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“Jimmy’s the fulcrum and the curator,” says Plant, but the singer himself, you sense, is subject to a more complex meld of emotions when he considers his time in the band, proud of its legacy though he clearly is.
The nature of the ambivalence he seems to feel becomes clearer when we talk about “Somebody There”, another song from Lullaby and...
I have no intention of asking it, but Plant pre-empts it anyway: “It’s not going to happen – you’d have to exhume.”But if Zeppelin is a definite no-no, less clear-cut, it seems, is the question of whether Plant will work with Page again.
In a piece published in Uncut the day after our interview, Plant revealed that, about two years ago, he made a “hands across the water” gesture that the guitarist “walked away” from: “I said, ‘If you got anything acoustic, I’ll give it a whirl.’”Page and Plant’s complex relationship seems coloured by their very different attitudes towards Zeppelin.
The tears were rolling down our fat old cheeks.”Plant and I have met at the Hyatt Regency in Birmingham, where the valets know him simply as “Planty”.Quotidian as our co-ordinates are, they have resonance: my interviewee says that it was 800 yards from where we are sitting that he first saw Bukka White and Son House, and of course it was at another Hyatt – the one on Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles that Zeppelin dubbed “The Riot House” – that much of the debauchery linked to the band allegedly took place back in the late 1960s and early 1970s.Today, there will be no riding of motorcycles down hotel corridors, just Plant, now almost 66, enthusing about works by Rubens and Caravaggio he recently saw in Dresden, or telling how he once disturbed Bob Dylan putting a sock on to ask him about “Spider” John Koerner.’ He said, ‘That’s Robert Plant.’ I said, ‘What does he look like now?’ The guy shrugged his shoulders, so I lifted my sunglasses and said, ‘Look!