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16 July 2015 5,048 views 10 Comments

cannock krys again

Robert Plant at Cannock  – July 11, 2015 – Forest Live:

An awesome night in the company of Robert Plant on the second of two summer UK gigs. A intimate crowd of fans, families and children together with an opening act consisting entirely of 11 year olds gave the concert the air of a welcoming British village fete. Seeing Robert this relaxed reminded me of his memorable Priory of Brion UK gigs.

With Robert only a short drive from his home this was very much a hometown gig for him and he excelled tonight in onstage banter with the crowd, each local reference serving to remind us he was clearly amongst his people and as such he was humorous and in full storyteller mode. He made sure the forests did echo with laughter.

We got stories about his grandfather, his auntie, growing up in the area, JB stories, Zeppelin stories, stories of seeing Bo Diddley at the age of 14, and on it went. On welcoming the crowd to the unusual forest setting he said “Last time I was here I was moved on. And I wasn’t alone!…and I wasn’t playing football!’ Later on he was asking the crowd ‘Has anybody seen Doreen?!’ And my favourite Robert quip of night taking place during the encores when he asked his lighting tech to turn the house lights on the crowd ‘We should play every gig like this…so we can see how fucking old YOU all look!’. Superb.

cannock krys 5

Set list highlights? Any gig opening with Trampled Underfoot works for me, his missed queue at the end of Rainbow hilarious, a slimmed down four piece attack on the Wanton Song invigorating. Little Maggie and the story of how Nashville thinks he ‘fucked it up’, Dazed and Confused, The Lemon Song, etc. The out and out highlight for me was a piano and acoustic guitar version of The Rain Song. Robert’s vocal delivery here respectful, sensitive and superlative. A beguiling vocal that left me spellbound. (see YouTube clip below)

The whole air of this hometown concert had a special feel and for many in the audience this evening this was one glorious night.

And Robert’s parting comments to the Midlands crowd?
“It’s good to be home”

Krys Jantzen 

Photos by Krys for TBL.


TBL 39 – Distribution latest and Feedback:

TBL 39 distribution update: All subscription and pre- ordered copies are now in transit – USA, Europe, Australia copies have been filtering out in the last few days and are all on the way…let me know what you think – if you yet to indulge – as can be seen in the pic, there is a whole lotta Zep summer reading in this issue… order here now!…/


Some Feedback:

The new TBL is superb…have only gotten a little ways in but I can already tell that it’s a great one. The Jimmy interview was wonderful, kudos again Dave, that’s just phenomenal work getting an audience with him not once but twice. Thanks for the question about Swan Song, and I was pleased to hear his comments about that. It wasn’t worked on and developed further, but what little there is of it is one of the truly great outtakes. And of course Jimmy referred back to it years later and fleshed it out very nicely at a time where he needed some material.

Richard Grubb’s analyses of the reissues are really excellent and thought-provoking. Houses was the moment where I realized CDs were a bit of a lie. I was listening to the original CD issued in the late 80s, and one day when Over The Hills was playing, I realized that I wasn’t feeling Jones and Bonzo on that track, and I thought “wait a minute”…I pulled out the vinyl which I hadn’t played in a while, and it absolutely blew the CD straight out of the water…since then I’ve always been aware of the compromise (they DON’T sound “better than vinyl”), but I’ve indulged CD out of convenience. I might have to rectify that one day…

Jimmy’s done a fantastic job with these reissues despite whatever whining has taken place (some of it from yours truly as well)…I really think he’s given us most/all of the previously buried treasure, I know he takes all of this very seriously, he wants to give the fans something that will be worth their while.

And it bears remembering that Jimmy and Jonesy came from the world of sessions work…studio time is expensive, there was no waffling there, they didn’t lounge around in the studio and wait for some “inspiration” to miraculously strike. They had to get in there and get on with it, or the producers would find someone else who would. They undoubtedly carried that ethos forward into Zeppelin, and as Jimmy puts it “routined” the material before they ever set foot in a studio, and once there it was down to business. In that context, it’s no surprise that there isn’t a vault full of unreleased songs.

