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13 January 2021 2,022 views 3 Comments

Led Zeppelin Vinyl: The Essential Collection by Ross Halfin. Published by Reel Art Press Spring 2021:

Here’s the latest update via his Facebook page from Ross Haflin on his forthcoming Led Zeppelin Vinyl: The Essential Collection book…this is going to be an essential addition to the creaking Led Zep bookshelf…

”I’ve been working on the latest draft of my new Led Zeppelin vinyl book and I’m actually really pleased with it . I have photographed all of my records and am trying to pick the rarest ones and also things I think people might find unusual . I would have thought shooting album covers would be easier than shooting bands – let me help you , it’s not . You have to be much more precise . Here’s some info on the book from the publishers – go and get it , I hope you won’t be disappointed” :

Led Zeppelin Vinyl: The Essential Collection by Ross Halfin. Published by Reel Art Press and available to pre-order now .

All copies pre-ordered @reelartpress will be signed by Ross.

Publication date April 17 – pre order here:


TBL Archive Special: A look back to the second date of the Led Zeppelin 1975 touring campaign:





Setlist: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/When The Levee Breaks/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/The Wanton Song/No Quarter/Trampled Underfoot/In My Time Of Dying/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – Black Dog/Communication Breakdown.

Snapshot Notes: The second warm up date for their forthcoming US tour – the previous night they had played Rotterdam. Before the show Robert conducted an interview backstage with Bob Harris for broadcast the following Friday (January 17th) on BBC2’s Old Grey Whistle Test.

There were five previews aired from the forthcoming Physical Graffiti set – Sick Again, Kashmir, The Wanton Song (which would only be performed on a few of the opening US dates), Trampled Underfoot and In My Time Of Dying. They also included an arrangement of the never before played live When The Levee Breaks – this again did not last for too many performances on the US tour. With Page possibly dealing with a recently damaged finger (see more on this below), the set was less than two hours in length with little improvisation – Dazed And Confused and Moby Dick were both absent – rare omissions for the time. Robert Plant was also beginning to struggle with an oncoming cold. Presentation wise these two warm up warm-up dates were performed with a relatively simple stage set up for the final time.– the US tour will see John Bonham’s drums mounted on a rostrum and a major new light and laser show.

These dates were announced in the UK press at the end of 1974, but I somehow missed this info – – in fact I did not know the gigs  had taken place until a week later such was the low key nature of the gigs – oh for the internet back then! If I had known, I would have made an effort to go for sure!

Snapshot Listen – how it sounded today:

brus 3

It’s Time To Travel Again (Diagrams of Led Zeppelin)

The January 12th Brussels show exists on a fair to good audience recording that I have on the Diagrams of Led Zeppelin CD It’s Time To Travel Again.

Here’s my overview of how it sounded today:

Given the physical frailties of Robert’s voice and (possibly!) Jimmy’s injured finger, once they get in their stride there are some fine performances. The set is a quant one with the notable omission of Dazed And Confused – along with the Rotterdam gig the night before, it was the first time this Zep I standard had not been played live in a Zep performance since their inception. There’s no Moby Dick either making for a much shorter performance than was the standard.

Sick Again kicks in after Rock And Roll and Robert plays it safe on the vocal histrionics. Jimmy is equally tentative on Over The Hills And Far Away with none of the expansive solo improvisation that will be a highlight on the US tour and Earls Court shows.

Their onstage rustiness is evident early on – amply demonstrated by Bonzo going into the intro of When The Levee Breaks when he should have been readying for Over The Hills – where’s that confounded written set list!

When The Levee is duly performed (‘’here’s one we always enjoyed and we’ve finally got around to playing’’). Bonzo is spot on but it’s a rather ponderous plodding arrangement – it will not last too many outings on the US tour. ‘’Jimmy Page steel guitar’’ proclaims Robert at the close.

The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song are fairly perfunctory performances while the new Kashmir is initially a little hap-hazard. Robert loses the lyrics early on but they recover well for the final ‘’Let me take you there’’ sequence which prompts both Page and Plant to up their game.

‘’Another song of lust, a little habit I picked up after meeting Phil Carson (NB: Atlantic Records exec)– one of my idols’’ is Plant’s tongue in cheek intro into The Wanton Song – this works really well with Page now suitably animated in his playing – it’s a shame it was to fall off the setlist after a few performances in the US.

No Quarter is very much a 1973 arrangement with no extended grand piano section – which might be just as well as the crowd seem impatient and slow hand clap as the chorus comes back in. Before that, Jimmy gets into some very delicate and pleasing wah wah effects.

