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TBL 45 PRE ORDER DETAILS/ LZ NEWS/EARLS COURT 44 YEARS GONE/HEATHROW 42 YEARS GONE/ DEBORAH BONHAM IN THE US/ DAVID HEPWORTH A FABULOUS CREATION BOOK REVIEW /LET IT BE AND ME/DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

14 May 2019 1,465 views 8 Comments

Announcing the forthcoming TBL 45 – Led Zeppelin Knebworth 40th anniversary special issue:

Publication July 2019 – – limited edition run pre order now!

TBL 45 is one of the most ambitious TBL magazines yet produced – almost a double issue.

A 60 page issue this will include a reprint of the complete 40 page  Tight But Loose issue 3 – the Knebworth special first published in October 1979.

The TBL 3 – 40 page reprint includes the following:

News Background

Communication/ Letters page,

Quiz 2

Full TBL Led Zeppelin Poll results

Ten Years Gone/Five Years Gone feature

Knebworth ’79 – 15 pages of coverage – The nation assembles

Zeppelin’s Blind Date: Seeing is believing – Knebworth August 4 and 11 Dave Lewis review

Knebworth who played what and when chart,

In Through The Out Door Dave Lewis review

Loose Talk and free ads columns

This is a complete facsimile reproduction of the entire contents of TBL issue 3 – as it was first produced and published in October 1979.

This is the first time this issue has been available for many years – copies change hands on eBay etc for up to £100!

Plus further Knebworth content:

I was there: Pat Mount’s Knebworth memories from out in the field,

The Knebworth Bootlegs: Andy Adams on the vinyl releases -Paul Sheppard on CD

The Tape 1979 Analysis: Andy Crofts’ dissects the Copenhagen warms ups and August 4 and 11

Nick Anderson Collectors Column on Knebworth rarities

Plus latest news and views:

Jimmy Page Metropolitan Museum of Art’s ‘Play It Loud’ New York Exhibition report

Robert Plant: Saving Grace in St Albans. Love Rocks in NYC.

John Paul Jones 100 Club Resonance FM benefit gig on the spot review

Latest official Led Zeppelin documentary news and more.

This special issue is being produced in a strict limited edition  – all individually numbered. When it’s gone, it’s gone. Don’t miss out – be sure to pre -order now… not so much a magazine – more a mini book!

You can pre-order TBL 45 at this link:

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/tbl-45-special-60-page-knebworth-40th-anniversary-issue-including-complete-reprint-of-tbl-issue-3-limited-edition-pre-order-now/


TBL 45 – Knebworth put in the field photos required:

For the back cover of the forthcoming TBL issue 45 I am on the look out for photos of fans in the Knebworth field or campsite on either August 4 or 11 weekends. If you have a pic of yourself or friends and welcome a copy to feature on the back page. Email you pic on a jpeg with details to my usual email davelewis.tbl1@ntlworld.com

…………………………………

Led Zeppelin News Update:

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

Upcoming events:

May 29 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Somerset, UK.
June 13 – Robert Plant will perform in Stockholm, Sweden.
June 15 – Robert Plant will perform at Bergenfest in Norway.
June 17 – Robert Plant will perform at The Big Challenge festival in Norway.
June 19 – Robert Plant will perform in Harstad, Norway.
June 21 – Robert Plant will perform in Bodø, Norway.
June 23 – Robert Plant will perform at the Secret Solstice music festival in Iceland.
June 25 – Robert Plant will perform in Tromsø, Norway.
June 27 – Robert Plant will perform in Svalbard, Norway.
June 29 – Robert Plant will perform in Svalbard, Norway.
July 2 – Robert Plant will perform in Halden, Norway.
July 4 – Robert Plant will perform at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark.
July 13 – Robert Plant will perform at the Rhythmtree music festival with Saving Grace on the Isle of Wight.
July 18 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace at the Galway International Arts Festival in Ireland.
July 25-28 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace at the WOMAD festival in the UK.
August 4 – Tight But Loose editor Dave Lewis will hold a fan meetup in London to mark the 40th anniversary of Led Zeppelin’s Knebworth performances.
September 13 – Robert Plant will perform at the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in Fredericton, Canada.
September 17 – Robert Plant will perform in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
September 20 – Robert Plant will perform at the Outlaw Music Festival in Indianapolis and the first day of the 2019 John Bonham memorial concert will be held in Redditch.
September 21 – Robert Plant will perform at the Bourbon & Beyond music festival in Louisville, Kentucky and the second day of the 2019 John Bonham memorial concert will be held in Redditch.
September 23 – Robert Plant will perform in Clear Lake, Iowa.
September 25 – Robert Plant will perform in Moorhead, Minnesota.
September 27 – Robert Plant will perform in Missoula, Montana.
September 29 – Robert Plant will perform in Spokane, Washington.
October 1 – Robert Plant will perform in Salt Lake City, Utah.
October 3 – Robert Plant will perform in Bend, Oregon.
November – The “Play It Loud: Instruments Of Rock And Roll” exhibition will move to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Many thanks to James Cook.

