Light and Shade
Conversations with Jimmy Page
By Brad Tolinski
(Crown, Hardcover, 9780307985712, 320pp.)
Publication Date: October 23, 2012
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This “oral autobiography” of Jimmy Page, the intensely private mastermind behind Led Zeppelin—one of the most enduring bands in rock history—is the most complete and revelatory portrait of the legendary guitarist ever published.
More than 30 years after disbanding in 1980, Led Zeppelin continues to be celebrated for its artistic achievements, broad musical influence, and commercial success. The band's notorious exploits have been chronicled in bestselling books; yet none of the individual members of the band has penned a memoir nor cooperated to any degree with the press or a biographer. In Light & Shade, Jimmy Page, the band’s most reticent and inscrutable member, opens up to journalist Brad Tolinski, for the first time exploring his remarkable life and musical journey in great depth and intimate detail.
Based on extensive interviews conducted with the guitarist/producer over the past 20 years, Light & Shade encompasses Page’s entire career, beginning with his early years as England’s top session guitarist when he worked with artists ranging from Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, and Burt Bacharach to the Kinks, The Who, and Eric Clapton. Page speaks frankly about his decadent yet immensely creative years in Led Zeppelin, his synergistic relationships with band members Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones, and his notable post-Zeppelin pursuits. While examining every major track recorded by Zeppelin, including “Stairway to Heaven,” “Whole Lotta Love,” and “Kashmir,” Page reflects on the band’s sensational tours, the filming of the concert movie The Song Remains the Same, his fascination with the occult, meeting Elvis Presley, and the making of the rock masterpiece Led Zeppelin IV, about which he offers a complete behind-the-scenes account. Additionally, the book is peppered with “sidebar” chapters that include conversations between Page and other guitar greats, including his childhood friend Jeff Beck and hipster icon Jack White.
Through Page’s own words, Light and Shade presents an unprecedented first-person view of one of the most important musicians of our era.
Brad Tolinski has been the editor-in-chief of Guitar World, the world’s best-selling magazine for musicians, for more than two decades. He has interviewed and profiled most of popular music’s greatest guitarists, including Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Eddie Van Halen, Jack White and Jeff Beck. He is also the author of the deluxe-edition illustrated books Classic Hendrix: The Ultimate Hendrix Experience and The Faces: 1969–75.
“An effective, comprehensive account in the guitarist’s own words of his life and music….Keep a copy near the records – and your guitar.” – Rolling Stone
“Brad Tolinski’s Light & Shade: Conversations With Jimmy Page sheds serious light on this poorly understood, enigmatic musical genius.” – Boston Globe
“A highly engrossing story. Light and Shade is simply an excellent rock ’n’ roll read.” – New York Journal of Books
“An incredible account of one of rock music's most interesting careers, and a detailed look into the works of Jimmy Page. Tolinski demonstrates a special ability to elicit insightful, in-depth responses to his musical inquires and the result is far more revealing than average question and answer interview sessions. This may be the most probing and enjoyable explication of Page's career ever written….A vivid, immensely interesting and enlightening yet candid history of a genius and a giant. Light and Shade is by far one of the best books on the subject related to Led Zeppelin and a portrait of a figure of immeasurable musical and cultural importance.” – AllAboutJazz.com
“A compelling oral biography… The level of personal trust and the generous access that Page afforded Tolinski is evident throughout the book’s content and in its tone. It’s page after page of Page—a classy, thoughtful gift for rock fans.”
- SMOKE Magazine
“By shining a light on the shadowy Page, Tolinski has created a must-have for any Led Zeppelin fan or guitar player.” – Publishers Weekly
“This book shows the serious artistic side of Jimmy Page. A must-have item for rock music collections.” – Booklist
“This is the most comprehensive & compelling collection of interviews, insights & historical anecdotes of one of Rock and Roll's premier guitarists, songwriters and producers ever compiled. A fascinating must-have for Jimmy Page fans like myself.” – Slash
“Light & Shade illuminates the haunted genius of Jimmy Page in an original and completely satisfying way. The conversational dynamic between the author and the subject reveals a wealth of info about the man, the music, and the magick.”
– Kirk Hammett, Metallica
“Jimmy Page…the one and only! From mild to wild, Jimmy sez it all. This fine work will rock you!” – Billy Gibbons, ZZ Top