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21 February 2014 2,846 views 7 Comments

mag 37

Tight But Loose issue 37:

The forthcoming issue of the TBL magazine is in progress now with a planned publication of late March.

Plenty of great stuff lined up including Mike Tremaglio’s retrospective tour log of the first Zep US visit, Andy Croft’s tape analysis of the February 1975 US dates, full results and feedback from the TBL Jimmy Page at 70 polls, James Patrick Page Session Man vinyl box set review, an exclusive interview with former Zep roadie/ guitar tech Joe Jammer, Nick Anderson’s Collectors Column which reports on the surfacing of a new rare Zep I acetate and more, plus a focus on German collector Roger Berlin’s amazing collection of Zep related magazines. Roger has opened up his home as a museum for his quite incredible array of magazines and has formulated many of the covers into a self-produced pictorial book. More details at

This edition of the TBL magazine –issue 37, will complete the current three issue subscription and it will be time to re subscribe for the next three issues. I’ll include a prompt with every TBL 37 subscriber issue sent out and I’ll be launching all that on the TBL website shortly. Many thanks for all your support in advance.


Led Zeppelin Then As It Was – At Knebworth 1979:

There’s been some excellent recent coverage of the Knebworth book in – if you have yet to invest don’t miss out – here’s some info on the book via the Get Ready To Rock website – more on the Knebworth book below.

‘’Just when you think there isn’t anything fresh to be said about Led Zeppelin, along comes Dave Lewis again…’’ –  Patrick Humphries – author and journalist


Muziq 2 French magazine:

musicq 2

Frederic Goaty co- editor of a new French music magazine Muziq  has been in touch to inform me that their second issue has a 60 page spread on Led Zeppelin plus pre and post Zep related careers. It’s a very impressive lay out with many some superb photos including rarely seen shots taken in Paris in 1969 by noted photographer Christian Rose. There’s also some neat mix tape suggestions of various Zep related playlists. More details at


Deborah Bonham – new video:

Here’s the excellent new video for the forthcoming single Fly from the album Spirit. Download Release Worldwide from all Digital Retailers 11th March, through Spectra Records.


Jeff Beck talks of possible Jimmy Page collaboration:

In an interview with Patrick Doyle in Rolling Stone, Jeff Beck talks of the possibility of working with Jimmy Page…here’s an extract from the interview

Beck spent last fall on the road with Brian Wilson, where he added a new dimension to Beach Boys classics like “Surf’s Up” and “Our Prayer.” Before hitting the road, the duo collaborated in the studio for an upcoming Wilson album. “Well, you better ask Brian,” Beck says when asked about the status of the project. “I’m not sure. As far as I know, they made a mistake by grabbing me for a tour and opening up the floodgates for a tour prematurely instead of finishing the tracks. And so we left the studio with half-finished tracks – three, four tracks I was supposed to be on and they’re still unfinished. And to me it was a bit stupid because they should have done the album, had a killer album, and then gone out on the road. But I think they wanted to grab me while I was still available. That’s about it.”

Beck also said he’s not opposed to the idea of touring with old friend Jimmy Page; they last teamed up at the 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony for mind blowingly heavy instrumental takes of “Immigrant Song,” and “Train Kept a Rollin’.” “If you could talk Jimmy into appearing somewhere,” Beck says with a laugh. “He appears at the most unlikely events and then disappears again. He’s a dark horse, there’s no doubt. He’s got a completely private side to him as I have. But we have such a great laugh when we’re together and if he ever comes up for grabs, then it’d make a good package. But one wonders what he’d play. What would he play? I don’t know. He’d have to have the music sorted out and then we’d work.”


TBL Hi Fi Lounge Day Saturday March 8th – Important – Attendance confirmation:

Just a reminder that if you are attending the above event – to get an idea of numbers attending, if you are planning on coming along can you please e-mail me to confirm your attendance at the usual e-mail. Or confirm your attendance in the comments section below. Many thanks.

More details on this to follow  -see link at


DL Diary Update:

A few weeks back I sorted through my poster collection and found some very interesting items I’d forgotten about. This is a very nice Robert Plant promo poster for Now and Zen from 1988:

poster robert

On the player some suitably reflective stuff to match the mood at times here recently and the Jimmy Webb songs on the brilliant Glen Campbell LP Wichita Lineman have hit the spot, as has the Dusty in Memphis album. Zep wise plenty of 1971 live stuff including the classic A Cellarful of Noise Osaka September 29 show (Jimmy’s wah wah solo on Immigrant Song is just amazing) plus the Brutal Artistry Physical Graffiti outtakes set ahead of next week’s 39th anniversary of the release of that epic double album. While working on some Jimmy Page research for a review of the new James Patrick Page Session man vinyl box set for TBL 37, I dug out some past session related LPs and CD’s –there’s some great stuff on those early Page sessions.

