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Robert Plant - Pre-Zep History


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Off the top of my head, here's a wishlist:

1. Obs-Tweedle at the Dudley Zoo (Broadway Club?), sometime in April/May/June 1968. This was the show where Plant allegedly joined the group.

2. anything mentioning Robert Plant or The Band Of Joy between March 10 and June 28, 1968.

3. confirmation of the Obs-Tweedle or Band Of Joy gig at the West Midlands College of Education on Gorway Road in late July.

4. confirmation of the Obs-Tweedle or Band Of Joy gig in Buxton (or Boston) with Terry Reid. This was the show that caused Reid to recommend Plant to Page.

Thanks and good luck!

Dates added to list..check your PMs.

I'm still very confused about RPs association with Obstweedle..Bill Bonham has told me a couple of times the group didn't exist until RP joined..he repeats the story here..

http://www.brumbeat.net/letters1.htm

So whats the truth?

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Dates added to list..check your PMs.

I'm still very confused about RPs association with Obstweedle..Bill Bonham has told me a couple of times the group didn't exist until RP joined..he repeats the story here..

http://www.brumbeat.net/letters1.htm

So whats the truth?

Bill somewhat contradicted his story above by telling me Robert did not go to Hamburg with the band, as he had not joined at that stage. One possibility is that Robert decided to join Obs-Tweedle after the Band of Joy folded in February 1968, but had been previously booked to record with Alexis Korner, in March 1968, and thus didn't "officially" join until after they returned from Hamburg.

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Bill somewhat contradicted his story above by telling me Robert did not go to Hamburg with the band, as he had not joined at that stage. One possibility is that Robert decided to join Obs-Tweedle after the Band of Joy folded in February 1968, but had been previously booked to record with Alexis Korner, in March 1968, and thus didn't "officially" join until after they returned from Hamburg.

Sorry for being dense Meg but I read Bill's story as The Answer doing the Europe gigs and after they returned Obstweedle came into existence with RP..you know who could probably answer all this :rolleyes:

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Sorry for being dense Meg but I read Bill's story as The Answer doing the Europe gigs and after they returned Obstweedle came into existence with RP..you know who could probably answer all this :rolleyes:

Which is why gig ads around February-March 1968 would be helpful :)

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Which is why gig ads around February-March 1968 would be helpful :)

I think I've put some March gigs on here for Obstweedle..I've not found any BOJ/Obs crossover gigs in Wolvo..BOJ disappear and Obs appear..this means nothing of course..they may have been in Birmingham..but the 1st Obs gigs in March are at the Boat which makes a lot of sense to me.

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I think I've put some March gigs on here for Obstweedle..I've not found any BOJ/Obs crossover gigs in Wolvo..BOJ disappear and Obs appear..this means nothing of course..they may have been in Birmingham..but the 1st Obs gigs in March are at the Boat which makes a lot of sense to me.

Yes, that would be most obvious if the band were named there by Bill's dad.

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Sorry for being dense Meg but I read Bill's story as The Answer doing the Europe gigs and after they returned Obstweedle came into existence with RP.

This is still possible, but it is seeming less and less likely.

The last known BOJ gig was March 10, 1968 (Carlton Club, Birmingham)

The first known Obs-Tweedle gig was March 13, 1968 (3 Men In A Boat, Walsall)

Perhaps Obs-Tweedle was in Europe in February/March (as "The Answer") and Robert joined them when they returned? But the problem with that theory is that Robert has always maintained that he went to London to play with Alexis Korner after the BOJ broke up.

I am inclined to believe that Obs-Tweedle was in existence for several weeks before Plant joined, and that Bill Bonham's memories are too fuzzy to remember the specifics.

However, I am intrigued by the possibility that Robert was indeed a member of Obs-Tweedle from March through July, and that he exaggerated his connection to Alexis Korner!

The key is to find evidence that the BOJ existed after March 13th.

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This is still possible, but it is seeming less and less likely.

The last known BOJ gig was March 10, 1968 (Carlton Club, Birmingham)

The first known Obs-Tweedle gig was March 13, 1968 (3 Men In A Boat, Walsall)

Perhaps Obs-Tweedle was in Europe in February/March (as "The Answer") and Robert joined them when they returned? But the problem with that theory is that Robert has always maintained that he went to London to play with Alexis Korner after the BOJ broke up.

