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Kentuckygirl

Review of New Mick Wall Book

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"On which point, Wall makes a very salient analysis of the way things stand today: Page would love a fully fledged reunion but Plant, who to begin with was the stripling kid of the band, is the one who has best succeeded in finding a path for himself beyond Led Zep - as a solo artist and in his partnership with Alison Krauss - and so he can call the shots. For all his "magick" and his symbols and his occult library, Page is powerless. Plant is the one with the power to make the real magic, which is the music."

Ouch. That's a straight shot at someone's ego. Regarding the symbolism... time will tell if he actually knew what he was doing.

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I was flicking through this book the other day (resisting temptation as Santa has it for me. At least he'd better have...). Interesting comments on the O2 show setlist - Wall claims Robert didn't want anything too 'metal', so no Immigrant Song (unlikely anyway) and, allegedly much to Jimmy's chagrin, no Achilles Last Stand.

Looks like a good read though, certainly has more to say than the recent Jon Bream book.

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Interesting comments on the O2 show setlist - Wall claims Robert didn't want anything too 'metal', so no Immigrant Song (unlikely anyway) and, allegedly much to Jimmy's chagrin, no Achilles Last Stand.

Robert, Robert, Robert...... :rolleyes:

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So is this book available in stores now? I keep checking Amazon because I want to buy it and it says it's still unavailable...

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So is this book available in stores now? I keep checking Amazon because I want to buy it and it says it's still unavailable...

I notice that Amazon say it's released at the end of the month. I saw it in WH Smiths last week.

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I was flicking through this book the other day (resisting temptation as Santa has it for me. At least he'd better have...). Interesting comments on the O2 show setlist - Wall claims Robert didn't want anything too 'metal', so no Immigrant Song (unlikely anyway) and, allegedly much to Jimmy's chagrin, no Achilles Last Stand.

Having said that, I understand that Immigrant Song was actually included in an early version of the proposed setlist.

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excellent post, KG.

here, for those who want to skip the jump:

When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin by Mick Wall

David Cheal rocks out with the definitive biography of Led Zeppelin

So this is the big one: a fat, juicy biography of the biggest band ever, the story of a blues-rock behemoth whose members lived lives of unparalleled hedonism, vacuuming up drugs, wallowing in drink, indulging in fleshly pleasures with legions of eager groupies, and recording some of the best rock albums ever made.

Mick Wall, the veteran rock journalist, lays it all bare in a book that can only be described as definitive. His sources are the horses' mouths: Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham. He's talked to their friends, their manager Peter Grant (like Bonham, now dead), their hangers-on.

Less sensationalist than Stephen Davis's Hammer of the Gods, this deals in nuts and bolts as well as sex and drugs: how Jimmy Page knew from the start the kind of band he wanted, and found the men to make it happen; how he hooked up with Jones, then found Plant and Bonham working the live circuit in the Midlands; how they clicked instantly ("I'd had moments of elation before," says Page of their first rehearsal in a Soho basement, "but nothing as intense as that"); how Grant got them a deal with Atlantic records that gave the band unparalleled creative control and an unprecedented percentage of the gross; how they quickly conquered America; how they plunged (except Jones, who seemed only to dip his toe in) into the pleasures of life on the road; how drugs, drink and jealousies began to drive them apart; how Page developed a fascination for "magick" and the writings of the barmy occultist Aleister Crowley; how they tried to become "relevant" during the new wave era by cutting their hair and wearing skinny ties but ended up looking sad; and how Bonham ended his life, and finished off the band, by drinking vast quantities of vodka during the course of a day in 1980, being put to bed at Page's house, and never waking up. It's incident-packed and compelling.

Now for the "but" bit. Mick Wall has played around with narrative voices, so the story periodically jumps into italicised passages, in which one of the members is addressed in the second person, almost as if they are talking to themselves. It's disconcerting, because it is not always clear to begin with who is talking. It's entirely unnecessary and breaks up the book's rhythm.

