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RECORD COLLECTOR PRESENTS LED ZEPPELIN/ HOUSES OF THE HOLY AT 48/TBL 1975 US TOUR SNAPSHOT/LZ NEWS/MAD MARCH OF MARCH 1998/DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

25 March 2021 1,511 views 5 Comments

I’m pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of RECORD COLLECTOR PRESENTS LED ZEPPELIN:

This is the latest in a series of special Record Collector issues – recent specials have included The Who, Queen, Kate Bush and Status Quo.

In recent weeks I have been very busy liaising with the editor Jamie Atkins advising and co ordinating some of the content – I’ve also written some pieces for it.

There’s also been some key input from prominent Zep collectors and chroniclers – including some TBL magazine contributors .

As with the previous Record Collector Presents specials, it’s a mix of enlightening features, new essays on every studio album, extensive memorabilia focus, fan profiles, rare singles and albums listings and UK discography – all illustrated throughout with many rare photos and images that really brings it all to life.

Having seen some of the designed content it really does look very impressive and there’s much to soak up – this is shaping up to the one of best Led Zeppelin publications I’ve seen in a very long time.

If you thought you knew a bit about the ins and outs of collecting Led Zeppelin – Record Collector Presents Led Zeppelin will tell you much more – no fan should be without it….

Publication is April 8

it would be great for this Led Zeppelin special emerge as one of their best sellers. For the effort that has gone in to it producing it – it certainly deserves to be…

Here’s the Record Collector website info and pre order link – don’t miss out – pre-order now!

Record Collector Presents… Led Zeppelin is indispensable reading for any fan of one of the biggest bands the UK has ever produced. It’s packed with all things Zep: amazing pieces on their rarest records and some jaw-dropping memorabilia and posters; new features on every studio album plus selected solo projects; classic interviews and writing from the RC archives; collector profiles; the story of their record label, Swan Song; and much more.

Pre order here:

https://shop.recordcollectormag.com/product/RCLED/led-zeppelin-special

Get ready for some quality post Easter Led Zep reading…

More on this to follow

Dave Lewis – March 25,2021


Led Zeppelin Houses Of The Holy  – TBL 48th Anniversary Special:

458years ago this week Led Zeppelin released their long awaited fifth album, Houses Of The Holy.

Here’s a round up of  House Of The Holy coverage collated eight years ago for the 40th anniversary:

March 2013 TBL Archive:

The sleeve…

Yesterday in London I  conducted an exclusive interview for TBL with one of the designers of the Houses  Of  The Holy sleeve.

Aubrey Powell aka Po, co-founded the album cover design company Hipgnosis with Storm Thorgerson in 1967. Hipgnosis created some of the most innovative and surreal record cover art of the 1960s, 70s and 80s for many of the big name rock bands of the era including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, Yes, Genesis, 10cc, Peter Gabriel, Bad Company, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Scorpions, Styx, Syd Barrett and Black Sabbath.

Hipgnosis were responsible for the Houses, Presence, The Song Remains The Same, In Through The Out Door and Coda sleeves. Po later moved into films and directed various Robert Plant and Firm videos –he also directed the No Quarter Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded film. He is currently working on a book of photographic portraits.

I met with him yesterday nigh on 40 years to the day of the releases of what he considers one of very best designs they created. This exclusive interview with Aubrey Powell, in which he discusses his working association with Led Zeppelin over the years will be one of the highlights of the next TBL magazine.

On this 40th anniversary I asked Po to summarise what the Houses Of The Holy sleeve means to him…

aubrey powell

Above -Aubrey Powell London – March 27th 2013.

”40 years on from completing this album cover, I’m still very proud of it. It’s one of the best works that Hipgnosis ever produced and it’s stood the test of time. Everybody still talks about it. You see in those polls of top ten album cover of all time , where Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon is always jockeying for a top three position with Houses Of The Holy.

 I think the reason why it’s stood the test of time is that not only are Led Zeppelin the greatest rock band in the world but because the image is stirring.

People look at it and really wonder what it’s about. There’s a narrative in there …what are these children doing? Where are they going? What’s caused this? What’s this huge glow on the horizon? What’s the story with this? Then the inner cover the image of the guy holding the girl above his head – that also has that sort of fairy tale quality about it. It just grabs people’s imagination and it’s very unusual for an album cover. It’s very different and people seem to admire that image.

At Hipgnosis, we never felt that the work we did would go beyond the year that we did it, possibly because we were always so busy – we were probably doing three album covers a week for various different bands for 15 years. During the time I didn’t really have an opportunity to say ‘oh isn’t that great, you know in 40 years time people will look it and say gosh that was an extraordinary piece of work.’ All I know is that I just worked very hard and loved what I was doing and I enjoyed the people I worked for.  I thank Led Zeppelin for giving us the opportunity to do these designs, because without them we would not have been able to so.

In my heart of heart of hearts, it very much represents that vinyl period of time – those 15 years of top quality vinyl graphics that we produced.

So yes…Houses Of The Holy all these years on, is a piece I’m particularly proud of’”

Aubrey Powell – March 27th, 2013.

……………………………

Houses Of The Holy will certainly be on the player here today to mark its original release 48 years ago tis week. I purchased it on the day from Carlows record shop in Bedford. The sleeve of my original copy was signed by co- designer Aubrey (Po) Powell when he came here to film some Robert Plant memorabilia in 2005 – it says ‘’My favourite sleeve from the Hipgnosis stable’’

Back to the story….

Like countless fans across the globe on that spring Wednesday back in March 1973 ,as a 16 year old Zep obsessive I eagerly snapped up the album . I had been touring the record shops of Bedford daily for the arrival of this opus. This was in the years before I began working in a record shop myself.

