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16 April 2020 1,451 views 14 Comments

TBL Archive Special Jimmy Page & Robert Plant at the Alexis Korner benefit show in Buxton – 26 years gone… 

26 years ago on Sunday April 17th 1994, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant performed together for the first time in four years at a special memorial concert for Alexis Korner. This was the first sighting of the newly reunited Page & Plant on stage -they were already rehearsing  for their MTV Unledded project which would eventually see them perform two special shows at the London TV Studios on August 25th and 26th. Robert Plant had initially been billed to appear but the rumour mill was soon in overdrive that he would be joined by Jimmy.

alexis 1

I had already cleared the way to attend when it was announced in early March Robert would be performing. Even up to the day it was uncertain to what was actually going to happen but when the TBL crew of Gary, Kam and I we arrived at the venue in the late afternoon there was no doubt that Jimmy Page was going to be in the house.

So it was in the unlikely setting of the Buxton Opera House we watched in some wonderment as Bob Harris introduced the pair and the long awaited reunion of the pair was on. They kicked off with a cover of Them’s Baby Please Don’t Go and then on to a very authentic I Can’t Quite You Baby ably assisted by Charlie Jones on bass and the late great Michael Lee on drums – my review of the time noting that he ‘’crashed and clattered in all the right places’’ –something he would do throughout the P & P re-alliance between now and 1998.

Ah the review…Alongside feeding back for TBL, I was reporting in it for Kerrang !then the main rock music paper and  given the low key nature of the event I was billed as an ‘’undercover Big K! reporter’ – ooerr!

My review went on to reveal they then played an up-tempo blues jam built around Don’t Stop Me Talkin’ and then a loose instrumental work out with definite Crunge like leanings.

Here’s some extracts from my review:

alexsis 3

And finally ’’At least two people haven’t played this song before’’joked Plant as Jimmy stepped on the wah wah pedal and teased out the intro to the classic Train Kept A Rollin’, a track Jimmy used to play with The Yardbirds before he formed Zeppelin and the same number that Zep used to open their set on their last tour in Europe 1980. Inevitably this one was met with a huge roar of appreciation and was performed with an irrepressible swagger that recalled so many past glories. And with that Page and Plant were gone..

This comeback proved conclusively that Page and Plant are more than happy to be back in each other’s company rekindling a partnership that was responsible for so much great music in the past. And judging from a delightful telling moment when Jimmy skipped around the stage chugging out a fierce blues riff against Robert’s incessant scat singing – the potential for this new alliance is awesome. Buxton might just have signalled a whole new beginning for the post –Zep era’.

Pleasingly that latter statement proved to be somewhat prophetic. By the end of August the pair had recorded in various locations and performed the memorable Unledded concerts which formed the contents of the No Quarter Unledded film aired on MTV in October and accompanied by the release of the soundtrack album.  The next year they hooked up with the Egyptian Ensemble and orchestra for an ambitious world tour that delighted audiences across the globe.

The initial spark of all this reunion activity occurred on this remarkable Sunday evening in the Derbyshire countryside all of 26 years ago.

Dave Lewis – April 16,2020 


TBL Archive 2:

TBL Archive – it was 32 years ago this week…

32 years ago this week I was very lucky to attend this Robert Plant gig during his Now And Zen UK tour
Jimmy Page joined Robert and his band for an extended cameo appearance – it was an unexpected delight for all those lucky enough to be in attendance. Originally scheduled to play on three encore numbers, Jimmy stayed on stage for half an hour, performing a stunning ‘Tramped Underfoot’, ‘Gamblers Blues’ (including snippets of ‘I Can’t Quit You’ and ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’) and ‘Rock And Roll’. It was absolutely sensational. unforgettable night when the Page & Plant on stage chemistry was right before my eyes all over again …something I did not expect to see…

DL – April 16,2020.


It was 51 years ago….51 years of DL musical passion:

It was 51 years ago around this Easter period, The Beatles released their first single of 1969. Get Back coupled with Don’t Let Me Down – these tracks had been recorded in January during the infamous Get Back sessions.

