DAVE LEWIS DIARY: CHRISTMAS/1985/TBL 28/2010 END OF YEAR REVIEW/A HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM US TO YOU
DL outside the TBL distribution centre. If only! I packed them all in our kitchen!
Old Bing has been singing about dreaming of a white Christmas for all those years, finally we got one. I cannot remember snow being all around us on a Christmas Day and Boxing Day for many a long year. When the good lady and I went for a Boxing Day walk it was quite amazing to be wading through the snow eying up the many houses around our way that were lit with Christmas lights.
After seeing Tom on Christmas Eve, the draw bridge duly went up here and that’s the way it’s been for the past three days. My good friend Terry and I did get a pass out on Christmas day for a very quick beer over the road at the White Horse as the turkey cooked. We of course all eat too much on the day and drank a fair bit too.
There were some nice goodies under the Christmas tree here including the superb repackage of Jethro Tull’s Stand Up. I used to gaze in wonderment at the distinctive sleeve of this album when it first came out in 1969. It featured in an all Island label artists display in Carousel Records, a long gone Bedford record shop. The new CD issue retains the pleasing pop up feature of the original vinyl sleeve. Extended with 1969 BBC session tracks and a live CD and DVD, it struck me how wonderful it would be to be in possession of a similar artefact celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Led Zeppelin fourth album this time next year. Also had the brilliant Scott Walker Sings From his TV Series on original vinyl (thank you John P.) and the original Glastonbury 1971 film on DVD. (thank you Andrew R.!).
On Christmas Day we soaked up a fair bit of TV. The One Ronnie show with Ronnie Corbett worked pretty well in the Two Ronnie’s tradition, The Royle Family was the best episode in some years and I laughed out loud many times to the Little Britain airport spoof Come Fly With Me. There was a feast of nostalgic viewing to be had on Boxing Day which left me feeling like I was back in 1985.
Channel Five in fact screened the Christmas Day edition of Top of The Pops from that year. Oh how we laughed at the mullet hair cuts as the likes of Paul Young, Tears For Fears, King, Madonna cavorted before us.
There were more 1985 reflections later on BBC2. When Bob Met Harvey was an ambitious biopic based on the relationship between heavyweight promoter Harvey Goldsmith and Bob Geldof as they set about organising the Live Aid concert. It was a quaint idea in theory but as with many a biopic, some of the casting was way off (the Paul McCartney character looked like some bank manger) and it was somewhat economical with the truth. It didn’t help matters that the real story was revealed in the Live Aid documentary that followed. This was an excellent hour by hour dissection of the day.
The Zep episode was duly delt with – Phil Collins offering his perhaps not unrealistic view of a rather dark mood between Page and co beforehand. It was perhaps typically of them that on such an auspicious occasion, there lay the usual Zep controversy. I still stand by the performance which on an emotional level was incredible. The one thing that remains so evident about the whole Live Aid extravaganza was that on that day 25 years ago we knew we were witnessing history. Future bio-pics and documentaries were therefore pretty inevitable.
Meanwhile back in 2010 and the TBL28 latest. I’ve been frantically stamping and packing up all the outstanding orders and. All subscriber copies and single orders have now left here. UK subscribers should all be in receipt of the magazine in the next few days – overseas subscribers can expect their copies in the next two to three weeks.
Please note all copies sent include a flyer that will act as a promptfor you to re-subscribe for the 2011 issues and there’s also an opportunity to pre order the Over Europe book. Any future orders will now will be despatched immediately. So if you have yet to indulge and want some inspirational Zep reading to lift the January gloom – there’s no finer remedy than TBL 28. Order here now for the ideal kick start to 2011.
As we move into the final day of 2110 time for some some overall reflections. Well year one in this new era of Tight But Loose has been very eventful. There’s been some incredible highs along the way
Robert at Abbey Road and then the whole Band Of Joy renaissance. For me the most enjoyable spate of gigs since the Page & Plant era a decade back. Then there’s been the unfolding saga of the Jimmy Page By Jimmy Page book, the end result of which as all investors in this precious volume will discover is something very special indeed.
