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ROBERT PLANT SUPPORTS COMPANY MAKING SCRUBS FOR NHS/TBL ARCHIVE 1 – WALKING INTO CLARKSDALE/TBL ARCHIVE 2 – THE DESTROYER 43 YEARS GONE/MOJO MENTION/REV PODCAST/DL 51 YEARS OF MUSIC PASSION/ DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

24 April 2020 1,186 views 10 Comments

Robert Plant supports Kidderminster company making scrubs for NHS:

This heartwarming story via Kidderminster Shuttle/Emily Collins.

Photos:Gino Ruffinato and Kim Calder (left) making scrubs at MG Sportswear in Kidderminster. Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant (right) has donated thousands towards materials. Right photo by Rob Hadley/Indie Images Photography

A SPORTSWEAR company in Kidderminster is making scrubs for workers on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis after receiving a generous donation from Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant.

The rock star has donated thousands of pounds to MG Sportswear, based in The Horsefair, which will go towards making hundreds of sets of scrubs for healthcare workers across the region.

MG, which usually manufactures uniforms for schools, sports teams and airlines, was forced to halt production and furlough staff due to the covid-19 crisis.

Business manager Kim Calder told The Shuttle: “Normally at this time of year, we would be busy supplying clothing for school and sporting tours but all these events have been cancelled or postponed so the factory was in shutdown.

“Meanwhile every night we heard the stories of shortage of scrubs for frontline hospital workers due to the increase in demand and the need to change them more frequently.

“Our company director Gino Ruffinato was saddened that we had the capacity to supply but not the supply chain or – in the current climate – the funds to get the fabric needed as it was so different to the sportswear fabrics we normally use.”

Kim added: “We are currently in the middle of producing around 1,000 sets of scrubs for local NHS trusts and a local care home but we need to order more cloth.

“We have just received a generous donation from Robert Plant that ensures we can continue to get fabric but with some of our workers needing to self-isolate and just to be able to get the garments out quickly we could do with local stitchers services if possible.

See more at:

https://www.kidderminstershuttle.co.uk/news/18388482.robert-plant-helps-kidderminster-company-make-scrubs-nhs/?fbclid=IwAR1MFnFRhhGtIKtMe8g7fwtS0qIsdb9D1B1T5YhKQLGpQRoDCM9E3Gf-Tys

Thanks to Paul Humbley

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TBL Archive 1 – Jimmy Page & Robert Plant – Walking Into Clarksdale – 22 Years Gone:

To mark the release of the Walking into Clarksdale album 22 years ago this week, here’s a TBL archive piece that looks back to the release of the album.

On the back of the Shepherds Bush gig and all the media coverage, it was such a great time to be a Page & Plant fan. Here’s my original and very optimistic review of the Walking Into Clarksdale album written for TBL issue 13.

 Walking Into Clarksdale: Another Walk With Walter

Q: When is a Led Zeppelin album not a Led Zeppelin album?

A: When it’s Walking Into Clarksdale.

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant : Walking Into Clarksdale (Mercury)

Well it’s certainly not ‘Led Zeppelin 2’, as if anyone would have been daft to enough to think it would be! And initially, it may leave the listener slightly confused, but eventually this long awaited new studio album continues in the grand Page Plant tradition of moving ever onwards. In doing so they constantly refuse to merely retread the formulas of old and instead opt for innovation and surprise.

If anything, it’s something of another walk with Walter. I would draw parallel to the overall feel of the album with that of their spring 1972 Stargroves composition Walter’s Walk, which finally saw the light of day on Coda. That track has a monolithic feel that takes some plays to rise to the surface, and contains an intensity that initially may cloud it’s impressive content. But when it’s quality becomes apparent then it really hits home. So it is with Walking Into Clarksdale.

Whilst there are no blatant Zeppelin re-spray jobs, the album is littered with subtle elements of their past. One of the joys of the album is searching them out. One thing’s for sure though, this is an album that has to be worked at. However, given repeated listening, it does begin to fall into place, and the full fruits of their labour (all 35 days, if the press release is to be believed!) begins to unfold.

Much of the album carries a melancholic and wistful feel – presenting songs that carry a reflective lyrical theme. In tracks such as When The World Was Young, When I Was A Child and Heart In Your Hand, Robert seems to be pensively re-assessing events that have gone before (‘’Do your lips still call my name, would your mouth still taste the same’’). It makes for some of his most personal lyrical statements in song for a very long time. ‘’A bit of emotional debris,’’ is how he described the theme of some of the song’s to Mojo’s Matt Snow.

