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9 April 2019 1,660 views 6 Comments



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 already confirmed:

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

Mick Bulow on this experiences out in the field

Gary Davies on the history of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth 1979 on film

More details of the day’s line up to follow.


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  – April 9,2019.


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.

Jimmy Page

Robert Plant

  • Alison Krauss talked about working with Robert Plant in a new interview. “Robert is just so much fun, just silly and so sweet. He is such a great personality and person, and I had a lot of fun doing all that stuff with him,” she told the Grammy Awards. Click here for the full interview.

Upcoming events:

April 8 – The “Play It Loud: Instruments Of Rock And Roll” exhibition, featuring Led Zeppelin items, will open at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
April 13 – Robert Plant will release a remastered edition of “Fate of Nations” on vinyl for Record Store Day.
April 16 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Carmarthen, Wales.
April 22 – Robert Plant will release a remastered edition of “Fate of Nations” on vinyl for Earth Day.
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.
August 16 – Robert Plant will perform at the Woodstock 50 festival in New York.
September 20-21 – The 2019 John Bonham memorial concert is scheduled to be held in Redditch.
September 21 – Robert Plant will perform at the Bourbon & Beyond music festival in Louisville, Kentucky.
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:

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

Stop Press:

This one just in from LZ News:

John Paul Jones has announced that he will perform at the Torino Jazz Festival in Turin, Italy on May 4 with his band Tres Coyotes.

The group has only performed in public once before, at their debut gig in Helsinki, Finland on April 5, 2017.

Tres Coyotes is an improvisational musical group with cellist Anssi Karttunen and composer Magnus Lindberg as well as Jones.

See more at:


Robert Plant Fate Of Nations – Record Store Day Release 2019:

This Saturday is Record Store Day – the day when record shops throughout the world open to sell the breadth of limited edition product that has been lined up by the record companies.

This year’s major Led Zep related item is a reissue of Robert Plant’s 1993 album Fate Of Nations.

This special limited edition 180gm black vinyl of Fate of Nations is being re-issued on Robert Plant’s own record label Es Paranza around Earth Day. All profits from the sale of this record will be given to Robert Plant’s nominated Environmental charity. The album title and the artwork of the original 1993 is focussed on the impacts of geo-politics and globalisation on the earth / Robert’s environmental concerns. The outer sleeve will be high end matt soft pack, whilst the inner sleeve will be printed on ethically sourced material and feature updated artwork (Environmental facts from 1993 compared to today’s data.)This album has not been available on vinyl for 30 years (since the 90’s).

Here’s the full Record Store Day listing.

Fate Of Nations  26 Years Gone – TBL Archive Special:

To mark the Record Store Day reissue and the 26th anniversary of its original release, here’s some TBL archive Fate Of Nations musings  – more very passionate and enthusiastic text from yours truly that first appeared in TBL issues 8 and 9. This is my review of the Fate Of Nations album and a tour overview.

The Fate Of Nations album provided the soundtrack to that summer of 1993 – all of 26 years ago. I am very much looking forward to hopefully obtaining  this Record Store Day new pressing.

Meanwhile back in 1993….


Robert Plant’s Fate: Diversity As A Function Of Union

FATE OF NATIONS (Fontana/Es Paranza)

So he’s back and ready to re-establish himself all over again. Of course, being Robert Plant re-establishing yourself doesn’t mean a total change of image or musical stance. He just draws on the many influences that have characterised his journey of the past 30 years and extracts from them as he sees fit.

What’s so refreshing about ‘Fate Of Nations’ is that, for this occasion, Robert has delved into the very essence of his roots going as far back as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Robert Johnson, through Moby Grape, Quicksilver, The Incredible String Band, and Fairport Convention to the music of India and North Africa and, of course, the work of Led Zeppelin. And in taking these influences he has not allowed them to be diluted into a slick or soulless concoction but as he describes it, he has pumped them to inspire a set of new compositions that live and breathe yesterday, and by the same measure, push for the aspirations of tomorrow.

‘Fate Of Nations’ is therefore devoid of any grunge outings if you were looking. It’s also a step away from the rather staid standard rock formula that rendered some of the more mundane moments of ‘Manic Nirvana’ (‘She Said’, Big Love’) into the realms of mediocrity. By surrounding himself with new players and passions, Plant has pleased himself in taking his music where he wants it to go, and not where the consensus of opinion might expect it to go. For that reason alone, this album is vastly different from past solo outings.  Much of it demands utmost attention and does not rest easy on the ears in one listening. It may not be immediately apparent, but given time and repeated playback, the end result is a rewarding experience that for me, again confirms this particular 44 year old’s status as the outstanding vocalist of this or any other era.

