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15 October 2020 1,857 views 6 Comments

Them Crooked Vultures on YouTube tonight for Teenage Cancer Trust Friday October 16:

Them Crooked Vultures Royal Albert Hall footage screened tomorrow night to aid Teenage Cancer Trust:


I was very lucky to be in attendance that night back in March 2010 – here’s the original TBL posting reviewing that night. It brings back a host of memories and I am very much looking forward to seeing the footage tomorrow.

Here’s the link with all the details pf how to view the footage and how to donate to the Teenage Cancer Trust

YouTube link here:

TBL Archive:  

John Paul Jones made a triumphant return to the scene of one of Led Zeppelin’s greatest performances as Them Crooked Vultures stormed the Royal Albert Hall in London last night.

Patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust Roger Daltrey set the tone for this tenth series of admirable shows with an impassioned speech regarding the charity’s achievements over the past decade. Acknowledging the musical feast ahead he commented ‘’I know Them Crooked Vultures are going to be great with somebody who was once in Nirvana and John Paul Jones who everyone knows is one of the best in the business’’

Though there was little rotation of the set list of recent months, it was the sheer enthusiasm of the individual players of Them Crooked Vultures that once again impressed.

Kicking off with No One Loves Me & Neither Do I, the non seating flat area at the front was soon awash with swaying bodies. Scumbag Blues was an early vehicle for Jonesy to drift into a bass solo improvisation much to the crowd’s delight.

Once in their stride, the band began firing off a non stop onslaught of album faves. Dave Grohl paid a subtle tribute to John Bonham with a Moby Dick like intro to Elephants and when Josh introduced the band and ‘’Your fellow countryman John Paul Jones’’, there was another rapturous cheer.

Throughout the proceedings it was hard not to be overwhelmed by the sense of history of this venue –and more that once I looked around me in sheer wonder of what it must have been like to be here on that January night 40 years ago.

The one man who knew more than anyone, was down on the stage having a ball. Gunman was a quite ferocious din while the guitar solo from Alain Johannes that proceeded Bandoliers had a touch of the Page 1977 effects about it. The lighter Interlude With Ludes had JPJ stomping the stage with his eBay purchased keytar. Spinning In Daffodils provided the opportunity for Jonesy to flex the old keyboard muscles which again went down a storm. The final flurry of an extended Warsaw found Jonesy and Grohl trading licks in a way that mirrored the tactic so favoured by the previous rhythm section the bassist once reveled in.

A final communal hug amongst the players and Them Crooked Vultures were gone. Ahead lies a series of festival appearances that will considerably liven any of the mass outdoor gatherings they will encounter. A possible second album may provide the impetus for another bout of touring, though the inevitable call of the full time bands of Josh and Dave may limit that scope.

As for John Paul Jones, whatever lies ahead, his decision to return to performing in a rock band format has been inspirational – providing the perfect platform for the vast number of Led Zeppelin fans who have caught these shows to see at first hand, what made his role in his other band so indispensable.

And there was no finer venue to witness all that than in the historic surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall where the Zeppelin magic was once weaved.


In front of where the magic was weaved – then and now.

Earlier in the evening, the TBL pre gig meet at the Queens Arms had a strictly international flavour. Dave Roberts was over from Canada with his daughter and Michael Rae combined a business trip from Australia to check out the Vultures for the second time this year – he was at the January 23rd Melbourne gig. It was great to catch up with  TBL web founder Dave Linwood, ticket collecting legend Cliff Hilliard and the MK crew of Jez, Michaela, Kate and Dan. Various other fans dropped in to say hi including Rob from Poole and Russell Ritchin. Past gigs were discussed, speculation on Jimmy’s plans dissected, and a few of the amber nectars went down. As usual it was great to be in the company of like minded TBL souls from all parts of the globe .

The ultimate toast was of course John Paul Jones. His performance and that of Them Crooked Vultures was a heartwarming experience. As I bid fond farewells to Mr Foy and fell into a slumber on the train home, I had a flashback image of how I remembered JPJ on stage on the Over Europe tour back in 1980. With his short hair and Alembic bass he cut a figure back then not dissimilar to how he looked at the Royal Albert Hall last night.

30 years on so much may have gone – but so much remains.

The ethic of Led Zeppelin carries ever onward and witnessing John Paul Jones in full on rock band mode has once again been an absolute thrill.

Dave Lewis, March 23rd 2010

More photos in the TBL Tour Watch

TBL Web founder Dave Linwood with DL and Gary Foy

Dave Roberts and his daughter over from Canada with DL

DL with far right, Michael Rae stopping over from Australia for his second Vultures gig of the year.

DL with the MK contingent – always guaranteed to liven up TBL proceedings:  Dan, Jez, Michaela and Kate

All photos Gary Foy/TBL 2010

Postscript 2020:

Some amazing photos from such a great period. Hard to believe it was ten years ago. This was at a crucial period for me in developing the TBL business as a going concern under my new then new guise of being self employed. Events like the Them Crooked Vultures gig with the pre gig TBL crew meets did much to spread my word and the magazine’s circulation. There would be more of these ahead with The Band Of Joy tour later in the year.

Such amazing times – thanks to all that made it happen and continue to support what I do.

Dave Lewis – October 15,2020


Jimmy Page Classic Rock interview: 

Always a welcome sound –the new issue of Classic Rock dropping through the door and this one looks right up my street…

A front cover feature that proclaims An Intimate Conversation With Jimmy Page: Good Times, Bad Times. The Dark Lord Rises!

