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22 January 2015 4,896 views 8 Comments

chicago trampeld 2

TBL Led Zep 1975 Snapshot:

With the 40th anniversary of Led Zeppelin’s activities in 1975 upon us -I will be celebrating this era with a series of TBL Led Zep 1975    Snapshots – these will take the form of postings covering specific gigs and events from the era, with particular spotlight on the period January to May 1975. They will run periodically on the TBL Facebook pages and on the TBL website.

This is designed to track the progress of the year as it unfolded. I will also be listening to the relevant bootleg of the chosen gig on the day to add a perspective of how it sounds 40 years on.

TBL Led Zep 1975 Snapshot: Number Two

Snapshot Notes:

Set: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/When The Levee Breaks/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/The Wanton Song/No Quarter/In My Time Of Dying/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/How Many More Times/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – Black Dog/Communication Breakdown.

Robert ‘s flue is now in full effect and Jimmy is struggling with an injured finger. How Many More Times’ was recalled to the set to allow space for guitar improvisation. As Page told Chris Charlesworth of Melody Maker: “We’ve had to cut ‘Dazed And Confused’ from the set and substitute ‘How Many More Times’ which we haven’t played for four years. I’m still doing the violin bow routine but we’ve had to alter even that and I can’t do it as well as I’d like to. I can tell it’s not as good as it usually is but the audience don’t seem to notice.

In addition to these problems, the sound system was a little defective, ensuring that press reviews were not all entirely favourable.
“Led Zeppelin: malfunctions reduce power,” reported Al Rudis: “Led Zeppelin is alive, but not well. Robert Plant’s ‘flu-ridden voice hurt the British band in its concert Monday. Jimmy Page was nursing a broken finger too. What was worst of all was the old bugaboo of rock and roll: defective sound equipment. In Zeppelin’s case, it’s understandable that the group wouldn’t want to be burdened with maintaining its own sound system if it only tours every year and a half; but they’re the ones who rented the system used Monday night, so they must be held responsible.”

“Kinky Led Zeppelin still king of the funky,” wrote Jack Hafferkamp: “For its part, the band played a new variation on its standard heavy-heavy, super-loud, bare-chested, Victorian decadent, fingernail polish and lipstick, kiss-me-because-I’m-really-funky, cartoon performance. Two hours worth.
“Still there were a few surprises. My companion, for example, noted she owns a blouse just like the one Robert Plant was wearing. John Bonham played what must have been the longest drum solo in the history of mankind. And Plant revealed over, and over, and over again that he has the flu. He said that almost as many times as he mentioned the title of the band’s new record. In fact, I think the final score was New Record 8, Flu 5.”

chicago tick

Set: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/When The Levee Breaks/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/The Wanton Song/No Quarter/In My Time Of Dying/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/How Many More Times/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – Black Dog/Communication Breakdown.

The second night in Chicago was a marked improvement, as Lisa Robinson famously reported: “Fifteen seconds onstage and everyone knows it’s going to be HOT. They’ve been truly depressed and confused all day about the first Chicago show. No matter, tonight they’re playing with that old black Zeppelin magic again, and the audience go wild. It sounds as if The Beatles battled the Stones in a parking lot – and Zeppelin won!”

Snapshot Listen – how it sounded today:

Led Zeppelin Live On The Levee (Silver Rarities)

The January 21st Chicago show is available on various CD releases – It’s actually made up of mainly the 20th night with fourteen minutes from the 21st. I have it on the Silver Rarities purchased from the Victoria record fair in the early 90s. The tape is a fairly clear if noisy audience recording but suffers at times with tape drop out and fluctuations.
”I’ve got a touch of flue” admits Robert early on and his vocals are certainly suffering. For his part, Jimmy battles on regardless of the finger problem. Over The Hills is already extending in length with that wonderfully lyrical solo. Jimmy is also well animated for When the Levee Breaks and In My Time of Dying played back to back – instrumentally both are pretty awesome deliveries – what a thrill it must have been to witness this rare double dose of bottleneck bravado live on stage. Levee is particularly menacing.

