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28 May 2010 3,019 views No Comment


TBL 26 is now out on the streets – all subscribers’ copies and orders up to today have been distributed. UK subscribers should now have received their copies and overseas orders are on their way. This issue has already reached out to Zep fans in the UK, USA, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, Indonesia, Israel, Malta, France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Russia. I know – I packed every one!

The message needs to keep spreading as I know there are many fans reading this that have yet to subscribe.

Here’s some early reaction from satisfied TBL customers

The new TBL mag – what can I say, it was already a great magazine in black and white but the new colour format takes it to another level. Congratulations to you and all involved in.’’  Russell Ritchin- UK


‘’Just wanted to drop you a line to say how much I am enjoying reading the latest edition of Tight But Loose – as always! And I love the revamp in design. Packed with interesting articles, the latest news, it’s a real joy to read and a must for any Zep fan’’-  Mick Bulow- UK

‘’Received the latest TBL issue. The best ever. Like the new design and layout. I am savouring each and every article. Keep up the good work!’’ Damien Grieff- UK

‘’Got  the new TBL – superb edition – particularly enjoyed the Nick Kent piece & Robert’s guitarist interviews – keep up the magnificent work’’
Colin Sheil-Ireland

’’Just wanted to drop you a quick line that I received my TBL 26 yesterday.
A fantastic issue’’. Dave Robert-Canada

‘Hi Dave, magazines arrived today. I would like to congratulate you and let you know that the new all colour TBL is superb’’.  Michael Smith -Australia

‘’Thanks a lot for the last issue of TBL 26.  As usual a great issue with many interesting articles – fantastic’’. Alessandro Borri – Italy

As a tangible essential Zep read TBL 26 is hitting the mark. Inspiring fans to soak up the 32 page content and go back to the music with fresh perspective – the TBL premise of every issue published over the past 30 years.

An email alert and a mail out letter has gone out to previous TBL readers who have yet to indulge – I look forward to having you back on board for the physical Zep fix you can rely on. Just a note regarding ordering details – if you pay by pay pal all you have to do is send payment in British pounds via this email . Or you can use the Buy Now button on the TBL site Subscriptions  Link.  For any other payment issues – get in contact and I will do my best to accommodate and ensure you can purchase the magazine. If you want to order TBL 26 as a single issue it’s available at UK £6.50 Europe £7.50 and USA/Rest of World £8.50

Finally I would like to thank everyone who has re subscribed or taken up a new subscription or ordered the magazine individually. Anything you can do to spread the TBL word via Facebook, message boards etc  will be much appreciated. I will be endeavouring to do my best to ensure the ongoing content of the magazine is worthy of your loyalty.

With Jimmy’s book due, Robert on tour, Them Crooked Vultures festival appearances  and the Jason Bonham Led Zep Experience project, the summer is shaping up to be a busy one.  Ahead there is a poignant 30th anniversary which we will be celebrating in the next TBL and at the special TBL Travelling Riverside Event on Saturday September 25th.

My mission is to continue to strive to make Tight But Loose synonymous with the enjoyment of being a Led Zeppelin fan –and central to that is the publication of the Tight But Loose magazine.

So keep reading and keep listening – it’s a great time to be a Led Zeppelin fan …but then again anytime is…

Dave Lewis May 28th 2010


The following is an interview with Dave Lewis about the making of TBL 26 conducted by  Gary Foy.


‘’Tight But Loose remains a unique tangible, re readable Zep collectable.

Alongside the various books I have authored or been involved in, the content of the 26 Tight But Loose magazines represents the largest physical archive of Zeppelin reference work ever compiled. It’s a trend that continues with this issue…

In short if you love this band – you will love this magazine.’’


GF: It’s perhaps appropriate as Tight But Loose enters its fifth decade of chronicling Led Zeppelin, that this issue heralds something of a new era.

