Trampled Under Foot
Barney Hoskyns
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Buy *Trampled Under Foot: The Power and Excess of Led Zeppelin* by Barney Hoskyns online

Trampled Under Foot: The Power and Excess of Led Zeppelin
Barney Hoskyns
Faber and Faber
624 pages
September 2012
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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There have already been a whole lotta books written about Led Zeppelin. Some of them are good; most of them aren't. The main reason most of the biographies lack any teeth is precisely for that reason--they don't want to bite anybody. Many of the books out there will tell you Zep were great musicians who took drugs, but you'll have no sense of who they were or why they were that way.

Hoskyns pulls the curtain back and rips the gloves off in what is easily one of the most revealing and compelling biographies ever written about the misunderstood quartet. The author--a masterful music historian who has written about everybody from Prince to the Eagles--conducted over 130 interviews to compile an astonishing oral history of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham. For the first time ever, you get a true sense of who these iconic figures really are.

Through Hoskyns' conversations with the musicians' friends, key record company employees, family, journalists, musicians and much more, the band comes across as real human beings--human beings who happened to be in the biggest band in the world, with all the attendant power and problems that go along with that label. You can finally read about people close to John Bonham, for example, saying that he wasn't a very pleasant fellow and in fact treated people around him like animals. On the other side are glimpses into his family life from his brother, sister and son extolling the positive side of his personality and what a wonderfully sweet homebody he was.

There is so much more here. Zeppelin and those around them always described this balance of good versus evil as the light and the dark. Hoskyns shines a light on the darkness through a series of beautifully executed and extensively researched interviews. If you're a Led Zeppelin fan--and you probably are if you're reading this review--run out and buy Trampled Under Foot. It is the final word on all things Zeppelin, and though it may break your heart to hear the truth about your beloved heroes, at least you'll finally understand who they really are.

Click here for Steven Rosen's interview with Trampled Under Foot author Barney Hoskyns

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2012

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