The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

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Robert Plant Accepts

Thank you very much. It says, "Please speak six inches from the microphone." So I finally got some technique. Thank you for bringing us here, and, being English, it's quite daunting... [fiddling with mic] Oh no. It might be another TV set. I can't follow Neil; he had his manager here, you see. And also, I don't have an invisible group. We're honored to have with us Jason and Zoe Bonham, who've got to split the award between them; that's going to be interesting. All that stuff that everybody was saying - I can't remember much about that, Ahmed. The thing is that, because we didn't really work after about 1969 much, I can't remember very much at all. But I do remember - now I'm getting comfortable - I do remember Ahmet traveling around with us quite a lot, and coming to see us in a sort of pre-recording state one time in London. I never wanted to do this. I always thought we'd always be rebels. Eddie's right. Actually, Eddie's lucky. Ahmet came all the way from New York to London, to see us. We were doing some of the last final touches for, I think, Physical Graffiti, and he came to our rehearsal place in London. A lot of pomp and circumstance, and just like Neil said, when Ahmet came, you had to be really - you had to be good, you know? So it was a pretty shitty place. It belonged to Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. But we got a good rate on it. So we got a good catch on the stage, and we started to show off to Ahmet, and we had a big PA, and we were playing away furiously, and we were really proud. I think it was "The Wanton Song," or some really lurid piece of music. And we were doing... it was as if we were playing in front of 20 or 30,000 people - and we were doing this stuff, and the place was empty - there was nobody there except for Ahmet on the couch. And we spun around, and Ahmet was snoring. And there's a lot of other stories like that. I've talked myself right up a blind alley. But our relationships over the years have been wonderful. Led Zeppelin was with Atlantic Records from start to finish, and I've been with Atlantic from '68 till now, and I always considered it.... Ahmet had this faith in us, despite the fact that the music scene was changing, and that commerciality at one point became the actual... the whole mark of success alone. Ahmet was very strong in our favor, and later, so too was Doug Morris, and I think we should mention Peter Grant, who has already been mentioned so colorfully. We did have some fun, didn't we, Ahmet? I'm not going to be as explicit as one of your better friends earlier on. You said "groupies," I didn't. But looking at American music from England, we have to say that, being English and having to put up with Herman's Hermits wasn't much fun, even though John Paul Jones did play with them for a bit. Oh, New York Times, today? No. So we looked to America from an Early age, and we admired the work of Howlin' Wolf, and the writing of Willie Dixon, and the playing of Muddy Waters, and the singing of the Capris, Jive Five, Raul Donna [?], so much American music that really formed our musical personalities - whether it be the much-maligned and desperately-in-need-of-help Moby Grape, Arthur Lee - the whole form of American Music was such an impression, and so important to all of us - whether it was Bonzo listening to Bernard Purdy or Alphonse Muzon [?] or Lee Michaels... The whole scene in the late '60s and the early '70s was so amazingly musically varied and articulate. I suppose it's the words of an old fart, or whatever I might be now, but in those times, that music was so amazing, and to be in America at that time, and to be a contributor to - and a contributing factor to American music and the American music scene, was a great honor. And I think that probably the inspiration given to us by the American public was phenomenal, and I shall never forget us playing with Janis, and the Doors, and so many amazing artists, and hanging out with the Airplane, and seeing Jonesy and Jack Cassidy disappearing around the corner to discuss the inner movements of a bass guitar; it was a wonderful time. And all throughout our career, we had a wonderful time, and I don't remember a single television set going anywhere. Thanks.