The eclectic content of ‘Fate Of Nations’ perhaps also illustrates the difference of musical opinions that now divides Robert and Jimmy – and goes some way to explaining why a Led Zeppelin reunion could never work. Let’s face it, If I Were A Carpenter’ would not have found itself easily on a Zep reunion album. There is a totally different atmosphere prevailing on Robert’s album than that of the Coverdale Page set. Jimmy’s music is built on relentless riffing that captures a vast vacuum of sound. Robert has seemingly moved away from that stance, preferring to move around organically as he puts it, encompassing different styles and genres.

Not that he has lost his ability to adapt such Zep-like dynamics (witness ‘Calling To You’) when the desire takes him. For the most part though, the dynamics are alternately diversified and for me personally that’s not a problem. I can quite happily enjoy Jimmy and Robert’s respective new works based on their own differing merits and motives.

So this isn’t music that can be pigeon-holed to the cover of Kerrang. This is Robert Plant in 1993, still offering up that vocal style (his singing throughout is quite exemplary) that continues to give him a reason for being … instead of a reason for having been.

The track by track TBL dissection that follows is based on an advance tape and at the time of writing, I did not have access to the individual track listing details regarding who played what etc. Nonetheless this is how it sounded after a week of non-stop airtime on the Totnes Towers tape deck:

It all begins with ‘Calling To You’ which is simply the business. Beginning with some minor key strumming it then tacks into shape via Pete Thompson’s powerful (and yes perhaps Bonham-like) drumming. This really is a definite Zep throwback stomping along with some great dual guitar effects from, I think, Francis and Kevin. At the centre Robert turns in a majestic vocal, often undercutting the mix with additional bizarre phrases that add to the mystery of the lyric. All the old trademarks are intact (“Ohhhh Yeeaahhl”) and as effective as ever. The instrumental refrains have an Eastern quality about them and are further enhanced when one Nigel Kennedy enters to layer on a manic violin solo that recalls to mind the effects on The Beatles’ Tomorrow Never Knows’.

The track fades (“Just fade awaaaay!”) all too soon (this groove could sustain another five minutes in my book) but there is a telling moment as Plant can be heard right at the close to scream “Oh Jimmy!”‘

Could this be Robert’s own personal retort to his former partner? Perhaps illustrating that he can still turn on his sort of dynamic style when required? All in all it’s an infectious and engrossing slab of archetypal Plant that proves that he can still commit himself to this vocal style better than anyone. It’s also one of his best solo tracks to emerge in a very long time.

Elsewhere there are many differering styles to assess. ‘Down To The Sea’ is a quirky, repetitive Cure-like ramble, led by a subtle injection of Eastern table drums. The descriptive nature of the repeated lyric (“When I get older settling down will you come down to the sea”) conjures up video storyboard images of deserted grey beaches and the retired Plant many years hence holding court in carnal Malibu style with a bevvy of beauties still in tow. Vaguely psychedelic and dreamy, this track has a very ambient feel and is a very enjoyable departure.

‘Come Into My Life’ can be viewed as a direct influence of his hanging out with the Fairports. So enter Richard Thompson to add some achingly beautiful guitar licks and Maire Brennan from Clannad to float around Robert’s turn of phrasing. The chorus is heavily scored by a rush of acoustic guitars from which I detected a slight ‘Over The Hills’ leaning. The middle guitar part from Richard is superbly atmospheric and amongst the most elegantly constructed solos I’ve heard in an age. Robert’s vocal (“Ohh when yer get there well you know”) is also superbly recorded, capturing the gentle folk essence of the track but also rising in temperature with the chorus as required without ever losing control. This as  good as anything he’s done in the post Zep years.

“Memory Song” (Spikes Ghost) lurches in on a loping churning riff that proceeds to dominate the tempo. Robert’s vocal is nondescript and slightly phrased. The drum beat has a touch of the ‘Levee Breaks’ about it and towards the end the piece becomes a vehicle for some typical Plant gymnastics (one of which is right out of the fade to ‘Four Sticks’). lyrically ”Are you lost without the group ”is a telling line to who this might apply to.