. Excellent new interview by Ian Fortnam with Jimmy Page in the new issue of Classic Rock.

Basically a career overview allied to the new Jimmy Page Anthology Genesis Publications book. Some very good insights by Jimmy on his early days, 60s sessions, Yardbirds, Zep and post Zep. I won’t give much away as it’s well worth investing in.

There’s one clunker of a miss caption on one of the pics – the Lucifer Rising session pic from 1973 is captioned as being from the 1982 Death Wish 2 film and Jimmy’s tendon injury is listed as being in 1972 -it was on tour in the US in 1973 (guys you only have to ask I would have checked it!) but I am nit-picking really and there’s much to enjoy.

In my opinion Jimmy owes nobody anything as he has already done everything but the quote ‘’Lockdown has given me an opportunity to reconnect properly with the guitar’’ is a heartwarming one…

Be sure to check out this new issue of Classic Rock .- more details at the link below

Jimmy is also featured in the cover story of the new issue of Guitar World.


LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:

In conjunction with the Led Zep news site, each week I will be re- producing highlights from their email update news summary. This goes out periodically. Sign up details are below. Many thanks to James Cook.

LZ News:

Led Zeppelin

Jimmy Page

  • Jimmy Page has given two new magazine interviews to promote the mass market release of his “Anthology” book this month. He spoke to Classic Rock Magazine for its November 2020 issue and to Guitar Player magazine for its December 2020 issue. Both issues will be hitting news stands shortly.
  • Jimmy Page paid tribute to Eddie Van Halen who died on October 6. In an Instagram post, Page said that Van Halen “was the real deal: he pioneered a dazzling technique on guitar with taste and panache that I felt always placed him above his imitators.”

Robert Plant

  • Robert Plant has given two more interviews to promote the recent release of his “Digging Deep: Subterranea” compilation album. He spoke to Rolling Stone France for its October 2020 issue as well as to Polish publication Onet. Have you seen any other recent Plant interviews that we’ve missed? Please reply to this email and let us know!
  • T Bone Burnett’s Sunset Sound console, which he used for releases from artists such as Robert Plant, was sold online this week.

Upcoming events:

October – The limited edition, signed prints of Jimmy Page’s guitars will be dispatched by Genesis Publications.
October 13 – The affordable version of Jimmy Page’s Anthology book will be released in the UK.
October 16 – Footage of Them Crooked Vultures’ 2010 Royal Albert Hall performance will be shown on the Teenage Cancer Trust Unseen YouTube channel.
October 20 – The affordable version of Jimmy Page’s Anthology book will be released in the US.
January 15, 2021 – The 7-inch vinyl reissue of “Immigrant Song” will be released.
June 18-20, 2021 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace at the Black Deer festival in Kent.
September 25, 2021 – The 2021 John Bonham celebration event will be held in Redditch.

Many thanks to James Cook.

The complete Led Zeppelin News email goes out periodically. To receive it sign up here:

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


Jimmy Page The Anthology…

Genesis Publications (Limited Edition sold out  – standard edition to be published October 13 in UK October 19 US)

The ”Open Edition” of the  Jimmy Page Anthology book is out this week – here’s my thoughts on it…

This is Jimmy’s second book for Genesis following the publication of Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page back in 2010 – all of ten years gone. Jimmy described that previous volume as ”A  visual documentary to reflect my contribution to music.”

In his introduction to this new volume Jimmy states’’ As a result of archiving, this book is a continuation of the story mapped out in my first volume Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page. It has given me the opportunity to showcase the detail behind the detail.  I wanted to include items from my personal archive that have played a part in my career over 60 years to give the detail behind the detail.’’

Let me state right from the off the detail is simply astounding. While Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page was a visually pleasing collection of career spanning photographs, Jimmy Page The Anthology offers so much more.

Like its predecessor, it commences with a photo of the young Jimmy Page as a choir boy and ends some 390 pages and 60 years later with a  written aftermath and a comprehensive guitar and equipment glossary. ”On reflection” concludes Jimmy ”I feel so lucky to have been able to do something that has been my passion throughout my life, to make a success of it and through that to bring pleasure to the people who have heard my work and to whom my playing has meant so much. When people talk about lifetime achievement, well that’s what it is”

In between, every aspect of his lifetimes achievement as a musician comes under enlightening scrutiny.

The format of the book works on several levels – as a brilliantly presented visual log of every guitar and guitar related studio equipment he has employed and as a pictorial history of all the key stages of his long career with rare on and off stage images including examples of his stage outfits.

Most importantly of all, it’s supplemented throughout by anecdotal insights from the man himself which provides a fascinating running commentary. This extensive 70,000 words of text alone would add up to a captivating biography – when merged with the stunning pictorial layout it makes for a quite magnificent portrayal of all aspects of his 60 years plus career.

Throughout the book, Jimmy draws from his extensive personal archives. For a very busy man it’s quite incredible how much memorabilia he has amassed –and more importantly retained. Original diaries, memo books and sketch pads allow him to paint an accurate picture of the times. This is especially effective during his early years. Logs of his early gigs and session appointments really bring the era to life particularly when merged with rarely seen vintage photos. The captioning of all this material of some 600 images is clear and concise -the photo quality superb..