At lunchtime I walked the short distance from British Home Stores where I worked to Carlows one of the seven record outlets in the town and laid down my £2.59 (it was an expensive album in the Atlantic deluxe price rang) took it out of the bag and simply gawped in teenage wonderment at the oh so remarkable sleeve.

What was all that about…?!

For me the sleeve sums up the pure mystery and evocative atmosphere of No Quarter.

My diary reveals that once home that night, I gave the album an initial blast before venturing out to play football in the local park (the clocks had just gone forward that week so it was now getting light at night). I was back in my Zep bedroom den straight after to get lost on their world in the album with the catalogue number (which I’d already memorised) K50014.

Now that is an important point –to get lost in their world…. because that is exactly what it was like as Brad Tolinski astutely noted in Guitar World

’Led Zeppelin were the best because they were the most exotic and imaginative of rock bands. And the fascination with the group continues because their music still sounds strange, wild and totally alien today as it did three  decades ago. Led Zeppelin music was designed to stimulate the imagination, to encourage kids to dream ,to see an open space beyond the grind of daily existence’’

That is exactly how I felt that March evening of 40 years ago. Given that my daily existence was spent in the stockroom of the aforementioned British Home Stores and that the UK at the time was a somewhat drab place to be with industrial unrest, the threat of IRA bombing,  to be transported to California sunshine and sweet Calcutta rain, as Robert Plant sang on the still riveting opening track The Song Remains The Same…well that was some ride for this particular 16 year old.

It’s incredible to think back at how important music was then in the pre download instantly accessible world.

There was no iTunes platform to preview the album, oh no – the only previews afforded was the screening of a very weird film to match No Quarter on the Old Grey Whistle Test the previous Tuesday and an airing of Dancing Days on Emperor Rosko’s Saturday morning radio show.

You coveted every word, you gazed at the sleeve, you memorised the lyrics (and for this album  every song lyric was printed on the inner sleeve). You lived these songs –they became part of your daily life, enhancing your mood, the soundtrack of falling in love and out…you lived and breathed them.

Like every other Led Zeppelin album, Houses Of The Holy more than fulfilled that premise in the coming months and years…

There were however some issues. By and large the press hated it – how shocked was I to read the Melody Maker review the next day that proclaimed ‘’Zep lose their way’’ accompanied by a very indifferent review by the usually supportive Chris Welch.

The problems? –well we all know that well enough:

The Crunge and D’yer Mak’er…two less than serious stabs at enjoying themselves at the expense of critics and perhaps fans alike- particularly the ones groomed on the hard rock of Zep 1 and II.

My learned friend Kevin Hewick in a summary of the album he has written for the next TBL magazine, notes as a 15 year old Zep fan back then being well confused.

‘’Then came ‘The Crunge’ !?!?! Were they joking? Well yes they were but this seemed like a somewhat lame joke.

 Over on Side 2 ‘Dancing Days’ seemed a piece of poppy fluff and ‘D’Yer Maker’ was a ‘crunge too far’ for me, a somewhat limp novelty mickey-take of the Caribbean sound that was actually turning into a major force with The Wailers ‘Catch A Fire’ soon to reach our British ears.

 This rather lightweight three track sequence did them a lot of damage in my eyes. They seemed to be merely mucking about, a cardinal sin in my pretentious chin stroking world of prog meaningfulness, yet it was also lacking the thrill of Bowie’s pop art glam razzamatazz.’’

Kevin does now have a high regard for the album noting that

‘Over The Hills And Far Away’ is everything you need to know about Led Zeppelin in one song, folk and rock rather than folk rock, their diverse strands united in the same song – more of his perceptive musings in TBL 35.

So Led Zep 11 it certainly wasn’t …

As for me… well need you ask – I loved it all!

But I have to say back in 1973 I was going through an intense period of musical discovery and not long after its release, my attention to Houses was somewhat diverted by other musical goings on…

The aforementioned David Bowie whose magnetic presence you could just not ignore that year…in April The Beatles double album retro sets 1962 -1966 and 1967 -1970 captivated me –as I’d just missed their golden period being too young. Other albums such as The Faces Oh La La, Paul McCartney’s & Wings Red Rose Speedway, Alice Cooper Billion Dollar Babies ,The Rolling Stones Goats Head Soup (I saw the latter at Wembley Empire Pool in the September) and in the autumn The Who’s Quadrophenia and Bob Dylan’s Planet Waves demanded my attention. I was at an age of discovering so much music…it was hard to fit it all in.

There was also an album called The Dark Side of The Moon released a week before Houses Of The Holy that would also make a bit of an impression on the record buying public.

Houses Of The Holy did not stay on the UK chart for more than a couple of months and was somewhat eclipsed (no pun intended!) at home by the abundance of fresh and vital music that year….

America as we know, had no such issues…

Overall though, Houses Of The Holy went on to become something of an underrated part of the Zep cannon.In hindsight, this was clearly a band that was pleasing themselves and their fans at the expense of what the critics expected.

The eclectic feel good content meandered from familiar hard rock through acoustic and orchestral arrangements, to brooding synth affairs and ’50s doo-wop/mock reggae  and funk pastiches.  It was all performed with a joyous abundance that mirrored the positivity that surrounded them at that stage of their career.

Back in Europe during the early spring on yet another tour, Robert Plant was quick to defend the album. In an interview at the George V hotel during their two-show residence in Paris in April 1973, he said “So there are some buggers who don’t like the album. Good luck to ’em. I like it and a few thousand other buggers too.  There’s only one way to function and that’s on stage. We’ve reached a high and we ain’t going to lose it. And no bad album review is going to change that.”

As it turned out, Led Zeppelin had the last laugh.

Following their UK and European dates that year, they embarked on  a two-legged assault on America for which No Quarter was a further Houses addition to their live set.

