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12 November 2019 1,878 views 4 Comments

My thoughts on the new Robert Plant Interview in this month’s Classic Rock:

A very good interview with Robert Plant by Rob Hughes in the new issue of Classic Rock – though I was surprised there was no direct mention of his Saving Grace project. There’s a heart-warming story of how John Bonham got him back in to the fold for ‘’one morel flurry ‘’with Zep, a good overview of his early solo career with rightful credit to Phil Collins, tales of performing on Top of The Pops, plenty of accolades for the Sensational Space Shifters and talk of his podcast –and the depth of unreleased solo material he has.

Favourite bits for me: On a recent meeting with Bob Dylan backstage at a gig in Roskilde Denmark

I said to him ‘’Hey man you never stop!’’ He looked at me smiled and said ‘’What’s to stop for?’’

Talking about the lullaby..and the Ceaseless Roar album Robert comments:

‘’I was switched on in Texas but there was no escaping my story. So I couldn’t take it anymore and came back. And that’s what Lullaby …and the Ceaseless Roar is all about. It’s about coming back, about failing really. Or actually realising that it takes so many different elements to make a life. The whole of that record is about realisation, about maturity, about trying to get in line with yourself and finding out that you sold yourself down the line a little bit. And in its own way, that’s the blues.”

I’ll be revisiting that album in the coming days for sure…

Final word from the man…’’The bottom line is to dig deep’’

Long may he continue to do so…

The new issue of Classic Rock is out now.
Dave Lewis, November 12,2019.



Robert Plant Digging Deep Podcast:

Latest podcast…Robert on the brilliant cover of Low’s Monkey on the Band Of Joy album…


This one via LZ News:

John Paul Jones performed with Willie Watson in London:

John Paul Jones made a surprise appearance on stage with Willie Watson on October 31 and performed four songs with him.

Watson was performing in London at the St Pancras New Church, and Jones was an unannounced guest at the show.

Jones joined Watson for four songs: “Gallows Pole,” “Keep It Clean,” “The Cruel Mother” and an encore performance of “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings.”


Led Zeppelin News Update:

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

Jimmy Page

Robert Plant

John Paul Jones

Upcoming events:

November 22 – The “Play It Loud: Instruments Of Rock And Roll” exhibition will move to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
December 9 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Devon, UK.
December 10 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Salisbury, UK.
December 11 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Bristol, UK and a guitar signed by Plant and Jimmy Page will be auctioned.
December 13 – Robert Plant’s vinyl singles box set “Digging Deep” will be released.
December 16 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Lancashire, UK.
December 17 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Blackpool, UK.
December 19 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Powys, Wales.
December 20 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Stourbridge, UK.
December 22 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Birmingham, UK.
February 2020 – Jimmy Page’s new book, “Jimmy Page: The Anthology,” will be released.
March 26-29, 2020 – John Paul Jones will perform as Sons Of Chipotle at the Big Ears music festival in Knoxville, Tennessee.
September 25-26, 2020 – The next John Bonham celebration event will be held in Redditch, UK.

Many thanks to James Cook.

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



Here is a round up of TBL Product on offer this Christmas –all orders will be processed and dispatched as received. Note overseas buyers – order as soon as possible to ensure pre Christmas delivery.

Fed up with receiving the same old tired gifts for Christmas each year? Why not give your loved ones a nudge in the direction of the TBL ordering page and get them to invest on your behalf –let them really know what you want for Christmas or you may well end up with novelty socks and boxers yet again. Alternatively just treat yourself!

Remember –  a signed book is a great gift…


I have a handful of the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book on offer…don’t miss out order now…

Evenings With Led Zeppelin – The Complete Concert Chronicle by Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio

Each book is personally signed by Dave Lewis 

Here are some facts and figures about the book:

576 pages, 260,000 word text, 2,500+ images, 170 rarely seen colour and black and white photos, large hardback size 267 x 204mm

Written by Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio

Edited by Chris Charlesworth

Designed by Mick Lowe at StudioMix Bedford

Foreword by former Led Zeppelin Tour Manager Richard Cole

Here’s the basic overview of the book:

“When Led Zeppelin played a concert, it wasn’t just a concert – it was an event.” – Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin’s manager, 1993

Evenings With Led Zeppelin chronicles in consummate detail the 500-plus concerts that Led Zeppelin performed throughout their career.

From their earliest gig in a Denmark school gymnasium on September 7, 1968, through to the last gig that Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones ever performed with John Bonham, in Berlin on July 7, 1980, this is the Led Zeppelin story told from where their legend was forged – live on stage.