John Paul Jones has continued to light up any stage he graces form the rocking nights with Them Crooked Vultures through to the Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch tour. Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience has been a real triumph whole his involvement in Black Country Communion has helped put the word classic well and truly back into the meaning of Classic Rock. Black Country Communion have provided some great nights out and some of the best ever TBL interviews – as I’ve mentioned before Glenn Hughes has been an absolute revelation offering his time and support of the magazine. A massive thanks to him and to his manager Carl Swann.
So let’s have a glance back at the year’s events:
TBL 2010 END OF YEAR REVIEW
Back in January Jimmy set an optimistic mood with an excellent interview in Mojo, which carried the first previews of the book. Them Crooked Vultures were slaying Australia. Jimmy then travelled to Beijing to be in attendance at the press conference to announce the Show of Peace concert. A planned free concert due to take place on April 17th on Beijing’s Olympic Green. For what ever reason it didn’t happen. The Royal Mail issued a set of commemorative stamps depicting famous album covers –one of which was the Led Zeppelin fourth album. We gave fans the opportunity to purchase a rare limited edition first day cover pack of the stamps.
In an exclusive interview in February for TBL, Glenn Hughes proclaimed the arrival of the new Black Country supergroup.‘’This is the real deal, a big rock statement and the right thing to do at the right time’’ said Glenn. In another TBL exclusive I reported on Robert Plant’s one off show at the Sound & Vision charity event at Abbey Road.
In March, at a special book signing event in London to launch his new book Apathy For The Devil, legendary 70s rock journalist Nick Kent reminisced about his days on the road with Led Zeppelin. ‘’When they got into their groove on things like Trampled Underfoot they were as good as it gets’’ he told me ‘’I had some amazing times with them.’’
On March 27th Tribute band Boot Led Zeppelin recreated the magic of Earls Court ’75 in a special 35th anniversary show at Shepherds Bush Empire. Earlier in the month,Them Crooked Vultures took the roof off the Royal Albert Hall at the Teenage Cancer Charity show.
In April Robert was reported to have completed his new album in Nashville and he appeared on BBC One’s The One Show to acknowledge presenter Adrian Chiles final show. The Genesis Publications began taking pre orders for the Jimmy Page book. May saw the publication of the al new all colour TBL 26 and we had a week of postings to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Earls Court shows. Jimmy and John Paul Jones paid tribute to John Bonham on BBC6 Music’s excellent documentary. ‘’John Bonham was an extraordinary musician – head and shoulders above anyone around him’’ said Jimmy. ‘’He had a definite vision of the drums, and how they should be played and how they would fit in with a band. It’s without doubt that his technique was beyond everybody else’s, and that’s why he’s so looked to, and looked back to with such reverence and love.’’
On June 1st Robert’s Band Of Joy album had a press launch in London. ‘’The past is a stepping stone’’, Robert observed, ‘’Not a millstone’’ As England’s dismal World Cup unfolded, Led Zeppelin were officially voted the nation’s favourite band on the BBC’s “I’m In A Rock ‘N` Roll Band” grand finale on Saturday night beating fellow finalists The Beatles and Queen in a phone-in vote. Jimmy was also voted into the Mojo Hall Of Fame In early July Them Crooked Vultures signed off with a tremendous show at London’s Brixton Academy. Also that month I conducted interviews with Glenn Hughes ,Joe Bonammassa and Jason Bonham for TBL. Robert kicked off his Band Of Joy tour in Memphis – the first tour watch report proving another hits winner on the TBL site. In August, it was my privilege to exclusively revel the contents of the Jimmy Page By Jimmy Page book by way of an early proof copy. ‘’It commences with a photo of the young Jimmy Page as a choir boy with the caption ‘’It might get loud’’ I reported, ‘’and ends some 500 pages and 50 years later with a recent shot of the elder wistful guitarist with the caption ‘’It might get louder…’’In between there’s what can only be described as a simply stunning pictorial autobiography or as Jimmy modestly puts it ‘’A visual documentary to reflect my contribution to music’’.
Also that month, the TBL exclusive preview of the Band Of Joy garnered the most hits of any TBL story this year. My review opened with these comments: ‘’Listening to the forthcoming Robert Plant album Band Of Joy I was reminded of an interview quote he made a couple of years back ’’ The past can take care of itself – I go on undaunted’’
Indeed he does – and this latest twist in the story is proof again of his ability to immerse himself in a rich eclectic collection of material that makes for a very fulfilling listening experience’’.
