A former Plant guitarist, Francis Dunnery was interviewed a few days ago. It's always interesting to hear the old band members(not from Zeppelin though) talk about the Robert Plant they know.
DB: ok, I'll move on from this subject. What do you think of Robert Plant?
FD: How come you switched from Y.M.C.A to Robert Plant? (laughter) I love Robert, I think he's a brilliant man. He is incredibly knowledgeable about a whole load of things. The guy is brilliant, his mind is unique and he's incredibly interesting. He's a straight talking guy, down to earth and people almost resent him because he doesn't act like a rock star.
When we were flying around America, Robert would go back into economy and have a drink with the people back there. I think he feels comfortable amongst the working man, but I'm not sure the working man feels comfortable with him treating them as equals. He just doesn't have the arrogant Ego that people accuse him of. He's completely real. He is not trying to sell you an image of himself.
DB: Why do you think the working man is not comfortable with him?
People need their idols, they always have and when their idols symbolically come out of the clouds those on the ground have a nasty habit of turning on them. You only have to look at the Jesus story, they always kill the redeemer in the end. I'm sure I've been crucified a million times in peoples minds because I actually have time for people. I don't have a fan/idol relationship with the people who support my music, I'm not interested in being the redeemer for anyone. I have two kids and a bald head, if that doesn't get you out of the clouds I don't know what will. I actually have a very intimate relationship with those people who support my music.
DB: So you don't call them your fans?
Well the word fan actually comes from the word fanatic. Do I think people are fanatical about my work? No I don't actually. I think they respect my honesty and find some of the places that I go to quite interesting. I'm a good soap opera, I'm better than Eastenders. (Laughter) In my experience over the years, most of the people who come to my concerts or support my music are very deep thinking individuals, they are seekers and they have the balls to think. They understand that I'm also a seeker and they pop in every so often to find out how I'm getting along on my journey and learn something about their own journey in the process. I could call them fans for short but they actually aren't fanatical about anything that I'm doing. And me trying to pretend any different is just sad. Those days have long gone.
So far as Robert is concerned, I was never a Zeppelin fan growing up. His personality and energy are what attracts me to him. He's a fucking nutcase in the nicest possible way. I also know that he gives millions of dollars to charity all the time and never says a thing about it. You have to respect that.