Email This Post Email This Post
Home » Dave Lewis Diary, Featured, TBL News


10 July 2019 1,494 views 4 Comments

TBL issue 45 – a design wrap and at the printers… 

The forthcoming TBL issue 45 is now a design wrap and is at the printers. The pic here was taken on Monday afternoon at StudioMix as TBL designer Mick Lowe and myself signed off the proof. We spent a fair few hours over the past few days overseeing the final design layout and checking of the text. It’s a big relief we have finally got to the finishing line…

At 64 pages this is the largest TBL magazine ever produced. It includes the complete TBL issue 3 as first produced 40 years ago and rarely seen since.

I am aiming at commencing the distribution of all orders over the week commencing July 22 if not before.

This one really has taken some time and effort – we have been chipping away at this for the past five months and I am really pleased with it. I’d like to thank all the contributors to this issue namely Paul Sheppard, Andy Adams, Krys Jantzen, Dave Roberts, Simon Cadman, Nick Anderson and Andy Crofts – plus Mike Tremaglio for overseeing the text and Gary Foy for TBL admin and Daniel at White Hart Press. 

Suffice to say the objective now is for it to be read by as many fans as possible.

The print run is a limited edition of 675 copies only – once it’s gone – it’s gone…

If you are reading this and have yet to indulge – don’t miss out -this is essential Led Zep summer reading – the ordering is below – do it now!

 Here’s what’s instore:

World Exclusive new interview with John Paul Jones for TBL 45

The forthcoming TBL issue 45 will feature a world exclusive new interview with John Paul Jones

In an interview I did with him exclusively for TBL, John talked about the Resonance FM 100 Club gig, Tres Coyotes, his projects ahead and his memories of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth 40 years on…

In effect, it’s an exclusive catch up with the world of John Paul Jones in the summer of 2019…and it’s only in the forthcoming TBL 45

This is yet another reason to be sure not to miss out on what is a monumental issue.

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

A 64 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 – complete 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

Interview with journalist and broadcaster David Hepworth on reviewing  Zep at Knebworth and his latest book A Fabulous Creation

Interview with Peter Piddock on booking Zep at the University Of Kent in 1971

Latest official Led Zeppelin documentary news and more.

This special issue is being produced in a limited edition run – 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!


Many thanks in advance for all your support – get ready for a monumental TBL outpouring…

Dave Lewis – July 10, 2019  



The latest addition to our line up of guest speakers for the TBL Knebworth 40 Anniversary Atlas gathering is Joseph Whiteside.

Joseph was at the August 4 show back in 1979 and is coming over from Vancouver to attend the Atlas gathering  and will relay his story of how came to be mentioned by Robert Plant on the Knebworth stage.

With just a month to go to the TBL Led Zeppelin at Knebworth 40th anniversary gathering, here is all the info:



Led Zeppelin at Knebworth 40 Years Gone:

No Sleeping Bag Required…

40th Anniversary TBL Celebration Day Event:

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Following on from last September’s hugely enjoyable Led Zeppelin 50th Anniversary ‘It’s been a Long Time’ TBL gathering, later this year we are going back to the excellent Atlas pub in Fulham,London to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Led Zeppelin performing those two memorable shows at Knebworth – 40 years to the day of the first date, and this time around there’s no sleeping bag required….

Here’s the details:

Dave Lewis and Julian Walker Present:

Led Zeppelin at Knebworth 40 Years Gone – No Sleeping Bag Required…

40 Anniversary TBL Celebration Day Event

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Atlas Pub

16 Seagrave Road, Fulham, London, SW6 1RX

From 12.00 Midday to 8.30PM

Nearest tube: West Brompton (District Line, London Overground, and Southern train services)

This is a great opportunity to get together and celebrate those landmark last UK performances – of which many reading this will have attended.

A Day of Led Zep Celebration – Guest Speaker Forums, Video Playbacks, Led Zep Knebworth Quiz and more

Guest Speakers to include:

Former Melody Maker  journalist and much respected author and music chronicler   Chris Charlesworth

Legendary Zep Tape Documentary book author Luis Rey

The esteemed Andy Adams – fountain of Zep knowledge

Phil Tattershall presenting ‘Confessions of a Led Zeppelin Taper at Knebworth 1979

Joseph Whiteside from Vancouver relays the story of how he came to be mentioned by Robert Plant on the Knebworth stage

Mick Bulow and Pat Mount on their experiences out in the field

A Day of Led Zep Celebration – Guest Speaker Forums, Video Playbacks, Led Zep Knebworth Quiz and more

The new TBL issue 45 and the new package of the Then As It Was Led Zeppelin At Knebworth 1979 will be available on the day


Advance tickets for this event are now on sale – price £12.00

Please note, there is a ceiling limited on how many we can accommodate – so order your ticket as soon as possible to ensure entry.

Order tickets via Pay Pal at the link here:

Please note, there is a ceiling limited on how many we can accommodate so order your ticket as soon as possible to ensure entry.

We look forward to seeing all that can make it along –

Dave Lewis & Julian Walker  – July 10 , 2019.


You could not make it up department:

Friday treats at Spitalfields Market: At the excellent Spitalfields Market record fair in London last Friday, I was well pleased to find a copy of the single Dawn by Chris Farlowe and The Thunderbirds- a German Immediate label pressing…

I was even more pleased that the singer himself was on hand to sign this copy for me!

In an amazing random co- incidence I had recognised Chris walking around the fair, so I had a chat with him. I reminded him I had interviewed him for the TBL magazine when the Chris Farlowe Jimmy Page produced Beginnings album was released via Jimmy’s website in 2017. As I was flicking through the racks, I came across this single – Chris came over to have a look at it and was only too pleased to sign it – result! Thanks Chris!

