Rock Chronicles. 1980s: Robert Plant

artist: robert plant date: 08/21/2009 category: rock chronicles
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Rock Chronicles. 1980s: Robert Plant
When: March 1983 Where: Conducted at Atlantic Records west coast offices on Sunset Boulevard. Plant had started his own label, Es Paranza, a subsidiary distributed by Atlantic. What: I had first met Robert, quite briefly, during their 1977/Presence tour. I was on the road with Zeppelin (you can read about that mis-adventure as part of the Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones interviews) and though I never actually interviewed the singer at that time, our paths did cross once or twice. My main recollection of Planty during that '77 stampede was after a show in St. Louis, Missouri. The band had just finished its final number and hurried offstage. They were escorted directly to their waiting limos to be whisked back to their private jet that would fly them back to their private suites and their private privacy. I had been in St. Louis the previous year (October 30, to be exact) to cover REO, Boston and Mother's Finest. While there, I went to an after-show party and met a girl who worked for one of the local radio stations. I remember Epic Records hosted the party because all three bands were on the Epic label (the concert was called An Epic Evening). She was unbelievably sexy and smart and because she'd had three drinks and her inhibitions had been lowered and because I'd had four drinks and lost all powers of reasoning, I approached her. My tongue had become some alien object lodged inside my throat and refused to respond. Anyway, I attempted to say hello, she didn't walk away, and I fell in love. Fast forward some six months later. I'm back in the Gateway To the West where Zeppelin has just finished their show. Everyone has gathered in the underground parking lot where the limos are lined up like awaiting chariots. I've been back there for a several minutes, saying goodbye to my friend. The band have all appeared and are about to get into their respective cars. I am giving this girl a goodbye kiss and Robert happens to be watching. He walks by, still sweaty from his onstage theatrics, and says, "Get that girl out of your mouth!" But he made the comment in way that suggested he was proud of the music journalist for scoring. As if I had somehow infiltrated the outside phalanx and had been transformed however momentarily as Zep insider. Momentarily is the key word here since the blade was about to fall, the other shoe was about to drop, the fists were about to fly. On the previous day, I'd interviewed John Paul Jones and all had gone perfectly. Today I was a rock writer making out with a hot chick. But tomorrow I'd be accosted by this normally mild-mannered Mr. Jones and the entire faade would come tumbling down. Anyway, Plant's comment made me feel ten feet tall and gave me this tale to tell. What struck me during this interview in '83 was the singer's sense of himself. His beloved Zeppelin had been gone for several years now. His longtime friend, John Henry Bonham, had drunk and drugged himself to death some three years earlier on September 25, 1980. And due to a serious stomach infection, he'd lost his eldest son, Karac, during Zep's 1977 tour (the same tour I was on). In other words, Robert Anthony Plant, this would-be rock star born in West Bromwich, West Midlands, England on August 20, 1948, had experienced life's treasures and tortures. He understood how easily the ultimate gifts in a life success, money, fame, power, women, creativity are rendered worthless in the face of death and personal calamity. So, his responses were always informed by a sense of humility; an answer was never tainted by the reek of false bravado. He never presented himself as, "Dude, I am Robert fucking Plant and you will treat me accordingly." If anything, he was on the low side of downplaying his achievements and the legacy he'd created with Zeppelin. Many times he'd comment on one of his own songs, that he liked a particular musical part or vocal section. And he'd wait for my response as if it truly held weight.He took pride in that body of work but talked about his current solo career as if he had never been part of "Stairway To Heaven." That is, one thing had nothing to do with the other. He was simply hoping his new songs would find an audience separate from the blond lion that roared his way into rock and roll history with a band called Led Zeppelin. He also had a wonderful way with words. If you squint hard enough and try to peer through these various turns-of-phrases, you can see this same person sitting with paper and pencil and scribbling: There's a lady who's sure/ All that glitters is gold/ And she's buying a stairway to heaven __________________________________________________________________________

"It's a very emotional thing to suddenly find that you're actually confiding ideas that come from absolutely nowhere."

