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2 December 2015 2,837 views 6 Comments

 Preview TBL 40 Nov 2015


TBL 40 is now at the printers and should be ready for distribution at the end of next week. This is the final issue of the current subscription – ALL subscriptions end with this issue and it will be time to re subscribe – see below.

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 – more essential Zep reading

 Here’s the TBL 40 line up…

Chris Dreja on photographing Led Zep.

Achilles Last Stand:Rikky Rooksby dissects the epic.

40 CD Great Bootleg sets on CD- Paul Sheppard rounds up the best of the best.

TBL The Early Years 1977 – 1981: From small acorns…

Dave Lewis on the final three reissues: Reflections now and then.

Luis Rey and Jeff Strawman new Zep books: The authors speak.

John Paul Jones at 70: An overview by Richard Grubb.

Robert Plant 2015: Stephen Humphries on a sensational space shifting tour plus CKCDF Egremont charity gig review.

Nick Anderson Collectors Column, Scott Heck on the underground releases.

Plus latest news round up – Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones back on stage.







As mentioned above ALL current TBL subscriptions end with the forthcoming TBL 40 – so now is the time to re subscribe for the next three issues – TBL 41, 42 and 43.

A TBL 2016/17 Subscription will make an ideal Christmas gift – the link to re subscribe for the next three issues is below…


Geneve jpj one

John Paul Jones at Présences Electroniques Genève Festival: 

John Paul Jones performed at the Présences Electroniques Genève Festival in Geneva on November 28. In an interview with the Swiss publication le Courrier, he stated his long awaited opera work should be ready next year.




Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters – first 2016 date:

Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters are listed on the bill for the Okeechobee Festival in Florida which runs over March 4, 5 and 6 2016.

See more at


Robert Plant supports Climate Change campaign:

This one via Music Times:

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


Amy Lee of Evanescene covers Going To California:

This one came via I have to say I think Amy has captured the stark beauty of the original song very admirably. I am totally won over by this version.

Have a look at the YouTube clip below. Here’s the story:

EVANESCENCE singer Amy Lee has released her cover version of the LED ZEPPELIN classic “Going To California” via her newly launched YouTube channel. Check it out below.

Says Lee about her decision to cover “Going To California”: “This song is a classic that I’ve loved for as long as I can remember. It puts me at peace.

 “My friend and manager, Jordan, had recorded the instrumentation for fun and when I heard it a few months ago, I knew instantly that I had to sing on it.

“Listening to mommy sing usually helps get Jack into that elusive sleepy place, and this song has been a regular rotation nap-time hit around our house this fall.

“As I was preparing for the November EVANESCENCE shows, I just really wanted a moment like this in our set. So I showed this version to Troy, who made it a personal challenge to master a finger-picking-based song, which was outside his comfort zone (not that you could tell — he sounded amazing!).

“We had so much fun playing it live!

“It’s a pleasure to sing a song publicly that is such a part of who I am offstage — my roots, the style of music that we always played around my house when I was growing up, and still at every big family gathering, singing and playing music with my dad.

“Hope you enjoy it!”

Lee previously released her covers of U2‘s “With or Without You” and PORTISHEAD‘s “It’s A Fire”.

EVANESCENCE recently parted ways with guitarist Terry Balsamo and replaced him with Germany’s Jen Majura.

EVANESCENCE re-emerged last month after a three-year hiatus with select, intimate shows in Nashville, Dallas and Los Angeles. The influential, Grammy-winning band had not performed live since November of 2012.

View Amy’s version of the song at:


TBL Archive Special 1:

Led Zeppelin IV – 44 years gone…

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV

To mark the 44th anniversary of the release of Led Zeppelin IV here’s a TBL archive feature – first compiled for TBL issue 15 though not used at the time – it eventually appeared in the my Celebration II – The Tight But Loose Files book. Here’s the final extract:

The Making Of Led Zepplin IV – Part Three

The symbols were first introduced to the rock media via a series of teaser press ads in the weeks leading to the album’s release, each depicting a particular symbol alongside a previous Zep album sleeve. When the album was released, the wordless title caused much confusion. It appeared in the press under various names including The New Led Zeppelin album, Led Zeppelin IV, Four Symbols, Runes and even Zoso; though some music papers did make the effort to reproduce the actual symbols themselves.