Two back to back Physical Graffiti previews follow: Trampled Underfoot is fast and furious and In My Time Of Dying is a valiant performance given the physical restraints. Both of these of course will come good with a few more performances

Finally…’’A song from not too long ago …what you might call a permanent favourite ‘ as Plant explains.

So come in Stairway To Heaven – now elevated to the main setlist closer. From the slightly extended strummed intro though to the crescendo ending, this performance strongly hints at the majesty this piece will attain ahead. It’s a great performance and worth the price of admission alone with Plant adlibbing away (note he still sings ‘’Dear lady’’ and ‘’Your Stairway’’ tonight – this will change to ‘’Dear people’ and ‘’Our Stairway’’ during the US tour). As for Jimmy, he delivers that long and winding jittering solo with sheer intent – a solo that will further develop and extend in the coming months and reach something of a zenith in Earls Court come May. It’s already very evident how much they have moved this piece on from the 1973 tour.

Encores: A brief Whole Lotta Love that segues into Black Dog and a strident Communication Breakdown with a chugging mid-section (‘’I don’t need…I don’t want’’) and gig number two of 1975 is over.

In the coming weeks in America , Plant’s voice will initially become weaker and Page’s finger injury will deem that How Many More Times temporarily replaces Dazed as the violin bow showcase. The stage setting will become more extravagant and the light and laser show ever striking. The audiences will become increasingly crazy, and a double album called Physical Graffiti will create a fervent rush at record stores across the land.

This night in Brussels is a quint and fascinating transitory performance – the health problems may be evident but inspired by their new material, this slightly tentative Led Zeppelin are very keen to make their mark in 1975.

And make their mark they will do as you will read in the next TBL Led Zep 1975 Snapshot…

To be continued…

Dave Lewis – January 13,2021. 

Jimmy s Injured Finger:

It was well documented that Jimmy injured his finger – shutting it in a train door in early 1975 – it’s difficult to pin point the actual date it happened – I was under the impression it was just before the Rotterdam and Brussels dates but I could well be wrong. here are some thoughts on the topic from TBL contributor Andy Crofts

The 1975 finger thing, I couldn’t resist a quick word about that. It is frustrating, because it’s very hard to square all the reported facts.

You are right that it is simplest to assume that it happened pre-Brussels, but the Rolling Stone interview from March 75 is equally clear that it happened ‘just a week’ before the US tour started, and JP had only one rehearsal to work out how to play everything. Both Keith Shadwick and Mick Wall back this up in their books, although neither gives a proper reference, maddeningly.

The Brussels gig is weird, because they don’t play Dazed And Confused  and How Many More Times -or Moby Dick for that matter, which I’d have thought ideal if the guitarist is unwell! But… JP plays very well in Brussels (this initially surprised me when I started listening), RP doesn’t make any mention of fingers onstage (which he does do on later US gigs), and the Bob Harris interview with him the same day doesn’t touch on it either. I also can’t help shake the feeling that they would just have cancelled those warm-ups had JP done his finger in immediately prior.

My take is that initially they never intended to play Dazed And Confused in 1975. They had other stuff in the set, like Levee and Wanton, and potentially others too; the setlist from the disputed Minneapolis rehearsal tape is an indicator here (I don’t believe this can be from 1973, but that’s a whole other argument!). So that’s why it’s not played in Brussels. They get to the US and realise they don’t like Levee, and need more material to fill the gap. This needs to be familiar to the audience, which won’t have heard the new stuff yet. The unrehearsed Dazed And Confused is considered a stretch too far, given the by-now broken finger, so they have a go at How many More Times for a few nights… equally unrehearsed, but it worked quite well when they did it impromptu in Southampton in 1973. Putting my guitarist’s hat on, I don’t see how a shortish Dazed And Confused is necessarily harder on the fingers than How Many More Times (something else that’s always bothered me about that part of the story), but the latter is certainly easier to pick up if you haven’t played it for a while.

All this squares the known and reported facts, and also makes sense of Jimmy’s other comment in Rolling Stone, that he wants Dazed And Confused back in the set ASAP… he preferred playing that to How Many More Times , which was probably a bit old-fashioned for him by 1975.

There’s another possibility of course, which is that the Brussels tape is incomplete, and other songs were played… it does seem very short. But I don’t think so. It’s maddening not to have anything from Rotterdam or indeed Minneapolis to compare it with.

