When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin

The first significant fresh reporting on the legendary band in twenty years, built on interviews with all surviving band members and revealing a never-before-seen side of the genius and debauchery that defined their heyday.

Veteran rock journalist Mick Wall unflinchingly tells the story of the band that pushed the envelope on both creativity and excess, even by rock ‘n’ roll standards.  Led Zeppelin was the last great band of the 1960s and the first great band of the 1970s—and When Giants Walked the Earth is the full, enthralling story of Zep from the inside, written by a former confidante of both Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Rich and revealing, it bores into not only the disaster, addiction and death that haunted the band but also into the real relationship between Page and Plant, including how it was influenced by Page’s interest in the occult.  Comprehensive and yet intimately detailed, When Giants Walked the Earth literally gets into the principals’ heads to bring to life both an unforgettable band and an unrepeatable slice of rock history.

Reviews from Goodreads.com

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By Elaine (London, H9, The United Kingdom) · ★★★☆☆ · May 03, 2009
It's a big improvement on Hammer of the Gods, and I dithered over whether to give it three or four stars. I agree with the reviews here there and everywhere that are calling it the "definitive biography". It boasts thorough research, in depth knowledge both personal and research-based, good writi... ...more
By Tosh (Los Angeles, CA) · ★★★☆☆ · July 11, 2009
Mick Wall has the annoying habit of writing first-person narratives in a biography. But beyond that, this is an interesting biography on one of my NOT favorite bands. If the mood hits me correctly, I usually hate Led Zeppelin. But nevertheless a fascinating band as a subject matter.

Jimmy Page an... ...more
By DJ (The United States) · ★☆☆☆☆ · November 25, 2012
To be honest I couldn't get past about page 30 of this thing -- the writing style grated on me that much. The actual factual historical stuff was insightful enough, but I just can't abide by the particular conceit employed here by the author, of having these multi-page italicized interludes that... ...more
By Arf (Brooklyn, NY) · ★★☆☆☆ · September 30, 2013
This is easily some of the worst writing I've ever read in my life. Presumably Mick Wall had to either dictate this book or write it with one hand because he was obviously using his other hand to masturbate furiously the entire time.

I hated this book the second I started reading it but I admit I... ...more
By Matt (The United States) · ★★☆☆☆ · January 05, 2010
Also posted here: AGITREADER

I’m not a big Led Zeppelin fan. In fact, I knew relatively little about the band that I didn’t learn from listening to classic rock stations while making pizzas at the Bogey Inn back in the day. That fact, along with an abnormal lust for books with more than 450 pages,... ...more
By Mankey (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · March 02, 2012
I was surprised by this book. Having read everything "Led Zeppelin" under the sun I didn't think there was anything new to dig up on the band, but I was wrong. Wall does a surprisingly good job of detailing the problems and tensions that plagued Led Zeppelin the last five or so years of their ori... ...more
By Josh (Little Rock, AR) · ★★★★☆ · September 12, 2012
Like probably most readers of this book, I fell into this book thanks to my love of the band Led Zeppelin. As a teenager, I discovered classic rock thanks to my father and my interest in impressing a girl who I was trying to date at the time. Though I spent a long time on the punk rock and ska vi... ...more
By Carl (Live Oak, FL) · ★★★★☆ · December 13, 2013
I never was really crazy about Led Zeppelin. One of the greatest rock bands ever I agree, but they are so over-played on classic rock stations that I am just so sick of them...I haven't listened to Led Zeppelin II in a quarter century. I love vanilla ice cream but if I had to eat it everyday I'd... ...more
By Nate (The United States) · ★★★☆☆ · January 09, 2013
I started reading this book after being completely immersed in Mark Blake's "Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd". I love the music of the 70's, and was eager to learn more about the era as well as the stories of the people who shaped it. Naturally, I felt that taking on an account o... ...more
By Mark (Minneapolis, MN) · ★★★★☆ · June 18, 2010
A balanced, energetic bio by a writer who clearly has some kind of love/hate relationship with the Zep mythos (not to mention the principals themselves). Sidestepping most of the nasty gossip (though obviously he had to include a detailed consideration of the "mud snapper incident"), this volume... ...more