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6 August 2019 1,663 views 5 Comments

Led Zeppelin at Knebworth 40 Years Gone:

No Sleeping Bag Required…

40th Anniversary TBL Celebration Day Event:

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Atlas Pub

16 Seagrave Road, Fulham, London, SW6 1RX

From 12.00 Midday to 8.00PM

A Day of Led Zep Celebration – Guest Speaker Forums, Video Playbacks, Led Zep Knebworth Quiz, Led Zeppelin at Knebworth 1979 on film and more.

Full report:

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

To backtrack:

Early in the year Julian and I singled out the August 4 date to do something to celebrate the 40th anniversary. I did look into going back to the Lytton Arms pub near Knebworth where we held the 30th anniversary celebration back in August 2009. Logistically it was a bridge too far and we quickly aimed our sights back to the excellent Atlas pub and duly booked the date –Sunday August 4 2019.

Tickets went on sale in May and I began formulating the day’s line up. Julian has been understandably limited to the time he could apply to assisting the organizing as he is caring for his elderly mother who has not been well.

As I wrapped the rather epic TBL issue 45, I was fairly on top of it all though as there always are with organizing these events, there were twists and turns along the way.  As we completed TBL 45, Mick and I worked on the Knebworth Atlas event producing the PDF tickets and then the various promo items including the programme for the day and posters.

At fairly short notice I did decide to produce a souvenir T- shirt in a low quantity limited edition run.

Much of this activity occurred as I was in the midst of the distribution of TBL 45, a not inconsiderable task. Mick and I were also working on the repackage of the Then As It Was – Led Zeppelin at Knebworth 1979 book. I have to say in the weeks leading up to the event I was feeling well under pressure with anxiety and black dog issues clouding my mind. Thankfully I did manage to shake that off.

Ticket sales were slightly slow off the mark and it was evident holding it in August some people would be away on holiday. That was the case for Richard Grubb, Eddie Edwards,Ian Saikia, Simon Cadman and Cliff Hilliard who would normally have been in attendance.

As the weeks rolled on, ticket sales picked up and all was looking a lot brighter. Jose announced he would be coming in from Ecuador and Joseph Whiteside from Vancouver. Joseph said he would be more than willing to tell his Knebworth story – as did Mick Bulow and Pat Mount.

Phil Tattershall had been readying a Confessions of a Led Zeppelin taper at Knwbworth presentation and a solid line up for the day began to emerge.

Andy Adams and Gary Davies came up with a variety of questions for the quiz –and Gary as ever was the man when it came to the Knebworth footage we had to show. Gary Foy said he would be on hand to check people in at the door.

I knew we needed the balanced views of Luis Rey and though he was coming back from Mexico the day before the event, he said he would be there.

I had a meeting at the Atlas pub with Julian on Saturday July 20 and we mapped out a final plan.

It was also evident I would need help to get the TBL stock to The Atlas and Adam Tidd who lives nearby in Shortstown, was very kindly able to assist on that score by taking along the large box of t-shirts and mags. I had secured an amount of copies of the University Of Kent magazine with a very nice colour cover and the Zep feature about them appearing there in 1971. They went along to be given out free.

I had enlisted the always captivating Chris Charlesworth as a guest speaker but with a few days to go, Chris informed me he would not be able to make it due to travel issues.

This meant a quick revision of the day’s line up

On Saturday evening Adam Tidd and his lady Lydia came over to pick up the boxes we needed him to transport.

I was up at 5am on Sunday to do the final preparations and Bedford Earls Court/Knebworth vet Tom met me at Bedford station for the train journey down at 8am. We were at The Atlas venue by 10 –pausing for a pic outside the former Earls Court site where we had both witnessed Zep on May 24,1975.

Phil T and Julian and Gary Foy met us and we began sorting out the room and setting up.

There was one mini crisis when Adam Tidd rang me saying he was having trouble getting access to Earls Court and The Atlas location. This was due to a cycling event leading to many roads being closed. I had the usual DL crisis face on for a bit but luckily and heroically, Adam navigated a way through and he was with us with all the gear by midday

We were now well and truly on..and from then on, well what can I tell you…for the next nigh on ten hours it was pure Zep heaven.

We welcomed fans from the UK, Italy US, Canada and as previously mentioned, even as far away as Ecuador – namely Jose Manuel Parada who we last met at the 02 reunion show back in 2007. We had over 50 in – a really good crowd and we were now ready for the celebrations to begin.

I did a bit of a scene setting intro acknowledging how important seeing Led Zeppelin at Knebworth had been.

I quited a segment from one of the many ‘I Was There’ stories in the Knebworth book:

Of all the many words written by fans about their experiences the final thoughts of Peter Anderson from Stockport stand out ‘’The journey back was a nightmare’’ he writes, ‘’with our first real hangovers kicking in but it didn’t matter. We were kicked out of the car at 6am and crawled to bed thinking we had witnessed history.’’

‘’Thinking we had witnessed history’’. That line says it all.

That’s exactly how I, and thousands of others felt too.

Here’s some quotes from my intro on the day:

The memories of those golden August days of an English summer 40 years ago grow ever precious with each passing year.

Today here at the Atlas and all around the globe, thousands of other fans will no doubt be thinking back to that glorious day in the summer of 1979 when finally, after all the waiting, Led Zeppelin were back doing what they did best – performing live on stage.

With each passing year, the Zep Knebworth legacy grows that little bit more important as they really were some of the days of our lives.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Led Zeppelin are not the only best band of all time –as far as I’m concerned we they have the best fans…

And it’s fantastic to see many of those fans here today

One of the things that following this great band has done over the past 50 year is connect like minded people to share in this thing that so inspires us

When I first started the Tight But Loos magazine nigh on 40 years I called it a platform of communication

And that platform of communication is as strong as ever…as can see by the turn out here today

Track two side one of Led Zeppelin of course says it all

Friends….that’s what this Led Zeppelin thing has led us too –there are people in this room I have known for 40 years and more

Our live have entwined with our passion for this band and the music…

Amongst us we have shared our respective lives –the ups and downs of it all ,the health worries now we are somewhat older…but central to it all is the inspiration we share between us of this love of the music and all that it entails

I want to single out a few people who greatly influenced my passion over the years and still do ..and it’s great see them here today..

Gary Foy – a long time supporter of all things TBL.

Gary Davies –when it comes to the visual side of Zep – Gary’s knowledge and sources are second to none Gary has put together the footage we will be watching today –so big thanks to him.

In 1988 I thought I knew a bit about Led Zeppelin…then I met Andy Adams… his knowledge and passion is immense and it led us to creating the first UK Convention in 1992 – 26 years on from that our passion for all this shines ever brightly – if ever I was pitched against Andy in a Mastermind completion I would switch my specialist subject to Mumford and Sons as there would be no contest with him on Zep!

I’d also like to welcome Dave Linwood creator of the TBL website in 1995 which changed everything in terms of establishing that platform of communication online.        

As have Graeme Hutchinson, Ian Avey, Phil Tattershall, Trev Butcher, Melvyn Billingham, Mark Harrison, Luis Rey and Krys Jantzen, Dave Fox and many other long time TBL supporters.  I’dalso like to thank Eddie Edwards, Cliff Hilliard, Simon Cadman, Chris Maley Richard Grubb, Paul Sheppard Simon Pallett, Rudi O’Keefe and Steve Livesley for their support over the years  –they can’t be here today

And to the good lady Janet..who of course would love to be here but the prospect of old men talking a load of Led Zep bollocks did not quite have much appeal…

However she does support everything I do concerning this and let’s face it is a bit of a saint all round!

