All of my Love. Karac’s song.
Songs with back stories hold a special fascination for me. “All of my love’ has a unique mystique that I always wondered about, only recently learning its meaning. The voice of a grieving father, two years after his sons death.
In 77, as Led Zepellin were making their way out of Oakland, the band members made their separate ways to the next stop on the itinerary, a planned appearance in New Orleans. Shortly after arriving in the city, Robert Plant received the devastating news about his son. Half a world away and helpless to join his son during his confusing final moments.
“The first phone call said his son was sick,” said tour manager Richard Cole, describing a fateful pair of calls from Plant’s wife. “And the second phone call, unfortunately, Karac had died in that time.”
“Karac was the apple of Robert’s eye; they idolized one another,” said Plant’s father in an Associated Press report announcing the immediate cancellation of the tour. Searching for answers about the sudden illness, Plant retreated home, taking comfort from his wife Maureen and daughter Carmen while Zeppelin went on hold.
“After the death of my son Karac in 1977, I received a lot of support from [Bonham], and I went through the mill because the media turned on the whole thing and made it even worse. I had to look after my family and at that time, as we regrouped, I applied to take a job at a Rudolph Steiner training college in Sussex. I wanted to just get out of it – to go away and forget it.”
In a separate talk with Rolling Stone, Plant said “I lost my boy. I didn’t want to be in Led Zeppelin. I wanted to be with my family.” He also later claimed to have quit all of his chemical habits cold turkey. “I stopped taking everything on the same day,” Plant added. “The most important thing to me is my family and when I got off my face, I found it difficult to be all things to the people that meant a lot to me.”
Plant was quite serious, at least for a time, about pursuing a new career in education too. Admitting that “it’s not something that we, as a family, have been able to get over yet,” he told GQ in 2011 that “our family had always been close to the Rudolf Steiner Waldorf education in the West Midlands and I just liked the way it all worked.
“I just thought there was something far more honest and wholesome about just digging in and putting the ego away in the closet. Because no matter what we say, entertainers are usually quite insecure, wobbly characters underneath – and maybe that bit of glory or that bit of expression or whatever it is compensates in some area. But I thought I should be rid of it. … Sometimes I still feel like that.”
“during the absolute darkest times of my life when I lost my boy and my family was in disarray, it was Bonzo who came to me. The other guys were [from] the South [of England] and didn’t have the same type of social etiquette that we have up here in the North that could actually bridge that uncomfortable chasm with all the sensitivities required … to console.”
Shortly after 1979’s In Through the Out Door, and the song ‘All of my love’ Page wrote for his son, Bonham’s sudden death on Sept. 25, 1980 ended the band as a creative unit once and for all.
All of my love:
Should I fall out of love, my fire in the light
To chase a feather in the wind
Within the glow that weaves a cloak of delight
There moves a thread that has no end
For many hours and days that pass ever soon
The tides have caused the flame to dim
At last the arm is straight, the hand to the loom
Is this to end or just begin?
All of my love, all of my love
All of my love to you
All of my love, all of my love
Oh, all of my love to you, now
The cup is raised, the toast is made yet again
One voice is clear above the din
Proud Arianne one word, my will to sustain
For me, the cloth once more to spin