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Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin
Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin
by Chris Welch
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 1 Oct 2012
One of the best music books I've ever read along with Charles Shaar Murrays "Crosstown Traffic".

Growing up with Zeppelins music I was always aware of Peter Grants name on the vinyl records and knew he must have been a powerful but mysterious guy. You never saw his picture or heard him, but you knew he was big.

Chris Welch takes you back in a written time machine to the gigs, massive tours, limos, and the Zeppelin starship. But also the hilarious and heartbreaking moments. As the millions rolled in, so did the cocaine, booze and later heroin. Bonso flying the starship from New York to Chicago, fisty cuffs with Bill Grahams men in San Francisco. 1977 was a nightmare.

John Bonhams tragic death in September 1980 nearly killed off Grant too, but he recovered and began a new life in the late 80's.

Superb record of the mans life.

The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence
The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence
by Lisa McCubbin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a bore, 25 Jun 2012
I didn't find this book to be a particularly great read and thats possibly my own fault as the previous three books I have read which involved Pres. Kennedy, Frederick Kempes "Berlin 1961", Jim Rasenbergers "The Brilliant Disaster" and Michael Dobbs "One Minute To Midnight", are, although completely different topics, brilliantly produced, professionally delivered for all intents and purposes historical accounts.

This book claims that the agents "Break Their Silence!!" in that they have not spoken since 1963, as if the Warren Commission, various interviews, and several other books never happened in the intervening years.

Some of the quotations from the agents regarding various conversations from 1963 are recorded here in an almost childish manner.
Like regarding a motorcade in Florida where Blaine asks another agent "If you've got any connection with the man upstairs we'd love to have it be pouring with rain next Monday".
To which Agent Peppers laughed saying I'll see what I can do. But remember this is Florida the sunshine state. I wouldn't count on it". In other words the Agents had their heads screwed on when it came to Kennedy's car either having or not having the hardtop raised, just to let the reader know.

Or "Hey Jer, Arnie gave me the name of a good Cuban restaurant not too far from here. Are you up for some local culture?" 'Sure that sounds super" Blaine said. "I just realized I didn't have lunch".

The chapter on Dallas doesn't really reveal any new information or revealing facts that hasn't been recorded a million times before.

The whole book is littered with bland verbal interactions between agents like how tired they were or how hot or cold the weather was. They were thinly stretched, they had to pay for their own suits and it just wasn't fair. Kenny O'Donnell and Dave Powers had them running everywhere.

If you can borrow this from your library like I did, fine but I wouldn't pay 18 quid for it.

The Brilliant Disaster: JFK, Castro and America's Doomed Invasion of Cuba's Bay of Pigs
The Brilliant Disaster: JFK, Castro and America's Doomed Invasion of Cuba's Bay of Pigs
by Jim Rasenberger
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 20.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant History, 8 Jun 2012
What made this a brilliant book for me was the authors ability to describe the key players in this pivotal crisis in US History. Obviously Pres Kennedy and Castro but even more so C.I.A people like Richard Bissell and Allen Dulles. He puts the reader inside these guys heads and how they approached the whole operation. And he does so brilliantly with a gripping page turning narrative. I am a complete amateur with regards to the Bay of Pigs so this was an absolute treat for me as it was so well written and easy to read.

Excellent companion books to this one are Michael Dobbs masterly take on the Cuban Missile Crisis-"One Minute To Midnight", and Frederick Kempes "Berlin 1961".
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2013 3:42 AM BST

Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth
Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth
by Frederick Kempe
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Soft Line On Berlin, 17 May 2012
Like Beevor's Stalingrad, Frederick Kempes book is written in such a way that the reader is transported to the events he describes.
The private meetings, the Whitehouse, the Kremlin etc. Its a richly researched account on what in many ways is an historical event that is rarely discussed compared to the movies, books and documentaries on the Cuban missile crisis.

The Berlin crisis was in many ways a defeat for the west and Pres Kennedy becuase the closure of East Berlin was illegal. Krushchev bullied Kennedy into submission.
Kennedy would defend his inaction by quipping, "Better a wall than a war." Perhaps. But Mr. Kempe observes that he almost got the latter anyway a year later when Khrushchev, emboldened by JFK's back-down on Berlin, placed offensive nuclear missiles in Cuba. So even though Cuba is seen as one of Pres Kennedys greatest moments, the world brought back from the brink of nuclear destruction, it may never have happened had the Kennedy administration adopted a far harder line on the Soviets and East Germans building of the Berlin wall, ensuring millions were trapped for a further three decades under oppresive communist rule, 200 dying trying to get over it.

A great companion book to this and even better read in my opinion is Jim Rasenbergers account of the Bay Of Pigs- "The Briliant Disaster",

I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank the Irishman Sheeran, Jimmy Hoffa, and the Biggest Hit in Mob History
I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank the Irishman Sheeran, Jimmy Hoffa, and the Biggest Hit in Mob History
by Charles Brandt
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.37

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wiseguys, Cigars and Fat Tony Salerno., 14 Mar 2012
If you have any interest in the Teamsters Union of the 1960s and 70s and the relationship with the Mob, then this is the book for you.

Its written in such a way, from the authors background de-briefing to Frank Sheerans personal recollections that the book just gels brilliantly.
And Sheerans description of picking Jimmy Hoffa up outside a restaurant in Detroit on a hot day in 1975 is spine chilling. Whether the whole thing is 100% accurate I'm unsure of, but if you want a no holes barred hit man of a story, then you will enjoy this. A page turner.

