Robert Plant was mellowing by the time he told Buckingham Palace he would accept the presentation of a British rank. A report by the Press Association today opens, "Robert Plant has admitted he's less rock'n'roll these days." Yeesh!
In March 2005, the singer declined a royal invitation to meet the Queen at a reception honoring famous British musicians. His former bandmate, Jimmy Page, was there, along with Brian May of Queen and Eric Clapton of, well, almost everything. The reception's hilarious news angle at the time presented itself when the Queen kept insisting on asking questions like, "And how long have you been playing guitar, Mr. Clapton?"
Plant told New York DJ Carol Miller that he skipped out on the reception to watch a football match.
But he hasn't completely lost his edge over the past few years, despite today showing up at Buckingham Palace and being photographed with the ornament that officially makes him a Commander of the British Empire, or CBE. He insisted to reporters that this didn't make him part of "the establishment." The Telegraph reported him saying, "The diversity of people who have moved through here this morning prove there is no real establishment here."
Plant still got off at least one jab at Prince Charles, referring to their first meeting, in which Charles ogled Plant's then-wife Maureen and commented to the singer, "Remarkable voice. Do you gargle with port?"
Reporters also took the occasion to seize upon Plant for comments about whether he would sing again for Led Zeppelin. (You have to ask that every time you see him or else you might miss that complete 360 he makes every decade or so.)
Apparently, Plant's initial response to the question centered either on his own physical condition or a backhanded jab at others: "Sometimes I go a bit deaf in either ear, especially when people are talking nonsense."
He added that he and his former bandmates still get along: "If we can remember each other's phone number at this time in life it's a miracle. We're still good friends, we both enjoy a rather dark sense of humour that comes I think from being from rather the wrong side of the tracks for all those wild years."
Both the Press Association and the Telegraph were keen on reporting one offhand remark Plant made. The Press Association article reported that "he and former Zeppelin band-mate Jimmy Page - who has an OBE - would not be fighting over rank."
Let the record show that the British Empire rank Plant received today is higher than the one awarded to Page on Dec. 14, 2005.