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ROBERT PLANT LOVE ROCKS IN NYC/LZ NEWS/TBL ARCHIVE – BELFAST 1971 AND 2001/LZ STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN MASTERS UK TOUR/HAL BLAINE & DAVE LAING RIP/CODA BEDFORD REVIEW/AUGUST 4 TBL EVENT/ DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

12 March 2019 1,579 views 5 Comments

Robert Plant at  Love Rocks NYC, The Beacon Theatre, New York City, March 7th, 2019:

TBL on the spot report from Dave Roberts…

Back in January, tickets went on sale for the 3rd annual Love Rocks NYC. This is an organization that prepares and delivers meals to residents of New York City that are very ill, and can not prepare meals for themselves.

When I saw that Robert Plant was headlining, partnered with my wife Cindy’s birthday, I immediately headed to Ticketmaster . Much to my surprise, I was able to purchase 2 tickets in the 1st row, of the lower balcony. Great for taking pictures, no one standing in front of you.
The 2019 version of Love Rocks NYC would again be held at the incredible Beacon Theatre. The venue is breathtaking inside, and has been the sight of many milestone events since 1929. The capacity is 2,894 seated. Two events that come to mind are Martin Scorsese’s movie ‘Shine A Light’ with the Rolling Stones, and Joe Bonamassa’s Beacon Theatre, Live from New York.As we landed in New York the morning of the show, I couldn’t help but wonder with all the artists on the bill, how is this going to work. I would soon find out.One of the hosts for the evening, Whoopi Goldberg, was known to be not well for the last month. Upon arriving at the venue, we were informed that actor / comedian Bill Murray would be stepping in.

As I stood in line waiting for security to open the gates, I started to think about the relationship Led Zeppelin has with the city. From the filming of the movie ‘ The Song Remains The Same’ to the marathon shows in 1975 and 1977 at Madison Square Garden to the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert, their last North American concert. Although I never attended a Led Zeppelin concert in New York City, many of the people in line had, and were willing to share their memories.

Upon entering the theatre, I asked a hostess what time was the curfew. She said to me this is New York, it will be over when it’s over. That’s great perfect answer.
We went to our seats at 07:30 pm for the 08:00 pm start to take in the atmosphere. Very friendly people around us.

At 08:15 the lights darkened, and we were about to get underway. First up was Grace Potter who opened with the Jefferson Airplane song ‘White Rabbit’ . She then sang Credence Clear Water Revival’s ‘Proud Mary’ This would be the template for the evening with most artists performing one or two songs.

Between artists, Martin Short, Bill Murray, Kevin Bacon, and Chevy Chase would entertain the crowd, and remind us to continue to support the charity.
The following is the order the artists performed prior to Robert Plant: Jimmie Vaughan with Doyle Bramhall II, Larkin Poe, Lukas Nelson, Buddy Guy, Ivan Neville, Marcus King, Keb’ Mo’ , Taj Mahal, Hozier, Mavis Staples, Sheryl Crow, Billy F Gibbons, followed by Ann and Nancy Wilson, who had not performed together since 2016.By this time it was getting close to midnight, and barring any surprises, Robert Plant was up next.

 

With that, the six backing vocalists from the house band congregated at centre stage. Then Robert appeared and joined them.
The first song was an old Elvis Presley song called ‘Don’t’ . The harmonies were absolutely brilliant. As I was watching the song, based on what I have read, it has a very similar sound to Robert’s band Saving Grace.

Second song was another Elvis song called ‘A Mess Of Blues’ Jimmie Vaughan joined Robert on this one, and did an excellent job of recreating that old 1950’s sound on the guitar.

Third song was ‘Rich Woman’. For this one Robert invited Cheryl Crow to join him. The version they performed was very similar to the one Robert recorded with Alison Krauss on Raising Sand.

Fourth song was Led Zeppelin’s ‘Black Dog’. Robert asked Sheryl to stick around for one more, which she was thrilled to do. Again this version was in the style of the version with Alison Krauss.

Fifth song was Led Zeppelin’s ‘Thank You’. This was my personal favourite of the night. There is a excellent version on YouTube from the show.

The sixth song of the night was Shake, Rattle and Roll. For this song, Lukas Nelson, Jimmie Vaughan, Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Taj Mahal, and Grace Potter returned to the stage to help out. The vocals moved from musician to musician, and was extremely impressive given the first time they rehearsed the song was that afternoon.

