Robert Plant: “It’s ridiculous that us Brits ever even HEARD the blues…”
Robert Plant has been speaking to the Telegraph about his love of the blues, ahead of two dates by his band Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters.
“Robert Johnson stole my heart when I was fourteen,” he says. “I tuned into a subculture running parallel to my shiny grammar-school life.
“It’s ridiculous that British musicians should have been able to get anywhere near it, because it’s based in African scales that don’t have any grounding on these islands, I don’t think. We just were moved by the colour of the music; the sound was so evocative and poignant and something that we were probably needing in our composite make-up, filling up a hole, an emotional outlet.”
Of the 60s British Blues boom he says: “There was a great line from Sonny Boy Williamson, who had been touring with The Yardbirds (featuring Jimmy Page), and he said: ‘Yeah, they play a little blues, but only a little!’ Ha ha! Sorry, guys! You’ve gotta have a rhythm section that can actually get down in that place!”
British blues “became a bit psychedelic”, Plant says. “A kind of Indo-blues mess. Zeppelin were way more flamboyant. I listen to my performances back then and I don’t know how it went on tape.”
Read the whole interview here.