Monday, February 9, 2009

the four questions with multiple grammy winner Robert Plant

believe it or not, before his Raising Sand collaboration with Alison Krauss, Robert Plant had won exactly one Grammy (which says more about the Grammys than it does Robert Plant). he's now won six.
Alison Krauss, still shy of 40, now owns 26 Grammy Awards, the third-most in history.

I spoke by telephone with Robert Plant on April 22nd as he traveled from Louisville to Knoxville for just the third night of their 2008 domestic tour.
the full feature ran about a month later in the Village Voice.

Can you tell me something that you’ve never ever done before in your life?

(laughs) I never came through the Cumberland Gap before, and that’s exactly what I just did. I mean, when I was a kid, there was a hit record in England by Lonnie Donegan who was a kind of a skiffle player, which I guess is a sort of a kind of combination of bluegrass and folk. And there was an old song (he sings here), "Cumberland Gap/Cumberland Gap/18 miles to the Cumberland Gap," or whatever it was, so when I flew through from south Kentucky last night I went, 'Ah, so there we are.' I’m nearly 60 and I finally put a name . . .

Fifty years later and you know what he’s talking about.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s beautiful out here, so that’s a first.

Tell me something you’ve done once and one time only.

Visited Cairo Airport.

That’s Cairo, Egypt or Cairo, Kentucky?

Oh, Cairo, Egypt. I wouldn’t go near an airport in Cairo, Kentucky.

Tell me the name of a book you’ve read at least twice.

Let me just think about this. Okay, I would say that the book that actually I’ve read three times is called Yemen: The Unknown Arabia by Tim Mackintosh-Smith.

So I guess you could recommend it if you’ve read it three times.

Well yeah, I mean, there are so many Arabians, there are so many Americans, it’s just that this guy has just such a kind of great fluidity and, you know, he studies one of the most unique environments on the planet, the most amazing people and a fantastic world. Sometimes you know you can go from one area to the next and there’s this two thousand year difference in just 24 hours driving.

Great. And tell me the name of a movie you’ve seen at least three times.

Wow, that’s a good one. What have I seen three times? I guess The Vikings with Tony Curtis and Kurt Douglas (laughs).

Good. I’ve never heard that answer before.

I was a kid in the beginning, you know, but I got all romantic about some hag steering ships across an ocean using a lodestone. It gave me an idea for a song a bit later on down the line.

What song?

“Immigrant Song.”


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