The seventh and final song of the night was Traffic’s ‘Feelin’ Alright’. All the musicians that had contributed their talents to this glorious night returned to the stage. After the song the artists stayed on the stage to socialize with each other. There was a genuine level of admiration between the artists. Robert was clearly the number one priority for all of them to savour the moment.

I looked at my IPhone, and it was 12:30am Friday morning. I guess the hostess was right, this is New York.

Dave Roberts

Many thanks to Dave for that great report and superb photos.

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 Led Zeppelin News Update:

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

Led Zeppelin

Jimmy Page

  • Jimmy Page has started a planning battle with his other neighbour. As well as his three-year feud with Robbie Williams over a planned basement extension, Page is now objecting to an application by his other neighbour to install air conditioning units. Page claims that the proposal will interfere with his “sound workshop.”

Robert Plant

  • Patty Griffin’s self-titled new album, which features Robert Plant on two tracks, was released on March 8. Plant appears on the tracks “What Now” and “Coins.”

Upcoming events:

March 28 – John Paul Jones will perform in London with Thurston Moore and Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in support of Seth Lakeman.
April 8 – The “Play It Loud: Instruments Of Rock And Roll” exhibition, featuring Led Zeppelin items, will open at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
April 13 – Robert Plant will release a remastered edition of “Fate of Nations” on vinyl for Record Store Day.
June 13 – Robert Plant will perform in Stockholm, Sweden.
June 15 – Robert Plant will perform at Bergenfest in Norway.
June 17 – Robert Plant will perform at The Big Challenge festival in Norway.
June 19 – Robert Plant will perform in Harstad, Norway.
June 21 – Robert Plant will perform in Bodø, Norway.
June 23 – Robert Plant will perform at the Secret Solstice music festival in Iceland.
June 25 – Robert Plant will perform in Tromsø, Norway.
June 27 – Robert Plant will perform in Svalbard, Norway.
June 29 – Robert Plant will perform in Svalbard, Norway.
July 2 – Robert Plant will perform in Halden, Norway.
July 4 – Robert Plant will perform at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark.
August 16-18 – Robert Plant will reportedly perform at the Woodstock 50 festival in New York.
September 20-21 – The 2019 John Bonham memorial concert is scheduled to be held in Redditch.
November – The “Play It Loud: Instruments Of Rock And Roll” exhibition will move to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Many thanks to James Cook.

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

Led Zeppelin News Website: Check out the Led Zeppelin news website at

http://ledzepnews.com/

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TBL  Archive Special:

Remembering the Ulster Hall Belfast March 5, 1971 and March 5, 2001:

48 years ago last Tuesday, 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 song was Stairway To Heaven

Here is a celebration of this anniversary of a special song.

This TBL Archive feature looks back to the events that took place on the 30th anniversary of that first airing of Stairway To Heaven and the Led Zeppelin performance back in 1971…

18 years ago popular tribute band Simply Led came up with a very clever idea – they decided to book the Ulster Hall in Belfast to perform a special anniversary concert 30 years ago to the very day Led Zeppelin had staged that opening night of their UK tour when Stairway To Heaven was first played – and in the very hall that first echoed to the sounds of what would become such an iconic composition.

I was invited to go over to cover the event for TBL – it was a fantastic success. There was a genuine sense of history in being in the vicinity where Led Zeppelin had performed all those years ago. Simply Led played superbly and the people of the city were incredibly friendly and receptive. The comment from one fan afterwards  ‘’Thanks for bringing Led Zeppelin’s music back to Belfast’’ said it all.

There’s a poignancy about reflecting on this occasion as sadly, Simply Led’s drummer Paul Kelvie passed away in 2006.

So this piece is dedicated to Paul who 18 years ago, along with Eddie Edwards, Keith Lambert and Phil Elridge reunited the Led Zeppelin fans of Belfast in fitting style –all in the very place where Stairway To Heaven was first performed live.

Remembering Led Zeppelin at the Ulster Hall

Belfast Re-unites Under Simply Led

March 5th 2001: Another cold Monday. Another journey. Today I’m bound for Belfast to celebrate a very special Zeppelin related anniversary. For 30 years ago on this very day Led Zeppelin took a Trident Hovercraft across the Irish sea to perform what would be their only concerts in the Emerald Isle. On the evening of Friday March 5TH 1971 they performed their opening show of the so called “Back to the clubs tour” at the Ulster Hall, Belfast. During their set that night they unveiled a new composition due to appear on their forthcoming fourth album. It was called Stairway To Heaven. Five million radio plays later…

30 years on the London-based tribute band Simply Led have hit upon a very novel and ambitious idea. Tonight they will perform a special anniversary tribute concert at the Ulster Hall – scene of that history making evening for Led Zeppelin back in 1971. Particularly ambitious when you consider this is only their second gig together.

