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TBL 1975 US TOUR SNAPSHOT/LZ NEWS/ROBERT PLANT LEICESTER 1988/BAD COMPANY REISSUES/1971 SCENE COLUMN/BOWIE SINGLE/CROW JAYNE/TBL ISSUE 1/DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

21 January 2021 1,645 views 2 Comments

TBL Archive Special: TBL Led Zep 1975 Snapshot: Number Two

Snapshot Notes:
MONDAY JANUARY 20th, 1975
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
CHICAGO STADIUM

Set: 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/In My Time Of Dying/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/How Many More Times/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – Black Dog/Communication Breakdown.

Robert ‘s flu is now in full effect and Jimmy is struggling with an injured finger. How Many More Times’ was recalled to the set to allow space for guitar improvisation. As Page told Chris Charlesworth of Melody Maker: “We’ve had to cut ‘Dazed And Confused’ from the set and substitute ‘How Many More Times’ which we haven’t played for four years. I’m still doing the violin bow routine but we’ve had to alter even that and I can’t do it as well as I’d like to. I can tell it’s not as good as it usually is but the audience don’t seem to notice.

In addition to these problems, the sound system was a little defective, ensuring that press reviews were not all entirely favourable.
“Led Zeppelin: malfunctions reduce power,” reported Al Rudis: “Led Zeppelin is alive, but not well. Robert Plant’s ‘flu-ridden voice hurt the British band in its concert Monday. Jimmy Page was nursing a broken finger too. What was worst of all was the old bugaboo of rock and roll: defective sound equipment. In Zeppelin’s case, it’s understandable that the group wouldn’t want to be burdened with maintaining its own sound system if it only tours every year and a half; but they’re the ones who rented the system used Monday night, so they must be held responsible.”

“Kinky Led Zeppelin still king of the funky,” wrote Jack Hafferkamp: “For its part, the band played a new variation on its standard heavy-heavy, super-loud, bare-chested, Victorian decadent, fingernail polish and lipstick, kiss-me-because-I’m-really-funky, cartoon performance. Two hours worth.
“Still there were a few surprises. My companion, for example, noted she owns a blouse just like the one Robert Plant was wearing. John Bonham played what must have been the longest drum solo in the history of mankind. And Plant revealed over, and over, and over again that he has the flu. He said that almost as many times as he mentioned the title of the band’s new record. In fact, I think the final score was New Record 8, Flu 5.”

chicago tick

TUESDAY JANUARY 21st, 1975
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
CHICAGO STADIUM
Set: 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/In My Time Of Dying/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/How Many More Times/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – Black Dog/Communication Breakdown.

The second night in Chicago was a marked improvement, as Lisa Robinson famously reported: “Fifteen seconds onstage and everyone knows it’s going to be HOT. They’ve been truly depressed and confused all day about the first Chicago show. No matter, tonight they’re playing with that old black Zeppelin magic again, and the audience go wild. It sounds as if The Beatles battled the Stones in a parking lot – and Zeppelin won!”

Snapshot Listen – how it sounded today:

Led Zeppelin Live On The Levee (Silver Rarities)

The January 21st Chicago show is available on various CD releases – It’s actually made up of mainly the 20th night with fourteen minutes from the 21st. I have it on the Silver Rarities purchased from the Victoria Record Fair in the early 90s. The tape is a fairly clear if noisy audience recording but suffers at times with tape drop out and fluctuations.
”I’ve got a touch of flue” admits Robert early on and his vocals are certainly suffering. For his part, Jimmy battles on regardless of the finger problem. Over The Hills is already extending in length with that wonderfully lyrical solo. Jimmy is also well animated for When the Levee Breaks and In My Time of Dying played back to back – instrumentally both are pretty awesome deliveries – what a thrill it must have been to witness this rare double dose of bottleneck bravado live on stage. Levee is particularly menacing.

