British folk singer Roy Harper appeared today in an English court to face charges of sexually assaulting a pre-teen girl in the Seventies. The singer, 72, faces nine counts, according to the BBC: two counts of sexual assault on a girl under 13, three charges of indecently assaulting a girl under 14 and four for gross indecency with a girl under 14, all related to the same victim. The abuse allegedly began in 1975, when the victim was 12 years old. Harper did not enter a plea during his brief appearance in Hereford Magistrates’ Court. He’s due in Worcester Crown Court on December 2nd.
Harper, who now resides in Ireland, was a cult favorite among Seventies rock groups. He sang lead vocals on Pink Floyd‘s song “Have a Cigar” from the band’s 1975 album Wish You Were Here, and in 1970, Led Zeppelin toasted him on the track “Hats Off to (Roy) Harper” on Led Zeppelin III and later took him on tour with them. Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson once named Harper as a major songwriting influence, and indie rockers Fleet Foxes have cited him as a musical inspiration. Harper’s 70th birthday concert in 2011 featured appearances by Page and Joanna Newsom.
Since 1966, Harper has put out more than 20 studio records. His 1980 album, The Unknown Soldier, featured several songs co-written with Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour and a duet with Kate Bush. The track “Short and Sweet” features Gilmour on guitar and can also be heard on his 1978 self-titled solo debut. Harper’s 1985 record, Whatever Happened to Jugula?, featured another song co-written with Gilmour and guitar performances by Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, who had previously played with Harper under a pseudonym on the 1971 track “Me and My Woman.”
Earlier this year, Harper received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. In 2005, the British music magazine Mojo awarded Harper with a “Hero Award,” according to The Daily Mail.