Tribute bands of course are now an accepted part of the live gig scene. Any half renowned or much missed ex-mega group has anything up to half dozen would be copyists trouping up and down the pub circuit. Zeppelin are well served and I have immense respect for the likes of Fred Zeppelin, Whole Lotta Led, Stairway to Zeppelin, Let’s Zep who pack ’em in week in week out.

Simply Led’s Belfast plan, as I said, is massively ambitious, and they have done their homework. Singer Keith Lambert had come over a month back to launch the idea at a press conference which garnered much local coverage. Ticket sales have been brisk with already 600 sold. Bass and keyboardist Eddie Edwards assures me they have rehearsed intensely to do the real thing justice on the night. For my part it’s an opportunity to support Eddie, a long-term TBL associate (notably his Song Remains dissection in TBL 13) and spread the TBL word in a new territory. Despite the foot and mouth scare and the freezing weather, the flight out of Luton goes to plan and I meet up with the band around mid day. Andy Adams is in tow to lend them a hand and we walk down with Eddie to view the Ulster Hall in the afternoon. Morale is well high by this time – ticket sales have exceeded all expectations with a good chance of over 1,000 likely to witness the show.

As we walk around the balcony of the grand hall it begins to get exciting. There is a genuine sense of history about the place which is smaller than I expected and one of the most impressive venues I’ve ever seen. The vantage point over the stage up on the balcony is superb and you can’t help thinking how incredible it must have been to have viewed the original 1971 show from up here.

Eddie and his boys are understandably more than nervous as they arrive for the soundcheck and run down extremely competent versions of Heartbreaker and The Wanton Song amongst others.

Andy and I set up a display and stall in the foyer and head over to the pub for some pre -gig banter with the local Irish contingent already in. Everyone is really friendly and so keen to witness tonight’s celebration. Over at the Ulster Hall a couple of hundred fans are snaking their way around the hall eager for the doors to open.

DL inside the historic Ulster Hall Belfast – March 5th 2001

There’s aready  a great sense of occasion in the air. Original 1971 promoter Jim Aiken comes over to view the scene. “This is so special to be witnessing this again,” he tells me. “I can remember how excited we all were to get them here at the time. Nobody apart from Rory of course and a few others bothered to play Belfast. We still talk about the night Zeppelin came…”

It’s a wonderful cross section of fans who mill around the foyer. The elders who remember that momentous night 30 years ago, some bringing their off-spring’s to hear the songs that made such a troubled place at one with itself all those years back. There’s also lots of younger fans in attendance not even born when Zeppelin played their final gig in 1980. It makes for a very boisterous atmosphere and from the moment Simply Led take the stage and chug into the Immigrant Song/ Heartbreaker double whammy that was a staple part of the ’71 Zep set, well that sense of occasion is duly shared by band and audience alike.

I must say that in the weeks leading up to the gig I had my doubts that they could pull this off convincingly. It’s a pleasure to be proved so wrong. A combination of this being the right anniversary at the right time in exactly the right place makes the next couple of hours an absolute joy.

This is no mere tribute concert. This is an event and Simply Led rise to the occasion.

Highlights: Guitarist Phil Eldridge’s fluid Gibson work during Over The Hills, Keith Lambert’s pleasing ad-libs (“Acapulco gold”) and pre-’73 high vocal register, Paul Kelvie’s drumming superb throughout the show – as good a Bonham-inspired performance you will see this side of Michael Lee. Eddie Edwards strong feel for Jonesy’s musicianship evident in a compact No Quarter and an ambitious and suitably emotional Stairway. Finally a rousing Whole Lotta Love and Rock And Roll brings to a close a striking performance. Throughout it all I couldn’t help thinking that right here in this very hall exactly 30 years to the, moment Led Zeppelin were making history. I’m sure it was an emotion shared by many in attendance. The atmosphere as the crowd spill into the foyer is a joy to be part of. It’s more than evident that Simply Led have captured the spirit of Zeppelin very well indeed.

