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14 February 2013 4,033 views 5 Comments

Valentine’s Day is upon us – that most romantic day of the year. Over the years there have been a few major Zep related happenings on this day and in a TBL archive special here’s some memories from those occasions.

Back in 1974 Jimmy took to the stage to join Roy Harper. I did consider going to this but was slow on the tickets and had to make do with the consolation of Roy’s very fine album Valentine which I purchased the day it came out …( I need to sort that one out and play it today) – Here’s the gen from this one:


Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Bonham are all in attendance for Roy Harper’s St. Valentine’s Day concert. Jimmy, resplendent in a Chinese jacket decorated with hummingbirds, joins Roy’s all star band comprising Keith Moon (drums), Ronnie Lane (bass) and Max Middleton (keyboards) for numbers including ‘Same Old Rock’ (playing a Martin acoustic), ‘Male Chauvinist Pig Blues’ and ‘Home’ (playing the Gibson Les Paul) and ‘Too Many Movies’. ‘Home’ includes a cameo appearance from John Bonham who comes on strumming an acoustic guitar, dressed in a red jacket and black tights and sporting a pork pie hat. Finally, Robert Plant strolls on at the end to act as MC to declare to the crowd: “Ladies and Gentlemen – Roy Harper!!”

Some of this set was later issued on Roy’s ‘Flashes From The Archives Of Oblivion’ double album. Harper dubbed this one-off line-up as The Intergalactic Elephant Band.

Jimmy Page: “We maybe played a few wrong notes here and there, but what the hell -the spirit of the thing was great.”


 A year to the day in 1975, Led Zeppelin were on stage performing a memorable gig on the first leg of their US tour:  


Set: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/Since I’ve Been Loving You/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/No Quarter/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/Dazed And Confused (inc. San Francisco)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – Black Dog/Heartbreaker.

Ive been listening to this show via the soundboard recording that surfaced a few years back and has just come out again on the Scorpio label title Throwing The Wild Seeds. Plant is just about regaining his vocals strength after the problems early on the tour. He is also on his spieling best form developing one of those band to audience rapports he was so good at.

Witness his opening statements:

“Today is one of the last of the pagan traditions that is carried on into the 20th Century. It’s the day for throwing the wild seeds. In fact, now they call it St. Valentine’s Day… so, happy St. Valentine’s Day! I think we should dedicate this whole show to St. Valentine.”

“Tonight, we intend to take a knife and cut right through the glorious ice cream of Led Zeppelin. You get a little bit of vanilla, a little bit of chocolate, a little bit of colour and a little bit of everything”

And more..

“We came here in a state of ah, Jimmy managed to get to sleep at three o’clock this afternoon, and he was up again at four thirty. So we didn’t really know whether we had the strength to walk on the stage, but we have, and it’s feeling good. We were, we spent a few hours with St. Valentine last night, you see?”

The set list is notable for the inclusion of Since I’ve Been Loving played live for the first time since the 1973 US tour. Plant: “Who knows what it’s gonna sound like, but it’s something we really used to dig playing”. There’s a masterful ad-lib during the song where he sings the ‘I’m about to lose my worried mind” refrian and adds ”I seem to remember I used to say for five minues”

The playing throughout is wonderfully loose and informal and there’s another great moment as Plant is introducing No Quarter” Page plays the opening notes to Train Kept A-Rollin.  “We’re going through our whole live history here, just flashing on different numbers” Plant adds.

There’s also a requests forTangerine.  “Who’s doing this show, you or us?asks Plant. ” Both of us, right” before singing a couple lines of the song.  “I’ve forgotten the words.”

Dazed And Confused is a marathon 30 minute plus excursion and the  encore delivery of Heartbreaker leads into an impromptu  verson of Elvis’Mess Of Blues

Mike Tremaglio recalls One of my friends saw this show from the 14th row.Unfortunately he could not score tickets for my brother and I – not that I held it against him as I got him tickets for the June 7 1977 New York show. We asked him to log down all the details of the Nassau show  and we  did get a blow by blow account of the new songs from Physical Graffiti a full two weeks before it was released in the U.S. His recall was tremendous and I can remember him describing In My Time of Dying and Kashmir in real detail.

Above archive review via Mike Tremaglio

The month of February 1975 is one of my most cherished of Zep’s career – a fantastic period with reports coming back from the US in the music press, the prospect of an announcement being made of their plans to appear for the UK and the mounting excitement of the soon to be released Physical Graffiti. Back then all of this was ample reason to buy in to the Zep dream…and yup I bought into it big time.

