Led Zeppelin The Biography by Bob Spitz

Bob Spitz was recently on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast as Spitz does the rounds for his new book, Led Zeppelin The Biography. There are massive books in the past that chronicled Led Zeppelin such as When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin, Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga and Led Zeppelin Book Biography by Ritchie Yorke. When I first heard there was a new book on Led Zeppelin, I really was not excited by the news. I already own the big three biographies. What can Bob Spitz bring to the table that the other biographies have not talked about? Well, plenty more from what he said in his interview with Marc Maron. Billed as a top Beatles biographer it should not stop him from bringing something fresh to Led Zep. With a very extensive record collection, I was surprised to learn that Spitz had not listened to the full catalogue from Led Zeppelin. Bob did his homework and listened to the group with fresh ears. With this, he brings a whole new perspective to the group. I really thought there was not much more you could say about Led Zeppelin, this is a pleasant surprise by Bob Spitz. The book shines a true light on the legendary stories that got the group into trouble in the past. This has to be the most authentic biography of the group. Led Zeppelin The Biography by Bob Spitz is one book for fans and those curious about the group should buy for this holiday season.

From the author of the definitive New York Times, bestselling history of the Beatles comes the authoritative account of the group many call the greatest rock band of all time, arguably the most successful, and certainly one of the most notorious

Rock star. Whatever that term means to you, chances are it owes a debt to Led Zeppelin. No one before or since has lived the dream quite like Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham. In Led Zeppelin, Bob Spitz takes their full measure, separating the myth from the reality with his trademark connoisseurship and storytelling flair.

From the opening notes of their first album, the band announced itself as something different, a collision of grand artistic ambition and brute primal force, of English folk music and African American blues. That record sold over 10 million copies, and it was just the beginning; Led Zeppelin’s albums have sold over 300 million certified copies worldwide, and the dust has never settled. 

The band is notoriously guarded, and previous books provided more heat than light. But Spitz’s authority is undeniable and irresistible. His feel for the atmosphere, the context–the music, the business, the recording studios, the touring life, the whole ecosystem of popular music–is unparalleled. His account of the melding of Page and Jones, the virtuosic London sophisticates, with Plant and Bonham, the wild men from the Midlands, in a scene dominated by the Beatles and the Stones but changing fast, is in itself a revelation. Spitz takes the music seriously and brings the band’s artistic journey to full and vivid life.

The music, however, is only part of the legend: Led Zeppelin is also the story of how the sixties became the seventies, of how playing clubs became playing stadiums, of how innocence became decadence. Led Zeppelin wasn’t the first rock band to let loose on the road, but as with everything else, they took it to an entirely new level. Not all the legends are true, but in Spitz’s careful accounting, what is true is astonishing and sometimes disturbing.

Led Zeppelin gave no quarter, and neither has Bob Spitz. Led Zeppelin is the full and honest reckoning the band has long-awaited, and richly deserves.

Bob Spitz is the award-winning author of the biographies The Beatles and Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child, both New York Times bestsellers, as well as six other nonfiction books and a screenplay. He helped manage Bruce Springsteen and Elton John at crucial points in their careers. He’s written hundreds of major profiles of figures, ranging from Keith Richards to Jane Fonda, from Paul McCartney to Paul Bowles.