Led Zeppelin was formed back in 1968 with Robert Plant on vocals, Jimmy Page on guitar, John Paul Jones on bass, and John Bonham on drums. The band went on to be one of the most regarded bands of the 20th century. And even though, the band disbanded in 1980 following the death of John Bonham, the band is still one of the greatest bands of all time.
Robert Plant is considered to be one of the greatest singers in the history of rock music. He has a powerful and wide-ranging voice. This helped him make Led Zeppelin very popular. And recently while talking with Vulture, Plant had quite a thing to say about himself and Led Zeppelin’s music. He said Led Zeppelin’s music doesn’t ‘represent’ him nowadays.
He was discussing Led Zeppelin’s discography and his experience in the band. Then, the interviewer asked him to pick a song that changed in meaning. Plant complied and named a few of them. He said, “I think in all my times and all the changes that I’ve created and that we all create — the thought and the written words — everything rests in a particular moment. Then we move along and we leave that moment of enlightenment or madness or whatever behind.”
That’s when he talked about ‘Black Dog’ and said how it doesn’t represent him now. Robert said, “So for me, it makes no sense to consider a distance and the meanderings of such a long time ago. I mean, does ‘Black Dog’ work anymore for me? It did in 1971. Does it represent me now? It doesn’t represent me now, but maybe it still does in a way.”
What’s interesting is that he mentioned that he would not recognize his own younger self. He elaborated, he loved the lyrics when he was young. Back then he loved everything he did. Robert added he was stuck in the antiquarian approach, which meant he was sticking a lyric to a riff. He then said that he was just 19 and it was cute. Robert says that everything worked out for him back then, but now it is not relevant to him anymore. In the end, he said, “So does ‘Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)’ work for me now? Well, I can dig it, but I don’t really know the guy who wrote it. I wouldn’t recognize him in the street.”
Back to ‘Black Dog’, Plant says the idea and meaning behind it has actually changed because it represents a different time. Plant said, “It seemed to fit in with the blues at the time. But if I look back at it now, do I really think its meaning has changed? No, because it was written in the spirit of the time. It happened and then you move on. Look, it’s 50 years later.”