This is a significant release for me as this is the record that attracted me back to music – an attraction that has grown manifold over the past 51 years.

I say ‘back to’ as aged 7 I did have a brief flirtation with music mainly focused on The Dave Clark Five. I was pretty obsessed with Dave Clark’s drumming skills and replicated his drum kit in our garden using old paint tin cans. Glad All Over remains one of my all time fave singles.

However this passion was eroded somewhat by other distractions such as Thunderbirds, The Man From Uncle, James Bond and from 1966 Tottenham Hotspur and football in general. My love of music took a back seat and remained somewhat dormant until that Easter of 1969.

Back then in the local café there was a juke box – sixpence for two goes. My gang were often in there and one of the records that was played constantly from the moment it was released was Get Back. Now this I liked – really liked. I liked its driving rhythm, bustling drumming ,cool vocal with talk of ‘’Sweet Loretta martin thought she was a woman’’ and Billy Preston’s rolling keyboards.

I also loved the B side Don’t Let Me Down which was also often played on the juke box. The pleading vocal of John Lennon hit the mark every time.

I was well aware who The Beatles were of course. I had been to see both the Hard Days Night and Help films at the cinema. Anyone growing up in the 60s could not really avoid them – they were everywhere. My interest in them though had been from afar.

That all changed when I heard Get Back. A little over a month after this release The Beatles had another single in the charts titled The Ballad of John And Yoko. I loved this one too.

One of the distinctive aspects of these Beatles records was that the label depicted a green apple, while the B side was the core of an Apple. I quickly learned that the Beatles now released records on their own Apple label. I thought this design was a deft touch – it ignited something in me that would lead to a deep fasciation for actual record labels, designs and sleeves. It all went hand in hand with the affinity I developed for the long playing record and 45 RPM single.

I could not get enough of all this. As the song goes music was now my first love – big time. I wanted to hear it, read about it, and talk about it. Remarkably, in a matter of five years I would be selling it.

From that moment of hearing and admiring Get Back grew an intense passion. I avidly read the NME and other music papers, I listened to Alan Freeman’s Pick of the Pops chart show every weekon Radio One. I kept right up to date with all the weekly chart happenings and my appreciation of so much music grew and grew – The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, The Who, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Free, Family, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, Jethro Tull to name but a few, all appeared on my musical radar during the next few months – and stayed there.

Of course there was one other act  of much importance as all this would lead me to the biggest passion of all – Led Zeppelin. And anyone reading this will realise the immense consequence of all that. For me, this was not just a band…it was a way of life.

When I could afford it I began buying singles and albums – The Who’s Pinball Wizard and the Island Records sampler LP You Can All Join In being amongst my first purchases in this new era. Many more would follow.

The Beatles Get Back single was announced via a very clever press advert. It described this new record with a series of incisive phrases.

It carried the headline The Beatles as nature intended. It read as follows:

‘’Get Back’’ is The Beatles new single. It’s the first Beatles record which is as live as can be in this electronic age.

There’s no electric watchamaclit.

‘’Get Back’’ is a pure springtime number.

On the other side there’s an equally live number ‘’Don’t let me down.’’

Paul’s got this to say about Get Back…

‘’we were sitting in the studio and we made it up out of thin air. We started to write words there and then …when we finished it we recorded it at Apple Studios and made it into a song to rollercoast by’’.

P.S. John adds its john playing the fab live guitar solo.

An now John on Don’t Let Me Down.

John says don’t let me down about ‘’Don’t let me down’’

In ‘’Get Back’’ and’’ Don’t let me down’’ you’ll find The Beatles as nature intended.

I could easily apply my then new found enthusiasm with the same statement because it rely did feel like I had found redemption in music – as nature intended.

50 years on nothing has changed – music is the DNA that defines who I am and what I do. In sharing it over the years, it has built lasting friendships and created much camaraderie. As of now I am officially celebrating 51 years of music passion.

So thank you dear Beatles for opening the music floodgates for me that Easter all of 51 years ago.

Oh and John…I did not let you down about Don’t let me down – and you never let me down either….

