Today’s guest is a big one: Robert Plant, the singer and one of the creative architects of perhaps the greatest rock and roll band that ever lived, Led Zeppelin. I don’t normally get nervous before interviews, but this one kept me up the night before. It’s not every day that you talk to a golden god.
In my upcoming book, Twilight Of The Gods, I write about how important Led Zeppelin IV was to me growing up, and how the mythology of Led Zeppelin generally played a big part in making me care about music. When we talk about Zeppelin, of course, we have to mention Jimmy Page’s guitar playing and his production work. But I think the reason why that band endures is the mythology, that Joseph Campbell idea of an epic journey into the wild that Zeppelin’s music represents, the sense that when you listen to this band, you feel like you’re plugging into something bigger and more profound than a band. And I think that spirit comes from Robert Plant, and how he approaches art.
Now, we talk a bit about Led Zeppelin IV in this episode, specifically the song “The Battle Of Evermore” and Plant’s relationship with English folk music. But we mainly spoke about his solo career, and I was excited to do that, because especially in the last 10 years, Plant has been on an incredible artistic roll. His last two records in particular, 2014’s Lullaby .. And The Ceaseless Roar and 2017’s Carry Fire, are his best since the end of Zeppelin in 1980.
Our conversation was so good that I had call up my friend Steve Gorman for a little post-game talk. As a member of the Black Crowes, Steve toured with Plant in the early ’90s, and has lots of great stories from that period. Listen below.