Road trips and rock 'n' roll are a combo as classic as burgers and fries. Here to enhance the joy of tunes on a roll is a new book from pop culture historian Chris Epting. With Led Zeppelin Crashed Here along for the ride, you'll never again miss little-known but fascinating sites like Eminem's boyhood home, the "main drag" featured in American Graffiti, a store where Elvis used to shop, and yes, even the "Riot House" where Led Zeppelin once "crashed."
As I read Led Zeppelin Crashed Here, I found myself marveling at the dedication it took for Epting to find out and research all the bits of rock 'n' roll history that are crammed into these pages. I had never heard that Paula Abdul got carjacked at a Los Angeles restaurant, but there are all the details in the first entry of the book. Over 600 other entries, many with photographs, span the continent and the last half-century to provide a uniquely entertaining overview of contemporary American music history.
Rather than presenting his treasure trove geographically or chronologically, Epting has organized everything into nine aptly titled chapters:
- It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It): Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll Mayhem
- Roll Over Beethoven: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, and the Rolling Stones
- Kick Out the Jams: Concert Sites and Live Performance Locations
- The Song Remains the Same: Music, Film, and TV Recording Sites
- Sweet Home Chicago: Blues and Jazz Shrines
- Don't Fear the Reaper: Homicides, Suicides, and a Bad Moon Rising
- Knockin' on Heaven's Door: R.I.P.
- Can't Buy Me Love: Rock 'n' Roll Museums, Restaurants, Hotels, and Other Places to Spend Your Cash
- B-Sides: Record Stores, Road Trip Music Suggestions, and Other Rock 'n' Roll Miscellany
Epting's got rock 'n' roll history covered in the first eight chapters, but he doesn't stop there. Chapter nine has an inspiring list of 100 road trip albums. His list of the top 25 live concerts of all time is perfect for initiating debates and discussions, and "30 Great North American Music Stores" provides an entrancing variety of venues worth a road trip detour.
As in his other eight books (including James Dean Died Here, Marilyn Monroe Dyed Here, Elvis Presley, Passed Here, Roadside Baseball, and The Ruby Slippers, Einstein's Brain, and Madonna's Bra), Epting reveals his passion for pop culture history, his dedication to sleuthing out and verifying little-known facts, and his remarkable knack for packaging them in a format that has inspired untold numbers of road trips. Whether you hit the highway to visit the places he has profiled or enjoy them from the comfort of a backyard hammock, Led Zeppelin Crashed Here is a fascinating and delightful treat.