Zeppelin opened their US tour by playing two mammoth dates. In Atlanta they drew 49,000 on 4 May  while the next day a staggering 56,800 packed into the Tampa Stadium in Florida. This gave them the distinction of attracting the largest audience ever for a single act performance, beating the previous record held by The Beatles for their 1965 Shea Stadium show.

At the same time, the album ascended to the top of the Billboard US chart for a two week reign sandwiched between Elvis’s Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite and The Beatles 1967-1970 compilation. The US tour was an enormous success and by taking on PR Danny Goldberg this time around, they made sure the world knew about it.

By pleasing themselves, Led Zeppelin may not have pleased the critics, but they certainly pleased their ever faithful following.

After the release of Houses Of The Holy more fans than any other act in the world wanted to see Led Zeppelin play live.  It was the moment they stopped being a mere rock band and turned into a global phenomenon.

The  album that cemented that success is still held in high regard by the ex band members and fans alike. “There was a lot of imagination on that record.  I prefer it to the fourth album,’’ Plant remarked a few years back while Jimmy Page reflects “You can hear the fun we were having on and you can also hear the dedication and commitment.’’

Whilst their fourth album had been all about economy with everything in the correct place, Led Zeppelin’s fifth album was less about being perfect and more about letting loose and having fun.

Houses Of The Holy retains that pure feel good factor and all these  years on, stands as a pivotal album in the development of Led Zeppelin’s artistic growth.

……………..

I will certainly feel good when I spin this album today, just as I felt good back in my Zep bedroom den 48 years ago.

And I’m sure  you will feel good too….

And there’s more…

napkins

 

Houses of The Holy

Companion Audio Disc

The Song Remains The Same (Guitar overdub reference mix) 5.30

All instrumental and you can plainly hear the guitar army unfolding and it’s total invigorating. The overdubs at 1min 03 and 5.02 are previously unheard. Listening to this epic opener in all its instrumental glory, it’s clear to detect that this was a forerunner for the similar guitar army assault on the senses delivery of Achilles Last Stand. A prime example of the guitar compositional skills of Jimmy Page. Just incredible.

The Rain Song (mix minus piano) 7.45

Slightly different vocal effect and the drums more prominent in mix at times. The piano is in there but buried deep within. John Bonham’s contribution – simply a revelation.

Over The Hills And Far Away (guitar mix) 4.22

Backing track instrumental. More echo on the guitar and JPJ bass is well up in mix. At 3mins 58 where the treated guitar section comes on the official album, there is a totally different acoustic guitar complete ending. The point where you expect the treated guitar part to come, in only for it to switch to an acoustic ending is wonderfully disorientating.

The Crunge (Rough mix) 3.16

Count in as on the album. Vocal and keyboards up in the mix

Dancing Days (Rough mix with vocal) 3.46

Noticeable for the a more heavy reverb on the vocals which reminded of Lennon’s work with Phil Spector’s on Instant Karma.

No Quarter (Rough mix with JPJ keyboards – no vocals) 7.03

Another standout highlight. Instrumental mix with JPJ piano prominent – theremin prominent and the drums crystal clear. At 4 mins 07 the Page solo has yet to appear and JPJ extends his keyboard input on grand piano sounding superb. His input here has the feel of the 1973 live versions. More keyboards overdubs as it fades. An enlightening mix that highlights John Paul Jones immense musicianship.

The Ocean (working mix) 4.28

No count in -cleaner solo at 1.45 leading into the -backing vocals down in mix. The ‘’la la la la la ‘’ vocal more pronounced in mix at 2.09. Robert’s addition ad-libs on the do-wop speeded up finale are slightly clearer.

……………………….

Houses Of The Holy –  Happy 48th Anniversary…

Dave Lewis

March  25, 2021.

……………………………………………

LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:

For all the latest Zep and related news check out the Led Zeppelin news website at:

http://ledzepnews.com/


More TBL Archive:  

TBL Led Zep 1975 Snapshot:  

The final few dates of the 1975 US tour..

MONDAY MARCH 24 1975

INGLEWOOD LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

THE FORUM

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

snapshot 19

“Good Evening! My name is J. J. Jackson of KWLOS. We’re all here to welcome back to the LA area… Led Zeppelin!” A mass of firecrackers heralds the band’s arrival on stage.

The Forum has long been one of Zeppelin’s favourite venues and once again they revelled in the surroundings. Plant: “This is the place, this is the one. These are the last three gigs on our American tour and so we intend them to be something of a high point for us. Obviously, we don’t achieve that without a little bit of a vibe, that I can already feel, and a few smiles.”

After ‘Over The Hills’, Robert states: “A gram is a gram is a gram!” Ambiguous and humorous remarks are rife tonight. Plant continues: “Since we saw you last time there have been a few developments in the camp and a few camps in the development – Bonzo decided not to have the sex change after all!” ‘The Song Remains The Same’ is about “places where the red light still shines for two rupees, places where there’s a magical feeling in the air… rather like Paul Rodgers’ bedroom when he takes his shoes off”

Plant describes the Mellotron as “A rather cheap, nasty, improvised version of an orchestra, but unfortunately with the tax and overheads, we can’t afford to take an orchestra with us anymore.”

Plant introduces Billy Miller – “Elvis Presley’s right hand man” – and sings a few lines from ‘Love Me’. After ‘Moby Dick’, Plant comments: “What a wonderful drum solo and a wonderful head job in the dressing room… thank you Ahmet Ertegun!”

‘Dazed And Confused’ is described as “The first thing we had a go at, apart from the secretary” but is rather uninspired in places tonight. ‘Stairway To Heaven’ is dedicated to “All our English friends that have arrived at the Continental Riot House. This is for the foundations of the Continental Riot House and for you people who have made this a good gig.” The whole band performed impeccably on ‘Stairway’ turning in one of the most impressive single performances of the tour.

