Robert Plant admits it wasn’t easy to go on with his career after the end of Led Zeppelin, but credits his friends, including Phil Collins, with helping him move on.
“After [Led Zeppelin drummer] John [Bonham] passed away and there was no Led Zeppelin, there had to be a way to go,” Plant shares in a new interview with Vulture. “I floundered around a lot because until I was 32, I was in some kind of wild and absurd adventure.”
Plant says Led Zeppelin was “a lot to live up to.” As he struggled with his first solo album, 1982’s Pictures at Eleven, there were a lot of friends who gave him “support and strength,” including Collins, who appeared on five of the album’s tracks.
“Phil Collins especially was a driving force and had positive energy with the first record,” he says. “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.”
Collins actually went on tour with Plant, telling the rocker he wanted to help because of his admiration for Bonham, who was his hero. Plant notes, “That was it. He said, ‘Anything I can do to help you to get back into fighting shape again, I’m here.’”
As this was all happening, Collins was dealing with his own successful solo career, with the 1981 single “In The Air Tonight.” Plant notes, “Yet he was still mixing and working with me while kicking off a particularly impressive and successful time. He’s a great spirit, a good man.”
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