Oops, I’ve written an essay. These nitpicking things are interesting in an ubergeek kind of way, and I think it’s fascinating how things which may not be quite right become accepted fact, just through repetition. I think Led Zeppelin simply started with one set list in 1975 and abandoned it in the face of their US audience. A shame. I’ve recently been reading about Cream’s experiences in the US, and they were the same; lots of parallels actually. Jimmy’s finger is ultimately a red herring, because – painful or otherwise – he plays very well throughout Jan 75.

Many Thanks Andy for those comments.

My thoughts on the recently surfaced Los Angeles March 24, 1975 soundboard…

Led Zeppelin – All is Safe For Rock And Roll (Eelgrass  4 CD set)

Let’s cut to the chase here. When it comes to favourite Led Zeppelin touring periods, the year 1975 is right up there for me.

It helps of course that over two weekends in May of that year, for night on ten hours, I was able to breath the same air as the four members of Led Zeppelin. This was in the confines of the Earls Court Arena when I was lucky enough to attend all five of their concerts there.

That whole period with the release of the double album Physical Graffiti, US tour press reports in NME and Melody Maker, the excitement of the build up to the Earls Court shows plus the appearance of the UK Trampled Underfoot single, all make for golden memories.

There I was aged just 18 living the Led Zeppelin dream – a dream that culminated in the realty of meeting all four members after the final Earls Court show in the early hours of May 26,1975.

Musically too there was magic in the air. After a difficult opening to the US tour due to Jimmy injuring his finger and Plant suffering with flue, they really got into their stride. The set list was revamped to include performances of songs from the Physical Graffiti double album. There was also a substantially extended No Quarter that really went places and a similar marathon length to Dazed And Confused. Add in the nightly ritual of a Stairway To Heaven finale, for me the 1975 repertoire mirrored every colour of the Zep spectrum.

There was also the not inconsiderable bonus for UK fans attending the Earls Court shows of an acoustic set and the unique beauty of a four part harmony arrangement of Tangerine . The news songs in the set list mainly Sick Again, In My Time of Dying, Kashmir and Trampled Underfoot (and The Wanton Song on a few occasions early on in the US tour ) all worked superbly well in a live setting. Trampled Underfoot in particular, took on new heights in a delivery that doubled in length to the studio version with regular insertions of lines from Gallows Pole.

Of course, this 1975 touring era is not high on everybody’s fave listings and there were other great periods of on stage glory. The rawness of 1969 and 1970, the developments of 1971, that incredible first Japanese tour with many a set list variance, and the instrumental precision of 1972 and 1973 are all wonderful representations of their on stage genius – and periods that I also very much enjoy. Given this incredible canon of live performances it’s nigh on impossible to single out just one era but I do have strong affinity for the Led Zeppelin 1975 live model.

Thankfully, the 1975 touring era has been very well served with surviving audience tapes. In recent years there has also been the emergence of a healthy crop of soundboard recordings covering a variety of the US dates. My personal favourites include the Feb 12 Madison Square Garden Flying High CD set and the superb Deus Ex Machina which chronicles the March 21 1975 Seattle performance – one of the very best of the US tour.

Though not in the Japan 71 league for improvised one off performances, there are enough nuances and playful interludes –not to mention regal on stage Plantations, to make these 1975 live recordings well worth seeking out. The set list may have been fairly static during the two legged US tour but as usual, there was much on stage improvisation and some truly inspired playing.

So to the night of March 24 1975 and the first of three performances at the Los Angeles Forum –always a favourite stamping ground for the band.

The emergence of this soundboard recording has caused much excitement in the Zep bootleg collecting world. We know via the familiar much bootlegged audience tape that they were on fine form over those final three nights of the US tour. The opportunity to hear it in pristine sound quality is therefore a mouthwatering prospect.

As ever the Empress Valley label were quick to represent this show on a variety of top dollar CD configurations.

However the Eelgrass label has swiftly entered the marketplace with a more reasonably priced version.

Not being a man who gets involved in the downloading or torrent world, I was keen to have the physical product in my hand and duly I tracked down the Eelgrass version titled All Is Safe For Rock And Roll

As a bonus, Eelgrass have added a portion of the soundboard from the band’s first show of the 1975 North American tour in Bloomington, MN, that surfaced online last year including a rare rendition of The Wanton Song.

Right here’s the facts:

The Forum, Inglewood, Los Angeles, California, USA – March 24, 1975

The line up of the three CD’s containing this show is as follows:

Disc 1 (53:19) Introduction, Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir

Disc 2 (57:33) No Quarter, Trampled Under Foot, Moby Dick

Disc 3 (72:05) Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Heartbreaker

This version is minus the JJ Jackson introduction and the fist sound is the crunch of John Bonham warming up the snare drum before rattling around the drum kit – and then Jimmy hits the strings and the game is very much on.

