Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page

Magus, Musician, Man : An Unauthorized Biography

Book - 2007
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Hal Leonard
Jimmy Page - Magus, Musician, Man is a meticulously researched life story of Led Zeppelin's legendary guitarist and producer. From his childhood in war-torn Britain and his pivotal role in the recording studios that launched the British Invasion of the '60s to his milestone achievements, his dark, nefarious excesses with Led Zeppelin, and his emergence as a revered cultural icon and honored philanthropist, this biography - the first ever written about Jimmy Page - portrays all his spiritual, artistic, and personal dimensions. Swinging London, the Sunset Strip, Bron-yr-Aur, Kashmir, and Clarksdale: Magus, Musician, Man traverses through all of Page's hallowed stomping grounds and tells, at last, the complete story of one of rock 'n' roll's most enigmatic and influential talents.

Publisher: Milwaukee, WI : Hal Leonard, c2007
Edition: 1st ed
Description: 293 p. : ill., ports. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9781423404071
Branch Call Number: 782.42166 Pag


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Mar 04, 2013

This is easily one of the best-written rock biographies anywhere, what with being clear-eyed and analytical about the artist and his group, not beyond critically assessing the admired musician who is its subject. The discussion about the musician, more so than about Jimmy Page the person, is detailed, probing and well-informed -- in fact, musicologically it is often beyond me, what with spelling out special tunings of his guitar, niceties about sound-board wizardry, the array of amps and legendary guitars, etc. And it's well-written to boot. Once George Case has done the above, as he traverses the career chronologically, he suddenly has a long section comparing Page to his contemporaries and peers (Jeff Beck, Clapton, Hendrix, etc.) and his progeny (guitarists for Grand Funk, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Rush, Van Halen, Guns 'n Roses, etc). His analyses and observations, and these guitarists' own cited views, even helped me to nail down just why I admired and tapped to this music (and still do), while I never quite loved it. In Clapton's words, very often it was "...unnecessarily loud ...a lot of it was just too much. They overemphasized whatever point they were making" (p. 87) I'm no Clapton worshipper -- well, not beyond 'Layla & Other Love Songs' anyway -- but he's pretty much on the money here. Apparently Page was annoyed to have Led Zeppelin so often compared or lumped in with Grand Funk, Black Sabbath and the heavy metal crew. But they were, in fact, often loud and hard. Heavy metal was generally earnest, not known for humour, dark and unsubtle, and sometimes malevolent. Apart from the tenor of the music, Zep's roadies' decree that there'd be "No backstage passes without head" for gals wanting to welcome their idols, and their manager's and crew's reputation for occasional send-you-to-the-hospital violence, certainly placed them in the malevolent sector of rock, and of music. Mind you, when I hear the music, especially their early songs, I realize just how outstanding it is, and after reading this insightful book I plan to invest in a better collection of their works. A rewarding read, even if you're not a devoted fan.

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