The good lady Janet and I were duly suited and booted for Dawn and David’s wedding last week as can be seen below – a splendid time was had – congratulations Mr & Mrs Bunting.


Have to say I’ve been suffering from bad toothache this past week or so which is going to need sorting out with a visit to the dentist when I can pluck up the courage.

I had a quick trip into London yesterday for some TBL book related matters- whilst there I had a quick look at Spitalfields market and picked up some lovely vinyl goodies including Bobby Whitlock’s solo album Raw Velvet on US Dunhill which I’ve been looking for and a splendid copy of Physical Graffiti on US Swan Song- more on that subject next week..

Looking ahead here, it’s continued work on TBL 37 plus research and planning for the TBL Hi Fi Lounge Zep day -in fact Tom and I are aiming to visit the Hi Fi Lounge location tomorrow to check it all out.


And finally…

Led Zeppelin Then As it Was -At Knebworth 1979 – The Promotional Interview.

Below is a lengthy interview I am using to promote the Knebworth book on-going. It’s an overview of the collating and writing process coupled with my thoughts and reflections on the whole Zep Knebworth era and how it stands up all these years later. If you have yet to invest in the book – this is what it’s all about….

Then as it really was….and still is…


 In an interview conducted with TBL news editor Gary Foy, Dave Lewis talks about the writing of the revised edition of his book Led Zeppelin Then As It Was –At Knebworth 1979.

GF: What was the idea behind producing this newly revised edition of the Led Zeppelin at Knebworth book?

DL: When the first edition of the Knebworth book sold out in June 2011, I set about a plan to produce a new totally revised updated edition. There did seem a sense of unfinished business about the way I had told the Knebworth story and it’s a story I passionately wanted to present in the best way possible. It quickly became apparent that the best way forward was to design a new version in the style of the Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind Over Europe book – with full colour throughout the book. There was also a lot of scope to add more material and photos. In between many projects, in the summer of 2012 I began to formulate how this was going to work – adding new text and revising the initial chapters etc. It was quickly evident to designer Mick Lowe and myself that we needed to treat this as an entirely new book and not just a revised edition, and this has been the mind-set all the way through to completion.

GF: So how does this version differ from the first edition?

DL: In a word – considerably! The book is comprised of 256 pages across 13 chapters and 6 Appendix sections. There are also over 150 colour photos throughout the book.

In terms of the text itself, I have revised and tightened up the original chapters and then added over 30,000 words of new text. This includes the addition of six new chapters.

There’s a complete between song transcription of the two Copenhagen gigs and the Knebworth shows, a TBL Interviews chapter that presents new interviews with Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis who shot and organised the out in the field promo photos and Nicky Horne who was the DJ and MC at both Knebworth shows. There’s a focus on the sound and lighting effects provided by Showco. There’s a look back on a couple of days I spent in the company of them at the Wembley football tournament and the Melody Maker Poll Awards in November 1979.  Also, a chapter was added on the original launch of the book that took us back to Knebworth some in August 2009 – bringing the story full circle. As for the appendix sections, there’s been a major update on the memorabilia appendix and an updating of the bootleg appendix by Graeme Hutchinson.

The centrepiece of the book, the ”I Was There” chapter, has also been extended to include firsthand views. These were provided by, amongst others, a visiting US fan, someone who worked on the rigging of the stage, a view of the August 11th show from a cousin of Ronnie Wood, and the story of the bus that travelled from Newcastle for the cost of £1 (as subsidised by the Tyne Tees Check It Out TV show). It was also good to include the memories of the legendary Zep author Howard Mylett who I interviewed a few months before he sadly died in June 2011.

 GF: What about the visual content?

DL: Again there are many more rare photos – Christer Fahlstrom from Stockholm came up with some great photos he took at the Copenhagen July 24th warm up date as well as some very atmospheric crowd shots at Knebworth. The sheer scope of a design overhaul has allowed me to present the many photos sourced previously more effectively – for instance the photos from the August 2nd soundcheck taken by David F. Brown benefit greatly from several full page spreads, as do the Alan Parry shots.