The appearance of ’29 Palms’ changes the mood. Already familiar as the first single, within the confines of the album, it leaps out as being overtly commercial, with some very Knopfler-like guitar licks and a nice driving feel. All very likeable.

‘Colour Of A Shade’ takes over where ‘Liars Dance’ left off on the last album. Framed by a series of attractively overdubbed acoustic guitars, Robert applies a very folksy vocal that leads to an affectionate chorus. Shades of the Incredible String Band prevail throughout. File next to ‘Going To California’.

Side 2 opens with ‘I Believe’. The intro has a distinctly ‘Tears For Fears’ sounding keyboard motif (producer Chris Hughes influence) before moving into a very pretty strident mid-tempo chorus-led excursion likely to be pulled as the next single. Lyrically it’s not too difficult to detect a very personal message in the lyric (“Say brother sister see your brother in the sky”), which is duly reflected in the emotional content of Robert’s singing. “Like the wind you are free so talk to me, talk to me”. I guess we all know how the latter line will be extended in a live setting. There’s a very Beatlish flavour to the guitar solo here and overall this is another successful deviation from the expected.

Promised Land’ is more traditional fare, a bluesy strut with some prominent organ early on, before the familiar harmonica merges with some stinging guitar at times embellished by wah wah effects. His vocal here has a very retro feel which is almost ‘Physical Graffiti’ in texture. There’s an offbeat peculiarity about the whole track that draws you in on subsequent listening.

Another departure heralds the arrival of Great Spirit’. Set against a muted wah wah guitar effect played slow and moody, Robert croons over a repeated background chorus (“Great spirit comes”). Soulful and tasteful with some impressive guitar soloing but not a riff in sight. The lyrics include a reference to the album title and it all mellows out into the distance via some echo vocal effects as the master heeds the lyrical call of a previous incarnation (“Sing and Celebration”).

“The Greatest Gift opens with string induced grandeur. This is an epic love ballad, again more soulful than bluesy. It livens up for each power chorded chorus before returning to a very moody and mellow theme aided by some silky smooth guitar lines. The addition of a full string accompaniment adds to the epic nature of the piece. The whole thing has a widescreen effect and it strikes me that the song would make a great movie soundtrack theme. Plant’s impassioned vocal just soars.

And then . . . Robert joins such illustrious company as Bobby Darin, The Four Tops, Johnny Cash, and The Band Of Joy in covering the Tim Hardin 60s classic ‘If I Were A Carpenter. It’s a superb performance beautifully sung with full respect for the original and underscored by a subtle snare injection and another lush string arrangement. It’s a song he was familiar with long before there was Led Anything around circa 1967 and though it’s hardly the usual formula, it proves to be a perfect vehicle for his voice. And who knows, it could be a huge smash if extracted as a single at the right time.

And that is ‘Fate Of Nations’. An album that explores many different facets of Robert Plant’s compound of influences. It may take a few repeated listening but stick with it, because the end result will be immensely satisfying.

Led Zeppelin’s greatest strength was always their sheer diversity, a point clearly not lost on their ex-singer 25 years after their original inception. On ‘Fate Of Nations’ Robert Plant employs diversity as a function of union. Share it with him at your earliest opportunity.

Dave Lewis  – April 25th, 1993

STOP PRESS Please note early tapes of the album did not carry the track Network News’ which I was unable to review due to the already overdue printing deadlines. Just received the second CD of ’29 Palms’ with the new acoustic ‘Whole Lotta Love’ – it again employs Rainer on steel guitar – a sparse bluesy workout very much in harmony with Willie Dixon’s original “You Need Love” which no doubt accounts for the subtitle employed on the sleeve.


 Playing To An Ocean: Robert Plant goes back to the people

From a grand entrance in front of over 100,000 in Milan on May Day 1993, through to the less populated confines of the Kings Head, Fulham and across a variety of European halls and festival dates, Robert Plant’s first tour in three years has produced one of the most intensive and interesting work periods of his entire career. Stretching from the early Spring into late August he has appeared in front of well over a million people.

In launching this new phase of his career, Robert has been firmly committed to taking the music to the people. With little pretentions for the arena rock circuit which by his own admission his audience would be unlikely to extend to filling, Plant and his new line up embarked on a promotional trip that ensured a strong visibility by shrewdly taking a support slot with Lenny Kravitz and making up the bill on several major European festival dates, including a triumphant UK return at Glastonbury.