Thank you Janet .   

So here’s to Friends of Led Zeppelin

And while we on the subject of friends let us not forgot those who have left us…

So I want you all to give a round of applause in memory of two of our most much missed friends here in the UK …

Howard Mylett 1947 – 2011– he was there driving our passion before any of us

And Paul Kelvie – 1961 – 2006 the much missed drummer with Simply Led and a man whose presence brightened many a convention and fan gathering

So it’s 40 years on since those two dates out in that field near Stevenage. Today we have a variety of guests who have their own opinions, thoughts and memories which we feel will provide a great day of celebration

If you were there back then all of 40 years ago – get ready to relive the memories..if you weren’t don’t worry because over the next few hours we the song goes will take you there..and this time there is no sleeping back required…

Finally thanks to the Atlas pub – thanks to Julian for co organising all this

Here’s to a great day.


So first up was the legendary Zep Author Luis Rey and equally legendary Zep chronicler Andy Adams . They offered their thoughts their thought on Led Zeppelin’s performances at Knebworth and the subsequent bootleg recordings. Luis as ever, offering an honest and perceptive view which sparked some healthy debate.

Joseph Whiteside came all the way from Vancouver, Canada. Joe’s friend Roger won two tickets to attend the August 4 Knebworth show via his local radio station CFOX-FM and took Joseph along. Joseph relayed the story of how their contact at Atlantic Records got a message through to Robert Plant to request they play Trampled Underfoot. This was because when they had seen them in Seattle in 1977 that number was not played. Incredibly that plea was duly acknowledged on stage by Robert Plant himself…


The always amiable Mick Bulow took to the interview sofa to relay his tales of acquiring his ‘ special’ ticket for Knebworth from a noted drummer in the two tone band The Specials at Coventry’s Virgin Records plus the strange case of a certain ‘Wally’ at Knebworth…

Pat Mount elaborated on his lengthy Knebworth recollections featured in the recently published TBL issue 45 – this proved to be a humorous and also moving appraisal of the events as seen when he was just 20 years old.

Phil Tattershall, the well known UK Zep collector/authority presented ‘Confessions of a Led Zeppelin Taper at Knebworth. His story of the trials and tribulations of trying to record Led Zep at Knebworth under the tallest flagpole in the arena. Phil even brought along the actual flag which depicted an Austin Champ car which Phil drove at the time. His presentation was the absolute highlight of the day told with wit and sparkle via a series of visual images. It was just sensational.

We then staged the Led Zeppelin Knebworth Quiz:

40 Zep brainteasing Led Zep Knebworth related questions –as compiled by Andy Adams and Gary Davies. As we were running a bit behind schedule, we did this in a shout out fashion – the likes of ian Avey, Lee Matthews, Dave Linwood, Dave Fox,Phil T. and Mark Harrison amongst others, were right on it with the answers.

We did show various Knebworth related Led Zeppelin footage from both the August 4 and 11 performances as compiled by Gary Davies.

The only downside of the whole day was that being light and sunny the screen was not that vivisble. Next time around we need to do it when it’s darker!


From around 5.30 it became an open forum and interaction between those assembled. I was able to catch up with many people as we recalled those golden days of 40 years ago and more. The vibe was utterly fantastic. here’s a pic with Beth Brenner, Andy Adams and Tony Gassett. As usual there was a lot of laughs in the room throughout the day  – it’s always good not to take it all too seriously – the whole spirt of the day was very heart-warming indeed.


We tied it all around 8pm and fond farwells with everyone were exchanged.

Tom, myself,Gary Davies and his wife Deb, Beth,  Graeme Hutchinson and his son carried on the banter and memories until around 10.30. By then we had truly put the world to right and I pulled out my party piece of naming what was number one on their respective birthdays. I did pretty well!

Then it was across London where Tom and I just got the 11.36 back to Bedford. I got in around 1am so I spent an hour catching up on the many messages and Facebook posts finally calling a day (and night!) at 2am.

I was somehow up at just after 6am to pick it all back up and relay the story to the good lady Janet. Unexpectedly, we also had a visit from our Sam which was a real bonus. Sam had been at the Wilderness Festival in Cornbury and had not been too well. So instead of going back to London she stopped off for some TLC –and ended up staying a couple of more days.

I eventually put a few pics up on Facebook and found that many other had too. The reaction was incredible – everyone had really enjoyed it and the two Facebook Live segments we did also went down very well.

I hope I haven’t missed anyone out and if I have my apologies but I want to thank the following for coming far and wide to make this TBL 40th anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth so amazing:

Here goes:

Matthew Bridger,

Ian Avey ,

Sue Wilson

Pat Mount

Ty Williamson

Richard Lee

David Linwood

Trevor Butcher

Lidia Rosolia

Paul Webber and his friend

Lee Matthews

Gary nd Josh Wade

Ian Dixon

Nick Smithers

Joseph Whiteside and his wife

Adam Tidd, Lydia and Crystal (who worked with Queen during their heyday)

Eric Wood-Thompson

Richard Tiley

Beth Brenner

Stephen Harrison and wife

Gary Clark

Graeme Hutchinson and his son

Steve Priest

Alastair Chorlton

Ian Coleman and his lady

Tony Gassett

Dave Fox

Brian Hardie and his friend

Mick Bulow

Phil Tattershall

Andy Adams

Luis Rey

Gary and Deb Davies

Gary Foy

Melvyn Billingham

Mark Harrison

Tom Locke

Phil Harris

Krys Jantzen

Guy D’angelo and his lady

Jose Manuel Parada


…and Julian Walker

As I say apologies if I missed you out – it’s fatigue!

Also to Horace Austin, Keith Creek and Pete Harris who could not make it along. Thanks also to James Cook at LZ News for promoting it all.

So 40 years on we recreated a little bit of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth magic -and it felt like something special.

Thanks to everyone at The Atlas pub who made us so welcome.

Will we do it again?

Julian and I have already talked about doing something at The Atlas again in maybe October or November 2020. Watch this space.

For now, we bask in the afterglow of achieving our objective – to share with like minded people the incredible passion we feel for this band – on the 40th anniversary of Led Zeppelin’s appearances at Knebworth..

Thanks for all your support that makes these TBL gatherings so worthwhile…it’s an absolute pleasure to stage them…

Dave Lewis, August 6,2019.     


TBL Archive Special – Knebworth August 11th 1979 – Then as it really was…39 years gone…

It’s that time of year again…

The anniversary of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth always resonates that little bit more when it falls on the actual days –as it does this year. Saturday August 11h 1979 – just writing that date sends a tingle of excitement because that is the day when it all occurred for a second time back in that field just outside Stevenage all of 40 years ago.

On Saturday  I, and thousands of other fans will no doubt be thinking back to that glorious second Zep gig day in the summer of 1979 when finally, after all the waiting, Led Zeppelin were back doing what they did best – performing live on stage. With each passing year, the Zep Knebworth legacy grows that little bit more important as they really were some of the days of our lives.

To mark the 40th anniversary of the Knebworth August 11th performance here are further extracts from the Led Zeppelin Then As It Was  -At Knebworth 1979 book: 

Book Extracts:

This is the original text written for Tight But Loose, issue number 3 – now available as part of TBL 45..Whilst much of it bathes in a rose tinted glow, it certainly succeeds in capturing the pure wonderment of the event as seen through the eyes of a starry eyed twenty two year old fan eager to put pen to paper before it all became a blur.       