The band’s hectic schedule of that year continued unabated. In August they were back in America for their seventh US tour. Page was in buoyant mood and playing brilliantly. “Once the album was completed and mixed I knew it was really good,” he said. “We actually went on the road in America before the manufacturing process was completed and somebody at Atlantic Records said, ‘This is professional suicide for a band to tour without an album.’ In retrospect that is rather amusing!”

The new material was already making an impact, and Page still recalls with pride the reaction they got to Stairway when they performed it at the Los Angeles Forum for the first time. “We played Stairway’ at the Forum before the album was out and around a third of the audience stood up and gave us a standing ovation. It was then that I thought ‘actually this may be a better number than I’d imagined’.”

Equally successful was a three-city, five-concert first visit to Japan. Here they performed some of the most enjoyable concerts of their career – away from the glare of the press and the intensity of America, they were able to stretch out and extend their set list, throwing in off-the-cuff versions of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Cliff Richards’ Bachelor Boy and The Beatles’ Please Please Me and the only logged love performance of Zep III;s Friends. It’s fair to say there were now two distinct entities to the group – the tight recorded unit as found on record and the improvisational and spontaneous live act that would go on to delight audiences around the globe.

After a short break, to round off a very productive year, Peter Grant booked a 16-date UK tour that nicely coincided with the eventual release of their long delayed, long awaited fourth album. The tour kicked off in Newcastle on 11 November and took in two memorable nights at London’s Wembley Empire Pool.

Despite the delays and the negative reaction to the previous album, it was clear that the band’s popularity had not declined at all. Demand for tickets was overwhelming. All 9,000 seats for their 20 November Empire Pool show sold out in under an hour. A second was added and they could have easily slotted in a third had their schedule allowed it.

Their stage presentation now featured each of their four symbols – on Bonham’s bass drum Jonesy’s organ, Jimmy’s speaker cabinets, and Plant’s feather symbol adorning the PA. Page also took to wearing a specially knitted jumper depicting his Zoso symbol. The set list now included Rock And Roll in the main set (now under its correct title), alongside Black Dog, Stairway and Going To California.

Talking about the album to Chris Welch of Melody Maker, Bonzo was hugely enthusiastic: “My personal view is that it’s the best thing we’ve ever done. It’s the next stage we were at the time of recording. The playing is some of the best we have done and Jimmy is like… mint!”

The culmination of the whole year’s efforts were the two significant five-hour shows in London’s Empire Pool on 20 and 21 November – the largest indoor UK audiences they had played to at that point. Dubbed Electric Magic, they were supported by Maggie Bell’s Stone The Crows plus Bronco on Saturday (whose line-up included future Plant solo era guitarist Robbie Blunt and original Band Of Joy member Kevyn Gammond), and Home on Sunday. Also, on both nights, Grant had booked some novelty circus acts, including performing pigs and plate spinners. The pigs – with huge ruffs around their necks – didn’t really cut it; indeed, their only real contribution was an unpleasant smell in the stage area. Thankfully Zeppelin fared better.

‘’It was an amazing couple of shows’’ recalls Maggie Bell, lead singer of Stone The Crows (co-managed by Peter Grant). ‘ They were the biggest dates we had played and we went down a storm. Those were great shows for us and it was at a point where we were really taking off, and obviously it was a privilege to share the stage with them all.’’

Sadly, Crows guitarist Leslie Harvey died the following May in an electrocution accident at a gig in Swansea. Maggie would later sign to Zep’s Swan Song label.

Roy Hollingworth Of Melody Maker was unstinting in his praise for the Wembley Saturday show: “This was an English band playing like crazy and enjoying every minute of it. They played just about everything they’ve ever written. Nothing – just nothing was spared. This was no job. This was no gig. It was an event for all.”

A memorable poster was produced for the event and sold for 30p – it now changes hands for over £1,000 on the collectors market – and the newly established Virgin Records set up stalls to sell the just-released fourth album. Here and around the country, much to Atlantic’s relief, fans had no trouble identifying the nameless artwork of the new record as it sailed to the number one album spot.

After the disappointing press reaction to their third album, Led Zeppelin IV was very well received. Even Rolling Stone, never a great supporter of the band’s work, relented. The review by Lenny Kaye, then would be rock journalist and future Patti Smith guitarist, was surprisingly positive. “Out of eight cuts,” wrote Kaye, “there isn’t one that steps on another’s toes, that tries to do too much at once. And [there are] a couple of songs that when all is said and done, will probably be right up there in the gold-starred hierarchy of put ’em on and play ’em again. Describing one of those tracks, When the Levee Breaks, Kaye added “Led Zep have had a lot of imitators over the past few years, but it takes cuts like this to show that most of them have only picked up the style, lacking any real knowledge of the meat underneath.”