Amongst the many highlights from the early 1960s era, there’s the original BBC correspondence for his 1958 appearance on the Huw Weldon show, an early poster of his early group The Redcaps supporting Red E. Lewis in 1960 , correspondence relating to his link up with beat poet Royston Ellis, details of early acetates from recordings with Neil Christian and The Crusaders, demo pressings of his sessions with the likes of Dave Berry and Marianne Faithfull, session studio data of his work with Jackie De Shannon.

This spotlights another of the books strengths – the extensive visual re-production of rare acetates white label and rare pressings drawn from Jimmy’s massive collection – indeed I have had first hand evidence of him snapping up such items at record fairs. Yardbirds acetates, Led Zep album white labels, rare picture sleeve singles, foreign pressings etc light up many a page. For a record collecting connoisseurs like myself, this is pure manna from heaven.

Musos will similarly marvel at the array of vintage guitars he owns or has played that also feature throughout – the Graziso Futurama from his teenage years,  the Dan Electro, the Gibson Black beauty, the Harmony Sovereign acoustic the dragon painted Fender Telecaster, the Gibson Les Paul number one and the Gibson double neck are all discussed at length alongside many a lesser known guitar he has employed on stage or in the studio. I was personally well pleased to see that my 2005 TBL Earls Court journal publication is featured on page 257 to illustrate Jimmy playing his Lake Placid Fender Stratocaster.

As previously mentioned, every aspect of his career is presented with all major landmarks present – his 1965 solo single, meeting Jeff Beck,  joining The Yardbirds, the coming together of Led Zeppelin and the subsequent glory days of the 1970s. Whilst a bulk of the book centres on this high profile period, the post Zep period also gets due recognition –  the Death Wish 2 soundtrack , the Arms concerts, Roy Harper, The Firm, Outrider, Coverdale Page, Unledded and Walking into Clarksdale with Robert Plant, the Black Crowes collaboration, the Led Zeppelin 02 reunion, the Beijing Olympics closing ceremony with Leona Lewis etc. All basses are covered right up to his work on the Led Zeppelin reissues and last year’s Play It Loud exhibition.

However well versed you are with his story, this book offers many little known insights. A second teenage TV appearance on the Carol Levis show for ATV in 1959,  his initial affinity for the sitar and Indian music, details of his first US visit, Yardbirds and early Zep work sheets, proposed Zep set lists, which particular guitars he used and when and so much more. The revelations just keep on coming, all told in Jimmy’s relaxed warm prose – the wonderment of his achievements constantly shining through.

The picture that emerges is of a genius musician whose aspiration, vision, energy and fortitude has created an outstanding body of work. That body of work has never before been so diligently chronicled in one volume.

It really does tell us so much more than we knew about how James Patrick Page has created his enduring legacy.

The Open Edition is published this week. If you are an admirer of his work, it’s not a case of deciding to invest in this book – it’s how quickly you will do so…

This is without doubt one of the most impressive and illuminating pictorial publications ever produced on any musician, anywhere, anytime.

Put simply, if you are reading this you need it in your life…

Dave Lewis October 13,2020

The ”Open Edition” ordering details below:


Led Zeppelin Remasters : 30 Years Gone..

Another anniversary the Remasters releases all of 30 years old this week. I absolutely loved that period – it was so incredible to see the resurgence of interest that surrounded them – here’s some 30th anniversary thoughts…

Led Zeppelin Remastered…it was 30 years ago… 

It’s amazing to think that there was a time back in the day, that the only way of hearing Led Zeppelin’s music was via the ten original albums – ie the eight original studio albums, The Song Remains The Same soundtrack and the posthumous collection Coda.

There were no greatest hits albums, no BBC sessions, no 1972 live albums and certainly no i-tunes, HD downloads and streaming.

True the Led Zeppelin catalogue had been released on CD – though  not from the original masters and transferred via analogue tapes. The results were mixed. I did a feature in Record Collector in early 1990 reviewing the original CD’s (I’ll need to dig that one out) ,blissfully unaware that Jimmy was about to overhaul the entire catalogue for CD.

Thus the arrival in October of 1990 of the five LP CD box set and double Remasters compilations was a very big deal indeed.

I wasn’t the only one I am sure, who had not paid much attention to the studio albums in recent years. My Zep listening time was taken up analysing the many Zep shows that were appearing on CD sets and the fresh outtakes that had surfaced.

The arrival of the Remasters was a revelation. Suddenly we all realised just exactly what it was that had made this band so special.

Lapsed fans got back on the wagon –a whole new generation of younger enthusiasts also jumped aboard. Overnight Led Zep’s stock shot up…and it never looked back.

The Remasters releases were absolute game changers in the way Led Zeppelin were viewed and appreciated.

I have very fond memories of this period 25 years ago – it was the point where I realised their legacy was intact. It was fantastic to follow all the media buzz that went with it including Jimmy’s appearances on MTV and the promo videos for Travellin Riverside Blues and Over The Hills And Far Away.


In the Our Price record store I managed Bedford we really went to town – with pre release build up and in store displays. This activity resulted in the store racking up £10,000 worth of business on the box sets and double albums. I was later awarded a triple gold disc award by Warners in the UK. Here’s a pic of the shop window in November 1990.

Like I say, I was about to produce a book that emphatically chronicled the band’s music. The book Led Zeppelin – A Celebration published the next summer was very well received…and it set me on a mission to totally commit myself to chronicling the world of Led Zeppelin that has not let up for the past quarter of a century.

