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VINYL HBO SERIES/LZ NEWS/ROYAL ALBERT HALL 2002 – 14 YEARS GONE/DAVE LEWIS DIARY BLOG UPDATE

18 February 2016 5,679 views 5 Comments

hbo vinyl one

Plenty of coverage for Vinyl – the new Martin Scorcese/Mick Jagger produced HBO series.  

Here’s the thoughts of Chris Charlesworth.

Chris worked as Melody Maker’s New York correspondent in the 70s so he lived though the real world of Vinyl at the time…

It’s always comical to see characters you’ve known in real life portrayed on film, famous or otherwise. When they get it wrong, it’s discomforting too, slightly cringeworthy. So it was with Ian Hart, the actor who played Led Zeppelin’s manager Peter Grant in the first two-hour opener of Vinyl, the Martin Scorcese/Mick Jagger dramatisation of sleazy goings on in the seventies rock business, that appeared on our TV screen this week.

Unlike Robert De Niro, who ate a mountain of pasta to put on several stone for his role as boxer Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull, Hart wasn’t quite so dedicated, so he actually appears quite a bit shorter and not much heavier than those who recoil at his furious effing and blinding. In a brief scene copied almost word for word from Grant’s famous cameo in The Song Remains The Same – the one where he berates a promoter for permitting the sale of unauthorised merchandise inside a venue – Grant comes over not so much menacing as irritating, like one of those annoying short fat people who shout and scream a lot because that’s the only way they can be heard. Anyone confronted with the real angry Peter Grant knows how much more menacing he truly could be when he wanted.

hbo again

Unlikely as it may seem, the premise is that in 1975 Grant might sign Led Zeppelin to the fictitious label American Century instead of staying with Atlantic. Negotiations having evidently reached stalemate, a bit later he’s seen in their New York offices throwing a gigantic wobbly because the owners of the label might sell out to a German company. “My fucking nan has a piece of shrapnel in her fucking arse thanks to those Nazi bastards,” is the gist of his complaint, but in this scene, which climaxes with ‘Grant’ sending a plate of bagels across the room, he’s wearing a dark suit, not an item of clothing I ever saw Peter wearing in my day. Maybe the real Peter once wore a suit like this as a mark of respect to Jagger – but that’s about as likely as Peter ever accepting anything less than 100% of what Zeppelin was owed.

It’s things like this – and an actor who plays Robert Plant, backstage, sounding more Australian than West Midlands – that make me recoil from productions like Vinyl. No matter how hard they try – and this one does try hard – they can’t quite get it right. Better, I think, not to have bothered with the ‘Zep might have signed with Century’ storyline, especially as it’s a subplot to the main story.

That story hinges on whether or not the label chief, Richie Fenestra (Bobby Cannavale), can sell his once successful label to a German conglomerate for $millions when it’s on the skids, propped up by crooked book-keeping and artists long past their sell by date. Flashbacks reveal Fenestra’s beginnings in the industry, sleazy suits from the fifties having indoctrinated him into the industry’s dubious royalty accounting methods very early on. In this way we are led to believe that the music business has been riddled with corruption since the fifties, which is probably true, at least as far as the black R&B performers from that era are concerned.

The only hope for Fenestra’s American Century seems to lie with a sparky drug-dealing assistant in the A&R department (Jamie, played by Juno Temple) who discovers a punk rock band called Nasty Bits led by nihilistic singer Kip Stevens, played in appropriately surly fashion by Jagger’s son James. “What do you care about?” she asks him after a vigorous shag. “Fucking,” he replies. “I don’t give a fuck about anything else.” A light goes on in our A&R girl’s head, the same one that illuminated Malcolm McLaren methinks.

The production has been compared with Mad Men, but although the soundtrack, clothes and other props are authentic the dialogue is often clichéd and nowhere near as cool. The mid-morning stiff whiskey enjoyed by Don Draper and his advertising agency pals is exchanged for snorts of cocaine, of course, and the warning about strong language and adult themes is more than justified. There’s sex, drugs and cussing galore, and even a grisly murder. Most of the characters in the music business look like the notorious manager Dee Anthony; short, fat, bearded, stroppy and a bit shady, a cross between Mafiosi and the kind of slick-suited promotion men who handed over packets of white powder, $100 bills and introductions to hookers along with the records they wanted DJs to play.

