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24 July 2020 2,006 views 8 Comments

The Rolling Stones with Jimmy Page – Scarlet premiere on Zoe Ball BBC Radio 2 show: 

On Wednesday July 22, Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 show became the first radio station to air the previously unreleased Roiling Stones track Scarlet featuring Jimmy Page.

Zoe had phone conversations with Mick and Jimmy

Mick relayed that he had forgotten the details of the session and had contacted Jimmy to fill him in on it all.

Jimmy stated that it had emerged from a session at Ronnie Wood’s house. Asked what he had been doingin the Lockdown Jimmy said he had  been indexing his books and playing some guitar. There was talk of the 02 reunion and the not unsurprising comment that it’s unlikely they will paly together again.

Here’s some more Scarlet info via the Jimmy Page official website published on July 22::

On this day in 2020, Scarlet by The Rolling Stones, featuring me, is released.⠀

⠀I was invited to Ronnie Woods’ house in Richmond to do a session in October 1974. It was said that Keith Richards and Ian Stuart (Stu) would be there. It sounded a good opportunity to catch up with old friends.⠀

⠀There was Keith Richards on electric guitar, myself on electric guitar, Rick Grech on bass and a drummer and engineer I had not met before. Keith kicked it off and I began to mould a riff around his guitar part to augment the arrangement. It began to lock-in pretty soon with the musicians and we all got a successful take that evening. I’d had a good time working with Keith. ⠀

⠀It was said they were continuing the following night at Island Number 2 Studios in London. I said I’d go and play some guitar soloing on it. I arrived early on that evening and got to do it straight away within a few takes. It sounded good to me and I left them to it.⠀

⠀Mick made contact with me recently and I got to hear the finished version. It sounded great and really solid.⠀

⠀I’m happy they chose to release it as part of the forthcoming Goats Head Soup 2020 album. It’s an ultra-rare appearance of me outside Led Zeppelin in the ’70s.


My initial thoughts on Scarlet – The Rolling Stones with Jimmy Page…

One thing to get straight –this is not an outtake from the Goats Head Soup album. The tape box from island Studios identifies the session as being recorded on October 5 1974 – more than a year after the release of Goats Head Soup. I would say this is something of a happy accident and was found when they investigated the masters of the Soup sessions.

I’ve certainly known of its existence since November 1974 when Page mentioned the Scarlet session in an interview in the NME with Nick Kent – I duly logged it in the extensive discography I contributed to for

the Sounds four part Led Zep special published in September 1978.

It kicks off with that familiar syncopated Keith riffing all loose and funky and then there’s the pleading Jagger swagger on the chorus ‘’Scarlet why yer tearing my heart to pieces’.

Vocally he is right on top of the game here. Jagger has revealed there are newly added maracas in the mix. I’d like to think the vocal track is genuinely from the time and not newly layered.

There’s something of a Loving Cup Exile feel about it all and as Tim Davis mentioned, it also carries the knockabout effect of Ronnie Wood’s I Can Feel The Fire which was also cut in 1974 at The Wick for Ronnie’s solo album I’ve Got My Album Own Album To Do

The laid back hypnotic drive of Rick Gretch’s bass and the drummer reported to be Bruce Rowlands keeps the momentum flowing throughout. Though he is mentioned on the tape box, I cannot hear any evidence of Ian Stewart’s keyboards here.

Jimmy’s sinewy overdubbed guitar lines recall the clipped eloquence of the solo on Down By The Seaside.

In the press blurb Jimmy Page states that ‘’Woody was living at a house called The Wick there was an invite to do a session. It was with Keith so I said ‘tell you what I’ll bring my guitar along and I’ll lay the solo parts on it”.

One wonders if he took along the Gibson Les Paul or perhaps the Fender Stratocaster he was favouring at the time – many of the overdubs on Ten Years Gone mixed a few months earlier, were via the Stat. Whatever guitar he employed, it sounds archetypal Page and brings much to the party.

So that’s Scarlet – an authentic bona fide lost gem.

Upbeat, infectious and invigorating and recorded at a time when the possibilities for both The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin were infinite…

I’ve been playing it all day and grinning from ear to ear…in these crazy times it’s an inspiration to behold…

Dave Lewis – July 22, 2020

Here’s the Jimmy Page interview with Zoe Ball…


The Prelude to Knebworth…the Copenhagen warm-ups – it was 41 years ago:

Here’s a couple fascinating first hand views of the Led Zeppelin warm up shows all of 41 years ago…

A 24 month break separated Led Zeppelin’s walking offstage in California on July 24th 1977 and their return to the concert stage in Copenhagen almost two years to the day on July 23rd 1979.

In a tactic that echoed Peter Grant’s original launch of the band in 1968, Led Zeppelin flew to Copenhagen on Monday July 23rd to perform two warm up shows for the big event. The venue chosen for the band’s first gig in two years was the Falkoner Theatre in Denmark’s capital. The venue had previously played host to the likes of Abba and it was also the venue where Judy Garland gave her last live performance in March 1969.

With a capacity of just 2,000, the low-key nature of these warm-up shows made it still possible to buy tickets on the door. Peter Grant gave promoter Arne Worsoe just 14 days notice to arrange this warm-up stint for Knebworth, which took them back to the scene of their first dates back in 1968.

The first night was littered with technical problems. The enormous lighting rig that the band had hoped to install was too big for the venue. This resulted in the persistent blowing of the generator, which led to long delays.

