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ROBERT PLANT ON THE OCCASION OF HIS BIRTHDAY/STAIRWAY CASE/LZ NEWS/C,S,N&Y TOP TEN/DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

19 August 2016 2,864 views 3 Comments

Wilderness credit epa 1

Robert Plant on the occasion of his 68th birthday:

Robert Plant is 68 tomorrow – Saturday 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…

In the past 12 months touring and recording working with the Sensational Space Shifters line up, Robert Plant has continued to expand his quench for musical thirst. The prowess of this unit has been more than evident for the many fans who have encountered the band during their US and European travels including the recent UK Wilderness Festival gig. (Photo Rex/Shutterstock)

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 recently compiled for the Classic Rock website:

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.

7. 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.

5: 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.

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wilderness credit rexshuttlecockPhoto: EPA

Playlist 2:

Here are 68 vivid examples of his vocal supremacy accompanied by memorable key lyrics and relevant comments:

From 48 to 2016 – 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”)

The Rain Song (Live 2015 – ”Upon us all just a little rain” – return to a classic…..)

The Blanket Of  The Night ( 2016 From the British Red Cross compilation The Long Road)

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…

Happy Birthday Robert from all of us to you…

Dave Lewis /Gary Foy – August  2016.

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LZ News:

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 are some highlights from the fifty-first Led Zeppelin News email. The complete version can be accessed by signing up at the link below. be sure to sign up for this excellent news service.

Led Zeppelin
•Led Zeppelin’s publishing company lost an attempt to get $793,000 in legal fees back in the “Stairway To Heaven” copyright trial. Judge Klausner, who ruled in the band’s favour during the trial, decided that the band should not get their legal fees back.
•An official trailer for “The Complete BBC Sessions” has been released online.
•Producer Eddie Kramer tweeted a photo of a reel box from the “House of the Holy” sessions.

Jimmy Page

•Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett said in a new interview that Jimmy Page helped persuade him to buy Peter Green’s 1959 Les Paul guitar “Greeny.” He told MusicRadar that Page remembered the guitar and encouraged him to purchase it. Read the full interview here (the Page anecdote is on page four).

Robert Plant
•Robert Plant’s home city of Wolverhampton erected a tribute to him, but it accidentally referenced Jimmy Page instead. The Express and Star reports that the biography of Plant in Wolverhampton city centre actually has “Page” written instead of “Plant” at one point. The wall will be replaced later this month.

Upcoming events:
September 16 – “The Complete BBC Sessions” will be released.
October 8/9 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Festival of Disruption in Los Angeles.
October 15 – Robert Plant’s “Austin City Limits” performance will be shown on PBS.
——-

Upcoming events:
September 16 – “The Complete BBC Sessions” will be released.
October 8/9 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Festival of Disruption in Los Angeles.
October 15 – Robert Plant’s “Austin City Limits” performance will be shown on PBS.

The Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here: https://t.co/yp9fGJMSGH

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Stairway To Heaven Court case – Testimony Statements:

The testimony statements from the Stairway To Heaven court case have been put online

These links via via the Classic Rock website:

http://teamrock.com/news/2016-08-16/read-jimmy-page-led-zep-stairway-plagiarism-evidence-in-full

http://teamrock.com/news/2016-08-17/read-robert-plant-s-stairway-to-heaven-trial-testimony

http://teamrock.com/news/2016-08-18/read-john-paul-jones-testimony-at-stairway-to-heaven-trial

 

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crosby

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Top Ten Songs for Classic Rock Website: 

Here’s another of my top ten lists for Classic Rock Website –

The top 10 songs you should listen to by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Darlings of the post-Woodstock nation, the superstar line-up of Crosby, Stills & Nash (and later Young, too) brought together ex-members of Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds and The Hollies. Dubbed The ‘American Beatles’, CSNY’s songs told tales of past lovers, political unrest and a rocky road ahead – often while battling inter-band discord in their quest for pure vocal harmony. These are 10 of their best songs.

See the list at :

http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-08-15/the-10-best-songs-by-crosby-stills-nash-young

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DL 60 at 60 Countdown lists:

Here is an update of the DL 60 at 60 entries that have been running daily on the DL/TBL Facebook pages:

DL COUNTDOWN TO 60:

With my 60th birthday rapidly approaching , the countdown is on. Every day up to September 5 I’ll be posting a countdown (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER) of my favourite 60 singles , favourite 60 albums and gigs …the 60 at 60 DL faves…

The Singles: At 19..

