Robert Plant recalled how he came to record the Honeydrippers’ 1984 EP of ‘50s and ‘60s songs after his label boss, Ahmet Ertegun, told him to “stop doing weird shit” and celebrate the material they both loved.

Plant was speaking in the final episode of the first season of his Digging Deep podcast, where he tells the stories and the people behind his catalog. A second season will be released soon.

“I remember one night I went out with [Ertegun] and Phil Spector in New York, and we were in a club somewhere,” he said. “We decided it was time to sing the outros of famous vocal music from the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. So we only sang the ends of the songs, and you can imagine how hysterical it would be.”

He noted that the "fade-out of a 45 in 1960 was when the singer could break away from the regular melody and disappear into this great abstraction, I suppose.”

You can listen to the full episode here.

Plant recalled that Ertegun "kept saying to me, ‘Man, why don’t you stop all this weird shit and just do some of those songs? … I can get anybody in the studio to play ‘em, why don’t you sing ‘em?’ So I did.”

Asked about his relationship with the notoriously difficult Spector, Plant replied, “I didn’t live with him; I just spent time around him and Ahmet. And I guess if was kind of, not a mutual admiration society, but we knew our stuff. There was no gamesmanship or nothing like that. We were just kicking back and thinking about what Gene Pitney would have done next.”

The Honeydrippers: Volume One featured Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Nile Rodgers and others, but further recordings failed to appear. Earlier this year, Plant appeared to hint at a resurgence of the project, sharing a picture of himself and Rodgers in a studio.

 

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