Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant says Phil Collins was “a driving force” behind solo career

“With Phil, it wasn’t so much advice as encouragement and consideration"

Led Zeppelin‘s Robert Plant has credited Phil Collins as the “driving force” spurring him to get his solo career off the ground.

Plant said in a new interview with Vulture that the former Genesis drummer provided him with “positive energy” for his 1982 solo debut Pictures At Eleven, on which he played drums for five tracks.

“After John [Bonham, Led Zeppelin drummer] passed away and there was no Led Zeppelin, there had to be a way to go,” Plant said. “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 continued: “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.”

Plant said that Collins greatly admired Led Zeppelin’s drummer John Bonham who passed away in 1980. “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. “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.”

Phil Collins - Genesis
Phil Collins of Genesis. CREDIT: Getty Images

Collins also played drums for Led Zeppelin when they reunited for 1985’s legendary Live Aid concert. However, Jimmy Page said in 2021 that he thought it was a mistake.

Plant also recently explained his reasons why he said yes to the 2003 film School of Rock using the Led Zeppelin hit ‘Immigrant Song’. “My response is: Why not? Our songs didn’t come from Valhalla. It’s not a preferred destination, either. I like the idea of taking the hammer to another time.”

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