Few singers in rock n' roll have held as much sway over the stance and style of singing as has Robert Plant. He was the banshee screaming alongside the plaintive wailing of Jimmy Page's guitar. His post-Zeppelin work had him shining in a new light, a more deliberate and ethereal one. Not what one might expect from the tonsils responsible for the classic moans on "Immigrant Song," "Whole Lotta Love" and "Heartbreaker." Plant's second solo album titled Principle Of Moments was the era during which this interview took place. It is 1983, more than four years since Zeppelin played its last notes. Still, his enduring love for Jimmy Page is obvious in the following passages. Robert begins the conversation by talking about his latest purchase: I'm clutching my cassette of the best of LA rockabilly: The Whirlybirds, Los Lobos, Famous Figures, Keith Joe Dick and the Goners Your tastes run rather to the eclectic. From the outside, everyone must imagine that you listened to nothing but sort of English blues and metal. Robert Plant: Well, it's nice to dumbfound people a little bit. And besides that, if you can read me like a book, there's no point in talking to you. Were any of the songs on your first album (Pictures At Eleven released in June 1982) ever meant to be used with Zeppelin? No, they were all fresh, everything was fresh. Would you have considered approach Zeppelin with those types of songs? Well, physically they couldn't have come about because I write the lyrics and the melodies and I donate some of the music. But by working with Robbie (Blunt, guitarist) basically and mainly on the first record, the situation wouldn't have arisen because the chords came at the same time as the melody or before the melody. So, it wouldn't have happened anyway. What instrument do you use to compose? Anything that's handy; sometimes if we're in a group environment just kicking things around, I'll play the bass because I'm just concerned with immediate changes. But normally I just sit there with a microphone and say, No, don't do that change there, move that up there, and why don't you go ah hahah ahahah (sings a bit of a line)? You're able to discern changes and melodies like that in your head? Mmmmm. Was it important to you to find a co-writer for your solo material after collaborating with Jimmy for so many years? It's a very emotional thing to suddenly find that you're actually confiding ideas that come from absolutely nowhere. It's a very kind of embarrassing situation initially to suddenly open up that much. And really you're opening the unknown; a lot of the ideas are tentative, they come out in that space and time and they could be ridiculous in essence. But out of it all, I've known Robbie a long time and it was a lot more comfortable than it could have been. But at the same time, he knew where I'd come from and he had to wear a variety of expressions emotionally to keep up with I was doing, what I was saying, what I was wanting. Because it's all epithets; there's nothing definite about anything that you do at that stage. So you just kick things around. It was really like a blind date, you know. We had nothing to lose by just trying things out. And it worked. Did you have any specific ideas or any kind of direction when you went in to do the Pictures At Eleven album? Nothing at all. The original conceptions of, things like Like I've Never Been Gone' was probably about the first thing we tackled. And I guess really that came from Robbie, all the chord structure and that sort of thing. And the phrasing on the ends of the verses came from me; it was like bringing drama into a straightforward fingerstyle piece. But I wasn't looking for anything except for stating my case, you know. I wished it to be known that I wasn't musically senile, yeah. And that things don't end with the last thing that you heard; they continue constantly. This whole process, writing and being some kind of artist on whatever level, bland or creative or whatever it is, everybody has their moments. And my moments had just begun in a new environment, so I mean it was just a case of kicking it around really. So the diversities of Fat Lip' which I thought was really, really good as a song and as a sort of the space within it, after all, sort of filling in all the holes occasionally in the past. It was great to open up like that. But nevertheless, Pictures At Eleven was a cluttered record; there was just a bit too much going on here and there. Arrangement-wise? Just what went on to the 24-tracks. There are times, and I made it my business with Principle of Moments, to make those times more frequent when the spaces are more important than what's being stated. A much different approach. Yeah; harder really. Oh, absolutely. And producing both albums is a part of the picture you knew you wanted to be involved in. Well, I couldn't give myself to anybody else really; I might do it next time (allow an outside producer in) now I've made my point a little bit. Now the door is starting to open, it would be nice to do some work with somebody who's completely off the wall. I mean I really like Laurie Anderson (experimental performance artist); how on earth she and I could get together and produce music, I don't know. But the concept, the idea of it could be really interesting. I mean I'm not purposely after hit records; it would be nice to do something that is, that I can't quite see in my head. What types