Kashmir (”Jonesy on mellotron – saves all the bread for the orchestra people”) works well despite Robert struggling at times. The Wanton Song (”from the long awaited album even by us”) is a definite highlight, Page attacking the riff with strong intent. It’s a real shame they did not preserve with this and keep in the set. No Quarter is still in a state of transition before it became something of a marathon, Trampled Underfoot is a fairly standard delivery while Moby Dick is back with usual Bonham aplomb (”One man’s got the flu one man’s fit as a fiddle!”) and then to How Many More Times.

A compact eleven minute delivery that features the bow episode and then switches into the Oh Rosie segment and on to the home straight. Stairway To Heaven is an epic performance and from this point, Robert rallies well vocally. In fact, on any given night in 1975, Stairway was performed with immense dedication. Encores – something of a unique arrangement for Whole Lotta Love with Plant going straight into the ”keep a coolin’ baby, I wanna be your backdoor man” usual closing refrain and then they hit Black Dog head on and boy – after all the physical drawbacks, the power of Led Zeppelin in 1975 is clearly in evidence.

It would be awhile before they were back to 100% fitness on this tour but already there was indication of the onstage embellishments to come.
To be continued…

DL – January 21,2021

 


 


LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:

In conjunction with the Led Zep news site, each week I will be re- producing highlights from their email update news summary. This goes out periodically. Sign up details are below. Many thanks to James Cook.

Led Zeppelin

  • Publisher Reel Art Press has given a new look at the progress of Ross Halfin’s upcoming book about rare Led Zeppelin vinyl releases. Work on the book is visible in a new photograph of Halfin reviewing proof pages of “Led Zeppelin Vinyl: The Essential Collection” which is due to be released on April 17.

Jimmy Page

Robert Plant

  • Robert Plant was photographed attending the Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Tottenham Hotspur football match in Wolverhampton on December 27. See the photograph here.
  • Sheryl Crow spoke about her friendship with Robert Plant in a new Vanity Fair interview. “He’s frustrated because he can’t get any traction and can’t get his music played,” she said.

Upcoming events:

April 17 – Ross Halfin’s book “Led Zeppelin Vinyl: The Essential Collection” will be released by Reel Art Press.
June 18-20 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace at the Black Deer festival in Kent.
September 25 – The 2021 John Bonham celebration event will be held in Redditch.

Led Zeppelin News Update:

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

http://ledzepnews.com/


Robert Plant at Leicester University – It was 33 years Ago …
33 years ago this week on January 23 1988, I travelled to Leicester with the good lady Janet and friends Kam and Julie and Alan on a tip off that Robert Plant would be performing a secret warm up gig at the University for his forthcoming UK tour
After a set by Shadows look a-likes The Rapiers, on walked Robert with a completely new band. He proceeded to weave a rich tapestry of both old and new in a quite astonishing performance.
The new came via tracks from his forthcoming album Now And Zen including the Zep sampled Tall Cool One, a right old rockerbilly tear up Billy’s Revenge and the then just released chorus filled single Heaven Knows.
The old came courtesy of his former band in the guise of In The Evening, Misty Mountain Hop and Trampled Underfoot. After previous warm up dates in Folkestone and Stourbridge, this was the third occasion in his solo career that he had performed numbers from the Led Zeppelin catalogue live on stage.
In an era of no ‘Led Anything’ it was simply cathartic. As can be seen by this review I wrote at the time in the weekly column I did for the local Bedfordshire Citizen newspaper, I was mightily impressed. 33 years, on that night in Leicester University remains vivid in the memory.
It was the night I first saw Robert Plant successfully reconcile his past with the present. Being there to witness it all unfold was awe inspiring.
It kicked off a great year of Now And Zen appearances which for me included gigs at Colchester University, London’s Marquee club (where I first met Gary Foy) Warwick University, Oxford Apollo, London’s Town and Country Club and Astoria Theatre and twice at Hammersmith Odeon (the second night featuring a surprise and simply amazing Jimmy Page cameo).
Brilliant as they all were, it’s that first night in Leicester all of 33 years ago this week that still resonates the most – it’s right up there in my top ten list of all time favourite gigs…
Dave Lewis, January 21,2021

