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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warts and all
This is a straight-down-the-line account of Peter Grant, excusing nothing, presenting the man for who he was -- fiercely loyal to his bands, a bully to everyone who got in their way. It's impossible to read without recognising that today's world would have no place for Peter Grant. He broke a fair few laws in a fair few countries, and by and large got away with it. But he...
Published on 23 Jan 2005 by Martin Turner

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Song Remains the Same
Three stars may seem a bit harsh, as the book itself, is well written , and obviously Chris Welch has a love for Grant, and Zeppelin. He had quite a bit of access to the band, relatively compared to other journalists, from early on, even accompannying the band on tour.
The facts early on in the book are fascinating and contributions from Micky Most in particular,...
Published on 12 Feb 2002 by curly5@fcps.fsnet.co.uk


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Song Remains the Same, 12 Feb 2002
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Three stars may seem a bit harsh, as the book itself, is well written , and obviously Chris Welch has a love for Grant, and Zeppelin. He had quite a bit of access to the band, relatively compared to other journalists, from early on, even accompannying the band on tour.
The facts early on in the book are fascinating and contributions from Micky Most in particular, shed a great light on early rock and roll tours, which Grant, drove for, and became tour manager to a number of legendary performers of questionable mental stability.
The fact that Mickie and Peter shared an office, but different clients, reveals many a comic moment, and obviously fueled Peter's knowledge for the job of handling Led Zeppelin.
From here on in, more than half the book really just covers familiar ground for Zep fans with an already bulging bookshelf of Zep titles, including Chris' own Zep biography, save for a more detailed account of the infamous Bill Graham incident, revolving around Grant's son.
My main disappointment, arises with the post Zep years, barely given any space, briefly mentioning his activities in and around his home town, baring in mind that this covers more years than his piloting of the Zeppelin ascent. Surely this was a real opportunity to read more of the man and not necessarily the beast of legend, stories of this time, from only colleages such as fellow managers who only touch on superficial matters.
It would have been so much better, if Welch could have got more contributions, from his family for a more balanced account of the man away from the industry, and most noticably Page and Plant who could have really illuminated the personality of the man, and contradicted the more gratuitous stories that have surrounded the myth of the band thus far.
For the people new to Zeppelin story though, this is as good a place to start as any, with some wonderful anacdotes, especially the one about John Bonham and the midnight sandwich!
I suppose we must wait for Robert's and Jimmy's own revelations to appear, I for one though, am not holding my breath, a sadly missed opportunity this time out!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warts and all, 23 Jan 2005
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Martin Turner "Martin Turner" (Marlcliff, Warwickshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin (Paperback)
This is a straight-down-the-line account of Peter Grant, excusing nothing, presenting the man for who he was -- fiercely loyal to his bands, a bully to everyone who got in their way. It's impossible to read without recognising that today's world would have no place for Peter Grant. He broke a fair few laws in a fair few countries, and by and large got away with it. But he also stood up to the recording and promoting dinosaurs which were simply not ready for the changes in popular music that took place at the end of the sixties and into the seventies.
The writing is refreshingly iconoclastic. This is not a reverent account for devoted fans. In telling the story of Grant, the author gives us the story of the band, but from a purely non-musical point of view. It's a story of law-suits, dodgy deals, punch-ups, sharp negotiation, and incredibly astute marketing. It's also the story of people who did successfully take Grant and Zeppelin for a ride, including the people who persuaded them they could make a film of the band without any relevant experience. If you've ever wondered why the 'Song Remains the Same' is so - well - bitty, this book will tell you why.
If you are a compulsive collector of Zeppelin ephemera, this book will probably give you little in the way of extra facts and anecdotes. But if you want to understand Peter Grant the human being, or if you want to take a ride through a unique and unrepeatable piece of rock history, I believe you will find it a compelling read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome insight into the man behind Led Zep, 10 Jun 2003
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This review is from: Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin (Paperback)
I was very impressed with this book. Usually books on Zep and their entourage (though it is probably the same for any band!) fall into two categories - the overly sychophantic or the scurrilous. Welch's book on Grant avoids both. While he is obviously a huge fan of the band, he judiciciously quotes some less than complementary observations about the band made at the time by those who got to know them 'up close' and just lets the reader make up his or her own mind.
But, of course, the main focus of the book is Grant himself, a physically huge, hard-headed bully in a number of respects but a manager who did geneuinely care for his artists. The material on Grant's post Zeppelin period - his long depression and reclusiveness followed by the healing relationship he developed with the former manager of Dire Straits in the years just before his death, is quite moving and provides some genuine insight into a complex character. If you are a Zep fan, you should not be without this biography of the man who clearly made them what they were (for better or worse).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Man Who Made Zeppelin Fly, 13 Mar 2014
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N. T. Procter (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin (Paperback)
Whilst there can be little doubt that a group of Zeppelin's combined musical talent would have been a success anyway, it is also doubtful whether they would have become the worldwide phenomenon that they did without Peter Grant.

