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ZEP RECORD COLLECTOR FEEDBACK/LZ NEWS/TBL ARCHIVE – WALKING INTO CLARKSDALE 23 YEARS GONE & THE DESTROYER 44 YEARS GONE /NEW ZEP BOOTLEG LP REVIEWED/VIP RECORD FAIRS NEWS/DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

21 April 2021 1,493 views No Comment

Record Collector Presents Led Zeppelin – out now and an essential read for all Zep fans – and don’t just take my word for it…

‘’Read it from cover to cover yesterday. A great piece of work and kudos to all those who contributed. A wealth of knowledge and dedication to the best band in the world’’

Rob Bannister

‘’My copy came today and it’s fantastic’’

Keith Cranfield

‘’Record Collector is all about information, and valuation guides – and it gives that in abundance. Also the album to album features are  great… best Zep magazine ever’’

John Copeland

‘’Just finished reading and it is really great. I loved the Interviews with Zep fans, Brian Knapp’s collection looked really nice and very extensive, and the interview and articles by Dave Lewis were first class, as always. It’s the best Zep publication I’ve seen for a long time.

Ian Avey

‘’Still wading through the Record collector Zep issue – an awesome mag!’’

Krys Jantzen

‘’Wonderful range of articles and items – excellent work!

Paul Bell

 “Mine arrived this morning and  I have found the magazine fascinating especially as I have a few first or nearly first pressings”

Kevin Tubby

”Got mine today…love it!”

Paul Gross

The new Led Zeppelin Record Collector issue is a real success, – as always Dave Lewis’ enduring love and passion for the band is evident along with Andy Adams and the other Led heads featured”

Wyatt Brake

So there’s some satisfied customers…

If you have yet to indulge  order direct via the Record Collector website – UK, US and overseas orders fulfilled…

https://shop.recordcollectormag.com/product/RCLED/led-zeppelin-special


LZ News:

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.

Led Zeppelin

  • A new Led Zeppelin biography will be published in November. “Led Zeppelin: The Biography” is a new unofficial account of the band’s career written by veteran author Bob Spitz who published a well-reviewed biography of The Beatles in 2005. The book is scheduled to be published on November 9.

Robert Plant

  • Robert Plant recorded a video message for broadcaster Mike Embley who is leaving the BBC. “I’m in the middle of the rest of my life too,” Plant said in the video, “but it seems to be the same thing over and over again, just a little bit different each time.”

Upcoming events:

May 5 – John Bonham’s gong will be auctioned in Bonhams’ entertainment memorabilia sale.
June 12 – Parts of Robert Plant’s Knebworth 1990 performance will be released on vinyl for Record Store Day.
June 18 – The remastered box set of Yardbirds aka Roger the Engineer, featuring Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, will be released.
June 24 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace in Exmouth.
June 25 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace in Poole.
June 25-27 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace at the Black Deer festival in Kent.
June 29 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace in Shrewsbury.
August 10 – “Led Zeppelin Vinyl: The Essential Collection” by Ross Halfin will be published.
September 7 – “Beast: John Bonham and the Rise of Led Zeppelin” by C.M. Kushins will be published.
September 9 – The revised and expanded edition of “Evenings With Led Zeppelin” will be published.
September 25 – The 2021 John Bonham celebration event will be held in Redditch.
November 9 – “Led Zeppelin: the Biography” by Bob Spitz will be published

Many thanks to James Cook.

The complete Led Zeppelin News email goes out periodically. To receive it sign up here:http://tinyletter.com/LedZepNews

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

http://ledzepnews.com/


TBL Archive 1 – Jimmy Page & Robert Plant – Walking Into Clarksdale – 23 Years Gone:

To mark the release of the Walking into Clarksdale album 23 years ago this week, here’s a TBL archive piece that looks back to the release of the album.