DL: Very much so. This issue has presented a number of challenges, not least the quest for a new designer for the magazine.  I linked up with Mick Lowe who runs his own design company Studiomix  and has a history of graphic design being involved in album and sleeve design for major labels in the 80s and 90s. Mick came on board and has been a real inspiration in interpreting what was required for this issue. The new all colour design has already been very well received.

GF: As for content, there’s an abundance of exclusive interview material in this issue.

DL: Yes we’ve been fortunate to get to a number of players that have been involved in both the Zep and post Zep era. At the Abbey Road Sound & Vision event I hooked up with Nigel Eaton who was back at the helm with Robert. It was good to catch up with his views and how he became involved in the unique performance that Robert unveiled that night. I was very privileged to be in such close proximity for the Abbey Road show. When Robert ushered in that chorus on Scott Walker’s Farmer in the City ‘’Who are you twenty one, twenty one’’ – it was a real shiver down the spine moment. Watching him that night was a wonderful re-affirmation that after all these years he can still sing anything –  from torch ballads to spiritual recitals and make them simply his own.

GF: The trio of interviews from Robert’s guitarist past and present is a welcome focus on Robert’s solo era. How did those interviews emerge?

DL: TBL’s resident US correspondent Stephen Humphries had been admirably chipping away at securing those interviews by the various sidemen who helped shape Robert’s solo work. His resulting Now & Then feature which incorporates new interviews with Doug Boyle, Francis Dunnery and Justin Adams is a really fascinating piece. It really gets to the heart of the views of these three excellent guitarists and their take on their respective involvement with the various stages of Robert’s solo career.  I’m sure it will prompt readers to go back to albums such as Now & Zen, Fate Of Nations and Mighty ReArranger with renewed perspective, which is always one of the magazines objectives.

GF: So how did an interview with an ex member of Deep Purple get to turn up in a Zeppelin magazine?

DL: How indeed! My local Deep Purple associates Jerry Bloom (who edits the Ritchie Blackmore magazine) and Terry Boud will be rather surprised by this. They have long since championed Glenn Hughes’ work, in fact Jerry secured Glenn to appear at the Deep Purple Convention that he organised in Bedford a couple of years ago. I missed out on that but knowing of Glenn’s association with Bonzo, I knew Glenn was someone I needed to connect with at some point. As with quite a few things with this magazine, the opportunity sort of dropped in my lap. I was aware of the news of Glenn’s intention to link up with Jason and Joe Bonamassa in a new band line up under the name Black Country and one Saturday night early in the year, I had a call from Glenn’s manager Carl Swann. I immediately recognised his name as I’d sent out a Knebworth book Carl had purchased a week or so before. I thought he was about to register a complaint or something regarding the book! I could not have been more wrong as he was ringing to offer an exclusive interview with Glenn regarding the Black Country project. We set it up incredibly quickly and within a few days Glenn’s mid Atlantic/Black Country accent was drifting down the phone line from Los Angeles. With good timing he was ringing the night after his beloved Wolves had defeated the not so mighty Spurs. We did a bit of football banter, then he was incredibly enthusiastic and eager to tell me about the new band, playing with Jason and tales of Bonzo and Robert. His enthusiasm really was infectious. I posted a few extracts from the interview on the TBL web site which was picked up by a variety of sites including Classic Rock and Blabbermouth etc. In fact that Glenn interview story has been one of the most popular postings on the site this year. The full interview appears in the new magazine and it’s been great to get another view from such an illustrious rock performer. I hope when the new band’s album is out we can reconvene again for another interview as Glenn was absolutely fantastic.

GF: The feature with former NME journalist Nick Kent offers real insight into the Zep operation from someone who was on the outside looking in. How did you manage to get him to open up on his involvement with Zep ?

