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Led Zeppelin remains one of the most popular bands ever, even though they are decades past their peak. They created enduring music so recognizable they earned a $2 million paycheck for one song years after they recorded it. They’re kings of classic rock, but Robert Plant was embarrassed by one aspect of his Led Zeppelin days that has nothing to do with the music.

Robert Plant, who admitted to being embarrassed by some of his Led Zeppelin behavior, performs during a 1971 concert.
Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant | Michael Putland/Getty Images

Robert Plant said the Led Zeppelin song ‘The Battle of Evermore’ embarrassed him

Despite achieving success with Led Zeppelin, or maybe because of it, Plant has never shied away from speaking his mind about the band he fronted.

A few years after Zep disbanded, Plant called out his former band. The singer said the people who took aim at Led Zeppelin in the late 1970s, especially the punk bands that surfaced in their wake, were right to criticize them.

Plant distanced himself from Led Zeppelin’s signature song, “Stairway to Heaven,” a few years after it came out. The singer found it hard to relate the lyrics he wrote in just a few minutes when he was in his early 20s. Yet Plant said he was embarrassed by a Led Zeppelin song that’s not “Stairway” for a similar reason, saying his lyrics for “The Battle of Evermore” didn’t meet his standards years later.

From a listener’s standpoint, much of Zep’s music has aged well. Yet Plant said he was embarrassed by an aspect of Led Zeppelin that had nothing to do with music.

Plant looked back and was embarrassed by his Led Zeppelin behavior between shows

Led Zeppelin’s music remains with us, as do stories about the band’s bad behavior on the road. Years before Guns N’ Roses released Appetite for Destruction, Led Zeppelin proved they had a taste for delinquency.

Plant supposedly dubbed himself a golden god during one arrogant moment. The singer indulged in cocaine and other pharmaceuticals, though he later revealed he stopped using drugs cold turkey. The imbibing combined with the boredom of hotel living while on tour led to some behavior Plant later admitted embarrassed him, writes George Case in Led Zeppelin FAQ:

“Yeah, there were wild times, without having to go into the names of the recipients or the makes of televisions that went out the window. I don’t deny it. A lot I can’t remember, unless someone brings it up to me. I can remember a stream of carpenters walking into a room as we were checking out. We’d be going out one way, and they’d be going in the other way, with a sign, ‘Closed for Remodeling,’ being put on the door. It’s kind of embarrassing.”

Robert Plant

The wanton destruction of property was almost a job requirement for arena rock bands of the 1970s. Like Led Zeppelin, The Who famously left a trail of detritus in their wake when they toured. With the benefit of hindsight and clarity, Plant revealed that kind of behavior embarrassed him.

Zep’s drummer earned a reputation for outlandish behavior during the band’s peak


Robert Plant Was Right to Change His Opinion and Defend ‘Stairway to Heaven’ When Led Zeppelin Was Accused of Hiding Satanic Messages

Robert Plant admitted to being embarrassed by his destructive behavior during his Led Zeppelin days. His bandmate and fellow English Midlands native John Bonham had his share of regrettable moments, too.

Bonham earned a reputation as a wild man. He twice had his nose broken by Led Zeppelin’s tour manager during drunken outbursts. That’s not including the time he drunkenly taunted a seminal punk band at one of their shows.

Bonham allegedly rode his motorcycle around the hallways of one hotel during a particularly destructive scene. Robert Plant being embarrassed by a boastful claim and a few broken TVs seems tame by comparison.

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