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ROBERT PLANT ON THE OCCASION OF HIS BIRTHDAY /SAVING GRACE GIG/LZ NEWS/JIMMY PAGE & ROBERT PLANT MTV UNLEDDED 25 YEARS GONE – TBL ARCHIVE PART ONE/ATLAS TBL GATHERING/ WORD PODCAST/DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

16 August 2019 1,429 views No Comment

 

Robert Plant on the occasion of his 71st birthday:

Robert Plant is 71 years old on Tuesday, August 20…

From his initial forays in the Midlands scene in the mid 60’s leading to his first record being released in 1966, through to his vital contribution to Led Zeppelin and on to an always compelling solo career, Robert Plant has occupied a unique position at the forefront of the music world for over five decades…

During the past 12 months he has continued to push the boundaries of his vocal talent -continuing to delight audiences with the Sensational Space Shifters around the globe to universal acclaim. He has also provided an alternate outlet for the songs as he put ”from his back pocket” performing with Saving Grace. This unit has  seen him re – connect with the Raising Sand album ably assisted by the excellent Suzi Dian on vocals.

In 2019, his desire to light up any concert venue with that unique voice and on stage presence is as vibrant as ever.

Happy Birthday Robert from all of us to you…

To mark the occasion – here’s a couple of playlists

Playlist 1:

Firstly the top ten I compiled for the Classic Rock website in 2016– an impossible task of course to get it down to just ten – apologies in advance if your fave is missing!

The Top Ten Robert Plant Solo Songs:
By Dave Lewis

Outside of his Led Zep legacy, Robert Plant has enjoyed a highly successful solo career – encompassing synth pop, blues, folk and African influences along the way. All performed with a vocal conviction that ranges from delicate fragility to full on rock power. Here are ten of his best solo moments…

10. Tye Die on the Highway (1990)

This is Plant’s nod to the peace and love generation he was a part of in the 60s. For extra authenticity, it includes samples direct from the Woodstock stage of the legendary hippie peace activist Wavy Gravy (‘’we must be in heaven!’’). An uplifting throwback to his hippie flower kid days.

9. In The Mood (1983)

Early on in his post Zep career, Plant was more than keen to step outside his comfort zone. This very 80s sounding synth led piece is one such example. Plant cleverly works around the hypnotic quality of the song with a vocal performance of deft agility. It also made for a great opening live number on his early solo tours.

8. Song To The Siren (2002)

For the mainly covers led Dreamland album, Plant took on several of the songs he had as he put it, been keeping in his back pocket. This stunning arrangement of the Tim Buckley classic, tests Plant’s’ vocal control to the max. To his absolute credit, he never wavers once.

7: Calling To You (1993)

Opens with some minor key strumming before this exhilarating rocker really kicks in. Plant stamps his authority with a relentless vocal attack. At the fade Nigel Kennedy enters proceedings to add a quite manic violin solo and is that a cry of ‘’Oh Jimmy!’’ from Plant right at the close?

6. Big Log (1983)

Robbie Blunt’s precise guitar work, a lilting drum machine rhythm and an assured Plant vocal were the ingredients that took Big Log into the UK top 20 in 1993 and on to Top of The Pops. Its mellow radio friendly qualities have made it an evergreen staple of the airways ever since.

5. Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down (2010)

This compelling spiritual croon from the 2010 Band of Joy album unfolds in a sparse traditional setting. Plant builds the tension verse by verse while behind him a plaintive banjo offers a jaunty counterpoint to the dark theme of the lyrics. The final lines are delivered with daunting menace.

4. Slow Dancer (1983)

This track marks one of the few occasions in the early 80s that Plant stared right in the face of his Zeppelin past. Built on an exotic loping churning riff, Plant’s full on vocal attack measures up to the Olympian grandeur of his former band. The late great Cozy Powell adds the percussive kick that drives it along.

3. Embrace Another Fall (2014)

A truly epic work from his last album Lullaby…and the Ceaselss Roar. There’s an African undercurrent throughout the arrangement and even a touch of Celtic tradition with Welsh Julie Murphy reciting a 14th century poem. Proof that musically, Plant still has new places to go.

2. Come Into My Life (1993)

The Fate Of Nations album saw Plant drawing on a variety of influences and inspirations. Folk rock of the highest order is the agenda here. Enter Fairport legend Richard Thompson who contributes some achingly beautiful guitar lines while Marie Brennan from Clannad supplements Plant’s deft turn of phrase. An outstanding performance.

1 Ship of Fools (1988)

1988’s Now And Zen album was something of a watershed for Plant. It was the point he was able to successfully reconcile his past with the present. This dynamic ballad is a masterclass of vocal restrain. Guitarist Doug Boyle’s sublime intro paves the way for Plant to vocally twist and turn the song at will. Masterful.

Above photo by Krys Jantzen  for TBL.

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wilderness credit rexshuttlecockPhoto: EPA

Playlist 2:

Here are 71 vivid examples of his vocal supremacy accompanied by memorable key lyrics and relevant comments:

From 48 to 2019 – he remains the definitive rock vocalist – make sure you play some of these and your own Plant faves this weekend in celebration:

Our Song, (‘’It made us fall in looooove’’)

Laughing Crying Laughing (‘’Jack loves Jill she don’t care’’)

For What it’s Worth (Something’s happening here..’’)

Good Times Bad Times (‘’I know what it means to be alooone’’)

Babe Im Gonna Leave You (‘’I ain’t jokin’ woman you gotta ramble’’)

Whole Lotta Love (‘’Shake for me girl!’’)

What Is And What Should Never Be (‘’And if I say to you tomorrow’’ – that gorgeous opening line…)

Thank You (‘’And so today my world it smiles’’)

Ramble On (‘’Gotta find the queen of all my dreams’’)

Immigrant Song (-‘’Ahhhhhh…Ahhh!!)

Since I’ve Been Loving You (‘’Said I been crying..’’)

That’s The Way (‘’And so I say to you that nothing really matters…’’)

Black Dog (‘’I gotta roll can’t stand still’’)

Battle of Evermore (‘’Bring it back..’’)

The Song Remains The Same (‘’I had a dream’’)

The Rain Song (‘’Upon us all..’’)

Over the Hills And Far Away (Live anytime in 1975 – ‘’Acapulco gold!’’)

In My Time of Dying (‘’Doncha make it my dying…dying…’’)

Kashmir (’ Trying to find, trying to find where I’ve beeeeeeen’’.)

