29 Palms

Album: Fate Of Nations (1993)
Charted: 21
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Songfacts®:

  • In this song, the singer is fixated on a seductive woman who lives there. Could this woman be the Canadian singer Alannah Myles, famous for the song "Black Velvet"? In a 1993 interview with Network magazine, Plant gave a non-denial denial, saying: "We did tour together. We're good friends. I think the world of her. She's a great, powerful lady. She has one of the finest voices of the idiom. She was always very kind to me, very warm-hearted. But the road is the road. Forget about all the rumors, everything is true and untrue. '29 Palms' was written on tour, the last time we were in California."

    Considering the lyrics, "It comes kinda hard when I hear your voice on the radio/ Taking me back down the road that leads back to you," Myles must be considered the prime suspect. Also note the line "her velvet glove."
  • Rumors of a relationship with Myles followed Plant for years, but he was always quick to deny them. Part of this may have had to with Shirley Wilson, sister of Plant's ex-wife Maureen Wilson (divorced in 1983). Plant's relationship with Shirley, which he also kept secretive, was coming to an end at the same time stories of his relationship with Myles were beginning. This was all happening around 1990 and Plant's release of his fifth studio album, Manic Nirvana. Plant may have been trying to protect Shirley from the reality of his new affair. He also may have been simply fed up with the gossip, because he was already under fire for starting a relationship with his ex-wife's sister. It was all tabloid gold.
  • Twentynine Palms is a city in southern California, about 200 miles north of the Mexican border. It's a small city with a population of about 25,000 people and is best known as the primary entry point into Joshua Tree National Park.

    The location has popped up in music plenty of times before. Its most significant connection is to the 1987 U2 album The Joshua Tree. The band's fifth studio album, it was also their best-selling album and the one that contains many of their most lasting songs. U2 stayed in the Harmony Hotel in Twentynine Palms to shoot pictures for the album.
  • Many of the videos for Robert Plant's songs take place in the southwest. This one was shot in San Bernardino County, California. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Santa Barbara, CA

Comments: 15

  • Wtaf?? from New MexicoWhat I have always wondered is why it sounds like he says 29 FARMS!!
  • Reg from ArizonaGAG! If this is about Alannah Myles and that weak-ass Black Velvet tripe, then I may never listen to it again.
  • Ted from WashingtonI was told, by someone in the know, that the song is about Plant heading to 29 Palms to spend time with a certain disc jockey that worked at the local radio station at the time. The lyrics refer to the idea that he is driving into the station's signal area and knows once he can hear their voice on the radio, that he's not far from his destination.
  • Gary From Kansas City from Kansas City MissouriI've listened to the song for many years, it's one those songs that always seems new and fresh. I was born in 29 Palms in the 50's, but left in my early teens. I've returned from time to time throughout the years, and since 1994 the song always accompanies me.The area of my birth never fails to reenergize my soul, leaving me feeling fresh and new.
  • Carmen from 29 PalmsReturned here after being gone for almost 50 years. A hidden gem of a little town where the desert mountains seep into your soul. While living in Colorado I wrote the fiction Road to Soul as I missed the environment. His song fits with my stories.
  • Been There Got The Broken Heart from OklahomaFor me it will always be about Debbie Breslin, AKA Kiara. She cut hair at the Marine Corps Barber Shop in 29 Palms. A more beautiful California Girl ( woman grown) was never born. She was also a loving, devoted and honorable wife, alas - my broken heart.
  • One Who Knows from CanadaIt's about Alannah Myles....they were an item and were together at 29 Palms....helloooo!....he loved her, but....
  • Jb from Deer Park,wiI think it's about anyone that leads a music entertainers life. Travelling on the road hoping to get back home again for a normal life instead of the demands of the road.
  • Hellena from UkThis reminds me of Sting Desert Rose in some ways. A mysterious seductive Desert Woman..probably with dark hair & blue eyes ... Like Alanna Myles lol
  • Clint from TaosCome on. “Her velvet glove”?!? He even used the riff from her song (Black Velvet)
  • Ted from SeattleI knew a DJ who worked at the 29 palms radio station at the time the song was written who indicated they and Robert had a "thing" and the song was about that.
  • Bigshadowdog from Alexandria, VaAccording to Alannah Myles Facebook page: "Alannah & Robert became an item after her meteoric rise to fame. Torn between her hard won success and loving his philandering heart, she chose music and has never looked back. During their recording separation she wrote an orchestrated ballad 'Song Instead Of A Kiss' revealing lost love, he wrote an ode to her favourite place in the California dessert, '29 Palms'. "
  • Paul from Marysville, WaI love this song. When it came out I had recently begun a job as a delivery driver. I was also just starting to recover from a major loss, so for me that line "leading me down the road that leads back to you" meant I was getting back to being my normal happy self.
  • Will from Memphis, TnI was stationed in 29 Palms for many years, met the love of my life there. Most people think of 29 Palms as a desert waste land, but it is one of this country's hidden treasures. I often hear "her voice" on the radio, music was such a big influence on both of us, there were several songs that had special meaning for both of us. I remember the evening that we both first heard this song, at a bar called The Virginian, in 29 Palms.
  • Jimbo from Sequim, WaOK, this may be completely coincidence, but VH1 aired a show called "Bands Reunited" featuring a punk band from the 80s named Romeo Void. The singer opened her door and exclaimed, "What's VH1 doing here in 29 Palms....
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