Plant: “Children of the sun. Good night!”

As far as the press are concerned, the new additions to the set are now beginning to steal the show. Disc reports: “All the newer material was well received, although it seems that ‘Kashmir’ is set to become the star track and another classic. It was also while the group performed this number that I think the lights and effects were used to their best advantage.”

TUESDAY MARCH 25 1975

INGLEWOOD LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

THE FORUM

snapshot 20

Set: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/No Quarter/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/Dazed And Confused (inc. Spanish Harlem – Woodstock)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – Lickin’ Stick –  The Crunge – Black Dog.

Yet another excellent performance – even better than the previous night.

Plant: “Last night we had a really good time. We had a great concert. It was one of the finest we’ve had in California for a long time!”

‘Kashmir’ is outstanding tonight and Plant describes it as being about ‘the wasted, wasted lands… and it’s not the lobby of the Continental Hyatt either!” ‘No Quarter’ is extended to truly epic proportions, lasting nearly 27 minutes with Jones and Bonham again favouring the jazz improvisation they adopted in Seattle four days ago.

‘Trampled Underfoot’ is dedicated to… “All the good ladies of America who’ve helped us get rid of the blues from time to time on the road… that boils down to about two!” Page’s solo is masterful and commanding. Plant ad-libs “drive on – feels pretty good” and again extends the number with lyrics from ‘Gallows Pole’, even throwing in a few cries of ‘Hangman’.

Bonham is introduced tonight as… “The man who broke every window in room 1019… the man who smashed wardrobes… the man who set fire to his own bed… the amazing man with only two cavities… Mr. Quaalude!”

‘Dazed And Confused’ was another stand out extended to 39 minutes. Page inserts a gentle Spanish sounding passage which leads into Ben E King’s ‘Spanish Harlem’ before running into ‘Woodstock’. ‘Stairway To Heaven’ shines once more. Page’s playing is sharp and decisive as the tension builds with each note. John Paul Jones is superlative.

‘Whole Lotta Love’ once again includes a snatch of James Brown’s ‘Lickin’ Stick’ and Plant ad-libs “Like a sex machine!” Page even includes a few riffs from the never performed ‘Nightflight’ prior to the Theremin section.

Plant: “People of the Forum. We’ve had a good time… It is the summer of our smiles…”

Indeed it was…

THURSDAY MARCH 27 1975

INGLEWOOD LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

THE FORUM

Set: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/Since I’ve Been Loving You/No Quarter/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/Dazed And Confused (inc. Loving You) /Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – The Crunge – Black Dog.

Deep Throat porn star, Linda Lovelace introduces the band for the final show of the US tour. Plant returns the compliment: “I’d like to thank Linda Lovelace for coming on and making an appropriate speech about our presence, and we’d like to apologise for being late, but one of the cars didn’t crash!”

Bonham and Page are outstanding during ‘Over The Hills And Far Away’, and although the band seem a little tired in places, overall the concert is a triumph. Plant comments that he’s glad the final show is in LA, because last time the tour ended in New York which is… “not the most pleasant place to be. There’s some nice ladies on 83rd Street. But the rest of it… no!”

During ‘In My Time Of Dying’, Plant ad-libs “please Lord, don’t leave me dazed and confused!” and then adds some of ‘You Shook Me’ before the number falls apart. He speculates that they may end up in the Fall doing a gig in the Sahara desert, due to their love of the East, and ‘Kashmir’ once again is spectacular.

‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ is a late addition to the set and is warmly appreciate by the crowd.  ‘Trampled Underfoot’ is now referred to as ‘Trampled Under Gallows’ due to Plant’s persistent injection of lyrics from ‘Gallows Pole’. ‘Dazed And Confused’ is one of the longest of the tour tonight, with a very spacey middle section as Plant repeatedly ad-libs ‘Loving You’.

This show clocked in at  nearly three and a half hours long and completed a  run of some  of the finest in the history of the band.

“Led Zeppelin At Its Peak In L.A. Forum” reports Billboard. Bob Kirsch writes: “‘Zeppelin has two major strong points. It has mastered the technique of combining musical excellence with mind-boggling volume. And it is able to operate either as a unit or each can move into a subordinate role for whoever happens to be soloing at the time.

“Zeppelin has long been the target of critical barbs for crashing volume and the seeming sameness of its material. Yet in an age when headline acts are often boring, sloppy and create no excitement at all, this British quartet stands out as a masterful example of what rock and roll was meant to be.”

Snapshot Listen – how it sounds now:

The final riot night of the US tour was a mass celebratory affair with the band fully aware that with this tour they had turned adversity into triumph. From the moment Linda Lovelace cutely introduced them onstage to Plant’s ”We’re coming back baby” this was a true prelude to what the UK was about to be served.

They even gave a hint of Earls Court fashion by introducing his Miss Selfridge cut off shirt and Page wearing the Dragon suit trousers that would become such a visual imprint of May 1975.

Their confidence was subsequently overflowing as they attacked In My Time Of Dying, Plant throwing in a few lines of You Shook Me.

”Anybody remember?” he asks at the end as he would a month later in SW5.

The version of Since I’ve Been Loving You was a real bonus and something sadly that Earls Court did not receive.

”A change in the programme- we were gonna do…..but this is a blues and I think this is where we first came in”. An impromptu set revision that delighted the LA audience.

A rare latter day stand alone delivery (in ’72/3 it had been segued with Misty Mountain)) recalling the majesty of Blueberry Hill at this very venue five years back. Rarely played in ’75 they ached their way through the old Led Zepp III standard -Page’s solo as precise and inventive as that night back in September ’70.

On the home straight it was nothing less than a victory stomp. Stairway played as was the case as Earls Court as though Plant believed every word, and the final incendiary Whole Lotta Love/Black Dog medley with the added visual spectacle of that neon lit sign. Images and sounds that London would soon delight in.