He was on great form and told me he was still out there singing and enjoying it as much as ever – Chris is part of the Lonnie Donegan Rock Island Line tribute gig being staged at the Cadagon Hall on July 13 along with Van Morrison, Billy Bragg, Paul Jones, Joe Brown, Deborah Bonham and others. Chris of course had a UK number one hit with Out Of Time 53 years ago this month…


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:

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 19 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Waterford, Ireland.
July 21 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Kilkenny, Ireland.
July 22 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Cork, Ireland.
July 24 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
July 25 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Dublin, Ireland.
July 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 15 – Robert Plant will perform at the CityFolk festival in Ottawa, Canada.
September 17 – Robert Plant will perform in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
September 20 – Robert Plant will perform at the Outlaw Music Festival in Indianapolis.
September 21 – Robert Plant will perform at the Bourbon & Beyond music festival in Louisville, Kentucky.
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.
December – Jimmy Page’s new book, “Jimmy Page: The Anthology,” will be released.

Many thanks to James Cook.

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

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


TBL Retro Archive: Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980: it was 37 years ago…

Concluding the TBL retro archive features on the final Led Zeppelin tour as chronicled in the Feather In The Wind Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980 book.

This is my overview of the gigs that I caught – this extract picks up the on stage action in Munich on July 5, 1980 for what would be their penultimate show with John Bonham…

When the house lights dim some 15 minutes later, I get the most incredible buzz from hearing the Wembley-like roar that echoes around the Olympic Hall. And there they are, walking the 30 yard stretch from the dressing room area up on to the stairs that lead to the stage. Ushered by torchlight and led as ever by manager Peter Grant. Bonzo is flanked by the ever present Rex. He’s shaved his beard (“I always do for the summer” he tells me later) and looks very much like he does in the concert part of the movie. He also looks nervous, and at this moment I can’t blame him.

Jimmy is stumbling his way through, once again wearing that baggy suit I first saw in Cologne. Robert strides forward head aloft, a bottle of orange juice in his hand, smiling. John Paul Jones does an Ali-like shuffle up to the stairs.

Seconds later Munich sees Led Zeppelin and the roar is frightening.

So too is the awesome power of the opening numbers Train Kept A Rollin’ (“And it kept on rollin’ ”) and Nobody’s Fault But Mine. It’s when they crunch down on numbers like these that you get into perspective the power that they can create.

Something like Nobody’s Fault with all its stop-gap acappella and soloing, has to be punctuated by the rhythm section at just the right moments. If Bonzo or Jonesy drop one or stitch one it would totally throw out the up-front euphoria of Jimmy and Robert… but they get it right every time and it makes me gasp in amazement. That power, which so easily could weigh them down, is manipulated with effortless ease, and it sounds so right. “No-no-no-no-no-no-no-no body’s fault.” Crunch! Jimmy winds it up, but then Jimmy winds it up every night.

Of course, one of their great assets is the ability to balance that power and shift into passionate, emotion-filled diversity. After Black Dog and In the Evening, they display this perfectly when performing Rain Song with all its shimmering double neck virtuoso playing from Jimmy, and on All My Love too, probably the best received song throughout the tour. You can actually hear the audience singing along on the chorus tonight. Of course, they’ve all got the album, and the dream of it being performed live is turning to reality with every movement of Robert’s outstretched arms, Jonesy’s string symphony, Jimmy’s emotive solo and Bonzo’s anchor man drumming.

“Eye thank yew” says Robert, taking this particular crowd through an unfamiliar sketch. Hot Dog has the boy doing his barn dance speciality and John Paul Jones adds some accurate piano work. During Trampled Underfoot Jimmy really lets loose. Pulling the most incredible notes from the Gibson, steely solos, juicy wah wah effects, you know, the whole works, and Robert loves it. Dancing his two-step across the stage, grinning and looning. “Push” indeed. Since I’ve Been Loving You is another Jimmy showpiece and it’s apparent how well this song has matured over the years, having been written something like a decade ago.

“James Patrick Page guitar! This is the first tour we’ve done in three years and it’s been quite an interesting sketch actually.” (Roars from the audience) “One more night then… who knows; maybe we’ll do this again very quickly; maybe not.”

munich live 2

Achilles Last Stand follows that speech. I close my eyes and it’s like being in a 1976 time warp. It’s got that sort of atmosphere having been recorded here in forced circumstances, and it still retains a sense of melodrama (right down to the point Robert echoes the “Atlas” line and leaves Jimmy to stalk the stage in time with the revolving, closing chord passage, flanked by a blue spotlight). After Jimmy’s White Summer/Black Mountain Side interlude, Kashmir explodes forth and Robert unleashes every ounce of drama from within the lyrics. Other highlights include that marvellous “Woman talkin’ to ya” ad lib; the combination of the two front men’s visual tactics; and finally Bonzo’s drumming – “Moby Dick, Dick, Dick, Dick” Robert teases.

Unannounced as usual, Jimmy plays two chords and as those two chords echo around the Olympic complex they’re soaked up by the Munich people and thrown back with a most volcanic-like roar that signals the anthem. “Does anybody remember laughter?” asks Robert on cue and, judging by the reaction, I think they do. Soon after, he’s thrown the tambourine and stands there arm outstretched in classic pose. Behind him Jimmy rips out that solo. By the end of Stairway to Heaven, Zeppelin receive an ovation that sounded like they’d scooped gold, silver and bronze in every event going.

“München… Goodnight!”