Led Zeppelin IV climbed to the number one spot on the UK chart on 4 December 1971, where it stayed for two weeks before being dislodged by Electric Warrior by T Rex… it went on to spend 61 consecutive weeks on the chart.

It was a similar story in America, though it was with some irony that Carole King’s multi-million selling soft rock album Tapestry kept it from reaching number one.

Not that it really mattered – the airplay generated by Stairway To Heaven ensured the album remained in the Billboard top forty album chart for the next six months. Peter Grant steadfastly refused to issue the track as a single, knowing that restricting its availability to the LP alone would inevitably add to its sales.

So from the adversity of the Led Zeppelin III backlash, Zeppelin triumphed.

Some four decades on its influence is still paramount, not least with the three ex-members. Over the years, the three ex-members have repeatedly retuned to the songs. Page and Plant attempted an ambitious remake of The Battle Of Evermore with Indian singer Najma Akhtar on their initial MTV Unledded reunion and also performed versions of When The Levee Breaks and Four Sticks. Robert Plant was still regularly performing Black Dog, Rock And Roll, and Misty Mountain Hop on his Band of Joy tour this year – the latter was also revived when Page linked up for his much acclaimed tour with The Black Crowes. On his solo tours, John Paul Jones has performed instrumental versions of Black Dog and When The Levee Breaks.

As a complete work, Led Zeppelin IV remains their most focused statement.

It’s the product of a band on a quest for absolute musical freedom. Working in an environment that encouraged the development of their ability to blend acoustic and electric influences within a rock framework – something Led Zeppelin did more successfully than any other act before or since.

The eight cuts possess an economy and subtly that defines their sound. From Page’s unimpeachable riffs, through Jones’ musical invention, Plant’s clarity of vocal to that titanic John Bonham drum sound – Led Zeppelin IV still emits a freshness that belies its age.

Dave Lewis


TBL Archive Special 2:

Melody Maker Poll Awards: 36 years gone..

36 years ago on a late cold November afternoon in 1979, I walked into the plush surroundings of the Waldorf Hotel in London and ordered a vodka and lime at the bar just behind Richard Cole who was organising drinks for three quarters of Led Zeppelin.

The occasion was the annual Melody Maker Poll Awards for which Peter Grant had rounded up Robert, Bonzo and Jonesy to accept a remarkable seven awards. Richard Cole and assorted roadies and tech guys and Swan Song personel were in attendance.

I was there reporting it all for what would become Tight But Loose issue number 4. Some of the text of that report (unbeknown to me) would years later be suitably exaggerated in The Hammer Of The Gods book.

I remember spotting Robert wearing the pair of bright yellow and blue Nike trainers he’d acquired at the Wembley Goal Diggers soccer tournament the previous Sunday which I’d been along to watch. I made a mental note to seek out a similar pair on my return to Bedford – they were my style gurus as well back then and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one though I drew the line at investing in a dragon suit!

mel poll

There was an air of supreme confidence amongst the Zep camp that afternoon – their delight in scooping so many awards in those post punk days could be clearly seen. It really did feel like ‘The 1980’s Part One’ was ready to usher in a new exciting era for us all. The photo here with John Paul Jones inspires a host of memories from that early era of the TBL magazine. The story of those early TBL years is one of the centrepiece features of the forthcoming TBL 40

It was a fantastic thrill to be in their company that November afternoon way back – the full story can be found in the Zep On the Town chapter in the Knebworth book.


Talking of which…

The Knebworth book plus the Feather In The Wind is available as a bargain bundle – details as follows:

Led Zeppelin Then As It Was – At Knebworth 1979 and Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind Bundle offer:

Buy both books for just £18 plus postage!

For a limited period, I am offering both the Led Zeppelin Then As It Was – At Knebworth 1979 and Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind Over Europe 1980 books at a bargain bundle offer price of both books for just £18 plus postage and packing.

Suffice to say, this offer will also make the perfect Christmas present – so prompt your loved ones now to ensure seasonal delight!

Order via this link:

 Both books are also available for a bargain price individually.








