One-time Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant has opened up about his time with the legendary 1970s rock band, giving a rare insight into his true feelings about working with the group and his career since they disbanded.
If The Beatles were the kings of the 1960s, then Led Zeppelin ruled the ’70s. Following in the footsteps of the Fab Four, Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham, became the biggest rockstars of their day, playing to packed stadiums the world over. However, the disbandment of Led Zeppelin by no means marked the end of Robert Plant’s musical ventures.
Indeed, from his comments in a recent interview, it seems Led Zeppelin merely marked the beginning of a long a fruitful journey. “It was just dumbf***, a lot of it,” Plant began, before adding: “We made great music. We had a great time. And then it stopped. That’s all I know about it.”
It seems that Plant regards his time with Led Zeppelin as a necessary stepping stone, but not necessarily one he’d like to return to. As a 16-year-old, Plant craved an outlet for his innate creativity, and Led Zeppelin felt like the perfect opportunity to blow off some steam in an age of post-war conformity: “You want music that’ll blow the ducks out of the pond when you’re trying to get above the sound of adolescence,” he said.
Opening up about the landscape of music in the 1960s, Plant described visiting the local venues in the hope of finding collaborators. “I did hang around folk clubs, too, and there was poetry and jazz recitals, and unaccompanied singers delivering ‘She Moves Through the Fair’ with a finger in one ear,” he recalled. “You know, no flattened thirds, no schmooze, just sing the song and it’s beautiful”.
Plant also reminisced about his first rehearsal with Led Zeppelin in a cramped studio on London’s Gerrard Street in 1968, explaining that he has as much hunger for music as he did all those years ago. “I was 19 on the first Led Zeppelin rehearsals, and I was 32 when John passed away, that awful time, people used to say to me, ‘Well, you must have done enough now?’ Enough of f****ing what? ‘Enough to retire!’”