I don’t know why I’ve been on such a music and books kick lately. Maybe it’s because of Michael Schaub’s guide to rock novels presented over at BookSlut. Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching two of my heroes, Gene Simmons and Tommy Lee, on their TV reality shows. Regardless, I’ve been going through some music books recently while searching for the Book-of-the-Day and the grandaddy of them all, without a doubt, is Stephen Davis’ Hammer of the Gods. For anyone interested in Led Zeppelin (or music in general) it’s all here: shark incidents, creampuffs, tubs full of baked beans, black magic, and enough thunderous riffs to wake a dead man. Dismissed as rubbish by many of the band, I tend to take Hammer of the Gods with a grain of salt. I’m not going to necessarily quote it as fact, but as an enjoyable read, it can’t be beat.
Also worth mentioning is that Led Zeppelin tour manager Richard Cole also wrote a book called Stairway to Heaven: Led Zeppelin Uncensored that provides a nice counterpoint to Hammer of the Gods. Cole has been considered to be a less than accurate source of information about Zeppelin, so when he says that Hammer of the Gods is exaggerated, then you get a sense of how wild Davis’ book is. But whether it’s true or not, it’s a great read.