AUGUST 10TH 1979:

Thousands of fans have stayed on to camp out the week ready for the second concert…. By Friday night the familiar smell of campfire smoke once again fills the air…Unfortunately the night itself is wet and rainy…Morale at this point is not at its highest…

AUGUST 11TH 1979:

Early morning….morale is quite definitely not at its highest…The trek to the arena seems longer this week. Maybe it’s something to do with the sprinkling of rain that descends upon us….Inside the arena the rain gets heavier…For over an hour it pours, this is no fun…But miraculously by 9am the clouds begin to clear and by 10am the sun is shining…Thank you Lord….Chas and Dave open the live music to nil reaction…Commander Cody and his band follow and it’s loud…too loud, take a walk… The site is filling up but nowhere near as fast as last week… Southside Johnny And The Asbury Dukes arrive on stage and play (to these ears) a dull set…The sun is beating down strongly, it’s hot…Extremely hot….By mid afternoon most of the punters have settled in the arena, some eighty thousand this week…The atmosphere is not quite so vibrant and expectant as last week, but there’s still a lot of people here, many no doubt for their second week…A few clad in Stones T-shirts here for the Barbs…That’s a long way off though…

Todd Rundgren’s Utopia hit the stage, Todd, in a less wanger-showing outfit this week.  He performs an erratic but professional show marred again by his over-indulgence…Late afternoon, still very hot, The New Barbarians due at 6pm…6.30pm arrives and the stage set up is complete…still no sign of Ron and Keef though…Nicky Horne appeals to the crowd to cease the trading of cans by air, but he’s clearly talking to a frustrated audience….7.30pm still no Barbs…Makes me wonder if these stoned chaps are not knocking back barbs or something of their own….8pm.  At last they arrive on stage. Frankly it’s all a bit of an anti climax….Honest Ron proceeds to dominate the stage with his loony stage antics (boring after ten minutes), while Keef restrains himself to a low key power-chording.  ’Honky Tonk Women’, ‘Before They Make Me Run’ and an encore of ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ get the required response but really it was a fuss about a whole load of nothing as far as I saw it.  Nicky-the-H tells us we’ve got an hour and fifteen minutes to wait for the change over…Well we’ve already waited longer for less.  Nearly time, the stage is set, my heart skips a few beats in anticipation…After all, this is Zeppelin’s first gig anywhere for a whole week…and it’s not often you can utter that statement is it?…

It’s after 10.30pm when the canned music dies down and the lights flash on to the stage, the signal means they are ready.  Nicky Horne is the man who announces (not unlike the way he did at Earls Court) “Ladies and Gentlemen…Jones, Bonham, Page and Plant – Led Zeppelin.”  Once again, the sight of them on stage again performing ‘The Song Remains The Same’ is incredible.  They go on to perform practically the same set as the previous week.  Robert is quick to backlash the music press when he states early on:

“Well, it didn’t rain, but it rained on us in the week from one or two sources, and we’re just gonna stick it right where it really belongs.”

The general atmosphere is not quite so electric as last week, and the band encounter one or two technical hitches early into the proceedings.  During ‘Over The Hills And Far Away’ several speakers blow loudly’ just before the chorus and Robert is forced to swap mikes half way through.  To their credit they manage to plough on unaffected by this, but the last straw is when Jimmy breaks a guitar string during the closing bars.

The sound trouble continues through ‘Misty Mountain Hop’ but the band recovers well, and things are back to normal with the next track, a peerless ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’.  One other slight hitch occurs when the screen goes a bit crazy during ‘No Quarter’, but apart from that it’s all plain sailing.  Robert is in fantastic voice, Jimmy is sweating and grinning cheerfully – playing a feast, while Bonzo and Jonesy are keeping it rock steady behind them.  Incidentally, the entire band is wearing the same garb as last week.

Robert dedicated ‘Hot Dog’ to the Texas Road Crew, and makes a very interesting statement following that song, maybe hinting at something?

I’m never going to Texas anymore, but we will go to Manchester. Around Christmas should be good, and Nottingham, you’ve got a lot going for you already, and Worcestershire…, and Wolverhampton…yeah, I know…”

They leave out ‘Ten Years Gone’ (shame) this week but do a magnificent ‘Rain Song’, and as they hit the home straight the power of the performance just keeps on climaxing.


‘Kashmir’, ‘Trampled Underfoot’, ‘Sick Again’, ‘Achilles…’, Jimmy’s violin bow episode and ‘In The Evening’) – still fantastic second time around – leap from the stage…and of course Robert’s introduction of ‘Stairway To Heaven is full of sentiment.

“…and when it comes to the time now when we really gotta thank you for hanging about for four years, you English folk, and you French people, for hanging about since – Oh, I don’t know how long.  And I’d like to thank everybody who’s come from everywhere to create part of the atmosphere we’ve had. The other bands that we’ve had with us – Commander Cody, good, good, good, good. Todd, Keef and Ronnie… Peter Grant (come on!). Thanks everybody.”

‘Stairway to Heaven’ is an incredible finish tinged with sadness (this weeks ad-libs – “I’d like to say I hope so…Our stairway lies on the whispering wind…Sometimes that’s all you’ve got…”).  They encore with ‘Rock And Roll’, (“Good evening! Can you do the dinosaur rock?!”), and return a second time to perform the re-vamped ‘Whole Lotta Love’, that this week segues into ‘Let That Boy Boogie’.

Finally, an old chestnut is re- roasted…. …’Communication Breakdown’ crushes everyone.  It’s that sort of performance and it’s a fitting end.

With that Robert turns and with the rest of the band leaves the stage.  Led Zeppelin at Knebworth is over.

“It’s been great, thank you very much indeed…We’ll see ya soon…very soon. I dunno about the Marquee but somewhere soon – Goodnight – Bye.”

A triumphant return – no doubt about it.  Of course the majority of the critics slammed it, but Led Zeppelin don’t play for critics…they play for their fans.  It was all about the hundreds of thousands who came to see them at Knebworth, and it’s their reaction that mattered. Everyone who I saw loved it.

Led Zeppelin returned to the stage with a performance that didn’t rest on their laurels and this was no exercise in going through the motions.  They set their own standards and pushed themselves to the limits with a display of dynamic emotional rock and roll energy.  The very nature of the material they chose to play made it a joy to listen to.  Gone was the excess and self indulgence of the past.  I for one was not sorry to see the omissions of marathons like ‘Moby Dick’ and ‘Dazed and Confused’.  What we did get was a balanced programme that included just a little spice of everything that is Led Zeppelin.  A performance that took you to the highest high, at its mightiest able to rock you ’till your bones trembled, while on the other side of the spectrum also move you near to tears.  And all this talk of being old and dormant…I just fail to see it.  Zeppelin more than lived up to their reputation and not only that…actually bettered it.  One of their best performances ‘In The Evening’, being a track previously unheard… proof that it was not a case of trading on former glories.

Enough of this though.  I don’t have to justify Led Zeppelin’s performance at Knebworth.  They did that themselves, and in doing so created a little bit of heaven for everyone to share, and after four years they can still do that…give thanks.

Dave Lewis, August 16th 1979.

Text extracted from the book Then As It Was Led Zeppelin At Knebworth 1979 

A a new package of the Knebworth book will be available in September – more details on this to follow soon.