That said (and I’ve only heard so far the officially leaked previews of the companion material for the final 3), there’s a lot of great stuff here overall. Granted, a few tracks are very similar to what’s on the original LP, but there’s also some real gems. Bathroom Sound is one of my favourites, it’s just the three instrumentalists locked in and letting it rip as only they could. That’s a great one for blasting in the car while rolling down the highway!

Larry Bergmann Jr.

This one via the Underground Uprising website – thanks Julian:

“Tight But Loose” Issue 39.

Hot on the heels of the wonderful and lavishly illustrated and produced Earls Court book (reviewed below), the latest issue of TBL has arrived, now at number 39. This magazine is always packed full of interesting articles and interviews, and this latest issue is no different. Layout and printing quality remain really excellent as well. Not surprisingly the magazine opens with a hot off the press review of the final official releases, “Presence”, “In Through The Out Door”, and “Coda”. Some of the unreleased outtakes are examined and compared to the finished songs. After this comes a really excellent interview that Dave did with the Master himself, which is highly illuminating and revealing, largely du to the intelligent questions put to him. This is followed by a look at the previous releases in the series, “Led Zeppelin IV”, “Houses Of The Holy”, and the masterpiece that is “Physical Graffiti”. A great review of Robert Plant’s performance at the Lead Belly 125 celebration from Larry Bergmann Jr follows. He also has an article on the Jimmy Page “Sound Tracks” release.

After that the 40th anniversary of the five Earls Court concerts are marked in two articles, the first from Rikky Rooksby about his memories attending the opening concert on the 17th May. Andy Crofts then has a detailed examination of the five concerts as told by the audience and soundboard recordings. Unfortunately in the coverage of the first night he fails to mention the second source tape, recorded by my friend Greg C (whose memories of the night and his recording are published on this website. This is a much clearer tape and has helped immensely in the overall sound quality for this opening night. And the second night has a really excellent stereo audience recording made by Nigel Bradder.Not to mention the vinyl “No Quarter” source. CD and DVD collector Scott Heck is the new reviewer for all the unofficial releases that continue to pour out. Dave’s tremendous work in bringing out the Earls Court “Five Glorious Nights” is detailed in an interview with him by TBL stalwart Gary Foy. The magazine concludes with Nick Anderson looking at various promo and collectors items that have come up for sale.

A highly recommended read, for anyone who does not subscibe, then the magazine can be ordered direct from the TBL website here:
(Jules McTrainspotter, July 2015)


Jimmy Page – the final three Led Zeppelin Reissues media update:

Jimmy has been on the media trail again this week promoting the final three Led Zeppelin reissues. Interview clips from Paris and Berlin can be seen below. The new issue of Classic Rock has a very interesting interview with Jimmy conducted by Mark Blake. Jimmy held more interviews this week at Olympic Studios. In the coming weeks, the media campaign now moves over to Toronto and Japan.


Live Aid  – 30 Years Gone:

For all its ragged missed cues, hoarse vocals and cod drumming, I have great affinity for the ramshackle Zep Live Aid appearance. There’s little doubt that those 15 minutes on stage had a massive impact. Suddenly Led Zeppelin’s name was back in the frame and it was safe to own up to being a fan again.

Before all that, incredible as it sounds now, that early 80’s period had rendered them somewhat forgotten.

Not so after July 13th 1985. After that, all manner of bands were sighting them as an influence , the three of them even tried a reunion the following January and within two years both Plant and Page were recreating Zep songs on stage…and you know the rest.

I vividly finally recall going to bed in the early hours of July 14th with renewed faith – Zep still meant so much to so many people and the very next day I began collating material for a reference work to their music that would eventual form the A Celebration book published in 1991. The whole Live Aid extravaganza did feel like we were watching something special and memorable unfold back then and I’m glad it’s recognised that way all these years later. I wrote a quite prophetic piece for the local paper The Bedfordshire Times on Live Aid at the time which said it would be a day to tell your children about. I wasn’t far wrong. here’s the review as published on July 18 ,1985.

live aid review

While we are on the Live Aid anniversaries –the tenth one back in 1995 occurred on the night Page & Plant played an exhilarating set at the Sheffield Arena – all of 20 years ago . That was the night they merged Since I’ve Been Loving You into Tea For One in a glorious amalgamation. It was a moment of true magic which I’m proud to have been a few feet from.

