Dave Thompson: Robert Plant: The Voice That Sailed The Zeppelin

Unauthorised story of Plant’s rise to fame and solo career.

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Robert Plant must have a thousand stories to tell, and he’s been offered a great deal more than a thousand pounds to tell them, for sure. Most likely, however, there isn’t enough money available to persuade him to tell all about the sky-high, pitch-black jinks of Zeppelin in their riotous heyday. His secrets will be sealed forever in the vault.

Author Dave Thompson does his best in lieu to join the dots and colour in the details of the singer’s life, pre- and post-Zeppelin. Thompson states at the outset his personal distrust of the dirt-dishing biography and assures readers looking for sleaze that they’ll be disappointed by his account.

Instead, he flashes back and forth between Plant’s early days as an enthusiastic, relentlessly determined frontman growing up in the Midlands, and his superstar years in which he co-piloted, as well as fronted Zep’s success.

Plant knew his worth (90 per cent on the door, even when touring with his own small band post-Zeppelin). And yet following John Bonham’s demise and the tragedy of losing his young son, he briefly considered teacher training college. The golden god was always tempered by a touch of integrity./o:p

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.