Former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant , right, receives his CBE from Britain’s Prince Charles during the investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London on Friday, July 10, 2009.
Robert Plant Receives Commander of the British Empire Award.
Associated Press, July 10, 2009 — Robert Plant received a royal honor from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace on Friday, putting the former Led Zeppelin front man one notch above his old band mate Jimmy Page.
But, Plant joked he and Page would not be fighting over rank, even though Plant’s new Commander of the British Empire is a higher honor than Page’s Order of the British Empire.
“If we can remember each other’s phone number at this time in life it’s a miracle,” he joked. “We’re still good friends, we both enjoy a rather dark sense of humor that comes, I think, from being from rather the wrong side of the tracks for all those wild years.”
Plant opted not to take part in a Led Zeppelin reunion tour last year, choosing instead to concentrate on his collaboration with American bluegrass singer Alison Krauss.
Also receiving the CBE on Friday was English actress Liz Smith, 87, who appeared on the British TV series “The Royle Family.”
Robert Plant with his children Logan, left, Carman and Jordan on the right.
Former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant with his son Logan, left, daughter Carman and son Jordan, right, pose for a photograph with his CBE which he received from Britain’s Prince Charles during the investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London on Friday, July 10, 2009
I always knew that Robert Plant was an aristocrat among rock stars. Now, it’s official. Plant was honored today as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II, according to Reuters News. I thought he’d been knighted, but not so. See third comment below. He can’t be called “Sir,” either, but if Elton John can be called “Sir,” certainly Robert can!
The Queen also granted awards to British fantasy writer Terry Pratchett and members of Britain‘s Beijing Olympics team, including a knighthood for triple cycling gold medallist Chris Hoy, Britain’s most successful Olympian at a single game in a century.
Plant, 60, is most famous for being the lead singer of rock band Led Zeppelin in the 1970s. I was lucky enough to see Led Zeppelin in 1970.
Plant has forged a successful career since Led Zeppelin‘s disbanded in 1980. He reunited with surviving band members a couple of times for fund-raisers, including once in 2007. Plant recently collaborated with singer Alison Krauss on the celebrated album “Raising Sand.” I saw Plant and Krauss when they toured this year. They were fantastic! To find links to my posts about Plant, Krauss and Led Zeppelin, see below. Click on the post headlines to see the photos, if they don’t appear at first.
Led Zeppelin in 1969 at the beginning of the band's career.
The CBE honors are bestowed in the name of Queen Elizabeth II and are recommended by a panel that considers suggestions from British government departments and political parties as well as from members of the public, according to Reuters.
Alison Krauss, Robert Plant and T-Burnett (above) perform their encore at a concert at Starlight Theater in Kansas City on Tuesday, September 23. They played “Don’t Knock,” “When the Levee Breaks,” “Killing the Blues” and “One Woman Man.” There are two more videos at the bottom.
In 1984, when Alison Krauss was thirteen, she won the fiddle championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, near where I grew up, and I’ve watched her from afar ever since.
This is the set list for the Krauss-Plant September 23, 2008, concert at Starlight. The concert didn't follow this order exactly, but it's close enough.
Krauss is an extraordinary bluegrass violinist and singer. She’s exquisite as her bow flies over her violin. Her voice is high, rich and pure, like crystal ringing. She’s won 20 Grammy awards, more than any other female artist and is tied for seventh most won by any artist.
When she joined with Robert Plant on stage, it was incredible. I’d already listened to my recording of their album “Raising Sand” scores of times. They seem so in “tune” with each other in so many ways, maybe even smitten. Plant kept giving her kisses. The September 23rd concert was the first night of the second leg of their tour. Plant said they’d been apart on stage for forty days. He sounded like a lover being reunited with his beloved.
For those who might not be familiar with Krauss’ work, she performed on the soundtracks of “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Cold Mountain.” She isn’t splashed across the pages of magazines or chased by paparazzi the way a lot of no-talent celebrities are. She simply performs like an angel, and we are raised to heaven by her musical gifts.
