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9 March 2016 3,955 views 3 Comments


Robert Plant to perform at Meltown Festival:  

This one via Robert’s official website…

On  June 17th, Robert will join other musicians in an all-day event addressing the refugee crisis as part of Meltdown festival.

He’ll perform during The Boat We’re In, a concert to launch Refugee Week at Southbank Centre in London. Mercury Award-nominated Nick Mulvey and singer-songwriter Nadine Shah will also take part, along with 2016 Meltdown director Guy Garvey. The concert, will also include Southbank Sinfonia and choirs.

Tickets will be on sale to Southbank Centre members on March 16 at 10am, and to general public on March 18 at 10am.

Register for tickets and find out more here


Robert Plant and the Sensational Spaceshifters – US tour: 

The opening dates of Robert and SSS US tour have been very well received. The set list has included the surprise addition of Dancing Days (see YouTube clip below). Florida March 6 set list via LZ News. Below is a review of the show.

alabamaFlorida Concert review via

For Robert Plant, the songs remain the same (but only sort of)

By Tom Szaroleta

Robert Plant could easily walk on stage and play the songs that made him famous just the way that fans remember them. Lots of his contemporaries from the ‘60s and ’70s do just that and make a good living at it.

But that’s not Plant’s style. Sunday night at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, he played plenty of songs from Led Zeppelin, the band he fronted for a thunderous decade. To borrow a phrase from one of those Zeppelin tunes, though, the song remains the same, but only sort of. The words are the same and Plant’s voice is more or less the same, but the music goes off in unexpected directions, driven by Plant’s band, the Sensational Shape Shifters, and some unusual instruments.

The result was well-known rock songs played in a world music style with a strong African influence. On Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” for instance, Jimmy Page’s otherworldly guitar solo was replaced by Juldeh Camara playing the ritti, a one-stringed African bowed instrument, making the song even stranger, if you can imagine such a thing.

Band members banged large hand-held bendir drums, played banjos and upright bass and something that looked like a cross between a dobro and a kid’s toy guitar.

In the midst of it all stood Plant, at 67 still looking fit with long, wavy hair and a bit of grey in his beard but still possessing that freak-of-nature voice. He was relaxed and having fun, joking about playing in “St. Au-GUS-tin.”

His setlist was all over the place, with a fair share of Zeppelin songs (a radically rearranged “Black Dog,” a lovely take on “The Rain Song,” an abbreviated “Dazed and Confused,” an Africanized “Communication Breakdown” and a ferocious encore of “Rock and Roll”), a few solo hits (“Rainbow,” “All the King’s Horses,” “Turn it Up”) and a bunch of very old-school American blues (Howling Wolf’s “Killing Floor,” Robert Johnson “Fixin’ to Die,” Willie Dixon’s “Spoonful” and “I Just Want to Make Love to You”).

A genuine surprise was the opening act, the Sonics. The band formed in the early ‘60s and were among the pioneers of the garage-band sound. After a few minor hits, they broke up in 1967 and didn’t play together again for 40 years. Apparently the time off served them well, because they tore through their set, playing 12 songs in 36 minutes and firing up the crowd, few of whom had even heard of them. Look ‘em up on Youtube; they’re a lot of fun.


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

Upcoming events:

March 6 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in St. Augustine, Florida.
March 7 – 
Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Mobile, Alabama.
March 9 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Jackson, Mississippi.
March 10 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
March 11 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Shreveport, Louisiana.
March 13 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
March 15 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Dallas, Texas.
March 17 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in San Antonio, Texas.
March 18 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Midland, Texas.
March 20 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Austin, Texas.
March 21 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Austin, Texas for Austin City Limits.

July 1 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Rock Werchter music festival in Belgium.
July 2 – 
Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Beauregard Music Festival in France.
July 7 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the NOS Alive Music Festival in Portugal.
July 28 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Austria.
August 2 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Germany.
August 4/5/6/7 – 
Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Wilderness Festival in the UK.

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


Stairway To Heaven live – 45 years Gone:

45 years ago on March 5 1971 , Jimmy Page strapped on a newly acquired Gibson double neck guitar and played the first chords of a new lengthy composition in front of an audience for the first time.

