at the Vielles Charrues Festival in Carhaix, France.
July 23 – Robert Plant will perform in Paris, France.
July 25 – Robert Plant will perform at the Festival de Carcassonne in France.
July 29 – Robert Plant will perform at the Stimmen Festival in Lörrach, Germany.
July 31 – Robert Plant will perform in Pardubice, Czech Republic.
August 1 – Robert Plant will perform in Dresden, Germany.
September – Official celebrations of Led Zeppelin’s fiftieth anniversary are expected to start this month.
October – The official Led Zeppelin photo book will be released.
October 16 – “Bring it on Home,” a new biography of Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant, will be released.

Many thanks to James Cook

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/

 ………………….
New Mojo issue:
The new issue of Mojo has coverage of Jimmy Page’s plans for the Led Zeppelin 50th Anniversary:
Robert Plant Interview:
This from long time TBL contributor Stephen Humphries:

You may be interested to read an interview I did with Robert Plant which is going to lead the Arts section in The Boston Globe print edition on Friday.

Ahead of then, the piece has just been posted to The Globe’s website:

 http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2018/02/14/with-robert-plant-song-never-remains-same/UZ0o6jnSBo3VfnpSmcEWXN/story.html

Third time I’ve interviewed Robert—always a special occasion…

Many congratulations on an excellent interview Stephen!

…………………………….

For One Night Only…

The Old Grey Whistle Test on BBC4

Essential viewing on Friday- a one night comeback for the much loved music programme -to be aired on Friday, February 23 at 9pm:

Hosted by Bob Harris, this live studio show features music, special guests and rare archive footage to mark the 30 years since the legendary series was last broadcast.

Featuring performances from Peter Frampton, Richard Thompson, Albert Lee and more. Bob also chats to Whistle Test alumni, including Dave Stewart, Joan Armatrading, Ian Anderson, Chris Difford and Kiki Dee, as well as fans Danny Baker and Al Murray.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09scfnb

…………………………….

Bass Guitar YouTube clip:

Going on from last week’s John Bonham YouTube channel clips – Pete Etxenike was in touch to pass a link on to his own John Paul Jones tutorial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chzBEUAEEwQ&feature=youtu.be

…………………

DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday treats at the Vinyl Barn –at the always excellent Vinyl Barn in Bedford last Friday, I was pleased to search out a couple of classic Cat Stevens albums – Mona Bone Jakon and Tea For the Tillerman are sure to be warm pleasures during these cold days and nights…thanks Darren.

Planet Rock magazine:

Last Friday I also made an early morning visit to WH Smith in Bedford (where I worked selling records for 9 years 1976- 1985 and where I first met the good lady Janet) to search out the four limited edition Led Zeppelin covers of the new Planet Rock magazine…and as luck would have it all four present and correct (they had a couple of other single issues)

‘’Four copies of the same magazine? said the assistant puzzlingly…so I explained the significance of the Zep covers…

’’Oh you must be a big Led Zeppelin fan’’ she added …

‘’Yes you could say that’’ I replied….

And with that, I walked out of the shop with a spring in my step with mission accomplished.

Once a fan, always a fan – and it’s moments like these that re- affirms my devotion…and what a joy that continues to be…

Zavvi/Virgin Megastore Nine Years Gone:

Nine years ago yesterday, on February 20, 2009 we closed the doors on the Zavvi/Virgin Megastore in Milton Keynes for the last time – the chain was in administration and we were all made redundant.

It brought to a close my 35 year career in music retail. Having written the TBL magazine and various books for some years, I subsequently turned my attention to doing that full time and went self employed as a freelance journalist, Led Zep author and publisher. Back then, it felt like a brave and quite scary move but luckily I have been working on all that non stop since.

Those last few years over in MK were some of the very best . Here’s me with the team on that final memorable day as we were about to leave for the last time.

I still miss the fun and camaraderie that I shared with working with so many great people – right back to when I started at WH Smith in 1974 through Sound FX, Our Price, V. Shop, Sanity and finally Virgin/Zavvi. It was never just a job – it was a way of sharing a great passion. Hi to all those that I was lucky enough to work with over those years…the golden retail years…

I was almost pleased that Rochdale got that late equaliser against Spurs last Sunday -they deserved a draw and a trip to Wembley – though surely they cannot pull off another shock? Mind you after Wigan’s sensational 1-0 win over Manchester City -well anything’s possible! The magic of the FA Cup is well and truly alive and kicking.

Another busy week here – with more work on – you guessed it, the Evenings With LZ book with intensive scrutiny of a fair few photos that need to make it into the book – and various other initiatives. The pic here was an early morning sort out of where it was at…the quest continues…

With the 43rd anniversary of Physical Graffiti to celebrate, the Old Grey Whistle Test returning and a trip to see an ELO tribute band, there’s going to be a strictly 1970s vibe about this weekend around these parts  – and that can be no bad thing in my book…

Dave Lewis – February 21, 2018

Until next time, have a great weekend

Website updates compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy and James Cook

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14 Comments »

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Many thanks Natalia

  • NataliaEseverri said:

    Dave Lewis, thank you for this post. Its very inspiring.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thank you Gary the title remains the same!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    I’m going to catch it all up!

  • Ian D said:

    Just about fully awake after the excellent OGWT Marathon! Top performances from Albert Lee, Richard Thompson and Kiki Dee, while Danny Baker was particularly insightful.

    Top notch magazine collecting Dave – must have brought back memories of sourcing all the copies of In Through The Out Door (in the same building?) and I hope your copy of Tllerman (IMHO Cat’s finest) is the gatefold.

  • Gary Davies said:

    ‘Ace Zep Fan’ to quote the classified ads from years ago.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks Ken!

  • Ken Winovich said:

    Dave – Thanx again for all your hard work! The book is looking good! Can’t wait! Enjoyed the ‘Physical Graffiti’ look-back! – Ken –

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks Ray!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    That’s a nice compliment Augusto!

  • Augusto said:

    Dave , after Howard Mylett, you are the biggest Zep fan in the world! Cheers! 🙂

  • Ray said:

    Hi Dave,

    Yes your devotion shines through as always. Love the Physical Graffiti article, and like you the first CD I bought way back in 87 was Physical Graffiti.Think i will give it a spin later. Has always keep it coming.

    Cheers
    Ray

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Just a bit ED!

  • Ed-Washington DC said:

    Oh, you must be a big Led Zeppelin fan!

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