What I’ve tried to do throughout the book is offer a fan’s angle of the event so there is a good sprinkling of shots taken by fans at the time. These really capture the atmosphere of it all. They encapsulate everything from the setting up of the stage, through the August 2nd soundcheck, to views of the crowd assembling, and of course the band onstage. There’s lots of denim and hair to be seen of course! Despite the punk explosion, looking at the crowd photos, you realise that in 1979 it was rock music that still very much held sway. The luxury of an all colour format has greatly benefited the whole visual appeal of the book. The fact is, even if you have the first edition of the book, this new version is an entirely fresh angle and presentation that you will not want to miss.

GF: How long did all that take?

DL: The preparation and collation has been ongoing since 2011.  The design work really began in earnest on all this back in February 2013. From March onwards, Mick and I have been beavering away at the text and design – in between writing, producing and designing TBL 35, and my work on various other things (Record Collector features on Houses Of The Holy, The Rolling Stones’ Goats Head Soup and Wings’ Band On the Run). This coming together of the new Knebworth book has proved to be a massive undertaking – and a far bigger task than I envisaged. However, the attention and detail presented has been worth all the effort.

GF: The new cover is a photo of the crowd at Knebworth. Why did you opt for this image against say a live shot of the band onstage at Knebworth?

 DL: One of the things about the whole Zep at Knebworth saga is that it was this great coming together of their enormous fan base. In effect, this is as much a story about the fans as it is the band themselves.  In opting for a photo that shows fans gathering on the site, I felt the peoples’ aspect of Zep at Knebworth would become very apparent. Looking at the cover image, you do sense the air of expectation that was so evident on the first concert.

Kneb preview

GF: Did you find compiling a book that mainly centres on just two shows a little restricting?

DL: Not at all. This whole episode was a real pivotal moment in their career, and as such the book encompasses not only the gigs, but the overall story of that time period during the band’s existence. Alongside the actual gigs, there’s all the build up and aftermath. In documenting that, you get the feel of not only the whole state of the band at the time, but the musical landscape in the UK. This was a period of big upheaval. Punk rock had arrived and out of it grew the new wave .This movement was set to render dinosaur bands such as Zeppelin redundant. So what you have is the situation of Zeppelin attempting to re-connect with their audience again, in the face of much derision from the press and media. How they coped with that is an interesting story in itself.

It’s worth noting that in 1979 there was still some confusion of where a band like Zep stood in the scheme of things. The music press found that hard to deal with. You only have to look at one of the news pages from the time to see that. For example, the announcement of Zep’s comeback in the NME ran alongside stories about Rod Stewart, The Damned, Peter Tosh and punk poet John Cooper Clarke – a diversity of old wave and new. After 1980, there’s no doubt the emerging new wave acts were dominating the column inches. In that early eighties era the dinosaurs perhaps were extinct, but by then Zeppelin were no more.

GF: What’s the general consensus of opinion about the band’s performances at Knebworth?

DL: There have certainly been mixed opinions over the years. What you have to consider is that in 1979 it was a very different Led Zeppelin that approached the Knebworth shows to the one that had walked off stage after the triumph of Earls Court four years earlier.  The setbacks and tragedies had taken their toll.  Aside from the two Copenhagen warm-up shows, the band had not performed live for two years.  In undertaking a comeback of Knebworth-size proportions they had a lot to lose.  The air of expectancy in the build up to the first show on August 4th, 1979 was tangible – certainly for the thousands who camped out prior to that momentous first Saturday.

Overall, given those circumstances, they produced some pretty amazing moments over the two shows. It’s interesting how over the years the critical reaction to the Knebworth shows has mellowed. In the early 90s, the poor quality video footage from the second week that surfaced did lead to a negative view of the Knebworth event. The turning point came when Jimmy Page unearthed the full multi-track camera footage from the Knebworth shows when compiling the official Zep DVD.  Yes, they may have been rusty, but I think all three of them were surprised by the power that was so evident still when reviewing the footage for the 2003 DVD. Subsequently, the segment Jimmy Page edited together for the official DVD was clear evidence that when it was good, Zep’s performance at Knebworth was very good indeed. To illustrate that point, you only have to watch performances such as Sick Again where John Bonham drives the whole thing; the extraordinary performance of Achilles Last Stand; the whole drama of In The Evening; and the inventiveness of the revamped version of Whole Lotta Love. Individually, how the four members interacted and performed also offers key insight. John Paul Jones was his usual stoic yet essential ingredient to the band. John Bonham seemed really determined to provide that incessant drive – he just seemed so up for it.  Robert Plant took on his old golden god persona with ease once they got in the groove. And as for Jimmy, it was typically a case of grace under pressure as he eventually relaxed back into his role as the sonic architect of it all.