Larry Bergmann Jr on Live Aid:

As I’m sure you know, yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of Live Aid…it’s oft been discussed in derogatory fashion over the years, but in fact it is an unforgettable part of the legacy, and perhaps not quite as bad as its reputation suggests.

It really was a great day and it was wonderful to see those guys together again…although I recall the MTV folks raving about how PHIL COLLINS was on the stage with Zeppelin and when they put the names of the musicians on the screen like they used to do, at one point COLLINS was listed first, and Jimmy became “Jimmy Paige”…without question one of the top handful of legendary musicians to perform on the day and they didn’t even know how to spell his name.  Ridiculous.  Not to mention the superimposed photo of Collins’ latest album of the time plastered all over the screen at one point…how nice of Paige, Jones and Plant to help Collins play a couple of Led Zeppelin songs!
The performance was ragged because they were obviously winging it, Page’s guitars were out of tune (I will never understand how his guitar tech of this era constantly handed Jimmy Page guitars that were not ready to played onstage!), and Plant, who was in the middle of a solo tour and no longer used to singing Zeppelin music, sounded poorly.  The ever solid Mr. Jones didn’t seem to be suffering any maladies.
But it was still undoubtedly THE moment of the day for many viewers, and the excitement of seeing them together and the magnetism of the boys carried the day…and it was definitely what the crowd at JFK Stadium had been waiting for!  It was an absolute THRILL, unforgettable despite the mishaps…I videotaped it on my old Betamax and I watched that tape a million times.  It still holds a spot in my heart to this day, and I seemed to rekindle something within the boys themselves…there would go on to be the infamous aborted sessions with Tony Thompson, and then Plant and Page both began playing Zeppelin music in their subsequent solo tours.  The veil had been lifted.  And in that sense, Live Aid was absolutely vital.
Some years back, an FM broadcast of Live Aid re-surfaced which did not have all of the feedback issues that were coming thru the PA…someone married it to the footage and it puts the performance in a little better light.

Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980 – 35 years Gone:

This summer marks the 35th anniversary of the final Led Zeppelin tour – a low key 14 date trek taking in Germany, Belgium, Holland, Austria and Switzerland. To begin a month long celebration of that final tour, I have reduced the price of the Feather In the Wind book for a limited period to just £8 including postage and packing.

This is a fantastic opportunity to invest in the definitive account of the tour at a bargain price – yet more Led Zep summer 2015 reading.

For those who have yet to indulge, to give you a flavour of the contents – this is an extract from chapter three of the book. Rejuvenation Over Europe: Up Close and Personal.

This is my overview of the gigs that I caught – this extract picks the tour up in Mannheim ready for the second gig there on July 3…

“Eye thank yew!” Robert is still bubbling a couple of hours later, down in the basement bar of the Mannheim Hof Hotel. He and Bonzo head for a late night meal in the adjoining restaurant. Security chief, Dave Moulder tells me Jimmy is very tired tonight and wants to sleep. Dave, a marvellously affable guy, a perfectionist at his job, and altogether one of those people who made much of our stay so memorable, tells me what it’s like to be part of the security on this tour. Despite what has been laid down in the past about the heaviness surrounding the Zeppelin entourage, well, there was nothing sinister or sordid about this tour. Of course there’s a job to be done in protecting the group, but as Dave told me there’s a way of doing it without punching. It’s all a question of tact and efficiency. Dave Moulder and his team use both and that’s why this tour is running smoothly, and with little hassle.

July 3rd. Around midday a radiant looking Plant and a smart looking Mr. Jones are to be found in the lobby. “I’ve been on the road two weeks and I need a rest” laughs Robert, taking time to sit with a group of German fans who have waited patiently all morning. A review from a local magazine of the first gig prompts one fan to point out that even then, Robert was wearing that T-shirt. “Yes, I’ve had a set flown over from England. I might even try and get me money back on them when we go home!” John Paul Jones reads a review of the Frankfurt gig which gives prominence to their dedication of Trampled Underfoot to Cooky. Soon after, a couple of cars drive up to take those two and a few of the entourage shopping.