You were a rock writer at the top of his game. You'd been on the road with them all, interviewed everyone in the biz, been there, done that (and that, too), got the T-shirt and the satin tour jacket, been on the telly, written books. And now you'd got the dream ticket: the story of Led Zep. You and Zep went back a long way. Pagey was almost like a mate, the others knew you well enough to tell it like it was, warts and all. Access all areas, that was your USP. And yet you wanted to do something different, something to give it an edge, a bit of rock-and-roll attitude, so that it didn't read like something written by one of the "straights". Voices. Narrative voices. In italics. That was the trick.

so it goes on. There's some good stuff in these italicised episodes, details that flesh out the back stories of the band members and their belligerent big-bellied manager, but the style distracts from the content.

Also, Wall is credulous of some of the more outlandish claims made about Page and his Crowley obsession. He courts the theory that there was some connection between Page's alleged associations with a network called the Ordo Templi Orientis and the band's success. For goodness' sake: they were just good.

They still are, in fact, as was shown by last year's reunion concert. On which point, Wall makes a very salient analysis of the way things stand today: Page would love a fully fledged reunion but Plant, who to begin with was the stripling kid of the band, is the one who has best succeeded in finding a path for himself beyond Led Zep - as a solo artist and in his partnership with Alison Krauss - and so he can call the shots. For all his "magick" and his symbols and his occult library, Page is powerless. Plant is the one with the power to make the real magic, which is the music.

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And the passage about Plant holding the power, is proof of what I have said all along: Plant is an ego maniac screwing the fans and Jimmy, especially Jimmy, becuase he would still be nobody if jimmy din't choose him and write killer riffs for him to sing over. I'm glad Mick had the balls to tell it like it is, Plant is a _ick. end of story

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And the passage about Plant holding the power, is proof of what I have said all along: Plant is an ego maniac screwing the fans and Jimmy, especially Jimmy, becuase he would still be nobody if jimmy din't choose him and write killer riffs for him to sing over. I'm glad Mick had the balls to tell it like it is, Plant is a _ick. end of story

It's not proof of anything, and especially not that. :huh: And if you just read the same quoted passage I read, I don't know where you see that as being what Wall was saying. (Disclaimer: I haven't read the book and I have no idea if it's any good or not.)

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And the passage about Plant holding the power, is proof of what I have said all along: Plant is an ego maniac screwing the fans and Jimmy, especially Jimmy, becuase he would still be nobody if jimmy din't choose him and write killer riffs for him to sing over. I'm glad Mick had the balls to tell it like it is, Plant is a _ick. end of story

I don't usually discuss his love life in this much depth, but that is a very interesting perspective lol. I would question the part about Jimmy though.

Edited by eternal light

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And the passage about Plant holding the power, is proof of what I have said all along: Plant is an ego maniac screwing the fans and Jimmy, especially Jimmy, becuase he would still be nobody if jimmy din't choose him and write killer riffs for him to sing over. I'm glad Mick had the balls to tell it like it is, Plant is a _ick. end of story

If anything, this only reinforces what I personally believe:

He can't sing loud, rock and roll numbers for an extended period anymore. Why should he go out there and try to belt out the Zep standards with no pipes left half way through a tour? I think that's what's driving him to stay away from the "past" as he says. He's perfectly comfortable keeping it softer with Krauss. And Jonesy eluded to this with the comment, "We (Him and Page) still want to make loud music."

It's not Plant's fault. He just doesn't have the pipes for a long, loud, tour anymore.

But I've been wrong before.

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And the passage about Plant holding the power, is proof of what I have said all along: Plant is an ego maniac screwing the fans and Jimmy, especially Jimmy, becuase he would still be nobody if jimmy din't choose him and write killer riffs for him to sing over. I'm glad Mick had the balls to tell it like it is, Plant is a _ick. end of story

How is he screwing the fans?

When i was 21 i was out on the lash EVERY night, listening to heavy rock at huge volumes, etc etc...

I cant think of anything worse now....

He just doesnt want to do it....perfectly reasonable. It's disappointing, fine, but it's perfectly understandable.