The show eventually ended at 1am the next morning. The set list read: ‘The Song Remains The Same’/’Celebration Day’/’Black Dog’/’Nobody’s Fault But Mine’/’Over The Hills And Far Away’/’Misty Mountain Hop’/’Since I’ve Been Loving You’/’No Quarter’/’Hot Dog’/’The Rain Song’/’White Summer’- ‘Black Mountain Side’/’Kashmir’/’Trampled Underfoot’/’Achilles Last Stand’/ Page Solo/’In The Evening’/’Stairway To Heaven’/’Rock And Roll’.

Predictably there were first night nerves as they worked on the set list that would be presented to the massive crowds due at Knebworth in twelve days time. From the new album there were debuts for ‘Hot Dog’ and ‘In The Evening’. The press reaction was decidedly mixed, Erik Von Lustbaden, writing for Sounds, described the show as, “Dazzling, staggering and sometimes awful.

‘’The subdued lights were still much better than most bands will ever have. The powerful ascending riff of ‘Kashmir’ and the group’s sense of simple melody and repetition combine to at least give an inkling of why they’ve attained such legendary status. Dazzling. Another Page solo, all without any backing. I went for a piss, bought a bar of chocolate, ate it, had a sit down, made some notes, went back in, and he was still playing it!!”

However Eric Kornfeldt, reporting for New Musical Express, delivered one of the most vitriolic reviews in their entire career. Under the headline “Dazed’n’Abused he stated, “They appeared sloppy and unrehearsed, sometimes seeming awkwardly lost, bewildered, stiff and reluctant to play. They were no more than a quartet of uninspired old men, a relic from the past. There was so little feeling inherent in the set that for the most part it was like watching a fully automated factory producing an endless string of chords that neither musicians nor audience cared about.”

The next night they returned to turn in a more consistent set. ‘Whole Lotta Love’ replaced ‘Rock And Roll’ as an encore and they also added ‘Ten Years Gone.’ The latter endured the only real technical hitch as delays occurred with setting up Jones’s effects pedals prompting Plant to comment: “We’ll very shortly be doing ‘Eleven Years Gone’.”

Again the venue was not sold out

Jon Carlsson reported on this gig for Melody Maker and was generally impressed – particularly Page’s solo. “The bow began glowing with an eerie green light that you could read a book by. It made Page look like a Crowleyite elf or perhaps Obe Wan Kanobe on exotic snuff. Page was then enclosed by a green pyramid of thin laser light, which on every fourth beat rotated through 90 degrees. It became faster in its rotations until it became a glowing green cone. Page stepped back into it and let the colour wash over him.”

The coverage of the Copenhagen shows gave UK fans a hint of what was to follow on August 4th…


NOSTALGIC RECOLLECTIONS FROM OUT IN THE FIELD (and from the Falconer Theatre, Copenhagen)

 For the thousands of fans who converged on Hertfordshire over the first two weekends of August 1979, Led Zeppelin at Knebworth was more than a gig. It was an adventure.

For many young rock fans it was their first experience of a large festival gathering. They came from all over the UK and beyond to pay homage to a band whose legacy was already assured. Seeing though, was believing and the prospect of witnessing first hand how Led Zeppelin would fare in the post punk musical climate of the day proved irresistible. They faced long coach trips there and back, primitive camping facilities, poor sanitary conditions and long queues for food and drink, not to mention t.shirts, programmes, badges etc.

And finally after enduring a variety of somewhat mediocre support acts, they got what they came for.

Every one of the thousands in attendance returned with a story to tell.

44 of those stories are relayed here.

The common denominator of them all is the proud boast to say all these years on…



Nils Westerholt,

Roedby, Denmark.

‘’How was it then back in 79’?’’ ‘’What impression did it make on you?’’

‘’’I mean, you were only 15 ½ and it was your first full size rock concert, wasn’t it?’’

I was asked these questions and many more by Danish TV2 journalist Kasper Frische about a year and a half ago. He was doing a feature for the Danish TV2 News on October 1st 2007 and somehow he had traced me for an interview.  The subject was actually the ticket ballot for the Led Zeppelin O2 concert in London – Would I get tickets? (I was filmed several times during the day opening my e-mail account looking for a winner’s mail, but unfortunately without success), how were the chances of winning and how did I actually become interested in Led Zeppelin?

We started to talk about my first and only Led Zeppelin concert back in 1979 in Copenhagen, and as I talked memories came rolling along – starting as vague pictures in my mind and soon turning into a strange kind of 3D.

So freeze frame and let’s go back 40 years…

The Danish Connection:

The Copenhagen Warm Ups were arranged very quickly. Peter Grant contacted Arne Worsoe, the promoter here who had been dealing with Zeppelin since the first tour.  He was and still is a very well known and respected promoter and European tour arranger for stars like Liza Minnelli, Cliff Richard, Prince and many others.

Shaking Hands:

So what exactly happened?  Recently I contacted Arne Worsoe and he revealed how he came to be so important to Zeppelin in Scandinavia.

“I had worked with Peter Grant several times before.’’ he told me.  ‘’We never had a written contract or a piece of paper between us.  From the very first time back in 1968 it was just a chat and then he would offer me his enormous hand across the table and if I agreed we just shook hands and that was it.  I still remember his enormous hand almost surrounding half of my arm!  We did not exactly negotiate, actually he told me what was needed and how things should be and then he mentioned the fee.  So you can say it was always a kind of take it or leave it.  But I must say he was a most trustworthy and honest person, and also a very warm and friendly guy.  Of course I have heard of promoters and arrangers having problems with Grant, but to me he was always 100% reliable and very kind, and his word was even better than a contract of 80 pages which is the standard nowadays.