And then the arrival of Physical Graffiti – from funk to rock, to blues to folk and back again.  It just had everything. The most complete one stop summary of what made Led Zeppelin great. On this Valentine’s Day may I make the point that the whole sequence of songs on side three from In The Light through to Ten Years Gone offers more pure romanticism than any number of Barry White waxings. Perfect musical accompaniment for your candle lit table tonight!

So dig the Physical Graffiti album out again and I’m sure you’ll agree that they remain, as the renowned NME scribe Nick Kent noted in his review at the time “Quintessential doyens of the kamikaze dissbuster game….”

Which may not be the most romantic a description but one that remains most appropriate.


Some 32 years later on Valentine’s Day in 2007, Robert Plant regrouped The Honeydrippers for a special charity and birthday performance for long time soundman Roy Williams. Staged at the JB’s club in Dudley, it was a memorable night which I was lucky enough to attend.



Mess Of Blues, Little Sister, She Little Sheila, Gonna Work Out Fine, Black Magic WomanI’ve Been Loving You, Put A Spell On You, Big Log, Down In The Bottom,Can’t Be Satisfied, Rattlesnake Shake, Croossroads, Big Hunk Of Love, Daddy Rolling Stone, Encores: Stormy Monday/ I Can’t Quit You Babe, Comin’ Home, What I’d Say.

Here’s the DL diary entry from the day after:

Honeydrippers Rockola and surprise Beckola in the Midlands:

Just back from a whirlwind stop over in Dudley to catch The Return Of The Honeydrippers charity show at JB’s Club. And quite a night it was. Mike Sanchez and The Big Town Playboys got the evening off to a suitably rocking start with an hour long set of pure roughshod rock’n’roll aided by Ricky Cool and Andy Silvester. Before the main event there was a real surprise. Jeff Beck strolled on the stage, white Telecaster in hand to perform three instrumental jams supported by a two man rhythm section with the Playboys Ian Jennings on bass. Looking for all the world like he’d stepped off the set of that famous Yardbirds club appearance in the Blow Up film, he proceeded to deliver those familiar guitar histrionics that has carved his legend. The total surprise element in viewing one of the pioneering guitarists of all time right there just a few feet away was absolutely startling. Scrubbing the axe for all it’s worth, finger picking up the fret- this was a masterclass of electric guitar playing. This man still has it … In droves.

Then followed the return of The Honeydrippers. Witnessing the singer back among friends, effortlessly guiding the enthusiastic audience through the backwaters of his record collection was a total joy. Highlights: The back to back Elvis Mess of Blues/Little Sister opening, Robert taking a backing vocal role to Mo Birch’s lead on Gonna Work Out Fine, a beautifully laid back Black Magic Woman, a nostalgic Big Log with Robbie Blunt recreating the spirit of ’83, Muddy’s Just Can’t Be Satisfied with Robert on harp and a vibrant Daddy Rolling Stone with great back up vocals from Mo and Nadia Pearson. In the encores they even did a version of Delaney And Bonnie’s Comin’ Home, one of my all time faves and a single I brought when it first came out back in 1970.

Forget The Police and anyone else rumoured to be reforming … 26 years to the day of their first gig, The Honeydrippers made this the only reunion worth talking about around these parts … and provided a memorable 60th birthday for sound engineer Roy Williams.

DL – Feb 15th 2007.

The latter statement was a bit of a long shot because at the time there were no rumours of what was to follow come December…and before we leave this story..happy birthday for today Roy!

Here’s a couple of short you tube clips from the show:


Staying with the Valentine’s theme, I have a playlist that that randomly sequences the more wistful and romantic  side of Zep, Page & Plant moments –it includes  Tangerine, Moonlight In Samosa, Wonderful One, The Greatest Gift, That’s The Way, When I Was A Child, Like I’ve Never Been Gone, Ten Years Gone, Come Into My Life, Down By The Seaside, Stick With Me Baby, Blue Train, I’m Gonna Crawl, Heart In Your Hand, Thank You, The Rain Song, Song To The Siren, Going To California, In The Light, I Believe, Ship of Fools, Sea Of Love, Please Read The Letter, Our Song, All My Love, Thank You etc – you get the idea.

Aside from Zep, I’d list  Frank Sinatra’s In The Wee Small Hours, Dusty Springfield In Memphis and  David Bowie’s Young Americans as definitive Valentine’s Day play.

