On October 18, 1968, Chris Welch attended a concert at London's Marquee Club on Wardour Street. Support band was a local band named Sleepy and the night was headlined by The Yardbirds, whom only a week later changed their name to Led Zeppelin. He claimed that there was only 150 people there that night at the Marquee and wrote in an interview of the night that "this band will go far". Too right.
Welch had seen Led Zeppelin in concert on many more occasions while reporting for Melody Maker, including at the Carnegie Hall in 1969, the entire German Tour in Spring 1970, Earls Court in 1975 and the occasional solo Plant or Page gig.
In addition to interviews, Welch is quite the author of rock noteables, including Jimi Hendrix, Cream, David Bowie, John Bonham and Peter Grant, as well as writing liner notes for many albums.
Treasures of Led Zeppelin is set to hit U.S. book stores on October 5, 2010, although it has already been released in the United Kingdom on May 13. It is Welch's 6th book with the subject related to Led Zeppelin and the first book in 12 years directly about Zeppelin. Treasures of Led Zeppelin focuses on the memorabilia related to Led Zeppelin, including replications of ticket stubs, posters, flyers and other items. Rounding out this 64-page behemouth, is a chronologized biography, including years before and after Led Zeppelin up until July 2009. A gathering of the usual photos helps visually guide the reader along the way in the history of Led Zeppelin.
To the reader who is just an occasional fan of Led Zeppelin, this book is perfect. It contains a little bit of everything visually to stimulate your senses and educate you on Led Zeppelin. To the more avid fanatic, however, it is evident that there is a bit some of the dates and facts are incorrect. Some of the pieces of memorabilia are affixed to the pages in the box with something that resembles scotch tape and some of the guides to identify what pieces of memorabilia are have been placed a bit illogically. With that said, I was a little disappointed at the end of reading this book. For someone with the credentials and experience that Chris Welch has, I wish that this book could have been a little bit better.
In any event, Treasures of Led Zeppelin absolutely does not fail to gain the attention with it's colorful use of the memorabilia and photographs. It does present some facts that are only known to the well seasoned Led Zeppelin and it can definitely be used as a resource point.
Jeff Strawman, August 2010
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