Alongside the actual live appearances, there have also been the media plugs. These have encompassed a hefty round of promotional TV and radio interviews with the added spice of several acoustic sessions that have been responsible for some surprising performances. The ‘FateOf Nations’ media UK push also propelled the new line up on to the small screen with appearances on ‘Top Of The Pops’ and ‘Later With Jools Holland’ – the latter signalling Robert’s first ever live UK presentation in his own right since the Zep 1969 one off.

Musically, in assembling a new line up, fresh thinking has been afoot. Gone are the techno wired for sound effects of Chris Blackwell’s drumming and the reliance on keyboards and samples from Phil Johnstone who, for this tour, has been much more prominent on guitar. Gone too, sadly, is Doug Boyle. He has been a much missed part of the line up for many Plant devotees, having carved a considerable nitch for himself during the previous four years. In revamping the line up Plant appeared to have struck lucky in finding Kevin Scott McMichael, an intelligent player with a seasoned background who displayed a fine alliance with

Plant’s own musical leanings (hence the introduction of the East coast Moby Grape/Springfield influence). To the left of the lead singer has stood Francis Dunnery, a strident guitarist well versed in the Page songbook and a strong personality on stage (can’t say I was over enamoured with the green shorts mind!). His stay could also be limited as there are plans for him to tour in his own right in  early ’94.

On drums, Michael Lee has proved to be an excellent addition with a no frills attitude to attacking the kit (Calling To You) coupled with a subtlety in his approach when the occasion demands (witness the rimshot style on the new arrangement of Ship Of Fools).

The actual set list employed seems to have caused quite a division amongst the faithful. After the No Led Anything approach pre-83, the contention of what to play seems to have come full circle. This time out there has been a renewed emphasis on performing Zep numbers – a total of 11 were aired along the tour against a ratio of 9 of his solo outings (plus two non originals).

Of those nine Plant solo outings, none of the songs delved back further than the 1988 Now And Zen album. It’s almost ironic that many of the diehards I’ve spoken to said they would have preferred Robert to have reinvestigated earlier solo tracks such as Pledge Pin and Burning Down One Side at the expense of a Zep delivery or two.

Of the Zep numbers re-employed Thank You and What Is And What Should Never Be received their first live airings in 20 years and seemed to be most welcome by all that heard them. The actual structure of the set was changed to match the differing time slots – a rigid 45 minute set was the norm for the supports to Lenny while the festival set was elongated to over an hour. The UK meanwhile received something like the duration that the US leg enjoyed with plenty of encore surprises – the most striking of which was the verses of Dazed And Confused performed at the NEC. Three tracks were used as set openers with Tall Cool One eventually emerging as the key choice over Hurting Kind and Calling To You.

Visually his persona seemed a throwback to the golden age with the hair back to Earls Court centre parted length. Time has not been too kind to his facial lines however and I also observed something of a receding hairline when the sweat dripped off the hair. But he looked fit enough -incorporating that new whirling dance style with perhaps a more paced physical approach that kept the peacock preening for later in the set.

In amongst all the media saturation Robert has played off the usual Zep investigations with a combination of flippancy and perception. Sometimes appearing not to care too much about the past, while at other times keen to re-affirm their greatness and affectionately talk of John Bonham.

One of the illuminating comments that have surfaced in more than one interview, is Plant’s observation that towards the end Led Zeppelin had become less of a passion for him and would not have survived in the 80s for all that long. “One thing’s for sure it would have seemed pretty silly today” was one such comment. This quote from a French radio interview also summed up his thoughts of the state of play back then. “Could we have continued? It’s impossible to say It’s a long time ago and I’m dealing with the present and the future now. And if I look back it’s all a long way back. I think there are some things you just grow out of. Led Zeppelin was very instant and motivated and you can’t keep that going forever. It really was a very big exciting animal. And maybe the animal had gone to the zoo . . .”

The other media cat and mouse game surrounded the Coverdale Page project with Robert again mixing some guarded replies with a few unsubtle and unnecessary snipes. When it comes to such matters, he should really let the music do the talking.

And it was the music that was the real focal point of this return to the people. And for me the most striking factor through it all, has been the quality of his vocals – with performances such as Thank You’ and ‘I Believe’ recalling the purity of those early teenage Atlantic recordings of nigh on a quarter of a century ago.

In fact some 20 years after he first introduced us to the ethic on the ‘Houses Of The Holy’ album, Robert Plant is still singing to an ocean . . . and judging by the reaction to this European tour. . . the ocean hasn’t lost its way…..

