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Dave Lewis retires physical Tight But Loose magazine

Zep Hed

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Tight But Loose News Update:
Announcing the retirement of the TBL magazine...
Established in 1978 as a platform of communication for like-minded Led Zeppelin fans, The Tight But Loose magazine has reached out to over 30 countries around the world in its forty-plus years of publication. But after much soul searching and not a little sadness, I’ve decided that now is the right time to announce the retirement of the Tight But Loose magazine and cease publication.
The last edition issue of TBL was issue 45, a Led Zep at Knebworth Special published back in September 2019. Since then many things have happened, not least the pandemic and its far reaching consequences. That, and a combination of other factors – designer Mick Lowe’s changing circumstances, health issues here both physical and mental, and the birth of our lovely grandson, has led me to reach the conclusion that producing future TBL magazines is just too much for me to take on. Given the lack of any TBL issues in the past three years, I’m sure that will probably not come as too much of a surprise to anyone.
For many years the magazine has been published via content provided by some crucial contributors, Mick’s design and layout, and my role in all aspects of the administration distribution – this has included sticking labels and stamps on a 1,000 envelopes and physically taking them to be posted (mostly by means of my bike!).
It’s been hugely fulfilling to do this over the past four decades, but with changing values and age (hey, having done this since I was aged 22 and now being an official old age pensioner at 66, I’m not getting any younger!), the plain fact is I just don’t have the time and application to continue with this type of workload. Plus, there’s a need for me to prioritize what’s important and slow down a little bit.
I am of course immensely proud of what the TBL magazine has created and the enjoyment it has brought to so many Led Zeppelin fans. Indeed, if you happen to have all 45 issues you own a unique catalogue in the chronicling of this great band we all love (with early issues typically fetching £100 plus on eBay).
I do intend to make available various back issues I still have left on a first come first basis at some point ahead. I did have a plan to reissue some of the older editions but that has proven difficult to do. I may return to that idea as a “best of” TBL book project.
Given everything going on in my life now, this seems the right time to bring the TBL magazine to a conclusion and it feels the end of an era but and as the great George Harrison once sang, all things must pass…
However let me make absolutely it clear it’s only the physical magazine I am ceasing – this does not mean I am retiring from chronicling the world of Led Zeppelin and my music writings – far from it….
I still aim to produce the regular TBL website updates which contain archive features, latest Zep related news and my diary blog update. In its way this serves as a mini online version of the TBL magazine and provides me with a platform for my writings which I am as passionate as ever to produce.
In conjunction with the TBL website, my own Facebook page is another means of getting my music message out there – this includes my thoughts on Zep and other artist’s releases and reissues, my passion for record collecting, the marking of important rock related birthdays and my regular nostalgic throwback Thursday postings of past retro charts and gig activity.
As for future book projects, my main objective is to work on my DL Memoirs – A Whole Lotta Music and More. I have been a very blessed man in enjoying over 50 years of musical appreciation and I am keen to tell many a story. I am currently about 25,000 words up and am about to enter 1972 so there’s a long way to go. I am not setting a deadline and I will work on it at my own pace so publication is a way off yet. I will report on the progress of this major project as it evolves via the TBL website and my Facebook page.
I did have a plan to produce a Robert Plant photo book but that idea has proved difficult to bring to fruition and remains on hold – as mentioned above, changing circumstances here limits the time I have to apply to research intensive projects and the DL Memoirs is my main written focus ahead.
I would like to offer sincere thanks to everyone who worked on and contributed to the TBL magazine over the years and there are many amazing people who made it happen, in particular Ross Halfin, Mike Tremaglio, Gary Foy, Graeme Hutchinson, Nick Anderson, Paul Sheppard,Simon Cadmon, Jonathan Taylor,Stephen Humphries, Rikky Rooksby and Andy Crofts.
May I offer an equally sincere thanks to every single person that invested in the magazine and made it such a thrilling and fulfilling outlet for me to be at the helm of for nigh on 44 years.
So it’s goodbye to the physical Tight But Loose magazine, but be assured my passion to present and share the chronicling of the world of Led Zeppelin and the music I love goes on with the same unrelenting enthusiasm that I had when I handwrote the very first issue of the TBL magazine back in 1978.
In effect, the song does remain the same here, albeit in a way that reflects the time and application I can give to share my thoughts on this wonderful music that continues to enthrall and inspire us all.
Dave Lewis – December 16 2022
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