Review | Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page by Brad Tolinski
Genre: non-fiction, music, biography
Setting: kinda doesn’t apply here
# of Pages: 293
The skinny: The mastermind behind Led Zeppelin talks music.
The fat: This is an incredibly refreshing take on the whole genre of the music biography. Led Zeppelin and its extant members have always had strained relationships with the press, and it’s not hard to see why: nobody really wants to talk about the music. All they want to do is rehash the Shark Incident and speculate about who was snorting what and banging whom. Frankly I couldn’t care less about all that, so hats off to (Brad) Tolinski for making a break with that lurid tradition and sitting down to talk to one of the most significant guitarists/producers in the history of rock about how he actually made music. Led Zeppelin naturally looms large and the backbone of the book is of course provided by Page himself, but some of the most illuminating soundbites are provided by those who tend to get overlooked: John Paul Jones and Chris Dreja, for example. It’s a comprehensive, engaging, and well-balanced read, and my complaints are minor. The making of In Through the Out Door is largely bypassed, for some reason, and the last chapter–which focuses on JP’s personal interest in astrology–feels inconclusive and anticlimactic. However, it’s not enough to undermine the overall impact of the book. An essential edition to any music lover’s library.