This opening episode was bookended by a New York Dolls concert attended by Fenestra at the Mercer Arts Centre, and the group that portrayed the Dolls certainly made a decent fist of ‘Personality Crisis’. At the end the Mercer comes crashing down, as it did in real life, with Fenestra scrambling from the wreckage, surely a metaphor for the way his life and the series are headed.

I’ll keep watching, if only to see which characters I knew in real life appear next week. Maybe it’ll be an Melody Maker writer.

Chris Charlesworth

Via his excellent Just backdated blog – see link at:

http://justbackdated.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/vinyl-its-only-rocknroll.html

This from the Telegraph:

Television drama has recently mined the music industry with Nashville and Empire exploring the country music and hip-hop scenes respectively to successful if soapy effect. Vinyl, Martin Scorsese and his production partner Mick Jagger’s brash, bruising take on the Seventies music business, has all the ingredients for a box-set blockbuster. This two hour curtain-raiser was awash with sex, drugs, rock’n’roll and (being a Scorsese project) bloody, skull-crushing violence.

At the core of the story was Richie Finestra, boss of his own record company American Century, and played with swaggering, pumped-up bravado by Bobby Cannavale. The label was struggling and Richie, despairing of ever finding true rock’n’roll greatness, was on the brink of selling out to the Polygram conglomerate. This prompted a blackly comic boardroom scene in Germany, where a framed portrait of classical conductor Herbert von Karajan gazed down while Finestra and his co-directors tried to convince the po-faced Germans that their leaking company was financially ship-shape (they hoped their proposed deal with Led Zeppelin would seal the deal).

See more at:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2016/02/12/vinyl-is-a-brash-and-bruising-take-on-the-seventies-music-busine/

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Led Zeppelin News Weekly Update:

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

 

Jimmy Page

Robert Plant

Robert Plant with The Graveltones and his son Logan Plant (far right) at the Beavertown Brewery Music Festival on February 13 (The Graveltones)

John Paul Jones

  • Rokia Traoré’s new album “Né So,” which features John Paul Jones, was released on February 12. You can buy the album here.

Upcoming events:

March 4 – The charity album “The Long Road” (which contains a new Robert Plant song) is released.
March 4/5/6 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Okeechobee music festival in Florida.
March 6 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in St. Augustine, Florida.
March 7 – 
Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Mobile, Alabama.
March 9 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Jackson, Mississippi.
March 10 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
March 11 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Shreveport, Louisiana.
March 13 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
March 15 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Dallas, Texas.
March 17 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in San Antonio, Texas.
March 18 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Midland, Texas.
March 20 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Austin, Texas

The Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here: https://t.co/yp9fGJMSGH

…………………………………………..

TBL Archive Retro:

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant – Royal Albert Hall, February 9 2002:

This piece first appeared in TBL 16. It’s my account of one of the most beguiling nights spent in the company of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

This was the occasion they chose to appear separately on the same bill at one of the series of Teenage Cancer Fund shows in 2002. Looking back I think there was a sense amongst fans that they could still easily pick up their collaboration of the mid to late 1990’s – but by then things had moved on, particularly for Robert. It’s interesting to read again my analogy concerning The Who. Back then they were celebrating their catalogue with commendable unpretentiousness and eight years on they are still doing just that, witness their wonderfully effective ‘’give the audience what they want’’ medley at last week’s half time performance at the SuperBowl.

Things have never been that simple over in the Zep camp. Back then Robert moved on to the Dreamland album and tour which would cement his relationship with the Strange Sensation line up. Jimmy meanwhile undertook the massive challenge of trawling the achieves to come up with the five hour DVD and How The West Was Won album. This did reunite the three former members as they (and us) saw and heard at first hand just exactly what had made Led Zeppelin so special.

Before all that there was a date down at Albert’s place. A confused and often frustrating night as you will read on. If you were there, let me know your thoughts on it now eight years on. This is how it was for me on that night back in February 2002…

Photos: Freda Hyatt

ROYAL ALBERT HALL FEBRUARY 9 2002:

WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN?

albert hall 2002

Right from the start this one was always going to be a bizarre one. The saga commenced on a Friday morning back in early December when a week of shows in aid of the very admirable Teenage Cancer Trust were announced via The Sun.