Early evening and the tour carnage is ready to roll again. John Paul Jones is to be found sitting in the hotel bar deep in talk of horse breeding and the like. Bonzo tells me he hasn’t slept for two nights. It’s the old stomach trouble. He reads a copy of the Daily Mirror to retain some contact with the outside world and talk gets around to Wimbledon which has been beaming out of the hotel TV sets all day. McEnroe has overcome Connors and now awaits the “ice Borg.” Before that though, there are other matters to concentrate on. Harvey Goldsmith knows that only too well. “Right I’m off to the hall. Try and make it for 7.30 won’t you John,” asks Harvey in that basic British tone of his. I’m glad to say all of them keep the appointment.

So here we all are again in the canvas covered arena called the Mannheim Eisstadion. The crowd, many of them here for a second night, look just as crazy and enthusiastic. Looking out at them, Bonzo’s personal tech, Mick Hinton, who’s looked after John’s drums for more years than he cares to remember, recalls that Milan riot of ’71. “It was crazy. I was carried off on a stretcher and they were still taking photos of me and wanting interviews. Crazy people you know.” I guess, after that, crowds like the 10,000 here tonight are chicken feed to Mick who takes it all in his stride.

Backstage, I spot another true character of this tour. Fritz Rau, one of the main partners in the presentation of the Over Europe tour, calmly stalks around backstage. He’s the elder statesman of the German promoting scene. Earlier, he was telling a very interested Jonesy how he used to be stage manager for Marlene Dietrich. Some 20 years later this giant man with the heart of gold (“we’re all part of the Led Zeppelin family here” he once remarked to me) is still managing stages all over Germany. Tonight on this stage is Led Zeppelin and shortly after 7.30 everyone knows it.

Robert Plant is picked out by a yellow spotlight as Jimmy screeches out the wah wah opening of Train Kept A Rollin’. The moment is one to cherish – legs slightly parted, lips pouted, microphone held slightly extended in his left hand. For a second, that stance is frozen in time. With his hair showered by the golden spotlight, Robert Plant strikes a breath-taking pose, a combination of splendour and power. A power fully emphasised by the addition of Bonzo’s drumming, John Paul Jones weaving bass line and Jimmy’s siren sizzling. And it’s like… welcome to rock ‘n’ roll, and boy, when the power of Train Kept A Rollin’ unleashes itself upon the audience it has me convinced it should be resurrected and re-sprayed onto the next Zeppelin album. It’s the true spirit of rock ‘n’ roll updated and upheld. Truly.

Over Europe 6

On In the Evening more than ever, I’m transfixed by that slowed up pastoral Jonesy section. It’s a piece of music I could listen to endlessly. Each time he plays that lick, it creates a ripple of pleasure, and the point they crash back into the main rhythm is dynamic. “I’ve gotta have all your love.” The long dangling arm of Jimmy dances over the Strat, string bending in a flourishing passionate finale. Out through which door?

Jimmy is wearing green jeans tonight to match his vest. He flashes that cherubic smile during The Rain Song and John Paul Jones smiles back. Robert chooses to sing, “ours is the warmth of all the love” in All My Love which again is enthusiastically received. Since I’ve Been Loving You gushes forth with bluesy emotion, and in Achilles Last Stand Robert again clusters over with Jimmy during the vocal refrain.

More than any other track though it’s Kashmir that brings the house (er, canvas) down. Right from the moment the flash explosions ignite, it’s the incessant, repeated riffing of Jimmy’s guitar and Jonesy’s string synthesiser that engulfs the whole arena, verse by verse, with Robert absolutely outstanding in every way. Then there’s Bonzo. He plays the most amazing fills during the song’s climax against Robert’s “Ooh yeah, let me take you there, let me take you there” vocal crooning. It’s such a statement of percussive excellence that it makes any excessive Moby Dick type solos totally redundant. After the number Robert acclaims the man Bonham and he takes a bow. It was no more than he deserved.

I guess every time I hear Stairway to Heaven it makes me glow inside. It’s our song. It’s their song. It’s everyone’s song and it never stops preaching the search for the ultimate. Of course, there’s a feeling I get when I look to the west, and I will call the tune, remember laughter and choose the right path to go. I hope so anyway.