The band leave the stage, and Phil from Bad Co. and Mick Hinton proceed to set up Simon’s drum kit to the side of the stage near John Paul Jones’ keyboards. The audience look puzzled. Back come the group for the obligatory encore of Rock And Roll which crushes the hall.

After this, Robert announces to the crowd: “Please welcome an old friend of ours from Bad Company, Simon Kirke!” Simon walks on, takes to the kit, does a few snare beats and before we know it the five man Led Zep are into Whole Lotta Love. This, I haven’t seen before. Incredibly though, it works! Even though this jam had been totally unrehearsed, Simon gets all the breaks right, with eyes fixed on Bonzo, and the sound is sizzling hot. Jimmy joins in on the vocals for the chorus, and then proceeds to fiddle about on theremin, battling with Robert’s vocal interplay. The famous five grind on into the Let That Boy Boogie segment and then it’s on to the home straight, Simon filling in, complimenting Bonzo’s hammerings.

At the close they all take a bow – “Thank you… oh, and welcome back on stage Simon!” Finally they leave the stage, grinning, sweating and satisfied. While the Munich mania continues, the band are already speeding towards the Hilton hotel.

A couple of hours later, the Hilton’s plush bar is doing hectic business in trying to satisfy the thirst of the Zeppelin entourage. Everyone’s here tonight. Bonzo, Robert and Jonesy are already propping up the bar, and not long after, Jimmy completes the line up. “Where’s Robert?” exclaims James, ambling down the stairs anxious to find his buddy.

Robert is holding court. His energy is phenomenal. Even after tonight’s exhausting show he’s still full of life. He holds up his hand to me forming a circle with his thumb and finger, signifying that the evening had been spot on. “Great tonight wasn’t it?… and Simon, well it was such a driving rock ‘n’ roll, I couldn’t believe it. Two drummers, I mean really!”

John Bonham is also well pleased. “Overall, everyone has been dead chuffed with the way the tour’s gone. There were so many things that could have gone wrong. It was a bit of a gamble this one, but it’s worked really well.” I enquire what the next move will be. “A holiday!” replies the beardless Bonzo. “We wanna keep working. There’s lots of possibilities and of course we want to do England. It’s down to a management decision really and we will have to talk about that when we get back.”

As the night progresses, the booze continues to flow, and everything gets a little hazy. Before I crawl back to my room, I can dimly recall Robert singing along to the chorus of Walking On The Moon, cries of “Eye Thank Yew” at regular intervals, and rapping with him about time, the wheel that rolls on… long into the night.

Sunday: the tour is winding to a close. Just one more gig in Berlin tomorrow and then it’ll be back down to the Golden Lion and a bit of English sanity. For me, today is a leaving day. The Spirit of Albion is calling once again. Down in the lobby just as I’m checking out, I literally bump into Jimmy Page as he’s trying to open a loo door! Last words, then James: “Yeah last night was the nearest feeling to that of the big American shows. Just so much energy there – How long did we play for? I tell him 2 ½ hours. “That’s about right isn’t it? We had to get rid of some of the effects really, I mean, it was difficult trying to get a leak in during Dazed And Confused!. I thought it was really exciting last night, really exciting.”

So that’s it. Fond farewells have been exchanged, luggage packed and the taxi ordered. Just as I’m about to leave I notice Fritz Rau again. He’s greeting the Santana crew who are booking in for their gig. For Fritz it’s just another rock ‘n’ roll band from where-ever… I’ll tell you one thing though; I bet he never thought Led Zeppelin were just another rock ‘n’ roll band, during their tour. Led Zeppelin are never just… anything. That’s why they’re special. That’s why they’re here still.

But earlier in the year, even I was beginning to wonder if they were ever going to get back on the road after the silence that followed Knebworth. This tour though, has taken them into the 1980s. Things may change for Zeppelin, but it’s their ability to retain the essence of their existence (ie. their roots), that helps keep it fresh.

Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980 has been a return to the people. It’s a period of intense activity they all desperately needed. It’s been a rejuvenation, and above all it’s been fun.

It leaves Led Zeppelin in a very healthy position. They’ve still got it and they still care.

Boys… ”Eye Thank Yew… ”

Dave Lewis, July, 1980.

Extract from the book Feather In the Wind- Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1880.

The book is readily available at a bargain price – essential Led Zep summer 2017 reading

Here’s an interview I conducted with Gary Foy at the time of the book’s publication in May 2011:


In the summer of 1980, Led Zeppelin undertook what would be their final tour –a low key 14 date trek taking in Germany, Belgium, Holland, Austria and Switzerland. With a radically streamlined stage presentation and set list, the aim was to get back to being a working band after all the lay offs of recent years and grand scale of their 1979 Knebworth appearances.

This air of rejuvenation would inspire plans for a full scale tour of America in the autumn that would be sadly curtailed with the untimely death of John Bonham.

Vastly under reported at the time, the Led Zeppelin Over Europe ’80 tour has taken on something of mythical status over the years. It found the band anxious to stamp their authority on a changing musical landscape as their reputation tethered like a feather in the wind.

In his forthcoming book, Dave Lewis brings a fresh perspective in chronicling this final era, setting the scene with the build up to the tour, combining on the spot reports of the gigs from the time and retrospective views from those that were there both out front and backstage. The book also includes an in depth gig by gig analysis, full bootleg appendix and is illustrated throughout with many rarely seen photos and images.

The book also offers a unique fans eye view of the era as re-told through Dave Lewis’ diaries of the time and his experiences of being in close proximity to the action during the tour.

It all adds up to an illuminating volume that offers clear light on the final days of Led Zeppelin as they attempted to rejuvenate their career by doing what they did best – performing live on stage.

This is the Led Zeppelin tour that time nearly forgot…remembered and re-assessed in greater detail than ever before.