The opening salvo of Rock And Roll and Sick Again is hampered a little by Robert’s rather strained vocal.

It improves for Over The Hills And Far Away and by In My Time Of Dying he is well in his stride. Robert declares his delight at being back in LA stating in his opening speech ‘’Well we’ve been in California a little while, but let me tell you this is the place. This is the one.’’

The upbeat mood of the band is evident throughout the gig thought not least via some very cheeky in between song comments. There’s a couple of sly drug references

‘’We intend to take a musical cross section of the work that we got together over the last six and a half years. A little touch of this, a little taste of that, a little toot of this, a little blow of that,a gram is a gram is a gram’’ and John Bonham and Paul Rodgers share the brunt end of some Plant quips. ‘’Bonzo decided not to have the sex change after all’’

‘’We took advantage to travel to spots and places in the globe, and on the globe, and on the face of the earth that people don’t normally go, right? Places where the red light still shines for two rupees. Places where there’s a magical feeling in the air, rather like Paul Rogers bedroom when he takes his shows off, and we found that whatever happens, wherever we go, we find people, and develop rapports with these people, and sooner or later, we have to boil it down to the fact that The Song Remains The Same.’’

It has to be said that the overall performance of this show does not match the intensity of the Seattle concert three days earlier, but this is still a very enjoyable first LA night.

‘’This is a song that is maturing more and more as time goes on’’ comments Robert before a powerful Kashmir.

Disc two opens with the lengthy No Quarter and John Paul Jones duly takes the spotlight. The clarity of Jonesy’s grand piano is quite stunning and there’s a beautiful moment where he moves into an exert of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez . Quick aside 1:  When I interviewed JPJ in 1997 he told me Miles Davis Sketches of Spain album which includes Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez was one of his all time favourite albums.

Then it’s off into the jazzy arrangement which John Bonham syncs right into as does Jimmy. This three way jam is one of the undoubted highlights of the entire set. I found myself once again marvelling at the musical synergy on display and Jimmy’s use of the wah wah pedal is another deft touch.

An intense Trampled Underfoot follows with Jimmy driving them through the extended solo

‘’Ladies and gentlemen, at the front of the stage right now, Elvis Pressley’s right hand man, Billy Miller.’’

Robert acknowledges Elvis Presley’s right hand man Bob Miller and sings a line from Treat Me Like A Fool. Quick aside 2 Treat Me Like A Fool was the song Robert crooned with Elvis when Zep had an audience with the King in 1974.

The jovial Plant introduces Moby Dick as follows:

‘’It is our great pleasure now to feature one of the finest percussionists in the band today. Maybe the greatest drummer ever to sit on this rostrum with us tonight. The mighty Mekon from Kidderminster, John Bonham. Moby Dick!’’

Ahmet Ertegun also gets name check before the next marathon which Robert explains’’ So we should take you right back to the first day that we got together in a little room. I can see you all there. In a tiny small room we got together and I think that this was probably about the first thing that we had a go at – apart from the secretary.’’

Dazed And Confused is a 35 minute marathon including that version of Woodstock which would so light up Earls Court in a couple of months. Those minor chords take me straight back there. The ‘’Back to the garden ‘’line is echoed again and again for maximum effect. There also some effective stereo panning during the violin bow episode and a West Side Story influenced extended outro.

‘’We’d like to, we are in fact, it’s not a case of liking, we are determined to give you just one more pastel shade of what we’ve been managing to get together. This is for all our English friends who’ve arrived in the, at the continental Riot House. This is for the foundations of the Continental Riot Houses, and this is for you people here who’ve made this a good gig.’’

I love any version of Stairway from this period and there’s the customary slight change of lyrics to ‘’Dear people’’ ‘’Our stairway’’ and the ‘’That’s all we got’’ is a prelude to Jimmy’s solo. A compelling solo that peaks with a lovely animated guitar ending.

‘’Good evening. Thank you. It’s been a great pleasure, and we intend to finish it in true Zeppelin style, OK?

And they do – there’s a slight riff of The Rover before they zip through a frantic Whole Lotta Love which has a unique near complete vocal delivery of The Crunge – right up to the ‘’Where’s that confounded bridge?’’ line – then its headlong into Black Dog.

Before Heartbreaker Jimmy plays with the riff before they get to grips with the familiar crunching structure and on this night a playful John Bonham gets involved in the solo.

