Light & Shade: Conversations With Jimmy Page

Light & Shade: Conversations With Jimmy Page

by Brad Tolinski, Robert Fass, John Lee
     
 
More than thirty years after disbanding in 1980, Led Zeppelin continues to be celebrated for its artistic achievements, broad musical influence, and commercial success. The band's notorious exploits have been chronicled in bestselling books; yet none of the individual members of the band has penned a memoir nor cooperated to any degree with the press or a

Overview

More than thirty years after disbanding in 1980, Led Zeppelin continues to be celebrated for its artistic achievements, broad musical influence, and commercial success. The band's notorious exploits have been chronicled in bestselling books; yet none of the individual members of the band has penned a memoir nor cooperated to any degree with the press or a biographer. In Light and Shade, Jimmy Page, the band's most reticent and inscrutable member, opens up to journalist Brad Tolinski, for the first time exploring his remarkable life and musical journey in great depth and intimate detail.

Based on extensive interviews conducted with the guitarist/producer over the past twenty years, Light and Shade encompasses Page's entire career, beginning with his early years as England's top session guitarist when he worked with artists ranging from Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, and Burt Bacharach to the Kinks, The Who, and Eric Clapton. Page speaks frankly about his decadent yet immensely creative years in Led Zeppelin, his synergistic relationships with band members Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones, and his notable post-Zeppelin pursuits. While examining every major track recorded by Zeppelin, including "Stairway to Heaven," "Whole Lotta Love," and "Kashmir," Page reflects on the band's sensational tours, the filming of the concert movie The Song Remains the Same, his fascination with the occult, meeting Elvis Presley, and the making of the rock masterpiece Led Zeppelin IV, about which he offers a complete behind-the-scenes account. Additionally, the book is peppered with conversations between Page and other guitar greats, including his childhood friend Jeff Beck and hipster icon Jack White.

Through Page's own words, Light and Shade presents an unprecedented first-person view of one of the most important musicians of our era.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"By shining a light on the shadowy Page, Tolinski has created a must-have for any Led Zeppelin fan or guitar player." —Publishers Weekly

The Gibson guitar website crowned Jimmy Page as "rock's sorcerer supreme [the guitarist who] took the blues, rockabilly, and folk and fired it out of a cannon." Over the past decade, the legendary Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin musician has been sitting down with Guitar World editor-in-chief and author Brad Tolinski (Classic Hendrix; The Faces) to discuss Page's career, guitar and recording techniques, drug taking, and personal philosophy. Amazing synergy between interviewer and interviewee. (P.S. There have been no memoirs by Led Zeppelin members, but even if there had been, Light and Shade would be an important book.)

Publishers Weekly
Over the past decade, the enigmatic Page has been sitting down with Tolinski, the editor-in-chief of Guitar World and author of Classic Hendrix and The Faces: 1969–75, to discuss everything from Page’s early years as a session guitarist and member of the Yardbirds to his heyday with Led Zeppelin and his more recent post-Zep projects and plans. The interviews Page gives to Tolinski are enlightening, and while he doesn’t completely open the vault about Zeppelin’s party lifestyle or his interest in the occult, he does speak freely on guitar technique. Sometimes even more informative than the interviews are the pre-q&a introductions, which set up the topics of discussion and allow Tolinski to demonstrate his encyclopedic knowledge of classic rock and guitar history in his fluid prose. Further expanding the book’s scope are the “Musical Interludes” that follow each chapter and feature entertaining asides like “an inventory” of Page’s guitars; he also conducts interviews with some of Page’s former bandmates like John Paul Jones and Paul Rodgers. By shining a light on the shadowy Page, Tolinski has created a must-have for any Led Zeppelin fan or guitar player. 21 b&w photos. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
The wizardly, tight-lipped guitarist-producer-songwriter of Led Zeppelin opens up…a little. Guitar World editor in chief Tolinski notes that Page has long been "the paradigm for rock-star inscrutability," a Sphinx-like figure with little affection for the music press. Thus a collection of extended interviews with Page would appear a vital bibliographic entry. However, this unnecessarily repetitive and idolatrous volume only fitfully sheds light on its subject's craft. After a slavering introduction, the author, plainly dredging material from occasional interviews for his magazine, dutifully runs down Page's prodigious career as a top 1960s studio musician in London and his climb to fame in the Yardbirds. The book hits what passes for its stride with the genesis of Led Zeppelin, whose debut 1969 album Page financed and produced himself. Then Tolinski focuses on the quartet's meteoric climb to the top of the '70s rock heap and its sudden caesura with the alcohol-related death of drummer John Bonham in 1980. In his chats with the author, most of them clearly pegged to latter-day album and DVD releases, Page emerges as a smart, dry and unsurprisingly blunt and arrogant character. The best material here illuminates the innovative studio techniques that animated Zeppelin's metal assaults and folk-inflected sorties; Page is less generous with details about his improvisational approach. The book peters out with details about Page's later, lesser work with the Firm, David Coverdale, Zep vocalist Robert Plant and the reunited Zeppelin itself. Tolinski bulks up the book with mostly superfluous interviews with old mates (guitar peer Jeff Beck), collaborators (Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, the Firm's Paul Rodgers, the Yardbirds' Chris Dreja) and uber-fans (Jack White), and thuds to an end with useless offerings from fashion designer John Varvatos and an astrologer. For die-hard Zep fans and guitar geeks only.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452661001
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
11/26/2012
Edition description:
MP3 - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
5.37(w) x 7.44(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are saying about this

"By shining a light on the shadowy Page, Tolinski has created a must-have for any Led Zeppelin fan or guitar player." —-Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author

Winner of the prestigious Audie Award for his recording of Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic by Gordon S. Wood, veteran actor Robert Fass is a multiple Audie Award nominee with over eighty audiobooks to his credit. He has also earned multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for his narration of Francisco Goldman's novel Say Her Name.

British narrator John Lee has read audiobooks in almost every conceivable genre, from Charles Dickens to Patrick O'Brian. He has won numerous Audie Awards and AudioFile Earphones Awards, and he was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile in 2009.

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