Having endured a miserable educational scholarship at Charterhouse, Grant started his career in Fleet Street, where he came into contact with various colourful people in the entertainment industry, convincing him that this was where his future lay.

Subsequently, he worked as a stagehand and assistant entertainment manager, before ending up as doorman at the legendary 2i's coffee bar, where he forged important friendships with one of the co-owners, Paul Lincoln, as well as one of the regulars, Mickie Most.

Lincoln, a professional wrestler, persuaded Grant (who was a generously upholstered 6'5") to take up a career in TV wrestling, under the moniker of His Highness Count Bruno Alesio of Milan, which raised Grant's profile considerably, opening further doors to him as a bit part actor, stuntman and minder.

It was in the latter role that he was recruited by the infamous Don Arden (father of Sharon Osbourne) as a tour manager, learning his craft and subsequently setting up a management partnership with his old friend Mickie Most.

Although Most had a reputation for being a ruthless businessman, he had also tried and failed as an entertainer himself, knew real talent when he saw it and the value of nurturing it as a long-term investment, which in time, made him and the majority of his acts wealthy individuals.

This was a lesson that was not lost on Grant.

In 1966, Simon Napier-Bell approached Grant about taking over the management of the fading Yardbirds, with Mickie Most taking responsibility for the production of their last album, Little Games, which showed their inability to make the transition from being a successful singles band to one capable of producing albums of consistent quality.

However, Grant knew he had a star in Jimmy Page and a "new" Yardbirds were hastily assembled, changing their name in the process, to Led Zeppelin.

Grant's talent for marketing Zeppelin and uncompromising management style may have initially won him few friends, but also produced a growing, if slightly grudging respect, as a man of integrity who could always guarantee handsome returns for anyone he struck deals with in his pursuit of world domination.

His downfall came about through his inability to delegate the full-time responsibilities of managing Zeppelin, by taking on too many side projects, including the management of the roster of acts signed to the Swan Song label and a growing cocaine addiction that diminished his reputation, through increasingly aggressive and erratic behaviour: John Bonham's death was the final straw and led to a long period of depression, which he eventually emerged from towards the end of his life, basking in his overdue recognition, as one of the great impresarios.

Chris Welch knew Grant and the members of Led Zeppelin well and draws on a lifetime of interviews with them to produce a highly readable account of his working life, peppered with amusing anecdotes.

My only criticism of the book is that it is rather light on Grant's life before and after Zeppelin, but as it was his stint as their manager that defined him, this is forgivable.

This is essential reading for Zeppelin fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 7 Dec 2010
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This review is from: Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin (Paperback)
I love chris welchs books gives you a great image of the real person. Peter grant was a larger than life bloke and this book goes into great detail of this man from his wrestling days and doorman at the 2is cafe.I really love this book and have read it several times,this is one you will not want to put down.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Grant deserves much better, 10 April 2002
By A Customer
Peter Grant was a genius, a sweeping comment admittedly, but true in my opinion. He was the first manager who both understood the changing dynamics of popular music culture and the leverage that change gave him to extract maximum economic return for his artist. This book acknowledges that fact, but then really does not explore it in any great detail, with the possible exception of the concert industry. Two interesting side notes and one real complaint. The author does not acknowledge the role of Steve Weiss(spc ?) Zep's and Hendrix's attorney for the role he played in Grant's successful efforts to change the economics of the concert business in the artists favor. The author also quotes Mickie Most, the record producer, and in these quotes there is the strong implication that Most had a financial interest, perhaps even partnership interest in Zep, yet Welch does not follow up with any clarification. The complaint is this. Grant was not a dodering relic at the end of his life. To imply this is insulting, both to the memory of Grant and to his surviving son and daughter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 29 May 2004
This review is from: Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin (Paperback)
I loved this book. Being brought up as a big Zeppelin fan, this books summed it up. I loved the atmosphere created, very funny parts, very shocking parts, very interesting. I loved it!
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3.0 out of 5 stars MQ, 24 Dec 2012
Interesting read, but through rose tinted specs. A more gritty account would be have been better received. The dynamics with the band are underplayed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Hero to many, 10 Dec 2012
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A book that reveals the side that drove Mr Grant and showed that good management takes care of the money and not interfere with the creative process that makes the money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 1 Oct 2012
This review is from: Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin (Paperback)
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.
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Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin
Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin by Chris Welch (Paperback - 6 Oct 2002)
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