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40 Years Ago: Robert Plant’s Car Accident Begins Difficult Period

Evening Standard, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

On Aug. 4, 1975, Robert Plant and his family were vacationing in Rhodes, Greece, when the car he was driving spun off the road and crashed. It was the first in a string of bad luck moments for the Led Zeppelin singer. The band was on a short break and in between tour dates when Plant, along with his wife and children, took a trip to the Greek island of Rhodes. They rented a car, which Plant lost control of and crashed. The accident left Plant and his wife Maureen injured; his kids escaped with just a few bruises.

It took some time for the couple to recover. Plant broke an ankle and elbow, which wouldn’t fully heal for another two years. He spent time in a wheelchair. And the down time seriously crippled Led Zeppelin’s upcoming plans, including finishing the tour dates in support of the recently released Physical Graffiti.

The rest of the tour – including North American dates – was canceled, and Plant’s slow recovery halted work on the band’s follow-up album, Presence, which finally came the following year after several delays.

Two years later, tragedy struck Plant again when his five-year-old son Karac died of a stomach infection while Led Zeppelin were on tour in the U.S. The news hit Plant hard, and he requested privacy to mourn with his family. During the downtime, Plant has said he thought about pulling the plug on the group.

Led Zeppelin finally regrouped in 1978 to work on their final album, In Through the Out Door, which included Plant’s tribute to his late son, “All My Love.” He was clearly a changed man by this point. The past several years of tragedy began taking its toll. The car accident was merely the start.

 See Led Zeppelin and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the ’70s

You Think You Know Robert Plant?

Next: Robert Plant’s 10 Most Historic Concerts

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