On the back of the Shepherds Bush gig and all the media coverage, it was such a great time to be a Page & Plant fan. Here’s my original and very optimistic review of the Walking Into Clarksdale album written for TBL issue 13 in 1998.

 Walking Into Clarksdale: Another Walk With Walter

Q: When is a Led Zeppelin album not a Led Zeppelin album?

A: When it’s Walking Into Clarksdale.

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant : Walking Into Clarksdale (Mercury)

Well it’s certainly not ‘Led Zeppelin II as if anyone would have been daft to enough to think it would be! And initially, it may leave the listener slightly confused, but eventually this long awaited new studio album continues in the grand Page Plant tradition of moving ever onwards. In doing so they constantly refuse to merely retread the formulas of old and instead opt for innovation and surprise.

If anything, it’s something of another walk with Walter. I would draw parallel to the overall feel of the album with that of their spring 1972 Stargroves composition Walter’s Walk, which finally saw the light of day on Coda. That track has a monolithic feel that takes some plays to rise to the surface, and contains an intensity that initially may cloud it’s impressive content. But when it’s quality becomes apparent then it really hits home. So it is with Walking Into Clarksdale.

Whilst there are no blatant Zeppelin re-spray jobs, the album is littered with subtle elements of their past. One of the joys of the album is searching them out. One thing’s for sure though, this is an album that has to be worked at. However, given repeated listening, it does begin to fall into place, and the full fruits of their labour (all 35 days, if the press release is to be believed!) begins to unfold.

Much of the album carries a melancholic and wistful feel – presenting songs that carry a reflective lyrical theme. In tracks such as When The World Was Young, When I Was A Child and Heart In Your Hand, Robert seems to be pensively re-assessing events that have gone before (‘’Do your lips still call my name, would your mouth still taste the same’’). It makes for some of his most personal lyrical statements in song for a very long time. ‘’A bit of emotional debris,’’ is how he described the theme of some of the song’s to Mojo’s Matt Snow.

I’ve had many a memorable premier of their work in the past – I can recall vividly exactly where I was the first time I heard Physical Graffiti, Presence, Pictures At Eleven etc. – and this new Page Plant album was always going to be an epic initial playback. So there I was, holed up in the TBL office around 9pm on a cold early ’98 Wednesday night faced with the huge expectation of this new album, knowing that over the coming months these songs would be the soundtrack to my life and countless other like-minded fans across the world.

As the semi acoustic groove of Shining In The Light swung in it was a huge relief to finally be listening to new Page & Plant music. As that familiar guitar style oozed from the speakers and that voice opened up… well I knew I was in the best company again. Subsequently some of the content did seem to wash over on that initial hearing.

Having lived with it for a while now, well, it’s excellence is more than evident. It carries so much vitality and most importantly it carries a totally contemporary feel. This isn’t a museum piece as Jimmy stated recently, this is new music that can line up with any of the best of today’s modern outfits such as The Verve. Lets face it, there are few other songwriters of 30 years standing who can rival that feat.

In terms of the musical performance and production, Steve Albini’s role seems to have been more about capturing a clear sound than bringing in the rough edge that has been the focus of his work with The Pixies and PJ Harvey. Robert’s vocals throughout are a sheer delight, singing with clarity and conviction and aided by a very up-front vocal mix. Jimmy, meantime, appears to be concentrating on his strength as a craftsman of guitar sound rather than churning out endless solos.

Some may bemoan the lack of guitar army tactics but by adopting this method there is a subtlety and surprise element (that swift guitar change in the title track for instance) in his performance that is a joy to hear. Michael Lee once again more than  proves his worth to the set up ably supported by Charlie’s bass work. Aside from the odd cameo from Ed Shearmer and Tim Whelan, it’s the basic ‘four-man, live-in-the-studio’ format that has worked so well on stage in recent weeks.