DAYDREAM BELIEVER – THE MONKEES
For all their zany TV antics The Monkees made some great records – this is one of them – and sounding very good on a bright Wednesday morning…

The Gigs: At 20

jpj super silent london

SUPERSILENT WITH JOHN PAUL JONES – VILLAGE UNDERGROUND LONDON – NOVEMBER 18, 2012

Another memorable night – the next day the Celebration Day album and DVD was released.
Here’s my review for TBL
Great night last Sunday in the presence of one of the esteemed Celebration Day four. It was once again a pleasure to be up close and personal with John Paul Jones in the guise of full on avant garde improvisation unit Supersilent. In fact this was beyond improvisation as with Ståle Storløkken on keyboards, Helge Sten on guitar and Arve Henrilsen on trumpet, drums and electronics, they cooked up a mighty noise. Livin’ Lovin’ Maid it certainly wasn’t but what emerged was a captivating balance of musical intensity and subtlety – most impressive of which was their final piece that echoed moments of Miles Davis seminal In A Silent Way. I was positioned right next to the speaker and as the bass lines pummeled away I could actually feel the speaker pulsating in front of me. Pics here from the night.
I had a quick chat with John afterwards – this was his comment on the release of Celebration Day:

DL jpj 3
”We are of course all very pleased it’s finally out there but what I’m really pleased about is that to capture it on film and live on stage with all those close ups, now everyone can finally see what we did on stage and what makes all that magic – so that’s really the best thing for me. It’s four people on stage playing together intensively – that’s what it’s always been all about”
DL 24/11/12

The albums:: At 20

STEELY DAN – PRETZEL LOGIC

Great band – love all their stuff but this is really outstanding –Rikki Don’t Lose That Number, Any Major The Singles : At 20

The Singles: At 20..

KENTUCKY RAIN – ELVIS PRESLEY

One of his finest – the vocal performance here is absolutely masterful Dude Will Do, Night By Night etc , the sound of my mid 70s and still sounds so fresh..

The Gigs: At 21

DONOVAN – ROYAL ALBERT HALL LONDON JUNE 3 2011

At very short notice I shot off to Albert’s Place to catch this very special Donovan gig. I had it on good authority Jimmy Page would guest this night – and sure enough he did. it was a joy to see him back onstage. Here’s my original review for TBL…

At very short notice yesterday afternoon I zipped in to London to attend Donovan’s’ Sunshine Superman performance at the Royal Albert Hall.n performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Dave Lewis files this exclusive on the spot report for TBL.

At very short notice yesterday afternoon I zipped in to London to attend Donovans’ Sunshine Superman performance at the Royal Albert Hall.

The first half of the show saw the 1960’s folk rock legend running through some of his greatest hits. He commenced proceedings with acoustic performances of Catch The Wind, Colours and Buffy St Marie’s Universal Soldier. He was then joined by the London Contemporary Orchestra conducted by John Cameron and soon had the receptive crowd with him every step of the way as he ran through Jennifer Juniper, Hurdy Gurdy Man, Goo Goo Barabajagal,There Is A Mountain and Mellow yellow.
The second half featured the complete performance of his 1966 album Sunshine Superman. Early in this part of the set he explained how he began recording the record in 1965 in Abbey Road Studios with a young session guitarist – ‘and it’s great to have him here tonight- please welcome Jimmy Page’’

June-3-010-Copy

Jimmy entered stage right dressed in black shirt to a rapturous reception. Strapping on a Gibson Black Les Paul Custom with Bigsby arm (possibly the one he used on For Your Life at the 02 reunion), he accompanied Donovan on the track Sunshine Superman. Strumming along on the descending chord sequence he then opened up with a neat solo as the chorus came in. Smiling and waving to the crowd he then left the stage. Donovan went on to perform the entire album accompanied by the orchestra and guests including Shawn Phillips on sitar and his son Donovan jr.

