robertPlant Andy Greene of Rolling Stone reports:

It could have been the biggest tour in the history of rock & roll, a stadium juggernaut to dwarf even recent efforts by U2, Roger Waters and the Rolling Stones. Had they agreed to a two-year trek, taken on sponsors and charged exorbitant rates for tickets and merchandise, Led Zeppelin could possibly have been the first act ever to gross $1 billion on a single tour. They spent nearly a year prepping for their reunion show at London’s O2 Arena in December of 2007, but just when his bandmates, concert promoters and fans all over the world were practically salivating over the thought of the group’s first tour since 1980, Robert Plant walked away from the group, and nothing was going to change his mind.

You’re going back to the same old shit,” Robert Plant says. “A tour would have been an absolute menagerie of vested interests and the very essence of everything that’s shitty about about big-time stadium rock. We were surrounded by a circus of people that would have had our souls on the fire. I’m not part of a jukebox!”

Nearly all of Plant’s peers are happy to deal with such a circus considering the insane financial rewards. “Good luck to them,” he sneers. “I hope they’re having a real riveting and wonderful late middle age. Somehow I don’t think they are.”

When Robert Plant walked away from the group after the O2 show, Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham continued to rehearse together in England, even auditioning singers for a possible Plant-free tour. Most names have remained secret, but Steven Tyler and Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy have both admitted to spending a few days playing with the group.

“Singers were being thrown at us from here and there,” says Page. “The material we were coming up with was really, really good. Obviously, other people wanted to just get us out on the road quickly. I wasn’t feeling comfortable. Going out with the three members from the 02 show and another singer might have looked like trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. I wanted to see what we could come up with musically.”

Plant refuses to make a statement forever ruling out the possibility of him fronting Zeppelin again. “I don’t think there’s any reason for me to do that,” he says. “Otherwise we’ve got nothing to be mystic about…Everything will develop as it develops. All doors are open. All phone lines are open. I don’t hear from anybody. Talk is cheap…But I just think everything has to be new. Then you can incorporate history.”

Does that mean he’s open to the idea of recording new songs with Zeppelin? “You can’t be the marriage guidance clinic here,” he says, clearly irritated by this line of questioning.

Strangely, he’s among the few people who felt it was a good idea for Zeppelin to carry in without him. “They kept rehearsing after O2 and they had a singer,” Plant says. “I don’t know what happened. It seemed like a great idea to me.”

Plant stands up to leave, but turns on his heel. “Do you know why the Eagles said they’d reunite when ‘hell freezes over,’ but they did it anyway and keep touring?” he asks. “It’s not because they were paid a fortune. It’s not about the money. It’s because they’re bored. I’m not bored.”

Read more at Rolling Stone.


35 Responses

  1. McCartney is 71 and sounds like 1973 on every gig, even the ’66 stuff. Plant can’t get it done like ’73 (and in ’80 he was at 75%) but it would be incredible like the London show. His solo stuff is boring. Poor Jimmy, he just rots for years. He shoulda found another Plant and put it together.

  2. Amen, Robert. The best thing to do is go out on your own tours and trot out all the Zep songs you could perform actually WITH Jimmy and JPJ, but instead do it with a sitar, a triangle and the sounds of two monkeys screwing in the background, and call that a rework, and not living in the past. Like others, I’m over this. Just stop asking him, and Robert, stop answering. Become like Ritchie Blackmore.

  3. I had seen Page / Plant circa 1998 in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a Friday show and Page / Plant played in Birmingham, Alabama I think 1 or two night prior.

    I – like millions of others – am a huge fan of the band, but I have to say that they were not good during this show in 1998. They released that Plant / Page DVD which really gave rising hope to me. If you know Led Zeppelin well – you know that Page was hooked on phonics towards the end of Zeppelin. You watch him after Led Zeppelin with “The Firm” and you just see his stock value drop…then enters David Coverdale I notice that Page doesn’t seem to be able to solo that well any more, then years pass by and we see Page / Plant. Since I’ve Been Loving You on the DVD was excellent. During the Atlanta show it was like watching Peyton Manning in last year’s Super Bowl – just – not good. To his credit – I’m no Jimmy Page – but I just think that it’s better to end on a high not then a low one…and I think that’s where Robert Plant is coming from – too bad he has to be so pretentious about it.

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