Outstanding moments? Quite a few. The way they kick in relentlessly on the chorus of When The World Was Young, with all the spark of on the road spirit of ’72 Zeppelin. The way the string arrangement comes seeping in on Upon A Golden Horse – the whole track has the bizarre lyrical content that has lit up many a Plant prose in the past- and carries a great swirling sound reminiscent of Four Sticks.

Please Read The Letter opens with Sick Again like riffing from Page before settling into a very West Coast repetitive romp that echoes the work of Moby Grape and vocally, finds Plant aping the style of Roy Orbison. Most High comes over as almost a separate entity from the rest of the album with it’s Arabic tendencies offering a last glance back to the world of Unledded. I felt this sound-ed a little perfunctory as a studio track, however, it’s elevation as a live piece seems to have rectified those initial shortcomings.

The title track is a great throw back to the off-the-cuff rockabilly tradition of Candy Store Rock. With it’s jolting time change it could easily have taken it’s place on Presence, and that second solo is pure Telecaster heaven reminiscent of the fluttering style Page deployed on those final Yardbirds recordings (Think About It springs to mind).

Burning Up and House Of Love are where the guitarist steps up a gear. The former is embellished throughout by that crunching riff – a real slashing affair that jumps out of the speakers, propelled along by Lee’s tom tom barrage. It’s here that Page really steps on it, proving, if proof was needed, that he can pump those solos out in his sleep. The latter finds Page pressing down on the wah wah delightfully underpinning the incessant drum track in support of Plants “It’s just a little too much’’ pleadings.

Sons Of Freedom comes complete with a Prodigy like urgency aided by yet more impressive drumming – it’s vaguely in the style of Network News from Robert’s Fate Of Nations album, and jumps around feverishly before it all grinds to a percussive halt. It’s worth mentioning that after this track the Japanese version for the album carries the bonus Whiskey In The Glass, which is nothing more than a studio jam taped towards the end of the sessions. It’s set against a Bo Diddley Mona syncopated beat with Page playing that reverberated phased guitar style heard on Rude World, and Plant in his best ad-lib vocal, but fades prematurely at under three minutes just as it’s getting warmed up.

That leaves the trio of performances that best capture that aforementioned melancholy feel. Heart In Your Hand took a while to register, initially sounding like something from a Chris Isaac album. However this is one of the prime growers.Page plays some deft Dick Dale phrasing behind Plant’s reflective longing. Overall, the song captures a dark and brooding soundtrack feel.

When I Was A Child opens with a memorable reverberating tremolo. Then Robert comes in to deliver a haunting narrative that casts an oblique shadow over his past. Page adds a suitable restrained solo and at the finale Plant ad-libs the final lines with delicate finesse, “Oh you know, so I wander through your garden, grow, when I was a boy, I was a boy…” One of the stand-out tracks and one of Robert’s best vocal performances in years.

Then there is Blue Train. Opening with some slow moving bass and timpani before Robert’s mournful vocal seeps in. It then up-lifts via some strident Zeppelinish dynamics and features a beautifully plangent Byrds like jangling guitar solo constructed in a way that is just quintessential Jimmy Page. At the close Robert raises the tempo, “Hear the blue train, hear the blue train’’, before it all calms to a close. Lyrically, there’s a reflective longing that is as close to home for Robert as perhaps I Believe was.

For me When I Was a Child and Blue Train are performance’s to rank right up there with Ten Years Gone and Down By The Seaside, as they both display that unique emotional dynamism that has always characterised their best work.

So ends another walk with Walter. It’s not instant, and some of it takes a while to register but there can be no denying the sheer quality of this long awaited work. In the shadow of the Zeppelin, but essentially Page & Plant music of today, Walking Into Clarksdale may turn out to be one of the most durable and ultimately satisfying albums of their entire career.

Dave Lewis – April 17, 1998.

Postscript – April 20 2021:

Walking Into Clarksdale may turn out to be one of the most durable and ultimately satisfying albums of their entire career.