Before performing the uplifting finale of Atlantis, Donovan acknowledged the band and guests and Jimmy briefly came on to take the applause. That appeared to be the end of the evening but as the crowd gave Donovan a standing ovation he remained on stage and announced they were going to reprise the title track and once again Jimmy entered proceedings strapping on the Gibson as they once again ran through the jaunty Sunshine Superman with all and sundry on stage.
This was the cue for the TBL editor to make something of a Who/Kids Are Alright leap of faith from the stalls area down to the front and very soon I found myself directly in front of Donovan and Jimmy at the front of the stage. It was a tremendous thrill to be in such close proximity to the guitarist – not unlike the view I had in Cologne on the Over Europe tour all of 31 years ago this month.

After a triumphant Sunshine Superman, they all remained on stage for a rousing reprise of Mellow Yellow – this had Jimmy running through the strutting rhythm of the song smiling at Donovan and leading into a solo. Finally at the close of it all, Donovan and Jimmy embraced and they ambled off stage right as the crowd bayed for yet more.
This time it was all over.

To summarise: It was an absolute joy to see Jimmy Page once again adorn a stage with guitar in hand. He looked relaxed and full of smiles throughout. It was a real privilege to be in attendance at this celebration of the music of Donovan – a legendary folk/rock artist who in acknowledging his heritage, inspired a unique reunion with the guitarist who first lit up his Sunshine Superman album back in the mid 1960s.
‘’They call me mellow yellow – quite rightly”.
It’s that refrain that will be ringing in my ears all weekend as I recall the memorable events of the night Jimmy Page returned to a UK stage.
DL 4/6/11

The Singles : At 21…

THE FACES – YOU CAN MAKE ME DANCE ,SING OR ANYTHING

Right up there as one of my all time fave singles and sounding mighty fine on a sunny Monday. This is an infectious soulful workout aided by an uplifting string arrangement. The repeated ‘’Keep on loving you baby’’ refrain at the close tips it’s hat to Bobby Womack’s You’re Messin’; Up a Good thing. Behind it all, Kenney Jones’ offbeat tom tom work provides the groove. The B side As Long As You Tell Him is one of the all time great B sides…

The Albums : At 21

CARIBOU – ELTON JOHN

I love all of Elton’s early output – so much quality song writing with Bernie Taupin. This 1974 album is something of an underrated gem – The Bitch is Back, Grimsby, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down, Pinky, I’ve Seen the Saucers – all top tracks – I used to play this in WH Smith a lot when I first started selling records there in late ’74. Great times and a great album…

The Gigs : At 22

THEM CROOKED VULTURES – ROYAL ALBERT HALL LONDON – MARCH 22 2010

A glorious night of noise….here’s my original review for TBL…

John Paul Jones made a triumphant return to the scene of one of Led Zeppelin’s greatest performances as Them Crooked Vultures stormed the Royal Albert Hall in London last night.
Patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust Roger Daltrey set the tone for this tenth series of admirable shows with an impassioned speech regarding the charity’s achievements over the past decade.

Acknowledging the musical feast ahead he commented ‘’I know Them Crooked Vultures are going to be great with somebody who was once in Nirvana and John Paul Jones who everyone knows is one of the best in the business’’

Though there was little rotation of the set list of recent months, it was the sheer enthusiasm of the individual players of Them Crooked Vultures that once again impressed.

them one

Kicking off with No One Loves Me & Neither Do I, the non seating flat area at the front was soon awash with swaying bodies. Scumbag Blues was an early vehicle for Jonesy to drift into a bass solo improvisation much to the crowd’s delight.

Once in their stride, the band began firing off a non stop onslaught of album faves. Dave Grohl paid a subtle tribute to John Bonham with a Moby Dick like intro to Elephants and when Josh introduced the band and ‘’Your fellow countryman John Paul Jones’’, there was another rapturous cheer.

Throughout the proceedings it was hard not to be overwhelmed by the sense of history of this venue –and more that once I looked around me in sheer wonder of what it must have been like to be here on that January night 40 years ago.

The one man who knew more than anyone, was down on the stage having a ball. Gunman was a quite ferocious din while the guitar solo from Alain Johannes that proceeded Bandoliers had a touch of the Page 1977 effects about it. The lighter Interlude With Ludes had JPJ stomping the stage with his eBay purchased keytar. Spinning In Daffodils provided the opportunity for Jonesy to flex the old keyboard muscles which again went down a storm. The final flurry of an extended Warsaw found Jonesy and Grohl trading licks in a way that mirrored the tactic so favoured by the previous rhythm section the bassist once reveled in.