In early September The Band Of Joy made their debut in the UK with an album launch at One Mayfair followed by the London Forum showcase. John Paul Jones undertook a series of tour UK dates with Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch.
Black Country Communion launched their album at a showcase gig at John Henry’s Studios in London. I caught up with Jason on the night and he commented on his forthcoming Led Zeppelin Experince tour. ’’I’ve really pushed rehearsals so we can really get this right’’ he said. He is also pleased to be involved in the ‘’Bonzo – The Groove Remains The Same’’ drum tribute to his Dad at the Key Club Hollywood for which Zoe and Deborah would also be in attendance. ‘’I’m really pleased to be part of that as there are so many great drummers paying tribute –it’s going to be an emotional night’’.
On September 25th John Bonham was remembered by fans across the world on the 30th anniversary of his death. Gary Davies laid wreath in Rushock on behalf of Tight But Loose and Led Zeppelin fans everywhere TBL 27 was published that month.
In October the Band Of Joy were back in the UK for a tour that included a life affirming gig for your TBL editor in Birmingham and what has to be for me the gig of the year –the Electric Proms Radio 2 night at the Roundhouse. Jason Bonham took his Led Zeppelin Experience project on the road in America to very positive reviews. On November 6th BBC2 aired Robert Plant night which saw the broadcast of a superb documentary Robert Plant By Myself and highlights from the Electric Proms gig. November also saw the launch of Jimmy’s book at a reception in London and John Paul Jones received the Classic Rock Outstanding Contribution award. In accepting the award John said ‘’ Of course you can’t do this sort of thing alone especially if you’re bass player… I’d just like to thank so many people. My wife of 45 years and my family . All the band members, Jet Harris, Tony Meehan, Zeppelin, Jimmy, the other group I’ve just been playing around the world with the Vultures. I’d also like to say what an honour it was to be part of a John Bonham rhythm section – this is for him too.”
At the same event after presenting an ward the innovators ward to Killing Joke Jimmy told Planet Rock’s Liz Barnes ‘’Well I’m desperate to be playing, but it won’t be until next year, I’ll get a good vehicle to get out there and do some concerts.’’
At the end of the year the accolades kept coming with Robert being voted Artist of the year by Q magazine and the Band Of Joy topping the Daily Mail’s album of the year listings. BCC performed their debut shows in the UK at Wolverhampton and Shepherds Bush Empire. TBL 28 was published in late December – another action packed issue rounded chronicling the recent spate of activity.
Phew, looking at all of that it has been a very busy year –
Here’s some of my raving faves of 2010.
Best Album: Band Of Joy – a man in his element –it just gets better and better.
Best Live Gig: Robert Plant & The Band Of Joy –London Roundhouse October 29th. Possibly the most important and prestigious solo gig of his entire career. An 02 event like atmosphere saw him deliver one of the most uplifting shows
I’ve ever seen. The appearance of the Oriana Choir elevated it all to a very special place.
Plus TCV Royal Albert Hall, Band of Joy Birmingham, BCC John Henry’s Studios, The Who Royal Albert Hall, TVC Brixton.
Best Zep Bootlegs: Empire Strikes Back (Tarantura), the bath 70 upgrade and the June 7th 1977 MSG Magical Sound Boogie (Empress Valley),
Best Re issue: Jethro Tull Stand Up followed by The Rolling Stones Exile On Main Street, The Jam Sound Effects (I am sure I’ll add The Who Live At Leeds when I get around to getting that)
Tracks of the year: House Of Cards – Band Of Joy, One Last Soul – Black Country Communion, Stairway To Heaven – Lizzie as recorded for Radio 2 at the Roundhouse.
Best DVD: Led Zeppelin Work In Progress
Over to Gary Foy for his end of year review.
GF & DL London December 2010
As a new year begins it’s always hard to see where inspiration lays in the future in a world of uncertainly, with wars, conflicts, greed and poverty always just around the corner. But when you think about it, we faced the same uncertainties this time last year and luckily must of us are still here to look back and rejoice in a year that has shown us new things, old things and some extraordinary good things.