The complete Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here:http://tinyletter.com/LedZepNews

Led Zeppelin News Website: Check out the Led Zeppelin news website at

http://ledzepnews.com/


It’s that time of year again…

TBL Celebrates the 44th Anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Earls Court:

With the 44th anniversary of the first two Led Zeppelin appearances at Earls Court – to get you right in the zone here is a feature that first ran in TBL issue 15. It focuses on some of the key performances on the US tour of early 1975 that provided something of an indicator to the five glorious nights that would follow in May 1975…

PRELUDE TO EARLS COURT:

Led Zeppelin’s tenth American tour kicked off in Minnesota on January 18 1975 and initially their performances were hampered due to Plant’s bout of flu and Page’s injury to his finger. The situation began to improve when they reached New York some ten gigs into the tour. For the Feb 3 Madison Square Garden date Page felt sufficiently recovered to re instate Dazed And Confused to the set. Just over a week later, Plant’s relief at finally shrugging off his flu bug was evident in a very loose and informal Valentine’s Day performance at the Nassau Coliseum. As their newly released double set Physical Graffiti hit the stores they moved up another gear. March saw they really hit their stride with outstanding performances at Long Beach,Vancouver and Seattle -eventually culminating in a memorable three day stint at the LA Forum.

Throughout those February /March dates they began to further develop the set clearly displaying points of reference in their playing that would be further explored when they returned to London to play the Earls Court shows.

So having evaluated the ’75 tour tapes, I’ve highlighted the key moments from seven performances that in hindsight, clearly provided a prelude to those five glorious nights that would follow in May 1975…

Date: FEBRUARY 14, 1975:

Venue: NASSAU COLISEUM UNIONDALE NEW YORK

Performances: KASHMIR/TANGERINE (snippet)

Bootleg Reference: NASSAU ’75 (TDOLZ)

zep 75 31

”This is one that regulars that come here know quite well…but you’ve still yet to hear the recorded version…this is a track about another of life’s journeys that never end..this time in Kashmir”

Kashmir was a new number that they were obviously itching to play live and with Plant’s voice suitably recovered they turned in a majestic Valentines’ Day performance in Nassau. Page strumming down relentlessly on the Gibson behind Bonham’s castinet like drumming.

Plant showing renewed confidence to throw in the echoed vocal naunces that became such an Earls Court trademark. Listening to this delivery re -emphasis my opinion that the best live versions of Kashmir  were all played in the year it was released on record.

Tangerine was of course a surprise inclusion at the Earls Court shows performed as a four part harmony. However perhaps they were already toying with the idea of bringing it back during the American tour. For on this night prior to Stairway To Heaven Plant let out a few lines from the long deleted Zep III stage fave. ”Measuring a summers day”…adding ”I’ve forgotten the words”. It was a brief teaser for a song that would again light up those memorable May days.

Date: FEBRUARY 28 ,1975

Venue: LOUISANA STATE UNIVERSITY BATON ROUGE

Performance: NO QUARTER

Bootleg Reference: FREEZE (TARANTURA) LED ASTRAY (SILVER RARITIES)

The May 18 and 24 Earls Court versions of the JPJ opus are amongst the very best they performed. The highlight being JP’s lengthy piano concerto that led to the loose jamming amalgamation with Page and Bonham. During the ’75 US that arrangement underwent much construction as it expanded in length. On this night in Baton Rouge Jonesy began applying for the first time that pleasing neo classical solo before Jimmy waded in with a long rambling solo. The improvisation of No Quarter would further develop later in the tour when Page and Bonham introduced an uptempo jazz tempo to the piece. This Feb 28 delivery was an early example of how the track would evolve to such huge effect a little under two months hence in London.

Date: MARCH 12,1975

Venue: CIVIC ARENA LONG BEACH CALIFORNIA

Perfomance: THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME (false start)/THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME

Bootleg Reference: TRAMPLED UNDER JIMMY’S FOOT (SILVER RARITIES)

Just to illustrate that not all went according to plan every night…. on this cooking performance in Long Beach their sheer enthusiasm got the better of them as they opened The Song Remains The Same….. only to bring it to a close some one minute in.

”Just a minute that’s it ….see you again Long Beach! Yes it happened for the first time in six and a half years…does anybody remember laugher?…. the first time we came here ..er we never seem to  get things together in Los Angeles.

OK, as I was saying. Nevertheless The Song Remains …..nevertheless,ad infinitum to the power of three re occuring..The Same!’’

They did not get it wrong a second time.

What happened next was simply the business. A speed ride through the opening track of Houses and  as Plant might put it a reoccurring anthem. It sounded great here ,it sounded great in Earls Court and it still sounded great 20 years later when Page and Plant deployed it so effectively on their 95/96 world tour. This is a Zeppelin anthem that gets less acclaim than the more overplayed Whole Lotta Love, Stairway and Kashmir -but on stage it always burnt and smouldered its way into the set. Pull it out and try it for yourselves on any night…the effect as those Houses ads read is still shattering.

Date: MARCH 19, 1975

Venue: PACIFIC ARENA VANCOUVER

Performance: WOODSTOCK (insert)

Bootleg Reference: PLEEASE (SILVER RARITIES)

”By the end of the tour I felt I could sing anything”.

