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7 July 2016 3,176 views 2 Comments

80-07-02 Mannheim (8)

TBL Retro Archive: Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980: it was 36 years ago…

Continuing the TBL retro archive feature on the final Led Zeppelin tour as chronicled in the Feather In The Wind book… 

Mannheim, July 2nd, 1980. Hello July, hello Mannheim. It’s dull and raining. Zeppelin are due to play two gigs here.

The concerts are held at an extraordinary place called the Eisstadion. Normally an ice hockey arena, its roofing is partly canvas. The audience assembled tonight is every bit as crazy as in Frankfurt. A strong American showing, mixed in with the German fanatics and a few English representatives. The group are set for an early start but the proposed 7.30pm kick off passes. Jimmy hasn’t even arrived yet. However, I spot Bonzo backstage nervous but itching to play. Before 8.00 though, everyone is in and ready. Lights low and out of the backstage darkness comes the crew, headed by Peter Grant ushering his boys on to the stage once again. They walk into the glare of light… the audience crumble. This is getting to be a familiar ritual.

Tonight is hot and sticky. The group play as ever, like their very existence depended on it. In the Evening is a standout. It’s such a titanic arrangement. Jimmy swinging that tremolo arm like he’s some demented version of Hank Marvin. Robert strutting through the chorus, “Oh I need your love… I’ve gotta have… ” And, of course, that delicately slowed passage with Jonesy’s lilting additions. One other slight alteration comes when Robert gets to the line “One day soon it’s got to stop, gotta stop! Gotta stop!” and as he repeats the line, Bonzo emphasises the statement with a couple of bass drum hammerings. Powerful. I notice during All My Love that Robert has altered one of the lines slightly. He sings “Ours is the love of all the warmth we can find” instead of “ours is the fire.” That number too, is outstanding.

Jimmy is again moving around like some madman enthused by the wall of sound surrounding him. In Kashmir, Robert gets so carried away he almost sings one verse twice. Not that it detracts from the performance. That’s another aspect I haven’t touched on yet. As much as this set is together, it’s not flawless. Cues are sometimes missed, Jimmy drops his pick – I mean it ain’t perfect always, but then rock ‘n’ roll wasn’t meant to be note perfect and stereotyped. The rawness is there (and the mellowness too, if you look for it). Their playing is so adventurous; at times it walks a tightrope. One false step out of line and it will crumble. With the chemistry of the four blending together and peaking so often, it rarely fails.
Trampled Underfoot is an example of that tonight. Jimmy pushes everyone to the limit with a blistering run… and Robert… Robert just smiles. He knows…

Robert tells the people about his latest sketch.
“Just take yer hand, imagine you’ve a false nose and pull it back and forth, now say, ‘Aye thank yew.’ Let me tell you, it soon caught on!

80-07-02 Mannheim (5)

During Stairway Robert puts in another ad-lib. After the words “I hope so” he sings repeatedly, “I keep on choppin’ and changin’. Choppin’ and changin’, choppin’ and changin’.” I spot another magic moment here too. Just as Robert is about to throw away his tambourine after the solo, he glances over to the side of the stage. Spotting Peter Grant in the wings, Robert bows to him and Peter nods back his approval. A sensitive touch.
Two encores – Rock And Roll has Jimmy duck-walking the stage while on Whole Lotta Love he sings the chorus with Robert and later, during the Let That Boy Boogie finale, the old lemon squeeze kid throws in some lines from Elvis Presley’s (Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame.

“Mannheim – Thank you and good night.”

Dave Lewis

Extract from the book Feather In the Wind – Led Zeppelin Over Europe 1980

To be continued…
All this is fully chronicled in my book Feather In the Wind- Led Zeppelin Over Europe -the book is readily available. Here’s the link to invest in the definitive account of the tour at a bargain price – yet more Led Zep summer 2016 reading.

Order at this link:



LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:

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

Led Zeppelin
• The big news from last was that Led Zeppelin won the “Stairway To Heaven” trial in Los Angeles as a jury unanimously found them not guilty of infringing on the copyright of “Taurus” by Spirit. Led Zeppelin did have access to the song, the jury found, but the two songs weren’t similar enough to have broken the law. Led Zeppelin and Warner Music Group released a statement following their victory in court.
• Frances Malofiy, the lawyer who represented the plaintiff in the “Stairway To Heaven” lawsuit against Led Zeppelin, has been suspended from practicing law due to his behaviour in another court case.

Robert Plant performing in Belgium on July 1 (Instagram/julie_gatto)
• Robert Plant has started his new tour. So far he has performed two shows: One in Belgium on July 2 and one in France on July 2. Check out the two setlists below.
July 1: Rock Werchter Festival, Belgium
The Lemon Song
Black Dog
Turn It Up
Black Country Woman
How Many More Years
Dazed and Confused
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Little Maggie
Fixin’ to Die
Whole Lotta Love
Rock and Roll

July 2: Festival Beauregard, France (incomplete)
Black Dog
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Whole Lotta Love
Rock And Roll
• Robert Plant has been announced as the headline act of David Lynch’s Festival of Disruption in Los Angeles in October. It will take place on October 8 and 9.
Upcoming events:
July 4 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at Le festival des Nuits d’Istres in France.
July 7 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the NOS Alive Music Festival in Portugal.
July 14 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at Festival Noches del Botánico in Spain.
July 20 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Street Music Art Festival in Italy.
July 22 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Italy.
July 24 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Italy.
July 27 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in the Czech Republic.
July 28 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Austria.
July 30 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Croatia.
August 2 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Germany.
August 4/5/6/7 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Wilderness Festival in the UK.
October 8/9 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Festival of Disruption in Los Angeles.

The Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here:


Warren Grant Interview:

Very interesting new interview with Warren Grant via Billboard – view it at:


Classic Rock website The Top Ten Best Who Songs:

Here’s another list I compiled for the Classic Rock website – the top ten best Who songs…

From their early mod beginnings, though to their adrenalin charged all conquering live appearances, The Who have always been a law unto themselves. Whether it be smashing instruments on stage or creating rock operas, Townshend Daltrey, Moon and Entwistle (and Jones) constantly challenged themselves and their audiences. Here are ten their best recorded moments…

View the list at:


Andy Adams Blog:

Andy Adams – legendary Zep collector and all round top man, has been in touch to inform me of his new blog – excellent it is too – check it out at:



I’ve kicked this one off on the DL/TBL Facebook page…here are the first entries…

With 60 days to go to my 60th birthday, the countdown commences. Every day up to September 5 I’ll be posting a countdown of my favourite 60 singles , favourite 60 albums and gigs …the 60 at 60 DL faves…

island sampler

So without further ado, The Singles Countdown starts here. The criteria for selection is based on the the inspiration these gems on 45 rpm continue to provide and the memories the repeated paying of these songs always prompts. Be prepared for some wired and wonderful choices – oh and I am keeping it to one selection per act. At number 60 it’s SLADE – FAR FAR AWAY – I bought this the week I started work on the record department of WH Smith in October track indeed

The Album Countdown starts here. As with the singles selection, the criteria for selection is based on he inspiration these albums continue to provide and the memories the repeated paying of these albums always prompts. I am keeping it to one selection per act 9ish!).
One of the first LPs I ever purchased. Free, Jethro, Fairport etc- that was hip stuff for this then 13 year old….

The Gigs…you will not be surprised that a lot of these will be Zep related ….not today though as at number 60 its. THE DAVE CLARK FIVE –GRANADA CINEMA BEDFORD APRIL 10 1964.

dave clark five

The first concert I ever attended – aged 7. This was a typical 1960s package bill at the local cinema that also included The Hollies and The Kinks. I was drums mad and loved the DC 5 – still do…this night made a very big impression…



Caroline Aherne  1963 – 2016:

Very sad to hear the news of the passing of  Caroline Aherne aged 52. So talented – comedy genius-  simple as that …RIP


DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday treats at the Vinyl Barn: Not been feeling great so vinyl inspiration was required last Friday – Jethro Tull Stand Up with pop up sleeve on the original Island label and a batch of David Bowie original RCA singles more than provided it. I was particularly pleased with the Jethro Tull Stand Up album as I can vividly recall looking at it in some wonder when it was featured in a window display in the long gone Carousel Record shop in Allhallows Bedford circa 1969/70. Thanks Darren.

Yes..not been feeling 100% for a few days – went to the docs – my diabetes check is coming up soon (I’ve had diabetes type 2 for four years) and that might explain things a bit.

floyd stamps micks

Lot on here so getting on with things. Should have the new TBL T. shirt ready to launch next week. There’s been a fair bit of scribing going here on what with the Classic Rock top ten lists and another feature I am working on. I am also gathering material for the next TBL mag and ahead there is more work on the Evenings With book project.

In between all that, did catch some of the Wimbledon tennis on TV (come on Andy!) and the Euros – shame Wales could not sustain their incredible run against Portugal yesterday – but what an impression they have made.

This morning I was at the main post office in Bedford very early – to ensure  I got my hands on some very special stamps. It was a joy to invest in the Royal Mail set of commemorative stamps featuring Pink Floyd album covers. These really are works of art – these little beauties will be brightening up the envelopes of future TBL distribution for sure!

On the player – Syd Barrett Opel album – remembering the late great Syd on what was the tenth anniversary of his passing and Dark Side of The Moon/Wish You Were Here inspired by those stamps. Also on – The Who Who’s Next – sounding very good as I compiled that list, Carole King Tapestry – her Hyde Park gig looks to have gone down very well,  The Byrds Untitled and Zep wise – Live In Seattle 1973 – always a corker and Berlin July 7 1980 – that Stairway To Heaven and Whole Lotta Love closing sequence is just right out there…36 years gone – but so much remains…

The YouTube clips of Robert Plant’ recent gigs sees him on great form vocally – and pleasing to see the Mighty ReArranger track Dancing In Heaven back in the set – always loved that one.

donut 2

And Finally

I had to laugh at this pic concocted by my good friends Phil and Tom who have been on holiday in Portugal. As can be seen they spotted a TBL sales opportunity – – a free TBL with every purchase…fresh donut from the beach anyone…!

Dave Lewis – July 7, 2016



YouTube Clips:

Robert Pant and the Sensational Space Shifters – Dancing In Heaven:

Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters – The Rain Song:

Until next time…

Have a great weekend,

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – July 7, 2016.

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  • Wools said:

    Really enjoyed the interview with Warren Grant. Thought that it was fabulous that Warren was so positive about his Dad and the influence that Peter Grant had on the band.
    Enjoy the 60 day countdown and remember what everyone now says, that “60 is the new 40”.
    If I ever found the person who said this, I would hang him.


  • Andy Adams said:

    Hi Dave,

    Just wanted to say many thanks for your kind words about my blog. The response so far has been fantastic, we truly are part of a worldwide Zep family! I hope you and all others enjoy my thoughts and we can continue to celebrate the wonder that is Led Zeppelin

    Cheers mate!

    Andy Adams

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