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10 December 2015 2,562 views 5 Comments

TBL 40 in the house

TBL 40 In the house – and coming your way soon:

The 40th issue of the Tight But Loose magazine is in the house. The task to pack them and distribute them all via Royal Mail is now underway.

UK copies will begin filtering out from today – I aim to have all UK copies in transit by the middle of next week.  Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and the rest of the world copies will follow and will be in the post as fast as I can humanly get them there. Hopefully the majority of copies will be delivered before or just after Christmas. So bear with me – it’s quite an undertaking and it will take me a few days to get it all out there but the fact is – TBL 40 is in the house and it will be leaving the house and coming your way soon. Many thanks for your patience in advance.

Just to re iterate – this issue is the final one of the TBL 2014/15 three issue subscription. ALL subscriptions therefore end with this issue and it’s time to re-subscribe for issues 41,42 and 43. There’s a flyer in every issue of TBL 40  to alert you to do this. Please subscribe as soon as possible – subscriptions are the lifeblood of the TBL operation – again your support in advance is much appreciated.

If you are not a TBL subscriber  – now is a great time to sample the TBL mag – don’t miss out on this landmark TBL issue – essential Zep reading for the Christmas and new year holiday.

So TBL 40…

This does feel and look like a landmark issue.  As I type this I have the other 39 copies of the TBL magazine spread out around me. These magazines contain over 1200 pages – it’s a unique archive of Zep related news,views and features. They represent my continued efforts to inform like minded enthusiasts around the globe in the appreciation of this inspirational world of Led Zeppelin we all derive so much enjoyment from.

You can read how the magazine came in to being in the lengthy TBL Early Years feature commencing on page 8. The DL retrospective theme continues from page 16 with my then and now thoughts on the final three reissues – It’s been quite a cathartic experience for me to look back and re assess some of the experiences that had such a profound effect on me and led to this band being a part of my DNA – and how my passion to chronicle their work under the TBL banner initially evolved.

Elsewhere, Richard Grubb pays tribute to John Paul Jones on the occasion of his forthcoming 70th birthday, our resident musicologist Rikky Rooksby dissects the epic that is Achilles Last Stand and Paul Sheppard compiles a fascinating top 40 listing of what he considers to be the best bootleg CD sets. I also catch up with the thoughts of Luis Rey and Jeff Strawman on their respective new books and Nick Anderson and Scott Heck have all the latest collectors’ items and CD releases covered. Finally, Stephen Humphries offers a superbly perceptive overview of Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters on the road activity.

I have a whole host of exciting plans for TBL content in 2016 – be sure to keep on board the TBL ship that has now sailed through 40 issues.

To re- subscribe for the next three issues – 41,2 and 43 order via this link:

To order the single copy TBL 40 order via this link:



long run pic

Robert Plant, Tinariwen record exclusive tracks for British Red Cross:

A very worthy project – info via Music…and heads up provided by Stephen Humphries:

Iconic vocalist Robert Plant and critically acclaimed world music group Tinariwen record exclusive tracks for The Long Road, a ground breaking concept record, created with the British Red Cross, who support refugees and asylum seekers here in the UK and through the International Red Cross network.

Robert Plant records new version of Elbow track ‘The Blanket Of Night’, which tells the tale of refugees attempting a treacherous journey to seek asylum in the UK

Watch video interview with Robert Plant, discussing his involvement in The Long Road below.

The Long Road will spotlight real-life experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and across the world. Brit Award winner Ethan Johns, who has worked with the Kings of Leon, Laura Marling and The Vaccines, is producing the record.

The record will be released 4 March 2016 and is available to pre-order today. To pre-order, please visit:

Robert Plant, who recorded a version of Elbow track’s ‘The Blanket Of Night’, which tells the tale of refugees attempting a treacherous journey to attain asylum in the UK stated: ““We have a worldwide international catastrophe – talking about it is one thing, doing something about it is another. The position we are in, it’s paramount we all do our best one way or another to help.”

Grammy Award-winning group Tinariwen have also contributed to the record, recording a new track titled, ‘Silence’. Tinariwen’s founder Ibrahim Ag Alhabib was a refugee himself as a child and was forced to flee his home in Mali after his father was executed in the 1963 uprising in Mali.