Proof of that statement came nightly within Dazed And Confused. The San Francisco excerpt had long been a feature of the early part of the piece, but on this tour they began experimenting even further. Plant introducing another hippie anthem to proceedings -the Joni Mitchell pean to Max Yasgur’s farm and a hit for Crosby Stills, Nash & Young. The Zep arrangement was still built loosely on the melody employed for San Francisco-Plant bending the words to fit the structure. Against Page’s eerie minor chord strumming it became one of the most atmospheric parts of their performance. Plant’s repeated ”Back to the garden” refrain merging into the violin bow episode amongst the dry ice. The Vancouver performance was a blueprint for the equally dramatic versions performed at Earls Court run. During this part of the tour Plant also took to singing The Eagles Take It Easy and during the final LA stint he crooned a 50’s like To Be Loving  before moving into Bob Marley’s I Shot The Sheriff. As he put it -he could sing anything…

Date: MARCH 21, 1975

Venue: SEATTLE CENTER COLISEUM

Performances:ROCK AND ROLL/SICK AGAIN/OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY

Bootleg Reference:SEATTLE SUPERSONIC (GEMA) 207.19 & 214 (COBLA STANDARD)

This Seattle show was simply one of the best gigs of their latter era.

Proximity editor Hugh Jones was there and relayed the events in a superb feature titled ”At The top of their game” in issue Vol 6 no17.

If proof was needed then this opening segment brings it all alive – as it epitomises what a potent three pronged entrance these songs really were. Rock And Roll segueing into the new sheer brutality of Sick Again with Plant teasing ”Do I look the same”, and then the opening speech followed by the ”Beginning of a dream and it starts here (R.Plant -Earls Court May*17) or on this occasion .”What we intend to do is to relive our pent uppedness on stage, and then to relieve it later on after the gig elsewhere. Now the thing is what we intend to do is to give you a cross section of what we’ve been trying to produce and write over the last six and a half years.

As you know the material varies greatly and so you will appreciate that we take it from one extreme to the other….and what better way to start than to gaze out onto the horizon and see what tomorrow may bring”

To quote Hugh Jones ”in those last few sentences Robert Plant may well have encapsulated Led Zeppelin as well as anyone ever has. The physical, the musical, the pretension and the arrogance-all backed up with music as varied and as good as his word for the next four hours”.

So the the regal intro of  Over The Hills And Far Away -the Page solo as always flickering and twisting into previously un investigated territory. Then a swirling finale with Plant crying out ”Samantha Samantha” perhaps a reference to the fun they were about to enjoy offstage as he put it And on this night in Seattle it all just burst forth with that knowing arrogance .To use that old Zep’75 maxim it all underlined the fact that it wasn’t just a case of them being the number one band on the planet…the real point in question was just how far whoever was at number two lagged behind.

Date: MARCH 25 1975

Venue: THE FORUM INGLEWOOD LOS ANGELES

Performance: TRAMPLED UNDERFOOT

Bootleg Reference: THE SEX MACHINE (LEMON SONG)

The May 24 ’75 delivery of Trampled was an incredible Page tour de force and again one of the most potent performances of their latter era. All through the US tour though, they were stretching the limits of the improvisational possibilities of this piece rendering the album version almost redundant. On this penultimate night of the tour Page, Jones and Bonham locked horns to produce a frightening barrage of noise over which Plant ad-libbed in required style. ”Give it to me, give it to me”

Nobody described the live delivery of this track better than noted US scribe Lisa Robinson when she astutely observed that ”Trampled with its Come Together like rhythm sounds as if The Beatles battled the Stones in a parking lot – and Led Zeppelin won”

Date: MARCH 27 1975

Venue: THE FORUM INGLEWOOD LOS ANGELES

Peformances: IN MY TIME OF DYING/SINCE IV’E BEEN LOVING YOU/STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN/WHOLE LOTTA LOVE/BLACK DOG

Bootleg Reference: TOUR DE FORCE (RABBITT)

The final riot night of the US tour was a mass celebratory affair with the band fully aware that with this tour they had turned adversity into triumph. From the moment Linda Lovelace cutely introduced them onstage to Plant’s parting ”We’re coming back baby” comment, this was a true prelude to what the UK was about to be served.

They even gave a hint of Earls Court fashion by introducing his Miss Selfridge cut off shirt and Page wearing the Dragon suit trousers that would become such a visual imprint of May ’75.

Their confidence was subsequently overflowing as they attacked the new In My Time Of Dying, Plant throwing in a few lines of You Shook Me.

”Anybody remember?” he asks at the end as he would a month later in SW5.

The version of Since I’ve Been Loving You was a real bonus and something sadly that Earls Court did not receive.

”A change in the programme- we were gonna do…..but this is a blues and I think this is where we first came in”. An impromptu set revision that delighted the LA audience.

A rare latter day stand alone delivery (in 1972/73 it had been segued with Misty Mountain)) recalling the majesty of Blueberry Hill at this very venue five years back. Rarely played in ’75 they ached their way through the old Zep III standard -Page’s solo as precise and inventive as that night back in September ’70.

On the home straight it was nothing less than a victory stomp. Stairway played as was the case as Earls Court as though Plant believed every word, and the final incendiary Whole Lotta Love/Black Dog medley with the added visual spectacle of that neon lit sign. Images and sounds that London would soon delight in.

Acknowledging their enthusiasm,  Plant told the final LA audience ”It’s really nice to know that we’re giving you what you are giving us because after tonight I think we’ve got three gigs in England. I don’t believe well work again for quite a long time, so this has got to be good”.