In 1979 I remember he phoned me around the beginning of July and asked for an arrangement within three weeks or so.  As usual I jumped on the next plane to London, and as usual we met at his office and had a nice talk during which practical matters were discussed. And then also as usual, he mentioned the fee and we shook hands. Nothing more to it – except for me having to arrange the concerts of the year back in Denmark!”

Worsoe also remembers picking up Peter Grant and the four band members at Copenhagen Airport in an enormous stretch-limo:

On the way to the hotel he asked me “Well, Arne, can you tell me how much is it we are going to make tonight?” I was not sure if he really had forgotten the exact deal or if he was just testing me, but anyway I mentioned the amount we had agreed a few weeks before in London when shaking hands and he just grinned, which meant something like “right my boy, that’s it”.

Concert Of The Year:

On Sunday July 8th 1979 the leading Danish newspaper Berlingske (a leading Danish newspaper) announced that the deal “with the biggest attraction of the music world” was sealed. The band had asked for the K.B. Hallen but it was not available for rock concerts in 1979 so instead it was announced they would play at the smaller venue, the Falkoner Theatre.

Again according to the paper, tickets and posters were printed quickly during the weekend to be ready to go on sale starting on Monday morning. Worsoe was quoted that it was the fastest arrangement of a major rock concert he had ever been involved in.

The Falkoner Theatre at Frederiksberg in Copenhagen was (and still is) a concert/congress hall with very good acoustics, having housed a lot of prominent stars over the years ranging from the likes of Sinatra and Liza Minnelli to Johnny Winter, Yes and The Firm.  At the time it was considered a very small place for Zep to perform in with a capacity of only 2,200 (all seated).  I also remember the staff as being extremely well dressed middle-aged people wearing nice black uniforms and caps.

Copenhagen Relations:

Copenhagen had been the launch pad for Led Zeppelin back in 1968.  It was no real surprise they should come here to warm up for their big Knebworth comeback.

All in all Led Zeppelin played in Denmark nine times during their career, most of them in Copenhagen. Alongside the strong relationship with Arne Worsoe, the free thinking attitude of the culture suited the band in more ways than one.  It was previously reported that the band had hired a club in Copenhagen during their stay to spend some hours enjoying the company of young blonde Scandinavian beauties.

Back in 1990 when Robert Plant played at Saga in Copenhagen with his band I remember Robert dedicating the song ‘Liar’s Dance’ to “a long gone Copenhagen love way back in the 1970’s”.

Thanks to my older brother I was well into Led Zeppelin. He wasn’t that big a music freak, but he introduced me to ’Whole Lotta Love’ through a set of headphones in the mid seventies.  Did I wake up?  Man I did!  What a sound and what a world of music.  Within a second Alvin Stardust and Bachman Turner Overdrive were out – Zep was in. From then on it was Led Zeppelin above every band for me.

My friends were mainly focused on the likes of Sweet and Slade, but their older brothers or sisters became a source to get cassette recordings of the early Zep LP’s. Then in 1976 I experienced the first release of a new album, buying Presence on cassette – a pink one!

By the end of the 1970’s Led Zeppelin was not as popular as they had been here.  It was a struggle to find out much information about them.  I was living in Roedby, a small town about a hundred miles south of Copenhagen which made it even more difficult to be updated on what was going on in the rock business.  Record releases and concert news were scarce.

I knew little about Zeppelin’s plans but then I saw it.  An advert – quite a small one, announcing that Led Zeppelin was going to play in Copenhagen on July 23rd and that tickets would be on sale the following day.

It was my summer holiday and I was working at the local woodyard.  For some reason I was not able to phone for tickets until the day after they went on sale.  “Sold out!” was the message – but very quickly they added a second show for July 24th. I ordered two tickets on the balcony at a price of 80 kr. each. Prices varied from 60 to 120 kr – about £6 to £12 at that time I guess.

Man I was happy!  I phoned my best friend whom I had converted to Zeppelin but he was not able to go. Eventually I persuaded Jesper, a guy from the wood yard to go with me.  He did not know much about Zep so I taped The Song Remains The Same album for him.  The next day he came to me and said he liked the music – the songs were good he said, but the one at the end of the tape was the best.  I thought he meant ‘Whole Lotta Love’ until he started to hum ‘Love Me Do’, then I realized that I had recorded the stuff on an old cassette tape containing some old Beatles songs, one of which I’d left on!

The next challenge was how to go to Copenhagen.  I had to convince my parents that going to Copenhagen on my own at the age of just fifteen was a perfect way to spend a summer’s Tuesday night.  Once that was negotiated we sorted out the journey by train.  We arrived at Copenhagen Central Station after a two hour train ride.  It was early afternoon and we had some hours to spare.  Before leaving the station we saw some cinema posters – The Song Remains The Same was being re-shown at the cinemas.  Amazingly I had not seen the film yet.  I thought about going but it was too much in one day.

We saw a large crowd near the Plaza hotel near the station.  We quickly caught on that this was where the band was staying.  Huge white limos were lined up in front of the hotel.  We thought we might see them coming out but nothing happened.  Later on we heard that they had slipped away through the back door.

On our way to Copenhagen we had read the papers and the reviews of the first concert the night before with headlines such as “Led Zeppelin – fiasco beyond everything” and “Scandal Zeppelin premiere”.  Reviewers were all very disappointed:

First of all the show had been delayed for more than two hours without any explanation and when the band finally came on stage and played it did not go that well.  The words ‘under-rehearsed’ and ‘rusty’ appeared in the reviews and the band were described as being “old men hiding their insecurity and lack of abilities behind an incredible high volume of sound”.