Kashmir (”Jonesy on mellotron – saves all the bread for the orchestra people”) works well despite Robert struggling at times. The Wanton Song (”from the long awaited album even by us”) is a definite highlight, Page attacking the riff with strong intent. It’s a real shame they did not preserve with this and keep in the set. No Quarter is still in a state of transition before it became something of a marathon, Trampled Underfoot is a fairly standard delivery while Moby Dick is back with usual Bonham aplomb (”One man’s got the flu one man’s fit as a fiddle!”) and then to How Many More Times.

A compact eleven minute delivery that features the bow episode and then switches into the Oh Rosie segment and on to the home straight. Stairway To Heaven is an epic performance and from this point, Robert rallies well vocally. In fact, on any given night in 1975, Stairway was performed with immense dedication. Encores – something of a unique arrangement for Whole Lotta Love with Plant going straight into the ”keep a coolin’ baby, I wanna be your backdoor man” usual closing refrain and then they hit Black Dog head on and boy – after all the physical drawbacks, the power of Led Zeppelin in 1975 is clearly in evidence.

It would be awhile before they were back to 100% fitness on this tour but already there was indication of the onstage embellishments to come.
To be continued…

DL – January 21st, 2015.


First official Physical Graffiti  Companion Audio Disc preview:  Houses Of The Holy (Rough Mix with Overdubs)

The first official preview of the Physical Graffiti Companion Audio Disc was made available to the world’s media on Tuesday January 20th. For this first peep behind the Graffiti wall, we get to hear an early mix of the track Houses Of The Holy – the second side opener on the original album.  This was recorded at Olympic Studios in the spring of 1972 and later mixed at Electric Lady Studios in New York by Eddie Kramer. Left off of the album of the same name, it was recalled for active duty on the sixth Zep album.

What we have here is a rough mix with overdubs and it’s a fascinating listen – the guitar riff is recorded with less compression giving it a much chunkier sound. Robert’s initial vocals have less echo and are pleasingly upfront and clear. Bonzo’s cowbell is much more pronounced in this mix. At 1.37 Robert’s vocal do come under the echo and they are further double tracked at 2.47. The backing vocal ”oooh oooh” is also higher in the mix and you can hear a tambourine as additional percussion towards the close. Jimmy had yet to layer on his solo and it fades at 3.51. Like all these alternates, it’s like having someone come in and move your furniture around – so familiar are we with the original. I’ve always loved the construction of this track (which would have made a great single) and I love it even more now with the arrival of this rough mix, which throws yet more light on what was going down in the recording process during a period of high creativity for Led Zeppelin

32 days and counting for the full Physical Graffiti experience…bring it right on….

DL – January  22nd 2015.

 Here’s the US and UK links to listen to this preview:



Quick Quiz question:

And on the subject…here’s a quick quiz question: Houses of The Holy was not released on the album that it was the title of.  How many other tracks by any band/artist  can you name that did similar? – ie the track was an album title – but did not appear on the album it was the title of – it was released  on another subsequent album. I can think of two…over to you!


Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters for Sao Paulo date:

Robert Plant and SSS and Jack White are lined up as headliners at the Lollapalloza Brasil 2015 event to be staged March 28th and 29th in São Paulo. Thanks to Andre Cruz for that info.

California Breed split:

Shame to hear this news:


Kim Fowley 1939 – 2015:

Sad to report the passing of Kim Fowley, the musician and producer  and manager of The Runaways – Robert Plant was famously pictured with Kim and the band in early 1976.


Lost and found: Joe Jammer makes Headway 40 years on…

joe jammer headway

Joe Jammer –  Headway (Angel Air) – due out February 2nd, 2015.