As for the spectacle of the event itself, it was pure Zeppelin theatre with the screen, lasers and lighting. The DVD segment highlights all that, plus of course there’s the mass adulation from the crowd that reached a peak with an impromptu ‘’You’ll Never Walk Alone’’ before the encores on August 4th. It’s generally agreed that the first performance was superior to the second week. In his chapter in the book, Larry Bergmann makes the point that the press reaction to the first show may have put them on the back foot leading into that second show. Overall though, Knebworth was a triumph and it put Zep right back in the spotlight.

GF: The UK press was very wary of them by then – how hard do you think it was for them to deal with that pressure?

DL: I think they found it hard to ignore, particularly Robert Plant.  In the book, I summarise both the press reaction to the Knebworth shows and the In Through The Out Door album.  They did suffer some highly critical reaction – Plant himself made comment to that on stage during their second appearance. They were very sensitive to it all. Taken as a whole though, there were some very balanced views.  To quote Phil Sutcliffe in his review in Sounds at the time: ‘’How would you feel if you saw a dinosaur coming down the street? Surprise, fear, fascination, awe. All of these things.  It’s by no means all bad to be a living fossil.’’

The fact is, Zeppelin was still a very powerful musical force, and I think journalists seemed to have a job admitting that without losing face. In his foreword in the book, Ross Halfin makes a good point that the press didn’t really dislike Zep that much – not in the same way they derided say ELP or Yes.

 GF: As you mentioned, the centerpiece of the book is the firsthand recollections from fans who were there – how did you go about collating this feedback?

DL:  As I noted earlier, Zep at Knebworth was as much about the fans as it was the performances. My objective was to mirror that fact, and to that end I put out a request on the TBL web site for fans to send in their recollections and experiences from being out in the field. The response was excellent, and these firsthand accounts form the core of the book. From these recollections, you can detect the air of wonder that this event created. For many young rock fans in the UK, it was their first gig and the first (and in most cases last) opportunity to see Zeppelin perform live.  For instance, if a fan had picked up on the band say at around age 14 with the release of Physical Graffiti, four years on as Zep came out to perform at Knebworth, they were now 18 and in their prime gig attending years. The prospect of how the band would fare in the post-punk musical climate of the day proved irresistible and of course the chance to say ‘’I was there.’’

You even had the likes of the young Def Leppard line up, paying for their tickets and turning up to see how the big boys did it. These fans faced long coach journeys, primitive camping facilities, poor sanitary conditions and long queues for food and drink. Not to mention a very mediocre support bill. Reading through fan recollections, it’s evident the esteem Zep were held in at the time. There’s over forty such reminisces – all very vivid, some humorous, some quite moving.  It tells the story of much simpler days. Zep at Knebworth was not the corporate affair that today’s big festival gatherings have become. There was still innocence about it all.

It’s evident reading through the personal memories of fans presented in the book that Led Zeppelin at Knebworth represented something very special.  Despite the grand scale of it all, there was innocence about the whole affair – a sense of belonging to something, a blind devotion to being, as Robert Plant observed from the Knebworth stage “On a blind date.” And yes, seeing was believing.  Knebworth therefore turned out to be their last concerts on home soil. Being there to unknowingly wave them goodbye was a truly unforgettable experience for the thousands in attendance.

GF: Can you provide an insight into some of these recollections?

DL: Well without giving too much away, there’s a view of the band’s second warm-up show in Copenhagen as told by a then 15 year old fan….and an hilarious and superbly written account of one young lady fan’s quest to see if Jimmy was at home at his Boleskine Highland address the week before Knebworth. As for the two Knebworth shows, tales include stories such as how one guy averted a potential  flooding of the site by fixing two large hoses together that were causing water to slide into the crowd. There’s the innocent fan who was baffled by the repeated cries of ‘Wally’’ at the campsite  thinking it might be some new drug or obscure Zep song title (It’s actually an old English rock festival tradition).The enterprising fans from the North East who hired their own coach to get to and from the show, a moving account of the two Canadian fans who won a radio contest to fly over and ended up getting a name check from Robert Plant on stage with their request for Zep to play Trampled Underfoot (‘’This is a little uptempo ditty we’ve been asked to do by some people in Vancouver’’). Then there’s the rather unfortunate story of a young lady who took a shortcut coming out of the show and ended up quite literally in the s***.  All this for the love of Led Zeppelin!