Another leading newspaper, Berlingske, had the headline “I beg your pardon?” meaning that the reviewer literally had lost some of his hearing temporarily and still had painful problems when writing the review!  The reviewer claimed that he simply had to leave after half an hour because of the volume, writing “they did not play loud, they did not play tremendously loud – they simply made a noise like breaking the speed of sound”. Although he admitted that “Jimmy Page momentarily showed his great abilities as a guitar player” but that he could not understand “why nobody had shown him how to turn down the amplifier”.

The reviewer also criticized the sound crew stating “they had not made a full scale test of sound and light systems so that the technical problems causing the delay could have been avoided”.

Night Flight:

The main problem was the massive technical problems that hit the show on the first night:

Some of the staff at the theatre told me more about the problems the night before.  Thirty people had been working hard for two days to set up the stage, PA and lighting systems.  Everything was designed and prepared for the forthcoming Knebworth shows and it was simply too big for the dimensions of the venue – and there was little time to check it all properly.

When everything was turned on for the first time the entire electricity supply at the Falkoner Centre simply broke down (or blew up).  No explanation was given to the audience who had to wait for two hours before the show was ready to take go.  Meanwhile the technicians fought with the massive problems.  Eventually they succeeded in getting a large mobile generator from Frederiksberg Municipality transported to the venue (actually a generator dimensioned to supply a medium sized province town with electricity in case of emergency).  So just after 10 pm they came on stage and before they started playing Robert apologized to the audience for being late and having problems, and then said “there is not a lot to say but quite a lot to play after eight years” The band finished about three hours later, just after 1 am.

So to the second night Tuesday July 24th.  After spending some hours on the sidewalk in front of the Plaza Hotel we headed for the venue.  Lots of people were hanging out, many of them drinking and some of them smoking some kind of sweet smelling grass too.  Old hippies, Hells Angels-looking guys, some nice birds and chicks.

So what was it going to be like?  A scandal like last night as reported in the papers?  Would they be delayed again tonight?  We had to catch the train back to Roedby at quarter to midnight otherwise we would have big problems – two fifteen year old guys stuck in the middle of Copenhagen with almost no money and worried parents at home.  We made plans for a quick departure from the concert

We found our seats on the balcony. We were surrounded by some big heavy guys wearing leather vests. One of them had a tattoo of a big airship on his back. Apart from some loud shouting and smoking grass they were harmless.  Their shouts would soon be totally overshadowed by a thunderstorm of heavy and (my god!) loud music.  The one thing the critics were totally right about was the volume at the concert.  It was tremendously loud, ideal to reach out at Knebworth I guess but not for an indoor 2,200 seater arena in Copenhagen!

It was so loud that those in the front moved back as they started playing. It was too loud for even the hard core fans to stay there and even back on the balcony I remember we held our hands to our ears during the most intensive parts of the concert.

Out On The Tiles:

8.00 pm The lights went out.  Heavy clapping.  Tension.  Awaiting.  And then, at 8.15 pm the strident sound of Jimmy’s thundering guitar intro to the ‘The Song Remains The Same’ tore the darkness.  It felt like we were thrown back in our seats by the sheer sound wave.  Then as the song reached the first break (by the start of the vocal parts) the dark theatre was enlightened by heavy spotlights.

The sound was incredibly loud but aside from a delay before ‘Ten Years Gone’ (Robert joking it will soon be eleven years gone) it went smoothly.  The brand new ‘Hot Dog’ was played at maximum volume in a heavy staccato-like energetic version. ‘In The Evening’ from the new album was also inspired.

The only time I felt the concert lost some momentum was during Jimmy’s long Dan Electro solo performing ‘White Summer’/’Black Mountain Side’.  I did actually go out to get a drink and when I got back Jimmy was still in the middle of this solo!

Jimmy’s bowing section, standing enclosed by this green laser pyramid as it started to rotate faster and faster was just amazing.

‘Stairway To Heaven’ closed the show and then we had a powerful version of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ as the encore.

Three hours later, at about 11.15pm we rushed out of the theatre after the last distorted tones of ‘Whole Lotta Love’’ had faded out. We got a cab then headed for the central station just in time to catch the last train back home.

We were both totally blown by this experience.  I had just seen (and heard) my favourite band of all time.  We discussed the concert again and again during the train ride home, how great and overwhelming everything had been that night.  Aside from ‘Rock And Roll’ we had everything and more than we could have wished for.

Back home I made frequent visits to the local record store to ask for the new album but it was some weeks before I was able to hear the likes of ‘In The Evening’ again.

Since 1979 I’ve seen bigger concerts like Pink Floyd in 1988 and 1995, more heartfelt performances such as Robert Plant in recent years…but never louder, never more overwhelming, breathtaking or defining to me than that night in Copenhagen 30 years ago.  And most important of all I can proudly say “I was there…’’

My Copenhagen …and Knebworth

Christer Fahlström

He looked pretty unexceptional, but he was the first person I’d met with a genuine interest in music and who knew which artists were good and which bands you should definitely see. His name was Ove Stridh and he became my best friend during our military service.

The year was 1978 and in our spare time we argued over the relative merits of tracks like “Midnight Rambler” and “Kashmir” emanating from the cheap little speakers that we had put up in our barracks.

We were both engaged as telegraphists and we were young and reckless. We would often broadcast Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones via shortwave radio even though radio silence was enforced on major military exercises. Ove and I were convinced that we had been placed in our particular military unit because we wouldn’t have fitted in an ordinary Swedish regiment. Ove was a music poet. I was a crazy drummer.

