‘We made great music. We had a great time. Then it stopped’: Why Led Zeppelin’s success wasn’t enough for Robert Plant

(Image credit: David McClister)

Robert Plant has announced a summer 2022 tour alongside Alison Krauss, and revealed that memories of suggestions that he might retire from the music business in 1980 after Led Zeppelin disbanded have served as a spur for him to keep “a foot on the pedal.”

“It’s the prerogative of a madman!” Plant insists.

The singer talks of his desire to keep pushing forward in a new interview with UK newspaper The Telegraph. Summing up his Zeppelin experience in just three short sentences in the article, Plant says: “We made great music. We had a great time. And then it stopped.”

“I was 19 on the first Led Zeppelin rehearsals, and I was 32 when John [Bonham] passed away, that awful time,” he recalls in The Telegraph. “People used to say to me, ‘Well, you must have done enough now?’ Enough of fucking what? ‘Enough to retire!’ So imagine the blessing to be 40 years further down the road, and I still don’t know enough to stop in any respect. There’s always something new to learn, somewhere new to take it. I love it.”

As evidence of his desire to keep moving, the November 19 release of Raising The Roof, Plant’s second collaborative album with bluegrass legend Alison Krauss, has been accompanied by an announcement that the duo will play shows in the US and in Europe in summer 2022.

On their first road-trip together in 13 years, Plant and Krauss will visit the following venues next summer:

Jun 1: Canandaigua CMAC, NY
Jun 3: Saratoga Springs Saratoga Performing Arts Center, NY
Jun 4: Forest Hills Stadium, NY
Jun 6: Clarkston, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre, MI
Jun 7: Chicago Jay Pritzker Pavilion, IL
Jun 9: Indianapolis TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park, IN
Jun 11: Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion, MD
Jun 12: Philadelphia TD Pavilion @ The Mann, PA
Jun 14: Cary Koka Booth Amphitheatre, NC
Jun 16 – Atlanta Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park, GA

Jun 26: London BST Hyde Park, UK (supporting the Eagles)

Jul 1: Hamar Tjuvholmen Arena, NOR
Jul 2: Bergen Bergenhus Fortress, NOR
Jul 5: Rättvik Dalhalla, SWE
Jul 14: Lucca Summer Festival Piazza Napoleone, IT
Jul 16: Stuttgart JazzOpen Stuttgart 2022, GER
Jul 18: Sopot Opera Lesna, POL
Jul 20: Berlin Zitadelle, GER

Tickets for the European shows go on general sale on November 26, while tickets for the US dates will be released on December 3. 

In his interview with The Telegraph’s Chief Music Critic Neil McCormick, Plant talks of his joy at discovering American blues artists as a teenager - “You want music that’ll blow the ducks out of the pond when you’re trying to get above the sound of adolescence” he notes - and insists that his appetite for making music remains as keen as ever, some 41 years after Led Zeppelin bowed out.

“Two generations from when I first started being addicted to this, I’ve still got a foot on the pedal,” he notes. “I’m still going somewhere. It’s the prerogative of a madman!” 

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.