Trampled Under Foot: The Power and Excess of Led Zeppelin Paperback – 1 Aug 2013
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'Gripping... There is testimony aplenty to the band's collective genius, the almost occult power of their increasingly epic live shows and the untrammeled excitement they inspired ... For Hoskyns, the Zeppelin saga is 'a morality tale that starts with thrilling promise, climaxes with intoxicating splendour, and declines into pitiful addiction and violence', a story he tells via an artful orchestration of multiple voices'--
Allan Jones, Uncut
'Hoskyns talked to enough people to get dissenting views, giving consideration to the contradictions in Led Zeppelin's story. ... The impression you are left with of Led Zeppelin's career is that what started out as a brilliant game, of which nobody quite knew the rules, got more and more unpleasant until it destroyed the lives of many people involved' --Will Hodgkinson, The Times
'Barney Hoskyns's exhaustive history doesn't skimp on the horror and by God, there's enough of it to go round but nor does it turn Led Zeppelin into a cartoon of decadence. It never forgets that behind the caricature was an extraordinary band, lithe and limber, never the lumpen metal pioneers they are sometimes branded as. Where most bands can be reduced to guitarist, singer and supporting cast, Zeppelin's four members as Hoskyns's 128 interviewees, including band members and intimates, as well as close observers, make clear were all crucial to making them extraordinary.' -- Michael Hann, Guardian 'Amid the tales of blazing hedonism, the real story of Led Zeppelin is one of communication. As those who witnessed the band at their live zenith attest in MOJO contributor's mammoth tome, few groups could summon the sort of musical telepathy on show at a great Zeppelin gig. The importance of this on-stage dynamic thoughout the group's lifespan is a recurring theme as the memories of friends and family, roadies and record execs, musicians and journos weave alongside the central voices of Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham. For those already well-versed in the Zep saga, the post-Bonzo chapters - including 1994's Unledded tour and the 2007 O2 reunion - will provide hitherto unheard insights, but it's bank in the '70s, when the Peter Grants and Richard Coles of this world helped take a British Blues band to the very top, that one of the great music tales still retains the power to mesmerise.' -- Ross Bennett, MOJO 'The real meat of the matter is in the exhaustive interviews Hoskyns conducts with the people around the band: the tour managers, roadies, record label execs, lawyers, wives, girlfriends, groupies, drinking buddies and musical contemporaries. They watched from the wings as Zep conquered the world, laid waste to rival bands and cast dark spells over all and sundry. Not for nothing have they been called the rock n roll equivalent of marauding Vikings.' --Kevin Courtney, Irish Times --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Trampled Under Foot: The Power and Excess of Led Zeppelin - from Barney Hoskyns, founder of Rock's Backpages and author of Hotel California and Lowside of the Road - Trampled Under Foot is an essential music book for our times.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Unusually it is an oral history, so aside from a page or so of author contextualizing, which occurs at the beginning of each section, it is all the written equivalent of talking heads. For the most part, this works extremely well and it really helps the book to draw you in as a reader - that's maybe why, although the book is 500-odd pages long, I was able to read it in about three sittings over 2-3 days.
I have some minor gripes, though, which is why I gave it only 4 stars.
There are a great many very interesting and never before seen pictures in the book, not all of which appear in the glossy colour sections. Sometimes thet are not reproduced that well, because the paper used is really not up to the job of reproducing images. It's a pity.
The book also seems, at times, to be beset by quite a few repetitions - especially in relation to the tales of the misdeeds of the likes of Richard Cole and Peter Grant, or the stinginess of Jimmy Page - which seem to reappear chapter after chapter without much sense of chronological anchoring. Often, in other words, it is not clear if comments by witnesses relating to certain behavioural traits, or incidents, are connected to specific events. One minute you think the events that are being retold must be happening around '74 or '75, then all of a sudden it is 1977.Read more ›
The oral history format really works, bringing to vivid life everyone involved, leaving only a few unanswered questions, most notably on Jimmy Page's childhood and upbringing. My guess is an absent or ineffectual father but a driven, snobbish mother wanting the very best for her boy but acutely aware that they were relatively unprosperous people living in a very well-to-do suburb. But I may be dead wrong, and, sadly, the amazing array of witnesses who contribute to this history touch only lightly on why JP is the strange way he is. Otherwise, this is a book that sets the bar a notch higher for any history of a modern music phenomenon.
This book is amazing. It's not a written history, it's a series of quotes from interviews. At first I found it a little difficult to get into, but once I got used to the format I found it utterly compelling and read it in a day and a half. I couldn't put it down. It truly is "warts and all" tho, so if you expect a fanzine type book, this will probably disappoint.
What emerges here is a portrait of 4 very different guys, (5 if you include the amazing Peter Grant), who created something unique in music history. They were a runaway train, fuelled by coke, booze and underage groupies, yet they left a musical legacy which will never fade away. Bigger than the Beatles, The Stones, The Who, they conquered the USA in a way no other Brit band had before or since. It's a pity they weren't as big here or in Europe, but even the punk revolution couldn't quite kill off the "dinosaurs". Zeppelin still sell millions of albums a year!!
This great book takes you on a ride - start to finish - including the 2009 reunion at the O2. You will laugh, cry, get angry. You will wish someone had the balls to bang some heads together. But you will love it.
Best book I've read for years.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Barney Hoskyns adds to the steadily-growing mountain of Led Zeppelin books (which includes Hammer of the Gods and When Giants Walked the Earth, both of which I enjoyed reading)... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jeremy Walton
A flowing narrative and well researched - I enjoyed reading this a great deal. I also enjoyed the author's take on Tom WaitsPublished 7 months ago by R. G. Bell
This isn't a book, in such, more just a collection of anecdotes from the management, roadies, groupies, hangers-on and record company people. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Geoff Saunders
Just a collection of soundbite-quotes from a variety of people with sometimes tenuous links to the band.
Very little new.
Save your money.
I have only skimmed through it and it looks very good. I will write a proper review when I have time to read the whole tome!Published 18 months ago by Kate W
The book consists of about 95% attributed quotes from people who were there at the time. One of the very best reads I have had for a long time.