The occasion was Led Zeppelin’s opening date on their UK tour at the Ulster Hall Belfast. The historic photo below captures the moment…

The song was Stairway To Heaven

The rest is history….

As TBL contributor Rikky Rooksby observes in the introduction to his major feature on Stairway To Heaven in the TBL magazine:

‘’Lewis Spence helped inspire it. ‘Tangerine’ anticipated it. Belfast first heard it live. Atlantic wanted to ‘45’ it; two necks are needed to play it; musical instrument shops have banned it; a million guitarists have a version of it. John Paul Jones mellotroned it live and John Bonham’s on only half of it. The O2 Arena got it in G minor rather than A minor, a tone lower than the original. Far Corporation murdered it in 1985, the punks hated it, the Butthole Surfers spoonerized it, there was an Australian album in 1993 with 22 cover versions of it, and generations to come have still the thrill of hearing it for the first time.  People have made love, got married and been buried to it. It is one of the most loathed rock songs … and most loved (though often in secret), because when talk gets round to favourite Led Zeppelin songs the cool answer tends to be ‘Kashmir’ or ‘Achilles Last Stand’. By 1991 the song had received 2,874,000 radio plays, and the album from which it came had sold 37 million copies by 2007.’’

TBL Retro: Here’s a look back to the TBL Stairway To Heaven poll of five years back:


Meanwhile, today we celebrate what is arguably their greatest song by announcing the results of the TBL Stairway To Heaven 40th Anniversary Poll

And the winner is….

Many thanks for the great response to the Stairway To Heaven At 40 Poll.

We can reveal that the fans choice for the greatest version live version of their greatest song is……..

Earls Court May 25th, 1975 – the DVD version

This is the version that was produced by Jimmy Page and can be seen and heard on the 2003 official Led Zeppelin DVD

In second place…

Madison Square Garden July, 1973 – the Song Remains The Same soundtrack version

Fans have displayed great loyalty for the official original live version as produced by Jimmy Page for The Song Remains The Same soundtrack album.

In third place…

Knebworth August 4th, 1979

More lasting affection for one of the most celebrated of Zep appearances.

In fourth place…

Long Beach June 27th 1972 – as produced by Jimmy Page for the How The West Was Won live album released in 2003.

In fifth place…

BBC Paris Theatre In Concert April 1st 1971 – officially released on the BBC Sessions album in 1997

Here is the complete Top 20 listing of the favourite live versions of Stairway To Heaven as voted by readers of the TBL website

1: Stairway To Heaven – Earls Court May 1975 DVD version

2: Stairway To Heaven – Madison Square Garden July 1973 –

From The Song Remains The Same soundtrack album

3: Stairway To Heaven – Knebworth August 4th 1979

4: Stairway To Heaven – Long Beach June 27th 1972 as released officially on

How the West Was One

5: Stairway To Heaven – BBC In Concert April 1st, 1971 – as released officially on the BBC Sessions set in 1997.

6: Stairway To Heaven – Earls Court May 24th, 1975

7: Stairway To Heaven – 02 Arena December 10th 2007

8: Stairway To Heaven – Berkeley September 14th 1971 – from the Going To California bootleg.

9: Stairway To Heaven – LA Forum June 23rd 1977 – from the For BadgeHolders Only bootleg

10: Stairway To Heaven – Berlin July 7th 1980

11: Stairway To Heaven – Knebworth August 11th 1979

12: Stairway To Heaven –Madison Square Garden February 12th 1975

13: Stairway To Heaven – Vienna March 16th 1973

14: Stairway To Heaven – Jimmy Page ARMS Royal Albert Hall September 1983

15: Sairway To Heaven – Seattle Kingdome July 17th 1977

16: Stairway To Heaven – Belfast Ulster Hall March 5th 1971

17: Stairway To Heaven – LA Forum June 3rd 1973 from the Three Days After bootleg

18: Stairway To Heaven – LA Forum June 21st 1977 from the Listen To This Eddie bootleg

19: Stairway To Heaven – Zurich June 29th 1980

20: Stairway To Heaven – Budokan Japan, September 23rd 1971

And here is the winning choice: Stairway To Heaven as performed by Led Zeppelin at Earls Court – May 25th 1975

Stairway To Heaven  – still the pure essence of Led Zeppelin

Long may it reign…

Dave Lewis 


she just satisfies 3

Jimmy Page She Just Satisfies Reissued for Record Store Day April 16 2016:

Universal are making available a limited edition reissue of the 1965 Jimmy Page solo single She Just Satisfies/Keep Moving as part of Record Store Day.