Back stage the band themselves are justifiably triumphant. “They’ll never believe this back home,” says Eddie. And I guess unless I’d witnessed it myself I’d probably have been of the same opinion.

As I mentioned earlier the fundamental reason this all came together was the location and timing. Coupled of course with Simply Led’s enthusiasm, musical prowess and sheer determination to pull it off.

Belfast was a very special gig for any band back in those troubled times of ’71. For a band of Led Zeppelin’s stature to come and perform here was a real event. On tonight’s turnout that gesture way back in ’71 has obviously not been forgotten by the people of Belfast.

The whole evening is wonderfully summed up by the excited comment of one of the elder generation of Zep fans here tonight.

“Thanks for bringing Led Zeppelin’s music back to Belfast,” he tells Andy on the way out. It’s an accolade echoing throughout this historic venue. And that’s some accolade for a tribute band playing only their second gig,

Simply Led have every reason to feel very proud of themselves because tonight in Belfast they paid homage to a very special concert in Led Zeppelin’s history.

And in doing so they reunited the people of Belfast just as the real thing had done on a similar cold Irish night 30 years ago. It was simply remarkable.  

Dave Lewis, March 6th 2001

Simply Led  Belfast March 5th 2001 -Paul Kelvie, Eddie Edwards, Keith Lambert, Phil Eldridge

Remembering Led Zeppelin at  the Ulster Hall 1971: Recalled in 2001 by those that were there…

“The concert was absolutely unbelievable, I was 15 years old and so close to my idols. I was in the seats behind the stage. It is just a moment of great posterity for me in terms of the age I was and seeing the band I loved. I also saw Zeppelin at Earl’s Court but it could never match the intimacy of that night in the Ulster Hall.” Noel Thompson, now a BBC Newsnight reporter.

“It was brilliant. In those days nobody played Belfast unless they were Irish like Taste or Thin Lizzy. To see Led Zeppelin was so enjoyable. It put Belfast-on the map. Stairway To Heaven did not stand out on the night, but I later saw them perform it to 100,000 fans at Knebworth. A lot different to the 1,500 who saw it in 1971.” Mervyn Jones, now a Belfast Councillor.

“When I heard Stairway performed that night I knew it was something special. We were in the front row of the balcony. Whenever I hear that song the memories of that night in Belfast come flooding back to me.” Trevor Haslett, Killinchy

TBL Archive Special part 2:

Here’s a review from TBL 15 of the then newly surfaced Belfast March 5th 1971 tape:

March 5th tape ensures this historic night will never be forgotten


Led Zeppelin on stage at the Ulster Hall Belfast, March 5th 1971. Photo G. Irwin.

Led Zeppelin’s decision to visit Belfast as part of their spring 1971 UK tour was heralded as a very brave move back in 1971. Few rock artists included it on their intinery due to the escalating political situation and threat of rioting. Earlier in the year T.Rex had pulled out of a planned appearance in Belfast. The Zeppelin concert itself was played out to the background of far off Friday night disturbances in the troubled parts of the city.

Until recently the only recorded remnant of that Irish visit was their March 6th date at Dublin’s Boxing Stadium. Now in a perfect piece of timing, a very rare recording has emerged of the Belfast Ulster Hall show. It was captured by one Norman Hanna – 20 years old at the time. He smuggled-in a newly purchased Phillips cassette recorder and taped the show some two thirds of the way back with the cassette machine positioned on the floor.

Unsurprisingly this newly discovered tape has been negotiated into the hands of the ever enterprising Japanese label Empress Valley and will probably have emerged by the time you are reading this as a deluxe four CD set containing the Belfast and Dublin shows.

The set will include a fourteen page booklet with photos and press cuttings from their Irish shows. This includes reproduction extracts from the review of the show featured in the Northern Ireland newspaper City Week.

Of the fifteen UK dates that comprised the Spring ’71 Back to the clubs tour only the aforementioned Dublin show and the officially released April 1 BBC In Concert recordings have emerged until now. This Belfast recording is therefore most welcome.

The tape recording quality is fair to good for the time – a little distorted and with occasional interference but mostly very listenable.

The most striking aspect of hearing it is the sheer force and determination in their playing. This opening night of their ’71 campaign was their first gig in over five months -the longest lay off so far in their career. It followed an eight week period of intensive recording sessions for their fourth album conducted at Island Studios and on location at Headley Grange.