DL: This has been another coup for TBL and again one that I sort of stumbled on. I knew Nick was about to publish his 1970s memoirs Apathy Of The Devil through Faber and I was trawling the sites looking for reviews when I saw he was launching the book at Rough Trade Records in London. A couple of phone calls to the Faber office and I was set to attend. My good friend Dec and I hooked up for the launch on a Wednesday night in March –in fact we managed to get back in the pub later on to see England’s 3-1 win over Egypt ( and while we are on the subject with  days to go to the World Cup come on England!). Now Nick Kent is without doubt one of my journalistic heroes. I have reams of his stuff lining my archives extracted from the NME. I hung on to his every word back then and his colourful prose was highly inspirational in my own ambitions to commit pen to paper and write about music.  Meeting him all these years later was a real thrill – he told me his wife was a massive Zep fan and had a a number of my books so we had a good connection from the off. He was very entertaining that night in the Q and A session discussing his association with Zep, The Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols etc. As good as that launch was, I really wanted to further explore his take on his dealings with Zep so I requested a second interview which was set for early April when Nick was coming back to do more promo on the book. Various things such as train strikes and our family bereavement here made it very difficult to pin a date and time for the interview and it looked as though it may be have shelved.

Luckily I did manage to hook up with Nick again and spent an illuminating couple of hours with him in the Faber offices in early April. I cannot overstate how influential Nick’s writing was in the NME in the mid 70s. He was the first true rock journo celebrity and anything he wrote was eagerly soaked up by the NME’s huge readership of the time which was around 200,000 a week. In that pre internet age that was how we got to know about our rock heroes and Nick Kent told it better than most. It was therefore really exciting to hear him lucidly recall his tales on the road with Zep. Nick also has a very perceptive view of where Zep stood in the scheme of things, the individual personalises of the band and why they got criticised so much. Nick’s passionate knowledge of the 70s rock era is more than evident throughout the resulting interview. The first part, which is in the new issue, sets the scene on his initial dealings within Zep camp and the second part which will follow in the next issue contains more revelations from his time as one of the few journalists Zep treated as an ally.

GF: The centrepiece of the magazine is yet another intensive concert log from Mike Tremaglio – what does that tell us that we didn’t already know?

DL: Well aside from being the most accurate day to day log of that period ever compiled, you can find out which band had the distinction of being the only indoor support act to Zep in 1970, the name of the venue that hosted Zep, The Who, Pink Floyd and Yes in a matter of months, the time they all went to view the Woodstock movie and the venue that  hosted a Minnesota North Stars hockey team play off game in the afternoon and a live performance by Led Zeppelin in the evening. Such minute detailed info has made Mike Tremaglio the foremost chronicler of Zep concert history. One again it’s an absolute privilege to showcase his findings. The January to April log is the first of a trio of 40th anniversary spreads that will follow in the next couple of issues. Led Zeppelin were truly flying high in 1970 and Mike’s exhaustive log illustrates the new direction Zep undertook in a new decade.

GF: There’s some fine photos of the Bron Yr Aur cottage in Nigel Paling’s piece on the Zep 3 landmark. How important do you think that visit to the Welsh mountains back in 1970?

DL: Jimmy and Robert’s retreat to Bron Yr Aur is an immensely important moment not just in 1970 but in the whole Zep timeline.  It was the point they took stock and reflected on what to do next and within that, the natural development of their musical identity came forth in those few weeks at the cottage. Like many fans, Nigel Paling, has made the pilgrimage back to this famous Zep landmark and as the original Zep 3 sleeve note noted, It still paints a forgotten picture of true completeness. His photos reflect the pastoral beauty that inspired the likes of That’s The Way, The Rover, Friends, Poor Tom and Hey Hey What Can I Do.

GF: This issue also includes related Zep topics such as the Deborah Bonham band and various tribute band info.

DL: That’s something I want to increase coverage of – there’s no doubt that tribute bands are very much part of the whole Zep culture now and similarly a lot of fans enjoy Deborah Bonham’s shows – I’m very keen to support such activity in the magazine moving forward.

GF: There’s some impassioned commentary from you on Them Crooked Vultures Royal Albert Hall appearance. How would you summarise the TCV effect of the past year?

