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Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin Paperback – 25 Sep 2006

3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Music Sales; 01 edition (25 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711991952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711991958
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 20.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 181,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Provides an illuminating read for anyone wondering about the ravages of rock supremacy. It's particularly good on the subject of Zep's peculiar movie, The Song Remains the Same. With the details of Zep's rise and fall receding into history, their legend and influence secure. this story's medley of tragic endings reminds us that no one is so powerful as to be immune to power's consequences.' MOJO

About the Author

Chris Welch is among the US's best-known music journalists. After a long and distinguished career on Melody Maker, he became editor of Metal Hammer magazine and also edited Rock World. He has written numerous books on rock and pop, including biographies of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Yes, The Who, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Genesis and Peter Gabriel. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 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 found work as a stage hand 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.
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By Martin Turner HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Jan. 2005
Format: 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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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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