One evening Ove told me a remarkable story. Aged seventeen in 1975, he had travelled alone to England to fulfil his life’s ambition: to visit Knebworth to see, hear and experience Pink Floyd. At that time there were neither mobiles, YouTube, Ryan Air nor internet. It required a lot more work back then to get hold of tickets, collect information and get where you wanted to be. Now, 34 years later, I realise that this particular evening was the origin of the amazing Zeppelin expedition that would follow.

It was spring 1979. Ove and I had left the military and our paths had separated. We were reunited again by a common contact, Anders Lindman, who I had met at my new job at GDC (The Gramophone Company’s distribution centre) where we were usually packing mountains of Abba records for shipment to record stores. Anders was a close friend of Ove and they both came from the same small town in Jämtland. Through Anders I kept in contact with Ove who forwarded tips on places where you could order bootlegs. Ove built Stones and Floyd collections and I was trying to build my first Zeppelin collection.

Zeppelin had recently been in Stockholm to record “In Through the Out Door” in ABBA’s Polar Studios. I had tried to meet them at the Sheraton where they were staying. I brought their album “Presence” with me and was hoping to get it signed, but their road manager informed me through the reception that they had left the hotel just an hour earlier.

Soon after, a colleague at work told me about a rumour he’d heard that Zeppelin would return to Stockholm for a one-off concert. The rumor turned out to be wrong and instead, two gigs at the Falkoner Theatre in Copenhagen were announced as a warm-up for the band’s scheduled comeback concerts in Knebworth two weeks later.

I was not slow to act. Just a few days later I had tickets in my hand. I hadn’t managed to get tickets to the first show but I found tickets for the second one (which turned out to be the best of the two). Meanwhile, Ove and I had also got tickets for Knebworth and we had started planning our trip there: I to see Zeppelin and Ove to see Keith Richards perform with Ronnie Wood in their side project, The New Barbarians.

But first I was completely focused on Copenhagen to see Led Zeppelin, the Gods, for the first time.

Ten days before my first trip to England, I was in Copenhagen. I had spent my childhood in Malmö, Sweden and I knew Copenhagen pretty well, but this would be my first visit to the Falkoner Theatre. I spent the day at a seedy hotel behind the Grand Central Station together with Lars Norén, a friend of Ove who had tagged along.

We sat in our room and read the negative Danish press reviews of Zeppelin’s first concert the previous night, which had been seriously held up by a power cut. Many irate journalists – and press photographers who weren’t allowed to take photographs – had missed flights and trains back home thanks to the delayed start to the concert.

I just wanted to be able to take some secret pictures. I had to get me a pretty neat camera that wouldn’t take up too much space. Just a single lens, selection of light-sensitive slide film and choice of clothing so that the equipment could be hidden and smuggled. Throughout that spring I had been listening to their repertoire on the complete bootleg box from their US tour in Cleveland 1977 (“The Destroyer” Smilin’ Ears Records, Inc.) to get an insight into how their performances would be.

Finally we were there – Falkoner Theatre, Copenhagen, Tuesday July 24th, 1979, about 15 metres from the stage. A third of the seats were empty but we were still around a thousand fans gathered. The concert was late in starting and the mood was pensive after the bad reviews.

Suddenly the silence was broken, “The Song Remains the Same” opened with a bang! Everything unleashed. Bonham sat flush with the audience and you could feel the pressure wave created by his right foot pounding the skin on his mighty Ludwig 24″ bass drum. I couldn’t have been more alive! Just to see Jimmy with his twin-necked 1971 Gibson EDS-1275 got the blood boiling in my veins. What pressure, what power! Now they are on stage with a vengeance!

At one point in the concert the lights were extinguished. It was pitch black so you could not discern whether the band had left the stage. Three red spotlights suddenly lit to show Jimmy Page sitting alone with his 1960 Danelectro. He started to play “White Summer/Black Mountain Side.”

It sounded wonderful and brought to mind the bootleg I had played throughout the spring. I had been completely blown away by the contrast when Jimmy’s controlled guitar playing on “Black Mountain Side” was followed by an explosive version of their brutal juggernaut track, “Kashmir.” Would it happen again? I gambled. When Jimmy was approaching the end of “Black Mountain Side,” I stood up on my seat seat, stretched out my arms to the sky and shouted as loud as I could: Kashmiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrr!

I had not finished my roar when we were dazzled by a dozen spotlights mounted on Bonham’s drum riser. It brought the rest of the band on stage again to the overwhelmingly heavy sound of Kashmir. Everyone else in the audience had now risen and was roaring with me. In the shockwave of the sheer volume coming from the stage it felt like we would be bent like trees in a hurricane. That transition, the incredible power – I will never forget that moment!

Two weeks later, I was with Ove and some friends of his on a giant campsite in Knebworth Park near the enclosure where Zeppelin would play the following day. When the gates were opened in the morning, the guards took our tickets and we managed to find a spot about 50 metres to the left of the big oak tree in front of the stage. Before us the ground sloped down toward the stage, which meant we had a better view than the crowd in front of us. I was just 20 years old. It was my first extended trip abroad and I was enjoying being in the midst of music fans from around the world.

The mood was friendly and people around us were offering us all kind of drugs – cocaine, grass, and even poppers they sniffed from small glass bottles. We politely declined but Ove countered by opening a tin of Swedish snus. This is a tobacco product similar to what the English call snuff, which is in a dry powder form and is sniffed up the nose. Snus however, is tobacco in a moist form which is placed under the upper lip.

A friend called Pepe and I each put a large pinch under our upper lip, to our neighbours’ great surprise.

“What is that drug?”, asked one of them.