Acknowledging their enthusiasm,  Plant told the final LA audience ”It’s really nice to know that we’re giving you what you are giving us because after tonight I think we’ve got three gigs in England. I don’t believe well work again for quite a long time, so this has got to be good”.

That last night in  LA  was indeed good…very good ….and Earls Court awaited…

DL – March 2021


TBL ARCHIVE:

PAGE & PLANT AND THE MAD MONTH OF MARCH 1998:

It was 23 years ago this week – so here’s the Mad Month of March text from TBL 13 that chronicles this intensive period that saw them stage the showpiece Shepherds Bush gig plus appearances of Top of The Pops and TFI Friday.

1998 really was a fantastic year for Page and Plant activity – for some of  us in the TBL crew perhaps the last carefree period before we got a bit older and a bit more responsible (not!).

Personally looking back over this text it almost seems like another age – it was the age for me of balancing a frantic music retail job along with all the TBL capers – my I must have had some energy back then –or maybe it was the pints of fosters! I was running on adrenalin that’s for sure but it was incredibly exciting at the time…amazing to think that back then that our Sam was only 7 years old and Adam just over 2.

As for Jimmy and Robert …you forget how good they were together at this point – and the late Michael Lee was integral in making their performances so enjoyable – he really kicked the whole thing along…

Hello to the many TBL crew members who shared all this back then – prepare to get most nostalgic and most high in recalling the time when we were walking into everywhere with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant back in March 1998:

The DL/TBL  retro diary picks up the events as they announce the Shepherds Bush gig.

Wednesday March 11 1998

There have been rumours of a special Page Plant launch gig for the album happening in London for some time. They did attempt to book the Shepherds Bush Empire back in January. Locations in Islington and Kilburn have also been checked out in recent weeks. An early morning fax from the PP PR office confirms that on March 25 they will be playing a special gig at a London venue.

Tickets will be made available on a first come first served basis from 8am on Saturday at the Virgin Megastore in London – limited to just two per person. The London Forum (formerly known as the Town And Country Club where Plant played in the late ’80’s/ early ’90’s) is named as the venue – but this is quickly retracted by mid day when it becomes official that the gig will now take place at the popular Shepherds Bush Empire. Jimmy and Robert announce the fact during an excellent early afternoon live interview on the alternative rock London radio station XFM. For me this kick-starts a hive of TBL activity as I speedily mail out a stop gap Newsletter Extra and inform many others by phone. It’s soon becomes apparent that to ensure entry it’s going to mean an early morning trip to London to buy tickets. Fellow TBL crew member Gary Foy and I plan our strategy. Only 1,000 tickets are going to be sold and as the news spreads it’s evident that many fans are making a big effort to get in line.

Saturday March 14 1998:

Well I really thought my queuing days were over! Overnight stays for tickets for Earls  Court, Song Remains Premiere, Knebworth etc. were all part of the game, way back. (Trivia note: It’s 23 years, almost to the day, that tickets went on sale for Earls   Court; and 3 years since the tickets were released for the ’95 UK tour.) The advent of credit card bookings had rendered that method all but redundant. Not today. Luckily it’s a very mild mid-March morning as I leave Bedford on the train at 5.30am I must admit my heart was beating pretty fast as I ventured up the tube steps at Tottenham Court Road – just how long was this queue going to be and were we in with a chance? Well the queue was certainly long, with about 150 already in line, but it looked as though we would be OK. Many at the front of the queue had camped out all night

The atmosphere is really excellent – something of a Led Zepp Convention reunion as many TBL subscribers and faces come over to say “Hi”. Many have travelled overnight form far and wide: Pat Lyons is here from Wales; Gary Woollard from the West Country; Anne Marsden from Stockport. By 8am the queue is moving forward into the Virgin Megastore. (Incidentally this is a place I know well as I’ve attended many meetings here for work – though I never thought I’d end up queuing to get in!)

It’s a funny old feeling to shuffle by a display of Zeppelin titles CD’s and books including Concert File and Celebration. Finally at 9.15 we get served and the tickets are in our hands. The tickets themselves sport the new Page and Plant logo script writing. Myself and Gary celebrate with a McDonald’s breakfast, a quick look around the record stores and a couple of lunch-time pints. Then it’s home to watch the Most High video which has been aired that morning on the Chart show. The job is done. Next stop Shepherds Bush.

Wednesday March 25 1998:

As usual before a period of PP activity the days leading up to the events had been a little fraught.

In fact I have to say for me personally it was a real strain that often had me wondering if all this was worth it. (at least for two minutes anyway).

Trying to arrange everything at work so I could get away was a constant pressure – the previous week I’d put in a 66 hour week (I kid you not -this retail manager lark is hard work!) .Then there were the many arrangements to make for the next three days and the repeated phone calls for tickets info etc. The night before the show I took 14 calls in two hours including one when I was in bed!

There’s no doubt that this particular show has spurred a huge wave of interest and the desire to get tickets is quite staggering. I do my best to help all those I can which does begin to cause concern when one or two options don’t go as planned As well as the gig, other events have unfolded: they are recording a Top Of The Pops segment at Elstree tomorrow night; and a live appearance will follow Friday on the popular Channel 4 show TFI Friday. Days of worry over gaining entry to the latter (and ensuring as many other key fans could gain entry as well) have ensured – not least being the little problem that TFI’s regulations adopt an 18 to 30 age limit! A call from their office asks me just how old those wanting to attend really are. I manage to convince them that we are young thinking thirty something’s (nearly).