In The Light (‘’Eveybody needs the light’’)

Down By The Seaside (‘’ Do you still do the twist’’)

Ten Years Gone (‘’Holding on…’’ pure emotion)

Night Flight (‘’ I received a message – that opening line is vocal bliss)

Tangerine ( Earl’s Court May 24 1975 – ”To think of us again….”)

Going To California (Earls Court official DVD version ‘’Oh she sings’’)

Dazed And Confused (Earls Court May 24 1975 ‘’We’ve got to get ourselves…back to the garden’’)

Stairway To Heaven (Earls Court May 24 1975 ‘’That’s all we got’’)

Achilles Last Stand (‘’the devils in his ho-o- o-o -le’’)

For Your Life (‘’When you blow it, babe, you got to blow it right’’)

In The Evening (Knebworth August 4 1979 – ‘’It’s gotta stop it’s gotta stop!’’)

All My Love (Outtake with full ending – ‘’Sometimes…sometimes…sometimes oh oh ’’)

I’m Gonna Crawl (‘’She give me good lovin’’ and that final scream…)

Moonlight In Samosa (‘’Time and again I see you walking down the street’’)

Slow Dancer (‘’To the heights… to the heights’’ – the point he knew he could do it all again)

Far Post (‘’Sure as winter follows fall, sure as maybe I will call’’)

Pledge Pin (Live in Dallas 83 ‘’As the cavalcade begins to thin, do you stop and look around’’)

Big Log (Live Dallas 1983 ‘’Oh my love oh my love oh my love…is in league with the freeway’’)

Sea of Love (‘’Come with me’’)

Sixes And Sevens (‘’Am I at six ,am I at six, am Ieeeee!’’)

Ship of Fools (‘’Crazy crazy fool’’ – absolutely stunning vocal)

Tie Dye On The Highway (‘‘With the messengers of peace and the company of love’’)

Anniversary (‘’What is this land that I have found’’)

Calling To You (‘’Oh Jiimmmy!’’)

Come Into My Life (‘’ Oh when you get there, well you know ‘’- another of his very best…)

The Greatest Gift (‘’ Everything I do, yes I do for my love’’ Peerless delivery)

In The Mood (Live at Paradiso club Amsterdam 93 –stunning medley)

Wonderful One (MTV Unledded – ‘’The queen of love has flown again’’)

That’s The Way (MTV Unledded ’’I can’t believe what people saying’’)

Blue Train (I been waiting on a corner’’- the best recorded moment of the Page and Plant re-alliance)

Little Hands (‘’Come let us meet them’’ – birth of a new style)

Life Begins Again (‘’This is the day and the hour’’ – at his most exotic)

Flames (Brilliant Priory Of Brion psych fest )

If I Ever Get Lucky (‘’Win my train fare home’’ Live in the desert)

Skips Song (‘’If you’d seen the naked dream I had of you… would you care’’- another vocal masterclass)

Dirt In The Hole (‘’Pretty flowers in sweet array, picked to die and fade away’’ Brilliant)

Seven And Seven Is ( ’When I was a boy I thought about the times I’d be a man’’ Live anywhere – a magnificent SS tribute to Love and the late Arthur)

Tin Pan Valley (‘’Like this!’’)

Freedom Fries (‘’They were moving fast –they were raising sand’’)

Stick With Me Baby (‘’Everybody’s been talkin’ ‘’ – in perfect harmony with Alison)

Kashmir ( Live at the 02 Arena – the whole event could never have worked so well without such total vocal commitment )

Angel Dance (‘’Yeah yeah yeah – Dance!’’ –Ushering in another new dawn)

Monkey ( ‘’Tonight you will be mine…’’ Masterful Band Of Joy performance)

Embrace Another Fall (”You walked into my life, Awoke my spirit soul, You saved me from my deep….”)

Turn It Up (‘I’m lost inside America, I’m turning inside out, I’m turning into someone else”)

A Stolen Kiss (”I am drawn to the western shore, Where the light moves bright upon the tide, To the lullaby and the ceaseless roar, And the songs that never die”)

Somebody There (”The road calls to my heart, Your love will warm my blood, The sun will shine down evermore”)

Season’s Song (”Crazy love..ah ah ah seasons song”)

New World (Escape the old world…embrace the new world”)

Dance With You Tonight (”If there’s one more time I can dance with you, let me dance with you tonight”)

Carry Fire (”I’ll carry fire for you – here in my naked hands”)

Your Long Journey  -Saving Grace in perfect harmony with Suzi Dian

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For him… it’s still about the next gig, the next musical high, the next vocal performance sung into that Shure microphone.
Robert Plant is a musician who has made his vision real…and he continues to keep it real.

Long may he shine it all around…

Dave Lewis – August16, 2019.

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This next overview via TBL issue 43:

‘’Carry me back, Carry me back… ‘’

Dave Lewis reflects on the 35 year solo career of Robert Plant and assesses the merits of his new album Carry Fire…

So, to the eleventh Robert Plant solo album – in fact his twelfth if you include The Honeydrippers set from 1984.

Once I started assessing where it all stood in the scheme of things, it led me on to elaborate not just on the content of this new album but also reminisce about this musician who has loomed large in my life and many others for many a year.

As an ardent fan and long-time chronicler of his work, I’ve been with him on every step of this journey – right from the tentative beginnings of a solo career mapped out around the highways and byways of the north of England during The Honeydrippers’ ad hoc gigs in the Spring of 1981, of which I was lucky enough to attended five.

The thrill of placing a white label advance copy of Pictures At Eleven on my turn table on a balmy Friday evening in early June, 1982 remains a very memorable listening experience. It signalled there was life for this particular singer after Zep and we could all prepare ourselves for some very interesting musical times ahead.

From then on there have been many twists and turns. To give it an appropriate football analogy, following Robert Plant’s solo ventures is a little like supporting Tottenham Hotspur, as I resolutely do. Like Plant, the North London club is steeped in tradition and talk of past glory days is always prevalent. The fortunes of the team, however, are somewhat mixed, offering moments of brilliance with the mediocre but within all that, the entertainment value on the pitch is always high.

