Robert Plant credits Phil Collins

Robert Plant thanks Phil Collins for helping him into his solo career. 30 years after his second solo set, The Principle Of Moments, Plant looked on his celebrated second act recalling to Vulture where he was at following the 1980 death of his Led Zeppelin bandmate, John Bonham: “After John passed away and there was no Led Zeppelin, there had to be a way to go. I floundered around a lot because until I was 32, I was in some kind of wild and absurd adventure. I went through all that stuff. I’ll write with other people. It’s a very intimate thing to do. It’s hard for anybody to expose themselves musically. Other people with me, and me with other people. I have a lot of songs under my belt, which I co-wrote with the members of Zeppelin. It was a lot to live up to. I had a lot of people who gave me support and strength around that time, so I suppose the first two albums were driven by great friends.”

Plant went on to recall, “Phil Collins especially was a driving force and had positive energy with the first record, Pictures At Eleven. . . With Phil, it wasn’t so much advice as encouragement and consideration. He was taking no prisoners. He would only allow himself a short amount of time to come to the studio in Wales and make it work. Nobody was hiding behind the performance. Then he came on tour with me and basically said, ‘Robert, the guy that sat behind you for all those years was my hero.’ That was it. He said, ‘Anything I can do to help you to get back into fighting shape again, I’m here.’ That was at the time when ‘In The Air Tonight’ came out. Yet he was still mixing and working with me while kicking off a particularly impressive and successful time.”

Robert Plant remembered Phil Collins’ work ethic and belief in his new material was unyielding: [“I mean, he was there and he used to come down to Rockfield (Studios), where we (used to) record and he’d say: ‘I’ve got four days, okay? Let’s go do the whole album’ — I said, ‘done.’ And we’d just work it and work it and work it. And he was, he had this funny look on his — his eyebrow used to go up in the air. He put his drumsticks under his arm and a towel around his neck, and he’d listen to the playback and he’d go: ‘Bass drum’s too fast. Let’s do it again. Gotta get it right, we’ve got to get it right.’ So we got it right and in doing so, I started dragging myself out of the shadows bit by bit. And we did great stuff and Phil toured with us for a couple of tours and we had a great time.”

Posted in Mark Grauer.