‘’Ladies and gentlemen, children of the sun – goodnight’’

Before an overall summary, let me tell you about the bonus Disc 4:

Here’s the line-up:

Disc 4 (43:53) Bonus Disc: Met Center, Bloomington, MN, USA – January 18, 1975. The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir, The Wanton Song (cut), The Wanton Song (Studio Outtake # 1), The Wanton Song (Studio Outtake # 2), The Wanton Song (Studio Outtake # 3), Candy Store Rock, Candy Store Rock (Both from unknown master source)

The main attraction here is the 23 minute soundboard fragment from the opening night of the US tour at the Met Center in Bloomington MN, on January 18, 1975 –this first emerged early last year.

Robert’s vocals are surprisingly good here as they romp rather excellently through The Song Remains The Same and The Rain Song and Kashmir Robert introduces the next song as being about the “ascetic beauty of a woman” and they lock in to the sold riff of the rarely played live The Wanton Song but frustratingly it cuts after just 37 seconds. here’s hoping a complete soundboard version surfaces -and for that matter the whole show.

This is followed by three studio outtakes of The Wanton Song –the first has a ‘’1-2-3-4 count in’’ and is slightly looser than the released version. This is from the previously bootlegged Headley Grange rehearsals.

A very muffled take of The Wanton Song follows – this is the familiar WLIR sourced radio outtake with the hoarse Plant vocal. This was originally aired on WLIR 92.7. This has the DJ voice over chasing the ending with some explanatory comments.  A third version is virtually the same take with a great solo and a fade. All have been previously released on the Studio Magik box set.

Finally there are two versions of Candy Store Rock. They sound very similar to the released versions – they appear on the Jesus disc of the Empress Valley release.


The extra disc is good to have for the Met Center soundboard extracts but the main meat here is the three discs that cover the March 24,1975  LA Forum recording. Though not in the major league of 1975 performances such as as Nassau, Seattle or Vancouver, there is still much to enjoy here.

It’s a another snapshot of the band riding on the crest of a wave, and after six and a half years still lending their power to their audience every night. The fact they do not always get it spot on right all the time is always part of the charm. The vulnerability of Led Zeppelin is but one of their many attractions.

Let it be said though, that on this night first LA night when they really get it right – such as the version of No Quarter, it’s a thrilling aural live in concert experience.

In short, this is another evening with Led Zeppelin and as the title would have it – all is safe for rock and roll…

Dave Lewis – January 12,2021

Stop Press: Led Zeppelin Immigrant Song/Hey Hey What Can I Do official single cancelled :

The official commemorative single due to be released on January 15 has been cancelled.

This via the official site…

“With great regret, Warner Music must inform Led Zeppelin fans that the ‘Immigrant Song / Hey, Hey, What Can I Do’ 7” single has been cancelled,” the statement read. “We sincerely apologise for any disappointment or inconvenience this may have caused. Refunds will be available at point of purchase.”

More here via LZ News

LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:

For all the latest Zep and related news check out the Led Zeppelin news website at:

Remembering  the late great Mick Bonham – RIP…

Remembering the late great Mick Bonham – 21 years gone …

January 14 marks the passing of Mick Bonham in 2000.

Back in early 1980, I first contacted Mick to request some of his amazing photos he had taken of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth to use in the then forthcoming TBL issue 4. He was more than generous in supplying a whole batch of previously unpublished shots. From then on he was always very supportive of my work and we often met at Zep related events.

His generosity and great spirit was certainly well in evidence when along with other members of the wonderful Bonham family, Mick attended the 1992 Led Zeppelin Celebration Days Convention Andy Adams and I staged in London…here’s a great pic taken by Jan Mulder from that weekend of Mick on stage with Deb and the band. RIP Mick…

More TBL Archive:

It was 40 years ago: DL Life with the stars…. 

It was 40 years ago this month that the local Bedford paper The Bedford Record published a centre page feature piece on the Tight But Loose magazine and my affinity for Led Zeppelin (the first of a number of such stories that would appear over the next three decades – I discovered that local newspaper editors love this stuff).

This all grew out of some quotes I gave to then local journalist Andy Bull at the time about the sales hike experienced after John Lennon’s death. When I mentioned I published a magazine on Led Zeppelin he was very keen to interview me for the paper. A photographer was despatched to the Dents Road shrine (my bedroom) and next thing I knew my name was in lights (sort of).

Coming home on my bike from working at WH Smiths (where the talk of the day had been my inclusion in the paper) that evening of January 6th 1981, I noticed the billboard outside the local newsagents shop previewing the papers content. It read (I kid you not!)  ‘’ Bedford Record : Bedford man’s life with the stars’’. I got off my bike, calmly walked in showed the shopkeeper the paper and my picture in it and asked  for said billboard. He kindly offered it to me and I still have it  – here’s a pic of me with it from about eight years back –  I really should get it framed.