of production elements did you learn from Jimmy? Or did you? Yeah, I mean obviously. Well, nothing consciously but everything subconsciously and unconsciously. But it was my intention to try and maintain some intensity on record without A, collecting personnel who were going to sound like clones and B, not turning out a record that sounded like Immigrant Song' and Whole Lotta Love' or anything like that. I mean it was a case of taking everything that was in my head and trying to make it come out through the big JBLs at Rockfield (recording studio in Monmouth, England). Was it a difficult process, producing your debut record? No, I would have stumbled through it whatever happened because it was really like a blind date, it was like a first love, it was like me on my own and win or lose I was gonna do it. And there wasn't anybody going to get in my way; I was blundering along, I didn't know very much about studio techniques or anything like that. I was just aware of sounds so I asked for certain sounds. Can you verbalize the process of what it was like recording the songs? Are you out there in the studio sort of leading the band as it were? Mmm, yeah. On the last album, I had 15 straight vocals on Horizontal Departure' because there are so many drops and sort of dynamics in the thing and little sort of licks and phrases and stuff. Phil (Collins) was finding it a little hard because he came in from the cold with just a sort of tape that I'd done with another drummer playing it. So every time I had to do it so that we could get the voice and the drums phrasing each time. And it worked OK but I mean after a while you get a little hnnnh nhhhhn hnnnnh (makes a sound of clearing the throat) hoarse. But I mean that keeps the vitality there and even though I'm a little tired of doing it, it's worth doing it to get just that little bit more out of everybody. You are the final word in terms of keeper tracks? Yeah; well everybody joins in. I mean it's obvious usually; I don't think there's ever any altercation at all. How did Phil Collins come to be part of the project? Well, I just thought his drumming was very expressive and his ability to vary from the Genesis thing to In the Air Tonight,' that sort of stuff was the work of a very conscientious craftsman. And obviously if he could do all that and be as busy as he is, then he'd still hadn't fallen foul of what used to be the old rock star plague. So, I just called him up and he said, Certainly, it would be a pleasure.' I mean, it's one of those things you know. He's great, he's excellent, and his work output never ceases. And the thing is it doesn't wear him thin at all; he's still very expressive nightly. And I turn around sometimes and smile and go, I've heard that one before' and he looks at me and goes, Yeah, well, you know.' And he does little things used to make me laugh; we'd phrase off each other. I mean, in different circumstances, which could never be, we'd work great together forever and a day. (Note: Two years later, on July 13, 1985, Phil would join Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones for the band's reunion at the Live Aid Show).

"We had nothing to lose by just trying things out. And it worked."

Would Phil ever do any singing on your records? No, I don't think so. He's the drummer with Genesis, the singer with Genesis, and he's his own thing too. And I don't want him singing on my show; he wanted to play the drums and he wanted to be a drummer in something that could loosely be termed a contemporary musical outfit. Rather than having to concentrate on walking from the drums and leaving Chester (Thompson, second drummer in Genesis) playing away and coming to the front. And that's what he's done. Did you want to actually become the singer in another permanent band? Uh, well I do until such time that I feel any, that I'm going into the old syndrome that I'm rid of now. The only permanent thing that I can subscribe to is tomorrow follows yesterday. I think that Robbie and Jezz (Woodroffe, keyboards) and Paul (Martinez, bass) are going to be around with me for a while but if I go somewhere way over there for a while, on a tangent, and they don't come with me then they don't come with me. Working with different musicians must certainly impact on the style of music you're writing. Absolutely; that's why I've had so many drummers around because I've written when we wrote In the Mood' which is a pretty good song, we did it with Cozy Powell. No, no, no (exasperation sets in), Pick Withers from Dire Straits and it was perfect. His bass drum work and sort of light snare work on the demos were really good. And Phil listened to that and went, Oh, oh, I see.' So by pulling Pick through the initial ideas, Phil had an idea of what to do. In fact, I wanted Pick to play on the record and do that cause he was really suited for that sort of thing. Whereas, I mean Cozy wouldn't have had a chance in hell. He would have gone (mimics the drummer's Gloucestershire accent), Alright, you squire, not for me, mate.' He'd say, You can't do all that bloody silly soppy songs' and that sort of thing. It's interesting that you mention Pick because you can hear elements of Mark Knopfler in Robbie Blunt's playing. Well, Robbie has always played like that primarily; he's always been a light, gentle player. So is Mark and that's about it. Robbie listens to a lot of Spanish stuff as you can see. Yeah, he's a