Jimmy Page: Magus Musician Man (an unauthorised biography) by George Case
Apart from my interest in Led Zeppelin as musical geniuses, reading is an essential part of the writer research component of my writing. I am currently working on a final draft of a story titled The Lester that combines music and the supernatural. Without committing to reading widely I don’t believe that I could write fiction.
I am reassured by this being an “unauthorized” biography as it has not been impinged upon by the subject or his minders. Case has been scrupulous in his research and his presentation of Page as a musician and band leader. The “magus” in the subtitle is a bit misleading as there is not much about Page’s involvement with magick – the Crowley and Anger connections are not dwelt on. Instead, Case presents Page’s “magus” qualities as inherent in his music and in the band’s profound influence – at the time and over the years.
Page’s musicianship, as a guitarist naturally, but also as a producer and arranger, is a key element in the story. Case is also a musician and so we are given plenty of details about the musical aspects of Page’s guitar work and in the studio. This material will interest musicians and those looking for a story that goes into aspects of Page’s and Led Zeppelin’s legacy that moves beyond stories of sharks and similar debauchery. Not that Case elides this kind of material. The band’s artistic decline is placed within the circumstances and events of the time.
While factually there may not be much that is new here, Case’s book is important because he analyses his subject. Their grinding schedule of recording and touring caused Page “psychic dislocation…from which he would never recover”, according to Case. He offers considerable insight into Page’s and the band’s triumphs and tragedies.