Looking back that was a bit of a bold statement – Walking Into Clarksdale has actually gone down as quite a low key album. There’s no doubt it still divides opinion amongst fans.

The rather thin production and lack of wide screen riffling -something so evident on Jimmy’s previous studio project – the Coverdale Page album, does reduce it’s overall impact. That said, much of it still sounds great – from the light and breezy opener Shining In the Light through to the still superb Blue Train (one of the best ever Page Plant alliances in or out of Zep) and wonderfully affecting When I Was A Child – it still has much to delight. Only the rather cumbersome Burning Up and Sons of Freedom have really paled that much.

It’s a discerningly strange album – it may not be high on the playlist but when I do play it  – it always hits the mark and like I said, this album is steeped in late 90s memories. Walking Into Clarksdale is therefore something of a durable minor league classic.

I’ve just played it through and aside from sounding really good – it inspired a wave of personal 1990s nostalgic memories of the time – Istanbul, Shepard’s Bush Empire, managing the Our Price Record shop, the big Victoria Record Fairs, meets at the Eastern Monk pub. This was the last opportunity we had to revel in a union of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant together. Great days indeed.

Have a listen to Walking Into Clarksdale again – I think you will be pleasantly surprised of the impact.

Dave Lewis – April 20 , 2021.


 


More TBL Archive…

Led Zeppelin – The Destroyer 44 years Gone:

The first tapes I heard of the 1977 US tour was an echo laded audience tape from the April 27 Cleveland show. I had this arrive via one of my key collector contacts Russ Rees about a month after the gig. Despite the average sound, it was still a thrill to hear the likes of Ten Years Gone and Achilles Last Stand performed live. In 1980 a soundboard mixing desk tape emerged of the same gig. This was altogether something else – the two cassettes I received were played endlessly. Then about a year later  came the holy grail – a vinyl box set release.

destoyer
It’s a superb recording –  John Paul Jones’ use of the thundering Alembic bass guitar is well in evidence and his meandering eyboard solo on ‘No Quarter’ is simply captivating  – as is Jimmy’s remakeable guitar solo interlude. Overall, this is a crystal clear portrayal of the band regaining their crown. The sheer juggernaut power of ’77 Zeppelin blazes through. This one will be on the player this week for sure

The next night’s Cleveland performance April 28 ,which exists in a good audience source is another one to blast out these next few days in celebration. This one came out on a vinyl set on the Smilin’ Ears label in the late 70s also confusingly knows as The Destroyer.

The Return of The Destroyer Fan Gathering – 14 Years Gone:

Another anniversary and again hard to believe that it was all of 14 years ago this week that in collaboration with Julian Walker and Graeme Hutchinson, we staged a special Return of The Destroyer fan gathering at the Knights Templar pub in London. This was to celebrate the 30th anniversary of those memorable shows at the Richfield Coliseum on their 1977 US tour – later to be immortalised on the Destroyer box sets.

It was a great day out – I remember the late Howard Mylett attending along with a host of like minded enthusiasts and TBL supporters including Gary and Carol Foy.  Mark Harrison, Eddie Edwards, Graeme Hutchinson, Keith Creek, Gary Davies etc.

Robin Wealleans supplied the video and TV screen – in fact I recall we had a bit of job with the outside glare as it was an unusually hot and sunny spring day. Fan Lisa Haynes Truscott relayed her memories of being in the crowd at the curtailed Tampa date on June 3 1977.  We also staged an auction that raised over £1,000 for the ABC charity.

The night before I also interviewed ex Free/Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke at his gig at the Esquires club in Bedford. Crazy days indeed.

Here’s the report of the day that appeared in TBL issue 18. Little did know we know as we gathered on that rather hot day in London, that plans were already underway for Led Zeppelin to stage a spectacular comeback in honour of Ahmet Ertegun- indeed the next time I would see some of the names above would be in the confines of the 02 Arena on that night of nights on Monday December 10, 2007.