GF: The book contains your original review from the Tight But Loose magazine, issue number three. How do you look back on that?

DL: There’s no denying it’s a rose-tinted view but that’s not too surprising. Back then I was 22 year old and my whole world revolved around Zeppelin. I lived and breathed it (nothing’s much changed!), so Knebworth was a very big deal. My Zep magazine Tight But Loose was in its infancy and obviously I wanted to offer extensive coverage in the next issue. The review of the August 4thh show was a virtual transcript of the tape I had, complete with Plant’s in between patter. I’m not the only one I’m sure who can still reel off verbatim whole chunks of what he said on stage. I arrived early on the morning of August 2nd with the prospect of a 60 hour wait before they came on stage and I was determined to log every detail for future use in the magazine. In the melee to get into the park, I did actually miss out on spreading the TBL word – during the desperate rush to get near the stage as the gates went down at 4am before the first gig, I dropped the leaflets I had printed up to hand out in the crowd. Not a great marketing move!

 GF: Knebworth has always been something of a controversial episode in Zep’s history. Not least because of the disagreements between promoter Freddy Bannister and Peter Grant. Does the book chronicle that?

DL: I do touch on the controversy of the attendance figures. Clearly there was a problem with Peter Grant and Freddie Bannister which has been addressed in other books –notably Freddy’s own autobiography. I also document the whole build-up to the event and the aftermath to offer a clear focus on the state of play within the band at the time. As I said earlier, it was a very different Led Zeppelin that approached the Knebworth shows to the one that walked off stage after the triumphant Earls Court shows four years before.

GF: What’s your take on the In Through The Out Door album – isn’t it generally viewed as one of their weaker albums?

DL: Yes, it probably is viewed that way. It has enough high points to make it a successful record. It certainly carries a high level of John Paul Jones led invention, which for a band in their eleventh year was pretty admirable. This is evident on the likes of Fool In The Rain and Carouselambra.  Tracks such as In the Evening, All My Love and I’m Gonna Crawl have also all stood the test of time very well. In fact I’m Gonna Crawl was voted 18th in the TBL Jimmy Page at 70 alltime favourite studio performances poll. As Nick Kent at the NME commented in his review of the time, the good qualities were worthy of investigation. He stated: ‘’There are potential points of departure on this album that deserve following through. The doctor orders a period of intense activity.’’ It’s just a shame they never got an opportunity to heed such advice.

 GF: There are some interesting Knebworth period interviews given by Robert Plant and John Paul Jones transcribed in the book. Wasn’t one of these going to be a promo interview album?

DL: That’s right – it was an interview conducted by J. J. Jackson, a long time supporter of the band. He interviewed Robert and Jonesy after the second Knebworth show and there was a plan to put this interview out as a promo interview album to promote In Through The Out Door in the US. A sleeve was mocked up and a title set – ‘’Robert Plant and John Paul Jones Talk About Led Zeppelin Past, Present And Future.’’  For reasons unknown it was cancelled.  A handful of covers are known to exist and at least one promo pressing. The book provides the opportunity to hear the contents of what is regarded as one of the rarest Zep albums.

 GF: Wasn’t there also a similar situation with a planned Knebworth commemorative single?

 DL: Yes. In the UK, Jimmy had the idea of issuing two tracks, Wearing And Tearing coupled with Darlene, both of which were left off In Through The Out Door. This would have been pressed as a single to be made available exclusively at the Knebworth shows. Time ran out on that idea and the tracks eventually surfaced on the Coda album in 1982. Ironically, Wearing And Tearing was a high energy speed rocker that might have given the punks a run for their money at the time.

GF: What kind of future do you think Led Zeppelin would have had in the 1980s if John had not died?

DL: In my opinion Led Zeppelin may well have found it difficult to have reigned supreme in the manner they did from 1970 to 1980 . The layoffs, the changing musical landscape, the attitude of personalities within the band may well have taken their toll.