This is something I wrote at the time for Record Collector. I remember putting this together – the words came tumbling out such was my enthusiasm for it all – and it remains one of my favourite pieces of writing on the band.

I’ll be bringing out the Remasters box set vinyl and CDs to enjoy over this weekend  revelling in Jimmy’s vision of – as he put it ”The same picture with a different frame”

And what pictures they are….


Here’s my feature that ran in Record Collector in December 1990…



Earlier this year, I summed up my feature in Record Collector on Led Zeppelin On CD by offering Atlantic Records the following advice: “In the light of the shortcomings of the Led Zeppelin CDs, it would be good to see Atlantic embark on a re-mastering job to eliminate some of the errors that have occurred. An even better idea would be for Jimmy Page himself to oversee such a project which could easily take the format of a special box set release. Atlantic Records take note!”

At that time, I was unaware of Atlantic’s plans to produce just such a set, so it came as a pleasant surprise to learn that my request was about to become a reality. The project began to take shape when Jimmy Page was approached by the label to remaster the original Zeppelin catalogue for a compilation release. Dissatisfied with the general reproduction of the available CDs, Page jumped at the opportunity to restore his old masters to the standard he envisaged. Studio time was booked at New York’s Stirling Studio in May, where Jimmy spent a week with engineer George Marino digitally transferring the material from, in most cases, the original two-track master tapes.

The project in mind was a multi-track box set release for which Page drew up possible track listings for the other two ex-members to sanction. “I really wanted to improve the release”, Page is quoted as saying on the officially press release; “basically it’s the same picture with a different frame”. John Paul Jones added: “The songs sound as fresh now as when they were first recorded, and the new positions in the running order seem to put them in a totally different light.”

The original concept was to package 54 remastered tracks in a deluxe box package with a 36-page book of photos and essays. Atlantic’s European distributors East West were supremely keen to also issue an edited version aimed at the mainstream market. And so a condensed version with 24 tracks on a triple album and 26 on a double cassette and CD was also prepared — for Europe only.

remasters music week

This release, under the title “Remasters”, formed the major spearhead of WEA/East West’s Christmas market campaign. After all the years of avoiding the greatest hits treatment, the Zepp catalogue received the full commercial push as East West undertook a massive marketing campaign to back to October 15 release of “Remasters”. Window displays were installed, including inflatable blimps which are sure to join earlier models as collectable Zep items. Mysterious teaser adverts appeared in the music press depicting the shadow of the Zepp airship looming over several international locations, recalling the similar obscure ads placed as a trailer for the band’s fourth album. Even a TV advertisement was prepared, set to appear on screens across the country in the run-in to Christmas.


But East West did fail in the final quest to fully commercialise this “Remasters” package: they did not receive the blessing of Page, Plant and Jones to issue a U.K. single. The plan was to issue “Stairway To Heaven” on December 2 as a four-track CD single and 12″ picture disc, with “Whole Lotta Love”, “Immigrant Song” and “Good Times Bad Times”. Although the classic Zep anthem would have been a strong contender for the Christmas No. 1 spot, the no-U.K.-singles rule prevailed. This collection of tracks subsequently surfaced in two already well-in-demand U.K. promo items. The first is a four-track 10″ pressing (Atlantic LZ 2), housed in a black sleeve depicting the specially commissioned Mission Control-designed colour illustrations that mirror the images of the band’s famous four symbols. There is also a four-track promo CD single (Atlantic CD LZ 1), packaged in a cardboard oblong box. Both items are definitely prime additions to any Led Zeppelin rarities collection.

The condensed “Remasters” set duly surfaced on schedule, and entered the U.K. album chart at No. 10. As a layman’s introduction to the group, its track listing does include the majority of Zepp classics, though I was surprised to find that “When The Levee Breaks” and “The Ocean” — two tracks which have been heavily sampled by other artists, and have this found their way to the forefront of the Zepp canon over the last decade — had both been omitted. I personally would have viewed these tracks as more historically representative than lesser stepping stones such as “Celebration Day” and “Houses Of The Holy”

While there can be little complaint about the overall musical content of “Remasters”, or the typically offbeat sleeve design concept of the Zepp shadow looming over a mysteriously carved cornfield, the lack of any track details on the sleeve is a disappointment. Despite the fact that Atlantic’s press release for the condensed set promised “extensive sleeve notes” on the vinyl edition, purchasers of “Remasters” are afforded none of the intensive recording data to be found in the box set booklet. There is not even any indication as to which album each track came from. As the set is obviously aimed at the less committed fan, surely this would have been a simple device to draw attention to the entire Zep catalogue.

Unfortunately, omissions such as these present “Remasters” as something of a cold marketing ploy issued to cash in on the peak consumer period. Compared to the deluxe box set package, it certainly pales considerably. At nigh on £20 a throw, “Remasters” should have been presented with far more information, and some additional alternate photos. That’s particularly the case, given the fact that completist collectors will need this set as well as the extended box, as it strangely contains one remastered track not to be found anywhere on the box set — namely the first album opener, “Good Times Bad Times”. The fact that all the different formats of “Remasters” are scheduled to be deleted on March 31 1991 will also add to its desirability to the keen Zep enthusiast.

