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Hammer of the Gods Mass Market Paperback – Deluxe Edition, January 1, 2001

4.1 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"'The biggest surprise success of the year... the Led Zep tale, drenched in sex, drugs and psychic abuse, demonstrated the validity of all the old adages about talent, power and corruption. Stephen Davis's grimy homage to imperial excesss and demonic influence had fans slavering for more' Rolling Stone" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Led Zeppelin was the hottest, hardest, horniest, most hedonistic group in rock history. Their parties defined 60s and 70s excess, their concerts were long, loud and thrilling. Based on interviews and behind-the-scenes stories, here is the truth behind the genius of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and the late John Bonham. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Ozler Aykan Tanitim ve Iletisim Hizmetleri; 1st edition (May 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425182134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425182130
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #787,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 18, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first unauthorized Led Zeppelin biography to emerge in the wake of the band's demise. The road-fever antics of the band and it's crew are told here with aplomb: Richard Cole driving his Harley down the corridor of the Hyatt House in LA, Jimmy Page courting a 14 year old groupie, John Bonham's insatiable appetite for booze and carnage, hotel destruction and wild orgies are all well documented. These stories are pretty funny, if sensational and embellished for comedic effect.
But from the mid '70s onwards, a dark cloud followed the band. From Robert Plant's near fatal car accident in 1975 and his son's death in 1977, Page's descent into heroin addiction in 1976, and ultimately Bonham's fatal vodka binge in September, 1980, the Zeppelin saga certainly has a tragic side.
This book is fairly uneven in that Davis documents Zeppelin's timeline fairly meticulously until 1975, and then he seems to be rushing to get to the end. He also fails to acknowledge that Zeppelin became an erratic live act from 1977 onward due to the deteriorating health of Page and Bonham. Davis would have you believe that in spite of the excessive substance abuse, Zeppelin remained in top form, and there is plenty of recorded evidence to refute that. Having Richard Cole as a primary source tends to undercut the credibility of the book as well. That said, it is obvious that Davis certainly respects Zeppelin's musical accomplishments, and ultimately that is the point. Zeppelin may have overindulged, but the music is what the band will be remembered for.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stephen Davis isn't a Zep expert, but this book was spot on in its release at a time when Zep didn't exist anymore back in the mid-80s. I remembered reading it and going wow! This is Led Zeppelin! It is a fun read, but take it with a pinch of salt...much of it is attributed to Richard Cole. The book has never been endorsed by the band, but it's the stuff of what legends are made of. Even Plant admitted in a Musician interview that he didn't much remember what went on in the seventies...if even a portion of what's written here is true - then it makes sense why!
This book did much to promote the legend and legacy of Zep - warts and all...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
An awesome book. Stephen Davis's unauthorized biography of the 70's biggest rock band displays both his wonderful storytelling style (and ability to fudge the truth) and just how great and weird a band Led Zep was. After reading this book, you'll get the picture why Zeppelin still to this day has an unmatched aura of chaos and mystery that is genuine and not cheesy in the way that many current bands try to project a fake and corny image (i.e. Metallica). Even Robert Plant has said the book has done much to enhance the band's legacy. One flaw of the latest edition of "Hammer" is that the new chapter takes away from the books previous ending (the classic Plant quote that ends the Live-Aid chapter). Still, this book covers all the bases from the inspiration for their songs ("Trampled Underfoot" was a takeoff of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition") to the infamous hijinx and backstage debauchery (a drunken Bonzo taking the mike at a Deep Purple concert and announcing to the audience that the guitarist "can't play for %#@!") that made Zep the nightmare of inn keepers around the globe.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Davis' 2004 biography of Jim Morrison. Despite negative criticism from cerebral Doors fans, I thought it recreated the era and the possible demons that drove and destroyed Mr. Morrison beautifully. Additionally, Davis had great insight into Morrison's creative process, his blocks, his frustration during his non-productive years and the difficulties he had during the first creative transition between his earlier output and the last album.

Hammer of the Gods is missing all that. I realize Davis was writing about four people and so could not cover them all as profoundly as he did Morrison, but despite the actual writing, which is quite good for this genre, I think in 1985 he was lacking both the historical perspective and the maturity to be able to give Zeppelin its full due.

Despite the selling one's soul to the devil bit, which is merely a catchy framing device, he starts out well, chronicling Jimmy Page's early musical growth and subsequent session work, understanding that it was a laboratory for his development and his output with the Yardbirds. This portion was fascinating and gave real insight into Page's vision --as well as documenting the intelligent business decisions and transactions he and his manager made, which transformed Rock and the way performers were remunerated.

However, the other three members of the band and their early development are merely glossed over. Jones is given credit as a solid supporting player; Bonham and Plant are depicted as yokels who had the extreme good fortune to be picked up by Page.
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