Maureen Plant

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Maureen F. Plant née Wilson (born 20 November 1948), is the former wife of Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, and the mother of Carmen Plant, Karac Plant, and Logan Plant. Maureen Wilson was born in the West Bengal city of Calcutta (now Kolkata) in east India. Guitarist Vernon Pereira (1944 - 25 October 1976), who was a founding member of the Band of Joy with Chris Brown, was her cousin.

Career

Maureen Wilson's father was chief of the Calcutta mounted police. Their family moved to Trinity Road, West Bromwich sometime after Indian independence, where he became a steel factory owner in Birmingham.[1]

Wilson first met Plant at a Georgie Fame concert in 1966, which was cancelled at the last minute. During much of the mid-1960s Plant struggled through a series of bands such as Listen, Band of Joy, and solo projects, and later acknowledged that Maureen had helped him survive when financially strapped, even briefly working for her father in his steel factory. She is a qualified nurse. Robert Plant and Maureen later married on 9 November 1968 in West Bromwich, with their reception was held at the Roundhouse where Led Zeppelin had performed that evening. Maureen Plant travelled only once with the band on their 1969 US spring tour thereafter she stayed at the Plant's family farm with their children. Robert had written the song 'Thank You' as a tribute to Maureen.[2] Robert was present at the birth of Carmen Jane Plant (born 21 October 1968) and Karac Pendra Plant (20 April 1972 - 26 July 1977).

Maureen Plant appeared uncredited in the 1976 film The Song Remains the Same, on the family property in Wales. She was also filmed for the 'castle maiden' scene being rescued by Robert at Raglan Castle but this was eventually cut from the final release. The filming originally took place in late 1973.

She was also the driver in the hired Austin Mini, with Robert in the passenger seat, which was involved in an accident on the Greek island of Rhodes on 4 August 1975.[3] The Plant family were seriously injured when their car skidded off the road and collided with a tree in a ravine. Thrown against the steering wheel, Maureen suffered life-threatening injuries and had lost a large amount of blood. Robert first thought Maureen was dead. Maureen's leg was broken, her pelvis fractured, and she suffered concussion for 36 hours from a fractured skull. Charlotte Martin and Maureen's sister Shirley Wilson, who were following in the car behind managed to get medical help, but there was concern the local facilities were inadequate and Swan Song Records tour manager Richard Cole was contacted to bring the Plant's back home to England for emergency treatment. Band manager Peter Grant arranged for two Harley Street specialists as well as blood plasma to be sent via private jet in the meantime. While Robert had to be moved again to the Channel Islands for tax reasons and recuperation, Maureen remained in London to continue recovery.[4] Robert wrote the song 'Tea for One', about his feelings for her on tours away from home.[5]

Karac died aged six, while Robert was in the United States on Led Zeppelin's 1977 North American tour. After leaving Oakland, California, on-board Caesar's Chariot, John Bonham, Richard Cole, and Plant headed to New Orleans for Led Zeppelin's concert at the Louisiana Superdome, the site of their next show. Within hours of arriving and checking in at the Maison Dupuy hotel, Robert received a call from his wife Maureen at the family's farmhouse near Kidderminster, Worcestershire. The first phone call said his son was sick, and within the next two hours later, she informed Robert that Karac had passed away.[6] Earlier Karac had felt ill and been ordered to bed by the family doctor, but his condition deteriorated. Maureen called an ambulance but he failed to respond to treatment and died on the way to Kidderminster General Hospital on Tuesday 26 July 1977. Robert Plant was shocked and devastated. An autopsy held on Monday 1 August 1977, revealed Karac had died from natural causes. Only a week earlier Carmen had become ill with the same stomach enteritis which affected Karac.[7] Karac's funeral and cremation was held in the first week of August 1977.

Logan Romero Plant was born on 27 January 1979. His birth hardened Robert's resolve not to tour the United States for any length of time.

Robert and Maureen divorced in 1982, but they have remained friends.

Maureen Plant dated Ian Hatton, guitarist for Jason Bonham in Bonham, around 1991. In October 2010, she attended a number of UK shows of the Robert Plant and the Band of Joy European Tour 2010.

References

  1. Daniels, Neil (2008). Robert Plant: Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page and the Solo Years. Church Stretton: Independent Music Press, 37. ISBN 978-0-9552822-7-0. OCLC 319207623. 
  2. Welch, Chris (2009). Led Zeppelin: The Stories Behind Every Led Zeppelin Song, Revised. London: Carlton Books, 40. ISBN 978-1-84732-286-9. OCLC 317254118. 
  3. Shadwick, Keith (2005). “Unforseen Circumstances”, Led Zeppelin: The Story of a Band and Their Music: 1968-1980. San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 243. ISBN 978-0-87930-871-1. OCLC 224513955. 
  4. Lewis, Dave (2003). “In the Presence of Pure Rock 'n' Roll”, Led Zeppelin: The 'Tight but Loose' Files: Celebration II. London: Omnibus Press, 39. ISBN 978-1844-49056-1. OCLC 66737707. 
  5. Welch, Chris (2009). Led Zeppelin: The Stories Behind Every Led Zeppelin Song, Revised. London: Carlton Books, 125. ISBN 978-1-84732-286-9. OCLC 317254118. 
  6. Shadwick, Keith (2005). “Nobody's Fault but Mine”, Led Zeppelin: The Story of a Band and Their Music: 1968-1980. San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 274. ISBN 978-0-87930-871-1. OCLC 224513955. 
  7. Mylett, Howard (1981). Led Zeppelin. London: Granada, 169. ISBN 978-0-586-04390-5. OCLC 463589001.