And now to the box set itself, simply titled “Led Zeppelin”. This is beautifully packaged in a strong 12″ box with a slightly different view of the ‘Zepp over cornfields’ scene. The accompanying 36-page book is also of superb quality and contains some wonderful photos. The three essays by noted American critics Robert Palmer (who coincidentally also wrote notes for the Rod Stewart “Storyteller” set), Kurt Loder and Cameron Crowe are admirable summaries of the band’s career. However, for all his “front row seats to the Zepp experience”, Crowe manages in the space of eight pages to document wrongly the date of the release of “Houses Of The Holy” (March ’73, not May), the date and location of their meeting with Elvis (L.A. in May ’74, not Las Vegas in 1972), the date they flew to Stockholm to begin recording “In Through The Out Door” (November ’78 not January), and the date of Live Aid (July ’85, not ’87).

While it’s great to see a full track rundown of when and where each track was recorded, some errors again creep in. Two of them can be put down to the confusion some researcher had about the different way dates are printed in the U.K. and U.S. — the recording date of the Albert Hall rehearsal take of “I Can’t Quit You Baby” was actually January 9 1970 (9/1/70 in U.K. usage) and not September 1 1970 (9/1/70 in American eyes). Similarly, the recording date of “Bonzo’s Montreux” becomes December 9 1976 instead of September 12. Elsewhere, printing gremlins creep in on the “Gallows Pole” entry which has it being recorded in 1972 and released on “Led Zeppelin 3” in 1970. I would also question the actual release dates^ of some of the albums in the U.S. discography — the soundtrack album, for instance, being a month out. This may seem like nitpicking, but I cannot be alone in finding such errors annoying, particularly as “Led Zeppelin” was designed as a definitive retrospective.

And the music? In compiling 54 tracks, Page was faced with the difficult task of knowing what to leave out. Obviously everyone has different favourites and a set list like this is always going to be disappointing. For me, the biggest letdown is the lack of tracks from “Physical Graffiti”, by their own admission Led Zeppelin’s premier achievement on record.

But what is included is a truly wondrous cross section of the musical diversity that coloured the Zeppelin catalogue during their 12-year reign. In remastering the tracks, Page has added a punch and clarity that the original CDs sorely lacked — without tampering with the original tapes, so there is no remixing here aside from the new Bonzo creation, which I’ll come to in a moment. The cleaning-up of the analog tapes also greatly helps the light and shade of tracks like “The Battle Of Evermore” and “Ten Years Gone”, while Page has restored the correct studio banter to the ending of “In My Time Of Dying”.


Some of the anomalies and surprises to be found in this mammoth collection include the fact that the timings of many tracks here are vastly different to the claims on the original albums. For instance, “Kashmir” (previously listed as 9’41”) now appears as a correct 8’31”, though the tracks are absolutely identical. The only piece amongst the 54 which I have noticed being different to the original is “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”. The “Remasters” take is 12 seconds longer than the “Presence” original due to the inclusion of an extra guitar riff chorus on the intro. Elsewhere, the three-second white noise count-in on “Immigrant Song” is deleted here, as is the eight-second intro to “Tangerine”. But the warming up of guitars on “Black Dog” is present, and sounds much more pronounced than before.

It’s interesting to hear familiar classics placed in a different light — “Heartbreaker” now segues instantly into “Communication Breakdown”, for example, rather than “Livin’ Lovin’ Maid”, while “The Song Remains The Same” drifts into “Ten Years Gone”. The sequencing of the tracks does, as John Paul Jones noted, put them in a new context.

Finally, some new delights. In merging John Bonham’s “Moby Dick” with his later “Bonzo’s Montreux”, Page has produced an affectionate tribute to the late drummer, achieved with Synclavier programming at Atlantic’s studios in New York earlier this year. Some might question whether he should have tampered with the originals, but the finished track mixes elements of Bonham’s developing technique over seven years. It’s also a joy to hear the “Zepp 3” leftover “Hey Hey What Can I Do” — a warm semi-acoustic groove previously only available on the B-side of the U.S./European “Immigrant Song” single, and on the long-deleted “New-Age Of Atlantic” sampler LP.

rem 1

Also included are two much-bootlegged BBC recordings, which sound superb. “Travelling Riverside Blues”, a Page/Plant arrangement of the old Robert Johnson blues classic, is a prime mid-’69 remnant with a spiralling Page slide guitar riff and some dominant Bonzo bass drum patterns — all now heard to their full effect for the first time. “White Summer/Black Mountain Side” comes from the live Playhouse Theatre show recorded on June 27th 1969, and brings back many nostalgic Zep memories.

Of course, there will be a school of thought that Page should have used this box set project to issue more unreleased gems — many of which have turned up on top quality bootleg CDs over the past year. There was also scope here for the much vaunted chronological live album idea which Page often hinted at in the latter Zepp era. Though there may be few fully-fledged studio tracks with finished vocals in the vaults, recent bootlegs have proved that there are some tantalising alternate takes which would have added spice to the set. “Led Zeppelin” is superb in its own right, but many enthusiasts will view it as a missed opportunity to hear more enlightening live and studio cuts. Certainly one CD of rare material would have made the whole thing much more worthwhile.

My personal choice of a bonus rare CD of material which is known to exist would have lined up like this: “Communication Breakdown” (live Royal Albert Hall, 1970); “Jenning’s Farm Blues” (electric studio rehearsal of “Bron Y Aur Stomp”, 1969); “Blues Medley” from the “Hats Off To Harper” session (1970); “No Quarter” (instrumental studio out-take, 1972); “Over The Hills And Far Away” (live in Dallas, 1975 U.S. tour); “Tangerine” (live, Earls Court 1975); “Trampled Underfoot” (live, Earls Court 1975); “The Song Remains The Same/Sick Again” (live, New York 1977); “Ten Years Gone” (live, New York 1977); “Train Kept A-Rollin’ ” (live, Zurich 1980); “All My Love” (alternate extended version, 1978). But maybe Jimmy is saving that lot for the “Re-Remasters”!

