Why Robert Plant called Led Zeppelin an incredible one-night stand

Robert Plant

Few artists from the classic rock era enjoyed as successful a career as Robert Plant. Even in his 70s, the British musician continues to create works of merit because he is committed to his art and is unwilling to replicate previous successes. This is a remarkable accomplishment, given that many of his prominent contemporaries have gradually evolved into caricatures of their younger selves.

However, Plant cannot be stopped. Because of this mindset, the former Led Zeppelin frontman has had a long and successful career. Whether it was critically and commercially trouncing The Beatles as the most culturally significant group in 1969, or creating rock cornerstones such as Led Zeppelin IV and Physical Graffiti, he accomplished much in his 12 years alongside Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham.

After Led Zeppelin disbanded in 1980 due to the unexpected death of Plant’s best friend and drummer, John Bonham, he quickly launched a successful solo career. This personal and creative journey allowed him to fully explore areas he had only tentatively explored in his previous band. This allowed him to grow significantly as an artist, free of Jimmy Page’s direction and personal artistic vision.

Plant’s back catalogue is an eclectic collection that showcases the true extent of his musical accomplishment. It includes his acclaimed 1982 debut effort, Pictures at Eleven. The following year, The Principle of Moments produced the timeless single ‘Big Log,’ and in 2014, he released Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar.

Despite his solo career producing a more distilled version of Robert Plant the man and artist, when speaking with Music Box in 1993, he reflected on his time with Led Zeppelin and acknowledged its significance. However, he also described it as “an incredible one-night stand”. He also detailed the band’s flaws, which surfaced long before Bonham’s death.

He stated: “There was no Led Zeppelin for a long time, I believe, before John died. I think the best thing about Zep was that it was like a huge, uh, incredible one-night stand. It was everything you could hope for on the first fantastic free date. You know, everything thrown in, every type of altercation, every lust, every swing, and every bit of truth.”

Plant went on: “Then, when you start thinking about it, it loses its plot. So, I think being on my own has given me something really important through unfortunate circumstances. Nonetheless, I’ve stood alone, and I’ve been proud to stand alone. I think it’s fantastic… I mean, the legend has been following me all along the way, but that’s fine. Something to talk about, who cares?”

Watch the interview below.

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