All those words are sung with a passion and emotion only Robert Plant can phrase. I keep choppin’ and changin’ ” he sings, and Jimmy’s solo does exactly that. Robert takes the tambourine and shakes it in tune with the rhythm, finally flinging it aside and ringing out the last sentiments of the song, “not to roll, not to roll… oh not to roll… please don’t make me roll… ” Mannheim surrenders.

Peter Grant and the rest of the personnel usher the band off stage, throwing on the blue towelling dressing robes each member has, emblazoned with their name and symbol on the back. A quick light up of cigs, calls for more, and as the light flashes back on the stage, the group return. The power and glory of the two-song encore, Rock And Roll and Communication Breakdown, is just phenomenal. The hammer of the gods, indeed.

In the backstage reception area, a full spread has been laid on for the crew. Jimmy Page’s personal tech, Raymond Thomas, sits in there, looking as if he’s just been strutting his way through a two hour set. In a way, he has. It’s his job to ensure Jimmy’s guitars are in tune and functioning as they should. Not an easy task. He’s been working for Jimmy for nine years. Used to be with Robin Trower, at Chrysalis, before Zeppelin came along. With all the name checks Robert has given him on stage (“Ah Raymondo’’ – remember Knebworth?) he’s become another unseen, faceless legend of the Zeppelin set up. A friendly Scottish character, he’ll be back up to his native Edinburgh when the tour finishes. Tonight he’s less than happy with the sound Jimmy had during Stairway – not that I noticed myself. “Maybe I was trying too hard,” says Raymondo.

Harvey Goldsmith comes into the room. What’s the tour been like for him so far? – “Quite an experience” he tells me looking pretty exhausted. “It’s only if things go wrong that I know I haven’t done my job properly.” When you’re responsible for 10,000 kids, that’s quite a strain. A strain and pressure that one can only appreciate when on the other side of the barriers. Raymondo has a date with Jimmy back at the hotel and minutes later we’re speeding through the streets of Mannheim passing by happy punters coming home from the gig. Outside the hotel Robert is surrounded by about twenty fans signing autographs. After which he runs off to an awaiting car that will be heading for Munich. Mannheim hasn’t been much of an attraction for Robert really. Earlier during the show, after spotting a union jack in the audience he’s said, “Ah England… what’s it like in England now? – must be better than here.” Munich is the next stop and with its previous Zep connections (ie. it being the venue for the physical interlude sessions that resulted in Presence), it can’t come soon enough for R.A. Plant.

The rest of the entourage are due to follow tomorrow. Down in the basement bar Jimmy Page is making a rare post-gig public appearance. Oh Jimmy… This man is such an enigma. On stage he’s engulfed and transfixed, totally immersed in the playing of guitar. One minute, introverted by the sound he is achieving, the next, extroverted by the power, audience feedback and joy it supplies. Off stage he appears shy, so fragile you want to hold him up, he’s scratching his face and hair, and wandering around in a permanent slouchy bounce; but at the same time, he is ever articulate, soft spoken, intelligent, perceptive, giving off an aura of respect for his knowledge (“Jimmy you know is a very wise man” I recall Robert once saying) as he enthuses positively about the tour, Tight But Loose and the group.

“I just wanna play and play, I get off so much on the feedback this group gets” says Jimmy pausing to run his hand over jet black, sweat curled hair that falls over his eyes. “Of course, somewhere along the line we want to fit in an album too.” Talk swings around to his early session work. More than any other member of the group I’d say Jimmy is the true historian. He’s genuinely interested in his heritage and the group’s, too. “You know that session work, I mean I never knew what I was going to play until I actually got to the studio. Some weird stuff got recorded.” I mention the bootleg James Patrick Page Session Man as a testament to that statement, Jimmy grins in agreement. We then pose for a quick pic.

jimmy mannheim


With the midnight hour passing, Jimmy is tiring. It’s been a long night for him. A two hour performance on stage, countless autograph hunters to deal with in the bar, and it’s then that I realise just how rude some fans can be in their demands. When he’d done just about all he could on that score, a few extra persistent German fans clamour for more (including one guy who must have had Robert’s autograph five times). When my colleague Tom (resident photographer, bodyguard, bird watcher, ant collector and ace Wallbanger) tells them Jimmy’s had enough and wards them away, Jimmy is genuinely touched. “Thanks”, he says, “I really am all in tonight.”

