Book & Magazine Reviews

Hank Borodowitz - 'Led Zeppelin On Led Zeppelin: Interviews & Encounters' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 07, 2015    
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If you are interested in the band's view of themselves and their music, get this piece of Rock history.

Published by: Omnibus Press

Over four hundred and fifty pages long, this tome covers magazine, radio and TV interviews that the Led Zeppelin members carried out. Well, to be honest, it starts before the first Zep album and the last main chapter covers a CBS interview with the three remaining members of the band in 2012 following their receipt of their Kennedy Center honor (U.S. spelling – when in Rome and all that).

With that massive time span and being in a band having defined the concept of Rock Gods, you would expect the band members to have lot to say. They certainly do from the start, but all members are careful about what they say and are very media savvy (even though that phrase didn't exist then). Clearly not wanting to burst their bubble, the band responses to interview questions are quite thoughtful without giving too much away, humorous and never blatantly slating any other bands, but cleverly putting a negative thought in your mind. For example, even when antagonised somewhat during an interview in Sydney in 1972 about comments by Ian Gillan, the band graciously back up each other and put their point of view across with no sign of sour grapes.

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As far as telling the story of Zeppelin, the book's approach of being a chronological string of interview transcripts is as good a way as any. As the title says, it is 'LZ On LZ' with no hearsay and minimal author interpretation to get in the way. The complexities of the band carrying on solo after John Bonham's untimely death in 1980 is best told by the men themselves. The reason for the Zep not reforming or playing together for any more than the mere handful of times to date is pretty much covered in the individual interviews with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. However, when asked in the aforementioned 2012 group interview, the answer is a bit more of cryptic; "not likely to happen" is the response from John Paul Jones.

If you are interested in the band's view of themselves and their music, get this piece of Rock history.

Rob McKenzie

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