Bedford mans life with the stars then: The young DL in the Dents Road shrine with TBL 5 – as seen in the Bedford Record January 6th, 1981.

Rock N’ Roll Colouring:

Lisa Bardsley has been in touch to  about a new series of Rock’N’Roll Colouring Books:

At Rock N’ Roll Colouring  we create and publish officially licenced heavy metal colouring books. The first pair Motorhead and Judus Priest came out last  November –  and we have two more in the pipeline for early 2021.

More details at the link below:

DL Diary Blog Update:

Thursday January 7:

It was 48 Years Ago Today…

Loading up the double CD Oxford Blues, a soundboard recording of Led Zeppelin’s rather splendid performance at the New Theatre Oxford on this day in 1973. I wish I could have been at this one and many others on that tour (I did attend the Dec 23 Ally Pally show)…I would make up for it in 1975…

This is from the superb bootleg CD box set Ascension In The Wane – The January 1973 Soundboards. This chronicles various performances from their 1972/3 UK tour. I will be revisiting these excellent shows from this box set throughout the month…providing a much needed Led Zep fix…

Friday January 8:

On the player – marking his Birthday the brilliant Elvis Presley Sun Collection album

A quick Led Zep story: This album was compiled by NME writer Roy Carr in the late 1970s. There were a couple of versions of this and one of them features sleeve notes by Roy plus a back cover credit that reads ‘’Dedicated to Percy,Pagey, Jonesy, Bonzo and Big G – a reference to the members of Led Zeppelin and manager Peter Grant. Roy had a good relationship with them all and knew they were big Elvis fans so it was an affectionate acknowledgement.

When I was in their record company Swan Song office in April 1980 I mentioned this album and their credit on it to office supremo and press officer Unity Mclean. It was evident Unity had passed this info on to Peter as the next time I visited, I was called upon by Unity to run an errand. My task was to get a taxi into central London and buy a copy of the Elvis Sun Collection album for Peter Grant.

So I ventured into town and purchased the said record at the Virgin Megastore in Oxford Street and returned with it to their Kings Road office.

For this errand I was rewarded with a set of the new 10x 8 Led Zep promo photos and posters they had just had delivered. Whenever I look at the sleeve of this Elvis album I am reminded of that memorable day in the Swan Song office back in 1980…

. Completely forgot that story Dave. Whenever I got a chance to reward your loyalty I took the chance. I did not do the same for Howard and the others as your dedication and honesty shone through like a nugget of gold! And as you know Zep, management and offices were extremely tight lipped, so I never really knew how Peter would react to favours he did not sanction. Thanks for fulfilling the task. Hopefully Warren still has the album

Saturday January 9:


In the light of Jimmy’s Birthday – here’s a piece of TBL history:

This is a limited edition cassette in a run of about 40 I compiled and handed out at a special TBL gathering at the Camden Record Fair staged at the Electric Ballroom venue on Saturday January 8 1994 to celebrate Jimmy Page’s 50th Birthday …all of 27 years ago … it’s been a lifetime but a second…




Saturday January 9:

It’s a Happy Birthday today to Mr Jimmy Page…

In a career that has spanned six decades he has constantly taken the art of guitar playing to new levels – from his session days through The Yardbirds to Led Zeppelin and beyond. From monolithic riffing to blistering solos, through acoustic beauty to vast instrumental guitar orchestration.

I have been lucky enough to be in his presence on a fair few occasions, including interviewing him twice for the TBL magazine and liaising with him when I was asked to write the sleeve notes to the updated official Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions set in 2016.

I have always found him to be a man of exceptional integrity and wisdom – and he has been very supportive of my work over many years…

Happy Birthday Jimmy – long may you reign as the Lord Of The Strings…

Saturday January 9:

Saturday is (Jimmy Page) platterday – on the player the rather splendid James Patrick Page Session Man double album bootleg – I got this back in 1979 and it opened my ears to his great 1960s session work with tracks that Jimmy contributed to by Dave Berry,The Brooks,The First Gear,Lulu and more…Happy Birthday Jimmy..