I’ve had many a memorable premier of their work in the past – I can recall vividly exactly where I was the first time I heard Physical Graffiti, Presence, Pictures At Eleven etc. – and this new Page Plant album was always going to be an epic initial playback. So there I was, holed up in the TBL office around 9pm on a cold early ’98 Wednesday night faced with the huge expectation of this new album, knowing that over the coming months these songs would be the soundtrack to my life and countless other like-minded fans across the world.

As the semi acoustic groove of Shining In The Light swung in it was a huge relief to finally be listening to new Page & Plant music. As that familiar guitar style oozed from the speakers and that voice opened up… well I knew I was in the best company again. Subsequently some of the content did seem to wash over on that initial hearing.

Having lived with it for a while now, well, it’s excellence is more than evident. It carries so much vitality and most importantly it carries a totally contemporary feel. This isn’t a museum piece as Jimmy stated recently, this is new music that can line up with any of the best of today’s modern outfits such as The Verve. Lets face it, there are few other songwriters of 30 years standing who can rival that feat.

In terms of the musical performance and production, Steve Albini’s role seems to have been more about capturing a clear sound than bringing in the rough edge that has been the focus of his work with The Pixies and PJ Harvey. Robert’s vocals throughout are a sheer delight, singing with clarity and conviction and aided by a very up-front vocal mix. Jimmy, meantime, appears to be concentrating on his strength as a craftsman of guitar sound rather than churning out endless solos.

Some may bemoan the lack of guitar army tactics but by adopting this method there is a subtlety and surprise element (that swift guitar change in the title track for instance) in his performance that is a joy to hear. Michael Lee once again more than  proves his worth to the set up ably supported by Charlie’s bass work. Aside from the odd cameo from Ed Shearmer and Tim Whelan, it’s the basic ‘four-man, live-in-the-studio’ format that has worked so well on stage in recent weeks.

Outstanding moments? Quite a few. The way they kick in relentlessly on the chorus of When The World Was Young, with all the spark of on the road spirit of ’72 Zeppelin. The way the string arrangement comes seeping in on Upon A Golden Horse – the whole track has the bizarre lyrical content that has lit up many a Plant prose in the past- and carries a great swirling sound reminiscent of Four Sticks.

Please Read The Letter opens with Sick Again like riffing from Page before settling into a very West Coast repetitive romp that echoes the work of Moby Grape and vocally, finds Plant aping the style of Roy Orbison. Most High comes over as almost a separate entity from the rest of the album with it’s Arabic tendencies offering a last glance back to the world of Unledded. I felt this sound-ed a little perfunctory as a studio track, however, it’s elevation as a live piece seems to have rectified those initial shortcomings.

The title track is a great throw back to the off-the-cuff rockabilly tradition of Candy Store Rock. With it’s jolting time change it could easily have taken it’s place on Presence, and that second solo is pure Telecaster heaven reminiscent of the fluttering style Page deployed on those final Yardbirds recordings (Think About It springs to mind).

Burning Up and House Of Love are where the guitarist steps up a gear. The former is embellished throughout by that crunching riff – a real slashing affair that jumps out of the speakers, propelled along by Lee’s tom tom barrage. It’s here that Page really steps on it, proving, if proof was needed, that he can pump those solos out in his sleep. The latter finds Page pressing down on the wah wah delightfully underpinning the incessant drum track in support of Plants “It’s just a little too much’’ pleadings.

Sons Of Freedom comes complete with a Prodigy like urgency aided by yet more impressive drumming – it’s vaguely in the style of Network News from Robert’s Fate Of Nations album, and jumps around feverishly before it all grinds to a percussive halt. It’s worth mentioning that after this track the Japanese version for the album carries the bonus Whiskey In The Glass, which is nothing more than a studio jam taped towards the end of the sessions. It’s set against a Bo Diddley Mona syncopated beat with Page playing that reverberated phased guitar style heard on Rude World, and Plant in his best ad-lib vocal, but fades prematurely at under three minutes just as it’s getting warmed up.

