Trampled Underfoot, The Power and Excess of Led Zeppelin: Barney Hoskyns
Faber and Faber Publishing
Faber and Faber Publishing
There have been a great many books opver the years all proclaiming to be "The Definitve" book on Led Zeppelin. In truth many of them have merely re told the usual rock n roll stories associated with the band and to be fair manyof them have sold well and found favour with the fan base. I am going to state from the off that this particular book whilst not being the definitive book on Led Zepplin does at least come close to being that.
It is set out as an aoral history rather than a third party recounting of the tale and this is where the book's strengths lie. Barney Hoskyns has spoken to many people associated with Led Zeppelin over the years and done a massive amount of research and has included as much previously known material and quotes from the band themselves in order to weave into the book a lot more about the band than has previosuly been published.
The problem for any book about a band like Zeppelin is that like the Beatles the band have been so heavily documented in the past so the prevalent attitude is "Why do I need this book?" well in my opinion you do need this book because there is a lot of previously unheard/unseen material contained in its 600 plus pages.
Even I was surprised at some of the stories not least the story concerning journalists who when interviewing the band were given a list of rules for the interview which included not making eye contacyt with the band or speaking to the band unless spoken to and in the case of John Bonham not to approach at all with the warning that this was for their own safety. I kid you not. Whilst I am a huge fan of the band this kind of behaviour is quite rightly seen as being ridiculous. That the band got to this stage is both sad and absurd. This is a group for God's sake and yet strangely I am not surprised having myself worked in the music industry and more importantly with many bands both large and small and there ar4e many points I can identify with. The world is a cloistered one and few are given admission. This book will certainly open a few eyes to the world of the working rock band which ultimately is what led Zeppelin were.
All in all as I have said possibly not the definitive tome on Led Zeppelin, I doubt there could ever be such a book about anyone, but it does come close to being the best book on the band to date and for that Barney Hoskyns is to be congratulated
Barney Hoskyns an be heard talking to Jon Kirkman on Classic Rock Radio at 8pm GMT on the 1st and 2nd of October about the book along with music from Led Zeppelin