The Vultures’ continued to show the others how to rock with intensive sets across Australia, USA and Europe. I was lucky enough to capture The Albert Hall show and a blistering set at the Brixton Academy. John Paul Jones succeeded in pushing his own boundaries again and taught us old ones to rock again, the music was intense but riveting at the same time, never wallowing in the past, I never tired of the Vultures and this is one “supergroup” that will be missed.
For Jimmy Page aside from the book,it was something of a lost year. Here’s hoping DL’s optimism for Jimmy’s plans in 2011 will come to fruition.
Jason Bonham returned to the limelight with a Kevin Shirley inspired band featuring Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa and Derek Sherinian. Called the Black Country Communion, its live debut in a rehearsal room in North London showed the power these boys can generate and the album was a tour de-force of seventies rock and had this listener reminiscing of those golden years but it was hard to see where it would fit in with today’s youth, the key to the bands success will be a tour and the promised second album.
Jason’s other outing this year was the JB Led Zeppelin Experience. Taking this tribute to father around the USA must have been hard for Jason but as the band of relative unknowns got into its stride and the fans began to relies what Jason was doing and it took off. Jason’s heart was in the right place and somewhere up there in the heavens Bonzo surely would have looked down with pride and admiration for his only son.
Robert Plant returned this year resisting all of offers of returning to the circus, instead returning with the Band Of Joy and oh what joy it was. Gone was the Raising Sand panache, the T-Bone led Nashville revue; this was Robert at his best, discovering, experimenting and creating some of the finest music this year. As Robert grows older then we grow older too. What Robert brought to the table this year may not have been everyone cup of tea but you can’t deny the quality and emotion of it all. From the Mayfair to the Forum and on to the Roundhouse via Birmingham, I loved it all, it awoken that sprit within, that ever wondering lust of discovering new music, no longer will I be blinkered to it all, music is there to enjoy and to savor, next year The Band Of Joy will bring joy to the masses and I’ll be there.
The Tight But Loose web-site has had a wonderful year, I feel a huge amount of pride be involved. Dave’s tireless enthusiasm for all things Zeppelin has inspired and motivated me. Nearly half a million this year visited the site, this is something that Dave and I could only dreamed about this time last year. The site will continue to grow in the New Year and we will do our best present all that is relevant to you the discerning Led Zeppelin fan. Thank you for all your support, feedback and input, to all those that I have meet at gigs and meets, thanks for talking, listening and sharing, forgive me if I never remember your name but it’s the pressure of working for Mr Lewis and the drink!
Happy New Year to you all, enjoy the music and be happy.
Best Album of 2010
The Crooked Road: Darrell Scott: Controversial maybe, but this double album from one member of the Band Of Joy is certainly the finest album this year, never a dull moment and not one track that you’ll need to skip, this is as complete as music gets. Darrell’s story-telling songs pack every emotion you need. His voice and playing defies the country tag that most will try and lay upon it, open your eyes people and remove the shutters, and this is one album that you really do need.
Band Of Joy: Robert Plant and The Band Of Joy: He returns with a masterpiece of music, probably his finest solo moment ever. Gone is the pretence, this is from the heart; you cannot help but be moved by the world Robert shows you in his music; weaving his spell once more to delight and delight he does.
Box Set: Innes Sibun: This live CD recorded at the Queens Head pub in the Wiltshire, England village of Box, and from which the album takes its title, has rarely left my player this year. Former Plant guitarist and Rory Gallagher aficionado Innes is one of Wiltshire’s finest kept secrets. Blues guitar at its best and where it should be in a hot pub bar on Saturday night. If you love the blues and Rory then look no further than Innes Sibun.
Magical Sound Boogie: Led Zeppelin: Just when you thought you’d heard it all along comes a brand new soundboard from the ’77 tour, Pages playing may have got some criticism and this New York show maybe not as solid as last year’s batch of ’75 soundboard release, but this certainly has its moments and look no further than the nutcracker section in No Quarter, absolutely stunning, Page wasted? Never!
Stand Up: Jethro Tull: A reissue of Tull’s 1969 album with an incredible clutch of bonus tracks – contemporaneous singles and BBC sessions – and entire CD given over to the band’s slavering 1970 Carnagie Hall performance.
