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Robert Plant Says Avoiding Led Zeppelin Reunion Key to His Recent Success

Robert Plant
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

If Robert Plant were to run into his 25-year-old self, he says he’d tell that young man to take as many chances and risks as he can. “Because if you’re just a singer for the sake of it, it’s not quite enough.”

In an interview with GQ, the one-time Led Zeppelin singer says he appreciates advice, but he’ll stick with his own off-beat path. “I’ve been advised by everybody. Everybody’s got something to tell you. Most people have told me to do the obvious thing as far as my career goes. Which would have sent me tottering into the abyss.”

The reason his career has continued into a sixth decade, he says, is because he never stopped pushing himself to learn. He never settled. “The thing is, how much do people really want to learn? I mean, some people get into a groove and they stay with it indefinitely. And what starts off as a great moment of explosive passion can end up as cabaret 25, 30 years later. It just depends on whether you go and find the right habitat to extend yourself.”

If you’re hoping for a Zeppelin reunion, stop. “I think that’s gone now,” Plant says matter-of-factly. He holds no hard feelings toward his bandmates however. In fact he admits he’s just getting over insecurities he’s had for 30 years. “I’m playing a lot of acoustic guitar now, which is something I didn’t dare do in the ’70s. I couldn’t look at a guitar without blanching because I was with one of the most spectacular guitar players of the late twentieth century.”

Plant has been “looking for clues” in Austin, Texas recently. He’s recording with yet another new band and his maybe-wife Patty Griffin. He’s writing, and playing unusual instruments and collaborating with artists from different cultures. Mostly he’s pushing away from the idea of becoming a rock cliche that is honored for what’s he done instead of what he’s doing. “And I think it’s not supposed to go on forever. It would be wonderful if it did.”

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