That leaves the trio of performances that best capture that aforementioned melancholy feel. Heart In Your Hand took a while to register, initially sounding like something from a Chris Isaac album. However this is one of the prime growers.Page plays some deft Dick Dale phrasing behind Plant’s reflective longing. Overall, the song captures a dark and brooding soundtrack feel.

When I Was A Child opens with a memorable reverberating tremolo. Then Robert comes in to deliver a haunting narrative that casts an oblique shadow over his past. Page adds a suitable restrained solo and at the finale Plant ad-libs the final lines with delicate finesse, “Oh you know, so I wander through your garden, grow, when I was a boy, I was a boy…” One of the stand-out tracks and one of Robert’s best vocal performances in years.

Then there is Blue Train. Opening with some slow moving bass and timpani before Robert’s mournful vocal seeps in. It then up-lifts via some strident Zeppelinish dynamics and features a beautifully plangent Byrds like jangling guitar solo constructed in a way that is just quintessential Jimmy Page. At the close Robert raises the tempo, “Hear the blue train, hear the blue train’’, before it all calms to a close. Lyrically, there’s a reflective longing that is as close to home for Robert as perhaps I Believe was.

For me When I Was a Child and Blue Train are performance’s to rank right up there with Ten Years Gone and Down By The Seaside, as they both display that unique emotional dynamism that has always characterised their best work.

So ends another walk with Walter. It’s not instant, and some of it takes a while to register but there can be no denying the sheer quality of this long awaited work. In the shadow of the Zeppelin, but essentially Page & Plant music of today, Walking Into Clarksdale may turn out to be one of the most durable and ultimately satisfying albums of their entire career.

Dave Lewis – April 17, 1998.

Postscript – April 2019:

Walking Into Clarksdale may turn out to be one of the most durable and ultimately satisfying albums of their entire career.

Looking back that was a bit of a bold statement – Walking Into Clarksdale has actually gone down as quite a low key album. There’s no doubt it still divides opinion amongst fans.

The rather thin production and lack of wide screen riffling -something so evident on Jimmy’s previous studio project – the Coverdale Page album, does reduce it’s overall impact. That said, much of it still sounds great – from the light and breezy opener Shining In the Light through to the still superb Blue Train (one of the best ever Page Plant alliances in or out of Zep) and wonderfully affecting When I Was A Child – it still has much to delight. Only the rather cumbersome Burning Up and Sons of Freedom have really paled that much.

It’s a discerningly strange album – it may not be high on the playlist but when I do play it  – it always hits the mark and like I said, this album is steeped in late 90s memories. Walking Into Clarksdale is therefore something of a durable minor league classic.

I’ve just played it through and aside from sounding really good – it inspired a wave of personal 1990s nostalgic memories of the time – Istanbul, Shepard’s Bush Empire, managing the Our Price Record shop, the big Victoria Record Fairs, meets at the Eastern Monk pub. This was the last opportunity we had to revel in a union of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant together. Great days indeed.

Have a listen to Walking Into Clarksdale again – I think you will be pleasantly surprised of the impact.

Dave Lewis – April 25, 2019.

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More TBL Archive…

Led Zeppelin – The Destroyer 43 years Gone:

The first tapes I heard of the 1977 US tour was an echo laded audience tape from the April 27 Cleveland show. I had this arrive via one of my key collector contacts Russ Ress about a month after the gig. Despite the average sound, it was still a thrill to hear the likes of Ten Years Gone and Achilles Last Stand performed live. In 1980 a soundboard mixing desk tape emerged of the same gig. This was altogether something else – the two cassettes I received were played endlessly. Then about a year later  came the holy grail – a vinyl box set release.

destoyer
It’s a superb recording –  John Paul Jones’ use of the thundering Alembic bass guitar is well in evidence and his meandering eyboard solo on ‘No Quarter’ is simply captivating  – as is Jimmy’s remakeable guitar solo interlude. Overall, this is a crystal clear portrayal of the band regaining their crown. The sheer juggernaut power of ’77 Zeppelin blazes through. This one will be on the player this week for sure

The next night’s Cleveland performance April 28 ,which exists in a good audience source is another one to blast out these next few days in celebration. This one came out on a vinyl set on the Smilin’ Ears label in the late 70s also confusingly knows as The Destroyer.