Saturday is (Jimmy Page) platterday – on the player the superb Yardbirds ’68 double set that includes the Live At the Anderson Theatre recording produced by Jimmy Page in 2017 and made available via his website ..and sounding mighty fine – Happy Birthday Jimmy…





Saturday is (Jimmy Page) platterday – on the player the 3 LP box set package London Royal Albert Hall January 9 1970 –one of the all time great Led Zep gigs on the night of Jimmy Page’s 26th Birthday…

Saturday January 9:

On the occasion of his Birthday…


Here’s something I wrote for the Classic Rock website a few years back. It’s an impossible task to list just ten of his best solos and I am sure you all have your favourites…but here’s ten of the best

Happy Birthday Jimmy…


By Dave Lewis

In a career that has spanned six decades, Jimmy Page has written the rule book on the art of rock guitar. From monolithic riffing to blistering solos, through acoustic beauty to vast instrumental guitar orchestration.

Here are ten of the best solos from the lord of the strings.


An early Zep anthem and a prime example of the economy Page can bring to the table. The song itself has the sort of frantic quality that the likes of Johnny Rotten and the punk rock movement would attempt to replicate a decade later. As for the solo – short, sharp and incisive. A mimed performance for Swedish TV in March 1969 was a rare small screen appearance.

9: RAMBLE ON (1969)

Page brings grace, finesse and style to the proceedings with a smooth tonal run at one minute 47 that perfectly complements the upbeat chorus. The ripple of notes he churns out for the second solo around two minutes 25 is also mighty fine.

8: FOR YOUR LIFE (1976) ..

This Presence track found a physically impaired Plant (he was recovering from a car smash) questioning their dubious on the road life style. Page’s solo is as vicious as some of the lyrical observations. A venomous affair that spirals out of the speakers. Never performed live in the Zep era, they bravely attempted it at the 2007 reunion show – and absolutely nailed it.

7: THE ROVER (1975)

He can do bombastic, he can do blues, he can do 50’s rock’n’roll – he can damn near doing anything, and he can definitely do guitar melody as well as anyone. The solo on this under-rated gem is ample proof.

6: IN THE EVENING (1979)

Jimmy may have been taken something of a back seat to Plant and John Paul Jones in the recording of their final studio album In Through the Out Door – however on this strutting opening track, he impressively stamps his authority on proceedings. The slamming door effect of the solo is yet another innovation. Washed up in 1979? Not on this evidence.

5: BLACK DOG (1971)

Page cleverly interweaves the riff across a series of accapella vocal lines and what a riff it is – a monster affair played in a manner that would baffle copyists for years to come. The solo he saves for the close – a beautifully constructed cascade of rippling notes.


Time has done nothing to diminish the pure adrenalin rush of the riff that ate the world. It leads on into a simply scintillating solo played out against Bonzo’s hammerings . For their 1979 Kenbworth appearances it was given a new lease of life – recharged, revamped and re-modeled for the post punk era. How joyous they all look on the clip from the official 2003 DVD release. Crunching through it all again and again


Drama, dynamics and dexterity are the ingredients for this flawless performance. An excited cry of ”Watch out!” from Plant is the signal for Page to let loose with a solo of awesome

artistry. Always a live stage favourite, this was one of the undoubted highlights of their Song Remains The Same movie.


It was Page’s determination to turn adversity into triumph that ignited the entire Presence album. At the helm of it all, is this extraordinary opening ten minute lament. The guitar orchestration is pure a genius and the final outpouring of overdubbed majesty quite breathtaking. The defining studio statement of a defining guitar hero.


Much maligned, in truth rarely bettered. As impressive as the studio version is, this live rendering from their Earls Court performance in 1975 is even better. Marvel at the entry of that solo as Page goes from madrigal to maelstrom with the switch of a guitar neck. Masterful.

This is from the superb bootleg CD box set Ascension In The Wane – The January 1973 Soundboards. This chronicles various performances from their 1972/3 UK tour. I will be revisiting these excellent shows from this box set throughout the month…providing a much needed Led Zep fix… Saturday is (Jimmy Page) platterday – on the player the superb Yardbirds ’68 double set that includes the Live At the Anderson Theatre recording produced by Jimmy Page in 2017 and made available via his website ..and sounding mighty fine – Happy Birthday Jimmy…

Sunday January 10:

Sunday CD sounds…on the player loading up the Hunky Dory album from the brilliant Five years 1969-1973 CD box set kicking off a day of David Bowie here …Five years gone- but there will always be Starman waiting in the sky…






Tuesday January 12:

It’s a Happy 60th birthday today to our very good friend of 40 plus years Mr Alan Stutz, one of the first to buy TBL issue number one in 1979, gig going companion of many a memorable concert – Robert Plant, David Bowie, Status Quo, Queen Prince and New Order among them, author of one of the funniest books I’ve ever read namely his memoirs Diary of A Nearly Man (Wymer Publishing), life and soul of any public house gathering, great support to Janet and I over many years (he took fab pics at our wedding) and all round top man – Happy Birthday Al from us here – have a great day mate…

Tuesday January 12:

It was 52 years ago today…

The release of the debut Led Zeppelin album in the US…you can never have too many copies of Led Zeppelin I….

