By Brian Ives
On Minimation, we comb through the CBS Radio and Radio.com interview archives and animate interviews with legendary artists. In this interview from 1988, Robert Plant talks about the younger fans who were showing up at his concerts, mainly because of his then-new hit album, Now and Zen.
Rock legends love their old fans, but they are always hoping to get new ones as the years go by and new projects are released. However, appealing to a younger demographic can be difficult.
In the 1980s, Robert Plant retained a strong base of fans of Led Zeppelin fans thanks to 1982’s Pictures at Eleven and 1983’s The Principle of Moments, not to mention the 1984 Honeydrippers EP, Volume One. Shaken N Stirred, on the other hand—Plant’s 1985 release—alienated fans a bit.
But 1988’s Now and Zen changed the equation. Thanks to songs like “Heaven Knows” (which featured a Jimmy Page guitar solo) and “Tall Cool One” (which liberally sampled several Zeppelin songs and featured Page on guitar), Plant was all over the radio and on MTV. As he says in this vintage interview, “You don’t get too many people who are getting to be 60 years old latching on to ‘Tall Cool One’ and ‘Ship of Fools.'” With this album, He earned that elusive younger fan base—and with that came younger visitors to the hospitality rooms after shows, as he discusses in this episode of Radio.com Minimation.
Plant will likely play to some young fans this weekend when he takes the stage a Bonnaroo; he has a few scattered tour dates for the rest of the summer. We don’t know who he’s hanging out with after the gig, though.