You could say the same for Robert’s output over these past 35 years. Plenty of highs, a few lows, some marking of time, occasional strange curve ball moments but ever entertaining along the way – and of course, always within the shadow of his work between 1968 and 1980. It’s something of a challenge being a Robert Plant fan – but I am always a little surprised when keen Zep supporters claim no interest in following his solo work – to me, this is still the man and musician who proclaimed ‘’Are you cold?” in front of my very ears as Led Zeppelin kicked into Immigrant Song at Wembley in 1971, held the audience in the palm of his hand at the Forum, the Garden and in Earls Court and thanked us for turning up on a blind date in that field just outside Knebworth all of 34 years ago. His heritage is ever present and ever lasting.

He carries that legacy pretty well I’d say and although his flippancy in interviews often obscures his pride for Led Zeppelin, be assured, for all the one liners, that pride is there deep in his psyche. While we are on that subject, such flippant comments are often, in my view, taken out of context to look much worse than they really are, or were intended. I still believe he cares much more than is portrayed. In interviews, he is never one for much deep reflection. ‘’I do the gig and move on’’ I remember him once telling me with matter of fact intent.

Back to the story: Eleven albums – that’s now more than Led Zeppelin clocked up. From that initial, naive blast of Pictures At Eleven (which still sounds great) with the erstwhile Robbie Blunt as the song writing foil, Robert quickly recorded The Principle Of Moments, a heady mix of 80s synths and riffs. After a weekend of rockabilly fun with Jimmy, Jeff and Nile for the Honeydrippers’ Vol One album in 1984, there was the somewhat difficult third album – the totally offbeat Shaken ‘n’ Stirred which confused audience and band mates alike. Around that time, performing on a stage that looked like a block of cheese only added to the confusion. Too Loud live anyone?

In 1987 he made the first of many a clean band sweep, bringing in Phil Johnstone, Doug Boyle, Chris Blackwell and co for Now And Zen, a refreshing blend of chorus-led songs that reconciled his past with the present in confident manner. At the same time, he hit the Zep legacy head on ensuring more bums on seats on the live circuit by inserting Zep numbers into his set.

Manic Nirvana hit the racks as the early 90s hair metal phenomenon got into its stride. Some of it has not stood the test of time too well but he could still turn a retro trick or two – witness Tie Dye On the Highway and the acoustic Liars Dance. Elsewhere the content was more blatantly big love than big log.

Three years on, there was further reinvention with Fate Of Nations – aided by Francis Dunnery and the late Kevin Scott MacMichael, providing a melodic platform for Robert to present his most pure and organic work to date. Come Into My Life and I Believe are just two examples of a refreshing maturity and depth he was now bringing to his craft.

Just as he appeared in his solo career stride, the call of the past and MTV put him back on the road with Jimmy Page – the ensuing No Quarter Unledded and Walking Into Clarksdale albums providing their own set of anomalies, ripe for discussion another time.

By the time he was back in solo career mode, the song writing muse was, by his own admission, at something of a low – so he took the opportunity to revisit his pre Zep era with the Priory of Brion, working with old pal Kevyn Gammond before forming Strange Sensation with Justin Adams. It was around this time Robert began to develop a much deeper resonance to his voice, leading to the breathy style first deployed on the Skip Spence tribute, Little Hands.

The 2002 Dreamland album was an intelligent blend of covers and new forays –later to expand more fully on the well received Mighty ReArranger. I initially struggled with that album’s over inventiveness but time has been kind to many of the tracks – the likes of Tin Pan Valley and Freedom Fries still hit the mark whenever I return to it.

Career retrospectives Sixty Six To Timbuktu and the expansive Nine Lives box set, conveniently brought together his achievements to date, with the singer noting that the ‘’future was bright ahead’’.

2007 and another curve ball. This time it was into the bluegrass world of Alison Krauss for the enormously successful Raising Sand, an admirable marriage of vocal styling that subsequently swept the Grammys and in doing so helped scupper any plans for a long term Zep reunion after that one night of glory at the 02 on December 10th of that year.

I actually found the ensuing tour with Alison a little disconcerting – the sharing of the stage did not work for me and the Raising Sand album is never high on the playlist.

Given this sidestep into Americana, I’m therefore surprised how much I loved (and still do) the Band Of Joy album and tour that grew out of his penchant for all things Nashville and his working with the great Buddy Griffin. There were some life affirming moments viewing that line up in 2010 and the album retains a warm glow all of its own. As I noted at the time, it was hard to define exactly what it was about the Band Of Joy set up that worked so well but it was undeniable that something did. As I passed my 100 nights of being in front of that Shure microphone with Robert Plant on vocals, gig number 103 at the Birmingham Symphony Hall in November 2010 was up there with the best.

Being around the likes of Buddy Miller certainly bought the best out in him. There was yet more side-stepping in 2012 – or in this case, shape shifting. Off we all piled to the Gloucester Guildhall in May of that year to view another ad- hoc line up debut that saw former Strange Sensations members mix with the African influence of Juldeh Camara. The gig was a heap of fun, although at the more high profile London Forum gig in the summer, the inclusion of now partner, Patty Griffin in the set confused his audience somewhat.

Seemingly happily ensconced with Patty, one expected another Band Of Joy set and there was talk of a project with noted producer, Daniel Lanois. Instead, Robert took the Space Shifters on a tour – one to the far corners of the world, stretching from Australia to Argentina via the US. His wry comment to an Australian journalist that he had ‘’nothing on his calendar in 2014’’ foolishly fuelled the Zep reformation rumours. The wiser amongst us, however, guessed it was a suitable smokescreen, as he ventured into the studio with the Space Shifters unit. The result was the 2013 release of the album lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar.

As we know from the various interviews Robert has conducted, the album found him in a reflective state of mind. After his split with Patty Griffin, he has returned to the UK and principally to the Black Country and Welsh border area – the influence of which was more than apparent. The call of home was strong and there really was a feeling he gets when he looks to the west… Lyrically, it was Robert’s most deep and meaningful album since Fate Of Nations. Such was the confessional nature of songs such as Embrace Another Fall and A Stolen Kiss, one could almost dub this a break up album in the grand tradition of Dylan’s Blood On the Tracks.

It’s worth noting that arrangements combining African roots and ethnic rhythms do not go down favourably with certain sections of Robert’s past audience. He also receives a fair bit of criticism for his live interpretations of Zep numbers – Black Dog coming in for the lion’s share of the stick.

In fact, like a number of fellow fans I’ve spoken to, I would much prefer solo numbers from his past rather than some of the Zep resprays – Pledge Pin, Life Begins Again, Come Into My Life, Skip’s Song and Ship of Fools being on my wish list of tracks I’d like to see Robert and the SSS perform live.

