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Jimmy Page: Magus Musician Man [Paperback]

George Case

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Book Description

31 May 2009
As long as there are teenage boys in the world, there will be an audience for Led Zeppelin, the '70s-era hard rock legend whose "Stairway to Heaven" is still one of the most-ever-played songs in the history of American FM radio. Jimmy Page was the mastermind of the Zeppelin juggernaut, and as one of the three most influential British rock guitarists of the late '60s, he certainly deserves Case's detailed and informed look at his past and present work. In this unauthorized biography, freelance writer Case focuses on Page's music as much as he does on Zeppelin's lurid touring lifestyle, and he is good at reporting Page's early work playing on countless recording sessions (ranging from Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual" to the Kinks' "You Really Got Me"), as well as detailing the formation of Zeppelin, where Page combined his blues-based rock with singer Robert Plant's 'soaring tenor moan' to create a radically new sound. While his enthusiasm sometimes overwhelms his writing ('The Teutonic implications of the airship's family surname invested a gothic sensibility to the ensemble's work'), Case successfully shows how Page and his Zeppelin's musical influence became 'so broad and so established that even players who had never consciously emulated his techniques had been affected by them' - "Publishers Weekly". "Jimmy Page: Magus, Musician, Man" is the first-ever biography of Led Zeppelin's legendary guitarist and producer. Never before has the story been told in such sharp detail, leaving no stone unturned, from the heady days of swinging London in the 1960s - when Page was lighting up the scene as an incendiary session man - through the bombast, beauty, and blues that is Led Zeppelin (not to mention the wanton sex and drug orgies that would come to define rock excess). Here is the story of rock's most enigmatic and influential icon. 'This biog is a cut above' - "MOJO".

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Jimmy Page: Magus Musician Man + Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page + Trampled Under Foot: The Power and Excess of Led Zeppelin
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More About the Author

Welcome to my Author Page on Amazon.co.uk. I'm a Canadian - colonial? - writer who specializes in popular culture and social history, which can mean anything from the long-term future of the world to Led Zeppelin, or from the Beatles' historic 1964 pot party with Bob Dylan to the ongoing War on Drugs.

In my current and forthcoming books I think you'll find some strong writing by an author who appreciates the prose craftsmanship of George Orwell; fresh insights into familiar subjects by someone who emulates the mature rock biographies of Philip Norman; and original and perhaps even challenging ideas from a sensibility that's absorbed a range of influences: Romantic poets like Wordsworth and Keats, philosopher-critics like Neil Postman and Theodore Roszak, and accessible historians of the modern age like Niall Ferguson and Francis Fukuyama.

Those are big names to drop, I know, but take a flip through one of my books and see for yourself what I'm aiming at and the recurring themes I raise. Whatever else, enjoy some quiet moments engaging your mind with mine. I'll look forward to meeting you on the printed page.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Well-researched and Very Thorough Biography 18 Feb 2012
By P. Jarosz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For those who grew up 'worshipping' Jimmy Page as the cream of the pantheon of guitar-gods & rock royalty, they will undoubtedly find this to be the best biography of Jimmy in existence. The author does not hide the fact that he is a massive fan, but despite that, he seems to have maintained as unbiased an approach as possible. The bibliography shows a huge list of materials that the author pulled from. His exhaustive research has provided the best insight into one of the most mysterious and elusive musicians of the rock era. My assumption is you can't find anything more accurate out there. I believe the author when he said he did not make up anything, and he did his best to corroborate everything he included. It naturally starts when Jimmy was a young lad and runs all the way through the Beijing Olympics where he made a surprise showing at the closing ceremony, and of course everything in between. The book covers all aspects of Jimmy's life, including the dark side of his drinking, drugs, and occult interests. The good news is that unlike other books, the author does not glorify or sensationalize it in order to increase sales. It happened, therefore he recorded it, end of story. The book is also excellent for guitarists since the author mentions some of the technical side of Jimmy's playing e.g. the guitars he used, his tunings, scales, etc. The author is very good with a phrase, and along with his broad vocabulary & knowledge of adjectives, he sometimes comes across as trying a bit too hard to sound like a literary master when this is just a biography. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable, fast read that brings back a lot of memories for those of us who grew up in this era and were massive fans. The book also contains a nice number of excellent photos and a section listing every song Jimmy has ever played guitar on (which is quite useful for the completist or fanatical fan). Overall Highly Recommended and rated five stars (although I took one off since Jimmy never endorsed or commented on this book). Zoso forever.....
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Researched and Well Written .... Just nothing new. 8 Aug 2012
By JBB1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is one of those biographies that the author received no cooperation from the subject in the writing of the book. The author went ahead anyway and researched and wrote the book from existing information from various and wide ranged sources. The book is well organized with the sources of the information explicitly documented.

