By Calvin Palmer
Robert Plant, former lead singer with Led Zeppelin, was presented with his CBE (Commander of the British Empire) by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace today.
Plant said the experience was humbling to take part in a ceremony alongside “very selfless” military heroes and community volunteers.
With his long hair tied into a ponytail and wearing a simple blue suit, the 60-year-old rock star denied that the award meant he was now part of the establishment.
“The diversity of people who have moved through here this morning proves there is no real establishment here,” he added.
Plant last year decided not to take part in a Led Zeppelin reunion tour, choosing instead to concentrate on his collaboration with American bluegrass singer Alison Krauss.
Asked today if he would ever return to the stage with his old band-mates, he said: “Sometimes I go a bit deaf in either ear, especially when people are talking nonsense.”
He said that he owed “everything to the musicians I work with”, adding: “From the UK to Africa to Tennessee, it is their brilliance that I bounce off. Alone I’m nothing.”
He also joked that he and former Zeppelin band-mate Jimmy Page — who has an OBE (Officer of the British Empire) — would not be fighting over rank.
“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 humor that comes I think from being from rather the wrong side of the tracks for all those wild years.”
[Based on a report by The Daily Telegraph.]