Jump to content

Robert Plant uproots himself as solo rocker


Recommended Posts

Author: Paul Luke, Reuters


Rock star Robert Plant, who swaggered through a 12-year career with Led Zeppelin as a singer and sex object, is trying a subtler approach as a solo artist.

Plant's new style is paying off. His fourth album, "Now and Zen," is No. 6 on Billboard's current pop sales chart. It has sold more than 500,000 copies. Plant also has become a popular concert attraction. He will come to the Chicago area later this month to star in a May 29 rock show at the Poplar Creek Music Theatre in northwest suburban Hoffman Estates.

"A lot of people thought I was like some guy out of Pink Floyd or Deep Purple, and that I was really going through the motions," Plant said. "It couldn't be further from the truth."

The singer said he is in no hurry to re-form Led Zeppelin with guitarist Jimmy Page. Plant and Page did get together Saturday, playing two Zeppelin songs at a New York party for Atlantic Records.

"For me to go back and team up with Jimmy would be a bit of a contradiction, because I don't want to be heralded just on the strength of being part of the old regime," he said. "This is better than anything I could do with him, unless he really did what I told him."

Page played on two tracks on "Now and Zen," which also includes samples of Led Zeppelin songs.

Plant, who will turn 40 in August, said he and his new band are performing some Led Zeppelin songs in concert now. The North American tour began earlier this month in Quebec.

"I'm pretty cocky at the moment," Plant said. "In my attempts to separate my career from the period of Led Zeppelin , I got too self-analytical. I just pulled myself to pieces."

Between swigs of Perrier water, Plant said he is not troubled by the fact that many of his current fans are too young to have seen Led Zeppelin performing live.

"There is a good cross-section of people, but a lot of them are young people and especially young women now," he said. "In the Led Zeppelin days, it was predominantly a male audience, which was quite disturbing for Jimmy and myself - especially somewhere in North Carolina, when there was nowhere to go at night."

Led Zeppelin , which released 10 million-selling albums, was formed in Britain 20 years ago and dissolved in 1980, following the alcohol-related death of drummer John Bonham.

Led Zeppelin 's music continues to influence many heavy-metal rock bands, which copy Plant's high-pitched howls, Page's explosive guitar effects and Bonham's thunderous drumming style.

Led Zeppelin , which also included bassist John Paul Jones, is best known for its recordings of "Stairway to Heaven" and "Whole Lotta Love."

If Plant is reluctant to reunite Led Zeppelin , he likes even less the idea of reforming the Honeydrippers, which released a mini-album of pop standards in 1984.

"It was a bit too clean and sugary," Plant said of the record, which also featured Page, Nile Rodgers and Jeff Beck.

Plant released his first solo album, "Pictures at 11," in 1982. He followed that with "The Principle of Moments" in 1983 and "Shaken 'n' Stirred" in 1985.

Plant said his far-flung musical tastes range from early rock by Gene Vincent and Middle Eastern music to garage-band psychedelia from the '60s.

He said he is eager to penetrate the college market because university students still are passionate about rawer forms of music - unlike people his own age.

"They were hot for music," Plant said. "Then it dissipated, and it dissolved into mortgages and sports and BMWs and maybe a gram of cocaine."

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...