The Return of The Destroyer Fan Gathering – 13 Years Gone:

Another anniversary and again hard to believe that it was all of 13 years ago this week that in collaboration with Julian Walker and Graeme Hutchinson, we staged a special Return of The Destroyer fan gathering at the Knights Templar pub in London. This was to celebrate the 30th anniversary of those memorable shows at the Richfield Coliseum on their 1977 US tour – later to be immortalised on the Destroyer box sets.

It was a great day out – I remember the late Howard Mylett attending along with a host of like minded enthusiasts and TBL supporters including Gary and Carol Foy.  Mark Harrison, Eddie Edwards, Graeme Hutchinson, Keith Creek, Gary Davies etc.

Robin Wealleans supplied the video and TV screen – in fact I recall we had a bit of job with the outside glare as it was an unusually hot and sunny spring day. Fan Lisa Haynes Truscott relayed her memories of being in the crowd at the curtailed Tampa date on June 3 1977.  We also staged an auction that raised over £1,000 for the ABC charity.

The night before I also interviewed ex Free/Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke at his gig at the Esquires club in Bedford. Crazy days indeed.

Here’s the report of the day that appeared in TBL issue 18. Little did know we know as we gathered on that rather hot day in London, that plans were already underway for Led Zeppelin to stage a spectacular comeback in honour of Ahmet Ertegun- indeed the next time I would see some of the names above would be in the confines of the 02 Arena on that night of nights on Monday December 10, 2007.

More 1977  US tour memories:

Led Zeppelin – The Destroyer 43 years Gone:

Here’s a further piece about The Destroyer bootleg release.

This is the thoughts of Eddie Edwards – long time TBL contributor and author of the brilliant Garden Tapes Zep Song Remains The Same dissection website – see http://www.thegardentapes.co.uk/

This was first published in TBL issue 19.

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Mojo mention for Celebration Days 1992 Led Zeppelin UK Convention:

In the current issue of Mojo there’s a nice shout out for the Celebration Days Led Zeppelin UK Convention Andy Adam’s and I organised back in 1992. This is on the pages where they look back at the happenings in the rock world in a particular month and year – this one being May 1992. Such great memories for Andy and I and anyone who was there. Thanks to Krys Jantzen for spotting that one

 

Rev CAT Club Podcasts:

Rev Reynolds of the CAT Club (Classic Album Thursdays) has been in touch with news of  his podcast. he has been producing some radio shows from his dining room table

Check it out at:

http://www.henrysmithbrewery.uk/podcasts/

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It was 51 years ago – 51 years of DL music passion 1969 – 2020:

I ran this piece last week to celebrate this personal music milestone  – here it is again with some additional content.

51 years ago around the Easter period, The Beatles released their first single of 1969. Get Back coupled with Don’t Let Me Down – these tracks had been recorded in January during the infamous Get Back sessions.

This is a significant release for me as this is the record that attracted me back to music – an attraction that has grown manifold over the past 50 years.
I say ‘back to’ as aged 7, I did have a brief flirtation with music mainly focused on The Dave Clark Five. I was pretty obsessed with Dave Clark’s drumming skills and replicated his drum kit in our back garden using old paint tin cans. Glad All Over remains one of my all time fave singles.

The first live gig I ever attended was the Dave Clark 5 package that came to the Bedford Granada in April 1964. In some wonderment I watched a line up of acts that included The Mojos, The Hollies, The Kinks and the aforementioned DC5.

However, this passion was eroded somewhat by childhood distractions such as Thunderbirds, Doctor Who and the Daleks, The Man From Uncle, James Bond and from 1966 -the year that England won the World Cup, my attention turned to playing football, watching it and following of Tottenham Hotspur. I also spent many an hour playing Subbuteo table football (anyone else remember that?)

My initial love of music took a back seat and remained somewhat dormant until that Easter of 1969.
Back then when I was aged 12, in the local café near our street there was a juke box – sixpence for two goes. My gang were often in there and one of the records that was played constantly from the moment it was released was Get Back. Now this I loved – really loved I loved its driving rhythm, bustling drumming,cool vocal with talk of ‘’Sweet Loretta Martin (who) thought she was a woman’’ and Billy Preston’s rolling keyboards.

I also loved the B side Don’t Let Me Down which was also often played on the juke box. The pleading vocal of John Lennon hit the mark every time.
I was well aware who The Beatles were of course. I had been to see both the Hard Days Night and Help films at the cinema. Anyone growing up in the 60s could not really avoid them – they were everywhere. I certainly knew they were very important I was playing the aforementioned Subbuteo table football at a friends house when his elder brother came in with a copy of the just released Sgt Pepper album.