Keeping Bad Company…
I’ve been playing the first two Bad Company albums – the reissued versions that came out in 2015  – both albums still sound so vibrant and fresh and inspire so many great memories.
I dug out my thoughts on them that I wrote upon their release back in 2015…

Can’t get enough of a double dose of Bad Company…

bad co 6

Bad Company – Bad Co (Swan Song/Rhino)

Bad Company – Straight Shooter (Swan Song/Rhino)

Hot on the heels of the Led Zeppelin reissues fellow Swan Song act Bad Company are the subject of a similar exercise and very welcomed it is too.

What we have here is a reissue of their first two albums with a secondary disc of bonus tracks, B. sides, alternate takes and unreleased songs.

Such was the close proximity of the release of these albums at the time, I’ve always treated them like one double album.  Though Bad Company did some very good stuff ahead they never quite succeeded in producing such a high level of creative consistency as they did with these first two Bad Co albums. They remain the benchmark of their catalogue.

Bad Company of course, are intrinsically linked to the latter part of the Led Zep story. Managed by Peter Grant, road managed by Clive Coulson himself a former Zep roadie, they were one of the first signings to their Swan Song label. Their success in the US came off the back of Zep’s trailblazing tours and indeed there were numerous spontaneous Zep/Bad Co jams including Jimmy’s guesting with them in Austin Texas and New York in September 1974, Page and Plant up on stage with them in LA in 1976 and Mick Ralphs returning the compliment in Fort Worth the following year. They were pretty much joined at the hip and from their inception, Zep fans and a whole lot more took them to their heart.

Oh they also recorded their first album at Headley Grange when in the autumn of 1973, some Zep pre booked studio time became available. It proved to be three weeks very well spent.

The Bad Co album was an instant success particularly in the US where it spawned a top ten single in Can’t Get Enough. They were on a roll and they quickly recorded the follow up Straight Shooter at Clearwell Castle – issued within a year of their debut to further acclaim.

When they initially emerged on record and on stage in the spring of 1974, they arrived with a distinct lack of pretention. Taut tight arrangements in a classic four man line up –honest to goodness non flashy rock’n’roll. What really set Bad Company apart though, was their ability to bring an effortless soulful swing to the party when required. That element constantly seeps through across both albums – witness Ready For Love, The Way I Choose and Wild Fire Woman. It also helped considerably that like Zep, the interplay and chemistry of the four musical was just so right.

Paul Rodgers was vocally right at the top of his game, Mick Ralphs had the knack of turning his guitar style from melodic rock to blues at will, Boz Burrell was an inventive bassist and funky with it while  Simon Kirke had already proved his ability in the art of steadfast percussion n Free.

Refreshingly for the time they did not need to rely on any over the top bombasts arrangements. Rock Steady being a perfect example of how a band could show restraint at all the right moments. Not that they couldn’t rock out with the best of them, Can’t Get Enough, Good Loving Gone Bad and Deal With The Preacher all retain their good to be alive breeziness.

They were also very skilled in the rock balladry department. Something that was much in evidence on the first album with Don’t Let Me Down, Bad Company, and Seagull and duly repeated with equal aplomb on Straight Shooter with Weep No More, Anna, Call On Me, and the evergreen Feel Like Makin’ Love. In Shooting Star they created one of rocks great narrative tales which still retains its plaintive poignancy

On top of all that, they were also great at adding stand-alone B sides to their singles (does anybody remember B sides?) and it’s great to hear the likes of Little Miss Fortune (the B side to Can’t Get Enough), Easy On My Soul ( the B side to the US single Movin’ On)and Whiskey Bottle ( the B side to Good Lovin’ Gone Bad) scooped up on the extra discs.

As for the extra discs here, there’s a whole heap of fun to be had. A wonderfully loose Can’t Get Enough with no overdubs demonstrates a real purity in the playing. An equally loose and informal The Way I Choose has Rodgers adopting his best Otis Redding voice.