That last night in  LA  was indeed good…very good ….and Earls Court would be even better.

Dave Lewis – first published in TBL issue 15

………………………………….

And then…

 

may 17

TBL Celebrates the 44th anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Earls Court:

Turning the clock back 44 years:  Saturday May 17th 1975:

Setlist: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/No Quarter/Tangerine/Going To California/That’s The Way/Bron-Y-Aur Stomp/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/Dazed And Confused (inc. Woodstock)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – Black Dog.

May 17th a dull rainy Saturday. Left Bedford around 4pm on the train and met then girlfriend Fiona in London for the long awaited return. I’d been counting the days down since March and now here we were hours from seeing and believing. We were inside the arena from around 7pm and the next hour was a slow one – I’d brought a programme and t.shirt.The programme with the illuminating text from Tony Palmer really whetted the appetite and had some amazing photos.

Finally when the stage burst into action following Bob Harris’s intro just after 8pm, well it was the moment my life switched into colour after the previous 18 years had been viewed in grainy black and white.

We had a good view high up to the right looking down towards Jimmy’s side. They were a little nervous and it was evident Jimmy was having lead trouble in Rock And Roll, but once they settled in it was all and more I’d hoped for. The video screen high above the stage was something I’d never seen at a gig before and I found myself gazing in awe at the memorable images flashing on screen- and wishing it was being broadcast on TV.  I’d played Physical Graffiti non stop since it had come out so seeing In My Time, Kashmir and Trampled played live was just awe inspiring. Tangerine was an unexpected treat as was the whole acoustic interlude. Having no idea what the set list would be  only added to the pure wonderment of seeing Led Zeppelin live before my very eyes.

Initial opening night impressions:

John Bonham’s incredible drum sound, Robert’s warm rapport with the crowd and the way he totally dominated the stage.. After this somewhat shaky start they quickly regained confidence and the new numbers from Physical Graffiti, In My Time Of Dying and Kashmir set the standard. The latter’s Eastern-sounding riff rose into a thick, booming sound that reverberated throughout the entire arena. As the tapes of the shows so vividly reveal, that booming sound was very much an Earls Court characteristic, a sound so solid that when Page laid down a chord you could practically lean on it.

EC jr2

The marathon Dazed and the laser lights shooting through Jimmy’s violin bow. By the evening’s end the early nerves had all but evaporated, to be replaced by a relaxed atmosphere which found JPJ playfully offering a few bars of The Teddy Bear’s Picnic as Robert introduced ‘Stairway To Heaven. Plant was now regularly adding the line “That’s all we got” to the final verse prior to Page’s solo. Whole Lotta Love  featured a few riffs from The Crunge prior to Jimmy’s theremin battle. An unsurprisingly nervous start but with plenty to build on.

We got back to Bedford at 2am and I was already counting down the hours to when we would be back in their company again.  There were just 18 hours to tick off.

The Led Zeppelin Earls Court experience was underway…and boy life was good…

Dave Lewis – May 17, 2018

“Apart from The Who and The Stones I can’t think of many bands who could have put on anything like it. During moments like Trampled Underfoot it seemed the whole stage was just going to fall forward and crush everybody in the hall.” Charles Shaar Murray, New Musical Express.

may 18

TBL Celebrates the 44th anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Earls Court:

Turning the clock back 44 years..

Sunday May 18, 1975

Setlist: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/No Quarter/Tangerine/Going To California/That’s The Way/Bron-Y-Aur Stomp/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/Dazed And Confused (inc. Woodstock)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – The Crunge – Black Dog.

In the morning I’d got the Sunday Observer with the colour suppelment magazine with that Tony Palmer feature in.

”Led Zeppelin bigger than The Beatles?” proclaimed the front cover. What a compliment…and a rightful accolade.

On the train at 5pm in the afternoon with fellow fan Nic and his girlfriend.

Hung outside Earls Court amongst the the programme sellers and poster stalls before the show -bought a bootleg badge which was as big as a dinner plate. Wore it with pride for years!

The second night saw them settled into the run. Over The Hills And Far Away developed into an early set template on each successive night. Loaded with rock steady authority, with Page at his most spontaneous, supplemented by  Bonham and Jones holding down the bottom line, and hinting at the rhythmic tempos they would develop for Candy Store Rock on the Presence album. Page’s double-neck guitar poses during The Song Remains The Same and would give the attendant photographers plenty of famous images while The Rain Song saw the guitarist draped in blue light, casting another memorable portrait, a solitary figure in the spotlight ringing out some sweet familiar notes. Add to that an intensive and incessant In My Time Of Dying (Plant’s ”I must have done somebody good” line resounded in my ears all the way home).

ec no quirter

The outstanding performance of May 18, though, was No Quarter as immortalised on the subsequent Red Devil vinyl bootleg. Never before had JPJ immersed himself in this showpiece with such subtlety and grace, the defining moment being the point where he came out of the classical sequence, at around 3mins 45, to play a cluster of descending notes that rippled from the grand piano and into the Earls Court air.

The acoustic section found Plant at his loquacious best, unfolding tales of the origins of Going To California (“So we went to Wales and when we got there we wrote songs about California”) and That’s The Way (“So we were sitting on a grassy bank looking across the unspoiled countryside”). Dazed And Confused was also developing its own unique Earls Court quality. Page’s delicate, melodic guitar passages leading into Woodstock remain an evocative reminder of the times that still brings on the chill every time I hear the tape 41 years on.