Deploying impeccable research spread over many years, Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio bring clarity, authority and perspective to their unique story.

Evenings With Led Zeppelin is a show-by-show narrative of every known Led Zeppelin performance that portrays with pinpoint accuracy the group’s rapid ascent from playing to a few hundred at London’s Marquee Club to selling out the 20,000 capacity Madison Square Garden in New York – all in a mere eighteen months.

Supplemented by historical reviews, facts and figures and expert commentary that capture the spirit of the times, Evenings With Led Zeppelin is illustrated throughout with rarely seen concert adverts, posters, venue images, ticket stubs and photos, all of which offer matchless insight into each and every concert. This is the on-stage heritage of Led Zeppelin as never before chronicled in one volume.

Fifty years on from their formation, Led Zeppelin’s potency as a live band remains unsurpassed – Evenings With Led Zeppelin vividly explains why.


”This book is an utter triumph, a vast pool of knowledge and amongst the finest publications on ANY band, let alone those myriad of tomes about Led Zeppelin. Very few books are completely essential. This is…”

Andy Adams – Celebration Days Facebook group/To Be A Rock blog

You can order the book at this link – all copies personally signed and dedicated by me.




Led Zeppelin Live – 1975 – 1977  ACC Editions/Iconic Images

Featuring the Led Zeppelin photographs of Terry O Neill, Michael Brennan and Baron Wolman

Text, captions and editing by Dave Lewis

190 pages –140 approx. black and white photos – 32 approx. colour photos

Large format Hardback –Embossed cover

Each book personally signed by the book’s editor Dave Lewis

Led Zeppelin Live – (ACC Editions/Iconic Images)

Between 1975 and 1977, there is little doubt that Led Zeppelin ruled supreme as the biggest band in the world. Bigger audiences, bigger stage settings, bigger venues lights, lasers and dragon suits. All this combined to produce some of the most iconic images of the 1970s rock era. That era comes firmly under the spotlight in Led Zeppelin Live.

The book profiles the work of three highly respected photographers. Terry O’ Neill made his name documenting the fashions, styles and celebrities of the1960s. He was also on hand to capture Led Zeppelin at Earls Court in London on May 23, 1975; at Tampa Stadium, Florida on June 3,1977; and at New York s Madison Square Garden on June 7 of the same year. Also in the right place at the right time was Michael Brennan. Michael had built a reputation working for various daily newspapers in the UK. He moved to America in 1973 and began working on entertainment and sporting assignments. In early 1975, Michael travelled with the band on their rented luxury jet, a Boeing 720B known as The Starship. He was then in close proximity for their show on January 31,1975 at Detroit s Olympia Stadium.The former chief photographer of Rolling Stone magazine, San Francisco-based Baron Wolman, was in attendance to capture what would turn out to be Led Zeppelin s final performances in America. In front of 50,000 fans each day, they played in the open air at the Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland California, on the afternoons of July 23 and 24,1977. Baron s chronicling of the band in stark daylight offers a unique portrayal of their final appearances in a large stadium setting.Fifty years on from their formation in 1968, Led Zeppelin s legacy continues to inspire admiration and awe. The timeless photos presented in this book accurately capture Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham in all their on-stage glory during their latter era. Compiled and edited by world-renowned Led Zeppelin authority Dave Lewis, Led Zeppelin Live chronicles the period when Led Zeppelin could rightly claim to be the greatest live rock attraction on the planet. Here s the lasting photographic proof…

You can order the book at this link – all copies personally signed and dedicated by me.



Last few copies of the Led Zeppelin Then As It Was limited edition re-package book in the run of just 80 copies …don’t miss out order now…

Led Zeppelin Then As It Was – At Knebworth 1979

To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Led Zeppelin’s appearances  at Knebworth I am making available a strictly limited edition re-package of the Then As It Was Led Zeppelin At Knebworth 1979 book

This 40th anniversary limited edition has a glossy newly designed book jacket with exclusives live photos from the Knebworth shows.

Each book includes an additional separate four page insert. This features a new 3,000 word interview with author Dave Lewis in which he discusses the making of the book and the impact of the events of an English summer in 1979. Each insert is individually numbered and signed by the author.

Note the actual book content is the version published in 2013.  There is no additional content to the actual book.

This re-package is great collector’s item – and if you have yet to invest in the book previously – now is the time!

This package of the book is being made available in a strictly limited edition of just 80 copies – each book is individually numbered and signed by the author.

