Sunday, November 4, 2012

Reading Material

Every year the canon of Led Zeppelin literature seems to grow. This year sees three significant new books hitting the market just in time for the Christmas book shopping season. If you're idea of a comfy chair in front of the fire with a good book is the ideal way to spend some Christmas holiday time, here's some suggestions for your list:

51sox-yhwil1.Led Zeppelin: The Oral History of the World's Greatest Rock Bandby Barney Hoskyns (titled Trampled Underfoot in Europe):
With Robert Plant on lead vocal and Jimmy Page on guitar, Led Zeppelin is one of the most iconic, legendary, and influential rock bands in musical history. Tales of their indulgence in sex, drugs, and excess have swirled for decades. In this definitive oral history of the band, Barney Hoskyns finally reveals the truth about Led Zeppelin, paring away the myths and describing what life was really like for four young men on top of the world, enjoying fame on a scale that not even the Beatles experienced as a touring live act. Through fresh new interviews with the surviving band members, close friends, their tour manager, and scores of other fascinating characters, Hoskyns provides deep insights into the personalities of the band members and chronicles the group's dramatic rise, fall, and legacy.

  • Based on more than 200 interviews with everyone from Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones to road manager Richard Cole, their late manager Peter Grant, and many others central to the Zeppelin story

  • Features striking photos of the band both on and offstage, many published here for the first time

  • Takes a fresh look at Led Zeppelin's music, cultural significance, and legend, as well as the highs and lows of the sex, drugs, and rock and roll lifestyle on the road

  • Analyzes the way the band wrote, arranged, and recorded, from how they created the stupendous sound and dynamics on "Dazed and Confused" and "Whole Lotta Love" to the group's folk-suffused acoustic side embodied in songs like "Friends" and "That's the Way"

  • Written by Barney Hoskyns, contributing editor at British Vogue who is the author of the bestselling book Hotel California and the co-founder of online music-journalism library Rock's Backpages







light___shade_jacket_image12. Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page by Brad Tolinski:
This “oral autobiography” of Jimmy Page, the intensely private mastermind behind Led Zeppelin—one of the most enduring bands in rock history—is the most complete and revelatory portrait of the legendary guitarist ever published.

More than 30 years after disbanding in 1980, Led Zeppelin continues to be celebrated for its artistic achievements, broad musical influence, and commercial success. The band's notorious exploits have been chronicled in bestselling books; yet none of the individual members of the band has penned a memoir nor cooperated to any degree with the press or a biographer.  In Light & Shade, Jimmy Page, the band’s most reticent and inscrutable member, opens up to journalist Brad Tolinski, for the first time exploring his remarkable life and musical journey in great depth and intimate detail.

Based on extensive interviews conducted with the guitarist/producer over the past 20 years,Light & Shade encompasses Page’s entire career, beginning with his early years as England’s top session guitarist when he worked with artists ranging from Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, and Burt Bacharach to the Kinks, The Who, and Eric Clapton.  Page speaks frankly about his decadent yet immensely creative years in Led Zeppelin, his synergistic relationships with band members Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones, and his notable post-Zeppelin pursuits.  While examining every major track recorded by Zeppelin, including “Stairway to Heaven,” “Whole Lotta Love,” and “Kashmir,” Page reflects on the band’s sensational tours, the filming of the concert movie The Song Remains the Same, his fascination with the occult, meeting Elvis Presley, and the making of the rock masterpiece Led Zeppelin IV, about which he offers a complete behind-the-scenes account. Additionally, the book is peppered with “sidebar” chapters that include conversations between Page and other guitar greats, including his childhood friend Jeff Beck and hipster icon Jack White.

Through Page’s own words, Light and Shade presents an unprecedented first-person view of one of the most important musicians of our era.





61qtqqi1y7l_sl500_aa300_3.Get the Led Out: How Led Zeppelin Became the Biggest Band in the World by Danny Somach:
Get the Led Out is the ultimate book for the ultimate fan of the ultimate band--Led Zeppelin. This lushly illustrated volume begins with a unique day-by-day timeline based on Carol Miller's radio show of the same name, and it provides a behind-the-scenes view, revealing quirky details, achievements, and adventures big and small. Twenty-seven rare, unguarded interviews feature the band members themselves, as well as other musicians and insiders who witnessed it all, including Jason Bonham, Chris Squire (Yes), Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Alice Cooper, and music industry legends Danny Goldberg and Ron Nevinson. The book ends with a comprehensive discography.





The first two books have been released in both traditional and ebook format, while the Danny Somach book is due to be released this week.

I will have reviews of the first two within the week, the Get the Led Out book soon thereafter.



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