During Whole Lotta Love they kicked into the rhythm of The Crunge as they had done briefly the previous night but now further developed Plant’s echoed “I’m just trying to find the bridge” lines. A crunching Black Dog brought show number two to a close after some 195 minutes on stage.

We just managed to get the last train back and in for 2.30pm. Two down and incredibly…three still to go!

Dave Lewis – May 18, 2018

“In six and a half years Led Zeppelin have grown to be the biggest band in the land and judging by the excellence of their performance at Earls Court, one of, if not THE most exiting live act in the world. I guess I came on the right night. It’s difficult to describe the magic or atmosphere of that Sunday. It was one of those gigs that will remain scarred on my brain forever.” Pete Makowski, Sounds.

More Earls Court Archive next week…


And then this happened…

TBL Archive : Heathrow Airport – 42 years Gone:

42 years ago on Tuesday May 17,1977 , I awoke with the day’s mission being to hook up with the members of Led Zeppelin – and incredibly that is exactly what happened.

As this story that appeared in TBL issue 18 explains, any plans to actually go out and see them perform live in America had been thwarted by a serious lack of funds. My then wages of £22 per week earned working on the record and tapes department at WH Smith in Bedford was never going to get me to Madison Square Garden.

As a mad keen fan of just 20 years old, I knew there had to be another way to see them. With invaluable help from Unity McClean at the Swan Song office, I hatched a plan to go to Heathrow Airport to wave them off as they began the second leg of the tour.

I got the idea from all those newsreel films of The Beatles being waved off from airports by loads of screaming girls. I did not envisage too many screaming girls being there but I did think it was a relatively feasible way of seeing them.

Unity very kindly supplied me with the timings and so it was on Tuesday May 17, I set off from Bedford to achieve my quest. I stopped off at the Swan Song office to catch up with Unity. I even got involved in running a few errands – not uncommon whenever I visited. I was dispatched to the local Kings Road newsagent to buy copies of the first day’s edition of the Evening Standard. This was to check that they had carried an apology for a mistaken identity story involving a false Robert Plant story they had run with the previous day.

Unity was well pleased to find it in there and immediately biked over a copy to Peter Grant. Back in the office Unity gave me various photos to get signed. I then took the tube to Hatton Cross and boarded a bus from there to get to the terminal. Back then there was no direct tube line into Heathrow.

I arrived at Heathrow just after 4pm. A Welsh fan Russ Rees and a couple of friends were there. Outside the main doors John Bonham was holding court by one of the limos chatting to Richard Cole. John Paul Jones arrived wearing a union jack cardigan – it was the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year and patriotism was well high. Unity later told me Jonesy had laughed when he had seen the pics I took as the jacket had fallen to pieces soon after.

 

Robert kept up the royal theme wearing a badge of the Queen. Robert arrived soon after looking every inch the rock god. The first photo shows me following him across the road -Robert carrying his own luggage –  he only had to ask and I’ve gladly helped him out !

The mood was very upbeat and friendly. I talked to Robert about how the tour was going and he relayed how much they were enjoying it. A roadie came in on the conversation and Robert mentioned how much he liked Maria Muldaur’s Midnight At The Oasis song.

Robert and JPJ were more than happy to sign my photos and pose for a pic. I’m carrying the photos I took along and look at those badges – dinner plate size! I’m wearing the jacket I regularly wore for work.  I look as proud as a peacock and that’s exactly how I felt. It was just incredible to be in their company – my idols right next to me!

Robert kept on joking about Jimmy’s whereabouts as he was running late. ”Where’s Patti Page ”? he kept repeating. Jimmy arrived in a Range Rover driven by his driver Rick Hobbs. He looked a little unsteady in a white suit but soon began joking and chatting with the others. I chatted to him for a couple of minutes.

I finally left them as their flight was called around 6pm. it was an absolutely thrilling experience and I made my way back to Bedford in something of a daze. I was due to play in a Wallbangers football match that night but arrived too late -not that it mattered too much as we won 11-0!

The next day I relayed these tales to my Mum and Dad and then girlfriend Fiona. In the morning I was back behind the counter selling records at WH Smith while Led Zeppelin took to the stage in Birmingham Alabama. There’s some amazing cine film of that gig and when I watch it I always marvel at the fact that I was one of the last people to talk to them in England before they left for yet another trail blazing tour of America.

Exactly two years to the day of the first Earls Court concert, I had experienced yet another incredible occasion in their company. Like all these occasions, it enhanced my enthusiasm to follow this group and it’s music with increasing passion love and devotion.

42 years on from that remarkable experience, that passion love and devotion remains ever strong….and that afternoon in Heathrow Airport is a memory that shines ever brightly…

DL – May 14 , 2018



Deborah Bonham Band in the US:

 Here’s Mike Tremaglio’s thoughts on the Café Nine show last week in New Haven CT.

Had a great time last night.  The venue was quite small,  they played really well.  Deborah has an excellent, powerful voice and lots of stage presence.  Deborah sings with passion and conviction – a real talent.  I was also very impressed with the quality of their songs and the tightness of the entire band.  They’re all outstanding musicians.

