Robert Plant Says He Has Become the Guy on the 'Led Zeppelin IV' Album Cover

"I pick up kindling everywhere I go and wrap it around with a piece of baling twine and shunt it on my back"

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Apr 18, 2022

Robert Plant is undeniably a man of nature — it's right there in his name. Lately, the legendary musician has gotten so in touch with the natural world that he now feels like viewing the album artwork for Led Zeppelin IV is like looking in a mirror.

On the latest episode of his Digging Deep with Robert Plant podcast (Plant humour!), the Led Zeppelin bandleader made the mimetic revelation while reflecting on working off-the-grid on the band's third album, which would go on to be released in 1970. The outfit retreated to Bron-Yr-Aur cottage in Snowdonia, Wales — sans electricity or running water — after an exhaustive touring schedule and burgeoning fame to work on their third self-titled LP, likewise taking a more acoustic approach to their famously electrifying craft.

"It was fine; it was really good. It was a beautiful place and all those things were part of the bargain," Plant explained of the writing retreat [transcribed by Ultimate Classic Rock]. "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."

"In fact, the old guy with the sticks on his back on [1971's] Zeppelin IV — I'm now that guy!" he added with a laugh. "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!'"

If you squint and tilt your head in the right light, there is certainly a passing resemblance between Plant and the unidentified man in the framed photo hung against the album artwork's muted floral wallpaper. Catch him hunched over in the countryside, gathering bounty for the bonfire.

Suggesting that the trip was a transformative bonding experience for the band, the singer-songwriter continued: "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 cottage getaway was an opportunity of abundance, giving "more than any of the four of [them] could have imagined" and allowed the iconic rock group to find optimism in adventurous new streams of creativity.

Listen to the full episode below.

Jimmy Page recently shared that he's working on multiple projects (but not Ozzy Osbourne's album) and Plant decried "legacy acts" ahead of Led Zeppelin making their official TikTok debut.

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