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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wish more music bios were like this
I picked this book up the first day it was on sale, based on some reviews in Guitar Aficionado. I'm about half way through and am not disappointed at all.
Instead of a typical rock musician bio that details tours (throwing TV's out the hotel window, nailing groupies, etc) and provides little more than paraphrased reviews of earlier songs, this is a book that would...
Published on October 28, 2012 by Enjoying the Ride

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Itch-scratcher for Fervent Zep Fans ...
Laughably maligned by critics for most of its active career, a revision of Greek mythology may now include a 13th slot for the band on Mount Olympus as they are arguably the Zeus of rock and roll music (sorry Elvis, you had the mojo and the hip-swing, but didn't bring the lightning and thunder). While Zeppelin's career may have been relatively short-lived, it still...
Published 13 months ago by DACHokie


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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wish more music bios were like this, October 28, 2012
This review is from: Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page (Hardcover)
I picked this book up the first day it was on sale, based on some reviews in Guitar Aficionado. I'm about half way through and am not disappointed at all.
Instead of a typical rock musician bio that details tours (throwing TV's out the hotel window, nailing groupies, etc) and provides little more than paraphrased reviews of earlier songs, this is a book that would appeal to the guitarist and/or true fan of Page. I loved the duo interviews with Page and Beck or Page and Jack White; Page's words on which guitar/effect he used for which song or album; or his interest in the occult, production methods, and musical influences.
It would be nice if all music bios were like this (I'm thinking of Keith's autobiography from several years ago which, while fun to read, was very little on the stuff that would be of interest to the guitar/musician fan).
So have fun with this book. Keep it on your music bookshelf.
And if you don't have a 58/59 Les Paul yet (or even a dragon-styled telecaster) after reading this book you just might!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Collection of interviews, November 1, 2012
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This review is from: Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page (Hardcover)
This was a good read. As a serious Jimmy Page fan, I have read all of these interviews in Guitar World Magazine over the years, but its nice to have them in a collection. Sadly, cant give it 5 stars because its just music interviews. Until Mr Page decides that more than 2500 people need to know his story, we wont get the real truth. Jimmy only has one authorized biography - the 2500 copy variety - but until we get more, this one will do as a wonderful collection of information on his music. Sadly, not much is mentioned of in through the out door era. Highlites include an interview with Paul Rodgers about The Firm, and Jimmy talking extensively about Zeppelins current projects (remasters and DVD)
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Itch-scratcher for Fervent Zep Fans ..., October 23, 2013
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This review is from: Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page (Hardcover)
Laughably maligned by critics for most of its active career, a revision of Greek mythology may now include a 13th slot for the band on Mount Olympus as they are arguably the Zeus of rock and roll music (sorry Elvis, you had the mojo and the hip-swing, but didn't bring the lightning and thunder). While Zeppelin's career may have been relatively short-lived, it still managed to burn an indelible, mysterious mark in modern music history that is largely kept alive by its introverted, immensely talented and equally mysterious mastermind, Jimmy Page. Tabloid-like tell-alls aside, LIGHT AND SHADE gives Page a platform to speak somewhat openly about his musical life before, during and after Zeppelin ... a satisfyingly light meal for fans, but few others.

Guitar World magazine's Editor-in-Chief, Brad Tolinski, provides a book's worth of material that mainly includes transcriptions of his interviews with Page over the years. Straight-forward and somewhat narrow in scope, Page doesn't reveal too much more that is already known or widely speculated. LIGHT AND SHADE is organized in chronological chapters that chart significant periods in the musician's life. The chapters open with the author's summary of the period being discussed and are supported with Q and A transcriptions that allow Page to elaborate. The interviews are fairly safe and it appears clear that Tolinski took great care in avoiding issues that may have irritated Page or made him defensive. LIGHT AND SHADE is obviously a book written by a fan, for fans. But, considering Jimmy Page's reclusive/guarded nature, I can't fault Tolinski as he got the man to speak rather openly about his musical career (not to mention Tolinski surely wants to ensure future Page interviews). So, the Q and A involves a lot of softball questions that are safely aimed in the direction Page wants them to go. The only "out-of-bounds" topic approached was the discussion of Page's interest in the occult, but the manner in which the interview is conducted appears quite contrived and more of a platform for Page to put the "stories" to rest under his own direction (as it consumes a complete chapter). Page's mysterious aura is obviously enhanced by his speculated association/interest in the occult and while many could care less about this part of the man's life (like me); there are those who do take interest, thus covering the topic is probably needed to validate the book.

