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Great new rock book - going behind the scenes of some of the greatest records ever made by some of music's most legenday bands at Rockfield studios. ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD features Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Queen, Robert Plant, Rush, etc

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Friday, July 06, 2007


ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD - out Sept 15th -- Available for pre-order NOW on Amazon.

Extract from Chapter Nine --- Robert Plant - Led Zeppelin legend rediscovers himself in the pubs and studios at Monmouth.

This is the latest in the extracts from my book on Rockfield which shows behind the scenes of the making of some of the greatest rock records of all time including Queen, Black Sabbath, Rush, Motorhead, Judas priest etc etc.
On May 15th 2006 I reunited Robert Plant with his first solo band. They recorded Pictures At Eleven and Principle of Moments at Rockfield from 1981.
Drummer Phil Collins couldn't make it as he was in New York working on the musical Tarzan.
In the first of these two extracts, I read out an email Phil has sent to me to read to his friends and former bandmates. In the second - Robert relates some of the stories about how the songs got their names.

At Rockfield, Robert Plant greets me and my friend and photographer Andrew Pritchard. Eventually he sits down on one of three large green sofas in the living room, which are laid out in a ‘U’ shape around a coffee table. Sitting to the singer’s right in the living room is Jezz Woodroffe (Former Black Sabbath Keyboard player), while Robbie Blunt (Guitars) hovers nearby, lost amid his own memories, on the other side of the room. Andrew starts taking photographs of the three band members, while I sit opposite Robert Plant and read out an email, which I have been sent by another member of this band, who can’t be here today.
‘Dear Lads. Oh the memories. I remember it like it was 25 years ago! If you ever want to do it again, call me. I can still play drums, but I’m better on the slower songs!!!  Wish I was there! Phil Collins xxxx’
‘Well’, laughs Robert Plant, ‘having played in Genesis all those years, being with us had to be good fun, didn’t it?’ Jezz and Robbie both chuckle loudly at their former singer’s affectionate barb at their one time drummer. Phil Collins was one of two drummers used on those albums:  the other being the late Cozy Powell.  Phil, though, is three thousand miles away in New York promoting the Disney Broadway musical, Tarzan, for which he has written the music. But he’s sent me an email, ahead of this reunion, to read out to his former band mates. At the end of the message, they nod and smile in unison at the memories of the long-time Genesis drummer’s contributions to the albums and the subsequent tour of America. They all agree that Phil Collins enjoyed his time at Rockfield, even if he sometimes couldn’t take the pace. ‘One of my favourite memories,’ says Robbie Blunt, ‘was hearing Phil throw up in the bedroom next to mine, after he’d been on a night out with us. That was amusing!’ My mind resists a mental image of the Phil Collins Spitting Image puppet on its knees, bent over a toilet bowl. I shake my head to clear the bizarre image from my mind and refocus on the conversation in hand. ‘I thought it was great when he played on the road with us,’ chips in Jezz - still on the subject of Phil Collins. ‘It just got better and better, and I loved that old plane we toured on. The five of us rumbling across America in this 60’s prop plane.’
‘That was a 1948 Viscount!’ corrects Plant, who’s either an aviation expert or simply a stickler for the facts. Mind you, he probably should know as he paid it!!


Robert Plant leans back in his chair as he pauses to remember the lighter moments of the band’s time together, and the three musicians look at each other and exchange smiles as they reminisce.  ‘We can all relate some songs to one funny incident, or another, during recording,’ continues Plant. ‘The song Horizontal Departure is a great example.  We all went to Ibiza to get in the groove of writing the second album Principle Of Moments. Our bassist Paul Martinez is a lovely guy, but could come across as a stroppy fucker. He could be so offhand that people would take it as an insult. One night he was in a club and someone he’d offended decked him. He flew through the door and hit the floor as he came out. We all rushed out into the street after him and there he was lying on the kerb, which was covered in his blood. We’d watched him be punched straight through the door – so that inspired the song Horizontal Departure. So there were all these little innuendos, which were comical to us at the time. It’s just the same for any band I guess.’
Jezz Woodroffe puts his cup of coffee on the table in front of him as he recalls another inspiring moment. ‘The song  Fat Lip was called that because Robert’s son Logan, who was about 6 at the time, used to walk round telling people he was going to give them a fat lip!’ Robert Plant laughs at that recollection before adding, ‘Burning Down One Side was about a spliff. Big Log was about a spliff as well. In fact, its all just one big spliff attack,’ he announces with a flourish, clearly warming to his theme.

ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD by Jeff Collins is out on sept 15th.

It's now available for pre-order on Amazon and from all good bookstores and their websites.


At 7:31 pm, Blogger Nikki said...

Great post.
Robert Plant is a true legend.
I envy you.Would love to meet him.
You should've extracted the story behind "Big Log" though.
Nonetheless, good stuff.Thanks.

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