Winterlude Playlist:

Some more winterlude record selections providing comfort for the cold dark days and long nights here:

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin I LP (choose anyone from that pic!)

Cat Stevens – Tea For The Tillerman re issue CD

Frank Sinatra – A Man Alone LP

Lesley Duncan – Lesley Step Lightly – The GM Recordings Plus 1972 – 1982

When The Day Is Done – The Orchestrations of Robert Kirby CD

David Crosby – If I Could Only Remember My Name… LP

Bob Dylan – Blood On the Tracks LP

Phil Collins – Face Value LP

Marianne Faithfull – Rich Kids Blues LP

Update here:

I’ve been struggling a bit this past few week. I had a couple of really bad days where anxiety and depression was prominent. Aside from the worry of the pandemic, some reoccurring issues got on top of me. On Tuesday I  had to go and have my annual diabetic eye test at the local clinic – this brought on more anxiety but it had be done. Janet will be back at the preschool next week as the Government has ruled that preschools and nurseries remain open. Working out all the implications of that has been a bit of a strain for her.

On the more positive note, I have been busy working on some projects and getting on with things. As can be seen in the playlist above – music has been a comfort and salvation as it always is. Our thoughts are with you all to stay as safe and well as you can in these worrying times.

Some particular inspirations this past week…

A catch up on the phone with Richard Grubb…

More catch ups with my lifelong friends Barry Farnsworth and Alan Stutz…

Watching the FA Cup third round action unfold live on BBC’s Match Of The Day on Sunday afternoon notably Crawley Town’s 3-0 win over Leeds and Spurs getting the job done against Marine with a 5-0 win…

Thanks for listening – stay safe and well you very lovely people…

Dave  Lewis – January 13, 2021

Until next time, stay safe and stay well…

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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  • Hiroshi said:

    Oops — in my previous post, I wrongly put “Amsterdam” wherever I should have typed “Rotterdam” — three times! Typos are like viruses…sorry about this.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks Hiroshi

  • Hiroshi said:

    Sorry for a delayed comment.
    I remember very well Andy Crofts’ thoughts on Jimmy’s injured finger the first time I read them here — I was quite impressed by his hypothesis. That Led Zeppelin may have considered dropping Dazed And Confused for the 1975 tour regardless of the said incident was a revelation.

    In his analysis on the Brussels show, Andy is intrigued by the omission of Moby Dick, which would have been of benefit to Jimmy’s finger for a much needed rest and recovery. To dig the matter, I went to the concert timeline page of the group’s official website and checked the Amsterdam show, the night before Brussels [].

    There I found screenshots of three reviews of the show printed in Dutch, all of which mention the drum solo. As they are not text material thus cannot be copy-and-pasted, I hand-wrote the related sentences and then had them translated by Google. The results were predictably awkward, but understandable enough to make sense nonetheless;

    “A solo by drummer John Bonham went wrong.” [ — G. Groeneweg]
    “The usual too long and low-ideas drum solo did not break out of course either — drummer John Bonham just about jigged it after all.” [ — Niek Vechtmann]
    “Low point was the song Moby Dick, which was accounted for by drummer John Bolhoed [sic], who turned it into the laziest, longest and most uninteresting drum solo I’ve ever heard them (and that says something).” [ — Elly de Waard]

    Apparently Moby Dick was played in Amsterdam (and neither of the reviewers were kind to it, unfortunately). Why it was dropped the following night is anyone’s guess. And…was it the only one that succumbed to the same fate?

    Right before the above quote, de Waard also mentions this — “By the way, it was very promising that the songs Wanting song [sic] and Custard pie performed on this album were the least annoying of the entire performance.” Whaat? Custard Pie? That’s news isn’t it? Okay, she may have made a careless mistake where she should have put either Sick Again, In My Time Of Dying, Kashmir or Trampled Underfoot. That’s possible. But think about this…that she misquotes the title of Wanton Song may indicate that she didn’t obtain the song titles included in the forthcoming album or the setlist of the show — she may well have heard Robert introducing the titles of the new songs from the stage. If so…most likely the one and only live performance of Custard Pie by Led Zeppelin! Another holy grail there…

    “Maybe we played too many songs” — Robert Plant, reflecting upon the Amsterdam show [from the interview for Muziek Expres, taken on the next day]

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