I am inclined to believe that Obs-Tweedle was in existence for several weeks before Plant joined, and that Bill Bonham's memories are too fuzzy to remember the specifics.

However, I am intrigued by the possibility that Robert was indeed a member of Obs-Tweedle from March through July, and that he exaggerated his connection to Alexis Korner!

The key is to find evidence that the BOJ existed after March 13th.

I love all of this stuff :D ..silly question but is their any way of checking the Alexis Korner stuff?

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Given the BOJ had split by March 1968, and the gig where Page and co. saw them perform did not happen until July, that's a fair few weeks between what the students lobbied for and who actually played, given that Obs-Tweedle was in existance during that entire time. I'd like to see a bit more confirmation on the above venues.

Meg

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The Queen Mary Ballroom gig is an interesting find, but it still tends to contradict Bill Bonham's claim that they were "The Answer" prior to Robert joining the band. (I wonder if The Answer played the Queen Mary the week before??)

I would love to find more info on the Alexis Korner connection, but details are in short supply. I found vague mention that Plant met Korner when Korner played a gig in Birmingham, and that Plant "toured" with Korner in addition to sleeping on his couch. Toured?? Where? Korner toured Germany and Scandinavia in March 1968, and he played the Woburn Music Festival on July 6 1968. Since Robert has never mentioned any of that (and I can't imagine that he wouldn't mention playing Woburn, since Hendrix and a bunch of other big names were there), I would say that he wasn't with Korner during those periods.

Supposedly, Plant hooked up with Korner after Victor Brox and Marsha Hunt left his group. Hunt joined the London stage cast of "Hair". Does anyone know when that happened?

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Supposedly, Plant hooked up with Korner after Victor Brox and Marsha Hunt left his group. Hunt joined the London stage cast of "Hair". Does anyone know when that happened?

'Hair' opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London on September 27, 1968. Presumably she joined 1 to 3 months prior to that as rehearsals for the US production lasted three months.

Edited by SteveAJones
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Supposedly, Plant hooked up with Korner after Victor Brox and Marsha Hunt left his group. Hunt joined the London stage cast of "Hair". Does anyone know when that happened?

Hunt was in the original cast and opening day was Sept 27, 1968...but as to when she actually joine dup with them.... ???
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I haven't been looking for "Answer" gigs but I'm aware of their part in the story and to be honest I can't remember seeing any gigs advertised them in 1968..again this doesn't mean anything..I might have missed them,they might have only done a few gigs in the Wolverhampton area or they might have been in another part of the country or abroad.If someone can give me target dates to look for I'll add them to the list.

The Alexis Korner thing is intriguing..in what way did RP "tour" with AK..as a sideman?..as a support act?

Without meaning to upset anyone but a lot of RPs early career seems to be based on hearsay and the origin of Obstweedle seems to either be based on BBs memory or ...to be honest I don't know what the other version is based on..I could do with a clear explantion :mellow:

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I haven't been looking for "Answer" gigs but I'm aware of their part in the story and to be honest I can't remember seeing any gigs advertised them in 1968..again this doesn't mean anything..I might have missed them,they might have only done a few gigs in the Wolverhampton area or they might have been in another part of the country or abroad.If someone can give me target dates to look for I'll add them to the list.

The Alexis Korner thing is intriguing..in what way did RP "tour" with AK..as a sideman?..as a support act?

Without meaning to upset anyone but a lot of RPs early career seems to be based on hearsay and the origin of Obstweedle seems to either be based on BBs memory or ...to be honest I don't know what the other version is based on..I could do with a clear explantion :mellow:

As I mentioned off-list. I am of the belief that The Answer had folded in 1967 and what BB has said is based on memory, which sadly cannot be trusted. If a search reveals the lack of any Answer gigs January-March 1968, this is probably the case. BB never kept a diary or receipts.

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The Alexis Korner thing is intriguing..in what way did RP "tour" with AK..as a sideman?..as a support act?

Some have said he was half of a duet while others say he contributed harmonica. Searching for Plant comments.

It's my understanding whatever his involvement it was limited to just a few club gigs only.