My interest in them though had been from afar.

That all changed when I heard Get Back. A little over a month after this release, The Beatles had another single in the charts titled The Ballad of John And Yoko. I loved this one too.

One of the distinctive aspects of these Beatles records was that the label depicted a green apple, while the B side was the core of an apple. I quickly learned that the Beatles now released records on their own Apple label. I thought this design was a deft touch – it ignited something in me that would lead to a deep fasciation for actual record labels, designs and sleeves. It all went hand in hand with the affinity I developed for the long playing record and 45 RPM single. An affinity that remains as strong as ever.

I could not get enough of all this. As the song goes, music was now my first love – big time. I wanted to hear it, read about it, watch it and talk about it. Remarkably, in a matter of five years I would be selling it. Eventually – even more remarkably, my writing about it would reach fellow music fans across the globe.

From that moment of hearing and admiring Get Back grew an intense passion. I avidly read the NME and other music papers, I listened to Alan Freeman’s Pick of the Pops chart show every week on Radio One. I kept right up to date with all the weekly chart happenings and my appreciation of so much music grew and grew – The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, The Who, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Free, Family, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, Jethro Tull to name but a few, all appeared on my musical radar during the next few months – and stayed there.

Of course, there was one other act of much importance as all this would lead me to the biggest passion of all – Led Zeppelin. And anyone reading this will realise the immense consequences of all that.

Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham came into my life in late 1969 when I heard Alan Freeman play Whole Lotta Love. Throughout the next 12 months my enthusiasm for this band grew ever more intense – leading up to the release of Led Zeppelin III. By then I was well and truly hooked.

Whilst I enjoyed so much other music, my love of Led Zeppelin was on an altogether different level. This was not just a band…it became a way of life. I saw them live for the first of 15 occasions the following November at the Empire Pool Wembley. It was an illuminating night of electric (and acoustic )magic – many more magic nights would follow.

By the time I had clocked up that 15th appearance at the 02 reunion in December 2007, I had created a magazine about them, met them, interviewed them and written several books about them. From that small acorn in 1969 grew a mighty oak tree…the many branches of which continue to resonate…

Back to the story: when I could afford it I began buying singles and albums – The Who’s Pinball Wizard and the Island Records sampler LP You Can All Join In being amongst my first purchases in this new era. Many more would follow.

The Beatles Get Back single was announced via a very clever press advert. It described this new record with a series of incisive phrases.

It carried the headline The Beatles as nature intended. It read as follows:

‘’Get Back’’ is The Beatles new single. It’s the first Beatles record which is as live as can be in this electronic age.

There’s no electric watchamaclit.

‘’Get Back’’ is a pure springtime number.

On the other side there’s an equally live number ‘’Don’t let me down.’’

Paul’s got this to say about Get Back…

‘’we were sitting in the studio and we made it up out of thin air. We started to write words there and then …when we finished it we recorded it at Apple Studios and made it into a song to roller coast by’’.

P.S. John adds its john playing the fab live guitar solo.

An now John on Don’t Let Me Down.

John says don’t let me down about ‘’Don’t let me down’’

In ‘’Get Back’’ and’’ Don’t let me down’’ you’ll find The Beatles as nature intended

I could easily apply my then new found enthusiasm with the same statement because it really did feel like I had found total redemption in music – as nature intended.

51 years on now aged 63, nothing has changed – music is the DNA that defines who I am and what I do. In sharing it over the years, it has built lasting friendships and created much camaraderie. I am in touch with fellow music enthusiasts from Ecuador (hi Jose!),Japan, Brazil and many other countries.

The good lady Janet and I would meet when we worked at WH Smith selling records.

As of now, I am officially celebrating 50 years of music passion.

So thank you dear Beatles for opening the music floodgates for me that Easter all of 51 years ago.

Oh and John Lennon …I did not let you down about Don’t let me down – and you never let me down either….

Dave Lewis – April 24,2020

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Dave Lewis Diary Blog Update:

Here’s my Facebook post about the cancelled Record Store Day last Saturday:

Record Store Day…

 

Today this would have been the scene outside record shops around the country as eager record collectors got in line to queue for the goodies on offer at the annual Record Store Day.
For me every year for the last ten years this has been one of the most exciting days of the year. Alas, today it is not to be and it will be much missed.