Lullaby and… the Ceaseless Roar found Robert Plant reflecting on his past, seemingly content with the present and excited about the future. Like all his best work, it looks back to look forward. Often eclectic but with a strong sense of consistency, it was his most significant work on record for some considerable time. There’s a refreshing openness and honesty in the songs that basically tells us that even rock gods need love… and lots of it. He touches on universal themes of ageing, loneliness, longing and hope.

So to the new album Carry Fire:

’‘All that’s worth the doing is seldom easily done, all that‘s worth the winning is seldom easily won’’

First things first.

Carry Fire pretty much carries on from where Robert Plant’s previous album left off. In fact, it might be a good idea to reacquaint yourself with the last album, lullaby and… the Ceaseless Roar to remind yourself where Robert’s head is at.

Those that enjoyed the previous album will find much to enjoy here. As for anyone who has fallen by the wayside and has not subscribed to his recent work – well, there’s nothing here that will influence a change of mind.

Let’s face it, Robert has long since denounced any notions of keeping up with his fellow ‘voice of rock’ veterans His is an entirely different plan of his own making.

On Carry Fire there’s hardly a riff or a vocal histrionic in sight. Those that are looking for that kind of fix would be better off in the direction of the new Black Country Communion album.

However, the good news for anyone checking out this new album is that, vocally, he is singing with mature authority deploying that close-to-the-mic, breathy vocals style that he first perfected on Little Hands, his contribution to the Skip Spence tribute album More Oar.

Having listened to the tracks on Carry Fire, in reviewing the album , I’ve purposely listed songs from the Plant back catalogue that hint at the mood of these new offerings.

The album opener and first single, The May Queen sets the tone for much of the album. Semi acapella vocals over a slight Another Tribish with bendir/ tambourine back beat – drowning out any snare drum presence. As more than one listener to the preview has commented, the opening segment on this track has a passing resemblance to Factory Girl from The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet.

New World is a slightly grittier stomp with a mid tempo riff that sounds like a descendent from the Page & Plant arrangement of Please Read The Letter. A melodic cascading vocal refrain brightens the mood.

The folksy Seasons Song benefits from lush multi layered vocals that reminded me of I Cried For You (off Manic Nirvana). Also, there’s a nicely crooned ‘’crazy crazy fool’’ vocal line in the style of the live arrangement of Ship of Fools. All The Kings Horses (from the Mighty ReArranger album) is a further reference point here.

The oddly titled Carving Up The World Again… A Wall And Not A Fence is another in the vein of Another Tribe – a jumpy urgent nagging affair with some neat bluesy guitar lines.

Bones Of Saints has an effective echo added to the vocal, coupled with some guitar licks in the syle of The Enchanter from Mighty ReArrnanger

A vibey John Baggott keyboard synth sustains throughout Keep it Hid, which could be described as a Tin Pan Valley without the bombast. “Silver key in a golden cup’’ repeats Plant over the incessant synth pattern.

The title track, Carry Fire lends itself to the oft favoured North African influence. Mid tempo, with exotic sounding guitar from Justin Adams, it’s a haunted, tension building affair, not unlike the Unledded track, City Don’t Cry.

The cover of Ersel Hickey’s Bluebirds Over The Mountains (also recorded by The Beach Boys and Richie Havens, amongst others) is, as Robert commented, ‘’put through the Bristol sonic mill’’. This makes for a trip hop, grungy affair that renders Chrissie Hynde’s vocal contribution somewhat understated in the mix. Personally, I’d have rather heard a more simplistic approach.

That leaves three tracks that all return to the reflective themes of ageing, loneliness and hope that featured strongly on the lullaby and… the Ceaseless Roar album. A Way With Words is very much in the Stolen Kiss vein, with stark piano and a mournful feel akin to Page & Plant’s BlueTrain, and Seth Lakeman’s fiddle work adds to the dreamlike atmosphere.

Dance With You Tonight harks back to the Raising Sand territory of Killing The Bues. For me, this is the outstanding track. Lyrically, the singer aspires to enjoy ‘’one more chance for the last dance”. He sings it with immense grace and majesty. Down To The Sea and Come Into My Life are reference points to the reflective nature of this superb outing.

The album closes in a downbeat manner with Heaven Sent – a bleak atmospheric piece that reminded me of a slowed down Sixes And Sevens from Manic Nirvana again without the bombast. Robert adds yet more words of wisdom repeating the lines “All that’s worth the doing is seldom easily done, all that‘s worth the winning is seldom easily won.’’ Before it all fades away.

Those lines are a pretty accurate appraisal of the album.

Like his previous album, this one needs working at and getting used to. Play it randomly a couple of times and it’s likely to pass over your head. Give it some dedicated listening time and there are some very rewarding performances.

As previously mentioned, some sections of his past audience will not find the inclination to do so and that will be their choice. As for comparison to his past works, aside from the last album, this new one stands on its own – and all a long way from the days of Fate Of Nations. That was a different era with different players.

In his advancing years, Robert’s muse has become more introverted, less flamboyant and increasingly dignified – all of which is reflected in the music he now produces.

So no, you won’t be dancing around the Christmas tree to this album. However, it will be something of a thought provoking warm pleasure as the winter nights kick in. In fact, for a man who has much empathy for the seasons, this feels like a Robert Plant winter album.

As can be seen by the virtual sell out of the forthcoming UK tour, the attraction to see this signer perform live on stage is plainly still fervent. I for one will be very keen to see, and hear how this new material integrates with his past work in a live setting.

So, to summarise: For all his idiosyncratic traits, being a Robert Plant fan remains a richly rewarding experience. He does everything an artist should do: he enchants, he intrigues, he frustrates, he confuses and above all… he inspires.

Carry Fire carries on that tradition.

Dave Lewis

September 12, 2017

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Happy Birthday Robert on Tuesday from all of us to you…

Dave Lewis – 

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Saving Grace forthcoming gig details…

The Forum Malvern Theatres – Tuesday August 27…

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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.