There’s also delightful off-mic chat between takes including one humorous exchange at Headley Grange which refers to a  dog – perhaps a black dog.  There’s also some unreleased tracks -the very fine Superstar Woman left off the first album and later recorded for Paul’s 1983 Cut Loose album. From the Straight Shooter sessions, See The Sunlight has some pleasing leslied guitar work from Mick Ralphs while All Night Long is a typical Bad Co romp.

The sound throughout  is also spot on with mixing and remastering by highly respected engineers Jon Astley and Richard Digby Smith.

A final word on the packaging – a superb job all round with vintage press clips and pic sleeve sleeves spread throughout the detailed notes written and compiled by Dave Clayton with all the passion and enthusiasm the fabled Free/Bad Co chronicler always brings to the table.

Can’t get enough? Not when classic albums such as this pair are remastered and reworked with such finesse.

Dave Lewis – April 15 2015


It was 50 years ago – the Bedford & Bucks Reporter Scene Pop Column by Steve Peacock via the Paul Cox archive.

Here’s the local Scene column for January 12 1971 from the Bedford & Bucks Reporter compiled by Steve Peacock. Note this week some news of upcoming gigs at the Addison Centre and his review of the album Just Another Diamond Day by Vashti Bunyan.

Though it sold few copies at the time it has gone on to become a cult folk rock classic. Back in 1971 had you ventured into the local Carousel record shop in Bedford and purchased a copy it would have cost around £2 –original copies on the Phillips label now change hands on the collectors market for £1,000 plus.


First record purchase of the year – David Bowie Mother/Tryin’ To Get To Heaven… 

I made my first record purchase of the year this week – the new David Bowie single released to mark his recent Birthday.

Many thanks to Nerys and Warren at the always excellent Slide Record shop in Bedford for arranging this one for me.

Here’s my thoughts on it:

This double A side, as we used to call them, presents two previously unreleased intriguing cover versions of songs by a couple of David’s own heroes.

Bowie has of course always been a great interspeaker of other artists songs – Fill Your Heart, It Ain’t Easy, Around And Around, Let’s Spend the Night Together, Amsterdam , Wild Is The Wind and God Only Knows are particular favourites of mine and in 1973 he recorded a whole batch of UK 60s cover versions for the Pin Ups album.

So first up Mother:

Bowie famously stated that Lennon’s on sale again’’ in the lyrics of Life On Mars. He would go on to build a friendship with the ex Beatle in New York that resulted in the pair collaborating on Fame and Across The Universe for the 1975 Young Americans –the latter a Lennon Beatles song from 1968.

Originally recorded by Lennon for his 1970 album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Bowie’s version of Mother on this new single was produced by Tony Visconti in July 1998 for a Lennon tribute that never came to fruition.

Mother is no easy song to cover – a profoundly personal statement on a profoundly personal solo album. ”Mother you had me but I never had you” is the opening line of  Lennon’s painful lament to his mother who was tragically killed when Lennon was aged 17. I have only ever come across one other over version a rather impressive effort by Barbra Striesand recorded in 1971.

David plays it close to the original opening with plaintive piano accompaniment from Jordan Ruddess. His vocal is right on the money with that deep resonance moving up the register as required reaching a dramatic climax with harmony vocal support from Tony Visconti and Richard Barone. Behind it all Reeves Gabrels adds some tonal guitar interjections in a manner that recalls to mind Robert Fripp’s work on Heroes.

Flip it over and the focus is on Bob Dylan…

Another of his own heroes going right back to Bowie’s Song For Bob Dylan. Released on the 1971 Hunky Dory album it was a heartfelt plea for the then exiled Dylan to get back out there – ‘’Hear this Robert Zimmerman, though I don’t suppose we’ll meet, ask your good friend Dylan, if he’d gaze a while down the old street’’

Some 40 years later he was plainly still captivated by the Zim. Bob Dylan’s original version of Tryin’ To Get To Heaven was released on his acclaimed 1997 Grammy winning Time Out Of Mind album. David’s version was recorded in February 1998 during the mixing sessions for what would emerge as the ‘LiveAndWell.com’ album.

