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tyedye

When Giants Walked the Earth

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I am currently reading this very book. Believe it or not I was anticipating much more than what I have read about Led Zeppelin previously, including 'Hammer of the Gods'. I still have about 150 more pages to read of 'When Giants Walked the Earth' so I cannot completley give a Full review of the book. However, I am a little disappointed so far. Mostly everything I have read so far I have either read about already or have known from other readings going back to the 'Hammer of the Gods' when I read that over 20 years ago. No matter what I think "LONG LIVE THE MIGHY LED ZEPPELIN".

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I am currently reading this very book. Believe it or not I was anticipating much more than what I have read about Led Zeppelin previously, including 'Hammer of the Gods'. I still have about 150 more pages to read of 'When Giants Walked the Earth' so I cannot completley give a Full review of the book. However, I am a little disappointed so far. Mostly everything I have read so far I have either read about already or have known from other readings going back to the 'Hammer of the Gods' when I read that over 20 years ago. No matter what I think "LONG LIVE THE MIGHY LED ZEPPELIN".

Hmmm...interesting. I know loads about Zeppelin as well...so there is not much new in this book? Can someone else comment on this before I go ahead and purchase it?

Also I am thinking of picking up the Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin illustrated history book...any good?

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The book is excellent, clearly well informed and written by a journalist who is held in high respect in the UK.

Unlike others I was not surprised that the book contained much information and many stories that I had heard before, this is in fact a feature of factual biographies and history books!

If you wanted a different story then you should have bought a book about a different band, or alternatively one written by a US history author with a back catalogue of books about what happened, or didn't happen to the native american indigenous peoples. ( Sorry I was going to go for a German but thought better of it!)

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Hmmm...interesting. I know loads about Zeppelin as well...so there is not much new in this book? Can someone else comment on this before I go ahead and purchase it?

Also I am thinking of picking up the Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin illustrated history book...any good?

I really enjoy the WHole Lotta Led Zeppelin book. I am not saying there is anything new or earth shattering in this book...but it has lots of fun pictures in it, and I love the oversized/coffee table book sized nature of it, and I know is something I will look at over and over.

Just my opinion!! :)

Sharon

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They did the 'old grey whistle test'. Get the Led Zeppelin DVD. It has 5 hours of footage of the boys including some early TV appearances one of which is at OGWT. Superb historic document, this DVD btw, highly recommended. And much, much better thatn TSRTS.

Much much better than TSRTS? :o

I personally think TSRTS is many times better, possibly because of the entirety of the concert rather than just bits cut here and there. Which is the same reason i like disc one of the DVD more than disc 2.

anyway... I got given the book for christmas by friends and i thought that overall, it was an excellent book. The second person part which was talked about in the other thread did annoy me a little because i struggled for sometimes up to a page of it to discover who it was talking about, then would have to re-read it to fully appreciate it once i knew. Other than that though, i thought these flashback inserts were well done and these were possibly the most informative for me.

I have to say i thought all chapters up to and including the chapter containing John Bonham's death were good... but after that the last few left me feeling a bit sour.

I highly recommend it though. A very good read.

"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."

From the other thread... I laughed pretty hard

Edited by ledzep4life

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Hmmm...interesting. I know loads about Zeppelin as well...so there is not much new in this book? Can someone else comment on this before I go ahead and purchase it?

Also I am thinking of picking up the Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin illustrated history book...any good?

I got the Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin book for Christmas - great pictures, posters, tour schedules etc. Also I was traveling over the holidays and was looking at the book on the plane. The steward noticed it and started telling me about the time he saw LZ in Germany in 1980 - we looked at the book together briefly - then he bought me a beer!

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I got the Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin book for Christmas - great pictures, posters, tour schedules etc. Also I was traveling over the holidays and was looking at the book on the plane. The steward noticed it and started telling me about the time he saw LZ in Germany in 1980 - we looked at the book together briefly - then he bought me a beer!

Cool...looks like I'll be picking up both of these books sometime!

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Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin is really like a big Zep scrapbook, jammed with colorful pics, photos and anecdotes. Very much a coffee-table kind of book.

I'm reading Shadwick's '68-80 book right now, and this is much heavier fare. Very detailed and highly analytical of the music itself.

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Shadwick's book is my favorite so far but I'm thinking I need to buy the one by Ritchie York.

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Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin is really like a big Zep scrapbook, jammed with colorful pics, photos and anecdotes. Very much a coffee-table kind of book.

I'm reading Shadwick's '68-80 book right now, and this is much heavier fare. Very detailed and highly analytical of the music itself.

My brother bought me Shadwick's book a couple year back for Christmas...it's really good. I actually pulled it off the shelf and have been leafing through it the last couple of weeks. I disagree with some of his song analysis but overall it's really good...

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I'm getting tired of people slagging "Hammer of the Gods". When that book started getting episodic releases through Rolling Stone magazine, Wham and Duran Duran were running the rock and roll show. No one cared about Zeppelin. Then came the book, then came Live Aid. I'm also tired of this silly talk of the "true Zeppelin fan". Be ridiculous. I can read whatever I want, even Kerrang magazine, and not worry a bit about my fanboy-hood. I read and wore out at least 3 copies of Hammer, and liked to compare it to the Rise and Fall of Rome. Sanctimonious Zep fans bore me.

Edited by rokarolla

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Listening to 1/10/69 and surfing the net during lunch break I found the article below at Irishtimes.com reviewing the book, which personally I haven't read, but have seen lots of input here on .com. And therefore I am probably not going to buy this book! (Thanks for saving me the $40+) The article definitely presents a rather cynical and critical viewpoint of the band overall, but the highlighted line about the O2 being "ultimately dissappointing"? Yeah, things that make you go "huh"!