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If anything, this only reinforces what I personally believe:

He can't sing loud, rock and roll numbers for an extended period anymore. Why should he go out there and try to belt out the Zep standards with no pipes left half way through a tour? I think that's what's driving him to stay away from the "past" as he says. He's perfectly comfortable keeping it softer with Krauss. And Jonesy eluded to this with the comment, "We (Him and Page) still want to make loud music."

It's not Plant's fault. He just doesn't have the pipes for a long, loud, tour anymore.

But I've been wrong before.

The musicians that have performed with him on the RPAK tour would disagree with you. They feel he could handle anything Page threw at him, tour-wise or vocal wise, and at least one of them have commented publicly that there is absolutely nothing wrong with his vocal range. But again in Nashville, we don't expect him to scream and injure his vocal chords on a nightly basis, either.

Edited by Kentuckygirl

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The musicians that have performed with him on the RPAK tour would disagree with you. They feel he could handle anything Page threw at him, tour-wise or vocal wise, and at least one of them have commented publicly that there is absolutely nothing wrong with his vocal range. But again in Nashville, we don't expect him to scream and injure his vocal chords on a nightly basis, either.

I'm basing my estimates off what I've seen within the past decade. When I saw him in 2001, it was at the beginning of the tour and he sounded fantastic. Absolutely floored us. He even hit the high note in Whole Lotta Love, so I know he can still do it when he's on. Hell, he sounded near perfect at the Reunion. But I also saw him open for the Who in 2004, which was about mid-tour and his voice was shot. Robert still has a strong voice, but it doesn't seem like it's capable of belting out loud numbers night after night through an extended tour.

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Still not available in the US yet. Pretty pricey to buy it online and have it shipped overseas. Will wait to see when/if it will come available over here.

I have had good luck getting alot of books on Led Zep at my local public library, believe it or not! If they don't have it, they will get it from the other public libraries near by. I requested the new book, Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin by John Bream a week or two ago and picked it up from my public library on Tuesday! I think I am the first to check it out as they had just bought it mid Oct. It has some great pics it in from what I seen so far. I thought I would go through it first before buying it for myself online or at the local bookstore.

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I just got it today from amazon.uk, and I couldn't stop reading parts it this afternoon. I plan to begin it tomarrow. It's very interesting. Mick Wall also talks about his own experiances interviewing Jimmy during the Outrider period. I can't wait to read it all!

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Oh God! I knew I didn't have to check out this thread... :slapface:

It is spoiling the surprise factor when I read the book! :angry:

Ok, I am outta here....

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Knowing that Mick Wall and Jimmy Page had been friends for twenty years, when I first heard about this book, I was looking forward to reading it. Now, though, from what I have read and heard about it (and what I already know about Zep), I have no interest in reading it. When it comes to the history of Zep, I am much more interested in reading and hearing interviews with Zep guys. Until (and unless) one of the Zep members writes his own book, my favorite Zep books will remain the ones written by Ritchie Yorke and Keith Shadwick.

I don’t have time right now but, if I did, I would talk about several things that appeared in this article:

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol...icle5037685.ece

I do want to comment on these two sentences, though:

Another time, he showed me a ring he had on: a serpent swallowing its tail. “What do you think?” I didn’t know how to respond.

To me, by not responding (and not knowing how to respond) to Jimmy’s question (or questioning Jimmy about the meaning of the ring), the author leaves the impression that there is something “sinister” about the “serpent swallowing its tail”. My grandparents happened to have two wooden plaques/icons – each depicted a “tail devourer” – the first of a serpent eating its tail and the second of a dragon eating its tail. There was nothing sinister or satanic about them. I was talking about them with my husband this weekend and I told him that, as kids, we were so fascinated by those images - especially the one of the dragon turning its neck and head around to grasp its tail in its mouth. Beyond the idea that (I think) these images represented eternity, they had some sort of cultural significance for our family (because there was also a photo of a stone carving - I think a headstone - of a tail-devouring snake) because they were important enough to have been brought to the U.S. by my grandparents when they came here.