They were to feature Marti Pellow, Oasis, The Who over two nights and Paul Weller and guests on the final Saturday night. The story broke in The Sun and mentioned that Robert Plant and Jimmy Page would be appearing on the Weller bill.

I was due in London that day on the annual Wallbanger reunion drink so I couldn’t really check the story. Confirmation though arrived once I got to the capital as the early editions of the Evening Standard carried a full page ad for the shows and there emblazoned for Saturday February 9 was The Paul Weller Band with guests Jimmy Page, Gary Moore, plus Robert Plant & Strange Sensation.

Ticket prices were hefty -very hefty ,but it was for an excellent cause and if this was to be the next sighting of the pair then it was a matter of course to get it sorted which I was able to do (at vast expense!) at the near by Stargreen box office.

This Albert Hall benefit would herald the UK debut of Plant’s new line up and a separate appearance by Jimmy. You had to be there…simple as that. Tickets for the date sold out within a day.

Curiously the Weller, Page and Plant night was deemed the most expensive of the week of shows.

Christmas came and went as it does and Feb 9 soon loomed large. Leading up to the gig it was evident Page and Plant would not be appearing together. Plant was set for a 50 minute support slot for which he warmed for with a low key date the previous Wednesday at Bristol University. Page’s involvement was still uncertain – a few numbers jamming with the Weller band? A solo acoustic spot? Stairway live instrumental? The rumours abounded

So it was with much anticipation I approached the first few days of Feb. The whole event was compounded for me with a call from the Page office to supply the programme notes for Jimmy’s insert in the official programme. This I was more than happy to do, though the turn around to get it polished off in time brought forth the usual early morning and late night schedules in between the usual work/family demands.

There then occurred something of a diversion that indirectly put me at a distinct disadvantage in assessing the February 9 gig. A ticket came my way (thanks Phil T.) for The Who’s warm up date at the Watford Coliseum.

Now I haven’t seen the Who for 22 years. Back in their peak years as a live band they were second only in my book to Zep. A lasting example of my enthusiasm for The Who at that time can be viewed by checking the closing scenes of their Kids Are Alright movie, that’s me leaping on to the stage at the end of their Shepperton filming gig I was lucky enough to attend in May1978, hugging Pete Townshend and accidentally cuffing Daltrey in the eye. Yes there some great days with The Who during the 1970s. Their appearance at a rain soaked Charlton football ground in 1976 was another memorable encounter.

After Keith Moon died it was never the same and I avoided all The Who and friends arena tour reunions opting to keep my memories of them unscathed. However the opportunity to pay homage to them from the 8th row in a small theatre now stripped to the basic four piece with Rabbit on keyboards was just too mouth watering to pass up. Their appearance on a cold late January night in Watford was a revelation. They looked great, Daltrey defying his 57 years incredibly well and Townshend playing with venom and panache. They played for over two hours and played every song you could possibly want to hear and more. (On a sad note it would be the last time I would witness the startling bass playing of John Entwhistle who died later that year)

Coming away from the gig left me focusing on one underlining thought.

Page’s quote in that Classic Rock interview last year was so spot on ”Led Zeppelin should be out there” he said and looking at how The Who have maintained their credibility you have to agree.

THIS is exactly what Page, Plant and Jones should be doing. With no pretension and no damage to their legacy. Possibly with Michael Lee on drums – no Egyptians, no big light show, just a two hour set focusing on the more potent side of their catalogue Wanton Song/Night Flight/Royal Orleans/Quite You/Immigrant Song/Ramble On/Four Sticks/The Ocean/……need I go on. They could still concentrate on their individual projects – and come together periodically like The Who in a mass celebration and execution of the greatest rock back catalogue of all time.

But that’s all too easy. The stumbling block is that for one particular ex member such notion is not on the agenda.

You know it’s not going to happen.

It certainly wasn’t going to happen in any shape or form on Saturday February 9. But we knew that and grudgingly accepted it. The opportunity to be in the presence of Plant and Page however fragmented, was more than enough to put the old TBL road show back out in force.

So it was a good feeling to be in the company of like minded souls from all over Europe and some from a far afield as the US at the pre gig pub meet in Kensington in the late afternoon.