Overall, despite the misgivings about the track listing, some irritating errors in the booklet and the difficulty of pleasing collectors old and new, the “Led Zeppelin” box set is a worthy investment, and compares well with similar packages by other artists. Certainly, in restoring the Zeppelin catalogue to CD with the sound quality it deserves, Page has done a superb job. With the incredible resurgence of interest in the band in recent times — they must surely be the most popular defunct band outside of the Beatles — the set is sure to be in huge demand.

This collection will stand as a lasting testament to the sheer diversity of Zeppelin’s recorded work. It should also prompt re-examination of epic works such as “Achilles’ Last Stand” and “In The Light”. The latter track’s final few minutes, capturing Jimmy’s overdubbed guitar parts rippling across Robert’s chorus, the Jones drone and Bonzo’s timely hammering, is perhaps the most impressive section of the entire 54-track set. And it sounds glorious.

Will they reform? Will there be a live chronological video to supplement this release sometime next year? The remastered “Led Zeppelin” set should keep all Zepp fans riveted to their turntables as we await the next chapter in a story that is far from over.

Dave Lewis – October 1990

Dave Lewis is the author of a forthcoming book on Led Zeppelin titled “Led Zeppelin — A Celebration” (to be published by Omnibus Press, spring 1991).

First published in Record Collector December 1990

More Remasters memories:

It was 30 years ago…

The scene in the Our Price record shop in Bedford that I managed on this day 29 years ago – for on October 15, 1990 the first ever Led Zeppelin compilation set was released – the double album Remasters,.to be followed two weeks later by the 4LP/CD box set. It opened up Zep to a whole new market..and boy did we sell some Zep product as Colin Stonebridge, Justin Cromie and Jason Foster will remember…great music retail days they were…

It was 30 years ago 2:

The scene in the Our Price record shop window in Bedford on this day 29 years ago – for on October 15, 1990 the first ever Led Zeppelin compilation set was released – the double album be followed two weeks later by the 4LP/CD box set.

As I had a vested interest (I was writing the Led Zeppelin A Celebration book a the time) I made sure we racked up the sales – much of the window came from my collection – including that rather splendid Japanese poster of Jimmy Page on the right…all this contributed to me being awarded a triple gold disc by Warners for my efforts to ensure Led Zeppelin were right back at the forefront of record, CD and tape buyers…where they have remained ever since

It was 30 years ago 3:

The triple gold disc I was awarded by Warner Music in the UK for my contribution to the sales of the Remasters releases –notably the £54 priced 4CD/LP box set –in the Our Price Store I managed in Bedford we generated over £10,000 sales during the opening weeks of release… not bad for a store of just 980 square feet. Great retail days they were…






To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of Led Zeppelin III here’s the second part of the making of Led Zeppelin III feature I wrote for Record Collector in 2010. 

The making of Led Zeppelin III Part 2:

When the group reconvened for studio sessions at Olympic in late May e they had a good ten numbers at the ready to record stage. ‘’We’ll be recording for the next two weeks and we are doing a lot of acoustic stuff as well as the heavier side’’ John Bonham told Melody Maker’s Chris Welch from the studio. ‘’There will be better quality songs than on the first two albums’’

On the recommendation of their office secretary Carole Browne, they decamped to Headley Grange in East Hampshire. Originally built in 1795, Headley Grange was formerly a work house for the poor, infirmed and orphaned. In 1870, the building was bought by builder Thomas Kemp for £420, who converted it into a private residence and named it Headley Grange. In keeping with the then trend of band’s getting it together in the country’’, Fleetwood Mac had recently rehearsed there as page commented on

‘’Headley Grange was somewhat rundown, the heating didn’t work. But it had one major advantage. Other bands had rehearsed there and hadn’t had any complaints. That’s a major issue, because you don’t want to go somewhere and start locking into the work process and then have to pull out.’’. Zeppelin would use this location more extensively on the recording of Led Zeppelin 4 and Physical Graffiti.

For the Zep 3 recordings they employing the Rolling Stones mobile studio and tackled the wealth of song ideas at their disposal. Aside from the softer numbers they also had a series of full on rock numbers to work on. Material such as Immigrant Song , Celebration Day and Out On the Tiles would showcase the more familiar side of the band.

They supplemented the Headley Grange sessions with continued work at their regular studio haunt Olympic Studios and in mid July they also took advantage of the newly built Island Studios in Basing Street London. The Studio Two facilities had opened there the previous March – Zeppelin had the distinction of being the first band to use the Studio One facility when it opened allegedly beating Country Joe in booking the sessions. There was a rumour at the time that Page would assist Country Joe in the recording of his album at De Lane Lea Studios.

Rchard Digby Smith was a trainee engineer at Island Studios. I remember the recording of Since I’ve Been Loving You, he told Phil Sutcliffe. ‘’It was a steep learning curve for me. You were in the studio with such greatness and I was only 20 years old. I assisted on that track when Robert did the vocal in Studio One. It was like a spaceship flight deck looking down through the glass. He did two or three takes and would then go back and patch up the mistakes or bits that needed a bit more work. I’d say it was a team effort but Jimmy Page Page had the final say. When Robert was singing, Page would be at the desk talking to Robert not telling him what to do but working with him.’

