Apparently my famous birthday crystal ball was out of order yesterday. I missed Robert plant’s birthday on Sept. 20th.
Robert Anthony Plant born on August 20, 1948, West Bromwich, England. He is a perhaps one of the most noticeable voices in rock and roll, or for that matter, he simply has one of the greatest voices ever. He is a rock and blues singer and songwriting legend, forever famous for his membership in the English rock band Led Zeppelin as the lead vocalist.
He left school in his mid-teens and developed a strong passion for the blues, mainly through his admiration for Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson and early rendition of songs in this genre. His early blues influences included artists such as Robert Johnson, Bukka White, Skip James, Jerry Miller and Sleepy John Estes.
He is most famous for his involvement in the great band Led Zeppelin. As the story goes, Jimmy Page was in search of a lead singer for his new band and met Robert Plant after being turned down by his first choice, Terry Reid.
Plant and Page matched up perfectly and shared a strong musical passion and after Plant joined the band. They began their writing collaboration with re-workings of earlier blues songs, although Plant would receive no songwriting credits on the band’s first album. Plant brought along John Bonham as drummer, and along with John Paul Jones, who had worked with Jimmy Page as a studio musician, Led Zeppelin was formed in 1968.
The band was a perfect team. Robert Plant’s voice had the right ingredients and brought emotions to me and an army of listeners that can never be duplicated, his delivery and highly recognizable voice quality, and tone was perfect. Unforgettable to anyone that heard him sing. Definitely the face of the band, but not by much, based on the overall talent in the group.
During this era, many unique, one of a kind artists died for various reasons, although most of the deaths were drug or alcohol related. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, to mention two of the greatest.
The band broke up in 1980 when their drummer, John Bonham died of an apparent alcohol overdose. He was found dead on the morning of September 25th 1980. Cause of death, asphyxiation from vomit.
It rocked my world for a while. I idolized everything about Zep. From the unbelievable voice of Robert Plant to the effortless and unique guitar vibe of Jimmy Page. No one would really understand how great and un-replacable of a drummer Bonham was until he died. The band broke soon after that.
The music Led Zeppelin produced was dear to my soul. They played no music I did not enjoy. During the late ’60’s and ’70’s, not many people listened to more Led Zeppelin than me. At the time I had a 1966 Shelby GT-350 Mustang. I have always been entrepreneurial, and as a result of my hard work I could afford this used car, along with a touch of help from my dad. Anyway, the point is that back then we had 8 track players. Remember them? Way before super hi-tech stereo systems came out, we had to do our own design work for a loud and cool car stereo. I remember having a big piece of plywood in the back seat, we put eight six inch speakers in it. I also remember driving around playing led Zeppelin as loud as I could get it. Gas was about 40 cents for a gallon of high test then. What a riot!
In reality both Page and Plant have had great solo careers, on December 10th, 2007 the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited, except the drummer is John Bonham’s son Jason who played the drums for the Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert at The O2 in London. Very cool to keep it in the family.
Robert Plant is an icon, he helped change the rock and roll world, and is still with us to do more. Guitar Players Center will always pay homage to Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin. To this day, If I hear a Led Zeppelin tune from the old days, everything stops until it is over. Thanks Robert. Enjoy