The Rover is a hard rock song written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. It’s the 2nd track on side one of Physical Graffiti, which was released February 24, 1975.
The Rover was written at Bron-Yr-Aur, a cottage in Gwynedd, Wales, where Robert Plant and Jimmy Page wrote many songs after the Spring 1970 North American Tour. It was recorded during the 1972 Houses of the Holy sessions, but not released until 1975 after Jimmy Page added a gritty guitar solo to complete the song.
The sleeve credit for The Rover includes the line “Guitar lost courtesy Nevison…Salvaged by the grace of Harwood” in reference to audio engineer Ron Nevison accidently erasing a memorable Jimmy Page guitar track during mixing. “Harwood” refers to engineer Keith Harwood, who Jimmy Page mentioned while discussing Presence with Paul Shaffer during a 2015 Day in Rock interview:
Paul: “You brought your own engineer, of course.”
Jimmy: “I did, I did. His name was Keith Harwood and he was an engineer that I had a real connection with. He did all of the mixes on the Physical Graffiti album and he was the engineer when we put the orchestra on Kashmir. You know, we had a bit of a history.”
Sadly on September 3rd in 1977 Keith Harwood was killed instantly in London, England after he fell asleep at the wheel of his vehicle on the way home from a Rolling Stones mixing session.
Sources: Citizendium, Discogs, Ultimate Classic Rock, WordPress
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