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19 April 2013 10,933 views 8 Comments

pres storm

All at TBL are very sad to hear the passing of Storm Thorgerson age 69.

As a part of the Hipgnosis design team working with Aubrey Powell aka Po, Storm was responsible for many iconic album sleeve designs notably of course for Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.

Storm and Po were responsible for the sleeve designs of Houses Of The Holy, Presence, The Song Remains The Same Soundtrack, In Through The Out Door and Coda. They also designed Robert Plant’s Principal Of Moments album sleeve.

When I interviewed Aubrey Powell a few weeks ago, he told me that Storm was very ill. Ironically I was in touch yesterday afternoon via email with Po regarding some artwork for his new book  and his reply last night informed of Storm’s sad passing.

In a statement, Storm Thorgerson’s family said that his death “was peaceful and he was surrounded by family and friends.”

Dave Gilmour in his statement said:

We first met in our early teens. We would gather at Sheep’s Green, a spot by the river in Cambridge and Storm would always be there holding forth, making the most noise, bursting with ideas and enthusiasm. Nothing has ever really changed.

He has been a constant force in my life, both at work and in private, a shoulder to cry on and a great friend.

The artworks that he created for Pink Floyd from 1968 to the present day have been an inseparable part of our work.

I will miss him.

In a weekend where the LP record is being celebrated around the world on Record Store Day, the impact of the astonishing artwork Storm was involved in reverberates in countless iconic sleeve designs. I won’t be the only one I’m sure searching out those classic designs and gazing in awe at the truly wondrous work of  Storm, Po and Hipgnosis.

storm 1

Storm Thorgerson’s legacy will shine on….

Dave Lewis – April 19th, 2013.


Neal Preston – Sound And Fury:

On a brighter note, on Wednesday afternoon I conducted a great interview on the phone with Neal Preston, talking about his new digital book Sound and Fury.

‘’It was evident that there was an opportunity to offer the photos in such a way as to make them stand out in a new light’’ Neal explained. ’With things like the 80 contact sheets, it has allowed us to go that extra distance. For me Led Zeppelin has a place in my head and my heart and that place is when I was with them on tour’’.

Led Zeppelin: Sound And Fury, an innovative illustrated digital book by famed photographer Neal Preston, is available now  exclusively on the iBookstore on April 15 for a price of £5.99. The book comes alive with a tap, swipe or pinch and provides an unprecedented and comprehensive look into the world of Led Zeppelin.

John Paul Jones 1977

John Paul Jones 1977 courtesy Neal Preston


iTunes Store:

The complete interview with Neal Preston will be in the forthcoming TBL magazine –issue 35. This is another highlight of the forthcoming magazine which kick starts the TBL 2013 subscription

If you are a 2012 subscriber –your subscription finished with issue 34 and now is the time to re subscribe. Re subscription take up has been on the low side so far – please use this notice as a prompt to action your re sub!

Many recent purchasers of TBL books have never indulged in the magazine…now is the perfect opportunity…if you are new to the TBL magazine –this is the perfect issue to find out what it’s all about because if you love Led Zep…you will love this magazine…

More on the content of TBL 35 next week

Here’s the link to subscribe for the 2013 magazines…


Robert Plant Presents Sensational Space Shifters new US festival date:

Robert Plant has added a new US festival date – the Sensations Space Shifters will be appearing at the High Sierra Music festival on July 4th.


Record Store Day:

The sixth annual Record Store Day takes on Saturday – music fans from all over the globe will be converging on record shops to try and snap up the multitude of limited edition releases that are up for grabs. It’s a celebration of music in its physical form and the fact that the record shop is a vital part of our musical past and future.

As a man who was lucky enough to work and manage a record department and then a shop here in Bedford for nigh on 35 years, this showing of appreciation for our musical shopping heritage is a big deal for me. I’m pleased to report the one remaining record shop in Bedford WS Records will be participating in Record Store Day.

Steve Jump has been in touch from Badlands Records in Cheltenham to inform they have some rare Houses of The Holy artwork on offer in a special Record Store day charity event – here’s the link to details of this:—Win-a-signed-Art-Print-worth–795-from-Badlands-and-Hypergallery.html?soid=1011169581086&aid=N6pj01-hMTU

rsd 10

Remember record shops are not just for Record Store Day ..record shops are for life  A better life!

