Robert Plant”s Backstage Rituals Explored

Robert Plant”s Backstage Rituals Explored | I Love Classic Rock Videos

Robert Plant in an interview - q on cbc / Youtube

During Led Zeppelin’s wild tours, they had a person who provided cocaine to the band. According to British journalist Robert Hart, this person would use her finger to give them coke, then they’d sniff cherry snuff, and finally, she’d touch their noses with Dom Perignon 1966. The band was known for their wild parties and bad behavior on and off stage, which became famous. Lead singer Robert Plant confirmed this in an interview with music writer Lisa Robinson in 1973, saying they always went all out in everything they did.

Following the band’s split in 1980, Plant embarked on a solo career. As he aged, he adopted new pre-show rituals to prepare for performances. These days, you might catch him sipping on herbal tea and meticulously ironing his clothes before taking the stage. While it may not be the most traditional rock ‘n’ roll routine, Plant has found that these simple rituals help him deliver unforgettable performances for his devoted fans.

No Big Request

During Led Zeppelin’s peak in the mid-1970s, Robert Plant didn’t ask for extravagant things before shows, unlike Paul McCartney who wants six “full and leafy floor plants, but no trees” backstage (via Business Insider). ”

“I’ve never really been one for diva demands,” Plant said on the BBC. “We were always too busy having a good time to get hung up about anything … I’ve heard Keith Richards and Mick Jagger won’t go on stage unless they’ve had a shepherd’s pie. I don’t go in for all that nonsense.”

However, Plant does ask for an ironing board and iron backstage. “I find ironing helps get me in the mood before I perform,” he explained. In the past, Plant was known for wearing tight bell-bottom jeans and not much else, so he didn’t need to iron much. But now, his stage look has changed. He wears patterned shirts, tees, and less tight pants, which need a good ironing to look neat.


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A New Direction

Since Led Zeppelin disbanded, Robert Plant has ventured into different musical styles, moving away from the heavy sound of his former band. He’s explored everything from bluegrass to art rock in the years that followed. His most recent album, “Raise the Roof,” released in 2021, saw Plant collaborating once again with bluegrass sensation Alison Krauss, with whom he first worked in 2007.

Plant also made significant changes in his personal life. He quit using drugs like cocaine in the late 1970s and gave up smoking cigarettes in the mid-1980s. Reflecting on his past struggles with cocaine, Plant admitted to WNEW in 1988 that the drug had a profound impact on his personality, making him paranoid and possessive. Despite it being more of a psychological addiction than a physical one, he recognized the harm it caused to his well-being, stating that it “poisons your system.” Thankfully, Plant managed to break free from its grip, crediting his fortune for being able to do so.

Just as Plant’s musical journey evolved and he left behind chemical dependencies, he found a new way to prepare for his performances. Ironing became part of his pre-show routine, offering the added benefit of a sharp appearance. “It’s not very rock ‘n’ roll, but I like to look my best going on stage,” Plant confessed to the BBC.

Herbal Tea on A New Era

In a rare moment of reunion in December 2007, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin came together for a special concert in London, honoring the memory of Ahmet Ertegun, the founder of their record label, Atlantic Records, who had passed away the year prior. The event marked a poignant occasion, particularly considering the tragic loss of the band’s original drummer, John “Bonzo” Bonham, in 1980 due to excessive drinking, which ultimately led to Led Zeppelin’s dissolution.

For this special performance, Bonham’s son, Jason, stepped in to fill his father’s shoes on the drums. With the band members now in their early 60s, their approach had notably shifted. Instead of the wild excesses of their youth, backstage was filled with a more subdued atmosphere. As concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith revealed to the Daily Mail, the band’s requests were modest, with a preference for simple comforts like cups of tea over extravagant indulgences.

“They are much older now obviously and are very low maintenance,” Goldsmith explained. “They’ve asked for cups of tea. We’ll have some beer and a bottle of wine for them backstage but they have said they require very little.”

In contrast to their earlier days of rock ‘n’ roll excess, it seemed that the band had embraced a more relaxed and restrained approach, opting for light refreshments and a milder ambiance. Amidst it all, one can imagine Robert Plant ensuring that his trademark button-up shirt remained impeccably pressed, perhaps with the assistance of his trusty ironing board and iron.