Here are some more comments, recollections and memories from the out in that field…as featured in the book:


“This is a small little up-tempo ditty that we’ve been asked by some people in Vancouver – It’s all there in the end baby….  It’s called Trampled Underfoot’’ 

‘Robert Plant from the Knebworth stage August 4th  1979 

“Some people from Vancouver’’

My friend Roger Grais won the radio station competition on CFOX-FM our Vancouver rock music radio station.  Although we had only got to know each other that summer, he told me I was going with him as I met the two requirements – I was over eighteen and I liked Led Zeppelin.  His girlfriend met neither requirement.

So two weeks later we head to London for a week, airfare, hotel and two concert tickets in hand.  Roger even got a passport on three days turnaround.  We arrived on August 1st probably, and spent two days doing the tourist thing and visiting as many pubs as possible.  We lost count of the number of Green Man pubs in the environs of our hotel – The Whitehouse near Regent’s Park.

On the Friday afternoon we took the tube to the train station and headed out to Stevenage station where we got off ( I think).  We were loaded with three dozen beers, food, binoculars, a blanket and a crummy portable cassette recorder.  Grabbing bootleg t-shirts we headed into one of the massive campgrounds.  We wandered about chatting with people who couldn’t believe how we made it to Knebworth from Vancouver, Canada.  As darkness fell we guzzled beers and chatted with two lovely girls from Leeds.  After midnight we discovered that people were already gathering near some huge wrought iron gates.  Around 4:00am the gate came down and the mad rush along dirt paths began to the main concert site.  I lost a shoe and nearly lost Roger in the scrabble and charge but we made it and survived the jostling for what seemed like hours before we got in around 6:30 am.  Roger refused to surrender his ticket stub and retains his complete ticket to this day.

We charged down the hill and found a good spot, we thought, slightly stage right and well in front of the mixing board.

The cool day (who said it was warm?) passed quickly as we absorbed the building tension.  Hopes of a mid afternoon acoustic set sadly evaporated.  Fairport were excellent especially Swarbrick’s violin playing and Rundgren in his yellow jump suit was quite good we thought.  And then dusk came on, the gradual darkness engulfed the area illuminated by torches, matches and camera flashes.

Our anticipation was so tense as we watched the myriad of stage hands finalize the stage prep and the light and video crew ascended the ladders to the upper light trusses.

9:30pm and the cheers and applause kept building as we awaited the event.  I had seen Zeppelin in Seattle on the 1977 US Tour but this would be even more special.

9:40pm and the hand held torches signalled stage activity.  Guitar notes and drum rolls sent us into a frenzy and then the opening sustained note of ‘The Song Remains the Same’ began and what seemed like every light came on and bang there they were, our four heroes on stage again at last and sounding awesome.  Plant dressed in black and Page in slacks and the soon to be sweat-drenched shirt.

The massive backstage screen was amazing as close ups of Page, Plant Bonham and Jones flashed across.

Plant’s quip about Jimmy doubting people would come at all was warmly received.

Many others have gone through the set list song by song but for us the early highlights of ‘Over The Hills And Far Away’, ‘Black Dog’ and ‘The Rain Song’ were special indeed.

‘Hot Dog’ was well received as the first new number but when they brought out the stool and Jonesy’s triple-neck I knew what was next.  ‘Ten Years Gone’ was amazing and Jimmy’s phrasing on the overlays was sublime.

Regardless of the beer cans and wine jugs flying in our area we were all riveted to the stage and the stunning audio and visual spectacle before us.  Roger snapped pictures frequently, and I tried my best to keep the lousy mike in the air to record it all.

Then our special moment arrived.  Plant said this next song is for “some people from Vancouver”.  We were ecstatic – our request had gotten through.  The radio station had given us Danny Urweider of Atlantic Records as a contact if we needed help.  We phoned him as a courtesy and he asked what he could do.  So as Zeppelin had not played ‘Trampled Underfoot’ in Seattle, I asked if he could ask them to play it for us.  Special thanks forever to Danny for getting the request passed on and to Robert who remembered us – some people from Vancouver.

So with, “a ready Mr. Jones”, it began and Page’s solos on ‘Trampled’ were amazing indeed.

‘White Summer’ segued into ‘Kashmir’ as every light came on as that opening ‘Kashmir’ note was struck and there was the sway back from the audience and ‘Kashmir’ just blew us over.

Page’s violin bow solo heading to the drum intro for ‘In The Evening’ was another highlight.  And then probably the best song of the show, a truly unbelievable ‘Achilles Last Stand’.  Bonzo’s drums on that one were in a different class, and Page by that time was joyous but exhausted, just kept pushing it on.  There is a smile from him mid point on that song that just exemplifies for me Page at his best.

And then ‘Stairway’ with the clock now well after midnight.

To get three encores was astounding and as Plant said over 100,000 people in a chorus of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is was spine-tingling.

So after a final bow from a clearly very satisfied band, the stage lights changed, ‘Communication Breakdown’ came over the sound system.  We gathered our stuff, and bid farewell to the people we shared the day and the experience with and headed toward the exits.  Surprisingly we met up with the two girls from Leeds who somehow had ended up a short distance from us.  They invited us back to their tent but we thought it best to head to the train station – big mistake in hindsight.

After train delays we headed back to London and talked about the show with everyone.  Roger, a drummer raving about Bonham’s powerhouse effort and me revelling in Page’s guitar genius.  Into London late Sunday morning, we then staggered into our hotel – dishevelled, lacking sleep, and me hobbling on one foot as the other lacked a shoe.

We slept and then phoned the radio station to report on the best concert ever.

We enjoyed our last few days in London talking through highlights and listening to our terrible recording.  On knowing we were going, we promised ourselves a visit to the Marquee Club to see some band – any band.  Luckily it turned out that that Monday August 6th was Simple Minds first London gig.  Our music tastes have always been very broad and to see the best band ever – Led Zeppelin, and a very good up and coming band was great.

We returned to Vancouver with great memories of a great time.  Roger and I remain steadfast friends and music compadres.  We have been to hundreds of shows since (from the Grateful Dead to Dream Theater), but nothing has come close to that wonderful August night in a field in England.

It was special indeed, and to see video of it today brings back so many good memories.  With a special “thanks again” to Danny Urweider and to Jimmy, Robert, John Paul and John (so sadly missed) thank you thank you.

By the way, who were all those lucky people on the stage riser to the left of Jimmy’s amplifiers? They must have been deaf by the end of the night!

Joseph Whiteside and Roger Grais

 “Some people from Vancouver”


“It was an April morning when they told us we should go…”

In late April 1979 the air crackled with an electric expectation; whispers grew to a muted roar and, as the supercharged clouds of rumour gathered, finally the news broke.  Full page ads in that familiar long-legged typeface bestrode the music press: Led Zeppelin would play Knebworth Park in August.

Pandemonium.  Tickets were sold out almost instantly and clutching ours, we were overwhelmed with anticipation and pride.  It was to be a day-long festival, not that anyone cared about any other of the bands playing.  We would see Led Zeppelin play on English soil, the first time they had done so since the Earls Court 1975 concerts.

This was it, but, nearly two hundred miles north and without personal transport, this would also be a bit of a problem.  Trains were out of the question.  There was no way we’d get back in the early hours.  Hitching was not really a possibility, as there would be four of us and none were blonde and good looking.  We’d go by coach.  But no. After ringing around none of the coach operators had a clue what we were talking about. Hmmm?. After a bit of head scratching an idea broke.  We would hire our own coach and, as well as getting ourselves to the gig, we’d fill up the remaining seats with Zeppelin fans from the North East.  We rang the local coach hire company and a 44-seater was booked. To advertise the trip we stuck an ad in the local paper The Evening Gazette. You had to have your own concert ticket, which by now were gold dust, and for £5 you’d be taken from Guisborough to Knebworth and back.

