Bring It On Home: Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin, and Beyond–The Story of Rock’s Greatest Manager… by Mark Blake

I had a business trip this past week driving a car for at least 10 hours to and from Atlanta and finished up this audiobook about the legendary manager Peter Grant. I have read one book about Grant by Chris Welch but I like this one better. Both of Grant’s kids were interviewed by author Mark Blake and they gave a perspective and info that has never been shared.

Grant had been a van driver, bouncer, stagehand, wrestler, and Don Arden’s assistant. He was 6’3″ and at one time over 300lbs… He road managed the tough and a little crazy Gene Vincent, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, and The Animals before he took over the Yardbirds which then turned into Led Zeppelin.

Grant changed the music business across the board. The promoters would enjoy a 60/40 split and better until Grant. He changed it all to 90/10 split with the artists actually getting the windfall instead of the promoters. His saying was 10 percent of Zeppelin was better than nothing. Now it is an industry-standard. The one other manager that I have read about is Brian Epstein who managed the Beatles. Grant and Epstein were complete opposites except for one thing. There was nothing they would not do for their respective bands. They were both loyal and trustworthy with the band’s finances unlike other band’s managers at the time. That is where the comparison ends.

Grant indeed was loyal to a fault…but he did business by suggestion and intimidation. Pouring water in bootleggers tape recorders, smashing film cameras by fans at concerts, and threating anyone that got in Zeppelin’s way or anyone who might be getting something they shouldn’t. He added to their already dark reputation. He started a Zeppelin label in the mid-seventies called Swan Song and signed Bad Company. He became their co-manager and traveled with them when Zeppelin wasn’t touring. He was even asked by Queen in 1975 if he could manage them…he turned them down because he didn’t have the time.

After Bonham died it became close to impossible to get him on the phone. His drug intake, already heavy, escalated during the early eighties. He did eventually get clean, lose weight, and turn into a living legend and he tried to be an English gentleman.

The book moves at a good pace and it goes over the hype and myths that Grant and Page built for Zeppelin.

If you are a Zeppelin fan or a fan of rock in the seventies it’s a good read. Although Grant could be tough, intimidating, and frankly scary at times…he did have a soft side for his family and of course…Led Zeppelin. I would give it 4.5 stars.

I did learn a new name for a certain drug… “Peruvian Marching Powder”

 

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

5 thoughts on “Bring It On Home: Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin, and Beyond–The Story of Rock’s Greatest Manager… by Mark Blake”

  1. I only just heard of the guy last month but sounds like he did a lot of good for his band. What a contrast to Colonel Tom and Elvis.
    I don’t LIKE listening to books but recently have thought it might be a good way to squeeze in a bit more “reading” if you will- might buy one or two for car time soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He changed the business… the 90/10 split now is the norm because of him.
      Dave it took me a while but now unfortunately it’s the way I like reading books. If something happens and I get interrupted I just pause or “,rewind” 30 seconds. I use audible and it’s pretty cool. I have a library on my phone now.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You are too kind Matt. I had so many errors in writing it. I wrote it when I got back from Atlanta and should have done a little proof reading. The facts are right though lol.

      Liked by 1 person

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