Dave Lewis – April 16,2020


DL Diary Blog Update:

A bit of an update here:

Like so many others, I have been very anxious and very worried during the past few weeks. As I have said before, all of us have our own set of circumstances to deal with in coping with the coronavirus situation.

Though I am not for one minute singling out myself to be some sort of exceptional case and there are many in a far worse situation – coming off the back of an extremely difficult few months with Janet’s broken leg and my mental health issues, I have been struggling in the last few weeks.

As we all know the threat of coronavirus is very frightening and potentially life threatening. That in itself is enough to bring on anxiety for us all. My tendency to not think rationally and often catastrophise issues has not helped here. The fact I am diabetes 2 that puts me in a higher risk group is a worry and I’ve been suffering from hay fever too. Like so many of us I have felt very vulnerable.

So, I have been careful not to go out unless absolutely necessary. Janet of course cannot go far at all. We do have a short daily walk to strengthen her leg. It’s now over four months since Janet broke her leg in a bad fall – specifically her neck of femur bone. She is still on crutches but is now beginning to put some weight on her right leg and around the house she can get by on one crutch as opposed to her walker frame. This has improved her mobility a lot.

Janet was due to have a physiotherapy session but unfortunately this had to be cancelled in light of current events. She has been given some daily exercises to do so that is underway. We have another consultancy at the hospital scheduled in a couple of months and there is still the prospect of complications  and there remains a long uncertain recovery ahead – but there has been some progress. As ever, Janet continues to be incredibly positive and I am so proud of her.

We continue to have some amazing support both far and wide and we sincerely thank all that have helped us

I was having some counselling which was helping considerably – again given the current situation that has had to be put on hold. I did feel I was sinking into a real black hole in recent days and I was beginning to be the Dave Lewis I do not want to be. I have made a real effort to manage my anxiety here and as ever, Janet continues to be incredibly understanding and supportive.

I have in recent days also made a massive effort to get back to try and enjoy the things that define who I am – principally playing and sharing my enjoyment of music. As can be seen below, this has manifested itself in quite a few Facebook posts – not least my A to Z run through some of the albums in the DL collection.

This  return to writing and thinking about the things I love has been an inspiration at a time when I really needed it and I am hoping I can sustain this motivation. I have also keeping busy researching material for TBL projects and like so many of us, have found time to sort through the archive here.

We are all in the midst of an incredibly challenging time – I know our appreciation of the NHS, care workers and key workers is simply immense and the now Thursday clapping ritual has become part and parcel of our weekly routine and one that Janet and I find incredibly moving, as I am sure you do to.

You are all in our prayers and thoughts as we face the challenges of the coming weeks and months ahead.

Thanks for listening

Much love from Dave and Janet.


Here’s some DL thoughts and reflections on the usual subjects…

A to Z at home through the DL collection…every record tells a story…

Kicking off an A to Z run through some albums from the DL collection

Today A is for Alice Cooper… Schools Out.

This was one of the first albums I purchased when I started work at British Home Stores aged 15 in June 1972 –purchased from Carlows for £2.15 soon after it came out. I already had the Schools Out single and loved it so the album was a must. ….still sounds great.
The next week I purchased the Killer album (with calendar insert) and soon after Love It To Death on import. The Top of The Pops Schools Out clip is one of my all time faves. In 1972 and into 1973 Alice ruled…

A to Z at home through the DL collection…every record tells a story…
Kicking off an A to Z run through of some choice albums from the DL collection

Today A is for (Ginger Baker’s) Airforce…

1970 was a big year of musical discovery for this particular music obsessed 13 year old schoolboy. I was fascinated by Ginger Baker’s post Cream/Blind Faith free form jazz rock supergroup Airforce – a multi artist unit including Steve Winwood, Denny Laine, Rick Grech Graham Bond etc. They were covered extensively in the NME and Melody Maker and I lapped up all the info I could.

However, being of a very limited budget, the only opportunity I got to hearing them at the time was the Man Of Constant Sorrow single and their superb version of Cream’s Sweet Wine which appeared on the Bombers Polydor sampler double album.