In an interview with Tight But Loose web site editor Gary Foy, Dave Lewis explains how he came to be up close and personal with Led Zeppelin during their final days and his thoughts on the book.

GF: So how did you manage to be in such close proximity to the band on this tour?

DL: I guess it was a combination of fanatical enthusiasm, being in the right place at the right time, and sheer luck.

I had been an extremely fervent Led Zeppelin fan from the day I first heard Whole Lotta Love powering from the radio when I was just 13 years old. I was totally hooked, and from then on this band became an integral part of my life. I took in their shows at Wembley Empire Pool in 1971, Ally Pally 1972, five nights at Earls Court, and of course two weekends at Knebworth. Every album they released, every move they made I soaked up with near religious fervour. By 1976 I was already penning my own reviews and notes on the group and had begun to harbour a massive desire to channel my dedication into chronicling the group in print.

This initially bore fruit when I collaborated with Geoff Barton on a four part series marking Led Zeppelin’s tenth anniversary in the late summer of 1978 for the UK weekly music paper Sounds. I had been eyeing creating my own Led Zeppelin fanzine for about a year, and participating in this well received series was the kick start to getting things moving. Ironically, I was inspired by the do- it- yourself punk fanzines of the day such as Sniffin’ Glue and Ripped And Torn.

Led Zeppelin did not do fan clubs and gaining information was strictly down to whatever coverage Zeppelin were afforded in the then weekly music papers NME, Melody Maker, Sounds, Disc and Record Mirror. Back then, there was, of course, no internet, twitter or facebook and in the UK little radio coverage of rock music on TV or radio – and there were no blanket news channels, or even breakfast/daytime TV.

In search of info, and keen to put my thoughts on paper and connect with like-minded fans, I created my own magazine – Tight But Loose (so called after an expression used by both Page and Plant in 1977 to describe their music). I handwrote issue number one (an Earls Court Revisited special), advertised it in the music paper small ads and the response was pretty instant. There were many more like-minded fans out there across the world that wanted to buy into this hub of info I was committed to supplying.

Luckily for me, this self published magazine struck a chord within the band and their organisation. Within a year, I had developed the format from a hastily handwritten stapled booklet to a glossy A4 format with exclusive photos. The then most recent issue – number four published in April 1980, had gone down well within the hallowed walls of their Swan Song record company empire.

Along the way, I had developed a good relationship with their then press agent and office manager, Unity McLean. They saw the intentions of this venture were genuine and seemed more than happy for me to produce it.

With Led Zeppelin preparing to tour in Europe, the objective was a simple one that spring of 1980. To report on it all I needed to be right there where the action was. So I organised all the travel details and then their office via Unity were very helpful with passes.

GF: How many gigs did you attend?

DL: Along with my TBL colleague Tom Locke, we attended the second night in Cologne, plus dates in Frankfurt , two in Mannheim and the penultimate gig in Munich. There was a real relaxed feel about the affair and compared to previous Zep tours it was all very low key.

On the tour they had a tight knit team of people around them led by Harvey Goldsmith.

I was already on good terms with a number of Swan Song associates and security people. They were more than happy for us to be in close proximity.

For the Cologne show we were ushered into the photo pit to see the show – although bizarrely there were no photographers present.

The next four gigs we were allowed access to view the action from the side of the stage. It was incredibly exciting to be so close to the band. The fact we were accepted into their inner sanctum to the extent of being allowed on to the sacred area of the stage was remarkable. It probably says much about the low key nature of this tour. Could it have happened at Earls Court or Madison Square Garden? Probably not.

I do feel that the close-knit relationship the band shared with their crew and personnel on the Over Europe tour allowed for a certain extent of informality. Peter Grant had no problem with our presence and neither did any of the rest of their entourage. I would like to think that there was also an element of trust in place, knowing that anything I reported back for the TBL magazine would be done so with the highest integrity – a value I continue to uphold in all things I project with TBL to this day.

GF: Given all the press backlash of the last couple of years, what was the morale of the band on the tour?

DL: Compared to previous tours, one thing is for sure. This was a vastly different Led Zeppelin that came out to face the 1980s on the night of June 17th of that first year of a new decade. Firstly, there was the scaled down set list and presentation. No big lights, no large stage, no lasers. No Dazed And Confused, no Moby Dick or No Quarter. A slicker, neater, more compact operation that indicated fresh thinking and something of a rejuvenation within the ranks.

For example, lined up against the run of shows just three years earlier at the Los Angeles Forum, there was much less swagger about them. Too much had gone on not for them to have been affected by the tragedies and lay-offs. Jimmy as can be seen from the photos was very thin. We did see a fair bit of them at the hotels. They all seemed pretty relaxed and just keen to get on with the job of getting out there again and playing again.

GF: Musically how did it compare to say Earls Court in 1975?

DL: As I said this was something of a different band from that glory era. They were somewhat erratic at times but on any given night on the tour they came out packed with intent.

On the nights they really nailed Achilles Last Stand (check out Munich July 5th) or Kashmir (check out Frankfurt June 30th), John Bonham was at the nerve centre of it all and playing with the abandonment of say, the Royal Albert Hall ’70. He still cared as did John Paul Jones, the steady anchor with the Billy Fury haircut (as Plant put it). Performances such as Nobody’s Fault But Mine (check out Brussels June 20th) and the beautifully melodic All My Love (check out Zurich June 29th or Munich July 5th) showcased his undisputed musicianship.

