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Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin Hardcover – 15 Dec 2001
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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 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.
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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).
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.
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
This was a lesson that was not lost on Grant.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although the book is well written and has some entertaining stories, in my opinion it mainly stays at a superficial level, touching only on well-known stories for the average Led... Read morePublished on 24 Feb. 2015 by Cat
On first sight the book looks horrible, dense black text looking like it's from a John Bull printing set, and the photos look hideous like cheap xerox copies. Read morePublished on 5 May 2014 by Mr. Toby Howard
Interesting read, but through rose tinted specs. A more gritty account would be have been better received. The dynamics with the band are underplayed.Published on 24 Dec. 2012 by TQ
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.Published on 10 Dec. 2012 by Tim Jones
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... Read more
Peter Grant was without doubt a colorful and fascinating character and a very useful adjunct to Led Zeppelin as he was one of those rare people who was capable of arranging... Read morePublished on 22 Sept. 2012 by Mr. M. Kostyrka
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... Read morePublished on 7 Dec. 2010 by lee moran
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