delicate player and he's a good foil after working with Jimmy for so long. But there are idiots who go, Ah, he sounds just like Jimmy Page' and I wonder why on earth I bother to do anything when people say things like that. Is Robbie playing a Telecaster on the record? Live he uses a Strat, I believe. He plays a Strat or a Telly; he plays a Telecaster on Horizontal Departure' but it's usually a Strat. He has an extraordinary guitar sound. He's a little allergic to the Les Paul and that's alright by me because everybody and his dog is using one over here and they all sound the same. You have to be careful. Where do you know Barriemore Barlow from? Another chance meeting. I put an ad in the papers in England saying, Drummer wanted.' Seriously? Yeah. Right foot like a rabbit (a barely veiled reference to his dear friend, Bonzo), machine gun snare but subtlety a must. Anyone wishing to join Michael Schenker should not apply.' And he applied; he was one of the 160 drummers that I listened to and he was out there on a limb; he was great. A really unbelievable player. Mmm, his new work is sensational. What is he working on now? I mean compared to Tull, it's a new world altogether. It's great stuff; very mathematical drummer, geometric. He's rethought his whole position as a percussionist and he's come out doing great stuff. Whether it will get international acceptance or even national acceptance is another thing altogether. But it's great. Jumping here from Pictures to Principle, was it a conscious decision to really change up the style and direction? Mmmm, it had to be because ultimately the savage breast and the ego demand that you play to people, that you actually do perform. Because I started off doing Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry and Little Walter songs before I'd written anything, so writing is a part of musical expression but playing is the consummation of all of that. And to do that the variety of material had to be, over a two-album period, couldn't be complacent; it had to be pretty emphatically different. So that my purpose was achieved but had it not been, I would have shelved the tapes and kept on working. Honestly? Yeah. (Kept on working) in the studio. I mean I couldn't have come over here (to America) with 250 versions of Burning Down One Side' (opening track from the Pictures At Eleven CD). Otherwise, I might as well have done Black Dog' or something like that because there wouldn't have been any variety in what I was doing. But right now, the candle is being held to the devil, we're OK. Were there moments when Zeppelin's material may have bordered on the complacent? Not really; I think by the time we got to Houses Of The Holy and in fact, Physical Graffiti, all the way down there was a conscientious air about Jimmy's work. And Jimmy's catalystic efforts to get everybody moving one way or another. And umm, it's remarkable that we kept it going for as many records as we did, you know. Really, there wasn't one record that had anything to do with the one before it really. And that's a great credit when there are so many artists who will unconsciously rest on their laurels and say, This is it; this is the way it must be' or This is the only way we know it,' you know? So I mean it was always complacent? No. We think we probably grew up together and as we grew up things like All My Love' (In Through the Out Door/1979) and Darlene' and Ozone Baby' got a little more contemporary (both tracks were originally recorded during the ITTOD sessions but due to space limitations, ultimately ended up on the 1982 Coda compilation). We did the track Wearing And Tearing' which came out on Coda; we did it in '79 and wanted to put it out as a single on a different label, putting it down by a different artist. Just to stick it out alongside The Damned and The Sex Pistols and all of that because it was so vicious and so emphatically fresh. I mean it could've, if you hadn't of known it was us, it could have been anybody at all that was young and virile and all the things that we were then not supposed to be. Since we're talking about Zeppelin's swansong as it were, what memories do you have of the first album? Certainly you were young and virile and as ferocious as anybody was in those days. It was just a real magical moment. Mmmm; it was just a coming together, you know. I mean, just as Pictures At Eleven is a lot smoother and a lot more kind of sophisticated if you like, the qualities of Led Zeppelin I can never be touched, never be matched; never be equaled and it cannot be anymore. But nevertheless, it was a great gelling of all that talent. It was really just like a jam; that sort of thing basically. Things like How Many More Times' and Dazed and Confused' were really just extensions of how well we actually fitted together, you know. And the crescendos in Babe I'm Gonna Leave You' and things like that, they were just, they were off-the-wall but brought in so that they actually made some sense. It's a long time ago and I'm never gonna touch that point again. You can't possibly do that. But I mean if I can take Wreckless Love' and Stranger Here Than Over There' further out, then I'll be doing myself proud. You specifically point out a track like Stranger Here ' (Robert plays with the title)than over here but over there, yeah.

"A lot of the ideas are tentative, they come out in that space and time and they could be ridiculous in essence."