For all his prior misgivings, Robert Plant in the main seemed to be having a great time. The sweat-stained green cap sleeve tops he wore bore evidence of the effort he was putting in. Robert Plant may have been less the hippy Adonis but he was totally immersed in the band again – a full-on interested Plant could always sway the balance – there’s no finer example of that than his performance at the 02. In Europe 1980 he was never swamped by the enormity of the music. He led from the front and yes it did work…contrary to what the critics might have said.

As for Jimmy: stick-thin and enigmatic in white suit, baggy suit, and red or blue sneakers. Jimmy’s application, though not always 100 per cent in delivery, still saw him pushing the songs in different directions – the semi-jammed guitar masterclass performances of Trampled Underfoot being a vivid example. On stage he was still the man to watch. Grinning, cringing, side stepping, duck-walking and constantly battling to be in sync with the music in amongst of the shapes he was throwing.

Musically erratic he may have been at this point, but again when he was on it such as the sonic thrust of Train Kept A Rollin’ (their best opener since Immigrant Song?), the theremin-led Whole Lotta Love, or the night in Zurich when he pulled out all the previous stops that had made Heartbreaker such a compelling tour de force, Jimmy Page recaptured the sparkle and excitement that first lit up the ballrooms of America a decade previous.

Yes, they were erratic and there were nights when it did not always come together with the fluency of their earlier years. When it was good though, the 1980 Led Zeppelin was still very impressive indeed.

I know because I was lucky enough to be there.

GF: Aside from your own recollections what does the book include?

DL: There are also a number of recollections from fellow fans who attended the shows out front –alongside a series of retrospective views from those that were backstage tasked with ensuring the wheels of the slightly reduced Zeppelin juggernaut rolled on across Europe that summer of 1980 -including Phil Carson and Showco sound engineer Rusty Brutsch.

Central to the book is the 58 pages that form the detailed gig to gig analysis of the 14 shows. This documents everything from the set lists, what they wore to what was said in between songs.

From across the water, US fan Larry M. Bergmann Jr. relays some passionate observations of the way this final European jaunt sounded to the ears of a fervent American fan (one of thousands who were somewhat in the dark on the proceedings unfolding in Europe). For many American fans their affair with the band was abruptly cut short with the untimely curtailment of the 1977 US tour.

The final chapter looks at the aftermath effect of the Over Europe tour leading to the tragic events of September 25th, 1980 and the subsequent fallout that would result in that statement of December 4th, 1980 that explained ‘They could not continue as they were.’

There’s also an extensive appendix section that logs the multitude of bootleg CD’s that have emerged plus an illustrated guide tol the tour memorabilia, posters, tickets etc.

GF: I take it there many rare photos featured in the book?

DL: Yes the book is illustrated throughout with an abundance of rarely seen colour photos. It’s something of a paradox, but this Over Europe 1980 tour was one of the least professionally shot of their career. Few official photographers were on hand to capture the shows; however the tour was captured by many fans in attendance on the small instamatic type cameras that were easy to get past security. It’s these photos that light up the book including many of the photos my colleague Tom and I took from the side of the stage are featured that

These photos whilst not professionally shot images capture this era in a candid and honest way that only adds to the mystique of this era. Many of the photos my colleague Tom and I took from the side of the stage are featured.

They are the last great evocative images of the band in action. They help unfold the story with an authenticity that compliments the low key nature of the tour. These last remaining live on stage images of Led Zeppelin as a working unit only adds to the fascination for this little chronicled period of their history.

Another function of this book is that I hope it inspires the reader to search out these recorded remnants, which in the modern age are not too difficult to track on the internet. There are many delights to be found.

Listening to Led Zeppelin performing in Europe all those years back reveals an endearingly vulnerable quality unique to this tour. The cock-sure knowing arrogance of 1973 and 1975 was long gone. Instead, what we hear over those performances is a purity and honesty in their playing.

That mistakes occur only lends to the humility of these four players who had long since needed to prove themselves.

GF: How do you think Led Zeppelin would have fared in the 1980s had John Bonham not have died?

DL: Well I think the planned autumn American tour would have seen them reclaim their crown there. America was a whole different ball game to the climate in the UK. Punk and new wave never fully penetrated there, and they would have been on decidedly more safer ground than here at home.

Looking back, it’s apparent that a proportion of their once loyal home grown fan base was probably fed up with waiting for them to play with some sense of regularity like their earlier days. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, some had chosen to side with the new emerging face of rock.

The musical landscape they one stood over like a colossus, had changed radically. The onset of punk rock and new wave had challenged the status quo of the mega-bands – the so called dinosaur acts.

In fact, Robert Plant made reference to the dinosaur tag on more than one occasion on this tour. Aside from the new wave of bands who relied on sharp, incisive three minute blasts of power pop, a new movement of rock outfits, spawned on the hard and heavy riffs that powered Zeppelin to the top, were in the wings ready to dislodge their crown.

The so called ‘’New wave of British heavy metal’’with the likes of Leppard and Maiden were taking hold. Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, David Coverdale’s Whitesnake, the maturing Rush, the durable Queen and the likes of AC/DC and Motorhead were all ready and primed to take up the interest of lapsed Zeppelin enthusiasts.

The sheer lack of activity over the past two years, and even the ten months that divided their successful Knebworth comeback and the Over Europe dates, did reek of complacency. After the success of Knebworth, it was rumoured they would cash in on that wave of support by staging a UK tour that Christmas. Nothing happened and the news that they were planning a European tour with no sign of any homeland appearances must have beguiled many of their UK fans.

Whilst there’s little doubt they would have gone to America and enjoyed huge acclaim again, it’s quite feasible they may well have struggled to retain their heavyweight crown in the UK come the dawning of 1981 and beyond.