My good friends, Dec, Phil and Tom (by the way, Phil also worked in record shops here and between us we have clocked up some 40 years service in such establishments) will be meeting up very early at the Rough Trade shop in Portobello Road London very early tomorrow to get in line as we did a year ago. There’s a number of desirable items on my wants list –Nick Drake LP, Miles Davis LP, Jethro Tull EP, Rolling Stones EP, Bob Dylan single, Pink Floyd single, Paul McCartney 12 inch ,David Bowie single to name a few…here’s hoping we are in line earlier enough to secure some of those.

Once again there’s no Led Zep product as part of the limited edition releases for Record Store Day –it would have been great to see something like a three track ten inch pressing of Kashmir, Good Times Bad Times and Ramble On extracted from the Celebration Day set. I did actually mention this idea to the powers that be and  Jimmy awhile back but I think there was no time to get it sorted – maybe next year.

What Record Store day offers is the opportunity to get something special and unique – something you can hold and cherish. As I have said before –the music you collect defines who you are and there’s no better way than demonstrating that than with something as tangible as living breathing vinyl. Beyond mere downloads, this is about having an emotional and physical attachment to the real thing.

So all in all this is a fantastic celebration of those emporiums we have loved, lost and loved again over the past few decades. I hope fellow TBler’s can get out to one of the participating stores on Record Store Day to try and snap up the limited editions of their choice and revel in the art of vinyl and CD consumerism, where talking about and listening to music can seriously enhance your life.

Let us know your own Record Store Day experiences via the comments ection or TBL Facebook

Even if you can’t get out, why not have an mp3/iPod/CD free weekend and get that old black matter out and relive the thrill of stylus against vinyl.

It looks like being a long day as after getting up at the crack of dawn  to queue at Rough Trade , in the evening Tom and myself plus our good ladies will be heading to the Bedford Corn Exchange to see the tribute band From The Jam which actually has Jam member Bruce Foxton in the line up.

Now that is what I call a full Record Store Day…

 ‘’Record shops can’t save your life. But they can give you a better one’’(Nick Hornby). This is one that certainly did that for me as from 1985 through to 2003 I was lucky enough to be managing it –not so much a job, more a sheer joy. This is Our Price Bedford reflecting the release of Led Zep’s Remasters in November 1990. See you tube clip below…Now that’s what I call a record shop window…



 Record Store Day DL/TBL Countdown: 

April 17 –Day 17 in the countdown to Record Store Day with 3 days to go –Today’s choice is  No Quarter – Unledded by  Jimmy Page & Robert Plant. Purchased from Our Price on the day it was released in November 1994. This is a double album vinyl set – I also various press releases to go with it. It was 19 years ago today that I attended the Alexis Korner tribute gig in Buxton at which Jimmy and Robert reunited to perform a short set. This was the first fruits of their fresh collaboration that would lead  on to the MTV Unledded special in the summer –culminating in the two unforgettable shows at the London Studios in August.  There’s a real spark and vitality in the way they redressed the Zep tracks of which Kashmir is the highlight. Another chapter in the saga that holds so many great memories and memorable Page & Plant gigs in 1995 and 1998.(DL)

April 18 -Day 18 in the countdown to Record Store Day with 2 days to go -Today’s choice is The Yardbirds single Goodnight Sweet Josephine/Think About It. I got this on RSD two year ago when it was produced via the Sundazed label .Fantastic pic sleeve and the label reproduces the old Epic style Radio Station Copy script. Gems such as this are what Record Store Day is all about. This was the final Yardbirds US single issued in early 1968 – the brilliant Think About It has a solo from Jimmy that has all the hallmarks of his next venture a few months later. In the UK this was pulled back from release – a few years back I was lucky enough to pick up a one sided Emidisc acetate of the A side. Rare indeed. (DL)

