Robert Plant Says Phil Collins Helped Start His Solo Career

If you’ve been keeping tabs on Robert Plant lately, it’s clear he’s doing just fine without Led Zeppelin. That doesn’t mean he always goes it alone, though: In a new interview with VulturePlant credits his pal Phil Collins for helping him get his solo career off the ground, saying the Genesis musician was “a driving force” for him.

“After John [Bonham, Led Zeppelin drummer] passed away and there was no Led Zeppelin, there had to be a way to go,” Plant says in a new interview with Vulture. “I floundered around a lot because until I was 32, I was in some kind of wild and absurd adventure… Phil Collins especially was a driving force and had positive energy with the first record, Pictures at Eleven. It wasn’t a difficult job to get together with other people, it was just whether or not we could cook it properly.”

Plant went on: “With Phil, it wasn’t so much advice as encouragement and consideration. He was taking no prisoners. He would only allow himself a short amount of time to come to the studio in Wales and make it work. Nobody was hiding behind the performance.”

Collins would go on to perform drums on five tracks on Pictures at Eleven, Plant’s 1982 solo debut. But as much as Plant admired Collins, the feelings were evidently mutual: “Then he came on tour with me and basically said, ‘Robert, the guy that sat behind you for all those years was my hero,’” Plant recalled, the guy referenced being Bonham, who died in 1980. “That was it. He said, ‘Anything I can do to help you to get back into fighting shape again, I’m here…’ He’s a great spirit, a good man.”

Perhaps to the chagrin of some intense Led Zeppelin fans, Plant still has no interest in reuniting his iconic hard rock band: In August, he told the Los Angeles Times that reuniting would feel gimmicky and “doesn’t really satisfy [his] need to be stimulated.” Collins evidently felt differently, as his own group Genesis did their own reunion tour in 2021.

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