It is quite possible that Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” is one of the most ambitious, if not greatest, rock n’ roll songs of all-time. The storyline is vast, the instrumentation is thunderous and Robert Plant’s vocals soar higher than the strongest winged eagle in the sky.
Throughout the years, Plant, 69, has put out a number of solo and collaborative projects that – in terms of sound and direction – moved in a different direction than his legendary Led Zeppelin days. On October 13, Plant will release a new album, before embarking on a North American tour in February 2018.
During a new interview with Rolling Stone, Plant spoke about his desire to keep pressing forward as a musician – not just a player of the hits.
“Anyone who gets tangled up in music and performance wants to keep it going,” offered Plant. “But by which means do you do it? Cramming the stuff into the suitcase again and playing live? Or is it creativity, another adventure, and trying to impress people who often want to hear how it was rather than how it is?”
He continued: “That’s what I’ve been trying to do. After we lost John [Bonham] in 1980, I waited two albums before I went on tour, and when I did, I didn’t play any Zeppelin stuff.”
While moving forward and evolving beyond his Led Zeppelin years is important to Plant, he is still able to feel positively nostalgic about his time with the band.
In 2007 – 27 years after Led Zeppelin broke up – Plant reunited with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones for the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at the O2 Arena in London. Together, with John’s son Jason Bonham, Led Zeppelin hammered through a memorable performance.
Ten years on, Plant still has fond memories of that event.
“It was magnificent,” remembered Plant. “We hit a home run that night, which is something that we were really fearful of. There was probably more riding on that than we would care to believe. Our performance was crucial, but we could reproduce sound in a much more reliable way, so we could be [great], and sound [great]. Some of those horrific gigs way back were lacking in quality.”
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