Because it really does have a striking character. How did that song evolve? Ah, that was one of my moments when I took everybody around me, we were working together with Barrie, and we started playing the Teddy Bears' Picnic.' Have you ever heard that? (I sit in thoughtful silence for a moment because I do know the song, only I can't bring it up in my mind. Robert gently sings a verse): If you/go down/in the woods/today/You're sure/of a big/surprise (I continue, in a most inept fashion, humming the melody). Yeah. I said (referring to Barrie and his bandmates), Wait a minute (invokes a southern drawl twang), why don't we do somethin' like that or Happy Birthday.' And I don't know, out of nowhere, Paul started playing a really strange bass line and I started going to Barrie switching the emphasis of the beat. So that the thing actually shifted in a peculiar fashion and then you've got Robbie coming in so that you've got somebody starts on one (claps his hands), somebody else starts on two, somebody else starts on the third beat of the bar, and that's how it started and that's how it went. I knew the vocal had got to tie the whole thing together and it gotta come across the top as with Messin' With the Mekon' and draw all the sort of musical distractions and gel it all together as is my wont, you know. And it was a great success; it's a bit of a jarring song, it's a bit sort of uncomfortable initially to listen to, but to me, that is the point of it. Great song. Yeah, I think so; I think it's great. I mean it'll never be rated as one of the best songs I've ever been associated with but to me it was a great move. (It was) something that I was really proud of and the tracks that I've left off the album, the more obvious tracks that may or may not be released, are really good. But they are far more, sort of uptempo versions of Worse Than Detroit,' going at a thousand miles an hour and with remarkable kind of keyboard and guitar crescendos and that sort of thing. But they're too mainstream; they're all there, lying in waiting. But I mean they're not, that's not the way I see it at the moment. (Note: Presumably some of these miscellaneous tracks appeared on 2007 re-mixes of the albums. They include: Far Post (from Pictures At Eleven) and Turnaround (from The Principle Of Moments). When you're dealing with that kind of complex material, does it take you some time and experimentation in finding the pocket for the vocal? Well, yeah, you toy around with it so that you add another sort of layer to the whole thing. But I mean that's the excitement of it; there's a lot more achievement in doing that than in doing Other Arms' (opening track from Principle ) which is sort of only a tease anyway. It was a good song though. Yeah, but it's a tease; I mean it's not serious. And a song you mentioned earlier, Messin' With the Mekon,' had an amazing quality about it. The ending is wonderful. Yeah; well you see, bands like Moby Grape and Arthur Lee's Forever Changes, that Love album, that sort of thing, where you get these tangents. I mean if anybody ever decries the importance of American west coast music I've been waffling all about it for years and years and years. It had its moments when it was really experimental and great. Drug-induced it may have been but these are clean days for me but I can remember, I've got a good memory. And I can lean this way or that; I'm not leaning on Willie Dixon right now. Were bands like Moby Grave and Love influences on some of these songs? No, it was just the mood that I remember getting off on. These moods were really important. Songs like Expecting To Fly' by Buffalo Springfield and, uh The long version of Bluebird.' Exactly. Mmm, I know. Well, there you are, you see. I mean, there was so much content in those songs, so much sort of expression. And I mean, that's why Other Arms' is a tease, because it's bland, it just trucks right the way through. It's a poor man's Eye Of the Tiger' if you like. Intriguing sentiment. Yeah, and the album doesn't begin until In the Mood' starts and that's why it fades up. I mean, Other Arms' everyone goes, Oh, great radio' and Atlantic Records is going, This is it, this is it, I can hear everybody in the country ' It was the most played record for three weeks in the United States two months ago. And they were all going, This is it, this is it.' I said,' No, Big Log' is the single. Why?' Because Big Log' is reputable, you know, it's something that's good to be associated with. Other Arms' is an accession to the mainstream and I don't want to join Loverboy or I don't want to have that kind of, I don't want to be known for that easy alternative if you like. Would you like to join The Police? Nope; they've got a singer anyway. No, because repetition is again you have to be careful if you lean on the 60s, the early 60s, lean gently. And if you're going to hang into a musical mood, then you must be very delicate with whatever sort of groups that you choose to dominate. Success is a great thing but compromise is something else. You've experimented with some background singers on the album. Trying something new again? Well, they lived near Rockfield and the one guy is Paul Martinez's brother (Ray Martinez) who writes stuff for the Everly Brothers and Cliff Richards and stuff like that. And the other guy is the bass player with Dave Edmunds, John David. And they kind of sing well together and I wanted this (sings in overly expressive fashion) Lay down your arrrmmmms' that sort of (adopts deep voice/very Americanized accent) American radio FM. And as much as Paul and I tried to