I spoke with Pete for quite a while before the gig.  After the gig, and just before leaving on their tour bus, Deborah, my wife Janet and I spoke for a few minutes.  I gave her an EWLZ book and she gave both Janet and I signed copies of her Spirit CD.  We also took some pics.  Very nice, such a sweet lady.

Many thanks to Mike for that and the pics

 


 

When all you needed was ears…and 40 minutes of your time…

My thoughts on…

A Fabulous Creation: How the LP Saved Our Lives by David Hepworth

Following on from his previous books – notably 1971 – Never a Dull Moment, David Hepworth has produced an engaging account of the story of how the role recorded music, principally the LP record, has shaped our lives over five decades.

He does it in an informative and opinionated manner that as a long time connoisseur of such things, kept me entertained throughout.

Unsurprisingly, A Fabulous Creation – How The LP Saved Our Lives (the title of the book comes from one of opening lines in the Roxy Music song Do The Strand) speaks my language on  a subject very close to my heart. Hepworth starts the LP journey by initially honing in on the importance of the release of The Beatles Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band  – which signalled the arrival of the album as an art form. Hepworth goes on to chart the development of the LP format from both a musical and cultural stand point.

Early on, he sets the scene with vivid descriptions of the role the radiogram and record player had in the late 50s and early 60s as a key part of the furniture in any household – and how soundtracks and comedy albums established the LP as the favoured form of in home entertainment.

Then it’s headlong into the rock era. As the years unfold, he stops off at several milestone releases – notably the emergence in 1968 of the sampler album The Rock Machine Turns You On, King Crimson’s In the Court of The Crimson King, the debut Roxy Music album and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side if the Moon. This 1970s vinyl heyday was as he explains, the era when being seen out with the right album under your arm was as important then as is the strategic placing of images on your Instagram account is now.

His understanding of the business and retail side plus the media influence of the LP market is impressive. I can stand up and be counted as one of those who read Nick Kent’s review of Television’s Marquee Moon in the NME and immediately went out and bought it – a tale he is again pinpoint sharp on. Later he summarises Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk as an industry deal breaker and lauds Elvis Costello’s Armed Forces and the Joy Division Closer album. These excellent periodical album dissections prompted me to go back to these albums and check them out again. Pleasingly, Hepworth has a measured approach on the effect of punk, revealing that Peter Cook was something of a surprise trend setter in that department.

He also throw in a few personal experiences – I particularly liked his tale of a flat mate who religiously played ZZ Top’s La Grange from their Tres Hobres album, every night as a way of unwinding from his mundane daily work slog. A few more of these wry observations would have been welcome. Maybe that’s being kept for another book.

Mostly, Hepworth sticks to the detail and as the golden age of the LP peaks, he is in there with telling revelations of the impact of the Sony Walkman and subsequent cassette explosion. He also explains the rise of MTV and how the aforementioned ZZ Top and Springsteen tailed their output for the station accordingly. All this is told with a fair few arrows pointed directly at an often misguided and greedy music industry. ‘’Hope taping is killing music’’ it claimed in 1981, as Hepworth notes, it was doing nothing of the sort.

He sites Michael Jackson’s Thriller as the last great vinyl record album statement and given its phenomenal sales he is not far wrong. Then there’s the introduction of the CD and he hits the nail on the head stating ‘’the problem was and nobody thought about this at the time – the CD as a medium never had any charisma about it.’’ Put simply, CDs were never as lovable as the good old LP record.

His assumptions about the limited appeal of the CD format struck a chord with me – the extended playing time offered by the CD eventually proving that more was actually less. There was no more finer example to back that statement than the 1997 release of the thoroughly bloated Oasis album Be Here Now.

What did kill the LP or at least lead it to a premature death, was the advent of the iPod, downloading and streaming – all of which led to the closure of the big record stores of which I had first hand experience of. All dutifully reported here with much insight, though one omission I was surprised at was the Napster file sharing controversy.

Hepworth is never sanctimoniously in the battle for the LP’s survival – in fact, in his final summary he comes up with the very astute observation that one of the LP’s modern day drawbacks is that few of us can take 40 minutes out of a day to play one without distraction.

The book closes with Hepworth’s Shelf Life Appendix – his own thoughts as he puts it ”on a bunch of records that I happen to share some personal history’. He chooses ten albums for every year covered by the book. Hepworth attempts to sum up how he felt about them then and how he feels about them now. A fitting way to bring his long running affinity for the LP record into final focus.

A Fabulous Creation is easily the best book about the development of recorded music I’ve read since Dylan Jones iPod Therefore I Am chronicled a similar musical obsession with the then merging iPod phenomenon some 15 years back.

That he has told it with wit, reverence and perception, is a credit to David Hepworth’s total empathy for the subject. It’s a fascinating study of an era when all you needed was ears and 40 minutes of your time to go with it.

Dave Lewis –   May 11, 2019


Dave Lewis – Celebrating 50 years of music passion 1969 – 2019: Post number 2

Let It Be and me…

I’ve had something of a 49 year love affair with The Beatles’ Let It Be album.

It all began way back in April 1969 when The Beatles released a new single titled Get Back. As previously chronicled, this was the inspiration for me to  get right back into music after a brief infatuation with The Dave Clark Five when I was seven years old.