Here’s some recent LZ News Updates:

Fender published a new video featuring Jimmy Page visiting its factory and talking about his guitars:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2AcuXPrwnE&fbclid=IwAR1_PhJGIdUNPWAfjG6PX_wpPHZth7B6UzgblvCpEcoLFHOwKw9NMeHLOvU

Robert Plant has published the latest episode of his “Digging Deep” podcast:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5VP9FeFmtI&fbclid=IwAR3Pm-txjT01zw22e9h4e5c3T7LV9d9nQrHkHA7spRlXhBn433PKMigNIRc

Upcoming events:

September 13 – Robert Plant will perform at the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in Fredericton, Canada.
September 15 – Robert Plant will perform at the CityFolk festival in Ottawa, Canada.
September 17 – Robert Plant will perform in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
September 20 – Robert Plant will perform at the Outlaw Music Festival in Indianapolis.
September 21 – Robert Plant will perform at the Bourbon & Beyond music festival in Louisville, Kentucky.
September 23 – Robert Plant will perform in Clear Lake, Iowa.
September 25 – Robert Plant will perform in Moorhead, Minnesota.
September 27 – Robert Plant will perform in Missoula, Montana.
September 29 – Robert Plant will perform in Spokane, Washington.
October 1 – Robert Plant will perform in Salt Lake City, Utah.
October 3 – Robert Plant will perform in Bend, Oregon.
November – The “Play It Loud: Instruments Of Rock And Roll” exhibition will move to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
December – Jimmy Page’s new book, “Jimmy Page: The Anthology,” will be released.

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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Jimmy Page & Robert Plant – MTV Unledded – 25 years gone….TBL Archive Special – Part One :

25 years ago this week, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant reunited for two performances filmed by MTV at the London TV Studios for their Unplugged series. Appropriately dubbed Unledded, this saw the pair roll back the years with an inspiring re-evaluation of the Led Zeppelin catalogue.  I was lucky enough to attend both days filming – indeed I was involved in supplying the TBL database for the ballot of ticket distribution. Looking back It was an incredibly exciting period that would lead on into more memorable nights in the company on the ensuing 1995/96 world tour.

This TBL archive special reproduces the passionate review of those two MTV Unledded performances I wrote for TBL issue 10 – it’s incredible to think that it’s all of 25 years ago as once agin it seems like a second ago –but a lifetime. It was another of those truly fantastic times to be a Led Zeppelin fan again…..so let’s travel back to the late summer of 1994 and two very special August days…

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Where to start? I mean, how do you begin to describe it all . . . The shivers down the spine when they did Rain Song with an orchestra . , . Robert’s dedication to Bonzo before Four Sticks on Thursday . . . the spontaneous applause for Jimmy’s solo on Friday’s version of Since I’ve Been Loving You . . . The running good natured banter between Robert and the audience throughout the event . . . the emotional intensity of the new Wonderful One . . . the last five minutes of Kashmir on Friday which was as good a section of live music I’ve been privileged to watch in my entire life .. .
So many highlights … so many disbelieving highlights at that. A clear seven days after it all, my mind is still reeling. Did it really happen? I mean, I’ve dreamed it enough times. But incredibly it DID happen. And what happened proved to be entirely in keeping with the legacy of what Led Zeppelin represented.

To backtrack on to all then: The weeks and days leading up to the timing had been pretty fraught tor me in being given some of the responsibility for assisting with the distribution of invitations. It was a responsibility I was more than happy to take on but the inevitable consequences of dealing with countless calls and demands surrounding the arrangements did prove to be a heavy burden to carry. Never before did the phrase “You can’t please all of the people all of the time” have such relevance. As somebody close to it all remarked to me – you can only get twelve to a dozen and there was always going to be disappointed fans by the size of the proceedings who were not going to be lucky on this occasion. Hearing such disappointments first hand was, understandably, not always pleasant.
My own personal arrangements to free myself to attend were somewhat rushed and flawed and it was only travelling down on the train on Thursday morning that I began to contemplate the enormity of what was happening.

The summary of events thus far had run like this: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant had taken most of August to film the long-mooted MTV project, the end results of which would appear as an MTV Unplugged special in October. Location trips to Marrakesh and Wales would now be rounded off with two live performances before an invited audience at a secret London location set for the nights of August 25/26.

Feedback from those close to the project had been very positive. The filming in Marrakesh had gone very smoothly with the airing of three new songs – two untitled and one dubbed City Don’t Cry. In Wales, despite the rain they had managed to film some excellent footage with When The Levee Breaks proving particularly inspiring. A dress rehearsal for the London shows on Wednesday had also gone remarkably well, according to those in attendance. Confirmation of the deployment of a full orchestra and an Egyptian string and drum section certainly whetted my appetite it all sounded almost surreal. A few hours from now it would be a reality.

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Thursday August 25 ,1994 – Festival Pier 5 pm: The pic here is a rather weary looking me plus Gary , Terry and Kam.
This was the meeting point at which invited fans were advised to attend. From here we would be escorted to the location. Amongst the excited and expectant bunch of diehards I recognise and greet many familiar faces. An MTV official duly appears to take us to the nearby London TV studios – formerly LWT studios and home still for countless light entertainment TV recordings. Paul McKenna’s Hypnotism show is one such recording for tonight. An orderly queue awaits entry. “Hope Jimmy doesn’t get called in to appear or he’ll end up an Elvis impersonator”, shouts one wag – aware of McKenna’s penchant for ridiculing his contestants to imagine all sort of crazy roles while under his influence. I remember Paul McKenna myself when he was the morning DJ on the local Beds, station, Chiltern. In fact I used to do a weekly phone-in spot with him in my then role as local pop/rock informant. How strange our paths are crossing a decade later In somewhat surprising circumstances.
The other queue with their minds on more important matters are now being ushered into the studios by the mostly American imported MTV staff. Amongst them are 50 MTV/radio station competition winners flown all expenses paid from the US. They line up excitedly amongst the TBL fraternity and other lucky fans. The waiting in the corridor is long – predictably – but we warm ourselves to such ordeals by recalling the overnight wait at the first Knebworth. We’ve all waited longer for less – no gate-crashing tonight, though. The security is very tight – with everybody subjected to a metal detector test for obvious reasons. Around 7.45 we are finally allowed access to Studio 2. Interestingly enough the billing for tonight’s show on the ticket is “An Evening With Page And Plant”. Friday’s reads: “Plant and Page”… and the laminated passes have Page Plant at the top .. . and Plant Page at the bottom – a subtle method of solving the potential who gets top billing wrangle.

Once inside, the set looks extremely impressive – a lengthy stage set up with stylish and suitable abstract backdrop drapes. The whole thing is exactly like a gig set up bar one factor
everyone is in Block AA because that’s all there is room for – providing an excellent view from all parts of the studio. Above the mixing desk there’s a VIP gallery and already the Plant contingent are present – Logan, Maureen and a pregnant Carmen (no granddad jokes please!). Jason Bonham is also there. A blues album plays inoffensively over the PA: boom cameras glide above us in readiness for what is about to be captured.

