Book review: Led Zeppelin Then As It Was – At Knebworth 1979

Led Zeppelin Then As It Was - At Knebworth 1979

(Fully revised & updated version) Tight But Loose Publishing

An updated version of the book chronicling Led Zeppelin’s two Knebworth gigs in August 1979 (the original book was published on the concert’s 30th anniversary in 2009). It was a testing time for Led Zeppelin prior to these gigs as they had not played on stage since 1977 after the tragic death of Robert Plant’s young son. They did play two warm-up gigs in Copenhagen covered in the book and brought alive again by fans recollections of the gigs.

A big plus of this book is not only the first hand accounts from fans and those involved in putting on the shows, but also the photographs which give a graphic record of these two historic gigs. Sadly I was too young to attend, plus didn’t discover the mighty Led Zeppelin until a few years later, however this book and the accompanying radio documentary on CD from 1979 allow you to imagine yourself there.

A lot of the book is given over to recollections of those there and aside from Led Zeppelin there was a supporting cast, albeit not a big draw save for Fairport Convention making one of their last live appearances before calling it a day. They even had Chas ‘N’ Dave on, who don’t seem to have gelled at all with the crowd (the duo are back at Knebworth this year at the Sonisphere festival).

Interesting too are the interviews conducted with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant after the event and pre & post radio interviews done with the band back in 1979. For the collector there is an exhaustive bootleg discography

Any fan lucky enough to see either of the two gigs should own a copy of this book, along with Led Zeppelin collectors. Nothing is missed, I mean there is even what the band were wearing for the budding Gok Whan’s in Led Zeppelin land! Dave Lewis, the editor of the Led Zep fanzine ‘Tight But Loose’ has done an exemplary job on compiling and editing this tome, helped greatly by the fact he was there and can add his own personal take on these two historic gigs.

Review by Jason Ritchie


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More about Josh:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.

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Featured Albums w/c 25 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 ART OF ILLUSION X Marks The Spot (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 THE DEAD DAISIES Holy Ground (SPV)
14:00-16:00 TED & MAJELLA Divine Timing (indie)

Power Plays w/c 25 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

THE WEDDING PRESENT We Should Be Together (Scopitones)
MIDNITE CITY Crawlin’ In The Dirt (Roulette Media)
JOSEPH WILLIAMS Never Saw You Coming (Mascot)
ALEX JAMES BRIERLEY Go With The Flow (indie)
THE UNDERCLASS The One (indie)
MASON HILL DNA (7Hz Recordings)

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