“It’s called snus,” I replied, “it dates from the Viking Age.”

Word spread quickly about the Swedes with the mysterious drug. Suddenly there was a line of French, British and Americans eager to try this new high.

The hours rolled by and there were many fine performances on the main stage. But I was there to see Zeppelin and when the sun started to go down I knew it was time for Led Zeppelin to take the stage. Suddenly lights came up, and there they were on stage with Jimmy dressed in a blue silk shirt and white pants. Around his neck hung his legendary double-necked Gibson SG and he hit the first chord to “The Song Remains the Same” in the exactly the same way he did in Copenhagen. Later into the concert Robert Plant delivered two Presence racks: “Achilles Last Stand” and “Nobody’s Fault But Mine,” both of which worked better on the big stage in Knebworth.

After over two hours, they completed their set with “Stairway to Heaven.” The lights went down but the fans continued to call for more. After more than 10 minutes of this, Robert Plant could be heard singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the stage and suddenly a spotlight picks him out. Behind him is John Bonham marching with a drum major’s stick. It was a great feeling to be singing along with nearly 200,000 others.

Suddenly there is the thunderous bang of a guitar cable being plugged into an already cranked-up amp and seconds later they launched into the best “Whole Lotta Love” I’ve ever heard followed by “Rock ’n’ Roll.” Two policeman who had stood near us throughout the concert could no longer hold back as they started dancing and waving helmets.

Ove nagged that we had to leave the area and I insisted they will surely play Heartbreaker at least. We walked away in the August darkness to avoid falling into the same chaotic situation when we arrived. Ove shrugged when I repeatedly tried to persuade him that we should stay. When we approached the gates a few minutes later, about 500 yards from the scene, I heard Jimmy Page start to play Heartbreaker. It was too late, and too many people to return. When I listened to Jimmy Page’s brilliant one hand solo in the middle of the song, I could not hold back the tears. How could I be so stupid? And my words to Ove were not very gracious.

What I did not know back then was that I would get another chance to see them.

This time in London. But that’s another story…

More Knebworth memories to follow…


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More Jimmy Page…

TBL Archive/ DL Greatest Hits:

In keeping with this week’s Jimmy Page Scarlet focus, here’s the first of what I’ll label the TBL Archives/DL Greatest Hits – a periodical look back to one of my TBL pieces. This one was written for inclusion in the Celebration II/The Tight but Loose Files book in 2002. It rounds up some key Jimmy Page performances from the years 1993 to 2002. Scanning this piece prompted me to search out the likes of the Coverdale Page album,Walking into Clarksdale and Live At the Greek – I’m sure you will be doing the same…




A summary of the key Jimmy Page performances spanning the years 1993 to 2002


COVERDALE PAGE (1993), from the album Coverdale Page

A highlight of the riff leaded return to active service. All the Page trademarks are present: the monolithic grinding tempo, the angular orchestrated riffing, the deceptive time signatures, the snarling wah-wah effects. A most welcome virtual tour de force of the Page guitar amoury.


COVERDALE PAGE (1993), from the album Coverdale Page

A return to the delicate electric strumming style of ‘Ten Years Gone’, this has a beautifully descending chord passage overdubbed via a six-string bass. Coverdale drives in the reflective chorus before Page dominates with a superbly structured solo. A triumph of emotion over technique.


JIMMY PAGE ROBERT PLANT (1994), from the album Jimmy Page Robert Plant No Quarter – Unledded

Composed against a repeated tape loop, this first new Page/Plant studio song for 14 years features Page strumming mournefully on an ovation double neck guitar.The shimmering melodic lift that he brings to the piece provides a ripple of pleasure every time it comes around.


JIMMY PAGE ROBERT PLANT (1994), from the album Jimmy Page Robert Plant No Quarter – Unledded

From the subtle intro wherein Jimmy glides over the Transperformance through to the dynamic rumbling riffs of the finale, this is a masterful re positioning of the pride of Led Zeppelin, and in turn the pride of Page and Plant. During the previous decade, it was almost unthinkable that he could stamp authority on his past work as effectively as this epic performance.


JIMMY PAGE ROBERT PLANT (1995), from a live performance recorded at

Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre California, Ooctober 3, 1995

Page’s proven record as a studio architect is well recognised but the sense of showmanship he can bring to his playing on stage is often is less documented. His relief at finally being in the company of the singer and songs he works with best gave rise to some stunning performances on the Unledded tour. That showmanship is vividly personified by the extended guitar solo he undertook within the ‘Calling To You’ and ‘Whole Lotta Love’ medley on the ‘95 tour. This night in Irvine Meadows is as good an example as any. Page spits out the riff, shooting out feedback into the night air and then on into a devastatingly brutal riff phrase that is archetypal Page. It’s a shame he never took this idea back into the studio with Plant as there is definitely the framework of an epic piece here


JIMMY PAGE ROBERT PLANT (1998), from the album Jimmy Page

Robert Plant Walking Into Clarksdale

Page as the unimpeachable riff master was a role he underplayed on the Clarksdale album with one notable exception. When they began the first sessions for the album Page brought in ‘Burning Up’ a growling bombastic blast of guitar fire that duly ignited Plant into a ferocious vocal performance.

  1. BLUE TRAIN (1998)

JIMMY PAGE ROBERT PLANT (1998), from the album from the album Jimmy Page Robert Plant Walking Into Clarksdale

The other side of the coin. For sheer understated melancholy beauty this may be Page’s best recorded moment of the Nineties. He periodically injects the necessary Zeppelinish dynamics to the sullen Plant narrative, then slides into a beautifully plangent Byrds-like jangling guitar solo constructed in a way that is just unmistakably Jimmy Page. In doing so, he succeeds in stripping the guitar to its rawest most emotional form.