Like Mother, this is a similarly overwrought arrangement with a tender Bowie vocal – sometimes framed in a subtle echo other times multi tracked to great effect. This time there’s a more sinewy guitar underlay from Reeves Gabrels, playing off Gail Ann Dorsey’s shimmering bass. Bowie signs off with the dramatic claim of ”I’ve been all around the world boys.”

Summary: These two lost gems from the late 90s can take their rightful place amongst the best of the Bowie covers. His 1990s output received lukewarm response at the time and maybe it’s time for a reappraisal of his albums from that period – namely Black Tie White Noise, Outside, Earthling and ‘hours…’

One thing is for sure – his ability as a vocalist was never in doubt and on both these sides he sings magnificently.

Mother and Tryin’ To Get To Heaven are stark reminders of the vast talent that was lost that bleak January day of five years ago. They are also further examples of what we still treasure about David Bowie.

For me he remains the most important solo artist of all time – and this single only re-enforces that statement…

Dave Lewis  – January 21,2021


DL Diary Blog Update:
Thursday January 14:

It was 48 years ago today…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the player – the 3 LP bootleg box set Led Zeppelin Fab 4 Liverpool as recorded on this day at the Empire Theatre Liverpool – limited edition of 150. The Sgt Pepper sleeve parody is rather impressive.

Friday January 15:

It was 48 years ago today…

On the player…

Loading up the excellent 2 CD Led Zeppelin soundboard recording Groovin’ In The Garden as recorded on this day at the Trentham Gardens Stoke –this is part of the superb Ascension In The Wane –The January 1973 Soundboards box set…

Friday January 15:

It was 44 years ago today:

44 years ago today, I was very excited to see this headline in the National Rockstar music paper. This short lived addition to the music papers was actually published at the local Beds County Press. The story revealed that Led Zeppelin had begun rehearsals at the Cabin Studios in Fulham – this was actually the Manticore Studios owned by ELP. They were rehearsing in preparation for a US tour due to start late Feb/early March (it would eventually begin in April due to Robert Plant’s laryngitis problem).

This was very big news indeed for this then 20 year old mad keen more than obsessed Zep fan. I vividly remember calling the Swan Song office the next day and speaking to Unity Mclean – she told me they would be booking an extensive US tour but no UK dates were planned as yet, though they were looking at a big summer outdoor appearance.. By the way, this call was made from a pay phone red call box just around the corner from where I lived – as at the time we had no phone at home.

I did harbour a plan to head up to London and hang out around the Mainticore Studio in the hope of catching a glimpse of them. However, soon after, I contacted Glandular fever and was off work for three weeks. I also was weighing up how I might even get to one of the New York Madison Square Garden gigs. This was the era of Freddie Laker’s budget airline Sky Train. As it turned out, my weekly wage of £22 selling records at WH Smith was not quite in the Sky Train league and it was not to be. I did hatch a more cost effective plan to wave them off at the Heathrow when they flew out. That is another story for another day.

All this potential 1977 Zep activity was fuelling my idea to produce a Led Zep fan magazine which would be further inspired by the arrival of the Punk fanzines later that year.

‘’Led Zeppelin back in action’’…that headline all of 40 years ago kick-started a hive of Zep activity that year for me – and the imminent arrival of The Song Remains The Same film to Bedford’s Granada cinema for a week on January 23 was yet more reason to cheerful. More on that ahead…

Friday January 15:

It was five years ago today…

Five years ago today and five days after David Bowe’s passing, the good lady Janet and I decided that we really needed to go to London to pay our respects. Like countless others, David Bowie had been the soundtrack to our lives – when we started going out together the first concert Janet and I attended as a couple was his fantastic Serious Moonlight show at the Milton Keynes Bowl on July 3,1983.

