Dave Lewis & Mike Tremaglio – Evenings with Led Zeppelin – The Complete Concert Chronicle
What authors Dave Lewis and Mike Tremaglio have undertaken and produced here is not only extremely comprehensive and detailed, but also utterly captivating, and this gorgeous-looking piece of literature offers a fascinating insight into the inner workings of Zeppelin on the road and how they were perceived by the critics, the fans, the road crew, and the countless bands that supported them on tour. This superb 576-page account of where they performed, what songs they plowed through, what audio and video bootlegs were recorded, and pretty much any tiny bit of information surrounding the gig in question, are presented in a concise and entertaining way. There is a clear structure to each chapter and every account of the concerts, which works in its favor as more or less each performance is treated with the same amount of curiosity, dedication, and close study. Having said that, reading many pages in a row can become a tad repetitive and tiring due to the pattern of each concert entry being the same, and there is an overload of information contained within its pages, so the trick is to read anywhere between ten and thirty pages and then put the book away for a day or two in order to absorb and digest its content. Like I said, it is heavy on details, and certain chapters are longer and more interesting than others simply because circumstances revolving around specific concerts dictate that there is more to discuss and analyse compared to others. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Zeppelin’s early years, namely their very first tour in Denmark playing schools and gymnasiums as the New Yardbirds as well as those first few tours in the UK and US under the Zeppelin moniker – marvelous stuff.
Apart from being well-written, "Evenings With Led Zeppelin" explains and shows why the band were such a force to be reckoned with live on stage and why they had such an overpowering impact everywhere they went. In other words, it perfectly captures and summarizes the epic quality of Zeppelin and why it appealed (and still appeals) to so many generations of rock fans. On top of that, the book is nicely illustrated with old concert ads, posters, band pictures, press cuttings, images of the various venues they played, and so on and so forth. No stone is left unturned here, folks.
"Evenings with Led Zeppelin – The Complete Concert Chronicle" is an exhaustive study of Led Zeppelin’s marvelous tours and the authors’ passion for the subject shines through on every page. What blows my mind is how complete and fulfilling it is from a reader’s/fan’s perspective as literally everything you can possibly think of is covered and dissected by these guys. What is even more impressive about this fabulous book is that Lewis and Tremaglio have succeeded in transporting us back to the late sixties and seventies and made us feel that we are actually right there with them, reveling in and witnessing the majestic spectacle that was and is Led Zeppelin. The fact that it so brilliantly encapsulates and evokes the spirit of the times is basically all the reason you need to buy this. Hats off to the talented writers for putting this together and for the ever-reliable Omnibus Press for publishing it – this is a fan’s dream come true.