Robert Plant’s Choice That Sealed Led Zeppelin’s Fate: An Ultimatum Story

Pursuing a professional career in music certainly requires a significant amount of time, dedication, and energy. So, it can sometimes be challenging for artists to balance their business and personal lives. As much as a career, family and friendship relations also need the same level of investment and time. In some situations, musicians may also have to choose between the two.

As he had revealed to SiriusXM a while ago, Ed Sheeran was lucky enough to create a balance between work and his family thanks to the idea he got from Eminem, who had a certain structure to adjust things. As you can see, it is a common problem with artists with an ongoing thriving career ahead of them. Unfortunately, not all musicians can find that kind of stability.

At least that’s what the Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant had to go through in the past. Of course, almost each music piece is born from certain true life experiences, adding another layer to their power and deepness. It seems like Led Zeppelin’s ‘Ten Years Gone‘ from their 1975 album ‘Physical Graffiti’ also had a meaningful story behind closed doors.

Back in 1975, shortly after the album’s release, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page joined an interview with Rolling Stone to discuss their then-new record and highlights from his career. While talking about their time before forming Zeppelin, Plant recalled how an ultimatum he received from his lover at the time probably changed the band’s fate.

The singer revealed that he had been working really hard before Led Zeppelin, and the woman he was with came to him and said he should have made a choice between her and his career. Plant eventually said he needed to keep going rather than stop without knowing he would be part of a highly successful band in the coming years. Even ten years after separation, his old girlfriend was still on the vocalist’s mind, as he dedicated ‘Ten Years Gone’ to his doomed love.

Robert Plant’s words on the story behind ‘Ten Years Gone’:

“Let me tell you a little story behind the song ‘Ten Years Gone’ on our new album. I was working my a** off before joining Zeppelin. A lady I really dearly loved said, ‘Right. It’s me or your fans.’ Not that I had fans, but I said, ‘I can’t stop; I’ve got to keep going.’ She’s quite content these days, I imagine. She’s got a washing machine that works by itself and a little sports car. We wouldn’t have anything to say anymore. I could probably relate to her, but she couldn’t relate to me. I’d be smiling too much. Ten years gone, I’m afraid.”

Considering all these, it would be fair to say that the singer’s choice over his old girlfriend’s ultimatum somehow sealed Led Zeppelin’s fate. If he had chosen his then-partner, maybe a band named Led Zeppelin would never have existed. In another scenario, perhaps they wouldn’t have been that successful all over the world even if they had come together. Putting all these what-ifs aside, we should all be thankful to Robert Plant for his difficult choice, which has given us the chance to listen to one of the most exceptional bands in rock history.