The Voice That Sailed the Zeppelin
by Dave Thompson
A fresh look at the man whose primal howl made Led Zeppelin soar and who forged his own path after the flight was over.
With the title of his latest album, lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar, Robert Plant illustrates the dichotomy of a life lived both within the glare of the fiercest spotlight and as far from it as he could get. This dichotomy also lies at the heart of Robert Plant: The Voice That Sailed the Zeppelin (October 2014, Backbeat Books, $26.99), Dave Thompson’s engrossing study of a truly remarkable career
Thompson follows the iconic singer on two parallel track: one through his heights of fame with rock colossus Led Zeppelin, and another through his second life as a multimillion-selling solo artist., and his more idiosyncratic pursuits. Thompson details Plant’s early years as an unknown in Birmingham, England, with fresh depth and insight. He likewise tells the Zeppelin story from new and unexpected angles, focusing on Plant’s contributions to the band’s success and on the toll of that success on him as a performer and an individual.
Two years after drummer John Bonham died in 1980 and Zeppelin broke up, Plant went solo, in time becoming the only former band member to maintain an unbroken career to this day. His single-mindedness in meeting this challenge might well be his greatest personal attribute, enabling him to push forward without regard for his past or any related expectations. Thompson shows how it is Plant’s determination alone that ensured Zeppelin reunions would not become a routine part of the classic rock furniture, as he created a body of work that in so many ways artistically rivals what he recorded with the band.
Woven throughout Robert Plant: The Voice That Sailed the Zeppelin are excerpts from Thompson’s conversations with Plant’s friends and associates, including Jeff Beck, Deborah Bonham, and Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant. The book also draws upon Plant’s own music and that which surrounded him since childhood, and it delves into the mythological fascinations that have helped shape Plant’s work.
Robert Plant: The Voice That Sailed the Zeppelin is the story of the consummate rock star who is as far from that archetype as it is possible to be.
October 21, 2014
6″ x 9″
Two 8-page photo inserts
Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dave Thompson is the author of more than 100 books on television, music, and pop culture, including Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell, and Hearts of Darkness, both published by Backbeat Books and Sherlock Holmes FAQ and Doctor Who FAQ, published by Applause Books. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin, Goldmine, MOJO, Melody Maker, and other outlets. He lives in Newark, Del.