It seems we were not the only ones who had been stuck for travel to the gig.  Just over a week after the ad had appeared the seats were sold.  Still enquiries came.  We rang the coach company.  Yes, we could have a bigger coach; were we sure we could fill it?  Yes, not a problem.  The extra seats sold the next day.  We were to travel overnight to be there for the whole of the day.

The weeks to the concert soon passed and come August 10th, the coach was parked and ready in Guisborough.  Everyone had been asked to meet up at the coach park.  A few late comers from out of the area arrived at my parents’ house.  This involved my mum dispensing tea and biscuits to various bemused put polite leather and denim clad blokes and their girlfriends as we waited for the departure time to draw nearer.  Then, after a short walk down the lane to the coach we could see the result of our bit of private enterprise as a few dozen disparate souls bound by a common desire to see their favourite band assembled to board the coach.  Names were ticked off and everyone climbed aboard.

Myself and my good friend and Zeppelin nut, Graeme Hutchinson, sat near the front of the coach.  My other friend Graham and my very lucky twelve year old brother Kenny, sat in the seats in front of us.  It seemed hours before Kenny settled and he was the target of largely good-natured encouragement to ‘pipe down’ as he knelt, hanging over the back of his seat chatting to us about everything and nothing.  A watering stop en route was uneventful as tired looking eyes blinked in the alien light at a quiet service station.  On we drove through the night.

We arrived to a bright morning and thousands of fans.  A village of tents and sweet smoke; a gathering of the clans.  We took a place in the grassy amphitheatre and ate and drank through the day.  Trips for more provisions or to answer nature’s call required bearings to be taken from flagpoles dotted throughout the vast crowd; proclamations from the attendant tribes.

The concert passed too quickly, but my memory is punctuated by vivid moments.  Most memorable for me was Jimmy threading his way through the intro to ‘Achilles Last Stand’ and John Bonham tripping his bass pedal and detonating hurtingly bright lights, blinding and white into the night.

And the return home?  Well,…… I counted them all out and I counted them all back.  A very successful campaign.

Mike Robinson, Guisborough UK.


By the time the Knebworth concerts were announced in May 1979 I had developed into a real “Zep head”. I discovered Zep in 1975 when a lad at school was selling off his “old” rock albums to concentrate on new bands like The Ramones (he soon became the school’s number one punk rocker). Having initially bought Led Zep 1, II, IV and Physical Graffiti for £1 each I now had the complete Zep album catalogue plus the US singles and even a few vinyl bootlegs and live cassette tape recordings. At the tender age of sixteen and still with a half decent paper round, I spent every penny I earned on all things rock music related and most of it on Led Zeppelin.

So when I heard on The Old Grey Whistle Test that Led Zeppelin were to play Knebworth my heart starting racing with the possibility of seeing Zep live for the first time.

I was desperate to go but £7.50 was a lot of money and I had no idea how the hell I was going to get to Knebworth and back – the furthest I’d been on my own was Newcastle. By the time I’d got my act together tickets to the first (and at the time only) concert were sold out. My good mate Mike Robinson and I were devastated as we were addicted to Zep and just couldn’t miss this opportunity to see our band. But the gods were on our side and in early July a second Knebworth date was announced and we made sure we got tickets to the  August 11th event.

Soon after Mike came up with a cunning plan to hire a coach and sell seats though advertising in the local newspaper. This went so well that we ended up hiring an even bigger coach that took our merry men (and even some women) from the North East of England on a magical mystery tour to Hertfordshire to see the “power, glory and the hammer of the gods” that is Led Zeppelin.

We set off late Friday night and arrived at Knebworth in the early morn’. As I recall it was a relatively damp morning though it soon cleared up and the afternoon was beautiful and sunny. As we entered the Knebworth natural amphitheatre I remember my disappointment when the people at the gate took BOTH halves of my ticket. I’m not sure what the reason for this was but it meant no ticket memento from the most important gig of my life.

I was with a group of about half a dozen and we found a good spot centre stage and about 80 yards back to park ourselves for the day. Even this far back the stage was amazing and the PA looked massive.

The excitement and anticipation was palpable. There was terrific banter and tomfoolery throughout the afternoon. I remember smoking a packet of Marlboro red tops. I’d previously been an Embassy Regal smoker until I’d read somewhere the Jimmy Page smoked Marlboro’s and so I switched brands. It’s pathetic when you think about it but I was a kid and in total awe of Led Zeppelin and so you did these kind of things.

I wasn’t particularly interested in the supporting acts though I tried to get into The New Barbarians given Keef and Woody were involved but they were a bit too loose for my liking.

As it got darker the anticipation grew and grew. We had a good idea what to expect in terms of the set list from the reviews from the Copenhagen concerts and first night and this just added to our hunger. At about 10.30pm (I can’t recall exactly) the band came on stage and the crowd went beserk. A strum of the guitar, a roll of the snare drum and then the opening chords and sheer power that is ‘The Song Remains The Same.’ Thirty years on I can’t remember lots of detail but I do remember the butterflies in my stomach and the total euphoria I felt when I saw Led Zeppelin live for the first time – even at a late stage in their career.

It’s hard to pick highlights as the entire performance was my ultimate concert highlight however a few things stand out; the opening with ‘The Song Remains The Same’, Jimmy breaking a string break at the end of ‘Over The Hills And Far Away’, everything about ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’, the power of ‘Kashmir’ , the intensity and bright white lights of ‘Achilles Last Stand’ (and another broken string), Jimmy’s bow solo and the revolving green laser pyramid and the finale of ‘Communication Breakdown.’ What a night. What a day. What a fucking band!

I know it is generally understood that the first night was better and  also featured ‘Ten Years Gone’ but it doesn’t matter to me. Led Zeppelin at Knebworth on the  August 11th 1979 was and forever will be the greatest rock performance I have seen and heard.  I’ve listened to and watched a number of recordings of the concert, so I know that there were mistakes made by the band. But on the night it all sounded perfect – I didn’t hear a single fluff other than a guitar string break. The sound was great, the band looked the part and the sheer power from the stage and 100,000 watt PA could have launched a Saturn V rocket.

I will forever remember my Knebworth with the best of memories and as my best concert ever. No one could touch Led Zeppelin then, nor since.

Graeme Hutchinson, Middlesbrough UK.


Knebworth was the first and only time I saw (the original) Led Zeppelin live. The first album I got was ‘Physical Graffitti’ in 1976, and so I therefore missed out on the magic of Earls Court.  It is also now hard to believe that Led Zeppelin played in what was my home town of Edmonton at the ‘Cooks Ferry’ Inn in March 1969, although I was only 8 at the time and more interested in Football..

I went with two friends – Colin and Tony to Harlequin Records in Barnet to buy our tickets for Knebworth.  We had just missed out on tickets for the first show, and so ended up with 3 tickets for the second show on 11th August.

We all had motorbikes at the time, but Tony had recently got a rusty old Ford Cortina MKII.  We all piled into his car on the Friday evening and headed towards Knebworth.  Tony unfortunately thought that Knebworth was on the M1, so we ended up having to take a detour at J12, and eventually ended up at the site entrance just off the A1(M) J7 at around 10pm. The site entrance was gridlocked due to thousands of pedestrians and cars arriving.  I had never been to any concert before and was only 18 at the time, so this was a whole new experience!