But first there is the little matter of the first proper Page Plant show in London for three years. The gig itself is being used by Mercury as something of launch for the new album – with over 800 tickets being made available for European press and media. In the delightfully titled Moon On The Green on a grey March afternoon, it’s very apparent that this is a real hot ticket. Touts are asking, and it would seem selling tickets for up to £200. or two late arrangements see old TBL stager Tom Locke in        There’s a real buzz in the air, this one really does feel like an event.

I’ve already seen Luis Rey and Howard Mylett, but to complete the Zep author line up it’s great to bump into Robert Godwin, coupling some London business to catch the show. The venue itself is excellent – a real theatre (it was formerly owned by the BBC and used for countless TV variety and music shows) – while the downstairs area is very intimate and in close proximity to the stage where-ever you are. The TBL crew decide on a down the front strategy and within minutes I’m in a superb vantage point in front of the stage to the left by the PA.

This is going to be very exciting indeed. And sure enough the excitement mounts as the lights go down ,the spotlights flash on the assembled and that Egyptian music (boy how I love than tune!) signifies the beginning of the Page Plant return to London.

From my view I can clearly see Jimmy Page with Gibson strapped on in the darkness at the far side of the stage waiting for the cue and for Robert to fly on as is the custom as they hit the intro of Wanton Song. And fly on he does, dressed in identical garb to the Istanbul second night, black leather trousers tucked in the boots, dark rimmed T-shirt. And we are off. Bring It On Home, Heartbreaker and Ramble On follow in quick fire succession. Plant may not be quite as immediately vibrant as he was in Istanbul, pacing himself maybe for what’s to come. Page though is already lighting up the stage – seemingly lost in the noise of his own creating.

“Well the old devils are back,” laughs Plant. Walking To Clarksdale featuring Page on the new PRS guitar with McCarty neck follows, complete with that supercharged tempo change and then it’s into No Quarter. Here Page drifts through the solo, eyes closed, slightly leaning back and oozing out that much missed solo.

So far so good. Then an early magic moment. It occurs when Page lets out a couple of heavily reverbed tremolo chords, and those in the know can tell what’s coming. It’s the world premier of the new ballad When I Was A Child. This is masterful as Plant unfolds the reflective tale with ease. It’s always a real privilege to witness a piece of Page Plant history unfolding and that’s how it feels as they delicately offer up this new one. There’s a great moment right at the close as Robert goes into the final lines “When I was… when I was a…’’ stepping back from the mic each time as Jimmy’s final chords echo around the theatre.

Robert has a humorous running banter with our own resident TBL barrack boy responding to a shout of “California’’ as they take to the chairs. “No it’s Birkhamstead actually!” Memories swim before us as they deliver a wonderfully melodic Tangerine, causing instant Earls Court retro lump in the throat for this particular viewer. An urgent stomp through Gallows Pole follows.

From there the on in they can really do no wrong. Babe I’m Gonna Leave You enjoys it’s first UK live airing by the pair for some 29 years. Burning Up is dominated by Page scrubbing out that repeated riff and How Many More Times is just outstanding. I have a perfect view of Page leaning back and step-ping on the wah wah for the intro – an image that I will retain and store alongside other great visual moments in their history (such as the same guitarist stepping on the wah wah for Trampled Underfoot down the road in Hammersmith ten years back). The violin bow episode is greeted by huge cheering and the moment it all speeds up is another great one with Michael Lee proving his worth yet again. Most High is next as we hit the home straight. This month’s signature tune as I stated before that really brings the best out in Plant. A cocksure Whole Lotta Love signals the end of the main proceedings.

Then they’re back on and it’s another premiere – an incessant drum track booms out and then Page holds down the most delightfully grunge like wah of wah of House Of Love. This one really swings live with Plant screech-ing out the chorus line “It’s just a little too much,’’ and Page hitting those descending chords. A Sick Again for the millennium.

“So this is the alternative to Radio Two,” laughs Robert. “It’s been great, thank you!’’

They’re back on again and Page begins pumping out some fast urgent lines. For one minute I thought this was going to swing into Sons Of Freedom from the new album, instead it heads into a blistering rendering of Crossroads performed · la the Cream version.

Finally we get an emotional (can it be anything else?) Thank You which has Page again taking on the solo in his own time and Plant commenting at the close “Just some silly old buggers singing some love songs!’’ Rock And Roll then proceeds to inspire the best reaction from a London crowd I’ve heard since… well you name it… They take a bow and exit right.

The aftermath glow as we slowly disperse soars through the atmosphere. By coincidence, or maybe not, a couple of long tern fans Dena and Nigel D joyously echo the same state-ent to me. “The best since Earls Court.’’ Now that is some accolade.

It’s easy to get carried away with the sheer presence of the occasion. But let’s not beat about the bush (no pun intended!), this really was a special occasion. A real intimate reconciliation with their audience. Let’s face it for the paying fan this was an audience that really wanted to be there, given the effort needed to get tickets.

For me personally it’s been a real revelation to be in such close proximity to it all. To experience once again that feeling that makes everything (including all the negativity and stress running this thing causes) worth-while. This has been a very memorable evening. Best since Earls Court? Well I have to say for pure out-and-out enjoyment this one will take some beating.

  Thursday March 26 1998:

A day of drizzling rain brightened up by several excited calls from those in attendance last night.

Then it’s to Elstree, which handily isn’t too far down the Bedford Thames link train line. A dull and wet Elstree 7pm on a Thursday night inspires the usual “What the hell are we doing here’’ cry amongst Mr and Mrs Foy and myself. What we are doing here is getting ready to line up in the queue to gain entry to the special recording of Page and Plant for BBC’s Top of The Pops. That’s right, Top Of The Pops, the programme Led Zeppelin stoutly refused to appear on, and by default the programme Whole Lotta Love (in a big band rock version) became the signature tune of throughout the ’70’s.