The usual attendees on such occasions, Billy and Alison from Scotland, Steve and Gary from the west country, Guy St John, Mr Linwood, the TBL crew with the good lady Janet, Tom Locke and Den, the Foys, Michael from Sweden, the French and Italian crews, Christophe, Ellio etc etc. It’s been a long time since we have all had reason to convene in this manner and surveying the packed pub it’s a familiar case of TBL comes alive. It’s a warm feeling that we can all still do this.

.In the pub speculation is rife of how proceedings might go. The word is that Page will perform one number probably Dazed And Confused. That might seem like short change for those who have travelled across the Atlantic such as the young lady near me -however she did have the consolation of bumping into Robert in the Helter Skelter bookshop yesterday.

Before show time let’s study the facts:

This is Plant’s first London appearance for three years and three months. Page’s first for two and a half years. It’s Page’s first appearance at the Albert Hall for 17 years (his last being the Arms shows in September 1983.) Incredibly It’s Plant’s first appearance on the Albert Hall stage for some 32 years – you have to go back to the night of Friday January 9 1970 at the famous filmed Zeppelin Albert Hall show for the last time Plant greeted an audience at this historic venue.

Walking into the grand old building it’s hard not to be overawed by the sheer history of the venue. In fact no other venue in the UK holds such esteem. Looking around the seated circular structure it’s easy to think of the ghosts of concerts past that are ingrained on memory and on film. The Rolling Stones in ’66, Cream’s final show in ’68, Zeppelin in ’69 and ’70 and that emotion filled night back in September 1983 when the fragile Page re interpreted his most famous composition. How welcome that would be tonight…

But you know it’s not going to happen.

The audience is a curious mix of old rockers (that’s us) and old mods (that’s them) weighted probably 60 -40 in favour of Paul Weller. Again this makes for an uneven reception to what follows.

After a standard blues wailing set from Gary Moore, Harvey Goldsmith takes the stage and gives the background to the charity intentions before introducing Robert Plant. With the hall still filling up the Strange Sensation line up takes it place. Drummer Clive Deamer to the left…keyboard man John Baggott to the right, Justin Adams and Porl (still with carpet) flanking the singer and the more familiar Charlie Jones stationed at the back. The singer strides on up to the mic for the long drawn out moanings of If I Ever Get Lucky.

Initial impressions. The voice is good – better I’m informed later by those who had witnessed the Bristol warm up when he was recovering from a virus.

Morning Dew is next more free form (as most of the number are) than the Priory version, full of jazzy keyboard runs effective if perfunctory. The introduction of Four Sticks raises the required cheer and it’s this point it should all take off.

Except it doesn’t.

The arrangement is excellent with that slowed down reflective section (A Strange Sensation trait) but Robert seems less than animated opting to hug the mic rather than strut in a manner that this classic piece of Zep 4 history demands. The other minor distraction is the fact that the original composer of this Zep standard is somewhere in the vicinity of the building. At any moment you hope of hopes that he will glide on stage, Gibson at the ready and rock out on one of the most durable riffs from the golden era…

But you know it’s not going to happen.

I knew what to expect with Hey Joe having heard and seen some of the SS tapes and videos from last years US tour- the most left field of arrangements with some atmospheric guitar and keyboard motifs that work well and Plant effectively interpreting the traditional lyric. If you work at it there’s some fine stuff going on here – trouble was on this night, it was all a little too early to concentrate on doing so.

Song To the Siren is next -expertly sung but somehow at odds with the less than intimate surroundings and completely lost of course on the Weller audience. Love’s A House Is Not A Motel follows and this pin points the shortcomings of the SS ethic. With the Priory Plant delivered this with the urgency and flair of the original. Not so tonight. The edgy opening verses kick off in the right direction but it all moves on into a spacey improvisation that quickly strips the song of its impetus -the guitar and organ creating a wash of sound.

Unfortunately there is no time to recover – no final blast of say Misty Mountain or Babe I’m Gonna Leave You which had been performed at Bristol. No encore, no nothing…lights up Plant and co off. All decidedly unfulfilling. Which is a great shame because the Strange Sensation does have new ideas and places to go musically. It just never lent itself to tonight’s occasion. In it’s own right and with far increased set list length this latest Plant venture could prove enlightening. On the other hand it may be his most off centre project since Shaken’ N’ Stirred. Until the album appears the jury is out on this one.