Kevin Courtney reviews When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin By Mick Wall, Orion; 486pp, £20 (02/06/2009)

‘I’M A golden god!” boasted Zep singer Robert Plant to Rolling Stone journalist Cameron Crowe in 1975, as the band flew high above the rock firmament.

Zep were indeed the golden gods of rock, dark lords of all they surveyed. Their concerts broke attendance records previously set by The Beatles; their albums shifted in their millions (without even support from singles in most territories); and their on-tour antics challenged even the ancient Romans for sheer carnal decadence. When these giants walked the earth, the ground shook, hotel managers quaked, and the ladies quivered with anticipation.

No one was safe around Zep. Promoters would feel the wrath of corpulent, confrontational manager Peter Grant; hapless journalists and music biz people, the fists of a drunken John Bonham if they were unlucky enough to be in his rampaging path. And then there was guitarist Jimmy Page’s collection of whips.

By the end of the decade, however, Zeppelin had crashed in a blaze of vainglory, brought down by hubris, heroin addiction and a creeping irrelevance that saw them turn from towering pillars into tottering dinosaurs. They were finally put out of their misery by the death of Bonham following a particularly epic drinking binge.

We’ve read about the booze, drugs, devil worship and deviant sex – most of the lurid tales can be found in Steven Davis’s vintage biog Hammer of the Gods. Mick Wall delves a lot deeper into the dark stuff, going into academic detail about guitarist Jimmy Page’s obsession with Aleister Crowley, whose mantra “do what thou wilt” seemed to become a backstage motto for Zep and their entourage. Wall brings us a backstage view of the on-tour bacchanalia, which includes the notorious mudshark incident, when drummer John Bonham and tour manager Richard Cole used the catch of the day on the groupie of the hour. We also get a chilling glimpse into some weird goings-on at Boleskine House, the former home of Aleister Crowley which Page bought and turned into his own dark lair. And we get a peek into the band members’ respective pasts, courtesy of a series of “internal monologues” written in the second person singular.

Before Zep, Jimmy Page was a little-known but hugely respected guitarist, earning big bucks as the most in-demand session player around. That’s him on Donovan’s Sunshine Superman, Them’s Baby Please Don’t Go and Val Doonican’s Walk Tall. When he joined his mate Jeff Beck in The Yardbirds, he got a taste of rock stardom; when The Yardbirds fizzled out, Page hatched a plan to forge the one band to rule them all – and found willing warriors in the form of fellow session man John Paul Jones, Brummie hippie Robert Plant, and Planty’s mate, tub-thumping drummer John Bonham.

After fulfilling a few contractual obligations as The New Yardbirds, the band were rechristened Led Zeppelin after a joke by Who drummer Keith Moon, and signed to Atlantic Records, recording their debut album in just 30 hours over nine days. Astonishingly, Zep were hated by the critics, who branded them unsophisticated and unoriginal. They were certainly right about the latter; the full extent is laid bare here – songs credited to the band, including Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, Black Mountain Side, Dazed and Confused and Whole Lotta Love, turned out to have been either plundered from some bluesman’s grave, taken from The Yardbirds’ unfinished sessions, or outright from such heroes as Bert Jansch.

But Zep were rock’s original force of nature, an unstoppable juggernaut powered by four horsemen of the apocalypse, who crushed all before them with piledriving guitar riffs, feral vocals and a booming bass and drum sound that came from somewhere deep in the bowels of the earth. Wall rides shotgun all the way to the band’s massively hyped but ultimately disappointing reunion show at the 02 Arena in December 2007, and explores the titanic battle of wills between Page, the self-appointed custodian of Zep’s legacy, and Plant, the hard-headed old groaner who has stubbornly refused to participate in a full-blown Zeppelin reunion tour, preferring to go on the road with his current singing partner Alison Krauss.

Perhaps it’s best for everyone concerned – band and fans alike – to just let this sleeping beast lie.

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Wall rides shotgun all the way to the band’s massively hyped but ultimately disappointing reunion show at the 02 Arena in December 2007, and explores the titanic battle of wills between Page, the self-appointed custodian of Zep’s legacy, and Plant, the hard-headed old groaner who has stubbornly refused to participate in a full-blown Zeppelin reunion tour, preferring to go on the road with his current singing partner Alison Krauss.

Sounds like Kevin Courtney didn't get a ticket then...

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i wasnt offended by the book in any way. those looking to find new info and stories aren't going to find too much in his book, as lets face it a biography is a biography, but i did like some of wall's own recollections and thoughts. i've certainly read worse and if read in conjunction with the others available this can be a useful tome.

as for it being a hatchet job on jimmy, well i can see why jimmy wouldn't be happy with someone he trusted publishing the account, but that doesnt mean there isnt a foundation to wall's writing. iwould have liked some more info on the later years though, page's solo tour, page & plant tours etc

his near slating of the O2 show was curious, but if thats his opinion, so be it. maybe jimmy is frustrated at no longer calling the shots on whether the zeppelin (or near as can be) wagon rolls again

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G'day,

Yes, I'm currently reading 'When Giants Walked the Earth'. It's a rainy day in Sydney and I'm about 100 pages in. It's excellent, isn't it?

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Just finished it, very good read, not sure all is the truth.

but i bet about 75% is. I know what i was like in the 70's and that was on very little money and no fame. If the accounts about Robert's part in Zep are true i would be asking the same questions

"do i want that again"

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