For more information about the project please visit:

Show your support on social media with the hashtag – #thelongroadep


The 02 Reunion – Eight Years Gone:

ahmet pic three

Eight years ago today I awoke with the prospect of Led Zeppelin retuning to the stage just a matter of hours away. The previous night I’d spent the evening in the Pilot Inn toasting that fact with fans from all corners of the world. It would be a similar scene a few hours later.

The day itself went by in something of a blur – walking on that cold concourse leading to the O2 complex, conducting various interviews, bumping into countless fans I knew. After a communal hug at the entrance it was time to queue for entry. Just as I was going in there was a call on the mobile from the good lady and Sam. They had watched me on the BBC six o clock news. Earlier in the day I had conducted a live interview with BBC News 24 but had no idea they would be using a clip from it for the evening bulletin. The whole element of immense anticipation of what was about to unfold is accurately captured in that BBC news summary in the YouTube clip below.

And then… well you know the rest…..

One night, one moment, one event.

It still has an aura of complete surrealism about it all – and it still looks and sounds utterly out of this world. It just does. For so many reasons.

The lavish stage set and back production, the ecstatic crowd drawn from over 30 countries.

And while we are at this point  hello to Jose,Tatan, Graeme, Pam, The Foys, Julian, Eddie E, Tom Locke, Kam, Krys,  Colin, Michaela, Jez, Scott, Brian Knapp, JR, Paul H, Nech, Danny Coyle, Mark Bowman, Gary Davies, Lee T, Paul Aspey, Billy & Alison, Dave Linwood and many others who shared it all – you’ll be having the same thoughts as me today for sure…

Back to that night of nights…

The Tampa news report intro, the balanced set list, and ultimately the performances of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham in recreating the magic and chemistry (and yes that chemistry I talked about on that news clip was indeed all there) of Led Zeppelin for one night only.

Jonesy was as ever the consummate master musicians, Jason was simply amazing and Jimmy at last got his wish to get HIS band back together and play the music he had so lovingly crafted – and he played it that night with the verve and swagger of the glory years. As for Robert… I’ve said this before but for me he was the absolute star of the evening. Prior to the show the rehearsal reports had all been very favourable, as had the interview quotes from all four but for it to really work, it required Robert to really believe in it all.

Watching them run down In My Time Of Dying at the Sunday afternoon open rehearsal was my first indication that this was going to surpass expectations and Robert was so relaxed with it all during that run through.

led zep 02 image

The next night from the first beats of Good Times Bad Times, it was plainly evident that for one night only Robert Plant genuinely wanted to believe in Led Zeppelin again.

And boy did he ever.

This is a man living the Led Zeppelin dream again and reveling in every minute of it.

As they all were…

So many examples of that confidence and bravado are captured on this simply glorious footage of Kashmir below.

Yes we all wanted more…but it was not to be – however we do have it brilliantly captured on the Celebration Day DVD/Blue- ray

It remains one night, one moment, one event…and eight years on, it remains simply sensational…

Dave Lewis, December 10, 2015.


John Lennon –  35 years Gone:

35 years ago on the morning of December 9th 1980 I awoke with the prospect of a normal pre Christmas day of retail activity at the WH Smith record department that I managed. That all changed when the shocking news of John Lennon’s assassination came through.

lennon 3

In those pre internet pre breakfast TV times, the news filtered through on the radio. I was at work at WH Smith preparing the orders for the day when a colleague informed me John Lennon had been shot dead in New York. I spent the next few hours listening to the radio in absolute total shock. This included an interview with  radio DJ Andy Pebbles who had interviewed Lennon in New York two days before his death for BBC radio.

Of course Lennon and Beatles record sales went through the roof – his single Starting Over had slipped down the charts at 24 –the next week it climbed back to number one – Imagine and Happy Xmas (War Is Over) re entered the top 5.

It was one of those occasions where people wanted to express their feelings by connecting and purchasing Lennon’s music. This actually had a bit of an affect on my forecasting of record orders at the time. I had expected the novelty hit There’s no one quite like Grandma by St Winifred’s School Choir to be number one and ordered in a truck load in anticipation – alas the death of Lennon changed all that. There may well still be copies of that Grandma single lining the darker recess of the stockroom of the WH Smith shop even today.

Some memories from December ’80: The Not The Nine O Clock News satire programme ending with The Beatles In My Life in tribute, DJ Annie Nightingale breaking down on the special Lennon edition of the Old Grey Whistle test, the issue of the NME that covered the story the next week with some impassioned writing from the likes of Charles Shaar Murray. The virgil of silence held the following  Sunday December when it seemed the whole world was united in grief.

