Led Zeppelin Singer Robert Plant Describes His First Rolling Stones Show as ‘Eye-Opening’

by Matthew Memrick
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Robert Plant still has memories of his first Rolling Stones show 57 years ago, and the Led Zeppelin frontman recalls them as “eye-opening.”

The Led Zeppelin frontman talked with the BBC recently, saying he recalled seeing the legendary band at Wolverhampton with Little Richard and Bo Diddley on Oct. 5, 1964. The city is just three hours northwest of London.

“(The show) was really an eye-opener – we were all leaning towards that (blues and American) music, but nobody really had it down,” Plant said. “I think in those days the Stones were bringing the stone down the mountain, so that was really special.”

Plant formed his rock band with John Paul Jones, John Bonham, and Jimmy Page four short years later.

Wild Concert A Family Affair For Plant

In his BBC interview, Plant said he remembered going to the concert with his aunt Gwen and uncle Stan. He also remembers the wild scene with Little Richard appearing on stage.

Plant remembers Little Richard coming out on stage at the show’s end with a massive pompadour on his head with makeup. He called Richard’s presence “a great flurry of energy as it went past him,” and he went, “‘Oh, OK.’”

Ultimately, the singer said the concert affected him greatly. He told the TV station that he was “the music of Chicago and Mississippi and the Delta blues.” 

At the time, Plant said the Rolling Stones were “one of the main forerunners and purveyors of this music bringing it to us as early teenage kids. The iconic band’s first single was a cover of Chuck Berry’s June 1963 song “Come On.” It resonated with Plant and many of his peers. 

Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones Formed Friendship

Both bands went on to form long friendships.

According to Far Out magazine, the two bands shared recording facilities over the years. Led Zeppelin used the Stones’ mobile recording studio in 1970-1971 for the Led Zeppelin IV album and got Ian Stewart pianists to help with Led Zeppelin tracks like “Rock and Roll.” 

Notably, Page was big on the London scene before Led Zeppelin. He was a sought-after guitarist and even played on a demo of the Stone’s “Heart of Stone” song in July 1964. Additionally, Page recorded “Scarlet” with the Rolling Stones in 1974. The band did not release it until July 2020. 

Jagger recalled seeing early Led Zeppelin shows in New York, calling them “great, thunderous, wonderful racket” and “brilliant.” The legendary Rolling Stones frontman saw the band after Bonham’s tragic death at 32. Jason Bonham filled in for his father.

“I saw their last concert as well… And they were absolutely incredible,” Jagger said. 

Interestingly enough, Plant weighed in on the recent Paul McCartney-Rolling Stones feud. Weeks ago, McCartney called the Stones a “cover band,” and that statement got under their skin a little.

Plant told Rolling Stone Music Now that he thought McCartney should join the Rolling Stones. The singer said the two bands have known each other since 1963, and they “love each other desperately.”

He added, “if there was really something, Paul should just play bass with the Stones.”

Outsider.com