 Dave Lewis  – July 1993

First published in Tight But Loose issues 8 and 9

 Compiled via the TBL Archive with thanks to Gary Foy


Stairway To Heaven – Led Zeppelin Masters UK Tour:

The  ‘Stairway To Heaven: Led Zeppelin Masters’ is underway and I have already heard some very good reports. They play  Portsmouth Guildhall on Wednesday, Southend Cliffs Pavilion on Friday ,Birmingham Symphony Hall on Saturday and the tour concludes with a London date at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo on Sunday April 14.

I am look forward to catching the Hammersmith date and look forward to seeing all that can make it along.

Fronted by vocalist Vince Contarino and bolstered by an impressive  thirty-five-piece The Black Dog Orchestra, Led Zeppelin Masters is an ambitious concert presentation. I was well impressed when I caught the show at the London Palladium back in April 2017 and I am aiming to be at the April 14 London show.

”Stairway To Heaven Led Zeppelin Masters offer a hugely entertaining proposition. This is the Zep catalogue performed with a grandeur that befits the big stage surroundings”

That was how I summed up their appearance two years ago – the venues they are appearing at this time out should replicate that sense of occasion.

Ticket details via their website see link at

Here’s an interview I recently  conducted with lead vocalist Vince Contarino:

Dave Lewis: I’m very much looking forward to your return to the UK – just fill me in what’s been happening for you since that 2017 visit- I take it you have performed consistently since then?

Vince Contarino: To say our profile as a live act has lifted a level after our tour of the UK in 2017 is an understatement. People over here in Australia have become fascinated and intrigued by our success. There is also a sense of pride that “one of their own” has been recognised overseas. Maybe I am too close to be objective, however I think I can confidently say that we have gone to the next level in terms of how people perceive us.

DL: Just remind me again of how long you have been doing this and how has it all evolved?

VC: We started as a band in 1986 and called ourselves the Zep Boys – that’s 33 years ago, before the terms ‘concept’, ‘tribute’ and ‘cover band’ were being bandied about. It was instantly successful and we sold out most of the venues we played in. Over the years we just kept evolving as a live act by introducing the acoustic and keyboard elements.

We took pride in the sound and lighting to give the compositions the respect they deserved, so as to create an intense show that was highly entertaining. For some acts, with corporate style management, this is quite easy, but for a bunch of lads from Adelaide it was a daunting proposition.

Less than two years later we were touring Australia selling-out venues and breaking attendance records which were the domain of recording artists. Fast forward 15 years (to 2005) and we decided that we would like to work with an orchestra. We were curious to see how these masterpiece compositions of Led Zeppelin would sound.

We approached the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra with no real expectation, so you could have knocked me over with a feather when I got the call to come in and discuss with the ASO (Adelaide Symphony Orchestra) how to go about doing it. To cut a long story short, we put on a show called ‘Zeppelin Flies Again’ and, just as in 1986, it was an instant success.

We’ve kept doing it ever since and, just as before, we keep working on the sound because with an Orchestra everything changes; there are so many instruments that need to be heard in balance and harmony. We work on the lighting for the dramatics and, most importantly, we have changed and worked on arrangements of the songs to get the best possible dynamics between band and orchestra.

We have to acknowledge our Australian producers Tim Woods and Phil Bathols for the latter. They have been amazing to work with and given us artistic freedom, guidance and the funds to develop the show ‘STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: LED ZEPPELIN MASTERS’. This is the show we will be performing in Europe and the UK.

DL: Am I right in saying you also perform in other bands?

VC: Yes, that’s true. Tzan Niko (guitar) and Brad Polain (drums) are highly sort after musicians and work constantly. Warwick Cheadle (bass and musical director) often gets asked to put an entire program of bands and artists for musical events. I spend most of my time writing, which I find is a bit like panning for gold or mining for opal; you keep working at it and digging deep to find that elusive streak.

DL: How would you summarise your approach to recreating the Led Zep catalogue?

VC: Hmm, I don’t know if it is so much as recreating, although I suppose that is what the end result is perhaps? We just approach every song with complete respect and integrity. We want the compositions to be instantly recognizable. However, we don’t want them to sound like replicas or impersonations. It is a thin line we have walked for 33 years! If you approach this whole thing with honesty and energy then the persona of what we do live will appear all on its own. You cannot construct these things; you can only apply and feel and then see what happens.

