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Books about Led Zeppelin

Discussion in 'music' started by phil_644, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. phil_644

    phil_644 Member

    For some time, I’ve been trying to find a decent book about Led Zeppelin. Most of the ones that I’ve seen, seem to concentrate on the salacious bits- the drink, drugs, groupies and black magic. One such would be Hammer of the Gods by Stephen Davis. While it is fun to read, some of the content has been criticised by the members of LZ has being untrue.

    However, I have found a couple of books that concentrate on the key things- the music and the concerts.

    The first of these is Led Zeppelin- A Story of a Band and their Music 1968-1980 by Keith Shadwick. As the title indicates, this is a detailed history of the band, their music and their position in the overall history of rock music. Overall it seems to have an unbiased approach and a balanced view of the music. What adds to the credibility is that most of the quotations are referenced. While it was published in 2005, it looks as if it is no longer in print, as most of the ones for sale on Amazon are second hand.

    The other one is Led Zeppelin: The Concert File by Dave Lewis and Simon Pallett. This basically lists every concert that LZ performed. It is very detailed, including the set lists, the equipment the band used, what Robert Plant said the audience, reviews of the shows and comments from the group. One thing that it does bring out is the excitement generated by their best concerts. Again it isn’t a hagiography and does state when the shows were below par. The best edition is the large format (29 x 23cm) version, which is lushly illustrated.

    Both books were interesting and entertaining to read, and would good for anyone who wants a serious read about Led Zeppelin.
    Stuart Frazer and Zepfan like this.
  2. Stuart Frazer

    Stuart Frazer pfm Member

  3. RBrinsdon

    RBrinsdon pfm Member

    I remember the LZ tome by Barney Hoskyns to have been a good "warts and all" read but I like his research and writing style in every one of his books.

    "Led Zeppelin" by Led Zeppelin is just a heavy weight photo album but has a lot of previously unpublished shots
  4. Chas B

    Chas B pfm Member

    Last year a two-part set of magazines (Mojo?) were published consisting of interviews with band members etc. Worth finding if you can.
  5. ciderglider

    ciderglider pfm Member

    I got into Led Zeppelin around 1977, when there was no internet, and Led Zep just didn't feature on TV or the newspapers. At that point they hardly featured in the music papers. So I picked up a small paperback book about them by Howard Mylett, which was mostly snippets from existing interviews and PR puff, but better than anything else at the time.

    The situation is much changed now. Mick Wall's book on Zep is very good. His coverage of how the band began is interesting - it was very much Jimmy Page's project.

    I've not read the Shadwick or Hoskyns books, so can't comment on how they compare to Mick Wall's book.
  6. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc pfm Member

    Does anyone answer the question, why didn't Jimmy Page make a decent record after 1976?
  7. essgee

    essgee pfm Member

    Maybe he had made so many decent records before 1976!
  8. phil_644

    phil_644 Member

    Thanks for these details. I've also seen a couple of good reviews about the Peter Grant book, so will probably get this one.
  9. Engels

    Engels pfm Member

    The classic is supposed to be "Hammer of the Gods" by Stephen Davis though we know the band hate it (either untrue or gives too much away - you decide...) and I've never got round to reading it in full

    I've read "Stairway to Heaven" by Richard Cole (ghost written by Richard Turbo) their road manager and Grant sidekick - similarly salacious but told by someone who was actually there.

    "When Giants Walked The Earth" by Mick Wall is probably the best I've read

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