Robert Plant never worked with Tom Petty but the two had met a couple times and the Led Zeppelin frontman tells Billboard the icon’s passing earlier this month at the age of 66 feels like it came far too early.
“It’s a tough call to ask a musician how they feel about another musician passing,” says Plant, who turns 70 next August. “It was premature, by far, and really a sad departure from all these musicians who brought so much pleasure to people — and for his family to have to go through any kind of public show of grief or sentimentality is very difficult.”
On Friday (Oct. 13), Plant released his latest solo album, Carry Fire, via on Nonesuch/Warner, and said Petty’s passing reminded him of the death of his former bandmate, drummer John Bonham.
“I remember we lost John Bonham 37 years ago and that was the end of Led Zeppelin really,” he says. “We were only kids then and there’s no amount of talking or paying respects that can bring anybody back, especially somebody who goes so sadly with so many years left to roll really.”
In related news, Bonham’s sister, Deborah, had received permission for a bronze statue in his honor to be erected in his hometown of Redditch, Worcestershire, in time to commemorate what would have been his 70th birthday next May.