Tall Cool One

“‘Tall Cool One’ is like tipping my hat to the original song [a late 50’s instrumental hit by Seattle’s Wailers – Ed], and that whole Ralph Nielsen kind of approach. The sentiment in that song, like where it goes, ‘I’m so tall and you’re so cute/Let’s play wild like the wildcats do,’ that’s what the Wailers tune always reminded me of. Also, the original always reminded me of ‘Move It’, the B-side of ‘Pipeline’ by the Chantays. I think I retain the attitude that got me into rock ‘n’ roll in the first place – I haven’t fallen for the way rock has deteriorated over the years, the way it’s become so corporate again, just like in the early ’60s, this situation where David Coverdale’s mainly concerned with how he wears his sunglasses or whatever.”Robert Plant (221)

White, Clean And Neat

“It’s about how, at this time [13th day of August, 1954/I was five years old – Ed], Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher, and people like that were offering this completely new way of living, where everything’s clean, where you’d never fart while you were screwing. Pat Boone was playing whitened versions of Little Richard songs. In Cleveland, you had the Moondog, and he was playing this black rock ‘n’ roll, and in America you also had local radio in Memphis and New Orleans or wherever. But in England, we were getting this watered-down version of rockabilly from Tommy Steele and Frankie Lane, a very faraway version of this guy Elvis. I was growing up submerged in this whole socialized Valium experience. But then we started hearing Bill Haley and Gene Vincent, and suddenly the whole situation changed. Problem is, before you know it, you’ve got the next generation of Pat Boones.”Robert Plant (221)

Network News

“It was about Kuwait, and the whole carving up to the war and the whole Middle East conflict. Nevermind the Guns, Death and Noise, Sand, Oil and Blood. I was really agitated. And if I can maintain this level of lyric agitation there is no need to get back to that point where you start telling people to play what you want, at least while we have this chemistry going once again…”Robert Plant (222)

Tie-Die On The Highway

“It’s a fuck-off track. It’s trying to put that positive thing – the old ‘Stairway To Heaven’ syndrome – back in the pot, with Wavy Gravy blaring away over the top of the track. Joe McDonald contacted me and said he’d represented Wavy Gravy for some time and could I give an explanation as to why Wavy Gravy was all over that record? And I said, “Because it really is a mark of homage for that time.” Breakfast in bed for 400,000 was a great line.”Robert Plant (246)