One side effect of this dreadful act was that the other big news on the music front was all but buried. It’s pretty evident that had Lennon not been shot, Led Zeppelin’s announcement released on December 4th 1980 that they could not continue as they were and would be disbanding, would have had far more impact than it did. Given the appropriate press coverage  around that news, I think their legacy would have begun to extend almost instantly with many fellow peers paying tribute etc.

As it was that news was buried and diluted under the weight of the shock of Lennon’s death.  Strange as it sounds, Led Zep became the forgotten giants, a position that did not really reverse until Live Aid in 1985.

This wave of grief over Lennon extended well into 1981 – Woman, the second single from Double Fantasy was another number one as was Roxy Music’s tribute cover version of Jealous Guy. George Harrison paid his own tribute with his song All Those Years Ago and later Paul McCartney did the same with the heartfelt song Here Today about his deep affection for John.

John Lennon’s senseless murder robbed us of a true musical genius. His songs of course live on. I’ve gone back to that early Beatles era again to soak up the sheer exuberant joy of his rasping vocal in those formative years. Songs such as I’ll Get You, Thank You Girl, Anna, Not A Second Time, It Won’t Be Long, Twist And Shout, Ill Be Back, Yes It Is, No Reply, I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party, Help, Norwegian Wood, Nowhere Man, Baby You’re a Rich Man etc etc .As I’ve noted before John Lennon is well up there in my all time top 5 vocalists. His legacy shines on.


Dave Lewis Blog Diary Update:

from the jam one

It was a busy weekend with Dec over from Ireland last week – on Saturday night we ventured out to see the excellent From The Jam at Bedford Corn Exchange. Here’s a piece I wrote for the DL/TBL Facebook:

Top night out with the good lady Janet, Dec and Jenny at the From The Jam gig at Bedford Corn Exchange. Before the gig it was great to see Simon Parker who promoted many a local Bedford gig in the 80s including Marillion, Diamond Head etc.

From the Jam are a tribute band with a difference as original member Bruce Foxton is in the line up. He looked and played superbly – as did front man Russell Hastings – he has Paul Weller’s vocal rasp off to perfection –totally authentic.

They opened by playing the whole of the Sound Affects album – a slightly risky move as it may not be the most high profile Jam album. However, this proved a winning tactic. Pretty Green, Monday, Start!, That’s Entertainment, Man In The Corner Shop ,Boy About Town – well what’s not to like? I’ll be revisiting that album big time in the coming week.

From then on, with the very enthusiastic crowd already won over – The Jam Juke Box kicked in.

In The City, David Watts, Ghosts (I’ve always loved that track from The Gift album), Smithers- Jones, When You’re Young ,To Be Someone, the Larry Williams stormer Slow Down, Town Called Malice – simply some of the most uplifting songs of the era delivered with sheer panache. Eton Rifles even had an extended Led Zep like improvisation thing going on. Encores: a suitably menacing Down At The Tube Station and a celebratory Going Underground sent many a Fred Perry and Harrington jacket clothed punter home with a smile on their face.

As for us, there was time for a post -match drink having been totally affected by the sound of From The Jam. Big nod of appreciation to promoters Kev Bailey and Gareth Barber for putting on a night of pure retro delight. Final thought – the good lady and I mused that there must have been a fair few punters in tonight who brought their Jam singles from us back in the day when we worked at WH Smith record department. When we were young…(DL)


It’s been back to full on distribution mode here this week. I’d forgotten quite what a mammoth task it all is to stamp, label, collate ,stuff and send via Royal Mail nigh on 1,000 magazines. As of writing this, the task is very much work in progress – as mentioned above, I am aiming to have the UK copies out by the middle of next week with Europe, USA, Australia and the rest of the world copies following as soon as it is physically possible.

On the player: The Jam Sound Affects and The Gift albums, Bob Dylan 1965 – 1966 The Cutting Edge – just so much to enjoy on this riveting and revealing set…Fleetwood Mac Tusk the new three CD extended remastered reissue – an early Christmas present to myself (you gotta have your little treats!) – some superb stuff on this – always an underrated and underplayed part of the Fleetwood Mac cannon – this reissue will  ensure it enjoys renewed acclaim. On LP record Led Zeppelin In Through The Out Door and sounding splendidly nostalgic – in fact along with aforementioned Tusk, it’s been a bit of a 1979 thing going on here.