So on the morning of Saturday January 15, 2016 we visited the David Bowie mural in Brixton – this was the focus of much of the outpouring of love and respect for the man. Being there was moving, comforting and a beautiful place to be.

Here’s some thoughts I wrote down about our visit on that day.

So this morning Janet and I walked towards the David Bowie mural in Brixton. Peaceful, and tranquil -it felt like the only place for us to be today.

A few sniffles could be heard amongst the assembled – all with quiet dignity. We laid our tribute (”’there will always be a Starman waiting in the sky’’) and I wrote on the wall as many were doing.

Looking across at the faces of those paying their respects was simply heartbreaking. We were lost souls standing there but not a lost generation. Our generation and many others past and present, will always find solace and inspiration from his wondrous music.

But, as we gazed at the flowers, the tributes and heartfelt notes with heavy hearts and a lump in our throats, we all knew what we had lost…

We didn’t really want to leave this place of David Bowie sanction – it felt like we were leaving him behind forever and so much more…

Somewhat reluctantly, we shuffled away towards the Brixton tube station – the gentle familiar words of Life On Mars from a busker drifting over us in the cold Saturday morning January air…

’’Wonder if he’ll ever know he’s in the bestselling show.’’

Looking down on us here today, I’m sure he does…

Dave Lewis – January 15, 2016.

Friday January 15:
Andy Adams brought this one to my attention…
Here’s a great clip of Crow Jayne performing the excellent ‘One Day Late, One Dollar Shy’
The band are led by our friend and TBL supporter Guy D’Angelo.
Check it out here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQBjx4N_kpA
Saturday January 16:
Saturday in platterday – on the player a bit of Rory – the 1969 Taste album sounding mighty fine…
Monday January 18:

I am a bit behind on this one but it was It was very sad to hear the news of the passing of New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain aged 69 last week.

I watched The New York Dolls performance on The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1973 when Bob Harris described them as ‘’Mock rock’. They were slightly ahead of their time for the whispering Bob. Punk was on its way and the Dolls would be a big influence.

Back in 1982 when I was working with the publishers Babylon Books on my first ever book Led Zeppelin The Final Acclaim, they sent me some of their books as samples of their work. One was a New Yok Dolls fanzine book written by one Steven Morrissey and published in 1981.

His enthusiasm for the subject did inspire me when it came to my Zep book. This particular New York Dolls fan Steven Morrissey went on of course to become the lead singer with The Smiths….

Winterlude Playlist:

Here’s some selections currently  accompanying the long cold days and nights here…

Bad Company -Bad Company reissue 2 LP

Bad Company – Straight Shooter reissue 2 LP

The Beatles  – Let It Be LP

Led Zeppelin – Mudslide bootleg LP

Julie Covington – The Beautiful Changes- plus CD

David Crosby – Live on the King Biscuit Flower Hour CD

Trees – On the Shore -2CD

Paul McCartney – McCartney III LP

Some particular inspirations this past week…

A call from America from long time journalist TBL supporter, Robert Plant chronicler and journalist Stephen Humphries – as we always do whenever we chat we dissected the career of the former Led Zeppelin singer and more – Stephen has interviewed Robert twice in recent years.

Another call from a journalist named Humphries – this time Patrick from London – author of many books including works on Nick Drake, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. Patrick ahs been an ardent supporter of TBL for many years and very supportive of us here in recent months, despite his own health issues. It was great to chat about many a musical subject.

Nerys and Warren at the Slide record shop for arranging a copy of the new David Bowie single for me…

Much welcomed packages from Phil Tattershall (some JPJ material), Paul Shepperd (Free Live in Stockholm CD) and Guy D’Angelo (the Crow Jayne album) – thanks folks for your kindness …

Update here:

Trying to get into a groove of working on various things here. Janet has been back at preschool as they are remaining open. Her leg continues to be sore – the cold weather doesn’t help and we are hoping the physio will advise more on his next phone call. I’ve had confirmation of my two heart appointments at the hospital for next month. On the TBL projects front,there’s been some good liaising with Mike Tremaglio via email on various Zep related issues which leads me to…

42 years on from the TBL issue 1 adverts – some reflection on current connections…

Liaising with Mike via email and talking on the phone to journalists Stephen and Patrick this week (see above) has emphasised the fact that sharing our  bond of music is such a much valued connection.