Some 40 years later, I was well pleased to snap up this US copy of the first Air Force album on the Atco label. I purchased it for a mere £4 at the record stall in Hitchin Market in 2011.

This double album recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall on January 15, 1970 (a mere 6 days after Led Zeppelin’s celebrated appearance at the esteemed venue), is a real period piece with lengthy and suitably indulgent versions of percussive showpieces such as Toad, Doin’ It and Do What You Like
He may have been a difficult character but Ginger Baker was a simply brilliant drummer with a unique style – as captured all over this hugely enjoyable expansive set.

A to Z at home through the DL collection…every record tells a story…
Kicking off an A to Z run through some albums from the DL collection

Today B is for The Beatles…White Album (Apple)

The first time I ever saw a copy of the fabled Beatles White Album was in the summer of 1969. My friend and I had gone to play Subbuteo table football round his house –his older brother had a copy of what he told us was the recent Beatles new record on the radiogram. I was completely fascinated by the stark white glossy sleeve, the inner portraits and poster – the vivid Apple labels, in fact everything about it.I also loved that the title was simply ‘The Beatles’ –at that point it had yet to acquire the ‘White Album’ status.

I was already a massive Beatles fan. The previous April, their Get Back single had been the catalyst record for my return to being obsessed with the world of pop and rock music.
Like a lot of music from this era, as a schoolboy I lacked the necessary funds to invest in albums but that all changed in 1972 when I started work as a storeman at British Home Stores. I quickly caught up on a lot of records I had always wanted and The Beatles White Album was naturally high on the list.

I purchased it from Carlow’s in Bedford for £4.50 on Friday February 16 1973. It came with all the inserts but it was not an original pressing – I would get to know this as I acquired more copies. Originals came with a top loading facility for the LPs –this one was the traditional side entry. The number on this copy 136514 was quite low – I am not an expert on such matters but I would imagine the numbers were started again at some point.

A couple of months later on Friday April 20, I purchased both the Red 1962-1966 and Blue 1967 -1970 double album hits packages. Going into the Harlequin record shop on Friday April 16 was a huge thrill because I was afforded the privilege of buying a Beatles new record (in fact not one but two of them) on the day they were released. I also set about acquiring Beatles bootlegs and a combination of mail order purchasers and visits to a shop called Sounds Ahead just off Carnaby Street led me to the delights of various Get Back Sessions and more.

Back to the White Album. As for the contents – pure genius. I for one do not support the notion it would have made a better single album. Every track including Revolution 9 –Lennon’s controversial soundscape, is part of a rich tapestry demonstrating exactly where The Beatles world was at from May to October 1968 –the period they spent making it. No longer quite so fab in their thinking, sometimes working in isolation in the studio (and we all know a bit about that word now) but still capable of moments of joyous harmony and togetherness. This was John, Paul, George and Ringo growing up in song and attitude and sharing that experience with their audience within these 30 captivating examples of their craft.

I can recite those 30 tracks in order at will and they could not line up in any other order. The sequencing is perfect – something Jimmy Page would subsequently be a master at when it came to mapping out the Led Zep albums.

Unsurprisingly, since buying this copy of the White Album in 1973, I have added a fair few White Albums to the DL collection –a mono original, US copy, a Spanish pressing on the Odeon label, I have at least five CD versions, and of course the superb Giles Martin 50th anniversary mix from 2018 and its accompanying box set.

The good lady Janet always sighs a little bit when another version of this distinctive sleeve turns up in the house – but she knows well enough in my world that you can never have too many copies of this masterpiece. She certainly knows the music contained is something special. Across these four sides of glorious vinyl on the beautiful Apple label there is something for everyone…

It’s ‘The Beatles’…in short it’s brilliant….