Here’s the info via the RSD website:

Originally released in February 1965, ‘She Just Satisfies’ came towards the end of Page’s prolific career as a session musician. He’d already picked up some co-writing credits with then-girlfriend Jacke DeShannon and owing in no small part to her encouragement Page cut this track. Barring the drums, Jimmy played all the instruments and for the first and only time also provided lead vocals, making ‘She Just Satisfies’ a fascinating artefact from one of the greatest guitarists and songwriters of all time. With originals regularly commanding prices in excess of £500, this reissue for record Store Day comes backed with original B-side ‘Keep Moving’ and with reproduction original Fontana label and sleeve.


george martin

Sir George Martin 1926 – 2016:

I read the news today oh boy – and the news really was rather sad…Sir George Martin has passed away aged 90.

Genius producer..the fifth Beatle -he led them to musical greatness. George also worked with many other artists including Cilla Black, America and Jeff Beck. His legacy is assured and his contributions to so many records will continue to be admired and loved for generations ahead.


DL Diary Blog Update:

barn march 4

Friday treats at the Vinyl Barn Bedford last Friday  – after a tiring week vinyl redemption was required –Alice Cooper early album Pretties For You on US Warner Bros, a very nice Gerry and The Pacemakers Greatest Hits on Australian Columbia label, Genesis And Then There Were Three single sleeve import and 1975 solo album from Elton John band drummer Nigel Olsson on Rocket Records – lovely! Thanks Darren.

Not been feeling in the greatest of health this week but the show has been rolling on – there’s been further design work on the forthcoming TBL issue 41.For that issue,  Nick Anderson has come in with a superb Collectors Column that hones in on the rare pressings of the Presence album as it nears it’s 40th anniversary. There’s also been more preparation on the Evenings With Led Zeppelin project.

Shame Tottenham could not hang on to that 2-1 lead over Arsenal and it’s still all to play for though incredibly, Leicester just keep on winning.

Good to see Robert back out there pleasing the crowds – aside from his Meltdown appearance an indoor UK date or two with SSS would be most welcomed ahead.

George martin 3On the player: the In My Life compilation of the work of Sir George Martin – including an awesome version of A Day In The Life by Jeff Beck. Zep wise it’s been the BBC April 1 1971 In Concert as it’s nearly that time of year again and in the light of March 5 being the 45th anniversary of Stairway being performed live. Plus The Rolling Stone Sticky Fingers and John Coltrane A Love Supreme.

Finally this one has been on from the DL collection: By George – The George Martin Orchestra album from 1969 – To Sir With Love, Alfie, I Am The Walrus…a  quite brilliant showcase of the master producer… RIP..


Dave Lewis – March 9,  2016


YouTube clips:

Robert Plant and The Sensational Spaceshifters:

Robert Plant and The Sensational Spaceshifters

Robert Plant and The Sensational Spaceshifters

Until next time…

Have a great weekend..

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – March 9, 2016.

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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)


  • Keith Lambert said:

    Hi Dave,

    Interesting stuff re the STH poll.

    I’m surprised that the Offenburg ’73 rendition didn’t get a vote 5 years ago; what a blistering solo that was!



  • KEVIN CURRY said:

    Hi Dave

    I bought a copy of She just satisfies from a record shop in Kentish Town London in 1980, it cost me £30 this copy has the white strip not for sale on it. In 2003 i was lucky enough to win a competition toth meet Jimmy and he signed it for me i wonder what it is worth now,for me it is priceless.Keep up the good work

  • Ian D said:

    George Martin – Innovator, aural sculptor, possessor of an open mind and an open ear. Above all a true Gent. Never forget his pre-fab work in Comedy/ Light Entertainment with the likes of Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Bernard Cribbins, Beyond the Fridge and Flanders & Swann. Nor his championing of the independent production with AIR.

    RIP George, thank you for the music.

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