More 1977  US tour memories:

Led Zeppelin – The Destroyer 44 years Gone:

Here’s a further piece about The Destroyer bootleg release.

This is the thoughts of Eddie Edwards – long time TBL contributor and author of the brilliant Garden Tapes Zep Song Remains The Same dissection website – see http://www.thegardentapes.co.uk/

This was first published in TBL issue 19.


 


Staying with the 1977 US tour…

Here’s my thoughts on the just released new Led Zeppelin single album bootleg on Casino Records titled Strange Tales From The Road – this features material from concerts at Landover and New York on their 1977 US tour.

500 only

Numbers 1 to 250 on green florescent vinyl

Numbers 251 to 500 on orange vinyl

Mine is 117 on the green vinyl

More on this to follow..

Side One: Capitol Centre, Landover, MD, May 26, 1977, Monitor Mix Source

Kashmir,

Achilles Last Stand

Stairway To Heaven

Side Two

Capitol Centre, Landover, MD, May 26, 1977, Monitor Mix Source

Whole Lotta Love

Rock And Roll

Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, NY, June 11, 1977, Mixing Desk Source

Ten Years Gone

The Battle Of Evermore

What we have here is a single album snapshot of material from two nights on their 1977 US tour. On this occasion there’s none of the song splitting or repeated changing of sides of the recent 4LP LA Forum set on the Iron Eagle label – and there’s no issues whatsoever with left handed stand -ins for Jimmy on the cover as blighted the aforementioned Iron Eagle LA set. These are genuine 1977 images that adorn the cover – and on the rather neat insert. There’s some  sleeve notes from one Paul De Luxe who explains that the Landover recording is a ‘monitor mix’ and I quote:

‘’ A monitor mix is what the band will hear through their monitors and is tuned for them. So what we have now is a great and extremely rare chance to listen how the band sounds for themselves. Bonham’s bass drum is very high in the mix, Jones’s bass is completely absent and Plants vocal have no effects on them at all’’

So to Side One: Kashmir disappointingly cuts in and about five minutes in. Robert’s in between chat is limited to a ‘’Let me take you there’ and then they are off into Achilles Last Stand. The description of the sound in the sleeve note is fairly accurate – Bonham’s drums are well up front and certain instruments are very pronounced. This thought to my ears sounds like the rather flat sounding soundboard that has done the rounds for a good while and was presented on the CD version of this set under the same title via Godfatherecords.

‘’Achilles Last Stand where the might arms of Atlas’’ says Plant before introducing Stairway To Heaven ‘’I guess we should dedicate this song to all that is positive good and we can hope for’’.

I’m a sucker for a Stairway any time and this is a suitably regal rendering – sound wise, John Paul Jones’ electric piano is the dominant instrument -this makes for a very novel solo sequence where Page’s guitar is well back in the mix and Jonesy is right to the fore. Plant is well upfront on the finale.

Side Two has the encore performances of Whole Lotta Love and Rock And Roll from the Landover Maryland gig – Whole Lotta Love is preceded by a few notes of Communication Breakdown.

”Thank you very much Maryland -thank you’’ are Plant’s final words.

The final two performances are from the June 11 1977 Madison Square Garden show. These much clearer soundboard recordings have been issued a fair few times before. Back in 1977 when I first received a tape of a US gig (the April 28 Cleveland show) about a month after the start of the tour, there were two performances I was most intrigued to hear – Ten Years Gone and The Battle Of Evermore. Both tracks are presented on this LP form the June 11 New York show.

The latter is presented here from the June 11 acoustic set. It has John Bonham to the fore on percussion and backing vocals and John Paul Jones takes on the role of Sandy Denny and duets with Robert. It’s good to hear this unique arrangement in clear sound quality.

The same goes for Ten Years Gone. This is the stand out track of this album by a mile. Jimmy wrenches every ounce of emotion out of the Telecaster as he bends the notes around Robert’s equally emotive vocal. A wonderful performance of a song as Robert explains is about ‘’a love that could have been good but fell by the wayside.’