A final communal hug amongst the players and Them Crooked Vultures were gone. Ahead lies a series of festival appearances that will considerably liven any of the mass outdoor gatherings they will encounter. A possible second album may provide the impetus for another bout of touring, though the inevitable call of the full time bands of Josh and Dave may limit that scope.

them 2

As for John Paul Jones, whatever lies ahead, his decision to return to performing in a rock band format has been inspirational – providing the perfect platform for the vast number of Led Zeppelin fans who have caught these shows, to see at first hand, what made his role in his other band so indispensable.
And there was no finer venue to witness all that than in the historic surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall where the Zeppelin magic was once weaved. DL 23/3/10 – Pics by Gary Foy.

The Singles : At 22

I’LL BE THERE – BOBBY DARIN
Great vocalist – I have a fair few of his albums. Back in the early 60s this much covered song was played as the audience left The Cavern Club at the end of a session. A lovely song of reflection…evokes memories of Sundays here a long time ago..

The Albums : At 22

CROSBY STILLS & NASH – CROSBY STILLS & NASH

This review from 1969 sums it up perfectly..
‘’They surpass themselves on this album and when the three of them harmonize it’s like a formation flight. A soft happy morning of sound. For forty five minutes it’s like not being alone anymore’’

Happy Birthday the great David Crosby 75 today- long may you run…

The Albums: At 23…
SOUND AFFECTS – THE JAM

Their best album for me released in late 1980. So many great songs here – Monday, Pretty Green, That’s Entertainment, Start , Man In the Corner Shop. Paul Weller remains such a captivating musician. Love so much of his stuff…

The Singles: At 23

MAGGIE MAY – ROD STEWART
A game changing record for Rod – finally he was right in the spotlight – I watched this classic Top of The Pops performance in October 1971 and from then on I’ve been enthralled by so much of his work. Still one of THE great vocalists – guaranteed to bring a feel good vibe to the party – and this just makes me feel good every time I hear it

The Gigs: At 23

NEW ORDER – BOYS CLUB CLUB – MARCH 21, 1981.

One of their earliest gigs after they formed out of the remnants of Joy Division, promoted by my good friend Dec Hickey – and staged a stones throw from our house.

Their entire set lasted around the length of a 1975 Led Zep Dazed And Confused – hey what happened to improvisation!…but there was definitely something about them and it felt like a special occasion.

However, there was no real indication that night, that New Order would rise to such heady heights… that within a couple of years, I’d be racking out literally hundreds of their big selling Blue Monday 12 inch single at the WH Smith record department I managed.

Or that they would have the number one single (World In Motion the England World Cup theme), the same week my daughter Sam would be born on 1990..or that they would still be pleasing the crowds at Glastonbury some 35 years later…all of which, has amazingly came to pass…Dec, you were right all along…

The Gigs: At 24…

PAUL RODGERS –ROYAL ALBERT HALL LONDON – APRIL 27 2011

A fantastic gig –here’s my review and pics for TBL

rodgers one

Until last night I hadn’t seen Paul Rodgers perform a Bad Company song for over 30 years – or a Free song since that night for Ahmet at the 02 in 2007. That was all put to right when I witnessed an utterly splendid performance at the Royal Albert Hall.
Paul took to the stage with a band line up featuring Jason Bonham on drums and immediately set the tone of the evening with a great version of Free’s Walk In My Shadow. From then on it was a definite case of what was not to like, as the singer delved into his 40 year plus rich back catalogue of work.

Aside from Paul singing with a verve and passion that defied the years ,what was so refreshing hearing the likes of Wishing Well,Mr Big, Feel Like Making Love, Fire & Water, Run With The Pack, Bad Company, Rock And Roll Fantasy (what a set list!) was the pure economy of the arrangements. They stayed true to the originals without ever sounding staid –guitarist Howard Leese displaying a total understanding of what was required reaping a sweet tone from his Paul Smith guitar(‘’I take playing the Paul Kossoff material very seriously indeed’’ he told me afterwards.

