"The music of the Sahara desert is about the hips and the head. It takes music back to its primeval function, which was a way to an altered state. I find contemporary rock mortifyingly dull most of

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I wish I liked Robert Plant's singing, because I often catch him saying things I sympathize with, or simply being smart and funny in interviews.

September 15, 2005

Plant in love with music again

By DENIS ARMSTRONG -- Ottawa Sun

I live on former glory, so long ago and gone

I'm turning down the talk shows, the humour and the couch

I'm moving up to higher ground, I've found a new way out.

>- Robert Plant, Tin Pan Valley


If Robert Plant thinks his new album Mighty Rearranger is as good as anything he did with Led Zeppelin, it's because it made him love music again.

Surrounded by his Strange Sensation bandmates Justin Adams, Billy Fuller and former Portishead members Clive Deamer and John Baggott, Plant looks toned, tanned and in good spirits. While he gives no indication we shouldn't be talking about Led Zeppelin at a press conference yesterday, it's obvious the 57-year-old is happy to be making music again.

"You get into a rut where you think that you've gone as far as you can possibly go," he said. "If you're as fortunate as I am, you find a new road. A new road that gives you the optimism and revitalizes the gift."

Plant's new musical road led him to southern Morocco, which is home to the same haunting music he initially flirted with near the end of Zeppelin with Kashmir on Physical Graffiti and In Through the Out Door, when he and Page fused hypnotic African and Muslim sounds and rhythms to the rawest, raunchiest rock going. The pair renewed their longtime partnership in 1994 to create the No Quarter project, a melange of North African, Egyptian and folk roots music.

"The music of the Sahara desert is about the hips and the head," he explains. "It takes music back to its primeval function, which was a way to an altered state. I find contemporary rock mortifyingly dull most of the time. So, in the autumn of my creativity, I want to do this because I want to learn how to swivel my hips and go to faraway places.

"Besides," he adds, "The new music suits my vocals better. I can sing in a more sultry way and can reinterpret songs I wrote long ago."

Describing Mighty Rearranger as "songs that give me power," Plant admits that in addition to reviving his creative juices, the album has helped him find a more sober life.

Before Rearranger, life was little more than "drinking gin until I couldn't drink any more and being promiscuous as a ridiculous rock icon. I had to be kicked into gear."

Otherwise, he might have given up on music completely.

"I was 56, wealthy and promiscuous and realized that I didn't want to sing about being 56, wealthy and promiscuous anymore," he said.

"Robert still wants to break new musical ground," explained Deamer, who then added "Zeppelin was about new ideas for its time. We're keeping that spirit alive."

But for fans, keeping the spirit of Led Zeppelin alive isn't enough. While Plant doesn't dismiss the occasional fundraiser with Page, and continues to perform Zeppelin tunes on his solo tour -- which stops at MTS Centre on Saturday -- he shows no signs of resigning his career to reliving the past, visibly scoffing at rumours that he and Page aren't talking after Plant failed to show up at the Grammys for Led Zeppelin's Lifetime Achievement Award.

"Why would I fly from England to L.A. just to pick up a gong, which relates to something so long ago, however wonderful it was at the time?" he begs. "It's all bull-- anyway, isn't it? We know what we did and what we're doing now. There's no point in getting too romantic about these things. It meant something when we were kicking ass in 1971."

Finally, when asked how it feels to be a living legend and rock icon, Plant bristles.

"It's crap," he spits. "I know. I've met Sting a couple times."