By his own admission, Robert Plant was finding life in Led Zeppelin much less of an attraction than prior to the tragedies that befell him post-1975. So there may well have been solo projects

Led Zeppelin may well have found it difficult to have reigned supreme in the manner they did from 1970 to 1980 . The layoffs, the changing musical landscape, the attitude of personalities within the band may well have taken their toll. However given the freedom of solo projects they could well have come back together periodically, perhaps in the way Genesis did, and sustained the challenges of a new era and continued to make inspiring concert performances and innovative music.

Within the 270 pages of this book of this latter Zep era, I hope some indication of where it might all have headed is revealed. It’s a contentious topic and one ripe for discussion. The spirit was still willing for sure, and there was enough evidence on stage in Europe that they still had it. What they really needed to do was get out and play – and a week at the City Hall Newcastle or London’s Rainbow, or even a ‘’Back to the clubs’’ tour (something Plant undertook himself with the Honeydrippers in the spring of 1981), could well have been all that it would have taken to prove they still cared, still wanted to be seen, and could still cut it. Such a move I personally feel would have put them right back on track.

As it was, the tragic events of that late September day in 1980 rendered all of the above mere speculation. What we do know is that their instant demise would eventually lead to them being rightly heralded and admired for producing a remarkable catalogue of work that has proved to be the absolute barometer and yardstick of all things rock and beyond – as well as an ongoing inspiration for musicians young and old.

We also know from the events at the 02 Arena on the night of December 10th, 2007, that the principal players alongside Jason Bonham are still capable of recreating the magic of their glorious past – and in a way that made it look entirely contemporary. As Q magazine’s Paul Rees commented in his review of the show, ‘’How can they possibly leave all this behind again?’’

That they (or principally Robert Plant) resisted a full scale tour, only enhances that night of December nights, and what went before in the years 1968 to 1980.

GF: Final thoughts on it all?

DL: It’s worth pointing out that producing this book has also been something of a rite of passage for me and a cathartic experience in reliving it all. This book is without doubt a personal journey in recounting one of the times of my life and the various personal photos I have included reflects that. As much as it’s a book about Led Zeppelin, it often unavoidably slips into being something of an autobiographical account of my experiences in being very close to the action back then.

The fact remains that these memories are ingrained on my brain. Being so close to the action that summer of ‘80 left an undeniable stamp on me as a person. I was a mere 23 years old and there was a lot of growing up type personal stuff was going on in my life at that time. As can be seen in the actual diary entries I have reproduced, their music and the whole fabric of Led Zeppelin was a huge part of my world – and the fact that I was able to dip into the inner workings of their organization was also a huge thrill – in between my job as the manager of the WH Smith record department. selling records . There’s no finer example of that than the astonishing events that unfolded when I visited the Swan Song office in Kings Road, London on the afternoon of Thursday, September 18th, 1980.

Jimmy Page was holding court there that very afternoon and I spent half an hour talking to him in the top floor meeting room. Whilst there he showed me a working model of the lighting rig they were assembling for the forthcoming American tour, complete with models of each member. On reflection that was an incredibly poignant episode. For that same time the very next week – seven days on – the tragic events that would bring to an end to all such hopes and dreams of a new era for Led Zeppelin would be unfolding.

That’s just one of so vivid many memories I have from this era. It has long since been my plan to encapsulate all this in book form, and the forthcoming publication of Led Zeppelin Feather In The WindOver Europe 1980 is the result of many years of research and collation that has led to this extensive documenting of the final Led Zeppelin tour.

It all adds up to what I hope is an illuminating volume that pours fresh light on the final days of Led Zeppelin as they attempted to rejuvenate their career by doing what they did best – performing live on stage. Something that they could still do better than any other band on the planet.

This is the Led Zeppelin tour that time nearly forgot until now…remembered and re-assessed in greater detail than ever before.

This is their last journey…If you weren’t there then, you can be now…


Pic below with designer Mick Lowe working on the book at StudioMix March 2011












Led Zeppelin Feather In The Wind – Over Europe 1980 by Dave Lewis.

Book ordering Details – ORDER AT THIS LINK:


One more Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980 post:

It was 39 years ago…the only UK review of the Led Zeppelin Over Europe tour – filed by Steve Gett for the Melody Maker from the Munich gig on July 5. I was with him at the gig and he said he would get a plug in for Tight But Loose which he duly did.

‘’Quite often the playing was short of perfection but there was such a raw energy feeling to the concert that one never worried about the odd bum note from Page –‘’Tight but Loose’’ (the name of Zeppelin’s number one fanzine incidentally) summed it up’’

I was well pleased when I read that in the next week’s issue of Melody Maker – the review took up the entire back page – I showed it to all and sundry here as I was so proud to see them receiving such positive coverage – I can still recite whole chunks of it.


It was 34 years ago on Saturday….

Led Zeppelin at Live Aid – July 13, 1985:

Live Aid  – 34 Years Gone:

For all its ragged missed cues, hoarse vocals and cod drumming, I have great affinity for the ramshackle Zep Live Aid appearance. There’s little doubt that those 15 minutes on stage had a massive impact. Suddenly Led Zeppelin’s name was back in the frame and it was safe to own up to being a fan again.

Before all that, incredible as it sounds now, that early 80’s period had rendered them somewhat forgotten.

Not so after July 13th 1985. After that, all manner of bands were sighting them as an influence , the three of them even tried a reunion the following January and within two years both Plant and Page were recreating Zep songs on stage…and you know the rest.