Summary: For vinyl addicts this is a fine one album snapshot of the 1977 US tour – and the packaging is very nice. There are of course much better methods in which to hear such material – namely the many two and three CD sets containing full shows that have emerged over the years from the1977 US tour.

However, with just 500 only on two coloured pressings these vinyl LPs won’t be on offer for long.

Dave Lewis, April 20, 2021.

 

 


VIP Record Fairs 2021 Udate: 

Here’s a welcomed  update on the VIP Record fair plans for the next few months – it’s very pleasing to see the Bedford Fair is planned for Saturday August 21 at the Harpur Suite subject to the UK Government road map saying on course…

VIP RECORD FAIRS UPDATE:

APRIL 2021

Great news! As the Government plans to announce the opening up of big events in June, we plan two ‘tester’ events in August and have a full diary, ready to go in September. Our first big London event will be in November and a great new fair at Wolverhampton’s Steel Mill kicks us off in September.

Needless to say, this is all subject to the UK Government road map staying on course and us being able to run our events without major restrictions – your safety has and always will be our priority. We REALLY are looking forward to seeing you in a few months.

August and September dates are below. Just for more info and more events.

AUGUST 2021

Sat 7 Norwich. Sat 21 Bedford

SEPTEMBER 2021

Sat 11 Wolverhampton Steel Mill. Sun 12 Leicester. Sat 18 Norwich. Sat 25 BIG BRUM.

Other dates – Bedford Sat October 16

Victoria London Sat November 27

More details at:

http://www.vip-24.com/diary.htm


DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday April 16:

Very sad to hear the passing of Poco’s Rusty Young …

In early 1979 I heard Poco’s Crazy Love on the radio and I immediately went out and bought the single and then the Legend album. I already knew of their work via the Rose of Cimarron album which I’d got in 1977.

Crazy Love was on my playlist as I wrote and posted out the first TBL magazine and it’s theme of lost love resonated deeply at the time…especially the lines ‘’Just when I think I’m over her this broken heart will mend, I hear her name and I have to cry the tears come down again’’

Hearing it always brings back poignant memoires the way special songs do and even more so today on the sad news of Rusty’s passing… RIP

Friday April 16:

It’s my late Dad’s Birthday today – I love this photo of him out in the garden…

Friday April 16:

I ventured into London today for the first time in over a year – the occasion was the Spitalfields Market Record Fair – I did feel a bit anxious about it all but it went well and it was an absolute tonic to be out amongst fellow record collecting comrades again – including Steve, Alastair, Ian ,Nick, John Gunne and Mark Hayward.

Of course vinyl records and CDs were purchased including this rather splendid coloured vinyl bootleg copy of Led Zeppelin IV –an album which of course you can never have too many copies of…

Friday April 16:

With my very good friend and record collecting comrade Steve today at Spitalfields Market Record Fair – we are wading through a box full of rather splendid US Beatles and Apple singles.

This was my first visit to London in over a year – and my last visits had been full of anxiety. I was nervous about facing up to this as my self-esteem has been shot in recent months.

So it was very gratifying indeed to be back there and a joy to be amongst record collecting comrades who have been such a great support to us here in recent months.

I am feeling a very blessed man indeed tonight …

Friday April 17:

After the Spitalfields Market record fair – a welcomed pint overlooking Kings Cross Station on the Euston Terrance of the Benjamin Arms pub in St Pancras…my I’ve missed being in London…

Saturday April 17:

At the always excellent Vinyl Barn this morning I was well pleased to find a copy of the 1969 Island Records sampler Nice Enough To Eat – another one for my collection of this gem (I already have one or two pressings) and this one complete with the bargain priced 15 shillings and a 6 price sticker, which is how it would have looked when I first set eyes on this amazing record in the Carousel record shop in Bedford all of 52 years ago…thanks Darren!