Around ten to eight, Alex the MTV co¬ordinator does some cheer leading warm ups. “Let’s hear it for Rex King!’ shouts Alex and an appropriate cheer goes up for the long term Plant/Page aide who is marching around the stage checking last minute details – an appreciative cheer for the man responsible for many of us being here tonight.
Minutes later, with the camera angles tested and the subtle lighting set, a short no-nonsense announcement precedes what we’ve waited for fourteen years to hear. “Please welcome Robert Plant and Jimmy Page’ . . . and it’s a thunderous welcome.

Robert Plant strides on to the stage from the left followed by Charlie Jones and Michael Lee .. . Jimmy enters from behind a black curtain on the right, immediately taking off his suit jacket to reveal a Knebworth style blue shirt.

Robert and Jimmy . . . it’s taken so long. Of course there have been glimpses of them re-united – in particular the spirited spring ’88 jam at Hammersmith, and the Wearing And Tearing nutmeg at Knebworth 90. Separately not all has gone entirely well. Jimmy’s road to Studio 2 has been often turbulent – early ’80s drug busts, low key ramblings with Harper, the mismatch of The Firm, a fine attempt at winning back the audience with The Outrider project, and then, against all odds, the bizarre link with David Coverdale – the catalyst that certainly inspired his best post-Zepp playing. It could be viewed that such inconsistencies have only heightened the adoration within which he is held by the faithful. Mention of Page’s name anywhere and it’s instant legacy time. Still. And such is his fragile demeanour we seem to take a very motherly and protective view of our James Patrick.

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Knowing he can be brilliant and erratic in his performance within minutes of any given time is all part of the near masochistic pleasure in following his career. What we can never forget is, in the studio and on stage, Jimmy Page was the sonic architect (to use a rare warranted Coverdalism) of Led Zeppelin. His ability to create the perfect mood for the group (witness the remastering of the catalogue) was and never is in doubt. He was the true sound chaser – and it’s a title he still carries with much reverence. His ever onward stance in adding to the effects of his self-styled guitar army is also a major attraction for his countless admirers. Think of Jimmy and my most immediate mind picture will be that of him back in Earls Court 1975, flashing that cherubic smile as he emerged from the dry ice on May 24 to layer on that most exquisite solos during No Quarter.
Never as high profile as Robert in the past decade, any sighting is a moment to behold. Tonight’s is doubly so as he reunites with his old sparring partner. And the first thing I notice as he turns around to greet the audience is that familiar cherubic Page smile. He looks in excellent shape – and I d had my doubts after the Buxton show where he was carrying an uneasy amount of excess weight. No evidence of it now – he looks well fit with his hair jet blacked, permed and still with that side parting falling over one eye, ala 1969. Twenty-five years on he is still the quintessential English guitar hero. It’s sheer delight to be in his company again.

And the same goes for Robert Plant. Striding on stage with that angular bounce of his, crooked smile beneath the now customary retro shag pile hair, tonight given something of a new look by being parted to the side, brown leather trousers, overlong long-sleeved Indian top, waistcoat, he looks suitably regal and better than I remember from last year. My, this is all a long way from the jumpsuits and bouffoned hair of 1983 – The Tube. Big Log and all that. A different era. Who could have predicted today’s events back then?
over the past decade, but never less than Interesting. There have been some very odd phases, and some wild accusations and contradictions in his media statements, leading to him eating a sizeable proportion of his words on more than one occasion.

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But with Robert Plant what you get is what you get. And vocally he has matured like vintage wine. Last year’s Fate Of Nations album and tour was easily his most satisfying work in the post-Zepp period. His vocal prowess has if anything improved in recent years. Careful consideration in looking after this most precious instrument has paid off.
And perhaps the organic nature of the material, preserved on that album, led him to realise the potential there was for this opportunity to rework some of his finest compositions in the company of his former musical inspiration. And that’s how it’s turned out. Six months down the line maybe something of the affinity that he felt for Jimmy when they were ensconced in that cottage way back when has returned to the fore.

“He is the Paganini of the electric guitar – he’s brilliant”. That’s one of the best compliments I heard Robert pay Jimmy on MTV in the mid-’80s. A decade on, here he is linked with the station and in collaboration with the master. I can forgive him anything for making this decision – beatbox Heaven Knows remixes, that female walk-on part in Too Loud at the NEC, miming on TV, pretentious videos, you name it.

Above any solo career moves Robert Plant will always be best known as the voice of Led Zeppelin. It’s a role model he has not always carried easily over the past decade. Tonight, as he strides up to the mike (“one solitary mike and we all know who that’s for* – how I remember writing that statement after Knebworth), I get the feeling he has prepared himself very carefully to carry that status and use its power to happily reconcile the past with the present. Never before has the legacy of what Led Zeppelin represented rested so contentedly on his shoulders.

Looking slightly nervous but ready to do what’s got to be done, they briefly confer in the centre of the stage like newly-weds after signing the register. For this particular re-marriage the ceremony is about to begin.

“Good Evening . .. Let’s get, er, plugged in then” remarks Robert, tongue in cheek and immediately debunking the idea that this will be the familiar Unplugged arrangement. Jimmy straps on the cherry red Gibson and picks out the welcoming chords of Thank You, a tentative run through delivered in the arrangement employed on last year’s Fate Of Nations tour. Jimmy switches to the Gibson 58 prior to his ex-partner uttering the words “and if I say to you tomorrow” right next to him. You have to go back twenty two years for the last time such words were spoken on stage within the vicinity of the pair. What Is And What Should Never Be is a much welcomed if slightly flawed second number – Jimmy being particularly hesitant on the solo. It warms up towards the end as Jimmy scrubs across the strings for that familiar stereo panned Zepp 2 trademark.

