In 1968, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones set the world on fire with the bluesy, heavy (for the time) tunes of Led Zeppelin, named as such because others in the music industry were certain the quartet’s experimental style would never take off.
Contrary to the beliefs of their naysayers, Led Zeppelin not only found success – they became music icons, setting the standard for both hard rock and heavy metal. Twelve years later, however, the band’s legendary run came to a tragic end, when drummer John Bonham died of aspiration following a day of heavy drinking.
The band has reunited a handful of times since then but the remaining three members have largely focused on their own separate projects. And for frontman Robert Plant, the idea of reuniting Led Zeppelin today simply doesn’t hold any appeal.
“Going back to the font to get some kind of massive applause… It doesn’t really satisfy my need to be stimulated,” Plant explained in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times.
That said, though revisiting the glory days doesn’t spark excitement for Robert Plant, he doesn’t judge those who choose to do so. “I know there are people from my generation who don’t want to stay home,” Robert Plant said. “And so they go out and play.”
“If they’re enjoying it and doing what they need to do to pass the days, then that’s their business, really.”
Robert Plant Explains His Hilarious Approach to Vocal Warm Ups
Robert Plant’s solo work is far more relaxed than his heart-pounding Led Zeppelin tracks. However, the golden god of rock can still hit the insanely high notes of the 60s and 70s. And to prove it, he performed the Zeppelin hit “Immigrant Song” at a 2019 appearance at the Secret Solstice Festival in Iceland.
“I know that the full, open-throated falsetto that I was able to concoct in 1968 carried me through until I was tired of it,” Plant explained. “Then that sort of exaggerated personality of vocal performance morphed and went somewhere else.”
“But as a matter of fact, I was playing in Reykjavík, in Iceland, about three years ago,” he continued. “And I got my band and I said, ‘OK, let’s do ‘Immigrant Song’. They’d never done it before. We just hit it, and bang — there it was. I thought, ‘Oh, I didn’t think I could still do that.'”
Considering the demanding nature of “Immigrant Song,” combined with the fact that Robert Plant has been belting out songs for nearly 60 years, this is an incredibly impressive feat.
How did the 70-year-old singer manage it? He uses his iconic singing voice sparingly. “I don’t – I just go out and sing,” Plant replied simply when asked how he warms up for performances.
“I know a guy from a famous band that Alison [Krauss is] quite friendly with… He’s gonna pour some sugar on me or something,” Plant recalled, throwing a friendly jab at Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott. “[He] creates a complete hullabaloo backstage.”
“I was back there one time and he was making such a bloody noise,” Robert Plant continued. “I said, ‘Why are you doing that?’ He said, ‘I’m warming up.’ I said, ‘Well, you won’t have anything left by the time you get there.'”