Jimmy Page’s Fear About Robert Plant And Led Zeppelin

Artists never know what is in store before going headfirst into the industry. Even if they achieve commercial success right off the bat, which is quite rare, there is still the pressure to keep up the momentum moving forward. For many, it takes a few tries to get it exactly right with the audience; for instance, Led Zeppelin reached the peak of their career in 1975 with their sixth studio album, ‘Physical Graffiti.’ Although it had taken the band six tries to hit a home run, it became a chart-topper instantly.

However, the band’s high didn’t last very wrong, and everything switched in a blink of an eye after Robert Plants’ accident that nearly killed him and his family. The vocalist wanted to escape all the noise and take a break from his rock lifestyle with a vacation with his family in Greece. The holiday became a sour memory very quickly after the family got into a car accident that severely injured Plant and his wife and ultimately terrified the rest of the band, mainly Jimmy Page, who was on cloud nine after their massive success.

Since Zeppelin was going to hit the road once again after taking some time off, the tragic accident altered their plans, including the remaining tour dates in support of ‘Physical Graffiti.’ The shows had to be canceled so that Plant could heal and recover from the traumatic experience that had left him in a wheelchair.

“I was shattered,” Page said to Loudersound, recalling how he felt after hearing about Plant’s tragic accident. “I always felt as though that no matter what happened, provided he could still play and sing, and even if we could only make albums, that we’d go on forever.” The accident also affected the process of their next album, ‘Presence,’ in a major way, as the band had to reschedule its release date several times because they struggled to finish the album.

Page recalled, “Just because the whole aspect of what’s going to come round the corner as far as writing goes is the dark element, the mysterious element. You don’t know what’s coming. So many good things have come out of that; it would be criminal to interrupt an alchemical process like that. There’s a lot of important work to be done yet.”

Although the band was scared of the unknown, it also contributed to their creative process. Furthermore, they knew they still had so much to give to the industry and their fans, which made the process of ‘Presence’ have a special place for the band members. Jimmy Page shared with Guitar World that even though it was a rough patch for the band and their heads were filled with so many questions regarding Plants’ accident, they had control over what happened inside the studio.

“I’ve got two different approaches, the rocker said. “I mean, on stage is totally different from how I approach it in the studio. On ‘Presence,’ I had control over all the contributing factors to that LP – the fact that it was done in three weeks, and all the rest of it, is so good for me. It was good for everything, even though it was a very anxious point, and the anxiety shows group-wise, you know. ‘Is Robert going to walk again from his auto accident in Greece?’ and all that sort of thing.”

In the end, although the album was hardly anyone’s favorite and didn’t perform particularly well on the charts or in terms of sales, it holds a special place for the band as it signifies their resilience, especially Plant’s, as he recorded the songs on a wheelchair.