The spirit was still willing for sure, and I witnessed  enough of  that on stage in Europe the next year – performances such as the Cologne and Frnakfurt shows  proved they still had it. What they really needed to do was go out and prove it with more gigs – and a week at the City Hall Newcastle or London’s Rainbow, or even a ‘’Back to the clubs’’ tour (something Plant undertook himself with the Honeydrippers in the spring of 1981), could well have been all that it would have taken to prove they still cared, still wanted to be seen, and could still cut it. Such a move I personally feel would have put them right back on track.  In fact, I did make a point at the time that rather than go back to Knebworth for a second concert, a week of gigs at say London’s Rainbow or Hammersmith Odeon might have been more preferable in terms of them reconnecting with their audience. The problem of course would have been the sheer demand to see them at smaller venues.  As it was, the tragic events of that late September day in 1980 rendered all of the above mere speculation. Knebworth became not a new beginning but a final goodbye to the U.K.

I think it is fair to say that this lack of activity after Knebworth did prove baffling for their audience.. Looking back, it’s apparent that a proportion of their once loyal home grown fan base were probably fed up with waiting for them to play with some sense of regularity like their earlier days. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, some had chosen to side with the new emerging face of rock. The so called ‘’New wave of British heavy metal’’with the likes of Leppard and Maiden were taking hold. Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, David Coverdale’s Whitesnake, the maturing Rush, the durable Queen and the likes of AC/DC and Motorhead (the latter scored a number one album with their live album No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith in 1981), were all ready and primed to take up the interest of lapsed Zeppelin enthusiasts. Whilst my own enthusiasm never waned, it’s interesting to note that the other gigs I attended that year were by Japan The Photos Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and The Jam (maturing out of the punk eras into an intelligent and soulful Paul Weller led unit). I was Led Zep through and through, but there was a lot of other emerging music to enjoy.

The sheer lack of activity over the past two years, and even the ten months that divided their successful Knebworth comeback and the Over Europe dates, was frustrating. After the success of Knebworth, it was rumoured they would cash in on that wave of support by staging a UK tour that Christmas. Nothing happened and the news that they were planning a European tour with no sign of any homeland appearances must have beguiled many of their UK fans. Whilst there’s little doubt they would have gone to America and enjoyed huge acclaim again, it’s quite feasible they may well have struggled to retain their heavyweight crown in the UK come the dawning of 1981 and beyond.

By his own admission, Robert Plant was finding life in Led Zeppelin much less of an attraction than prior to the tragedies that befell him beginning in 1975. It’s not hard to imagine that he would have broke off to record a Honeydrippers-type solo album. Or that John Paul Jones would probably have quite enjoyed doing the school run and indulging in the many production offers that came his way. Maybe John Bonham would have accepted that invitation from Paul McCartney and joined a revamped Wings. Jimmy’s pursuit of guitar orchestration might well have led him to undertake soundtrack projects experimenting with the Roland Synthesiser and other guitar gismos.

Given the freedom of solo projects they could well have come back together periodically, perhaps in the way Genesis did, and sustained the challenges of a new era and continued to make inspiring concert performances and innovative music

GF: Going back to the book, what do the appendix sections in the book offer?

DL: This area will certainly interest keen Zep collectors. Graeme Hutchinson has drawn up an extensive list of the bootleg LPs, CD’s and DVD’s that have emerged from the shows. Bootlegs have always played a part in any era of the Zep story and Knebworth is no exception. The lengthy nature of the set list lent itself conveniently to be packed on multi CD sets and subsequently the two Knebworth shows have been extensively bootlegged. In fact, Graeme logs over eighty different vinyl, CD, DVD and Blu-ray unofficial releases.

On the same lines, UK collector Nick Anderson also offers a comprehensive and fully illustrated worldwide In Through The Out Door discography. This includes details of the differing promo pressings that came out and the singles that were issued from the album. Brian Knapp, one of the world’s foremost collectors of Zep memorabilia, very kindly opened up his archive for me to present. This includes the fibre optic cables and tubing Jimmy used to present the laser bow effect, details of the cassette Jimmy prepared for the laser cues,  the shirt Jimmy wore at both shows and the violin bow he used with laser effects during his guitar solo showpiece. The Appendix sections also include statistical info of the gear and instruments used at the shows and a recommended Knebworth playlist.

kneb prev sept

GF: Who else has contributed to the book?

DL: As I mentioned, the renowned rock photographer Ross Halfin has written a foreword which documents his experiences in shooting the second show. Chris Charlesworth, one time Melody Maker writer and one of the few journalists accepted into the Zep camp, has contributed a very perceptive opening preface overview.

There’s also an engrossing retro view of the whole Knebworth episode from the perspective of an American fan, Larry M. Bergmann Jr. Zep was still a massive deal over there in the late 1970s – there was no punk rock explosion to harm them and In Through The Out Door was a massive seller and number one for weeks. It was sighted as being something of a saviour to the flagging US music industry at the time. So it’s good to gain a view of how it all appeared from across the water. There are also some insightful comments on the technical aspect of the shows from Showco’s Jack Calmes and lighting tech Gary Carnes.