James Bond,Thunderbirds,The Daleks and football took over for a while but aged 12 I was ready to tune in once again

It was Get Back that really attracted me back to music. I had heard it on Tony Blackburn’s Radio One breakfast show and repeatedly on the juke box in our local café.

I recall an advert in the NME that proclaimed it as ‘’The Beatles as nature intended.’’ What also attracted me to the record was the distinctive green Apple label design – and the B side that displayed the core of an Apple. Having been drawn to that beautiful image I was forever asking older friends to put The Beatles’ B sides on the Juke box – this is how I came to be very familiar with Don’t Let Me Down, Old Brown Shoe and Come Together –the flip sides of Get Back, The Ballad of John And Yoko and Something, the trio of singles released by The Beatles in 1969.

In September of that year The Beatles issued their Abbey Road album. An older friend bought it and I listened at his house in wonder at it’s amazing contents – not least the medley on side two.

The NME had already flagged that The Beatles next album would be titled Get Back and comprise of recordings made in early 1969 to accompany a film of the same name. This was planned to be released in 1970.

During the early months of 1970 I eagerly scanned the news pages of the NME for more news. It transpired the album and film would now be titled Let It Be and in early March 1970 the Let It Be single was issued backed with the quirky You Know My Name (Look Up the Number). The single came in an eye catching picture sleeve. I of course loved the single and the accompanying film clip of it shown on Top of the Pops.

On April 10, the Daily Mirror broke the story that Paul had quit The Beatles. The acrimonious reasons behind the split dominated the pop headlines over the next12 months. The Beatles had out grown The Beatles and as Lennon would put it – the dream was over.

However, there was one more Beatles album release and it came on May 8, 1970. Let It Be was packaged in an outer cardboard box that contained a deluxe book and the actual record catalogue number PX1. It sold for a penny less than £3.

Far too much for my pocket money but the same older friend did buy it and we marveled at that package, the book and the album’s contests. Let It Be for me sounded like a great album -with it’s off mic comments and raw playing, tender moments, jams and quirky singalongs –the informality of it all touched a chord – this was The Beatles presented in a unique way as never before.

However, not everyone was enamored with this final chapter. The NME called it a cheap cardboard epitaph. To this day I disagree with such a notion.

On Thursday June 18, 1970 I went to the Granada cinema in Bedford to see the Let It Be film. We had the day off school as Britain was going to the polls to vote in a general election that saw Edward Heath gain a shock Conservative win over Labour’s Harold Wilson.

It was also Paul McCartney’s 28th birthday.

The film was a poignant farewell – the highlight being the final footage of them performing live on the on the rooftop. I loved the film for its illuminating inside look at The Beatles at work.

Over the next few years, The Beatles Let It Be era was never far off my radar.

When I started buying bootlegs in 1972, alongside the Zep titles, I eagerly invested in The Beatles Get Back Sessions and the curiously titled Renaissance Minstrels Vol 1 , Both these albums contained various outtakes and unreleased material from the Let It Be/Get Back period.

They provided key insight to this captivating last gasp. The likes of The Walk and Teddy Boy sounding like lost jewels.

Fast forward to Christmas 1975 –the BBC screened the entire film on Boxing Day and it looked fantastic.

During that first TV showing I even listed down for my own reference all the songs that appeared during the film – I still have that hand written note as can been seen here.

The BBC screened it again four years later on Boxing Day 1979. On that occasion  my very good friend Dec taped it all on his newly acquired video recorder. When I got my own video recorder rented in 1981, Dec made me a copy of the Let It Be film – I now had all that marvelous footage at the flick of a button.

The bootleg CD explosion in the early 90s led me to many more recordings of the Get Back/Let It Be period as title after title appeared – notably a complete version of the fabled January 30,1969 rooftop gig – and the Let It Be film on DVD. I also have a bootleg of the original Get Back album as first proposed by producer Glyn Johns – complete with the intended cover of that photo of them in early 1969 at EMI in Manchester Square -re creating the Please Please Me cover shot. The 1969 image was later used for The Beatles red and blue compilations issued in 1973 (I bought both of those on the release date).

Mark Lewishon’s astonishingly detailed The Beatles at Abbey Road and The Beatles Chronicle books offered up vital accurate information of the 1969 sessions. I was lucky enough to meet Mark and attend two launches of his books inside the hallowed walls of Abbey Road Studios itself. In 1983 I also attended EMI’s The Beatles at Abbey Road presentation inside studio number two where so much of the Beatle magic had been created.

Over the years, The Get Back saga has continued to fascinate me and I’ve invested in a fair few books and magazines about the subject. The official Beatles Anthology made available some of those unreleased recordings I had craved on those bootlegs. Paul McCartney then re-invented the album by releasing Let It Be Naked – a fresh pre Phil Spector mix of the stark original versions of the Get Back/Let It Be project. I avidly soaked up that one with it’s 20 minutes of bonus recordings.

In the October 2010 issue of Mojo, they covered the final Beatles era in a superb feature. This issue was made available with an accompanying and CD vinyl album -Let It Be Revisited. This was a re imagining of the original album by a variety of artists including Beth Horton, Wilko Johnson and Judy Collins. The vinyl run came in a limited edition of 1,000 and I eagerly snapped that one up – I am always a sucker for Beatles cover versions.

