Episode #290: Mick Wall on Four Decades in Rock Journalism

Mick Wall is an author, journalist, film, television and radio writer-producer, who’s worked inside the music industry for over 35 years. He is widely considered to be to music journalism what Keith Richards is to guitar.

Since cutting his teeth for rock magazine Sounds in 1976, Wall went on to work for the likes of Kerrang!, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mojo and Classic Rock magazine. He has also hosted various TV and radio programmes and co-produced several TV documentaries for the BBC, including When Albums Rules The World.

Mostly, though, Wall is now best-known as a biographer and author. He has published numerous bestsellers which draw from his time on the road with bands such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne, Guns n Roses, Metallica, Motorhead, Iron Maiden and many more.

His latest book is a fully revised edition of When Giants Walked the Earth: 50 years of Led Zeppelin, released to mark the 50th anniversary of the formation of Led Zeppelin — and the 10th anniversary of this their most widely acclaimed definitive biography.

We explored a number of topics in this conversation, including:

  • Wall’s early years as a music journalist and the struggles he had to overcome to make it
  • Tales from the trenches on why sheer talent usually isn’t enough to succeed
  • The conditions for creativity, particularly when it comes to writing iconic rock albums
  • Fascinating anecdotes from Wall’s time on the road with bands like Guns n Roses
  • And of course, his new and revised version of his Led Zeppelin biography, When Giants Ruled The Earth

There were a number of other topics I wanted to explore with Wall but we ultimately ran out of time, however I plan on having Wall back on the show in the near future to close the loop on his days on the road with notorious rock bands, as well as deep dive into his views on the music industry today and how he approaches writing.

Nonetheless, this episode is jam-packed with not only hilarious anecdotes from life on the road, but also lots of life lessons.

So with that, I bring you the one, the only,  Mick Wall.

Topics Discussed:

  • Wall’s early days trying to make it as a music journalist
  • How pressure creates diamonds
  • The power of no Plan B
  • What role luck played in Wall’s success
  • Why talent alone isn’t enough
  • Creating conditions for creativity in music, technology and entrepreneurship
  • Sex, drugs and rock n’roll
  • Working with Guns n Roses
  • The Led Zeppelin biography
  • How he stays on top of his game at the ripe age of 60

Show Notes:

  1. Twitter: @wallmick
  2. Amazon: www.amazon.com/Mick-Wall/e/B001JRREE8
  3. Web: mickwall.com


Listen on Apple Podcasts @ goo.gl/sMnEa0

Also available on: Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher and Soundcloud

Twitter: www.twitter.com/steveglaveski

Instagram: www.instagram.com/@thesteveglaveski

Future Squared: www.futuresquared.xyz

Steve Glaveski: www.steveglaveski.com

Medium: www.medium.com/@steveglaveski

Terminator clips sourced from www.terminatorfiles.com and remain the intellectual property of Tristar Pictures.

Gn'R Sweet Child Of Mind sample: Danilo Vicari - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y6dpShya2M

Led Zeppelin Whole Lotta Love sample: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQmmM_qwG4k