John Paul Jones was a man of few words. I remember one time they were in for a couple of days and I engineered because Andy Johns was not around. I can see him there, hand on his chin just going ‘’Mmmmm’’ and you would never really knew what he was thinking.

The studio had a high ceiling and there was a Bayer M50 mic suspended about six feet above the drums. That picked up a lot of the drum sound though the whole kit was also miked. Bonhams drumming was so loud he never took the front skin off and put coats in like a lot of drummers. You knew you were in the presence of greatness. Look behind you and there was Peter Grant sitting on the sofa. The whole of the sofa! There was hugeness about everything they did’’ Andy Johns had worked with them on Led Zeppelin 2 recalled ‘’Those guys worked really fast. You could get two tracks an evening and not be working too late We did one or two mixes just Jimmy and myself. He was really easy to get on with. I remember a big black Gibson violin bass which he played’’

It was around this time a series of break up rumours began circulated. The lay off gave fuel to the idea that all was not well with the band. Publicist Bill Harry was keen to squash any such notion. He arranged for John Bonham to be interviewed by Roy Carr for the NME a week before their Bath Festival appearance. ‘’To put a complete end to these break up rumours,’’ Bonzo informed Carr ‘’Anyone who goes to Bath will see and hear Led Zeppelin as they’ve never seen or heard us before’’

The band played their first show in three months on June 22nd in Reykjavik. This show at the Laugardalsholl Sports was part of a cultural exchange visit organized by the British Government. Brief black & white Footage of the visit can be seen on the 2003 official Led Zeppelin DVD..This show was part of a cultural exchange extravaganza organised by the British government and promoted by international booking agent, Jasper Parrot. Led Zeppelin were the official representatives of the UK pop industry. The venue was later to host the famous 1972 World Chess Championship between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky Rare black and white footage of their arrival in Iceland and performing Dazed And Confused was discovered and cleaned up for use in the official Led Zeppelin DVD.     During this trip, Robert was inspired to write the lyrics for Immigrant Song. Plant: “We went to Iceland and it was one of those times when you go to bed at night, but you don’t sleep because the daylight’s still there – a 24-hour day. There was just an amazing hue in the sky and it was one of those things that made you think of Vikings and big ships and John Bonham’s stomach!”

Five days later they topped the bill at the Bath Festival performing to an audience of over 100,000. It was reported that they turned down US appearances at New Haven and Boston to fulfill this prestigious date. Zeppelin had appeared way down the bill on the event a year previous. The fact that they returned just twelve months later as the star attraction was ample proof of their growing status. Peter Grant made sure they appeared just as the sun went down pulling the plug on the previous act Flock in the process. They went down a storm garnering five encores.    They closed the set, as was the custom, with the extended ‘How Many More Times’ medley. Plant made a speech to the crowd prior to the final encores: “We’ve been playing America a lot recently and we really thought that coming back here we might have a dodgy time. There’s a lot of things going wrong in America at the moment, that are getting a bit sticky. It’s really nice to come to an open-air festival where there are no bad things happening and everything’s turned out beautiful.”

Allegedly the concert was filmed on Grant’s insistence for possible use in their in progress film project. Nothing has ever surfaced from this official source – a minute or so of amateur cine footage is the only filmed remnant of the land mark appearance. The next week’s   Melody Maker reported ‘Five Encores For Zeppelin’: “Led Zeppelin stormed to huge success at the Bath Festival. About 150,000 fans rose to give them an ovation. They played for over three hours – blues, rock and roll and pure Zeppelin. Jimmy Page, in a yokel hat to suit the Somerset scene, screamed into attack on guitar, John Paul Jones came into his own on organ as well as bass, and John Bonham exploded his drums in a sensational solo. And the crowd went wild demanding encore after encore… a total of five!”

John Bonham enjoyed his Bath night: “The atmosphere was fantastic really when you consider it was cold and windy. And even when it rained they sat through it and could still be happy. I did’t think you could get an atmosphere like that at a concert.”   Peter Grant remembered later: “Bath was great. I went down to the site unbeknown to Freddie Bannister and I found out from the Met Office what time the sun was setting and it was right behind the stage and by going on at 8 in the evening, I was able to bring the lights up a bit at a time. And it was vital we went on to match that. That’s why I made sure Flock or whoever it was got off on time. Not that we had anything to lose as we’d been paid £20,000 up front!

‘’Bath was a turning point in recognition for us’’ Page stated ‘’There have been one or to magical gigs and Bath was one of them’’.

The Iceland and Bath dates saw them incorporate the newly written Immigrant Song as a set opener – a status it would retain up until late 1972. That’s The Way was the first introduction to their acoustic side and word was out that this forthcoming album would see something of a change in direction. A week later they travelled to Germany for a successful four-date tour, capitalising on their success in one of their most lucrative European markets where the Whole Lotta Love single had been a number one smash alongside the Led Zeppelin 2 album. Following those dates the band readied themselves for a lengthy sixth American trek. Just before they left it was reported by Melody Maker that Jimmy Page would complete the mixing and editing of the third album in New York. Peter Grant was quoted as saying it would be ‘’Entirely different ‘’from their previous albums. It was also hinted that they would perform in Japan and Australia at the end of the year –it would actually be a year later when they would reach those territories.