In the case of Mick Wall’s book, I think that it would have been fascinating to read, not only Jimmy’s interpretation of what the image on his ring represented, but also more about the artwork and artifacts in Jimmy’s home.

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It actually is a very good read, MSG--no need to avoid it on principle as it's quite tastefully done. I am especially enjoying MW's interviews with Timothy d'Arch Smith, whose work has always been such a source of inspiration for me.

Knowing that Mick Wall and Jimmy Page had been friends for twenty years, when I first heard about this book, I was looking forward to reading it. Now, though, from what I have read and heard about it (and what I already know about Zep), I have no interest in reading it. When it comes to the history of Zep, I am much more interested in reading and hearing interviews with Zep guys. Until (and unless) one of the Zep members writes his own book, my favorite Zep books will remain the ones written by Ritchie Yorke and Keith Shadwick.

I don’t have time right now but, if I did, I would talk about several things that appeared in this article:

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol...icle5037685.ece

I do want to comment on these two sentences, though:

To me, by not responding (and not knowing how to respond) to Jimmy’s question (or questioning Jimmy about the meaning of the ring), the author leaves the impression that there is something “sinister” about the “serpent swallowing its tail”. My grandparents happened to have two wooden plaques/icons – each depicted a “tail devourer” – the first of a serpent eating its tail and the second of a dragon eating its tail. There was nothing sinister or satanic about them. I was talking about them with my husband this weekend and I told him that, as kids, we were so fascinated by those images - especially the one of the dragon turning its neck and head around to grasp its tail in its mouth. Beyond the idea that (I think) these images represented eternity, they had some sort of cultural significance for our family (because there was also a photo of a stone carving - I think a headstone - of a tail-devouring snake) because they were important enough to have been brought to the U.S. by my grandparents when they came here.

In the case of Mick Wall’s book, I think that it would have been fascinating to read, not only Jimmy’s interpretation of what the image on his ring represented, but also more about the artwork and artifacts in Jimmy’s home.

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Ouroboros. It symbolizes cyclical nature of the alchemist's opus - "All things began in order so shall they end. One is the all". You are right, nothing satanic about it.

Meg

To me, by not responding (and not knowing how to respond) to Jimmy’s question (or questioning Jimmy about the meaning of the ring), the author leaves the impression that there is something “sinister” about the “serpent swallowing its tail”. My grandparents happened to have two wooden plaques/icons – each depicted a “tail devourer” – the first of a serpent eating its tail and the second of a dragon eating its tail. There was nothing sinister or satanic about them. I was talking about them with my husband this weekend and I told him that, as kids, we were so fascinated by those images - especially the one of the dragon turning its neck and head around to grasp its tail in its mouth. Beyond the idea that (I think) these images represented eternity, they had some sort of cultural significance for our family (because there was also a photo of a stone carving - I think a headstone - of a tail-devouring snake) because they were important enough to have been brought to the U.S. by my grandparents when they came here.

In the case of Mick Wall’s book, I think that it would have been fascinating to read, not only Jimmy’s interpretation of what the image on his ring represented, but also more about the artwork and artifacts in Jimmy’s home.

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Ouroboros. It symbolizes cyclical nature of the alchemist's opus - "All things began in order so shall they end. One is the all". You are right, nothing satanic about it.

Meg

Are you pretty sure about the meaning of this symbol? A friend who cultivates trouble has seen it in his dreams... or so he said. If anyone wants to start a thread on this, I'd be happy to read it.

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Ouroboros. It symbolizes cyclical nature of the alchemist's opus - "All things began in order so shall they end. One is the all". You are right, nothing satanic about it.

Meg

There isn't anything satanic about it, as you say, and in fact, The Times article deliberately ends with a lurid suggestion whereas Wall's text does not. They've also cut some things out of the middle between the two episodes they quote. It seems a responsible book on the whole so far, if somewhat Page-centered (which is ok by me in some ways). A bummer to see confirmed in it Jimmy's reluctance to do anything without Robert, though. I wish he'd just get out there and play--he must know we'd all love to see him even on his own. Hmmmmm.

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