Most of LIGHT AND SHADE is dedicated to music and while Page yearns to be known for his entire body of work (from Yardbirds to the Firm and even his collaboration with David Coverdale) it is hard to avoid the elephant in the room ... Led Zeppelin. The conversations about Zeppelin obviously dominate the conversations and Tolinski effectively puts his musical knowledge to use and gets Page to openly delve into the mechanics of the band's sound and production. The interviews convey the enormous sense of pride Jimmy Page has for the band, the quality of music it generated and it's place in history. This is an aspect of the book that should shine for those who are musicians and not just casual fans of the band's catalogue of songs. While I enjoyed these parts of the book the most, many of the Zeppelin-themed discussions are more back-and-forth "technobabble" (specific chords, effects, production techniques, etc.) between two knowledgeable people that might not be too interesting (or understandable) to others. Page does not elaborate too much on his drug use, nor does he gush about (or refute) the raucous tales of touring that have contributed to the band's legacy ... it's mostly about the music. Some chapters are enhanced with interviews of others who have collaborated with Page over the years (Jeff Beck, Paul Rogers of Bad Company and the White Stripes' Jack White) and there are sections that specifically address the guitarist's equipment (a plus for fans who are musicians), his ten "best" songs and even his style (elaborate discussion on the astrological symbolism of Page's stage attire).

I found LIGHT AND SHADE to be relevant from the perspective that I am a guitar player and Jimmy Page's music has shaped that way I approach the guitar, from playing technique to effects. While the book sheds some light on the man behind the music and his years after Zeppelin, it is best served to others like me or rabid fans eager to consume any product associated with Led Zeppelin.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A glimpse into the genius of the fabled rocker, November 2, 2012
This review is from: Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page (Hardcover)
Light & Shade: Con­ver­sa­tions with Jimmy Page by Brad Tolin­ski is a non-fiction book which is a com­pi­la­tion of inter­views the author did with the famed and pri­vate gui­tarist. Mr. Tolin­ski is the edi­to­r­ial direc­tor of Gui­tar World, Revolver and Gui­tar Afi­cionado magazines.

Light & Shade: Con­ver­sa­tions with Jimmy Page by Brad Tolin­ski shades some light (pun intended) on Jimmy Page, mostly known as Led Zeppelin's gui­tarist, his career, life and pro­fes­sion. Through hours of inter­views we get a glimpse into Page's life and aspects of his life which he has had much influ­ence (fash­ion, mag­ick and more).

I'm sure that if I wanted to know more about Led Zep­pelin I could find an almost unlim­ited amount, all writ­ten by other peo­ple and maybe with a coöper­a­tion of the band. Even though the band is leg­endary, the mem­bers of the band rarely let the pub­lic into their pri­vate life which is why I chose to read this book.

In the inter­views which com­pro­mise Light & Shade, Page talks about his early career, becom­ing one of England's most admired ses­sion gui­tarist, to his work with The Who, Clap­ton, The Kinks, The Yard­birds and of course Led Zep­pelin. The inter­views con­tinue past the Led Zep­pelin era into other projects which Page was involved in. It was sur­pris­ing to learn from the book how pro­fes­sional the mem­bers of Led Zep­pelin were. Page & Bon­ham were at the top of their game before even start­ing the band, they didn't hang out socially (unless on tour) and enjoyed each other's com­pany as pro­fes­sion­als and musi­cians. I also never real­ized that Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clap­ton were long­time friends.