It’s evident they were itching to air the newly recorded material in a live setting. Before those historic premieres we hear them storm through the then customary Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker opening.

Witnessing this in the Ulster Hall must have been extraordinary. Plant extends the vocal shrieks and the Page solo is just completely out there. Off mic you can occasionally hear the excited babble of Irish accents from the crowd. Then it’s a relaxed run through of Since I’ve Been Loving You. Plant on absolute peak form attaining the high pitched notes with ease. Black Dog is the first of the new songs employing the opening riff of Out On The Tiles. It’s back to the greatest hits for a no-nonsense, compact, Dazed And Confused,

More history making follows: Stairway To Heaven live performance number one. A straight rendering slightly tentative with Page playing the unfamiliar, but soon to become more than familiar, tune on the newly acquired Gibson double neck guitar. It suffers slightly here due to cuts and a high pitched sound from the original recording.

Evidence that the softer side of their playing as deployed on Zep 3 would still be present on their forthcoming album was duly demonstrated by the performance of the new Page/ Plant composition Going To California.

The more familiar Zep 2 standards What Is And What Should Never Be and a powerful Moby Dick take us into the finale – the now expected Whole Lotta Love medley including Let That Boy Boogie, Honey Bee and The Lemon Song.

The encores are just plain shattering. A thrashing Communication Breakdown followed by the debut live performance of Rock And Roll – then known as It’s Been A Long Time. A final welcomed bonus brings this historic recording to an end. There’s quite a delay before they get around to performing and it’s evident they are trying to work out what to play. They opt for a rarely played post 1970 version of Bring It On Home performed in a unique delivery sans vocals and harp in the final section.

“If everybody was like this to each other every day there would be no problems,” Plant can be heard to inform the audience just before the second encore. A nostalgic and relevant comment of the times.

Which is exactly what this Belfast discovery represents. It’s a true document of the band at a crucial moment.

Flushed with the massive success of the past, fresh from a welcomed lay off and enthused by the studio sessions that provided yet more new on stage impetus, this is prime 1971 Led Zeppelin.

In short, this tape is a brilliant reminder of how good they were at that stage of their career. Freeze-framing a period when they were receiving deserved mass popularity and acclaim at a time when they were also producing some of their most powerful and vital work.

Incredibly it all happened thirty years ago. The Belfast people haven’t forgotten. Thankfully, the emergence of this tape will make sure they never do.  

Dave Lewis –  March 23rd 2001

And finally….

The way we were…March 1971

Here are some of the events that were happening 40 years ago as Led Zeppelin toured arund the UK….

LED ZEPPELIN 3 CLIMBED BACK UP TO NUMBER FOUR ON THE UK ALBUM CHART.

GEORGE HARRISON WAS AT NUMBER ONE ON BOTH THE SINGLES AND ALBUM CHARTS WITH MY SWEET LORD AND ALL THINGS MUST PASS

THE ROLLING STONES KICKED OFF WHAT MANY CONSIDERED WOULD BE THEIR FINAL UK TOUR AT BRISTOL’S COLSTON HALL

IRON BUTTERFLY, THE BAND ZEPPELIN SUPPORTED ON THEIR FIRST US TOUR, ANNOUNCED THEY WERE DISBANDING

THE UK WAS EXPERIENCING ITS FIRST MONTH OF DECIMILISATION AND STILL IN THE THROES OF A GENERAL POSTAL STRIKE

NEWLY RELEASED ALBUMS INCLUDED NICK DRAKE’S BRYTER LATER, THE FACES’ LONG PLAYER AND SOFT MACHINE FOUR. NEW SINGLES JUST OUT INCLUDED JOHN LENNON’S POWER TO THE PEOPLE, DEEP PURPLE WITH STRANGE KINDA WOMAN AND BOB DYLAN’S IF NOT FOR YOU

CHOICE GIGS OF THE MONTH INCLUDED CURVED AIR AND GENESIS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX FOR 62 NEW PENCE AND HAWKWIND AND THE PINK FARIES AT THE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON.

ON TV ATOMIC ROOSTER AND LEON RUSSELL WERE GUESTS ON BBC2’S DISCO 2 WHILE THE ANDY WILLIAMS SHOW INCLUDED RAY CHARLES, ELTON JOHN AND CASS ELLIOT

NEW FILMS AT THE CINEMA INCLUDED LOVE STORY STARRING RYAN O’NEAL AND ALI MACGRAW AND BARBARA STREISAND IN THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT.