This month’s Record Collector focused in on the Get Back/Let It Be story – yet more thoroughly enjoyable reading matter on the subject.

I of course have various pressings of the album – notably a French pressing and the US pressing with the gatefold sleeve.Until just recently one has remained elusive.

That is the original UK release in the box set package. Very good condition copies go for over £400. Due to the flimsy nature of the cardboard and book binding, most copies are somewhat flawed. There was a very good conditioned copy sold at the local Bedford Slide record shop last year for £200.

A few weeks back I had a big result.

Flawed or not, I could not pass up an original Let It Be box set I came across at a recent Victoria Record Fair. Though nowhere near mint it wasn’t too bad. The outer cardboard box is somewhat trashed but acceptable. The Get Back book is in surprisingly good condition with no loose pages and the record is very good. This was on offer for what I consider a bargain price of £30. I managed to knock the guy down slightly and secured it for a mere £25.

Now that’s bargain and in Beatles collecting terms, one of the very best I’ve had.

So, at long last I have the original package that all those years back I marvelled and have been obsessed with throughout my 50 years of music passion.

To own it  as The Beatles put it ”as nature intended” is an absolute thrill.

It inspires so many memories of those halcyon days of 1969/1970.

Those memories are ignited every time the needle touches down and John Lennon’s plaintive cry of ‘’I did a pygmy by Charles Hawtry and the deaf aids – phase one in which Doris gets her oats’’ signals the entry of The Beatles performing Two of Us – on our way home.

For me, the Let It Be box set has finally come home – and it, and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead…

Dave Lewis – May 14, 2019


Get well soon Glenn:

Wishing Glenn Hughes a speedy recovery – Glenn has had to cancel his upcoming Performs Classic Deep Purple UK tour due to an illness that needs immediate treatment. Get well soon Glenn…

https://www.planetrock.com/news/rock-news/glenn-hughes-postpones-may-2019-uk-tour-due-to-illness/


Doris Day RIP:

Sad to hear the passing of the great Doris Day. My lasting affinity with the lady is that her single Whatever Will Be Will Be – Que Sera Sera was the number one single the week I was born in September 1956…RIP…


DL Diary Blog Update:

On the player another Record Store Day beauty – John Lennon Imagine Raw Studio Mixes – simply wonderful raw versions that were the foundation of the Imagine album – his vocals are purity itself and quite breathtaking. Many thanks to my very good friend Dec for sourcing this one over in Ireland…

Also on – one of the best bargains I’ve come across in a good while – the classic Dusty In Memphis album almost mint condition original Phillips 1968 pressing – as seen at the ReUse Centre in Bedford last Thursday  – £3? I’ll take it!

The FA Cup Final is once again upon us – some of you will know of my party pieces is to name at random the FA Cup winners from 1950 to 1998 – after that year, it all get’s a bit hazy what with switches to the Cardiff Millennium Stadium , the return to the new Wembley not to mention the kick off switching to 5.pm from the traditional 3pm. It used to be one of the few live matches shown on TV and a real event – that has of course all changed.

For me it’s still an important date in the calendar and I aim to be tuning in for the  Manchester City  v Watford match – as I’ve been doing for nigh on every FA Cup Final since 1966. City will be aiming for a domestic treble after clinching the Premier League title last Sunday. Of course the countdown is on for the Spurs v Liverpool Champions League Final in Madrid…18 days to go and counting…

After the euphoria of Spurs epic win last week –it was back on it at StudioMix working with TBL designer Mick Lowe on the in progress TBL 45 and more Led Zep Knebworth ’79 related text to lay in. All a long way to go yet but it’s taking shape very nicely. Pre order details for this most ambitious of TBL mags are now on the TBL website – see link above – many thanks for all your support on this one in advance…

Dave Lewis – May  14, 2019.

Until next time –have a great weekend

TBL Website updates compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy and James Cook

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8 Comments »

  • Pete D said:

    Correct Dave! Gary Mabbutt’s knee. Our all time hero!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Kirk Might have been a Vancouver -I’d have to check!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    TBL 3 is first up -there may be more!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Pete I think it was Coventry!

  • Pete D said:

    Can you name the winner of the 1987 Cup Final Dave? 🙂

    Sorry I couldn’t resist that! Us Sky Blues fans have very little to celebrate these days so we have to take every chance we can get to remember that day. You can be sure I will be cheering for your boys during the Champions League final though.

  • VHP said:

    Dave,
    I saw Glenn Hughes last October in Leamington Spa with his Performs Classic Deep Purple tour. It was an amazing night, just as it would have been in the 1970’s – and there’s nothing wrong with that. My friend had never seen him sing live before and she was completely blown away with how good his voice was!

    Like you, I wish Glenn a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him again in November.

    The Beatles, what can you really say, they did change music forever. Dusty – amazing unique voice too.

    As ever, keep up the good work & good luck with the Knebworth celebrations.

  • Kirk Woods said:

    Dave, what show did the play Take it Easy?

  • Charles Gale said:

    Hi Dave

    Interesting news about TBL 45 – which will include TBL 3.

    In recent years, you have mentioned re-issueing old TBLs as a possible project.

    I’m missing issues 1 to 9.

    Have you had any further thoughts on this? Would TBL double issues be a way forward?

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