It was a great pleasure to interview Joe Jammer last year for the TBL magazine. The former Zep roadie and guitar tech, who by his own admission owes it all to Zeppelin, told the colourful story of how after a run of work with Page and co, he came over to the UK under the wing of Peter Grant. Joe’s liaison with Mickie Most led on to his first solo album Bad News album released in 1973 on Regal Zonophone.

Joe then assembled a stellar cast of musicians to record his second solo album at Olympic Studios Barnes in 1974 – including the late Mitch Mitchell (drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience), John Gustafson (bass player for The Big Three, Roxy Music), Johnny Contardo (vocalist for Sha Na Na), Jean Rousell keyboards, Poli Palmer vibes and flute and Brother James percussion. The late Keith Harwood who worked with Zep did the engineering.

Due to visa problems at the time, Joe returned to the US and plans by EMI to release the album were scrapped. A couple of years back, Joe discovered the tapes  and set about getting them released. Enter the excellent reissue label Angel Air who have wisely taken the option to make this long lost album widely available. February 2nd will see the belated release of Headway – the lost and now found Joe Jammer second album.

Along with the build up for the reissue of Physical Graffiti, playing through it this week has kept me well and truly in the mid 70s retro zone -and it’s been a rather delightful place to be.

The opening brace of tracks Broken Little Pieces and Can’t You Catch sets the stall out with an urgent incessant bass line, funky guitar and suitably complimentary rhythmic drumming and tasteful Joe Jammer guitar licks. There’s a strong indication from these showings, that Joe would make a perfect fit for the Brit funk outfit The Olympic Runners in the late 70s.

What we have here is very much in the tasteful funky rock mode served up at the time by the likes of Little Feat and The Average White Band. There’s also an undeniable soulful rock influence coming in from Swan Songer’s Bad Company and Maggie Bell. Not too surprising given that Joe was hanging around such players.

In fact , the stirring It Wasn’t Meant To Be would not have been out of place on the first Bad Co album.

Elsewhere,Travellin’ has some Page like effects and deploys a bass arrangement that recalls to mind The Rolling Stones Fingerprint File. One For The Road opens with gospel like piano before demonstrating a pleasing restraint and. Cool Breeze retains the funk feel in urgent fashion -the solo echoing the swing and verve of Jimmy’s work on The Wanton Song.

The undoubted highlights for me are the back to back tasteful ballads Alive Another Day and Afraid To be a Friend.

The former has some attractive flute interjections from Family’s Poli Palmer, a  Marvin Gaye-ish falsetto vocal and a dreamily reflective solo at the close. The latter, with finger clicks and prominent keys  is a heady mix of blue eyed soul before being lit up by some lyrical guitar playing– both tracks coupled together would have made a great double A side.

Had it have been released in 1974, this album it would have fitted neatly into the white funk rock movement of the time –however, commercial success may not have been entirely forthcoming with the onset of punk just around the corner, but there’s no doubt a live appearance on the Old Grey Whistle Test would have had Bob Harris whispering that Headway was a ‘’fine album’’ as was his oft used description.

40 years on, Headway does indeed sound a fine album and a nostalgic throwback to a period in the mid 70s when honesty and purity of playing was the order of the day – and Joe Jammer as he still is today, was one of its most hard working practitioners.

Dave Lewis  – January 19th, 2015

Check out Joe’s gigs around south London and beyond – see details at:


Flashback Magazine:

The new issue of Richard Morton Jack’s superb magazine (well mini book) on all thing’s psyche rock and beyond is out now. Of  major interest to Page/Zep fans in the new issue is a reprint of  Jimmy’s lengthy Feb 69 Fusion interview alongside various other rare Page articles from 1965 to 1968. Ordering details below:


HI Fi Lounge/TBL Led Zeppelin & Classic Rock Saturday: March 21st, 2015:

Once again we are teaming up with The Hi Fi Lounge dealership to stage a Hi Fi Lounge/TBL Classic Rock Saturday.

hi fi 1

The Hi Fi Lounge is a highly reputable hi- fi dealership situated in an out of town spot in Bedfordshire. It’s situated in a converted granary building in the village of Dunton –just off the A1M –appropriately enough the road to Knebworth and with good links to London and the north.