The author writes very well. I particularly liked how he used his musical background to give insight on how a particular song was written or played.

Despite the positives of the book I only rated it three stars since there were no relevations in the book about Jimmy Page since everything in the book had previously been known, but just not consolidated.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jimmy Page - Guitar Man 10 May 2012
By Charles Burrell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found the book rather insightful of the man and his craft. Moreover the early days when the Yardbirds were spliting up and Led Zeppelin was forming, this was very helpful. After the death of John Bonham, Jimmy's attempts at his own style, which actually was Led Zeppelin, but not under his name, was very helpful in seeing his struggle. All in all, 5 Stars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book about the virtuoso Jimmy Page. 24 Oct 2013
By Susan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love Jimmy Page! This book was very interesting, I learned quite a few new things about the greatest guitarist alive. He is the sexiest man alive, even now at almost 70. He is aging like a very fine wine. The silver fox. The music from Led Zeppelin is like a Van Gogh. Priceless! I also remember when the first album came out, it was 1969, and I was 8 years old. The songs touched my soul, imprinting on me like a tattoo. The best music ever created.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rewarding read, even if you're not a devoted fan 4 Mar 2013
By Bert vanC Bailey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is easily one of the best-written rock biographies anywhere, what with being clear-eyed and analytical about the artist and his group, and not at all beyond turning out a critical assessment of the admired musician who's its subject. The discussion about the musician, more so than about Jimmy Page the person, is detailed, probing and well-informed -- in fact, musicologically it often ranges well beyond me, what with spelling out special tunings of his guitar, niceties about Page's sound-board wizardry as a producer, the array of amps and legendary guitars used onstage, etc. And it's well-written to boot! Can't complain...

Once George Case has done the above, traversing the career chronologically, he suddenly has a full section where he compares Page to his contemporaries and peers (Jeff Beck, Clapton, Hendrix, etc.), as well as to his progeny (guitarists for Grand Funk, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Rush, Van Halen, Guns 'n Roses, etc). His analyses and observations, and these guitarists' own cited views, were illuminating. They even helped me nail down just why I admired and tapped to this music, and still do, while I never quite came to love it. In Clapton's words, very often it was "...unnecessarily loud ...a lot of it was just too much. They overemphasized whatever point they were making" (p. 87) I'm no Clapton worshipper -- well, not beyond the 'Layla & Other Love Songs' double LP -- but he's pretty much on the money here.

Apparently Page was annoyed that Led Zeppelin was often compared to and lumped in with Grand Funk, Black Sabbath and the heavy metal crew. But heavy metal was generally earnest, not known for humour, dark and unsubtle, and sometimes malevolent. And Zep were, in fact, often loud and hard. Apart from the tenor of the music, their roadies' decree that there'd be "No backstage passes without head" for gals wanting to welcome their idols, plus their manager's and crew's reputation for occasional send-you-to-the-hospital violence, certainly placed them in the malevolent sector of rock, and of music.

Mind you, when I hear the music, especially their early songs, I realize just how outstanding it is, and after reading this book I plan to invest in a better collection of that material.

A rewarding read, then, even if you're not a devoted fan.
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