Why Robert Plant Thought Bon Jovi and Other Led Zeppelin Imitators Weren’t Worthy of Zep

by Jeremy Spirogis
Why Robert Plant Thought Bon Jovi and Other Led Zeppelin Imitators Weren’t Worthy of Zep

After the demise of Led Zeppelin in 1980, lead singer Robert Plant tried to distance himself from the times he sang about lemon-squeezing and associated actions. Then he embarked upon a solo profession that’s been successful regardless of the way you measure it.

But he might by no means shake his affiliation with Zeppelin. On an episode of his Digging Deep podcast (2019), Plant acknowledged as a lot along with his trademark wit. “Ask a cab driver and they’ll tell you I’m a Wolverhampton Wanderers season-ticket holder who sang ‘Stairway to Heaven,’” he stated.

In the late ’80s, after Plant launched his fourth solo album (Now and Zen), Zep’s affect may very well be seen any time you flipped on MTV. Imitators starting from the respectful (The Cult) to the blatant (Whitesnake) blanketed the display and airwaves of the day.

To Plant, most of them have been merely following a system for achievement dictated by the music business. And he even thought up a mocking nickname for David Coverdale of Whitesnake.

Plant stated cash mattered greater than music to Bon Jovi and the like

Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin seem at a Swan Song celebration in Los Angeles. | Brad Elterman/FilmMagic

Making the rounds to advertise Now and Zen in ’88, Plant heard the same old respectful set of questions on his new album earlier than the interviewer turned to Zeppelin. Speaking with Rolling Stone’s David Fricke, Plant didn’t mince phrases when sizing up Zep’s ill-fated Live Aid efficiency.

He additionally didn’t sound flattered when Fricke introduced up the various Zep imitators round in these days. Asked for his opinion on Bon Jovi and different acts, Plant stated he couldn’t evaluate one to a different. He knew that Zep imitations have been a profitable system, nonetheless.

“I think [the success] is what counts to them,” Plant informed Fricke. “The aesthetics of the thing have nothing to do with it.” Though he cited The Mission and The Sisters of Mercy as actual acts, he derided the others in “the pretty-boy-wailing department.” That included the satisfaction of New Jersey.

“These guys, the Bon Jovis and company … They saw they had to follow the now strongly dictated lines of the commercial process, to come up with the choruses and wiggle your ass at the right moment,” Plant stated. “There is nothing impromptu or accidental about it.”

Plant referred to Whitesnake’s singer as ‘David Cover-version’

1987: The rock group, “Whitesnake,” poses on the pink carpet on the MTV Music Awards. David Coverdale stands second from proper. | George Rose/Getty Images

As Zep imitators went, Whitesnake ranked among the many extra flagrant on the scene circa 1988. And it wasn’t solely concerning the music (although “Slow an’ Easy” needed to offend surviving Zep members). It acquired worse when Whitesnake’s David Coverdale started doing his straight, darkish hair to appear to be Plant’s.

However, with 1987’s “Still of the Night,” Whitesnake dropped the pretenses and went straight into Zeppelin-lite. The irritating breakdown (beginning at 2:00) sounds prefer it’s even in the identical pitch as Plant’s vocal on “Whole Lotta Love.”

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In later interviews, Plant started referring to Coverdale as “David Cover-version,” a lot to the amusement of journalists and followers of the day. (Apparently, Jimmy Page had extra respect for Coverdale. The two made an album collectively in 1993.)

That’s to not say Plant and Zep didn’t have influences of their very own, after all. (Many known as Plant a Roger Daltrey imitator at first.) But the Bon Jovis and Whitesnakes of rock did one thing else completely.

Also seeHow a John Bonham Drinking Song Became a Classic ‘Led Zeppelin III’ Track

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