They are filming tonight for what will be an exclusive live performance insert in the coming weeks of their new single Most High. Radio One gave out a phone number to ring last Friday to ring for tickets. Luckily the TBL crew have been on the case (Thanks Rob D and Mr Linwood), and here we are in line. The regular Top Of The Pops has already been filmed earlier in the evening, we now wait to gain access to the studio. We are let in out of the rain at 8.30 and ushered into a cloak-room area. The crowd does seem to be an odd bunch. Around 20 or 30 are known to me – the rest seem to have jumped on the Radio One ticket bandwagon – I’d love to have asked a few of them the depth of their interest in Zeppelin/Page and Plant.

Anyway, after nearly 3 hours of waiting – at 10pm we are led into the small studio. A small stage set up with a cut down Page amp run (one Fender amp, two cabs and oddly, the Theremin set up) features a large Jimmy Page Robert Plant logo on the actual floor which will no doubt be captured by the overhead camera.

A pair of warm up announcers relay the instructions “We want you to make the most amazing noise possible when they come on.’’ To get us in the mood, the studio version of Rock And Roll is given a playback. The rent-a-crowd behind me push forward giving me a rather splendid vantage point right in front of Jimmy. Last night was close, but hey, how much closer can you get?

Rock And Roll fades and on they walk – Robert wearing the long sleeve shirt he had on at the first Istanbul concert. Jimmy has his first noticeable change of clothes on the tour – pin stripe trousers and a nice dark silk shirt sensibly worn outside the strides. They move forward shaking out stretched hands at the front. I had wondered if they were going to do a mime playback to Most High. From the moment Jimmy slugs out the opening chords I know I couldn’t have been more wrong. This is most definitely live and we are most definitely high!

From Istanbul via Shepherds Bush to Elstree. Most High has travelled a bit in the last few weeks and now, here at 10 past 10 on a Thursday evening, not far off the East Enders set, well it sounds a very British experience despite the ethnic feel. To the left Phil Andrews adds the oriental keyboard solo as Jimmy turns to Michael Lee to add some rough-shod rhythm. Its all over too soon, and what we want is a little bit more. Robert looks over to Jimmy and nods – a guitar change ensures as the familiar Gibson is brought on. A smiling Jimmy straps on – “Here’s a new one from our latest tablet of stone’’ laughs Robert. The backing drum track of House Of Love duly rolls out but hold it- Jimmy has a problem. He waves his arms “No hold it – I can’t see my cue!’’. It would seem the cameramen leaping in and out of them has covered the cue sheet that rolls on one of the monitors. Second take and they’re off. This is turning into a great live number with Robert’s “It’s just a little too much” refrain’ incessantly hitting home.

Is that it?… More milling around on stage ensures… will they or won’t they? They will! Jimmy goes off to change his sweat soaked shirt. He returns wearing an Abbey Road T-shirt. Meantime, Robert enjoys some banter with the crowd. “Wolves for the cup’’ shouts one wag, “’You don’t mean that!’’ he laughs. “Where’s Pans People?” (a reference to the old all girl dance troupe the programme featured years back) is another cry that inspires a laugh on stage.

Jimmy appears and Robert explains the origins of the next number “OK here’s one that was written even before we were born’’. A compact run through Crossroads which is fast becoming the cover version standard of the ’98 tour follows.

Right at the close Jimmy holds the Gibson aloft, and even before he has had time to finish the song a member of the audience jumps on stage to shake his hand, to be followed (a little foolishly) by a handful of others who hug Robert and add to the on-stage chaos. Fearing “Zeppelin stars in stage riot at Top of the Pops” type headlines assorted roadies and road managers disperse the crowd and Jimmy and Robert lead off. It would seem the mini invasion might well have curtailed anything else they might have been planning.

“Well that was absolutely fucking brilliant!’’ shouts the announcer back on stage. Are they doing anymore… hold on, no, that’s if for tonight. Thanks for coming!’’

It’s all happened in under 20 minutes, and no sooner than being cut off in our prime we are walking along Elstree High Street in search of the nearest chippie. (We later hear Jimmy had gone off to eat at the local Wimpey!).

Well that was bizarre. Did it happen? Well it did but the whole night holds something of a dream like atmosphere. It all happened so quickly. But yes, they were there, on Top of the Pops on a Thursday night, just like it used to be when I religiously watched it each week hoping for a glimpse of something decent… perhaps Free, or the Stones doing their new single. But never surely Jimmy Page and Robert Plant together. Surely that would be a sell out.

How times have changed. And incredibly, there’s more TV fun to come tomorrow.

Friday March 27 1998:

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

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

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

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

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

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

tfi pic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday March 28 1998:

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

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

 Final Reflections: Three days After:

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

Can it ever be this good again? Has it been this good before in recent years? Who knows. Perhaps not, but the fact I was able to witness it all is a major triumph and relief. A triumph and relief that for me personally succeeded in successfully re-evaluating the reason why I devote so much time and passion to this thing, and put it all firmly back into focus.

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

Dave Lewis, April 2nd, 1998.

Postscipt:

So that is the way it was back in 1998…

Incredibly this was all of 23 years ago this week …amazing times they were…

Dave Lewis – March 2021

……………………….

DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday March 19:

It’s going to be 1970 around these parts in the coming days as I get to wade through the just released excellent Bob Dylan 1970 3 CD set which I was well pleased to receive today.

This is the official release of a limited out of copyright set that was available via the Dylan website.

It covers the recording of his Self Portrait and New Morning albums and his session with George Harrison al recorded during 1970..

I’ve always loved this Dylan period going ight back to 1972 when I was 16 and I purchased the Self Portrait album at the local Weatherhead’s shop for 59 shillings The next year I also bought the 1973 album titled Dylan issued by CBS when Bob defected to the Asylum label. This has outtakes from the Self Portrait album.