That was also evident by some individual music related packages I received this week from Paul Shepherd, Phil Tattershall and Guy D’Angelo – each of them in their respective ways, generously spreading the love of our shared passions.

Given that we can no longer indulge in the face to face activity that we once took for granted – and for me that would involve visits to the Vinyl Barn, record fairs, Pete’s record club, the Esquires club music quiz, live gigs, meets in London at the Spice of Life  etc – now there is currently no opportunity to do any of that, these connections and gestures mean such a lot and are much cherished.

There’s always music in our world here with the good lady Janet and lots of it -and no doubt if you are reading this – yours too. With the increasingly perilous Covid situation it’s something to hang on to – some much needed salvation in the face of adversity.

As Nick Hornby once said ”record stores can’t save you life but they can give you a better one” – and even though under the current restrictions we cannot visit record stores, music is still hugely accessible – be it by click and collect, online ordering, via YouTube, downloads and more. I of course love the tangible aspect of records and CDs of which I am lucky to be surrounded by a fair few…there’s no shortage of choice and as we all know music can take us back to past times and I revel in that constantly…it’s the soundtrack to our lives…

There’s further inspiration to be had by the fact that some of my favourite veteran artists are making some of their best records of recent times – witness Dylan, Springsteen and McCartney. Others are choosing this time for  reflect and revive some of their past triumphs – Robert Plant ,The Rolling Stones, Cat Stevens and Elton John to name but three.

For a man prone to deep anxiety and depression, my musical obsession helps in no small way to preserve my mental wellbeing. I am sure I am not the only one.

42 years ago this week I placed adverts in the music press for the first issue of Tight But Loose, a Led Zeppelin fanzine/magazine I had created out of pure love and enthusiasm for the group’s music and world – see the advert on the left from the January 20 1979 issue of Sounds music paper. The TBL ad appears under Special Notices. I am not sure if The Three Degrees fan club is still going but I am still out there…

42 years on, that enthusiasm for my musical passion is still there every morning I wake up. Those that follow my Facebook page will know, my day that will commence with me posting acknowledgments of relevant musicians birthdays and passing’s plus seeking inspiring tracks via YouTube clips.

Reproducing retro charts and adverts from my archive, presenting what’s on my player here, recounting my thoughts on my record and CD acquisitions-regular updating of the TBL website, the TBL archive pieces I present and my book projects and written work. All these declarations of my passion are lifelines to me, particularly now in this difficult time where face to face social contact is not possible.

Though the motivation to do so is sometimes sidelined by the arrival of the black dog, it’s never about the lack of intention. I need to do these things.

Writing about music, sharing my experiences with it, feeding off the experiences and opinions of others – all this has defined who I am for decades and continues to – it’s in my DNA. Chronicling the world of Led Zeppelin has of course been central to all that and continues to be.

In these incredibly difficult times It acts as a diversion and hopefully an inspiration to other like minded souls. Looking at that quaint TBL issue 1 advert this week reminded me of the original TBL remit: to present my thoughts on their music and in doing so form a platform of communication between fellow enthusiasts. It’s source of much wonder and gratitude that those intensions still prevail….

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

Dave  Lewis – January 21, 2021

Until next time, stay safe and stay well…

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

Follow TBL/DL on Facebook:

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

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2 Comments »

  • Sean Smith said:

    I look forward to reading your words here each week, and just like music, they are a source of inspiration and respite in the current times. Thank You!!

  • Richard Smalley said:

    Another excellent edition providing a fascinating insight into past events and current plans for LZ and other brilliant musicians.

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