What we can’t hide is a collective thumbs down for what we have experienced so far tonight. Much of that disappointment maybe down to the circumstances of the evening, but it’s still a frustrating state of play.

Still…there is the silver lining of Jimmy to come but quite how and when remains a mystery.

Now I’ve long admired Paul Weller as an artist. I may even be in the minority of people here tonight that can boast alongside the countless Zep CD’s I own, I also have much of Weller’s work crossing The Jam, Style Council and solo. In many ways his career parallels that of Plant. He is another artist who has found it hard living in the shadow of his past work and like Plant he tends to please himself artistically. Like Plant he finds his past catalogue of little attraction.

Tonight there will be no greatest hits set -instead we get an overlong and often overwrought trawl through his solo work. There are recognisable songs, Wildwood, Changing Man and You Do Something To Me amongst them but there are also many indulgences -trips to the piano to perform obscure album tracks and introduction to guests such as Carleen Anderson, Noel Gallagher and The Stereophonic’s Kelly Jones.

The celebrated Gallagher could have course delivered one of the several noteworthy compositions he has conjured up over the past decade. Wonderwall, Live Forever, Don’t Look Back In Anger…instead we get the nonscript B side One Way Road.

Likewise Jones who has written some fine tunes with The Stereophonics, indeed his cover and current hit Handbags And Gladrags (as used on the brilliant The Office TV show ) would have probably gone down very well…instead we get Woodcutters Son. Weller does relent for a version of The Jam classic Town Called Malice but even this is performed as a semi acoustic romp – when surely his ardent supporters were just crying out for the Motown bass line driven pace of the original.

And so it goes on, and all the time we await the appearance of James Patrick Page. ”Got some special guests coming on soon” is Weller’s only hint after the Jam revival of a change in the menu. Then as if someone had picked up the remote and switched the TV over everything changes.

You can see the Gibson…Weller goes off, his band mates mill around, lights flash down…and there on stage is Jimmy Page.

Cherubic smile, well cut shirt, slimmer than in very long time, low slung Gibson Les Paul and sure enough it’s Dazed And Confused the instrumental…… Right at the back of ones mind …there’s a tiny hope that the singer who first lit the fire of this particular Zep gem will walk on and take the mic and…

But you know it’s not going to happen.

albert hall 2002 pics 2

Jimmy though is on form. The place erupts and throughout the eight minute performance there is no doubt that we are in the presence of a living legend -if that sounds corny well….you had to be there, because it was just so evident that Page still carries that indefinable something that makes him what he is. Musically it’s also probably more than we could have expected given the Weller band’s unfamiliarity with the song, and the fact the guitarist behind Page was wearing a fish tail parker that even beats some of Jonesy’s Spanish epics in the bad fashion day stakes.

The violin bow is wielded to huge cheers,the middle solo spun off as if he was back in 1970 and we were all a lot younger…and the crescendo ending signals mass applause, smiles, hand shakes…and then he’s gone.

That’s it and as quickly as we’ve switched to Channel 4 we are back to BBC 2 and yet more later with Paul Weller .

‘Gonna do Walk On Gilded Splinters’’

This was a hit for Marsha Hunt back in the days when Zep played this venue and maybe a possible Priory contender had they still been up and running.

There is no acknowledgement of Jimmy at all which was frankly insulting.

How the whole event would have been lifted had Jimmy stayed on, brought out the double neck, and gone into an instrumental Song Remains The Same supported ala 1995 by Porl Thompson…rounding it off with Stairway.

That really would have made it…

But you knew it’s not going to happen.

Instead we are left for Weller to bring on Roger Daltrey for a spirited finale of the rarely played Who 1960’s hit I Can See For Miles.

Personally I was still getting over the adrenalin rush of seeing Page – and the nervy Mr Foy was still struggling to find his glasses that had sped off his nose in the excitement to greet Page.

So we shuffle out the evening over. Dazed…yes…confused…yes …frustrated yes…but perhaps thankful for small mercies. The train back is long and weary. The next two days are spent coming down after all the build up and no getting away from it, there is a definite feeling of what might have been.. what should have been…..and what never was….

POSTSCRIPT:

Predictably the TBL web site is alive with tour watch comments – perhaps the most debate of any gig ever covered on the web. The consensus is an absolute thumbs up for Page …but less positive for Plant.

