Music | August 27, 2022 1:38 pm

Robert Plant Recalled Mixed Feelings About His “Hobbit” Period

The man thinks a lot about Tolkien

Robert Plant
Robert Plant performs at The Greek Theatre on August 21, 2022 in Berkeley, California.
Steve Jennings/Getty Images

It’s a good time to be Robert Plant. The onetime Led Zeppelin singer recently released a second collaboration with Alison Krauss; like the first album they made together, it’s earned rave reviews. Pairing an iconic rock vocalist with an iconic bluegrass singer turned out to be a fantastic idea for all involved — and if it allowed the duo to show off their takes on some of their favorite songs, it’s all the stronger for it.

Still, being back on the road seems to have Plant in something of a retrospective mood. In a recent interview with Kory Grow at Rolling Stone, Plant revisited the breadth of his career, including his time in the Honeydrippers, his post-Led Zeppelin project.

A question about his taste in books led Plant into a literary mode, which later prompted him to recall his own forays into J.R.R. Tolkien-inspired imagery. (“[T]here were maybe one or two too many well … hobbits,” he said at one point.)

“I was living in a dream then, talking about C.S. Lewis and Tolkien,” Plant said in the interview. “And of course it brings hoops of derision into everybody who picked up a guitar or got near a microphone by 1980. But I was a kid.”

As he told Grow, his current collaborator helped him work through some feelings of embarrassment he had about that period. “‘The Battle of Evermore’ is not over. Far from it,” Plant told Rolling Stone. “And the thing about ‘Evermore’ is … I said to Alison, ‘I’m embarrassed by this.’ She said, ‘But you can’t be embarrassed, because it’s a young person’s moments by living in an area which is like that, which resonates that period.’”

It’s a fascinating interview for countless reasons, especially to see how different parts of the world have informed Plant’s work as a songwriter — from the Welsh countryside to Austin, Texas.