Following on from the success of last year’s event, TBL will be staging another special Led Zep/Classic Rock Saturday Open Day in conjunction with Hi Fi Lounge at their showroom on Saturday March 21st.

This time we are extending the playlist during the day to take in other classic rock acts and bands such as Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, Yes, Eagles, David Bowie, etc .

I will be in attendance with the TBL crew and there will also be a variety of TBL products on offer including TBL magazines, books and T-shirts. We will also be staging a fun Zep/Classic Rock quiz with prizes to be won.

There will also be ample opportunity to view the Hi Fi Lounge extensive selection of high quality hi fi with main man Paul Clark.

This is a great opportunity to hear the Led Zep reissues and many other blasts of classic rock on vinyl on top quality kit – the hi- fi set up will be linked to mightily impressive PMC speakers. Accompanying DVD footage will be played on a 120″ Projector Screen through the latest JVC Projector

This has all the makings of a great day out for Zep/Classic Rock and vinyl/hi- fi enthusiasts alike.

The event from 10.30am to around 6pm. Admission is free

Refreshments will be available and there is a nearby pub for further refreshments and meals.

If you are planning on attending, to get an idea of numbers it would be a great help if you could let me know via email at

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

More on this to follow soon

Check out the Hi Fi Lounge website at:


DL Diary Update:

chris c janaury 20

Last Tuesday in London I met with Chris Charlesworth, ex Melody Maker scribe/US correspondent with many an ‘I was there’  Zep story to his name, Omnibus Press Editor in chief and long time supporter of my Zep chronicling. Amazingly, it’s 25 years ago this month that Chris commissioned my idea for a major Led Zep reference book that became A Celebration.  We of course did a bit of Zep 40 years retro, with Chris recalling his coverage of the 75 US tour and travelling with them on the Starship. We also we laughed at the famous advert for their 1972/3 UK tour that had his famous ”their popularity has undoubtedly waned” quote after Zep had sold 110,000 tickets!  Chris has an excellent blog titled Just Backdated and his Zep ’75 piece can be seen via this link

After wrapping the TBL business in London I met with my good friend Dec – we had a toast for our much missed friend Alan Johnston as it was three years to the day (January 20th) that he sadly passed away. RIP Alan…

At short notice last Saturday , Tom and I ventured over to Milton Keynes see our good friend Phil Harris. Inevitably vinyl was searched out – on MK market where DL purchasers included the very fine Stephen Stills 2 album on original UK Atlantic Orange and Plum label, The Band’s live double album Rock of Ages on UK Capitol original, a very nice Graham Nash Chicago/Simple Man single on US Atlantic in original sleeve, Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well Parts 1 and 2 single, Cat Stevens single Lady D’arbanville on Island – the latter had a sticker on the label stating ”50p Memory Lane Kettering Street’. This was a collectors record shop based in Northampton we used to frequent in the mid 70s. It’s the little details like this that make the collecting of vinyl such a joy..

Oh and there was one other curio that I snapped up. The Wonder band Stairway To Love album issued in 1979 on Atlantic. This has a suite of songs on side one that incorporates Stairway To Heaven into their own Stairway To Love followed by Whole Lotta Love and back to Stairway – all performed in an authentic late 70s disco arrangement. Now that’s what I call funky! I used to have this album but it somehow went astray-so it was good to reclaim it. For the time this was quite pioneering as there were few Zep cover versions and certainly not in a disco style – dig those syn drums!  You can hear this extravaganza in all it’s glory on the you tube clip below. So bad it’s good!