The question of the actual billing, Paul Weller’s domination and Jimmy’s minor role within the night prompts major disappointment.

So where did it all go wrong? Certainly given his billing on the adverts, Page should surely have had a more decisive role. In hindsight was this the right night for them to perform anyway? Weller and co having no association with them previously and as we saw on the night, the line up appealed to distinctly differing musical audiences. Surely it would have been far better for them to be supporting The Who as will be the case for Plant on the summer 2002 tour.

As for the matter of Page and Plant appearing separately- word was that there was no animosity. Plant apparently viewed Page’s stint from the side of the stage and there had been a suggestion to perform Thank you together but the strict schedule of the night thwarted any such plans -in fact Robert was forced to drop one number on the night due to the tight schedule.

Confusion, Frustration.

We’ve endured plenty of it. And that all said it’s still with immense pride that I will boast in years to come that I was there when Jimmy Page stripped the years away and proved once again that he is the quintessential guitar hero and eternal keeper of the Zeppelin flame.

But there again, as I explained, I was at a distinct disadvantage alongside anyone else who saw The Who over the proceeding week. Watching them in action, well they made it all seem so uncomplicated. No obscurities, no elongated 60’s freak outs – just great rock’n’ roll played right from the heart.

The whole month turned out to be a bit of a so near and yet so far in more ways than one, culminating in Spurs dismal defeat in the Worthington Cup Final.

Football….maybe that’s the final analogy. The Who plug on like some sleeping giant ala Newcastle United while P and P while still holding the attention and striving to be attractive and innovative, are shrouded in their glorious past ala Tottenham Hotspur.

So this Albert Hall gig will go down as one of most bizarre nights in the long concert history of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

Those of us in attendance to use yet another Who-ism, will probably hope we won’t get fooled again…

But of course it won’t stop us coming back for more.

Dave Lewis Feb 26, 2002

Postscript 2016:

It didn’t!

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DL Diary Blog Update:

Vinyl Treats at the Vinyl Barn last Friday morning – a bit of Classic Yes and Slade Alive a very fine live album – hey and there was still change to get the good lady Janet’s Valentines present – result!

bedford fair feb 13

A very good day at the Bedford VIP Record Fair last Saturday. I sold a few bits and pieces and managed to not blow the takings on too many vinyl purchasers –in fact I only bought one album – the rather splendid Those Were The Days – Best Of Mary Hopkin on US Apple –very nice indeed. Many thanks to all those in attendance that supported the TBL stall.

At the Bedford VIP Record Fair it was an absolute pleasure to see Rob Jones for the first time since our respective music retail careers went pear seven years ago this month with the collapse of the Zavvi (formerly Virgin Megastores) chain.

During the mid 1990s, Rob was the assistant manager at the Bedford Our Price record store I managed – we had a right laugh today recalling many a story from those halcyon days – one that stood out again was the occasion of the release of the Prodigy album Fat Of The Land in 1997. We had queues waiting outside on the morning it was released and as the doors opened, to create an instore buzz we had the album playing full blast –in fact in a moment of Spinal Tap like madness, I attempted to turn the volume up to eleven…

Alas, the speakers promptly blew and as the eager punters queued up to buy the album, all that could be heard emitting from the overhead speakers of the opening track – the rather controversial Smack My Bitch Up, was a repeated sort of farting noise.. not quite the hardcore listening experience we can intended.

Oh how we laughed! It will all be in my memoirs!

Bit of a tricky week here with the good lady Janet again not good with a severe cold -we can’t seem to shrug off these nasty cold bugs going around. A shame as it’s the half term holiday and we had one or two things planned. In fact, we were trying to hatch a plan to catch The Who Wembley Arena show last Saturday but what with illness and other things in the way, it wasn’t to be.

While the poor lady coughed and sneezed her way through Sunday, I ventured out to The Fox for the afternoon games – it was a last gasp win for Arsenal against Leicester which put big pressure on Spurs to come up with a result at Manchester City – and come up with it they did – (sorry Paul A!). It might really be our turn to win the league after 55 years…but there’s a long way to go yet…here’s hoping!

