DAVE LEWIS DIARY:TBL 28 LATEST/SNOW (STILL)/ JIMMY ON PLANET ROCK/BCC TBL PRE GIG LONDON MEET/A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM ME AND GARY TO YOU
Mr D.Lewis: Author, publisher,TBL editor and occasional Father Christmas…
‘Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!’’ as Dean and Frank both sang way back when, and well it did – and it isn’t going away too quickly. The old white stuff has hung around all week and consequently made the distribution of the new TBL magazine somewhat problematic. A fair few have gone out now with more to follow in the next few days. The postal delivery times are well erratic at the moment and here we had no post here whatsoever for two days. I know it must be a little frustrating that some subscribers have received their copies while others are still waiting. Thanks in advance for your patience on this but trust me, its eventual arrival will considerably brighten the new year.
Ross Halfin’s brilliant cover photo of Jimmy is certainly whetting the appetite. So get ready for some serious Zep reading when TBL 28 finally drops through your door. I might add that it also makes a perfect post Christmas present –so if you haven’t indulged yet, go on treat yourself to a last minute gift.
Ordering link is here Tight But Loose Issue 28
The last few days here have been well hectic –what with the TBL magazine to sort and the usual Christmas running around. The soundtrack to all this pre Christmas activity has revolved around various Christmas faves. A couple of delightful easy listening compilations Snow Get Easy (thank you John P), plenty of early Beatles (their early hits such as I Wanna Hold Your Hand, A Hard Days Night, I Feel Fine etc always have me nostalgically thinking back to childhood Christmases). Zep wise both In Through The Out Door and Coda have been on, again also reminders of seasonal times past. While we were shopping in Tesco’s today they had one of those mildly inane Christmas compilations playing. This one had re recorded cover versions of the likes of Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody etc. Bizarrely it included a cover of the little known Marc Bolan/T. Rex song Christmas Bop, another of my personal faves. This inspired a play of the classic T. Rex Electric Warrior (one of your faves Mr.T. Boud!), which was the top selling album around this time in 1971, along with Ld Zep 4 both of which I brought at the time. Frank Sinatra is another prime candidate for a seasonal spin and his In The Wee Small Hours is playing as I write this. Perfectly wistful as only he can be….
While in Hitchin last Saturday to pick up Sam, I managed to zip to their excellent record stall on the Hitchin open air market. As the snow fell all around I made a quick purchase of three lovely vinyl gems. The Voice of Winston Churchill (I am big on great orators and speeches and I have similar albums on JFK and the legendary UK broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, plus Pete Townshend’s All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes and an original pressing of the 1969 Jack Bruce album Songs For a Tailor – £8 the lot, a bargain! Reading wise I havent got around to the Keith Richard autobiography yet. I am currently wading through Queen Is This the Real Thing by Mark Blake’s (Q managing editor and long time TBL reader) . I am not a massive Queen fan aside from their early years but this is proving to be an engaging well presented read and well recommended.
There are a few things on my Christmas wants list and I’ll report back on what turned up under the Christmas tree next week.
In amongst all the turkey and mince pies, may I direct you to some Zep related activity going down in the coming days. Planet Rock have two Jimmy Page showcase programmes coming up. The first is on Wednesday December 29th at 1pm and it’s a re-run of the Planet Rock hour long interview with Jimmy and Jack White concerning the It Might Get Loud movie which was first broadcast in January. The second is When Nicky Met Jimmy Page, which will be on air on Thursday December 30th at 6pm. This I a re-broadcast of a fascinating interview Nicky conducted with Jimmy at the end of 1976.
While we are on the subject of interviews, TBL contributor Stephen Humphries has an excellent Robert Plant interview feature published in the American Airlines flight magazine. Have a look at http://bit.ly/gN9Um2
Gig wise, there’s the long awaited first proper live UK dates of Black Country Communion taking place at Wolverhampton Civic Hall on December 29th and Shepherd’s Bush Empire London on December 30th. For latest ticket information see www.seetickets.com
My good friend Jerry Bloom is handling the official merchandise stalls for these shows and the TBL crew will be pitching up for the Shepherd’s Bush show. The TBL pre gig meet will at the nearby O Neill’s Bar – situated right next to the venue 2 Goldhawk Road,W12 8QD – see http://www.fancyapint.com/pubs/pub697.php
We should be in there around 5.30ish and look forward to seeing all that can make it.