do it, we couldn't do it so, it was like trying to get into sugary vocals. But I think it's nice, actually. Yeah, it's really nice. Did you tend to do all the harmonies in Zeppelin? Yeah; I think a couple of times, Jimmy may have sung on things like Thank You' and Whole Lotta Love.' Did Jimmy sing any parts on Good Times Bad Times?' No, that was me. In general, what types of things did you learn on your first album that you tried to avoid on the new one? The cluttering, which probably wasn't cluttering at all but I mean I just wanted it to be that much different. And then I realized that I mustn't be artistically selfish. And I was like the only one who could make any decision; whatever anybody else said Benji LeFeure has been very important. He co-produced the last record with me and Pat Moran. Well, we were production and quality control because if I got tired or laid-back, he'd go, Ahh, that's a compromise, don't do that, you won't like it.' Or The vocal on Big Log' is crap, go and do another one.' And I'd say, No, it's great, man.' And he'd sit there with a long face; he gets a mumpy expression as if he's got the mumps if he's not happy. Yeah, so I realized the first album had to be my kind of emotional outlet. But the second one, I was far more liberal in letting people get their pennyworth in even if I ignored it afterwards. It's about it really; I think I was a bit, things like Slow Dancer' as an example, was something I purposely set out to make as dramatic as possible. Just to say, Well, look, there is this to me still and if you never thought I had anything to do with the Kashmirs' of this world and you thought that all I did was write the lyrics to Going To California,' then have a listen to this.' And I sort of stood back and went (adopts a pose with arms crossed in an assertive posture) So I guess there was an amount of asserting myself as far as the public was concerned. But all these things are miniscule to everybody else; they're just important to me.

"This whole process, writing and being some kind of artist on whatever level, bland or creative or whatever it is, everybody has their moments."

Will the third album be the easiest or the most difficult? The third album will take we won't even consider doing it for quite a while now. I mean we've got a sold out tour of the British Isles to do and that's gonna be some homecoming, really, for me. I mean, not with the same kind of pomp and majesty and random that I've known in the past because this is more measured, more deliberate. There isn't that kind of off-the-wall thing but onstage it's expanded really nicely. For my age and the amount of time I've been around, it's a reputable thing. So, that is my next project and I hope to go to Japan and Australia where I used to be part of a very big band. And now I just wanna make my point. Then I'll sit on my ass for a few months and start writing again. Did you think you would be the first one after Zeppelin broke up to produce an album? Well, Jimmy came out with the first record. Yeah, but it wasn't really an album of new and original music (Page wrote the 1982 soundtrack for Death Wish II, the sequel to Death Wish starring Charles Bronson). No, he said emphatically that he didn't want it to be considered a solo album; but nevertheless it had great moments. Absolutely. I don't know, I never even thought about; it's the last thing in the world you think of really. I mean it just happened after The Honeydrippers, as the Honeydrippers were progressing if you like, if you can ever progress playing Gene Vincent's stuff because Gene did it better than anybody else, I just wanted to express myself again so it was time to get on with it. Have you considered the video aspect of your music? Is that an important element for you? I play the game. Have Jimmy and John Paul heard your records? Mmm, Jimmy was proud of me and pleased for me. It was very emotional between the two of usalways will be. Jonesy (John Paul Jones) thought I could have done a lot better with the first album. He said, Well, ah, I thought you could have done something a little bit better than that, old chap.' So I said, Well, thank you.' And yet again, I'm just the singer of the songs. Do you know what Jimmy and John Paul plan for the future? (Note: The original remaining trio reformed with Jason Bonham on drums. They have scheduled one show at the O2 Arena in London on November 26th). No idea; I think Jimmy's now got the bit between his teeth. I think he's ready to do something. He's worked with a lot of different people but I guess for a guitarist, it's that much harder to actually say, This is it, this is the right combination' cause he's already done it once. And he lived for it and he was really the master of Led Zeppelin. I was just chief whip as they say, you know. I just kind of brought it all together when people faded here and there. It was really a catalystic situation for me; I just sort of tried to gel everybody together because I'm not, as such, a musician. So I can see it from another angle. That's why it's easier for me to do what I'm doing now. I don't have any bones in telling people I don't like what they do and I don't have any bones in going and finding other people, you know. I mean everybody has to continue and be stimulated and there's no point in compromise right now. Great. OK. Nice one. Thank you, very much. Well, I can go shopping, I suppose. What are you going to buy? Ahhh, I'm gonna have a look in the blues section. Interview by Steven Rosen Ultimate-Guitar.Com 2009
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