There’s been some seasonal fare on too (thank you John P) including Rotary Connection Peace and Tony Bennett The Christmas album.

With Christmas upon us there’s also been the usual round of Christmas card writing to sort – and once again yesterday I took to the Santa outfit to act as Father Christmas at the good lady Janet’s pre school nativity event. Just another TBL service…

Ahead there’s a visit to the Christmas Fair in St Albans this weekend and the quest to pack all copies of the TBL magazine and get them on their journey will continue into next week. I am also eying up TBL plans for 2016 – more on all this to follow.

To summarise – TBL 40 is coming your way – let me know what you think after it drops on your doormat…

Dave Lewis, December 10, 2015.

YouTube Clips:

O2 News Report:

Led Zeppelin 02 Arena December 10 2007 – Kashmir:

The Long Road:

Until next time..

Have a great weekend

Keep listening, keep reading…

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – December 10, 2015.

If you are reading this and have yet to link with the Tight But Loose Facebook page be sure to request/add us. The TBL Facebook is another key part of the TBL set up with updated stories/additional pics etc to keep you on top of the world of TBL.

To view additional photos and TBL info be sure to hook up with the Tight But Loose Facebook page (add us as a friend) at!/profile.php?id=1611296783

Many thanks to James Cook for news input – for the latest Zep news updates be sure to check out Led Zep News at

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)


  • Graham Rodger said:

    I had a very brief glance through the Christmas edition of the Radio Times recently and I’m delighted to see that a 2-hour interview with Jimmy Page and Johnnie Walker is being broadcast on BBC Radio 2 over the festive season (sorry, I can’t remember the exact date of the show). I think it’s a brand new interview.

  • Dave M said:

    A nice surprise as TBL40 in its regular trusty brown envelope dropped through the letter box yesterday. Wasn’t expecting it so soon.

    Looks another good one.

    Essential reading as ever.

    Keep flying the Zep flag, Dave – and cheers for the Christmas card!

    Best wishes for the festive period and 2016.

  • VHP said:

    Hi Dave,
    Another great piece on the O2 Show. A couple of thought from me. I remember collecting the tickets from the O2, having the wrist bands fitted and then going to a cafe inside the complex to open the envelope with the tickets. As we held them for the first time to see where we were, my friend & I were both shaking.

    So 28 years after not going to Knebworth (as I said I would catch them next time – I was only 14 when the tickets came on sale for Knebworth and didn’t know anyone who could take me) I was finally getting to see the band.

    After the first 3 songs it was obvious that they really wanted it to be good and they really meant it. And wow was it good. Kicking off with Good Times Bad Times was an excellent choice.

    After the gig ended and we were leaving our block no 409 I noticed someone not far from us being comforted by his girlfriend / wife as he was in tears after the gig had finished. Yes, it was an emotional night for a lot of people.

    Re John Lennon, my Dad alway had Radio 4 Today program on first thing in the morning. I remember hearing it on the news at 7am and thinking why? The last 3 months of 1980 were not good for music lovers.

  • JML said:

    Hi Dave,

    Congrats on TBL40. It looks like another great read. As I have now signed on to get my issues via Magzter I logged in to start reading but it is not yet available. Will it be posted on Magzter in the coming days? Thanks


  • Wools said:

    Greetings from across the pond yet again. First a very large thank you for another fabulous year bringing and keeping the flag flying for us Mighty Led Zep brethren, alive and well!
    Being a long time family member of the Tight But Loose community, this year for me has been somewhat quiet. Now that the last reissue has been completed and the buzz starts to quiet down for all and any Zep news, I have a sense of both happiness and sadness at the same time. The reissue program has been a great lift for me personally as it afforded me a wonderful reminder and revisit to a time of amazement and the youthful years of my life. WOW, visiting my local shop seeing the Mighty Led Zep prominently displayed on the endcap with all of the presentation of a new release….well, spectacular to this fan. A brief journey back in time. Another gift from Zep.
    The most important gift that the Mighty Led Zep gave me was that I learned how to listen to music. This changed everything.
    Well, now that all things Led Zep seem complete, I now look forward hopefully to seeing Jimmy Page play live again.
    The other has been completed, just renewed my subscription for next years TBL 2016 proceedings!
    Thank you and your TBL team again for a great 2015!

    Las Vegas

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