DL Diary Blog Update:

stamps one

With the TBL issue 40 at the printers – the attention has turned to the stamping of envelopes in preparation for the distribution – there’s been a whole lotta sticking of stamps here in the past few days as I prepare for the impending TBL 40 distribution – and more to follow. The magazine is at the printers now and I am hoping to commence distribution at the end of next week. The landmark TBL 40 will be coming your way soon…




As can be seen,studio mix nov 26 when we finally signed it off at StudioMix last week – your TBL editor was deserving of a big drink. A pint of Guinness and the always classic design skills of Mick Lowe helped bring it to life…

On Black Friday at the Vinyl Barn in Bedford last week I came across a bit of vintage Judy Collins on the Elektra label – her 1967 In My Life album – it includes rather splendid versions of The Beatles’ title track, Bob Dylan’s’ Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues, Randy Newman’s I Think it’s Going To Rain Today and Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne. Lovely stuff.

That one has been on the player along with Burt Bacharach’s Hitmaker LP inspired by BBC 4’s Burt Bacharach A Life In Song, confirming yet again that Burt is one of the greatest songwriters of all time.

I’ve also had a listen to the March 3 Fort Worth soundboard (thanks Takemi). Once Robert’s vocals get into a groove, there’s some solid performances peaking with a Trampled Underfoot which is just totally right out there prime 1975 Led Zep. A bit of The Boss namely the Born To Run album has also been on -I’ve not really played any Springsteen for a good while but with The River album due for reissue it’s a timely moment to get back into the Boss zone.

It will be good to see my very good friend Dec who is coming over from Ireland to stay the weekend. On Saturday night,we are looking to take in The Jam tribute band From The Jam here at the Corn Exchange. The band which features original Jam bassist Bruce Foxton, are showcasing the excellent 1980 Jam album Sound Affects. In fact I’ve also searched out that one to play this week – and the likes of Pretty Green, Monday, Start!, That’s Entertainment, Boy About Town still sound fantastic. I actually went to see The Jam on their original Sound Affects tour – a cracking gig at the Rainbow in November 1980. So it will be full circle seeing those songs performed live again this Saturday.

Then it will back to full on distribution mode with the impending arrival of TBL issue 40. Another outpouring from the TBL hub…

Dave Lewis, December 2, 2015


YouTube Clips:

Amy Lee – Going To California:


The Big Short trailer:  

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Light Of Christmas Day – from the Love The Coopers soundtrack:

Until next time..

Have a great weekend

Keep listening, keep reading…

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – December 2, 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


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  • Hiroshi said:


    “Maybe you could argue that MMH and Four Sticks are slightly below the level of the rest, but only by a smidgen.”

    That’s where I share the view with you, although I rate these two a notch below the rest. It’s all a matter of comparison. And that’s why I relocate these two on different sides, respectively, in my alternate song order, to neutralize the “weakness”, as they together make up a consecutive weak zone on the original IMHO.

  • Del said:


    In my opinion you could mix those 8 tracks up any way you want and it would still be one of the greatest rock albums ever made not sure I agree about weak tracks though to me there all killers !!

  • Stephen said:

    Led Zep IV – “weak tracks?” I beg to differ, I think it’s there most consistent and focused work. Maybe you could argue that MMH and Four Sticks are slightly below the level of the rest, but only by a smidgen. It’s an all-time rock classic.

  • Hiroshi said:

    When Led Zeppelin IV was released in Japan, November 1971, still buzzing in the aftermath of their sensational first tour on these shores, the general consensus among the fans and critics was, in a nutshell, better than the third but not in the same league as the first and second albums. Although I heard it for the first time in 1974, my initial impression was more or less the same. And some time later, I found I liked Zep III more, after all.

    There are some great — some of their best — songs in it for sure — but there are some weak tracks as well. One thing that never convinces me is the song order. I have since tampered with the flow of the material “to get it right” in my obsessed (Zep)head (“not this…not that…”). As of now, my temporary “definitive” alternate version would run like below;

    Side A:
    1. Rock And Roll
    2. Black Dog
    3. Four Sticks
    4. Stairway To Heaven
    Side B:
    1. Misty Mountain Hop
    2. Going To California
    3. The Battle Of Evermore
    4. When The Levee Breaks

    Don’t know if it works for you…

  • Del said:

    Quite like the Amy Lee “Going To California” effort but the one time Rock God in the biggest and baddest band on the planet doing a Christmas song, I’m having a bit of a problem with !!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  • Matt O'Kane said:

    Dave – you will love From The Jam, I can vouch for that!

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