To fill the gap a little I am going to spend today wading through my past Record Store Day acquisitions – I’ll put a few up here later…this pic was taken early in the morning outside the Rough Trade shop in Notting Hill in 2012…a glorious sight…

 

Record Store Day – 20 of my finest album acquisitions over the past decade…

Over the past few days I’ve been wading through my past Record Store Day collection that I have amassed since 2011. Here’s a top 20 listing of my  favourite Record Store Day acquisitions on album 12 inch and ten inch over the past decade in year of release order:

Robert Plant Fate Of Nations LP (2019)

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Four Way Street 3 LP (2019)

John Lennon – Imagine Raw Studio Mixes LP (2019)

Bob Dylan –Blood On The Tracks Replica 1974 test pressing LP (2019)

Humble Pie On 79th Street LP – Pie & Vinyl exclusive (2018)

Marianne Faithful – Rich Kid Blues LP (2017)

David Bowie – Bowpro single sided acetate box set (2017)

David Bowie Cracked Actor -Live In Los Angeles 1974 2 LP (2017)

Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes – Live At Jones Beach – ten inch 150 Gram Marbled Black & White vinyl (2017)

Graham Nash – This Path Tonight LP with bonus Our Houe/Teach Your Children single (2017)

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – London ’75 4 LP set (2017)

T Rex – Electric Warrior gold vinyl edition LP (2017)

Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters –More Roar ten inch (2015)

Frank Sinatra – Songs For Young Lovers – ten inch (2015)

Creedence Clearwater Revival – The ’69 Singles ten inch (2014)

The Yardbirds – Little Games –spatter coloured vinyl LP (2014)

Nick Drake 1971 – US compilation LP ( 2013)

Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue Sessions ’59 LP (2013)

Rory Gallagher – Stompin’ Ground ten inch (2012)

Pete Townshend – The Qudrophenia Demos double ten inch ( 2011)

Compiled by Dave Lewis April 20,2020.

Some thoughts from here…

I was not feeling at all good mentally over the weekend and earlier in the week- I posted this on my Facebook page on Monday…

I’ve been really struggling mentally these past few days.

I know we are all struggling in these extremely difficult times and I am by any means a special case. I know there are many people suffering far worse hardships than I am. We are all dealing with our own set of circumstances …and I feel somewhat selfish even writing this…

So please forgive me the indulgence of doing so – but it does help me to share these thoughts and helps me try and make sense of it all.

Like everyone, I am very worried and frightened as we face these tough challenging times.

On top of all that, all the issues of depression and anxiety that have been dragging me down for many months (and years) are still all there –and this depression has been back in force these past few days.

At the forefront of all that is the anxiety concerning the ongoing situation with Janet’s broken leg.
Four and a half months on, there has been some progress recently and she now can put some weight on her leg. However, there is a long uncertain recovery ahead and on a practical level, Janet not being fully mobile and on crutches makes the current situation much harder to deal with.

The fact I am a type 2 diabetic which brings it’s own set of health issues puts me in a higher risk and I am trying not to go out aside from an occasional bike ride and a daily walk with Janet on her crutches to strengthen her leg.

I have tried to keep positive and busy in the way I know best which is writing about music, sharing music posts on here, Zep related and others, and updating the TBL website and preparing material for TBL projects. It’s what I do and have done for many years –writing about music and sharing it is my DNA. That is usually a source of much inspiration to me.

However, one of the major downsides of depression is that it brings on a feeling of total lack of motivation. This leads to me finding it hard to enjoy the things I should – and sometimes I just do not have the heart for any of it. I would rather slink off into bed to sleep and forget this nightmare -something I have resorted to recently too often.

Of course, being in denial does not solve anything. The incredible Janet continues to be so supportive of my issues and so amazingly positive in dealing with her broken leg and the current situation we are all in.I am so very proud of this beautiful woman who so enriches my life.

I know my depression issues are hard to deal with and I hate myself for being like it. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s a Dave Lewis I do not like at all but finding the strong supportive positive Dave Lewis I so want to be – and can be and have been, is sometimes a very big challenge. I did have some excellent counselling a few weeks back which helped a lot, though that has had to stop in the current situation. Disappointingly, in the last few days it has all overwhelmed me again.

