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Barney Hoskyns: Demystifying Zeppelin

By Published: March 23, 2013
AAJ: Did your research turn up many surprises?

Barney Hoskyns: No huge surprises but amplifications of one's gut instincts about how Zeppelin operated, both as a musical unit and as a stadium-rock machine.

AAJ: Have you had any response from any member of Led Zeppelin regarding this book?

Barney Hoskyns: All the way through researching, writing and publication, I heard that Page was unhappy about me doing the book. Secondhand I've heard that Plant is impressed by it. Typically I have no idea whether Jonesy is even aware of the book.

AAJ: 30 years after the band broke people still buy its albums and the demand for its story is still running high. To what can you attribute the band's longevity past its active career?

Barney Hoskyns: The music up to and including Physical Graffiti (Atlantic, 1975) remains astonishing—the most powerful, dynamic, sexy and funky hard rock ever made.

AAJ: What is Zeppelin's lasting influence upon the world of music? How will it be remembered by music history?

Barney Hoskyns: They showed that you can take blues, folk, rock 'n' roll and funk and turn it into hugely dramatic hard rock. Nothing that happened in the '60s and '70s can happen again in the same way, because the territory was uncharted then and the rules were being made up as everyone went along. The best music by the Stones, Zeppelin et al was genuinely organic and intuitive rather than being made because these guys wanted to be rich and famous. Nobody in 1968, say, could have guessed how huge this phenomenon would become.


Selected Bibliography

Trampled Underfoot: The Power and Excess of Led Zeppelin ( Faber, 2012)
Lowside of the Road: A Life of Tom Waits (Faber, 2009)
Hotel California: Singer-Songwriters & Cocaine Cowboys in the L.A. Canyons 1967-1976 (Fourth Estate, 2005)
Waiting for the Sun: Strange Days, Weird Scenes & The Sound of Los Angeles (UK: Viking/US: St. Martin's Press, 1996)
Across the Great Divide: The Band and America (UK: Viking/US: Hyperion, 1993)

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Barney Hoskyns


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