The col­lec­tion of inter­views with Page is com­pre­hen­sive and gives the reader a glimpse into the genius of the fabled rocker. Some of the sub­jects (drugs for exam­ple) are glossed over by Page, but Tolin­ski turns to other inter­views so the reader can get the com­plete pic­ture and under­stand­ing of the artist. My favorite, as always, are the anec­dotes and insights which make rock his­tory and are the back­bone of such books.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Right, respectful tone, December 19, 2012
This review is from: Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page (Hardcover)
In Zeppelin's 70s heyday, Jimmy Page was a mysterious enigma: aloof, dangerous. Ever see that video w/ him and Plant, elegantly wasted, utterly bored, effortlessly above it? The rock star's rock star who could back it up on stage, on record, and on rumours, the ones known (drugs, decadance, sex) hinted at those much darker (drugs, decadance, deals with the devil, etc.)
Here, several decades later, Page joins in conversations with an interviewer who knows his stuff and finds just the right tone and approach to draw out Jimmy's insight on inspiration, influences, technique, production, professionalism, relationships and so on. Tolimski and Page fill in the outline of the early life/early bands, session work, the Yardbirds, the formation of Led Zeppelin, the songs, albums and tours, the end, and the aftermath (which has really been quite fascinating: the solo projects, the Firm, the reformations and reunions). Page doesn't exactly ignore his well-known interest and involvement with the occult, but his responses are pretty guarded and occasionally simply cut off. His personal life: girlfriends, wives, children, gets even less mention. But then, it's none of our business, is it?
This book is a very enjoyable read and the subject is truely a genius, a musician and composer on a par with the classical boys (Ludwig van, etc.) only working in the rock era and all that entails. Led Zeppelin's music is 'in color' as Prince once put it and this book is a great companion to the listening.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, December 1, 2012
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This review is from: Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page (Hardcover)
This is probably the best book on Jimmy Page I've ever read. Every other one is always hitting on his probable drug use and all the usual Zeppelin rumors, but this one stays on topic with the facts, in Jimmys own words. Granted it has excerpts writen from other people such as Chris Dreja, but it's written by them talking about working Jimmy and his genius. A must read for all Jimmy Page fans.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Insights into The Music of Jimmy Page, February 13, 2013
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I've read so many rock music books after a while the formats themselves become stale. Jimmy Page the musician is brought to life here in a very compelling way.

We've all heard the stories of thrashed hotel room and rock excess, and Page and Zeppelin certainly earned their reps as rock n roll " golden gods" who didn't let anyone or anything stand in their way. Zeps ferocious manager Peter Grant kept EVERYONE away so the band could do its thing unimpeded by the constraints of A&R execs, label interference or outside influences.

What struck me as so strong about this book was that Jimmy Page laid down the ground rules that the book had to be focused ONLY on the music- and nothing personal. That's also what makes this volume so satisfying. It stays focused on the music and you actually learn something about musician Page in the process without the hype or white noise. We already know about " hammer of the gods" and the urban legend...what this book delivers is Jimmy Page as an artist that is richly satisfying. Loved this book! 5 enthusiastic stars!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In The Light, February 1, 2013
This review is from: Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page (Hardcover)
Five stars if you're a Zeppelin fan, three if not (so I settled on 4). This is a must read if you're a musician and/ or a Zeppelin fan. That said, it isn't perfect. The author completely glosses over Page's heroin and alcohol troubles late 70s to mid 80s which affected his playing in no small measure. Also, the last actual interview with Page in the book deals with the Coverdale album, and then no more after that. The book really loses steam as it progresses, with the best stuff being beginning up through Presence. And I thought it would have been nice to include pictures of Jimmy's guitars in the chapter about his gear. All that said, the book is a fantastic and highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Read, November 22, 2012
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This book gave Jimmy's personal insight on what he was thinking when he created Led Zeppelin's music. This is a must read for any Led Zeppelin fan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Insider's Look Into the Rise of British Rock, November 21, 2012
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Jimmy was not only instrumental in shaping one of the most important rock bands of the ages, he was an omnipresent figure on the British rock scene of the mid-60's. His studio contributions and production methods left a major impact on recording history. Jimmy recalls these times with great candor and grace.
The most informative look into Zeppelin and Mr. Page that I have ever read.
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Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page
Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page by Brad Tolinski (Hardcover - October 23, 2012)
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