DL: When it comes to the set list, do you purposely look towards numbers that will benefit from a big orchestral arrangement?

VC: Songs like Kashmir, Rain Song, All Of My Love and even The Song Remains The Same are just obvious to me. So those tunes picked themselves.

DL: How has the set list developed since your last UK visit?

VC: We have changed the dynamic of the set. Last time we opted for a theatrical build, but this time we are going for the rock presentation. In other words “smash it out from the get go”. We have added Dazed and Confused and Heartbreaker. Shit, I’m excited just saying those two tunes – haha!!!

DL: Once again you are playing some large UK venues –including the Hammersmith Apollo. That venue has quite a bit of Page and Plant heritage – you must be looking forward to that.

VC: I can’t speak for the rest boys in the band but, from my point of view, I really don’t try and think about anything at all other than concentrating on presenting myself in the best way possible mentally and physically, so as to deliver the best possible performance I can. I have always done this so as not to dilute my energy. Sometimes anticipation and excitement can tire you before the event and, just as you rightly said, these are iconic venues and it can be so easy to lose yourself in nostalgia and dissipate your energy along the way. Having said that, if we do what we are supposed to and give quality performances where we leave people happy and satisfied, then after the tour I will reflect and allow myself the luxury of having a drink or two and pat myself on the back!

DL: Why do you think Led Zeppelin’s music means so much to so many 50 years on from their inception?

VC: There are a myriad of reasons but perhaps a simple way to understand this is like this: when we hear music from our past we go back in time and relive thoughts and feelings of an era when we were younger and all the associated experiences that go with that transported reflection. Now, honestly, sometimes the songs that we loved as 12 to 18 year olds are pretty horrendous, but when we hear music from the past that is still valid and exciting, and retains meaning and purpose, then our own personal experiences are associated with all those validations as well. Led Zeppelin does that for us. God, we should be so grateful not only to Led Zeppelin but all those composers and artists that do that for us.

DL: Do you have a diverse age group attended your shows?

VC: We have teenagers to the elderly – just magnificent!

DL: Finally what sort of night in the company of ‘Stairway To Heaven: Led Zeppelin Masters’ can the UK audiences expect?

VC: Well, first the audience will hear masterpieces of music arranged and played by an orchestra with the full force of a rock band. The dynamic there alone is exhilarating. My wish is for the nights to be filled with joy and excitement. These are great elements for entertaining, but also great for healing and abating out daily woes.

Many thanks to Vince.


Evenings With Led  Zeppelin – The Complete Concert Chronicle by Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio:

A commentary by Larry M.Bergmann, Jr.

Led Zeppelin Concert Chronicle

So you have the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book before you  – and if you are reading this and have yet to indulge – you really should do – ordering details below..

So with book at the ready – here’s an excellent commentary by long time TBL contributor Larry Bergmann that will guide you through the extensive contents…

PART 7  –  1977


A surprisingly good write up by Robert Hilburn on the April 1 date in Dallas which actually appears to have been printed (!) in the Los Angeles Times (April 5, 1977), with some great post-gig quotes by Plant.

Some of the reviews in the early dates fairly pointed out some of the sloppiness which was transpiring onstage.

Interesting info that the April 7 show in Chicago had to be cut short due to a playoff hockey game which was being played in the arena the following evening, first time I recall hearing that.

Not much said about April 10, featuring Jimmy’s rather dubious choice of stage apparel on the evening… but the show was a corker!

Ron Davis of The Mac Weekly reviewed the St. Paul gig on April 13, and dubbed Page’s solo spot “Solo Piece for Guitar, Violin Bow and Lasers”. Nicely done! This entry also includes 3 cool press photos from the gig.

There’s a nice selection of color snaps from St. Louis, April 15 on pg 495, and two cool fan snaps from inside the arena on pg 496. The interior of the arena was apparently a steam bath on the night. Some good press reports from this show.

As to the show in Indianapolis on April 17, reviewer Zach Dunkin of the Indianapolis News gives an excellent description of what it was like to watch “Bozo’s” (the newspaper’s typo) drum extravaganza in person. Simply spectacular!

Excellent observations by Chris Clegg of the Miami Student on pg. 498 which detail what transpired with the limited entrance access at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati prior to the Zep show on April 19. Of course it’s the awful precursor to the same practices which contributed to the horrible disaster there at a concert by The Who some two years later in which 11 died and 26 were injured.