I do know we have much to be very thankful for, not least the support of many people far and wide –and in turn we are doing our best to support others. I am a blessed and very lucky man in so many ways.

I know I need to be in a positive mind-set as we face the tough weeks and months ahead. In doing so, I can also hopefully get motivated to continue to write and share my thoughts and views – because life sounds better to music and never more so than in these worrying times.

For all of us above everything, the only thing that really matters now and ahead is keeping safe and well.

Thanks for listening…and keep safe and well…

Much love from DL and J xx

April 20,2020

Following that posting on my Facebook page I’ve been a lot brighter this week – the sunny weather has certainly helped too -and of course so many kind comments and support.

As mentioned above, Janet is making some progress after 4 and a half months -however her break at the neck of femur we are told is the worst sort and complications can set in such as the hip ball slipping ,the bone crumbling, the pinning slipping  – that will only be come apparent as time goes on -so every consultancy is a worry – the next one is in a couple of months.  For now we hope and pray the healing process is taking its course.

Her flexibility is a lot better though she has some discomfort from her muscle around the thigh. We were due to go to physiotherapy sessions but these were cancelled due to the current situation. Instead, Janet has had a couple of phone calls to advise and some daily exercises to do which are going well. We go out for a short walk everyday on her crutches which greatly helps strengthen her leg. She is also now using only one crutch to get around the house as opposed to her walker frame and can get up and down the stairs easier.

 She really has been amazing in dealing with all this and I am so proud of her.

We do have a lot to be thankful for and we are taking each day as it comes -which is all we can do like everybody in the current situation.

I am keeping busy – and among other things working on various TBL projects. TBL designer Mick has been in touch recently he is working from home. We were planning TBL 46 and a new package for the Feather In The Wind Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980 book to tie in with the 40th anniversary of the Over Europe tour – these projects we are still very keen to get underway and they all there to do and I will continue to chip away at them.

I am learning in these difficult times that you have to embrace every inspiration that helps…and these last few days it’s been the following:

Encouraging and heart warming words from long time TBL supporters and friends Pete Gozzard, Julian Walker, Eddie Edwards, Gary Davies, Chris Mayley, Nick Anderson, Phil Tattershall, Graeme Hutchinson, Larry Bergmann jr, Dave Linwood, Dave Fox, Cliff ‘The ticket man’ Hilliard, Steve Way, Ian Sakia, Alan Stutz, Rev Reynolds  and Mike Warry to name just a few.

Such inspiring words from Sheldon Cole and his wife Becky…

A great e-mail from David Clayton who runs the Free Appreciation Society mag which included a rare visual Zep find that my Evenings With Led Zeppelin co author Mike Tremaglio was very pleased to see…

Phone conversations with Steve Livesley, Pete Burridge, Nick Curruthers, Jerry Bloom and others…

Matt O’Kane sending me a very nice art poster – thanks so much Matt

A cassette version of the soundtrack to Scream For Help by John Paul Jones – a superbly packaged Japanese edition – a gift from Steve Livesley -thanks mate…

The mention of the Celebration Days Led Zeppelin UK Convention in Mojo…

Andy Adams for posting on his Facebook group the clip of Jimmy Page performing White Summer on the Julie Felix show all of 50 years ago this week – we first acquired that footage (thanks Tim Davies) to show at the aforementioned Celebration Days Convention

Chris Charlesworth’s hugely entertaining and enlightening recent blog posts on his Just Backdated site about his times in America as the Melody Maker’s US correspondent…be sure to check it out at http://justbackdated.blogspot.com/2020/04/my-stint-as-melody-makers-man-in_22.html

Watching the new Rolling Stones video for their superb new track Living In A Ghost Town with the good lady Janet last night. You gotta love ’em.

The daily walk with Janet where I can see some good progress in her mobility…

Clapping for our care workers at 8pm every Thursday – such a privilege to do so and so moving…

It’s those little things and gestures to cherish that you have to get in the moment with…I find myself welling up with the many acts of kindness we see everyday as we cope with these tough times.

It continues to be a rollercoaster of emotions and ups and downs but sharing our hopes and fears is so important as we are all in this together…

Finally…

Janet and I have been  totally overwhelmed with the many incredibly kind supportive comments following the above  ‘Some Thoughts Here’ Facebook post. This has provided much inspiration here to say the least…

As mentioned, I’ve also heard from many of the TBL community personally which was a huge lift.