I vividly finally recall going to bed in the early hours of July 14th with renewed faith – Zep still meant so much to so many people and the very next day I began collating material for a reference work to their music that would eventual form the A Celebration book published in 1991. The whole Live Aid extravaganza did feel like we were watching something special and memorable unfold back then and I’m glad it’s recognised that way all these years later. I wrote a quite prophetic piece for the local paper The Bedfordshire Times on Live Aid at the time which said it would be a day to tell your children about. I wasn’t far wrong. here’s the review as published on July 18 ,1985.

live aid review

While we are on the Live Aid anniversaries –the tenth one back in 1995 occurred on the night Page & Plant played an exhilarating set at the Sheffield Arena – all of 24 years ago . That was the night they merged Since I’ve Been Loving You into Tea For One in a glorious amalgamation. It was a moment of true magic which I’m proud to have been a few feet from.

Larry Bergmann Jr on Live Aid:

As I’m sure you know, yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of Live Aid…it’s oft been discussed in derogatory fashion over the years, but in fact it is an unforgettable part of the legacy, and perhaps not quite as bad as its reputation suggests.

It really was a great day and it was wonderful to see those guys together again…although I recall the MTV folks raving about how PHIL COLLINS was on the stage with Zeppelin and when they put the names of the musicians on the screen like they used to do, at one point COLLINS was listed first, and Jimmy became “Jimmy Paige”…without question one of the top handful of legendary musicians to perform on the day and they didn’t even know how to spell his name.  Ridiculous.  Not to mention the superimposed photo of Collins’ latest album of the time plastered all over the screen at one point…how nice of Paige, Jones and Plant to help Collins play a couple of Led Zeppelin songs!
The performance was ragged because they were obviously winging it, Page’s guitars were out of tune (I will never understand how his guitar tech of this era constantly handed Jimmy Page guitars that were not ready to played onstage!), and Plant, who was in the middle of a solo tour and no longer used to singing Zeppelin music, sounded poorly.  The ever solid Mr. Jones didn’t seem to be suffering any maladies.
But it was still undoubtedly THE moment of the day for many viewers, and the excitement of seeing them together and the magnetism of the boys carried the day…and it was definitely what the crowd at JFK Stadium had been waiting for!  It was an absolute THRILL, unforgettable despite the mishaps…I videotaped it on my old Betamax and I watched that tape a million times.  It still holds a spot in my heart to this day, and I seemed to rekindle something within the boys themselves…there would go on to be the infamous aborted sessions with Tony Thompson, and then Plant and Page both began playing Zeppelin music in their subsequent solo tours.  The veil had been lifted.  And in that sense, Live Aid was absolutely vital.
Some years back, an FM broadcast of Live Aid re-surfaced which did not have all of the feedback issues that were coming thru the PA…someone married it to the footage and it puts the performance in a little better light.



Brian Jones 1942 – 1969:

Last Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of the passing of Brian Jones, the founder member of The Rolling Stones. Long time TBL contributor Paul Sheppard visited his grave on the day – here is Pul’s poignant post from his Facebook page:

Brian Jones 28th Feb, 1942-3rd July, 1969.
Given it’s the 50th Anniversary of his passing, given that he was born in Cheltenham and spent his younger years here and given that I live in Cheltenham, I thought it appropriate to visit his grave today and pay my respects. The graveside was packed with fans including one guy from Manchester and another from Cincinnati, both of whom had made special journeys to be there. Funnily enough the American from Cincinnati was also there with his daughter, who is an undertaker by profession. Kinda weird, that one! Anyway, they were good to chat to and to share memories alike. Brian Jones’ daughter was there today though I didn’t join the scramble for photographs. Also, both Donovan and Bill Wyman have stopped by this week too. My pic shows my favourite Rolling Stones book propped up to be part of the pic. I avoided selfies as I wanted the remembrance to be about Brian; a selfie would have been more about me, which I didn’t think was right.

Paul Sheppard

Many thanks to Paul for that report. The Brian Jones anniversary prompted me to reflect on my own experiences of that week in July of 50 years ago –  so in another in the series…

Dave Lewis – Celebrating 50 years of music passion 1969 – 2019: Post number 4:

The Rolling Stones and me and a week in July 50 years ago…

I can remember quite a lot about the days that led up to The Rolling Stones performing that famous free concert in Hyde Park all of 50 years ago on Saturday July 5.

On Tuesday, July 1 all our school converged on the main hall to watch the Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales in Caernarfon Castle in Wales. Later in the week on Friday July 4 I awoke to see the headlines in the newspapers that Brian Jones, the recently departed Rolling Stones founder member, had been found dead in somewhat mysterious circumstances in the swimming pool of Cotchford Farm home.

The Stones were due to play that massive concert just two days later. On that Friday afternoon of July 4, I walked from school into town – my destination was the WH Smith book shop in the High Street, then known as FR Hockliffe.

A quick aside – little did I know that afternoon in 1969 that in a mere five years, I would be working at this shop behind the record department counter commencing a 35 year career in music retail.

The reason for the visit was for me to select a book of my own choice as a school prize. I had done pretty well that first year in the Silver Jubilee secondary modern school and had been awarded the merit prize. I spent some time wading through the books settling on a Billy Bunter book by Frank Richards. I loved the Bunter books – whilst there I also bought a copy of Tom Brown’s Schooldays. Reading was already a big passion – my regular other choice reading was the New Musical Express – aka NME – the huge selling weekly music paper.

As mentioned in a previous post, back in the spring of 1969 aged 12, I had got right back into music after hearing The Beatles’ Get Back single.

I was now immersed in the world of pop and rock and I knew from reading the NME that The Rolling Stones Hyde Park free concert was going to be a very big deal.