John Lennon at 80…

Last Friday  October 9 was  John Lennon’s 80th birthday.

The events of 40 years ago surrounding his comeback album Double Fantasy and his shocking death in December are intrinsically linked for me with the tragic events going inside the Zep camp this time back in 1980.
I can vividly remember Simon Bates airing the Starting Over single and there was a real optimism about his return to recording. I purchased the album in the Kings Road in November after a visit to the Swan Song offices. That optimism (as with the Zep events) turned to agony on the morning of December 9th when the news broke here that John Lennon had been shot dead in new York.

I’ve recently been playing a lot of Beatles lately inspired by the visit a week back of long time TBL supporter and Beatles expert Paul Humbley.

I went back to those first four albums -Please, Please Me, With The Beatles , A Hard Days Night and Beatles For Sale.

It’s a stark reminder of the sheer exuberant joy of his rasping vocal in those formative years. Performances such as Please Please Me, Eight Days a Week etc  are ample evidence of his genius –  John Lennon is right up there  in my top five vocalist of all time. His post Beatle output has it’s moments for sure but what he achieved in those short eight years between 1962 and 1969 is awe inspiring. Hearing those innocent upbeat early Beatles tunes has been a tonic this past week.

I of course soaked up all the amazing footage shown last week on BBC 4 and the Sky Arts Lennon at 80 channel – they did a fantastic job – so much rare stuff – it was great to see the repeat of the full Old Grey Whistle Test interview with John first shown in April 1975. I remember watching that on the night in some awe. All in all it was an absolute joy to celebrate the genius of John Lennon at 80…


DL Diary Blog Update: 

Friday October 9:

Friday treats at the Slide Record Shop…and some poignant memories of Hayley…

In the light of the very sad news of the passing of my beautiful friend and ex work colleague Hayley Martin earlier this week, I really haven’t had the heart to do much at all these past few days.

Thankfully, the always excellent Slide Record shop inspired me to make the effort to call in the shop this afternoon as Warren and Nerys had reserved me a copy of the superb new John Lennon compilation Gimme Some Truth.

Whilst there, Nery’s commented that Hayley had been in the shop with me a few times and it was comforting to remember those memorable days when Hayley and I would meet in the nearby George and Dragon for a long catch up and then walk down to Slide – me to see what was new in and Hayley to check for any Madonna bargains of which there were always a few, as can be seen in this lovely pic of her.

I will of course be reveling in the John Lennon album this weekend and it was fitting to be buying it on this day – his 80th Birthday.

The words from the wonderful track Grow Old With Me taken from the posthumous 1984 John Lennon collection Milk And Honey will be even more poignant…

‘’Grow Old with me…let us share what we see’’

How I so wish Hayley could….

Dave Lewis, October 9,2020.

Saturday October 10:

It’s National Album Day today which this year celebrates the music of the 80s so I’ll be digging out some of my 80s album faves…-

So on the player Robert Plant Shaken ‘n’Stirred, the difficult third album from 1985.

With more time signatures per song than you can shake a stick at, one could be forgiven at the time for thinking he had gone a bit barking…however it does not sound quite so difficult this morning – in fact it sounds rather splendid in an 80s retro kinda way…

Tuesday October 13:

It’s a Happy Birthday to the great Chris Farlowe.

On Friday July 5, 2019 at the Spitalfields Market record fair in London I was well pleased to find a copy of the single Dawn by Chris Farlowe and The Thunderbirds- a German Immediate label pressing…

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

In an amazing random co- incidence, I had recognised Chris walking around the fair, so I had a really nice chat with him. I reminded him I had interviewed him for the TBL magazine when the Chris Farlowe Jimmy Page produced Beginnings album was released via Jimmy’s website in 2017.

As I was flicking through the racks, I came across this single – Chris came over to have a look at it and was only too pleased to personally sign it for me – a lovely gesture…

Thanks Chris and a Happy Birthday…

Update here:

The good lady Janet has been full on at the pre school and right back in to it – her leg has been sore at times but the physio ongoes to help strengthen her leg  – as do our frequent walks. I’ve been wading through the TBL archive researching some material for potential projects ahead.  The spread of the virus infection is a continual worry and as ever, thoughts go out to you all from here in keeping safe and well.

Some particular inspirations this past week…

A catch up on the phone from my very good friend Dec…

The new issue of Classic Rock arriving with Jimmy Page on the cover …

Elton John’s appearance on the BBC One show…

Thanks for listening – stay safe and well you very lovely people…

Dave  Lewis – October 15, 2020

Until next time, stay safe and stay well…

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Graham it certainly was

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Ralph many thanks for your kind words..

  • Ralph Hunt Sidway said:

    Hi Dave! Deepest sympathies on the passing of your friend Hayley. I was really touched by your tribute and recollections of her in the previous post. My heart goes out to you…

    The Great Chris Farlowe, indeed! Like many I guess, I learned about him through Jimmy’s DWII and Outrider albums. What an incredible voice! As always, providence smiled upon you again to cross paths with and honor another living legend as only you can.

    Best to you and Janet and crew…

  • Graham Craig Rodger said:

    How fabulous – bumping into Chris Farlowe like that… Haha!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Michael Great times indeed…

  • Michael Rae said:

    Fantastic memories of ten years ago, Dave. I’ll be watching at 7am on Saturday morning, here in Melbourne!

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