yard 1

April 19 –Day 19 in the countdown to World Record Store Day with 1 day to and finally…today’s choice is Remasters by Led Zeppelin – the 3 LP set plus the 6 LP box set. My copies have the original press release and bios I got from the rep at the time.  I have fantastic retail memories of selling and marketing these releases back in October and November 1990 at the Our Price record shop I managed. We sold a truck load of these via a big pre- release campaign and window display etc. Word of this sales success travelled up to the  Warner/Atlantic record head guys and the following year I was awarded a triple gold disc in recognition and appreciation of my contribution to UK sales in excess of 250,00.  A wonderful gesture that holds pride of place behind me in the TBL work station. It’s amazing to think that there was a time back in the day that the only way of hearing Led Zeppelin’s music was via the ten original albums – ie the eight original studio albums, The Song Remains the Same soundtrack and the posthumous collection Coda. There were no greatest hits albums, no BBC sessions, no 1972 live albums and certainly no i-tunes. Thus the arrival in the autumn of 1990 of the five LP CD box set and Remasters compilations was a very big deal indeed. I wasn’t the only one I am sure who had not paid much attention to the studio albums in recent years. My Zep listening time was taken up analysing the many Zep shows that were appearing on CD sets and the fresh outtakes that had surfaced. The arrival of the Remasters sets changed all that. Suddenly we all realised just exactly what it was that had made this band so special. Lapsed fans got back on the wagon –a whole new generation of younger enthusiast’s also jumped aboard. Overnight Led Zep’s stock shot up…and it’s kept on increasing ever since. (DL)

rem 1


And finally…

A Stairway To Our Price – The Movie…

In keeping with the final Record Store Day countdown choice….here is a you tube clip of a film made in the Bedford Our Price store in October 1990. Back then,  I thought it would be a good idea to capture the arrival and marketing of the Led Zeppelin Remasters releases. One of the staff Gary Scott had a video camera and was interested in film making so over the two release dates of the Remasters album and box set we shot a film titled Stairway To Our Price. It chronicles the marketing and selling of the stock on the day of release plus a training clip with yours truly in a cameo acting role (Michael Caine move over!) intercut with various Our Price ads in a new 2013 remastered version. There’s also a cameo of my good friend Terry being sold his box set.

It’s of its time, it’s hugely nostalgic and captures the excitement of the arrival of new Led Zeppelin product instore. This has been on an old VHS tape in my loft unseen for years. Thanks to Gary D for transferring and creating this new 2013 remaster.

So enjoy this glance back to the days when retail was detail and record shops were the natural social hubs of their day. This is dedicated to all the staff who shared with me some unforgettable retail times (including Colin, Justin, Denise, Mark, Andy, and Jason in the film)  and to all those continuing that tradition by working in and supporting shops around the world tomorrow on Record Store Day…

So let me take you back to October 1990…


Until next time…

Keep listening, keep reading…

Have a great weekend

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy

April 19th, 2013.

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  • VHP said:

    I agree, very sad that Storm has died. I remember my being introduced to Zep / Floyd / Purple & the Who nearly 40 years ago (when I was not yet a teenager) by my Cousin and I am eternally greatful that he did. Storm’s covers were truely works of art, and I feel they should release CD’s in 12″ sleeves so the artwork can be fully seen.

    Mark – re Jimmy – where are thou? I agree, 15 years since W.I.C. was released! Where is his new ‘quite radical’ studio CD he has been talking about since 2006! I do wish he would release a new CD and tour – 1 full length gig by Jimmy in the last 10 years is not much really. There must be a whole generation of younger Jimmy / Zep fans who have never got to see him live, and that is a shame for such a great all round musician.


    Yes Dave, my guess is he’ll join Patty Griffin for some of her UK dates in July.

    But more importantly, Jimmy – where for art thou ?!

  • Wolfgang Seidel said:

    I really like the “Stairway to Our Price” movie.
    1990, ugly haircuts and ugly fashion, Germany’s soccer became the World Cup Winner, and most important, Zeppelin’s Boxed Set came out.
    Great cameo, Dave. Ever thought about a career as an actor?

  • Graham Rodger said:

    That’s three different obituraries to Storm I’ve read now, all citing different ages (71, 70 and now 69). I think he’d like the fact that nobody can get it right.

    Wish there’d been a bit more blurb about Andy Johns RIP. His contribution to the Zeppelin story was immense. Check out Barney Hoskins’ book for a great first-hand account.

  • David Linwood said:

    Love the Red Beret Dave! Didn’t Terry brush up well in those days!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Mark let’s hope for something soon…I was at Reading Priory -excellent gig!


    Hi Folks,

    How many of you have noticed that Robert has pretty much stopped playing gigs in the U.K ? His last one and only ‘proper’ UK gig was in July 2012 at Womad festival. Since then though his been ‘Walking into Everywhere’ other than his ‘home’ country. Come on Robert, play the Reading Hexagon once more time please !(t’was a great Priory gig that).

  • Andreas said:

    Just love that presence cover, best album by the best band and I got one signed personally for me from Storm. Always been a treasure in my collection, now even more so. RIP you legend

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