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Without meaning to upset anyone but a lot of RPs early career seems to be based on hearsay and the origin of Obstweedle seems to either be based on BBs memory or ...to be honest I don't know what the other version is based on..I could do with a clear explantion :mellow:

- I think the earliest mention of the band was Jimmy's 1972 interview for Zig Zag magazine (where he called them "Obstweedle or Hobbstweedle, something like that").

- for the next ~30 years, there was almost ZERO original research done on the band. Everyone just repeated Jimmy's story, which was why the name was always spelled incorrectly.

- Robert added a few more details around 2002, including the proper spelling. He didn't give any specific dates, but he did say "I wasn't there for long".

- a few years ago, Bill Bonham told his story to brumbeat.net. He filled in the blanks as best he could, but he still left a lot of questions unanswered.

That's about it. I'd say that 99% of the information on Obs-Tweedle comes from Bill Bonham and this thread (plus a couple quotes from Robert). I don't think anyone has ever tracked down any of the other members of the band.

The Alexis Korner thing is intriguing..in what way did RP "tour" with AK..as a sideman?..as a support act?

It was Korner on guitar/vocals and Plant on vocals/harmonica. I don't know if anyone else played with them. Korner did not have a regular band at this time. I had thought that their collaboration was limited to a few informal jams at nightclubs, but I recently read some liner notes which indicated that there was touring involved.

This is another aspect of Plant's career that has been severely under-researched.

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- I think the earliest mention of the band was Jimmy's 1972 interview for Zig Zag magazine (where he called them "Obstweedle or Hobbstweedle, something like that").

- for the next ~30 years, there was almost ZERO original research done on the band. Everyone just repeated Jimmy's story, which was why the name was always spelled incorrectly.

- Robert added a few more details around 2002, including the proper spelling. He didn't give any specific dates, but he did say "I wasn't there for long".

- a few years ago, Bill Bonham told his story to brumbeat.net. He filled in the blanks as best he could, but he still left a lot of questions unanswered.

That's about it. I'd say that 99% of the information on Obs-Tweedle comes from Bill Bonham and this thread (plus a couple quotes from Robert). I don't think anyone has ever tracked down any of the other members of the band.

It was Korner on guitar/vocals and Plant on vocals/harmonica. I don't know if anyone else played with them. Korner did not have a regular band at this time. I had thought that their collaboration was limited to a few informal jams at nightclubs, but I recently read some liner notes which indicated that there was touring involved.

This is another aspect of Plant's career that has been severely under-researched.

Thanks ,it's amazing how little research has been done.

I don't remember this being on here but apologies if it has.

marqueefeb68.jpg

23/02/68

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'Hair' opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London on September 27, 1968. Presumably she joined 1 to 3 months prior to that as rehearsals for the US production lasted three months.

I was there, it was awful.

Beside the point, I know. Here's some info from alexis-korner.net--the part about Plant is near the end. No source for the quote, though.

Korner sleeve notes

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Alexis Korner was recording in March-April 1968, at Sound Techniques Studios, in London. It could be possible Plant recorded uncredited with Korner during the sessions there. I have to follow this up by looking into further database searches. Prior to the 1970s, Korner's gig career is poorly documented in many of the publications I've come across.

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Re Alexis Korner:

“One night I went to one of these blues concerts. At that time, Alex had developed quite a staunch following and they’d gone from the back rooms right into the accepted theaters. He was playing one night and I was there and I’d had a reasonable amount of whiskey, and I thought I had the courage to get up there on stage with him and say, ‘listen, I’m going to blow harmonica.’ And off we went. And I started singing too. He’s a great cat; he’s a really fine man. He looked over the rims of his tinted spectacles and smiled and said some funny line and off we went. We had a good relationship.”

From a book called Led Zeppelin’s Golden Boy Robert Plant by Michael Gross, published in 1975 by Circus magazine.

…Robert sang for awhile with Alexis Korner, whose own band Blues Incorporated had long since gone. They gigged together around Birmingham and also did shows at Kirkaldy YMCA and Middle Earth, still a hippie stronghold, in Covent Garden. Robert told the New Musical Express in April 1970 about his time with Alexis. ‘I was working immediately before Led Zeppelin with Alexis Korner and we were in the process of recording an album with a pianist called Steve Miller. A very fluid thing…nothing definitely set up. We had a wonderful time and we were going to do a few festivals in Germany.’

From a book called Power and Glory, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, by Chris Welch, published in 1985.

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