Jason was…well pure Jason showing his maturity as a musician of class and integrity as he beefed up and laid off the beat in Simon Kirke style as required. Guest vocalist Mica Paris traded soulful lines with Paul on Be My Friend and Mick Ralphs was a welcome addition as they romped through the classic Can’t Get Enough.

In between all that, they performed some of my favourite songs of all time namely My Brother Jake (come on how good is that tune!),Shooting Star and an affectionate nod to Jimi Hendrix with a medley of Little Wing and Angel that also had a lovely Wind Cries Mary coda.

Encores: A rousing All Right Now that had Paul effortlessly working the crowd, a powerful Ride on a Pony and a pleasing The Hunter performed with all the enthusiasm that the young Rodgers displayed those nights in Sunderland and Croydon way back in the midst of time when this trio of songs were recorded for the seminal Free Live album.

All in all this was a masterclass in how to present a catalogue of some of the greatest rock songs ever and make them live again in the heart and souls of every single person in the venue. I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy some great occasions at the historic Royal Albert Hall . This night in the company of Paul Rodgers can take its place with the best of them.
DL 28/4/11

The Singles : At 24

MY BROTHER JAKE – FREE

One of their best – loved this since it came out in 1971 – and sounding particularly fine on a sunny Friday morning…

The Albums : At 24

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER – SIMON & GARFUNKEL
Their absolute peak – a massive selling album from its release in 1970. So much quality song writing here –a complete album listening experience as every song fits just perfectly. The Only Living Boy In New York and Song For The Asking are just achingly beautiful. I still play this album often and it always inspires

The Gigs: At 25…

LED ZEPPELIN – KNEBWORTH – AUGUST 11, 1979
We did not know it then…but this would be their final UK performance with John Bonham…and the memories glow ever brighter with each passing year…

The Albums: At 25…

IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR – LED ZEPPELIN

For me, the eighth Led Zeppelin album In Through The Out Door is intrinsically lined with the two Knebworth appearances.
Not least for the performances of two tracks from the then yet to be released album namely Hot Dog and In The Evening. The latter’s performance was a simply breathtakingly demonstration of their undoubted power. The still had it…and we all ready to lap it up on record.

DL aug79

The album was due for release in the UK on Monday August 20. On my return from the second Knebworth date – Sunday August 12h I was most fortunate to find a pre release copy on cassette of the album -courtesy of Russ – a Welsh fan with very good connections. Listening to it in my bedroom for the first time remains one of the most memorable playbacks of my life.
Something like In The Evening heralded a new Zeppelin with new places to go… and I intended to be with them every step of the way.
‘’Expectations fulfilled – credibility intact’’ was how I described the album in my review in TBL issue 3.

Nick Kent –in the past a loyal Zep supporter reviewed it in the NME. His review was not the hatchet job expected. ‘’They were so much older then’’ was the headline for what was easily the most balanced and perceptive review of the album ‘’In Through The Out Door’’ is no epitaph. When it’s bad as on the downright clumsy ‘Hot Dog’ its very bad but when it shines, it does so brightly enough. It only remains to advise the gentlemen involved to get back on the road and really start working at being a band again. Three year stretches of indolence are simply not on in rock’ n roll terms. More to the point there are potential points of departure on this album that deserve following through. The doctor orders a period of intense activity.’’
No bad advice at the time.

BIKE PIC
This pic shows me on my bike outside Dec’s house on the afternoon of Monday August 20 – the HMV bag contained my six In Through LP’s ( every cover of course) as purchased from WH Smith where I worked. Some 36 years later this pic was recreated as I took receipt of the In Through The Out Door reissue on July 31 2015. The HMV bag ( a special Knebworth commemorative one) is the very same one from 1979…then and now – it’s still one of my fave albums…

The Singles: At 25

I SAW THE LIGHT – TODD RUNDGREN
Another early 70s beauty much played around these parts – Todd of course was on the bill at Knebworth 37 years today…

The Singles: At 26

WITCHES PROMISE /TEACHER – JETHRO TULL
One of the great double A side singles – and another great Top of The Pops performance which I watched at the time back in early 1970.I have this in the original picture sleeve on the Chrysalis label…and a happy Birthday today to Ian Anderson

The Albums: At 26:

COSMOS FACTORY – CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVIAL
One of the great American bands – loved this album since it came out in 1970. The eleven minute cover of Marvin’s I Heard it Through the Grapevine is a stormer. The also made some of the best singles of the era.