PUFF DADDY FEATURING JIMMY PAGE (1998), from the Godzilla soundtrack

An unlikely merger with the noted rapper, this remake of ‘Kashmir’ married the familiar beguiling crunch of the past with the rhythmic hip hop of the present. The Daddy’s incessant pleadings against Page’s monster riffing builds the tension all the way. His legacy may have been sealed in another era but this massive hit was proof of Page’s enduring contemporary appeal. More respect to the man with the Gibson Les Paul…


JIMMY PAGE (1999), from a live performance recorded at Net Aid, Giants Stadium, New York, October 1999

A work-in-progress instrumental premiered for the Net Aid show, this saw Page introduce yet another part of the armoury. a strange shaped Ovation double neck.

A step on the old wah-wah brings the necessary hard edged grind to Michael Lee’s Bo Diddley beat before the trademark symmetrical riffing kicks in. Even in its bare boned format, ‘Domino’ hinted strongly at the scope for new Page music.


JIMMY PAGE AND THE BLACK CROWES (1999). from the album Jimmy Page And The Black Crowes Live At The Greek/Excess All Areas

One of the more interesting Zep retreads played live with the Crowes, this basic blues run through Chester Burnett’s old stager is performed faithful to the arrangement on Led Zeppelin II, with Page appropriately layering on some vintage speed runs right out of that golden era.


JIMMY PAGE AND THE BLACK CROWES (1999), from the album Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes Live At the Greek/Excess All Areas

Of equal vintage was this re run through one of The Yardbirds’ best moments. In a subtle nod to his ex-guitar partner in crime, the arrangement deployed here has more in common with the Jeff Beck group delivery of the song from the Truth album. Page takes hold of both the smooth woman tone solo and the more fiery Beck inspired kamikaze run that follows.


JIMMY PAGE (2002), from a live performance recorded at the Royal Albert Hall, London, February 9, 2002

Fittingly for a decade dominated by his old band, a final backwards nod to one of his most celebrated creations. Faced with a guest appearance at the Teenage charity shows and with no liaison with Plant on the cards, Jimmy took it on himself to brave a version of ‘Dazed And Confused’ with Paul Weller’s backing band. Despite the lack of rehearsal, his sheer charisma more than won the day – this compact, close to Led Zep I, delivery saw Page wield the violin bow and then push the framework of the song to the limit just as he had done over twenty years ago at the same venue. It was a night for the veteran guitarist to strip the years away.

A thrilling re assurance of the master… and his art.

Dave Lewis – 2002


TBL Market Place:

The latest offers:

First off three vintage and long out of print issues of the TBL magazine

TBL issue 7 – 1992  in good condition

TBL 10 – 1994 -in good condition

TBL 11 – 1995 – in good condition









Led Zeppelin A Celebration by Dave Lewis – the 1991 original large format edition in good condition

Led Zeppelin Celebration II by Dave Lewis – original 2003 large format edition in good condition -slight crease on bottom right hand cover

Q Magazine Led Zeppelin special 2003 – good condition







Q magazine issue March 2005 with Led Zeppelin front cover and great feature- good condition

Each item will be listed for ten days –during which interested buyers can log their bid for the item via emailing me at – after the closing date I will email the successful bidder and arrange payment and distribution.

You can bid for an individual item or multiple items at once.

Interested buyers should log their maximum bid(s) by sending an email headlined TBL Market Place to

Closing date for all bids is July 30, 2020.

I will inform the winner(s) soon after that date.


Peoples Front Of Zeppelin: 

Here’s another excellent clip  from the People’s Front of Zeppelin via George Fludas

So here’s the newest effort which features the excellent guitar work of Emerson Swinford….he plays in Rod Stewart’s touring band.


Q magazine closing after one final issue…

It was very sad to hear the news that Q magazine is to close after one final issue.

Q magazine had not really appealed to my tastes for some years but from 1986 to the mid 2000s, it was essential reading and a pioneer in its field. I still always checked it out on the newsstands and it seemed to be doing an admirable job.

I still have many memorable issues in my archives and I’ll be pulling them out in the coming days to recall the glory days when the likes of David Hepworth, Mark Ellen, Mat Snow, Tom Doyle, Mark Blake, Danny Kelly, and co set the musical tone every month … in it’s heyday Q was inspiring and influential and I devoured every word …

Over the years they did some great overage of Led Zep and related work – the 2003 Led Zeppelin special was one of their biggest selling issues.

34 years of Q comes to an end but I will keep re -reading those wonderful issues that so brought the music alive… thank you to all who sailed with her..

Dave Lewis – July 24,2020.



Jimmy Page and Robert Plant UK Tour 1995 – 25 years gone…

It was 25 years ago today…

25 years ago today on Saturday July 22, 1995 the good lady Janet and I travelled with Gary Foy to Birmingham for the first of two nights performances from Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

Janet was eight months pregnant at the time with Adam but hey it had to be done and I wanted her to see what all the fuss was about and we had a fabulous time. We met with fellow fans beforehand at the Metropole Hotel.

The gig at the NEC was another excellent one – particular highlights being The Battle Of Evermore with guest vocalist Najma Akhtar (the good lady’s fave Zep song) and Gallows Pole. We got back in the early hours and I then got ready to fly the Lewis flag again for the Sunday gig…there was no let-up in this period of 8 gigs in 15 days…

I’ll be reliving all this today via the expansive CD set Get Rid Of The Smoke which captures all the UK gigs and more.

