Why Robert Plant Hates the Ukulele
Robert Plant explained why he hated the ukulele as a result of an on-tour experience he’d rather forget.
The Led Zeppelin singer also reinforced his refusal to write a memoir during the latest episode of his Digging Deep podcast.
“I’m sad to hear that,” Plant told cohost Matt Everitt, who said he’d spent his lockdown trying to master the ukulele. When Everitt responded that it was a “great instrument,” Plant replied: “Oh, no, no,” and recounted an event from a tour with the Sensational Space Shifters.
“Skin Tyson, who sometimes masquerades in Cast, he took that feckin’ thing on the road,” he said. “And because he’s a Scouser [from Liverpool], we had to hear every single Liverpool song from ‘She Loves You’ to ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’ to God knows what on ukulele in every dressing room.”
Planted continued: “So, you’ve got Juldeh Camara from the Gambia with his one-string fiddle, lying on the floor in his string vest on a towel … since I’m the oldest guy he used to call me ‘Uncle,’ because it’s a tradition in faraway places. And he’d say, ‘Uncle, why does he do that?’ I said, ‘’Cause he’s killing us!’”
You can listen to the episode below.
Plant then recalled that he once had a “great sticker” on the tail of a car when he lived in the U.S. “I got an old cop car, painted it dark blue and I left the light on the side so it looked like I was undercover,” he said. “And I got a sticker in a record shop … and it said, ‘Paddle faster – I hear banjo music.’” He said he brought a similar sticker back to the U.K., but it wasn’t worth using because “nobody will get it.”
Asked by Everitt if he’d been tempted to write a book during his period of isolation, Plant replied, “What do we think of ourselves if we think we have to write down what happened accidentally? I mean, these things happened; it took a lot of other people to make them happen – a lot of circumstances that can’t be repeated.”
The singer said the act of writing a memoir was “almost like a requiem." “I don’t believe in all that," he explained. "I also don’t want my family to know what I got up to!”