Saturday April 17:

Saturday is platterday – a bit of early morning Slade the Old, New, Borrowed and Blue album sounding mighty fine…

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday April 17:

Saturday is platterday…after watching the poignant funeral of Prince Philip … on the player some great British music – The Kinks The Kink Kronikles compilation, a brilliant Record Store Day release…

 

 

Sunday April 18:

Sunday sounds on CD – loading up a new CD acquisition Directions In Music 1969 to 1973 Miles Davis – his Musicians and the Birth of a New Age in Jazz – a great compilation featuring Miles plus performances by John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter and more… great stuff indeed…

 

 

 

Sunday April 18:

One of my acquisitions at the Spitalfield Market record fair last Friday was this US copy of Get Back by The Beatles.

I have a fair few versions of this brilliant single and it was a joy to add another to the DL collection. It’s a milestone record in my life as it was this single that initially inspired my passion with music that has dominated my life during the past 52 years and continues to do so…

Here’s the story…

It was 52 years ago around the April Easter period, The Beatles released their first single of 1969. Get Back coupled with Don’t Let Me Down – these tracks had been recorded in January during the infamous Get Back sessions.

This is a significant release for me as this is the record that attracted me back to music – an attraction that has grown manifold over the past 52 years.

I say ‘back to’ as aged 7 I did have a brief flirtation with music mainly focused on The Dave Clark Five. I was pretty obsessed with Dave Clark’s drumming skills and replicated his drum kit in our garden using old paint tin cans. Glad All Over remains one of my all time fave singles. The first live concert I ever saw was a package night at the Granada Cinema featuring The Dave Clark Five, The Kinks and The Hollies and more on April 10,1964.

However this passion was eroded somewhat by other distractions such as Thunderbirds, The Man From Uncle, James Bond and from 1966 Tottenham Hotspur and football in general. My love of music took a back seat and remained somewhat dormant until that Easter of 1969 when I was now 12 years old.

Back then in the local café there was a juke box – sixpence for two goes. My gang were often in there and one of the records that was played constantly from the moment it was released was Get Back. Now this I liked – really liked. I liked its driving rhythm, bustling drumming ,cool vocal with talk of ‘’Sweet Loretta martin thought she was a woman’’ and Billy Preston’s rolling keyboards.

I also loved the B side Don’t Let Me Down which was also often played on the juke box. The pleading vocal of John Lennon hit the mark every time.

I was well aware who The Beatles were of course. I had been to see both the Hard Days Night and Help films at the cinema. Anyone growing up in the 60s could not really avoid them – they were everywhere. My interest in them though had been from afar.

That all changed when I heard Get Back. A little over a month after this release The Beatles had another single in the charts titled The Ballad of John And Yoko. I loved this one too.

One of the distinctive aspects of these Beatles records was that the label depicted a green apple, while the B side was the core of an Apple. I quickly learned that the Beatles now released records on their own Apple label. I thought this design was a deft touch – it ignited something in me that would lead to a deep fasciation for actual record labels, designs and sleeves. It all went hand in hand with the affinity I developed for the long playing record and 45 RPM single.

I could not get enough of all this. As the song goes music was now my first love – big time. I wanted to hear it, read about it, and talk about it. Remarkably, in a matter of five years I would be selling it – my 35 year career in music retail commenced in October 1974 at WH Smith in Bedford.

From that moment of hearing and admiring Get Back grew an intense passion. I avidly read the NME and other music papers, I listened to Alan Freeman’s Pick of the Pops chart show every week on Radio One. I kept right up to date with all the weekly chart happenings and my appreciation of so much music grew and grew – The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, The Who, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Free, Family, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, Jethro Tull to name but a few, all appeared on my musical radar during the next few months – and stayed there.

Of course there was one other act of much importance as all this would lead me to the biggest passion of all – Led Zeppelin – and anyone reading this will realise the immense consequence of all that.