These are the last 80 copies of the books print run – once they are gone –they are gone and the book will be out of print.

Then As It Was explores the Knebworth concerts in the forensic detail one has come to expect from the Zeppelin authority Dave Lewis. Required reading for anyone who was there” Mark Blake Mojo  

Order link here – all copies personally signed and dedicated by me.



Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind – Over Europe 1980


’A brilliant dissection of the tour that time forgot. What emerges is an intriguing chronicle of the biggest band in the world contemplating their own vastness and legacy. But this is no obituary; instead Dave Lewis has skilfully woven a passionate celebration of a group who may well have been on the verge of an altogether different kind of greatness.’’ Terry Staunton Record Collector

Order link here – all copies personally signed and dedicated by me.







TBL 45 – Led Zeppelin Knebworth 40th anniversary special issue includes world exclusive new interview with John Paul Jones and much more.

TBL 45 is one of the most ambitious magazines yet produced – almost a double issue.

A 64 page issue  it includes a reprint of the complete 40 page  Tight But Loose issue 3 – the Knebworth special first published in October 1979.

Order link is here:


My thoughts on…


Recorded Live At The Forum, Inglewood, Los Angeles, California, United States, March 24,25,27. 1975.

So here’s the latest vinyl release via the Casino label. This follows their excellent Berkeley Days Second Night package in alimited run of 400 and I Told You Baby Long Time Ago – Scandinavia March 1969 limited edition of 450 on clear splatter vinyl)

This latest comes in a run of 400 -1 to 200 on gold vinyl – 201 to 00 on clear vinyl.

The lowlights : Compared to the above pair, both of which had relevant photos and detailed sleeve info, The Night Stalker lacks any sleeve note and features a lacklustre series of photos on the gatefold sleeve – none of which are from the LA Forum 1975 gigs and that said, it doesn’t match the packaging standard of those previous Casino releases.

As for the music presented via a clearly mixed soundboard tape: D disappointingly, there’s a complete lack of Robert Plant onstage spiel, l not even a ‘’Good Evening’ or ‘’Goodnight’’. It’s all been edited out and that makes for a something of a flat atmosphere overall. Content wise, It opens with a delivery Rock And Roll that is marred by some poor Robert Plant vocals – it strikes me this may even be from earlier on the tour. Elsewhere, the performance of The Rain Song has a decidedly out of tune mellotron.

The highlights: A thunderous In My Time Of Dying with Robert on peak form. An absolute cooking Trampled Underfoot with a suitably right out there it- must- be- 1975 Jimmy Page solo. A gloriously regal Stairway To Heaven with all the ’75 era ad-libs intact (‘’That’s all we got’’) with Page applying all the wondrous twists and turns in the solo that would light up the Earls Court Arena in a couple of months time. Whole Lotta Love has a virtually complete rare vocal delivery of The Crunge and moves into James Brown’s Licking Stick-Licking Stick –Jonesy and John Bonham are magnificent on this..

Given the double album format The Night Stalker can only offer a snapshot of some monumental Los Angeles performances during that week of March 1975. Nit-picking aside, vinyl Led Zep record collectors will find much to enjoy on a limited edition that is sure to sell out very quickly – and when it’s gone it’s gone…

Dave Lewis, November 4, 2019.


TBL Archive Special:

Led Zeppelin IV – 48 years gone…

To mark the 48th anniversary of the release of Led Zeppelin IV here’s a TBL archive feature – first compiled for TBL issue 15 though not used at the time – it eventually appeared in the my Celebration II – The Tight But Loose Files book.

The Making Of Led Zepplin IV:

zep4-12The four symbols that would form the album title were first introduced to the rock media via a series of teaser press ads in the weeks leading to the album’s release, each depicting a particular symbol alongside a previous Zep album sleeve. When the album was released, the wordless title caused much confusion. It appeared in the press under various names including The New Led Zeppelin album, Led Zeppelin IV, Four Symbols, Runes and even Zoso; though some music papers did make the effort to reproduce the actual symbols themselves.

The band’s hectic schedule of that year continued unabated. In August they were back in America for their seventh US tour. Page was in buoyant mood and playing brilliantly. “Once the album was completed and mixed I knew it was really good,” he said. “We actually went on the road in America before the manufacturing process was completed and somebody at Atlantic Records said, ‘This is professional suicide for a band to tour without an album.’ In retrospect that is rather amusing!”