We eventually were allowed to drive onto the site.  This was after being diverted around the roundabout three times by the Police, who were tightly controlling access to the site.  We then parked up and pitched our tent next to the car, and tried to get some sleep.  I couldn’t sleep with the excitement though, and went for a walk at around 3am to buy souvenirs, such as badges, Knebworth scarf (which I still have), and the essential program.  I was disappointed at the time, as I unwittingly bought the red ‘bootleg’ program which at £1 was more expensive than the official program.  I hadn’t realized there were 2 versions.  (NB: That bootleg programme is now worth around £80!).

I can remember what seemed to be a very long walk to the field where the stage was set up.  We found a place dead centre, around two thirds  of the way back.  I had taken a (primitive) camera and took a few pictures throughout the day.  The day itself seemed to be extremely long as there was only 1 band we had come to see!.  There was plenty going on to help get through it though. I can remember hippies wandering around shouting ‘pot for sale, hash for sale’.  The food was not like at the well organised events these days.  The toilets were worse, and were no more than an open pit over which wooden cubicles had been constructed.  The vile smell wafted over us whenever the wind blew from that direction.

Then it finally happened.  It was absolutely pitch black…, the anticipation, and then those wonderful opening chords to ‘The Song Remains the Same’ ringing out from Page’s double neck.  It was like being hit by a sledgehammer! I still remember the excitement whenever I see the bootleg video, although it took me around 13 years before I eventually tracked down a copy.  It is so easy these days on the Internet!

I can remember on the screen seeing Jimmy smile when his guitar string broke at the end of ‘Over The Hills and Far Away’. I can also remember the new songs that I had never heard before – ‘In The Evening’ and ‘Hot Dog’.  ‘White Summer’ was also unknown to me, as I did not possess any bootlegs at that time.

Tony also swears that he can remember John Bonham taking a running jump and literally jumping over the drum kit, which I have no recollection of at all.

Sadly, we never got to see the encores.  Tony decided we all needed to leave just after the end of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ as he wanted to avoid the rush leaving the car park.  We tried to change his mind, but were in no position to argue as home was a 35 mile walk away.  We therefore could only listen to the encores gradually getting quieter as we made the long walk back to the car park, where we found the car was wedged in with no chance of going anywhere for hours!

For this 18 year old, it was a truly magical evening that will never be forgotten.

Ian Avey Hitchin, UK.

Pic above of Ian with Colin


I went to the August 11th show.  I was fifteen, and it was my very first gig – some debut!  At that age it was a huge adventure.  My mate Andrew Dillon got the tickets and his dad took us down in the car the night before.  I’d spent the previous month on a crash course of Zeppelin albums being a Genesis fan first and foremost at that time.  It was a real eye-opener camping out alongside all the hippie-types on the Friday night.

Inside the arena we found a spot on a raised mound.  It was a strange support act line up, and as the day went on the arena kept filling up. The toilets were dreadful, and finding your way back to your own spot was also very difficult.  I had my first (and last) joint which I have to confess did nothing for me at all.

Then there was the long wait for The New Barbarians who proved to be a real disappointment.  As the stage was set up for Zeppelin the adrenaline kicked in and any tiredness disappeared.  I’d seen The Song Remains The Same movie but this at last was the real thing.

The roar of the crowd when they came on was just unbelievable and the combination of that and the lights and the sound inspired a rush of tears through the sheer emotion of it all.  To be honest the gig was a bit of a blur.  Jimmy’s laser bow being the most vivid memory.

Over thirty years on the critical view is that they were great but a little rusty but I prefer to remember it just as an incredible emotional experience that has stayed with me ever since and has led me to many more fantastic Zeppelin related experiences.

Gary Wade, Cheadle UK.


Kneb 8


My story starts a few days prior to the gig.  I am a cousin of Ronnie Wood, and as a result of him playing support together with Keith Richards in the New Barbarians, I knew that I had a good chance of getting a ticket for the show. I contacted another cousin of mine who happened to be Ronnie’s PA in the UK and politely asked her for a ticket.  She told me that Ronnie would be over at his mother’s house the Friday before the show and that I should pop over and that he would give me a pass. I was an 18 year old long haired kid who loved my rock music ever since I had been blown away by Hawkwind’s In Search Of Space and Sabbath’s Master of Reality some years before. And now being a total rock convert, I wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity to see the greatest rock band that will ever be. So suffice to say I was at my Aunt’s house nice an early that Friday awaiting Ronnie’s arrival. Sure enough he showed up. I asked him if he had a ticket for me. To my delight, Ronnie produced for me a rather superb back stage pass. It was beautifully coloured and was of a woven material with a sticky back.  I think it had all the bands that were to play on it. It was very cool. I took it, and right at that moment in time it was probably my most treasured possession.

I remember Ronnie saying he had a bit of a panic on because up to that moment the New Barbarians hadn’t gotten a bass guitarist for the show. Ronnie said to me “You can’t play bass guitar can you?” Regretfully I could not!

I often wonder what would have happened if I could.

The next thing that I really recall after all these years is actually going into Knebworth itself.  I remember waiting my turn in a long line of people hoping to God that the pass that I had now stuck to my shirt would get me in. You can imagine my delight when the guy checking tickets looked at it and waved me through. At that point I knew for sure that I was going to get to see Zeppelin. I kind of milled around for a while amongst the crowd and then I got to wondering where the pass I had would allow me to go. I approached the front of the stage area which I believe was fenced off with only a couple of heavily guarded access points.  I thought I’d try my luck, and hey presto I was waved straight through no questions asked whatsoever.  I suddenly found myself behind the scenes…an awesome experience!

I remember seeing Lemmy walking about.  He is a good mate of Ronnie. Many years ago before, Ronnie showed up at his mum’s house with Lemmy and asked her if she could put him (Lemmy) up for a few days as he had nowhere to go. Not sure exactly about the time scales but I believe he ended up staying with Ronnie’s mum for a couple of years. There’s quite a few “soon to be Rock stars” that she did that for, bless her.

Anyway, I remember going up to Lemmy and introducing myself. We walked off towards a load of cars talking about Hawkwind and how he got thrown out of the band. We made our way over to a makeshift grassed car park. We headed over to an old beat up burgundy coloured “Maxi.”  It containing Fast Eddie Clarke and Filthy Animal Taylor. Both of them were totally wasted… I left Lemmy with the other two members of Motorhead and headed back off towards the back stage area to see what I could find.

I went over to the New Barbarians mobile unit. There was a big guy standing at the door on security.  I thought to myself ‘this is the big test’ as I approached him. To my surprise, he opened the door, stepped aside and waved me in.  I stepped inside and to my amazement there was Keith Richards sitting all alone. He looked up at me and said something like “Hello mate, sit down.” Now bear in mind here… I am an 18 year old kid. Totally and completely out of my depth to say the least. I wouldn’t say boo to a goose in those days…..and suddenly here I am one to one with the legend that is Keith Richards!!!  I sat down and we spoke undisturbed for the best part of an hour I guess. I told Keith that Ronnie was my cousin and he kind of warmed to that and I think he ended up asking more about me than I ever did about him. I remember at one point some people outside who couldn’t get in the unit knocking on the window. Keith and I ended up feeding them fruit from a huge bowl. When I say feeding them, I mean we were throwing it through one of the windows at them!  It was all good fun and all very well-natured. Keith seemed a great guy. He is one of the easiest people I have ever met to talk to – just an awesome bloke… He is the kind of guy you could meet for the first time, go down the pub with and feel you’ve known your whole life.

The New Barbarians eventually came on and I stood at the side stage and watched the whole thing.

