Thursday, November 08, 2012

Review/Giveaway: "Light and Shade" - Jimmy Page's "Oral Autobiography

Random House has just published "Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page" by Brad Tolinski, and they were kind enough to send me a review copy as well as to give away a free copy to a reader. (See below for details on how you can win the free copy).

The book is an "aural autobiography" of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, as told to Guitar World editor Brad Tolinski over the course of multiple conversations. The book is especially notable because none of the band members has ever penned an autobiography, or cooperated with a biographer.

Tolinsky's easy interviewing style reflects a deep familarity with Page's work, and there are excellent questions and follow-ups throughout.

In addition to the author's conversations with Page, he has also included context-adding interviews with Jeff Beck, Chris Dreja (Yardbirds), John Paul Jones, Led Zep publicist Danny Goldberg, Paul Rogers (Bad Company, The Firm), Jack White, and fashion designer John Varvatos.

Topics discussed in the book include: the influence of the Blues on Page's music, his time as a session guitarist, his time with the Yardbirds, a whole lot of detail about the Led Zep recordings, Page's production concepts, the making of the Led Zep movie "The Song Remains The Same", drummer John Bonham's death, Page's controversial collaboration with Whitesnake's David Coverdale, and more!

"Light and Shade" also contains a neat chapter wherein guitarist Jimmy Brown -- who transcribed every note of Page's guitar on all of Led Zeppelin's studio releases -- highlight ten songs that he feels demonstrate the uniqueness of Page's playing.

I found the book to be a very pleasant and informative read about Jimmy Page and about Led Zep. I especially found the parts about Page and the band's creative process intriguing.

This book is essential reading for Led Zeppelin fans, and even non-fans will find Page's reflections and the insights into his creative process quite fascinating.

You can read an excerpt of the book here.

Amazon has the book here:


As I mentioned above, Random House is willing to give a free copy of the book to one lucky reader. Here's how you can win it. Simply send in your written description of your best "rock guitar" moment. My email address can be found in the sidebar. It can be a description of a show you attended or a recording you love. "Jewish" rock guitar (since this is a "Jewish music" blog) or secular rock guitar moments are both acceptable. It doesn't need to be long. One or two paragraphs is fine. I'll choose the piece I find most evocative, and Random House will send the winner a copy of the book. You've got two weeks! May the best writer win! G'luck!