May I at this point take the opportunity to offer huge thanks for all the contributions to the book, in particular: Ross, Graeme, Nick, Chris Charlesworth, Larry M. Bergmann Jr, Ian Avey, Alan Parry, David F. Brown,  Christer Fahlstom, Argenteum Astrum, Tim Kincaid, Dec Hickey – and to Mick Lowe for another steller design. A very special thanks also needs to go in the direction of TBL contributor Mike Tremaglio for all his invaluable help with overseeing the text.

GF: Alongside the publication of the Knebworth book you also have  published Tight But Loose magazine – issue 36 –  what can readers expect to see in this new issue?

DL: One of the highlights is a lengthy interview with the legendary UK journalist Charles Shaar Murray who wrote extensively for the NME in the 70s. It was Charles who Robert Plant name-checked on stage at both the Earls Court and Knebworth gigs, recommending him to ‘’keep taking the pills’. His take on the whole press and media with Zep is really fascinating. Mike Tremaglio tracks gig by gig, the highly acclaimed second leg of the massively successful US tour of summer 1973. This is the moment Led Zeppelin ceased to be a mere rock band and ascended into a global phenomenon. The set lists, the reviews, the ads, the whole story. In a new TBL series analysis, Andy Crofts listens intensely to the tapes and argues the case that in early 1975, Led Zeppelin were not so sick again.

There are interviews with Paul Rees on writing the new Robert Plant biography, Sensational Space Shifter bassist Billy Fuller, Nick Anderson’s collector column and all the latest Page Plant and Jones news. It’s another packed edition.   If you love Led Zeppelin and the chances are that if you’re reading this you do, you will love this magazine. In an unashamed plug to anyone who has yet to invest, may I suggest you indulge in some physical TBL reading – treat yourself to the thrill of the expectancy of a package actually coming through your door – because in an era of here today and gone tomorrow instantly digested info, the TBL magazine remains a true tangible collectable. Websites are for browsing …the TBL magazine is for reading time and time again.  I am now working on issue TBL 37 for publication in late March.

GF: The book was launched at the Musicmania Fair at London’s Olympia over the weekend of November 16th and 17th.  You must have been very thrilled when Jimmy Page who was in attendance at the fair himself, came over and was very complimentary about the book?

DL: Absolutely!  Jimmy was at the fair record shopping with Ross Halfin on both days. He took time to come over and was very complementary about the book which really was a fantastic accolade to say the least – in fact he asked me to sign one for him and in return he signed a copy for me (now that’s what I call affair deal!). The inscription reads ‘’Dave well done! – rock on –Jimmy Page’’. Very humorously he also filled in the number himself marking the book 666- that was pretty special!

Jimmy again had some very encouraging words to say about the book – In a conversation with one of the dealers at the TBL stall talking about the book he said ‘’I think it’s a really good job done and some of the pictures I have never seen before.’’ Jimmy pointed out to me the photo taken at the Copenhagen July 24 1979 warm up show by Christer Fahlstrom with him and Robert all facing Bonzo as his favourite in the book. All in all it was a very memorable weekend.

Music mania 1

GF: So what are the plans for your next book?

DL: There are always plans ahead for various projects. I have mentioned in the past I’d very much like to log the O2 reunion in detail which I will get to at some point. However the next on the list ahead is to chronicle the  Earls Court 1975 era – with a view to publishing a book on that subject during the 40th anniversary of those fabled concerts in 2015. I’ve put a call out for contributions from fans who attended the gigs  and I am already working on the research and sourcing material for it. There’s also one or two other ideas in the planning. The problem with all this is that being a virtual one man operation (with some invaluable help I might add!), the sheer workload of writing the text, preparing the text, collating the source material, overseeing the design and the printing – and then handling the marketing and distribution – is a pretty immense task, and as I have found with this revised Knebworth book, it’s not a process that cannot be rushed. There’s no doubt the scope and potential for more books is all there and now the Knebworth book becomes available, I am eying up the prospect of the next project. As I’ve said before, I’ll keep writing them as long as people keep buying them….

GF: Any final thoughts now the book has been on sale a few weeks?