At one point during the Barbarians set I was aware of someone standing behind me. I turned around and standing there alone was Robert Plant. I said “Hi” and we shook hands. I remember thinking to myself “Ooh my God, I’ve got Planty standing just behind me !!!  Robert said to me “They were a little late on stage I believe,” I said “Yes they were,” and that was it. I turned around to face the stage really not knowing what else to say. It’s kind of weird. I mean, I love Zeppelin with a passion. I had spent many hours thinking about how talented these guys were, how I’d love to meet them. How I’d have so much to say if I ever did meet them. They were my hero’s then and still are today I guess, and  yet when it actually came down to it I couldn’t really think of anything to say! A couple of minutes later I turned around and Robert had gone. I had not seen him leave.

The Barbarians finished their show and I wanted a grandstand view of Led Zeppelin. The side stage was good but I wanted to see Zeppelin full on – to take it all in head on. I found out that there was a press enclosure which gave a brilliant view of proceedings. I got in there with my trusty pass and waited for Zeppelin.  I remember the anticipation from the crowd was electric.  It was infectious.  It was like having a ticket to the World Cup Final…only better. Better because you knew what was coming, better because the outcome wasn’t in doubt, better because you knew Zeppelin were gonna rock the foundations.

When Zeppelin came out on stage the excitement I felt was fantastic.  I wish I could have bottled the emotion and adrenalin that I felt. It was the best gig I have ever been to in my entire life.

After the event, I left the gig along with everyone else and having missed the last train spent the night crashed out on the concrete floor of the train station, but I didn’t care. I had just experienced an unforgettable day, one that I will always take with me.  I had seen Zeppelin and I felt privileged to have done so…still do, to be honest.

What happened to my beloved backstage pass ?… Now this bit still rankles with me to this day.  I remember tearing it off my shirt at the train station, screwing it up and throwing it away…What the hell was I thinking?!   But it’s a fact, that’s what I did with it.  I regret that more than you can know. But I thought to myself at the time, ‘’It’s not a problem I will see Led Zeppelin again…’’

None of us knew that John Bonham would pass away the following year and Led Zeppelin as a live act would be no more.

Mark Stanley, Stevenage, UK.

and finally…

The past 40 years and all of its ups and downs notwithstanding, there is no denying the awesome power of Led Zeppelin at Knebworth.  As we’ve touched on, the emergence of the official DVD as well as both full shows on bootleg leaves it all there for anyone who have an interest.  But forget the video footage for a moment…listen to the audio of the gig…at the beginning of the August 4th tape, the audio picks up before the stage lights have gone down, and the crowd is hearing ‘Tuesday’s Gone’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd being played over the PA.  As the song fades and the lights go down, the deafening, monstrous and passionately heartfelt roar of the fans as Led Zeppelin takes the stage tells the tale.

Those thousands of fans in that field, on that night in 1979 understood……  And all the fans, old and new, forty years on still do today. Tuesday may be gone…but Saturday remains the same…

Larry M. Bergmann Jr, Arlington USA


And one more Ian Dixon on the DVD release:

Knebworth II – The Final Cut

Sandwiched between the euphoric anticipation of the first Kenbworth concert, Aug 4 1979 and the dark days of late 1980, Zeppelin’s second Knebworth show of Aug 11 1979 is a relatively forgotten child. History has it down as being besmirched with technical difficulties, rear of house tensions and a poorer performance from a band knocked by press criticism of the previous week’s comeback event. But this is a piece of history, the quartet’s final UK stage performance, is it then time to re-appraise?

First off having access to DVD footage, of whatever quality is a huge improvement on would be a slightly sterile CD performance. The interaction between the performers, the shapes Robert throws, Jimmy’s wry grins when a solo fails to light up, Jones’ prowls, all bring life to the music. Zep live was always a tightrope and by this stage of the party a few wobbles were inevitable.

Kicking off, of course, with Song Remains The Same the story of the night unfolds. A confident start doesn’t quite flow into the vocals and Page’s first solo is rushed and twangy. Though when the microphones, and the harmoniser do not work against him, Robert is doing a sterling job and also in Celebration Day, injecting life into the show. Jones is so locked in the groove as to be almost unnoticeable and Bonzo solid, but on this mix not such a driving force as at Knebworth 1. The first truly satisfying song is Black Dog where Jimmy matches Robert point for point. While Nobody’s Fault has some magical moments, such us when Bonham kicks in.

But the next, Over The Hills is a shambles, broken string and all, causing Robert to ask the world in general and Page in particular “What’s going on.” Blaming “the samosas”, the collywobbles affect both Robert and JPS’s keyboard set up in Misty Mountain. Since I’ve Been Loving You may not be the eloquent statement of old, but is a fine group performance, with greater emphasis on the piano and a competent solo from Page.

No Quarter follows with Jones taking his cue to shine, Bonzo is an excellent support and Jimmy’s entry is somewhat more fluid. His final solo is top notch, until the point he starts to think about what he is doing! For me it’s Robert who doesn’t quite hit the mark.

Despite its later reputation Hot Dog is something of a highlight, maybe the throwaway nature of the track meant there was no self-induced pressure. The Rain Song always threatens to be sublime, Jimmy is literally sweating over it, only somehow everyone tries a bit too hard and the rust makes it more tight than “but loose.”

After the earlier miss-fires it is a pleasure to see and hear Jimmy get it together on the Dan Electro for White Summer/Black Mountainside, neither too long or too shabby. The switch by the band into Kashmir is stunning, Page’s smile matching my own. As for that song, it is a perfect match for latter day Plant vocal style and everyone does their bit. Bonzo seems on great form but the mix does not do him justice. Everything is going swimmingly until my DVD player can’t cope with the end of the track or the following Trampled Underfoot.

Switching to DVD 2 for Sick Again there is some fine work from Jimmy at the top end of the fretboard, and the driving beat of Bonzo, but neither the performance or mix can match 4th Aug from the official DVD that really opened my ears to this song. The nerves and bad Karma return for a snatched Achilles, only Bonham is unaffected and his toms crash through, pushing Page to raise his game. The beginning of the guitar improv/ lazer violin bow segment undoes some of the good work of White Summer but the traditional Dazed riff shines in all senses and the green pyramid weaves a magic, even in less than perfect definition. The piece leads into In The Evening via John Bonham’s treated timpani that sounds like a spitfire impression played on oil drums, the main course contains some great keyboard and a spirited Fender solo, though better performances would be aired Over Europe.

The emotion of the occasion is starting to get to Plant in the farewell intro and vocals of Stairway, curiously Jones and Page seem unable to lift him and it’s left Bonzo’s rustle in the hedgerow to get any sort of momentum going. Whatever level he is finding on the riser Page cannot on this occasion match it in the solo. But the audience still love it and are rewarded with a rejuvenated encore. The ‘Dinosaur Rock’ … and Roll stomps all over the field, fabulous interaction between all on stage and Jimmy shows that he can still solo and duck-walk simultaneously. Then Whole Lotta Love in its reinvented form is well played, my only gripe being a personal dislike to this arrangement!   But watching Jimmy pull out a boogie turn, the mix of total concentration and delight on his face is wonderful. It is Jimmy that propels the band into a final Communication Breakdown, driving over Robert’s squeaks.

The final result is Zeppelin warts and all. Technical glitches, age and pressure has caught up with them. The band are mortal after all, but there is a lot more good than bad in this set. Kenworth was never meant to be an ending but a new beginning, making Robert’s closing comments of “We’ll see you again soon” all the more poignant.