DL: The Albert Hall gig was a fantastic night on many levels – the TBL pre gig meet beforehand really did encapsulate the original TBL premise of likeminded fans sharing this passion. The fact that we had fans in the pub from all corners of the globe proved how important that bond is. As the visiting Australian fan Michael Rae put it on the TBL web site  ‘’The camaraderie of last night’s gathering in the Queens Arms was like catching up with old friends, even though I had never met any of them before!’’.

Of course in recent months Them Crooked Vultures live appearances have provided the opportunity for a vast number of Zep fans to see exactly why John Paul Jones was such an indispensable part of his previous band. Like his precious band, TCV album deployed their album as the foundation for them to evolve onstage. Josh and Dave Grohl are obvious important components to that but it’s JPJ who has been the toast and witnessing his involvement in a rock band setting has been fantastic. Combined with the history of the venue and 1970 and all that, being there to see John Paul Jones weave the magic has he had done 40 years previous was truly something special.

GF: There’s not much to report from the Page camp in this issue aside from news of the forthcoming Jimmy Page pictorial memoir. What’s your take on that subject?

DL: The price rage is an obvious stumbling block but that’s just the way it is with Genesis Publications. From the offset the objective has been to present these lifetime of photos in the best possible method.  Having spoken to Ross Halfin and Dave Brolan during the production of the book it’s evident that this will be something quite unique with plenty of surprises. The previews in the Mojo feature early in the year – the early 60s shot with the Gibson Black beauty  and Jimmy in the Bron Yr Aur stream  were truly mouth watering.  The book will be an investment that’s for sure and the nearest we might ever get to one of the band divulging their inner thoughts on their career. As for other Page plans, the postponement of the Show Of Peace concert which was due to be staged in April has prevented any on stage activity so far. We have to hope that in the coming months, the buoyant statements he made in the aforementioned issue of Mojo at the beginning of the year lead to some clear career developments.

GF: There’s another recent Page related book titled The First Time We met The Blues that you review very favourably in the magazine – why do you rate that so highly?

DL: This is one of those low key gems that emerge now and again. David Williams was a childhood friend of Jimmy’s and the book tells the story of their shared discovery of the blues culminating in an expedition to see the American Blues Festivals staged in Manchester in 1962. It offers first hand evidence of Jimmy’s early career and enthusiasm for the blues – which would influence his work right through the decade and beyond. The fact that Jimmy has contributed a foreword to the book illustrates the affection Jimmy has for the book – one to check out and at a cost that won’t break the bank!

GF: In his customary round up of the new underground CD releases in the new issue, Gerard Sparaco notes that this particular market has slowed down somewhat. Why is that?

DL: As Gerard explains, fundamentally there are very few new tapes surfacing. The various labels are continuing to repackage previously issued tapes in new improved versions but with the emergence of so many free torrent downloads available on the web, sales of those titles have slowed up. Collectors are still well served with deluxe packaging and when the labels get it right there are some very attractive titles out there. The notable finds this year have been the first soundboard release of the Baton Rouge 1975 show and the excellent Work in Progress DVD composite edit of the 02 show from various sources.

GF: There’s a couple of retro views in this issue – in the 15 years Gone feature you spotlight the Page & Plant tour of 1995. How do you look back on that era?

DL: Given all that’s happened since then – with the 02 reunion etc, it’s easy to forget the impact that first Page & Plant tour had back then. In parallel to the Vultures, at the time it gave fans old and new a fresh opportunity to see why the Zep legacy was held is such esteem –not to mention the pure joy of hearing the number one rock catalogue of all time performed live by two of the integral players – however in hindsight JPJ’s non involvement seems even more bizarre now. Reading my thoughts from the shows in Meadowlands I witnessed and the reviews of the time does bring back the sense of wonderment of that period.  What we got, we were grateful for at the time.  This look back I hope inspires readers to dig out some of the 1995 Page & Plant recordings as there were some amazing moments – Achilles Last Stand in Atlanta, House Of The Rising Sun/ Good Times Bad Times in New Orleans, Since I’ve Been Loving You in Sheffield, That’s The Way at Mountain View etc.