The Gigs: At 26

JIMMY PAGE & ROBERT PLANT – BRENDAN BRYNE ARENA MEADOWLANDS NEW JERSEY APRIL 6 1995

My only visit to the US was for a pair of Meadowlands dates in April 1995. The second night I was second row centre – when they walked on and kicked off with Thank You the place just erupted…one of my all- time gig going moments. The whole show was awesome –they were right on top of their game – what a night… it’s easy to forget the impact this reunion had at the time. 11 years on from their last tour together, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant recaptured the imagination of Zep fans around the world.
On stage they extended the creative edge of the MTV Unledded shows and combined it with the dynamic rock foundation that Led Zeppelin built their reputation on. The deployment of the Egyptian ensemble and orchestra added a unique exotic edge. it was massively exciting to be given the opportunity to see and hear the Zeppelin catalogue re interpreted with such panache by the principal songwriters of much of the original material. Here’s my original review for TBL.

The Gigs: At 27

JIMMY PAGE & ROBERT PLANT – ST AUSTELL COLISEUM
JULY 15 1995

The Cornwall coast on a Saturday night was an unlikely venue for this date added to the UK Page and Plant tour in 1995. From the moment they zapped into a taut version of Whole Lotta Love, I knew this was going to be a special night. I was lucky enough to be right down the front.
I spent a nervous month running around the country following the tour as the good lady Janet was pregnant at the time – hoping history would not repeat itself in an early arrival as Sam had made five years before.
25 days after this show with impeccable timing, Adam James Trevor entered the world on August 9, 1995.
It’s amazing to think Adam is now nearly the age when I was when I was out in that field in Stevenage watching Led Zeppelin in 1979.
Happy 21st Birthday today Adam James Trevor Lewis!

The Singles: At 27

OUR HOUSE – CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG
Written by Graham Nash when he was living with Joni Mitchell. A wonderfully evocative uplifting song from one of my all time favourite groups.

The Albums: At 27:

THRILLER – MICHAEL JACKSON
So many great songs, a masterful production by Quincy Jones – also a vivid reminder of great early 80s retail record shop times for me – boy did we sell some of this one.

The Gigs: At 28

PAUL McCARTNEY – WEMBLEY ARENA LONDON – JANUARY 21 1990.
Macca really went to town on this tour, incorporating a number of Beatles classics in the set – the Golden Slumbers/The End finale was superbly done. I had seen a Beatle perform live – an ambition completed.

The Singles At 28

HAPPENINGS TEN YEARS TIME AGO – THE YARDBIRDS

I paid £5 for a copy of this single in 1974 – at the time a big outlay – all worth it of course to own the only recorded remnant on a single of the Page and Beck Yardbirds line up – and the song itself is a veritable 1966 psychedelic freak out…

The Albums: At 28

THE BEATLES – ABBEY ROAD
One last hurrah and what a last gasp it was…this album has been in my life since September 1969 – and in the end…it still sounds amazing -and it was 47 years ago today that cover pic was taken

The Gigs: At 29

THE ROLLING STONES – TWICKENHAM STADIUM – SEPTEMBER 2003
I was lucky enough to be right in the front block for this one – an incredible close up view of the action. They of course were brilliant…

The Albums : At 29

BAND ON THE RUN – PAUL McCARTNEY & WINGS
Bought this the day it came out in early December 1973 – I knew he was on a winner and a year later it was one of the big selling albums around when I started work on the record counter at WH Smiths. Still sounds great…

The Singles : At 29

ROLL AWAY THE STONE – MOTT THE HOOPLE
Wonderfully uplifting record from Ian and the boys and a classic Top of The Pops clip to go with it

The Albums: At 30

ELECTRIC WARRIOR – T.REX
Bolan’s best boogie –and he had a few – always a wizard and a true star…I first heard this not long after Led Zep IV came out in late 1971 – at that point he really was the man