Posterity has been kinder to this footage than critics were at the time. Flawless it most certainly isn’t, but that adds a human element to the story and anyone lucky enough to have attended either Knebworth show should be proud.

Ian Dixon with thanks to Dave Linwood.  


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.

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


Mojo Led Zeppelin Collectors issues: 

These look very good…

MOJO The Collectors’ Series: LED ZEPPELIN EARLY DAYS 1968-1973

LED ZEPPELIN EARLY DAYS 1968-1973 is the first of two deluxe bookazines bringing together MOJO’s finest writing on the gods of rock.

MOJO is proud to present its first collection of writing on Led Zeppelin, unfolding the story of the legendary rock group’s foundational years, from guitarist Jimmy Page’s days as a session player and member of The Yardbirds, to the Zep’s dramatic formation and triumphant conquest of America within just two years.

Illustrated with dozens of rare and iconic photos, EARLY DAYS 1968-1973 includes classic interviews with Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant, the truth behind the lurid tales of on-the-road carnage in America, the stories behind their first five albums – from Led Zeppelin I to Houses Of The Holy – a guide to Zeppelin’s greatest songs, including Dazed And Confused, Whole Lotta Love and Stairway To Heaven, Jimmy Page on his musical heroes, plus the inside track on the creation of the band’s iconic sleeve artwork.

Packed with entertaining features, and amazing photography, LED ZEPPELIN EARLY DAYS 1968 to 1973 is an essential purchase for every serious music fan.

LED ZEPPELIN THE EARLY DAYS 1968-1973 is available in shops on August 8, 2019 and online at

The follow-up, LED ZEPPELIN LATTER DAYS 1974-2019, is on sale in shops from September 26, 2019. Pre-order it NOW at

Thanks to Mark Blake for that info


Led Zeppelin II at the Cat Club:

Following on from last year’s  presentation of Led Zeppelin IV, I am going back to the excellent CAT Club to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin II. This will be staged at the excellent Tap & Barrell venue on Tuesday October 22 – 50 years to the day of the original US release. Tickets go on sale via the CAT club website on August 23.

Here’s the link:





DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday treats at the Vinyl Barn: With a packed agenda last weekend preparing for the TBL gathering on Sunday, there was just time for a quick early morning visit to always excellent Vinyl Barn.

As ever all worth it as l pleased to find a copy of the Cream Heavy Cream set from 1972 –sides 3 and 4 a promotional only Polydor white label copy – very nice…and on this Knebworth 40th anniversary weekend, it was only fitting that I came away with some Led Zep vinyl – and there it was – the Japanese Atlantic 7 inch single of Immigrant Song/Hey Hey What Can I Do – it was meant to be! I may have a copy somewhere but you can never have too many Japanese Zep singles! Thanks Darren.


Later on Friday it was great to hook up with long time TBL supporter Jose Manuel Parada for a couple of hours in London. Jose was over from Ecuador for the Atlas gathering.  Here we are in the TBL office also known as the Spice Of Life as I handed over the first copy of the new Knebworth book package. We also took a trip to the nearby Gerrard Street where history was made 51 years ago this month when they staged that first rehearsal.










While in the Spice Of Life Jose handed over a present he had brought over for me – rare Ecuador pressings of Led Zeppelin IV and Coda -how kind was that! Thank you Jose!

I was well weary after the Atlas event and still am – on the Sunday I had been up at 5am and finally got to bed at 2am on Monday morning. All worth it of course for what was an amazing day. It’s a timely moment therefore for the good lady Janet and myself to have a few days holiday as we both need it. The next TBL update will be the end of next week – Friday/Saturday. Thanks again for all your support.

Dave Lewis  – August 6,2019

Until next time –  have a great  weekend…

TBL Website updates compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy and James Cook

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  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    it was great to see you and Ty!

  • Pat Mount said:

    A life affirming day.
    Ty and I trucked down to The Atlas on the train from York on the morning of the great event. Nothing in my life ever goes to plan. We got to King’s Cross ok but as hicks from the sticks managed to overshoot on the Tube twice, once to West Kensington and then over to Putney Bridge. At Putney we found the whole area shut down for a cycle race. The local Taxi firm had taken the day off. Ty and I were hyperventilating at this point because we were late!
    We bumped into a young American couple who by a twist of fate knew where the Atlas was and politely advised the two Oiks from OOP North to get back on the Tube and head for West Brompton. We duly did and took a left and another left on our exit from the station. We had unknowingly found Seagrave Road but still asked a passing bloke if he knew where The Atlas was. He raised his thumb backwards over his head to reveal it was 100 yards away.
    Dave Lewis was well into his opening speech as we crept through the assembled throng to the bar upstairs at The Atlas.
    What followed was one of the best days of our lives.
    Before I got up as a guest speaker, Dave Lewis did a prequel announcing me ‘as funny as Eddie Izzard’. I ran downstairs to the bar and asked the lady behind it whether she had a spare pair of high heels and some lippy…..(I lie).
    We met some fantastic people and soaked up every minute exchanging stories with like minded souls about Knebworth 1979.
    As a smoker I took regular trips downstairs to feed my addiction and met lots of likewise afflicted. Ty and I met Av, an Indian guy who was there at Knebworth and mentioned the underlying prejudices of the time and how that was overcome by trading freshly made curry with a group of bikers for beer in the park the night before. He was a lovely man. We also met Ricky, a drummer, who talked in awe of Bonham’s performance on August 4th and continued to chat to us at every ‘smoke break’. He was 15 years old at Knebworth 79!
    We met a chap who had visited the hallowed halls of Tokyo bootleg shops and had his bid for a Destroyer vinyl box set usurped by a chap called Jimmy Page who walked into the store on the same day!
    We talked to a guy who gave us the excellent ‘don’t drink that mate, it’s piss’ story upstairs pronounce the immortal words on his exit, ‘My Wife thinks I’m mad’. You are most definitely not mad my friend, it was a pleasure to meet you.

    By 8:00pm Ty and I were feeling it a bit. The adrenaline had subsided. We hadn’t eaten but had quaffed a fair few pints over the day.

    We said our farewells to all, in particular to the legendary Dave Lewis.

    I was convinced that Ty and I needed to navigate back to Putney Bridge to find our hotel. At this point my good wife, Tina, had texted so I called her. ‘We’ve had a fantastic day and now we’re on our way to Putney Bridge to find our hotel’, I slurred. ‘No you’re not, you wingnut,said Tina,your hotel is 5 minutes walk from The Atlas, don’t move until I send you directions’. And she duly did saving Ty and I further opportunities to get stranded and hyperventilate. Football, Meccano and Men was revisited 40 years on.

    A fantastic day!

    Pat x

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Jose it was fantastic to see you!

  • Jose Manuel Parada said:

    Thanks Dave…!!!

    What a thrill to have been there. Knebworth Event rocked and congratulations to you and Julian for putting it alltogether.

    An absolute pleassure to meet Andy Adams, Luis Rey, Adam Tidd, legendary TBLweb Dave Lindwood, Beth from the US, Joseph from Vancouver (great Knebworth story), Mark Harrison (In The Light), Phil Tattershall, Debbie, and of course so many others. Not to mention seeing after 12 years: My very good friend Gary Davies, Graeme, Krys Jantzen, Gary Foy and so on.

    Please count me in for the O2 15th Celebration Day December 10th 2022. I will be there.

    Cheers, JM

  • Chris Mellors said:

    Excellent and entertaining read as usual Dave. Well done!

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