After buying my books at FW Hockliffe I returned home to watch the TV coverage of the Wimbledon Ladies singles final. Our own Anne Jones making it are British triumph by beating Billie Jean King 3-6,6-3 6-2. This piece of sporting history was also enjoyed by The Beatles. The July 4 entry in Mark Lewisohn’s remarkable book The Beatles At Abbey Road reveals that on that same afternoon, The Beatles were at work in Abbey Road Studios recording Golden Slumbers/ Carry That Weight. The studio engineers has been listening to the live BBC Radio 2  coverage of the Anne Jones -Billie Jean King final and had relayed it to the three Beatles, Paul, George and Ringo through the mixing console.

Whilst in town earlier that afternoon had I ventured to the popular local record shop Carousel ( which I often did), I may well have seen copies of the new Rolling Stones single Honky Tonk Women on sale as it was released that same day. I may also have seen the new John Lennon/ Plastic Ono Band single Give Peace A Chance which also came out that day. At the time the eight shillings and sixpence asking price for a single was way out of my league. However in the coming weeks I would subsequently hear them both many times on the radio and on the local juke box at our local café.

On Saturday July 5, Radio One broadcast regular updates of the gathering crowds in Hyde Park to which I avidly listened to. Oh to be there but I was far too young. Seven years later I did make it to the free concert Queen gave in Hyde Park.

I read all about the Hyde park concert in the following weeks issue of  NME and gazed in wonder at all those amazing photos – Jagger looked incredible. In September, I watched the Granada TV documentary Stones In The Park when it was screened on ITV.

By then, I had deemed The Rolling Stones as my favourite group – just edging it over The Beatles. That would all change of course in a few months when I heard Whole Lotta Love by a group called Led Zeppelin.

I loved the Honky Tonk Women single – with its dramatic intro and bluesy chorus. I also loved the B side You Can’t Always Get What You Want. This was often played on the local café juke box. The B sides of popular singles would often get an airing on that juke box. Actually there was an exception to that. There wasn’t much call for the B side of Give Peace A Chance – Remember Love sung rather softly but not that sweetly by Yoko Ono.

Around 1973, I acquired an audience recording of the Stones Hyde Park show on a bootleg LP. Years later, when it received an official release on DVD I eagerly snapped it up. It’s a superb documentary and very much of its time and takes me right back all of 50 years to that memorable week in July when in much schoolboy wonderment, I soaked up all the remarkable events that were unfolding on the music scene.

Later in the month there would be more awe inspiring events to take in when Neil Armstrong made that first step on the Moon.

Ahead lay Woodstock and the Isle of Wight fFstivals, the release of Abbey Road and an album titled Led Zeppelin II

It was 50 years ago and my musical landscape was being broadened by the week…oh for a time machine to relive it all again…

Dave Lewis, July 7, 2019


More cassette feedback:

This one from Horishi…

Belated but let me tell you here that I am a proud owner of Discreet Campaigns, the cassette compilation produced and released by Dec, along with his one-off fanzine, Rorschach Testing, that was published around the same time in the mid-Eighties. Back in the day, as a keen post-punk/New Wave listener I frequented the import record shop in Osaka city centre and bought both items there.
Little did I know that, more than thirty years afterwards, on one fine July afternoon in 2017, I would meet up with the man who made them in Wexford, Ireland, the day I visited the town to see David Gray at the National Opera House after attending the U2 Joshua Tree revisited concert in Dublin the previous night, and had a nice chat with him at a pub. Every cassette tells a story!


DL Diary Blog Update:

At the TBL office also known as The Spice Of Life in London last Friday, it was great to hook up with fellow Zep fan Mike Murphy. Mike is over from Dallas visiting friends and for tomorrow’s Who Wembley gig – I haven’t seen him since the Zep 02 reunion concert when he was over with Terry Stephenson– it was great to catch up with him on that subject and much more…

Recently we’ve been doing the local music quiz nights monthly staged by Pete Burridge at the Esquires club in Bedford and weekly by John Kuntner at our local The Fox and Hounds. Our team is myself, the good lady Janet Steve and Anne Marie and Jenny.

There are some serious players and we are up against some very established teams. Our knowledge fizzles out a bit when it comes to anything in the 2000’s but we have been improving. Last Sunday we made it to third position which we were very pleased with. it’s great fun taking part.


After the quiz last Sunday, there was a handing over of a present from my good friend and Bedford music legend Dave Crockett. Dave had sourced for me a very attractive set of Led Zeppelin shot glasses. These depict various rare Zep poster images and look awesome – Here’s Dave with me and Jenny at the official handing over. Thanks Dave!

Very busy here preparing for the TBL 45 mail out, working on the Then As It Was -Led Zeppelin at Knebworth new book package and planning the TBL 40th Anniversary Knebworth Atlas pub gathering.  Thanks for all your support in advance on these ventures – there’s some essential Led Zep TBL reading on the way soon…


Dave Lewis  – July 10,2019

Until next time –  have a great  weekend…

TBL Website updates compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy and James Cook

Follow TBL/DL on Facebook:

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

And follow TBL/DL on Twitter

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)


  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Number 3 was the Knebworth special so 40 years on it seemed this one was the right one first…there will be more!

  • Augusto said:

    “Before all that, incredible as it sounds now, that early 80’s period had rendered them somewhat forgotten.” 1985. Only in England. Led Zeppelin was huge at the time worldwide. 🙂

  • Glen said:

    Looking forward to receiving TBL 45, complete with TBL 3. Great for me as my collection started with TBL4. Why didn’t you consider TBL 1 or 2? Your dedication to all things Zep is astounding, and much appreciated I am sure by all past present and future Zepheads!.

  • Kevin Curry said:

    Hi Dave great article Over Europe, i still have the copy of Melody Maker in good condition

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.