IN FOOTBALL, FOLLOWING THEIR GIANT KILLING FIFTH ROUND 3-2 VICTORY OVER LEEDS IN THE FA CUP, COLCHESTER WERE BEATEN 5-0 BY EVERTON IN THE SIXTH ROUND. IN THE SAME ROUND ARSENAL DEFEATED LEICESTER 1-0 IN A REPLAY ON THEIR WAY TO SECURING THEIR CUP AND LEAGUE DOUBLE.

With thank to Eddie Edwards and Keith Lambert

Dedicated to Paul Kelvie 1961 – 2006

The above text all first published in Tight But Loose issue 15, 2001.

Check out  Eddie Edward’s superb dissection of various Led Zeppelin releases at

http://www.thegardentapes.co.uk/

MORE 1971 MEMORIES NEXT TIME

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 Stairway To Heaven – Led Zeppelin Masters UK Tour:

Two years on from their last visit,  ‘Stairway To Heaven: Led Zeppelin Masters’ are back in the UK  for a ten date tour that kicks off next on April 2 in Liverpool and concludes with a London date at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo on April 14.

Fronted by vocalist Vince Contarino and bolstered by an impressive  thirty-five-piece The Black Dog Orchestra, Led Zeppelin Masters is an ambitious concert presentation. I was well impressed when I caught the show at the London Palladium back in April 2017 and I am aiming to be at the April 14 London show.

”Stairway To Heaven Led Zeppelin Masters offer a hugely entertaining proposition. This is the Zep catalogue performed with a grandeur that befits the big stage surroundings”

That was how I summed up their appearance two years ago – the venues they are appearing at this time out should replicate that sense of occasion.

Ticket details via their website see link at

https://www.ledzeppelinmasters.com/

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John Paul Jones 100 Club – March 28,2019 ticket on offer:

Long time TBL supporter Gerd Zaundig  from Germany was planning to visit John Paul Jones + Thurston Moore at 100 Club on 28th March 2019 in London. However he cannot make it to the gig and has a spare ticket for sale. If you are intetted in buying this email Gerd at

gzaunig@t-online.de

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Hal Blaine 1929 – 2019:

Very sad to hear the passing of the great session drummer Hal Blaine aged 90 – this via the  Classic Rock website:

Hal Blaine, a member of the legendary Los Angeles group of session musicians The Wrecking Crew, has died at the age of 90.

The news was confirmed in a post by his family on Facebook, which read, “Hal Blaine – loving father of Michelle Blaine; grandfather of Anthony, Josh, Aaron, Whitney, Tempest, Ever and Lyryk; and inspiration to countless friends, fans and musicians – has passed on today, March 11th, 2019 at the age of 90. 

“May he rest forever on 2 and 4. The family appreciates your outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Hal from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning. No further details will be released at this time.” 

On Twitter, Brian Wilson wrote, “I’m so sad, I don’t know what to say. Hal Blaine was such a great musician and friend that I can’t put it into words. Hal taught me a lot, and he had so much to do with our success – he was the greatest drummer ever. We also laughed an awful lot. Love, Brian”

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Dave Laing 1947 – 2019:

I was recently catching up with Mojo magazine and saw the very sad news that the pioneering rock journalist Dave Laing had passed away on January 7 at the age of 71

Dave Laing came to my notice in 1972 when I saw the first issue of a new rock magazine titled Let it Rock in our local newsagents. Let It Rock was a forerunner of the monthly mags such as Q, Mojo and Uncut – it was way ahead of its time.

I was already an avid reader of the NME, Melody Maker, Disc Record Mirror and Sounds but this was something altogether more specialist. It was edited by Dave Laing and featured the work of esteemed writers such as Charlie Gillett ,Phil Hardy, Pete Fowler, Simon Frith, Richard Williams and John Tobler to name a few  Alongside profiles of all the current acts (Bowie was the first cover subject) it was very good on exploring the heritage of rock –which at that time was a mere 16 years old – the age I was when I first bought Let It Rock.