GF; Finally there’s those quaint retro letters from the music papers –as you put it the message boards of their day. Heated debate is nothing new then?

DL: Nothing at all! Those readers’ letters pages were hot beds of passionate feedback and comments. It was the only platform for fans to vent their disdain for the often negative press coverage Zep received at the time. Even Peter Grant used it to get his message over as can be seen in the final letter reproduced. I have many of these letters pages lining my archive – next time I’ll be digging out gems such as the letter Robert wrote to the Melody Maker proclaiming his support of Arthur Lee’s Love.

GF: So what we can we expect in the next issue due in September?

DL: Well there’s some important development likely over the summer, not least Robert’s US Band Of Joy tour with Buddy Miller and co. It will be interesting to see how Robert mixes his new output with the heritage of his past catalogue –we aim to have a full overview of all that in the next issue. Then there’s the forthcoming plan for Jason Bonham to take a multi media Led Zeppelin Experience out on the road. The project formerly known as Black Country should have their album out in late summer. Aside from all that, there’s part 2 of the Nick Kent interview, more 1970 concert logs from Mike Tremaglio and another focus due from Ian Avey on the subliminal audio to be heard hidden in the Zep catalogue – which was a highlight of issue 23.

September of course also marks a poignant 30th anniversary and we will be duly celebrating the life of John Bonham both in print and at a special TBL Fan Gathering. I’ll also be previewing my next book which is an account of the final Zeppelin tour titled Feather In the Wind – Over Europe 1980.

GF: My final question is one that in this internet driven world has to be asked. With so much info on the net now why do you think a magazine like Tight But Loose is viable and worth buying?

DL: Tight But Loose remains a unique tangible, re readable Zep collectable. Yes there a countless web sites with valid Zep info which can be accessed at the click of a mouse. Indeed the TBL site helps fulfil that role.

However, the physical format of TBL is a lasting collectable to be stored and read and re read. The depth of content included in this issue as discussed here, is totally exclusive to the magazine format. Alongside the various books I have authored or been involved in the content of the 26 Tight But Loose issues that have appeared over the past four decades represent the largest physical archive of Zeppelin reference work ever compiled. It’s a trend that continues with this issue. Yes there is a measure of effort required to order the magazine and there’s a cost involved – but one that I think readers will find well worthy of the investment.

So I  hope the prospective thrill of this new all colour issue dropping on the doormat of homes around the world will merit Zep fans taking the time to order it.

In short, if you love this band …you will love this magazine.

Dave Lewis was interviewed by Gary Foy on May 10th 2010


Jimmy Page pictorial memoir book latest/Robert Plant at Abbey Road/ Them Crooked Vultures Down Under & at The Royal Albert Hall/ Led Zeppelin Flying High 1970 – the January to April log/ Bron Yr Aur/ Now & Then – Doug Boyle, Francis Dunnery & Justin Adams on life in the Plant band/ Nick Kent Inside Led Zeppelin/ Glenn Hughes exclusive – Bonzo, Jason, the new band and me/ Nigel Eaton interview/ Latest CD & book reviews/ Jason Bonham tour plans/ Deborah Bonham live/Tribute band round up/Retro letters/ Latest news and more.


Remember web sites are for browsing – Tight but Loose is for reading again & again.


3 issue 1 year subscription commencing with May issue: UK £18.50, Europe £22, USA/rest of world £25. Single issue: UK £6.50, Europe £7.50 , USA Rest of world £8.50 – all prices include postage.

Order by post – Cheques (in UK sterling ) payable to D. Lewis. Send to TBL, 14 Totnes Close, Bedford, MK40 3AX England

Orr order online. Send payment in British pounds via pay pal to the following email address or use the Buy Now button on the TBL Subscribers link on Subscriptions

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