Dave Lewis – April 16,2020

Some of my other Facebook posts from the last few days…

I found this cutting researching some TBL stuff today – it’s a review of my Led Zeppelin The Final Acclaim book published in a Welsh newspaper in early 1984…and rather favourable it was too…


Another pic I came across today…my first ever book Led Zeppelin The Final Acclaim stacked among the seasonal best sellers in the WH Smith book department in Bedford in November 1983. As the author (me) managed the record department a few feet away (working with the good lady Janet – we had got engaged in the August) , I was able to check on sales by the hour…

I know I was incredibly proud that aged 27,I had finally got a Led Zep book in print which had been my ambition. However, the title did prove to be a bit premature – when it came to Led Zeppelin this was certainly not going to be my final acclaim in print about them. ..I had much more to write ..and there was much more to come…




The Who Article Archive 1964 – 1979:

I’ve been enjoying wading through this 700 page plus uncredited scrapbook of US and UK cuttings about The Who, which came to my attention via Chris Charlesworth ‘s always excellent Just Backdated blog. Arranged in chronological order, it covers the years 1964 and 1979 – the peak Who years in terms of their creativity and the majority of it with Keith Moon.
There’s masses of fascinating period piece reviews and interviews. It strikes me a similar work on Led Zeppelin would work very well and that is a TBL project I have in mind. Chris C’s review of this excellent Who book and ordering details are at this link:

A bit of a sort out this week on one of the DL book collection areas (there’s a whole lot more books in various other places here as the good lady Janet is only too aware).

As can be seen, there’s a fair few Led Zeppelin titles lined up not least a few I’ve written (or co-written) myself…

And finally…

I talked a lot about my late Dad during the recently counselling sessions I had for my mental health issues and it was very comforting to do so.

It was his Birthday today so here’s a pic of him in the 1970s working on our lovely garden he kept so well…Happy Birthday Dad….

Dave Lewis – April 16, 2020  

Until next time, stay safe and stay well…

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

Follow TBL/DL on Facebook:

The TBL/DL Facebook page has regular updates and photos – be sure to check it out

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  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Wools many thanks as ever …

  • WOOLS said:

    Thank you for keeping TBL alive and very well! I really enjoy the kinship you have built within the TBL community of which I would say I am a proud member and follower of you, our leader!

    Stay well!

    Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    thanks Ian

  • IanD said:


    Please keep the A-Z rolling, Top marks for A and B I’m looking forward to this and trying to 2nd guess what you will pick! Think I may have artist ‘L’ worked out but as for the record, I’ll keep my idea quiet for now. Stay well and Safe the both of you.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Tim oops! I meant vulnerable!

  • Tim Fox said:

    Hi Dave, good thoughts to you at this time.
    I don’t normally like to point out typos but you’ve managed to produce a very apt example this time in your blog section.
    You absolutely are “venerable” when it comes to the Led Zeppelin community – and don’t you ever forget it !

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Many thanks Ian

  • Ian in NZ said:

    Sending best wishes from down under

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Many thanks Gerald

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Many thanks Vicky – I did cover the Page & Plant tour in issues of the TBL magazine

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Many thanks for your comments Steve

  • Steve Hall said:

    Hi, Dave,

    Although I’m about 7 yrs older, we’re of a similar vintage in terms of music, so a lot of your memories from the late 60’s and early 70’s are more or less the same as mine. During this current lockdown I’ve been pulling out all my old cassettes and ‘digitising’ them to play on my laptop (probably illegal, but hey-ho, needs must!), and a lot of them are compilations consisting of recordings from the 50’s right through to the 70’s. It’s been great re-living memories of some great music from the early days of rock and roll, through to arguably the greatest period of rock music certainly in my lifetime.

    Stay strong, mate, this crisis isn’t gonna last forever (hopefully!!), so stay strong.

    Best wishes to you and Janet, and stay safe.

  • Vicky said:

    Dear Dave Lewis,
    I gobble up everything you write. I am a huge Led Zeppelin fan having seen them in concert in 1975!
    In my retirement I have gone through you tube and watched all the Led Zepplin and Page and Plant concert footage!
    Have you written a book chronicling the Page and Plant concert tours?

    Thanks for all the wonderful info.
    I hope you and your family stay safe!
    Sincerely, Vicky

  • gerald clothier said:

    dave and janet JUST THINK POSITIVE……………..

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