Mankey's Reviews > When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin

When Giants Walked the Earth by Mick Wall
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U 50x66
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Mar 02, 2012

really liked it

I was surprised by this book. Having read everything "Led Zeppelin" under the sun I didn't think there was anything new to dig up on the band, but I was wrong. Wall does a surprisingly good job of detailing the problems and tensions that plagued Led Zeppelin the last five or so years of their original run together. He actually writes about John Paul Jones!!! What a concept!

Wall also comes across as someone who knows at least a little bit about the occult. After countless references to Aleister Crowley as a "Satanist" by Zep's other biographers, Wall paints a far more accurate picture of the figure Page obsessed about in the 70's. The book also benefits from actual interviews by the author with Page, Plant, and Jones.

If you are a big Robert Plant fan you might be disappointed. Wall's portrait of "Percy" makes him seem rather self-serving and manipulative. Plant certainly doesn't come across as the down to Earth chap most people make him out to be.

My biggest quibble with the book are the "flashback" sequences focusing on the adolescence and pre-Zep days of the band and manager Peter Grant. These moments are scattered throughout the book and written in the second person, with constant hypothetical questions "Your parents never thought you'd amount to much, did they?" these sections are highly annoying and cost the book one star. I actually began to dread them when I ran into them.

All in all though, a must for any serious Zeppelin fan.
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