There’s been a big workload here on with a tight deadline for the freelance feature I am working on – many thanks once again to Mike Tremaglio for his help on this one. Another quick job may come in soon and in the plate spinning department, there has been a beady eye on the initial progress of TBL 41 text ahead and the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book project. The latter continues to throw up some amazing finds – that man Tremaglio just pulls them out of the hat. When we get really going on this, it’s going to be pretty epic.

billy and alison

On TBL biz in London on Wednesday it was great to hook up with Billy and Alison Fletcher for a couple of hours. Always a pleasure

We don’t have Sky, so I have not caught up with the HBO Vinyl series – it has certainly prompted some mixed feedback. I have viewed the YouTube clip of the Led Zeppelin sequence (see below) Recreating rock history authentically is never easy but some of the authenticity is way off here – A cockney Robert Plant for one -and Something Else performed live in 1973…

Was Michael Philip Jagger taking the er Michael? I thought Chris Charlesworth’s thoughts on it all were very perceptive. The series itself I am sure is an enjoyable romp and I look forward to catching up with it.

On the player: Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti as it’s that time of year again (more on that next week), the Nassau Feb 14 1975 show from the Throwing The Wild Seeds box set plus The Yardbirds Little Games album and the Julie Driscoll/Brian Augur and the Trinity album Open.

Right-  I am off to the loft to search out any 1973 live Zep tapes with Something Else as a rare encore…

Dave Lewis – February 18, 2016

YouTube Clips:

Vinyl HBO series Led Zeppelin clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdAwCLkpgUc

Jimmy Page MPG Awards Interview:

Jimmy Page and John Davis MPG Awards Interview:

Until next time…

Have a great weekend..

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – February 18, 2016.

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5 Comments »

  • Larry said:

    Re. Vinyl…got around to watching it over a couple of evenings this weekend…the Zeppelin scenes were truly horrible (although the guitarist who aped Jimmy’s solo on You Shook Me – heard, but not much seen – did a credible job), and indeed it was very nice to see that rare 73 performance of Something Else! Or was it 74? Or 75? Looked like 73 but as Alastair pointed out, the timeline seemed confusing. Anyway…

    While the Zep scenes were horribly botched, they nailed the New York Dolls as Mr. Charlesworth alluded. Hopefully the job will be to that level of competence with the round of 70s bands that will almost certainly pop up in future episodes.

    HBO is quite good at these types of series. I thought the show was enjoyable, but it really got its feet under it after the Zep and Polygram sequences (although some of the Polygram stuff was funny). In the end, it’s a show about wise guys…the creative team surrounding Vinyl feature some of the key folks that brought The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire to life. Boardwalk was very good, Sopranos might be the best thing that’s ever been seen on US TV. In other words, it’s probably worth sticking with Vinyl, despite the likelihood of the obvious grim ending in the offing for the main character(s).

  • Del said:

    Dave I was at that Albert Hall gig and only went to see P & P. As bizarre as it was I thought they both did them selves proud especially Jimmy when as you say the place erupted when he walked on stage by far the biggest cheer of the night. Also enjoyed the late great Gary Moore’s set, seem to remember a him doing a stunning version of Hendrix’s Fire.

  • Del said:

    With regard to vinyl I had to turn it off because of the Zepp bits and pieces in it, it was embarrassing really, The Robert Plant, Bonzo and Peter Grant characters were ridiculous, and was this researched ? I doubt it Zepp playing something else and I think it was you shook me in 1973 ??? Do me a favour. Not sure how much Jagger had to do with this but surely he would of realised???? Cant really comment on the rest of it cause as I say I turned it off. I did see Stella though and as Richard says when advertising next weeks episode Planty seems to turn up at a funeral, they kept this one quiet.

  • Alastair said:

    I thought Vinyl was set in 1973 not 1975? Either way I don’t think we had UK punk bands in the UK then, let alone the US. Despite that I found it enjoyable nonsense and will continue watching. Sorry to see that Dave isn’t watching – I think he would enjoy it as well.

  • Richard Clayton said:

    I didn’t see anyone else mention this but….My wife is a big fan of Stella ( the TV programme nor the beer) and the other week she heard the star Ruth Jones mention to Dermot O’Leary on his Saturday afternoon radio show that she had Robert Plant lined up for a guest appearance on the show. Well maybe I replied, as they have appeared together before. Well at the end of this weeks show there is a little taster of next week and who was that bearded gent peaking round a doorway? Blow me if it didn’t look like the old Lemon Squeezer himself. Can’t wait til next week.

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