The new material was already making an impact, and Page still recalls with pride the reaction they got to Stairway when they performed it at the Los Angeles Forum for the first time. “We played Stairway’ at the Forum before the album was out and around a third of the audience stood up and gave us a standing ovation. It was then that I thought ‘actually this may be a better number than I’d imagined’.”

Equally successful was a three-city, five-concert first visit to Japan. Here they performed some of the most enjoyable concerts of their career – away from the glare of the press and the intensity of America, they were able to stretch out and extend their set list, throwing in off-the-cuff versions of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Cliff Richards’ Bachelor Boy and The Beatles’ Please Please Me and the only logged love performance of Zep III;s Friends. It’s fair to say there were now two distinct entities to the group – the tight recorded unit as found on record and the improvisational and spontaneous live act that would go on to delight audiences around the globe.

After a short break, to round off a very productive year, Peter Grant booked a 16-date UK tour that nicely coincided with the eventual release of their long delayed, long awaited fourth album. The tour kicked off in Newcastle on 11 November and took in two memorable nights at London’s Wembley Empire Pool.

Despite the delays and the negative reaction to the previous album, it was clear that the band’s popularity had not declined at all. Demand for tickets was overwhelming. All 9,000 seats for their 20 November Empire Pool show sold out in under an hour. A second was added and they could have easily slotted in a third had their schedule allowed it.

Their stage presentation now featured each of their four symbols – on Bonham’s bass drum Jonesy’s organ, Jimmy’s speaker cabinets, and Plant’s feather symbol adorning the PA. Page also took to wearing a specially knitted jumper depicting his Zoso symbol. The set list now included Rock And Roll in the main set (now under its correct title), alongside Black Dog, Stairway and Going To California.

Talking about the album to Chris Welch of Melody Maker, Bonzo was hugely enthusiastic: “My personal view is that it’s the best thing we’ve ever done. It’s the next stage we were at the time of recording. The playing is some of the best we have done and Jimmy is like… mint!”

The culmination of the whole year’s efforts were the two significant five-hour shows in London’s Empire Pool on 20 and 21 November – the largest indoor UK audiences they had played to at that point. Dubbed Electric Magic, they were supported by Maggie Bell’s Stone The Crows plus Bronco on Saturday (whose line-up included future Plant solo era guitarist Robbie Blunt and original Band Of Joy member Kevyn Gammond), and Home on Sunday. Also, on both nights, Grant had booked some novelty circus acts, including performing pigs and plate spinners. The pigs – with huge ruffs around their necks – didn’t really cut it; indeed, their only real contribution was an unpleasant smell in the stage area. Thankfully Zeppelin fared better.

‘’It was an amazing couple of shows’’ recalls Maggie Bell, lead singer of Stone The Crows (co-managed by Peter Grant). ‘’ They were the biggest dates we had played and we went down a storm. Those were great shows for us and it was at a point where we were really taking off, and obviously it was a privilege to share the stage with them all.’’

Sadly, Crows guitarist Leslie Harvey died the following May in an electrocution accident at a gig in Swansea. Maggie would later sign to Zep’s Swan Song label.

Roy Hollingworth Of Melody Maker was unstinting in his praise for the Wembley Saturday show: “This was an English band playing like crazy and enjoying every minute of it. They played just about everything they’ve ever written. Nothing – just nothing was spared. This was no job. This was no gig. It was an event for all.”

A memorable poster was produced for the event and sold for 30p – it now changes hands for over £1,000 on the collectors market – and the newly established Virgin Records set up stalls to sell the just-released fourth album. Here and around the country, much to Atlantic’s relief, fans had no trouble identifying the nameless artwork of the new record as it sailed to the number one album spot.

After the disappointing press reaction to their third album, Led Zeppelin IV was very well received. Even Rolling Stone, never a great supporter of the band’s work, relented. The review by Lenny Kaye, then would be rock journalist and future Patti Smith guitarist, was surprisingly positive. “Out of eight cuts,” wrote Kaye, “there isn’t one that steps on another’s toes, that tries to do too much at once. And [there are] a couple of songs that when all is said and done, will probably be right up there in the gold-starred hierarchy of put ’em on and play ’em again. Describing one of those tracks, When the Levee Breaks, Kaye added “Led Zep have had a lot of imitators over the past few years, but it takes cuts like this to show that most of them have only picked up the style, lacking any real knowledge of the meat underneath.”

Led Zeppelin IV climbed to the number one spot on the UK chart on 4 December 1971, where it stayed for two weeks before being dislodged by Electric Warrior by T Rex… it went on to spend 61 consecutive weeks on the chart.