Initial thoughts so far: They are understandably nervous and you get the feeling these two early run thoughts are mere warm ups. The sound however is absolutely crystal and the whole atmosphere of the studio feels like you’re almost in their backyard – privy to the best garden party you could wish to enjoy.
For the next song it gets rather interesting. Jimmy settles into his chair (the regal looking upright backed affair used on the Coverdale Page Japan tour and the Take Me video) and straps on an Andy Manson three necked guitar. This I haven’t seen before. Robert introduces Nigel Eaton on hurdy-gurdy, James Sutherland on Bodhran percussion and Pori Thompson on acoustic guitar, and welcomes to the far left of the stage an Indian female vocalist, Najma Akhtar. .. who will sing the duet parts with him. For this is Battle Of Evermore 1994. It’s a joy to hear Jimmy picking out the melody against the whirring Hurdy-gurdy and the interplay between Robert and Nashma is very effective. Towards the close they add a new coda refraining an “ah-a ah-a” sequence, ala Achilles. Never an easy number to project live back in ’77, this arrangement is the first fruits of the ambitious extended Plant Page alliance. And it work supremely well.

“From here to Balies’s is not that far” jokes Robert in a reference to the cabaret circuit they have so far avoided. The same line-up (minus Najma) stays on for Gallows Pole. Long rumoured to be part of the new set, I Ve been really looking toward to this and there is no disappointment. Jimmy strums over the 12 and 6 stringed Ovation double neck, Charlie provides a steadfast bass anchor to the intricate arrangement, Pori handles the banjo parts and Michael Lee storms in, as the pace builds. This is the first display from the drummer that confirms once again his ability to bring just the right amount of dynamics to the rhythm section, striking the drums in a very Bonham-like manner that adds to the whole atmosphere. As the song speeds to a climax Robert really lets go, losing himself in the “Keep a-swinging” repeat refrain before it all dramatically stops.
“We’ll be back in a while” informs the singer, signalling end of part one. As the lights go up we excitedly exchange views. Everybody has been knocked out with the last two numbers and are similarly agreed that the opening pair of Zepp 2 standards had been merely a warm up. But, of course, we really haven’t seen anything yet.

During the break to the left of the stage the European orchestra, as it’s dubbed on the run-through sheet, sets up. A mixture of male and female string players more suited
perhaps to the surroundings of Henry Wood’s Promenade Concerts but ensconced tonight to provide accompaniment to what we might have described in 1969 as the Pop Proms. The orchestra is led by Ed Shearmur who performs on Hammond organ.
Jimmy and Robert reappear with Charlie and Michael. Charlie dons a huge double bass as the principal pair settle down, seated at the centre of the stage. “Perhaps this is how we should have done this song originally, all those years ago”, announces Robert. What happens next sends the biggest shiver down my spine since 1980. Jimmy picks out on acoustic guitar the intro of Rain Song.

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Hang on – I think I’ll write that line again, just to make sure it really did happen. Jimmy picks out on acoustic guitar the intro of Rain Song. Robert comes in with the first verse and then the orchestra majestically glides in to replace the melletron parts of the studio version. This is quite breath-taking. Robert sings the lyrics beautifully and Jimmy plays like mint, fingerpicking in all the right places. As the song beefs up, Michael comes in with suitably dynamic tom-tom injections (early on in the song he’d employed the brushes, adding yet more Bonham authenticity). It’s left to Jimmy to close proceedings with that lilting sequence which he carries of, perfectly.
From one emotional moment to another. Jimmy restraps on the Gibson and picks out another familiar intro. This is Since I’ve Been Loving You and it’s played with all the intensity of 1971. This is a real crystallisation of the power of the Plant/Page alliance, aided subtlety by the string orchestra. On the chorus they strut forward over the mike, ala The Song Remains movie version. Plant is brilliant here, breaking into a fully-fledged mid-’70s pose with mike
in hand and Jimmy’s solo is a crescendo of notes, the like of which we haven’t heard for many a long year. This is almost Led Zeppelin in all but name and the spirit is alive and kicking. Compellingly so.

Proceedings take yet another slant when Robert offers stage right to the arrival of the Egyptian string and drum section, led by Hossam Ramzy who is handed the mike to personally introduce the boys in the band. He develops an instant rapport with the audience as he runs through the team sheet and causes much amusement when humorously he gets a plug in for his brother s Indian restaurant. “I think we should dedicate this to the original drummer with Four Sticks” says Robert, to rapturous cheers. An ambitious arrangement of Four Sticks follows with Michael tearing along with two stick in hand – a lovely tribute. To hear this long lost nugget in a totally new arrangement is another highlight, with Robert accurately interpreting, in a slightly lower register, every nuance and phrase of the original lyric.
Jimmy again derives the riff on acoustic guitar and it all speeds up to a compelling climax as the three sections (European strings/ band/Egyptian strings) compete for authority.

Robert asks Jimmy to introduce the next number and in usual fashion he humbly greets the audience before handing over to the Egyptian section to move into a lengthy intro. This is shades of Bombay orchestra ’72 -and those familiar with the Bombay CG CD will know how the 94 attempt at Friends sounds, with Jimmy awaiting the call to strum out the familiar riff. This is a little unsettled in tempo early on but unravels successfully enough by the second verse. If Friends appeared just a trifle laboured, the next number wipes out any minor misgivings completely.

Robert duly gets into a lengthy and revealing speech regarding this new alliance and their desire to look back and revisit some past glories. And they don’t come any more glorious than Kashmir.

UNLEDDED FOYUR

This is no mere Atlantic-like stroll through. The Pride Of Led Zeppelin is radically reworked for the ’90s, opening with Robert singing the first verse in a slow tempo, accompanied by Jimmy on the Trans Performance Gibson, creating a phased gizmo effect on the pedals. This merges into the Hossum percussion of the East -and then on into the familiar and invigoratingly performed riff and they’re off on that road to tan tan again. What makes this exercise so fulfilling is the interplay between band and orchestra – on numerous occasions Jimmy and Robert halt the band performance and glance over to the Egyptian players who take it all into a different time zone. The finger cymbal player merrily jigs around to the riff, much to Jimmy’s amusement. As we get to the fade and the “Let me take you there” refrains, the whole thing speeds up into a truly memorable climax which sees Jimmy playing a rumbling, Achilles-like, riff off against Michael Lee s stop-start drumming. In turn they pass the riff over to the Moroccan brass and string players, formulating a call and response sequence that threatens to take the roof oft. It the TV cameras have got the right angles, this will look sensational on screen.
With that number successfully captured, they leave the stage together, smiling and waving as they go. That appears to be the end -particularly when the background blues music strikes up again. Bill Curbishley himself signifies otherwise as he rushes up to the mixing desk. “Fade that, they’re coming back on again” he demands. Minutes later they appear from behind the black curtain at the side of the stage and make their way on stage again.

