Friday, January 7, 2011

Robert Plant’s Same Tricks: The Rolling Stone Feature

“I see your still up to the same tricks,” John Bonham’s 81 year old mother Joan announced to Robert Plant backstage at a recent concert in Birmingham: “People who have written their story - they’ve got to the point where nothing moves. I don’t deal in that,” he later says about his musical contemporaries still playing the same songs.

Robert Plant is an enigma, a feature of the singer that comes through more than any other in a Rolling Stone magazine feature hitting newsstands Monday. Plant is at once talking about “the occasional tryst,” next telling Led Zeppelin fans the old Led Zeppelin groupie days are over:

Tell people the mud shark is dead and Buddy Miller’s got 86,000 songs on his laptop.

Plant talks about looking ahead when it comes to Led Zeppelin, but about Alison Krauss, “we’ll come back to it.” About travelling to Morocco, revisiting the famous trip he and Jimmy page took in 1973 (not 1978 as stated in the article), “I wanted to go back down that road.”

Frustratingly inconsistent as Robert Plant can be, make no mistake to his intent in this article: he has no intention of revisiting Led Zeppelin. And considering Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham recorded six or seven songs together in the aftermath of the 2007 reunion show, the most significant quote in the Rolling Stone article may be his one on writing:

I’ve kind of given up writing. All my writing is sort of meandering. The last time I lifted a pen was when Tony Blair became a Roman Catholic (Dec 2007)

The Rolling Stone article, Robert Plant’s Mystical Mountain Hop, has been getting a lot of press this week. It is, in reality, a disappointingly thin article, with almost all the quotes released in the articles pre-press, and the other 90% reviewing his recent career.

What you really want to know about Robert Plant circa 2011 is, he sees himself as a teacher, teaching music fans about old American music:

“You stay,” he tells the articles author Stephen Rodrick as he’s leaving the Cecil Sharp House, a repository for British folk music and dance. “Learn from this.”

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