From the same venue, April 20, Cliff Radel of the Cincinnati Enquirer figured that Zeppelin had bested previous Cincy shows by Jethro Tull, Wings, and Jeff Beck/Jan Hammer, but had only earned a draw with the Chairman of the Board, ‘Ol Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra. Well, that’s not too bad I guess…

Nice selection of photos from the Louisville April 25 entry.

Vivid description of the light show during No Quarter from Dennis McEaneney of the Akron Beacon-Journal, who reviewed the April 27 Cleveland gig…

Interestingly, reviewers in a couple of different earlier gigs on the tour noted Black Dog as an encore.

Great three page section on the two Cleveland shows feature some good reviews from the papers (seeing is, and was, believing), and some nice comments on the two different Destroyer bootlegs, one from each gig… timepieces indeed for us older fans…

Bill Gray of the Detroit News had the famous April 30 show at the massive Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan starting 90 minutes late at 9:30pm, and ending the next morning at 1am! However Gray wasn’t pleased with the concert. None of the reviewers seemed to enjoy the gig, and let’s face it, it has to be hard for any band to come across in a domed football stadium in front of 80,000 punters, the music echoing across the vast expanse. But I would dearly love to see the video one day before shuffling off this mortal coil…

The entry for Birmingham May 18 is small, but the gig was not, and the surviving fan shot footage is one of the treasures of Zeppelin video.

Fort Worth May 22… so the critics didn’t like it… but yours truly did! I wasn’t there, but I wore out the old bootleg Duckwalks and Lasers, which contained a vibrant audience tape from the final hour of the show. One of the great ones, and one of the gigantic jams, with Mick Ralphs of Bad Company joining the boys for a rousing rampage thru It’ll Be Me.

The nasty review of May 26 at Capital Centre by Charlie McCollum in The Washington Star was too over the top, but it’s hard to argue with some of his frustrations. That said, I had a great time at the gig and I figure the other 19,000 or so punters who were there did too. The band put their all into it, including Jimmy Page. Whatever was going on in his personal life at this point, he still lived for his music, and his performance was totally energized. He never played a concert standing there looking bored like some of his peers whom I won’t mention here. The dry soundboards of all four of these Landover gigs just don’t do the band justice. Ya had to be there. And if you don’t believe me, just listen to the din of the fans on the May 26 audience tape. Sorry Charlie…

A couple of nice photos from May 25 can be found in the Cap Centre entry as well.

Tampa June 3, one of the disasters… the boys were only onstage for a few numbers before violent thunderstorms rolled in… but the scene did create some rather vivid Terry O’Neill shot images of the band onstage against darkening skies in the background, some of them chronicled in the recent excellent book Led Zeppelin Live 1975-1977.

MSG 77… lots of great photos abound… of course the sections on these and the L.A. Forum shows are essential.

It’s astonishing, the disregard that some of these reviewers had for John Paul Jones and John Bonham… It just shows how ridiculous critics can be sometimes.

A shockingly good review of June 21 at The Forum courtesy of none other than Mr. Robert Hilburn! He was back with a good review for June 23 as well! An awakening!

June 22 is one of the underrated classics. This show contains quite possibly the greatest and most tight but loose versions of Dying Time (Dave- some fans may not get the joke) and Over The Hills of all time! Hearing is believing!

Despite whatever was going on behind the scenes, the June 1977 stints at both Madison Square Garden and The Forum are among the great high points in the band’s touring history.

The Seattle show and video are of course one of the hallmarks. Unfortunately the gig wasn’t one of the great ones, but until we get either the Pontiac or Houston Summit video, it will have to do!

The Tempe disaster… reviewer Greg Crowder of the Summer State Press diplomatically offered that “Jimmy Page appeared to have a severe case of ‘road fever.’” Although he went on to be a bit more pointed about some of the other problems on the evening.

Oakland… I’ve never been able to get into these shows, obviously the vibe wasn’t good at the performances, and by the time I heard them years later I already knew the awful story of what came immediately after…

Reviewer Phil Elwood of the San Francisco Chronicle proves to be one of the only scribes ever to note that John Paul Jones was executing the bass lines with his feet while simultaneously playing the keys, well done.