So Jimmy retires. Just before he staggers shakily to his feet, he takes a pen and scribbles a few lines he wants me to include in the next Tight But Loose. “Hope we always live up to our expectations” it says on it. Which shows above everything that Jimmy cares, really cares. “See you in Munich” he smiles, and wanders off to find the lift in that ambling shuffle of a walk.

Not too long after that John Bonham and his ever present sidekick, Rex come over to the bar. Rex even looks like a scaled down version of Bonzo. When a few German fans break through the upstairs security and scurry in the direction of the bar, one of them mistakes Rex for Bonzo, “Oh well, know the real fans don’t you!” laughs Rex. Bonzo though, even at this late hour, is quite content to sign a number of posters and album sleeves for the persistent few who have kept the vigil up.

There is a new addition to the entourage tonight. That’s Bad Company’s drummer, Simon Kirke, very much a part of the Zeppelin family (remember those jams in New York and at the Los Angeles Forum ’76?).  He’s come over to catch the tail end of the tour with Clive Coulson (the former Led Zeppelin road manager who was the man responsible for assembling and managing Bad Company). Sporting traditional rock ‘n’ roll shades, Kirke looks a real cool character but he turns out to be witty, warm and friendly (in fact, like all the Zep family). ‘How did he like the show?’ asks Dave Moulder, next to me. “Great!” replies Simon, with genuine enthusiasm. “They’re playing now like they were five years ago and Bonzo… ” He pauses to do an imaginary drum fill… ”Wow!” At the end of the bar, Bonzo acknowledges the compliment with a grin. “And Jimmy,” continues the Bad Co. man, “that bit where he sits down and plays on his own, takes a lot of bottle, that.”

Phil Carlo, another import from the Bad Company operation who has been ever present on assisting Zeppelin on this tour, sees the Goaldiggers article in Tight But Loose 4 and tells me what a thrill it was for him to play in George Best’s line-up, alongside Paul Rodgers. We both reminisce about the back heeled penalty Bestie popped in, and from there the soccer rap gets around to England’s dismal showing in Italy. “Tragic,” chimes in Simon, beginning to get a little bored with the piped muzak we’re receiving.

On spotting a nearby upright piano he goes over and treats us to an impromptu set of standards, delivered his way. First, Let It Be, on to Hey Jude, The Letter, and then finishing with James Taylor’s Fire And Rain. Whether it was the late hour, the drowsy atmosphere, or the booze consumption, or perhaps a combination of all three, well I don’t know, but that cluster of numbers sounded just great that night, and the sight of Bonzo spotting a sketch and flashing the lamp adjoining the piano on and off to add ‘disco lights’ was like something out of the Beatles’ A Hard Days Night. It’s during moments like these that the true spirit of the band becomes so apparent. It’s like a close knit family… in every way. It’s like Robert said, “hard work but a lot of fun.”

To be continued…

Over Europe for tbl

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


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

Book ordering Details:


Ramble On Radio:

Ramble On Radio Podcast

Here’s the links for the interview I did with Brain Gardiner for the Ramble On Radio podcast/


saint one

DL Diary Update:


As mentioned last week, the Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters Forest Live gigs were not to be for me as all a bit exhausted after a week of TBL 39 distribution – instead the good lady Janet and I ventured to St Albans on Saturday where I checked out the always excellent Empire Records – The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers reissue was acquired and some TBL 39 dropped off for the shop to stock… result all round…We also came across the St Albans Fringe Festival – this is The Hill Street Blues Band performing this afternoon under the rather splendid setting of St Albans Cathedral…pretty good they were too.