Jimmy straps on the Ovation double neck. Robert makes another little speech. “This was written on the side of a Welsh mountain in a cottage, about half an hour before the young lady furiously taking pictures in front of me was conceived” (a reference to Scarlet in the front row). “Was I there? Possibly!” laughs the man, with Jimmy grinning behind. “See, we’re happy again!” – a memorable statement which the entire audience would certainly endorse.
A lovely lilting laid back arrangement of That’s The Way follows with Michael Lee adding a new drum accompaniment and Pori taking up the banjo. Robert picks up the tambourine and strikes up that classic pose – a pose I’d long since give up ever seeing again. Jimmy meanwhile rocks back and forth as he strums out the chords to a song that was last performed live by the pair nigh on twenty years ago.

Smiles, handshakes, cheers, waves goodbye and it’s all over. “Thanks for coming along – hope to see you tomorrow” says the man from MTV. The crowd begin to filter out, still disbelieving at some of the events that have appeared before their very eyes. “That really was something” an excited Aussie, Peter, tells me near the stage. Scarlet’s there too, beaming with the pride ot her father’s performance.

Predictably there’s a buzz in the air as we disperse – a buzz so strong you can almost touch it. It recalls to mind the afterglow present as we all deserted the Knebworth site after the first night, fifteen years back. It’s a buzz that signifies that tonight has been another very special night – a night that truly encapsulated the affinity Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and its audience still has for the music of Led Zeppelin.

And, incredibly, there’s more to come tomorrow …

Dave Lewis – August,1994

To be continued…

……………………………..

Atlas TBL Led Zeppelin Knebworth 40th Anniversary  Gathering:

Here’s the thoughts of Pat Mount who was one of our guest speakers on the day… pic here with Ty and myself – Pat is on the right

A life affirming day.
Ty and I trucked down to The Atlas on the train from York on the morning of the great event. Nothing in my life ever goes to plan. We got to King’s Cross ok but as hicks from the sticks managed to overshoot on the Tube twice, once to West Kensington and then over to Putney Bridge. At Putney we found the whole area shut down for a cycle race. The local Taxi firm had taken the day off. Ty and I were hyperventilating at this point because we were late!
We bumped into a young American couple who by a twist of fate knew where the Atlas was and politely advised the two Oiks from OOP North to get back on the Tube and head for West Brompton. We duly did and took a left and another left on our exit from the station. We had unknowingly found Seagrave Road but still asked a passing bloke if he knew where The Atlas was. He raised his thumb backwards over his head to reveal it was 100 yards away.
Dave Lewis was well into his opening speech as we crept through the assembled throng to the bar upstairs at The Atlas.
What followed was one of the best days of our lives.
Before I got up as a guest speaker, Dave Lewis did a prequel announcing me ‘as funny as Eddie Izzard’. I ran downstairs to the bar and asked the lady behind it whether she had a spare pair of high heels and some lippy…..(I lie).
We met some fantastic people and soaked up every minute exchanging stories with like minded souls about Knebworth 1979.
As a smoker I took regular trips downstairs to feed my addiction and met lots of likewise afflicted. Ty and I met Av, an Indian guy who was there at Knebworth and mentioned the underlying prejudices of the time and how that was overcome by trading freshly made curry with a group of bikers for beer in the park the night before. He was a lovely man. We also met Ricky, a drummer, who talked in awe of Bonham’s performance on August 4th and continued to chat to us at every ‘smoke break’. He was 15 years old at Knebworth 79!
We met a chap who had visited the hallowed halls of Tokyo bootleg shops and had his bid for a Destroyer vinyl box set usurped by a chap called Jimmy Page who walked into the store on the same day!
We talked to a guy who gave us the excellent ‘don’t drink that mate, it’s piss’ story upstairs pronounce the immortal words on his exit, ‘My Wife thinks I’m mad’. You are most definitely not mad my friend, it was a pleasure to meet you.

By 8:00pm Ty and I were feeling it a bit. The adrenaline had subsided. We hadn’t eaten but had quaffed a fair few pints over the day.

We said our farewells to all, in particular to the legendary Dave Lewis.

I was convinced that Ty and I needed to navigate back to Putney Bridge to find our hotel. At this point my good wife, Tina, had texted so I called her. ‘We’ve had a fantastic day and now we’re on our way to Putney Bridge to find our hotel’, I slurred. ‘No you’re not, you wingnut,said Tina,your hotel is 5 minutes walk from The Atlas, don’t move until I send you directions’. And she duly did saving Ty and I further opportunities to get stranded and hyperventilate. Football, Meccano and Men was revisited 40 years on.

A fantastic day!

Pat Mount

…………………………….

The Word Podcast:

Next  Tuesday August 20, I am recording an appearance on the popular Word Podcast  A Word In Your Ear with David Hepworth and Mark Ellen. This is staged at the Islington pub – journalist Ian Penman talking about his new book It Gets Me Home, This Curving Track: Objects & Essays 2012-2018  is on the same night -the event I am told is already sold out. We will be discussing my enduring interest in Led Zeppelin over many years plus the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book, my Knebworth book and more…

Full report to follow – see link at:

http://wordpodcast.co.uk/

 

 

DL Diary Blog Update:

We got back in the early hours from a fantastic week on our paradise island in Santa Eulalia in Ibiza.

This was a much needed break for the good lady Janet and I – our first holiday in two years.

We first came to Santa Eulalia in 2005 with Sam and Adam. Janet and I have been back in 2014, 2015, 2017 and now 2019.

We love this place. Beautiful surroundings very relaxed and our hotel is superb. There is always plenty going on in the local bars. We saw Neil Diamond, Tom Jones, Tina Turner and Abba tribute acts at the Mirage bar and it was more than a delight to watch Spurs beating Aston Villa 3-1 on the opening day of the season in another bar. There was very little vinyl records to be seen, though one electrical shop had a few in the window. Not quite up to the Vinyl Barn standard and no rare Led Zep Spanish pressings – Kylie collectors were sorted! While out there we participated in the hotel quiz events and won a couple of them. The weather was hot and sunny throughout our stay apart from a little rainfall on Monday afternoon.

All in all a wonderful few days…

It’s now right back on it all here with TBL matters to pick back up, the David Hepworth and Mark Ellen Word In Your Ear podcast in Islington on Tuesday and ahead, the Then As It Was Led Zeppelin At Knebworth 1979 new book re-package to launch –more on all that soon…

Dave Lewis  – August 16, 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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