Robert Plant at 70.. (and a bit about me!)

So, the amazing Mr Plant has made it to 70. When I think about the reputation that he and his band mates had back in the Led Zeppelin days, I find it all the more surprising. I think the first time I met Robert was at the premier for their film, The Song Remains the Same. I was there photographing it for Warner Brothers. The premier was in Shaftesbury Avenue, London in Autumn of 1976. I arrived there with my mate and fellow photographer, the late Matthew Taylor. The first thing I remember was Denny Lane getting all stroppy as someone had stepped on his new shoes outside the Warner West End Cinema. He was making quite a fuss about that for some reason. Matthew and I weren't allowed to go inside and watch the film which was a bit disappointing. We made our way round to the Floral Garden in Covent Garden where the after party was to take place. It wasn't long before everyone started arriving. It was quite an amazing place and was looking like it was going to be quite a party. There was sawdust all around the floor and jugglers on stilts along with fire eaters and more. As the A list guests all arrived and so did Led Zeppelin and their manager, the formidable, Peter Grant. Matthew and I were both ready and about to take all of the party pictures when suddenly, walking towards me was the aforementioned Peter Grant with 3 or 4 of his big lads.. He said to me, "who the fuck are you and what are you doing in here?". I stood there with 2 Nikons round my neck and I said 'Oh I am the Gardener' That was a big mistake! That was not the time to be the cheeky chap. I was lifted off the ground and thrown down a steep flight of stairs and literally kicked outside, OUCH! At least my experience as young kid doing judo helped. No, not to fight back, but to roll and fall without too much damage. As I dusted myself down and checked my cameras I heard a commotion and I watched in horror. Well, not quite horror, but surprise.  I saw Mathew being thrown off the balcony onto the roof of a Jaguar Limo below. Now, let me explain, it wasn't that high, it was about 6 feet (2 metres) from balcony to the cars roof. Those of you that knew Mathew may recall, unlike me, he had no natural padding, so to speak..I ran over to him and he was groaning, holding his ribs and leg. As this happened, Paul & Linda McCartney had come out of the party on their way off somewhere. They knew Matthew and I quite well. Matthew's Younger brother,  Barny, was actually going out with Linda's oldest daughter (Heather). So, we had been spending a lot of time with them at the McCartneys house in St Johns Wood, London. Anyway, they were not impressed with how we had been treated. Matthew and I trundled off to the nearest hospital where, he was treated for a broken rib.   Unfortunately, Warners Brothers didn't get any photos from us that night. Years later I was chatting to Jimmy Page about this and he just laughed and said how much he liked Peter Grant. Oh bugger, this post mostly appears to be about me! I should have spoken about my time with Robert in Oslo airport shoplifting, or further North with him up in the Arctic. in Tromso,  or any of the other hilarious stories. One thing that has been quite apparent to me over the years is his love of music, his knowledge of it's history and his brilliant sense of humour. He is a very funny man..  The music he has made since the days of Led Zeppelin is really quite superb. If you haven't heard any of it in recent years, do yourself a favour and go and buy it.  Anyway, as my brother Simon says (not a game, that's his name) it's not always about me! But reading this post it seems that it is!  So, I would like to finally stop talking about me and wish Robert, a Happy 70th birthday I hope you have a lovely day..  

 

 Robert Plant London 1970's

Robert Plant London 1970's

 Alison Krauss, Robert Plant & Bill Curbishley.

Alison Krauss, Robert Plant & Bill Curbishley.

 Robert Plant, during the sound check..

Robert Plant, during the sound check..

 How the West Was won film premier. London. Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page

How the West Was won film premier. London. Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page

 Robert ad his band Strange Sensation with Nelson Mandela. This was taken in the Arctic.

Robert ad his band Strange Sensation with Nelson Mandela. This was taken in the Arctic.

 Francis Rossi, Robert Pant and me.

Francis Rossi, Robert Pant and me.