It was a similar story in America, though it was with some irony that Carole King’s multi-million selling soft rock album Tapestry kept it from reaching number one.

Not that it really mattered – the airplay generated by Stairway To Heaven ensured the album remained in the Billboard top forty album chart for the next six months. Peter Grant steadfastly refused to issue the track as a single, knowing that restricting its availability to the LP alone would inevitably add to its sales.

So from the adversity of the Led Zeppelin III backlash, Led Zeppelin triumphed.

Some four decades on its influence is still paramount, not least with the three ex-members. Over the years, the three ex-members have repeatedly retuned to the songs. Page and Plant attempted an ambitious remake of The Battle Of Evermore with Indian singer Najma Akhtar on their initial MTV Unledded reunion and also performed versions of When The Levee Breaks and Four Sticks. Robert Plant was still regularly performing Black Dog, Rock And Roll, and Misty Mountain Hop on his Band of Joy tour this year – the latter was also revived when Page linked up for his much acclaimed tour with The Black Crowes. On his solo tours, John Paul Jones has performed instrumental versions of Black Dog and When The Levee Breaks.

As a complete work, Led Zeppelin IV remains one of their most focused statements.

It’s the product of a band on a quest for absolute musical freedom. Working in an environment that encouraged the development of their ability to blend acoustic and electric influences within a rock framework – something Led Zeppelin did more successfully than any other act before or since.

The eight cuts possess an economy and subtly that defines their sound. From Page’s unimpeachable riffs, through Jones’ musical invention, Plant’s clarity of vocal to that titanic John Bonham drum sound – Led Zeppelin IV still emits a freshness that belies its age.

Dave Lewis


A Celebration 38 years gone…from my Facebook page:

TBL/DL Throwback Thursday – the younger DL (aged 35 with a fair crop of hair!) on a promotional tour arranged by Omnibus Press for my Led Zeppelin – A Celebration book.

In those days they would arrange a PR man to drive the author around the country for a few days stopping off at major commercial and BBC radio stations to conduct interviews. I think this is at Radio Hallam in Sheffield in September 1991. Incidentally at Radio Nottingham I was joined by John Bonham’s roadie the late Mick Hinton

Four years in the making, it was a proud author with the finished book.

I will always be very thankful to Chris Charlesworth for commissioning and editing the book and to his future wife Lisa for designing it with such skill. These were exciting times as at last I had a Led Zeppelin book on the market via a major publisher …it would not be the last…


DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday treats at the Vinyl Barn – at the always excellent Vinyl Barn last Friday I was well pleased to find another copy of the brilliant 1969 Island Records sampler album Nice Enough To Eat – this one a second pressing on the’ I’ Island label design and in very good condition. I do already have one or two pressings of this gem but you can never have too many Island samplers…thanks Darren!

Recent DL Vinyl Record acquisition 1:

I got this beauty from the recent VIP Music Mania Fair – Joni Mitchell Court And Spark LP, 1974 US promotional copy on white label Asylum Records complete with ‘AirPlay Suggestions’ sticker.


I love the notion that this turned up at a US radio station and they immediately cued up Help Me at 3 mins 22…vinyl history in my hands

Recent DL Vinyl Record 45 RPM single acquisition 2:

Another beauty I picked up recently from Reckless Records – the brilliant 1970 Jethro Tull single Witches Promise/The Teacher – this is a picture sleeve French pressing on the Island label (as opposed to Chrysalis in the UK) and it’s the only time I’ve seen Teacher billed as The Teacher…these are the details that make collecting records such a joy…

Not been feeling great this past couple of weeks for a number of reasons but need to be right on it as there is a lot going on here  with a lot of plates to spin…a new project, TBL 46 prep and the pre Christmas TBL orders to pack. As seen above, there are a number of limited TBL offers that will act as perfect Christmas gifts – don’t miss out – order now…

Dave Lewis  –  November 12 ,2019

Until next time –  have a great  weekend…

TBL Website updates compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy and James Cook

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The TBL/DL Facebook page has regular updates and photos – be sure to check it out.

And follow TBL/DL on Twitter

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  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Mick that is great!

  • Mick Judd said:

    Hi Dave……thought you’d be pleased that Evenings with LED Zeppelin is easily available on bookshops here in Perth, Western Australia. I’ve got my copy and it’s great!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Many thanks Jez!

  • Jez Firth said:

    Brillian insight into a brilliant piece of art. Thanks Dave.

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