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Ex-Led Zeppelin member, Plant first to emerge after breakup


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Zeppelin member, Plant first to emerge after breakup


Pop scene by Alfred Carl

Robert Plant, singer with the now defunct Led Zeppelin, has just released his first solo album,''Pictures

At Eleven," and he says for him the LP "only touches the tip of the iceberg to what may come

around the corner."

A year and a half ago, the group and its fans were stunned by the death of drummer John

Bonham, who choked to death in his sleep after a drinking bout. The group had been touring to

coincide with the release of a new album. Now, Led Zeppelin's career is over. "It's finished," Plant says. "A replacement was not even worth thinking about. It was the four of us, backs against the wall for 12 years. Both musically and emotionally we were all very tightly interlocked."

The other two members were guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones.

Working small clubs in England Plant says that after Bonham's death, he went off on his own to his hometown north of London, in England's Midlands section, and spent a lot of time playing Howling Wolf and Muddy Waters records. He was later enticed back to the stage to do small clubs in England

with the Honeydrippers, a seven-piece blues band.

"They were never advertised as having any connection with myself, and we never did more

than one night anywhere," he says. "We kept away from London, playing universities in the

north of England and old, beat-up clubs, just rocking the night away.

"It was excellent. I was within a yard of the guy in the front row.'' Plant started writing new material with the band's guitarist, Robbie Blunt, and soon they were joined by keyboard player Jess Woodroffe. "They seemed to transmit the right kind of intensity that I was looking for," Plant says.

"So without appearing too excited to anybody else, and keeping the pleasure quite firmly hid

behind the bags under my eyes, I knew that we were beginning to take off, that it was going to

be OK.

"The end product is something that I'm very pleased with. It sums up my favorite modes of expression and at the same time it incorporates new people, which goes to say that there's a continuity that I never really considered in the past. I expected Led Zeppelin to go on another 15 years."

The album features drummers Phil Collins (Genesis) and Cozy Powell (ex-Rainbow) on some of the tracks, as well as Raphael Ravenscroft, noted for his sax solo on Gerry Rafferty's hit "Baker Street." Plant says that there's already more material written. He expects to do a second LP this winter.

Page has done some solo projects too, such as the soundtrack for the Charles Bronson movie "Death Wish II." Plant says Jones is biding his time. They all live close enough together to see each other from time to time. Plant has received letters from Led Zep fans saying they understand the band's break-up. "People wish you good luck, whatever you do," he says, "and also say, 'Thanks for the

memory.' "

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Interesting, that Robert thought that Zeppelin would have continued another fifteen years. I always thought he would have left the band in the early 80's even if they they hadn't lost JB.

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