Below is a documentary about Krauss and Plant coming together to make “Raising Sand.” Below that is a video of Krauss and Plant performing Led Zeppelin’s “The Battle of Evermore” at Starlight Theater on September 23, 2008.
Allison Krauss and Robert Plant play with T-Bone Burnett and his band at Starlight Theater on September 23, 2008, in Kansas City.
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (above) with T-Bone Burnett perform their version of Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” at Starlight Theater in Kansas City on Tuesday, September 23. At the bottom is Led Zeppelin’s version of “Black Dog” in 1973.
On August 20, 1970, in the last days before I headed off to college, some friends and I drove two hours to Oklahoma City to see Led Zeppelin at the State Fairgrounds Arena. It was a long trip, but worth every mile. (Although I didn’t do the driving.) “Whole Lotta Love” was a hit by this time, but like the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin focused on the whole experience. It wasn’t about one song. The band members resisted releasing their music as singles and avoided television appearances, preferring that their fans experience the music as a total performance, which we were thrilled to be doing.
Alison Krauss and Robert Plant at Starlight Theater in Kansas City.
I fell in love with Led Zeppelin in January 1969 when the first album was released. It affected me the way no other music did before nor has since. I’m definitely a Led Head.
I didn’t have enough money to buy the first album myself, so I split the cost with my sister. I wisely decided to buy the second album (October 1969) on my own (with my meager earnings as a cashier at Mr. Steak) when I realized there might be a problem sharing the first album when I left for college. I’ve bought every album since, then duplicated the same in compact discs and have purchased every other variation produced. I’ve helped in my small way to make the Atlantic Recording Corporation very successful.
That Led Zeppelin’s history coincided with my formative years may have had a wee bit to do with my adoration. That band was the soundtrack to my young life.
Despite my enthusiasm for Led Zeppelin, it was never about the band members themselves. I didn’t pay attention to their antics or what they looked like. When the band broke up in 1980 after the death of John Bonham, I followed Robert Plant’s career.
Led Zeppelin in 1969 at the beginning of the band
At first, I was hoping Plant would continue the heavier sound of the band, but he was more whimsical, more lyrical, perhaps because he’s a singer. Anyway, I was hooked. I recognized in Plant’s work, despite the differences, the fusion of so many of the elements and musical styles that had made Led Zeppelin the biggest band in the world in the 1970s. They played not just rock, but Celtic, Arabic, classical, reggae, blues, folk and country and a dozen other genres.
I’ve seen Robert Plant four times, including once with Jimmy Page and this latest concert with Alison Krauss. Some critics were perplexed when Plant joined with Krauss, but I said: Hey, you don’t know Robert the way I do! It’s totally Plant’s style to combine his own multifaceted work with Krauss’ country and bluegrass music. At his concert with Krauss, he mused that he wasn’t sure what their musical fusion was called, but he said it was definitely “smokin’,” and he was right about that. Plant is an amusing guy, too, and his witty comments are known as “plantations.”
Led Zeppelin reunited for a concert last year in England with John Bonham’s son Jason as the drummer and is planning a tour in 2009. Robert Plant has made a statement that he won’t be the singer, however. That’s crushing news. If he changes his mind, I’M GONNA CRAWL for a WHOLE LOTTA LOVE even if I have to make a MISTY MOUNTAIN HOP on a STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN and even if it means GOING TO CALIFORNIA, because I’m just a LIVING LOVING MAID who would find it a HEARTBREAKER if I had a COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN and was a FOOL IN THE RAIN if I missed the show. Remember fans, YOUR TIME IS GONNA COME because HOW MANY MORE TIMES can we be DAZED AND CONFUSED and find it TEN YEARS GONE, and we still haven’t seen the concert. THANK YOU for letting me RAMBLE ON.