Recent DL vinyl acquisition: I was very pleased to pick up this little beauty – a Led Zeppelin Presence original UK pressing with 60p off WH Smith retail price sticker. This is a sticker I have great affinity for, as at the time I would have stuck a fair few of these on upon its release in April 1976 when I worked in the WH Smith record department here in Bedford. A piece of Zep retailing vinyl history…lovely!

presence sticker one

While in London this week, I also picked up the Judy Collins Who Knows Where The Time Goes album on US Elektra and The Rolling Stones latest From the Vault series Live at the Marquee Club 1971. At the Vinyl Barn in Bedford last Friday – The Beach Boys double package of Smiley Smile/Friends and early 70s singer songwriter Danny O Keefe’s album. This is an album I was alerted to by the inclusion of his track 3.10 Smokey Thursday on the excellent Meridian 70 compilation.

Those have been on the playlist along with the Simon & Garfunkel album Sounds Of Silence, Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait and the Zep fixes have come via Live In Seattle -the classic 1973 vinyl set and more Earls Court stuff.

Workload wise, it was good to finally get the overseas copies of TBL 39 on their way, there’s been some planning for TBL 40 which will be something of a landmark edition and a catch up on other projects that I’ve been meaning to get a handle on for some weeks, notably the In the Evenings book project with Mike Tremaglio.

unbox five glorious

And finally, talking of Earls Court which we do a lot of around these parts – I finally had the unboxing experience of getting to grips with what somebody remarked as the ”full metal jacket” limited edition leather bound of the Five Glorious Nights book. Leather bound or standard, the response to the book has been very gratifying and a source of much inspiration. Many thanks yet again, for all your feedback on the book and TBL 39.

Dave Lewis July 16, 2015.  






YouTube Clips: 

Jimmy Page Interview 1:

Jimmy Page Interview 2:

Coda Unboxing:

Robert Plant & the Sensational Spaceshifters – The Rain Song – at Cannock:

Until next time…

Have a great weekend

Keep listening, keep reading…

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy –July 16, 2015 

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  • Jodeo said:

    At Live Aid, Zep were joined by Phil Collins (as noted), Plant’s bassist Paul Martinez (from his first three post-Zep solo records) on Stairway, and Tony Thompson. I never knew why Jason wasn’t called up, but it was what it was and Jason may just be thankful anyway. Interesting that Plant had portions of two bands on stage: Two members from Zep and two members from his solo work (Collins and Martinez). It seemed a bit symbolic to me.

    What’s really interesting was that Plant was touring Shaken N Stirred, an unusual record that I very much cherish (and gave another top to bottom listen just last week). This was a record Plant at the time acknowledged as his greatest departure from Zeppelin in his ongoing effort to establish himself as just Robert Plant — not the Ex Zep Lead Singer. (Even “Easily Lead” isn’t, as the name intently applied, Zeppelinesque).

    And there he was, right back in the middle of it all. He probably would’ve rather declined and, had he, would’ve been scorned far worse for doing so in light of the grandiose nature of this global concert.

    My speculation is that this event, combined with the general discontent of his band (wanting to play more Worse Than Detroit and Slow Dancer than Hip to Hoo and Too Loud) lead to Plant rebooting for 1988’s Now and Zen. Having landed on Phil Johnstone’s stylings as a collaborator to pursue, he phoned him — only to find the unsuspecting artist listening to Led Zeppelin 2.

    Whatever happened, Plant decided after five or six years and four solo outings (including the Honey Drippers) that he too was a Led Zeppelin fan. And one thing I’ve come to appreciate about his reintroduction of that catalog into his tours was his new band’s approach.

    In an interview, bassist and son-in-law Charlie Jones said they just got together and jammed, playing the songs as they remembered them and figuring them out together rather than relying on listening to them or finding tabs and sheet music. I loved the organic nature of that, very true to Plant’s own nature really. And those performances indeed had a fresh edge of their own. Especially the Now and Zen line-ups take on In The Evening and Black Country Woman.

    So perhaps, “Live Aid” aided Plant in confronting his very-much-alive past. Rather than letting it define him, he used his solo ambitions to reinterpret it and rediscover the underlying power and joy that made those songs work in the first place. And he’s gladly taken us along for this fine adventure. What’s amazing is how it’s still going, and still quite gratifying.