The Gigs: At 30

ROBERT PLANT WITH JIMMY PAGE – SILVER CLEF CONCERT KNEBWORTH – JUNE 30 1990

Jimmy Page was a very welcome guest on this memorable afternoon – and Wearing And Tearing played live for the first time…more history in a venue of many historic Zep related moments…

The Singles: At 30

SPEAK LIKE A CHILD – THE STYLE COUNCIL

Paul Weller’s first post Jam work brought a welcome soulful edge – great single that takes me right back to the early 1980s – like Robert Plant, Paul Weller has been the master of his own musical destiny and again like Plant,his music has been all the better for it…

The GIGS: At 31

JIMMY PAGE ARMS CONCERT SPETEMBER 22 1983 – ROYAL ALBERT HALL, LONDON

Jimmy performing Stairway To Heaven on this memorable night was one of the most emotional performances I’ve ever witnessed.
The good lady Janet was with me to share an incredible moment…

The Albums: At 31

SPLIT – THE GROUNDHOGS

I saw them perform the amazing Cherry Red from this album on Top of The Pops – it was when they had an albums spot on the programme. I also taped their John Peel Top Gear session in April 1971 on my reel to reel tape recorder –on the same reel as the Zep April 1 broadcast. The album is an intense ride – great playing from Tony and the band – still a much played album around these parts.

The Singles: At 31

TALK OF THE TOWN – THE PRETENDERS

Fantastic single from Chrissie and the band – the follow up to Brass In Pocket in the spring of 1980 –takes me right to that period planning Zep Over Europe and writing TBL issue 4 – this was one of the musical inspirations at the time.

The Gigs: At 32

The eyes have it

LED ZEPPELIN KNEBWORTH – AUGUST 4 1979

Seeing was believing…again

The Albums: At 32

KNEBWORTH FAIR VOLUME 1 AND 2 – LED ZEPPELIN
These pair of audience recorded bootlegs came out in early 1980 – I got them from the collectors shop in Hanway Court in London. It was a real thrill to have material from the Knebworth gigs on record –and today of all days, they will be on the player…

The Singles: At 32
WEARING AND TEARING/DARLENE – LED ZEPPELIN
This coupling of tracks was at one time officially planned to be distributed as special commemorative single to be made available at the Zep Knebworth gigs. Time ran out on that idea and both tracks would emerge on the Coda album. Years later an enterprising bootlegger produced this bootleg single – nicely packaged too. A great way of hearing Wearing And Tearing –one of the latter Zep era’s finest moments…

The Gigs: At 32

PRIORY OF BRION – MOIRA ASHBY DEL LA ZOUCH LEICESTERSHIRE SUNDAY OCTOBER 31 1999.
I’d seen him play to the biggest crowds at Wembley,Knebworth,and Meadowlands Arena New Jersey. ..but never in a tent to a couple of hundred people until this memorable Sunday afternoon.
This was one of the low key gigs Robert undertook with the Priory Of Brion performing covers of the likes of Jefferson Airplane, James Brown, Love and the Walker Brothers – ‘’the songs I’d kept in my back pocket’’ as he put it. My good friend Kevin Hewick will know we had a bit of a trial finding this place but it all came good in the end…another great occasion in the company of…

The Singles: At 33

CEREMONY – NEW ORDER
Great track – love that opening riff and the drumming is relentless – this takes me right back to the early 80s and a night club in town where many a memorable night was spent. My good friend Dec Hickey knows a bit about this group…his superb book on New Order – From Heaven to Heaven New Order Live – The Early Years, was a big inspiration on my Feather In The Wind Led Zeppelin Over Europe1980 book -both are brilliantly designed by Mick Lowe at StudioMix…details of Dec’s book are here

The Albums : At 33

FILLMORE – THE LAST DAYS – VARIOUS ARTISTS
I got this triple album box set for £3.49 at WH Smiths in July 1972 – a third of my weekly wages! It was another key musical exploration for this 15 yea rold going on 16. It chronicles of the last concerts at the famous Fillmore East and West venues opening my ears to some amazing American music including It’s A Beautiful Day, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Grateful Dead, Taj Mahal etc – Santana’s set is the highlight as they trawl through Miles In A Silent Way and the amazing Incident At Nehasbur. The package with booklet and memorabilia is awesome too.