Hi to everyone who was at this memorable July Saturday night when we were having one of the times of our lives.

Dave Lewis – July 22,2020

July 23:

25 years ago today on Sunday July 23, 1995 I travelled with Gary Foy to Birmingham for the second of the two nights performances from Jimmy Page and Robert Plant at the NEC.

Again we met with fellow fans beforehand at the Metropole Hotel. I had a great seat near the front and it was another steller performance. I remember Thank You and The Song Remains the Same being particularly outstanding.

There was a day’s rest before the final two dates in London beckoned…

I’ll be reliving all this today via the expansive CD set Get Rid Of The Smoke which captures all the UK gigs and more.

Hi to everyone who was at this memorable July Saturday night when we were having one of the times of our lives.

Dave Lewis  – July 23,2020


On The Player…

July 18:

Satturday is platterday on the player The Mahvishnu Orchestra with John McLaughlin The Inner Mounting Flame album- Jan Hammer and Billy Cobham part of this line up – musical virtuosity guaranteed….

July 19:

Sunday is silver CD day. Loading up the brilliant Robert Plant Pictures At Eleven album from the Nine Lives CD box recorded at Rockfield Studios of which I know a lot more about after watching last night’s excellent BBC documentary….

July 20:

Working on some Jimmy Page text for TBL this week so on the player an appropriate soundtrack –the 1988 solo album Outrider and sounding mighty fine…





Dave Lewis Diary Blog Update:

July 17: Bob Dylan had it right in 1964 when he said ‘The times they are a changin’ and all these years on that message certainly resonates now…

One thing that doesn’t change is that Bob Dylan is still making vital music and last Friday I was well pleased to pick up his superb new album Rough And Rowdy Ways on vinyl today via the lovely people at Slide Record shop in Bedford –thank you Warren and Nerys…

July 18: Thoroughly enjoyed the Rockfield and Robert Plant documentaries on BBC 4 tonight – it was a pleasure and privilege back in 2010 to help out with the photo research and supply some material from the TBL archives for Robert’s By Myself documentary which was duly credited at the end of the programme…

July 22 – Wednesday treats at the Vinyl Barn…and much inspiration…

At the always excellent Vinyl Barn early this morning I was well pleased to find a very quirky item namely a unique very limited EMI Records Tenth Anniversary of the Uxbridge Road site sampler album.

This was handed out as a souvenir to visitors of this celebration staged on Sunday June 20 1982. It has tracks from Queen, Bob Seger, Cliff Richard, Hot Chocolate, The Stranglers, Iron Maiden, Diana Ross, Olivia Newton John and Kate Bush – in effect a showcase for acts part of the EMI stable at the time – very quirky –you gotta love a sampler album! Thanks Darren…

At the Vinyl Barn on Wednesday morning it was great to see my fellow record buying enthusiast and very good friend Steve for a bit of socially distanced much welcomed record collecting banter…⠀




Update here:

A busy week – there’s been work on the 40th anniversary new cover for my Feather In The Wind Led Zeppelin over Europe 1980 40th anniversary book repackage. TBL designer Mick Lowe has done a great job in bringing all this together. I am hoping to have news of when the books will be available soon. Elsewhere there’s been the usual concerns that can lead to anxiety which I know I am by no means alone experiencing. There has been a lot going on and keeping busy has been a tonic alongside the usual support and inspiration from the good lady.

Some particular inspirations this past week:

A great catch up on the phone with long time TBL supporter Richard Grubb and Leicester man of music Kevin  Hewick…

A social distance meet with Nick Carruthers to invest in a new vinyl records.

Listening repeatedly to Scarlet and grinning from ear to ear…

The good lady Janet now progressing to two walks a day to strengthen her leg…

A lovely liaison with our very good friends Steve and Anne Marie who have been so supportive of Janet and I in the past few months…

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

Dave Lewis –  July 24, 2020

Until next time, stay safe and stay well…

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

Follow TBL/DL on Facebook:

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

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  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Many thanks Ian

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    many thanks Larry

  • Larry said:

    Many thanks to Nils and Christer for their Copenhagen 79 memories…that’s great reading because it sheds some more light on these gigs which somehow wound up “obscure” at the time! The second night especially has a warm spot in my heart as in my opinion that’s the best played Zeppelin gig post-1973.

    Great to hear Scarlet, very cool. Always nice to discover something by Jimmy that has not been heard previously. In his interview about it, Jimmy was asked by Zoe Ball what he had been doing to stay busy during self-quarantine, and Jimmy said he had been indexing and cataloging things. Don’t know what he meant by that, but it’s nice to imagine…

    His new book is superb by the way!

  • IanD said:

    Completely with you on the end of Q magazine Dave. It was a shock to see it finishing, but then I realized how long it was since I last bought one. With so much new music being experienced in non physical formats, so the support material goes that way too. Moral is to scan the magazine racks and if there is an article that tickles my fancy then buy it! As someone once sang ‘You don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone’

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Yes Wools that one does not often surface

  • WOOLS said:

    Dave,very nice to see the cover of Celebration II as it remains as my favorite and quite often a very nice refresher of a much better time. I still enjoy the JPJ and Peter Grant interviews. This one is a classic and must have!


  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Many thanks Nils

  • Nils Westerholt said:

    Hi Dave,
    So nice to revisit The Copenhagen Warm-up`s once again after all these years! In some ways time has been good to especially the second evening of these warm-up`s, which now ranks among the best Led Zeppelin performances of their latter days.
    Thank you so much for keeping up the flame. Keep up the good work!
    Best wishes for you and the good lady.
    Nils Westerholt, Denmark

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