Robert Plant Feels He’s Become the Guy on Led Zeppelin ‘IV’ Album Cover
In a case of life imitating art, Robert Plant has joked that in his older years, he's become the guy that is featured logging around sticks within the artwork of Led Zeppelin's fourth self-titled album.
The revelation came about initially while Plant was reflecting back on their off-the-grid working process for Led Zeppelin's third self-titled studio album. As the story goes, after an exhaustive tour in support of their first two album, the band members sought some tranquility and ended up at the Bron-Yr-Aur cottage in Snowdonia, Wales for a bit of a getaway. Plant's family had previously spent holidays there, and the cottage that sat on a hilltop allowed a break from the chaos that came with their growing fame. The cottage had no running water or electric power, and that back to basics vibe served to influence their more acoustic approach to writing moving forward on that third record.
While reflecting on his Digging Deep podcast, Plant stated (as transcribed by Ultimate Classic Rock), “It was fine; it was really good. It was a beautiful place and all those things were part of the bargain. … You’re there for a reason and you’re just in it, so all that actually adds to it – the idea of going outside and bringing in kindling.”
He added, “In fact, the old guy with the sticks on his back on Zeppelin IV. … I’m now that guy! I pick up kindling everywhere I go and wrap it around with a piece of baling twine and shunt it on my back just in case anyone’s driving by, and they go, ‘There’s that bloke from the Led Zeppelin IV album cover!’”
Within the chat, Plant reveals exactly how ideal that getaway proved to be at the time, explaining that things had been so intense over the course of their first two albums that "if it [had] all ended at the end of 1970, it would have been the most amazing trip."
He continued, "It was the only time … we used an outdoor toilet together – separately, individually – and all that stuff. We finally got time to breathe and probably to discuss stuff and write notes about things and all that."
The solitude and time to be with one another also offered a sense of "optimism and adventure of finding so many different streams of creativity," with Plant suggesting that the trip provided "more than any of the four of us could have imagined."