Mud Sharks, Satanism and Stairways: The Truth About Zep!

Houses of the Holy July 10.jpg
Get Lit: Led Zeppelin FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Greatest Hard Rock Band of All Time
By George Case
370 pp., $19.99, www.backbeatbooks.com

This entry into Backbeat's exhaustive and incredibly detailed FAQ series tackles the mighty Zep - so there's plenty of coverage about purported Satanism, musical plagiarism, the epochal "Stairway to Heaven," and the occasional use of the mud-shark as an adult toy.

As an author -- and obvious fan -- Case digs deep in his bite-sized and insanely detailed entries, so the hardcore fan can find a listing of every session Jimmy Page ever played on (including Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual" and Petula Clark's "Downtown"), every studio they set foot in, instrument details, every member of the road crew and favored groupies, and even a drawing of the private plane used on the 1977 tour (called "Caesar's Chariot" -- there's your bar trivia-bet winner).

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Oh, and the twin boy and girl who were photographed nude and duplicated on the cover to Houses of the Holy? Stefan and Samantha Gates.

And with sections titled "Mama Let Me Pump You: Led Zeppelin as Cock Rock" and "Despite All Your Losing: Led Zeppelin and Hostile or Indifferent Audiences," you know this tome is aimed toward someone who wants a bit more detail than Hammer of the Gods provided. (Case also lists every Zep record, book, DVD, and Web site.)

However, Case -- like other FAQ authors, also pulls no punches and calls the musicians out where he sees fit. He calls Jimmy Page, who regularly floats near the top of lists of classic's rocks best or most influential guitarists, as "perhaps the least proficient member of the group and the least adventurous after" the band broke up.

He adds "strip away fable and urban legend... and Jimmy Page emerges as a good but seldom brilliant artist." Case goes on to call the guitarist lucky -- with a legend built more by "passive association than deliberate action," then adds he's a better acoustic than electric axe man. Ouch!


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5 comments
Tea4One
Tea4One

George Case sounds a tad green with envy! 

In my opinion, when Jimmy Page plays, he is communicating with pure emotion and feeling it is pure beautiful artistry.

Most people can only dream of what he and the rest of the Zep boys accomplished in just little more than a decade!

I too would love to see Jimmy do something else, but if not ....who can complain? He has helped to provide such a diverse and amazing catalog of music  that has held the test of time and will last forever.

The man has created more in his lifetime than most could in several!

jimmypageisgod
jimmypageisgod

jimmy page honed his skills as session man for years playing on many songs which i wont go into detail on, when he finally decided he was healthy enough ,he joined the yardbirds, who somoen guitar palyers named who? eric clapton?jeff beck? when those two guys left he was left with a contract for a tour and had to creats the new yardbirds where he contacted john paul jones who suggested a singer named robert plant and when they went and seen them also wanted john bonham,  keith moon named the new band, call it led zeppelin ,as it will go over like a lead ballon,my first appreation of led zep cam in `70 whole lotta love, it blew my mind, jimmpy page is my guitar god still

Daymian666
Daymian666

Yeah, the author is a piss drinker.  The "least proficient".  Clearly, the author has ingested way too much semen during his life time, both from oral consumption and anal absorbtion.  But hey, everyone is entitled to there opinions, even mental retards who some how survived their abortion.  My two cents. 

Kiki1966
Kiki1966

Strongly agree, Pete. There seems to be a weird Jimmy-backlash is some quarters. I actually think he is more brilliant than I thought years ago. I would love to see him create new music but what he wrote, played on and produced 40 years ago is still incredibly significant. In fact, I'm amazed at how well Zeppelin's music has held up through the years. In short, Jimmy Page rules.

Pete
Pete

Yeah Jimmy was just lucky and seldom brilliant. Well except for stairway and dazed and confused and how many more times and no quarter and the ocean and Kashmir and bronyaur and since I've been loving you and nobody's fault but mine and Achilles last stand and moby dick and ramble on and communication breakdown and when the levee breaks and trampled underfoot and every other zeppelin song. Lol Gee I wonder if this authors a little jealous?

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