So impressed with the magazine, I that I took out a monthly subscription. The sound of that mag dropping through the letter box was a highlight of any month – and that thrill of something tangible coming into my world was definitely an influence on my intention to produce my own Led Zeppelin magazine

Along with the work of the likes of Nick Kent, Charlie Shaar Murray and Roy Carr, Let it Rock greatly inspired me to put pen to paper and write about this thing called rock music. In my Dents Road bedroom, I began writing my own reviews – early ones included a review of Led Zeppelin’s Alexandra Palace appearance, the Paul McCartney and Wings album Red Rose Speedway, Zep’s Houses Of The Holy and The Rolling Stones Goats Head Soup. I also wrote a few Top Ten columns – one of the highlights of any issue of Let It Rock was the Top Ten column where a particular the writer would draw attention to ten tracks he was digging every month. The column featured Charlie Gillett, Stephen Barnard and later ex Melody Maker writer Richard Williams.

In the November 1972 issue, they ran a superb six page feature dissecting the Bob Dylan bootleg catalogue. It motivated me to search out these illicit rare recordings and within a month of that amazing feature ,via an advert in Sounds the first two I purchased were Led Zeppelin Live on Blueberry Hill and Boy Dylan Royal Albert hall 1966. It set me off on a quest to invest in as many bootleg LPs as I could.

The subject of bootlegs would form the content of a letter I wrote in to the Let It Rock letters page in late 1973. Imagine my delight early in February 1974 when I scanned the current issue and discovered I had secured the featured letter on the letters page.

My impassioned words stated:

‘’Over the past year there have been manty fine features in Let It Rock but by far the most interesting were the rare and unreleased articles. It’s about time these recordings were given more space in the music press. Who cares if record company and artists lose out Just let it rock regardless

David Lewis, Bedford.

This was the first time I had ever had anything in print and it was a massive thrill. It led me to continue writing my own reviews at that time still for an audience of one. Some five years later the platform of a journal all about my greatest musical love Led Zeppelin would finally get my words read far and wide.

Let it Rock covered a wide spectrum of artists and they opened my ears to the likes of The Allman Brothers, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder and many others. The also did superb overviews on the likes of Slade, Rod Stewart and The Who. Led Zeppelin appeared in a major cover feature May 1975 issue. A fantastic shot of Robert Plant from the recent 1975 US tour adorned the cover – it remains one of my all time fave covers of the band. The feature written by future Jimmy Page biographer Chris Salewicz  begged the question – ”Led Zeppelin are they good, bad or just enormously rich?”.

I have most of my original Let It Rock magazines and they are still a source of much journalist inspiration.

Dave went on to write various books notably The Encyclopdia Of Rock which I purchased – he later worked on the trade paper Music Week which I also avidly read when I was working in the record retailing business.

Dave Laing’s skill at editing and presenting compelling analysis and comment on music of a variety of styles in that wonderful Let It Rock magazine that came my way every month from late 1972 to 1975, did so much to shape my own vision of how enlightening a music magazine could be. A vision that would lead me to creating the Tight But Loose magazine.

His magazine and writing team really did let it rock in print …

For that I have much to thank him for – RIP Dave.

Here’s Dave’s obituary in The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/jan/14/dave-laing-obituary

Dave Lewis, March 11,2019

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My thoughts on…

Coda – A Tribute To Led Zeppelin Esquires Bedford –March 9, 2019:

Set List: First half: Good Times Bad Times, Ramble On, Custard Pie, Wanton Song, Going To California, That’s The Way, Thank You, Heartbreaker ,Living loving Maid, Whole Lotta Love

Second half: The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, When the Levee Breaks, The Ocean, Over the Hills And Far Away, Kashmir, Stairway To Heaven, – encores Rock And Roll, Black Dog

One look at the above set lists tells the story really. Coda nailed the Zep legacy to the walls of Esquires and they did so with a verve and swagger that sent the crowd into delirium – the good lady Janet and me included!

First half highlights included the crunching side by side assault of Custard Pie and the Wanton Song and a similar effective pairing of Heartbreaker and Living Loving Maid as they appear on Zep II.

The second half opened with The Song Remains The Same/Rain Song -another nod to the masterful Zep sequencing on Houses Of The Holy. A compelling When The Levee Breaks was followed by joyous deliveries of The Ocean and Over The Hills And Far Away and Kashmir, This all led to a fitting Stairway To Heaven finale and celebratory encores of Rock And Roll and Black Dog .

44 years ago this week my good friend Dec was about to queue for tickets for Phil Harris (who was with me tonight) and I to see the real thing at Earls Court. The notion that four decades on,their music would be celebrated on a stage in our home town by musicians not even born then would have been a fairly farfetched one.