DL: Firstly I am more than delighted with the initial response –the feedback form satisfied readers has been fantastic –which has made all the effort worthwhile – particularly as there was an eleventh hour major production problem with the printers which delayed the distribution and caused considerable stress. So it’s a big relief it’s out there and being received so well. It’s turned out to be one of the most challenging and ultimately fulfilling book projects I’ve been involved with.

Like thousands of others, seeing Led Zeppelin at Knebworth was a watershed moment in my life and if I can be forgiven the indulgence, this book provides a welcomed platform for many of my own personal rites of passage memories and photos of the time – and the many others who proudly told their tales of ‘’being there.’’ Looking over the proofs before me now, I felt a deep connection to this book – and I hope all readers of the book will too.

I also think the time for reappraisal for this latter era of Zeppelin is ripe – and 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the first ever Knebworth event and the 35th anniversary of the Zeppelin appearances. So If you were there back in 1979 …you will revel in reliving the memories…if you weren’t lucky enough to be -this is the opportunity to discover the full story surrounding the final remarkable on stage performances in their homeland of Led Zeppelin with John Bonham. Led Zeppelin Then As It Was – At Knebworth 1979 is the book that will take you back to that field just outside Knebworth during an English summer of 1979, – a period that is still held in high affection by Led Zeppelin fans all over the world.

The concerts…the crowds…the music…the memories…the legacy… and this time there are no sleeping bags required…

Dave Lewis, January 28th, 2014.


The book is available now to order via the TBL web site at this link:

For further details contact

And absolutely finally……some split screen Knebworth footage…then as it really was…


Until next time…Keep listening, keep reading…

Have a great weekend…

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – February 21st , 2014.

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  • Hiroshi said:

    It is well-known among fans that, dissatisfied with the keyboard-dominated sound making of In Through The Out Door, Jimmy, along with John, was hoping to make a guitar-driven, riff-heavy album next.
    When Jonesy visited Japan in 1999 for the promotion of the Zooma album prior to his December tour over here, he was interviewed by the media. I vividly remember his annoyed response to the above information when an interviewer quoted it, which went like this;

    “The album turned out that way, simply because Jimmy wasn’t keen enough to contribute his guitar. If he had done, it would have become a guitar-driven, riff-heavy album for sure.”

    Jonesy also implied the reason being Jimmy’s heavy consumption of a certain substance back then.

    Another example of a musician telling less diplomatically to a foreign, non-native speaking media perhaps…?

  • Miguel de Sousa said:

    Oh Mr Beck, you big teaser. Oh how we would all love to see that. The Jeff and Jimmy show! We could only imagine the joint set list! Torture to contemplate.
    I imagine on this Zep site, we are all acolytes of Mr Page, but I would venture we have as much love and respect for Beck too. So this would be a dream come true for most of us. A long dreamed of reunion of that fearsome Yardbirds double guitars. Yes the 2 bits from the RnRHofF only make be want more!!!!
    But sadly, I know this will NEVER happen.
    Jimmy has never finished his long awaited, often spoke of solo album, for how many years now? There is no way he’s going to tour. And he seems set on working on the Zep reissues. So, don’t get my hopes up. Not going to happen.
    And as much as I look fwd to the Zep stuff, having all the official stuff already, I would prefer to hear this never seen or heard Jimmy stuff. We all have the various versions of Zep stuff, I don’t really need another remastered version of I,II or III.
    Well I truly hope I am wrong, but I can’t fathom Page going out with Beck, which could and would be the best thing for Page and us since 2007

  • John Webster said:

    Now Page & Beck doing shows would be great. No vocalist required. Saw Beck play alongside Clapton 3/4 years back. 2 individual sets the a joint set to finish. See Jimmy it is possible.

  • Byron said:

    It would be good should Jimmy and Jeff drag the Yardbirds from their current package 60’s tours. Food for thought.
    Thanks again Dave for the info.

  • Larry said:

    Jimmy and Jeff Beck on tour…that would be MIND BLOWING!!!!!!!!!!

    Beck tossed it out there, Jimmy…take him up on it!

    I know, probably won’t happen…but how cool would that be if it did??!!


  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Nice one Rob!

  • Rob Gilmartin said:


    I had to laugh when I saw that you found the RP Now and Zen poster. Earlier this week my own 17 year old daughter came downstairs wearing my “vintage” Now and Zen concert shirt that I’d purchased and long forgotten about all those years ago. Seems she found it among with other shirts (Clapton, Stones, Stevie Ray Etc)in a box in the back of a cupboard. What a find!!! I guess that the song does remain the same after all. Great memories!

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