Back on the plate spinning here, there’s been work this week on TBL 39, the Evenings With book project and it was also good to firm up the Hi Fi Lounge Zep/Classic Rock day for March. The good lady Janet and I are aiming to visit Sam in London at the weekend then it will be back on to the current TBL projects and more preparation and planning for what is going to be a very busy February.

DL – January 22nd, 2015.

Sad News: Derek Watson RIP

empire records

I had just wrapped the above TBL website update, when Sam informed me this morning of the passing of Derek Watson – owner of Empire Records in St Albans and a TBL subscriber and supporter:

I am very sad to hear the news of the passing of Derek Watson. Derek was the owner of the excellent Empire Records in St Albans and the Chaos City Comic shop.

Empire opened a couple of years back – and has developed into a great vinyl emporium. As my daughter Sam was working for the St Albans local newspaper at the time, she informed me of the opening of the store and on subsequent visits to the lovely city, I always popped in. I got to know Derek as he was a TBL subscriber and a big Zep fan– he was also very supportive of TBL  –stocking my magazines and books. Derek was also always fascinating to talk to with a wealth of record knowledge . He was also very generous and last year gave me four rare posters advertising Mick Wall’s Zep book When Giants Walked The Earth. I popped in the shop just before Christmas and was told Derek was off ill but I had no idea it was a serious illness. I am therefore shocked and saddened at the news. As can be seen by the link to the story below, he was a great contributor to St Albans city culture and will be sadly missed. RIP Derek  – a true lover and promoter of comics and music and as can be seen in this pic taken in the store in 2013, a kind and generous supporter of all things TBL. Dave Lewis – January 22nd, 2015.


YouTube clips:

Chicago – January 21st 1975: Part One

 Chicago – January 21st 1975: Part Two:

And finally …The Wonder Band Stairway To Love…get down on it!

Have a great weekend…

Until next time…Keep listening, keep reading…

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – January 22nd, 2015.

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  • Vincent Brightling said:

    The Doors – Waiting For The Sun. Appeared on the album Morrison Hotel.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Some great spots there!

  • Franchise said:

    Trivia Question, another answer: Elton John, but in reverse of Houses Of The Holy in name and LP order: Tumbleweed Connection album had Madman Across the Water song, and his next album was titled Madman Across The Water.

  • Colin Lane said:

    Jimmy Page was on the one show (BBC 1 7pm 22.1.15) tonight talking about the making of Stairway to Heaven.

  • Rudi O'Keefe said:

    Hi Dave. Keep the ’75 stuff coming…..the more the better.

    Ooh…a quiz….I can think of three other examples…..Brain Salad Surgery (ELP – appeared on Works Volume 2)…..Sheer Heart Attack (Queen – appeared on News of the World)…and Waiting for the Sun (Doors – appeared on Morrison Hotel).

    See you in Cleveland…. Rudi.

  • John Parkin said:

    Hi Dave

    Got one. Gomez’s debut (Mercury prize winner!) “Bring It On ” featured no such track but it is on the follow up “Liquid Skin”

    And as an earlier poster pointed out there’s the Primal Scream ep track.

    Damned if I know any more though!



  • wolfgang seidel said:

    Quick Quiz answers:

    Queen: The track”Sheer Heart Attack” is not on SHA, but on “New of the World”

    Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention: The track “Absolutely free” is not on that album, but on “We’re only in it for the Money”

  • Chris Cook said:

    Hi Dave

    I don’t know the answer to the question! I’ve resisted the temptation to cheat and put the question into Google.

    Instead I claim bonus points for remembering Primal Scream’s brilliant “Dixie Narco” EP from 1992 which actually contained the ten minute track “Screamadelica” which you won’t find on “Screamadelica” the album.

    Two years earlier, and one degree more obscure, but also fine, fine examples of classic ‘indie’, Ride released their “Nowhere” LP and then the “Fall” EP which had the track “Nowhere” on it.

    keep up the good work


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