Maybe you know this one. It’s March 1975, and Led Zeppelin is in the middle of conquering America, rock-and-roll and the future, so Robert Plant slips out onto the balcony of his Sunset Strip hotel room with a proclamation for the traffic puttering down below: “I’m a golden god!”
Thirty-seven years later, John Paul Jones remembers another hotel balcony. Same tour, different city. Plant is out on the terrace, sucking up all the oxygen and sunshine, jittery in his jeans, wanderlust humming in his bone marrow. Jones points to a building on the horizon and brags, “I walked there this morning.”
Plant’s chest hair wilts. A golden god can have all the money, women, powder and pills he desires, but he can’t walk down the street and explore. Wearing the right hat, his less-conspicuous bassist can. Jonesy gives his front man a squeeze on the shoulder. Not an exultant Led Zeppelin moment by any stretch, but one that captures the two elements that make any novel worth reading and every Led Zeppelin album worth owning: empathy and adventure.