Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant told a heartbreaking story about the recording process of Led Zeppelin’s Achilles Last Stand on his Digging Deep podcast. Here, Plant discusses how writing as an escape for him and how the song came to be as he felt trapped after an accident with his wife, as he had to be in a wheelchair at one point. Alternative Nation transcribed his comments.
Robert Plant also shared a story about Brian Jones, best known for being the original founder of The Rolling Stones who tragically passed away in 1969. Then Plant discussed how Jones’ record process for Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka, which would be recorded shortly before The Rolling Stones icon’s death, and released after he died.
Plant: So what was I gonna do? I was laying horizontal in a bed at the Continental Riot House over in Los Angeles, California. It was Halloween and the year was 1975. I was in a room on my own in this dodgy old hotel while the world was playing hi-jinx outside and the the whole place was going, you know, in a totally different direction than to me and my bad leg and my bad arm. So, I started writing about freedom as well as escape. The whole thing about the song is to be gone to a place which is a reward aesthetically and beauty – space and air and stuff and it was essentially about going back to the Atlas Mountains and going back to Morocco.
Plant: “Where the Mighty Arms of Atlas Hold the Heavens from the Earth”, it’s not a Yes song, it’s not something from Tales of Topographic Oceans but I was so desperate to get away from being trapped in that environment, to hop the bed into the wheelchair and have somebody push me around. As I was saying: “Let’s get out of here! I rather be on the side of the mountains in Oregon or Assakina in Morocco than be in the rat-house. Mostly, really in truth, now all these years later I want to be there! It’s equivalent, so lyrically I suppose it’s about the dynamic of the life that I lead, what we all put ourselves through as entertainers, musicians and writers and the panacea, the cure, the fix, which is what Achilles Last Stand is all about really, it’s about getting to, heading toward the fix.