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What is your favorite zeppelin book  

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  1. 1. what is your favorite zeppelin Book

    • When Giants Walked the Earth
    • Hammer Of the Gods
    • Stairway To Heaven ( Richard Cole's book)
    • Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin
    • When Jimmy Page's book comes out and everyones read it, i'll put it up, because i guess it counts)
    • Other (sorry if i missed your favorite)

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Cool. Why is it considered controversial?

Many fans consider Hammer of the Gods controversial because it focuses on the band's off-stage shenanigans. Keep in mind it was published in 1985 so some of the actions it reports are now common knowledge among rock music fans or have been proven false. LZ-1975: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin's 1975 American Tour is a better book by the same author, Stephen Davis. It's a snap shot of the band at the height of their popularity and just as the wheels were starting to come off the wagon.

IMO, the best Zep book by far is Trampled Underfood: An Oral History of Led Zeppelin by Barney Hoskyns. Hoskyn's located and interviewed a wide range of people who worked with the band's members before, during and after Led Zeppelin. Some of these people had been interviewed before so their comments were old news. Other people had never spoken on the record and their anecdotes were illuminating. It's not perfect. Among other things, I wish Hoskyn's had asked more follow-up questions at times.

My biggest problem with When Giants Walked The Earth is the way the author, Mick Wall, inserts himself into the narrative. The italicized sections where he pretends to be inside the subjects' heads are silly and pretentious. How does he know what was going through Plant or Page's head at any given time if he wasn't there? If the information came up during an interview with the subject than include it in the main narrative and footnote it.

Light And Shade by Brad Tollinski was disappointing, imo. Guitar and production geeks might like it since Page goes into some detail about the mechanics of how he plays guitar, composes music and produces albums. However, I wanted more information about Page's teen years. How did his band get to appear on Hugh Weldon's television show in 1958? What was it like to be a gigging musician at the age of 16? What was a typical set list during his stint with Neil Christian and The Crusaders? What types of venues did they play? Did they record any songs while he was with them? Has he worked with any of that band's members since?

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This one, no bullshit to be found on any of the pages.


First Published in 1991, Heaven and Hell is a Beautiful book with lots of great pictures in Full Color that had not been seen by the masses. The book chronicles their tours with excellent commentary, set lists, and bootleg references. The book tells of the rise of the Zeppelin bootleg industry which is excellent. Lots of information on collectibles and such is included in print and picture. Also, each track from each album is laid out with various stories on each.

With a recommendation like that, how could I not nab this book!? Thank you reswati, it is much appreciated!

I'm really happy that this thread got revived because it's such an excellent resource for those of us who have not read a lot of Led Zeppelin books before. I intend to use it as a buying guide so that I can stock up on some good, hopefully relaxing, reading materials and then read them as time permits.

Not to brag (too much-LOL), I only paid $0.07 on Amazon for a used copy of this book. Here's a copy of my receipt if you don't believe me! :-) OK it was actually $4.50 and I used rewards points but still, what a great buy. I can hardly wait for it to arrive. It is my understanding that this book is out of print but if anyone is interested, there are still copies available on Amazon, both new and used, at the link kindly and originally provided by reswati, which I am reposting here, http://www.amazon.com/Led-Zeppelin-Heaven-Charles-Cross/dp/0517583089 . I'm sure that it's covered elsewhere, probably in a thread of its' own that I have not read yet, but Amazon does have Jimmy's upcoming autobiography available for pre-sale too--save yourself $20.00 by ordering pre-sale, you know you're going to buy it anyway!

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  • 2 weeks later...

There's a great book on Jimmy page called Tangents within a Framework by Howard Mylett that is very good.

Yes, Tangents Within A Framework is a great book. Mylett really seems to "get" Page. Heaven and Hell is also an excellent book.

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  • 11 months later...

I wouldn't start with WGWTE because the italicized part is too off-putting. I might start with Hammer of the Gods --a controversial recommendation I know -- or perhaps a book such as Trampled Underfoot or Heaven and Hell.

Don't waste your time with HOFTG, there are so many inaccuracies in that book, that it loses steam. Some of the pix are solid, but I would go with any of the other choices.

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Charles R. Cross' "LED ZEPPELIN: Heaven and Hell" is probably the best overall book about Led Zeppelin. Great photos, good biographical information about the history of the band and the albums. For the hardcore Zeppelin geeks, it also delves into the live concerts and bootlegs. One of four or five books every Led Zeppelin fan should have.

The others being Jimmy Page's photo-biography "Jimmy Page on Jimmy Page", Dave Lewis "The Concert File", "The Photographer's Led Zeppelin", Barney Hoskyns' "Trampled Under Foot", and Paul Kendall's "LED ZEPPELIN: A Visual Documentary".

Actually, all of Dave Lewis' Zeppelin books are good to have.

Ritchie Yorke's Led Zeppelin biography with the Pez candy cover and Neal Preston's "Led Zeppelin Portraits" are also worthy additions to your bookshelf.

Avoid Stephen Davis like the plague. He's a bullshit hack. Both "LZ '75" and "Hammer of the Gods" are garbage.

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