Buffalo Mens Special Six Shirt Black 44
Buffalo Mens Special Six Shirt Black 44
Offered by Penrith Survival Equipment
Price: 117.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb., 3 Nov 2011
I've just been for a 30 minute evening walk in this jacket right next to my skin in Colorado, the temperature being 20 F. around -5 degrees celsius, clear night, snow on the ground.

Within 5 minutes of casual walking, your upper body is very comfortable, within 15 mins., your toasty. With the rest of your body properly covered, this jacket would easily be comfortable down to -10 or -15 degrees Celsius, right next to your skin. Inside the pockets you can adjust a main strap which pulls the shirt closer to your body. Your neck down to backside is neatly covered. And its also super light and packable so if your going on a more strenous hike your covered.

Hendrix In The West
Hendrix In The West
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 9.75

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars San Diego 69, 20 Sep 2011
This review is from: Hendrix In The West (Audio CD)
First off all just for the record, I still have my vinyl "Hendrix In The West" I saved up to buy in 1984.

Anyone with a passing interest in Hendrix knows the Royal Albert Hall minefield, i.e. the supreme live versions of Little wing and Voodoo Child (Slight Return) not being available on this new release as they were on 1972s Hendrix In The West.

Does that mean you take a huff and hand out 2 or 3 stars for this release?

This is an absolute brilliant collection of Hendrix live shows. In the early 80s, a collection like this was just a dream.

Two words-San Diego. His San diego show was as impressive as the Royal Albert hall, with easily the best ever live versions of Spanish Castle Magic, Red House, and I Dont Live Today (The feedback, the insertion of notes from "The Star Spangled Banner" and some great improvisational riffs all add up to a superior performance). Add in Berkeleys, Johnny B. Goode, Lover Man, soundcheck Blue Suede Shoes along with the now legendary Red House and you have the ultimate live guitar album in pristine sound.

Mixing at Electric Lady studios, production by original engineer Eddie Kramer, and a well presented glossy booklet with notes and original photos makes this for me, even without the original live versions, possibly even better than the original.

Winterland (Limited edition with bonus disc)
Winterland (Limited edition with bonus disc)

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best since The Jimi Hendrix concerts., 19 Sep 2011
If your a Hendrix fan and remember like me the excitement of the Jimi Hendrix Concerts way back in 1982, you should love this. If you thought `Hear My Train A Comin" sounded good on that release, here you get the way Jimi performed it, unedited and pristine.
The whole package is just classic live Hendrix with brilliant drumming and bass from Mitchell and Redding, a totally honest look at The Jimi Hendrix Experience over three nights in Oct 1968 in probably the best city to be in the world at that time, San Francisco. A couple of other guys join in the fun like Airplanes Jack Cassidy on a brilliant version of Killing Floor with a cool bass solo midway backed up with classic Hendrix Wah wah.

I'm no live sound expert but these performances have a real authentic brilliant soundboard remastering feel to them, with Mitchell's cymbals vibrating or the buzz of Jimis amps in between songs clearly audible. The discs are nicely packaged in plastic digipak style trays and the outside of the box has a high-gloss finish, with a glossy booklet inside along with photos of Jimi onstage at the actual event.

Side 4 alone with Foxey Lady, Are You Experienced? and Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
are just supreme live rock guitar performances. (If you pick up the extra disc-"San Francisco 68", it includes a loose but brilliant jam of Traffics Dear Mr Fantasy).

I know theres complaints already about why every single second of the Winterland shows have not been released, but compared to what I remember from the early 1980s when all you really had was Hendrix in The West, Band of Gypsies and The Jimi Hendrix Concerts, this is Christmas come early for Hendrix fans.

"On bass, Mr Noel Redding.......

Stalingrad: How the Red Army Triumphed (Pen & Sword Military)
Stalingrad: How the Red Army Triumphed (Pen & Sword Military)
by Michael K. Jones
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 18.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not A Step Back, 13 July 2011
I knew this was going to be a fanstatic read when the author spreads the cards so to speak on Page 30-Chapter 1,

"The Germans held five trumps in the battle for Stalingrad-Professionalism/Logistics/Communications/Army Unity/Battle Memory"

In other words the Red Army were staring into the abyss. An abyss, which was cleared by vicious fighting for inches of Volga riverbank, tiny rooms and massive factory buildings, sniper shots from hundreds of yards away or by punches and rifle butts face to face. Michael Jones puts you in the room with the hardmen, Chuikov and Rodimtsev, and gives in my view anyway a more vivid account than Beevors brilliant book..
Its highly unlikely any other army in the world could have survived and reversed the onslaught by the 6th Army, joined later by the 4th Panzer Army, and in an ironic sense no other army could have held out as long as Von Paulus's men did.

Michael Jones brings the battle to your home, garden, wherever you open "Stalingrad-How the Red Army Triumphed"

Moscow 1941: A City & Its People at War: A City and Its People at War
Moscow 1941: A City & Its People at War: A City and Its People at War
by Rodric Braithwaite
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.03

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but a bit dry, 3 July 2011
I agree with a reader who says this book is not really a military account, but more a social commentary.

Its a well written, brilliantly researched book, but at times the detail was minute and tiring. People involved in the Bolshoi ballet, the early revolutions, novelists and actors who become volunteers, their lives in the 1930s, Napeleon, the roads around Moscow, the letters and diaries of people who lived in the city are all dealt with over various chapters. At times your tempted to skip on, the detail can be heavy duty.

If you want to learn more on the social, personal aspect of Moscow, its a good choice.

For a brilliant military account on the battle of Moscow (although mainly from the German Armys perspective), check out
"The Retreat-Hitlers First Defeat" by Michael Jones.

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