But such is the remarkable lasting legacy of Led Zeppelin that is exactly the way it is.

It’s a legacy that Adam Rose-Alison, Peter Byrne, Simon Wicker and Rob Deery more than do justice to. Coda brought the spirit of Led Zeppelin well and truly alive again at Esquires last night and it was an absolute joy to witness it…

Dave Lewis, March 10,2019.

……………………………..

DL Diary Blog Update:

 

Coda at Esquires…

A simply fantastic night.Beforehand, there was a big TBL crew turn out at the Foresters pub across the road from Esquires.

It was an absolute pleasure to be in the company of Andy Adams who travelled up with the band. Andy and I go back a long way and the spirit and bond that we created at the 1992 Led Zeppelin UK Convention shines ever brighter.

Also in attendance Cliff ‘the ticket man’ Hilliard with news of some new record acquisitions , Ian Avey, Jez Firth, Steve and Anne Marie, Jenny, Graham, Nick, DC, Roy and Phil Harris.

The good lady Janet and I also caught up with our nephew Simon Conway -it was fantastic to see him and he was, as we were, mighty impressed with the Coda performance.

I did get a little over excited and as can be seen in the pic, I made a bit of stage invader comeback some 42 years after leaping on stage with The Who. I also managed to fall our of the taxi outside our house into a puddle of mud – I think I thought I was 21 again!

 

 

All in all, a fabulous night one that emphasised the love we have for this lasting legacy of music and the fun that can be had enjoying it with like minded people – it was indeed a TBL comes alive occasion.

It’s been back to the TBL hub here this week to crack on with promoting TBL issue 44 and packing mags – and prep on projects ahead.

DL Vinyl record acquisition latest: At the excellent Slide Record shop in Bedford last week,  I was well pleased to pick up the 1966 Peter and Gordon album original UK pressing on Columbia .This has a contribution from John Paul Jones – the track Black, Brown And Gold is credited as ‘’John Paul Jones and Orchestra’’ – a typically classy mid 60s arrangement. Thanks Warren!

 

Knebworth gathering reminder:

40 Anniversary TBL Celebration Anniversary Event:

Sunday August 4, 2019: A date for your dairy…and to see if your Led Zep Knebworth T-shirt still fits….

Following on from last September’s hugely enjoyable Led Zeppelin 50th Anniversary ‘It’s been a Long Time’ TBL gathering, later this year we are going back to the excellent Atlas pub in Fulham,London to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Led Zeppelin performing those two memorable shows at Kneb-worth – 40 years to the day of the first date, and this time around there’s no sleeping bag required….

Dave Lewis and Julian Walker Present:

Led Zeppelin at Knebworth 40 Years Gone – No Sleeping Bag Required…

40 Anniversary TBL Celebration Anniversary Event
Sunday, August 4, 2019

Make a date in your diary for this one if you can make it along- ticket details to follow in April.

Dave Lewis – March 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.

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5 Comments »

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Great words ED

  • Ed- Washington DC said:

    “Belfast was a very special gig for any band back in those troubled times of ’71. For a band of Led Zeppelin’s stature to come and perform here was a real event. On tonight’s turnout that gesture way back in ’71 has obviously not been forgotten by the people of Belfast”

    —–

    In the context of the times, this was an amazingly brave booking for the band and it speaks to the scrotal fortitude which Peter Grant brought to the proceedings. As your article indicates, few if any show business appearances were placed in the Belfast of the early seventies, or Ulster more generally, in recognition of the unpredictable violence. Van Morrison himself would avoid playing his hometown for more than a decade.

    This is what leadership looks like, and Peter Grant had an instinct for where and when to plant his flag. That it marks the first live appearance of Stairway adds to it poignancy. It was a staggeringly bold decision, and its stature as a remarkable gesture has grown in retrospect.

  • Andrew Marcus said:

    Dave Paris 4/2/73 is on Led Zep Boots. I’m sure you probably know but just in case. These shows never got the same exposure as the German tour. But this sounds killer! Especially TSRTS and The Rain Song even though it’s incomplete.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks Andy it was some night indeed!

  • Andy Adams said:

    It was a fabulous night Dave, and great to catch up with you, the good lady Janet and a fair few others on Saturday. And Coda were outstanding too! So reassuring and at the same time incredible we still have the same passion and verve for all of this, all of 27 years since that magical weekend at the Royal National Hotel my friend!

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