While these were not great shows for Jimmy Page, George Estrada of the Oakland Tribune offered an interesting and thoughtful tribute to the master guitarist… “Page’s guitar work… is in fact, unique in rock and roll. Though highly riff-based, Page’s experiment with distortion gadgetry and exotic musical scales are not common to the world of pure boogie. Incorporating esoterica such as East Indian raga, blues and English folk music into the Zeppelin’s approach, Page threatens virtuosity despite his dubbing as the master of the mondo distortion fuzz attack. A marriage of these eclectic influences creates the Led Zeppelin wall of sound.”

Of course the passing of Robert’s son Karac immediately ended the tour, and would prove to be the beginning of the end of the band as well. They were now wearing and tearing…

To be continued….

To order the book:

Stock Availability Update:




DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday treats at the Vinyl Barn: At the always excellent Vinyl Barn last Friday, I was well pleased to find a copy of the Fairport Convention album Heyday – BBC Radio Sessions 1968 -1969.
This is a great collection and amongst songs by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, there’s a great version of The Everly Brothers Gone,Gone Gone – later to be covered by Robert Plant on the Raising Sand album with Alison Krauss and more recently performed live with Saving Grace. Thanks Darren!

Record Store Day is upon us. Once again I will be venturing out with my fellow record seeking enthusiasts here to get in line in the hope of securing a fair few items I have singled out on my wants list. The main attraction is the aforementioned Robert Plant Fate Of Nations reissue – I am also eying the following though I do not expect to secure them all:

Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks – Original New York Test Pressing

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – 4 Way Street (Expanded Edition)

Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac Alternate

Elton John – Live From Moscow

John Lennon – Imagine (Raw Studio Mixes)

Procol Harum / The Move – Fly Records @ The BBC: Morning Dew

The Rolling Stones  – She’ s A Rainbow (Live)

Ronnie Lane And The Band Slim Chance – At The BBC

Original Soundtrack – Roy Budd – Get Carter

Roxy Music – Debut Album Remixes

Various – Woodstock – Woodstock (PA Mono Version)

Various – Psychedelic Scene – The Psychedelic Scene

and perhaps one or two others!

It will be the usual 5am start in the quest for these gems…here’s hoping…

Great to see the new Tottenham Hotspur ground up and running – Robert Plan’s son Logan was in attendee at the launch – his Beavertown brewery is one of the beer suppliers at the ground. Located in the South East corner of the stadium alongside The Market Place, the Microbrewery recently completed its first successful brew of Beavertown Neck Oil. The state-of-the-art Microbrewery is the only one of its kind inside a football stadium and will be the primary source of craft beer at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Led by Head Brewer Valeria De Petris, the Microbrewery is expected to produce over one million pints per year.

Busy here on TBL 45, preparation for the August 4 Knebworth 40th anniversary TBL event (tickets on sale now!) plus a couple of other projects that have come in – more details of which soon.

Good luck to all those venturing out on Record Store Day – full report next time…

Dave Lewis – April 9, 2019

Until next time, have a great week

TBL Website updates compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy and James Cook

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  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Patrick great stuff!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Aris superb!

  • Aris Roskam said:

    Hi Dave, Today on RSD I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of “Fate Of Nations”. Very nice matte cover and inside some frightening photo’s of the world we’re destroying.
    Other items I laid my hands on are Beth Hart – “Front & Center” on red vinyl,
    Golden Earring – “Moontan” on turquoise vinyl
    My Chemical Romance – “The Black Parade Is Dead”
    and no. 2 on my want list Captain Beefheart – “Trout Mask Replica”.
    In the end a very well spent day.

  • Patrick Cullen said:

    The Fate Of Nations RSD 2019 is a thing of beauty. Gorgeous matt sleeve (make sure you have clean hands folks !) and inner-sleeve/labels are different to the ’93 release. Pleasantly surprised to find the 180g vinyl was NOT warped! A good purchase, my store had 2 copies but 20 of the Madonna one.

  • Andrew Marcus said:

    I have my doubts about the Black Beauty Les Paul pictured being Jimmy’s. If you watch the Albert Hall clip of Something Else the guitar Jimmy is playing has no pickup covers on the Neck or Bridge pickups. I find it hard to believe someone just put covers back on. Anything is possible but it seems fishy to me

  • David Hood said:

    Hello Dave, travelling south from Scotland to our now annual pilgrimage to Ramblin’ Man Fair in Kent ,the weekend of July 19th-22nd.Detour planned on the way home via Knebworth .40 Years Gone !Would have loved to have been there on the actual date,August 4th,and attended your shindig,but needs must.

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