It’s a long time since I went to a post Christmas gig. Back in 1979 I recall being somewhat mortified when I missed out on the Rock For Kampuchea show at the Hammersmith Odeon that saw appearances by Robert, JPJ and Bonzo. I think my last post Christmas gig was Rod Stewart’s show at Olympia in London in 1978. That was on the Blondes Have More Fun tour when yes he looked a bit of a twit in that leopard skin outfit, but still had all the on stage bravado that lit up The Faces years. It was a great gig. TBL 28 contributor Any Neill is currently writing a book on The Faces for publication next year. His research indicates it’s going to be a top read.
Hey seems I started a bit of a rock’n'roll writer trend with my recent Father Christmas stint. That esteemed rock’n'roll writer Mick Wall has just played the same gig as he explains in his usual colourful prose. Have a look here:
Note: The above picture is not superimposed – it actually happened! December 8th 2010
So finally Christmas is upon us. Many thanks for all the cards and good wishes received from all corners of the globe. Once again I have endeavored to get cards out to as many TBL folk as possible, if I missed you apologies it’s nothing personal honest! On that note, Laura Whitten, if you are reading this let me know your current contact address/email I haven’t got it.
Just had an hilarious Christmas e- card from Graeme H and Pam – it depicts myself,Graeme,Gary F and Gary Davies playing along with J.Page on Jingle Bells. Crazy!
Earlier in the week I popped in to see designer Mick Lowe to thank him for all his help this year.It was great yesterday to have a visit from the Foy clan that’s Gary, Carol and the young Jimmy and later the good lady and I hooked up with Terry and Marian for a seasonal toast or two. Today I am down for picking up the turkey early and later I’ll be having a lunchtime drink with my lifelong friend Tom Locke. We would normally be linking up with Dec another lifelong friend but he is due to fly out to Australia today for his daughters wedding (Dec all the best to you and Alice!). Amongst a pint or two, Tom and I will no doubt nostalgically recall Christmas Eve’s past – in our heyday it used to be the night of the year and in my full on retail days it was always a whirlwind. While I’m on that subject, seasons greetings to all the people I used to work with in WH Smith/Our Price/Virgin/Zavvi October 1974 – February 2009. Great days they were.
Here’s a photo of the Foy and Lewis clan taken yesterday by our Sam:
Gary, Jimmy and Carol Foy -the good lady Janet and DL in front of the TBL sofa. Note Carol’s rather fetching Simply Red scarve – the Hucknall man’s a bit of a guilty pleasure round these parts.
There’s always a special buzz of Christmas expectancy in the town on Christmas Eve. Then the drawbridge will go up and we have a Zep free couple of days and revel in the Christmas festivities. It will be a poignant one here as it will be the first one without our Ken. Janet’s mum Betty is coming to us for Christmas Day and it will be of course be fantastic to be with her and Janet and Sam and Adam.
At 3pm as we are getting over an abundance of turkey and brussel sprouts, we will all watch the Queen’s Speech as is customary. I know I’ll have a big lump in my throat as there will be one very notable omission in the room. I also know it will prompt me to reflect melancholy on other absent friends and loved ones.
Because amongst all the commercial hype, this is the true meaning of Christmas. Seeing and thinking of family, friends and people who make our respective lives revolve in the way they do. For me that includes the whole host of people from far and wide, who over this past year have given time and support to make TBL what it is –no more so than the subscribers and purchasers of the TBL magazines and books. I’ll be raising a glass or two in the coming days in acknowledgment of this quite amazing community that surrounds the Tight But Loose magazine and web site.
The TBL 2 captured in the DL TBL work station,Totnes Close Bedford December 23rd 2010. Note behind us the rather fetching Remasters triple gold disc award that takes pride of place. This was awarded to me by Warners in 1991 for my retail contribution to sales of the box set and double album.
So on behalf of fellow TBL associate Gary Foy, may I thank you all sincerely for your continued support and wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
I’ll leave you with a stirring Ocean mix clip of Led Zeppelin performing Dazed And Confused at the 02 Arena December 10th 2007:
”Guitar Jimmy Page!”
Watch this one then drink and be merry…
Dave Lewis December 24th 2010.