For me, this was not just a band…it was a way of life and they would come into my life in the November of 1969 when I first heard Whole Lotta Love on the radio. The effect of that would be a lasting one…

When I could afford it I began buying singles and albums – The Who’s Pinball Wizard and the Island Records sampler LP You Can All Join In being amongst my first purchases in this new era. Many more would follow.

The Beatles Get Back single was announced via a very clever press advert. It described this new record with a series of incisive phrases.

It carried the headline The Beatles as nature intended. It read as follows:

‘’Get Back’’ is The Beatles new single. It’s the first Beatles record which is as live as can be in this electronic age.

There’s no electric watchamaclit.

‘’Get Back’’ is a pure springtime number.

On the other side there’s an equally live number ‘’Don’t let me down.’’

Paul’s got this to say about Get Back…

‘’we were sitting in the studio and we made it up out of thin air. We started to write words there and then …when we finished it we recorded it at Apple Studios and made it into a song to rollercoast by’’.

P.S. John adds its john playing the fab live guitar solo.

An now John on Don’t Let Me Down.

John says don’t let me down about ‘’Don’t let me down’’

In ‘’Get Back’’ and’’ Don’t Let Me Down’’ you’ll find The Beatles as nature intended”.

I could easily apply my then new found enthusiasm with the same statement because it really did feel like I had found redemption in music – as nature intended.

52 years on nothing has changed – music is the DNA that defines who I am and what I do. In sharing it over the years, it has built lasting friendships and created much camaraderie.

So thank you dear fab Beatles for opening the music floodgates for me that April all of 52 years ago.

Oh and John…I did not let you down about Don’t Let Me Down – and you never let me down either….

These and many more stories like it, are forming an initial work in progress memoir of my musical adventures and life stories… more on that to follow…

Dave Lewis – April 18, 2021

Some particular inspirations this past week:

Always a welcome sound the new issue of Mojo dropping through the door – and it’s a bit of a Paul Weller special as he has edited this issue and it includes features on Crosby Stills Nash& Young ,Paul McCartney and much more…looking good…

Another welcomed arrival – the new issue of Record Collector…with David Bowie on the cover this issue looks right up my street…

Update here:

It was one small step for man – one giant leap on a London bound train last Friday when I made my first trip into the capital on over a year. The last couple of occasions early least year had been full of anxiety and I was more than nervous when my very good friend and fellow recollecting comrade Steve met me at Bedford  station. We were bound for the Spitalfields Market record fair – the first to be staged this year after the partial unlocking began last Monday. St Pancras station and the Hammersmith tube were both very quiet – the fair predictably busy but being in a large semi-outdoors setting it felt a good environment. It was an absolute revelation to be amongst likeminded enthusiasts doing something that we all love and have not been able to do for so long. Alongside Steve it was great to see Nick Carruthers, Alastair Chorlton, Ian Saikia, John Gunne and some of the regular dealers I know including Mark Hayward.

I have subsequently felt pretty weary as it was all a bit overwhelming. Though this getting out has done wonders for my self esteem, I am still prone to lapses of self doubt and flashbacks from the memories of some of the past difficult times can still dominate my thoughts. I continue to try and fend that off and not slip back to the negative thinking that has been hard to cope with in the past.

I am also suffering a bit from my annual Hay Fever which I get around now. So there’s been a bit of a slowing down these past few days as I take stock from what was a very full on week. As mentioned previously, these choices to now go out and about do carry a risk and the challenge is to make that risk as manageable as possible.

Within all that, there’s been no let up in the TBL workload with some 7,000 words clocked up on a forthcoming Zep feature – more on all that soon…

After reason prevailed in the Super League fiasco and the sacking of Jose Mourinho, here’s hoping Spurs can overcome Man City in the Carabao Cup Final this Sunday – though that of course won’t be easy…

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

Dave  Lewis – April  21, 2021

Until next time, stay safe and stay well…

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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