Best Concert of 2010
The Roundhouse London: Robert Plant and The Band Of Joy
Symptom Hall Birmingham: Robert Plant and The Band Of Joy
Mayfair One London: Robert Plant and The Band Of Joy
Brixton Academy: Them Crooked Vultures
John Henrys London: Black Country Communion
Best Film of 2010
Monster: Using a small crew, real people as extras and special effects created on his own home computer, British director Gareth Edwards made for me the best film 2010. A drama about two mismatched travellers, trying to get out of a quarantined Mexico without running into, rarely seen, alien monsters. Similar in feel and context to the wonderful Cloverfield. Outstanding
Carlos: French made movie on the seventies terrorist Carlos The Jackal, brilliant told and acted this bio-pic of the iconic terrorist famous for the OPEC kidnappings in Vienna, Edgar Ramirez plays the role of the killer for hire with such conviction and presence it’s hard to forget that this is his first major role. Brilliant.
Machete: Robert Rodriguez’s corny, violent, cheap movie should be terrible but with outstanding set pieces and brilliant performances by Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan and guest spots from De Niro, Seagal, Cheech Marin and Don Johnson this is a must for Saturday night. Awesome.
Shutter Island: Leonardo DiCaprio tense thriller set on an island prison for the insane is laced with twist and turns at ever corner but highly enjoyable and as always DiCaprio shines.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Yeah okay it’s not a very good movie but my son dragged me along on a wet Sunday afternoon, so I sat there in the darkness with my popcorn muttering something like I’d rather be watching Toy Story 3 when all of a sudden the screen is filled with the wonderful image of Monica Bellucci. This stunningly beautiful Italian actress will always make my top five of any list, and remembering that she’s only a year younger than me give me hope that I still have a chance. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice 0 – Monica Bellucci 10.
Gary Foy December 30th 2010
Thank you GF.
Here’s a picture review of the year
The TBL2 TCV Royal Albert Hall London March 22nd
With TBL web founder Dave Linwood TBL Meet TCV March 22nd
Cliff Hilliard, Raff from Boot Zep,a tired and emotional DL and Tom Locke- Shepherds Bush Empire March 27th
With Mark Harrison, Cliff, Gary, Richard G – TBL Meet London September 25th
With Rusell Ritchin and a Whole Lotta Blondes – TBL Meet London September 25th
With Lorraine Robertson Birmingham October 27th
Recording Radio 2 Simon Mayo Interview Roundhouse London October 29th
With Steve Way and ladies – TBL meet London Forum September 2nd
With fellow Wallbangers Dec, Tom,Max,Phil – DL Vinyl Birthday Bonanza September 3rd
With Graeme H, Pam and Gary – TBL Meet London September 25th
With David Gray set list Abbey Road February 27th
Dec, Phil, DL, Tom- Boot Led Zeppelin gig Shepherd’s Bush Empire March 27th
With Patty Griffin Roundhouse London October 29th
With Anita and Howard Mylett – Jimmy Page Book Launch London November 4th
With Jimmy and Howard -Jimmy Page book launch London November 4th
With the good lady Janet – TBL work station Totnes Close December 23rd
Overall, for me the year has been all about re-establishing the Tight But Loose magazine and attaining a high standard ofTBL content. Within the editing and production of the three magazines, I have also written two major front cover features for Record Collector (The Who Live At Leeds, Led Zeppelin 3).
There has been some truly amazing and inspirational assistance within all this not least the unflagging support of the good lady Janet. We had our own personal sadness with the passing of Janet’s dad in April.
In re-establishing the Tight But Loose magazine, designer Mick Lowe has done a fantastic job in developing a new all colour format. Gary Foy has been instrumental in ensuring the varied news content of the TBL web site and sourcing the many you tube clips
So what can we expect on the Zep related front in 2011?
Robert looks set to extend the Band Of Joy journey with further tour dates and a festival appearances. John Paul Jones move into the opera filed is sure to be illuminating and Black Country Communion will be making their mark live.