  • Kurt said:

    hello, glad to hear about Live Aid and I concur with your views. Of course, we all know it was about helping the hungry people of our world. However, I will never forget seeing Plant, Page, and Jones play their three songs! We stayed up all night watching (and taping VHS!) from England and then over to USA. Yes, they were rough and loose, but there are some fantastic moments!! I had never seen Zeppelin before, and the buzz leading up to it was incredible. I spoke with someone who was in audience and he said that the whole crowd was freaking out about the Zep appearance and it came across much better being there. I also think that by Stairway, they are getting the kinks worked out and go for it! I still look at the picture in my Live Aid book I bought of Robert and Jimmy sharing the mike and it is awesome. I also love so much when Robert says “Good Evening”, then Jimmy leans over to him and says something, and Robert comes back and yells “I said Good Evening!!” Fantastic. cheers!

  • Lisa Haynes said:

    Happy to corroborate the review of Robert and band at Cannock Chase. I only wish Robert would perform more of his and the band’s tunes and less Led Zeppelin. This may sound heretical, but Robert and the Sensational Space Shifters have plenty of excellent material.
    Cannock Chase turned out to be an unenlightened venue and will avoid in the future, unless of course it’s to see Robert again.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks for great comments folks!

  • pete leigh said:

    Dave Got my earls court tshirt. thankyou

  • russell.ritchin said:




  • Hiroshi said:

    I had to miss Cannock Chase, too, for a rather banal reason I am unwilling to reveal here. It is a real pity and regret, as it sounds like a great show on a fine, pleasant evening with a fantastic setlist. That I could have almost made it to the Staffordshire forest if I had conducted myself cleverly makes me cringe all the more.

    I am reading TBL 39 bit by bit. The interview with Jimmy is quite an achievement and a revelatory one. Hopefully more to follow in the future.

    If I am allowed to ask one question to Jimmy, it would be as below;

    “As history shows, Robert started to lose the higher range of his voice around 1972. Did it affect the music of Led Zeppelin thereafter — the song writing, and the live performance in particular?”

    I know it is a rather sensitive matter to ask for sure — but it is an essential one, the key to approach to the sound of latter day Zep, in the studio and on stage alike. As far as I know, nobody has dared ask this to Jimmy or Jonesy, let alone Robert, to this day.

    One for next interview, Dave?

  • Hiroshi said:

    I had to miss Cannock Chase, too, for a rather banal reason I am unwilling to reveal here. It is a real pity and regret, as it sounds like a great gig on a fine, pleasant evening with a fantastic setlist. That I could have almost made it to the Staffordshire forest if I had conducted myself cleverly makes me cringe all the more bitterly.

    I am reading TBL 39 bit by bit. The interview with Jimmy is quite an achievement and a revelatory one. Hopefully more to follow in the future.

    If I am allowed to ask one question to Jimmy, it would be as below;

    “As history shows, Robert started to lose the higher range of his voice around 1972. Did it affect the music of Led Zeppelin thereafter — the song writing, and the live performance in particular?”

    I know it is a rather sensitive question to ask for sure — but it is an essential one, the key to approach to the sound of latter day Zep, in the studio and on stage alike. As far as I know, nobody has dared to ask this to Jimmy or Jonesy, let alone Robert, to this day.

    One for next interview, Dave?

  • Mark Williams said:

    Dave, I see Robert has just announced 2 new, differing sets for his 2 consecutive night shows at September’s Lockn Festival. Good news – hopefully that’ll see more great stuff off the excellent solo back catalogue rather than the 70% plus LZ content over recent times.

    Now I’d be there again if ‘ Slow Dancer’, Like I’ve never been gone, Little by Little, Watching You, Come into my Life ‘ etc got an airing again !

  • Stephen said:

    Hey Dave,

    I also share your affection for the Live Aid Reunion. The spirit is willing, but as Plant said afterwards the elements weren’t quite with them. The shot of the crowd alone at the JFK stadium gives you goosebumps. I watched quite a lot of the JFK performances and the 70s rockers didn’t fare that well. I don’t know if it was the sound setup or what, but the 70s legends didn’t sound good. Anyway, a memorable day.
    Unrelated, but I found these reviews of Zep albums on the youtube. I don’t know anything about these two Ebglish guys at all, so it’s not a plug or anything, but I enjoyed there thoughts on the lesser well know albums like ITTOD:


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