The most interesting quotes from Robert Plant’s on-stage Hay Festival interview

Robert Plant attended Hay Festival in the UK on June 3 and June 4. Plant spoke on stage at 5.30pm UK time on June 4 alongside author Kent Nerburn and Andrew O’Hagan. The panel was about Nerburn’s book “Neither Wolf Nor Dog.”

The book is about Native American culture in the US, and it’s something that Plant is passionate about. He has promoted the book during two radio interviews, as well as on stage at Hay Festival.

The full video of Plant’s Hay Festival interview is available to stream and download from the Hay Festival site for £2. Here are some highlights of Plant’s appearance at Hay Festival:

Plant likes to ‘take a left and a right off the road’

“It is 49 years and sometimes I’ve, maybe I go down the same roads in the United States but with the aide of a very large map that gets bigger every year to enable me to see it.”

I take a left and a right off the road and I try and discover the most spectacular country, amazing scenery, topography, geography, people, a United States which possibly is united but has so many different people from different parts of the world, mostly all immigrants, and I travel and travel.”

“I go through towns which have German street names, towns with Spanish street names, people speak Spanish predominantly or Czech or German or English or French down in Louisiana. And all the time I was looking for the heart of the land. As time went on I became more fixated with the music, I found myself living a couple of times in the United States, trying it out like a new bicycle.”

“I moved to Texas for a while and I was right on the edge of West Texas, on the sort of border between the effects of the Atlantic and the beginning of the Hill country there. I realised that the European mind would find it very difficult to get in this landscape and in fact belonged and was operated really, finally by Native Americans long before.”

‘I kept carrying books with me on tour’

“I was reading more and more about the Native Americans. Because I was living there, I felt a double foreigner. I kept carrying books with me on tour, sitting in bedroom every night there, twiddling my thumbs, as most musicians do. And I went into a bookshop in Denver, Colorado and I saw this book, ‘Neither Wolf Nor Dog’ and I read it. And I read it and I read it. I salivated, I kept reading page after page over and over again.”

‘I’m an elder, really.’

“I’m an elder, really. What use I am to my grandchildren, we’ll have to find out later on … I still rave about my grandfather and all the music he inspired me with and his attitude towards living and music and how lustrous and wondrous it should be and how … fun.”

‘People go out in the world and then you lose the trail’

“I just wish it were like that in my world because progress in our world, in my family, whatever it is, people go out in the world and then you lose the trail, you lost the scent of your people bit by bit by bit. Birthdays, holidays, Christmas and stuff like that, you have to rejig the whole thing because everybody’s moved to a different place during that time.”

A story from the eighties:

“I remember travelling through in the early eighties trying to get to somewhere and I remember we went to sleep, this is kind of an aside, went to sleep on the bus and there was nothing but what you’d call tundra, I suppose, the rolling plains and the long grass and the kind of yellowy thing going on. The next morning, opened the curtains and there it still was, rolling plains. Our sound guy said ‘look, nothing!'”

On Donald Trump’s hands:

“He does have interesting digits. I hope that’s not any other reference.”

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3 Comments on "The most interesting quotes from Robert Plant’s on-stage Hay Festival interview"

  1. Indians! Wonder who was here in America before them? Aliens, no doubt.

  2. Donna Carlisle | 18th October 2017 at 9:57 am | Reply

    What an interesting yet realistic account of your journey through our United States. I myself being born in Memphis, and partly raised in Cleveland Mississippi , not far from clarksdale, find it very much like a fantasy come true to imagine you being on the same ground as I stood as a child and again as an adult. I particularly get angry with myself for the unknowing at the time you residedvin Austin Tx which is just not that far from where I now live in college Station, Tx. I was unaware and I was not yet an aviid collector and student of Led Zeppelin as a mature adult. I’m afraid I had to put most rock music on hold for Elvis until after my kids had kids and then my daughter said to me”Mom, my favorite rock group has always been Led Zeppelin”. We had gone to a queen concert with Adam Lambert in Houston. My gift and vip srction seats, but no Freddie Mercury made it sad and rather empty for me. After that, my study of Led Zeppelin took over and is still blowing my feeble mind. I study any thing Led Zeppelin that search engines deliver. Right now I have the song remains the same on my DVR and I also own the disk. Please come close enough to my town that I can see you, and please do some Led Zeppelin for me. I remain your avid fan, Donna

  3. mary j vanderwerken | 12th November 2022 at 6:47 am | Reply

    I hope RP has been able to visit the Petrified Forest in Az; the vortexes in Sedona, Az; and the street corner in Winslow, Az where aging boomers dance around. Bryce Canyon in Utah has magical, other-worldly hoo doos, that are especially incredible in winter.

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