Of course the big hope will be that Jimmy Page will be out there again doing what he does best. Jimmy’s recent comments on his desire to get back to making music and the imminant launch of his new web site, has given me reason to be very optimistic. Yes it’s true he said all that a year ago but the waiting was all part of the game back in the Zep era. Have faith – I have every hope that Jimmy Page is going to make a big mark on 2011 and that is amouthwatering prospect.
Elsewhere, the Zep Fest event in Washington is shaping up to be the largest ever Zep fan gathering and it would also be great to see the 40th anniversary of the Led Zeppelin 4 album marked with an extended version of the album. So there’s a lot to look forward to
Personally 2011 will throw up a variety of challenges here. Sam completes her university degree in May and will be looking at options beyond that and Adam has his exams in the spring.
For me the early part of the year will be taken up with a full on focus on writing and collating the content of the Over Europe book. There’s also already a few ideas mulling for TBL 29. The overall objective is to maintain the standard of the past year’s magazines in making it the essential Zep read.
This is where you come in. if you are a 2010 subscriber now is the time to re-subscribe for 2011. if you have yet to indulge in the magazine you can get on board by investing in the current issue TBL 28. I am sure you will be back for more. Subscriptions are the lifeblood of the whole TBL operation – by investing in the TBL magazine you are ensuring the future of the TBL website –and hey 32 pages of essential Zep reading –what’s not to like!
Sowhen the clock strikes 12 midnight there will be a number of people in my thoughts, in particular I will raise a glass and take a cup of kindness for auld lang syne to the following, who one way or another, have been an inspiration to me in 2010:
Gary Foy, Graeme Hutchinson, Mick Lowe, Mike Tremaglio,Gary Davies ,Terry & Marian Boud, Glenn Hughes, Carl Swann, Jason Bonham Peter Noble,Will Taylor, Ross Halfin, Dave Brolan, Liz Barnes, Lisa Bardsley, Jerry Bloom, Cliff Hillaird, Mark Harrison Jose Manuel Parada, Jez and Michaela Firth, Andrew Ricci, John Parkin, Lorraine and Michael Robertson, Gerard Sparaco, Steve Sauer, Larry Bergmann Jnr, Brian Knapp, Andy Neill, Nick Anderson, Krys Jantzen, Terry Stephenson, Bill McCue, AA, Stephen Humphries, Barney Hoskyns, Mick Wall, Dave Ling, Catherine Roylance, Robbie Elson, Nicola Powell, Bill Curbishley, Neil Daniels, Alan Lewis, Frank & Lou Anne Reddon, Pam Matthews,, Rikky Rooksby, Richard Grubb, Takemi hiramatsu Michael Rae, Allesandro Borri, ,Eddie Edwards, Ian Avey, Julian Walker, Phil Tattershall, Raff Achour, Billy and Alison Fletcher, Dave Linwood, Simon Cadman, Pete Gozzard, Steve Jones, Geoff Adamson, Julian Walker, Steve Way, Andreas Stocker, Ian Dixon, Mick Bulow, Phil Bushe, Nigel Glazier, Dec Hickey, Max Harris, Phil Harris, Dec Hickey, Tom Locke, Dave Collins, and of course the good lady Janet, Sam and Adam and Betty.
..and Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones…
Just back from the Black Country Communion gig. Terry and Gary were on great form beforehand and it was another excellent gig. It was great to see Jerry Bloom (thanks for the lift!) Dave Ling,Mick Wall, Steve Way,JR, Richard Cole,Warren Grant and of course Jason, Glenn and Carl Swann. A final opportunity to thank them all for making 2010 what it was. Tonight the good lady Janet and I will be hooking up with our good friends Terry and Marian at the local The White Horse. A rock band called The Pistons will be playing us into 2011. If my dodgy knee prevails, I could well be out on the floor shaking some shoe leather as the new year ushers in. Oh yes we can still rock.
Then it will down to some hard work in getting the Over Europe book into shape and many other projects lined up for 2011.
So as much as I look back and chronicle the heritage of this great, great band, as the singer once put it, the present and future are of paramount importance. It’s still today’s work and tomorrow’s plans that give all of us a reason for being…rather than a reason for having been. And as the singer informed me recently the message is ‘Be happy”.
Thanks for your continued support of all things TBL and on behalf of Gary, may I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year.
Dave Lewis – December 31st 2010