To be continued

…………………………………………………………….

Dl Diary Blog update:

Studio mix aug 13Friday vinyl treats at the Vinyl Barn last week – a bit of Yes and some vintage RCA Elvis Presley singles –lovely!  Thanks Darren Harte
Yet more Friday vinyl treats –  last Friday afternoon it was off to sunny Hitchin Market with the good lady Janet where on the excellent 360 record stall I searched out a copy of the rare James Patrick Page Session Man Vol 2, plus Yes Fragile UK orange and plum original Atlantic pressing with booklet and a Fairport Convention Unhalfbricking Island Records Italian pressing with alternate sleeve – that’s the playlist sorted!

Here’s a pic taken at Studio Mix last Saturday morning editing initial designs of the Led Zep Evenings With book project I am working on with Mike Tremaglio – a long, long way to go but the ever brilliant Mick Lowe is bringing it all together in his usual style. It’s another epic in the making…

This week there’s been more work on the above and various bits and pieces.

Like countless others in the UK, I Stayed up late Sunday night and into early Monday morning to watch the Rio Olympics action – Andy Murray make it a double gold medal with his incredible victory – and then saw the 100 metres final live -Usain Bolt again just sensational.

My 60th birthday is moving ever closer – there will be one or two celebrations here over that weekend – and I am keeping the party going the following Saturday September 10 at the Victoria Record Fair – look forward to seeing those that can make it along – I will in the nearby indeed between  searching for records…yet again…

I’ve actually been feeling well fatigued these past weeks with a pretty relentless workload of late. My recent Type 2 diabetes check indicates I need to get a bit of a balance on things. The fact is I ain’t get any younger…

Anyway,yesterday I took time out for a bit of a respite…

One of the great things about being at the helm of the TBL world, is the many friendships I have built up over the years with being in contact with like minded enthusiasts. One of those has been John Parkin up in Lincolnshire.

parkin one

For the past 12 years, John and I have corresponded by email and phone – indeed, John has very kindly supplied me with many a CDR on our favourite acts – and in general been a great sounding board. However, we have never actually met – that situation was put right yesterday when I zipped into London to meet with John – he was in London with his family and was due to go to The Rolling Stones Exhibition. We were able to catch a couple of hours together in the Euston Flyer pub beforehand – and it was a joy to finally meet and yes, talk about the usual stuff – collecting records of course was high on the agenda – along with best gigs attended, fave albums , best B sides – yes the usual ”old bollocks” – but hey, we love it…

I was well pleased that I scored successfully on my old party trick of guessing the number one single the week John was born  (The Move, Blackberry Way).  All in all, it was an inspiring meet and one that re-emphasised (as I initially coined it way back in TBL issue one) the ”platform of communication” that exists between readers of  the TBL mag/website etc.  Those words that Ahmet once said –  ”It’s a great life, this life of music” certainly rang true when I finally met John Parkin yesterday in London.

There’s a couple of important birthdays coming up before mine – the good lady Janet’s is on August 31 and next Tuesday August 23, we will be remembering our much missed Betty who would have been 90 on that day. RIP the lovely lady…

Dave Lewis – August 19, 2016

YouTube Clip:

On the occasion of his birthday: Robert Plant…in 2016 impressive as ever..

Until next time…have a great weekend,

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – August 16, 2016.

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3 Comments »

  • Ian in NZ said:

    Nice CSNY top ten. I’d also recommend people check out (YouTube) CSN doing Blackbird at Woodstock. One of my fav few minutes of music ever. They know it’s great too.

  • Mark Williams said:

    Fabulous coverage as always Dave. Indeed a very happy birthday today to Robert ! He continues to amaze and invigorate like few other 68 year olds in rock ‘n roll today….Interesting to see he’s been added to Bill Wyman’s 80 th birthday bash in October.

    Today would have also been Phil Lynott’s 67 th birthday, still sadly missed.

    Ps; can’t wait to see Roy next month,that’ll be special !

  • Byron Lewis said:

    It’s certainly not the “usual old bollocks”, it’s a very rich seam in the tapestry of life! It was good to see Steve Hillage in amongst your list of fave gigs (albeit supporting) – he’s playing a 70s material night in Deepy Vale next month which should add to me own tapestry. Cheers

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