DL Diary Update :

First off, Gary Foy would like to offer thanks for all the good wishes received via the TBL site and Facebook on the occasion of his 50th birthday….and thanks from me for all the positive response to TBL 34 which really does make it all worthwhile. Thanks also to Jeff Strawman and Terry Stephenson for their support.

Here’s a link to a great TBL mention via the excellent Achilles Last Stand website – thanks Jeff!

Meanwhile, back here it’s been full on with the Houses Of The Holy feature and as we lead in to the 40th anniversary of the fifth Zep opus, look out for a countdown to the March 28th release date of the album coming soon on the TBL website and Facebook page.

Ahead there are a number of projects to get underway including TBL 35, the Knebworth book second edition and various other initiatives .

Just finished reading the compelling Pete Townshend autobiography Who I Am ….on the player it’s been the aforementioned Thowing The Wild Seeds , plus the Mighty Baby albums I got at the Olympia Fair – DVD wise I had a look at the the very well put together Hats Off To Led Zeppelin tribute band DVD One – more details of that at this link:

While we are on the Hats Off subject, Congratulations to Tiffany Grant, daughter of Hats Off manager Warren. Tiffany has recently been accepted on the BIMM University Course in Bristol for music business management – this is the course that runs the Peter Grant Scholarship. She of course wants to do her grandad proud! Here’s a great pic of Tiffany with Jimmy Page at the Celebration Day London premiere.

Last Saturday I took a stroll down the Fox to catch Spurs 2-1 victory over Newcastle and the boy Adam and me were there last night  to watch the Real Madrid Man Utd first leg – a 1-1 draw being an excellent result for Alex’s boys.

I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Celebration Day vinyl package which looks to be a very nice item indeed.

Thoroughly enjoyed Radio 2’s Please Please Me showcase of artists’  re- recording that classic debut Beatles album at Abbey Road, 50 years to the day that it was originally recorded there on February 11th 1963 in a mere 12 hours. Particularly enjoyed Mick Hucknall’s version of Anna and Gabrielle Aplin’s There’s A Place. I’ll try and catch the BBC4 documentary of the event this Friday. Amazing to think that just five days previously The Beatles had performed down the road here at the Granada Cinema Bedford.

I was a bit too young to get to this one but I did see the Dave Clark 5/The Hollies and The Kinks at Bedford Granada the next year. It was the first live music I ever saw and the Dave Clark Five in particular made a huge impression. On that note it was sad to hear the death of The Dave Clark Five’s bass player Rick Huxley age 72. That now only leaves two of the five original member surviving namely Dave Clark and guitarist Lenny Davidson.

School half term beckons next week and the good lady Janet and I might fit in a visit to Hitchin Market which normally has a vinyl box or two to wade through…and tonight we will have a little drink in a pub somewhere nearby to celebrate this most romantic of days -not sure I’ll get away with side 3 of PG later though as the good lady has heard those songs on a few occasions before… !

Until next time…

Keep listening, keep reading…

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy

February  14th 2013.

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  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    I’m looking forward to getting my copy!

  • Richard from Texas said:

    Got the Celebration Day vinyl set on the 12th and listened to it last night. Superb sound–the live atmosphere comes across very nicely, and the instruments are balanced (mixed?) better than on the CD’s I have.

    The packaging is also very nice, visually very pleasing. I’ve been really impressed with Fairey’s color scheme and art, and the individual LP covers seem to combine the old and the new. Difficult to describe, and the little picture on Amazon just doesn’t do it justice!

    If anyone’s been hesitating about buying this on vinyl, I would definitely recommend it.

    By the way, does anyone know why the release date had to be pushed back to February? Just curious.

  • Matt O'Kane said:

    Dave – you should revisit your Kinks gig c/o The Kast Off Kinks at the Stables on 1 March! Mick Avory’s outfit!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Kris – glad it got there all ok and dry!

  • Kristine (Australia) said:

    I got home from work yesterday to find my copy of TBL neatly placed by th e postman in my screen door out of the weather.First time that’s happened …I’ve had to hang a copy or two out to dry before.Anyway Dave it looks fabulous,love the front cover photo, and after a quick flip through over breakfast I know it’s going to be a great read as always. TBL..the only way to stay in touch with all things Zep.
    As an aside..I had to visit my dentist today,great way to start a day off from work,and just as I was settling into the chair what should start playing but Kashmir..not just a good dentist but a man with great taste in music.
    Take care and Happy Valentines Day one and all.

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