There has been a great deal of talk and hype about Led Zeppelin doing a reunion tour — and Robert Plant is having none of it.
Robert Plant – Just another pissy old, overpaid, overrated rock star
It’s been nearly seven years since the show at the 02, and the topic of Zeppelin’s aborted tour still rankles Plant, who has come to a pub near his North London home to talk about the group’s new series of archival release. As explains himself his decision to not tour with Zeppelin, he leans forward with menace, and his eyes nearly double in size. “You’re going back to the same old shit,” he 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.”
Needless to say, Jimmy Page has a very different take on the situation. “There’s bound to be fallout if you just do one show,” he says. “At the time of the 02 show we were led to believe there were going to be more. You’ll have to ask Robert why he changed his mind. I don’t even know if he considered it. I don’t know what he thinks.”
via Robert Plant Slams Idea of Zeppelin Tour: ‘I’m Not Part of a Jukebox’ | Music News | Rolling Stone.
I hate to say it, but, I do get Robert Plant’s point. He is simply not interested in cashing in on Led Zeppelin’s legendary status.
One thing people have to understand about Led Zeppelin is this: By 1980, when Led Zeppelin’s drummer, John Bonham died the band was basically running on the vapors of a different era. Jimmy Page was doing heroin, John Bonham was going on drinking binges that would last for days. Now Robert Plant and John Paul Jones were living totally different lives; as they were totally sober and trying to be in a band. This lead to friction in the band. This was further compounded when Robert Plant’s five year old son Karac died of a stomach infection. Jimmy Page nor John Paul Jones showed up for the funeral. This angered Plant greatly.
Plus too, and this is the part that nobody really talks about anymore, but it’s the truth; by 1980, Led Zeppelin sounded, well, dated. By 1980, Zeppelin sounded like, well, the 1970’s and young people of that era had moved on. The young people of the 1980’s were listening to punk and new wave. The ones of listened to rock and roll, had found other bands to listen to, seeing that Led Zeppelin was taking forever to release records. So, a bit of their fan base had been peeled off. So, by 1980, Led Zeppelin was seen largely as a novelty act.
Please Note: I do not write the following as a critic, but as someone who really liked Bonham’s drumming and am saddened that Bonham died the way he did and as a grandson of a man, who was a working alcoholic who tragically died really young:
As a drummer, I feel that I can say this: The only reason Led Zeppelin was what they were, is because of John Bonham’s drumming; this is why they did not attempt to replace him, after he died. The other guys were great musicians, but Bonham’s drumming rounded out and really made that sound. Bonham’s own son does not even remotely sound like him at all. Not only that, but even Bonham’s drumming sound was the result of some old school studio trickery and careful editing of tape; especially in the later years, as the use of alcohol began to cause his drumming ability to suffer. In his later years, Bonham’s inability to do “triplets” was very obvious. Bonham never lost timing, that I’ve ever heard; but his later drumming was not nearly that of his young years. When Bonham was sober, he played well. When he was drunk, he was awful. Bonham, when drunk, would become verbally abusive towards the other band members; this is clear in the intro of one of John Bonham’s isolated tracks of “Fool in the rain.” Bonham could not even count off a song to start a session take without making a mistake.
My point is this: Robert Plant simply does not want to go back to that place again; and quite frankly, I do not blame him one bit.