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Friday, 23 September 2005 01:16 (8 years ago) Permalink

i knew you started this thread

Jaxon (jaxon), Friday, 23 September 2005 01:35 (8 years ago) Permalink

plant has always struck me as a cool guy with a real interest in what he does; he's not just the "roger daltrey" of led zeppelin. and i like his singing.

the happy smile patrol (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 23 September 2005 01:36 (8 years ago) Permalink

that quote you pulled for the thread title is a good one -- said by a less intelligent person, it could be really embarassing and foot-in-mouth.

the happy smile patrol (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 23 September 2005 01:38 (8 years ago) Permalink

Mighty Rearranger still isn't as good as the previous RP solo joint tho

Banana Nutrament (ghostface), Friday, 23 September 2005 01:39 (8 years ago) Permalink

plant's a cool dude. sometimes i wish i knew more about world music...but it's so intimidating...where to start? so many countries out there...so much music...it's the same reason i never really start in on jazz.

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 23 September 2005 01:46 (8 years ago) Permalink

start with gamelan music

lf, Friday, 23 September 2005 04:16 (8 years ago) Permalink

plant has always struck me as a cool guy with a real interest in what he does

Yeah, definitely. He's the *only* classic rock guy I think keeps in touch with a lot of what's around musically, in a very open-minded way. Bowie to a certain extent but even that's always contextual, I think, whereas you get a feeling Plant is seriously still heavily into it.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 23 September 2005 04:26 (8 years ago) Permalink

thread title quote doesnt strike anyone as primitivist?

jermaine (jnoble), Friday, 23 September 2005 06:48 (8 years ago) Permalink

RP's a good fellow. He emailed me a few times asking about stuff I'd written about in my blog and where/how to get hold of it. We also ran into each other a few times in the long-gone Vinyl Experience shop in Hanway Street.

Don't know about all of the classic rock chaps, but I can vouch from personal experience that Lindsey Buckingham (if not the rest of the Mac) is pretty up to speed with current trends, grime included.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Friday, 23 September 2005 08:08 (8 years ago) Permalink

xpost: start with gamelan music

No, start with some desert blues: Tinariwen Amassakoul.

mike t-diva (mike t-diva), Friday, 23 September 2005 08:23 (8 years ago) Permalink

Wait, I was expecting responses more like: "'It takes music back to its primeval function, which was a way to an altered state. . .' What about 'dance music'? [or: "What about noise?"] Does Plant really think there's no western music around any more than fills this function?" Or: "Aging listener agrees with aging rock star star shockah!"

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Friday, 23 September 2005 10:33 (8 years ago) Permalink

(Not that I'm disappointed.)

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Friday, 23 September 2005 10:40 (8 years ago) Permalink

Those are really more Dissensus-type questions than ILM-type ones.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Friday, 23 September 2005 10:46 (8 years ago) Permalink

Did you know he was promiscuous?

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 23 September 2005 12:13 (8 years ago) Permalink

Really, very promiscuously promiscuous until he stopped being promiscuous. Promiscuous.

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 23 September 2005 12:20 (8 years ago) Permalink

I'm glad you clarified that. I thought he was being probiscus all this time.

donut Get Behind Me Carbon Dioxide (donut), Friday, 23 September 2005 15:50 (8 years ago) Permalink

"AAA CHA CHA CHA CHA!"

(Proboscis even)

donut Get Behind Me Carbon Dioxide (donut), Friday, 23 September 2005 15:51 (8 years ago) Permalink

"Dear Diary,

Holy shit did I eat a lot of leaves today! My gut is bustin'. I be going Rob Plants"

donut Get Behind Me Carbon Dioxide (donut), Friday, 23 September 2005 15:55 (8 years ago) Permalink

<drum fill and apology for digression, anyway...>

donut Get Behind Me Carbon Dioxide (donut), Friday, 23 September 2005 15:56 (8 years ago) Permalink

Eeek, I wouldn't wanna squeeze his lemon.

NickB (NickB), Friday, 23 September 2005 15:56 (8 years ago) Permalink

7 years pass...

http://open.spotify.com/track/4CljTLyuvZxa1xAfx2USnl

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 25 December 2012 03:46 (1 year ago) Permalink

Byproduct of trying to make order (for myself) out of the Oum Kalthoum selections on Spotify, a project that is probably going to take months.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 25 December 2012 03:48 (1 year ago) Permalink


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