I love the relaxed feel of these sessions where he was just pleasing himself, recording old folk tunes and cover versions.

This new set also has the complete session with George Harrison –another off the cuff warm pleasure…It’s Bob Dylan enjoying life in 1970 and I am very much looking forward to sharing his musical world of that particular year..…

Saturday March 20:

Saturday is platterday – on the player some Moody Blues –the rather splendid This is The Moody Blues 1974 double album compilation…

Saturday March 20:

.   Saturday is platterday – on the player as it was released 31 years ago this week -the Robert Plant Manic Nirvana album and still sounding very good indeed…

Saturday March 20:

Saturday is platterday – on the player remembering the late great Paul Kossoff 45 years gone this week with a trawl through the always brilliant Free Story compilation double album…

Saturday March 20:

Saturday is platterday – on the player Mahavishnu Orchestra Birds of Fire -some amazing John McLaughlin playing on this…

Saturday March 20:

Saturday is platterday – on the player some early evening Jethro Tull – the 1972 Living In The Past double album – another great compilation…

 

 

 

Sunday March 21:

Sunday sounds on CD – loading up the splendid 2 CD Paul McCartney & Wings Wingspan compilation and sounding suitably easy on a Sunday morning…

Sunday March 21:

Sunday sounds on CD – loading up the excellent bootleg CD Led Zeppelin Ultimate Mudslide on the House Of Elrond label this has the famous Mudslide bootleg LP recording of the Zep performance at the Pacific Coliseum Vancouver recorded on this day in 1970…my they were good that night…

 

 

 

Sunday March 21:

Sunday sounds on CD – loading up the superb recently surfaced 3CD bootleg set The Rolling Stones Fully Finished Studio Outtakes Vol 1, 2 and 3 which I was well pleased to seek out – there’s some amazing stuff here…

Monday March 22:

Sorting out some resources here for a busy week ahead of research for work on various Zep/TBL projects…

 

 

 

Monday March 22:

On the player some early morning Led Zeppelin Houses Of The Holy…kicking off a week of celebration here as it was released 48 years ago this very week…and sounding as fabulous as ever this morning…

Wednesday March 24:

A sort out of the TBL magazine archive for some research resources on current TBL projects…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some particular inspirations this past week:

The new issue of Record Collector dropping through the door…

Viewing some design lay outs of the forthcoming Record Collector Presents magazine…

Update here:

It’s been a bit up and down mentally here but thankfully there’s a lot to be positive about. I am very full on work wise  as I spin the plates of a fair few TBL projects. It’s been a constant flow of e-mails, Facebook messages, phone calls, research and text writing -some of this has involved the forthcoming Record Collector Presents Led Zeppelin publication

This really has shaped up to be something really special and I am very pleased with my input. The good lady Janet is now off for a couple of weeks and it will be a welcome rest for her having been full on at the pre school in recent weeks. With the Record Collector special now a wrap I’ll be turning my attention to one or two other writing projects and April is already looking busy.

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

Dave  Lewis –  March 25 , 2021

Until next time, stay safe and stay well…

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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https://www.facebook.com/tightbutloose.loose

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5 Comments »

  • Ralph Hunt Sidway said:

    Dave, always a delight to revisit HOTH. My late dear friend Charlie Quillen, an unknown master guitarist here in the states who died way too young, who studied under Chet Atkins and jazz great Jimmy Rainey, held HOTH in the highest esteem as Zeppelin’s most “musical” album, in his opinion. Every track is superb, the stylistic variety is surprising and engaging, and the production is so restrained and clear. There is a crystalline purity, clarity and precision especially from Jimmy Page, but really the entire album is such a unique listen as to stand out even among the Zep catalog. Thanks for highlighting this!

  • Mike Wilkinson said:

    Hi Dave, the Record Collector just gives an error 404 report and the special isn’t showing on their website yet!

  • Steve Hall said:

    Thanks for covering the stuff on the Houses Of The Holy album. Like you, I think it’s a very under-rated album which didn’t deserve the criticisms it got in the music press. If memory serves, when Physical Graffiti came out a couple of years later some of those same critics suddenly decided that it fitted into the context of moving from IV to PG, and thus made a lot more sense!! There used to be a pop quiz-type programme on TV back in the late 90’s with Jools Holland (Name That Tune, I think), and contestants had to bring one of their favourite albums with them – I always thought if I made it onto the programme then HOTH would be my pick.
    Cheers, and all the best to you and yours.

  • Chris Cook said:

    Thanks again for some really interesting insights.
    You mentioned two of my favourite records that I listened to repeatedly
    during my teenage years : “Houses of the Holy”
    and” Birds of Fire”, my favourite Led Zeppelin album
    and my second favourite Mahavishnu album.
    I think I like HOTH the most because it’s the first
    Zeppelin LP I happened to buy, it’s as summery as
    my second favourite, “Presence”,
    is wintery. If you ask me what is the best mellatron epic
    I would say it’s “The Rain Song”.
    Maybe it’s sweet Calcutta Rain.
    Houses of the Holy is gloriously Tight but Loose.

  • Ed said:

    well i wanted to share with all my fellow led zep fans some cool things that have been going on

    if you have xm radio then you are probably well aware of this already but the station “ozzy’s boneyard” has recently and finally added led zeppelin to its playlist which is very cool of course but what ive found even more interesting is that they have also added coverdale/page and have been playing them rather regular lately its been really refreshing to hear this on the radio again after all these years and especially as many of us zep fans will admit it was some of jimmys best guitar playing after zep on top of all that xm radio played the firm this morning on another station (might of been classic rock station??) i was a big fan of the firm and got to see them on the mean business tour would love to see jimmy reissue those discs remastered and with some added goodies ( btw dave do you ever hear any rumblings of that happening??) just wanted to share this with fellow zep fans

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