These words from the song Friends by Led Zeppelin say it all…

‘’The greatest thing you ever can do now is trade a smile with someone who’s blue now’’

We have so many encouraging smiles from far and wide on here and we sincerely thank you all from the bottom of our hearts…

Stay safe and well you very lovely people…

Dave Lewis

April 24,2020

Until next time, stay safe and stay well…

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

Follow TBL/DL on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/tightbutloose.loose

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

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10 Comments »

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Rich many thanks

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    I remember that one Rich!

  • Rich Farquhar said:

    Dave,

    On another musical note…back in early March when the virus was becoming a big deal, the company I work for had an offsite meeting in Carlsbad, CA. There is an amazing record store called Spin Records. The company gave me a award that was a $100 gift card – I immediately went to Spin and spent every penny. One of the things I bought….a used Christmas 2011 issue of Record Collector – remember that issue? Zep on the cover “How Their Greatest Album was Made.” Zep 4. I saved it for the flight home. Then I discovered the article was written by…none other than Dave Lewis! Great article and of course, I was listening to 4 while reading. Inspirational!

    Many thanks,

    Rich Farquhar
    Atlanta, Georgia
    USA

  • Rich Farquhar said:

    Dave,

    As I have mentioned in several notes to you, I dealt with anxiety and some depression too and have tremendous empathy for what you are going through. Perhaps you are receiving too much “advice” from people but that said, I would like to share a couple of personal and positive elements to what I went through. First, I went to counseling because I knew that my wiring was off. After a day of testing, the Dr. confirmed I had anxiety and depression and prescribed Lexapro. I’m in no way advocating prescriptions for you. What I can tell you is that Lexapro REALLY helped me – I do not experience anxiety any more. I first started taking around 2012. I saw that you have Type2 Diabetes. That is autoimmune. I also have Type2 and have other autoimmune issues (nerve pain) and I am reading a book on autoimmune that has been extremely helpful: “Beat Autoimmune: The 6 Keys to Reverse Your Condition and Reclaim Your Health” by Palmer Kippola – who experience MS at a young age and did her own research on MS and autoimmune. A very practical approach to autoimmune. I read your personal blog updates and it pains me that you are going through a tough time. Hang in there!! You can beat this! It may seem like it is inches of progress but don’t lose faith that you will be healed!!!

    All the best,

    Rich Farquhar
    Atlanta, GA
    USA

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Ed many thanks as ever for your wise and supportive words..

  • Ed- Washington DC said:

    Dave, these are challenging times indeed and you are not alone. Perhaps as you navigate your personal issues at this time of isolation and uncertainty, solace can be found in your frank determination just to improve. That glimmer or ray of hope in the simple act of reaching out and articulating your condition to the world writ large. In an effort to just get to the other side of this. A flattening of your own personal curve, so to speak, rendered incrementally each day. Subtle but inexorably. You don’t sound like a man who has lost hope, but rather someone who very much desires it. That’s what I took from your post and its encouraging.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Louis many thanks for your very kind comments

  • Louis Wilkes said:

    Hello Dave. Thank you, as ever, for keeping the Zep flame burning brightly. I’ll be listening to my favourite Clarksdale tracks later: Blue Flame, House of Love, Shining, Child, Most High…like many in these times I’m engaged in lots of DIY and gardening and I find Clarksdale on the headphones a perfect accompaniment (along with Physical Graffiti, Fate of Nations, Them Crooked Vultures and my new find, Kickback City by Rory Gallagher – what an album!). So good to read a positive close to your latest post, you’re showing great strength and heart by sharing your experience with us. You’re right, being thankful is so important and so good for our well being. Keep up the valued work, stay safe and stay In The Light.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Ian Subbuteo ruled oh yes…

  • Ian in NZ said:

    Keep writing Dave – always love to read your words.

    And, yes, certainly remember Subbuteo … using the red and blue teams as subs for knelt-on players; Celtic v Brazil – game 23; arguments over what was a fair flicking technique. I also suspect we played it wrongly as it always looked more like a stately snooker game than fast-moving footy.
    Even now I’m tempted to buy a cheap billiards table and mark it out as a Subbuteo pitch – it would be perfect!

    Continuing best wishes from NZ to you and Janet.

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