Yesterday, Robert Plant unequivocally and in no uncertain terms squashed rumors pertaining to his participation in any Led Zeppelin reunion tour. He also made it clear he would not be a part of any recording sessions with the band’s current line-up—guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist John Paul Jones, and drummer Jason Bonham (that would be John’s son).
We can’t say we’re terribly surprised. Plant has a critically-lauded album to promote with Alison Krauss, and a tour to do through October, and really, he’s always been the most hesitant Zep when it came to getting the ol’ gang back together.
On the other hand, it was Plant who made a show of denying the “rumor” last summer that Led Zeppelin planed to honor late Atlantic Records honcho Ahmet Ertegun (the same Ahmet that originally signed his band) with a one-off reunion show. Of course, then Plant went out and made history with Zeppelin’s sold-out performance at London’s 02 Arena that December. Critics and fans are still recovering. And even just yesterday—hours before Plant surfaced to deny rumors of a full-fledged reunion—the Guardian quoted an anonymous source dishing to the Sun about how Plant had signed on with the band after Page and the boys threatened to get another singer to replace him on tour.
It’s all very complicated… And yet the biggest news seems to be the simple fact that Led Zeppelin (for the moment, sans Plant) are working on new material, at least according to an interview Bonham the Younger gave to Detroit’s WCSX radio in August.
In The New Yorker’s review of Zeppelin’s reunion show last year, Sasha Frere-Jones—though gushing about their performance—hoped the band would stay away from a full-fledged tour. “Let the songs remain,” he wrote. We have to agree. Nearly every American falls in love with Led Zeppelin at some point in their teenage years; they’re the perennial high school band. A new tour—though we’d certainly pay to see it—would change all that. Mothers and fathers—PR execs and hedge-fund managers—people who could afford to see them, would largely do so. They’d be your parents’ favorite band. Nostalgia costs money, folks.